I wrote 98 comics

I wrote 98 issues of a comic because I thought it would be cool and lots of people would be impressed and MAYBE I’d become an Internet Celebrity. Nobody was impressed but it was interesting anyway.  The project naturally came to an end and it’s taken me this long to blog about What I Learned and so on.

In May 2018 I started posting a comic every day about that day. I posted 98 issues using photos I’d taken during the day and learned a lot about comics. I stopped twice: once because they were taking up quite a lot of time and once because I realised that they were, in essence, all about me and I wasn’t really happy with that.

Here is what I learned:

  • Fancy software isn’t as good as PowerPoint for speed (would be very different if I was drawing)
  • You have to know what your story is before you start making.
  • If you are writing about your own day you become really aware of the story of your day. “I started doing a thing but there was a problem so I stopped” is a *terrible* story. It’s hard to be a hero unless you actually slay the dragon.  This was a wonderful way of thinking and I’d love to find a less time-heavy way of working to it.
  • I was writing in the style of a superhero comic, and it’s hard to do that unless you know your daily superpower. When I worked out the superpower for comic!me, it got easier to write comics (and live life)
  • Comic books are a short medium – I had space to set up a conflict, fail to solve it, try a different way, and then resolve the conflict. Or I had space to setup a couple of smaller plots, show progress and then resolve them all. There isn’t much room for nuance. This was also quite good for motivation – if me execuses are complex then they are probably rubbish as well.
  • If you are writing a comic about your own day, then it’s *really* hard to do cliffhangers or multiple issues without a lot of effort.
  • Lots of tiny things about how and why comic makers practice their craft – everything from dialog to panel layout. I read a lot of comics during this time as well and there’s nothing like making your own to make you a) really look at the structure of what you are reading and b) be impressed by it.
  • This doesn’t actually improve your photography. I thought it would encourage me to get my DSLR out more and take lots of cool photos, but the time and story pressures meant that I was using my phone for everything.

What I should do is more like this:

  • Recognise that if I want to have a life worth documenting like this then I should have an extraordinary life.  And also recognise that ‘to document it’ is a pretty poor reason.
  • Work out who in particular I was trying to impress and go and talk to them directly (The ‘lots of people’ above is clearly a smokescreen, I firmly belive that almost all social media posts are for the benefit of Exactly One Other Person)
  • Switch mediums earlier – I knew the ‘dragon slaying’ was motivational, and I knew the comics took too long to make than was justified – I could probably have found a better way.


If you want to see the comics I made, they are on my instagram feed and scroll down to the middle of 2018.




‘Finder Zero’: You use far fewer files than you think, so stop hoarding them.

You use far fewer files than you think, so stop hoarding them.

I recently created a new user account and didn’t put Dropbox on it.

Firefox tells me that I downloaded 20 files from Dropbox in the 44 days since 28th May. I guess I’ve uploaded about twice that many (mostly banking aspects that needed processing) and I’ve edited a lot online. All the ones that got downloaded got edited and then either put back or emailed somewhere. Then they got deleted. For most of that time there were almost no files in my user area.

Almost all my work is

  • Download (clone,checkout,create new) a file or files
  • Work on the file.
  • Send it somewhere: email; a blog; uploaded to a website.

Every document I touch has a purpose, and it normally has to leave my machine to complete that purpose.  It might leave by uploading to a blog, or website, or it might leave by email, but all of it leaves.  Any anything that leaves by blog or email I can get back the same way so I can delete it from my home system.

Now I wipe out my files every morning.


It’s got a lot of advantages:

  • I know that every file on my machine is something I’m working on: files don’t get lost in the ether and projects get properly finished
  • There’s a real feeling of freedom, like you get from inbox zero: you know that everything is dealt with, everything that needs to be uploaded is uploaded
  • It encourages sharing, and bloging, and keeping team ‘knowledge bases’ updated: there’s a small timecost to putting files back into Dropbox, so I may as well fire off a quick blog or share it with a team.
  • Far far easier to switch machines
  • You don’t need a big hard drive.

Bottom line: my workflow has got a lot lot smoother and easier since I recognised that most files are mess.


Some attempts to predict questions responses from readers:

You clearly don’t have a proper job

I run the charity eQuality Time, as COO and work from home on the same machine I do everything else on. I take one day off a week to spend with my daughter but otherwise: I’m on this machine

Applications are files!

Well, yes, from a Computer Science point of view. From a workflow perspective they are tools: I have all sorts of programs and python libaries and vim config files that I use to work.  They don’t count.

