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Stuff I like: 2019 edition

I've written a couple of posts in the past about physical items I enjoy using. Since the last one was in 2016, here's a list of stuff I've been enjoying more recently (no affiliate links):

Brita fill&go Active water bottle

I have very specific tastes when it comes to water bottles. These days the kind with flip tops are all the rage, but I like a pop top that I can open and close with my mouth, so I can drink one-handed. Although pop-top bottles still exist, they often have very sturdy rubber tops that take too much effort …

Discovered today that SwiftUI seems to have a limit to how many views you can compose within a single stack before it just fails to build.

Declarative iOS layout with Panda

For the first time in a few years, something I'm super excited about was announced at WWDC. I can't wait to get my hands on SwiftUI and try it out in a real project. I'm concerned about how well it will work on custom, complicated layouts, but I'm still excited to give it a go. And how much more productive will we be with live reloading?! I know this has technically been possible in the past, but I've never managed to get it working, so I'm looking forward to trying it when it's easier to work with.

A quick look …

2019 mid-year review

I save all my favourite moments and media for my end of year review, so this is just a quick check-in on my goals to see how I'm going and whether I need to adjust my priorities for the second half of the year.

Let's look at the goals I set for 2019 in January:

Finish Drawabox

Well, this is not going to happen. Actually, the person who runs Drawabox says not to set a goal like this, because you don't want to rush through it and tick it off, but take your time and learn. This seems fair. I'm …

Monthly Review: January 2019



  • Twelfth Night at MTC. I wasn't sure about seeing this show, and put off buying tickets for ages. Eventually I bought a cheaper, under-30s ticket right before I turned 30, and I'm so glad I did. I loved this show, and was sad I couldn't see it again (I couldn't really afford to, but it was also sold out for the last week of its twice-extended run).

January goals

✔️ Publish two blog posts

Introducing ExistAPI: An open-source Swift framework

Recently I released a new side project, called ExistAPI. It's a Swift framework to make working with the Exist API in iOS apps much easier. It's available via Cocoapods and the source is on GitHub.

I work with the Exist API a lot. Not just for our official iOS client, but also for all the side projects I create for fun and learning. I'm always making things that can sync data to Exist, and writing the code to talk to the Exist API over and over is a pain.

So I wanted to write a framework to abstract away that …

2018 review

The year I turned 30.

Me with birthday balloons

Things I did this year

  • Slept in our backyard in a sleeping bag one night in January
  • Made my first Apple Watch app
  • Got a puppy!

Samoyed puppy

  • Had my first pull request accepted
  • Submitted my first pull request with actual code (my first three were typos)
  • Started my first major iOS refactor
  • Restarted gymnastics classes & started going regularly
  • Baked croissants from scratch
  • Went to Dev World conference
  • Did my first chin-up
  • Started learning Android development & Kotlin
  • Released my first open-source app
  • Moved to Melbourne's inner west
  • Turned 30!
  • Joined a gym and started weightlifting
  • Wrote 16 …

Monthly Review: December 2018

Last month of the year!

Jez the Samoyed


  • Christmas! I don't really care much for Christmas, but it's a nice excuse for present exchanging and to see some family that don't live nearby.
  • Published my first CocoaPod! I've been working on a Swift framework to wrap the Exist API and make it quicker and easier to work with the API in my various iOS projects. In December I got the first rough version of the framework released and shipped as a pod, which I'd never done before. I found the process of publishing my pod really tricky, and spent ages debugging issue …

Just spent ages figuring out that URLSession will just time out your request if you try to use an uploadTask but don't specify the HTTP method. Such an obvious mistake, but an error would've been nice!

My 2019 planner setup

Jibun Techo Mini

Last year I wrote about the internal debate I was having over which planners and journals to use in 2018. This year I had much the same debate, but didn't bother writing about it. I've finally committed to my 2019 setup, though, so I wanted to share what I've chosen.

But first, a quick look at how my 2018 plans turned out. I chose a Jibun Techo Mini for my planner and logbook, my passport Traveler's Notebook for a journal with just brief highlights in it, and my regular Traveler's Notebook for journalling.

Apart from a couple of months when …

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