December 2021 Entries

Friday, 31st December, 2021

The final day of 2021 - known as Hogmanay here 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. I was meant to have reviewed 2021 and made high level plans for 2022. Not done the first and only lightly touched the second.

Didn’t quite get round to home developing in 2021, but I did buy most of the stuff and I’ve just loaded my 4x5 film into the holder. Thanks Cat Films for your little video.

There’s a whole load of tinderbox and I’m excited to figure it all out but…there’s a whole load! Got a few use cases that’ll start me off in it. One is replacing this blog. I was hesitant to do so, given I’ve already made this one, and it works well enough. However, the more I think about it, the more I want to move it. A lot of making this site was figuring out format, layout, CSS etc., and I can take all those learnings into the new site. The actual jekyll part wasn’t that much work. I just spent a lot of time on small parts - like search, pagination (didn’t end up using it), messing about with journal.txt, and back and forth on tagging.

Somewhere before I said I wanted to do 10-12 projects in 2022. I think 10 is the right number. One per month minus holidays.

I picked developing 4x5 first as then I can just take two shots and try it out. vs. 24/36 on 35mm. However, I have to do the whole development process in the dark (fomapan 400 is panchromatic film so it is sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light). Loading it was fine but interesting. I didn’t know what to expect inside the box and there were some paper things and plastic bags but I think I managed…something is in the holders! 😅 Not sure about moving from tray to tray though…feel like I’ll lose the sheet between trays or something. I suppose I can test it with some paper and closing my eyes.

The downstairs bathroom might not be the best place to do this as the light switch is on the outside. So unless I make a sign someone could walk up and turn on the lights without warning!

Anyway, all this is to worry about later. The next challenge is figuring out the 4x5 camera!

B&J Press Camera

Thursday, 30th December, 2021

Didn’t get round until later than I wanted but have started watching Micheal Becker’s video series on Tinderbox. It’s funny that he started this series exactly 1 year ago! There’s a lot of them, and I keep thinking “oh that’s a good thing” but know I’ll forget by tomorrow. However, having it all wash over me as an overview gets me thinking about how I’ll do stuff.

Tinderbox makes for a great blogging tool, but I’m hesitant to change this site from a static gen, as it’s quite free and open to use it. I can also just edit it anywhere with git and a text editor or However, I’ve been struggling with tagging or adding some meta data that makes it useful as a reference, even just for future me.

By putting it into Tinderbox I can then link it with other info, e.g., and now see the full story. For public viewers of the website, I could even add tags to each entry as an attribute. Now how I would wrangle that attribute in html I’m not sure, I suppose I’d build an archives like page per tag and link each entry underneath. Or could make a json file or something which could be searched? I have no idea how that even gets done but I’ll worry about it later. The point is, I’m sure it could be done in Tinderbox, whereas here it’s a bit messy with the current implementation or very complex with an alternative…i.e. writing a structured document (XML, JSON, OPML etc.).

Just 19.5 hours to go…

Wednesday, 29th December, 2021

I’m back on to wondering about Tinderbox again. I was reading Phil’s notes about Tinderbox and the references he posts. It is a very unique piece of software that can do all sorts. I already knew this. The trouble right now is we’ve been visiting family and I’m just with my iPad, so I wouldn’t be able to add anything to a Tinderbox file. Maybe that doesn’t matter…in fact it doesn’t. It is expensive as far as software goes but it’s like a fancy meal for 6 or something.

I did start looking at OmniOutliner, as it has an iOS companion app. I’ve got a 14 day trial but also thinking I only have about 2 days left of the Winterfest sale on Tinderbox. Perhaps the desktop version has more functionality but the ios one seems limited. The only “interesting” feature is adding columns to outlines, so it’s like a spreadsheet but with the hierarchy of the outline. It does have a few features for numbers, like averages and totals. You can’t set custom attributes to each node or do much else…at least not that I’ve found. You can script things to automate stuff.

However, I can’t see much in OmniOutliner that warrants its use over Dyanlist.

Saw a good deal on a 28” Samsung 4K monitor. The only trouble is my 2012 mac mini can only do 2650x1440.

Well I finally did it, I bought Tinderbox! Does look like my sort of application - perfect for faffing about in but never actually writing anything 😅 Paypal had given me $5 as well, so that was nice. Now to read the endless blogs, tutorials and documentation I’ve saved about it.

Monday, 27th December, 2021

I’ve setup WebDAV on my server, and am using 1Writer on my iPad/iPhone to write to my new plain text journal/daybook thing. I wasn’t really sure what to call each file or even how to structure them. I guess I’ll see how it goes. 1Writer is nice though. Started looking at some of the javascript actions to see if there’s anything useful.

WebDAV with nginx was a bit of a pain. Seems nginx is strict and most clients (including Finder and Windows explorer…oh you know the two largest clients) don’t do what they’re supposed to do. Namely trailing slashes for new directories. Random blog posts yielded nginx rewrites to fix it. Probably some other issues but for now it works fine. Much cheaper than dropbox…

Still trying to ignore Jack’s fun with Tinderbox, doing all sorts of clever tricks.

