Month: May 2016

The adulting got real.

Over the weekend just gone, I decided to check on how far away I was from one of my long term goals – house ownership.

Well, imagine my surprise when the internet mortgage checker came back with actual mortgages!

I thought I was still about 5 years away from this. I was actually ready for another 5 years of not going on the holidays I wanted to go on. Another 5 years of not going out with friends, just so I could squirrel away more cash into my deposit fund, all while watching house prices continue to creep upwards.

I didn’t quite believe it, so I opted to talk to an actual real life mortgage advisor today. I was honestly half expecting to get laughed out of his office. But he actually came back with better news – he could get me a better deal than the one I found online.

I will be a home owner by the end of the year. I don’t think it’s actually quite sunk in yet.

I’ll be spending the next few weeks actually house hunting. That sounds so adult, it’s scary. I feel I can mitigate this by decorating my future home with a My Little Pony theme though, so it’s all good! I’ve yet to break out in a sudden rash of responsibility (I keep checking).

So, I’m very excited at the moment. My main long term goal is about to become a reality. I guess I should figure out what my next thing to work towards should be. I’m thinking world domination. 😀

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Exercise vs Sleep

I recently purchased a Microsoft Band, as a way to track my new found lunch time activity of running. And to be part of the techno ‘in’ crowd at the office.

I love anything that allows me to chart progression and see pretty graphs.

Anyway, I’m quite enjoying it so far – it tracks all sorts of interesting things, prompts me to get up and get moving if I’m stationary for too long, the quality of my sleep, etc.

Because I have a Windows phone, I can pretty much get the most out the band also. I have it all hooked up to the Microsoft Health app, which gives me access to more detailed statistics about myself if I go through the Dashboard online.

I just wanted to share my main observation of the day from this (because no doubt I’ll have other observations to share when I’ve been wearing it longer). Here’s a screen shot of my average calorie burn since I’ve been wearing my band.

Calories

My take on this – I burn more calories sleeping than I do actually exercising. Why am I torturing myself, getting all sweaty and achy when I could be burning more just sleeping?

I am possibly kind of sneeped about all this. I could take this to mark the beginning of a new golden age of lots of sleep for me, though. That is what the data is telling me to do, after all.

Think I’ll be sleeping on this while I figure out what this means.

Home Security

We always think we’re secure … until, well, we realise we’re not.

The flats where I live have giant electronic gates that can only be opened with a key fob. I came home on Sunday evening to find that my key fob wasn’t opening the gate, and just quietly assumed that the battery in the fob was dying.

I’m kind of kicking myself for not checking the gate situation sooner.

I parked around the back of my flat instead, went inside, and got myself into bed. The next morning was the first reason I had to venture out into the car park – I needed to empty my bin, and noticed that the front door of my neighbours flat was wide open, big hole in the window. Further investigation revealed that someone had forced open the electric box for the gates, and disconnected the battery – obviously in the hope that a lack of power would cause the gates to open.

Well, as a result of this, my bank holiday monday was spent dealing with the police, my landlady, my other neighbours who had their cars stuck on the car park, and my own feelings of unease.

After the neighbours who were broken into got home in the early evening of that day, it turned out that not much had been stolen. A TV and a custom tablet. The thief had managed to break the TV, and left components of it behind. The tablet turned up on eBay the next day, but the police claimed they could do nothing, as my neighbours didn’t have the serial number. For their tablet with a custom operating system on it. They also claimed that it would take them a month to get the paper work together. So it was too much hassle to bother with.

There is something very wrong with a system that thinks it is too much bother to follow a solid lead to get someones property back. Granted, it’s not so much about the stolen property in this case – it’s about the violation of what is supposed to be a place of comfort – a home. For that alone, I really wish that burglars were pursued with more prejudice.

I’ve since been involved in trying to get a neighbourhood watch scheme set up for our flats, and I’ve installed motion sensors in my home. Although I wasn’t burgled, I can’t help but think that the thief has now scouted out the ground floor flats. I live alone – so I at least want some warning if someone breaks in during the night so I can barricade myself somewhere. I know that my other neighbours have done similar.

The frustrating thing is that no matter what kind of measures are taken, if someone is determined to break into somewhere to take what is not theirs (instead of getting off their arse and getting a job like the rest of us) – they’re going to find a way. That’s pretty depressing.

Burglary should be taken a lot more seriously than it is. It’s not the cost of repairs, or even the items, as much as it is the loss of a sense of security. Personally, I think that the punishment for this sort of crime should be much higher, and should take that loss into account more than it does now. It’s a very sad fact of life that all too often, the scum who do things like this don’t even get caught – and when they do, the sentence seems all to often to be completely laughable.

About the only good thing to come of this is that I’ve probably talked more to my neighbours over this week than I have in almost 4 years of living here. Fostering a community spirit in order to look out for each other isn’t a bad thing – I just wish we could have done it sooner.