Happy new decigigasecond! The Unix timestamp ticked over from 1,699,999,999 to 1,700,000,000 on Tuesday evening. That’s 1.7 Gs since 1 January 1970 in UTC. As far as I’m aware, decigigasecond isn’t a word. It is now.

I reached a 2000 day streak on Duolingo. That’s about five and a half years of daily practice. I certainly find it much more enjoyable since I set my profile to private to opt out of the leagues.

I managed to book an appointment to get our gas and electricity meters upgraded. I do have reservations about the privacy and security implications of smart meters, but they’re pretty much unavoidable now, and they do provide advantages, like not having to go outside and peer at numbers, and access to tariffs that vary by time of day.

Plus, we already have smart meters, just ones that are operating in a very non-smart mode. Technically, they are SMETS1 meters that were supposed to be upgraded. Several deadlines later, that clearly isn’t happening, and so energy companies are supposed to replace ones that haven’t been upgraded with SMETS2 meters, by the end of the year.

Every time I went to Octopus’s page, usually to submit a reading, they asked me to book an installation. Every time I tried, it failed with an unknown error. Eventually, I wrote them a slightly sarcastic email, explaining how I would love to help them meet their obligations. They said they could do it on Thursday. Unfortunately, they didn’t say when on Thursday, so I’ll be stuck in waiting.

I’m looking forward to not having to take readings, but I’m also hoping to be able to monitor usage and cost in near-real-time using Octopus’s API

A strange thing happened on Friday. As I went to prepare my bicycle, I heard an engine running. I came out of the back gate, and instantly I turned into the road behind, a dark grey unmarked late-model Transit van drove off. I rode through the passage towards the front of the house, where an almost identical van also suddenly drove off. I followed this one to the end of the road, where I noticed a little camera lens mounted in the back door.

Maybe it’s coincidence, but it did look very much like a stakeout. I hope not.

I listened to live jazz based on the work of William Byrd by David Gordon and Tenor Madness, part of the London Jazz Festival. If jazz standards can be based on popular tunes from the 1940s, why not popular tunes from the 16th century? It was unusual – it was the first time I’d ever heard harspichord and viola da gamba in a jazz context – but excellent.