Jacob Mulquin

November, 2021


Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month! A strange morning. My half-conscious self decided that I would not be going for a walk this morning. Favouring instead an paltry 45 minutes of extra sleep. When I first started this routine of morning walks I would beat myself up for not walking a single day but have learned to accept that it is OK. I just need to supplement it with some extra stretching or a walk later in the day.

Today is the 1st of November and as such there are numerous events that happens during this month. Two that come to mind are Movember and No Nut November. While at 32, my moustache still resembles that of a 14 year old, I am interested in participating in NNN in some way. I think the movement has some interesting and positive ideas; i.e. Gaining self-control and resisting addictive tendencies. We live in a world where access to pornography is extremely easy and it's extremely easy to become addicted. While I believe the theories regarding sperm retention and superpowers mainly come from placebo, I do think avoiding pornography and masturbation for a month is a good idea in order to break any holding patterns involving these two things.

There was a problem with my Backup script today, it appears that there are huge bits of data in the .cache and .local folders of my home directory. These have been added to the exclude list.

The VM drive also ran out of space so I had to purge some unused VMs as well.

I did a backup of my phone and got tired of manually hunting around for files and images so I created a shell script to do this for me.

At the end of the day I look back at the memories made and can't help but think that it was unproductive no matter how many things were ticked off the todo list. It's just one of those days.

I survived my goals for NNN today and feeling good about the prospect of going through the month. Will power is like any muscle, the more you flex it the better it gets!


I Jumped out of bed this morning with the enthusiasm of a young puppy meeting their new owners. Brain felt good, body felt slightly less good. Stretche. Body feeling less less good. The walk went well this morning. The song Mantra by Bring Me The Horizon was repeating in my mind, almost as if it were a... mantra. Thoughts of the film clip, especially one point during the song where there is a climax on the word "mantra", and a box of medicine is displayed. This had me wondering if this song was a neat bit of predictive programming for the now ubiquitous COVID pandemic. Nah, probably not.

Since I worked late last night I took the morning to myself. Got the oil changed in both cars and started fiddling around with the Kano Pi as part of the My Waste My Future project. It's clunky, and there was some oddities with Python 2, but it's working!

Today has been quite warm, and this afternoon I have felt very sluggish and unmotivated. I feel guilty for these periods and have to remind myself that not every waking moment must be filled with productive work.

I mounted the Raspberry Pi on the tiles in the kitchen and now that it's mounted it seems super over-engineered.


Did the walk this morning but the thoughts weren't flowing very well this morning. My No Nut November journey is going well so far. Son was at daycare today so it's a chance to get some jobs done around the house that are difficult with him trying to get involved.

I got my new NAS setup today and have spent time transferring files from my disparate hard drives onto it.


Walk with well this morning but I had to cut it short because nature started calling. Doing some more data transfer today. We are going to our ultrasound this morning, super excited to see our second born!

Ultrasound went great. We have a healthy baby growing and basically everything within the 50th percentile.

Went for Tacos at the in-laws tonight. FIL had a strange issue with his phone. STMP stopped working for some reason. Updating the software seemed to fix it.


Very wet this morning. My half-conscious brain was committed to saying "no" to my walk this morning, but some other part of me pushed through it when I got up to turn off the alarm clock. I'm very glad I did because I feel pretty good after that walk.

A bit of a non-eventful day. Brother in law and his girlfriend bought themself a new puppy. Very excitable and cute.


I woke up and turned off the alarm on my phone, went back to bed. Then after a few minutes of realising I won't be able to go back to sleep, I got up and went for my walk.

Noticed something funny when I got back and started writing my TODO list for the day: I had been writing all the dates using the 10th month instead of 11. It's incredible how quick this year has passed.

After a few days with the NAS setup, all my data is beginning to be more organised and I'm feeling much more secure in my backups. Beginning to feel a data hoarding itch that I hope I don't need to scratch in the future.


A sleepy 1am me turned off my alarm without my conscious mind realising. As I stirred around 5am it was raining quite hard so I decided I wouldn't go a walk this morning.

