Andrew White

Week nine, 2024

We’ve started on to season two of Wayward Pines. Because we know the deal with the town of Wayward pines now, they’re needing to lean much more on personal conflict. This ends up being killing off lots of folks you wouldn’t expect them to kill. Not as good as the first season, but still good.

Read a great article about jalapeños this week. I’ve been complaining to my wife about the peppers I’ve been getting since we moved back. Now I understand why. I think I need to find an alternative for pico de gallo.

If you’re an old school EDM/dance type like me you should really be listening to BBC Radio 6’s Rave Forever podcast. Even if you didn’t really go to raves, or came late to the scene, you’ll dig it. Sound quality is just okay, but the mixes are brilliant.

Not much gaming this past week.

Week eight, 2024

The plan to hold Wayward Pines until we finished our current series fell by the wayside. I asked my wife to watch the first episode with me to see if she liked it, and we ended up watching about two thirds of the first season. There are a few turns that feel more like a mid-season shift than a planned plot point, but it’s still really good.

Finally finished One Billion Years Until the End of the World. It just kind of ended. Still, I’m glad to have read it, and am looking forward to my next read, a Cyberpunk 2077 book I started in the Emergency Room before Christmas!

Brotato is fine. It’s not amazing, and the text is really not optimised for a phone. Not totally sure how the upgrade mechanic works, and if stats boosts are supposed to be persistent between runs, or not. My kid has got way into the Apple Arcade versiion of Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector. Can’t believe that game has been around for a decade.

My MacBook Pro is dying. It’s a 2018, so I guess it’s had a good run? But I honestly expect more than five-and-a-bit years out of kit so expensive. My previous MacBooks have done better. My 2010 is still going strong running Pop OS, granted with a new battery and an SSD upgrade. The 2018 has a bad battery (has had for years, but now I get maybe an hour?), a bad keyboard, and the touchbar mostly just flashes white bars at me. I want to get one more year out of it, as this has been a pretty expensive year for us. But I don’t know what to get. I’m enjoying having a desktop (an old 2012 franken-iMac loaned to me by my brother-in-law). But when I spec out the current desktops like I’d like I don’t see the kind of savings versus laptops I’d expect. I imagine things will be pretty different when I’m actually in the market, though. Apple is still kind of in transition, and updates are coming out on a strange cadence.

This week’s recipe was sloppy lentils! Had friends over with kids, and it’s almost always a hit. It’s so easy to double the batch and save it. Desert was a Moosewood Cookbook Apple and Berry crumble. No recipe online.

Week seven, 2024

Missed a couple of week notes. One week due to feeling poorly (infection in a damaged tooth), and one week due to dramatically underestimating how much work I had to do to host someone for the weekend. But I’m back now!

Still reading A Billion Years Before the End of the World, and Metro 2033. I’ve finally figured out what I’m struggling with: I find Russian spoken dialogue challenging when translated directly, and not idiomatically. It doesn’t feel natural, and I get mentally fatigued working with it. That sounds very dramatic, but all it really means is that I can’t really dig in for extended periods of time. I find my attention wandering. I’m also struggling with the fact that I’ve got about a quarter of A Billion Years left, and the book has very clearly telegraphed the conclusion.

I have spent way too much money on networking in my house. The property is large, we have a detached outbuilding for our office, and wifi and old brick houses don’t get on well. When we moved in I held out for about a month and then caved at the very first sale on Eero devices I saw, and put four points around the property. That worked okay, but I still had issues with some use cases. Specifically the TVs would crap out if there were a lot of devices sharing their AP, and streaming from my gaming PC, and my Plex server wasn’t great. So I put in four gigabit powerline adaptors. Can’t recommend them enough. I’ve been particularly happy with my GeForce Now performance. The graphics look gorgeous, and I haven’t had a lag warning since putting them in.

I’m playing Destiny 2 with family, and got back in to Mighty Doom in those short gaming intervals. Also got Brotato for my phone after having a number of folks recommend it. Haven’t stuck in yet.

Started watching Wayward Pines. It’s old, so most folks would know it already, but if you don’t: think the X-Files meets The Prisoner. Watched the first two episodes, then shelved it so I could watch it with my wife when we finish Angel.

