December 2023 Entries

Sunday, 31st December, 2023

Happy Hogmanay! 🎆

I was meant to have two hours of home alone time this morning where I could tidy up the house and do some of my own things. Except now it’s about 15 minutes as the cousins are arriving ready to cause chaos. Even though my wife told them everyone is out at a birthday party until lunchtime. Ugh. Cup of tea, slice of christmas cake and complaining on here is all there’s about time for.

Watching Takeshi’s castle. Not watched it in years. So stupid but funny.

Saturday, 30th December, 2023

I got sucked into OpenBSD via Derek Sivers VPS installer (via Jack). It reminds me of my underlying desire to be rid of gmail and host things myself. However it comes with a burden of maintaining and relying on the VPS for everything. Then made me wonder about installing OpenBSD on a laptop as well.

Not sure I want to learn another OS though. If I wanted to run CalDAV and etc. then I can just run them on my existing VPS.

Still got the decision of blog updates swimming around. This plus new VPS/servers means I’m just doing nothing on the computer but wasting time not doing anything.

I’ve always liked Dokuwiki, and one of the OpenBSD blogs I found was running on it and then I spent a while looking at Dokuwiki (again).

Really the objective would be to get something that makes me write more, but what is that? Maybe I’ll setup dokuwiki again to satisfy that urge.

I did upgrade my VPS to the latest Debian 12. I few things broke until I remembered it would also update php to 8.2 vs 7.4 that was running previously. Given I know how things are setup I could fix it. Would I be able to do the same on OpenBSD, where “you don’t search for solutions, you read the manual”. I think in this instance it would’ve been fine as it was a nginx config file setting which is nothing to do with the OS.

I setup Dokuwiki on my VPS. It’s nice and easy to do. I started poking about with it but quickly realised it’s not what I want. Not sure exactly why it’s not what I want, I mean, it’s super easy to add content, move it around, link things, etc. even images too. It’s all plain text in the background. I even have my old versions on my server that I can just look at with a text editor. It doesn’t use markdown by default (I suspect it predates markdown considerably) but its format is predictable and readable. There are loads of plugins which are all super easy to install, it’s actively maintained and developed, so too are the plugins. It is more suited towards a wiki than a blog/personal site, although that doesn’t stop many people from using it as one. I think the main issue is that I find customising the look of it tricky. Truthfully, I’ve not even looked into it, but I suspect it’s harder than starting with a blank site and making a blog.

This is dumb, but I do want a unique looking site. It doesn’t need to be 100% individual, just uncommon in style. A bit like this site. It’s fun and quirky. Perhaps it helps make up for the content 😅. However, a regular blog (and my current one) aren’t really that. It’s more traditional. Which there’s nothing wrong with and it makes a nice readable site.

Just to remind myself of how readable, I actually visited my blog and poked around. It’s quite nice…maybe I’ll just leave it for now. Perhaps even try writing a post for it…

I still want to try Kirby as it does look and sound good. But maybe I should spend more time thinking about what’s to go in the site, vs. how it gets made. I’d like to combine daily notes and main blog posts but I don’t think I will. I had thought about main blog plus micro blog posts (and this site) where micro blog posts are links to interesting things, matters of somewhat interest and not just idle thoughts. E.g. upgraded VPS to Debian 12, don’t forget your php-fpm version. Stuff I might put on mastodon or twitter or wherever, if I were to use them. Or perhaps a picture from the day or something.

Found an interesting blog today, https://マリウス.com/, via OpenBSD things, but lots of other interesting content. Especially the post about his domain. I quite like his layout at the top, with the different sections of his site, although it’s not obvious if the page has loaded as you might not be able to see below the menu section. Guess that’s why he has that little flashing “scroll down” text at the top.

Found our shower is leaking, appears to be on the outside of the tiles, so it just runs down and into the drain. Saturday, 30th December, is not a great time to call out a plumber, so I guess we’ll leave it until the new year.

Every time I get the Kinopio newsletter, I swoon over the site thinking how unique and quirky it is. I have no use for it.

I should finalise my 2024 “plans” but probably I won’t change, so what’s the point!

