2023 Entries


Saturday, 4th February, 2023

We had a life celebration party today (instead of a funeral). It was good, it was in their house and it was just like a normal party. You could’ve even forgotten they were gone and weren’t just in another room talking to someone else.

It was good to see people we’ve not seen in over 10 years. They were feeling nervous about seeing everyone but as soon as they were there it was like no time had ever passed.

Friday, 3rd February, 2023

I really like Jack’s post about book reading and note taking. I have several non-fiction books I want to read and then actually learn from, or at least have something to quickly remember from. I started using a notebook for this but then having all the books’ notes bound together in a notebook wasn’t useful. I also tried writing notes in Apple Notes on my phone or in my wiki on Tiddlywiki. This was better but I find these get lost or it’s too much hassle to type whilst reading.

At university, I’d sit at a desk, read a book and make paper notes. Now my desk has a computer on it and it’s hard to resist its siren calls. Another table in the house would be useful to use, maybe the kitchen table. Although, I would like to sit in a nice arm chair and read and make notes. This is what I did with the computer based notes and I was just using my phone and it was horrible. Maybe a pad or something to lean on would work. These are minor details I’m faffing over.

I should do this, specifically the writing down on paper part, but not in a notebook. I can take a photo of the notes if I’m worried I’ll lose them

Finally sold my fuji 60mm macro lens. It’s been listed for sale since November. Seems like the volume is very low and if you aren’t the cheapest no-one even looks. I now need to decide if I want a different macro lens (perhaps a manual Laowa or something) or a dedicated 35mm film scanner, like a Plustek 8200 etc. I now have everything for mirrorless camera scanning but it always feels like an ordeal with 100 steps. The plustek is slow but more straight forward, and you get the results straight away without further faffing in lightroom etc.

I like giving out Creme Eggs to people at work in the run up to Easter. Mostly as an excuse for me to eat them too. Amazon was selling a box of 48 for £19.20, so I went for it! Pretty much half the price of buying them individually. I just have to be restrained on the number that I eat myself! Doing okay so far, eaten 3 and given away 11 since getting them on Monday.

Wow, someone emailed me asking what happened to a blog post I wrote in 2016 about beancount. I dug it out and put it back on my blog for them. I think it’s mostly still relevant, although stuff about pythonanywhere might have changed.

I’m a traitor…I’ve just packaged up four rolls of HP5 to get developed and scanned at the lab. Maybe my feeble excuse is I also just packaged up my macro lens so I couldn’t possibly develop my own. Another excuse is that my kitchen tap still doesn’t work and we have to use the one in the utility room and this is where I’d normally do the developing. It means there are dishes and cooking stuff in there. I could tidy that away first…These rolls are from Christmas and maybe even before then. I just want them developed and done. It’ll be quite the expense but they loom over me and I just want them processed. 🤷‍♂️

Packaging up the macro lens made me want to get rid for more things…such as three film cameras I never use…but also just random bits and pieces that clutter everywhere. Things that somehow don’t have homes and just sit on the shelf being annoying. A ridiculous split mechanical keyboard I built but have never, and will never, use. The old Google home mini, camera straps I won’t use, cables I should put away, just stuff. Maybe a tidy up would help too but I want it gone. Maybe into a box and then into the garage will suffice, until the day I want to setup the workbench in the garage.

Bought this book used for £2 after watching Beck Tench’s Tech Bench. Her house is so cool. She is too. Maybe I’ll send her a random email.

I’m enjoying Game Pass. It’s like renting video games from Blockbuster again. If it’s crap, doesn’t matter, try something else. Even found a roguelike that I actually like. Vampire Survivor. Normally I can’t stand roguelikes. Dying and starting from zero again? I haven’t got time for that. This one lets you upgrade and unlock things, so it’s more like completing a level and moving on. Maybe after a while I’ll get annoyed and bored with it but then I’ll just move onto something else! Bethesda are bringing out a new IP - Starfield. After 25 years of Elder Scrolls and Fallout, they’ve made something new. A space RPG. Looks enormous. You can even build ships and fly to different planets. Plenty to play!

