2024 Entries


Sunday, 3rd March, 2024

The raspberry pi newsletter informed me the very first rpi came out 12 years ago on Thursday just gone. I had one of those very first rpis. They sold 10,000 in the first batch and I was waiting on the website to buy one. I sold it a while ago as I upgraded but I probably should’ve kept it as part of internet history. Although to do what? Sit in a drawer and probably do nothing?

Can’t decide about this KX2. It’s a lovely radio, perfectly designed and capable, ideal for traveling and portable out and about. It, a bit of wire and a light telescopic pole and you can get on the air anywhere.

It’s like a GRIII with a 35mm lens 😅 but it’s pricey. I have a portable radio I can take with me, but it’s like a D850. I can bring it, it is more capable but it and the extra stuff aren’t small.

I’ve told myself I’ll watch the eBay auction first then maybe offer on the forum one. But I haven’t decided what price would make me bid or what to offer - I also doubt they’ll budge much from their listing price given the rarity of the item. Maybe if it sits in the forum for 3 weeks they might but it’s not even been 3 days yet.

Maybe in Thursday, I should take my D850 up the “mountain” and see how it is. The battery arrangement is the biggest issue. I have a whacking great golf buggy LiFePO4 battery, which is great if you drive or I’m in the garden and I’ve parts of LiPo battery which I was going to make my own but never got round to it. Nowhere in the U.K. sells them and nowhere else ships here.

Saturday, 2nd March, 2024

Went outside this morning to put out some rubbish. Was a light drizzle but the air felt so fresh and envigorating. Made me want to go up a mountain and feel the satisfaction of a day in nature and hard work climbing it.

Dad is coming to visit today. Better tidy up…

Like buses, another KX2 has shown up on the second hand forums. This one has a tuner and nice box and things. It does come with a signal link box for digital modes that I’m not really interested in. I suspect they won’t really want to sell it without that but I could always sell it on myself. It’s just a bit pricey… £1350. A new one from Switzerland is likely around £1500 and doesn’t have the case and bits. Think I’ll see how much the eBay one, without a tuner, goes for. It’s already at £620 and there are still 3 days left. I suspect that these are the current prices as supply is so low and demand is high.

I did end up offering for a 2m/70cm FM radio, a Kenwood V71A, that I saw on the forums as well. Not sure how much I’ll use it but seems like a sensible thing to have a decent 2m/70cm FM for local / satellites, that’s not a handheld, for sitting in my shack. Will just need to setup the antenna for it…

I love haribo sweets, and eat too many. Yesterday I bought a packet at lunch time but they repeated horribly on me all day. Like drinking very cheap, off brand orange juice, so acidic and artificial. Made me think that I should stop eating them. I’ll have to find something else to substitute as not sure I can just go cold turkey on them.

Thursday, 29th February, 2024

Leap! 🐸

I played about with Quarto to see if I could make interactive plots with python. Seems like you can only really do it with ObervableJS, aka javascript. That’s a shame, but if I thought about it not surprising. There is pyscript which lets you run python in the browser. Maybe not too hard to learn as I only really want a small subset of things, I just worry about writing formula in JS vs python. I should do some basic javascript learning, like functions, syntax etc. would be useful in lots of places. I did start from a book about…3 years ago but only got as far as chapter one then never quite got round to it again.

A portable HF radio that I’ve wanted to get has shown up on ebay today. Elecraft KX2. It doesn’t come with an internal tuner, but you can buy those separately and fit them yourself. The KX2s have been in production shortage since COVID and have still to recover. I presume it must use some component that is now not a mainstream one following manufacturing getting back in operation? Not sure. If I order new it’s 16 week wait from the US. Also the UK importers have stopped stocking them so I’ll have to import from the US or EU, so no doubt at great expense. So seeing one used for sale is rare. The last one I saw was on the forums last summer. In fact someone I met on the radio matrix chat is the guy that bought it. It came with all the bells and whistles and he paid £900 for it. The one on ebay is already at £510 and it doesn’t finish until Monday. I think a fair price for it is £700 but I bet it goes for way more as so many people are wanting one. I’m nto sure how much importing a new one will be, perhaps £1500? Although I should work out how much all the bits I’d want as well will be and is it really that much cheaper than just getting a new one from Switzerland. Plus it would have the newest design and bigger battery and all sorts. I’ll see what its price is on Monday afternoon and decide.

Wednesday, 28th February, 2024

My wife dug out her senior school maths notes on advanced higher mechanics from over 20 years ago. She’s getting ready to teach advanced higher mechanics come next term and wanted to get up to speed again with it. So far she’s just been teaching “dumb” maths which requires no thought when kids ask questions. Stuff like volume, area, simple angles etc., but now it’s going to be a bit harder and needs some thought ahead of time. Anyway, her notes are in immaculate condition for paper and handwritten stuff. Puts my shoddy internet wiki to shame.

As part of teacher’s continuous development, she’s getting some courses on website making. Some of the maths teachers maintain google sites of materials. I immediately jumped in and shouted “I’ll help you make a site!”. Probably I need to calm down a bit. However, I think quarto would be great to do it - static site, but also with the ability to have interactivity, so sliders to change angles and speeds and whatever so people can see the changes. I might work on an example page with some stuff.

I’m excited to make a student resources page on mechanics maths. Give me soemthing productive to do, an excuse to play with python and quarto some more too.

Although right now a friend and I are playing Factorio and optimising manufacturing. It’s a bit like work but in the evening. A bus man’s holiday as my mum would say.

Had to upgrade iCloud storage to 200GB. Probably could’ve deleted some photos to keep within the 50GB but also can’t be bothered. I think putting all my photos into iCloud then later removing them as confused its tiny brain. I have loads of empty albums or worse, albums with one photo in it, even though I chose to delete them all. I’d like to go back to it one day but not sure I want yet another subscription.

Tuesday, 27th February, 2024

I like how Outlook email reports messages from Microsoft as junk 😅.

I’ve been generally feeling fine about work. Nothing bad, maybe nothing good, but we had a management meeting today and after that I was mad. Not quite sure why as it was a pretty benign meeting. I have a txt file on simplenote or some app that I’ve used as my work rant place. I try to avoid reading the historical entries but it stops me endlessly thinking about pointless stuff.

Can’t decide on the part time working idea. Wife is supportive but she did point out the days off are short. The kids are at school 9-3, so I’d really only have 6 hours that day for myself. I’d still enjoy that time and having it every week would be good, plus I like picking the kids up from school and seeing them before I get home at 5pm feeling tired and trying not to be too grumpy. I wondered if there was some half way option of just taking extra holidays to see how it went.

I have to do school pick up next Thursday, so I’m going to take the whole day off. That’ll be a whole day alone to do what I want. A taster of what it could be like. The problem with a one-off is that it’s not really representative, but still. I should plan a little otherwise I’ll sit on the computer until school pick up and do nothing. I wonder what the weather is…supposedly sunny, but we’re too far away to believe that. There’s always the go up a “mountain” and play radio. Might be safer doing a dummy run in the back garden first though.

I don’t forget. I just remember later. – Dave Rogers

Monday, 26th February, 2024

Watching the tinderbox meet up on blogging.

The refurb T480 arrived today. It’s very clean and looks nice. I think they replaced the keyboard as it has slightly different key markings and I think that means it’s not a legit one. I also think it’s not legit as the trackpoint doesn’t work, which is really annoying. I could get away without the trackpoint but it also means the buttons don’t work and I quite often use the trackpad but with the buttons.

I went on a wild internet goose-chase trying to find a solution and so far there’s nothing. I can’t tell if it’s software, firmware, or hardware. I’ve tried the Windows firmware and then Lenovo firmware but makes no difference. The best link details manually installing the firmware but that doesn’t work for me. I’ll keep going, maybe I’ll try disconnecting the keyboard and reconnecting it?

It might not matter as I could use it as my docked laptop for the radio or second setup at home. However, it bothers me. I could try linux on it just to see if it’s windows. Probably a live CD (USB) would be fine, or maybe just drop debian on it.

I could send it back, but it was quite good value with an eBay promo.

If I do keep it, and the trackpoint doesn’t work (and I don’t want to buy a replacement keyboard), is that I need to figure out the combination of the thinkpads and uses. There’s one for my wife (has to be Windows), then another Windows one for minecraft, then one for the radio which I think should be Linux. I was going to go with the oldest for me, the newest (in generation) for Minecraft, then this one I just got for my wife. Not sure if the trackpoint buttons will be annoying for her too.

Snore. 😴

Sunday, 25th February, 2024

I’ve always like the idea of a single speed bike. So simple. Painful if you’ve a hill to negotiate though. I suspect there’s a metaphor there somewhere.

I saw an old Kenwood microphone that I’ve been looking out for come up on eBay for not too much. It was still £80. It looks lovely and I notionally had the idea of using it with this mini wyse pc I have to connect to some of the digital ham networks. The thing is, I’m never going to speak to anyone on it. There are some local area groups which would be fun to join in and maybe get to know people but…I’m not that bothered.

Building it and the setup is fun, using it…meh. (Like building a new blog in tinderbox but then never writing anything 👀)

So I shouldn’t buy it. Was bad enough buying the computer and bits. They were cheap though, and I could reuse it for other stuff, but still I’m not using it at all.

Maybe something for the eBay sale promo.

I did turn on the radio today. Didn’t make any contacts, wasn’t a shortage, just ended up not having enough time. I know it’s obvious, but having the radio in the garage isn’t very conducive for using it outside of the warmer months. I thought I wouldn’t mind but I do. Not that there’s anywhere else it could go. There’s already too many things in the office plus noone wants me shouting to some Italian whilst they’re using the computer.

Friday, 23rd February, 2024

I just activated a promo to have free ebay listings until late April. That’s crazy…free sellers fees in the biggest market place! I need to sell some stuff. But what?

  • Computers to then upgrade?
  • Cameras to then upgrade?
  • Junk that I never use 👈clearly this, but there are times when I sell stuff then later wish I hadn’t…

I could consolidate everything down, e.g. sell all my cameras and lenses and just go with X100VI, I could sell all my computers and just have a mac ,

I picked up Legends II book, a collection of short fantasy stories by Robin Hobb, George RR Martin, Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Neil Gaiman and several others for £5 on abebooks or somewhere online. It’s a little tatty and smells like it’s been in warehouse for a while but it looks good.