Was looking at a new domain today. Didn’t buy it but got close. I’d like to consolidate domains, not buy more. Looking for a more general one for the family that everyone could use. I do actually have my surname as a domain, but via a long story, my dad uses it on his iCloud account for his email, so I can’t use it…not without shifting his email again and once in the past 10 years is enough for me. It’s only £15 or so a year and if I don’t like it or use it I can just not renew next year. It’s a shortened version of my surname, which I think rolls off the tongue, and would make for a really short email address. I could even make use of the MX Route mail hosting I’ve paid for for the past 6 years and have never used. Or just add it to iCloud…

Trying to form a new habit, whereby I sit at the bureau with a cup of tea and iPad and write DayOne and then this site. I’m now up to 12 days streak on DayOne and I realised that come two days time, I should order my next book! I did use the DayOne web version the other night on the Windows PC, and it’s pretty good. But I still enjoy sitting on my iPad and typing. I think I’d enjoy sitting on a MacBook and doing the same, however, I worry I’d not do any typing and end up doing a bunch of other stuff instead.

For about 3 years I’ve wanted to learn Javascript. Seems like it would be useful to make a little app or something in it that can go on the internet. But I’ve not done so, and whilst I’m thinking about it for next year, I’m not sure I really have any uses for it.

This seems appropriate.

Friday, 29th December, 2023

The kids stood on the bathroom scales screen and broke it. It just pushed the plastic cover onto the dial. How hard could it be to fix?

In the end it was okay but after a lot of learning. And swearing. The hard part is the four springs that attach the two sides, top and bottom, together. I used string around the springs and threaded it through the holes and pulled them into place. It reads slightly heavy now, even when zeroed properly. More encouragement that way.

My wife does not like the new office chair. I love it. My conclusion…buy a new laptop. 💻

Not sure if I really will, but in the interim it’s fun to think about and watch videos on. There’s the usual scope creep of starting with the base model and knowing it’ll be fine, to ending up looking at Mac Pro M3 Pro. It’s a Pro. Each $200 increment doesn’t seem like much until it’s £1000 more than you first started with. The sensible Mac option is M2 16GB RAM, but the actual sensible option is some refurb thinkpad.

So will come back to that one later.

Debating about using Kirby for my main site. I’ve always wanted to have a full site, ie more than just a blog, with photo albums and other things as part of it. More than just pages and posts. I could do that right now with the static blog but I’ve never yet. I’m so lazy when it comes to adding images to blog posts. It’s probably the reason I like this site the most, I never bother or deal with images. Just text. I’ve tried using a webCMS thing for static sites but they’ve never been great. Just not sure if I want to learn something else.

I thought about dokuwiki again, and how I could combine the wiki, blog and things all together into a single site. Even personal stuff as well under ACL. I could do that with Tiddlywiki too. There’s no learning, unless I want to not have the wiki style look of them. 🤔 been here before.

I might put that to one side and play about with some new looks for the site…wherever it may end up.

Thursday, 28th December, 2023

Started doing the futureland life plan questions. Gosh it’s hard to answer them.

Question 1. “What is the one thing you most want to improve?”. My ability to answer lifeplan style questions?

The fundamental problem I have with Apple computers, which I’ve always had and why I’ve only ever bought one mac computer (which was a macbook air in about 2012 that I managed to get via the old student discount scheme, that was even cheaper if you were logged in from a university machine - not today’s “verified” by Unidays and basically the same price as a the employee discount [of which you can just google a link and it works]). Is the price. I get you’re paying for the whole appliance and generally the build quality is much nicer with better screen and trackpad etc. but the idea of dropping circa £1000 on a laptop that I just casually want is not easy. Which does bring me back to the mini as it’s more “reasonable”.

Back to my life questions…

I played some Switch Adventure Ring fit (or whatever it’s called), was fun and tiring! Especially some arm muscles I clearly never use.

I then saw Tinderbox 9.7 has been released, even with $5 off the renewal price this weekend to celebrate. I’m tempted…even though I can’t actually run it right now 😅

Because I keep hoping Phil updates one of his sites at some point, I started clicking on the random button on his wiki. This lead me to watching a video about importing Drafts notes into Tinderbox, via Apple Script. I love it. I then start imaging various elaborate systems to write stuff.

What is Tinderbox?

Wednesday, 27th December, 2023

Wife and I went for Afternoon tea at the local fancy hotel - without the kids! We talked about what holidays and trips we need to figure out for 2024. We needed the paper calendar to write it all down and see it, but thought people might find that a bit odd.

