Jacob Mulquin

September, 2022


Seems like a pattern is emerging where I do this daily thing pretty decent at the start of the month then totally shit the bed at the end.

I'm taking part in STEPtember this month with co-workers.

So this morning I kicked my butt into gear and went for a 3k step walk. I need to buy a better pedometer because my aging phone loses battery charge way too quickly.

We have an audit going on today and tomorrow at work, we've been all-hands-on-deck getting prepared for that. Wish me luck answering lots of questions.

That was a massive day. Did audit all day, then had some sneaky chops at the in-laws, then we went shopping for some new shoes.

I tried buying a basic pedometer but they seem to be getting rarer and rarer as things move towards phone or fitness watches.

The new shoes are divine. So good. I'm looking forward to going for a walk tomorrow.

Steps: 6700


Well I endeavoured to go for a walk this morning, but my body had different ideas. "Sleep" hushed the dull tones of my subconscious, "for fucks sake" responded my conscious mind, 1 hour later as a toddler comes screaming into the room.

It was the second day of audit and my mind was starting to drift into holiday-mode. I got some things organised for while I was away and started to think about the time off. This is going to be a good holiday.

The steps were quite woeful today. 4500, blergh! I'm aiming for 10,000 tomorrow and there is no excuse that I need to be sitting at a computer. Hmmm... The rain has started this late evening so hopefully it fucks off before morning, I want to test out those new shoes!

My mind is spinning about the side projects I could complete over the holidays. Tomorrow I will take some time to really think about 1 project and commit to it. I'm leaning towards finishing my Virtualbox Provision and management script. Why not use Vagrant, or Ansible, or one of the other million tools out there that are more mature and feature rich than your cobbled together garbage? For fun of course!


Went for a walk this morning in the new shoes! Oh what a delight. My feet don't hurt when I get home like they did with the previous shoes.

Went to my grandparents to celebrate father's day with my dad and granddad.

Out to dinner with the inlaws to also celebrate father's day.


Today was father's day, however this morning was spent in a mad dash getting ready for our Canberra trip.

The drive went reasonably well, the boys were so well behaved. We got some sandwiches at a servo along the Hume.

We got into Canberra and went to the visitor's centre. We got some information and learnt a bit about the history of Canberra. We went to the cafe attached and felt tourist trapped. The prices were a bit ridiculous and the food quality was exceptionally average.

We went to the caravan park. Check-in was a bit confusing but we got there.

The cabin was small but had mostly everything we needed. There's air-con so that's a big plus on the cold Canberra evenings.

We chilled in the cabin for a while, unpacking, then went out for dinner; Sushi Train, yum! Mochi balls, delicious.

The first night took us all a bit by surprise, it was cold and the beds were average.


The first morning in Canberra, hooray!

We had breakfast and got ready, today we were going to the dinosaur museum.

Toddler raced through the actual museum meaning we didn't get much time to actually absorb much of the information. He was well-behaved and didn't try to touch what he shouldn't. He loved the outside area where the large dinosaur statues lived, but especially enjoyed the golf carts turned dino-safari vehicles.

After that we went to the Yarralumla Play Station to go on the Weston Park Miniture Railway. Weston Park is a beautiful park with lots of open space. The actual play station was a bit of a let-down. This place opened in the late 70's and looks like it hasn't got much love in many years. Everything looked in a state of disrepair. Lots of lantana making a stranglehold.

We fed the animals and toddler made a friend out of an alpaca.

After that we went for a bit of a drive while the boys slept in the car. I decided to drive up to the Telstra Tower as I remember fond memories of going there as a kid myself. Unfortunatley it has been closed for more than a year because of safety concerns. What's going on with some of these Canberra attractions?

When we got back to the tourist park we went on the playgrounds. I made us some ramen noodles with stir fried veggies.

We slept with the air-con on. It was a much nicer night for all.


Second morning, oh the back hurts a bit this morning.

Today on the Canberra adventure was Cockington Green. I absolutely loved this place as a kid, I used to imagine being in all the little worlds presented in the minitures. When we got there we got a coffee and a car for toddler and set out through the garden.