Thursday, 22nd February, 2024

Phone for the kids birthday. Downhill from here? 😅 she’s already asked to install the YouTube app, which I’ve said no too…it’s not like she doesn’t have access to all the other devices in the house.

Think I overdosed on reading the previous series as I’ve only read about 5 pages over the past week of my new book. It seems good, but I feel like I want a break from reading. I think it’s also breaking into a new book after reading the same thing for over a year.

Used my iPad in an offsite meeting today to make notes. Definitely prefer it to the idea of using a handwritten remarkable (or equivalent) device. Plus then I can transplant the text into my logseq for future reference.

My RAM sticks arrived for the laptops. £16 per stick of 16GB seemed like a good deal. Now they’ll all have 24GB.

Debated signing up to Lightroom last night. I have some photos from the party at the weekend and they could do with a bit of editing. They’re all of indoors and low light so some processing and colour adjustments would go a long way. Apart from the black and white ones, the Acros straight out of camera looks great.

Thought about just signing up for a month, processing a bunch of photos and then leaving again. Did look at educators discount which my wife is eligible for. Adobe only has the full package - good discount but I don’t need premiere pro and whatever else. Capture one has a discount too, but not sure if a teacher qualifies. It’s also for a year’s subscription.

There’s always open source programmes 👀

Not sure I’ve set the parent controls correctly 😅

Work has approved a training course which is where my mum lives and in the school holidays so no issues with child care. So that will work out nicely.

Tuesday, 20th February, 2024

I saw two Remarkable tablets in the wild today! They’re so thin. Although I did think they might be too large for me. I can see being larger is better for writing on but for carrying around I’m not sure. I also think I wouldn’t really use it. I like taking notes using a keyboard, because I’m faster and it’s readable afterwards. For me, I’d rather use an iPad with the smart keyboard and 1Writer or something to make notes. Logseq would be good if I could get it to sync to my work notes. Work I can only use OneDrive, and iPad I can only use iCloud…I could try git but it’s more prone to messing things up if I’m not diligent with commits.

Friend and I have started playing Factorio again. I’ve setup a server at home, and installed the Space Exploration mod, which the website says it’ll add another 1,000 hours gameplay 😅 Possibly we’ll get bored before then, but it’s a fun game to play together whilst chatting. Keeps me from debating if I should sell all my camera gear and just get a X100VI. What a terrible name.

Monday, 19th February, 2024

An interesting article about raising children in the advent of revolutionary AI. I found the chart on happiness reaches a minimum at age 50 interesting. The article links to another one, where it talks about trying to enjoy life now, and not when xyz happens in the future. This is interesting as I’ve been thinking about work and life and have been debating about part time work, going down to 4 days a week. 3 would be ideal but that’s too much of a pay cut and not sure about flexibility at work on that. I need to do some financial calcs, and test with HR would would be impacted (in case there are things I don’t know), plus can I go back to full time if I wanted. The intent being to enjoy more time now, for myself, with the kids, and not just be on the long clock to retirement. I think having time for myself during the week, will make me more appreciative of the family at the weekend. There are risks that I just spend the day faffing on the computer and do nothing and maybe that’s okay sometimes but otherwise be more organised and plan things out. Do I take the day when my wife is off or should we be offset?

Sunday, 18th February, 2024

A busy weekend, now back home and tired. Not a moment on the computer the whole time!

Bought a T480 off eBay…was 25% off and seemed like a good deal for £150. Making some best offers on 16GB sticks of RAM to upgrade all the thinkpads to 24GB. Windows 11 with 8GB just doesn’t work, unless you don’t want to open anything. It’s terrible but there you go. Probably have two windows machines - minecraft and one for wife to use for swim coaching and work and stuff - and then the other can be my linux/ham radio computer. Think that works out well.

I realise I have a collection of mini PCs under my monitor…a Dell Wyse for some digital ham radio thing I never did, a Intel N100 with dual NIC for making a router (that I might never do), and a G4 Mac mini which I installed a SSD, more RAM and the latest version of Tiger, but have not used since. I think I should install Leopard (?) as then more software will work, however, I need to find a copy of it or a DVD writer as I do have an ISO image. I wonder if my pre-built servers have DVDRs in them, they have some optical drive…not plugged in but that could be remedied. Although buying a USB one, using it and returning it 🙄 would be the easiest option!

Friday, 16th February, 2024

After looking for a new series to read I found a short story by Robin Hobb that’s from the series. It is a tale that’s referred to in the books a few times but now an actual story. Unlike the rest of the series, this one is only about 2.5 hours of reading vs. 16+ hours.

SIM card for daughter’s phone arrived today so I started setting it up. Weirdly it wouldn’t make a new iCloud account if I used her phone 2FA but my one. Anyway got past that. The parental controls are many and detailed. Not really sure I’ve got it right but I’m sure I’ll soon be told.

Had to pick up one boy early from school today as he is ill, and then the little one came home with terrible conjunctivitis. We’re meant to be away this weekend for a family party. It did cross my mind that maybe I’d have to stay home with them and the others go to it. Probably I’m just tired, but that does seem appealing. 🤫

Was noticeably milder this morning and was boiled in my cycle stuff when I got to work.

Used DeDRM from GitHub in Calibre to convert some of my kindle books to epubs. Notionally for when I get a kobo. Seems like everyone is using kepub, but I’ve yet to look at what they do.

I should go to bed early as someone is going to be up in the night coughing or crying, and tomorrow night isn’t likely to be a good one.

Thursday, 15th February, 2024

Well last night ended up being my 2am reading to finish my book. I couldn’t have gone to sleep even if I wanted to anyway.

It was the ending that was most befitting.

Need to reset my kindle though as it keeps playing up and closing the book and telling me to redownload it.

Wednesday, 14th February, 2024

Seems like I went through my 600th post a few days back.

Next week will be 10 years since we first went to California…end of this year will be 5 years since we moved back to Scotland. I just spend an hour on LinkedIn looking at what everyone I knew over there is doing now. Several people I’d forgotten about until I started looking and then I remembered many more. Nostalgia level 100. I do miss those days, absolutely the highlight of my career, hopefully so far but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was ever. I do miss working at a company with so many good people, and I miss the opportunities there were. I do like that we moved back and are settled, we live a 5 minute walk from school and the kids will grow up here. The UK feels like it’s going downhill, but maybe many countries think that of themselves these days, and perhaps they all are. The world is becoming more and more divided, systems and tools and processes and laws accelerating towards some unknown point.

As great as it was, our time could never have lasted forever. Change was always coming, and we picked as much certainty as we could.

It’s nice seeing all the youngsters in my old team doing well for themselves. I have my DayOne journal from home life, but maybe I should make myself a work journal. Not of the boring work I do, but of the people and moments together. I spend so much time with people at work. I should write down the fun stories of work there. Now new people joining our company have no possibility of doing what I did (not with our company anyway) so to tell them of stories of far off places, that seem to surreal and different would be fun for all.

Or do I turn into the old man who lives in the past and how great things were and what hope is there now. I have a timeline in my head of when I want to stop working, but maybe it’s completely unrealistic, and when I think how old the youngest will be then, it definitely seems unrealistic. But maybe I should be planning towards something that’s inspiring and motivational to do, and the years of saving will remove the worry of having enough money. Although I reckon I could fill my days pretty easily for many years before I got bored…

I found one lady who was quite a senior manager, who was laid off a couple of years ago as, and I’m guessing, she was quite outspoken and didn’t get on well with her manager, and now she’s working/volunteering at the air ambulance service. She has a PhD in geology and worked all over the world. Now I suspect she does something fulfilling with joy.

It’s never too late though…right?

Tuesday, 13th February, 2024

The Smart Keyboard for my ipad is becoming very temperamental, which is disappointing. Hopefully it’s just poor connections and I’ll improve the situation if I clean the contacts a bit.

My book, Assassin’s Fate, is getting a bit better. Finally something good is happening after all the build up. There’s hits of a bitter sweet ending but maybe it won’t end that way. I’m just sitting on the sofa in the kitchen reading this evening. Not something I’d normally do, but it’s enjoyable and requires no decisions.

But what will I read next?

Now my problem is that it’s 10:30pm and my kindle says I have 4 hours left to read but it’s at the utmost critical point, I fear I will read until 2am…😴

Monday, 12th February, 2024

I stayed up way too late reading my book last night. I’m on the last book of the entire series and I don’t like it as much as the rest. I can’t decide if it’s becuase I just want to be done now or if she’s trying too hard to make it an epic ending. Or it’s about a small girl, who reminds me of my daughter and she gets treated badly. I feel there is more violence than her other books. They still had fighting and things but not as bad? It feels forced in many ways, and things do or don’t happen which is too convenient for the storyline. I’m about half way through, but probably a good 10 hours of reading left. I can’t just stop and give up on it, or put it down and choose something else.

Been writing a blog post I’ve had in my head for a long time. It’s going to take me a while to write it though. Especially when I get distracted with the content and go off and not write anything.

I just seem unable to write blog posts that aren’t 1000 words minimum! Probably there are some which aren’t that but none are really short. I guess that’s why I never write anything as it’s always too much.

Sunday, 11th February, 2024

Well I migrated my other site to quarto. Was pretty easy, just had to change the meta data from tags to categories, and summary to subtitle, then configure the home page and settings. Can’t decide between the grid layout I currently have or the one they call default, which has wider tiles with the picture in the side. Perhaps if I wrote a description for each blog post that would be a better one as there’s space for it. Generally the layout and design is nice enough, I can tweak CSS settings if I wish, it’s all bootstrap and you just apply the SCSS overrides in a custom file.

There’s the ability to add comments either GitHub based as issues (utterances) or discussion (glances) or the cool but maybe overwhelming hypothes.is. Still not sure if I want any or which I’d prefer. Probably one of the GitHub based ones, if any at all.

I like the table view, seen on the notes page, which is completely customisable via the yaml config and lets you pull in metadata from posts (or any collection). Thinking of doing one for books read with more info like rating, words, series etc.

