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Hey everybody, here we are with something I want to share with my friends and family.

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But not 12.

I will carry you with me, Sasha, because you helped with the others to be one.

“Before we were born we had no feeling; we were one with the universe. This is called “mind-only,” or “essence of mind,” or “big mind,” After we are separated by birth from this oneness, as the water falling from the waterfall is separated by the wind and rocks, then we have feeling. You have difficulty because you have feeling. You attach to the feeling you have without knowing just how this kind of feeling is created. When you do not realise that you are one with the river, or one with the universe, you have fear. Whether it is separated into drops or not, water is water. Our life and death are the same thing. When we realise this fact we have no fear of death anymore, and we have no actual difficulty in our life.” – Shunryu Suzuki

Happy birthday Sasha, you are 11 now.

Geesh, I still remember when she curiously walked around the livingroom for the first time and jumped on my lap and gave me a cuddle. She was not even a year old. And now ten years later she is 11 and still giving me cuddles. She might be an old age kitty now, or at least an adult. But she’s still my little kitty.

Happy birthday Sasha (@Sashapurr on twitter btw), you’re 11 years old now (wait, is that about 60 in human years? holy crap)

Time to spoil you with gifts and snacks this month.

They’re just not willing to work on it

and when the importance of the situation isn’t recognized, then either I am putting too much effort into it, or they’re not seeing where it can lead to. It sucks so much.

The frustration of forcing yourself to get over something and lowering your guard just to get steps to moving forward, .. being rewarded with stubborn pushback .. It just doesn’t work. I don’t know what to do and don’t know how to handle it. But the importance for me grows, and the stakes feel like they’re getting higher.

It’s not in balance, and just not worth that knot. That’s all I wanted to say. Now I can close that door and accept defeat so to speak. They win, I give up trying and the prize is never caring again.

Full Disk Encryption Please

Before I begin, please note that this blog article is focussed on macOS, modern systems, and not a powerbook from 10 years ago, or a Windows 10 machine. Sorry.

Let’s do this in two parts, one: Encrypt everything, this includes internal and external drives. And two: Have a backup duh.

Let’s start with the backup, it seems the most logical. I am sure I either have an existing blog article about this, or will write one in the near future. But it will come down to this: make backups! Perhaps at least get an external USB drive that’s fast and big, so you can have an automated archive from multiple months. Time Machine from Apple’s macOS can do it all for you. Any modern Mac system has a recovery partition and supports online OS installation. And for $50 to $100 you’re ready to go. Make manual backups as well. Don’t just trust Time Machine – just select what you never want to delete and store it on the external drive (or yet another one). Be paranoid, make a backup that you can store offsite. Just in case of a fire or theft.

Okay, assuming you care about your data and have a backup, encrypt your drives. In two parts: Internal drives and external drives. And at the least encrypt your external drives. They are easier to pick up by others, easier to forget, etc.

On macOS High Sierra for example (and older versions as well) you can just right click the mounted drive, select ‘Encrypt..’ and set a unique and strong enough password. Do not check the box ‘save in keychain’, either store it in a password manager like 1Password, or simply remember it. If you store it in the keychain, someone with your login can unlock keychain and get the passwords that way.

Ok, the internal drive isn’t a right click. You have to go to System Preferences and go to Security and Privacy. From there you can go to FileVault and turn on Full Disk Encryption.

The password for this is your login’s password. If your system will have multiple users (it should!) it will require you to enter those passwords as well. When it asks if you wish to unlock with iCloud or a recovery key: Please use a recovery key. Again, just store it in a password manager like 1Password as a secure note, so your other devices like another system, an iPhone or iPad can show you the key (and it’s stored in a safe place) or just write it down and keep it in your physical vault or something secure.

I think it’s fair to point out that encryption is important, and strong. You can’t just ‘can you fix it for me, I do not remember my password’, you HAVE to remember the password, and if you can’t then you MUST have that recovery key. So please do take this serious. Don’t be scared by it, but please be aware that you’re not just making a .zip file and can unzip it at any time. You’re garbling up everything for the right reasons and the only way for it to make sense is with a unique key that only you know.

What do we want to end up with?

A computer system that has full disk encryption turned ON for all the internal and external drives.

But it is scary!

Okay, what are you more scared of? Someone potentially having access to all your personal and private data, or turning on full disk encryption?

Have any questions, or want to get more information? Feel free to contact me and I’d love to help you improve your privacy and security. Encrypting your drives is one step towards less worries in the long run.

Something worth mentioning is wireless / bluetooth. If you have a usb keyboard and mouse connected to the built-in usb ports, things should be fine. But sometimes with non-stock USB keyboards and mouses, they might not get recognized. So please do have the Apple keyboard/mouse handy or a wired solution. Just in case.

