Enjoying the weekend..getting healthy

The week before last week I said to myself that I would go for a walk at least 4 times and I did it which averaged around 8km each day (32km over all) where as this week I’m aiming to go for a walk every night – even if it just a small 4km walk my focus is to get into a good exercise routine so then it becomes second nature. There are the health benefits of going for some regularly exercise but it also a great way to empty ones mind after a long day at work. The last week I ended up going for a walk at least 5 days a week so this week, barring bad weather I’m aiming for a walk each night – I’ve done a measure where the ‘short walk’ is 5km where as the ‘long walk’ is 9km, so hopefully if I can do 3 days of short walks and 4 days of long walks but I’ll see how I feel but the main goal is to at least get moving 7 days a week. I think the whole ‘get moving’ is important because I work in a job where I sit down all day and because that lack of physical it is very easy to gain wake rather quickly without noticing especially during the Christmas time as nibbles are being handed around – lord knows I know that first hand how quickly weight can creep up.

Oh and the other part of this ‘getting back on track’ is having a good night sleep – that is another thing that so many dieticians point to – have a good night sleep because when you’re tired and haven’t had enough rest then you feel hungry resulting in overeating etc.so I’ve been ensuring that I get a good night sleep. 

In the mean time I’ve been looking at all the alternative social networking platforms and I’ve become particularly concerned with privacy and how my personal data is treated particularly when large chunks of it is residing in meta corporations like Twitter, Google, Apple etc. and whether in the long term it is healthy to have such a concentration of personal information in the hands of organisations whose primary reason for existence is profit maximisation for shareholders. I am sceptical though that there will be meaningful regulation given how captured the political process is in the United States and although the European Union can act (and has done so) for a country like New Zealand, unless we enter into some sort of regulatory union with the European Union so that we can piggy back on their regulations along with enforcement mechanisms then Facebook for example will continue ignoring their obligations under New Zealand’s privacy act as they’ve done so already (link). Although I am off Facebook I am looking at getting off WhatsApp and Microsoft’s own platform as well 

First day of my weekend gone

The weekend is going great – went for a 10km power walk tonight in between the rain which, by the way, has been raining cats and dogs on and off so the end result has been that my new roof has been getting a good work out. Although a power walk does have health benefits I also find it as an effective way to unwind and clear the clutter out of ones mind – focus on ones breathing the fresh cool air of the night whilst laying out a long term strategy to get where I want to be in 2-3 years time.

I’ve been having a look at the new Android Pie and how people are reporting on it along with a rumour that the Pixel 3 will be launching in the beginning of October this year. As I’ve said in the past, when it comes to the phone I am not wedded to Apple but because Google has flat out refused to provide the Pixel and Pixel 2 in New Zealand then the end result is always a shitty experience because of Samsung’s butchering of Android by ramming their Samsung Cloud that no one wants, that no one needs but Samsung keeps ‘trying to make it happen’ when it is clear that people just buy Android devices as a conduit to access Google services – Samsung devices are a means to an end and I wish that Samsung would stop trying to think that customers want a more Samsung experience when most just want Samsung to get out of the way. Lets hope that either the Pixel 3 comes either via their Play Store Devices or Kogan, PB Tech, Noel Leeming or some carrier bring it to New Zealand.

There have been another round of iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS betas a couple of days ago with all the feedback I’v read over on Reddit, Macrumors, Arstechnica and so on have been very position with many noting that even at this point it still feels very much like a final version given how robust it feels when compared to previous developer previews on 10.13. With all this praise it makes me wonder whether this is part of that rumoured big push by Apple to deal with the software quality issue that took a battering in the online press this year and the prior especially around dumb security and bug issues (such as the roof fiasco) or how features like APFS support on Fusion drives on 10.13 left end users feeling as though they had been shafted by Apple having bought a fusion drive only to find that they were left out in the cold when it came to their signature file system that was talked about at the announcement of High Sierra.

The biggest let down in the Android ecosystem has always been the lack of a decent Android TV set top box – either you have to purchase a woefully out of date CPU which dates back to 2015 or buying a whole new television set from Sony with the cheapest model that has Android TV starts at $1449 and when the vendor no longer wants to update the Android TV included then you’re stuck with an out of date expensive piece of equipment where as getting a set an Apple TV set top box would be a whole lot cheaper.