I think I need more devices…in the holidays when everyone is off it’s quite possible that the main computer, a laptop, the switch, and my iPad are all being used by someone else. It does leave a TV, the radio shack computer, and maybe the xbox depending on how the switch is being used. I’m then left wondering what I’m doing. Perhaps reading a book would be the best answer, but that’s not what I want. For a while now I’be been swithering about a mac mini. It’s nice, yes, but it would also sit by the main computer (sharing monitor and maybe keyboard and mouse but that’s still to be figured out) and so useless if someone else is on the computer. Although I suppose I could VNC into it. Oh, in fact that was probably going to be the main way I used it as it saves faffing with keyboard and mouse. It’ll have the ability to be used natively.

I randomly looked through the archives and saw that I’d left of a ) from a link and it was rendered correctly, so I fixed it, and then saw myself talking about a mac mini. So a while is in fact a year.

So now I’m wondering if a mac laptop would be better…laptop so that I can use it wherever, and mac because I still want to use, DayOne and maybe some other mac things (Tinderbox? - probably will never happen but you know). However, these are more expensive…so I went looking at used macs on ebay. I’m drawn to the 2015-2017 12” MacBook.

I remember going into BestBuy when we lived in the states and admiring them. So tiny and thin. They keyboard was like typing on stickers on a piece of metal…so not sure about that. It makes me think of using an iPad but with the freedom of a full OS (maybe that’s a bad thing!). The only issue is that they’re old now, 6-8 years, and I don’t think they get OS updates anymore (ugh that annoys me) and I think they’re quite slow due to the tiny m intel cpu inside. If I were lucky I could find a top spec one for not much more than the going rate. They are cheap, and if I’m just typing then that’s fine. Although, if I’m just typing then why do I need a mac book. I could just remote into the mac mini from any old laptop, if I really wanted to edit DayOne or whatever.

Also, I should just read a book. Goodness knows I have many I’ve not touched.

So after all that…? nothing has really changed.

I’ve spent hours on the internet tonight…just browsing stuff, with a million tabs open. Feels overwhelming, like there are so many things to do.

This thread makes me want to use dynalist. Even though it’s not been updated in about 2 years and probably never will given they’re working on Obsidian. It does still work, and you get quite a lot for free. It’s still my go to place for list of things because they’re right there and I can’t lose them. Plus I share my wishlist with my wife at Christmas time. I enjoy outliners.

Tuesday, 26th December, 2023

We bought our daughter the Switch Ring Fit Adventure. She tried it out this morning, and I asked her how it was “who knew Switch time could be so tiring!”. It does look fun, I might give it a go later. There’s lots of “story” chat which is a bit boring but she likes it.

Got the new TV to setup still, I was thinking it was going in the playroom for the consoles but my wife wants it in the lounge for watching TV. That probably does make more sense, although not sure what to do with the consoles now, perhaps I’ll move them through. The TV also has a satellite f connector, which means I can hook it up to the dish and get free channels through it. We’ve never bothered with it and just use on demand services, but now I might. Our house has sat cables in every room and a central box where they all meet but nothing is labelled and it’s a mess. Probably take me a whole evening to find the right cables.

I’ll do the lounge one first, as I can measure the DC voltage from the TV, and then just plug it into the others ones until a signal appears…hopefully!

Can’t decide what I want to do with photos website, if I should even have one at all.

Monday, 25th December, 2023

🎅🎄 Merry Christmas! 🎄🎅🏻

I finally took out the M2 and some film, a roll of Portra 800. Turns out it had expired in October this year. It’ll be fine, as only a few months out of date and it’s been kept in the cold garage. It is nice to use the Leica, and manually focus for shots. Now I’ll have to wait and see how they turn out. I should look at the rest of the film to see the expiry on them.

Nearly time for turkey and everyone is getting a little tetchy after being up early. Probably me included.

Turn on the radio today. Said Merry Christmas to Canada and Bulgaria. I think this was the first time I’ve used it in December. Seem to have been so busy. Reminded me of the things I said I’d do but have yet to start.