You can also insert code anywhere and it’ll run. To render things in the site or completely unrelated, pull data, calculate stuff, whatever, bit like what I think org-mode is like (not that I’ve really used it).

As it’s academic/data sciencey focused there’s a lot of functionality around dashboards, interactivity, writing books, and generally a lot of authoring tools. Not scratched the surface on those yet but could be fun to make some interactive pages.

It also includes date ordinals out of the box, so if nothing else, that’s a reason for switching!

Will I write anything in it though? ..maybe one or two things a month…

I need to stop looking at /r/mechanicalpencils😅 people there with crazy collections. Saw a post of all colours of rotring 600. I was thinking of getting one of them but now that I’ve seen these special edition colours I want one! Of course they’re only available in Japan, or were, so now it’s eBay and $100 for a pencil. I should be immediately closing these tabs but I still linger on it. Why 🤦

Saturday, 10th February, 2024

I started looking for a blog engine for my secret finance reporting site and I remembered about fastpages by https://fast.ai. Turns out they’ve archived the project in favour of Quarto. I’m now thinking of using that for my main blog. It does lots of things and is clear and easy to read. It’s not unique or quirky but functional and understandable. I think for a more regular site that’s a good thing. I don’t like my Hugo one so it’ll do for now anyway. But I still get the nagging feeling that I won’t write in it anyway. Although that’s nothing new, so shouldn’t stop me migrating 😅

I did think up a nice way to use it for notes or books and other things so maybe that’ll be good.

Friday, 9th February, 2024

I must’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed or something because I’m a misery guts this morning. Don’t want to go to work, but don’t want to do anything else. I saw a job I thought about applying to but why, and then too much introspection on my current job. I don’t want to cycle to work as it’s blowing a gale and sort of raining but I think the coldness and exercise might break my mood.

Gave my team their performance feedback, they all took it gracefully, unlike me. Or maybe they just hid it well, or I’m too self-absorbed to notice.

Trying hard not to just buy things. After doing all of 2023’s transactions I’ve not done anything since about the 10th Jan, so I should catch up January at least. Feels like I’ve not bought anything but we shall see.

Thought about working at home today, but I have one meeting with visitors who are coming to the office and I’d probably just spend the whole day looking at crap on the internet.

Grump grump. Moan moan. ⛈️

I updated all my accounts in hledger. One account doesn’t balance but I can’t be bothered to figure it out. I also updated the table of transaction in Google Sheets and then immediately enjoyed the auot updating of the monthly summary table using the query function. I think this is the way I want to go. I also decided I should write myself up a note about January’s state of affairs. This led me to look at the top transaction, exceptions, what it would’ve been without those exceptions and how they compared to the average of 2023. I quite like that. I wrote it as a private note in my tiddlywiki…hmm that wasn’t great. Think I’d rather just write it up in VS Code or some other text editor. Makes me wonder about private notes now…Possibly just a git repo with text files in it…although I like reading a website…perhaps I should return to dokuwiki for this. I used to do exactly this in years gone by, and had a template that filled in so I’d remember what to look up. Could make the template have the average figures of last year so I can more easily compare. Be nice not having multiple places though, so maybe I’ll just deal with TW and live with it, or find something to make it better.

Google Sheets is good for it but I’d like Excel as some things are just a little better…but I don’t want it tied to Excel.

Thought about making an anonymous blog to post my monthly summaries and updates. I started this ages ago but…and you’ll laugh…I spent ages building a new static blog and then never wrote in it. This lady’s blog reminded me of that. I like re-reading websites vs. notes in a repo, and having an invisible audience gives me some motivation to keep it up, even if no-one reads it.

Tinderbox would be the perfect place to create such a blog…plus an excuse to manipulate the data in various ways. Although that would take me even longer than spinning up a static site as I’ve long since forgotten what little I knew of tinderbox a few years ago.

brb 3 days whilst I play with quarto 🤓

Thursday, 8th February, 2024

My wife is a coach at the swim club and also does the database administration. Don’t get me started on their database and data transfer practices…let me just say the swim clubs in the whole of Scotland pay some company to maintain this Access database tool which they all use…absolutely horrendous. Anyway, she’s passing that role onto someone else and so now she won’t have the swimming laptop.

However, she organises swim meets and needs a laptop to record times and whatever. She asked if she could take one of my laptop👀 on poolside to use. (I actually only have two). They’re all thinkpad and perfectly durable, and that’s not the issue.

What I do see is an opening for…more laptops 😅 because she’ll want windows and maybe excel which only one has.

It’ll probably be another refurb thinkpad as I can’t even justify a MacBook to myself. I can justify a thinkpad and a Mac mini as the total of them is less than an air.

Very fancy, and expensive, old books that have sold.

Wednesday, 7th February, 2024

Another day where I say I should do all these things and then do nothing.

Little bit of snow again today, which was exciting. I cycled in, with my studded tyres. Glad I did as the roads were terrible and queues were massive.

Daugther has swimming training until 9pm, and I was doing some work beforehand so I could clear the decks before tomorrow. So now I’ve sat down on the computer with a cup of tea but have no idea what to do. This is the moment I should turn it off and go to bed and read. Instead I came here to write about the current situation, whilst I think of something else to do.

I just want to buy everything on the Leuchtturm website.

Tuesday, 6th February, 2024

I made myself write the blog post about the little tax calculator I’d made. Takes a while to remember all the scaffolding. I’ve also come to dislike the theme. Previously I thought about copying this one over to it but now I’m not sure. Wondering about one of those “large font” themes. Simple, bold, big lettering, mostly black and white with a colour. Feels like it won’t get old. Just not Hugo.

I have my site built by vercel and render [or renderon or something like that] (for historical reasons) and render complained of something and wouldn’t build. Vercel is my main host so I just ignored it but it’s another reminder of wanting to change engine.

A colleague at work asked me what I did last night. I thought about what I actually did and then said “nothing”.

I told myself I’d just sit and read my book this evening as if I sat down on the computer then I’d waste another evening looking at things I want to buy but don’t really need. Except I’m currently sat on the computer watching YouTube.

One of the videos was this build of a NAS from some geezer. It’s funny him calling money “nickers” and wanting to go “Jonny big bananas” with the ram.

Monday, 5th February, 2024

Last night I actually picked up a project I’ve been thinking about for a while. Trying to figure out the optimum combination of contributing to my pension and tax efficient savings outside of a pension. It’s a balance of tax now, tax later, enough money now, enough money later.

I’ve attempted it before in a spreadsheet but it’s a pain, and I can’t quite run all the sensitivities and I knew I should really do it in python and pandas etc. So that’s what I r embarked on.

I did have a minor detour of thinking about self hosting a jupyter hub instance, then Streamlit, then I was looking at it in GitHub codespaces, but in the end I settled for using Google Colab.

I made a function to calculate income tax and then compared the changes announced for Scotland. The personal allowance and higher band calculations seem strange to me. Mostly as you could do it several ways and it seem right but there’s only one way to do it. Probably it says in the tax law somewhere but seems arbitrary to me. Anyway, that took me a while to figure it out. I also wanted my function to accept a range of bands and not be a bunch of if statements but also not be some clever but unintelligible numpy matrix maths to find the answer.

I’ve got national insurance to do (tax but with a different name although you don’t pay if after…68?) Then actually get down to what I originally planned.

Needs some thought and planning before I launch into random tables of numbers.

If I pasted in the code and images of the graphs that would’ve been a blog post…

Every time I watch TV at home, I end up flicking to Apple Photos app. I then look at the pictures and remind myself of how good it would be if I had all my photos in it. Also all the B&W digital photos look much better than the colour ones, and all the film ones look the best. As I take a lot of photos inside, the colour digital end up with high ISO and I don’t think they look very good. Film is hard work…or at least feels like it. I suppose I can just pay for the development…Best I sit here and complain about it and then do nothing different.

My daughter watches YouTube, and I’m not sure I entirely approve of that. I watch youtube so I can’t be too judgemental, but I also know it’s a massive waste of time. I’ve seen that she watches Keara’s ASMR channel and without watching it I know it’s a waste of time. Today I decided to see what this girl even talks about. The first video I played she was whispering into it, tapping bottles with her nails and make chop smacking noises and I thought maybe it was some parady or some such, so I changed to another video. Nope. They’re all like that. I guess I should’ve known from the ASMR in the title. In some ways it’s nice to have a youtube video that is deliberately quiet. Do I still disapprove of this? I don’t know, but her starter noises remind me of a chameleon slowly eating a large squishy grub.

Obviously this is a whole world of youtube with other “asmrtists” having millions of subscribers.

The silver lining is I now know another thing I can do an impression of to embarrass her in true dad style. Maybe I should record a video 😅

Sunday, 4th February, 2024

I wasted the whole evening on the computer doing nothing. I seemed to have slipped back into that bad habit again. I did start playing a demo of Songs of Syx, which is a bit like Rimworld/Dwarf fortress, but after playing the very short tutorial for about 15 minutes I decided I was better off just playing either Rimworld of Dwarf Fortress given I own both of them already.

I got sucked into rabbit holes of 10+ tabs each. Somehow I was looking at mechanical pencils, and nearly buying a £30 one for no reason whatsoever. There are a lot more expensive things that i could be looking at, but still. I’m probably not going to use it, AND I already have at least two mechanical pencils already. So that was an hour.

I’ve also been looking at Kobo e-readers, because they can get books directly from the library - which is pretty neat. Also found a library in the next county that uses Overdrive, however, am I really going to use it? My wife would certainly use it as she reads loads of books from the library. In fact, maybe I should get one for her. I have so many books to read as it is, do I need the ability to read from the library as well? I’ll never use it. Plus then what happens to the kindle books I’ve bought? I guess nothing and they sit on kindle. Maybe there are hacks to get them onto the kobo. My kindle does run low on battery quite quickly but it’s not a big deal, as I’ve put a charger by my bed. When I saw quickly I mean about a week 😅. But this was another hour.

Then back to the blog arrangement. I’m back to two separate sites again. I don’t think blog posts will integrate well on here, partially as I think I’d never write any. When does an entry become a blog post? I think here should be for thinking about things and the other site for when I actually do things. So that’s decided…probably…but now what? I’m thinking of redoing the other site with 11ty, because I just don’t like Hugo. I then went down the never ending trail of themes, where they are all nice but I don’t like various parts. I should probably build it myself from scratch and use the theme from this site as a base. A perfect way to spend many hours to then write nothing more in it.

