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the new year is off to a good start

01 Jan 2014

2014-01-01 13:13:52 -0600

So one of the things I'm experimenting with is making it a daily goal to do at least one pomodoro's worth of work on either a business project or some programming (and of course, sometimes the programming is for a business project) first thing.

Also, one of my daily goals is to do my daily blog entry in the "morning" (which is defined as the time before I leave the house for the day).

Since I've done or am doing both things, we're off to a good start here.

My point with the daily business/programming goal is that I realize the power of small progress, if only in just building some consistent momentum. I haven't had much momentum recently.

And if it's only really 30 minutes of work, surely I can find time for it if I do it first thing. It's just too easy to put off otherwise.

And of course, if I'm doing that first thing, then at the worst, my daily entry can just talk about what work on did on my projects.

So here's today's:

As I write this, Bejisa is currently affecting the islands of La Réunion and Maurice.

I had previously written scrapers to pull useful data from the La Réunion and Mauritius web sites, but as is often the case with my HTML based scrapers, the data format changed and things stopped working.

So I fixed Mauritius first by scraping the scrolling marquee they have now on the website.

La Réunion was next where I'm now scraping the "Situation Générale" out of one of the bulletins.

Finally, I worked on the automagic storm scraper which determines what government agencies are tracking active cyclones.

See, without the automagic, I have to add the storms to a list by hand. It's a simple one line change, but if you multiply that across all of the different government agencies (National Hurricane Center, Japan Meteorologica Agency, Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Meteo France, Fiji, and the Bureau of Meteorology), and the fact new storms are happening about once a week or more… well, it becomes a mess of manual work.

Of the places I currently get cyclone path information from, Meteo France was the last one that I was doing by hand.

So basically, I finally put in the work to build the automagic storm finder.

So hurray. I have started the new year on the right foot.