Ndifreke Ekott

Thoughts, stories, ideas and programming

22 Sep 2022

Brain Dump Friday - It is mostly in your head

Been a while since I published a Brain Dump Post but today is just a good day for one. I have been having a lot of random thoughts on different subjects and interpretations of different situations in life and I thought I should distil that bite-sized excerpts.

Reacting out of anger breeds foolishness and regrettable decisions

Where I live is still an active development site. So it is normal to have builders whizzing by to make it to the site and tactfully navigate around residential dwellers within the vicinity, today just got interesting.

My kitchen faces the road and while I was getting prepared for my work day, brewing a cup of coffee, I observed a scene unfold. A resident had his car door opened almost in the middle of the road while he tried to stuff something into the back of his car.

A construction worker who was trying to get to his work site waited impatiently. I would say the resident probably wasn’t aware of the worker’s presence. Rather than the worker yelling out excuse me or saying something normal, one of them decided to walk out, close the car door and get back into the car. Before he drove past, he revved his car to raise black soot which didn’t just wash over the resident but also darkened the newly minted road.

The resident approached them and said a few things. It started to rain and right in the middle, the said construction worker is scrubbing the soot off the road. If he has approached the situation differently, he would have started his morning doing the actual work he rushed down to, rather than scrubbing the street. Hopefully, the rain will do more washing for him less his employer gives him something to think about.

The moral of the story, take a step back and breathe especially in situations you may feel justified to be angry about.

Fear - It is all in your head

Fear is an inevitable part of growing up. The challenge with growing up is, the more you get exposed to life, the more new or never-before experiences you encounter.

The last two months have had a lot of news for me. Firstly, I moved out of London. That alone is a scary thought considering I have been in London for close to nine years. Going into a smaller community and knowing no one in particular. I had so many concerns and worries from knowing what and where is what, will people be nice? We hear all sorts of stories about people experiencing racism, especially outside the London area. Now we know even within London there are shitty people still. I need to also build a new network as I have left my pre-existing network behind in London. I need to plug into my new society somehow, not just for myself but also for my small family. Talk of pressure.

As a result of my move out of London, I have had to buy a car. I will say I am an experienced driver who drove outside the united kingdom and only recently passed my driving test. I ended up buying a family car which I still say - The car choose me cos I didn’t choose it. I had always envisioned my first car to be sporty, but life had different plans. I was fearful I wouldn’t like or enjoy the car, it is big etc. Two weeks later, I had to also make a long-distance drive in the said car and ended up driving my first-night drive.

Driving around a town you don’t know with narrow roads at night felt like a scene straight out of Stranger Things.

But alas we made it home. So with that experience, I guess I have grown and there really was nothing to be fearful of. I still wouldn’t be going out of my way to drive at night regardless.

Never say never

I have had to make several purchases in the last few weeks which has surprised me. I need to shop for a drill and a lawn mower. What do a Drill, a Lawn Mower and a Computer Geek have in common? Nothing!!.

But I am waiting in excitement for the arrival of a new Lawn Mower and can’t wait for good sunshine to be out and about trimming the grass out back.

As for the drill, I am considering shopping for sample bricks to practice drilling. We can’t just drill holes into the wall with newbies' hands.

Fixing my Elite Controller 2 Bumper Button

I am into gaming and working from home is a norm, gaming also serves as an opportunity to also meet and interact with people. I once had a group of colleagues we gamed together from time to time. My Xbox Elite 2 controller, for a while, had an issue with the LB bumper button and I was saddened because I wasn’t in the frame of mind to consider buying a replacement.

Should I take it in for repairs? Or should I just drop it and use the spare controller? I loved the feel of my Elite controller. Then I remembered people complaining about the same problem over on podcasts and different forums. So I decided to roll up my sleeve and see what the internet suggests a fix will be.

So what did I do? I opened up my controller with a knife and the wrong screwdrivers. Result? The controller is back alive and should serve me for a year of non-stop call of duty action.

An opened xbox controller.

Back To Listening To Radios Again

So we have a myriad of streaming platforms from Spotify, Apple Music etc, but do you get tired of curating a playlist? As part of my work routine, mostly coding, I do play a bit of music over my headphone but lately, I got tired of trying to discover stimulating playlists or curating one myself. There is always the option of allowing whatever music algorithm to do the work for you but really, do we want to rely on computers for everything?

So I am back to listening to the radio. You don’t know what comes next and surprisingly good music comes out. I enjoy the occasional human conversation. How long will this feeling last? We shall see.

Initially a good idea but silly

With energy prices going up, I have become conscious of how much power things around the house use. My current desk setup has a computer monitor, two laptops (one is a work laptop), a printer and a few other gadgets around. I am usually at my desk during working hours and after that, I tend not to spend that much time at my desk.

I had the brilliant idea to buy an electric regulator that would switch off all appliances connected to the socket after my usual working hour. It also provided an override functionality that allowed me to bypass the timer.

It all sounds good except for one catch - It still needs a bit of electricity to keep the timer running. Well, you could argue it does the job at the cost of still running at lower power (you still get charged for this still). I thought, how hard can it be to just flick the socket off completely and not have to pay for idle electricity usage?

So, away goes the regulator and now, I will be turning off and on that switch like a caveman and save myself some units of pennies.

Now, do I still need Alexa on all the time? Will need to think hard about this, after all, we have smartphones with voice assistance.

Really need to stop relying so much on tech stuff.

There are a few things about tech I would like to write about but don’t have the time now. Till next time I have a brain dump. Have a great weekend and God Save The King.