Portrait photo of Thomas Randolph in a casual setting.

Thomas O. Randolph


Running Puppeteer on WSL2

It's been a long time since I've written words in the "review" box after I watch a movie, so here's

My β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of The Tomorrow War (2021) on Letterboxd:

Here's How 2021 Is Going So Far

Been having a lot of trouble writing recently. Every time I start a post I lose steam just a few sentences into it. Not sure if it's lack of drive or just plain exhaustion, but either way writing is hard.
I'm in this photo and I don't like it
Up at 1am this morning and I just finished a major security overhaul to While it still asks for your password to encrypt/decrypt your data, it actually stores a local key that you generate when you log in and uses that (instead) to create fresh AES-GCM keys when you encrypt/decrypt. Next step is automatic backups.
Jesus Christ the process to add a custom icon to IOS14 is 15 steps long FOR EACH ICON and it's not even the real app it's an intermediate "Shortcuts" app that launches the real app. Android is so far ahead in _basic user experience_ it's not even a fair comparison any more. You can either have an Android phone or you can buy the Jitterbug for younger people.
Okay the Xbox game Pass for PC might be worth it now...
Finished the basics for my personal url shortener!
Heart my bank, Simple, for doing this:

Donate $5 to end systemic injustice, they'll donate $20.
Today was car care day:

- Full synthetic oil change
- Maximum car wash and interior detail
- Full tank of ethanol-free gas
- New air filter
- Seat covers
- and a nice new air freshener named Jeff
Prettier users: You need to end all lists with a comma so when you add or remove a line, the only changed line is the relevant one.

Also Prettier users: You modified the length of that line by adding 4 characters, so now that line is 5 lines.
Love to listen to Apple fans have their minds blown by Android features from half a decade ago being added to Apple devices. The only way you can make money and also be last to market is a fully captive audience.
Psst hey kid come 'ere. Listen up.


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My doctor keeps sending me two simultaneous bills, one for $100+, and another, at the exact same time, for $20. When I go to their online bill pay system (which only works in Chrome), I can SEE both balances, but I'm only able to pay $20. I thought I had outsmarted it by using their app payment option, but alas the bullshit continues.
The Washington Post should take down articles when - after not doing any due diligence - it is determined that the subject of the article is a fictional narrative created by unhinged people
I added auto-posting-to-Twitter to my blog and the thing that took the longest was finding all the right stupid workarounds for Node/npm specific garbage.
Medical providers love to bill you perfectly every month but also be wrong every time and have the most arcane systems for payment.

"Your service was $425 and we billed your insurance for $683 and you owe us $2657. Please send a carrier pigeon into the future with a notarized money order to your own address (which we will own) in 2027."
CSS is irreducible complexity! Stop abstracting it to your own inane classes!
Listen, you're not wrong phonetically, but I'm still disappointed.
My β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of Tenet (2020) on Letterboxd:
I will not be taking questions at this time.
09:01 hours. The jets are flying around above the suburbs, like clockwork.

I bet we could permanently house like... 3 folks who don't have homes in the Denver area for every day the Air Force doesn't fly a bunch of jets around a civilian area in the interior of the country.
My β˜…β˜…β˜… review of Top Gun on Letterboxd

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And now downloading an encrypted backup works...

Just have to allow registration and it's all ready to go!
Lots of big updates to today!

Login and data backup is almost ready for primetime!

Capitalism Has Almost Finished Destroying Software

"an embarrassment"


My β˜…β˜…β˜… review of Radioactive (2019) on Letterboxd:

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It should be illegal to have unskippable cinematics at all, frankly.

But the rest of this combined - like not remembering that I've watched it and gotten to the main menu - is just fucking idiotic.

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0/10 so far and I have 1 hour to play and decide if I even want to keep it.

