Pen pals with Kev II

· Parzzix

Kev and I continue our conversation from the last exchange. I'm trying to space my replies out as to not flood his inbox, I tend to respond

Here is the first interaction: Pen Pals with Kev I

And here is part II

Hey Kev,

It's nice your kid's school and other programs respect their privacy. I know here in the US it seems normal to fill out paperwork these days giving permission for the school to use kids info on social media and on their website. I went as far as saying they could share a picture in groups, but couldn't name them. I figured it was fair enough and wouldn't ruin it for the school. I could assume searching for a photo taken at an event that could be used could become a real problem as parents get smart and start not allowing it.

It's true as you mentioned in the PS I'm hard to find anyway. And Tim Cook and Donald Trump made it even harder 😉. But I figure 20 years down the road, that could change. Who knows. To be honest, the privacy rabbit hole also becomes sort of a hobby, with all kinds of tools to try and a whole new category of reading material.

As fas as Prose, I do really like it. I was a longtime Micro.Blog user, and love it. But I really like the idea of having all my posts in documents right on my machine. Micro.Blog does have an option to save things with Git, but then you add another process to keep it updated on your machine also. Prose, though without a lot of features, is pretty darn easy to use. I would love to use Blot, but I don't do any of the services they sync with and I think using git is a bit more of a pain. I have this horrible fear that all the pointless stuff I've written through my life will be lost when I croak. Especially when bills stop getting

Yeah, Facebook is just one of those evils we put up with.

The move to Wisconsin went well, things are good. I actually grew up and went to high school about 15 minutes from here, so it's coming home for me. I've been away for close to 30 years. Yeah, no British here, I was born in Chicago. Ancestrally I have some Irish in me, that's about as close as it gets. I do have cousins living in Scotland also.

I do not necessarily enjoy working from home, but I accept its convenience. Especially as far as being there for the kids goes. I only work part-time, and it's really boring work. I work for an ISP in Texas. I find it completely unrewarding and feel guilt advising customers because I don't agree with many of the choices the company makes as far as products go. But, the people who own it are decent folk, and I stay loyal to those who treat me good, which they do, putting up with my schedule and me always being unavailable because of kids stuff.

I found your last to blog posts interesting, I used to be a motorcycle guy myself. I had a thing for the old Honds CBRs from the 80s and later I got into tour bikes. But it's been a long time, people drive bad here in the US and I have kids, not worth the risk these days.

Also, I saw the do without one. I am curious about the car? Does that mean you will just use a motorcycle? That's I find quitting coffee for a month incredibly brave also. I couldn't do it. I've quit recreational chemicals, alcohol, and smoking; Coffee is my last crutch.

I feel I remember you saying you were in the service long ago? The military, that is? Am I mistaken? I'm an old soldier myself. and even worked with some English troops in Wales for a short time back in 1999. I remember them being a fun and slightly crazy bunch of guys. And I loved being served tea on the rifle range.



Hey Tim,

I hear you on the Privacy rabbit hole thing. I used to really worry about it, but now I just run a mixture of an in-browser ad blocker (1 Blocker) and network level ad blocker/proxy (NextDNS). If I'm on public wifi, or a network I don't trust, I'll switch on my VPN too (Private Internet Access). After that, I just don't worry about it. I've come to the conclusion that life's too short and I have shit to do. So I've taken steps to protect it as best I can and that will have to do. Do you do anything special from a privacy perspective?

I used for a while too, but only for social stuff. I'd never use it for a blog as it's not flexible enough for me. I also think it's having a bit of an identity crisis - is it a blog? A social network? A replacement for Good Reads, Instagram et al? Is it a newsletter? A podcast service? I think the answer Manton would like is "all of them". But the result, for me at least, was a confusing mass of services that were all mediocre. It's kinda like Nextcloud in that respect - that does the same, in my opinion.

Blot is good, I used that for a while too and liked it. Dropbox isn't my favourite, although I do have an account from YEARS ago with around 15GB of accrued storage. I didn't want to install the client on my machine though. Luckily for me, I have a Synology and already use its Drive feature (like Dropbox). Synology has another tool that can connect to 3rd party services, like Dropbox, via API. So I just set that up and had my Synology do the work. It worked well and I didn't need to install extra software on my machine.

I stopped using Clot because David, the single developer of the platform, said a couple of things to me via email that didn't give me the warm and fuzzies about the project's future. I'm sure it will be fine, but I personally didn't want to invest too much into the service.

I have no idea where I got the British thing from. Clearly I just need to drink less beer haha.

Work:life balance is so important. I always say to people on my teams that they should sign off when they can, and get the downtime they deserve. If someone needs to be flexible and leave early now and then, I always accommodate it if I can. Reason being is that I prefer to work with happy, satisfied people. I'm rather selfish like that haha. I get it though - home life should always come first, and if you work for a company that is good in that respect, then that say a lot.

It could go the other way - you find something where you get more enjoyment out of the job, but as a by-product, you're not as present for the kids. Which will only impact them in the long run really. I work for Bank of America, and moved into a global role a couple year ago. Before I did, I had a conversation with my potential new manager to explain to her that although the role is global, I had no intention of working past in a normal working day. Obviously if an incident kicks off and I'm needed, all bets are off - that's the nature of the industry I work in, but BAU, I won't be working late. And if that's no good for her, I'm probably not the right guy for the job.

She totally understood, and to her credit, stuck to it. She since moved roles and my new manager is exactly the same. I love working at the bank, the culture is great and the people are even better. This is the first place I've worked where I really can't see myself ever leaving.

So year, long-winded response, but I get the work:life balance thing - it's so important.

I thought about getting rid of the bikes when our kids came along. But my wife, strangely, talked me out it. She said it's part of me, I've done it for so long now, and it's one of my stress releases, and therefore really important I continue. I knew there was a reason I married her! :) The old Honda CBRs are some of the best they made, and the go for a lot of money now..."modern classics" apparently.

I wasn't going to cheat on the no car thing - I was planning on using my push bike haha. But I spoke to my wife about the "one month without" thing after writing the post and she pointed out that some of the things on my list would be incredibly impactful to the family. No car being a perfect one - I pick the kids up from school 2x a week - no chance I can do that on my push bike. So I have re-factored the list slightly, but now it seems to basic that I'm not sure it's worth doing at all. Either way, I am planning on doing the no alcohol thing though, just to see how it goes. I'd like to do that for a year at least.

I am a veteran. I served in the Army between 2004 - 2009. Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during that time, and served with many of you "Yanks" :). I also served with the Canadian and Dutch armies for quite some time too. I loved it. Sure there were some difficult times (being in Iraq when Saddam was caught, tried and executed was no fun) but I got to see the world. Eventually I met my now wife and my priorities changed, so I got out. Don't regret it for a second though. When/where did you serve?

Oooof this is another long one, so I'll leave it there, I think. It's pissing down with rain, but the dogs needs walking, so I'm gonna don my gortex and get myself out.