Doesn’t work for a programmer

I clone a lot of repos,  work on them, push them, and delete them. Don’t see the point of keeping them around if it’s only a few seconds to clone.

What if your internet goes down

It’s 2019, if my internet goes down I’m probably not going to be much use anyway NO matter how many files I’ve got. I suspect I’d go for a walk or have some family time.  If there’s an urgent thing I need my internet for, and my phone hotspot isn’t working,  then I drive five minutes to the local coffee shop with my old laptop, at which point I’ll be glad everything is online somewhere.

Posts should stand on their own

I wrote this to work something out, which is why it’s a bit meandering.

I repeatedly don’t write a blog post because I’d have to write a different one first: I don’t write about an improvement to X because I haven’t written about X or I don’t talk about a funding bid because I haven’t introduced the project ‘properly’.

That’s because I want the whole blog to work as one thing: I want it to be readable from front to back and make sense.

This is silly.  My favourite authors re-introduce characters in every novel, expand throwaway lines, or just retell stories in a new way.

So how I can avoid it? Being aware that’s what is happening will be a start, but I should write like the post stands on it’s own – like it’s always for a new reader.

Everything I’ve watched on Netflix and Amazon Prime

I’ve previously written Everything I watched on TV in 2016, and Everything I’ve watched so far in 2017.  It’s been a while and it’s worth coming back to.

Some tips:

  • To find out what you watched on Netflix the address is: https://www.netflix.com/viewingactivity.
  • To find out what you watched on Amazon Prime, you want: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/yourstore/iyr/ref=atv_unknown?ie=UTF8&collection=watched which is much more complex.

Couple of notes:

  • This is the first post on TV-watching since having a baby girl.  There’s a lot of Peppa Pig now in the stream.  That’s also how I found out that Amazon only counts the most recent watching of a program – we’ve watched Frozen daily since Nova was about six months old and Amazon is convinced we’ve only seen it once.
  • I’ve taken the information from the end of the last post on the topic (that was September 2017, so this is an 18 month period).
  • Both Amazon and Netflix include programs you clicked on accidentally or watched five minutes of, so I am unable to comment on the content of ‘bleeding Steel’.  This turns out to be about 20% of the list.
  • As before I’ve removed programs watched by my partner from Amazon Prime.
  • Netflix and Amazon handle series’s differently: Amazon will tell you you watched a series (even if you only watched an episode, whereas Netflix will give you every episode as a seperate line)

Things I’ve learned:

  • I don’t think that I watch much TV, but I’ve watched a surprisingly large amount in the last 18months,  Certainly there’s enough for an episode of TV every two days or so and the occasional binge: that’s a lot more than I would have said.
  • My partner watches quite a lot of TV without me.
  • I cannot justify Netflix spending for my usage, but the rest of my family push it up into ‘mildly economical’.


