Craft Beer Lifestyle

2 week challenge: Day 4

So it’s day 4 into my two week challenge of being a better me. Today has been a great day, if a little tiring.

The Queens Gambit

I’m going to start with a netflix tv series that I finished today. The Queens Gambit. I will admit, it started off real slow and it was hard for me to feel engaged. But it got better and the last episode left me smiling from ear to ear like a giant goon. My favourite shot was cow boys and chess:

When someone told me, “it’s a drama based on chess”, my reaction was “pffft, boring”. However I never chess could be so dramatised. So if you struggle with it, that’s ok. I did too.

Today started of tiring

I had my cleaner come over at 8 am this morning. so instead of going for a morning run to help wake up I needed to go to am ATM to withdraw some cash. It was nice to get the apartment cleaned, I even made my bed and tidied my room while she was here.

I have a loft bed and it’s actually really hard to put on the sheets. I have to climb on my desk just to put sheets on. I’d been sleeping without sheets on my bed for the last week. Shhh, please don’t tell my mum.

My bed, next to my desk, imagine how you would make this bed…

The cleaner finished up around 10 am, I started my daily meditation but was really tired and was half dozing off by the end of it.

I use insight timer to track my meditations. Then I went for a run. I’m really pleased with my pace and I it was slightly longer than my previous runs.

Food for the day

Breakfast was avocado on toast, lunch was meatballs with beans and dinner was cottage cheese on toast. I had alot fo toast today but I didn’t feel like cooking.

A few weeks back, I bought a bulk pack of core powerfoods frozen meals. Most of them have 40gm of protein for less than 2,000 kJ of energy and two thirds of them have been pretty tasty. Sometimes they aren’t the most attractive and some of them are a bit average but it certainly beats cooking or making a protein shake when I feel like a decent protein focused meal.

I’m not doing a total calory/protein count for today.

I had a beer

I know I said I was only going to drink water. BUT my house mate cracked open a christmas stout from the garage project and didn’t like it. They said it would go to waste if I didn’t drink it. How could I have let this happen? And c’mon, just check out that beer can art:

I’m self isolating

My partner mentioned to their mum that had been feeling unwell. She called me and ask me if I’d been tested recently. I thought the best thing to do was to confirm with a negative test. So I went to a drive through covid test after a climb. It was a little wet. I’m now self isolating until I get my result.

I’m so glad I wrote this list. I almost forgot to take my daily multi vitamins today. Overall it was a good day, another green tick for me.

Lifestyle mental health Weight Loss

2 week challenge: Day 3

This morning was a struggle, I’m now 3 days into this challenge. I’m doing today in reverse. Let’s start with dinner.


Homemade cheats tonkotsu ramen. This does look pretty good in my opinion. It was very tasty too. I didn’t eat this serving size, I had a half serving. This was my partners serving (their big bowls are nicer). 2000-ish kJ, 30 gm of protein?

What makes it a cheats ramen? I use packet noodles. I use the really fancy japanese tonkotsu kind but it’s glorified instant noodles with better stock. I do the Char shu pork in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes and add toppings. I don’t do my own stock but I do cook the pork similar to the level 2 chef in this video (minus the flour and frying bit):


My afternoon was speant at my partners place. I went around at 2pm. We wen’t out to Akasha in five dock to pick up a case of little smith (an awesome session IPA beer).

They were feeling a bit under the weather, had enlarged tounsils from an infection and felt like a comfort soup. So ramen for dinner it was. We didn’t go climbing because of the unwellness. I started watching the queen’s gambit on netflix.

I had some chocolates and rice crackers as a snack.


Mexican chicken on veg, I know I’ve eaten meat twice today but I needed to use this chicken because it was close to it’s use by when I bought it. 1700 kJ, 40gm of protein.


My headache seems to have gone but today my period is in full swing. I’m sore from yesterday’s run, so today’s run was extra slow.


Cottage cheese and caramelised onions on toast, 1500 kJ 20gm of protein. Surprsingly tasty. I’m pleased with this morning’s experiment.

I noticed my muppet come up today, I wanted to get frustrated at things even though there was nothing to get frustrated at. Overall it’s been a good day but part of my brain wanted to bring it down. But this muppet has a tendancy to come up when I’m going through my period, which is useful to observe.

I’m giving myself another green tick for today, I didn’t do all of my physio and I didn’t go climbing but there’s still time this week for it.

Lifestyle mental health Weight Loss

2 week challenge: Day 2

Here’s to day 2 of being the best version of me. Started improving my sleep routine. I naturally woke up at 6am this morning. Let’s hope I can keep it up.

I still have the caffeine withdrawal headaches today, they’ve eased a little though. I got a run in this morning atleast. My average pace was just a little better than yesterday.