Oh, and from the ‘a solution in search of a problem’ department it appears that Alexa (and probably can be applied to other voice assistances) appears not to be as widely used to order things via Amazon as the ads on the internet and television would like to make out to be. Amazon of course is in detail overdrive but it appears, according to the article on Arstechnica (link) that only a small percentage of users actually use it to buy stuff. Who would have thunk it – a gimmicky device searching for a problem to solve that doesn’t actually exists turns out to be a giant waste of time. Here’s a hint Amazon, instead of shipping gimmicky devices how about shipping products to New Zealand instead of the current situation that every other product listed on your website saying, “seller does not ship outside of the United States’ and the numerous services that aren’t available from my location – apparently New Zealand is a giant backwater to Jeff Bezos but then again I wouldn’t be surprised given how stuck in the echo chamber he has created for himself.

Trying to get back on track

So I have to admit I have slacked a bit and put on a couple of kgs – part of it is due to bad weather and after having a long day at work then a cold journey home then one is hankering for some comfort food to get warm again but my big focus tomorrow isn’t depriving myself like some sort of martyr but instead on focusing sticking within the 1500-1800 calorie allowance for the day. The other thing I am going to do is get back into going for a regular walk around the block during my breaks so it gets me out of the office and get me moving along with taking the stairs (up and down) rather than taking the lift – it doesn’t burn a huge amount of calories but it does boost the metabolism which can slow down if one is sitting down all day. Oh, that is another thing – I’m going to focus on standing up more during the day which will allow me to keep me awake (I tend if I sit down for long periods of time I start yawning and feeing tired for some reason). I think what I’ll do is do some more chatting on my blog which in part will help to keep me honest during my journey – I found it worked the last time and I think I’ll do the same now plus I think that most of you guys (and girls!) would sooner hear something more than me rattling on about Apple products.

Another macOS beta release and some overtime this week

The week is going great so far and the good news is that I am picking up some overtime by working Saturday but to be honest I’d be open to working Sunday too if they offered me to the change which would give me 17 1/2 hours over time for the week which translates into more money in the pocket and getting closer to my financial goals which will be great. Keeping in mind that it has been a lot colder than it has in the past which has been higher power bills but as summer comes along it should mean that things get back to normal.

I’ve been watching the documentary series uploaded to YouTube called: “No Gods, No Masters: A History of Anarchism”

Quite an interesting series with each episode around 50 minutes or so long.

The t-shirts I ordered online (From Cotton Bureau) finally arrived an they’re of very good quality so if I do need to purchase hoodies and other stuff then it appears to be a great place to buy it from – the cotton is very hard wearing an heavy weight. I personally prefer clothes that are more heavy weight and hard wearing hence my preference for the drill cotton black shirts I bought from Hard Yakka which are used in an industrial work environment – resistant to stains, easy to clean and last for a long time.

Things are going great with Skinny and am finding the internet a lot more responsive – there is an update that Ubiquiti will be pushing out in the next week so it’ll be interesting to see what improvements they have in store but their initial 3.9.40 update was pulled back because of some last minute bugs but they’ve just released their 3.9.42 so hopefully second time is the charm and there will be lots of positive feedback on the release candidate and that translates it into being pushed out in a weeks time.

In terms of getting healthy, it is about having the discipline to stick to a routine and eventually it’ll become second nature – celebrating small victories and remembering that slip-ups occur and getting back on track the next day because the start of each day is a second chance.

There has been another developer beta release of macOS and with that means we’re probably going to be around 10 weeks alway from a release at the earliest although if there is an iPhone event like they usually do around this time then there is a good chance that around mid September that they’ll make an iPhone announcement, possibly announce an iOS 12, tvOS and watchOS 5 release date (when it’ll drop to the web) then a release of macOS towards the end of September as what usually happens. It’ll be interesting because it’ll not only mean a release of macOS it’ll also include a completely revamped App Store along side big names like Microsoft, Adobe, Bare Bones Software and Panic bringing their flag ship products to the App Store.