This week’s recipe was this veggie paella. I made it with unsponsored arborio rice, and tossed some capers and marinated artichoke hearts in there. I couldn’t get saffron, so I used turmeric and safflower. The end result tasted amazing, but was noticeably orange-yellow.

Week four, 2024

This week’s best recipes: Sweet Potato Stew With Chickpeas, and Sweet Potato Tacos. I needed to use up some sweet potatoes.

##Reading## Nearly done Alice isn’t Dead. It’s okay. Fun enough, but the twist is kind of too much, and lots of interesting plot points seem to have gone unexplored. I’m always frustrated by these stories in which some Big Bad that has been built up so far by the narrative goes down in some uninspired way. (See also: Buffy and Angel)

Discovered that my local library has an audiobook service that includes The Boy on the Bridge, the prequel to The Girl with all the Gifts. That’s next. Reviews are mixed, but I like the universe.

##Watching## Started the aforementioned Girl with all the Gifts. Having some issues with Plex, though, so didn’t get far. We finished the Shrink Next Door. The ending didn’t summarize things quite as nicely as I would have wanted. I was left asking what happened to Bonnie, who didn’t really get the attention she deserved. We’re nearly done Angel as well, so we need to find a new series to watch together.

##Playing## I did end up starting a new game plus on Dead Space, though I think that’ll be a “whenever” game. Fired up Breath of the Wild again for the first time in half a year. Just kind of farting about until the next Blood Moon so that I can practice combat again.

Week three, 2024

Exciting week: surgery for the dog, doctor for me, and dealing with tax agencies in two different countries! Spent a bit of time on Sunday in town, just decompressing.

Spent a bit of time digging in to customization options for my Steam Deck. I bought almost all the keyboard skins, and about half the startup videos with my points. Nice to finally have a use for them! The Steam Deck continues to wow me. I’m surprised by the length of time the battery runs as well. I’m not taxing it by any stretch, but I’ve still yet to see a low-power warning. Haven’t started The Outer Wilds yet. I’ve been grinding light points in Destiny 2 so I can come close to my nephew’s level. Unfortunately this has meant enduring the non-stop jumping puzzles in the Savathun storylines.

Finished the Girl with all the Gifts this week, and it was exactly as sad as I expected. Still highly recommend it. Moved on to Alice isn’t Dead, which from the little I remember of the podcast, seems to be an abbreviated retelling of the podcast series.

Discussion of “AirSpace” and genericness in interiors has come up again. The driver seemed to be this article in the Guardian by the person who first documented the phenomenon. The town in which I live has in part escaped this phenomenon by being reluctant to let go of the 90’s. But it still strikes home, and quite literally. The house in which I live was an AirBnB, and we bought the contents when we moved in. It very much fit this aesthetic. Still does in many ways.

Cooked a couple of great recipes this week: General Tso Chickpea Stirfry and Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup (pretty much just a dal).

I was chatting with another developer about making sure my CSS isn’t too dated (i.e. I’m not still writing it like I was ten years ago), and they mentioned the MDN CSS guides. I took a quick look, and they seem to be a nice overview. I’m going to spend a bit of time on them as a refresher. They may be a bit basic, but it never hurts to go back to the basics every so often.

A quick aside: via JustWatch, I found out that the film of The Girl with All the Gifts is available free on Rather wish I hadn’t looked up the details, though, as the casting is wildly different from the characters in my minds eye (except Glenn Close, she’s pretty…close.)

Week Two, 2024

Pretty quiet week this week. I turned forty-old. I got in trouble in a pick-up fireteam in Destiny for not knowing about armour mods. We let the new dog go off-leash for the first time in the park today, and he had a grand old time galumphing through the high grasses.

I’ve been pretty good about increasing my activity levels of late. I close my rings every day, and plan to increase some of the goals end of month. I’m alternating between Ring Fit Adventure and yoga classes on Apple Fitness+. I’m really enjoying the chill vibes music, and am sticking mostly with Molly Fox’s classes. Had to bail on part of the class today because there was a lot floor work that hurt where I broke my ribs before Christmas. I am following up my exercise with a Calm session. Happily I can get in a multi-K walk with the dog, 20 min of exercise, cool down, and meditation between 10a and 10.30a. I continue to be annoyed by Apple Fitness' ignorance of NEAT. Every other fitness tracker I’ve used includes options for housework, shovelling snow, etc. Apple is their usual California selves (I could track my surfing). I just have to put in “Other” for many things I do.