A bit of a write-off today. I was doing grunt work making sure the casenotes came in but that was about it. Dreary weather with not much to report.


Went for a walk this morning. It was wet and quite humid. Monday morning and the casenotes went relatively painless. I failed NNN today and feeling slightly guilty. However, I have persisted with not watching porn and can feel my desires for it diminishing.


These daily writings aren't going quite as I anticipated. I find it hard to get the courage to write in a more stream-of-consciousness style because the words will be publically available. I'm cognizant of the fact that very little to no other eyeballs will actually read these words, but that self-conscious voice in my head still persists.

I went for an additional walk with my son today around the block. It's so great to spend time with him.

Went over to the in-laws in the evening and helped them clear out their granny flat of rubbish thanks to a less-than-ideal tennant.


Awoke with vigor this morning and went for a 3.6km walk, including up the difficult hill that usually destroys my stamina. Feeling really good!

I think I need to get myself into the habit of writing these at night rather than sporadicly through the day. Somehow build it into my nighttime routine. We will see how we go tonight.

Today has been an interesting day with external pressures that led me to notice that I actually enjoy the feeling of coding and designing under pressure. There's something about the deadline or urgency that makes the process of problem solving and programming more fun.

Firstly, my wife was on the phone with Centrelink and apparently due to their screw-up, we may be on the hook for thousands of dollars of debt. They had requested my payslips for the year. So I downloaded each payslip from my email and put them in a folder. I told my wife it should be easy enough to upload them to Centrelink's website so she should call them. When I went to upload them, I saw a 5mb TOTAL upload limit. Considering there was 45 PDFs that totalled 6.1mb, I needed to quickly think of a way to minimize the filesize. Some DuckDuckGo-fu to Stack Overflow pipelines led me to whipping up a quick bash script to iterate through the directory and minimize the files using Ghostscript. Beautiful, 2.7mb now. I selected them all and dragged them across to the big "Drop Files here" button. Only the last file appeared. Of course it had to be one a time. So I arranged my file manager and web browser next to each other to minimize mouse movement and begun dragging like a madman. When I hit 26 files I received an unknown error. Of course there was a file limit. So an additional search led me to append the bash script to combine the PDFs with Ghostscript. One combined.pdf file later and Centrelink was happy with my file. It had taken me about 15 minutes total, and my wife was still on hold for 32 minutes.

Secondly, at work we received an email from an external company that has identified an ongoing flaw with our billing system. The additional pressure of that and the request from the CEO to prioritise this as a project was quite stimulating. I wouldn't be able to do it day-in-day-out, but in short bursts it is quite rewarding.


When I'm going a third of the way through my usual morning walk, I come to a hill. Before this hill there is a low-lying fence that I use to stretch out my calfs and shins. Technically I'm in someone's driveway when I do this and it got me thinking about Gang Stalking and Targeted Individuals. My mind kept ruminating how I would react if the person in that house may believe they are a targeted individual and how things would go down if they came out with a camera and begun accusing me of gangstalking them.


It was pouring down this morning so no walk this morning. We went shopping to get party supplies for our son's 2 year old party tomorrow. Did some good hours of work in the middle of the day but had a very exhausting support call with a staff member that required tech support.


Jumped out of bed this morning, felt great. The weather is much better than forecast and I pushed myself on the walk. Working on the blog code this morning before our son's birthday party. The party went for most of the day and I came home mostly inebriated and ready for bed. Going strong with NNN despite falling off the bandwagon 5 days ago.


Had some strange dreams last night. Involving drug use and a lot of shame. Very murky and when I woke up I didn't want to be around those feelings anymore. Only went for a light walk today as I'm a bit hungover. Son's birthday today so will be fun celebrating that with him.

It was a fun day, lots of love, gifts and celebrations.


My son slept in my bed from the middle of the night so no walk for me this morning. Instead I felt the need to do many chores this morning to make up for the lack of exercise while my wife has some well-deserved rest. Being 7 months pregnant does not look easy.