It was lovely and we all had a really good time. Toddler loved controlling the trains and I enjoyed the trip down memory lanes. This place is like a land stuck in time, very little has changed in 20-25 years.

After that we went to the National Arboretum because we wanted to check out the POD Playground. When we arrived there was a primary school year, it was very loud and it made toddler nervous. Just as we were decided to leave, the teacher yelled out something and all the kids flocked away. It was eery how quiet the environment had become. On the bright side, toddler was feeling more comfortable to go and explore the playground.

There's this awesome slide there and both myself and my wife climbed up through the playground and went down with toddler. Our knees hurt after that but it was worth it to see him smile. He got scared after I went down the slide but braved it. You're awesome, kid. After the playground we walked around a bit and I really enjoyed the bonsai museum, these plants were incredible.

Unforunately, little man tripped, fell and busted open his lip in one of the kids gardens while stepping up some wooden pillars.

After the arboretum we were trying to decide what to do, I know! Bowling is always fun.

We went back into Canberra city and found this cool bowling alley attached to an arcade/bar place. Seems like a fun place. The actually bowling alley was a bit average but we had fun. Wife got pretty stuck into the arcade games, wanting to win tickets. I think we ended up with about 1200, enough to buy some chocolates, lollies and some little gift-shop toys.

Everyone was starting to get tired. We had KFC for dinner tonight and I started to feel uneasy about whether we're going over budget; the money seems to have been flowing a little too liberaly for my liking.

Another comfy night thanks to air-con.


The third morning, and my joints are definitely feeling it on that hard mattress. My mattress at home is plush and soft. I like soft.

Wife and I were a bit testy this morning, both tired.

We went to the reptile zoo this morning, and checked out the snakes, turtles and crocodiles. A kookaburra tried to swoop at me multiple times through the glass and I don't know why. Maybe it was my shirt. We met a mother there while in the little play area and had a good chat to her about life in Canberra. I could see us moving there.

We went for a little drive around while the boys napped, including checking out some of the embassies. We then went to the Royal Australian Mint. Fascinating stuff how the coins are made, and learned some of the history of our coins.

After the mint we checked out the Harry Potter shop over in Fishwick. While none of us are huge Harry Potter fans, this shop was incredibly decorated and you could tell the owners and people working there were very passionate about it. We bought some Bertie Botts every flavour beans and had fun tasting all the weird and gross flavours.

We then went to find a joke shop somewhere so I could buy my dad some birthday gifts. I asked the bloke who worked there where the farts and poo section is, and he showed me farts and poo section.

I made us the same dish as the other night, the ramen with stir-fried veggies. It was yummy.


It was our last morning. We slowly got everything together and did a few final sweeps of the cabin before packing it all back in the car. We checked-out at the front desk and wished them well.

We had a buffet breakfast at the tourist park, which was pretty average. Wife really wanted pancakes but they were doing croissants instead. Bummer. The eggs benedict was quite nice, the mushrooms were funky, the bacon undercooked. Overall an underwhelming experience.

We checked out the Aviary this morning. It was fun to feed the birds by hand, they would come and jump on your arm and eat out of your palm. The rainbow lorikeets were the bullies of the Aviary, with them squawking and pushing the other types of birds if you tried to approach them.

After this we checked out a knick-knack shop and then the lolly shop. We got an assortment of lollies and chocolates and set on home.

The drive back was alright, we made good time.

And we're back! The afternoon was spent unpacking and doing generally nothing.

We went to the in-laws for dinner. On the news it mentioned the queen was not feeling well. I remarked that she probably would pass in the next few weeks.


The queen died today, I put a bit too much magick out in the world last night.

I didn't do much this morning, still feel a bit burnt out from the whirlwind trip we had.

Baby went to baby sensory with mum.

In the afternoon, my brother-in-law and his mate helped me get a new desk from a staff member who graciously donated it from work. Thanks! It's huge compoared to my old one.