Mum has been staying, which is nice but sometimes also a pain…😅

Sunday, 24th December, 2023

We’ve had a fly in the house for the last 9 days. It’s very annoying. I finally cornered it in the bathroom this morning and got it. 🪰

We had a nice morning making gingerbread houses with friends but now the kids are getting over excited and fighting with each other.

iCloud pricing for the 2TB tier is now £9/month. Shame they don’t do a 1TB one for £5. Do I want to get it and put all my photos in it? I think it’s more useful than Adobe Lightroom and their storage.

Printed and assembled the frame for the e-ink display. The buttons aren’t quite right and I think need a little filing down. Now I need to do the software part. Which means actually deciding what it’s going to do.

Weirdly my router, the Eero (which came with my ISP) blocks the raspbian mirror director. I guess it looks like ads redirecting, but it’s very annoying. Fixed my repo to a specific domain to work around it. However, it reminds me why I was hesitant of it. It’s nice for editing settings via the app, and the ad blocking and things are handy. It’s great for most people but I do think I want to roll my own router at some point.

I see lifeplan is now free. I’ll give it a shot at some point.

Saturday, 23rd December, 2023

Our first snow of the winter season! ☃️ Maybe a white Christmas for us. This is a big deal in the UK where it doesn’t snow that often, although most of the deal is for London and the South East. The kids have some presents that would be good for the snow, so let’s hope some is still around.

Mum is staying, and we had wine with dinner last night. I never have wine normally, and this morning I feel like I have a “thick head”. Maybe it’s the general cough and cold that everyone has but it does remind me of how a hangover of sorts feels. Just a general slowness.

I should try and go to bed at 10pm every night this holiday, so I have a hope of actually being rested before the new year.

Friday, 22nd December, 2023

Pulled the trigger on the TV. Went with a cheapo TCL. It’s still 55” 4K with Android TV so not terrible…well not from the specs. However, it was very cheap so I’ll forgive it any shortcomings but I suspect I’ll not notice, and coming from my 16 year old one with failing backlights, it’ll look great.

Wrapped it and hidden it in the back of the car…hoping to keep it quiet until Christmas. Not even my wife knows about it!

Got the new IKEA chair for the office, looking forward to using it vs. what’s in there. It’s not meant to be an 8 hours a day chair, but a comfortable, supporting, height adjustable chair for a few hours at a time. As really, I should only be sitting there for a few hours at a time.

Had to go to the supermarket to get a couple of items we were missing,. My goodness was it busy, and this was 10am today, when schools are still in and people are at work. I can’t imagine what they’ll be like tomorrow and Sunday.

Thursday, 21st December, 2023

I was up for the 6am swimming training drop off. Normally my wife does it as she’s also coaching but she wasn’t this morning. I kept waking up in the night thinking it must be time to go, then I’d look at my watch and it was 2am, 3am, 4am …. I feel okay just now but I’m sure by this afternoon I’ll be done. 🥱

This week at work seems the busiest in ages. I wrote a full page of todos on Monday, and I think I’m about half way through one…I’ve ended up doing other things. Today is my last day of work and I have no idea what to pick to do. Probably some other tasks that aren’t on my list.

I ordered the new desk chair to be delivered to the post office so I could pick it up on the way home. I also ordered two stools and did them as separate orders as together they wouldn’t do post office delivery. It’s disconcerting that I only have a notification for one of the deliveries. It doesn’t really matter, and will get sorted out somehow but just more chores for the list. 📋

Thinking about the TV, and how could I get it home, wrap it and hide it somewhere so we can bring it out on Christmas Day and say Santa bought us a TV! The hiding it part is the tricky one. Maybe I can get it into the attic but not sure the opening is big enough.

Wednesday, 20th December, 2023

Not long until I make a whole new year folder on this site!

I’m curious about futureplan life plan thing but I have to pay $10 for a subscription to even see what it is. So I’m just going to remain curious. Here’s their guide to writing it. I’d like to do it…maybe…although probably all the questions are too hard to answer. And am I really going to do anything 😅

I realised I have no photo editing software now. Lightroom CC sub has expired, my Lightroom classic, which I have a key too, has somehow upgraded itself and now I need to pay for it. I guess I could install some open source options or I might still have Capture One Express key somewhere (before they pull the plug on that).

Close to buying a TV to pick up tomorrow…a cheap one, i.e. not OLED. But what I don’t know, can’t hurt me, so there’s that.

