Tools for cat maintenance

General

I have had a cat for a few years and I use the following tools to help with cat maintenance:

Pet Feeder

Most cats are good at self regulating their meals. But many pet cats are often a little overweight. Some research shows that animals on slightly low calorie diets live longer. If you care to make sure you know how much your cat is eating and want to have better control on the diet and match it with it’s activity level, and you use dry kibbles anyway, then an automatic cat feeder is very useful. It also helps save a lot of time, there’s a more set routine for the cat, and you can be gone for a day or two and not worry about feeding the cat. I have tried lots of different feeders, and this one is the best so far.

Pet Fountain

Cat’s prefer drinking running water. They think stagnant, stationary water is unclean. Your cat is more likely to drink water from a fountain than from a dish. The leading cause of kidney issues in aging cats is caused due to not drinking enough water. So if you care about reducing the odds of kidney diseases in your cat, a pet fountain is a good investment. I have tried many different ones and found this one to be the best.

Turn around at Mt Baker summit

General

We attempted a late season climb of Mt Baker in Washington state. We were not experience enough to be just a two-person rope team – so that was kinda stupid. But we were quite risk averse in other ways. When we realized that the sun was beating quite hard and the snow bridges were beginning to melt, we decided it wasn’t safe to continue upwards. Given 80% of mountaineering accidents happen on the way down, we didn’t want to push our luck. Two other parties continued ascending and they did summit and also came back down safely. Different risk appetite, and luck.

Apple Pay: frictionless

General

Finally got to try Apple Pay and it’s the most frictionless payment I have ever made. It happened almost at the speed of thought.

  • Sec 1: oh look, I can pay with Apple Pay
  • Sec 2: double tap on home button (fingerprint read simultaneously)
  • Sec 2: done

   
 The fact that this was also the most secure payment I have ever made at a terminal is just icing on the cake. My credit card is hard-bound to my physical phone (my CC number is not associated with anything in the “cloud”). A unique one-time use string gets generated and transmitted each time I initiate a payment. Even if Whole Foods gets hacked, hackers won’t find any CC numbers, or usable auth codes in their database.

Clean Install of OS X El Capitan

General

I switched to using OS X in 2007. I continued using OS X for personal use even while I worked for years at Microsoft.I had probably last started with a clean install back in 2011. Over the last 4-5 years I had installed and uninstalled many things. I had messed around with the shell. I had created symbolic links, implemented complicated workarounds to support the various edge cases that I needed to work with at different points in my life.

OS X has come a long way in the last 5yrs. The App Store was announced and I had started installing/updating my apps using it. Many tweaks and workarounds I had gotten used to became core features of the OS. Setting up development enviroments became a breeze with things like Docker and sophisticated package managers like Node/NPM.

I decided it was time to have a clean break and start over again. See, it’s easy to migrate/re-install and get back to where you were before. But I wanted to start clean for real. Make new decisions for my new workflows to reflect how both me and the tools I use had evolved.

I started on a Friday evening. Made a USB installer. Made a full backup of all my data files. I didn’t backup any configurations and settings on purpose. The thing that took the longest time was getting my pictures back up. I have a 1TB SSD drive (astronomical cost component on my laptop) which is mainly filled with pictures and videos.

So now I have a clean, wiped, brand new, fresh off the press copy of El Capitan with no baggage from the past. I install software as I need it and here’s where I am after a week.