Back into gaming

So I’ve gotten back Into gaming on my Mac by buying Skylines Deluxe Edition for around NZ$50 and I’m please to say that I’m not disappointed – a game that sits on top of Metal and delivers a great experience which is fast and fluid when compared to many of the games that are still very much dependent upon OpenGL which, to be perfectly blunt, doesn’t exactly give the best experience when compared to the OpenGL experience on Windows. Putting that aside for a moment, I am happy none the less and hopefully I’ll get a reply back from Aspyr (the publisher of Civilisation V on the Mac).

There is a rumour that updates for macOS, iOS, tvOS and watchOS will be pushed out tomorrow given that it is rumoured that the iOS 12.4 beta 7 that was pushed out in quick succession to the iOS 12.4 beta 6 indicates that beta 7 is pretty much the GM which will make it ready for the launch of the Apple Card. Side note, it’ll be interesting to see where else it’ll launch given that Goldman Sachs has a presence outside of the United States and whether there is also a vision for Marcus, the consumer banking division, is also interested in branching out beyond the United States.

Tomorrow is pay day but this time I’ve finally got myself organised with a shopping list – nothing worse than heading into the store with aspirations of doing the right thing only to fritter away money because there is no shopping list of what one needs to buy. I’ll finish off the shopping list before I head off to work tomorrow so I’ll be all prepared for shopping after work. Hopefully the supermarket will have the bags of ciabatta bread that they have on special sometimes – they go really well with soups or even just by itself.

Looking back at last week and looking forward to the coming week

One more day to go before I can have a day off and next week I’ll be doing an extra day of overtime – eventually the number of hours available for overtime will be reduced as new employees are trained up so I’m making hay while the sunshines. On a good side of all this has been the fact that the winter hasn’t been as cold as expected so I haven’t used my heater for the last week or so which will probably result in me having some of the lowest power bills over winter when compared to last year. The other factor which contributed to the warmer home has been the double glazed windows that were installed before winter which has resulted in a more 

Hakim, someone I subscribe to on YouTube, has uploaded a video regarding the collapse of the USSR:

If you’re looking for more videos into the USSR from a left wing perspective then check out the numerous Michael Parenti videos that are available – doesn’t use unnecessary jargon and a great way to get into the left wing by having someone who can talk about otherwise completely topics in an accessible format. Here is a good video to give you a ‘taste’ of his style of lecture.

With all that being said I’m pretty happy with how things are going and this weeks big pay packet (from doing almost 20 hours overtime) will enable me to fill up the freezer with some added food. I think what I’m going to do going forward is have a wider variety of food as to avoid ‘getting bored’ and then buying take aways which ends up costing more if one were to add it up over a fortnight. Since I’ll have two days off and opportunities for overtime diminish, I might start making home made pizzas with my favourite being Hawaiian with the added kick that I use Hot Pork (link) rather than just standard ham  which adds an extra zest and I might throw some charred grilled capsicum (link) which has a lovely delicate sweet profile that goes well with the pineapple (yes, I like pineapple on pizza).

The parcel has finally arrived

So the order from the United States finally arrived.

Oh Yeah – Charles Mingus

Don Ellis: Soaring – Don Ellis

Kicking Against The Pricks – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

The Blues Brothers: Original Soundtrack Recording – The Blues Brothers

Pangaea – Miles Davis

Agharta – Miles Davis

Replicas – Gary/Tubeway Army Numan

Gold – The Best Of Spandau Ballet – Spandau Ballet

Thick As A Brick – Jethro Tull

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 / Marche Slave (Slavonic March)

Birkenstock Men’s London Clog Habana Oiled Leather Size 46

Birkenstock Men’s Boston SFB Heritage Leather, Brown Amalfi Size 46

I had to duck off from work because it was delivered at home and put on my front door step (you’d think that the courier would use some commonsense and put it on the back doorstep which is out of view from the road but alas it was put at the front door). In future I think I’ll get it delivered to work with the bonus of it being safe at work. Anyway, when I have my day off I’ll write some album reviews.

