Maciek’s Notepad

Travel :: SW Essex Pub Quest: The Robin in Brentwood

This wasn’t planned, as we’ve already done our pub quest round this week, but we ended up in Brentwood and Z was hungry, so we popped into The Robin. Located in the North of the town, not far from A12, by a main street, this was an interesting change from chains to a local. Inside a small bar, regulars watching a football match, a few tables, most of the free ones were in the vicinity of a particularly noisy group of children. The garden outside with a view onto a busy street, we opted for a table inside. Only two ales on the tap, one of them inescapable Greene King IPA, but the other – yay! – Doombar. That’s a good start. No craft beer bottles or cans anywhere to be seen, but Doombar will do just fine.

Technology :: Creating slide decks in Jupyter notebook

The great thing about using Jupyter for creating slide decks is that I could easily access all the data in the environment, in the way I am used to. For example, I wanted to make a plot of how the progress subject matter experts made on labelling the data over time. I could use pyspark SQL to query the relevant data and then matplotlib to output the plot. In theory tables are also easy to render with the use of Pandas, but I found that less useful in practice: in most cases I wanted to highlight particular cells to draw attention to certain aspects or better explain the data, which meant that I had to include the table in the static content and style it by hand.

Cooking :: Flooded Queensland Penne

January 2011 found us in eastern Australia, desperately trying to get to from Cairns to Sydney in time for our flight back home. Despite having a few weeks at our disposal, us reaching Sydney on time was far from certain, due to epic floods that affected much of coastal Queensland. So, we drove around trying to find a passable way South, coming across what looked like deserted towns, with empty shelves at grocery stores and rationed bread, as supplies could not be delivered due to flooded roads. Cooking on the road restricts one’s creativity in the best of times, and in crisis circumstances is positively challenging. It helps to have a few recipes ready that call for ingredients that are generally available.