Tuesday, 19th December, 2023

Managed 126 days in DayOne this year. Not great but better than 125.

My aunty always sends a Christmas letter with her card, giving family updates. This year is her last one as her kids are all grown up now, and that was the reason for starting them. Wish I’d kept all the old ones now. I shall have to write to her.

Been thinking about the dreaded New Year’s resolutions…I can just use last year’s…

Eventually I’ll buy a Mac mini and shut up going on about it.

I feel like my Smart Keyboard for my ipad is becoming less and less reliable. I’ll blame that on my kids using my iPad, but perhaps I should be the one to remove the keyboard so that they don’t kid-handle it. I’ve said this before but it’s one of my most favourite keyboards. I could type on it for hours and hours and not have any issues. I also like it’s pretty quiet, and I take it with me to offsite meetings (Espeically when I’m traveling from home directly there as I don’t take my work laptop home with me) and I can use it to record notes during the meeting without making a racket. It’s the exact opposite of a mechanical keyboard, and after all the years I obsessed over them, it’s quite ironic that this is the one I really like. There was one for sale recently for about £40, and I thought about buying it as spare.

I’ve only casually glanced, but I wonder if the new apple ipad keyboards are as good as this one. For when, one day, I decide I need to get a new iPad. I know there are several and it depends on what model ipad you have.

I sat down at the bureau the other day and realised that there are no pens in it. There’s a million other things but no pens. This needs sorting out, although I don’t want to take pens from somewhere else in the house as then what would I do in those locations…I should move my fountain pen here as I never use it anywhere else.

I was tidying my office tambour unit (that’s a little set of drawers with a seat on top…I never knew until the facilities manager emailed us when we were doing office moves and called them that) and I found an old notebook in there. It would be my one before last and there was a period of time when I was using a fountain pen. It made me wonder what happened to that pen and why I stopped using it. I used to use a fountain pen every day at work and nothing else.

The bureau is also missing a coaster for my tea mug. Right now I’m using the Casio FX-730P “personal computer” as one. Tbh it’s the most use I’ve got from it since I bought it on ebay.

Dave Winer is a funny character but I do like his blog layout. Not sure I’m bothered about his RSS feed, but the daily blog with and without headers, links to each paragraph, little images, a separate page for links of that day. It’s a good combination, but one you don’t see very much. The default blogging setup isn’t at all like that.

Jack’s blog is (re?)building up to a good layout too.

I keep talking about writing letters to people, and I think that I should get out the typewriter or even my pen (fountain or otherwise) but they’re a bit of a faff. I could type out a letter much faster, and print it out and send it. Would that be such a bad thing? People could read it easily…and I could type it a lot more quietly…I’d also get to keep a copy on my computer for future reference.

I’d like to figure out a way to sync my work logseq with my iPad. Annoyingly OneDrive (which I have at work) doesn’t appear to play nicely with Apple Files and only opens as read only. You can only save things to OneDrive on iOS by using the app or sharing the file.

Monday, 18th December, 2023

I should use Shortcuts more.

I was looking in on my iPad last night and it was enjoyable going back though old photos. Again, makes me want to have all my photos in it. Yet again, I hesitate as I’d be committed to paying for 2TB of Apple iCloud storage forever more. AND yet, yet again, makes me think of getting a desktop Mac.

I played with the AR feature of the Apple website when viewed via your phone to place iMacs about the house. Obviously they looked nice. A mini is still probably a better option.

I’ve come to hate my desk chair. It’s a laz-e-boy huge thing from the states. However the gas has gone and it sinks down. Plus it ls far too big for the small office. I genuinely think some of my malaise when on the computer comes from this chair. I sat on the workshop computer for a while and felt much better about it. So I’ve ordered a new chair, just a little wooden one from Ikea, the same as the workshop, but it’ll fit much better. I also wanted to get another of the stools we have from Ikea, but annoyingly they’ve stopped selling them in the U.K. So I picked some colourful ones for the kids to sit on.