I can’t buy a Ricoh GRiii as I think it’s too expensive, but then look at a Leica Q2M and think “oh a new one is only £4,995”. 🙈

Hooking up this blog to 1writer might be a nice idea. I guess that means buying Working Copy app…or cloning the repo into the webdav folder on the server then somehow commiting the new entries. I can SSH in but maybe some shortcut thing that calls a script or API to then do it…🤔 sounds overly complex…

This holiday I’ve finally deleted Outlook and teams apps from all my devices. I don’t missing checking work emails at all but if the app is there then I can\t help but open it. There is a certain expectation, because so many people do it though, that everyone can and does access their emails all the time.

My wife is thinking about stopping all social media in the new year. Think that’s facebook and instagram for her. I think it’ll be good. Her brother was telling us that he gave up his phone whilst on holiday for a week. That’s even better! My bad habits are reddit and forums, which I do read a lot of on my phone. In my head those are better than “social media” but think I’m lying to myself. Reddit especially. BUT I do think I learn things from them…learning of new cameras and lenses I need to buy 😅

Not really sure how to use the tags in these posts. I want to keep it to the main ones but that’s hard. Maybe I should just delete them again as it’s a thing to stop and think about.

Writing all these blogs and journals sure does take up a lot of time…What I need is one place to do everything…lol yeah that old chestnut. Actually one place to write everything is fine and easy. It’s the parsing and rendering that’s tricky. Family log, weblog, personal journal, … Makes me think of some text with attributes such that I can just write everything and anything and then mark that section as one of the logs, then the text goes off to wherever it needs to be. I bet Tinderbox would be great for that 🤩

Some automation might help. Or writing paragraphs with certain characters appended. I suppose if I didn’t want any automation (or it was too finicky) a weekly review process could be taking those pieces and splitting them up manually - a bit slow for a daily notes blog - but fine for everything else. I guess family and personal are split as I want to use DayOne for family log so it’s easy to print. However, is it really that hard to print text otherwise? There’s no photos but maybe I should just print those out and stick in a book (like I’ve talked about before but never done anything), and I could even print out the text I wrote to stick in - if I’m too lazy to hand write it again. I quite like that idea. I also like the idea of buying the 1-line per day 5 year journal book, just there’s not much scope for pictures.

This script is great for a single file journal. Mines only a few lines long but I’ve “headered” the year, month and day so now I can jump around. Might tweak it or my formatting for just down to month level as it could get a lot. Or add the year to months.

Or this script.

Sunday, 26th December, 2021

Film development kit and chemicals

No excuses now. Well I’m sure I can come up with some to put off actually doing it. Probably 4x5 is going to be easier to start with? I can take two frames and then develop them vs. waiting for a whole roll of 35mm.

Might give my X-700 to my cousin who is starting a photograph course at college. Not sure if they’ll use film cameras and probably wants or already has a digital one which is a lot more convenient. I hope she’s doing it because she likes photography. Anyway, it’s that or sell on ebay and maybe I could get £50 for it. Or it sits on my shelve and never gets used. I still have the SRT-100x (or whatever number it is), in case I want to use a SLR but I can’t see why I’d just not use the M2 all the time - which is what I do. So hopefully she can get some use from it.

I think tagging every day with daily notes isn’t really necessary. I should either get rid of them or maybe add tags that are relevant to the topics contained within. Means I should go back and remove this tag from the rest of the posts.

Think I’m over my obsession with Tinderbox now. Mostly as I’ve come to realise (once again) that the system and orchestration is secondary to the actual act of writing - be it public or private. I put a lot of effort into this site and generally it’s fine. Okay, so I don’t get permalinks to each paragraph but so what. If I want more “features” I can make them with includes in Jekyll instead of post attributes, but most of the time that doesn’t matter.

I think just a couple of plain text files is all I need, then I can sync via some service or git and then use a variety of apps across any OS and platform to edit it.

I think the following would be good:

  • A recap summary file
    • Either weekly or monthly, with a few bullets beneath each section
    • Separate so that it forces me to distill down into notable items.
  • Daily log file
    • Probably one per year
    • Just write whatever in it
    • I’ve seen people do a daily file and then a running 1 line per day log but, think I’d rather do a bigger daily one and then weekly summaries.

I’m thinking text files vs. tiddlywiki as text files give me more options to use different apps - particularly keen to have something more native on iOS. Also if I want to do any automation then text is easier to work with. It does now mean there’s an endless number of apps and syncing configurations I’ll distract myself with, vs. just a single web app.

After reading this, I now think the one line per day might also be good.

I rearranged all the posts on this site into year/month subfolders. Makes it a lot nicer to manage. Conveniently, Jekyll doesn’t care about the subfolders. Although it was hard to find information about this out. Seems everyone wants to use the subfolders to do something (like categories). So I was confident, plus it would be one git roll back if it didn’t work.

