Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Planning for my retirement

I recently had a pension review meeting with a pension expert who advised me that I had enough money in my pension plan to retire now. Even more significantly he told me that my pension payout would only increase by a very small amount if I continue working until I am 65. As a result I have decided to retire in August on my 61st birthday.

Deciding when to stop working is only part of what I need to plan. The more important part is to plan what I will do with my new free time. I have come up with the following ideas (more or less in descending order of priority):
  1. Cycling: At the moment I cycle every weekend. Once I retire I will start cycling during the week as well. 
  2. Lecturing: A few years ago I used to lecture to night students in Trinity College. I found this to give me a large amount of personal satisfaction. As a result I signed up to lecture in Independent College  2.5 hours per week. If this works out I  will increase my hours.
  3. Night classes: My local school offers a wide range of night classes and I intend taking some of these. Last year I took gardening, guitar and pilates. In the next academic year, I have signed up for follow on classes in badminton, guitar and pilates as well as a workshop entitled ready for retirement.
  4. Age Action run classes to teach basic computer literacy for older people. I intent to volunteer as a tutor. 
  5. Open source: I have always wanted to see what it is like to be an active contributor to an open source project. I have not yet decided what project to pick - suggestions are more than welcome.
  6. Men's shed: There is an active men's shed in Mulhuddart which is not too far from me so I plan to try it out. 
  7. Book club: I am a keen reader so I think I would enjoy being part of a book club. I am sure I will find one which is close by which suits me.
I don't think I will be bored with all of these diverse activities.

Monday, July 3, 2023

A new attitude to best before dates

When I was young I was thought to respect best before dates and never eat anything whose best before date has passed.

Now it seems that the advice has changed to be more of a suggestion. For example, look at the label on this carton of orange juice.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Nobody cares why you follow an influencer

The rise in popularity. of social networking sites in recent years has led to a corresponding growth in the number of influencers.

Some people follow influencers for positive reasons (e.g. they admire  their fitness/beauty regime). In other cases people follow influencers that they dislike (e.g. people might follow Andrew Tate so they can criticise his statements). However, the sponsors who pay the influencers don't care why you are following someone - they simply care that you read the influencer's posts.

You should be aware that if you read postings from someone like Andrew Tate, you are effectively paying his salary.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Pressure prediction analysis

Previously, I analysed how accurate various weather prediction services predicted the temperature a number of days in advance. Today I will look at their predictions for wind speed.

Here is the summary data

Here is a chart of the data for people who prefer visual:

Points to note
  • Openweathermap seems to be the most accurate by far.
  • has similar accuracy openweathermap for one day in advance, but when predicting further into the future both darksky and are similar.
  • The error from openweathermap seems to be much larger than other services. I checked and this error is genuine.

Like the last time, this analysis lumps all cities together for an average result. I might do some analysis later on performance per city.