01/05/2019, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”,
01/05/2019, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”,
02/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Lone Cyborg”,
02/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Obsessive Scientist”,
04/02/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: Nakazat”,
04/02/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: One Bad Day”,
05/03/2019, “Peppa Pig: Season 2: Grandad Dog’s Garage / Foggy Day / Jumble Sale / Swimming”,
05/03/2019, “Peppa Pig: Season 2: The Balloon Ride / George’s Birthday / Pretend Friend / Painting”,
05/03/2019, “Peppa Pig: Season 2: Tiny Creatures / Daddy Pig’s Office / Pirate Island / George Catches a Cold”,
06/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Modern Ninja”,
06/01/2019, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”,
06/02/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: Flustercluck”,
06/02/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: My Brother’s Keeper”,
07/02/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: Collision Course”,
07/02/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: The Abyss”,
07/02/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: The Dark Hearts of Men”,
12/07/2018, “Captain America: Civil War”,
12/07/2018, “Foxy Brown”,
15/11/2018, “Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2: Morning of the Mindstorm”,
16/02/2019, “Planet Earth II: Planet Earth II: Mountains”,
16/02/2019, “Tomb Raider”,
17/02/2019, “Planet Earth II: Planet Earth II: Jungles”,
18/03/2019, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”,
19/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: 3AM”,
20/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Terrifying City”,
20/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Ultimate Mentor”,
20/02/2019, “Africa: Season 1: Kalahari”,
20/02/2019, “Africa: Season 1: Savannah”,
20/02/2019, “Bleeding Steel”,
20/04/2019, “Our Planet: Season 1: One Planet”,
20/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Kandahar”,
20/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Two Dead Men”,
21/01/2019, “Jason Bourne”,
21/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Deep Sea King”,
21/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Dominator of the Universe”,
21/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Strongest Hero”,
21/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Ultimate Disciple”,
21/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: Unparalleled Peril”,
21/01/2019, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: Unyielding Justice”,
21/01/2019, “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage”,
21/02/2019, “Dora the Explorer: Season 8: Dora’s Super Soccer Showdown”,
21/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Gunner”,
21/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Resupply”,
22/01/2019, “FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”,
22/01/2019, “Sherlock: Series 4: The Final Problem”,
22/01/2019, “Sherlock: Series 4: The Lying Detective”,
22/01/2019, “Sherlock: Series 4: The Six Thatchers”,
23/02/2019, “Planet Earth II: Planet Earth II: Cities”,
23/02/2019, “Planet Earth II: Planet Earth II: Deserts”,
23/02/2019, “Planet Earth II: Planet Earth II: Grasslands”,
24/02/2019, “Planet Earth: Season 1: From Pole to Pole”,
24/03/2019, “Hey Duggee: Season 1: The Bouncing Badge”,
24/03/2019, “Hey Duggee: Season 1: The Food Growing Badge”,
24/03/2019, “Hey Duggee: Season 1: The Funny Face Badge”,
24/03/2019, “Hey Duggee: Season 1: The Leaf Badge”,
24/03/2019, “Hey Duggee: Season 1: The Omelette Badge”,
24/03/2019, “Hey Duggee: Season 1: The Scarecrow Badge”,
24/03/2019, “Suicide Squad”,
24/03/2019, “Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave”,
24/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Crosshairs”,
24/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: The Judas Goat”,
25/02/2019, “Peppa Pig: Season 2: Mysteries / George’s Friend / Mr Scarecrow / Windy Autumn Day”,
25/04/2018, “World War II in Colour: World War II in Colour: The Gathering Storm”,
25/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 1: You Know My Steez”,
25/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: Soul Brother #1”,
25/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: Straighten It Out”,
25/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: Wig Out”,
25/10/2018, “Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2: The Fury of Iron Fist”,
25/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Cold Steel”,
26/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: All Souled Out”,
26/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: I Get Physical”,
26/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: On and On”,
26/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: The Basement”,
26/10/2018, “Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2: The City’s Not for Burning”,
27/02/2019, “Peppa Pig: Season 2: The Time Capsule / Rock Pools / Recycling / The Boat Pond”,
27/02/2019, “Peppa Pig: Season 2: The Traffic Jam / Bedtime / The Sports Day / The Eye Test”,
27/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: If It Ain’t Rough, It Ain’t Right”,
27/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: The Creator”,
27/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: The Main Ingredient”,
27/10/2018, “Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2: This Deadly Secret…”,
27/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Virtue of the Vicious”,
28/02/2019, “Life: Life: Challenges of Life”,
28/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: Can’t Front On Me”,
28/06/2018, “Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season 2: They Reminisce Over You”,
28/10/2018, “Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2: Target: Iron Fist”,
28/11/2017, “Iron Man 3”,
28/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Danger Close”,
28/11/2017, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 1: Home”,
28/12/2018, “One-Punch Man: Season 1: The Strongest Man”,
29/01/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: Fight or Flight”,
29/01/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: Roadhouse Blues”,
30/01/2019, “Batman Ninja”,
30/01/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: Trouble the Water”,
30/01/2019, “Transformers Prime: Season 1: Darkness Rising: Part 2”,
31/01/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: One-Eyed Jacks”,
31/01/2019, “Marvel’s The Punisher: Season 2: Scar Tissue”,
31/10/2018, “Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2: Heart of the Dragon”,
31/10/2018, “Marvel’s Iron Fist: Season 2: The Dragon Dies at Dawn”,