Not sure I like classic chrome look on Fuji anymore. It’s…grungy…or perhaps I’ve just used it so much I’ve had enough of it. On the other hand, however, I really like the Acros black and white. I shall have to fiddle with the colour profiles and see what I can find.

Christmas Day, 2021

Merry Christmas! 🎄

Friday, 24th December, 2021

I was very close to buying Tinderbox last night. I know buying stuff at 11:30 pm is never a good idea. Even with the discount it’s still £175. I just can’t get over that. I’ve been watching more videos on it. The interface is still weird but I get it a bit more now. I’ve also downloaded the demo version and started messing about with it, just random stuff. I ordered the Tinderbox way as that had 25% off. Although maybe shouldn’t have bothered.

Obsidian live preview. This is what I wanted from the start. Now I’m looking at Obsidian again. It does have iOS apps which is nice…hmm. Ugh this is ridiculous - as I’m writing this I’m watching emacs videos. I should just play computer games and ignore all this. I’ve wasted a quiet morning by myself on pointlessness.

Okay, well what a fun christmas eve. One of the boys has a terrible cough and woke up the other and neither went back to sleep until 11pm.

Jack kindly shared his new 2022 daybook tinderbox file to demonstrate it to me. It’s definely a great tool and I’d like to own it, however, I think that for me to use it just to make a blog and a daily journal thing seems like a waste of money and learning effort. It would be good at it but it’s still overkill. I really like the way it can do daily page blogs though, with custom attributes that generates other html. That’s something which is missing from all (at least as far as I’ve seen) static blog generators. So even though I want it, I’m not going to buy it.

Occasionally I still think “fuck it, just buy it”.

Another factor that I realise is important to me is mobile access. iPad at a minimum, because I’m not going to buy a laptop, and actually I write a lot on my phone. Most of my DayOne entries are from my phone when watching the kids in the bath or waiting for something somewhere. So I’d end up writing stuff and then moving it across, or sorting out syncing between Apple notes or whatever.

Right now I’m using to just edit this file in my repo on my ipad and it’s great. This is not great on my phone, however, blog editing doesn’t need to be on my phone.

I actually opened up dynalist and made a new doc for my journal. It’s going to be single page, and it works nicely on iOS. It’s not a permanent place but I feel like a single page is going to be a good thing.

One of my potential projects for 2022 is making my own static site generator. Specifically tailored to daily notes like this site, and customisable attributes on nodes. I’m hoping to adopt an existing editor to do the writing (maybe Concord or even Drummer, but would be nice if it was something more portable (which maybe concord could be)). Making the text entry section is quite a bit more work, but perhaps that’s the only solution. I suppose emacs and ox-hugo thing may already be what I want, but I’d rather make it web based. I suppose it depends if I’m making it for me or for others to use, and by that I mean something people could use not just “here’s the code on github”. Writing and thinking about this makes me think “fuck it, buy Tinderbox, it basically does what you want and £170 vs many many evenings…”.

Came across this blog service again. It’s pretty comprehensive.

Merry Christmas Everyone! 🎄

Thursday, 23rd December, 2021

If I want to use the mac more, then I should move it to the main computer area and then I’d use it. Daughter is on the other computer so I’m using it today. I definitely think a single monitor would be better. I just hate selling old monitors - no-one really wants to spend that much and shipping them is a real hassle. Trying to sell local means I get nothing for it. I suppose I could just keep them in case of something later and put them in the attic. The Apple Cinema ought to get a decent price as it’s Apple. Sort of makes me want to get an Apple 27” Thunberbolt display, however, they seem to cost more than a new Dell 27” and the Dell is probably better. I don’t need the magsafe charging so would be a waste.

Someone bought the broken trackpad from me. People will buy anything.

After I don’t know how long, okay I looked it up, I started this 31st October, so nearly 2 months ago, I’m opening back up Head First Javascript book. I’m sat at the mac, and it’s open! On to Chapter 2…

Trying to find that date on this site was impossible, the wiki, however, made it very easy! Okay, I’m just distracting myself with this. I should promise to stop talking about this and never do it again. I guess I’ll give myself until the end of the year then I don’t want to hear about should I write in x or y ever again. This site is just like a river. You side beside it and enjoy watching it go past but once it’s gone you don’t try and go searching through it. If you look away, so be it. The river flows and that’s that. If you’re really dedicated I suppose you can drive further downstream and pick up what you missed.

Rather than spending 20 hours learning about Tinderbox, surely I should spend that time learning emacs or vim.


I’ve been watching videos on emacs this evening. I’m currently debating between emacs and Tinderbox for my personal journal and maybe all-in integrated everything tool. Not sure why I’ve focused just down to these two tools but they seem suitable for doing everything I want. The problem is they’re both not straight forward, and warrant a good amount time to invest to learn them and use them well. So I really only want to pick one. Both are not with disadvantages, I don’t want to write all the pros and cons of each and so just going to pick out random things. It’s also my view - which is definitely going to suffer from my ignorance of both tools.


