One more day to go and it’ll soon be the weekend – time to get things sorted out at home. Looking back it is funny how I haven’t had soft drink for the week but what I also thought about is how much money has been saved by not buying soft drinking. When it comes to my much needed caffeine fix I’ve been able to ween myself off coffee with milk and I’ve been drinking coffee black (no milk) – a great way to get that caffeine hit at work without the price tag. Could I give it up? Sure, but it would hell on earth and little real benefit giving up a caffeine based beverage for zero health benefits other than the moral high ground of “I’m an all natural person who doesn’t need stimulants because I’m high on life”.
There are two big events coming up in the next month or so with the first being the ‘World Mobile Congress’ where it is rumoured that Samsung will launch the Galaxy S10 with three models that closely mirror the Apple product range of iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max. It’ll be interesting to see whether there are other products released – I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing a refresh of their wearable line up but I doubt we’ll see Samsung embrace wearOS especially when you also consider that Samsung uses Tizen in their televisions instead of Android TV. It is interesting to see the growing relationship with Apple with the inclusion of iTunes Store with the range of Tizen televisions which makes me wonder whether this is part of a much more long term goal of moving away from Google in terms of a reliance on on their ecosystem resulting in what Samsung wanting and what Google wanting not always lining up.
Towards the end of March there is a rumoured event regarding a subscription news service along with a greater focus on cloud services so it’ll be interesting to see what Apple deliver. What will also make for an interesting discussion is the work being done on 10.14.4 particularly with the work being done with Webkit and the regular Technology Preview’s being pushed out which has done a lot of work in the area of HTML5 compliance especially in the area of web applications given how there is a general trend in that direction with Spotify being the most obvious example but also Twitter doing the same thing when they retired their Twitter desktop based application in favour of a PWA (Progressive Web Application). By getting Webkit to support those technologies it will hopefully translate to vendors at least allowing users to install PWAs on their computer without having to haul along the Chromium baggage. Hopefully the added support for those technologies will allow end users to benefits whilst taking advantage of the inherit efficiency that comes from Webkit when compared to Chromium.
With that being said, it’ll make for interesting discussion given that 10.14.4 comes with added biometric support from within the browser which makes me wonder whether Apple has taken time to backporting those features back to the current stand version of Safari or whether they just said “bugger it” and branched and stabilised a technology preview then crowned it with a stable version number. There is also iOS 12.2 in the works so I’m looking forward to see what that also delivers.
Well, laying in bed as I chill out before heading off to sleep but I thought I might as well ‘spill my guts’ on what I’ve done today. Well, I slept in this morning until 11am and got up to have a cup of tea and work out what to do. So basically I farted around for a few hours – went out and bought a buttered chicken pie and a banana/sultana/salted caramel muffin – brunch of champions.
Tonight I went along to the local Green Party meeting – the first one since becoming a member over a year ago but it was a productive one and it is great to see the many people from different walks of life and their impact on the local community in which I live. Next month one of the MPs from central government will visit and answer a variety of questions which will hopefully also illuminate how the government operates – hopefully that’ll give me some hope that a lot of work is occurring behind the scenes but it isn’t being reported on.
I’m giving Chrome 72 a try with Chrome 73 coming out with dark mode support in macOS along with Progressive Web App (PWA) support which will make for an interesting situation given that the mobile Twitter page is practically a PWA. I’m looking forward to WWDC this year particularly when you consider the major improvements in Safari that have been in the works (as seen with their technology previews they’ve been putting out since the programme began). I think the big announcement or at least I hope doing something about their iCloud service especially for those users who depend on using the web based interface.
I’ve been feeling bloody horrible for a week so I’ve been pulling things out of my diet – the first thing I did was pull out dairy for my diet. No more ‘Up and Go’, no more ‘instant flavoured coffee’ (which include powdered milk) in favour of black coffee etc. and that alone has really helped. The other part has been getting rid of bread – stripping out carbohydrates to the absolute bare minimum and that has also helped as well so I am unsure why I am feeling better but it appears to be working so I’m going to continue on my merry way with this programme. Btw, it has been one hell of an arduous task because I love chocolate and I really love ice cream but I’m not going to go back to having the really bad stomach pain that I had if the end result of eating a tub of ice cream is 10 minutes of bliss followed by two days of absolute agony (imagine someone crushing your stomach whist stabbing it with a thousand knives).
Tonight have had a wonderful lamb with mint sauce – pepper and Himalayan pink salt, cooked in the oven for around 28 minutes, then left to rest for 5 minutes then got into nice slices with mint sauce. After being at work I didn’t feel like anything else – no vegetables, no rice, no couscous, just some slices of lamb with mint sauce and that has left me a happy lad.
Tomorrow is the last day of the work week where I’ll be starting early and back home early which will mean that I’ll get an early start on Monday to get things sorted for the coming week. I’ve been having a look at my holiday hours that I’ve clocked up and it looks like I have over two weeks of holidays not to mention the days in lieu so it’ll be interesting whether, like my previous job, they will ask me whether I want to go on a break as to reduce the amount of outstanding holidays since such holidays constitute an unfunded liability sitting on the books.
