Second day
June 19, 2018

Second day, still something to be proud of

Do you charge friends and family for your time?
17 Apr

Do you charge friends and family for your time?

This is a question most people who, at any level, class themselves as self-employed. During my research I found this quote I love.

You know you’re a hairdresser when your invited to a dinner party and everyone else is asked to bring a plate, but your asked to bring your scissors

I’m not a hairdresser, but I am a geek and do IT support. I’ve lost count of how many times I’m asked to take a quick look at someone’s laptop, iPad, printer or any other digital device.

Specifically though lets talk NXFIFTEEN.

I wanted to host my own emails. I wanted something with full groupware support, email, calendar and contacts the full range. Since then things have grown. More and more family and friends have been added to the server and as server usage has grown.

I’ve had to upgrade my hosting more than once to support more people. I’ve been covering these costs cause I was stuck in a mindset never changed, at start it was something I wanted and everyone was just tagging along. The problem is, it’s not as true as it used to be.

In the beginning I had a host that matched my needs, but over the years I’ve added more memory, a faster processor and recently a bigger hard drive. Not to mention my time spent updating software making things secure and backing everything up.

So at what point am I no longer doing this for myself but start doing it everyone else. The truth is it’s long since passed.

Now do I start charging for the services I offer or do I continue footing the bill?

The truth is I don’t want to charge, and that’s my choice. Others in similar situations may feel differently. There really is no one size fits all rule. So I’ve had to weigh up my own pros and cons, plus consider my own feelings but in the end I want to pass on the bill to someone else – after all how do I decide how much to charge anyway.

So if I’m not planning to charge, whats the alternative? I’ve opened the site up too contributions…. who knows what this will end up like

Everybody Writes
15 Apr

Everybody Writes

The only way to improve my writing is by writing. So what do I write about?

I intend to write more tutorials and how to guides, but since I’m resolving to give my work the time of dwarves these will take time to write and research. So what do I write in the mean time?

As with most problems I started at Google and asked it. I came across this PDF from WordPress. Intended to give writers a new topic to blog each day of the year. I’m not yet ready for a daily blog but it’s, still a great resource and full of ideas I can play with.

So I’m setting up a new tag Post A Day. Each of these post will be off topic compared to the rest of this site, but I hope they’ll still be of interest to someone out there.

Read more »

Self Control Isn’t Working Anymore
14 Apr

Self Control Isn’t Working Anymore

Full disclosure, I hate reading self-help books. In my 670 library I think there are only 4 such books. That all said this post was spurred on from such a book.

As many may know I’ve been on a health journey for more than a few years now. And to say I’ve been taking the seismic route is just a polite way of saying “five steps forward four steps back”.

Self control has been my main method all this time, despite reading, more than once, willpower is a finite resource. And it’s true, least for me. As the day goes on it gets harder and harder to saying no to the temptations all around.

So if will power and self-control aren’t the answer what is? That’s kinda where I am just now, working out what the solution is, and why I’ve been reading this book; Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy.

According to his book

A lot of the basic research in psychology says that your willpower is essentially an exhaustive resource,

It’s not unlimited; it runs out very fast.

Since that matches my experience I can relate, and that’s probably the only reason I keep reading.

Hardy goes on to say our behaviors are out sourced to our environment. His premise is most things are addictions, either for types of food or simply short-term rewards.

It sounded strange to me at first but the more I think about it the more it makes some sense. I know when crave sugar and sweets I’m at work. At home it never crosses my mind. Over the weekend my diet, for the most part, is better. Far from perfect but better all the same.

Read more »

What is food
13 Apr

What is food

We all need it and we all eat it. We have a relationship with food and I think that relationship defines our health.

I want to eat healthily, but I’ve not been for years so this is still something I need to talk myself into. When I’m good it’s easy, when I’m not I slip.

My Slimming World classes teaches me to plan and organize my meals, and I do try, but no amount of planning will make up for a general apathy when the time comes to cook.

Just now food for me is a mechanical thing. I’m eating what’s to hand and what’s easy. The number of sandwiches I’m going through is disgraceful. I’ve misplaced my passion for what I’m eating. If I don’t enjoy my food how do I find the enthusiasm to cook it in the first place.

I know this relationship with food is at its best holding me back and at the worst dragging me backwards.

Read more »

Friends Don’t Let Friends See Ads
11 Apr

Friends Don’t Let Friends See Ads

I’ve run this site for years and like all things it costs money. Hosting, domain names and even some of the WordPress plugins I use and highly recommend. These things all have costs involved, costs I happily fork out each year. I’ve tried monetizing this site in the past with little or no success, yet I’ve decided to try once more. But this time I’m thinking about it. I have come up with a plan.
Read more »

EU rules on .eu domain names post Brexit
31 Mar

EU rules on .eu domain names post Brexit

On Thursday the European Commission announced it would bar individuals and organisations from registering or renewing .eu domain names following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organisations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names or, if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.