004.,  Tumble Leaf Season 1
005.,  Avatar
006.,  Hey Duggee – The Get Well Soon Badge & Other Stories (Series 1, Voulme 2)
006.,  Inception
007.,  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
009.,  Hey Duggee – Tinsel Badge & Other Stories
010.,  The Tidy Up Badge and Other Stories
011.,  Frozen
014.,  John Wick Chapter 2
015.,  Aquaman
016.,  Peppa Pig – Volume 3
017.,  Peppa Pig – Volume 5
020.,  Peppa Pig – Volume 2
021.,  Hey Duggee Volume 1
024.,  Venom
029.,  Heat
030.,  Hotel Transylvania
031.,  Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience
032.,  The Incredibles
033.,  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Theatrical Version)
034.,  Peppa Pig – Volume 1
036.,  X-Men: Apocalypse
040.,  The LEGO Batman Movie
042.,  Burn Notice – Season 2
043.,  Postman Pat Special Delivery Service – Season 1
044.,  Burn Notice – Season 1
045.,  PAW Patrol – Volume 1
047.,  Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny – Season 1
051.,  Molly’s Game
052.,  All the President’s Men
055.,  Mission Impossible III
058.,  Mission: Impossible – Fallout
061.,  Incredibles 2 (with Bonus Content)
062.,  Fearless Hyena
065.,  Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
066.,  Ant-Man and the Wasp (Plus Bonus Content)
067.,  Lethal Weapon 2
069.,  The Man In the High Castle – Season 3
070.,  Get Smart
071.,  Pingu – Season 1
072.,  North by Northwest
073.,  White House down
074.,  Superman
075.,  Suicide Squad
079.,  Deadpool 2
081.,  Innerspace
082.,  Inside Man
084.,  Arrow: Season 5
086.,  Arrow: Season 4
087.,  Pacific Rim Uprising
088.,  Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5
089.,  The Walking Dead Season 6
090.,  Cloak and Dagger – Season 1
091.,  Fear the Walking Dead – Season 3
092.,  Fear the Walking Dead – Season 2
093.,  Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 1
094.,  Pacific Rim
095.,  Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
096.,  Justice League
097.,  Lethal Weapon
101.,  L.A. Confidential
102.,  Goodfellas (Remastered Special Edition)
103.,  Thor: Ragnarok (Theatrical Version)
104.,  Scandal Season 6
105.,  Scandal – Season 5
107.,  The LEGO NINJAGO Movie
108.,  Ip Man
110.,  Miss Sloane
112.,  Escape Plan
113.,  Jean-Claude Van Johnson Season 1
116.,  Daylight
118.,  Castle – Season 5
122.,  Incredible Hulk
123.,  The Princess Bride
124.,  Star Wars: The Force Awakens
127.,  Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Wikipedia and YouTube

I’ve been working on Wikipedia. I find it calming.

I’m making a video of each editing session because it feels cool, and because having a “only edit on video” rule stops me ‘checking’ my watchlish twenty times a day.  It’s also nice to be able to look back at them to say “Why did I make that change?”.

I’ve set up a separate YouTube Channel for the videos here, there’s about 20 videos there.

The mortifying, but true, ten year plan.

In 2028:

  • I will be completely free of any physical symptoms of stress and will be able to recover any mood with only ten minutes mediation.
  • Nova will trust me.
  • I will have mastered silence, and listening. I will never interrupt because what I say will be worth waiting for.
  • I will have created the professional TooManyCooks. It will win a booker prize. It will dominate the bestseller lists and at least one series will have become a film. It will completely change publishing.
  • Every school in the country will have a White Water Writers camp and kids will fight to be part of the team.
  • eQuality Time will have changed the charity sector. It will be entirely commonplace for all organisations to make all of their processes and projects public.  We will attract hundreds of volunteers and form a tight community.
  • AAC software will all be open source and compatible with each other. The Open Voice Factory will be a key part of the history.
  • I will be sought after for my thoughts on organisations, design, and effectiveness.
  • Kat and I will be a true team.
  • I will have run marathons and triathlons. I will have taken half a dozen hobbies to professional standard.

Simple photo import script

I’ve been taking photos with my DSLR, and filling up memory cards.

I want to quickly import the photos onto my computer at home, and there are lots of bits of software that are available to use for that. But it also seems like overkill.  I’ve got a simple script instead that I thought I’d share:


cd "/Volumes/NIKON D7000/DCIM/103D7000"
mkdir ~/CameraStorage/import_$(date +"%F")
mkdir ~/CameraStorage/import_$(date +"%F")/protected
mkdir ~/CameraStorage/import_$(date +"%F")/normal
find . -type f -flags +uchg -name "*.NEF" -exec cp {} ~/CameraStorage/import_$(date +"%F")/protected \; 
find . -type f -flags +nouchg -name "*.NEF" -exec cp {} ~/CameraStorage/import_$(date +"%F")/normal \;

The only interest bit of this is the uchg flag – that’s the one that is set on the camera when I protect a photo.

As I get better at photography I might improve this a bit – make sure I pull of videos for a start.