So I might go with the no menu on this site but then a full menu on the other. I don’t think this site needs a menu. Even the archives can just be a link at the bottom on the page, who’s going to be looking for things? I leave all the pages there, like search and notes but they don’t need to be obvious.

I do really need to stop doing absolutely nothing on the computer in the evening. It’s such a waste of time. Read a book, play a game, watch some TV, plan a new antenna, or just go to bed.

Saturday, 3rd February, 2024

I spent awhile last night, looking for a library that uses overdrive in the UK. Not that it works with Kindle, but if I bought a kobo e-book reader, then it could link directly, and I could borrow items from the library straight to my reader. Turns out the county beside where we live. Does it and let me sign up, even though I don’t live there now all I need is the kobo.

The good thing with most static site generators is that you can organise the blog posts in any way you like in the file storage system, and it uses the meta data to generate them in the right order. This means I can keep the journal and blog posts under the same _post directory, but then have an organised differently….if that makes sense.

For a long time I’ve considered making a Linux router to replace the consumer box I have, but I’ve never been able to justify buying another computer just for being a router, and, if I’m honest, there’s not really been anything wrong with my routers.

Currently, I have a Eero 6 Pro (I think, something like that anyway) which my ISP gave me. I bought another to extend the wifi. They’re Amazon products, although you get to choose if you want to sign in with Amazon and link it with your account (I’ve not). It’s all managed via an app on your phone. There’s no web interface like most routers. Think it also has some special ISP code for diagnostics.

I do like making settings changes via the app, and I can do it anywhere. As long as what you want is in the app it’s fine, but there’s no secret console or anything for running your own commands etc. Eero also sells security stuff, although mine seems to be included by my ISP.

I used to run pi-hole to block ads and whilst it’s mostly an appliance you run it can be configured and adjusted. Eero includes ad blocking as part of its security features but there are no settings or adjustments you can make.

If I ran my own router I’d get more control over the ad blocking, including the ability to block at IP level vs. DNS, so you can block ads in things that have hard coded IPs, and maybe even YouTube ads.

Well I saw a N100 intel mini pc on aliexpress for £99, is a quad core with dual nics.

I started looking up nftables the better version of iptables. Oh my, this is going to be quite the project…which may sit on the shelf for a bit…

Maybe I should leave real blog posts where they are…🤷‍♂️

Friday, 2nd February, 2024

Did a bunch of fiddling and tweaking to this site last night. Started to roll in the blog articles as a collection but then it needs a lot of work to make it work properly. i think I might just roll them into these posts and do some filtering or something to build the structure. Not quite sure what I want and will have to fiddle with it a few times to see what it looks like and how it works. It does make me consider leaving the blog where it is, but I’m enjoying just working on one site.

Got my annual performance review feedback today…I really like my boss but the system makes things much less enjoyable. I should try and focus on the feedback items and see what I can do better this year vs. grumbling and moping. Maybe next week I’ll be ready to look forward, after the weekend away from work and reminding myself what’s important, what I have and my life in general compared to so many others.

Maybe I’ll finally work on getting a proper nav section setup on this site…that or just delete the single lnik there is and have nothing! I might go for the nothing option if I don’t merge the blog in and it’s just daily notes, although I quite like the design with it in…so in conclusion…I don’t know. Actually, I’m still for the single site and having a better nav option. It’s just a bit more effort to implement than fiddling with fonts and colours.

Found a wallet on the way to work this morning. Was lying in the middle of the road and was soaking wet, so must’ve been there overnight. Had a drivers licence in it but the guy lives miles away. Dropped it off at the police station for them to return. Even though the police officer was just taking my details I felt like I was being interrogated. Not in a bad way, just his manner was very particular to law enforcement. Anyway, hope the guy gets it back soon but no doubt has cancelled all his cards and so on.

I opened the ipad and the website with the book word count was open, and so I started looking around it a bit more. It’s one of those blogger sites which reinforces the xkcd cartoon about blogging platforms. A solid 18 years on the same platform, soon getting up to more than one post a day, and absolutely masses of content. I like how he has his stickied post by setting the date to 2077.

My wife started watching Masters of the Air on AppleTV. I watched the first one but war shows aren’t really of interest to me. I can tell it’s very well done, and has a huge cast with over 200 speaking roles. I looked the squadron up on Wikipedia and the article was very detailed.

Thursday, 1st February, 2024

Apple Vision Pro - a computer to wear on your face. 🥽 About 6 years ago, work was testing out Microsoft Hololens, I volunteered to be a tester for it and got to use it quite a lot and we did some real work testing. Was pretty neat, especially for work site instructions where you could watch a video of someone doing something exactly on the thing you were looking at, where it would point to specific parts. Really great instructions to ensure things get done the right way, or if someone new is doing it. I have no use for one myself.

I like Staedtler Mars plastic erasers but why is it impossible to put it back in the cardboard cover!

I’ve thought about this for a while but finally got round to doing something about it…adding stats for this site. For now I’ve put them in the notes page but once I finally get round to adding more of a navigation to this site they’ll be more obvious. I found a plugin someone made and used it, but I also edited it to make the numbers nicer to read with comma delimiters. My first (and last?) time writing ruby! Possibly this was all possible with liquid syntax and iterating through the posts, but I feel like a ruby plugin would be quicker?

It showed me I’ve over 1 million characters in these daily notes!

Wednesday, 31st January, 2024

I’m not going to talk about it…but do I have anything else to talk about?

I finished the penultimate book in the fifth trilogy of Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Enderlings series. I’m about to start the final book, Assassin’s Fate. These books were written over 1995-2017, but I just found them all recently so I don’t have to wait. I can’t believe I’m on the final book though. We’ve followed the protagonist through his whole life, plus some side trilogies that then get woven in later on, and it’s been many words, supposedly the total is 4,071,000 words in all the books. It really is a lifetime and a whole world.

This site details longest books and series, and Realm of the Endlerings is number two. I’ve also read The Wheel of Time series, which is number one. However, what surprised me the most was that these are more than the discworld series, but there are 41 of those books! Surprise, surprise, I’ve read all those too. In fact, there are many series and books on this page that I’ve read. I guess there’s a theme there. My wife says “you don’t like change”.

I have a list (and a stack) of books to read which aren’t chart topping epics, but I know I’m going to pick another series from this list, and so that’ll be another 18 months gone where I just read that! Anyway, I enjoy it so what does it matter.

I’m thinking of adding more of a menu on this site, and put in some links to a few pages. E.g. book list, …er other things. Need to figure out the flexbox CSS…

A link I’d saved to my wiki no longer exists. This made me wonder about some kind of read it later/archiving setup, where I can add sites and it downloads the whole thing so I don’t lose it. However, I’m worried that I’ll just end up stockpiling a load of links and sites that I’ll never look at and then feel bad about it all. Or spend ages and ages reading all this stuff but for no purpose.

Won’t stop me from browsing self-hosted lists. That was easy, ArchiveBox is probably the answer.

Tuesday, 30th January, 2024

Was reading the Tinderbox forums today. I’m drawn to it as I can imagine myself getting obsessed and reading all the documentation and being like a Micheal Becker and constructing elaborate systems to solve problems - whether or not it’s the right thing to do. A bit like Excel, just because I can do it, doesn’t mean I should! Although I do find the UI of Tinderbox…unusual. I don’t have a mac still so it’s all academic.

Thank goodness.

Been randomly reading the archives from this site. The font size has grown on me, or maybe I’m just taken by the new background. It reminds me of the hall flooring at my nanna’s house. It was probably not like this whatsoever, but in my head it was this pattern. They moved from that house when I was about 8 or something, and I always missed it. It seemed huge to me at the time, but when I go and look at it online (it’s been for sale a few times), it doesn’t look that big. The kitchen was absolutely awful, I don’t know how my nanna cooked meals in there, let alone huge christmas dinners for umpteen people. Their house would’ve been perfect for amateur radio.

Not really done much radio recently. A week or two ago I went on the satelitte as it was the national radio centre net. I was disappointed that the actual national radio centre wasn’t on, and it was just a couple of people who volunteer there, and I already know two of them. It was during the day and I was working at home, so just said hello, then made my excuses not to have to talk again. My wife complained about the wire antenna in the garden the other night. I’d thought she’d got used to it and therefore it was fine. Turns out I was wrong about that. She said it was her skip. Which refers to the skip her dad used to keep at the house and is supposedly one of the reasons they got divorced. Perhaps I should think about taking it down, or having some alternative. I wonder if I just moved it across the garden so it wasn’t visible from the window. I know the answer is “no that doesn’t make it better”. I could get a folder one or some vertical that sits off the roof on the side of the house. I’d lose the low frequency bands, like 40m and 30m. Probably I should change things up as I’m not sure I’m going to get many new places that I haven’t spoken to already.

Also still want to do more satellite operations. Antenna for that is much less obtrusive. Also like to do EME but need more thought put into that.

Think I’d like to do more portable operation, take the radio and antenna to a forest, or hill top or beach and play with it there. That’s much more of a spring/summer activity.

What have I been doing with my time instead? Fannying around with blogs yet creating nothing. Half a mind to delete the other site and just have this as my blog and nothing else.

iCloud mail is annoying. It only seems to reliably work on Apple devices. Why a username and password would suddenly stop working when querying the imap server is beyond me but it frequently does. Also the username is abstract and illogical to me. I have no idea why my username is what it is, it bears no meaning towards my iCloud login email address. I guess it was assigned at some stage way back when I first made my apple id account? I’d move away but it’s free (Well I’m already paying for iCloud) and, even though I should stop, I use my gmail more.

I could migrate my other blog into tiddlywiki…I nearly did that just now…ugh stop this. I’m tired, go to bed. 😴

iCloud photos on windows is utter shite. Probably couldn’t expect anything more but it’s literally unusable, so why even bother making it a feature.

Sweep keyboard

I’ve not put an image on this site in ages. I don’t have this keyboard anymore. Sad story, I sold it and posted it, but it never arrived. I was cheap and didn’t insure for the full amount so I refunded the guy and lost my keyboard. It seemed like a great one to use, but really it was annoying, unless I wanted to spend ages trying to learn it and not use any other board. That was never going to happen.

Monday, 29th January, 2024

Yesterday was a write off for me, mostly just sitting around feeling rough. I thought I’d have to stay at home today, maybe not even do any work, but this morning I felt much better. Probably helped I slept until 0745. Don’t think I’m 100% better but considerably so today.

It did mean I stopped (over)thinking about the website situation. I partially can’t be bothered to make anything new, and as such will just continue with what I have. I suppose that makes the decision for me. But in the same breath of thought, I think that my dokuwiki install is already “done” and I just add words.

Been looking at bikes, to get something on the cycle to work scheme. Get a nice commuter bike with built in lights and mudguards etc. Have to update the spreadsheet to calculate what’s most efficient.

I keep looking for a new blog, the perfect website, configuration, with zero effort to write prize winning prose, and be praised by all. When, in fact, I enjoy what I have setup here on this site. The fact that I don’t care if anyone reads it, in someways I wished no-one read it (because then I’d write a lot more without worry). It’s not zero effort but it’s pretty minimal, and I’ve written a lot of entries. I’d like to divine a script to count all the words and posts. I’m not sure jekyll can do that easily, but probably a bash or python script could.

I’ve thought of making a new blog where it’s anonymous, with no domain or identifiers. A bear blog, a neocities site, something like that. Just to add stuff to. For some reason I write very little that’s entirely private, e.g. in a text file on the computer, or a journal, etc. I like the idea of people reading the anonymous site but not knowing who it is. I’ve read a few myself and enjoy reading it but never know who it is. There are some where I “know” who it is, as they put their name on the site, but I don’t know them at all, and never look them up or anything.

So what’s my conclusion?

I made the font and content box bigger. I felt like it was too hard to read, but now I’m not sure if it looks worse this way. However, I like this layout, and I might use it for my redo of my main site. I’ll add another box on the side as a sort of menu and maybe use different fonts, and colours but the overall layout is one I like. Will I continue with the 11ty stuff? I’m not sure, it does a lot of fancy things but do I need them? I suppose the image processing is nice to have.

Sunday, 28th January, 2024

Seems it’s my turn for the cold and sickness.

I remembered that ikiwiki stopped being developed in 2020. Maybe that doesn’t matter, and there are a few forks with patches, but it nags at me. If I’m worried about security, I could run the cgi part locally and then just push the static html out. Although then I might as well use something else.

I installed it, well used this container, but I think I’d rather set it up from scratch as I don’t remember things from it and I don’t know what it’s done.

I sat down in the sofa with a crisp apple and my book. Much more enjoyable than wiki/blog pointlessness.

Saturday, 27th January, 2024

Continuing with the dokuwiki experiment. Just trying to organise it a little and get things in the right place. Makes me wonder the place for daily notes and blog posts. On the wiki I’ve started off with separating them into different sections but that’s not what I want. I might as well keep two different sites. However, dokuwiki does make it easy to write posts, so then maybe I don’t need daily notes, or they can stay here. OR I just have a single blog location and then make a post which is daily chat and a post if it’s a blog post…wasn’t this whole ordeal and making a new blog not to have that? Maybe I could do something clever with name spaces. Or make a post which is called today as all my posts, currently, live under /yyyy/mm/dd/ style folder.

It’s certainly easier. But surely opening the equivalent of this page (github.dev/) is just as easy? Also tiddlywiki…also ikiwiki.

I am tempted to install ikiwiki again. It’s always been the ideal static/dynamic site combo…and existed long before the static gen craze. Probably I’ll have to install it to get over it. I did run my main site on it for quite a while. Think I’ve lost track of the various static site revisions I’ve been though. Came across a pelican build for it the other day.

I do occasionally see an ikiwiki site that’s still being updated.

I remember doing some custom CSS for ikiwiki and it wasn’t that bad. It also used markdown so that’s nice. Well it won’t be tonight as we have family over but probably tomorrow I’ll install it again. Hopefully I still have some instructions in the wiki…👀

Friday, 26th January, 2024

After deciding I would go all in with spreadsheet transaction tracking, and starting to do some today, I’m not sure that this is what I actually want to do… I find there are a few little compromises I have to take and edge cases that I’m not sure what to do with in the spreadsheet. The reality is, that these things don’t really change what I’m trying to do, and if I categorise it one way or another it won’t be material. It’s more me wanting completeness with it. I also found my 2021 efforts which had all my transactions from that year, in hledger format, and so if I continued with hledger then I could get up to 3 and counting years. Why that matters I don’t know but it seems nice.

I’m assembling a CSV of all accounts across 2023, and that’ll serve both ways, so for now I can delay the decision.

Poked about in dokuwiki last night. I do like it…I then went to bed and lay there thinking that it still wasn’t what I wanted and I should continue with the static site. Perhaps I should start from an 11ty starter kit vs. absolutely nothing, and then edit it.

Anyway, one plain text decision at a time.

Been playing in dokuwiki some more. 👀

Uh! I was meant to go to bed early, and now it’s 2320 😴

Thursday, 25th January, 2024

My friend is putting all his financial items into hledger file and using Paisa. I’d decided I’d put all mine into a Google Sheets. I’ve had one since 2010 for various money related things , mortgage tracker, pension, investments, utilities, and forecasting and it seems sensible to use it for transactions as well. However, I keep wanting to put it all into hledger.

Hledger (and friends) are all very good and I think beat programs like GNUCash and all the various apps. They are so flexible and can handle pretty much every financial situation. However, they are all backward looking and don’t make it easy to do predictions. At least for me anyway. I’m always in a spreadsheet for doing forward predictions. If I save x then that might be y by the time I’m 50 etc. Or how much tax might I pay if I make a different pension contribution. And my biggest uncertainty, is how much money should I put into a ISA such that I could be FI by 50, but ensure we have enough in the pension as well.

All I want is monthly summaries of what we spend over a decent amount of time so I can get a good average of what we might spend later on. I could still use hledger for that, and save the summary table into the spreadsheet. Which is what I’ve done the past three years.

I’ve used spreadsheets for years and years at work, so I’m very used to them, and Google Sheets just makes it easy to access anywhere. I can generally do things faster in it than a text editor. I should quit debating it and get on with the spreadsheet.

I’m going to get bored of it in a few weeks and move onto something else anyway.

I remember when I used to run dokuwiki and not be constantly looking to switch back and forth between software. I ran it for about 4-5 years, and used to put everything into it. Not masses but quite a lot of lists and notes. I also had a private section where I’d made monthly templates and would write myself a summary of the month. Covering expenses and what I’d been doing. Unfortunately one day I did the update and the wiki never came back. I probably didn’t try very hard but that resulted in the end of it and I fell out of the habit of using it and so never returned. A while later I did reinstall dokuwiki but somehow I couldn’t get back into using it again. I miss dokuwiki but I think I miss that time period more than the software. It could’ve been any software.

Not sure I want to make a new blog. It’s going to be quite a lot of effort, especially if I do everything from scratch. I suppose I can come back to it.

The Intel N100 mini PCs are really good value. Would be ideal for the radio shack PC. I was going to get a used HP/Dell/Lenovo thing from ebay but these are the same price or cheaper and faster.

Wednesday, 24th January, 2024

Using a bulk domain whois searcher I’ve determined there are three two letter .is domains available. This is interesting as .is don’t charge more for two letter domains, whereas a lot of other TLDs do as they’re “premium”.

I’m slightly annoyed I missed out on my initials by about 4 months since it was first registered (or re-reg’d if it expired).

They’re not particularly inspiring domains but they are only four letters.

But what am I going to use it for…? My own url shortening service? meh. A completely anonymous blog where I can write anything and fear nothing? I don’t need more blogs.

I just want it for the novelty, but I know I’ll pay for a year, do nothing with it, then let it expire and think that was €35 well spent…

I’d be much better off getting surname.is. I could actually use it for email, and my website and family might use it (probably won’t). Could do fun things like firstname.surname.is/gerund.

The next problem is what do I do with my current main domain? It’s quite short but it’s specific to me and whilst fine for a website, and okay for email it’s not that great. But I’ve had it ages so I should keep it. It’s generally my username in social places.

I don’t need more domains. If I were to get one then surname.is is most useful. 😶‍🌫️

Sunday, 21st January, 2024

I made a little progress with 11ty last night. I’m sure Hugo and others can do the same things but it seems quite easy to setup custom filters and functions and things. I don’t really know JavaScript but I can muddle my way through it.

Trying to figure out what I want and how best to set things up.

I like the fact I can have a markdown file with contents in it and no front matter and it’ll still work and can be used. Thinking those entries will be good for daily notes or subsets of notes. Tinkering with it to see what I could do.

Not even got into the interesting stuff it can do.

Feel like it’s going to take me a long time though, and that’s even before I get into CSS and layouts.

I’d like to build a website that utilises all the indieweb stuff. But it’s too difficult/confusing for me. Tbh this whole “build a new website” is feeling like an uphill struggle. Why am I doing this?

Saturday, 20th January, 2024

Trying to sort out the apps on my phone. They’ve gotten out of hand. Wish there was an easy way to move lots of apps about. Back in the day you could plug your phone into the computer and use iTunes to manage the Home Screen. I wonder if that’s still a thing.

I’m still old fashioned in putting apps into folders vs. hiding from the Home Screen. Quite often I will just flick down and start typing an app vs looking for it (although that’s due to the mess of home screens) so surely I’d be fine with hiding it?

11ty seems very easy to get going with, but I still have a nagging feeling that I should focus my efforts into tiddlywiki and make that site I’ve always dreamed of. The perfect integration of wiki, articles, guides, projects, and journal. My current wiki is a nodejs version of it that automatically builds a static version and removes anything tagged private. So I can visit one location for everything.

Friday, 19th January, 2024

I keep meaning to look up how to make use of apple reminders, and saw this and then looked up a video and watched this one. Using the lists with Siri in various apps is quite good.

I wonder about migrating from dynalist to Apple Reminders, or Apple Notes. Most of my dynalist lists aren’t tasks or due, more like things to remember, so perhaps notes is better? I don’t know. Book lists are better in reminders? You could use it for habits too with the daily reminder etc. I wonder if there’s someway of seeing your track record? Not that it matters as I never bother doing anything like this!

I don’t like micro.blog. I don’t hate it, but it’s not for me. Back to my hugo blog for now, until I figure out what I’m doing.

For reasons unknown, I’ve been trying to find a really short domain that is not ridiculously expensive. I think I’m about 10 years too late for that. Although my initials don’t seem to trigger the “premium” category, so there’s that. What am I going to do with this domain? No idea…my own url shortener? Yet another one to not use for my site? Or maybe it lets me have more blogs and webpages…

Thursday, 18th January, 2024

I go between wanting a site like kickscondor or whateverthefuckthisis to just a plain text website.

You know when you’ve been talking about something for days or even weeks, and then someone asks you a question about it and you realise they’ve not been understanding you at all. Well I had that at work today. Luckily I’m working at home and they didn’t see my initial reaction.

A shortcut for setting the ID is also provided. Just prefix the ID with a hash symbol:

I’d like to add paragraph anchors to my posts as maybe (rarely but still) I’d like to link back to them. I’ve been on wild goose chases across the internet 🪿🛜, looking at plugins and complex includes but ChatGPT reminded me that kramdown, the markdown processor Jekyll uses, supports paragraph headers out of the box. For example.

I’ll see what this looks like when it’s rendered and probably needs some CSS to tidy it up. The thing will be how do I automate it? The plugins etc did automatically generate the anchors but it wasn’t clear to me how I could see what they were unless I looked at the generated site. I could write a script in 1Writer or VS Code, perhaps based upon UTC time when writing.

Well that doesn’t seem to work.

Remember two days ago, where I talked about not wanting to post rubbish on my site. Well I’ve been browsing a site that does post rubbish and I’d like to repost it here. 🤷‍♂️

Okay, so the syntax {: #my-id-name} does work when I use it with the blockquote above (hint: inspect page). So what about paragraphs? Turns out you have to put it on the line below the paragraph and not inline with it. That does make sense now. I just hadn’t noticed that in the docs.

So this is interesting. I also noticed that on the home page the links to the paragraphs are relative to / so I need unique ones across all blog posts. I think my time idea is good enough for that, as long as I include the date. I don’t have automatic insertion, but I think that’s okay for now. If I want to link to something then I’ll most likely insert something myself. Some hotkey thing would be nice to sort out though, then it wouldn’t be that hard to add it to all the paragraphs.

I can also style them using p[id] in CSS. However, they’re not permalinks, so whilst I could have something to see they won’t actually be a link to it.

Wednesday, 17th January, 2024

Guy at work has a Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar, it’s pretty nice. Combo of smart watch but classic watch styling. It’s also £1000. Probably by watch standards that’s meh but to me that’s a macbook 😅 or 5+ used thinkpads 🐧

I’ve never had a smart watch, but something like that appeals to me. Although I’d need to check what it actually does or if it’s just the worst of both worlds.

Messing about with this 11ty theme. I think it would make a good photos website. The nice thing is that it also includes tinaCMS built in, plus a plugin that rejigs all the images so they’re optimised. TinaCMS gives me an admin panel, so I can just drag and drop the images and then it does all the rest. Although I can’t quite get the media part of TinaCMS to work. It says I need to sync the git repo on tinacloud, and I did but it doesn’t work, and I’m not sure what else to try.

Makes me wonder about converting this and other static sites to one of these javascript based ones. Like 11ty. As they seem to be able to do everything. Although TinaCMS should work with any static site generator. However, not sure I want to learn something else, but it might be a good way to learn some javascript, which I’ve always wanted to do…or maybe that I felt I ought to do, rather than wanted.

Cycled to work today in the snow with my snow tyres on. Quite a bit more drag but think they did make a difference. The schools were delayed opening until 10am today and tomorrow is my turn to do the school run, so half the day will be gone before I’ve even done anything.

Tuesday, 16th January, 2024

Skipped the computer this evening to clear the drive and cars of snow and to fit winter tyres to my bike. Took me until about 9pm and my arms were tired from all the snow. I always put off buying a snow shovel and use a metal one, but it’s heavy. Maybe I’ll get one now…usually we only have a couple of instances of snow through the winter, so doesn’t seem that worthwhile. Although it’s every year so it would get used.

My 2023 DayOne book arrived today. It was noticeably thinner than the last one I had made, but still enjoyable to flick through. It keeps me motivated to keep going with it. Doing quite well this month, having only missed two days so far.

Last night was a write off with looking at blogging site stuff. I was thinking about it whilst clearing the snow. I leaning towards only having this site as my blog. I did think I should try and use images a bit more, and would like the search to be better. If I’m asking for things, then it would be the ability to have paragraph anchors, so I can link back to specific paragraphs.

I’ve started to look into it with all these JSON CMS tools. Where you define a schema and then you can make new entries using it, either as markdown or JSON. This can then be used by static generators to build a site. Some of them are static pages you host with a bunch of JavaScript that interacts with github, so there isn’t even a service to host, which is nice. It would mean having to use that site to write everything. They’re effectively web based Tinderbox’s but you have to program everything yourself.

It’ll take me a while to figure it out if I ever do go down that path. It’s obvious once you think about it, but if I want smart functionality, I need some app to do it. I can’t just edit text files on 1Writer, or VS Code and expect the same. So using a CMS, or Tinderbox or emacs etc. to do it, but then I always have to use that software. The exception is if I could get the static generators to do what I want. That’s probably possible, with some extra code, although how I find the link to previous paragraphs I don’t know.

I have post a couple of things to micro.blog but I look at them and ask myself why did I add them? They’re stuff people would put on twitter and I have to admit that they were utterly pointless. I suppose this whole blog is utterly pointless, so who am I to be critical. Anyway, I don’t feel the need to post that stuff and am quite content idling chattering (over a cup of tea).

Ugh, I’m still torn though. I’ve been working on a Wall-E 3D printed robot that uses a micro.bit and drives around. I took the parts from online but the assembly and setup wasn’t explained, so I feel like I’d want to share what I did as it could be useful to someone. Maybe I should have a projects section, to put things like that. Quite like the idea of that. More practical how-to style posts. Or perhaps I should use the wiki for that. 🤔 Then I wouldn’t need to worry about the cutesy but inaccessible style of this site, plus Tiddlywiki is great. Or I keep projects on my main site. However they end up I like that idea.

Monday, 15th January, 2024

I went down the route of deciding I wanted to build my own site with custom CSS and design (or utilise some framework) but generally do it from scratch and not use a theme. I spent about 2 hours looking at various things last night and by the end I was not wanting to make it myself. I don’t know what I want and so was looking at various places for ideas. I felt like I wasted my whole evening and I still didn’t know what I wanted.

For some reason I then flicked to micro.blog, I might’ve even come across someone’s blog on it when looking for something, and so started thinking about that again. I found a new theme that someone had made which I liked the look of and required zero effort from me. I could still tweak things, but out of the box it looks like what I want.

They have various new things on books and bookshelves and it’ll be reminding myself how photos and posts and everything all works. I do like that they have apps and those make it easy to add images.

I also looked at my old/current micro.blog site from when I last used it in 2022. I quite liked it and it was nice seeing the content I had added.

I’m not super fussed about the community and probably won’t spend much time actively engaging it, I still find the interface of seeing the conversations a bit odd. However, that’s secondary for me and my site can function perfectly well without relying on micro.blog. I don’t care for comments that much and much happier to have an email conversation about something. I can always publish the conversation as an update.

Montaigne is nice, but I’m hesistant to go in with it and micro.blog isn’t too far removed from a static site generator, plus it saves my content to a github repo automatically as well.

I didn’t quite sign up to a new subscription but feel like I’m getting close. I can use it for a year and then decide. I just don’t like “unnecessary” subscriptions, as arguably I can easily setup a static blog. In my head I’m allocating the cost to the apps. If I want the micro.blog apps on my phone/iPad then I have to pay. I want the apps, as I often have dead time where I have my phone and rather than looking at reddit or rubbish, then I could be writing a post of some sorts. I could do that with any number of note writing software but I don’t. Whereas if I can publish it right there, then it’s done and not something else to look at later. Maybe if I get better at doing it then I could migrate to writing posts on my phone and then moving them to my blog later on but maybe I should do a lot of things which I don’t.

So I signed up to Micro.blog. Fiddling about with old posts and themes and settings, installed the apps, linked them, etc. I did find a few new blogs which I still have open to read.

I came to write a post on the website. Oh yuck. I do not like that. I know I’ve just got here but I don’t like it. I didn’t like it last time and I’m not going to like it this time. Too many little things that bug me.

So now what? Ugh I don’t know. Another evening wasted on blog rubbish. Perhaps I should just delete my main site. Put up a landing page, and leave it as that.

Sunday, 14th January, 2024

I like this site, it works well, I’ve got it setup on mobile and desktop to write to, so why should I touch it? I should leave it be.

I know I don’t like the theme of my other blog, so something needs to be done. I’m torn between something convenient to add to, like Wordpress or montaigne or some other app, and just rolling my own static site with custom theme.

Or even getting a Mac and using Tinderbox, but I think that might have the least chance of working out. Probably learning emacs and org-mode would be more likely 😅 think I just like the idea of tinderbox, but when I open it I’m lost.

Then there’s Kirby. A few people who use it for blogs seem to really like it. Half way between static site and dynamic. I’m just not sure if it’ll help me.

For example, I’ve been making a wall-e robot with a micro bit and 3D printer with the kids. I should write about it as it’s not quite download files from internet and we’re done. But I just put off writing a post as…why? I’m not finished the project? I can’t be bothered to? This is mostly it, I can’t be bothered as it feels like it takes too much effort to do.

Maybe I should make use of Shortcuts to handle the image jiggery-pokery and stick to a static site…

Saturday, 13th January, 2024

The idea of keeping notes and blogs in Apple Notes is growing on me. There are still details with montaigne I’m not sure about, like default URLs and something else I’ve forgotten about now. Plus it seems to have a few bugs, although when I point them out they get addressed. Right now a few notes aren’t being rendered and I don’t know if it’s me or the system. The notes are definitely synced as I can see them in iCloud.com.

