August 2021



Max had his first birthday, and Milo is now able to join him on walks after being vaccinated.

They also go down to sleep at night in their pen downstairs, which is a step in the right direction. Though there’s been some amazing escapology from Max, and we’re still working on mornings.


After the trouble I had with boots last month, it was the turn of trainers this month. I don’t exactly remember when I bought my pair of Reeboks, but it might have been as far back as 6th form college days, so over 30y ago. I don’t wear trainers as a matter of course, but they do get used for my daily workouts. So they haven’t just been sat in a cupboard.

For a while I’ve been gluing various bits back into place, but the whole sole came away, and my attempt at regluing it didn’t hold up. So I have a new pair of ‘Quick Chase’ trainers, that look similar to my old ones, but maybe aren’t so comfortable.

Up North

My daughter has been checking out universities for next year, and wanted to take a look at Durham and York. So it was road trip time, except we didn’t want to drive, so it was actually train trip time. The original plan was York, Durham, and then Newcastle to visit friends and family. But that had to be reversed to fit into how breaks of journey are allowed on train tickets. It all worked out just fine, with the exception of the Ibis Hotel in York, which earned itself a review titled ‘Second worst hotel stay of my lifetime‘[1].

It was great to see my dad for the first time in 18m, and my sister for the first time in years. It was also good to return to York. I haven’t missed the place in the years that I’ve been away, but it was good to be reminded why it’s my favourite city in England.

Documentation, Samples & Examples

Adam Gordon Bell’s ‘An Introduction to JQ‘ shows how it should be done. I’ve been using jq for a while, but I always struggled with getting queries right, because I wasn’t getting the fundamentals. Perhaps if I was experienced in JSON wrangling in JavaScript it would be obvious, but I’m not, so it wasn’t. Adam’s guide fixed that for me, and I was also pleased to find jiq via the HN comments thread.


I like a beer/wine/whisky, but sometimes it’s nice to skip the alcohol. I needed to restock on Ginish, and found a good price at Wise Bartender, so I used their free shipping on £59 orders as an opportunity to try some other drinks:


This is supposed to be like an Aperol Spritz, but I found it more like Kinnie, which I’ve had before when visiting Malta. Not a hit with the ladies of the house.

Belle & Co (Bees Knees) Sparkling Alcohol Free Sparkling Brut

It wasn’t clear that the SpritISH was a pre mixed drink, so I got some fizz to mix with it. Sadly this one tasted like fizzy grape juice, and cost a lot more than Schloer.

McGuigan Sparkling

This on the other hand tasted to me just like a good dry fizz. I like it a lot. But unfortunately the ladies of the house found it vinegary. Which is weird, as they’re enjoying Equinox Organic Kombucha, which I think tastes like fizzy fruity vinegar.

Thatchers Zero Alcohol Free Cider

There was a risk of this tasting like fizzy apple juice, but it doesn’t. I’ll be getting more.

Erdinger Alkoholfrei

I’d tried this one before after being introduced to it by a neighbour, but not in cans. They’ve done a really good job with this, as it tastes just like a proper Weisbeer. If only I liked that style more.

Coast Beer Co Alcohol Free DDH IPA

This is the style I like, and it’s really well executed. Another one I’ll buy again. I also got their Single Hop Series Centennial IPA, but I’ve yet to try that, and it seems to be out of stock now.

Beavertown Lazer Crush Alcohol Free IPA

I like a lot of what Beavertown do, but sadly this didn’t hit the mark.

Cloudwater Green Tea & Simcoe Sour Soda

I’ve saved the best until last. I love Cloudwater beers, but this isn’t a beer. It is however really tasty and refreshing. I’ll be getting a sample box for the full range next time.

Pi Stuff

Not much going on with my own Pis this month, but this State of netbooting Raspberry Pi in 2021 caught my eye.

Beating Beat Saber

Another month of hardly putting the headset on, so not much to report. My excuse is that my Apple Fitness target for the month was 250km walking or running, but I missed that too – not by a huge margin, but by enough that I wasn’t tempted to just head out and do one big walk to make up the distance.


[1] If you’re wondering what was worse, it was the New Yorker back in 2003 when it was part of the Ramada chain. Over an hour to check in, waiting with a tired and cranky 2y old. A room that felt like a plumbing cupboard that they’d squeezed a bed into, and the eye rolling receptionist when I’d looked at another room, but asked for one that was hygienic. Third time was the charm though; if we’d had that room from the start it would just have been the check-in that was awful.

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