Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
A suggestion on how to spend a day at home (mousereeve.com)
312 points by tripofmice on Aug 20, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 95 comments

Warning: the linked article failed to suggest a Dutch Baby, a grave omission indeed. This recipe [0] is my goto, but I only use 2 tablespoons butter and cook for 20-25 minutes instead of the suggested 30-35 minutes (a burnt Dutch Baby is not Good Eats). Serve with cottage cheese, berries, and / or a good sausage. I like bison smokies, but that is just me.

[0] http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/dutch-baby-recipe0.html

I wrote this article and you are correct, I have failed this community. Dutch babies are important.

It's OK. Everybody makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and do better next time.

I loved your article! The playful tone is fantastic. And the writing is unique. Thank you!

Now, it's time for me to make breakfast. :)

There's always another breakfast.

I like the variation that includes apples:


Also, my favorite biscotti recipe (a proper Italian biscotti without butter):


(Skip the hazelnuts -- you will go crazy trying to peel them, blanched or not -- buy hazelnut meal/flour instead and use 8 oz of it in place of the hazelnuts.)

roast your hazelnuts a bit! tthen you can roll them a bit and the skins fall off, and the whole nut gets more flavourful, too!

That sounds pretty terrible, and kind of pretentious & high maintenance. Howabout this, for the hackers among us:

- Roll out of bed

- Crawl to your computer station

- Work on hobby projects in your underwear

- Notice the sun rise again, and that you've been on Wikipedia since yesterday

- Grab leftovers from the fridge and eat while watching YouTube

- Crawl back to bed after waking up in your chair


My thoughts exactly. Where's the IRC? Where's the trap music? Where's the high-proof liquor?

How else do you expect to get anything done? :-P

(Cute write up though. In Norway, they call this "koselig". Honey-moon with a sig-other kind of day, maybe, but some of us like to live more.. intensely.)

This was "veldig koselig".

And I wholeheartedly recommend learning how to poach eggs. Not only is it yummy, but there is a distinct pleasure to having your three-year-old sleep over at her grandparents, and at breakfast time there request that her egg be poached.

> Cute write up though. In Norway, they call this "koselig".

That word sounds half-way between the English "cozy" and the German "kuschelig". A missing link. Interesting. :)

It is kinda cozy and cuddly, kind of. "Koselig" is one of those words that doesn't have a direct translation, and takes a bit of experience for the immigrant (me!) to get an understanding of.

Thanks muchly for another example! Harder to grasp for outsiders living here.

Knock over half empty soda can, partially clean up the spill with some pizza greased napkins.

Preferably Jolt Cola, the official beverage of the elite hacker.

True in the 90s. Nowadays it's Club Mate.

Red Bull if you're in the US.

thought that's a small, german thing

In the US it's an "I read 2600 Magazine and go to HOPE and I have a point to make" thing.

I mean, it tastes good, and it does carry a decent punch in terms of caffeine. But coffee's a lot more convenient, and you spend less time explaining it.

Also cheaper.

Not anymore. Saw plenty of club mates at defcon talks.

"Jolt Cola"

I spent half the 90's drinking Jolt from the local Quiky-mart.

Is that still around?

And damn I miss Computer Language magazine, and the covers, and the awards.

I think especially for those of us that do your plan too often it might be worthwhile to consider this "pretentious" version every now and then ;)

Your aesthetic is a kind of pretense, too.

The "aesthetic" involved is purely a side effect of focus, on personal creativeness and learning. There's no aesthetic goal being pursued, as in the case of using fine dishes and caring about dress.

Many of us long to take a break from obligations and sink into a deep state of singular flow on our creative hobbies, whether it be software, building a ship in a bottle, working on that car rusting in the garage, etc. To be able to take a full day, ignore everything else, and spend it on exactly one passion project is a personal, internal joy; not one predicated on pretensing up to match externally presented standards.

It is a genuinely poisonous idea, and one we should all seek to rid ourselves of, that other people do not really enjoy the things they seem to enjoy, but are instead involved in some kind of status pantomime that we like to call pretension.

By thinking this way, we misunderstand and alienate ourselves from other people, and we cut ourselves off from experiences that we might really enjoy. Given that we all only have a limited time on this planet, that's a high price to pay indeed.

Don't mean to jump on you specifically; I just found the use of the word "pretentious" in this thread very triggering. =p

The way you are presenting it, and what caused you to present it, shows it is a pretense. That does not stop it being other things, but it is a pretense.

Your approach is what I do. The OP is what I would like to do.

There's nothing pretentious or high maintenance about either! :p

This is exactly how my day is going to be today. Glad I never got married or decided to have children.

I delivered my only-born to college two days ago. I miss him already. And we have had many days together much like the one described in the article.