Went back to in-laws again for dinner, we had a sausage sizzle. I got pretty drunk.


On our holiday I promised toddler that we would go to the library when we got home so we could find some new books to read. He absolutely loved it in there. Mind you not because of the books, but because of the awesome big foam lego blocks and the teepee with pillows in it.

In the afternoon we went to my grandparents house to visit my cousin who had come down from Sydney. She has 2 boys who are very similar age to ours. Toddler had a blast with his cousin and they had a bath together.


Didn't do much today, pottered around the house procrastinating on stuff. "Relaxing" some would say.

I got my father's day present a week late, but better late than never. Toddler made me this beautiful hand-made present with a picture of him inside. I had left it in the ground and baby hs bitten and slobbered all over it, so now it's a beautiful present from both of them.

We went back to the in-laws again for our usual Sunday roast.


Toddler went to school this morning, it was nice to have a quiet house today. I went for a walk after dropping him off then napped a bit.

In the afternoon I decided to shave my head and beard off completely, I asked toddler if he wanted it done and he said yes. He sat so still while I shaved his head. Surprisingly my wife watched it all and actually allowed it to happen. She regrets it, I don't. I think he looks awesome. I've started calling him boot camp.

I hosted a training session for my TAFE unit tonight. The assessment was to lead a critical thinking session. I think it went really well and I can imagine hosting things like that in the future.

My eating has been off the chain lately, and I've packed on over half of what I lost earlier in the year. Feeling disappointed in myself.


Toddler had swimming this morning so we took him to that. He looks like grown up with his hair shaved off, much older than the other little boys that were in the pool. He did so well, proud of you buddy.

Finally got around to actually setting up my new desk. I bought a monitor arm thing months ago but haven't used it until today. It's sturdy and can hold 3 monitors. The battlestation isn't 100% finished yet but it's usable.

I went for a walk in the afternoon. My shins hurt about 3/4 the way through the walk, which is a sign my body has reached a weight that is unbearable. It's a solid indication for me that I need to shape up my eating habits again.

I finished off the TAFE assessment from last night and handed it in. I'm a bit nervous as I fucked up the recording and my voice is echoing.

My parents came over for my dad's birthday. We gave him his present and I cooked us steak and veggies. Everyone seemed to enjoy dinner.

The in-laws came around for a bit too so it was nice to have all the grandparents around.


I actually stayed away with my alarm this morning. Before it was too close to my bed so I could easily fall back in and go back to sleep. Now it's much further away and I can make rational decisions about staying awake.

I went for a brisk walk and it feels great to do it again. It was because of the walk that I had the fortitude to come home and write up all these daily entries. The early morning walk is so important and I have to keep reminding myself that it's the way I need to start the rest of my days. This morning I made a concerted effort to stop and take in my senses if I encounter something beautiful. This morning it was the smell of some flowers on a wall and the view of some fog nestled amongst the escarpment that was cascading down like a waterfall. It feels so good to stop and appreciate beauty.

Toddler is going to school again today, and bub has his swimming lesson. The swimming went really well, he started to kick in the water and splash his hands a bit. It's so fun.

I was feeling pumped so decided to go for another walk in the morning, this time I tackled the super steep hill near my usual route. I got up to 8000 steps and it's 10:30 am.

Pottered around for a lot of the day, had a nap, you know, enjoying the time off. Yes my mind was swirling about side projects but I'm 3/4 through my leave so whatever, they're not happening.

Picked up toddler from school and went and bought a doorknob from Bunnings for our front door. Oh to easily open our front door again, hallelujah!

Had TAFE tonight while the fam went to the club with the in-laws. I was feeling food addiction, caved and bought a kebab. Argh, the food addiction has taken full hold once again. I need to discover the other voice in my head again, the voice of reason that whispers behind the shouting desire voice.

I hit 9700 steps in total today, the most I've done this month!


I woke up with my body feeling sore. My mind tried to blame the walking, but I kept repeating that it was the bad food that made me feel shitty. It worked because I got up and did a usual walk. I was feeling disappointed about the grip of food addiction again, and started motivating myself to learn to say no to the cravings.

