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June Review

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I’m writing this from Klintholm, a small Danish fishing village on the coast of Møn. We’ve sailed 110 miles in the last two days. June was a good month – but for the first time, I failed at a challenge. I got my gym sessions in for most weeks (8, 9, 7, 8) but I failed to do my 10 image series. I did do a lot of other photography though – I spent two sessions shooting the Bailey Lighthouse for the image series, and also did three studio shoots with bodybuilders. This, along with getting everything set for travelling this month, meant I just didn’t get the two or three days I needed to dedicate to doing the series. It’ll now happen in August.

Financially things were good. The photo shoots and writing were nice – there was also continued progress in other areas that will pay off down the line. Hopefully in the next month or two for some of it.

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Fitness was obviously great. I got a lot of training done which I was happy about. I got some serious strength increases with this month’s sessions in Compound Fitness and it was nice to get some jits sessions in again.

The reading challenge continues well. I’m still a good few books ahead of my goal. Unfortunately this month I got heavily side tracked by the Dresden Files. Amazing books, but not the most literary.

One thing that was fun – even though I nominally failed – was the photo project. I explored the area around the Bailey Lighthouse, one afternoon, for where there were going to be good photo opportunities. I then went back a few days later at 4 am to get them at sunrise. This is definitely something that will be good to do more of going forward.

For July – I’m on a boat. My time is kind of free but also severely limited by what I have the opportunity to do. Internet access is patchy, sailing can be relaxing or hands on depending on the weather and I’m just not sure when I’ll be anywhere. The one thing I know for sure, is I’ll have a lot of opportunities to read! I’m going to take the soft challenge this month and aim to read double my required number of books – I’m going for 8. Even though I’ve plenty of reading time this will, I think, still be a stretch.


Sailing in July

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Just a quick update. I’ve booked my flights to Copenhagen for next month. I’m spending two nights in the city there then making my way up to Strandby on the North tip of Denmark. Once there, I’m getting on a yacht and we’re going to be sailing all the way to Vigo in Spain. The route is most likely to be down the inside coast of Denmark, through the Kiel Canal in Germany, across the top of Belgium and the Netherlands, the full length of the French Atlantic coast, then across the Bay of Biscay to the Atlantic North coast of Spain and on in to Vigo.

After that plans are pretty loose. I may head deeper into Spain or back up into France to meet up with some friends or family. I could also spend some time enjoying the weather in Vigo, or else make my way back to Dublin, possibly via London.


Building a Hackintosh

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Last week I did something interesting – I built a computer that runs OS X. In theory, the only way you are meant to be able to get a computer that runs OS X is to buy it from Apple; in practice, Apple’s computers are built mostly using standard parts and if you get the same parts you can build a computer that supports OS X. I took on the challenge for a series of tutorials for Tuts+, the site I do most of my writing for.

I am writing this post right now using my Hackintosh. It runs great. There are a few quirks that still have to be teased out. A quick Google shows that almost no one has a Hackintosh that works perfectly first time. I am working on a series of three tutorials describing the part selection, hardware build and software setup that will appear on Tuts+ in the next few weeks.

The computer I built, while not ridiculously powerful, is still a very capable machine. It is mainly built around a 3.7GHz i5 processor and 16GB of RAM – perfect for photo editing! There’s also a video card with a gig of VRAM, although that’s not going to be used over much. Overall I’m pretty happy with it. It was a fun project and I’m looking forward to sharing the tutorials.


Fixing the “ducking” problem!

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A tweet from Andy McKenzie this morning reminded me of a problem I used to have with Apple’s puritan autocorrect – every time I wanted to say “fuck”, “fucking” or “fucked”, my iPhone decided that I obviously meant “duck”, “ducking” or “ducked”. Seriously, unless you work as a duck breeder, I doubt anyone uses the word duck more than the word fuck. Fortunately there is a simple solution that I have been using for a while.

iOS let’s you create AutoCorrect shortcuts. A lot of people, including me, use them to fill in their phone number or email address just by typing two or three characters rather than the full string. You can also use them to solve the “ducking” problem. If you create a shortcut so that “duck” is the shortcut for “fuck”, “ducking” for “fucking” and “ducked” for “fucked” the AutoCorrect problem is switched – now you have to be careful not to invite your nephew to go and feed the fucks.

Creating a new AutoCorrect shortcut is simple:

  • Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts.
  • Click on the + in the top right corner of the screen.
  • Enter the word you want to AutoCorrect to in the top box and the shortcut in the second box and click Save.
  • Problem solved!

May Review

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May was a mixed month in terms of a few things. A lot was going on which meant my long term goals took a backseat to dealing with the urgent short term stuff. The flipside of this was that the stress of the urgent things forced me to take time to relax – as a result I read a lot and I’m now 6 books ahead of schedule! My 30 day challenge of meditating also nicely fell into alignment with what was going on around me. I certainly noticed the difference to my focus and it’s something I’m going to keep in my daily routine going forward. Midway through the month I became aware of the guided meditation service Headspace. Not this month, but perhaps next, I will redo meditation for 30 days and work through their program.

Financially things were interesting. While I did not directly earn a lot, I set a few things up that look like they’ll have serious returns in the near future. June on the other hand is going to be a month of big financial returns.

Fitness was mixed. I managed to get in some good training for at the beginning and end of the month but had some situationally induced slack off in the middle. This is gonna get back on track this month.

I finally got around to doing something creative. I managed to get two good photo sessions done. The first was another street shoot in Dublin. I got three photos I was happy with from it. Two portraits and the moped in motion shot below.

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I also got a second shoot where I played around with a macro extension cube and my desk cactus. The photos had a really nice abstract quality. You can see one of them in the header image and another below.

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Creativity is also something I am going to push this month.

For June’s 30 Day Challenge I was tied between two ideas: 1000 words for publication a day or eight gym sessions a week. In the end I settled for the eight sessions as I will be doing a lot of writing any way but have other things going on that mean I may not be able to write every day. Yes, eight sessions is more than seven days which means I’ll be doubling up weights and jits on some days. This is intentional. Also, eight is a minimum goal rather than a set target. I’m also going to do a monthly challenge, in this case, to push my creativity, I’m going to create a 10 image series of my home town, Howth. It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I’m excited to do it.

When you read this it will likely be on my new website. This is something I’m going to spend the first week or two of this month designing. This blog post will likely go live with the site.