Recovered and achieving

Between a brief setback with my lungs recently, and then days later coming down with a bad case of gastro that saw me off work last week, I hadn’t exercised in around ten days.

I was going rather stir crazy looking at these four walls you might say, and if had to watch ads from Real Insurance or Choosi one more time I’d have my sister lock me up in the psych ward.

Finally, this weekend I was starting to feel better. Saturday I wasn’t quite there, the stomach still rather angry, but well enough to venture out (and order the new iPhone 11 Pro). Today though, my stomach had settled down far more and I felt safe to finally head out. I threw on the Under Armour gear, Beats headphones and started playing the Markus Schulz Global Dj Broadcast podcast.

I like to do an 8km route, taking under 90 minutes to complete, resulting in just over 10,000 steps by the time I open my front door.

My sneakers have been showing their age, having been bought years ago. I returned this afternoon to Athlete’s Foot to seek a new pair, though damned if I could remember the brand, and their computer was having issues and couldn’t look me up either. As I’ve lost more than a few kilos since I’d last visited it was probably worth getting on their assessment tool anyway.

Ironically, the sneakers I ended up choosing were by the same brand as those I was looking to replace, Saucony. The others I tried were nice but just nowhere as comfortable as these, nor as stylish.

Inspired by my new purchase I again headed out tonight for a second walk, not something I do terribly often. I am stoked I did, I’ve ended the day with around 23,000 steps and achieved 400% move award for the first time on my Apple Watch as well as an exercise record. Chuffed!

Gutenberg blocks

I’m developing a client site for the first time using WordPress and Gutenberg blocks. On the one hand it is good that I haven’t needed to go out and purchase a premium theme, thus could keep the cost down for the client a little, but on the other hand it has also been a bit frustrating.

The Gutenberg interface is generally okay to work with, but it doesn’t always avail itself when you need it to, making it a more difficult way in which to develop a website. I have also been using a supporting blocks plugin to extend Gutenberg, this whilst good has too added to the frustration when working with background images, too few options here mean these images were often displaying poorly and I needed to delete.

I have hit a brick wall trying to interface with my clients events services sites, neither that she has been using works nicely with WordPress, thus I’ve emailed her tonight to convince her that Eventbrite might better suit. Fingers crossed it’s something she will consider; I feel like I’ve changed everything bar her business name since working with her.

Been a long day.

Resistance was futile

The 2019 iPhones were released last night and I vehemently said I was NOT going to upgrade. Well at least last night I didn’t make it so far as pre-ordering. I ALMOST did, but Telstra didn’t process the order. As you might tell, I have all the willpower of a squashed snail 😞

Telstra almost saved my from myself as I gave up at that point, as if to prove to myself I’d won out. Who was I kidding, just myself it would seem.

This morning, after a week at home having been sick, I was overjoyed at escaping these four walls, and headed to the shops a little giddy at the prospect, and ordered my cappuccino and some banana bread. STUPIDLY where I had said coffee and banana bread saw me sitting within eyeshot of Vodafone. The digital billboard kept displaying that beautiful new iPhone 11 Pro didn’t it, oh the pain, the pain of it all Lost In Space’s Dr Smith might say.

I hurriedly finished my coffee, though couldn’t quite finish my banana bread, the ills of the past week still lingering. Within minutes I was arranging the upgrade of my existing contract, with still 14 months to go (thankfully only handset repayments to payout, phew). Somehow, I will get the new iPhone 11 Pro 256GB in the new green colour at $9 per month less than I was paying for my old iPhone X, how is this possible? Not that I am complaining.

As when I upgraded in 2017, I have sourced myself the obligatory Urban Armour Gear case, this time an Ice-coloured Clear case. I’ve had their cases since the iPhone 6 as they’re such a great look and fit. Soon to sell both my old iPhone X and an old iPad Pro I have been a bit lazy in offloading.

Can’t wait for it to arrive, Monday week by looks!!

Doggie escapee

Sound the alarm bells, we’ve an escapee on the run. Well, as we soon discovered Wednesday morning the wee dog we had just started minding for a week had done a runner on its first morning. Wow!

