Parisian Booksellers Have Lined the Seine for Centuries. Now, They’re Fighting to Stay

The booksellers whose rickety green stands dot the River Seine have been a Paris staple for hundreds of years. Through the censorship of kings and Nazi occupiers, through the Covid-19 pandemic and frequent protests, the bouquinistes have remained.


22 years of notes

On living the dream

Yesterday this ol’ blog turned 22. Sure, it’s ignored most of the time and is a little dusty and rusty and maybe its best days are behind it, but it’s a reflection of me and my life in so many ways so it’s still special.

Not sure what about life happens to get in the way of things like writing. Yes, events, family, work, kids, etc etc. But it’s odd how I have the least amount of time to write during the years I’m going to want to remember the most.

All the stuff before, the first 8-10 years of J’s Notes, they’re not nothing but they certainly don’t reflect the life of a guy truly living a life beyond his wildest dreams. Two amazing kids, a good job, a nice house, more animals than I know what do do with, an incredible wife because, dang, y’all, I married up!

Life is good. Maybe I can just say I’m focusing on living it instead of focusing on journaling it, the memories will count. Not just mine but those of my boys, my best friend and rock and partner, my family.

It’s a good place to be. But it’s nice to make note of it once in a while.

Goodbye, Dooce

This morning, I was shaken to learn Heather B. Hamilton (formerly Heather Armstrong) aka Dooce is no longer with us. I learned the news from a post to her Instagram, confirmed by several friends after and then the Associated Press, announcing the tragic news that she died yesterday at the age of 47.


Using robots to make a bookmarklet for the Wayback Machine

As I dig through and repost the archives of J’s Notes I’m finding a ton of dead links because twenty plus years is a LOOOOOONG time on the Internet and things go away. But thanks to the Wayback Machine you can find a lot of lost digital history with a quick search. But cut and pasting each link into a search is tedious, so maybe there’s a way to shortcut with a bookmark that has a little code to do the work for me.

So let’s ask ChatGPT!

After a little tweaking, some testing, minor back and forth with ChatGPT, and a total of 15 minutes, the following code did the trick:

javascript:(function() {
  var currentUrl = window.location.href;'*/' + currentUrl, '_blank');

To use:

  1. Create a new bookmark in your browser.
  2. Edit the bookmark’s URL field.
  3. Copy and paste the code above into the URL field.
  4. Give the bookmark a name (e.g. “Find Cache”).
  5. Save the bookmark.

Sure, I probably could have just Googled this, but even some of those answers didn’t work when testing afterwards. And using ChatGPT and working through the process helped me learn a thing or two about life, love, and javascript. It got the process started a lot quicker than if I’d tried to do this from scratch and I was able to get to iteration right away.

And this is where I think the true value of ChatGPT is (right now at least). Rough first drafts that you can then edit and build off of and make your own. I wouldn’t recommend it for “original” content — because it’s not original, it’s aggregated and filtered from other people’s work — but for non-proprietary work or learning the basics of something it can go a long way to saving some time and effort.