Minor Achievements

20:36 Mon 18 Oct 2010
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Sometimes it’s the little things that make life better, the small victories in ongoing daily battles.

I recently did an overhead squat at 185 pounds (or about 84 kilos, or 13 stone 3); I weigh a little under 180 (that day, 178 pounds) and so that was a bodyweight overhead squat. It actually represents two achievements, because in order to get the bar into the overhead position, I had to push jerk it from behind my neck to locked out above my head, which counts as my best push jerk ever, albeit an unorthodox one. From the overhead locked out position, it’s down into a deep squat and back up; the harder part for me was going down, as once I was at the bottom it wasn’t hard to keep my balance coming back up.

That lift is the first “significant” lifting milestone I’ve hit; bodyweight deadlift isn’t that much, nor really is 1.5 times bodyweight. I haven’t managed bodyweight on any of the others, although I’m pretty sure that as soon as my hip injury clears enough I’ll be able to do a clean and jerk at 185 pounds as well. It’s worth noting that (as my trainer Kat likes to point out) I could barely do an overhead squat with the bar (45 pounds) when I started CrossFit in June 2009.

The other recent minor achievement is finally fully automating my blog-posting process. I write my blog posts in the Vim editor in the reStructuredText format, with a specific template for blog posts, and when I’m finished a post I run a command from within Vim that takes the post content and transforms it from reST to the pseudoHTML that WordPress expects, then posts that to my blog, then opens the editing page for the post in Firefox for me to look over, so that more or less all I have to do is look at a preview and then hit publish.

I’ve had that working for a while, but it didn’t push the blog’s tags. Instead, I had to copy and paste them in Firefox from the first line of the post contents into the tags input. Definitely a minor thing, but it was still a manual step that I was sure could be eliminated. I thought, however, that getting past it would be relatively complicated, and that I’d have to pull tags from WordPress first, see if the tags for the post were new or not, get WordPress identifiers for all of them—something like that. However, all I really needed to know was that the WordPress XML-RPC service expects the tags to be in a field called mt_keywords. Once I realized that, the rest was easy, and just required that key in the dict passed in to pyblog. So when I finish this post, only necessary manual steps will be required for publication.

I will eventually make a screencast of this, and write up the various bits of technology I use to make it work.

One Response to “Minor Achievements”

  1. Mike Says:

    Awesome, Tadhg! 185 ohs is no easy feat. That also takes lots of flexibility (shoulders and hips) so nice job!

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