Mac Only. $250. These are the main issues. It also appears weird on first opening but I suspect a few videos and I’ll be fine.

From the brief and random browsing of the forum and videos, it appears pretty powerful and I assume being a GUI app there’s a lot that can be done without resorting to coding but you can still write some code if you want. It’s like the more recent tools, roam etc., have just a subset of Tinderbox’s features.

It has so much, like emacs, but I hope it’s more accessible to use, and therefore quicker to learn.

This and these screenshots make me want to use it.


Free, and open source, cross platform, and a legend of computer science. Just seems so hard to get going. Basically rely on Doom-Emacs otherwise I’ll be forever in the config not knowing what I don’t know. It’s technically superior but I also don’t care. I really don’t want to have to remember between buffers and frames and windows. However, if stock doom works well then why not use it? Problem is if stock doesn’t work well then I have to dive into config and lisp. I just have no interest in that. Most of the time I just use stock defaults on stuff because I’m not going to be a power user in it. I like VS Code as I can just install some extensions and go. I click a few more buttons. Occasionally I’ll remember a new shortcut but most of the time I forget the shortcuts.

Org mode is likely the best of its kind. However, I don’t want/need todos or calendar or probably a lot of it so it’s wasted on me.

Oh well that quickly descended into a no. I’m a GUI tool user but appreciate config if I need it.

Although it did make me think of vim. I’ve learnt a few vim keybindings, mostly when editing config files on servers. Possibly sometime like vimwiki. Think it has a daily log. Although I don’t want a wiki. I have that already. I want a notes tool that integrates my life. Tiddlywiki could probably do it too but not sure it’s the same (as Tinderbox).

Oh I can get 25% off Tinderbox with code Winterfest2021…hmmm…

Wednesday, 22nd December, 2021

View of my office

Finally setup the Mac Mini with its own monitors. Not sure I like the two monitors for the mini, the space is a bit tight and the black one eats into the typewriter area. I think a single 27” would be better. Also way too much stuff in here but not sure where else to keep it. I did this as my daughter wants to use the main computer, and now it’s the christmas holidays there’s a lot more time when we both want to use a computer. Makes me think about the laptop arrangement like Jack as moved to…although I like big or multiple monitors so not sure that’s a good option for me. I often wonder what my “perfect setup” would be. I can never decide.

I found this blog when browsing the Tinderbox forums. It’s made in Tinderbox and is a general daily notes site. Dave, the owner, likes photography and doesn’t like what social media has become. His site is 8 years old. I really like it. Makes me want to use Tinderbox. Although that doesn’t really make much sense. Also my mac is not my main machine, unless I change my habits, and so it’ll be hard to maintain. Least this is cross platform. Also not sure I want to spend $250 on some software. I’ll watch all the videos and then decide.

I thought about writing a summary of this year. Problem is, I can’t really remember what I did for large parts of it. I remember bits and pieces but not 365 days worth of things. Made me realise the benefit of journalling. Not that I journal for myself. I have a family one in DayOne that’s more for what we all did together, or notable things from the kids. Haven’t been the greatest at keeping it up to date but reasonable. Generally weekends or holiday periods are more populated. It’s something so I don’t mind. This and the wiki site of public journal/thoughts started August 6th. It’s a partial insight into what I did. But there’s still two issues:

  • I should write weekly and monthly summaries as I’m not reading 122 journal entries to see what I did. Especially not in Tiddlywiki, although I guess I could transclude them all into a single tiddler. But summaries would let me pick out what’s important when it’s closer in memory vs. the end of the year. Then I’d have 12-52 to read.
  • There’s a lot of private stuff that isn’t anywhere.

I like the idea of Tinderbox but I shouldn’t even waste my time watching those videos. I’m not going to buy it. I should just use a private Tiddlywiki or maybe dokuwiki or maybe just a private repo with files in it. Or even…….a real notebook! 📚😵

This evening I watched my friend play unpacked. I don’t even.

Tuesday, 21st December, 2021

I started looking at Working Copy again. It is a very nice app for working with git repos on an iPad. However, I don’t really want to do that much development or git writing on my ipad. is good enough for this static site, and occasional tweaks.

The new Voigtlander 90mm f/2.8 VM is so good (according to reviews), how could I ever justify a Leica lens…

Sometimes I think about learning R. In fact I wish I’d started with R instead of python. The bulk of what I use it for it data analysis at work. Python gets the job done and there’s the benefit of it being useful in web development or some areas. However, I don’t really use it for other areas - maybe some scripting here and there but nothing major. If you’re doing data work (not necessarily only data science) but the R ecosystem is so much nicer. R itself is more convenient for data stuff but also RStudio, install packages, writing and creating reports, even dashboards and websites. I could still learn it but not sure what the point is. I don’t use it enough at work to make it worthwhile and whilst I’m far from an expert, I do have some knowledge of python and know how to get things done. There’s also the fact that we do have jupyter lab setup which I could use more.