I am beginning to slowly build the design of this site. I found the most excellent baseline stylesheet with Vanilla CSS and introduced a couple of fun random elements on each generated page. Part of me is self-conscious to build this site peice-meal, but it's not like I'm creating this for anybody other than myself so the pressure on myself is just pointless really.

My backup strategy is starting to fail somewhat. I am going to update the script today to begin deleting folders older than 14 days.


I woke earlier than my alarm this morning, 5 past 5. While getting ready to stretch my son jaunted out of his bedroom but I had to quickly escort him back to bed. He was not overly happy about this endeavour.

I made some good headway with the My Waste My Future blog post today, it has been something I've been procrastinating on for a while.

Other than that, today has been flat and unproductive, and yet I have to learn to be OK with it.

This evening I was looking up eBooks for the first time. I know I'm about 15 years late to the party. After watching Dune last month I would like to have a go at reading the book. I have never been an avid reader but it is something I would like to get into. My wife overheard me muttering to myself and said she had an old Kindle that she has not used in a long time. You beauty! After some charging and a factory reset, it appears to be working perfectly with calibre. The spice must flow!


Write-off a day. Woke up congested and coughing. Went and got a COVID test. Spent most of the day in bed, reading Dune and napping. My COVID test results came back negative so that's a relief.


Felt a bit better this morning. I think reading before bed at night rather than watching the laptop is doing better for my sleep hygeine, and I look forward to changes in my state of mind with continued change of habits. Went for a walk this morning, slowly, and felt better about myself. I still felt guilty that I did not go for a walk despite feeling ill.

I added the spatie/commonmark-highlighter library today, here it is in action combined with the 3024 theme:

echo 'Hello World!';
echo Hello World!
print('Hello World!')

It seems the symptoms from the illness have mostly subsided. Made some good progress on the coding and design of this blog. Including a bit of an intro about myself on the index. I look at people's personal sites and I'm blown away at how well they seem to describe themself and how my attempts seem paltry by comparison. I know the cliche of only comparing yourself to your past self, but it's still hard to ignore those invasive thoughts.

I think I've well and truly failed NNN this year. Oh well, here's to next year!


Had a good walk today. Can't believe we're almost 2/3rds into the second last month of the year. Since our son was born, time seems to be flying!

I have a busy day at work today, interviewing with a new person to work with me in IT.

Quite impressed with how easy it was to implement a new feature today. I had expected it to take over a day to figure out, but it turned out to only need 2 hours. Thankfully the rearchitecture of the RLA casenote processor is returning dividends of easier development like I had hoped!

Work at the office was enjoyable today, it's good to be around a lot of people and be social.

Dune is going well, really having fun reading this book.


Pissing down this morning so no walk. Set up a couple of laptops and did some data recovery on hard drives. Went for a walk with wifey and son this evening which was very pleasent, albeit a bit wet on the grass!

I have been following Andreas Kling and the Serenity OS project for a bit over 2 years now and I continue to be inspired by his honesty and programming discipline. For some odd reason, the replays of his livestreamed "office hours" don't work very well for me when played through Youtube. Luckily for the world, projects like yt-dlp exist :) A big thankyou to all the contributors of that project and other projects like it.'


Did a bit of work today. My work schedule is in flux, I'm seemingly doing 3-5 hours every day. I need to get better at striking that balance for myself.

It was another wet day this morning so no walk again. Still did some stretches but feel agitated with my morning routine changed.


Dry again! Hoorah! Only went for a small walk this morning as my asthma is really playing up. It's amazing how even 2 days without the regular exercise seemingly affected performance. Walking up smaller of the hills I walk was difficult. However that was probably because of the asthma.

Monday is usually pretty hectic for me at work, it's the start of the week and we need to make sure the systems work to ensure payroll and invoices are generated. On a whim I wanted to check out the Australian Parliament House's livestreams. Unfortunately they did not load on my machine so I whipped together a script to scrape the links so that the livestreams could be watched through mpv. You can find the script output here. I will make a dedicated post to this endeavour, as it could be fun to collate links to all the state parliament livestreams in a single area.