1) jump out of bed at 6am, revelling in another fresh day with limitless possibilities!

2) stuff 'n shit

3) wake with a start at 4am in an armchair, with huple's cat on your face. Stagger to bed.

4) goto 1.


I like how she sidesteps something that can really ruin a day off: the feeling you should be making the most of it.

Sometimes on a nice sunny day, i feel like i should go out an paddle on the lake or go for a bike ride when i'd really rather just putter about the yard.

That puts me in a mind state where i'm not enjoying myself because i feel i should always be doing something else.

I'm not type-A though.

I'm getting older and the Canadian summer is short.

Guess I just want to get in as many of my favorite action sports before i wear out my body.

I'm pretty high mileage from the 20 years of weekly bike crashes and surfing wipeouts.

> i feel i should always be doing something else.

You are doing something else.

This is lovely!

It does however make me reflect that I would do something like this on my "day off" too. And by "this," I mean I would feel the need to create something, post something, or otherwise turn my relaxation into some kind of output.

Recently I've tried actively not creating and just allowing myself to relax without being conscious of it.

I should note that I'm not presuming anything about the author. Writing may well be their way of relaxing. I just wanted to share a self-realization that I hope may be helpful to others.

I actually did some of that yesterday (today). I took the day off because of today's birthday party in the morning. I figured I needed to clean the house, do some shopping and relax. Next time I will probably work on personal projects I meant to finish.

I did quite well by not touching my electronic gadgets so much. Although cleaning is really tough, I feel satisfied. Actually I am thinking about quitting my job just to spend more time doing more personal things. With work, I can't get that.

This made me smile.

Unwinding is very important.

If you work at home, even more so.

The wife and I used to watch shows on the laptop before bed. Instead we read. It helps sleep. Granted it's on kindles (individual backlight, convenience) but it helps.

Disconnecting is important.

Maybe instead of pajamas and breakfast all day, I'd throw in a hike/stroll or a ride in nature.

But this did make me smile.

I would definitely add sports. Maybe even some hard stuff, some hill climbing on a bike. Sometimes physical suffering relieves stress.

If you're planning to spend the day alone like this, a useful life hack I've learned is to skip the shower, and spend the time saved staving off the existential dread by reading webcomics.

I like to do the shower at around mid-day.

That's a lot of carbohydrates.

We could probably all have a better day by eating less of them.

Maybe the exact foods you eat at the breakfast are not super important to gain the benefit of this plan.

Yeah. What I got from this is to completely stray from the norm. Spend your whole day doing the thing we usually struggle to find 5 minutes for.

When you phrase it like that, it seems that there might be something meditative in elevating something mundane to be the main point of the day.

To misquote Bruce Lee: "I do not fear the man who has 20 breakfasts, I fear the man who has one breakfast 20 times."

What is this? Some sort of art? Not saying it shouldn't be here, but I'm not really sure how it's relevant to HN.

I dunno, I think it's a refreshing reminder to take a step back from the "be hyper-productive, always learning, don't waste a second" mindset that pervades HN pretty heavily sometime.

I honestly stepped into the article expecting to read something like "Wake up early. Work on your side project. Go the gym."

I think it's perfect for HN.

Yeah. I'm between jobs here in Australia at the moment, redundancy payout after dev roles moved to India..

I guess I ought to be freaked out and rushing to find a new job, but to be honest having worked my butt off for years / decades, it sure is nice to slow down dramatically and take it easy - if only for a few weeks. Not even actively looking for the first half of the payout, just enjoying a mix of Pluralsight, meditation and whatever, slacking off, plus doing most of the school drop off and pick ups.

I feel like my brain is in a way recovering from years of abuse (the constant stresses). I'm processing the new learning much better; kicking down a number of gears is most definitely making me a better person, and hopefully a better dev too for my next role.

But yeah, slowing down and especially being able to enjoy family time more without being elsewhere (at work) in my mind is almost priceless.

Same here, could someone eggsplain?

Sure, right after you make yourself a light breakfast

Not sure if I'm on HN or reddit. I like it.

And watch your neighbor do Tai Chi

Not sure either, but I kind of like it.

As stated by the site owner:



It confused me because I work from home. Every day for me is "a day at home".

It is a break from the norm, which is the whole point. In your case, it would be a decent, once-in-a-while-spoil-yourself type of breakfast followed by lots of not working and not doing your daily habits.

I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I've been doing something similar for the past 1 month :/ I can't stop, help!!

I don't think there is a solution! Though you could leave the house for some frivolous thing, or work for a few hours and call it quits.

Then again, if it isn't detrimental to you and you enjoy it and stuff, why stop?

I'd say the day explained is one without work; no conflict there. ;)

So where's the confusion?