I just like the idea of writing reports in Rmarkdown with the data, code and text all together, and I can regenerate it whenever things change. I hate writing reports in Word. Guess I’ll add it to my list of possible projects.

A friend at work is undertaking a masters degree. I like the idea of doing one, but I don’t have time for that!

Think I want to gitbook like static site to write things in where I want a specific order. Such as monthly summaries or maybe even daily notes. I still like the order of a paper notebook and prefer to find things that way. Maybe sounds peculiar but I like it. Not sure if it should be private or public though. There’s quite a few options out there:

Although it’s just an excuse to build another site rather than adding content to it. Remember you have dokuwiki which can basically do all this plus with private stuff…

There’s also bookstaack, which is a web-app version. Might be nice to use plus has authentication.

Saturday, 11th December, 2021

I remember when I wanted to blog more and I’d set myself the target of one post per week. A month would go by, so I would change the target to one a month. A year would go by and I’d make the same New Year’s resolution to do one post a week.

Now I’m doing one a day!? It does feel like a bit of a burden though. Someone’s site I visited they wrote weekly updates. Similar in style and format to this but on a weekly level.

I should stop writing about writing about.

Friday, 10th December, 2021

Debating about either adding tags to these daily posts, in the vague attempt at helping discoverability and future usefulness or switching it more into a more traditional blog with titles, categories, etc. where posts are about a topic and not a collection of parts. Just writing under a date heading is very easy to do, but not sure it’s any more productive to the world than random chatter on twitter. Another factor is having the wiki and some duplication of the daily journal on that. The problem with changing it all is then I question the very architecture of it, and that risks starting from scratch.

For example, I’m using jekyll because I started off with journal.txt and that was Ruby and Jekyll. Jekyll is also very easy with Github pages. However, Hugo and others are super easy too. Whilst Jekyll is maintained, I can’t help feel it’s 5 years out of date and if I were starting a fresh blog I’d probably pick Hugo.

The one saving grace is that this consumes so much of my brain cycles that I don’t think about buying new cameras. 😅

Ordered my very first DayOne books. I had a browse through the past entries and there were so many things I’d forgotten about. There’s a lot to read and it’ll be nice reading it in a physical book. Does encourage me to continue recording the journal. It’s probably cheaper if I kept the text elsewhere and made my own book but it’s certainly a lot easier through the app. Postage adds a bit as it comes from the US, but it’s not horrible.

I think I’m just going to leave this site as is. There’s better things I can do with my time for now. I might add tags to posts, but keep them hidden and see if they’re useful.

I’ve made a new private tiddlywiki node.js hosted version. Means I can access it anywhere. It’s for private journal both work and home. Going to use it for work stuff too, like highlights and goals and plans. I don’t need it for work content (goes better in OneNote at work as often it’s screenshots of slide decks.) or task management (I prefer that in a physical notebook). However, reflections and a log over the year work well in tiddlywiki. I’ve used it this year to keep track of weekly updates and then consolidate those into quarterly updates for stakeholders, and it’s worked well. Going to keep it pretty simple, but would like some templates or text snippets to help streamline stuff. I’ll add that over time.

Does mean I have a lot of places to write things:

  • This website - daily public notes, semi-organised.
  • The wiki - maybe daily public notes, random thoughts, plus useful wiki-like content
  • DayOne - Private family log
  • New wiki - private journal and work log and info
  • Notebooks - Bujo-like, work related todo, meeting notes, planning etc.
  • OneNote - Work meeting notes (often just screenshots of slides from Teams meetings)
  • Field Notes - notebook that sits on my desk for mostly personal todos or scratch pad
  • TickTick - Started using it for lists of stuff. Like projects or todos or plans

Possibly other minor things like Apple Notes or random apps.

Black and white photo of steel teapot with reflection of several people in it

Thursday, 9th December, 2021

Started setting up the articles section of this site. It’s not in the navigation yet as I still want to do more things. They’re going to be more traditional blog posts, which I write very infrequently. However, whilst making it I realised that I should perhaps have made these daily notes to be a separate collection and the normal blog posts the default. Just as things like tags and “out of the box stuff” are all setup towards them by default. It would also be a chance to move these daily posts into a folder structure so there’s not so many in the explorer. No doubt that’ll add more complexity though.

The multiverse is a weird blogging/community site.

I remembered I put all of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations book into a tiddlywiki. I want to make each statement a tiddler so then I could randomise them and display one from the lot.