I’m looking forward to this year, finally paying off the last bit of my student loans then working on getting the rest of my financial life in better shape but so far things are going well – it’s a long term project but that is the main focus so that when I get to the end of 2020 that I am 100% debt free and I am in better financial health as well as better physical health.
Sigh, one of those times when you wish the weekend was longer given how nice the weather is – windows and door to the backyard open with a nice refreshing breeze going through the house whilst listening to the album ‘Stop making sense’ from the band ‘Talking Heads’. It is one of those albums that can’t but want to listen from start to finish – no interruptions, enjoying the music as it was intended.
In the mean time I’m giving Chrome a try on my iMac, MacBook Pro and iPhone to see how it performs but so far I am pretty damn happy and they’ve finally addressed the issue where spell checking wouldn’t work when using Twitter, WordPress and other websites – I don’t know what they did to fix it but it is now working.
Why am I giving Chrome a go? I’ve started doing my tweeting via the twitter website because unfortunately Twitter moved to a new API that, unless you pay for the full featured API set, the experience for those using third party applications is less that ideal when one compares to using the website. Chrome has the best PWA integration and I have found that Safari tends to really lag especially if you’ve loaded up a long list of tweets and doubly so if there are animated gifs and videos too.
The trend I am noticing with the move towards progressive web applications (PWA) is either the killing off of API’s that third parties can use to create locally/offline clients or if they are continuing that the API’s are either crippled or they offer a full featured API only if you’re willing to pony up with the money to get exclusive access to it along with the engineering support that comes with it (I assume that the amount charge is in part to cover the engineering costs of maintaining a public API that remains compatible with the various client that may use it).
I wonder to what extent the long term goal for these organisations is to eventually move to PWA’s so that there is a uniformity between their mobile application and what the end user uses on their computers web browser along with not having to create and maintain API’s which free them to make changes behind the scenes without having to worry about the downstream consequence to third party applications.
Well, it is pay day today so I’ve paid all my bills and bought my fortnightly groceries on the way home – generally I tried to avoid having ‘top ups’ because any visit to the supermarket always ends up resulting buying more things that I had planned. It is one of those things where you go into the store but you end up leaving with more than you wanted – the problem being made worse if you’re hungry at the time so you end up not only buying more you end up buying food that isn’t all that healthy to begin with.
All the bills are paid but I think what I’m going to do over the next few months is keep putting $50 per fortnight into my power account so that I can build up a good nest egg so when winter comes along I can keep paying the same amount in there without having to worry about topping it up more because I’m using more electricity than during summer.
Anyway, I better get going to sleep.
Work has been great but it has been crazy with recent changes which has impacted customers so I’ve opted in to doing some overtime for the last couple of days (2 hours on Friday and Saturday) and I was tempted to go an extra hours on Sunday but I was completed stuffed by the end of my Saturday shift that I really need a good night sleep. Although my job isn’t physically exhausting it is very mentally exhausting – although I can deal with interacting with people I find it mentally exhausting and thus I need at least 1-2 days off to recharge my batteries which is where I stay at home, chill out, go for quiet walks by myself etc.
After a few months of quietness it appears that the developers over at Ubiquiti has picked up steam with the recent updates to Unifi USG, Unifi Switch and Unifi AC AP HD – they’ve delivered 5GHz 160MHz channel support (I’ve stayed with 80MHz since none of my hardware supports 160MHz channels). It’ll be interesting to see what the next version of the Unifi Controller will be like – maybe ipv6 support will be ready or at least moved out of alpha stage at the moment but that being said, given that Spark is still on ipv4 with no disclosed time period for ipv6 I’m in no great hurry other than the geek cred of having the latest and greatest.
I’m still thinking about putting together a ‘once a week’ podcast – if I use a service then I’ll probably sign up for libsyn but I’ll see how it all turns out.
I had a great weekend with the finale being today where I bought some Silver Fern Farms lamb and it is so perfect with mint sauce – nothing special in terms of proportion other than taking the meat out of the packaging, Himalayan rock salt and cracked better on both sides then left there to rest before putting it into the oven for around 25 minutes – came out wonderfully medium rare resulting in the full flavour of the meat shining through. I ended up finishing off the night with a G & T – something refreshing with the door to the back porch open to allow the fresh air to come through. With that all being said, I am tempted to finally make some investment into outdoor furniture out the back along with some giant pot plants – maybe a lemon and a lime tree? A few planter boxes with flowers etc? Right now it is just concrete and it really lacks the homely feel that I would like to give it although I really want to do something about the fence along the back because it is slowly falling to pieces – I think a colour steel with a good rails mounted on some concrete posts not to mention that I also want to sort out the door on the shed as well.
I finally got my act together to give the place a top to bottom clean and with that also meant fresh sheets on on the bed and airing the duvet on the line. Always good, when there is fine weather, to give the house a good airing along with hoovering and washing everything that can be washed.