Hi, I’m Sam

This is my blog. I also have a website thing.

Thirty-One

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Today, I’m 31 years old. Crazy.

That seems like such an old age. I remember thinking when I was 22 that I better get everything done by the time I’m 30 since my career or whatever will be over then. Hah, such a kid.

Last year, I wrote this:

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Home Assistant, Sonos, and Siri

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Lately, I’ve really been getting into Home Assistant. It’s a really fantastic way to connect everything in your house into one place and then control it however you want. I connect everything directly to Home Assistant and then add Home Assistant to HomeKit (Apple’s Home app). So HomeKit is just controlling Home Assistant which is controlling the real devices.

I plan to do a getting started with Home Assistant post at some point. For now, I just want to go over controlling Sonos with Siri. (I specifically want to play Apple Music on Sonos via Siri. Apparently you can do this with Alexa, but I want to use Siri.)

The key to using Siri to control things in Home Assistant that aren’t supported in HomeKit is the Shortcuts app. Since things you add here are accessible from Siri, you can create shortcuts for things you want to do and then ask Siri to do them for you.

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Quickly Opening Projects in Xcode

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I’ve used a little utility called x for several years now. Simply running x in a directory will open the directory in Xcode. Here’s an example:

$ cd my_project
$ x

Now the project is open in Xcode. So quick!

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Diving in Cozumel

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Last week, I went diving in Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Cancun. This is the fourth year I’ve gone diving here. It’s one of my favorite places to dive because it’s relatively easy to travel to (versus something like Little Cayman) and has incredible wildlife. The water was 87°F with ~60ft of visibility. Incredible.

I think I’m starting to figure out my underwater camera setup. I’m really pleased with some of these photos. You’re probably here for the photos, so let’s get straight to that. More about the gear at the bottom of the post.

Update: My dive buddy (and brother-in-law), Chris Sohl, shot a really great video of the trip. I’m the one with the big camera.

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Taking a Break

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A few weeks ago, I took three weeks off. I’m really fortunate that I had the flexibility and opportunity to do this. Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and burnt out at work. I really wanted a break.

I planned to do a 165 mile hike around Lake Tahoe but ended up only doing 40 miles there and then about 40 miles in Joshua Tree. (Check out those links for some photos.) Before leaving, I changed all of my work passwords and locked my work computer in my desk at work. While I was out, I couldn’t access my work accounts even if I wanted to. I forced myself to disconnect.

At first, this was really difficult. I thought about work often on my first few days of my hike. It was mostly bitter and frustrated thoughts. Each day, I thought about it less and less. Instead I started focused on the beautiful scenery and just enjoying the nature around me.

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