I’m trying to finish up work stuff this week but also thinking about how I can do better next year. Mostly around organisational things, keeping track of actions, meeting notes, just generally being and working smarter. I had a brief visit of going all in with OneNote - microsoft intergration, great for screenshots of slides etc. - but then I looked at it harder and realised I don’t like it for typing and that’s where a lot of my time goes. I’ve been using Logseq since February 2022 at work and it is my go to for recording notes during meetings. Although now I just remembered some meeting notes I took on my iPad (as easier to take to an offsite meeting) which haven’t come into logseq yet. I think I should tidy it up, and create myself a little bit of a work process.

I’m quite good at capturing information, but I’m not good with managing it. I need something simple, that I don’t need to think too hard about, and isn’t an ordeal to manage and organise. I also need to make myself some time each day/week to look after it as it’ll never get done. I should try and incorproate it with something useful for work, e.g. my weekly updates for my boss. I’m a sucker for complex systems that appear really clever, and even if I do all the setup, I never use them and it falls apart. The core of my system has to revolve around the daily note entry, as this is what shows up in Logseq first and then I just start typing. I think using tags against headings is what I’ll do but I need to decide upon those tags first, at least the main ones, as otherwise I just make up a load of random tags which are often for the same thing but I can’t remember. I think a cheatsheet for myself in the side bar would be useful too. I’ll have to play about with somethings this week and see if I can get a starter arrangement going.

I had wondered about making my own static blog for work, which I just generate locally and look at. Not quite sure why but I like the idea of it. Maybe as a work journal? with VS Code is pretty amazing…I should make use of this more. Particularly as you can install extensions as well.

I keep thinking about combining daily notes and my main blog, but I like this domain name, CSS style and the psuedo-anonymity of it.

Saturday, 16th December, 2023

December entries are looking pretty sparce. I thought I was doing quite well, but maybe that was just November.

I’d forgotten about, it’s just VS code and that means my snippet for the frontmatter works in it. I have to go F1, snippets, newday via the menu. So this makes it very easy to write anywhere on any device (well large not mobile).

The Apple store was pushing trade-in value a lot. I heard the lady in front of me get it and me too. The whole casual chat was phishing for info on what phone I had and upgrades. Or maybe it’s an easy topic of conversation when you’re in the Apple store at the Genius bar. Holding the SE again, vs my 13 pro, does remind me of how nice a small phone is. Although I do like my 13. I’ve also got used to FaceID and find TouchID such a hassle!

I installed some custom firmware on my 3DS. It’s been sat on a shelf for ages and I saw that the eshop had closed (a while ago), and so now there is literally no way of getting some games. Maybe you can get them used, but prices are insane and that money doesn’t go to the developer anyway…so therefore it’s not stealing? The app hshop is incredible. It’s a new eshop but with everything ever from all the regions, and virtual console (so old gameboy games), and DSiWare, and all sorts. I’m never going to play any of them but it’s nice to have.

I bought Animal Crossing from the eshop…10 years ago or whenever…and you can still download it from Nintendo even though the eshop has closed but it’s only a matter of time before you won’t be able to. All the more reason to buy phyiscal media (other than the hassle of making backups…)

Been playing the new Zelda on the Switch. It’s a very relaxing and enjoyable game, I should do it more often vs. sitting on the computer looking at rubbish online.

Was in Costco today just looking around. Looked at TVs - also looked in Currys (electrical retailer) the other day. I don’t know how anyone can buy a TV in these places. There’s just no information about the TV other than size, price and maybe if it’s 4K. I’m probably not the target audience, and it’s more for people who go “oh a 75” 4K TV for 999, that seems good value, let’s buy it”. I would like to get a TV from a store so I don’t have to pay for shipping or wait around all day for it…as they’re never going to leave it on the porch if I’m out. At best, I can find a deal online and then collect in store, but often the best deals aren’t available in store, either at all or they immediately sell out.

Also can’t decide what I want…either top spec TV, like a Samsung OLED S90C, or just a decent but cheap 50-55” 4K LED screen to replace the 16 year old one we have in the play room.

I eyed the macbooks in Costco too. I’ve not seen the new Airs before, they do look nice and feel nice…The boys said we need another laptop so that the three of them can all play online games together. I don’t disagree with buying more computers. Although for the kids a used ThinkPad is more appropriate, to withstand their grubbiness. I’d like an old ThinkPad with the 7 row keyboard, like a T420 or X220, install some random OS (OpenBSD?) and DE/window manager on and just use it for writing. Although the random OS and WM will mean more fiddling and no writing. The only thing with those models is that the screens are horrendous.

