D4D

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Archive for the category “Thoughts”

Night Mode

One of my favourite things on the Saab was a thing called “Night Panel“.  It was a simple button, but turned off all the instrument illumination except for the speedometer.  Even the speedometer range was reduced – I think it just illuminated 0-80mph, although it activated the full dial if you went past 80. All the other dials went to black, and the needles to zero. (Which was weird to see in daylight, but made sense at night, because if it’s not lit, why would you need the needles to be indicating anything?)  If anything goes wrong, the night mode is cancelled, and everything revives to display the problem – low fuel, high temperature, warning lights, whatever.

That sounds pretty basic, and not a lot of use – which was kind of true. But it was great if you were doing a long drive at night, and I found that it significantly reduced eye strain and so on.  Originally it was just a gimmicky thing, but I found I used it more than I expected to.

Until recently, I’d only seen it on the Saab, and couldn’t understand why other manufacturers don’t have the same thing.  (I feel the same about the little plastic clip at the side of the windscreen that could be used to hold parking tickets and so on)

This week, though, I’ve had to use two different Hyundai cars, and they’ve both had little Night Mode buttons. Not as comprehensive as the Saab one, it still turns off the majority of the in-car dashboard illumination, and makes for a nicer night-time driving environment.

And again, I wonder why other manufacturers (or at least those whose cars I’ve driven) don’t do similar things.

Ten Years Back – The Changes

Having whanged on about things from Ten Years Ago, I thought I’d have a quick sum-up of what’s changed in that time as well. It might be interesting, it might not.

So anyway, since Jan 2009 I have…

  • lived in five different houses (a couple only short 6-month tenancy things, but still)
  • been a lot more settled of late, and now been in the same house for nearly seven years. Which is faintly terrifying
  • changed jobs and contracts more times than enough – by my reckoning I’ve done 17 jobs/contracts in that time, but I’ve still probably forgotten at least one.
  • been through the whole bankruptcy process from start to finish
  • gained three cats
  • lost one cat
  • changed car. Twice.
  • driven lots (and lots and lots) of miles
  • Started going to see more plays and theatre stuff
  • Been to a whole load of Michelin-starred restaurants (as well as plenty of other places) as part of that whole “solo dining” thing

There’s other stuff as well, but that seems to be the key points, at least.  All told, I’m pretty happy with that list – some of it’s not been great, but even those have been better than the alternatives.

I wonder what’ll come in the next ten?

Ten Years Back

This weekend there’s been a bit of a “ten years ago” meme going round social media, and while I won’t get involved (mainly because I don’t do photos of me, let alone photos of me from a decade ago) it did make me go back to the archives here and have a look at what was going on.  Which was quite interesting (to me, anyway)

Ten years ago, I was still with Herself, we were in the Norfolk house, and sleeping abysmally while also sick as chuff with a chest infection of sorts. So, some things never change. I was working in a local-government job I hated – and the post about that was exactly ten years ago today – and generally doing OK.

I did also find a post about my weight – and again, not much has changed. I’ve lost a bit of weight since then – which I’m happy with – but all told it’s really stayed pretty stable. (There’s another post back in Jan 2005 about the same thing, with similar figures to where I’m at now)

Of course, there have been a lot of changes in that ten years, but it’s also interesting to see what’s stayed much the same…

Twelfth Night

Unsurprisingly, today is probably my favourite day of the Festering Season™

All the real Christmas trees are down, and waiting by the bins for collection, all the lights and decorations are down, and even the radio is back to playing normal music instead of being bloody carols all the time.

I know I’m a grumpy bastard, but getting rid of all the tat for another nine months is A Very Good Thing.

Starting The Year

And so, Happy New Year. Another orbit round the sun, and as is the tradition, some thoughts about what’s coming.

As usual, I don’t really do resolutions – particularly not New Year’s ones.  I do a list around my birthday, which can be found here, but I’m thinking about some changes this year as part of that as well.

One of the things that will change a bit is that I’m going to put more into sorting out routines for things, rather than necessarily just looking at the goals themselves.  There are a couple of bits on my list where it’s about “I want to have done [x]”, and that’s fine.  But more of them are about “I want to achieve [y]”, and while I’ve always had the intention, the actuality has evaded me.

Last year I got pointed at this article about creating systems rather than setting goals, and it rang a major bell with me.

All told, I’m in a good place to get started on this stuff.

I’ve just completed version one of a project for another contact, and I’ve done pretty much all I can on it until they get back to me with final information. It’s a working version, although I’ve had to replace some of the functionality/information I’m waiting for with automated processes for the minute. But I’m happy with where it is, and it’s now out of my brain, which is A Good Thing.

Of course, it’s immediately been replaced with another project – this one something that’s important to me as well – which I want to work on sooner rather than later.

So, Happy New Year. Onwards and upwards, etc. etc.

And as one of the Doctors would say, “Allons-y!

 

Closing The Year

And so we’re at the end of 2018. And as such, it seems apt that the last post of the year should be a quick assessment and overview.

All told, it’s been a good – and busy – year.

There’s been more travel than usual, with that week in Toronto to add into the bargain.

There’s been more work, but also more fun times, trips out, meals, etc.

I’ve been doing a lot of work on weight-loss which has ultimately ended up not doing much – but I have more knowledge, more figures, and the steps I’ve taken have improved my health, strength, stamina, and resilience. They’ve just done sod-all to lose actual weight. But I’m OK with that, and it’s something I’ll continue to work on.

On the downside, I’m ending the year with a bit more debt than I’d like. It’s nothing earth-shattering, nor even major. A fair chunk of it is for tickets for things in 2019, of which another decent chunk is owed to me by others for their tickets. But all the same, it’s more than I’d like it to be.

However, in a fit of progress and being grown up, it’s also now all in one place, with zero-interest ’til 2022, and it’ll be done by the end of 2019.  I could do it even quicker if I wanted – and I may do so – but it’s all under control, and I’m OK with it.

There are, as always, things I haven’t done – no matter the good intentions, they just haven’t happened. I’ll continue to work towards those things, and I’m going to write more about that tomorrow.

All told, it’s been a positive year, and I’m feeling pretty good at the end of it.

Unplanned

In a distinctly rare occurrence, I’m ending the year with a weekend where I’ve currently got absolutely nothing planned.  And it feels a bit odd, to be honest.

There’s stuff I’ll still be doing (getting rid of some of the extra stuff in the house, for example) so it’s not quite a “doing nothing” weekend, but there’s also nothing significant planned.

Normally I’d just go down to London or somewhere, but there’s not even anything grabbing me on that front.

So yeah, it’s all a bit odd. Not bad, and I’m sure I’ll find enough to do to keep me busy.

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