Well, I have kids. One can dream though.

Babysitters. Slumber parties. Summer camp for the kids. Ship them to relatives for a day with their cousins (and make sure to reciprocate).

They're practically going to be few and far between, but taking a day for yourself (or for just you & your spouse) while they're still young doesn't have to be a dream!

[Disclaimer: Post may not apply if they're still babies. If so, then yeah, you're screwed. ;-) ]

This is why I'am not sure if I want kids.

Aye. It's nice when they start going to school, a few hours of quiet in the middle of the day. :)

Kids like breakfast.

Tone reminds me vaguely of American Psycho. Was expecting a murder somewhere in the middle.

I enjoyed that quite a bit.. However, now I must make a little breakfast.

What a great suggestion!

I like to start Sundays by preparing a somewhat elaborate breakfast for the family. But afterwards, Sundays are a bit bland and boring.

It has never occurred to me to prepare a second breakfast!

This sounds like the kind of day which, as I lie in bed at the end of it, leaves me feeling very anxious for having effectively done nothing with it. I'd at least throw in some physical exercise -- that ought to help. Or any kind of creative activity.

Being able to relax for long periods of time without feeling anxious about it is a valuable (and learnable) skill!

Time well wasted was not wasted.

Besides taking a shower, isn't this basically a day in the life of hobbits as described by Tolkien? I've basically done this for a while when I don't have a job, but it's really, really boring to me. I'm not sure what seems missing about it, but maybe it means something's wrong with me if I can't even relax a day.

Maybe the stress of not having a job makes it less enjoyable?

I'm glad to say I just took two days off work. I did this, with my own flourishes.

Now try and do this when you have a child :)

I think (know) that a child would be totally into wearing pajamas all day, and eating second, third and beyond breakfasts.

The author has an excellent resume that documents their use of python microframeworks.

Biscotti? Scone? I'm sorry but does everyone in the USA eat dessert for breakfast?

And then they have dessert again after dinner. Light dinner, heavy dessert like a cake. No not fruit. Every night, not special occasions.

Not a bad plan!

If I'm going to have a switched off day (which I heartily recommend), majoring on breakfast, it's going to start with a full English or Scottish.

I feel like i m glowing .

How could a day with only breakfasts not be happy and comforting?!

Why is this flagged? It is not controversial and has 158 upvotes!

seeing it flagged was the reason I clicked it then noticed what an awesome article that was. Not sure what's the issue with this kind of post as long as this content doesn't overtake other more on-point posts. Which would be unlikely anyway considering the audience here.

Whoever flagged this, is probably very stressed. Should take the day off and treat themselves for a good time at home.

I often accidentally flag things when browsing HN on mobile. It's good that there is an "unflag" button. Maybe that was the case here too?

I get the impression that some people flag things as a way of "down voting." I don't approve of the method, but I do sometimes wish for a way to down vote an article. I've had non-controversial submissions on topics regularly discussed on HN be flagged in the past.

Since you've already brought the meta topic up.. I don't think this belongs on HN.

I clicked into it thinking it would be something interesting instead it's about spending a day being lazy.

Do you mean something interesting related to technology? Or just that your expectation is that HN is for "something interesting" inherently, regardless of subject?

If the criticism here is that this blog post does not directly address the subject of technology, it still has value to me as a software engineer. Mouse is an engineer whose work I look up to because it models a way of having a life that is passionate about technology and passionate about other things too.

I love programming language and software design. I love discovering the way things work. I love thinking about how things can work better. I love working towards and achieving technical elegance. And I love following the community conversations about this stuff. In short, I love everything that Hacker News is typically about. That's why I visit the site on a daily basis.

I follow Mouse's work because she connects those kinds of passions, passions in the domain of software engineering, to other areas of passion. Her work gives me hope about what my life can be like. To me this article says, software engineers can take a day off and indulge something they love, and don't have to worry about falling behind as programmers. This isn't what Mouse is saying explicitly. It's what I conclude from or project onto her blog post. But I don't think it's implausible that her writing would have the same meaning to other HN readers.

If this doesn't belong here, then all the articles about yet another thing Microsoft or Apple has screwed up also don't belong here.

Mods don't see all comments like this, and I think they want people to email them if stuff like this happens.

I think there have been a couple of things that got caught in some software filter before, and mods wanted to unflag / unpenalise the submission.

The vouching option doesn't appear because of too many flaggings?

Dang explains it here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11844960

> The system used to say [flagged] only when the story was both heavily flagged and dead (closed to new comments). Now it says [flagged] if the story is heavily flagged, dead or not. Flagged-but-not-dead was the case here. That's why you didn't see a 'vouch' link, btw; there's no need to vouch for posts that aren't dead, since the purpose of vouching is to unkill them.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact