January 2024 Entries

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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