Wednesday, 1st February, 2023

Well isn’t this terrifying.

Sunday, 29th January, 2023

I thought about bringing my camera to the skate park with the kids but couldn’t be bothered. I regretted it when we arrived.

I did get the soldering iron out and redo the GPIO pins on the pi zero. I couldn’t really tell if it helped or not. I should find the multimeter and see if I can test them.

Isn’t it adorable.

I think lists need some improvement CSS-wise on this site. I originally wanted very little extra stuff on this site, but I think a bullet or something would help readability. Not that the font and everything is that great but I like it. Also thinking about getting rid of the search feature. I never use it, I doubt anyone else does, it also doesn’t show things in date order (when I’m sure it should) and as the site grows the single js or json or whatever it was grows with it. If I’m looking for something, I’ll use VS Code to search, but if it’s something of interest for the future it should go into the wiki.

I like Jack’s paper world. It feels like you need lots of time for it though.

One reason why I like tinderbox so much is that everyone who uses it, and posts online in someway, are all genuinely nice people. Maybe because they’re probably >50, and so have the wisdom of life, but maybe also as it takes patience to use the tool.

We used to have metal blinds in the kitchen, and every so often I’d hear a noise that sounded like the blinds moving slightly. I assumed it was the string slowly stretching and then the blinds moving and so making the noise. We recently got rid of all the blinds but still the noise happens. I guess it must be the radiators, as there’s nothing else in the area where the sound comes from.

I bought a year of Game Pass Ultimate for £25. Seemed good value and meant I can try out all those games that look interesting but I don’t actually want to buy. Things like “lawn mowning simulator” or “random indie puzzle game”. Things that are fun for a couple of evenings but that’s it, and I don’t want to spend £5-£15 on a go. £25 is like a semi-decent game on sale a year after it came out, and there are currently 440+ games on Game Pass, including some newly released ones. It also has various promos associated, so I can get yet another 3 months free of AppleTV once the current promo expires!

The smartest thing in the gaming world is certainly from Microsoft. You can buy an Xbox on installments, which also includes Game Pass. I think it’s $20/month for 2 years. For an average household with kids wanting to play it, I don’t think you could find something better or cheaper. No big layout at Christmas, no nagging for games, and if they pay attention they can use the Rewards Points for playing games and Bing searches to pay for Game Pass after the 2 year period. Not sure why Sony and Nintendo don’t have a similar thing. But perhaps they still sell enough and make pots of money without it, so why would they?

Success! My soldering fixed both the pi zero GPIO headers, and the keys that weren’t working on my stupid, never going to use, why did I bother, cool looking keyboard. Now all I have to do figure out how the e-ink display works and what I want and then make it. The “simpliest” thing seems to be to make a website of what I want, then script a screenshot of it and push it to the display. It could do with a stand though.

Friday, 27th January, 2023

I seem to be averaging about every other day on here so far this year. I feel bad for missing days but at the same time I don’t want to force myself to write something inane just to fill the day.

I have a few blog posts in my head for my other site, but I just never get round to starting them. Maybe this weekend…

My replacement power supply for the soldering iron arrived, so I could attempt to fix my header pin soldering on the pi zero…

A friend linked a funny video of a bird eating too many fish. It then led me to open up YouTube, which I’ve not been on in a while, and start watching random things it suggests for me. Camera reviews, film, lenses, random tech reviews, etc. Pretty much every video I started I stopped after 20 seconds thinking “I don’t care.” I’m counting this as a win. Last year I spent/wasted a lot of time on YouTube, and then it made me want stuff that I probably don’t need.

I did manage to write a blog post. I had a lot more photos to add to it but they’ve got lost somewhere. They were all phone photos and I tend not to care about those, any good ones I’ll stick into DayOne otherwise I’ll let iCloud back them up. I think I lost them when I went in and out of the 2 TB iCloud subscription and included all my photos. Oh well, doesn’t really matter. Actually I saw one of them this week, but I don’t remember where and I find that strange. I feel like it was online on a website, so either Apple Photos or Amazon Photos, but I looked there and it wasn’t there. I guess if I come across it again I can take a copy.

