I’ve had hayfever on and off all summer. Today I woke up with a blocked head, took a tablet this morning then went to work. I only take the tablets rarely, but they do seem to at least take the edge off it.

By about 10 o clock I had soaked my entire tissue supply and was convinced I had a full blown cold. By 2 o clock I was completely zombified. By 4 o clock I’d stopped sneezing and had started to feel better. Now it’s 10 o clock and my head is a bit blocked but I think I am feeling OK.

The coworker who sits next to me has had a cold all week (OR MAYBE ALLERGIES?) and I was sure I’d caught if off him, but now it’s looking like it was just a particularly bad allergy attack that only lasted a few hours.

This happens once or twice a year. I wish I had some idea what it is.

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For the past three weeks I’ve been trying to get back into running 3x a week following the whole foot injury last year.

The first week went fine
The second week was pretty rough and I only managed to get the third run in by going well below my normal pace.
The third week has been OK.

My foot has been a bit sensitive, but more around the big toe than the neuroma area. I think it’s just muscle tension in my lower leg because foam rolling my calves/outer side of shins seems to make it ease off.

Getting used to running slower is hard but necessary. I have started using Strava on my phone and I’ve left it in kilometres and minutes per km so I have no real idea how my times compare to before, which has helped a bit.

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For the last few weeks I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I am not good at lack of sleep. If I do more than a couple of days on less than 7 hours I turn into a zombie. I work as a software developer and as well as feeling generally a bit rough the first thing I notice is how much cognitive ability I lose and how much harder it becomes to write code that works.

I also thought that my hayfever allergy symptoms got worse, but it turns out they’re just bad anyway. According to the met office pollen forecast it’s no longer pollen season so they aren’t doing a pollen forecast. What a load of absolute bollocks, I have a finely tuned pollen detector in my nose and it’s currently detecting pollen better than the met office. It seems far worse this year than I ever remember it being before.

So this week I cut down on caffeine, stopped eating before bed and consistently went to bed before 11. I’ve now gone a full week on 7-8 hours per night, and… I feel just as tired. It’s a much more relaxed tired though.

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Gambling addiction

A few days ago I was exposed to the fact that there exists a website where you can place bets on competitive Counter-Strike games consisting of items from your CS inventory.

I spent bank holiday Monday writing a script to screen-scrape a website and use the data to try to tell me which team/players have been performing best recently.

We’ll see how this goes…

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People say the stock market will always rise, and my stocks and shares ISA suggests I am also one of those people.

But in reality, the long term trend of the FTSE100 is not really that inspiring:


There are two ways to read this:

1. The market has a cap and we’re pretty close to it. This seems convincing from looking at the graph; we have hit this cap three times now and crashed immediately after. But I’m pretty sceptical because it raises questions of “why is the cap here?” which don’t have obvious answers.
2. If you extrapolate the gradient from the mid-late 80s through to the present day, you do actually end up with just about the right present day value. So you could argue that growth is healthy and linear, just with some bubbles along the way.

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Google Fit

I started using Google Fit on my phone last week.

Google fit is yet another app for recording exercise activity, but it’s a bit different from others in that it’s very passive. It runs all the time and tries to tell you how long you spent walking/running, how far, and how many steps.

It seems to do this without GPS (because it would kill your battery), so it’s not very precise, but it’s also not completely imprecise and I’m a bit mystified how it works out where you are (maybe signal? Or has Google mapped wifi networks and router mac addresses?!). That means that it doesn’t map your route, just your rough location.

It’s pretty smart – it knows when you’re walking, it knows when you’re running, and it also seems to know that you’re sat on a train rather than running really fast.

So… summary: it seems to get walking distance reasonably accurate. I have only run once with it so far but it was missing a kilometre (6 in reality vs 4.8). I don’t know about the step counter; it guessed my run had me doing 145 steps per minute which seems a bit low really…

It’s probably more interesting to see overall trends rather than absolute data.

Battery life is definitely reduced, but I don’t think it’s by enough that I’ll have to charge it more frequently than I do already (I hate batteries).

The privacy implications are of course absolutely horrifying, but that’s smartphones for you.

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The Labour party is a mess

In recent Labour party news:

  • The non-Corbyn contestants have tried to band together in an anyone-but-Corbyn pact. Good idea guys, that’s not at all ridiculous!
  • Yvette Cooper, who up until this point has done absolutely nothing of interest, has come out and said that Corbyn (and Burnham) is the wrong choice because he’s a white man. “I’m not winning, I’d better be sexist. It’s lucky I’m a woman”
  • Some Labour MPs (most notably Simon Danczuk) have said they’ll revolt as soon as Corbyn is elected, so don’t elect him, because who cares about the democratic process?
  • Labour are banning people from participating in the election if they might be intending to vote for Corbyn, because who cares about the democratic process?.

This is the current quality of the main opposition party in the UK – they are fielding a candidate that people like and they are so surprised by this, it is such an unusual turn of events, that they just don’t know how to handle it.

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