Experimenting with public internet history.

My web history reveals that I’m far from the person I’d like to be: too much time distracted, too little time doing deep thinking.

I’m making my web history public for a while – when I know I might be watched I at least pretend to be the person I want to be.

I’ve tried this once before, but that took a lot of work to make.  This time I’ve written a  script that reads the history from both Firefox (for my main machine), and Safari (for my phone) to creates a page.
To be safe, the script takes out everything but the main domain and time. If this works then I’ll start to add more information for some pages. You can see the history so far here.  The page starts from 2018-12-10, which I when I decided to do this and it’s already working.

I’d like to try this for a week, and hope to add more and more detail to it.  Script code is available on GitHub, and here is the list of improvements I should make.


Reflections after a week:

  • My internet history is a little bit more focused. Less faff, more useful
  • There’s some bug with safari syncing, will fix when I have time
  • I whitelisted a bunch of the sites: stackoverflow, wikipedia, are the main ones.  I’d like to add youtube (lots of Peppa Pig at the moment)
  • I’ve ended up with both facebook and instagram on my phone, so I am still doing some ‘off the books browsing’. Will look at that later.
  • I need to be a bit more public about it. Will do a facebook post about it today.
  • I know about private mode. I don’t use it (I will have to from now for any sensitive work)
  • I know that there are lots of other ways around my history appearing.  All of which are more work than, you know, stopping doing the thing I’d want to hide.
  • Yes this is information that removes my anonymity and could be used steal an identity. I’ve thought about that a lot (it’s about my family and they come first) and asked people I trust.  However, it’s also a lot less information that is already on Facebook and other places about me, or lots of other people.  If I get hurt because of this, you’ll read about it here first.
  • This doesn’t include pages visited when livestreaming – I have a different account for that.  Given that it’s live streaming I don’t think I’m hiding anything there.
  • I also have a laptop, on which I’m playing around with Ubuntu.  If I use it this week then I’ll add the history script for that.
  • I don’t have the Instagram or Facebook app on my phone (which wouldn’t be recorded), nor do I have Netflix or Amazon Video. I do have YouTube, but I’ll remove it if I find myself spending all my time on it.
  • I’d put up a lot more than this, but I have to be careful about other people’s data as well: postcodes, screennames, and a lot of other information goes though my history and that needs careful thinking about.

I put this page though simplewriter and the error words were:






I’ve been learning about photography.  I’m totally unsuccessful from an artistic point of view but I’m finding the mechanical aspects really interesting. Mostly as a result of this amazing free online course (warning, I found the course quite maths heavy, and I did a PhD that focused on maths)

Since I started looking more carefully at photos, I’ve felt like the pictures I put on Instagram looked different there. Light something had changed in the contrast or similar. I wanted to do a quick experiment to find out if it was my eyes playing tricks or indeed some interesting optical illusion.

So I found a handy wikipedia page and took a screenshot of it.

I then converted that screenshot (which was png on a mac) to jpeg so it could be put on Instagram:

It was posted (it’s since been deleted because it’s very uninteresting to my followers) and I took a screenshot of the image on both my phone and on my mac. PS: fairly obviously, I didn’t use a filter or adjust anything)

I lined up all the pictures and took one large screenshot:

…then used Darktable’s color picking tool to check each colour (using area rather than spot measurement:

…and it turns out it isn’t an optical trick: the colours do come up differently when tested:


The order of samples is:

  1. Screenshot png
  2. Screenshot jpeg
  3. Instagram on desktop
  4. Instagram on phone

…and clearly the ones that Instagram does are different from the ones that aren’t.  So what is going on?

  • I don’t think that noise is making a difference (I do think that inprecision in my measurements is causing the tiny differences between the jpeg and png versions).
  • I don’t think it’s the monitor making the difference – the test could have been done entirely without looking at the monitor so that’s out.
  • I don’t think it’s something about firefox – because that wouldn’t explain why the iPhone screenshot is different by the same amount.
  • It’s not a darkroom import artifact – all the colors were on the same image screenshot before darkroom got involved.


Every page I visited on the internet today.

I’ve been reading the news too much.  I think knowing what is happening in the world is good, but checking the web every 15 minutes means I get lots of ‘sugar’ and none of the ‘meat’. It also means I’m failing to do important deep work.

It also doesn’t help that I spend too much time on social networks, stay up too late reading strange pages, and get taken off track by any number of ‘interesting facts to look up’ in a day.

