I got a fun piece of equipment in the mail today, a Glif from Studio Neat. Studio Neat specialises in little things that you may not have realised were missing from your life, that turn out to be (somewhat) useful. Years ago, I bought a couple of Kosmonauts from them, a chunky stylus that was more like a child’s crayon than the skinny pens most people had for drawing on tablets. Eventually I grew bored of that, but it was fun for a while.

The Glif strikes me as much more useful for the long term. It’s pretty simple: a springloaded clamp that can adjust for various sizes of smartphone, with three screw threads on it so you can mount your phone to a regular tripod, either vertically or horizontally​.

Or if you’re feeling a bit crackers like me, you can get a handlebar clamp with a quarter-inch tripod screw on it, and attach the Glif to that, and then attach that to your bike. Three degrees of separation for your phone, and if I can think of more things to clamp to clamps, I’ll bolt them on too.
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Driven to distraction

My wife located a free Christmas tree via social media, and today I went out to get it, from a condo in Pasir Panjong, about 15 minutes’ drive away. Usually I’d rely on a taxi but today I tried GrabCar, the homegrown-equivalent of Uber. I’ve never had much luck with Uber (generally the drivers fail the most rudimentary part of their task, in that they can’t find the building I live in. A 50-storey building in the middle of Singapore that was feted as the great monument to the guy who had been president for the previous four decades.) or indeed with Grab, but it was $3 cheaper. It was also about half an hour longer.
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A new television

I’m not blaming my wife, but she was the last person to touch our television. (We’ve only had it for about 6 years; it came to us secondhand when friends departed Hong Kong, and had survived being carried through Tin Hau, being transported up and down 14 flights of stairs, then being on a container ship from Hong Kong to Singapore, then three years stuck in direct sunlight in our first flat in Singapore, and then moved in the back of a van to our current place.) I came home last night to find the television wouldn’t turn on any more, just as we’d got La Serpiente and Destroyer enthused by the idea of computer games. (La Serpiente can actually be detected by, and play with, our Xbox 360’s motion sensors, whereas Destroyer just gets very excited and runs in circles in front of us while we’re playing.)
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Smash smash

While running this morning, the 7 o’clock alarm began to chime, and so my Spotify app paused. I couldn’t imagine continuing to run without Shaun Ryder and Black Grape, so I fumbled with my phone to unpause it, and inadvertently cast my iPhone onto the ground. 

It was less than six months old, and had led a calm and cosseted life until now, but today a single fall onto tarmac and it was scarred irrevocably, a spider’s web of cracks spreading almost instantly across the screen.
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Out with a bang

I killed our microwave today. Or rather, I switched it on with nothing inside, and there was a flash of light, a loud pop, and the thing didn’t work any more. It had been in the family for a long time; I wrestled it up the stairs into our flat in Hong Kong in 2011, and it survived the trip to Singapore and moving from the middle of Chinatown into our current flat. But now it’s dead, and so I’m consigning its beige plastic corpse to the junkyard.
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I’m not the guy you think I am

I get adverts piped straight into my Gmail inbox these days, hot piping adverts based on deductions Google has made about me. Delicious, highly relevant ads, like, well, like this one:
This is not typical dating website
I’m pretty sure this is not typical dating site. It may even be not a typical dating website. It’s a shame that Google hasn’t figured out that I’ve been married for the past five years, but then maybe our Automated Overlords in Mountain View figure there’s a five-and-a-half-year-itch to scratch. My wife wasn’t too pleased to see the dead-eyed ladies staring out from my inbox, and although I explained it’s probably because I went to a postgres database site 4 years ago and ever since have been classified as “sad-sack, can’t get a date” by the Internet, she still seemed to think it was my fault. All I wanted was a better understanding of page swap techniques, not a procession of ladies of indeterminate virtue.
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