Think I’ll target 1 blog post a month. My original 2023 plans included one a week, but not sure I can manage that. One a month is still perfectly acceptable to me. It doesn’t actually take long but it’s slower than this site. I still maintain that I much prefer the blogging under the date title as the way to go. So much easier to write that way.

Speaking of 2023 targets, I’ve not looked at them this year. So how am I doing…

  • Sleeping - ah…varied…
  • Exercising - I cycle to work each day so I’m okay with not doing anything else, although I should…
  • Reading - pretty much every night I’ll read my fiction book. I’ve not read non-fiction though and I have some books to read. I still choose the computer over reading.
  • Journalling - Good enough, don’t tend to write much in DayOne during the week. I could but I forget.
  • Typewriter - done nothing. My wife’s granny died this week and my wife wrote a poem about her Granny to read at the family gathering. She printed it out but I thought about typing it out as well.
  • Printing photos - printed a bunch when we re-did our photos on the wall. My wife wanted a black and white montage so I printed out about 12 photos.
  • Computer time - been on it every night. I have been playing games with my friend, so not the mindless youtube etc. that I’ve done in the past. Conclude: so-so
  • Buy less stuff - I’ve not really bought anything extra this month. Some parts to replace broken things, also sold a few items (although people complained something didn’t work but I’ve not heard back so guessing they’re fine now?). I do still want some books and a bigger notebook. I’m convincing myself that books and notebooks are exceptions and are not a waste. Books are obvious, and notebooks will eventually get used…even if I do have a few blank ones already…
  • Work smart - not been that smart. Doing my weekly summaries for myself at least. Seem to have been very busy and “no time to plan” which is a lie, I always have time I just immediately jump right into something first. The weeks are flying by though.
  • Computer games - Yep, doing this! It actually makes me feel better in the evenings. One night I was super tired, so just watched TV. Been playing Valheim with my friend. A survival, crafting game with a Viking theme. We both died last night exploring a new area and we are both feeling a bit of rage-quit now. We lost everything and it takes a long time to make stuff. We’re both guilty of flitting between games. Play one for a week then get bored and move on to something else. Often we’ll come back to them in weeks, months or even years time. I would like to get really into a game, but maybe that’s just not realistic to expect now. I do prefer multiplayer, co-operative games but I’ve got some story RPG ones to play though which are fun as it’s like an interactive movie.
  • Projects - not started anything. Have restored my soldering iron to fully operational so that’s a start. Thinking about the e-ink display and doing something for that. My driver for that is not really as it’ll be useful to me, but as something to show to some friends at work. Not sure how I feel about that as a driver.

So as February approaches what am I going to do? Well obviously close all those gaps and do everything I said…in reality, what could I hope for? Maybe finish the letter to my sister, get the e-ink screen working with the pi zero, read one non-fiction book…We’ll see.

I wish I could use Tinderbox, and had something to use it for. Not sure why I suddenly had this urge but I then spent a while on the forums. I guess this is what happens when I’m left with a browser to fill my evenings.

Well I’m not going to do anything useful now, so I should go to bed and read some stories. I’m enjoying The Realm of the Enderlings series, even if I have only just scratched the surface with book 2 of the first trilogy out of 6 trilogies (one has 4 parts).

Wednesday, 25th January, 2023

Finally heard back about my lens that was out for repairs. Got the estimate and sounds like they can’t get hold of a new hood part (the old one fell off and I’d originally bought a lens with a dented hood as it was cheaper) so they’re going to straighten it out, touch up the paint and give the lens a service. So hopefully it’ll be looking nice and shiny and minty. Cost to me is £155, which seems okay. Leica quoted £250 and a minimum of 12 weeks.