The answer to most of my problems is ‘be open’.  So this is the list of every webpage I visited today:

I knew I was writing this post in the morning, so today my internet has been good as gold.


My main work machine, it turns out I’m mostly looking up code and ordering from Amazon.

  • http://joereddington.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=6498&action=edit
  • http://joereddington.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=6498&action=edit&message=10
  • https://xkcd.com/simplewriter/
  • http://xkcd.com/simplewriter/
  • http://joereddington.com/wp-admin/post-new.php
  • http://joereddington.com/wp-admin/
  • moz-extension://ffb7b4ca-c803-2c46-9a9b-62d06290f6f9/tabDialog.html?dialog=loginSimple
  • http://joereddington.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fjoereddington.com%2Fwp-admin%2F&reauth=1
  • http://joereddington.com/
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=teapot&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://www.halifax.co.uk/contactus/call-us/#lostandstolencards
  • https://www.halifax.co.uk/contactus/call-us/#creditcards
  • https://www.halifax.co.uk/contactus/call-us/
  • https://www.halifax.co.uk/creditcards/help-guidance/existing-customers/
  • https://www.halifax.co.uk/creditcards/
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=halifax+credit+card&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=can+i+use+a+mini+displayport+cable+with+thunderbolt&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://www.cnet.com/news/confusing-mini-displayport-with-thunderbolt/
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=difference+between+thunderbolt+and+displayport&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=thunderbolt
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/
  • http://smile.amazon.co.uk/
  • https://www.amazon.co.uk/
  • https://calendar.google.com/calendar/r
  • https://calendar.google.com/calendar/r/eventedit
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=cak&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://github.com/eQualityTime/Public/issues/30
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Elliott-Lobby-Dustpan-Brush-Self-Closing/dp/B0032NA3WC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1536337421&sr=8-4&keywords=dustpan+and+brush+sets
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Handle-Handled-Dustpan-Sweeper-Silver/dp/B00ORZOL2C/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1536337421&sr=8-7&keywords=dustpan+and+brush+sets
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_4?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=dustpan+and+brush+sets&sprefix=dust%2Caps%2C177&crid=2XI0COZ9SQOEA
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_pg_2?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Atable+protector&page=2&keywords=table+protector&ie=UTF8&qid=1536337343
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=table+protector
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ref=nav_logo_prime
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Floor-Chair-Feeding-Splash-Painting/dp/B012D2V0Y2/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1536337274&sr=8-1&keywords=plastic+sheet+for+floor+baby+feeding
  • https://smile.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=plastic+sheet+for+floor+baby+feeding&sprefix=plastic+sheet+%2Caps%2C305&crid=1VJNZE111PFLV
  • https://gitup.co/
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=git+visualise+commits+osx&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://git-scm.com/downloads/guis
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=git+client+for+osx&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://github.com/tpope/vim-fugitive
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=vim+git+plugins&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/116559/is-it-considered-eithical-to-sign-yourself-with-name-followed-by-phd-when-in-fac
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52219698/how-can-there-be-a-merge-conflict-when-git-rebasing-onto-an-the-same-branch
  • https://stackoverflow.com/posts/52219698/edit
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52219698/git-rebase-commit-id-fails?noredirect=1#comment91389706_52219698
  • https://stackoverflow.com/
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4107265/pros-and-cons-of-gitx-vs-gitnub
  • https://www.slant.co/versus/1502/17584/~gitx-dev_vs_fork
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=better+than+gitx&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=git+branch+upstream&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://git-scm.com/docs/git-rebase
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=git+rebase+default+behavior&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/52219698/git-rebase-commit-id-fails?noredirect=1#comment91388381_52219698
  • https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/gitx/5Y4yJZd0PRk
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=you+CAN%27T+use+this+version+of+gitx+with+this+version+of+mac+os&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://github.com/pieter/gitx/pulls
  • https://github.com/pieter/gitx
  • http://github.com/pieter/gitx.git
  • http://gitx.frim.nl/contribute.html
  • http://gitx.frim.nl/
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=gitx+NOT+working+mac&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • http://gitx.frim.nl/release_history.html
  • http://frim.frim.nl/GitXStable.app.zip
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=gitX&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://www.sourcetreeapp.com/
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1838873/visualizing-branch-topology-in-git/1838938
  • https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-ab&q=git+show+tree&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjig_fY3KjdAhXoJcAKHTHVAnsQ7xYIJCgA&biw=1707&bih=983
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1064361/unable-to-show-a-git-tree-in-terminal
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=gitx+show+tre&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/8358035/whats-the-difference-between-git-revert-checkout-and-reset
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=git+reset+and+revert&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=git+reset+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://stackoverflow.com/users/login?ssrc=head&returnurl=https%3a%2f%2fstackoverflow.com%2f
  • https://www.atlassian.com/git/tutorials/merging-vs-rebasing
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=why+use+rebase+when+you+can+merge&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://www.noisli.com/
  • https://learngitbranching.js.org/?demo
  • https://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogramming/comments/6radv4/what_are_some_good_resources_for_learning_git/
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=best+resources+for+learning+git&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab
  • https://leanpub.com/learngitthehardway
  • https://www.google.com/search?q=git+the+hard+way&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-ab