Our neighbours had called in the RSPCA as an unknown dog was roaming the street, seen coming from ours. I was home, however sick for days was fast asleep on the couch and completely unawares. It was only after returning from the local shops and seeing the postie go by, checking our mailbox did I see their calling card – oh my!

I forwarded it on to my housemate who’d agreed to look after ‘Sookie’ so she could discuss with them how he’d be collected. Embarrassingly, they wanted to talk to its owner, it was not in a good state as I saw that night. Its fur/hair was in dire need of shaving and stank so bad, they queried the owner if they wanted to re-home. When I saw Sookie that night for the first time i understood why, made me so angry.

The next morning the housemate took him to the vet where he was given the full day spa treatment it would seem, and loved it. Came home with a certificate too and unrecognisable, hair shaved off I’d honestly have thought they’d swapped dogs.

Today, I had to head out for an appointment at the hospital and thought we’d secured him well enough following his last escape attempt. How wrong I was. Sitting, waiting to be seen I received a text from my neighbour to say he’d tried it on again and got wedged in the fence. Thankfully they helped us out and secured things better than did we, but slightly embarrassing.

I think Sookie is a poor choice of name for this one, perhaps Houdini might be more apt. Needs some tattoos too I think.

Apple Watch Series 5

Was anyone else disappointed by the Apple Watch Series 5 announcement yesterday? I have to say I was. For me it feels very much like it should have been a Series 4.1 not Series 5. Why? I just don’t feel like an always on screen really justifies a new series moniker, couldn’t that just be achieved via a watchOS update?

It had been hyped that Apple might have been bringing sleep tracking to this release, however I don’t see it having made it to the announcement, or to the website, so looks like it’s a Series 6 feature? I had been looking to Series 5 for an update for my current Series 2 Nike+, however now I am going to hold off and spare my wallet the unnecessary pain.

iPhone 11 Pro

In other news, the release of the iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max yesterday seems a more worthy update. I did laugh at those who have dubbed it the ‘Tarantula’ for its camera design at the back, bless those who’ve released potential renderings with 20 or so cameras, I needed the laugh with being home sick at the moment.

It appears the 3-camera design and Apple’s algorithms for handling low-light may make this release iPhone Pro a more worthy upgrade consideration. I haven’t seen what telecoms vendors are preparing to charge for the phones here, I may even consider an outright purchase rather than payment plan as I’m sick of paying year-on-year to upgrade, though OUCH for the upgrade cost. Might check what Apple’s options here are for once 🤔 Someone save my wallet from me!

Screen tools

PowerToys

Back in the day, Microsoft extended Windows 95’s functionality with the release of PowerToys, they were great little tools. Now, it appears Microsoft is again releasing a set of PowerToys for Windows 10. Two have been released, the first displays on-screen shortcuts for apps, whilst the second is the more interesting for we power users and allows defining screen zones to align your windows apps to.

Called FancyZones, you are able to use either pre-defined zones and then drag windows to or key combinations to move them to. If you don’t like the pre-defined zones you are able to define your own, this is just awesome. Power users rejoice! I will be interested to see how FancyZones functions on multi-screen computers, at work I use a Lenovo laptop plus two external screens, so very keen to check this PowerToy out.

On the mac

It must have been a day for screen layouts. I decided to check out the macOS app store this morning and see what might take my fancy – always a dangerous thing for my credit card. As I was scrolling through I noticed an app called Magnet. Much like FancyZones, Magnet works to organise your screen, though isn’t as powerful as FancyZones in that it doesn’t allow you to define screen layouts, instead you are limited to pre-defined layouts (see screenshot below).

Magnet provides various options to layout your apps on-screen

Whilst I typically run my apps in full-screen, I do occasionally have need to run apps side-by-side. Having a utility like Magnet makes laying apps out a tad quicker, though it does potentially highlight a slight OCD here 😂 It is comforting to see that Magnet supports external displays, though I often use the MacBook Pro purely in laptop mode and not attached to my external monitor – harder to Netflix and multitask then, don’t you agree?

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