This site is hosted on Github pages, but as a backup I’ve also configured it on

Almost three months later from first looking at it, I’ve still not figured out what film development chemicals I need or should buy. I keep putting it off as I’ve not got the containers and trays etc. yet. I bought some from the secondhand darkroom. Was great value but they don’t deliver to Scotland without paying a fortune. This is quite annoying and not sure entirely necessary but that’s what they do. So I ordered the bits to a family member down south and let them bring it up over Christmas. So I should get some chemicals ready for the christmas holidays and then there’s the opportunity to get some christmas large format shots.

Wednesday, 8th December, 2021

This presentation about web accessibility is both very funny but also makes very good points about the state of the internet. Even as a completely able internet user the amount of crap websites pack in and everyone’s obsession with javascript is very annoying. There are some stores that don’t work on my home network as I block ad domains. This mostly annoys my wife when she wants to buy something and either I have to disable everything or she switches to cellular and buys it on her phone. My stance is that if the company’s website is that bad then I’m not going to buy from them. My website is not at all important but I like that it’s clean, fast and has minimal javacsript. It would have none but I like having search, and the image zoom when you click on an image. I’m also looking for an image gallery which might have to be javascript as well. I was looking at fotorama, but it needs jQuery and that put me off. I’m sure I could do something to improve accessibility and I might look into some of the tools to check the site like:

I made a list of all the non-fiction books I want to read…18 of them! Not sure I’ll get to them all in 2022. Have to think about what and prioritise them. 🤔🧠

I want to make a book fo all our old DayOne journal entries. The book making is easy, but I really want to review all the previous posts first. There’s about 600-700 😰. I just want to get rid of things that don’t fit. It’s 99% family but occasionally I thought I’d try it with work. Don’t know why I didn’t start a new journal for that. If I’m paying for it to be printed I don’t want rubbish in there, but at the same time this might take me forever and then I never print it.

It’s nice reading it all though. Even the stuff I delete afterwards.

Loqseq, git and Github could be a good solution for a work/private journal. Whilst there’s nothing much to learn about Logseq, there are some good practices/methodologies people have developed to make the most of it. I’ve just got so used to Tiddlywiki I don’t really want to learn something else. There’s also no real mobile solution - editing or even viewing. There’s convoluted systems but that’s not what I’m looking for. So back to TW. Probably for the best.

I wanted to minify and concat all my CSS into a single file, so that it was one request. I don’t have too many on this site: the main CSS, code highlighting, and then some CSS for the zoom javascript plugin. However, I occasionally tweak, add, subtract things from my main CSS and re-minifying it was a pain. Luckily I have a script from the static photo site I like to use and just copied that over. Now I can edit the main CSS, run the script and commit the updated version to the repo. I want to maintain the order of the CSS in case highlights or zoom has to overwrite something else, so I just number them all and it adds them in order.


# minify all .css-files
ls -1 *.css|grep -Ev "min.css$" | while read cssfile; do
	echo "$cssfile --> $newfile"
	curl -X POST -s --data-urlencode "input@$cssfile" > $newfile

# merge all into one single file
rm -f styles.min.css
cat *.min.css > styles.min.css

Tuesday, 7th December, 2021

hat could go wrong

Slowly getting there ☝

I wish we used things like git, markdown, wikis and plain text at work for procedures and documentation. Would be so much easier to maintain, update, track changes, find information. But no, it’s a whole bunch of Word documents spread across (at best) SharePoint, a document management tool, and network drives.

Look at this great tool I made in Excel


Friend bought me Valheim and we started a server last night. These survival/crafting games are all the same but the best part is playing with a few friends because of the chat.

I’m liking TickTick for it’s quickness to add stuff. Particularly ideas or longer term things I’d like to do. It’s much quicker than tiddlywiki, maybe similar to Apple reminders but TickTick has the advantage of being cross platform and the website is much better than website. Also you can nest tasks and add all sorts of context. I don’t need or use much of it but I like it. Now I just need to actually do things from it!

I’m compiling a list of “projects” I want to do in 2022, in an attempt to actually do something. Thinking of maybe 10-12 items, circa one per month. It’s easy to get carried away and try and do so many things that I give up and do nothing. I was even thinking of having “read xyz” as one. I’ve quite a few non-fiction books that I’ve bought over the years but have never read. Some work, many photography. I might pick a shortlist of them and set those as projects - but read and make notes.

I’ve given up on It doesn’t seem to quite work properly (or I’m not understanding it). I’ve found VS Code to be great for this site.

Monday, 6th December, 2021

I want to put in my old drummer posts into this site. So I’ve used pandoc to convert my opml file into a single markdown file. This was very easy pandoc --from=opml --to=markdown_mmd blog.opml -o However, that makes it one big file, not individual pages. I don’t have that many posts, but I don’t really want to make a whole load of files to copy and paste this info into. I’ve also noticed images aren’t referenced or showing up. What might be a better way to generate the markdown would be from the rendered HTML, that way images and everything exactly how it shows will be created. If I’m making pages then I may be better off making my own converter, reading the opml and making pages. However, this’ll just be a one off thing, so not super excited to put a lot of time into this. Maybe just generating the pages might be a start with published=false and then I can pick away it at over time.