Auto make directories for each month

Projects can come in any shape and form. From stuff for a friend, a screencast for tutorials, a blogisode or photoshoot. It doesn’t matter. They all have a few things in common: They take time to organize, because you have to import your data, process it, export it, archive it all and back it all up.

You’re literally wasting a lot of time doing simple and repetitive tasks. This blog article is to show you how to think outside of the box by using the command line interface (cli) to help you save time by being more efficient. And this one liner is the most simple example I could think of. Plus, I had to do this myself anyway.

Hopefully this little tutorial shows you how to think outside of the box and apply that creativity you have to improve your workflow so you can continue to focus on the content of a project, rather than the setup of a project.

Okay, what are we doing? We simply want to import data from a few devices that I took pictures, timelapses, videos, etc. with. To achieve this I have to have a directory for this year, with all the months inside of it. So I can make a directory for this project inside January, and start the import process.

Instead of wasting time manually creating all the directories one by one, hoping I am not making any typing errors, etc. I just use a small single line of code to do the work for me.

Here it is:

(IFS=';'; set -f; mkdir -- $(locale mon))

The result:

It’s not just 41

Boom, 40 in the pocket. Hello 41. Yep, holy smokes, I turned 41 today. (Happy Birthday Floris) “Thank you, thank you”. It’s indeed quite the achievement. But it’s not just about the age, it’s what it stands for.

Pssst, there’s an audible #blogiside video embedded at the end of this post 🙂

Being alone in life isn’t all that great, because life’s tough. rough, and unforgiving. But we fill it with those around us. Acquaintances, strangers that can become new friends, friends, who can become close friends. And of course family. Sometimes even a partner, for some a life partner. But it’s not just about that either.

At any age you have gained life experiences, you learned from trying a million things, and you figure out what you’re bad at, or really terrible at. What’s right and wrong, or what you’re good at, or actually have a talent for. And throughout life you learn from your mistakes, and you find happiness, .. but .. that’s not what this is just about as well.

We reflect on what we do, on who we are. We ask ourselves where we want to go, who we want to be. And there are questions you can never answer at any age. But once or twice in your life you find out a few things about yourself, about the environment you live in, and learn about what’s important. And we enlighten through that process. We figure out what we want, what our path is. Who is important in our lives, where we stand, what we want to aim for. How hard we have to work to achieve that. And eventually that comes with internal happiness.

For me, that’s what today’s anniversary is about. Who I am inside my mind. Where my ‘soul’, if you wish to call it that, is headed to. What I feel in regards to happiness and all that good and bad stuff. It’s not just about being 41 today, or having been here forty plus years and feeling ‘that’s me checking off that I’m probably halfway there’. It’s not about those negative experiences, lost loves, missed opportunities or sleepless nights. It’s about that feeling of being free in my mind, feeling rich in my soul.

No matter what. How can I not realise and think back about everything that I have done, and everybody that I have known (and still know of course), from friends, family, to even my pets. From hobbies that I had, to places I have been. How can I not realise how far I have come and know what privileges I have despite all the setbacks and feeling imprisoned by my visual disability and all the shit that comes with it.

Life’s rough, tough, and unforgiving. But it’s my life, and I can ignore or take opportunities that present itself. I can walk a path or choose to step off the yellow brick fucking road. I can stay, or leave and change it all. And it’s only been forty years of playing in the crib, sandbox, schoolyard, attic, online in virtual worlds, and feeling nothing but inspired, creative, motivated, and ready to discover and learn more. …

… You can’t take that away from me Universe, because it’s not just about being 41 from this point forward, it’s about having beaten you at your own game.

Because tomorrow, I am doing it all over again.

Etsy is still great

Quite some years ago when eBay and Amazon started doing their thing and companies would jump in and start selling their stuff, and consumers started selling their secondhand stuff on Ebay etc. I always felt something was missing. Just a site for you and me, for my friend who sells soaps, my buddy who sells retro computer art, or an uncle who might sell his paintings. And in my eyes, that’s what Etsy was when it started on the Internet.

I have received a few gifts through Etsy in the past (thank you friends!) and I’ve ordered a couple every other year or so. And I just did it again! It’s just so great to see what people make themselves and are able to sell. Even if they only have five unique things, or they make custom hand made leather straps just to pay the rent. I really like it.

Gifting someone something that looks handmade, but is of quality, and is much more personal towards that person, and is a bit more unique than mass produced items is so much nicer.

Way way back in the day I would go to those little stores in Amsterdam just to find this sort of stuff, and now I can get it from all over the world. Okay, when it comes to popular sites there might be some abuse, or weird companies that shouldn’t be on there. Just like eBay and Amazon – but I find it way less to be honest. So far I’ve yet to have a bad buying experience (fingers crossed the few orders I just placed haha; did I just jinx it).

