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Two minutes at lunch:

  • Going off #keto for a few days while my wife was out of town (partly for me to indulge, partly to eat the same food as my son) was a HUGE mistake. I am probably going through Keto Flu as I re-adapt. Oh, well. Live and learn.
  • It is finally warming up here. It is warm enough that snow is melting in the sun. You won't get frostbite during the day. How glorious.
  • I really miss going for walks and need to start going again now that our endless, frozen era has passed. My new Bogs should make it pretty much a no brainer to just got out the front door and walk in any conditions.

Tags: #sitrep, #keto

So, I have to use this software every day as part of my job. Here are some thoughts:

  • Search results should be improved – when I am looking at search results it would be great to be able to bookmark or add a debug point directly from the results. I get around this by docking search results in the left gutter, then as you run through them the file viewing buffer (middle pane) follows your clicks and you can do what you need to do there.

  • Speed – I would love if it made easier to figure out what is triggering all the background jobs. I have been trying for months to figure out how to turn off this one feature I am not using but which causes VS to churn for minutes at a time, occasionally.

  • Starting up debug threads – I have NO idea how you would do this but it would be nice if, when I am attaching to an IIS thread, it was faster. I know it is our crazy codebase full of massive DLLs that is slowing this down but it would still be nice if it were magically faster. 😭 One thing I do know is if I were to wipe my system and reinstall, it would be very, very fast and slowly slow down over time. I'd like to be able to figure out why this is happening.

Having said that, I do love the IDE in the way you love your family. This is my IDE and no matter how much I love Emacs, Linux, make files, and other software, I'll always come back to VS because it is what I know best, and the is the best tool for my particular job. While working in Windows I have tried to use Emacs as my main editor when not in VS and even went so far as to use Emacs keybindings in Visual Studio but I always end up reverting back (and using Visual Studio Code as my non-IDE editor).

One change I did make to VS Code after my last attempt is I replaced Ctrl-p with Alt-x to invoke commands (like Emacs) which has made the editor feel much more natural to me since in Emacs I use helm and hit Meta-x then type commands – this is essentially how VS Code works.

Tags #code

“Youth is wasted on the young” — attributed to George Bernard Shaw

I am not sure I really believe that but what I would say is that young people often do not really appreciate what they have. As you get older, your body deteriorates in various ways. Some people are better than others at preventing this decline. I tried. I mean for years I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted but I also did Karate, ran, surfed, meditated and tried in various ways to stay healthy.

But there were problems:

  • Software – my brain liked to stay up ALL NIGHT. No matter how much I meditated or exercised, I had really bad insomnia since I was a teenager. This is mostly gone now. I also was bothered by anxiety, and still am. These two factors really have an impact. They keep stress levels high, which is harmful.

  • Hardware – my body fights itself. I have a combo of Ankylosing Spondylitis and Crohns Disease. Nice. Inflammation causes chronic pain. This made exercise hard but still, I pushed on, I tried to get enough sleep. Then there was the operation. I now have an ileostomy and have for a few years. This alleviated a lot of the pain. But that left my abs weak and that makes your core weak.

Since the operation, as I got stronger I have tried to get back to something like good health. I am doing #keto to try to drop some weight and get back into a healthy weight. I try to do pushups which strengthen the core and back.

So this brings me to the inspiration for this post. About two weeks ago I started in a more focused exercise routine. This involved push ups. I was feeling pretty good and overdid it. I did too many push ups and I used a pull up bar on the floor so they were inclined pushups. I overdid it. This led to chest inflammation in my sternum. Only this morning did it stop hurting really bad and go to an ache. This is probably a result of not being in good shape and aggravated by AS.

But the recovery time is time is what is brutal. When I was in my 20's this would have been an issue for a few days, maybe a week. Now it's two weeks in and still feeling it. I am worried about doing push ups. I have been stretching that area out. I will ease back into pushups by doing them on the stairs, gradually working down to the lowest stair, then the floor. I will work up to more reps. And so on. But it is slow going.

The lesson: don't let yourself get out of shape, keep what you have, and make yourself better every day or, one day, you'll look back and wish you had.

Tags: #keto, #health

Late night I installed write freely on my vps and migrated all the posts I had in to my new, self hosted version. DNS has updated and everything seems to working well.

Tags: #blog

Took my son to the Lego movie today. I thought the themes were a little old for him but we went with friends who have a son at the same age. And he loved it despite finding a few scenes scary. When we got home he played with his lego non-stop for over an hour which is great.

I loved the movie. I could watch a movie like that once a week. Just beware, it was a little darker than the first one in my opinion.

I wanted to write about how I am currently doing “TODO List” right now because I change “my system” all the time. I don't have a system. I capture, review, and act. How I capture determines where I do reviews.

I have used apps, spreadsheets, paper lists and journals, Google Tasks, and everything in between. Special shouout to just using a stack of index cards. They are all fine. None of them will help you get anything more done than you want to do.

Having said that, here is how I am doing my thing as of today (for about a month now):

Text file called “todo.txt”.

  • stored on my vps
  • synched to my Android with Syncthing
  • displayed on the web with some very basic PHP (more, below)
  • Each line is a TODO
  • Completed get “x ” at start of line
  • The first date (e.g. 2019-02-08) is a “due date” of sorts (first, upcoming date)
  • Any #tag is a tag on the project line (good for filter and sort)
  • Capture – add a line to todo.txt. I have an IFTTT that calls a PHP script that adds on the file or I can just edit the text file on the VPS or Android. The format is very similar to TODO.txt (

Review – start at the top and go to the end. “x ” off what is completed. If I act on something I “x” it off and move it to the end if it isn't completed (a copy). This is basically the Simple Scanning method or Long List method by Mark Forster with my own spin.

