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Competing values

I've been thinking a lot lately about how personal values, interests, and hobbies often clash. Pick any value or interest you have and you'll probably find a group of people talking about it online. For most of my own average, mainstream, privileged interests, there are people on every social media platform talking about them, teaching others what they know, even trying to make money from others with the same interests.

But these communities tend to be very one-sided. They focus on the interest or value at the exclusion of all else. If you're selling courses, books, videos, or physical products …

2019 review

2018 review. All annual reviews.

(Side note: every year as soon as I publish my annual review, I start a new Markdown file for my review of the next year. Throughout the year I add achievements, details about goals I've accomplished, and favourite media, so getting the review ready to publish is much easier. I definitely recommend this approach!)

Here's a quick summary of 2019:

  • My main aim was to have fun and enjoy spending time with Josh. Having a puppy had added a lot of stress and tension to our lives, and though I still miss our dog a …

Thoughts on my 2019 learning project

I tried writing a couple of updates for my blog as I worked on my 2019 learning project, but once I'd written them they didn't seem worth sharing; there just wasn't a lot worth saying about the process. Now that I'm done, I wanted to share a few thoughts on how it went.

But first, a quick recap:

I wanted to try learning something new while I was on a break from work over the holidays. I decided to focus on web development, so my learning project consisted of:

  1. A reading list of articles and tutorials about HTTP, SSH, networking …

Learning Django in the holidays

Two years ago I learned Swift during the holiday break across Christmas and New Year's. I'd dabbled in Swift but had never really got my head around it (previously I'd taught myself Objective-C as my first ever programming language, and that was all I knew). I read Apple's official Swift book and a bunch of other books and articles, and finally it all seemed to click. I started writing some new code in Swift during that holiday period, and once I got back to work I started incorporating Swift into my work more and more. These days my main iOS …

Monthly Review: November 2019

November goals

✔️ 2 social events

I actually managed 3 social events. I didn't socialise a huge amount, but just showing up is important for me at this point, and practising socialising in small amounts will hopefully help me slowly become a bit less of a hermit.

✖️ Finish learning current song on the drums

The song I tried to learn was a bit too hard for me to play at tempo, so I didn't complete this. I did manage to learn to play a basic version of Livin on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, which is the first song I've been …

Monthly Review: October 2019

October goals

✖️ 1 dead hang chin up

I barely worked on this goal throughout the month. I've learned that I should pick physical goals that feel achievable, because this one felt a bit out-of-reach, and was no fun to work on, so I avoided it.

✖️ Learn to play The Phoenix by Fall Out Boy on drums

I can play through this song roughly, but I still need to work a lot on my timing, particularly during the chorus, which is quite tricky to play. I didn't focus heaps on this song throughout the month, because I got caught up in …

2019 16" MacBook Pro

I recently wrote about the 2019 15" MacBook Pro I bought and how I was finding it. A very high-level summary: the keyboard was okay, I hated the TouchBar, and the bluetooth was awful.

When the 16" MacBook Pro was announced recently, my 15" was less than two months old, so I was able to talk Apple into letting me return it so I could buy the 16". I'm really lucky—lots of people who'd had theirs a little longer than me weren't able to get a return, and after trying the 16" I'm extremely glad I didn't have to …

2019 MacBook Pro

In 2015 I bought a used, mid-2013, 15" retina MacBook Pro. I was upgrading from a 13" MacBook Air, which was feeling cramped as I was spending more time on development than writing.

My MBP served me well until 2019. Its battery life had declined over time, but a few months ago it started going to sleep when the battery indicator still said 15% or more. I was getting around an hour of battery life out of it, but because the battery indicator wasn't accurate, I had no idea when it would suddenly go to sleep while I was working …

Monthly Review: September 2019


  • Australian Realness. We always make a point to see new plays by Zoey Dawson, since we've loved all her previous works. This one might be our favourite so far. We both thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Drums! I rented an electronic drum kit to learn on, since buying a kit outright is expensive and I'm not sure if I'll stick with it. So far, so good, though!

September goals

✔️ Publish two blog posts


Ways I've reduced waste in my life

Although I'd like to get better at this still, I've made some changes over the past year or two to decrease how much waste I create. Mostly this means finding reusable alternatives to disposable items I use often, and avoiding unrecyclable plastic when I can.

In case they inspire you to make a change too, here are some of the things I've changed so far.

Metal straws

I don't use straws too often, but often enough that I had a packet of plastic, disposable straws in the pantry. I replaced those with metal straws that I can wash, and which …

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