Week 93 – 01/01/2023

Just the two and half years since my last week note. A few things have happened since then. Pandemic continued, I got fat and lazier hence the stopping writing. Then I got sick of that and tried to lose some weight and get a bit fitter. Not doing too badly with that although one of my 2023 goals is to lose 3 stone so you know, slow progress.

In April 2022 I got promoted in my old job as Product Owner/Manager at Ideagen and then a few months later in August I got offered a more exiciting job as Head of Product at Total Processing in Manchester. A much better role that allows me to use more of my brain that I had done for some time. Looking forward to getting back to work as I have two new team members starting this month and I am still on the hunt for a third and we have so much to do. I have also been writing week notes in my new role, the CEO strongly encouraged it which was great. Managed to do 10 out of 12 weeks which is not bad going (the two I missed were Fridays I was off work/Xmas party day).

And now we enter 2023 I might try and get week notes going again. Might even try and write some actual proper posts. The death spiral of Twitter seems to have inspired the old web 2.0 hippies into believing the fediverse is real and the personal blog is back. Partly inspired by Phil Gyford’s Ooh Directory and a recurring misconception that I can actually write things. Let’s see.

Week 92 – 28/06/2020

A bit more breathing space at work. Got another release date nearing next week that we should hit. Don’t want to push it back but testing takes priority better to be right and late than on time and wrong.

Polished off Killing Eve series 3 in a week. Very watchable but has lost its spark.

Zoom quiz Saturday has become an enjoyable thing in lockdown. My second turn to host this week. Very happy with how it went. Not so happy with the hangover afterwards. Enjoying the making of a massive powerpoint of questions. This week I had rounds on Dead celebrities in 2020, Garfield, Pointless, Blankety Blank Supermatch, GAN generated celebrity hybrids with clues as they were very tough and a know your fetish multiple choice to finish off so to speak.

From the Celebreedy round

Went on a walk to Gillfield Wood. A place about two miles from where we live that we have not visited in the 8 years we have lived here. Just too much to see round here but also too much good telly.

Week 91 – 21/06/2020

You can’t make it all. Just got to deliver some things. Frustrates the life out of me when you know what the gaps are. Trying to finish one thing and start three new big strands of work. Not coping as well as I would like.

Little fires everywhere. The TV series not my current working life. Although like my current capability at work it was not quite as good as it could have been. Good story boringly told. Too lightweight in places. Shame.

Started Uncharted 4 (my contiuned quest to catch up on games from the last decasde continues). Very good so far. A good structured game instead of open world like Horizon Zero Dawn. Thirteen hours in and guessing about five left.

I have relented and finally allowed my youngest to start playing Fortnite. He loves it and I am enjoying how social he is being with it by using facetime on his iPad while he plays along with friends and they shout at each other at the same time. I have enjoyed trying to get to grips with the digital currency VBucks. I also had to study what the founders pack was and the battle pass and it made me feel old and inept. I also got into buying games from Brazil. Slightly dodgy but a good time working it out. Saved some money. Got my son more digital things for real pounds to keep him entertained on lockdown.

Week 90 – 06/06/2020

At work it was another deadline almost hit. Ridiculous amount of work got through to get to that position. Excellent team effort. Now another deadline to hit in about 6 weeks time. They never go away do they? Deadlines should be called zombie lines because they always come back to life, are never truly dead and they make me do really annoying and guttural groaning noises.

Burnt my fingers on an old halogen bulb in the extractor fan. Made me feel like I had tried to burn off my fingers prints and made everything I touched feel really weird for most of the week. I got this screenshot from the AWS app that made me feel something

Sanded one of the benches I made. Then it rained all week. We finally sorted out our downstairs toilet after it being a mess since we did the extension 2.5 years ago. The builder who sorted that also fixed our outdoor tap a previous plumber managed to disconnect. Crazy lives we lead but good to make some progress in lockdown.

Finished the build of an emulation PC. The main interface is a product called Playnite which is wonderful. It is a game launcher that hooks into all PC game sites and also lots of emulators. Reminds me of Kodi in that it is a piece of software that a bunch of people have just fixed a problem they have and are doing it for free to keep solving that problem for themselves and others. Excellent.

Still requires lots of work trying to get all the emulators and controllers working. When it works well it is great. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U emulator works like a dream. Many other games not so much.

Started watching White Lines. It should be brilliant (Ibiza, drugs, sex parties and a good murder mystery) but it is a few beats off and is only average. Bad casting of several people who have seemingly never been to Manchester or even heard any Mancunians speak but they are all meant to be from there, Angela Griffin the only exception to this. Music is not used well enough. Lead character really annoying and does very stupid things for no good reason, although it is kind of passed off as she has been a bit depressed in the past. Still we are ploughing on with it.

Week 89 31/05/2020

I have missed several weeks/weeknotes. They have gone by in a lockdown blur. For the amount of time I spend staring at a screen you would think typing would be an easy habit to keep but it is not for me. The last note I successfully posted at the time was on the 26th of April. It is now the 2nd of June and I am late again. The constant consumption of headlines and tweets and other digital sugar that while only ever feels like skimming the surface but still drags you down. Must get present and content. Not that kind of content.

Work very busy as we head towards a big test and release period. Team crunching through loads of work to get us close to the next point. Fraught, plate spinning from me as usual. Trying to get three other projects up and running all within the same team. Not sure how it will work really. Still not a delivery/programme manager but feel like I am doing more of that role.