Avocado on toast with some of the chocolate truffles I bought yesterday. Mmmm, this is my comfort food. I’ve probably eaten my own body weight in avocado on toast since the pandemic started.


  • Energy: 2,000 kJ
  • Protein: 7 gm

I often buy a fancy loaf of sourdough, slice it up and put it in the fridge. It keeps for longer and I only ever use it for toast anyway.


Chicken pesto pasta

If you are reading food labels make sure to watch out for servings per pack. This one said it had 2, and even with my tiny stomach after weight loss surgery I ate the whole thing:


  • Energy: 3,500 kJ
  • Protein: 33 gm

After lunch I went for a walk, if I wasn’t doing this challenge I would have bought some cake along the way. Huzzah, the journal is helping. I did walk past a street library and picked up a few books though:


1/4 Waterball (aka tiny watermelon, isn’t it so cute 😀 )


I made a bean chilli. I cooked a homemade tomato sauce all day to add to the chilli. My housemate is vegan and it’s helped me explore more vegan recipes.

I won’t calculate the macros for this but I think it’s less than 1,000 kJ and 10 to 15 gm of protein.

This evening I watched A Fistful of Dollars. I’m making my way through classic films with great soundtracks. On a side note, film 4 on that list is Pather Panchali (an old black and white bollywood film), I have not been able to find it with english sub titles. If any of my indian visitors can find a copy that I can access please let me know :).

I didn’t do my physio today but I’m still going to give myself a big giant green tick for a day well spent. I may have eaten a little more chocolate than I told you about but shh, I won’t tell if you don’t ;).

Lifestyle mental health Weight Loss

2 week challenge: Day 1

I’ve got the next two weeks off work and no plans to do anything. I’ve given myself the goal of being the best version of myself over that time. I’ll be posting a daily journal of my progress.

This series will be a little different to my regular content.

The Plan

Over the next two weeks I’ll do:

  • Drink only water
  • Have a 2/3 Vegetarian diet
  • Go rock climbing 3 times a week
  • Set up my sleep routine
  • Do daily meditation/journaling
  • Go for a daily run/walk
  • Do my physio exercises
  • Take my daily multi vitamins
  • Brush my teeth
  • Only play vidoe games after doing some writing

As I go through each day, I’ll make sure to tick it off on my white board. These are regular habits that I SHOULD have, but have slipped during the year. And yes, I do need a reminder to brush my teeth, I didn’t brush them for 6 months this year.

These daily posts will be a reflection of my thoughts of how that day went. I’m publishing these for my own accountability.

Caffeine withdrawals

The drinking only water is my biggest challenge for the next two weeks. The headaches from no coffee today have started to set in but they aren’t that bad. I’ve kicked the coffee habit before. But this also means no craft beer over the next two weeks :(.

Grocery Shopping

I did a big grocery shop for the week ahead. I’d been on a holiday/staying at my partners place over the last week and had no fresh produce. Today’s shop was just under $130. I hope I get to use all of this produce over the next week.

There was a bunch of reduced goods for sale at my local woolworths. Some salads and chicken were on sale, the hemp burgers look interesting to try and I had to restock on some spices.


My first meal was after the grocery shopping was at around 12:30pm (I had slept in this morning), It was a spinach and feta scroll and some cocoa dusted truffles. I microwaved the scroll for 30 seconds because it was a little stale.

Here’s the macro’s for that meal:

  • Energy: 1,600 kJ
  • Protein: 8.5 gm
  • Fat: 18.5 gm
  • Carbs: 41gm
    • Sugar: 15 gm

Now there’s nothing wrong with having chocolate. If I wasn’t doing this challenge over the next two weeks, I would have eaten the whole packet over the day (so this blog is already working). Instead I’m having one serve per day (there’s 5 serves in a packet, 1 serve is approx 3 truffles).


It was a late lunch at 3:30PM after some rock climbing. Pumpkin and fetta tabbouleh salad, heated for 45 seconds in the microwave. I like the added warmth.


  • Energy: 1,300 kJ
  • Protein: 16 gm
  • Fat: 15.5 gm
  • Carbs: 28 gm
    • Sugars: 5.5 gm

Went for a run

It wasn’t a long or hard run, I followed the getting started guided run on the Nike run app and it made me feel good. It’ll be good to see how I improve even just over 2 weeks.


Dinner was the second spinach scroll and chicken proscuitto. There were meant to be 2 servings in the chicken but the vegies didn’t look great. So I ended eating up both. I also had a can of diet kirks lemonade.


  • Energy: 3000 kJ
  • Protein: 60 gm

I know I said only water but I had this in the fridge before I started this, and the caffeine withdrawel headaches were making it hard to focus on Soul (a pixar film I watched after dinner.).