Apple outage results in a bug being fixed, delivery almost here

I’m sure some of you have been following the iCloud outage that occurred over a day ago but funny enough when the system came back online that part of the tactually resulted in a bug being fixed. That bug was an issue with iCloud Drive where one uploaded files to the iCloud Drive but it kept saying the incorrect amount free/available as if the files had never been uploaded even thought they were. Interesting enough after iCloud coming back online I checked out System Preferences out of curiosity and it appears to have been fixed – is 97GB have been uploaded so I’m a happy lad so far. I don’t both uploading the AAC versions since re-encoding is so easy I’m not going to worry about backing up those.

Customs has gotten back to me with a client code – one of those things that once you’ve got it then you’r in the system and all subsequent imported stuff will be a lot more smooth sailing. My only wish would be for NZ Post to integrate the custom payments into their YouShop system so then it wouldn’t be a two step process of having to deal with different organisations. Maybe if I feel motivated I might provide NZ Post some feedback – but my feeling is that ends up resembling something like this:

Screen Shot 2019 07 07 at 1 41 47 AM

Oh well, Got a killer headache – going to head off to bed and might take tomorrow off if it doesn’t get any better.

Feels good…chipping away

It feels good making ground on something that started off appearing to be an insurmountable task but I transferred the money across and it was so satisfying seeing the amount owed drop by a big amount – it makes working those bits of overtime all the more worth while. At the moment my employer is looking to employ more people but in the mean time there is a lot of overtime go go around so I’m taking advantage of the overtime whilst it lasts and gaining ground in my ‘road to financial freedom’ mission that has big strides since finishing off the student loan. I’ve got around 17 hours overtime for the next fortnight but the weeks following it has dropped down to around 10 hours over time but it is better than nothing. One of my work mates is heading over to Japan for the Rugby World Cup so I’m hoping that it’ll allow me to pick up some extra hours – cash in some more options.  I’d say by next year I would have also saved up enough holiday pay that I can cash it in and gain even more ground. Long story short – as I progress forward the burden on me has become more manageable.

It appears that Apple is replacing their keyboard design, which has many reports of premature failure, with a completely new design (link) It’ll be interesting to see how it all works out in the end. The interesting part is where the refresh goes now that Intel has more or less had a reboot of not only its CPU line up but also the discrete GPU as well which raises interesting questions whether Apple will move to Intel GPU’s if it means simplifying their supply chain and having some sort of leverage over Intel to get lower prices on components. I kind of wonder how this will fit into the larger rumours regarding Apple embracing their own ARM SoC. I’m looking forward to Apple releasing their next operating system – it’ll be interesting to see what under the hood optimisations have been made – reports so far is that iOS 13 has big performance improvements for day to day tasks.

Back to work tomorrow and eye on the prize

Back to work tomorrow with the added benefit of having 1 1/2 hours over time each day along with working an extra day next week – working quickly towards the financial goal and if everything stays on track then by the end of year I’ll be around 1/3rd of the way to the end goal. With all this being said, I’m still deciding whether I go up to Auckland to have Christmas with grandma and mum or whether I stay down in Wellington and work over Christmas with the added bonus of being able to make some extra cash working on Boxing Day along with New Years day and day after New Years day. That being said, I could take off 23-29 December with the benefit of still getting the over time plus the lieu days so I guess it is about balancing it all up.

Today the pants that I ordered online arrived – nice and comfortable for work tomorrow but I put them through the wash along with giving my wooden jersey a wash too. Ordinarily if I just put it on the clothes horse it would take a while to dry but I’ve also go try dehumidifier running as well which only costs a few cents per day – a whole lot cheaper than when I was living down in Christchurch and had a dryer where you could see the spike in electricity usage (and cost) for that day. One of the aspects of the new smart metres I like is the ability to keep track how much electricity I use each day so then I can control the cost each month. Anyway, I’ve tried on the pants and they fit perfectly – net and presentable for work along with being very comfortable so it is a set up from the single pair of black pants that I was washing each night and drying them over night for the next day.