One project I’ve had forever is to scan all of granny’s recipe notes cards so we can’t lose them and so the rest of the family can see them. There are a lot and I’m yet to do anything. I could just take a picture with apple notes and it’s hosted right away. Then over time come back and add text. Could even try the scan notes function, but her handwriting, whilst pretty, can be hard to read.

Nothing is stopping me from adding them to Apple Notes right now and just sharing them with the family…but I had been thinking of making a website with them in. Maybe tiddlywiki or a static site.

Found my lifetime guarantee card for watch battery replacement in my watch that I’ve not worn in about 10 years. Took it in and got a new battery, for free, in my Tissot, and wearing it today.

As much as I’m having fun with montaigne, except he’s not responded to my emails with the issues (although it’s only been a day), deep down I know it’s not right for me. But I still can’t help thinking maybe it should be right for me. It’s easy and so why not use it? I also have a hard time separating from this site. I could use it as well, but I don’t want more sites…

Also tiddlywiki is back in my head. That can do everything…I should learn it (playlist of blogging platforms is set to repeat 🎶)

Friday, 12th January, 2024

I spent some time last night on Montaigne to try it out and explore it’s funtionality. I quite like it. Adding and editing content via Apple Notes is, unsurprisingly, very easy. It does remind me a lot of blot.im and now I’m wondering about going back to that, as it’s somewhat more robust.

It does seem to have quite a few bugs though and my test site I made has a lot of issues. I’m sure if I wrote them all up and sent them to Anton he’d work on it to fix it, so making the product better. I also saw in his pricing that you can get a custom domain for just $2/month and not have to paid for the other things on the default $5/month.

There’s not much in terms of custom styling on the site though. Maybe that doesn’t really matter though. I’m still unsure about building it from Apple Notes. Whilst I retain all the content, it’s in Apple Notes.

Apple Notes does have templates I can use for remembering metadata, and could even use Shortcuts to do something….adding weather to a note? Or maybe making a photo entry or something. So there’s that plus. It’s always trade offs between functionality and portability.

For managing daily notes and Blog Posts it does let me keep them in separate places, with the ability to list them out under folder URLs, but shows them all in the main listing on the front page. So a good integration of them all.

If nothing else it gives me ideas for how I might structure and manage a static blog. I should still try out the way I was thinking…if I can remember what I was thinking.🤔

This guy still uses ikiwiki.

Thursday, 11th January, 2024

Got an email saying Piwigo was updated to version 14. I should install it and use it with my pics domain.

I’m meant to be writing some content for my work’s annual report. In my head I have lots of great things that I can write, but I feel that when I sit down to actually write in it, they’ll be lame. Reminded me of blogging 😅 I actually thought about writing some stuff on the iPad and this keyboard. It has this really weird effect that means I enjoy using it and can often just continuously write and write and write using it. I think it’s the combination of 1Writer’s blank, simple view, the one app focus of the iPad and the size and feel of the keyboard.

My arms ache like I did some new exercise or sport where I’ve used muscles I don’t normally use. Except I’ve done nothing. So that’s weird.

This first week back to work/school has felt really long. Monday seems ages ago.

I was thinking about beancount again and did think if I just tracked my current account, and put credit card spend as shopping, then I’d only have about 20 transactions a month to deal with - as we buy everything on the credit card. Then I wouldn’t have to do some funky workings but still capture the mortgage, income and would just have to manage a few bills like utilities and council tax.

I like Haribo, and am hard to buy gifts for, so birthdays and Christmas result in me getting huge amounts of them. It’s fine but I do think it’s not great for my health to have all these sweets. I’m also not very good at moderating my consumption of them. Once that box is opened, I’ve got to eat the lot. I can’t bring myself to tell people I don’t want them as then they’ll have nothing left to get me! Plus they’re not clutter so that’s nice. I took two boxes into work and put on the communal table for others to eat. Win:win I think, as some appreciation from work and saves my teeth/waist.

I’ve not done anything on the great blog rejigulating. It my mind it’s amazing, but that’s as far as it has got. I’m still not sure about it. For example I got a book, “Bound to Please” by Michael Dirda. All about other books to read and their writers. Found it from a Tinderbox meet-up video. I’d like to make a small blog post about it, including a picture of the book cover. I’ve not figured out an easy way to do this from the iPad and so I’d have to do it on the computer, and now I can’t be bothered. I guess I could not have a picture. Whereas I think about Wordpress, and I could just upload a photo straight from my device and it does the rest. Probably there’s a book plugin where I can just put in the ISBN and it’ll pull in a nice little element with all the info.

I suppose posts like that are maybe where Mastodon comes in, but I can’t be bothered with Social media, even ethically good ones. I just want a blog and that’s that. Also do I want a picture of the book because I want it or because I think that others want it? A few little images do help break up the text.

1Writer’s extensibility with JavaScript probably means I could type in the ISBN here, and then run some script and it would do all the magic to link to Goodreads or something. But I’m not going to make that, and not sure anyone else has.

Not talked about mac mini’s and MacBooks for a while 😅 If I wait long enough I get distracted by something else and forget about it. So I’ll talk about it…moving the shack computer into the office means a laptop on a stand thing that puts it’s screen upright, and then the Dell monitor next to it connected via USB-C. I really like that setup, it looks neat and functional. Every time I look at it, I do think that the laptop could be a MacBook. The monitor has a webcam, mic and speakers - none of them are the greatest - but good enough and the keyboard has volume control on it. It fits together nicely and doesn’t take up much space. I’ve always been a desktop PC user. Even at university, I lugged a desktop back and forth vs. others who just brought their laptop in their bag. Now I wonder about the laptop life. Before it was because I played games, and ones that needed a decent GPU. These days I just seem to play indie games which run on anything.

Had a nice email chat with the developer of Montaigne and other projects. I want to buy and use his products, but don’t. Not sure what would make me. Perhaps custom domains for https://public.photos ?

I’d like to use his blogging setup (from Apple Notes) but I worry about lock-in and migrating (which is funny, not even started and worried about leaving). Also hesistant to rely on a indie app developer who maybe doesn’t cover his costs and if he doesn’t then may have to shut it down. I won’t lose content but a whole bunch of Apple notes might be a hassle to do anything with? Although what does it matter? Would solve my issue of “add a quick post of a book and a photo”.

I like all of this, and this.

Wednesday, 10th January, 2024

I’m on a 22 day streak with DayOne. Even normal school days where I think there’s nothing to write about, once I start I end up adding 200 words.

I just played the bee game. It’s a game about genetics, breeding bees to get new variants and trying to get better stats with every generation. Plus there’s making honey and candles and various things from all the products. There’s also butterfly and flower breeding and the three interlink in order to get certain strains. ie. I need a butterfly to cross pollinate some flowers to get a new one which some bee wants. Or something like that, not actually got that far in it. There’s lots of things to do and maybe it feels like a farm simulator where you have all these “chores” but nothing expires or goes bad or happens if you don’t do something. You can get distracted with making a nice house or exploring the map and your bees just wait for you. So it’s not a job in middle management.

I want to setup beancount for tracking our finances, so I can use the web app fava. But I really can’t be bothered. I do want to know how much we spend each year but only at a high level, and trying to categorise amazon purchases across two accounts is impossible. Was it a present, for the kids, for me, my wife, replacement xyz, household, etc… generally ended up putting everything as shopping unless I knew what it was. I’d try and capture stuff that I bought for my “hobbies” i.e. computers, radio, books, but unless I did it there and then I’d forget as well. This is before approaching orders where there’s a mix of all sorts of things.

I like beancount as I can put everything into it, expenses, mortgage interest, pensions, investments, and can see it all together. Maybe I should just track things like account balances, credit card bills and income, and then I can work out the difference from those as to what’s spending. Actually, I should establish what our savings should be, do that, and then not care about whatever we spend…keeping a positive bank account all the while though! But then it circles back to how much do I need and therefore how much do I save. Spending is just increasing as all the kids get older and do more things, clubs and sports and clothing all seem to get more expensive as they get bigger.

I always fall back to a spreadsheet. It’s satisfying to look at my google sheets and see I started it in 2010 and have been using it ever since to track various financial related things. It’s changed a lot over the years and I have a feeling it’s about time I rejigged it a bit. If nothing more than to include the new Scottish tax bands (higher🙄) for next tax year. Probably better off sacrificing some salary to do the bike to work scheme every year and get a new bike vs. paying more tax.

Time to figure out why my bees won’t breed… 🐝♀️

Tuesday, 9th January, 2024

I’ve been thinking about The New Blog💫. How is it going to work, what should it have on it, how will I make it etc. etc. It needs to be a static site. I have a wordpress site but that’s a secondary blog specific to amateur radio. Maybe one day I’ll fold it into the main site, perhaps when I get bored of radio blogging, and just want it as a subset of my main site. Right now it doesn’t cost me anything to keep it going, so I’ll just leave it. I really like this site, and want to keep what I like and build on it. I started this site 6th August 2021, 886 days ago. I did pop in and out of tiddlywiki a couple of times but always came back here and have been here solidly for quite a while now. There are a few annoying things, like creating a new file each day and entering the frontmatter. I’ve semi-automated that on 1Writer and VS Code, 1Writer is the most automated, but I wonder if it can still be improved. I’d like to bring in larger blog posts that are about a specific topic, vs. a paragraph about some daily ramblings, but I want the ease of writing daily ramblings to write more blog posts. The traditional way is just to use two collections or architypes of content. One for blog posts and one fror daily notes. The problem with this is all I’m doing is making two folders of files, and just writing in one or the other.

I suppose if I had more time, I’d write out drafts. write my daily whatevers, then rearrange them into blog posts and daily notes and do all the tags and frontmatter and pictures and it’ll just be that.