Now I want to get a X220 and do all these mods.

Tuesday, 12th December, 2023

This is an interesting article’s HN discussion thread, about after hours work and productivity.

Absolutely with the optics and what people think. Working from home, being in early vs. later. Also, all these people who wake up at 10 am. Wow.

I caught myself thinking that I used to be good at my job and I used to be important/impactful/meaningful etc. I still look back on a part of my life/career and think that was the best. Well only best part of my career, not my life. Why couldn’t I be that now?

I then answered myself “because I don’t care”. I get my work done, I could do lots more things, but I have no motivation to do so. Why bother? One motivation could be to have more money, which I generally only want so I can stop working sooner. This is still a good reason but seems contradictory. The top earners are all obsessed with work, or work all the time, and I don’t want to do that. Sometimes I think that I’ve reached my top and now I just continue from here at this level, but that’s also depressing. No-one is going to do anything for me though, and I have to do it myself. But then I’m back to “why bother?”. I should try and find something that I like and do more of that. I’m friendly with the IT and data people, I could easily insert myself there more and do more things that I like doing. Maybe some deeper, private introspection is needed…

Also go to bed earlier so I’m not tired.

Tried Apple Journal. It’s fine, I quite like how it brings up things you’ve been doing on your phone or people you called as prompts. However, it’s no DayOne, so probably just skip it for now. It’s one step away from asking me to journal about my feelings whilst I journaled previously.

Probably you’ve seen this but I like this headline if nothing else.

Monday, 11th December, 2023

I managed to faint in a first aid course today. How ironic.

Been writing some Christmas cards on the bureau. It’s both enjoyable and convenient. My wife was writing some and then can just close it up when it’s time to do something else, and I just right on continued afterwards. Whereas anywhere else in the house, all this stuff would need to be tidied away first. Plus all the bits and bobs are in the cubbies here, for when I want to make an effort with someone’s card. What it really needs is a nice way to print a little photo…so I could pop that in that card as well.

The HP Tango X is still going and is fine. THe subscription isn’t too much and it makes it easy for the kids to print stuff for homework or fun. It pretty much always works and I don’t need to worry about ink. It shows up and I put it on the shelf above the printer. Whilst it can do photos, and I still get free ones from the app, I don’t use it as I have to change paper. Such a lame excuse but that’s the reason. Also I don’t have a good system and so when I’m writing a Christmas card to Great Auntie so-and-so and think it would be nice to put in a recent photo of the four kids, I’m then stuck with actually finding one. I’ve not tried searching for multiple people in photos, but it makes me think I should add a tag or something as it’s a common look that people want.

I do keep thinking I should just get a mac and sort my photos in Then I could be on my ipad at the bureau, filter and search for what I want, and print it. Assuming I can be bothered to change the paper….unless I get another printer

I suppose there’s instax style printers, but they’re a little too much per page for my liking, plus do I want more compromised printers? Instax pictures would be a good size to put in a Christmas card though.

If I want to get back into the habit of writing letters and sending photos then maybe another printer…no, don’t be so ridiculous…move the paper somewhere easy and just print things out. I am going to go look at that little Canon printer Jack got somewhat recently…just to confirm how I shouldn’t get another…😅 (Canon SELPHY CP1500 btw)

My aunt (who is just a family friend not a real aunt…for the record) often sends very, very long text messages to catch up. I usually reply (about 5 days later) with a not so long text message. She did end her last message with “maybe we should write letters instead of these messages”. I did think “yes! Absolutely” but have yet to do anything.

I never bought the Lightroom annual sub in BF sales. It sat in my amazon basket all weekend and then the sale was over. Guess I’m not using Lightroom anymore. I can still see my pictures in it, and do some stuff, but I can’t search and that’s the most useful part.

Speaking of photos, I’ve been thinking about my photos website. I took it all down and have yet to put anything in its place. I should install tinylytics to see if people actually visit it. I sort of don’t want to bother, but I also feel like I can’t give up that domain. I recently remembered Piwigo. Which I used to pay for as my photos site. It was quite good value, as it was “unlimited” storage. Don’t think I really used that much space on it, and am now wondering if I should just host it myself, and then it can just sit forever for free. We mostly use Apple Photo Stream these days, so not sure I need a photos site for my family. Perhaps I could use it for my own stuff…but I don’t take pictures that aren’t family and friends. I had thought about just making it for film photos I’ve taken, but meh.