We have a very old iMac in the basement that my brother-in-law gave me. It was destined for recycling, and has totally seen better days. The hinge is a bit loose, and every so often I need to make a white web page full screen for a while to fix image retention issues, but other than that, it works great. I’ve found myself using it a lot more than I expected, even though I’m stuck at MacOS Big Sur, and a few things don’t run (or don’t run well). I don’t use my MacBook Pro as much any more, pretty much just shifting to it for things that require newer versions of Pages or Numbers than run in Big Sur, or for an app that’s in SetApp. It’s making me rethink what my next Mac will be. I dug out a couple of JBL Pebbles I bought forever ago out of storage, and the sound on the set up is fantastic.

No changes in what I’m reading, although I’m just about done a couple of the books from last week, and am an hour away from the end of The Girl with All the Gifts on Audible (not the Booktrack edition, just the one with narration). It’s fantastic, Finty Williams does an amazing job reading it, and I’m sure the end is going to crush me. I just found out there’s a film. I need to track it down. That’s my “watching” update.

Similarly no real changes in what I’m playing. I’m about to embark upon the Outer Wilds (either on Switch or Steam Deck, I somehow own both), and have finally got my light level up above 1700 in Destiny 2.

Week One, 2024

I’m going to start writing these again in 2024. Its a pretty low-stress way to get blogging and writing more.

Today marks half a year back in Canada. We are still getting settled, and really miss England.

We got a dog just a week before Christmas, and he’s been pretty life-changing already. He gets a big walk and a couple of short walks a day, so my wife and I have both noticed an increase in our step counts! Fortunately he’s generally a good sleeper, and isn’t given to getting into things, so the process of getting him integrated has been pretty much positive. We spend a lot more time outside, and have been going on way more walks together.


One Billion Years to the End of the World by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, the authors of Roadside Picnic. I started this one ages ago, and lost it. I’ve picked it back up. It’s funny, and clever, although very much of the time and place it was written.

Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear. Pretty sure this was the inspiration behind Pandorum. Another one I put down while in the midst of our international move, and have just now picked back up.

Cyberpunk 2077: No Coincidence. A solid cyberpunk read. I picked it up while at A&E, when I didn’t have my other books to read.

#Watching# My wife and I are still working our way through Angel. We’ve also watched The Shrink Next Door, but man that’s a stressful, cringey watch. I have to be in the mood.

I just watched Donnie Darko. It was good. I also watched Silent Hill. It was not.


Got a Steam Deck for Birthmas (a refurb of the discontinued 512GB)! As with any PC, I had a tonne of downloading to do, but I quickly slapped Vampire Survivors on there so I could get it up and running. It’s a blast. One of the nicest pieces of hardware I’ve handled in a while.

I got back into Destiny 2 so I could play with my brother and nephew. The whole game seems even more opaque to me, but it was fun clicking on alien heads with family.

Nearly done the remake of Dead Space. It’s very good. Maybe I’m playing on a higher difficulty than I did first time around, but I’m finding myself just a little underpowered, and starved of ammo. I vaguely remember the first time around feeling a bit overpowered by end game.

Still playing Fallout 76 on-and-off. For me the game is the most fun when you’re playing the earliest bits. I started a new character back in the summer, and have her up to about level 20. I’m enjoying the new locations in the starter area. Played a bit of FO3, but that’s a game where you really miss the quality-of-life updates from the last decade-and-a-half.

2021 week 14 wrap up

We spent the Easter break enjoying that things have opened up a bit. We had drinks on a friend’s driveway. We went to two new National Trust sites. We found a forest park with a neat adventure playground for Ada. We’re still keeping things low-risk, even as shops open up, but it’s really nice to be able to do a bit more. And while I’m still anxious about it, I don’t have the conviction that it’s too early like I did last summer.