The reason I mention Etsy in a blog article is not to advertise them, I couldn’t care less where you buy your stuff, I guess, because this is more about thinking what to get your family or friends for their birthdays, Christmas, etc.

It’s always so tough to figure out what to get them, but if you just go through Etsy and you see little things that make you go ‘oh that is so my sister’, you can consider getting it, and I think you end up with a much more personal gift that makes an impression than a pair of socks or a coupon for a book. And if you find something that’s handmade it’s more fun to discover as you unpack it.

For obvious reasons I can’t divulge what I just ordered, but I wish I had the money to buy it all twice – I’d love to have those things myself as well 🙂

Oh oh, what I can share, some things I got were a camera strap made of leather, some awesome matching decal stickers for my iMac and old Powerbook, and I once got my sister a handmade recipe book that looked really cool.

Have you ever sold or bought through Etsy? How did that go? Let me know! I am @floris on Twitter, Facebook and mrfloris on Instagram where you can certainly find some pictures about Etsy stuff I will get, because I think this year I will use that site a lot more.

I am bad at tidying up

Yeah, sorry.. I just am. While I try to do better, it’s just not really happening.

Things that I am bad at: Following through. I have the best intentions, and I try to do well (I will get to that in a second), but I find out over and over again I just keep falling behind. I just don’t follow through well enough. Also, when my mind is focussed on one or two things, the last thing I want to do is stop and take a break from that and walk through the rain to the container and throw my trash out. I am simply lazy and selfish on that point.

Stuff I am okay at: Building up to make things easier for me. An example, I try to use the leftover packaging like little bags or boxes to put stuff in that needs to be thrown out or tidied up. I try to gather things up together so it’s easier to handle and collect it in bigger trash bags or like a closet.

Wait, I think I am confusing people now. Sorry! I am talking about both throwing the trash out and keeping the place clean, as well as tidying up and keeping things organized and visually clean.

What I’ve learned over the years: My limitations because of my eyes. This forces me to spread what I do over the day, and do it when I can. Without it affecting whatever else I am doing after it. No use spending an hour cleaning if I am then physically ‘done’ for the next three hours with my eyes and I can’t do other stuff that’s equally important.

And an awesome tip: I’ve mentioned this in other blogs before: Through one advice by Adam Savage. Each time I walk back and forth between rooms, or I get up.. I pick something up if my hands are free. Getting a drink? Get up and pick up the old mugs and bring them to the kitchen. At least that’s done.

But, sigh, .. but despite it all, knowing my weaknesses and knowing my strengths in this regard to cleaning and tidying… I still fall behind. I just pile up on dishes, pile up on trash, pile up on stuff that needs to be put in their place, and whatever.

So this blog post is to publicly shame myself I guess, and to promise myself I will do better. And oh .. 2017 was already better than 2016. I made progress. I apply what I learn. But it’s far from perfect. So it’s time for me now to find this post next year and go ‘aw yeah, I did better in 2017 than the years before’ and hopefully have a nicer place to live in.

Maybe that’s why this blog is not as in-depth as the rest and maybe tomorrow there won’t be a blog. I might just walk away from the iMac and tidy up and throw things out instead. There’s certainly no blogisode for this blog article, because right now I am feeling motivated to publish this and clean up my desk a little bit.

Hopefully this post motivates you to think about how you are in your life when it comes to your work and living space and maybe reconsider how you keep it clean and tidy. Oh, got any tips? Follow me on twitter/facebook and let me know! (I am @floris).

Lazy, chilling out, movies and pizza

“Hey Siri, set my lights to pizza night” -ding, “okay”, as she replies from somewhere the lights change to chill settings, and I finish ordering my pizza.

Yeah, there’s not a specific blog article for today. I am being lazy. On purpose though. I just want to celebrate the new year, this first week, and have a bit of peace and quiet before my birthday and other upcoming stuff.

It’s all about bad food, but oh so good food. And cozy warm feelings, despite the harsh weather outside reminding me it’s the winter season. No cleaning, no tidying up, no dishes, no throwing the trash out, no bills, no checking of the mail, no phone calls, not accepting skype calls or reading messages. Just some tv series, movies, maybe some wine, and a few slices of pizza.

I slept in, woke up, turned around and just went back to bed after feeding the cat.

I plan to do the same again soon.

Movie’s over? TV season finished? Pizza’s gone? Okay.. maybe I will dress up really warm and go for a walk, come home to a hot shower, some light reading, and back to sleep again.

Sorry real life, you have to wait until tomorrow.