Even though it’s much slower, I decided I’d make the individual posts and then move the content across. Part of the reasoning was that I wanted to edit the posts, as there’s a lot of cruft from drummer config which I don’t need anymore and given the one off nature of this exercise I didn’t want to spend my time writing the content conversion which pandoc has so nicely done for me.

Here’s my code to create individual files named with the frontmatter set to my style and published: false so I can add them to the repo now and then update over time.

import pathlib
from datetime import datetime
from xml.etree import ElementTree

def process_date(date):
    Converts opml created date into python datetime object
    datetime_object = datetime.strptime(date, '%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S %Z')
    return datetime_object

def create_front_matter(date_object):
    Creates the front matter in my notes from a date. 
        title: Monday, 6th December, 2021
        date: 2021-12-06 00:00

    n =
    ordindal = f"{n:d}{'tsnrhtdd'[(n//10%10!=1)*(n%10<4)*n%10::4]}"

    title = date_object.strftime(f'%A, {ordindal} %B, %Y')
    date = date_object.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")

    return (
        f'title: {title}\n'
        f'date: {date}\n'
        'published: false\n'

with open('blog.opml', 'rt', encoding='utf-8') as f:
    tree = ElementTree.parse(f)

for node in tree.findall('.//outline'):
    type = node.attrib.get('type')
    name = node.attrib.get('name')
    date = node.attrib.get('created')
    if name and type != "calendarMonth":
        datetime_object = datetime.strptime(date, '%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S %Z')
        # create file with name
        filename = datetime_object.strftime("%Y-%m-%d-%A").lower() + '.md'
        file = pathlib.Path.cwd() / 'posts' / filename
        # Add front matter contents

Poking about on Phil’s wiki, I came back to the journal/thoughts journal on Derek Sivers site. I had two thoughts - one: I like tiddlywiki, and if the situation was reverse I’d never find that info on this new site👀. Two: Should I be using DayOne for personal journal? Although it’s not really a personal journal, more like a family log. So actually I think that’s fine, it’s meant to ultimately end up as a printed book, and the convenience of DayOne and all it does helps that.

Interestingly my private tiddlywiki was setup around the 30th December 2020. I’ve generated a single page html of it, and I’m going to nuke it and start again! Seems like an annual occurance. However, I installed or setup too many plugins that I don’t want and want to start a fresh. I’ll import stuff into it but easier than trying to edit the existing one.

Sunday, 5th December, 2021

The wonders

Wife bought me the Analogue Wonderland Wonderbox for my birthday. You get two boxes of films, one now and one in two months’ time. Quite the black and white selection, and possibly some IR films…I’m not sure, will have to look into each one. A nice way to try other things which I wouldn’t normally buy. Put the Delta 3200 in the M2 and will see how that goes.

Did a little configuration and it does make it nice to use. I think there’s some way of dropping in code snippets, so I can use some includes to make use of the other styling I’ve done. Would be nice if the default rendering by jekyll could be changed so I don’t need to resort to includes but I don’t think that’s possible. The create post, create draft, publish workflow is a bit funny but I’ll get used to it. Did think about looking up other jamstack CMSs, like Stasti or

Saturday, 4th December, 2021

I’m wondering about just using to add and edit posts on here and skipping journal.txt. Although the text entry box on prose isn’t recognised by iOS as a text entry thing so spelling and autocorrect don’t work. Turns out this is more annoying that I thought.

Actually this is just for iPhone. iPad is slightly better as the suggestions appear at the bottom, so I can correct things as I go, and things like double tap space bar for full stop work. Still doesn’t autocorrect or show spelling errors though. On the iPad there’s a better menu on prose and changing things is more obvious. I guess for my phone I’d have to either visit and edit posts or write somewhere else (Apple notes?) and copy it later. Not ideal, but maybe I shouldn’t bother writing on my phone in the first place.

Been digging into ticktick and it’s pretty feature packed even on the free tier. Lists with sublists (outlines anyone?) means I’m struggling to know what to do with tags. Few people suggested using them for context (like GTD, e.g. #home, #office, #phone etc.) or periods of the day, or this month, next month etc. I quite like the time ones, as I don’t want the specificness of a calendar but would like some time bounding on them. With tags I can just add endless ones and do all sorts. Ticktick even has note entries, and templates. So stuff like weekly summary of work to boss could be a to-do reminder and then a note based off template. Pretty much takes tiddlywiki’s role for that. Other than transclusion and other TW features, but I could see myself using ticktick for it. I don’t like that it’s a service but I do like having native apps on all platforms and a web interface. I’ve not checked but I could probably export the data if I was that worried.

Adding each day manually isn’t that much of a big deal, then least I can set the title properly and not have a weird arrangement to try and get it in the format I want. I just type the date and that takes seconds.

