offset \ˈȯf-ˌset\ noun

a force or influence that makes an opposing force ineffective or less effective

2019 Recap

Our best laid plans didn't come to fruition last year, mostly because a conundrum about future accommodation, which I'll write about later. Whatever we had in store for longer travels was postponed so in the end it was more of Europe this time:

  • Croatia, again to see family and friends
  • Sweden, to rendezvous with friends and see Stockholm, that was encased in ice at the time
  • Spain, but really Tenerife, a small archipelago off of Africa where the highlights were the huge volcano caldera of Mount Teide and an isolated mountain village of Masca
  • Czechia, Prague and Říp mountain, to meet up with my parents who haven't had much chance to go anywhere during their lifetime and my dad fares from that country
  • Cyprus, Paphos and its surrounding areas
  • Northern Ireland, Belfast, just to see some of the city properly
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, to take my mother to a village nearby Bosanski Brod where she's from and where she hasn't been for years
  • Netherlands, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Zaanse Schans, Zandvoort, to meet up with friends and go museum hopping
  • Germany, Munich and Frankfurt, used the layovers to see the cities a bit again
  • Slovenia, Ljubljana, to see the capital

Across Ireland itself we planned a number of sites to see, but it ended up being:

  • Dalkey, for a day getaway
  • Kerry, Killarney, likewise, to see some of the national park itself, Adare village, Ross castle, Muckross house, Dingle Bay and Inch Beach
  • Tayto park again


  • Radical Face, which was cozy and awesome and (a good kind of) sad
  • Dido, which was a standard pop concert you'd expect it to be

So, yeah, the accommodation conundrum I mentioned - we bought an apartment. It tossed a wrench in our well-oiled machinery running the plans, but it was a huge achievement in itself. I immediately started some automation for it tying everything together with Home Assistant.

  1. Lighting (LED lights) and some motion sensors to trigger the lights
  2. Heating
  3. Weather notifications in the form of a Telegram text and changing the bulb light color at the exit before leaving for work
  4. Speech notifications for the public transportation
  5. Other textual notifications

I am working on getting the presence detection tied into the whole story so it's not relying on timestamps.

After finding the apartment, we had to get the papers sorted and buy most of the stuff like furniture and electronics, so that significantly affected our free time and routine. I did start some projects: for a hydroponics greenhouse balcony garden, and near the end of the year I also started work on a large scale geographic analysis, related to food security. I'll see how that goes. There are some personal projects in the pipeline but we'll get them off the ground eventually.

Regarding the projects that were actually finished, they were:

Vesna finished a scrum master course and got more comfortable with the JavaScript programming up to the point where I can say she's a proper developer.

We attended the Worldcon in Dublin. An SF convention.

We also started to play pen and paper physically in Dublin. A nice change of pace from the Skype sessions we have occasionally.

I didn't draw much in 2019, which was a bit disheartening. I never found the proper conditions, but, unfortunately for me, found all the excuses.

I managed to fulfill the conditions for the Irish citizenship, but I'll need to get the paperwork sorted this year for that.

Lastly, but far from the least, I was working on the TZM poll that was featured on the main site over there, so if you're part of that demographic, do answer.

Hopefully, this year will see us recover our pace a bit, but I am not setting ourselves for a failure by putting a big goal in front of us. It will most likely be wrapping up whatever we have left and doing small things.