Thursday, 7th December, 2023

Wrote a blog post about my first year in amateur radio. Starting it at 10:30 at night probably wasn’t a good idea. I tried to capture a bit about what I want to do in year 2 and the general theme was trying to pace myself and make time for other things.

Try not to get carried away and want to buy loads of stuff, use what I have, make things from scratch - which will take longer but be part of the fun too.

Be nice to get back to some other things, like film photography, or even just more digital.

Daughter’s homework was using the micro.bit and making a program. Conveniently, I have a microbit in my box of random SBC and so she could load her program on it! I left her to it when kids took the boys to football, so hopefully she got it all working. They have a good website where you can write the programs in a scratch like interface, it generates a hex file and you just drop it on the folder that pops up when you plug it into the computer. It even has Bluetooth and tablet apps which makes it very accessible.

Perhaps I should print a box for the bit!

I’m keen to do some electronics projects. I did buy a strip of LEDs that you can program with WLED. They arrived today from Aliexpress. Not sure what I’m going to do, but I’ll play about with it for fun and maybe one of the kids will like it and want it in their room or something. There’s always Christmas related lighting. I think it can react to audio, but not sure exactly how that works.

Also want to print a frame for my eink display and finally set something up on that…after owning it for 2 or 3 years…!

Last night I watched a documentary on the making of Eve Online. A space MMO that I used to play 10+ years ago. It’s an incredible game, not because of the game itself but because of the community who play it. Thought about writing a blog post on my memories of playing it. The documentary talked about how there are so many stories that will never be told from the game and it made me think that I should tell mine. Or at least the parts I can remember. I first started playing it in 2004, just a few months after it was released. I’ve not played it in 10+ years now and probably will never play it again but I’ll remember the experience forever.

Would I like to relive it? Maybe, but it was also my life at the time and I’ve changed and so I don’t think it would be the same.

This was when I was meant to be deciding on Christmas presents for my family and maybe/hopefully ordering some things online. However, I did nothing. I really should do it this weekend at the latest. 😬

I like buying people gifts but I don’t like the time pressure of Christmas.

At the boys football. It’s about 25 6 year old boys, and a couple of girls, and 5 dads coaching. It’s bordering on absolute chaos. But they like it.

Tuesday, 5th December, 2023

Seems like there are so many things to do, and no time to do them all in. Then the evening comes around and I do none of them.

Did start the most recent Zelda game on the switch. It’s nice playing a game like that, there’s a story but also you can just walk around and find and do things. It feels good for me not to do nothing on the internet in the evening. I should try couch gaming more often.

I should’ve walked down the road with the wheelbarrow and got some grit to spread on our road and drive. The ice has been terrible in the mornings. Strangely even worse when it’s about 3-5 degC. However, I didn’t and now it’s 10:30pm at night.

The electrician bodged his job and managed to drill a huge hole through the main banister post on the stair case. “I don’t seem to be able to get through this wall”. I then point out the hole. “Oh…must’ve measured it wrong”. Great…

Supposedly he’s going to get someone to fix it. Which is fine, but it’ll still look worse.

Also when he was hammering and drilling in the garage, the vibrations knocked my camera off the shelf. Not only did it fall and get a big gouge in it (still seems to work okay though) but it fell on top of a family vase I’d moved “out of the way” and broke a chunk of that. I’ve glued it back together, although I couldn’t find a small piece. Wife hasn’t seen that yet, and didn’t want to bring it up given the whole hole situation as well.

Still wish I’d gone with the other guy…even though he could’ve made some mistakes too.

Youngest was ill today so I was at home with her. Felt like I’ve not done any work in ages (multiple all day workshop things, Christmas party, a day off…) and it’s all piling up.

I really need to figure out Christmas presents for my family too…it’ll soon be mid-December at this rate.

General feeling of overwhelmness. I should go to bed and start a new day tomorrow.

Saturday, 2nd December, 2023

Setup my new to me iPhone 13 Pro. First time with Face ID and no home button. Probably take me a while to figure out the new gestures etc. couldn’t turn it off without going into the settings… 😅

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