So far the reports of a garbage PC port are right on the money.
Horizon Zero Dawn 1st hour review:

- 35 minutes compiling shaders
- 5 minute unskippable intro cinematic that I missed because I was making dinner due to above insane compile time
- Quit game to watch cinematic on Youtube
- Doesn't store that you've watched it, another play of 5 min unskippable cinematic
- Crashed while editing settings
- 5 min cinematic
My β˜…β˜…Β½ review of 7500 (2019) on Letterboxd:
It is entirely possible that I did in fact just spend $230 on movies

Fluxbus 2: 2 Flux 2 Furious

It's legally binding, nerds
My β˜…β˜…β˜… review of The Vast of Night (2019) on Letterboxd:
Chrome hides source CSS rules it doesn't understand (like `grid-template-columns: subgrid;`) from ever showing in the inspector. This is so absolutely shameful. If Chrome doesn't support it, it doesn't exist, right? only works in Chrome lol how embarrassing
I DO NOT like this at all
My β˜…β˜…β˜… review of My Spy (2020) on Letterboxd:
Been working with Project Fluent, XState, and LitElement for and this is honestly my dream working environment.

Upgrading the janky old global transaction editor to use inline, finite state machine-driven components. It's so beautiful 😭
I'm just trying to understand why the Nvidia Experience app ever needs to connect to mainland China.
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… review of Palm Springs (2020) on Letterboxd:

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Hi there. Listen: If you play Far Cry 6 without Chorizo (the dangerously distracting wiener dog) I will be extremely angry at you
My β˜…β˜…Β½ review of Guns Akimbo (2019) on Letterboxd:
It really pisses me off that I can't make the OK hand signal any more without accidentally dogwhistling Nazis
My 62 year old father thinks we should be letting the pandemic run its course without making changes and hopes he gets SARS-Cov-2 because he doesn't think he would notice and just wants to have the antibodies πŸ™ƒ

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Honestly, how much more do you need to see before you agree that All Cops Are Bastards?

These people are systemically pieces of shit.
I really like the idea of this, but then I start thinking about how to resolve dependency chains and I lose hope.
Wanted to see if some assumptions I have about Parler code were true. Went to Parler. Inspected the resulting requests, responses, etc.

You should do it, too, and see if your prior assumptions are true.

You don't need to sign up (I couldn't, anyway). Just check out the splash page.
Do you think RTS missions where you just have a group of units and you can't build a base are the worst missions by at least an order of magnitude or are you a monster?
Big fireworks going off for the last 2+ hours pretty much non-stop in Aurora. This is definitely normal and something that average citizens do and it's definitely something that's happened before even once in my entire life.
My β˜…β˜…β˜… review of The Mandela Effect (2019) on Letterboxd:
The A/C problem that I thought was a broken compressor (very expensive, maybe new AC unit) was actually a dead capacitor (<$200 including labor).
Me doing peer reviews at work because I have zero useful feedback:
Cyberpunk delayed again and I'm loving it because it gives me more time to buy the computer I want to build pre-Cyberpunk. Bless the CD Projekt Red. (You can delay through spring 2021 and I'll continue to be happy)
Hey, how has no one built a better Roll20 yet? Seems kind of urgent.
I still can't fathom why brand new software would ever be written with Rails.

Rails is a $50,000 loan with 50% APR against your $300,000 house. It gets you 1/6 of the way to your end goal and you pay the full balance in quintuple over the life of your loan.
Google Chrome Considered Harmful
In case you were wondering why all code is bad: you have to make a network server request to change the volume in your Spotify app.
All code is bad, but some of it is more bad.
I'm so freaking excited for the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection to unlock WITHIN A DAY (maybe as soon as 12 hours)!

Welcome back, Commander!

(It's me, I'm the commander)
Now offering my services as a software deprogrammer: For $500/day, I will live with your loved one who has been abducted into the cult and repeatedly point at the APIs available in all browsers and ask them why they're shipping 5242880 bytes of JavaScript to every single user to do things the native platform can do.
It's not mutual
My tolerance for web bullshit has plummeted recently.

Oh, your library has a SPECIAL syntax to make HTML appear?
Oh, your library has a SPECIAL event system?
Oh, you have SPECIAL rules in a pre-processor?