Turns out my phone also includes Safari on laptop (I’ve had to redact some person information in a subject header).  Despite going on at length about how I only open my inbox four times I week, I briefly pop into my email to get something earlier.





Give me a book that has changed your life. Write your name on it. I will treasure it. If you haven’t got a book that has changed your life then go to the library and find one.  I would like to grow old with a shelf of books with names in them. 
I dislike receiving gifts. I have lots of good reasons for this, but they might come from some deep brain flaw rather than good thinking.  I know that my dislike of gifts makes life harder for people I care about, so I’m trying to be more open to gifts.
If you get me a gift then I will enjoy the act of gift giving and accept it with a happy smile. I will feel touched. I will remember the act long after the event. I may immediately give the gift to a charity shop if it turns out I didn’t have any use for it, but I can do that while still feeling really quite touched.
If you would like to get me a gift that I will enjoy in its own right, then I’ve tried to work at some ideas that will help:
  • Give me a book that has changed your life. Write your name on it. I will love it.
  • If you have already given me a book that has changed your life, or you don’t feel you know me well enough, then I have an Amazon Wish list that you can find here.
  • I check it pretty often and try to make sure there are ideas that are less than £5, £10, and £20. Second-hand gifts are even better than the new ones.
  • Feel free to give to charity in my name. I like Special Effect, but go wild.
  • Vegan-friendly chocolate (80-90%) is always a good safe idea.
Some other notes:
  • Turning up to our house doesn’t need gifts. If you are late because you stopped to buy gifts then you have catastrophically misunderstood my value system.
  • If you are in any way stressed about getting a gift for me, then stop. I don’t want you to be stressed. Give me the gift of you being unstressed. Get yourself a gift. (If you are in any way stressed about getting a gift for anyone, then you aren’t getting a gift – you are trying to swap something physical for some form of acceptance or approval).
Edited to add: I wrote this post partly as a (rather privileged) rant, but in the first year of writing it, this post has brought me far more happiness and deeper connections than I thought possible, and I’ve been particularly gratified to see friends writing their own.
More edits for FAQs
  1. Looking for loopholes on this sort of thing is… not a good sign.  That said, if you are looking for loopholes because you are a mathematician and that’s simply how you think, then you can consider the rules broadly relaxed for you, on the basis that people who think like mathematicions tend to get enjoyable gifts anyway. There’s a paradox here, the more you feel like you should follow this policy, the less likely it is to apply to you.
  2. I’ve started (because this policy has been wonderfully enriching) not buying myself much from Amazon in October (the month of my birth) and December, and instead filling up my wishlist for the month. This means that
    • If you don’t fancy anything on the wishlist, then procrastination might actually work for you.
    • I’ve accidentally created a nice ‘treat yo’ self’ day right after my birthday (and early in january with sales), on which I buy *everything* I’ve avoided buying for a month.

Applying for jobs


Today I applied for a job at eQuality Time, the charity I set up (much more sensible than it sounds – it’s a genuine charity, so it’s important to make sure they get the best person for the job – particularly when people who are good at setting organisations up aren’t necessarily good at running them).

I’m broadly applying for the job I already do much of, and that meant that applying for the job was a really interesting experience.

When you apply for a job you (I do anyway) look at the list of criteria and write about how you match them all in the covering letter. The interesting bit was that for some of the criteria I didn’t know what to write.  There are a few possibilities for this:

  • I didn’t feel like I had a particular skill
  • I felt like I had the skill but I hadn’t sucessfully demonstrated it.
  • I’d been carrying out the responsibility, but in an ad-hoc way, without any really plans or focus.

…and all of those are interesting signs when you are already doing quite a lot of the job.

