February 2024 Entries

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!

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