Appears fibre internet is coming to our street anytime between now and July. I started looking at fibre ISPs and what speeds and prices they offer. It’ll go up to 900/900 mbps. Now do I need that? Or do I just want that! 🤓 Probably I’ll get the fastest possible to start and then realise it’s unnecessary, and then settle on something like a modest 500/500. It does mean I’ll need to upgrade the wireless to wifi 6…

Monday, 23rd January, 2023

This whole weekend I kept seeing moments and thinking “that would be great to capture”, but didn’t do anything. At one stage I looked at the box of film and thought about loading one, but then the thoughts of the effort from that until end product felt too much and I had no energy for it.

I enjoyed the moments as I saw them though.

I’m hopeful all the ice has melted this morning. After coming off my bike and then walking on it on Friday, I must’ve slipped over several times and sprained my wrist. To the extent that it was too painful to use the computer 😱. Although by Sunday morning it had mostly recovered to the point I’d forgotten about it until someone asked me.

I have my Tana invite. They email each day explaining the features and functions. It does look good and I like the layout and the customisation of it. I like how it displays filter and other buttons without having to remember all the syntax to do it. But I’m avoiding it. (a) I don’t want to spend time learning it (b) I don’t want to be reliant on a proprietary tool (c) I won’t want to pay for it when they do charge.

But it’s hard to resist…! 🤓

Friday, 20th January, 2023

Oh it’s so icy here. Skating on my hands and knees to talk the kids to school.

Got an email saying fibre is being installed in our street, now that I’m excited about. Not sure on the timing though but 1gbps up and down here we come! (depending on pricing…)

I’m off work today and should do something productive, but after my school run adventures I’m exhausted! I’ll finish this cup of tea and get the soldering iron out! 👨‍🏭

Thursday, 19th January, 2023

The one thing I have managed to do from my 2023 plans is play more computer games. My friend and I have been playing Valheim. A survival, crafting game with a Viking theme. I have it running on my server and we play on that. It’s fun! It’s mostly us chatting whilst playing it. Planning things out, building them, laughing at stuff that happens.

I’ve not touched a forum or social media thing all week. Too busy cutting down trees and searching caves 😅

It was icy this morning and I fell off my bike. No one was around to hear me swear repeatedly and loudly.

Tuesday, 17th January, 2023

Journaling with GPT-3. The author claims it has taken their journaling (and benefit from it) to the next level.

Bill Gates’ 11th Reddit AMA.

Monday, 16th January, 2023

History of web browser engines from 1990 until today

Sunday, 15th January, 2023

Sold my bike trainer I bought during lockdown. I never use it, mostly as I don’t want to pay for a subscription to any software. I don’t need the software (like Zwift) but as I cycle to work each day I’m not interested in just mindless cycling. Plus I probably only need one fitness machine I never use 😅

Also means I can make a bit of space in the garage. A hope for this year is to make enough space (aka throw out stuff) for a workbench. For soldering and whatnot. Eventually it would be nice to make a darkroom, although I think that’s a long way off.

I think anything I sell I should buy books with the proceeds. Especially ones I know I’ll never read, rather than just ones I hope I may read eventually. Like An Introduction to Astrophysics. I like how 1,300 pages is an introduction. 👩‍💻

I’ve not been in the mood for writing very much this past week. Tired being back in the work routine. Yesterday I seemed to get a lot done which was nice.

Debating selling all my film cameras except the Leica. They are nice shelf ornaments, but why?

Friday, 13th January, 2023

I only just noticed it was Friday the 13th. It’s been a long week. I only went back to work on Monday, yet it feels like I’ve been there weeks.

I’ve done nothing each evening. It gets to 9:30pm and I think what a waste, but too late to start anything now. A little bored of everything right now, but probably just tired.

Thursday, 12th January, 2023

Not sure I’m very good at handling Leica repairs. I post off my expensive lens to be repaired and I hear nothing from anyone, nor have any reference code or tracking information. I’m sure it’ll be fine and one day in some number of weeks time it’ll come back…Maybe I’ll email and see if I can get any info.

Just finished reading part 1 of the Farseer triology, Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Wheel of Time-esk, fantasy series but no strange creatures (at least not yet) set in a sort of medieval time. I read before going to sleep in bed and this book was not good for that, as I’d want to stay up to 1 am reading and reading and reading! About to start the second tonight, hopefully I can do better and go to sleep at a sensible time.

