October 2022



The boys were too frequently pulling on their lead when wearing harnesses, so we did a bit of slip lead training, and now they’ve got collars and they’re walking much more nicely :)


I’ve mentioned in past posts that I run a handful of VPSs so that I can emerge from the ‘right’ country on the Internet when required. My venerable VPS in the US fell over, and the hosting service didn’t do a great job of bringing it back up, and it was on the now too long in the tooth OpenVZ platform. So I decided that if I needed to rebuild a server it might as well be a new server, and after a quick look at LowEndBox I found a decent KVM based plan with Racknerd. So far, so good.

Back to the Bay

My last long haul trip before the Covid lockdowns was to Palo Alto, and I returned to the Bay Area for QConSF. The conference was great, and things seemed pretty much as I expected them from the past. It was also nice to finally meet some of my colleagues face to face.

Mini review United Premium Plus

My flights out and back were both packed, which made things ‘interesting’ from the perspective of trying to ensure some comfort. I chickened out of waiting for check-in and paid for Economy Plus on the way out to get an aisle seat with decent legroom. For the return I was offered upgrades to Premium Plus at $529 and Polaris at $2199, so I gave Premium Plus a go.

The ‘hard’ product isn’t much of a step up from Economy Plus. A little more seat width (and much wider fixed armrests, so no risk of next door spilling over), a little more leg room, a bigger screen for the in flight entertainment. But the same food as economy, the same toilets as economy, the same cabin crew as economy. With 2-3-2 seats, it might look a bit like biz class before it became lie flat, but it’s not that comfortable, and there’s nobody offering port and cheese after dinner.

I ended up with a middle seat, which essentially left me trapped between the strangers either side of me trying to get some sleep.

Would I pay sticker price for this? No.

Would I pay to upgrade again? Probably not, especially if I already had an Economy Plus legroom seat locked in.

Do I think the whole thing is a cynical ploy to bring back 4 class cabins and drive higher price differentiation for Polaris? Yes. In the before times I’d generally pick up Polaris upgrades for $769, sadly it looks like those days are over, at least for the newly configured fleet.

20 years

The start of the month marked 20 years since we moved into our house. When we bought the place we had no intention to stay, but over the years we’ve made it what we want it to be, and grown to love the neighbourhood. I’m still not sure it’s our ‘forever’ home, but it will take some effort now to find a place we live in for longer.

Solar Diary

October with 253.5 kWh was much less productive than September at 369.9, and it’s almost possible to see the slide down through the month:

The sun getting lower was also noticeable as I was out on my bike in the last days before everything got wet and leafy.

Meanwhile it’s taken the whole month for EDF to not process my Smart Export Guarantee application, and tell me that they’re missing details needed for an Export MPAN (something I already have, and told them about). It’s almost like they don’t want to pay me for the electricity I’m presently giving away to the grid :/

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