Work has continued busy over the past few weeks. It’s been challenging with having my daughter home over the break. Luckily my wife had last week off, and was happy to take point on getting signed into things, and pouring snacks into the bottomless pit that is a growing child. My income is designated as “fun money,” and supplements our travel savings. Since we haven’t been able to travel we have a reasonable chunk saved up. So my wife recommended that I take some of whatever I make this month, and put it to a road bike. I used to go out riding with some of the dads from my daughter’s school, but I have a big up-right commuter bike, and they all had road bikes. Even making allowances for my lower level of fitness, that bike was a real drag on the speed of the rides. I’m looking at the Triban RC 120. I’m just dipping a toe, and it looks like they have pretty good resale value judging by completed EBay auctions.

I signed up for Apple One this week. We had the largest iCloud storage plan, and were also paying for Prime Music as a secondary music source. I need Office 365 for work, and Michelle doesn’t actually store much online these days, so I downgraded our storage, cancelled Prime Music, and we came out even. Plus we now get Apple Arcade, TV, and News. I’m really keen to try a few well-reviewed iOS games: Sayonara Wild Hearts, Grindstone, Bleak Sword, and the recently-released Cozy Grove.

2021 week 12 wrap up

I’ve mentioned in the past that my MacBook is pretty crapped-up with all kinds of project dependencies and bits of software I’ve had to install for work. I’m still working-slowly-toward wiping and building it anew. Before I do that, I wanted to have a strategy for keeping this kind of thing from happening again (as far as I can). I am now doing a lot of my work on a VPS I set up. It’s been solid, and more seamless than I expected. I am using VS Code’s remote connection to do the editing and source control, and I’m impressed! There are two issues that I can’t sort: for some reason live reload stopped working, and I don’t know how to deploy directly from the VPS. Neither of these are show stoppers, but I’d like to sort them.

I discovered Family Guy is now on Disney+. I watched the last season while in the kitchen over the last week. It’s fun, and I’m not embarrased to be a 45-year-old who watches gross-out cartoons. I’ve also been skipping around through the Simpsons (always loved their Hallowe’en episodes), and have been struck at how tame it is compared to a lot of modern stuff.

Dorf Romantik dropped in early access last week. It’s a beautiful puzzle game. It’s a remarkably chill experience. There are no timers, no conflict, and the systems are discoverable, but not spoonfed to you. If you’re looking for a pleasant gaming distraction, I can’t recommend it enough. Still playing Fallout 76, and I’m really resisting finishing the quest line that involves me launching a nuke.

2021 week 11 wrap up

We finally wrapped up the MCU with Endgame this weekend. It’s been such a long time since I’ve been current with something pop cultural. Feeling a bit smug.

A change in medication last week had me exhausted, and in bed most nights before 10p. So no gaming or much reading beyond a bit of Animal Crossing. I’m still only so-so on ACNH after the initial few months. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of new stuff showing up in the shops, and every island I go to has the same fruit as our starter (the much-loathed pear). I’m also in the same situation as a lot of parents who share islands with their young kids. The place is covered in random objects. If we both get back into it, we may need to figure out a system for sharing.

Work is picking up again. My client’s client has a new agency who are looking to make their mark on a site we’ve been maintaining for about five or six years. I’m going to need to compartmentalize some of my stylesheets. We’re using a static site generator, so I guess I’ll just make a new layout with some additional body styles I can hang things off of.

2021 week ten wrap up

Had another crazy week last week, in which I wasn’t able to post an update.

The kids are back to school (and will have been for a week when this gets posted.) I’ll leave aside any conversation about how I feel about that related to the pandemic. It’s incredible how much time this frees up. It’s similarly incredible that freeing up five hours during the day doesn’t equate to the same degree rise in productivity. When my daughter was home she was in a special online school that my wife’s work put on. I didn’t need to be actively monitor her, and wasn’t involved in the instruction. What there was, though, was a lot of context switching. Helping her find materials, do crafts, explain something she wasn’t getting. It derailed me. I fully expected my productivity to shoot up when that was gone. It has increased, but not by huge amounts.