It’ll be interesting to see when iOS 12.4 will launch but from what it appears the launch date will be around or on the launch date of the Apple Card which will also mark the release of tvOS 12.4, macOS 10.14.6 and watchOS 5.3. Whilst all that is happening I had to download and install Microsoft Word because I had to fill out a form from the New Zealand Customs Service because I am buying over $1000 worth of product into New Zealand and thus needed to apply for some special code. Hopefully by the end of this week it’ll all be sorted out and the stuff I bought will be on their way. On a good side, once it is all setup then in future it should be easy since all I’ll need to do is quote the code again,. I’ll throw the GST I owe on my Visa credit card to clock up those Fly Buys which currently sits at 159 points – maybe I’ll get that $50 New World voucher – it is the main reason why collect points, to spend on vouchers which then allow me to spend it on things I want.

Reddit Anarchism: Weekend political cosplay

I’ll start my blog post with a disclaimer, my participation in the anarchism subreddit was fleeting at best – I might upvote the occasional post I found interesting and reply if there was something interesting I could contribute but most of the time I was subscribed but never participated. What I thought was funny was a moderator from the subreddit banning me:

Was it because I said something racist? homophobic? I was trolling? I was stirring up drama and derailing? nope, it is because I had the audacity to maybe, just maybe, look at the world and realise that getting from point (A) to point (B) actually requires strategy and tactics, it requires building alliances, having temporary relationships of convenience for the sake of holding ground when confronting a larger more vicious enemy then regrouping to deal with the original institutionalised power structures once the immediate enemy is taken care of. When dealing with the situation in Syria, as anarchists, do you keep your resources stretched by fighting both Assad and ISIS (and its allies/sympathisers) at the same time or do you recognise that it is firstly ISIS (and its allies/sympathisers) who pose the greatest threat and secondly that although Assad is horrible you recognise that a temporary truce with Assad’s forces gives you enough space to fight the greater threat to then regroup to then focus on Assad at a later date.

It is called strategy – something the online anarchists never talk about because the only time they leave the house is when they check their letter box but other than that they’re privileged enough to live in an middle to upper class existence where they can do political cosplay on the weekend because to them it is all fun and games which doesn’t matter in any material way for them because they’ve got nothing riding on it – they’ve got what they want, it is little flirtation with rebellion that they have online to make their otherwise drab suburban middle class existence appear to be remotely interesting.

This is also part of the reason why echo chambers on the internet resulting in nothing ever being achieved in the real world – because deep down inside they don’t want any sort of success as so far as winning power because what that would require of them is for them to deliver not heir promises. Part of delivering on promises involves actually having to take theoretical ideas and bring them into the real world where real people are having to be dealt with – and sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that means having to make compromises, having reform in a piece meal way, that the process sometimes involves 5 steps forward and 2 steps back. Long story short, the nice clean surgical grade purity of a given ideology cannot exist in the real world because the real world is complex, real world involves dealing with people, dealing with conditions that are outside of your control and at times that means making decisions that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought you would have had to do back when your only exposure was participating in an online circle jerk.

When you’re in the world of theoretical speculation you can be as far up your own backside as you want, you can make wild speculative ideas not grounded in reality but utopian views of how one would like the world to work. Sure, it’s a fun parlour game that anyone can play but like the parlour game of “if I had a $1million what would I spend it on” the participants at least admit that it is all fun and games which is more than I can say for the many online anarchists. It reminds me of the critique of neoconservatives by George Will regarding their over estimation of the United States power and influence in the world not to mention the self delusion that United States will be welcomed as liberators after Saddam was toppled. Michael Parenti wrote a great essay dissecting the anti-communist left which touches on some of the issues I’ve raised in this blog post (link).