Also had some random thoughts:

Went to the park with the boys and did even more walking. Not as many as yesterday but still a good amount.

Came home, had lunch and napped. I'm getting as many naps while on leave as I can. Naps fucking rock.

Slowly but surely getting my battlestation up and running, helped the missus with some of her work. I'm anxious and excited to start working again. Anxious because no doubt the workload will be huge, but excited because there's a lot to be improved.

Went to my parent's because toddler was talking about all the cars there, it was nice to be there, I don't visit as often as I should.

Tonight I answered some Stack Overflow questions. One in particular was about converting unicode "fancy text" to regular characters that I can improve and turn into a full article.


I awoke at 4 needing to go to the toilet, and my semi-conscious mind decided the cloudy sky outside meant big rain as we had some sprinkles the night before. Suffice to say, it also turned off the alarm at 5:30, so no walk for me this morning.

This has the run-on effect of impressing upon me a sort of malaise, argh.

Boys had swimming this morning, but a child there vomited into the pool so our session was cut less than half of what it should be. The mum was so apologetic, we could symathise, it wasn't her fault.

I completed the article about converting "fancy text" to plain text in the afternoon.

Made a peanut butter chicken curry for dinner, it was quite yummy!


Not much for today.


Not much for today.


Well, it's back to work for me. And yep, back into it. Oh there's so much to do, so much to do.

I spent most of the day catching up on things I had left, talking with people and preparing for the works to come.

My steps were miserable today since I spent most of it in front of the computer. I need to go for a walk in the morning.

My desktop shat the bed due to a broken Xubuntu upgrade tonight. Argh. I'll be scrambling to get Debian installed tomorrow.


Today's words were lost to the sand of time.


Today's words were lost to the sand of time.


Today's words were lost to the sand of time.


I went into the office this morning because we were going to go up and watch the bike race. Everyone in the office loved my "Tea-Rex" mug and I imagine a few will take advantage of it's volumous properties while I'm not there.

My workstation is still not fully up and running. As part of that, I accidently overwrite the files for the next few days. Damnit.


Spent the day working on my "Vboxer" project. I'm trying to do things "the right way" for this project, using PSR-x principles and test-driven development. It has been interesting to see how thinking about tests in the early stages of development has forced me to be more mindful of architecture and how different peices go together.

I was feeling lonely in the afternoon so made an effort to reach out to old friends that I haven't chatted with in a while. It's so easy to get isolated. I'm so glad I reached out because I had a few good conversations.


Went for a small walk this morning, hoorah! The sunrise was gorgeous.

Went up to Cars and Coffee Southern Highlands this morning to hang out with a mate I haven't seen in quite a while. It was great to catch up and toddler loved the cars and playground.

Mosied around the house afterwards.

Napped when toddler napped. God I love naps.

Found a reddit post on /r/php where a person posted a list of functions to convert images. The comments were less than optimistic with many believing them to be blogspamming. It inspired me to hack together a function that could convert multiple image types into multiple image types and posted it for fun. Suprisingly, I received a response in the form of a code review. Thanks /u/colshrapnel.

Here's the full code after review:


function img2img(string $source, string $destination): void
    $extension_type_map = [
        'gif' => 'gif',
        'jpeg' => 'jpeg',
        'jpg' => 'jpeg',
        'png' => 'png',
        'webp' => 'webp'
    $source_type = exif_imagetype($source);
    if (!$source_type) {
        throw new InvalidArgumentException("Unsupported source type");
    $source_type = image_type_to_extension($source_type, false);

    $destination_extension = pathinfo($destination, PATHINFO_EXTENSION);
    if (!isset($extension_type_map[$destination_extension])) {
        throw new InvalidArgumentException('Unknown destination format');
    $destination_type = $extension_type_map[$destination_extension];

    if ($source_type === $destination_type) {
        copy($source, $destination);

    $image_create = 'imagecreatefrom' . $source_type;
    $image_result = 'image' . $destination_type;

    $image = $image_create($source);
    $result = $image_result($image, $destination);


Had regular Sunday dinner at the inlaws, they're building a new bathroom that is progressing really well.


