Nerd things

Maybe it’s an age thing or maybe it’s a ‘skinny’ thing but these days when I look out of the window and see snow my heart completely sinks.

Another day where I can’t feel my fingers beckoned yesterday and I had to cancel my plans for a walk in the countryside with a fellow Slimming World’er and her dog.

This means that not only was my day of freedom disrupted before it had even begun but I didn’t get any pooch time at all. On the bright side though the snow did clear a little later on and I strolled into town for a coffee with my brother and to get a little bit of shopping (how did I exist before discovering unsweetened Almond milk and weetabix?!).

Surprisingly for me however I found that yesterday I simply couldn’t face walking back to my house in the bitingly cold wind (my fingertips and face were actually hurting) and so I caught the bus.

This is the first time in about a year and a half that I’ve used public transport to get home instead of my feet – and although it was actually really nice to get home quickly in the warm I’ve been feeling guilty ever since.

My daily mile target didn’t even come close.

This morning as a consequence I took a longer route to work to make up for it and before I’d reached the office I had a pretty satisfying 4.5 miles under my belt. It was a pretty nice morning too, and nowhere near as cold as the previous day. The snow was quickly on the way out and for a good portion of the hour and 10 minutes I was walking the sun was peeking in and out of little fluffy white clouds.

I also managed some good split times as well (mile two involved a stop at the post office) and by the end of the day I’m comfortingly back into my usual 10 mile bracket which makes me feel quite positive!

For the last two days (since the weather has been awful) I’ve mostly been geeking out with various bits of technology – and throwing a little time into learning a few things that I didn’t know much about before.

Attempting to prove that I’m still a party animal, the other day I bought myself an ‘Excel 2013 for Dummies‘ book in an attempt to put an end to the dull feeling of ineptitude that hovers over me every time I do more than open a spreadsheet to look at it.

Whenever I have a need to start adding formulas and creating tables I’m completely out of my depth.

I’ve resisted pretty much anything like this my entire life and honestly used to find my mind instantly switching off every time I ventured into such territory.

Lately though I’ve come to realise that I’m the exception to the rule in my new peer group and although I’ll never be as deeply invested it as some of those that I work with I want to at least be able to talk to them on a level where I don’t feel like a total caveman.


The really great thing is (and this is no joke at all) my mind works a million times faster as a fitter and healthier man than it ever used to work beforehand. Not only can I soak up information faster than I ever could before – but I find I can use it more effectively too.

Exercise and healthy eating for the win!

So – thats nerd objective number one.

The second is to understand the mildly bewildering eco system of Android phones.

I have for many years now been almost exclusively an Apple user – and while I don’t have any appetite to get rid of my (pretty darned awesome) iPhone at the moment there are a few things that a Google based device can do that an Apple one annoyingly can’t.

Apple’s strengths (being idiot proof and relatively secure) are also a weakness – and when you really need to ‘get under the hood’ their devices (at least in terms of tablets or smartphones) don’t let you do many things that people with Google based phones just take for granted.

To this end I bought myself a Huwawei P8 Lite (2017 edition – LINK) second hand from eBay the other day – and this evening I’ve been leaning how to program NTAG 215 NFC tags with it.

I won’t go into the reasons why, because I suspect many will be bored to death before I finish typing the sentence – but what I WILL say is that I’m pretty astonished at what less then £100 buys in terms of a phone these days (I paid £88 second hand but it’s £130 at Argos brand new – link).

The P8 Lite is a completely gorilla glass covered device (slippery!) that runs Android 7.0 (customised) and frankly it’s stunningly good for what is essentially a phone near the bottom end of the market.


It’s 5.2in full HD IPS screen is vibrant and colourful with superb viewing angles, and its (blisteringly fast) fingerprint reader leaves my iPhone 6 Plus (now a relic sitting in a speaker dock thanks to it’s mauling at the hands of iOS 11) in the dust.

Granted – the optics are a bit basic when judged against my current iPhone’s dual camera standards but there’s absolutely nothing about this device that isn’t perfectly usable by anyone that needs a basic smartphone.

Yay for Android – and I never thought I’d find myself saying that…

Anyway – I think it’s way past my bed time. I have a very early start indeed tomorrow and frankly I’m expecting to feel like death warmed up for most of the day as a consequence – particularly because at the moment (despite being on de-caffinated coffee all afternoon) I feel wide-a-flipping-wake.


It’s going to be a long night internet.

Think I’ll play with my new toy until i nod off…


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