Archive: 2022

  • Week 77: One hundred million

    I went to give blood, for the 37th time. They’ve got new finger stab devices (I’m sure there’s a proper name) for the iron level tests, and they’re a definite improvement over the old ones. You still get stabbed, but the new ones leave less bruising. A few hours later, I couldn’t even tell it had happened. The old ones used to leave a mark for days.

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  • Week 76: Two inch tape, what’s that?

    I put up a blind in my office window. It’s just a simple white roller blind that cuts 30% of the light. It solves the problem that around late afternoon, the sun shines directly in and makes it unbearably bright and hot. Not every day, clearly, this is England, but often enough to be annoying. I can close the curtains, but then it’s dark. Now, however, I can have daylight without that death ray effect.

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  • Week 75: So tired

    I’m exhausted because I was woken up at two in the morning by an alarm going off. It was a particularly annoying alarm, a clanging mechanical bell like some kind of old fire station. It’s hot, so we had the window open, but it was disturbing even with the window closed. I found some earplugs and managed to resume my sleep, but the overall results were less refreshing than I had hoped.

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  • Week 74: Everyone else gets a three day week

    Elizabeth Windsor completed another consecutive year of not dying. (What? Why are you looking at me like that? That’s exactly what a Jubilee is: staying alive for a round number of years while being a monarch.)

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  • Week 73: Competitive learning

    I met a couple of friends from university for an evening of live music from Mount Forel, Anteloper (who are looking for a new name, I think because there’s a US band called the same), and Cosmorat (“Our aim is to become the biggest band on LinkedIn”). All put on a great show. I cut it quite fine but managed to catch the last tube home from the Deep North (well, the northern Zone 2/3 borders).

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  • Week 72: Getting round to it

    I finished putting together a beater bike for L—: one that isn’t too expensive or risky to ride somewhere and leave parked. She has a Brompton, which is very convenient in one respect, but you have to take them with you. Sometimes that isn’t possible.

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  • Week 71: Pop goes the wheel

    A different kind of bicycle drama this week. I was half asleep on the sofa when a loud bang roused me. This was followed by a hissing that alerted me to the cause: the rubber around the valve stem of my Brompton wheel had split and the valve was no longer connected to the tube.

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  • Week 70: Staying upright

    I had an awful experience cycling along the pedestrian and cycle path next to the East London Line on Sunday afternoon. It was a sunny day, with many people walking and cycling. I heard an engine behind, and five or six young men on three motorbikes (or maybe scooters) approached at high speed. When I became an impediment to their progress, because I couldn’t get out of their way when they nearly crashed into me on both sides, they deliberately tried to knock me off.

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  • Week 69: Gaeltacht Chois Tamaise

    I eventually finished off all the cauliflower I’d cooked, L— came back from her trip to France, and life is back to normal.

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  • Week 68: Dinner for one

    L— is away visiting friends in France, so I’ve been home alone, and I needed to use up the enormous cauliflower from our vegetable box, so my diet has been a bit monotonous. I still have several servings left. At least the thing I cooked (Indian style with spinach) is tasty.

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  • Week 67: Confinement

    My bout of covid wasn’t too bad. By Monday I felt pretty normal again, with just a bit of a productive cough. The weirdest symptom I had, which seems to affect others too, was painful reflux, but that was easy to deal with by taking antacid tablets.

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  • Week 66: Two lines on the test

    (Sung to the tune of Three Lions. When I first heard that song on the radio, in 1996, knowing nothing about football or the England team, I thought that the lyrics were “three lines on the shirt, jewels remain still gleaming”.)

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  • Week 65: Containment breach

    Covid has breached our perimeter. L— had to work all weekend. She came home on Sunday with a sore throat, did a lateral flow test, and lost. After two and a bit years of treating patients with covid, she finally got it. Symptoms so far seem limited to a sore throat, achiness, and feeling sorry for herself.

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  • Week 64: Unexpected plumbing event

    I had plans for Thursday afternoon. I was going to take a book to the park and read in the sun on what was possibly the warmest day of the year so far. But then I reached beneath the sink, touched something wet, and realised that my afternoon was going to be consumed by a plumbing emergency instead.

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  • Week 63: Wee donkeys

    I don’t feel like I did much this past week. The weather was nice, and I took a few long walks in the sun. I didn’t even need a coat on Friday.

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  • Week 62: A night at the opera

    L— had the week off so it was my turn to be at work while she wasn’t, at least from Monday to Wednesday.

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  • Week 61: Making repairs

    We have a new fence, thanks to our neighbour, and his van, tools, and building expertise. We have concrete posts this time, so that ought to last for a while even if there’s another storm.

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  • Week 60: Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй

    I stayed up late on Wednesday working on refactoring my oscillator code, late enough to catch OSINT people spotting troop movements on the Belgorod (Russia) to Kharkiv (Ukraine) road via a traffic jam on Google Maps. At that point it was obvious that whatever Putin was about to do involved a lot more than just Donetsk and Luhansk, and so I stayed up for another few hours while the grim reality unfolded.

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  • Week 59: The tempest

    On Thursday, L— and I went to Gauthier Soho for a fancy dinner to celebrate our fifth year together. We went for the tasting menu with the wine pairing and … I’m never doing that again.

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  • Week 58: Fixed-point approximation

    I went to give blood for the first time in a while. It was a lovely day for a cycle ride into the City of London, and I didn’t even need a hat or scarf. (It didn’t last: the temperature dropped significantly a day later.) It was my first donation since a brief spell of anaemia last year, but my haemoglobin levels were very good this time, and it all went fine.

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  • Week 57: The star is called Wormwood

    I had a bit of a Spın̈al Tap moment this week. I wanted to tidy up my soldering tools, so I ordered a small toolbox. It’s one thing to see it advertised as 12.5”. It’s quite another to receive the tiny box, open it, and realise that the usable volume is much less than the length as measured at its longest point would indicate. Now I still have a mess plus a box that’s too small. It might be good for holding sewing stuff instead: it’s not really worth the hassle of returning something so cheap.

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  • Week 56: It's alive

    My circuit boards arrived from JLCPCB and they’ve really exceeded my expectations. The front panels that I intended to be temporary turned out perfectly, and as I made Kicad fooprints for all the elements, I now have the ability to make other panels in the same style very easily. I even like the bog standard vector PCB lettering for the labels.

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  • Week 55: Bit rot

    All the components have arrived for my Pipistrelle project, and I’m just waiting for the circuit boards. Those were completed towards the end of the week, and they’re currently somewhere at a Fedex facility in Guangzhou.

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  • Week 54: Going into production

    I finally ordered the circuit boards for my Eurorack project, which I’ve given the name Pipistrelle after the soprano pipistrelle bats that live in the woodland by our house.

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  • Week 53: Keeping going

    I was torn on how to number this week, whether to restart at 1 (the ISO week number), or keep going, or do something else entirely. But as I started with 0 back in January 2021, I decided to just continue. There is an ISO week 53 in some years, but never a 54, so it will no longer be ambiguous from next week. It’s nice to have a monotonically-increasing number as an encouragement.

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  • Week 52: Winterregnum

    We did it. 2021 is over. L— and I went for dinner at a friend’s house, watched a strange, low budget, but very enjoyable comedy horror film (Tucker & Dale vs Evil), and went out to the river to watch the fireworks and light shows at midnight.

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