Friday, 3rd December, 2021

One problem I suffer from is when finding new software, I look up how other people use it and then copy their system. I then use it for a while and find it too complicated or doesn’t work and then stop using it. It is useful seeing how others use stuff, particularly how parts are constructed, like tiddlywiki, to do something but I shouldn’t try and adopt it. I’m resisting watching videos on ticktick or reading articles about it and just using it how I want or how I find I’m using it naturally. Part of the issue is I want to optmise or maximise things such that I get the most out of it. However, I should measure this by what the tool is for, not that I use 100% of it. But I’ll still watch some anyway 😅

Christmas party season. Had our work one today. People’s sense of personal space starts to disappear as the night goes on!

Github saver for tiddlywiki keeps being annoying. Not quite it’s fault, but my phone has forgotten the github secret and somehow it’s not in bitwarden. Possibly a sync issue when I moved VPS..? Seems a weird one as it was an old password, and not noticed anything else.

I have a lot of big, chore like things to do. I should just do a tiny bit each day. e.g. backfilling photo albums or drummer posts. After a month or something it’ll be all done. Whereas now, I just put it off for a month and have nothing to show for it.

Thursday, 2nd December, 2021

Ha, my co-workers choke every time I share my screen and they see my tabs. Then they learn that they’re just seeing one window out of twelve. reply.

This made me laugh, from hackernews.

This site seems to be a reoccuring theme of motion vs. action. I’ve gone through the motions of making a new static site but the actual action of writing in it could be quick to disappear. Hopefully the past few months of writing in the wiki will stop that. As long as it doesn’t get too hard to write then I should continue. It’s funny that I can already hear in my head “how easy it was to go to the wiki, press alt+j and then start typing. This is pretty easy though.

Quite decent snow (for here) today. We don’t normally get much before Christmas.

A friend has just got a Tesla. It’s very fancy, but also very expensive. He’s already installed teslamate, but is complaining that the docker container has it’s own version of Grafana and he wanted to integrate it with his smarthome grafana. 🙄 The available data from the car is nice, and would be nice if my car offered that, but there’re still very expensive and EV charging infrastructure is quite poor.

I don’t like twitter, or most social media places. I only visit reddit (certain subreddits) and occasionally hacker news, although usually via this summary. I say I don’t like them quickly without thought. But what is it that I don’t like? People selectively sharing the best things to show off? Am I do the same thing I dislike just on my own website? How is this any better? 🤷‍♂️ Too deep to think about that just now. Best get back to website construction…

Speaking of which…top things left to do:

  • Move to main domain
  • Add comments
  • Add Blog™ section

Really only move to domain is critical right now.

Other stuff that needs tidying up but lower priority:

  • Update/add About page and maybe books and setup and now etc.
  • Setup
  • Styling the search page a bit better
  • Make the search results show the search content, not just the first ~160 characters of that page
  • Backfill drummer posts from opml
  • Pagination?
  • Continue using this journal.txt?

Making this todo list (which will go nowhere other than down the page list) makes me think about todo list apps again. At work I use a notebook and written lists, this works well and I have no real need for a bigger todo management thing. At home I don’t use anything but I do wonder if it means I never actually do anything. The problem I’ve found in the past is more motion vs. action, I spend ages faffing with systems and colours and tags but never actually do anything. For a while I was using ticktick and was good at both using it and doing stuff. I think it’s simplicity was key. I also liked having it available everywhere via web app and photo app. Maybe there’s self-hosted versions but maybe I should just use it again. I think the free teir was sufficient.

My renewal notice for where I host my family galleries has come in. I like it (quite cheap, €39/yr) but also don’t like it (style and formats are a bit limited and dated looking). I did wonder about keeping it for photo backup but the download mechanism is painful. I started wondering about paying for Flickr Pro instead. Not sure what I’d use it for but could be a backup solution and easy hosting for random photos. Still want to rebuild my static photo site again but the backlog of albums is going. Suppose I should just start with the latest and maybe work backwards as time permits.

Now that I’ve built this site, I’m wondering if a single markdown file for for the whole site might be better (? or just different). Would be simple.

Logged back into my ticktick account, deleted the old stuff (from 18 months ago) and started adding things. It is cathartic to offload tasks from my mind. Turns out there’s a lot.

Looks clever and crazy.

Wednesday, 1st December, 2021

This site is coming along nicely. Only big things left are search and comments. Thought I’d try search first. Generally seems to be:

  1. Generate a list or json of all the posts
  2. Search over the top of this
  3. Display the results

There’s “simple search”, someone made a small script to search over page titles, and then using lunr.js which allows more capabilities. Following along some tutorials but they don’t quite do what I want. They’re all similar but different and so far it doesn’t quite work. It’s one of those things where if I knew some javascript I could figure out what I needed to do. Not sure if it doesn’t help that I want a search bar at the top and not on a dedicated page.

Think I’m getting there…

Busy with family stuff the rest of this week so I may not get much time on it until after the weekend.

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