Last year I had been given a number of classes as gifts. Those classes didn’t happen. So I used the money to buy gifts in related areas. One of the things I got is an instant pot. I rarely cook in it. I haven’t found the killer recipe. What I have found, though, is that I’m making a lot more brown rice, since it’s dead easy, and always comes out great-to-perfect. I’m also using way more dried beans, since I don’t need to soak them overnight. I can buy brown rice in huge bags, and I buy my beans bulk, so I honestly think this thing will pay for itself in a couple of years. Yes, we eat that much rice and beans. (And I bought it 40% on Prime Day.)

We continue to work our way through the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We are up to End Game. It’s long, so we’re going to do it in a Friday and Saturday evening. We just finished Wandavision, and it was excellent. If you’re starting it, and thinking of abandoning it at around episode two, push on. If you’re at about episode four, and you haven’t watched Captain Marvel yet, do so. Definitely, definitely do it before you finish the series.

I finished Ready, Player Two. It was fine. It felt like it was written with a mind to the movie (which is apparently happening). There were also some interesting characters and ideas that were introduced, and then barely mentioned again, if at all. The pacing is inconsistent. It’s a light read, but it is a fun one.

On the game front, still plodding away at Fallout 76. Ditched the main questline for an ally quest, which was more fun for a while. I may hang up the power armour until next month’s quality of life updates drop.

Stay safe out there as things open up, folks!

2021 week eight wrap up

Sorry, no update last week. A surprise flurry of activity in all aspects of my life took me a bit by surprise.

On the media front last week, things continued much the same as before. Fallout 76, Wandavision, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ready Player Two. I signed up for Nintendo Online this week, which I’m hoping will breathe a little more life into Animal Crossing for my daughter and I. I’m also hoping to get her connected up with some of her friends who have Switches. I also got Valheim, since it seems like for once the hype game aligns with my interests. Haven’t played yet. Might tonight.

I’m really frustrated with my Mac right now. It’s slow, unstable, and burns battery like mad. Granted half the time that’s because I forget to shut down a development server, but I feel like I shouldn’t have to be so careful about that. I also hate how the Mac OS really doesn’t work like a multiuser OS. No modern operating systems do. They always expect there’s one account that’s the one that will be installing all the software, running all the updates, etc. It’s nuts to think that much of my university computing was done on a minicomputer that handled the whole of the student body, but I can’t successfully run three different log ins without having issues.

My daughter’s school is in full-on senioritis mode. It’s all quizes, videos, and dancing this week. That’s fine by me. They’ve been working hard. It’s going to be nice having her back in school, but I’m also really going to miss her. She did a little drawing today of Homer Simpson (apparently it’s doughnut day), and it came out great!

Tried a Voi scooter today. A friend who gets free time because he works for the NHS let me give it a spin. I liked it more than I wanted to.

2021 week six wrap up

We continued our excursion through the MCU this week with Ant Man and the Wasp. It was pretty good, but it felt like there was a gap in the narrative. The amount of handwaving over what happened between Civil War and the beginning of this film seemed excessive. Only three movies left, and we’re caught up. I heard an interview on BBC Radio 2 a little while ago in which the interviewee mentioned she and her partner also set about getting up-to-date with the Marvel movies, and another family from my daughter’s school are doing the same. Seems to be the thing to do for us olds with youngs. I would also just like to say: Randal Park is great at playing Woo. Obviously competent, but totally socially awkward. An honestly stand-up guy (the character; I know nothing about Park). I feel just the right amount of cringe watching him do his thing.

Running has been a flop. Totally petered out. I have a hard time getting up in the morning since I’m also having a hard time getting to sleep. So I made a compromise with myself. I get up just a bit before my daughter does, and I go for a walk. I’ve also cut my step goal in half, but I have to meet it. If it’s 10pm and raining, but I haven’t hit my goal, doesn’t matter. Out I go.

Still playing Fallout: 76. Still feeling like the main quest lines are getting repetitive. Especially the Brotherhood of Steel stuff that has me schlepping back and forth from their base to Crater. Fortunately I built my camp not far from the Brotherhood base even before the Brotherhood showed up, so at least I could fast travel. I also played a bit of A Short Hike last night. It’s a simple puzzler/3D platformer that seems to be a lot more about the journey than the story or the challenge. It’s absolutely charming, and I had a really hard time staying on task. It was a lot more fun just to wander and glide.