Accredited .eu Registrars will not be entitled to process any request for the registration of or for renewing registrations of .eu domain names by those undertakings, organisations and persons.

The statement also goes on to say domains already registered may be cancelled before their renewal date.

Where, as of the withdrawal date and as a result of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, a holder of a domain name does no longer fulfil the general eligibility criteria pursuant to Article 4(2)(b) of Regulation (EC) 733/2002, the Registry for .eu will be entitled to revoke such domain name on its own initiative and without submitting the dispute to any extrajudicial settlement of conflicts in accordance with point (b) of Article 20, first subparagraph, of Commission Regulation (EC) No 874/2004.

The full PDF statement says this decision could form part of any transition agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU.

Since I own and make heavy use of I’ve been trying to monitor the situation but as you would expect there is little information available just now.

It appears however that EURid, the company responsible for managing the .eu TLD, was not informed of the decision before its announcement on Thursday.

Since my domain is actually a domain and as such managed by CentralNIC, a UK-based company, and not EURid I have not yet found any indication that my domain name will be affected – but like everything to do with the UK’s departure from the EU, things are still up in the air.

Week 1 Day 2
12 Dec

Week 1 Day 2

What a nothing day. I really don’t like Tuesday’s, it’s also it day which doesn’t help at all.

But I started my day off with the same breakfast as yesterday but this time I paid attention to portion control and stuck too the 45g serving. But Pain Au Chocolat for morning break was a key down. I didn’t go looking for it, it was just put infront of me and I eat it. So that’s on me.

Another Monday
11 Dec

Another Monday

It comes around sure as clockwork. I don’t hate Mondays, honest. I find them fairly harmless today more than most. I started my day with a mostly healthy breakfast.

The problem I’ve got with cereals is portion control. I don’t know about most but the standard 30 gram serving just isn’t enough for a full morning. So I ended up have a double serving but it worked! I made it too morning break without snacking or having a second breakfast.

And lunch wasn’t bad either. Just my usual cheese and ham baguette. No chocolate or crisps. So that’s a win.

Dinner – well soup and a load of bread so not great, but really nice soup.

Setting Up My New Personal Minecraft Server
06 Aug

Setting Up My New Personal Minecraft Server

I do love playing Minecraft, and have run my own single player server for years. Mostly so I can play an where.

Since I recently had too reinstall my server I thought I’d list of setup steps here – for the next time I have too set it.

First things first, the seed. I’m a huge fan of Hermitcraft, so failing all else I’ve chosen to use the same seed -9095450570362222980. Since I’m all about the big automated builds, after setting up my map I increased the amount of redstone available and moved spawn too 400 65 -727.

The next step was setting up the map. Using WorldBorder I set the map radius to 3000 blocks ‘/wb set 3000 3000’ they pre-built the world ‘/wb fill’ and ‘/dynmap fullrender’.

The final thing I had too do was join up it testing world. Thanks to Multiverse Portals these simple commands joined up in world’s

Week 19 Day 5 – More Huel Adventures
04 Aug

Week 19 Day 5 – More Huel Adventures

My Huel ‘experiment’ was never going to be a five-day all in blast, there are already more than enough of them online, and so I continue this week.

Last week’s take away was taste above all else. In order to make this switch I’ve got to get a flavour that works for me. Huel provides their own ‘flavour system’ – Mocha, Chocolate, Strawberry, Toffee, Pineapple & Coconut, Banana, Rhubarb & Custard, Cacao and Metcha Tea. So I’ve been trying them out from the trail pack. I’m not good at five-star ratings, and don’t think they tell you much without something to compare them with so I’ll rate each flavour in four questions

  • Did it taste as advertised?
  • Did you like it?
  • Would you have it again?
  • Would you recommend it to a friend?

I’ve still got three of the nine flavours to try so I’ll give a full report on a couple of days.

Since it’s now been a full two weeks since my first Huel let’s compare weight. When this all started I weighed 190.6 lb today I check in at 189.2 lb. These numbers aren’t the be all and end all but since I’m in this for weight loss it’s important part to consider.

I’m now replacing both breakfast and lunch with Huel so next week we’ll need to do another weigh-in and see where we’re at.

But as a non-scale victory I’m delighted to say I’ve all but stopped snacking between meals.

After three full weeks in Huel I can say I’ve been happy with the results. I’ve lost some weight and I’ve got my snacking under control. But it’s not been without same strange side affects.

I think I will keep using the Huel, but I don’t see me ever going to 100% Huel, only breakfast and work lunches.

What about you? Are you a Hueler? What’s been your experience? Let me know down in the comments section.

Week 17 Day 5 – Huel & Coffee
21 Jul

Week 17 Day 5 – Huel & Coffee

This morning’s breakfast was Huel and coffee. Kinda worked, but like allot of things this week I could have a ether more coffee or a better/stronger one.

Instant coffee just didn’t have a good kick.

Looking back over the last few days a common problem has been lunch, I keep letting my self down with bread and crisps, so I brought some Huel with me along with the chocolate flavour. Only time will tell if I stuck to it.