Things I’ve been thinking about for it:

  • Keep using Jekyll. I can reuse what I learnt from this site, and I want to keep it simple
  • Do I need search?
    • Personally, I can just search in VS Code, and publically, maybe link to github search in the repo?
    • there are some jekyll search plugins or javascript methods for it but I don’t like adding that. Plus I have to figure out how to format the results.
    • There’s google search but meh.
    • Who’s even searching anyway?
    • Maybe add a random post like this guy
  • People expect one page per blog post, one file, tags, etc. not a big wall of text with stuff in between.
    • Relates to search as well.
    • Wondering if I can just keep a manual list of these posts
    • Does it matter what people expect?
    • I can always keep another collection of “articles” or something, for when I do make a Blog post, plus as a way to archive the existing content should someone want it. My most visited page is my beancount setup from about 8 years ago!
  • Wondering about a single text file for a month or even a year, and just separating things by headings. Then using custom header links to sort things out. Not sure about this, it makes some things easier and some things harder. Guess I should try and it on a test site and see what it’s like
    • Using table of contents to generate menus maybe?
    • I’d like it for me, to browse back through as I’m writing.
  • Wondered about link lists
  • Probably can use data or yaml in frontmatter or dedicated site data files…not quite sure how or what for yet.

I’ve also started playing this nerdy but cute and relaxing bee game. So I’m torn between playing the bee game 🐝 and tinkering with this new site idea. Although I’ve spent all evening writing this post and getting distracted with random blogs.

Monday, 8th January, 2024

Back to work and school! 🥳😢

I was giving our willow igloo (the wigloo) a much needed trim (severe pruning more like) and had a lot of time to think whilst cutting up the pieces to put in the garden waste bins. I’d also been out in the morning with the kids, and then played Minecraft on the sofa whilst they’d all played on the computer. I think this was my summary:

  • The less time I’m on the computer the better I feel.
  • Counter to that, if I’m on the computer I need to be doing something specific, e.g. playing a game, working from home, some task. But still, time away from it is better.
  • I like this blog the best, particularly the date as the title. There’s no pressure of a blog post then, but I still write.
  • I decided I would combine my blog back into dailies + blog posts in a single site - this one, and then use my main site as a landing page about me. I just need to figure out the architecture of it, as I still want to be able to write posts via 1Writer on my phone or iPad, but I’m not sure how that can be achieved whilst trying to do some more fancy things of layout and list of posts etc.

That first one is difficult.

Sunday, 7th January, 2024

I’ve embraced doing things vs. just looking at them. We’ve setup a family Minecraft server and, amazingly, if you make a Microsoft family with everyone’s account attached to it you can all share the game. Could do with another computer though…and in this instance it has to run Windows 10/11. That is actually a good thing with Microsoft buying Minecraft. Also they rewrote it in some faster language than java, maybe C# or some other note, which runs on all platforms. It is so much more efficient that the old Java version.

We’re running two computers, one of which is just a T490 with 8th gen intel cpu, an xbox and the iPad, and we can all play together on the world running on my server. I even have a copy on the Switch, but the Switch is annoying in that it doesn’t let you join LAN games, only paid for servers. No doubt some protection thing Nintendo insisted on. Someone runs a DNS server that somehow tricks the Switch into getting a menu to enter your LAN server. I’ve run it before and it worked fine but now it doesn’t work for me whatsoever. I wondered if it was our new router but even when I hotspotted from my phone it still didn’t work. You can self host a BIND9 server and run it but that seems rather extreme, plus it’s just doing the same thing so not sure why it would be any better. It’s hard to troubleshoot and then raise an issue as there’s literally nothing to configure except the DNS settings. Oh well I’ll come back to that some other time.

Right now I’m looking at another 8th-10th laptop…probably ThinkPad. Some are pretty cheap and maybe I can get one for £120 or so.

Doing all this with one version of Minecraft I bought for about $10 back in 2010 and perhaps I paid for it on iOS at some time in the past. I did pay for it on Switch but think that was $15 in a sale a few years back.

As part of all this effort, each account needs to log into the computer, and as they’re all kids accounts they automatically have usage time and other parental controls set. I mostly turned them off but the level of detail you can go to is extreme. I then looked in the parent portal and my goodness is it detailed. You can see literally everything they do. My wife was using the computer in the evening whilst I was on the other one and she just logged in under the kids account and I could see all her web searches, time spent on everything and then when a website wasn’t working under Edge, she opened Firefox but it closed it and she had to request permission to open it. At which point I got a notification on my phone to approve.

Clearly Microsoft knows everything you are doing on a Windows machine (at the risk of stating the obvious). I should see if it can see what’s going on if you use Firefox…I assume it can’t. Anyway, as much as my rms alarms are going, we want to play Minecraft together and unless I’m buying an account each to use the java version on linux, then this is the only way. (I guess it’s good there is still a way, although there’s minetest and probably other open source versions, but it’s never quite the same.)

👆would probably make a good blog post, which I’ll likely never write even though I just did.

Speaking of blogs, I can’t be bothered to redo mine right now. I’ll just leave it as is. For a time I thought about deleting it completely, and then it wouldn’t be the burden I feel, but that seemed excessive. Plus once or twice over the years people still ask me about my 2016 post on using beancount. I think my Hugo theme has two different front page settings, I wonder if I use the other one if that’ll change it enough for me that I’ll be content.

I also bought Children of Morta game in the Steam sale. Was only £5, and is online co-op, so my friend and I have been playing it. The co-op implementation isn’t the greatest but still good to play. Like a Diablo action RPG but a bit of rogue like about it, in when you die you have to start the level again but you can spend money on upgrades, and you can play as different members of the family and level them all up.

So computer time during the day I’m playing Minecraft and in the evening I’m playing CoM!

Booked accommodation to the wedding we have this year that none of us can be bothered to go to (7-8 hour drive or a fortune in flights//car hire and overall hassle of logistics). Least it’s done as I’ve been putting it off for about 7 months since knowing of it.

I have another laptop, why do I need to go and buy one more? Is it because it’s got linux installed or is it because it’s an older gen…maybe 6th or 7th or something. I should just install Windows on it and play mc.

Thursday, 4th January, 2024

I like having one app to do one thing, as then when I open it I know what I’m supposed to be doing. However, it’s a waste. I’ve been trying to see if I could use Apple Notes as a journal, and I can, but I like 1Writer and it can connect to all sorts of places.

Whilst waiting for everyone to come to the lounge, I opened up Photos app on the AppleTV. Was nice seeing the little montages it puts together. The only thing is it shows the same photo several times, but that’s probably as there aren’t many photos of certain people or groups…I should upload more…

One of the boys has taken to Minecraft and wants to play on the computer, but the oldest wants to play Roblox, so there are “disagreements” about that. I might move the radio shack computer into the office so everyone can play, see how that goes without spending any money. I still have a linux ThinkPad I can take into the shack for logging etc. if I need.

Can’t believe the holiday is nearly over, and soon back to work for another year. I’ve not thought about work whatsoever, so that’s nice.

This is another reason why Shortcuts on Apple is so great.

Wednesday, 3rd January, 2024

I hate chasing up trades people. Once it gets down to the final small things they never seem to care about it. The smaller the scope the more nagging is needed and the more frustrating it is.

I’ve made so many places to write things down that I spend all my time debating between them but never actually writing. After I spent all evening fiddling about with Apple Notes and Shortcuts I remembered I’d made a full year planner in dynalist where I could write things about each day in.

At work we have scorecards and metrics and various systems to make sure things get done. Been wondering if or how I should apply that to make sure I do some things at home. Except at work you have other people who hold you to account, whereas most of my things at home are only of interest to me.

There’s certainly the wisdom of chasing two rabbits and catching none. 🐇

But if there’s no page, how do people find anything? Look, nobody was flipping through pages on your blog to find anything anyway, so it’s fine. –On writing more.

Makes me think I should combine my main site into this one, vs. the other way round!

Ugh what am I like. The family has been out all afternoon, and due back within the hour, what have I done? I did do several loads of washing, and few other chores, but then I sat on the computer and two hours went by. 🙄

I’ve been thinking a lot about my blogs and what to do with them, I’ve been fritting about between static generators, services like blot.im and bearblog, looking at kirby still, and generally between one site or two sites (or more) and I can’t decide. What’s funny is that if I go back to this time in 2023 and even 2022, I’m having exactly the same conversations. Still don’t know what to actually do though. Maybe I’ll just faff about the rest of this week doing nothing, then I’ll go to work and not have any time to worry about it. It’s been a year and a month since I stopped using blot…it’s nice but $5/month is a lot for a blog, imo, as you can rent a whole VPS for that! But it is smart.

Tuesday, 2nd January, 2024

Bought the Fuji 18-55mm. Turns out I had some nectar points for extra vouchers on eBay, so that worked out well. I missed having this lens for videoing all the kids nativity and singing things before Christmas, so now I’m prepared.

Next thing to figure out is how and where to take nice portraits of the family when they come. Lighting is the biggest issue.

Miserable weather here. ☔️

Family might be going to see Wonka, so I’ll get some quiet time at home. Wonder how best I can waste that time.

One of the twins said we need more computers to play Minecraft and Roblox with, as his sister wants to play Roblox and he wants to play Minecraft. Now I need more computers 😅

I spent all evening faffing about with Apple Shortcuts on my iPad. It’s a really nice toolset, and creative people can make amazing things.

Monday, 1st January, 2024

Happy New Year! 🎆

I started writing a blog post on my main site about a look back on 2023. I have a dynalist of things, habits etc., I wanted to do last year and I scored myself 🔴🟡🟢. I started writing about why I scored them that way. I stopped as I had to go to lunch or do something but then as I thought about it I wondered if I really wanted to post it or not. It seems quite personal. There’s nothing that exciting or unique about what I wanted to do or any thing sensitive, but I’m just not sure. All the other posts on that site are more “here’s a thing I did” or maybe some slightly funny topic, like bookcases or oranges. 🍊

I know lots of people write much more detailed posts about themselves.

A favourite quote of mine is

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realised how seldom they do. – Eleanor Roosevelt

So why do I worry?

I think the Hugo theme I use is nice but I’m not sure about the front page. Doesn’t give enough information about posts. Also found quite a nice theme for the dokuwiki site. So there’s that again.

Ordered my 2023 DayOne book. It’s so easy and nice quality. Ordering from UK makes it a bit more expensive with postage. After I ordered it I realised I was thinking of using them to print this blog and could’ve shared postage. Guess I’ll try a local web store first…if I ever get round to it.

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