Acting – I actually try and “do” without reviewing the list. The list is a backup for my memory. I found with fiddly apps (e.g. Emacs org-mode) I was spending all my time “improving my system” or “moving things out my inbox”. Screw all that, it is a waste of time for me and just has the effect of squirreling away TODO items where I cannot see them (not great if you have a bad memory). Sure, the org-mode agenda will surface them. Then I can defer them! So helpful. :)

Projects and reference materials – I have folders in Google Drive (Sheets, scans, etc) and VPS (text files) where I have project documentation. These are not TODO list extensions. They are project plans and resources. I take notes there, log data there, etc.

On the go – I have a PHP web application that slices and dices my todo.txt file and displays it. This is a read-only view and allows me to focus in on one aspect of the list but I can't fiddle with it unless I edit the PHP code which is a separate activity and something I avoid doing! The views I have are:

The entire list including completed items – Grocery list (actually a file called “grocery.txt”) – I have another IFTTT that appends to this from my phone. – Upcoming – tasks with dates, sorted by date, ascending – Tags – each tag with the list of tasks below it (tasks in more than one tag will appear more than once) – TODO ASAP – I have a special tag #! that means “do ASAP” and this is just that list. This is what I keep in front of me.

That's pretty much how it works now.

Tags: #todo, #productivity, #plaintext

I have been perfecting a Keto cracker recipe.

Tonight I used the following recipe:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Whisk egg whites with salt until they are starting to froth
  • Combine with almond flour
  • Knead with hands until fully incorporated (will form a ball)
  • Separate into two
  • Form one half into a square
  • Place on a lightly oiled parchment paper sheet the size of your baking sheet
  • Place a second sheet of lightly oiled parchment on top
  • Use rolling pin to flatten the dough into a very thin sheet (like 2mm thick), – keep the size inside the size of the baking sheet
  • Remove the top parchment sheet
  • Use a fork to perforate the cracker sheet
  • Use a pizza cutter or knife to score the cracker sheet into squares (or whatever)
  • Slide parchment onto baking pan
  • Repeat for second piece of dough on second sheet
  • Place both sheets in the oven, set timer for 10 minutes
  • If one sheet is on top and one is on a lower shelf (as opposed to side by side), when the timer goes off, swap the shelves
  • Turn the oven off, set timer for 10 minutes
  • When the timer goes off, remove from oven and allow to cool (crackers should smell “nutty” and be from golden to light brown, not burnt)
  • When cooled, crack along score lines and store on counter in a airtight container
  • Serve with: butter, cheese, nut butter, etc. Eat with meals. I make tiny canape sandwiches on them (ham, cheese, mustard, etc).

Tags: #keto, #cooking

This morning, my routine is saving me a little. As the parent of a pre-schooler, I am used to him running into our room in the middle of the night with various concerns. Last night, I read a little, dozed until 10:30pm, woke up to my watch alarm, took the boy to the washroom (as I do each night at that time) and returned to bed. Routine.

Then a hour or so later, our son burst into the room saying “my dreams aren't working!!”. Ha ha. Adrenalin coursing through my veins, I calmly ushered him back to his bed and tucked him in, soothing him into sleep. Wide awake, I read some more. BTW: #reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. Just started it.

Now, I'm on high alert. Then my watch says “CHARGED UNTIL MORNING”. The buzzing wakes me up as if it were an alarm and I slowly understand what happened and go back to sleep (again). And so on. Oh, and the comforter reeked of the dog so I kept shoving the covers away from my face (it's like -40C outside so this made me cold).

So a great sleep.

Yet, I'm here at my desk, up and ready to go. I should point out that because of time zones I need to wake up by 4:30AM here and be working (at home) at my desk by 5AM.


The night before:

  • laid clothes out

  • put headphones in bathroom with clothes

  • phone charged and in bathroom (out of reach of bed)

This means I was not “on my phone” when I woke up, keeping me awake longer, instead I was on my Kobo. Way less stimulating. So although I had periods of wakefulness I minimized them. And the headphones mean as soon as I wake up I can throw on a podcast or music to wake up my brain. So no groggy roaming aimlessly looking for clothes for the day. I got up, threw the phones on, and got dressed.

Finally, I didn't have to screw around with coffee because I have a jug of cold brew in the fridge. Just need to pour that into a glass with ice and cream and I'm drinking coffee. Is this the BEST way to wake up when it is the dead of Winter? No but it is fast and here I am.

I'm awake and even ahead of schedule enough to write a blog entry!

Tags: #blog

Just a Monday. Got a bunch of work work done. Then spent a few minutes on my home TODO list. Got dinner prep done.

I am listening to Russel Brand talking to Megan Jayne Crabbe and really asking myself if my wife and I should stop discussing Keto around our son in any way other than just saying “this food makes me feel better”. The other day (he's 4) he said his belly was too big. Made me feel terrible. We do so much to not create weird attidudes about food but it sounds like our attempt to get healthier (part of which is “weight”) is rubbing off on him in a way that is creating a negative body image. Not great. We'll turn it around.

Tags: #keto, #SITREP

Making these today:

There's a lot of steps but my wife is craving cinnamon rolls and we're in the middle of a 90 keto diet. Hopefully, it will work out. It's the first time I've used xylitol but I've baked with the other ingredients a few times.

Edit: these were not awesome. I didn't have the whey protein isolate and substituted a different protein powder so maybe that was the problem. Not gross, just not awesome.

The issue I have with eating these substitute foods to satisfy a craving is they don't satisfy the craving and are still relatively high in carbs and calories. I think you are better off waiting until you reach your goal or are ready for a cheat day (not endorsing that!).