No thanks, I'd like to build good software instead.
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… review of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) on Letterboxd:

Remote Work Q&A | Jamstack Denver

My β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of The Cabin in the Woods (2011) on Letterboxd:
Anybody who says apples don't have cores is a cop who's never eaten an apple.
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… review of John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (2018) on Letterboxd:
I've been harping incessantly on this for literally years: your solution for rendering big data (like Virtual Scrolling) isn't a step forward, it's a bad workaround for a worse framework. React (and anything that uses Virtual DOM) is embarrassingly inefficient!
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of Chernobyl (2019) on Letterboxd:
me at work on our team's social day
Your app doesn't have state, and it doesn't need state management. You just need to organize your code better.
My β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) on Letterboxd:
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of Wind River (2017) on Letterboxd:
I've finished the rough first draft of my online post editor!

No more managing three different content uploads!
This social distancing has really gotten to me: I'm installing Call of Duty Warzone.
Yesterday, I had a social call with another senior engineer and an engineering manager. Each of us agreed that we were feeling exhausted, having trouble focusing, feeling unmotivated, and were feeling anxiety and unusual amounts of stress.

If you feel this way, it's okay!
If remote is new for you and it feels terrible, it's not usually!

Hang in there!
I'm literally moments away from paying $50/yr for Inoreader JUST so I can filter fucking VaLOrAnT from reaching my eyeballs.

Remote Work AMA | DVLP DNVR

My trash pickup company website will not load unless I unblock all ad networks and trackers πŸ‘πŸ»
From GitLab's CEO Sid Sijbrandij in our Slack moments ago: "I’d like to remind team members that we are family and friends first and work second. As people start settling into 'new normals', I want to encourage team members to take the time you need."

❀️ GitLab. This is how you run a company.
The U.S. government will predictably:

A) not understand technology
B) attempt to exert more control over all people
C) fail to see how what they think is good will overwhelmingly be used for evil

This predictability is incredibly embarrassing.
Hi Canada!
We here in the US definitely love you very much (you're our favorite hat).

But somebody needs to tell you...

You've taken the French thing way too far and it's time to get a grip.
Last night I used CSS Grid, <picture>, <source>, and media queries to make image posts on my site super efficient and super responsive and I feel like a damn wizard.
Imagine playing Fallout 76
Jesus Christ, Apple is trying to destroy the web so they can make more money in the App Store. What a piece of shit company.
As I better curate my digital life and slowly attempt to ditch all forms of social media, RSS has become my measure for "do you care about the web" and "is your content worth subscribing to." It's a rough measure, but I've really been enjoying exploring a simpler internet.

I use to manage my RSS subscriptions, and I really like it!
"Web Components aren't useful in real applications."

> U.S. Government ships Web Components to 330,000,000 users
"cRYptocURRENciES ArE BEtTer becAUsE they'Re NOt SUSCEpTibLe to fIAt whiMS"
I fairly regularly have to use MacOS and Safari to test features on GitLab and I despise the experience every time. About half of it is MacOS trying to be smarter than me (it is not) or limiting my abilities to "improve my safety" (it does not), but the other half is Safari being a bad browser with bad UX.

It's a very frustrating experience.
My girlfriend was eating salsa and told me to "kiss my spicy mouth" and I told her to "kiss my spicy ass" and "she did not like that".
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… review of Arrival (2016) on Letterboxd:
Hey, image media posts work! 😌
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) on Letterboxd:
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… review of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) on Letterboxd:

Protect Your Users with HMAC Login Authentication

My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… review of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) on Letterboxd:
My β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… review of The Town (2010) on Letterboxd:
My β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of John Wick (2014) on Letterboxd:
So one of my main goals for this website is that no JavaScript is required to get the full experience. I'm also rewriting it in Web Components, which means server-side rendering is required. It's... going really smoothly? I kinda thought SSR Web Components was a rough part of the WC story but... it's fine?
Imagine having a candidate who's overqualified for president like Elizabeth Warren (Overqualified! For president!), and still voting for the guy who was friends with Obama or the guy who's just the Trump of the left.
My β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½ review of Ad Astra (2019) on Letterboxd:

Stop Writing Inhuman const

Why I Use Web Components

Your Company is Not a Special Snowflake Unicorn

Fluxbus - an application architecture pattern

Tabs vs. Spaces: One Right Answer

Making a Game in JavaScript - Part 1

The Seven Things That Make a "Senior" Engineer

Installing Linux on a Laptop in 2017

Invisibilia: The Code Within

Convention Syndrome, or: How To Be Mediocre