… some time late …

Huel for lunch… well I did it.

I can hand on heart say chocolate flavour, so far, if a hit. Well ether that or my taste buds have given up decided they like Oats now – but I’m going to favour the first option

Week 17 Day 4 – Weight
20 Jul

Week 17 Day 4 – Weight

Said I wouldn’t, but I did anyway. This is definitely show a weight increase. It could be down to drinking more, almost twice as much as yesterday, but it’s probably cause I’m eating too much at lunch and dinner.

If I do switch to Huel next week for lunch at least that could take care of one meal. Maybe I should give myself more dinner calories too.

I’m only looking for a 500 calorie deficit which really shouldn’t be too hard, but easier said

Week 17 Day 4 – Huel, After Humpday
20 Jul

Week 17 Day 4 – Huel, After Humpday

We’ve made it to Thursday which means the weekend is now closer than yesterday. Which I suppose is always the case, but still it’s the principle.

This morning’s Huel was fairly simple. 50g Huel powder and 250ml water, but I also added 60g frozen summer fruits. This time at least there was flavour so I’m happy, and yesterday’s reluctance to finish my breakfast didn’t reappear and I finished it off quite easily.

Even with twice as much fruit as before the oat taste is still there, just with company. All in a definite improvement over previous mixes. Another important thing to note, no headache! I’m fairly happy to state yesterday’s retraction was nothing to do with Huel.

It’s not even 9am at time of writing but I’m already thinking about tomorrows breakfast, might try adding coffee

Week 17 Day 3 – Huel, Days 2 & 3
19 Jul

Week 17 Day 3 – Huel, Days 2 & 3

As you can tell from yesterday I’m a day behind with my blogging so I thought today I’d consolidate Tuesday and Wednesday.


Only breakfast again, but this time I used a Strawberry flavour boost.

Still a 50g breakfast of around 200 calories. I can’t say I really knew there was a strawberry taste. It was there but didn’t really get overcome the oats taste.

This time I didn’t snack. Was full and satisfied right up too lunch, which for me at work is almost unheard of. Sadly it all went wrong at lunch with a baguette, chocolate and crisps. They dinner turned into a Two for Tuesday dominos pizza – but none of that is the fault of Huel, just me being weak too temptation.


Today’s breakfast, another 50g serving, was topped off with 30g frozen berries. Again this seemed to only add colour, there was no discernible change in flavour! I really need a bigger blender so I can add more fruit!

I also found this morning’s breakfast hard to drink. I just couldn’t stomach the taste of oats anymore, but I finished it off anyway.

Another side effect, after about twenty minutes I developed a splitting headache. Since so many things can cause headaches I’m not willing to blame the Huel, I’ll wait to see if it happens again before I pass judgement.

10:00 – Still splitting headache, but I’ve not drank anything yet so that’s probably not helped.

10:46 – I’m starting to think about food. Maybe it’s the headache or that I’m tired, but either way food is on my mind. Another possibility, worth testing, is the added fruit what’s making me hungry? I know I’m prone to sugar spikes and binge eating. Is fruit too much sugar for me?

11:15 – seems to have past. No more food thoughts. Starting to think this really could be more to do with the sugar rushes

12:23 – can’t decide now if the headaches getting worse or not, but least I’ve stopped thinking about food… wonder what’s for lunch

12:44 – Blowing your nose should leave you little dizzy and disorientated, should it? No really shouldn’t.

12:45 – Wonder when this becomes sharing too much, but its all for science or what ever reason I’m doing this stuff for

13:30 – Sausage roll and bounty for lunch, then a bag of McCoys. I have no will power

Week 17 Day 2 – A Week With Huel
18 Jul

Week 17 Day 2 – A Week With Huel

This week I’m trying something new. Huel.

I’ve read allot of blog where others have tried Huel for a week and report back how they’ve faired and I’ll be no different. I got my Huel delivery last Friday and am making a start this week.

I’m starting slowly as I’ve found with most new fitness things baby steps seems to work best for me. This want be a ‘five day all in’ approach. Instead I’m starting with just one meal – breakfast.

Yesterday was my first day and like many others I’ve got had an epiphany.

Yesterday was my first day and like many others I’ve got had an epiphany. I made up 50g of unflavoured with 200ml of water then threw in about 30g of blueberrys which equates to about 217 calories all in.

It first impressions where… Unimpressed. Sadly in flavour I cant rate it too high. The added berries didn’t mask the overpowering oat taste. Still it all went down just fine and kept me feeling fairly full, although I did slip and have a bag of crisps.

In the cold light of day I’m, and putting taste down to me adding not enough berries, I was quite happy with my new breakfast and am still looking forward to another day and another meal.

My plan is to keep using Huel for breakfast this week and move on to having Huel for breakfast and lunch over the weekend. I’ll try to keep posting each day with my impressions and hopfully with come up with the right mix by Friday!

Some Achieve
April 10, 2017

The Some achive great success, is proof to all that other can achieve it as well

Abraham Lincoln