Other notes

Overall it was a great day. I got a climb in, started running again and ate pretty well. I over ate for dinner, I was meant to put aside half of it for tomorrow but oh well. Life goes on.

I did have a bowel movement at 2pm, I know this may seem like too much info but monitoring these movements is one indication of my health. It was a 1 to 2 on the bristol stool scale. Since having my gall bladder removed this year, if I have a bad food day I’m more often between the 5 to 7 on the scale, so it’s nice not to be there. I hope today’s food improves it for tomorrow.

First day journal done. Look out for day 2 tomorrow.

Agile Conferences Software Testing Technology Testing Archives

Improving your testing skills

Today we are going over how to improve your thinking and software testing skills.

Slide deck can be accessed here.

Why do we bother testing?

To get feedback. To help us answer the question, are we comfortable releasing this software? Read my mobile app test strategy here.

There’s no manual testing

We don’t say manual programming, do we? But programmers use their hands too? Why do we have manual testers? It’s one of my biggest bug bears. You can read a day in the life of a mobile app tester for more info.


Design Presenting Technology

Clean Desk Porn

With the whole work from home situation I’ve spent some time tweaking my desk set up to make it more ergonomic. This blog will go through my set up, purchases and learnings along the way.

Today’s final desk set up.

Today’s Desk Hardware

  • MacBook Pro (work machine)
  • Windows PC
  • Mac Mini
  • KVM Switch
  • Logitech G105 keyboard
  • Razer Basilisk mouse + pad
  • Vertical laptop stand
  • Monitor arm
  • Acer G245H 24 inch Monitor
  • Selfie stick/phone mount
  • Bose Headset
  • Logitech c920 Webcam
  • Webcam arm
  • Rode podcaster MKII microphone
  • Rode microphone arm + shockmount
  • Astro A10 headset
  • Lamp
  • Samsung S10
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone XR (work’s test phone)
  • iPhone 6 (work phone)
  • Microsoft Surface

I’ve bought most of this equipment second hand, over the last 2-3 years.

The windows machine was built from second hand parts and hand me downs from my partner (they upgraded their graphics card and gave me their old one). The surface/bose headset are also hand me downs from my partner too.

The Mac Mini, mouse, webcam, laptop stand, desk arms, a10 headset and samsung s10 were purchased new.

Here’s the cable’s under the desk (it’s still a little messy):

My tiny bedroom

My room is tiny, I can fit a single bed and a desk and that’s about it. Adjusting to work from home was hard for me. My apartment is freezing and I don’t have a lot of space.

When I first moved in this was my set up.

I live in a 2 bedroom apartment in Crows Nest, it’s 6km from the Sydney city centre and before the pandemic I would occasionally walk into work. Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic way to start the day.

My share of the rent is $210 per week. I charge a little more for the larger room. I have an obsession with tiny houses, hence my loft bed arrangement.

Working from the lounge room

Earlier on in the pandemic I was working from the couch/bar table. The lounge was more comfortable and there was a better heater in there:

However the issue with this set up was shoulder/ankle pain from a poor sitting arrangement and not exercising enough.

All of the heating equipment

To keep warm during winter, I bought an electric blanket, an electric throw rug and an oil heater for my bedroom. Sydney can get cold in winter. It’s almost as if our houses here aren’t built for the cold.

You can see the electric throw rug under the desk. The cat approves of the electric rug.

Upgraded equipment along the way

I upgraded my computer chair and monitors more recently. They were still second hand equipment, I needed a mountable monitor which my previous monitors didn’t support. A KVM switch allowed me to downgrade to just one monitor output for 2 computers.

Future improvements

One of the issues I have is the webcam is a little blue when I record with it. I think getting a mirrorless DSLR camera would be better for filming video but that’s an upgrade I don’t want to make just yet.

I might just film on one of the smart phones in the mean time

Also considering when I create videos, my desktop screen share takes up more real estate and my web cam is just a small part of the video.

Having a portable set up would be nice

When I’ve filmed from my partners place this is the set up I’ve used:

Standing desk made out of board games

However OBS is a challenge to get working on a mac environment consistently. Hence why I prefer to record from a windows machine. I’ve tried setting up the surface as a mobile set up. It doesn’t have enough grunt and I think there was a config set up issue when I tried.

I’ll leave you with a few more clean desk porn shots:

My set up earlier on in the pandemic, before the KVM switch and monitor mount
Here’s the coveted pussy shot.
Maybe a not so clean desk, sometimes being a mobile tester can get a little ridiculous
Much better, you can read more about how to set up a homemade charging station here

Have you tweaked your WFH desk arrangement since the pandemic came along?