Next step, putting it in action

So I’ve just organised my spread sheet all sorted out to keep tracking of calories in and calories out although I haven’t worried about keeping track of calories burnt when it comes to exercise since I view exercise as the ‘cherry on top’ rather than a critical component to the weight loss – I’m more focused on calories:

Screen Shot 2018 04 18 at 12 14 36 AM

If you’re wondering, yes I am using Apple Numbers for my spreadsheet. Long term I’m looking at getting an Apple Watch but I want to get my financial situation in good order and wait for the Apple Watch 4 which will the a truly mature product With that being said, I’ve feeling a whole lot better having the two short walks (one in the morning, one at night) vs. having a long walk at the end of the day with the benefit of not feeling stiff and horrible plus it is such a short amount of time (40 minutes) it is difficult to rationalise my way out of going for the walk which will make the routine a lot easier to stick to. Tomorrow I have some vegetarian burger patties for my brunch which will be 435 calories not including sauce and for meals at work I am opting for smaller meals so I take along 3 breakfast biscuits which around around 219 calories per packet and the net result is because I’m not having massive meals I’m not spiking my insulin resulting in feeling majorly hungry at the end of the night. I’ll see how that goes over the next few weeks but I think smaller meals more often that are calorie controlled is better than having a massive meal with all the side effects that come from that approach.

Mixing things up and getting back on track

What I’ve decided to do is rather than having a big walk each night I’ve decided to split it in half so that I have a 40 minute power walk before work then a 40 minute power walk after work and what I’ve found is that I’m no longer sore or stiff which can put me off keeping it up for the long term. Regarding the diet, I found some good breakfast biscuits – there is a new ‘soft range’ which will be nice at work with a coffee although before work tomorrow I’ll heat up some vegetarian sausages in the oven.

I’ve been following Firefox and it appears that the improvements that were merged into Firefox for the desktop are going to make their way into Firefox for Android. The interesting part will be over the long term when the core of Firefox is refactored and replaced with Rust based code with a primary focus on security and scalability to take advantage of multi-core configuration as well as hardware acceleration (Metal, DirectX and Vulkan) where appropriate.

Apple seems to be taking the ‘improve the product quality’ drive seriously with the work that was done on 10.13.4 and how quickly they’ve rolled onto 10.13.5 beta cycle so hopefully at the beginning of June when WWDC is launched we’ll see 10.14 focused on nailing down those fundamentals and hopefully see more investment into Metal to address performance shortcomings along with moving their software portfolio fully over to 64bit – particular Compressor which is still 32bit.

Making progress…finally

Finally got in touch with BNZ to things sorted out. I really feel for the people who work as the public face/voice of the organisation as I have worked with ANZ in the past so I try to keep that in mind when I chat to staff – remembering to phrase things in a way where I am not blaming them but rather BNZ aka “BNZ has failed to…” rather than “you guys have failed to….”. So hopefully I’ll get it all sorted but that being said it isn’t a great loss if it doesn’t work out given that it makes life easier rather than being something critical.

Went for a power walk tonight and I’ve signed back up to /r/loseit as it keeps me motivated – I’ve come so far with so much hard work I don’t want to go backwards having made so much progress. I’ve got to keep reminding myself that – keep it at the forefront of my mind and then eventually over time it’ll become second nature where I don’t have to consciously think about it since it would have become second nature to me.

Another piece of good news has been that Motorad has moved from Vivian Street in Wellington to Alice Town in Lower Hutt which will make getting my scooter serviced a whole lot easier than before. I took it in on Friday to get the back tyre replaced, odometer fixed up along with a yearly servicing – “if it’s broken, fix it” has been the instructions left for the mechanic so hopefully it’ll be all ready to be picked up next week on Saturday/Sunday as they’re my days off.

Google has officially moved compiling of Chrome for Windows over to Clang/LLVM which lots of patches submitted back which makes me wonder whether we’ll see Apple start using Clang/LLVM for compiling iTunes on Windows which means keeping a common tool chain on both platforms. At the other end you have G-Suite growing in usage – not only in the startups along with small to medium businesses but also established businesses are seriously considering Chrome Boxes and Chrome Books which leaves Microsoft is a pretty awkward position going forward as to where Windows fits into the equation. Where I work we’re 100% Google and it is amazing how quickly you realise that Microsoft Office is very much replaceable when the organisation one works for is motivated enough to make the change.