It annoys me when bosses ask what they can do to help, which often isn’t very much, and then tell me the bleeding obvious as though I’m some ninny. How would you like it if I told you that “the business should really try and make more money”? Come on. 🙄

Wednesday, 11th January, 2023

I brought my hobonichi into work, but have yet to open it. I’ve started using my other notebook for actions and meeting notes…maybe next week I’ll start it fresh…🤷‍♂️

I’ve been busy. Not sure what I’ve been doing exactly.

Got some film rolls back from the lab - colour ones, well C41 processing, as there was a roll of XP2. I didn’t love the colour ones. I only flicked through them when they first arrived, so maybe a second viewing will change that. However, the black and white ones were much nicer.

This will sound weird, but the colour ones looked like a crappy film simulation applied to the photos. Maybe I just need to edit them a little.

Monday, 9th January, 2023

Back to work 😴 and I left my new Hobonichi at home.

Don’t sweat all this second brain, tools for thought stuff, AI will solve it for us.

Saturday, 7th January, 2023

The new wiki is live. Not finished the automation to build and deploy it yet, which is probably about 4 lines of a bash script and a cron entry but I’m still putting it off.

I found that the shiraz plugin (which I like for the images) has a multi-column setting for the story river. It’s not perfect but it’ll do. For me, on my monitor two tiddlers side by side and the sidebar looks great. Sorry if it doesn’t for you. That plugin as so many things in it.

I’ve started tidying up tags so the table of contents is a bit more useful but it’s a big effort that I’ll chip away at. I’ve been writing in it, but almost entirely private stuff. I like that though, everything together and publishing general stuff to the world because why not. The theme is the default, and maybe I’ll change the colour scheme but I’m probably just going to leave it as is. There’s always something not quite right with other themes.

I was eyeing up the garden today to see how I might string a massive antenna from the house to the end of the garden. My main issue is getting the coax back into the house, and, ideally, to my office where I’d set up the radio. I don’t really want to drill through the wall or do a bunch of cable work through walls etc. but there isn’t really a choice. Plus my office is in the front of the house, vs the garden in the back. I guess it could be temporary to test it out and use the radio outside, but how often would I use it. Also is this something that I like the idea of but then never uses it.

I’ve decided to do (well resume) microsoft rewards, the aim is to get a free xbox doing it. Why? Feels fun to say “this was free, from doing some bing searches each day”. I perhaps have gone slightly overboard in that I’m looking for a used xbox one (the oldest console that has the rewards app) on facebook marketplace so I can do the xbox bonuses. It seems ironic that the reason I’m doing this is to get a console, but in order to do it the best I need a console. However, hopefully I can find one for £40, and then sell it on afterwards. It should cut the time it’ll take by about 1/3, meaning I should have enough points by black friday this year when they go on sale on Microsoft’s website.

We’ll see how long that lasts before I get tired of it, but a good present for the boys if I can manage it.

Friday, 6th January, 2023

I’ve spent too long fiddling about with this new TW. I’m going to migrate the current wiki content into it and hook up a cron job to build it periodically and have it replace the current wiki site. I’ll be then able to use one site for both public and private content and the public one will just be a single html file hosted on GitHub.

Whilst I want to learn TW trickery, I’m not sure I have a great deal to do with it. I’ve thought about a book tracking system where I can write stuff in the tiddler and use fields for author etc. but I get 90% of the benefit just making a dumb list by hand and individual tiddlers. Not like I read more than about 20 books a year anyway. I can always record info in the fields in case I later want to make something.

One thing I do like in logseq that I miss in TW is side by side notes. I can just open two browser windows but then browser windows tend to get out of hand. I know I’ve seen plug-ins and themes that do this, but I wonder if I can find a simple one.

Emailed h0p3 as I noticed his site has been down since end of 2022. Got a nice reply from him.

