My son dropped my iPad, and of course, it fell on the screen. Luckily, it can be fixed, not by me, I don’t mind working on my PC or laptop, but this is too finicky for me so I outsourced it to an experienced repair shop in the neighbouring village.

The little guy was suitably contrite and has promised to look out better from now on, so the pedagogical part of this problem has been addressed too.

The only thing left is the actual repair, I will drop the device off after Christmas and hope to get it back within a few days. I use it to read magazines, journal articles and to write in my own journal. It also serves as my Todoist hub when I am working. I feel a bit weird without this part of my setup around.


Currently Reading: Asimov’s Foundation

Despite being a huge fan of science fiction I never got around to reading Asimov. I knew the name, of course. And I heard of the 3 Laws of Robotics. I even saw I, Robot.

But I never actually read any of his work. Until now. A week or so ago I started with the first book in the foundation series, triggered by the Apple TV Series foundation that is (loosely) based on the books. I have worked my way to the third book in the series and find it hard to put them down.

Not because of the gripping action, the suspense or the drama, but because they are so different from what I have been reading in the genre. Action is replaced by dialogue, arguments, inaction, and most of all, ideas!

Big and small ideas, about society, how to run it and the role of rulers and those ruled in a society. While not all of those ideas have survived the 80+ years since the first books in the series were written, they make me think. And it has been a while since a sci-fi novel has managed to do that.

I found an interesting thread on Reddit on sci-fi books about ideas and will not lack reading material in the foreseeable future.


So Weird: My own name in print.

My last name is not very special, last time a kind of census was held, 554 people with my last name were counted in the Netherlands. Yet I see it a lot in print, on tv or online. And all that is due to one man, Hubert Bruls, mayor of Nijmegen. In that capacity, he is the chairman of the safety council formed by a group of mayors, a council that supports the national government in an advisory capacity.

I see my own name everywhere, attributing opinions and quotes to me that I have never made. Even now we have been dealing with Covid for so long, it is still a weird feeling seeing this. I hope covid is gone before I get used to it.

I am curious if this is just as weird if you have a rather bland and much used name like Smith or the Dutch equivalent, Smeets.


Yet Another Lockdown?

With Christmas rapidly approaching it almost seems traditional that our government starts to contemplate a full lockdown. That is at least the advice that seems to be given by the Dutch Outbreak Management Team.

It is quite sure now that every measure leaks before the press conference announcing it is held, and this seems no exception. Primary schools close a week early and non-essential stores will close. All to halt the omicron variant of Covid-19 in its tracks.

I am no virologist, so nothing from me about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of the measures that are taken. Only a lament for my kids who now will miss their school Christmas dinner. I hope this will be over soon.


Coffee or Tea?

I preferred coffee for most of my life, but my experiences with coffee in the evening mostly lead to me not sleeping at all, or sleeping very badly.

So I am experimenting with some herbal tea mixtures to sleep better and still enjoy a hot drink at night. I did think about hot chocolate, but that has other disadvantages like huge amounts of sugar. I am very curious to see if this latest self improvement project will bear fruit soon.


My Games can now be played!

Well, one game, or actually a prototype. I started to play around with Construct 3 and decided to add all the prototypes I make to my site. The main reason for that is that I believe that I learn best in transparency and that I think that I will improve quicker if people can actually see what I make.

Find the list here.


Newsletter Issue: Tidbits by Tim #1

This is the first ever edition of my Tidbits by Tim Newsletter. I am in the habit of sending people links with interesting stuff and have decided to make that a bit more efficient. Hence this newsletter.

In this very first issue you will find:


💸A Budget Tool

🍺Something about homebrewing beer.



Cory Doctorow is probably one of my favourite writers. He writes fun novels that tackle issues around technology. He writes a yearly list of books he reviewed, that I higly recommend reading. It’s a mix of fiction and none-fiction and contains a lot of interesting reading material.

All the books I reviewed in 2021. Plus one I published! | by Cory Doctorow | Dec, 2021 | Medium
All the books I reviewed in 2021. Plus one I published! | by Cory Doctorow | Dec, 2021 |
This is more-or-less my last blogging day of 2021 (I may sneak a post or two in before the New Year, but I might not), so it’s time for my annual roundup of my book reviews from the year gone by…



I have been looking for an interesting tool to budget my money for a while. Lunch Money is the first I really connected with, as in it being fun to use. I will dive into it a bit more and review it on the blog in a few days.

Lunch Money | Delightfully simple personal finance & budgeting
Lunch Money | Delightfully simple personal finance &
Lunch Money is a budgeting app with multi currency & cryptocurrency support for the modern day spender. Meet your biggest cheerleader in personal finances!



I have been brewing my own beer for about a year now. It is a lot of fun and I have been very happy with the results so far. If you want to try it without the investment in equipment, try the upcoming game Brewmaster. It has all the fun of brewing, minus the beer and the hangover.

Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator on Steam
Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator on
Brew your perfect beer in this relaxing home brewing sim. Use a realistic chemistry simulation to brew hoppy IPAs to creamy stouts. Customise your brewing space, create recipes and label your beer, unlock new equipment and enter competitions. Learn to brew, refine your craft and become a Brewmaster!


Thanks for reading. Write back if you enjoyed it, I really want to learn about making newsletters and that is easier with feedback. See you next week.

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AI & Health

My day job involves thinking about and researching the way IT and healthcare can be combined. Within that field, AI is an interesting tool where we see a lot of development lately.

A very recent development is the news about AI being used in South-Korea to fight COVID-19.

While this article mainly focuses on the positive, there are others that look less favourably at the way this is progressing. I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. As a security officer for my employer, focussing on information security in our healthcare organisation, I am inclined to view developments like this with healthy scepticism. However, I can’t deny that AI can be very helpful to quickly look through enormous amounts of data (which in its essence is what is being done here).

I don’t claim to have all the answers, I will follow this with a lot of interest, both personally and professionally and hope to see results from this experiment in the near future.


Another Tool Gone

I love interesting little tools that do one thing well. But not when it comes to note-taking. I have set my sights on one app that lets me store all my notes on whatever subject. Code snippets, notes on books I read, recipes, everything.

For many things, Obsidian has been my go-to app for the past 6 months. Easy to use, locally stored, syncs beautifully with all my devices. But a pain when it comes to storing recipes in a format that is easily used when cooking.

No more! Today’s Obsidian Roundup (highly recommended newsletter!) mentioned that the CookLang plugin for Obsidian is now available.

CookLang is a markup language for recipes. I am going to play around with this a bit and will be retiring Paprika Recipe manager soon for something that is easier and stores my information in a non-proprietary way.


Currently Reading is back!

In February 2019 I wrote a short update about me being busy trying to track as much as possible in my life. Part of that was the update to the blog I announced back then. Nothing fancy, just a small Goodreads widget that shows the books I am currently reading. It disappeared about a year later due to some issues with the plugin. I now found a different plugin so the widget is back in the sidebar.

Now I just need to eliminate the need to manually update my Goodreads. My Kobo reader doesn’t do that automatically, so I need to find a workaround.