A week of glorious sunshine. Took Thursday and Friday off work for a break before the craziness of the next few weeks. We were also meant to be in Turkey this week. Instead we spent lots of time in our garden. First use of a cheap Aldi BBQ, my first ever charcoal one. Eating outdoors, how luxurious. Started to build some garden sofas/big benches. Put up some shelves either side of a chimney breast and turned a room into more of a gaming room for the kids. Sorted one childs bedroom out a little. Badly smoked some meat on the BBQ. Felt like a proper middle aged man. Very lucky to have this life.

‘Finished’ Horizon Zero Dawn – not quite 100% and have been really addicted, about 95 hours spent so far, but I must move on. Uncharted 4 next I think. Or maybe I should get all those blazing sun trophies first? One of the most addictive games I have ever played. Highly recommended.

The news becomes ever worse. Society failing on many levels. We only ever seem to look at a few countries though. The clapping has stopped now what comes next? Just becoming numb to it all.

Week 88 – 10/05/2020

I wrote just a fragment of this note before the habit faded away and the time in lockdown whistled by. What to do now? Disappointed I did not do a 100 in a row. Do I keep number the notes or the weeks? I think the weeks. This will be my last fake note, fake in the date sense that is.

Binge watched Normal People. It is very good.

Wii emulation – trying to get gamecube and wiiware games working via homebrew on an old Wii. So flaky and the games interfaces are very hit and miss. PC emulation looks much more solid. Now should I build a little gaming PC?

Week 87 – 03/05/2020

Posting this in June. I did write something but never finished. Even more stuccato than normal

Grumpy at work. Lots of requests for change as more people use our new product. An issue with a lack of design. Too much change for me to handle. I want it to be perfect and that is not realistic. I also want to please everyone and know I can’t. Need for more collaboration across the company. Need for skilled delivery people to let me focus more on what the product should be or I just need to get better at the delivery aspect of product management. Accept you have to say no more than yes as well. Grumpiness usually caused by my failings.

Went for my first bike ride in many years. It was tiring but fun. I went up a hill I hate running up. It turns out I can actually run up it faster than I can cycle up it. Not sure if that is a good thing.

Went for a very slow run, legs maybe not working after bike ride.

Bought a new TV. Not working for HD channel on Freesat. After lots of hunting I found an oscure thread on AV forums. Advice to buy some cheap attenuators from eBay and daisy chain them to reduce the signal attenuation becuase the tuner cannot handle a perfect signal, it needs a filtered signal. Now working. Love it more because of that solution. A lot of telly for £400.

Put my massive Tannoy R2 speakers by my TV. They sound great but look monstrous. I doubt they will stay but I wish they could.

Abandoned watching The Outsiders. Both read the book. Slow burn series dragged out yet cut out key story lines. Shame. Started Normal People. Very very good. Watched six episodes in a row. More books getting converted to TV is a good thing. Proper stories told well. Film dying? As cinemas close. Trolls world tour story. But only for films deemed non box office. What if they did really go for it? What could they do with a major release like Black Widow?

Proper addicted to Horizon Zero Dawn on the PS4

Week 86 – 26/04/2020

My eldest son got unwell on the last day of isolation. He is fine now thankfully but it was a kick in the teeth that we could not get out….but it turns out if you are isolated for all that time then the effects are no longer as effective so it turns out just my eldest has to isolate for another 7 days.

Used my freedom to do exciting things like go and buy nice cheese and beer. Not really done much else yet. You yearn for the freedom more than actually being free….or something like that. Also one of us has to stay home with my eldest.

Polished off series 3 of Mr Mercedes. Good telly. Watched Quiz. Also good telly. Now started The Outsider. We have both read the book. Now we are both trying to remember what went on and how the TV show deviates from the books.

I abandoned playing GTA V as it was too much boring driving. Switched to Horizon Zero Dawn instead and it has grabbed me. I can also play it in front of my children which gives me more chance to play it. Win, win.

These weeknotes are getting more boring. I am bored. I am boring. Oh well they will be a record of something I guess.

Week 85 – 19/04/2020

Falling out of the weeknotes habit. Must stay on it. Weeknote 100 is in sight.

Work is a constant. Need something to fill my days and being at home means I can focus on different parts of it more easily as their are less office distractions.

Have a weekly Zoom quiz nights between friends. A cliche almost but still fun. We managed to win this week.

Sanded and oiled an old bench. Going to do another old bench, chairs and a table. The garden will be important this year. Wish I knew more about plants etc. Time to learn I guess.

Isolated for another week but my wife is allowed out now. She went out for her first bike ride in a long time. I was very jealous. That sentence sounds wrong. I just want to get out of the house.

Week 84 – 12/04/2020

Work goes on. Team hammering though work. Maybe a fully remote team is good…

Set up Dolphin and retro arch for ‘my son’. Frustrating but rewarding to see my son play some classic Nintendo games. Ninetendo really should get more of their back catalogue updated to run on the switch.

Corona in the house. My wife tested poisitive after a few shifts back at work at the Northern General Hospital. She is amazing.

Had my first home haircut. I was not a good customer and was very grumpy when my amazong wife tried some weird fading thing without consulting me. Just told her to do number four all over after that. What an ungrateful shit.

Running again. Slow and heavy. Short lived outside time. Really fucked off with people not self isolating proper like gove. Lots of others not taking it seriously. The 14 days thing being fully ignored.

Started watching Mr Mercedes series 2. Good series. Annoying last episode. I wanted the good fight team on the case. So many holes in it. A series that includes mind control and they did not have the mind power to exploit that.

A bit sick of being stuck indoors. Can’t focus enough to learn some new things. The pandemic strangely has not changed me as I could not focus before it either.