The mystery of the day: About a couple minutes into our evening walk, I felt something in my shoe, thinking it may be a stick or similar I tried to ignore it. But the feeling persisted and felt quite peculiar so I took off my shoe. To our surprise, there was a small millipede! How on Earth a millipede got into my shoe still has me scratching my head. Perhaps it got into my sock from my early morning walk and kept itself in there all day.


Walk went well this morning. The improvement of performance after just doing it the day before is significant. As I get older the more I realise how important it is to do some exercise every single day!

Work came in dribs and drabs today... Many hats worn: Programmer, data entry, tech support, network administration, auditor, policy writer. I really need to defer some of these hats to someone else because after a day full of doing different tasks, it doesn't feel like I've done anything significant.

Had a really good evening with family. My grandparents saw my son for the first time in 6 months and it was great to see him be open to them as if not much time had passed at all.

Slowly but surely I'm cleaning out my eWaste collection. I have about 3 to 4 milk crates full of it now. I will be doing a trip to the recycling centre soon.

I was thinking a lot about time management tonight. Then I felt inspired to create what I call a "fret". This was a technique for drawing patterns that I learnt in year 4 by my favourite primary school teacher Mrs Watkins. It's been many months since I've created one.

Here's what it looks like:

A pixel art pattern I call a "fret"

I've been making these for years, originally on 2mm grid paper and a felt-tip pen, now on the computer. It's a technique that allows you to practice visualisation of mirroring and rotating shapes in your mind, while being simple and repetitive enough to be meditative. I will do a full-length article one day that will outline the rules for making these and maybe even see if I can generate these programmatically.


More rain this morning, no walk.

Work went well, met some new employees and everything was really friendly. It's good to get away from the home office and mingle with people. It can be quite isolating Working From Home.

Found a bug in my APH Streams script, fixed it up now.

Made some more good progress on the My Waste My Future article tonight.


It had been raining overnight but I forced myself to go for a walk this morning. Still quite tired. Watched an episode of Oz and have to be mindful not to binge on it, I can already feel the temptation because it's such a good TV show.

Finished my draft of the My Waste My Future article and published it. I'm not fully happy with it but I need to remember the mantra "Better is the enemy of Good". I also need to remember I'm writing this for myself and I can always go back and update things whenever I please.

Worked on the design for the index page this afternoon, it's starting to shape up nicely!


Another drizzly morning. Taking it easy at work today to get some errands done around the house.

Went to my grand parents for lunch with Mum and saw my aunt, it was great to see her again and my son was enamoured with her, he hadn't see her in 18 months.

Found another bug in the APH streams script. I was extracting the date from a portion of the site that shows the different houses of parliament. Turns out that when the houses aren't sitting, but committees are occuring, that particular date does not show. I now extract from the list of streams for each day.


Still more rain.. It's making me quite anxious how many morning walks I have missed. I need to start supplementing with different types of exercises, most notably yoga or calisthenics or similar.

Continuing errands around the house today. The garage is a mess that needs much tidying.


I've worked hard to develop some daily habits, including writing these entries, going for a walk when I wake and having a daily todo book. I've been doing the todo since September and it is scary how easy it feels to slip into not doing the habit. Maybe the fact it is scary is what will help motivate me to continue.

I helped at my parent's house today sorting out some old electronics. The garage did not get done yesterday unfortunately. I also didn't walk this morning. Committing to it tomorrow morning, I have everything ready.


Went for the walk this morning. It wasn't easy after not doing it 3 days in a row but I'm feeling invigorating and proud for forcing myself.

Did some programming today, made some good progress.

Wrote up an article for the Australian Parliament House Streams tonight. It felt good to get it out in a couple of hours compared to the My Waste My Future one, which took a couple of weeks.


Went for the walk this morning. Getting back into the groove. Kept wondeirng how this habit that I'd been building for over 90 days was just so easy to let go of and difficult to get into again. This strengthens my resolve to continue with this and other healthy habits.

Son has been a handful today, he's certainly living up to the "terrible two's" cliche. Very tiring.