I began Ready Player Two this week (again). Not deep enough to render a verdict, but it kind of reads like fan fic of the first book. There’s just enough of a compelling sense of impending doom to keep me interested.

Lent is ccoming up. We’re giving up bread on fast days. Doesn’t sound like much, but that’s our “can’t be bothered” meal. Toast and beans or sandwiches. It will require us to think about our meals, which has obvious spiritual benefits.

Lockdown sucks (but it’s necessary.) That’s all for now.

2021 week five wrap up

Motivated by a promotion in Red Dead Online, I finally installed it and did the tutorial missions. It’s an incredible game, and I’m definitely going to spend more time on it (although probably just on the single player campaign). The scenery and weather effects are beautiful, even on my less-than-beefy PC. I’m still playing Fallout 76, but getting more and more frustrated by the back-and-forthing. I also somehow got myself into the Raider story arc without even intending to. I had planned to go Settler, but at least the raiders of FO76 aren’t yet the mindless killers of latter Fallout games.

We finished the end of the first season of Wandavision last night. Having not got caught up in the MCU we experienced some spoilers. But it’s a fantastic, kind of creepy show that’s a bit different from a lot of the other stuff Marvel have put out. I am happy to admit that every guess I’ve made about what’s going to happen has been wrong. We also watched Infinity War, and it was really good. Thanos is a pretty unique villain. He is, in his own mind, actually doing good. So much so that his torturing of Nebula both in the past and in this film seem out-of-character. The film had an emotional punch.

I discovered that a bunch of the Lone Wolf game books have been released for free. They work with a program the company provides that can track your character stats and has a random number generator. They can also be read on their own. If you haven’t played a game book, it’s a single-player pen and paper roleplaying game. Like a choose your own adventure, but with combat and dice checks.

We have a few National Trust sites near our house, and they’re remaining open during the lockdown. We hadn’t gone, but we finally decided to go yesterday. We figured the wintery weather would keep the place from being too busy, and we were right. We had a nice long tramp through the countryside, and a picnic in the car which my daughter thought was the best thing ever. It was great to get out. I miss “out”.

2021 week four wrap up

I’ve been spending more time with Tap Forms. It’s a nice, simple database app that reminds me of the cardfile-type applications that were such a key part of early home computing. I was looking for a simple app to track something, and realized literally all I needed was input masking and CRUD. And I further realized that really, that’s all most apps provide. If you get one solid, easy-to-use personal database tool, you probably won’t need to go anywhere else for many things.

I’ve decided to quit fighting my lockdown sleep nonsense, and just try and gently mold it. So I’m going to quit setting an alarm for early in the morning, and just accept I’m not getting up until 7-7:30a, since I’m not actually getting to sleep until around midnight most nights. Maybe once I get that under control, I can work on moving my wake-up time.

2021 Week 3 wrap up

Got on a bit of a movie kick this week. Watched Suicide Squad, Black Panther, and the Maze Runner. I quite enjoyed them all. I do not have sophisticated tastes. Black Panther

My daughter is back in online schooling provided by my wife’s employer. It makes such a huge difference. Honestly, kids can’t learn from a five minute video and a Google Forms quiz. I feel for the schools and the teachers, but tthey still weren’t ready for this lockdown.

I’m still having fun in Fallout 76, but it’s tapering off a bit. Life is getting better now that I have an ammo converter, but I still spend way too much time fighting with my inventory. I think if I sign in tonight I’m going to just spend some time building out my camp, tidy it up a bit, and do some serious inventory management. I have my survival tent left near Watoga, which has two vendors who usually have their full allotment of caps, so I can sell lots of stuff. Feels odd to be planning MMO chores.

2021 Week 2 wrap up

Finished Take Control of Managing your Files. My initial impression was correct: there weren’t a lot of new ideas to me, and it lacked a lot of actionable information. I felt like the authore spent a lot of time hawking other Take Control books. Still, it got me thinking about my organization. Might be time for a blog post on my strategy.

