Note 41

Drinking: Fennel tea with apple cider vinegar

Hello,

I woke up about 20 minutes ago at 5:31. It's earlier than I wanted to be up, but I did fall asleep by about 10pm, so it's not that surprising. I should really start using a sleep tracking app. My sleep quality is probably pretty bad, and I'm just guessing how I'm doing and ignoring how tired I feel. Like I'm tired now, but I'll tell myself it's not too bad.

Yesterday was a very hectic day. The natural stress was accentuated by the fact that I had 5 or less hours of sleep. I was difficult to be around because of this. It was another day of travel, and this caused a lot of extra stress because everything has to be done correctly to make sure that the house in norfolk is safe and secure for when we're away. We're lucky that we're on good terms with most of our neighbours there. Otherwise things could go downhill very quickly. Accidents can happen in your absence.

I got up 4:47 and spent the morning reading the rest of the cowboys and indians book Wild Woman. Prior to that morning I was about half way through, and I somehow finished the book before breakfast. It's surprising how much you can read when you've got the time and inclination. After breakfast, I packed my bags, and packed a suitcase for clothing that I want to keep there, to reduce the amount that I need to ferry back and forth. One thing that I left there still is the lego set that I bought during our first outing during corona. It's a racing car technic set. I'm surprised that I haven't finished it yet. Normally, when I was a kid, I would hardly stop building a set until it's done. So it's weird for me to be able to put it all away in neat little tubs half finished and be OK with that.

Whilst driving back from Norfolk, we listened to a funny video from Patrick Willhelms about why Predator is the greatest slasher-action mash up movie. He's very persuasive and I learnt a lot about both genres. It really is satisfying for me to learn new things about areas that I consider myself pretty clued up on . I tend to think I know a fair bit about movies, but after watching dozens of video essays over the years, I've come to know that I don't know that much. That's still okay, as much as it's a bit uncomfortable to think about, it's not that bad. It means I've suddenly got a lot more people I can learn from. And very few of them are the stuffy teachers from my youth.

After listening to that video, I queued up a video about the man who was struck by lightning and became a piano savant afterwards. I was hoping for a really in-depth interview from seasoned professionals. It probably included that. However I stopped 10 minutes in because it was all supernatural bullshit. Talking about UFO sightings and super moons and the connections with other stuff. I avoid that militantly because I'm very gullible. The next one I put on was an interesting talk about the history of the IWW in Australia. This was much more up my alley, however the audio quality was shockingly variable. This meant that I had to skip it. After that came a talk from the Rich Roll podcast with a guy who used to be an analyst and spy working for the Canadian version of the NSA. He was actually really interesting to listen to, and I think if given the time, I 'd have plenty to take notes about. However neither I nor my dad could follow what the host and guest were talking about. So I just turned it off for the remainder of the journey.

Once we got home, we unloaded the van of the belongings that don't belong in there. I took a few things directly upstairs, like my bags. This helped keep the hallway clear. I then staged my room for a nap: I closed the curtains, got changed into comfortable clothing, put my sleep music on and weighted my blanket down with a few pillows. I tried to sleep for maybe 20 minutes, but sadly didn't manage to. This was frustrating as my dad was a lot better after his own nap, which was successful.

Later on I tried using my laptop to work on my finances. I have been looking to use a spreadsheet version of the envelope system, like YNAB. As that is a system that appeals to me. As of yet, I've been opposed to using YNAB because they've become a SaaS (software as a service) system, whereby users pay monthly. Because I don't think my small amount of ingoings and outgoings deserve the money for a whole thing like that, I've been reticent to spend the £10 a month on their system. Instead, as with most software solutions, I've been looking at open source alternatives. Firefly looked like the most mature alternative out there. However I can't see a way to simply install it onto a local machine without having to host it anywhere. This is pretty frustrating. So until I figure that out, I've been using old spreadsheet templates with LibreCalc to keep track of where my money has been going.

It's interesting to see what I've been spending money on now, compared to before the corona lockdown was enacted. Prior I spent £25-£50 a month on TFL travel, £60+ per month on salsa lessons, and for a high number, I spent £72.45 on alcohol in the month before the lockdown. In the 2 months since then, I've drunk no alcohol and spent none on it either. It's been nice.

One area that I have been spending more on has been technology. Because Argos is still open, I've been using the opportunity to buy random tech things that would be useful or fun. I bought a Zelda 3ds game and a few Bluetooth speakers. The game hasn't been useful yet, as it's only really for playing with buddies locally. The speakers, however, have been great. I got the JBL Clip3, which has been a vast improvement on the JBLGO that I have been using for the past 3 years. However one purchase that has been tempting me recently was that of an Xbox one X. I say tempting because I haven't bought it, but really rather want to. There's a few things keeping me from buying it now.

A: I don't have time to play it really. I have more than enough to fill my time, that the idea of yet another "project" on my plate would just stress me out.

B: This is the worst time to buy one. Demand is sky-high because everyone's bored at home and out of work. Many shops have sold out of them and its unlikely that any sales will be on during this period. Secondly come OCT-DEC the price for the model I want should drop significantly. This is because it's successor will have hit the stores in time for the holiday period.

C: My main reason is paper thin as history showd. I like to think that if I have this system, I could bring friends round and we could all have a jolly good time and play games together on the regular. We don't do this. I only have an Xbox 360 and that's in my attic somewhere. I very rarely have friends round, and if I do, I would try to avoid playing video games together. This is because my history with video games involve mostly long binges after which I feel awful and hate playing them.

A 2 part solution to the last one, is I could buy the games to the system, however leave them in the hands of my friends. So they bring them with them and I don't have the choice to play them when I'm on my own. I also like the idea of separate parts of a greater system coming together. Like power rangers. The second part of this two part solution is an easy way to segue into having regular meets round mine. We could do a once a month gaming meet. On a Saturday when we'd usually play board and video games at our local nerd bar, we instead go to my house to do the same. This swapping like for like has been shown to be an effective way to change habits. This will reduce how much we spend on alcohol on that day probably.

Or we just get more drunk as the drinks are cheaper from sainsburys.

And we can easy make our own cocktails.


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