Logged into EchoLink last night. Internet connected radio repeaters and links, so you can talk via repeaters anywhere in the world. I still daren’t say anything in case it’s “wrong” and I don’t have anything to say?

Everyone looks puzzled when I talk about amateur radio. Especially when I talk about things like EchoLink! “Why not just use the internet?”. Because that would be boring!

HF looks the most fun - this is where you can bounce off the ionosphere and hit the rest of the world. Just the antenna needs to be a big boy.

Thursday, 5th January, 2023

Finally got my radio callsign.

Spent way too long sorting out tiddlywiki node.js commands and scripts to build sites. Think I’m done now though. Just debating how I go about migrating/combining/or not everything and domains etc. Also want to learn some TW to make use of its functionality more.

Wednesday, 4th January, 2023

The store I bought the lux from will repair (or organise) a repair for it. See if I can get a new hood too, hopefully the part isn’t too much and the warranty will cover the labour.

Making very slow progress in the new TW site. Mostly looking at the generation of single html from nodejs. Seems tiddlywiki.info can be configured to do a lot of things on a build command, but everything I find is people chaining various tiddlywiki commands together instead. Be nice just to use the .info file as then this is all self contained. However, it might take me longer to figure that out.

I also get sidetracked into wondering about private/public or other tags and filters.

I’m not sure I want to maintain my photos site anymore either. I’m not sure anyone visits it anymore, but maybe that’s because I’ve not updated it in a while.

Tuesday, 3rd January, 2023

I’m leaning heavy tiddlywiki all in. One site for everything. But is this just the same old “I’m done making a site, so instead of using it, I’ll make another one”, that I repeat over and over? (yes) I did tell myself…sometime ago…that I’d not deviate from this site and this setup. It works well, I like the look of it and it’s easy to write in. I don’t go back in time and look at things. Perhaps I don’t need to, but I’d like the ability to remember the past. Not necessarily for assembling information for something specific but just to remind myself of things.

What I should really do is setup the new TW, mess about with it and then see if it’s what I really want. I think I’d want to use a private node.js version, and then have it generate a static HTML file to commit to github and host. I want to be able to edit it anywhere, and the github saver, whilst generally good, is sometimes annoying. I also like seeing and working with individual tiddler files on the file system vs a massive html file. Also allows for scripting of things, should the need arise. I’ve never actually put the effort into making the static file, including external images stuff. I know it’s not that hard, and I think I have saved some bookmarks or something somewhere (or look up Soren’s zettle thread) for how to do it. Also offers that private/public option but not sure I want to get into all that.

I think I like imagining what the wiki could look like, but never get round to doing it.

Colour film developing is expensive. Sending off three rolls and it’ll be £25, plus postage there. I have a few colour rolls but I’ll save them for special occasions…/never use them. Or I just use them up and then stick with B&W.

I’m thinking about selling all my other film cameras except the M2. I never use them. They look nice on the shelf but that’s about it. However, I sort of don’t want to as they’re getting harder (and more expensive) to buy, should I want to go back. However, I think the reality is that I want to just stick to 35mm. Sometimes I think how nice it would be if the shelf was in fact a small subsection of the shelf, with just one film and one digital camera, with a small collection of lenses.

Wife’s birthday tomorrow. I think I’m prepared…

Monday, 2nd January, 2023

Rethinking what I want all these websites to really be/do. This one is my favourite and maybe I should bin the rest.(also I like tiddlywiki).

This is also a subset of “bin everything I don’t totally love”.

Setup another table in the playroom for lego to go on. That’s one thing out of the (my) office which is nice. Soon it’ll only be all my junk to tidy up! 😅

Sunday, 1st January, 2023

Happy New Year! 🎆

I’m meant to not be buying crap…there’s already been about six things I’ve thought about getting. I should rummage about in drawers for various things I’ve bought and not done anything with: Rpis, zeros and picos etc.

The sound track to the new Dwarf Fortress is pretty good. I like the Drink & Industry track.

I’m wondering whether I need extreme measures to make myself change. Like sell everything. Cold turkey etc. Probably should decide what I’m trying to change to first though.

back home