I’ve been playing lots of (too much) Fallout: 76. It’s fun, and it’s got a pretty good player community. Higher level players frequently help out lower level with equiment and cash. I like to keep a few nice, crafted level five weapons and armour pieces on me when I’m near the starting area. The game is generally really good, but the main quests tend to be a bit too drawn out, and require a lot of traipsing back and forth across large bits of the map. The bit of the Brotherhood of Steel questline that has you visit the DMV (American vehicle licensing authority) is a joke that goes on way past when it stops being amusing. If you play, I’d love to hear from you!

When Panic’s IDE Nova came out, I was keen to give it a shot. At the time, though, I didn’t have a tonne of web development work, so I decided to wait until things picked up. By the time I got it they’d released a few major updates. I like it, it’s fast, and it’s a lot easier to tweak than VS Code. I did end up licensing it. But I’m not sure if it’s worth the additional cost to me. I have some work coming up this week, and I’ll make a point of doing it all in Nova (including the minor edits I usually just do in vim).

Made some good food this week. This crispy tofu was a hit with the family, and I’m probably going to make it again tonight. Made a huge batch of Lentil Bolognese soup. And we ordered from a new restaurant this week, Pakeel. The food was fantastic. The veggies tasted really fresh. Be forwarned: when they say hot, they mean it.

2021 Week 1 wrap up

I turned 45. The theme for this year is: a little bit better. A bit less junk food and booze. A bit more sleep. A bit more exercise. More reading, less time spent browsing internet nonsense. More time spent with hobbies, and family. A bit less time spent with low-quality entertainment.

Every year I grab the contents of my sent mail, and my three main inboxes, and my archive folder, and I stuff them into a dated folder in something I call “Cold Storage”. I then start the year with an empty inbox. It feels great. So far I hit Inbox Zero every day.

My computer has started to really act up. I’ve been bringing the same install along for maybe close to a decade between OS upgrades and a couple of hardware changes. I know people for whom this kind of thing works, but it looks like I’ve hit the cruft limit. Once I get my current batch of volunteer and freelance work done, and my taxes in, it’s time for a wipe.

Related, I’ve been reading Take Control of Managing your Files. It hasn’t been particularly ground-breaking so far, but it is helping me to figure out what’s working, and what isn’t, in my filing system. I’m taking a bit of time each day to move things around, and I’m already noticing an improvement.

My daughter and I are getting back into Animal Crossing. For her it was all the fall and winter events she’d heard about somehow (probably commercials). For me it was finally getting an espresso machine, because I really want to turn my main room into an outdoor café.

Currently reading: Take Control of Managing your Files by Jeff Carlson 📚

January 1st is not magic

I want to make some changes in my life. I’ve hinted at them in past posts, and I’ve made some progress, but this past year has made me realize I need to get real. I was thinking about upcoming New Years and my big-in-that-it’s-a-multiple-of-five birthday, and thinking about starting things off then. But honestly? There’s nothing really that special about either of those days. It makes a lot more sense to just start. And then, when I inevitably fall off the wagon, start again.

The thing that really pisses me off about Google ending free storage for photos is that there used to be a tonne of great products in that space, but they were all paid. Then Google came in, crushed them with “free”. Now we have less choice, and Google start charging.

…I can’t shake the feeling today that I’m living in a society in collapse.

Edited to add: Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse

I had a conversation today in which we figured out that on a daily basis I use Apple hardware built in:

  • 2010 (an old 15" MacBook Pro that my daughter uses for homework)
  • 2012 (an iPad Mini that I use for recipes and videos while cooking)
  • 2016 (an iPhone SE that’s primarily my daughter’s, but we also use for feeding the Chromecast)

I also have a BlackBook that I’ve mentioned before that’s still in occasional use. The only other hardware I have that’s around that old and in regular use is my Synology DS213j that dates back to 2014. My phone is three years old, and I’m not in a rush to replace it.

I have a few take-aways. Apple stuff lasts, and I believe it’s worth the premium. We don’t need to upgrade as often as we do. And it’s imperative that we support right-to-repair laws. Computers should be able to last this long.

I redid my Raspberry Pi 4 (1GB) with a full desktop today to see what the experience was like. It was really good. I could definitely see the 8GB version working for a lot of people as a full-time computing device. Sticking VNC and xrdp on it, I was able to use the desktop reasonably well remotely as well, which opens up some interesting possibilities.