Went for a shorter walk this morning, was good.

Had a brainwave for this blog. I realised I'm not posting my daily blog as much as I would like because I don't want to deal with uploading everything every time. I hacked together a method that hashes every file in the contents folder and only renders/copies the files that don't exist in the hash list. It's super basic and will collapse soon as more and more hashes are infinitely added to the list (currently it will need full resets every now and then), but it's progress!

Work was hectic today, a few projects on the go, fixed many problems. The office is shaping up really nicely as well.

Made some nice dinner tonight, good day overall.


Didn't walk this morning, damnit. After waking up I realised it's a social anxiety problem, I've been seeing the same person on my walk each morning and we go on alternate routes so we meet up a few times on the walk. I'm going to set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier tomorrow. It's also raining so maybe it was for the best.

Today has been a rough day.

Bubba fell off the change table this morning when I had my back turned for not even 2 seconds. That's all it takes. I turned around and watched him fall and hit the back of his head. He was silent for a moment as an excruciating feeling of dread came over me. I scooped him up to try and rouse him but he was totally dazed. My wife came running in and I handed it to her. I called 000 immediately. I felt relieved to hear him crying out.

I somehow remained calm on the phone and relayed all the necessary information to the operator. The paramedics were there within 20 minutes. By this time bubba tried to nod off a couple of times and looked very confused. He also looked a bit pale. My wife prepared a bag for herself and him. The paramedics asked whether he had been vomiting or if there was any bleeding. Thankfully there was not. He had a lump on the back of his head. His vitals looked good and he and mum went in the ambulance ride.

I'm feeling overwhelmed with guilt at that point in time. I couldn't think straight, I was tackling with what-ifs but also realising those thoughts weren't helpful. What happened happened and I can't change it. I single split-second decision was the difference between him going swimming this morning with his mother and going to the hospital. I packed up a bag for toddler and left in the car. I took the wrong car and realised after about 5 minutes of driving. Wife messaged and said they're at the hospital and he was acting more like himself. Holy fuck what a relief.

When we got to emergency, the doctors were saying that he seems to be stablising well and that because there was no other symptoms it was probably a case that he was really shocked by it all and now he's coming to. When I saw him smile and laugh I cried with joy. My little boy was with us again.

After a few hours at the hospital he's getting back to normal. A bit more sooky than usual but understandable as he's probably still got a terrible headache.

So if anyone is actually reading this: Don't turn your back on a baby on a change table. Just don't do it. Not even for a second or two. You'll regret it like I did.

I'm sorry little one. I really am. Daddy promises he will never do that again.


I forgot to write something today


The rain is still with us. I need a treadmill.

Spent the morning getting my new work laptop provisioned. I'm quite impressed with how well integrated things are in Windows with an Office 365 account. Everything kind of "just works".

Hate Macs though. Fuck Apple and their stupid bullshit.

Both kids had swimming at the same time this morning. Toddler did excellently considering mum and brother were in the pool with him.

In-laws are going away for a holiday so we went over for tacos for dinner.

Little one is doing really well, back to his usual bubbly self.

Oh god it's almost the 10th month. The one year mark of this blog is upon us. I feel like I've accomplished nothing. Far out.


Pinch and a punch for the last day of the month. Ending things off right here at the Mulquin household by going for a decent sized walk. The weather is beautiful this morning and I'm feeling OKish.

Something neat I saw on the walk: This butterfly on the footpath. It looks like it has an injured wing, I wish it well.

A little blue butterfly

This is the first time I'm doing a phone backup since I moved from Xubuntu to Debian and there were a few extra things I needed to download before I could access the phone:

sudo apt install gvfs-backends gvfs-fuse

Work was pretty good today. We did induction in our new demountable. Wife and kids came in for lunch and it's great to see them mingle with everyone.

Good night, love you.