I've had an interesting last few weeks. I've continued to study about math because I know that I don't do nearly enough maths on a daily basis. A lot of my mental arithmetic has dropped its performance.

For example, I forgot that the sum of all the angles in a triangle equals 180 degrees and that the area of a triangle is half the base multiplied by the height - not to mention the area of a parallelogram(which is the sum of the length of the two parallel lines multiplied by the base). This is all elementary but its useful. 

For instance, what has been immediately useful is the theory, understanding and formula for working compound interest over multiple years. That has been immediately useful to me too.

This dove-tails into fractions of course and decimal numbers. I think I love the idea of decimals and fractions more than most. Most of my study as been from Mathematics: A Complete Introduction

This is because I've not been using my math brain so I need to figure out a way to do more practical application of this kind of theory moving forward. I've actually really enjoyed going over the following again:

  1. Multiplication and division of numbers using decimals including fractions
  2. Area and basic geometry
  3. Working with fractions and percentages etc
  4. Bearings - navigation

I've never really found working with bearings ever very interesting until now and I enjoyed learning more about taking bearings from one point to another. I started to learn how to read maps recently so I've bought myself and compass and sorts and well, you need to know about bearings, so that has also very nicely coincided.

A lot of this work I've been doing also stems from the NSRT (Navy Service Recruitment Test)  psychometric test  I was looking to pass, which encompasses general reasoning, verbal reasoning, mechanical comprehension and critically numeracy - so I needed to up my math game. This all coincided with my recent commitment to become more proficient in my mathematical reasoning skills anyway, so I couldn't be more satisfied with the time spent doing this. Thankfully I passed. Over half failed (56% to be exact) - time is not on your side in this test.

I also had my eye test, after the NSRT also which revealed that my prescription has varied a little bit and thus I'll be sporting a new set of spectacles moving forward which is fun. Apparently, according to the optometrist, I'll need to wear them more often, I'm not sure why she said that - maybe she expects me to wear them all the time? Anyway, I passed my eye test at level 2, with level 1 being perfect and 3 being just acceptable, so I'm "bang" in the middle. Apparently, the Navy requires a pair of the right prescription, so as mine had varied, I needed a new set. I'm fairly pleased about the new pair anyway because, for a long time I've wanted a 2nd pair that I could leave at the office - which is the only time I really use them, the other is reading or watching TV and even then I don't really need them but they make my life easier. Sometimes I realise on the train station platform that they are still at home and I just go to work anyway but If I knew I had a pair at work that'd be cool.

Now, I needed to pass a medical screening, which I passed, however, surprisingly my eye test results were outside the acceptable range in the right eye - my aiming eye. So I failed that. The call with a triage nurse was to go over the medical questionnaire I sent in ironically that was what I was worried about and I passed that element fine. Though from what I've heard, it's unlikely that l'd pass that either because as it seems that by default they set you as TMU (temporarily medically unfit) while you go and do and do some more checks to satisfy any reservations they have about your application. Basically, if you've had any sickness or issue they'll make you TMU until you go and prove to them that you are no longer susceptible to whatever you had in the past, ie. go a do some more tests, then on receipt of that, you'll have pleased them that you will be passed fit. So I'm not hopeful that I'll pass the first time but I'll be honest and that is all I can do. I'll probably have to go to the doctor again to get something or have some or another test. Just stuff to do, nothing I can do about it. If that goes well (which it won't) then I'll need to go an run on a treadmill and not pass-out and then if that goes well I'll need to go to a pre-joining fitness camp for four days. If that goes well and I pass that assessment, then I'll start my training. So there is a lot to do and a lot that can go wrong.

So it didn't go to plan. My right eye is just too bad. Funnily enough, I only failed by 1 point. 

I'm looking forward to the start of my 2 Msc modules starting in Oct 9/10 which kick-starts me off with a module in Software Engineering and Continuing Professional development in practice as I mentioned in Running, Coffee, Chocolate and Pizza

I've also started my winter training routine which has proved that it's much better exercising more often than in bits and pieces - which is basically my what my summer routine is. With my summer routine, I'd swap morning sessions with evenings and while it was convenient, it's not as useful as going twice in the morning. I'm in fact very lucky to be able to have my morning routine back though it does mean I'm getting up at 04:30 - I've always enjoyed it in the winter mornings so that's just great. I need to incorporate more cardio and physical training in preparation for the navy anyway so its coincides also.  My routine now is something like what it was in Training planning.

The distinction between the two is that in winter I do 2 sessions in the morning also run back from the gym and in the summer I don't run back and I only do one, so it's a bit lazier. 

I've also restarted my Saturday morning 7 am a session at David Lloyds, which has given me about 2-3 hours of my day back as I'm finished by 10 am. In summer I was starting at 10:30!

I restocked my carb rations yesterday so I'll be able to do these dual morning sessions. Also yesterday I had a great back workout which coincides(lots of coinciding happening) with a pre-workout hydration of 500ml of electrolyte which might be a useful strategy moving forward. Reminds me, perhaps I need to get more today.

I've also found that smaller bouts of running are more useful to me, so instead of doing one of my long runs during the week, I've swapped one for 2 or three smaller ones. My favourite one is this one at the moment:


We've got a new guy who started at the office recently who is also a runner, so perhaps I'll have some company, not that I need it as I'm a very happy solo runner I find. This route is quite fun, it goes to the very northernmost point of Regent's canal, any more north and I'll have to get in it to continue further!

I've been also continuing to work on my personal project around investing, specifically tracking investments. Recently I've exposed which of each custom type (or property if you will) is being used in the system because for a long time I couldn't see without going into each investment which properties they were using.

This was a problem when trying to delete a property only to be told it's being used...but where? Hence that piece of work.

I also improved session management using this useful link around storing yourJWT session token in local storage or a cookie: http://jasonwatmore.com/post/2018/05/23/angular-6-jwt-authentication-example-tutorial.

Yesterday I spent most of the day reading up on the Navy as I've got an interview in 2 months time and I'll need to show that I've taken the time to read into their comings and goings. One day after work, I pulled into my local WHS Smiths and saw a Navy News for £3.50, so I bought it and I started reading it on the train.

I've also been reading the Laurel and Globe magazine which I got after my NSRT. I've been making some progress but there is a lot of stuff work out, not to mention the slang. I've basically annotated the socks of that mag. Who knows this might pay off and it is actually quite interesting.

At work, I'm still working on porting a customer's financial WCF API to another and it's a full-time job but it's interesting as I've got to make up ways to make my life easier and as the old proverb goes: necessity is the mother of invention.

So far I've come up with a few cool mechanisms including a generic re-try mechanism, an integration framework to test my migration efforts. Not inventions by any means but creativity is stimulating.

With regards to my options re: eye test results, perhaps I'll go for a 2nd opinion though I'll wait for an official reply from the AFCO as they need to liaise with the triage nurse.  Perhaps, I was never destined to be a sharp-shooter!

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