So my covering letter ended up being a fairly honest apraisal of where I felt I’d done well as a person, and where I felt I had a lot to learn. and the latter is something I’ll be working on hard in the future.   It was a really interesting exercise and I’ll be thinking about ways to build it into future work.   Filling out the application form meant that I gave myself a really sincere evaluation, rather than what I have a habit of doing, which is evaluating the organisation in isolation.

For those interested, the covering letter is here:eqtcoveringletter and, if I get the job, I’ll be working hard on staff managment and information flow.

Saving keystrokes, baby advice….

A friend emailed today asking for input – he’s having a baby in the near future and was a bit lost about what to buy and what to avoid (particularly around clothes, which is why this post focuses on it.  I wrote a long email, and then Kat wrote her bit of it, and by the time I was finished adding to it I thought we’d leave it here to serve as an update of sorts – in many ways it’s less about advice and more about our experiences… .


Two facts about clothes – 
  1. you WON’T be able to move for people giving you new clothes
  2. they’ll miss out lots of important bits.  
This is an excellent time to start going to car boot sales – almost all of Nova’s clothes were bought for about 20p an item in a field. Quite a lot of the rest were hand me downs.   Anything with buttons is cursed, poppers are where it’s at. 
Important purchases: 
Useful facts: 
  • Going to the prenatal classes isn’t particularly good for information (Drinking game: take a shot every time the person in charge avoids a question by saying “Whatever works for baby”), but is good for relaxation – turns out that you guys are more ready that most of the people there (and you’ll find yourself *vastly* more ready than most to-be fathers).  It’s also good for your partner to start making her baby friends. This is essential for lots of sensible mental health reasons and it’s amazing how much the mummy groups  are the de-facto information source.  
  • Gender reveal scan – is fucking awful because it’s also the anomaly scan.  It’s thorough and it’s brutal to go through.  In advance agree to get the gender written down on paper (if you are finding out early) so that you can find out at home when you have calmed down. 
Kat will now take over the email… 
Hi XXXX, congratulations, how exciting! I got super confused about clothes (and actually most baby gear too :)). Top tips are:
Sizes – Newborn/First size means items they can wear for the first month. If you have a baby bigger than 8lbs, you probably only need a few this size as they’ll only be in them a week or so! 0-3 is the next size up and obvs will last until they are around 3 mths).
Items – I’m still unsure about the difference between a babygro/vest and a sleep suit! With Nova, at the beginning we had her in a babygro and sleep suit at night (and a sleeping bag/gro bag on top – these are great as the baby doesn’t kick them off). Now it’s summer, we have these old fashioned nighties, which mean you can change her nappy in the night without having to do loads of poppers. I think if I did it again, I’d prob have her in nighties (and babygro) from the beginning. Sleepsuits are still good for wearing during the day when you want to have a simple outfit (i.e. rather that nightmare for changing trousers and socks combo). I’d suggest you get 5-7 baby grow and 5-7 sleep suits to start off with (remembering Joe’s point above that EVERYONE gets you clothes :))
Baby gear – There is SO much out there, especially baby sleep aids. We used a moses basket but I’ve heard really good feedback on the next to me cots (CHICO I think is the brand). Try and get second hand (buy a new mattress) though as they’re only in them for 4 mths. One of the best bits of kit we got for Nova was a baby sling. I think she could go in it from 6wks and it gave me my arms back as she’d happily rock in there for a bit (whereas she got fed up with lying down for too long).
That’s the main bits I can think of from top of my head. Feel free to msg Joe or me  any other qs that come up – having a baby is like learning a new language, there’s so much to take on board, but it is wonderful!

EDIT for 2020:

Some other opinions of mine from the inbox…
In response to ‘books for my partner who is going to be a father’
Almost all the books directly aimed at fathers are complete wastes of paper and are more written for comedy than anything else. Reading ‘What to expect when you are expecting’ was good, and in general ‘Reading the same books as the mother because then you share a frame of reference’ is a good plan.
I got more about parenting from Freakonomics (including names actually) than I have from any other book.  In general I found that most books about ‘evidence based parenting’ weren’t anything like as useful as ‘normal’ pop-science books that happened to use parenting as an example for a chapter.   I also got a lot of value out of this one, but it’s long term.
Totally honestly – the best thing an expectant father can probably read is a big stack of ‘dealing with your emotions’ books, along with another big pile of books on sexism and gender roles.  The practical STUFF – nappies and washing and the rest of it, is all trivial, particularly for people like us who naturally think in terms of processes – the books are for later.