I’m returning back to something I read a bit ago from Matt Webb about getting back into a habit for blogging again. Matt’s posting about 15 rules for blogging, and my current streak is one that really struck home as I’m trying to get back to a regular writing habit, here and elsewhere. Matt’s idea for one idea per post is the old school way of knocking out quick short notes on one topic for reference for one’s self, but also sharing out for others by default. The weeknote model runs a bit counter to this, but trying to get back to a habit of capturing things and trying to get to a schedule helps get things moving again. Matt’s post is more than worth your time.
The week was heavily focussed on the work front as trying doing work that could really benefit from a good innovation space with large whiteboard and to include teammates to think and work through the flows and integrated systems. I’ve been working through a solutions to a gap that makes some easy solutions not viable due to compliance and needing to craft for a large enterprise and the constraints and diversity of needs. The start to the solution came about about 3 weeks ago and trying to work through a solution for one piece of it that would remove a lot of manual work that has a lot of opportunity for error as it scales and scope increases. Getting he foundations right is key, but I think we will have a good solution. Working through permeations of scenarios and modifications coming from vendors was a good chunk of working with large logic puzzles, but the foundation should be good. Now to work on workflows and interactions for it, or at least the first step and a solid system of record for these. I love this type of work, but it is much more sane with a good sized room, large whiteboard and stickynotes, and a few others to work through permeations and potential missing manhole covers that are created when the goal is seeing them and resolving them.
Early voting starts this week and trying to sort out when I can fit that in. While today (Sunday) was eerily quiet, which could be the cold snap or Covid cases spiking at its worst everywhere around the U.S. and people playing safe, I don’t expect that quiet to last for the week.
A really quiet week on the reading front. I have some things to read this next week for a quick review that I am really looking forward to.
I sort of stumbled onto starting the Finnish crime drama, Deadwind that is on Netflix. I have only watched one episode, but I think I will stick with it. I thought it was a different series, but it has me interested.
One of the things that had me intrigued is not so much the show, but it is in Finnish. I haven’t listened to a lot of Finnish as an adult and its spoken and linguistic patterns are well outside of any language I have a passing understanding of. I was reading the closed captions and trying to pull out some words that could work as way in, but that was tough. I also realized I really liked the cinematography and focussing on closed captions and thinking about language structure was a bit in the way of what had drawn me in.
Over the past year I’ve become a fan of Rick Beato’s YouTube channel and I stumbled onto his break down of Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes in the episode What Makes This Song Great? Ep.27 Peter Gabriel. There is so much more to this song and with Rick had taken another 30 minutes to dig into that.
I’ve been using Obsidian more and a release that should hit those with early access and allowing block addressability really looks good. I’m finding with what Obsidian offers I’m able to really get a lot of crosswalks between ideas, sources, authors / creators, and structures that I just didn’t have access to before. Already it feels a bit like I have a James Burke long transfer system in the works that is part of the structure of his Connections series.
Marked as :: Blog :: Enterprise :: Entertainment :: Information Application Development :: Information Architecture :: Music :: Productivity :: Television :: Weeknote :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Weeknote - 25 October 2020 ]
Okay, that week was the prior week’s weeknote. Now I’m trying to capture two weeks in one. The prior week was rather busy and the weekend full too.
The morning coffee walk, this week turned a bit wet and chilly. I may need to change from wearing shorts for my this trek to get me out my door and a bit of exercise to start the day. Seasons and other temporal changes of worldly transitions have really flown past this year with little acknowledgement. The trees are just starting to turn in their autumnal color pageant, but it seems like they were just bare and bright green sprouts coming out.
I got a note this week from my webhost, which had been bought quite a while ago by GoDaddy and they finally said they are transitioning and my host is going away. I know a lot of people who work at GoDaddy and the leadership and inhumane leadership problems are gone. But, they are planning on moving from a hosting plan and platform I love that fits what I want to keep going (this site) and some small experimental spaces playing with Python, NodeJS small services, and a little Ruby and moving to a service that really isn’t clear about what it does, nor what it offers, nor pricing, nor service, and it is only based in the UK. With Brexit it is deeply unclear what is going on in the UK with regulation and anything and that is one of the last places I would want to have anything hosted.
So, some of my time will be focussed in the next couple or few weeks transitioning elsewhere. I think I know where, which is a hosting platform from former founders and employees of my current host. They have similar offerings, but I’m needing to sort out what these changes will entail for some of the custom pieces I have and dealing with email.
I was in the midst of starting to plan an upgrade to the underlying code of the site to bring it to a modern version of PHP. This is on hold until I get the site moved.
There wasn’t a lot of reading time this week. But, I sort of parked An Absolutely Remarkable Thing for now as the micro-fame discussions were something that was causing a lot of self reflection around similar. I picked up John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and just a few pages in I’m happy with the swap as John Green’s writing voice is one I find comfort in.
I’m also reading / skimming back through some Richard Feynman as some friends have stumbled on to it and has lead to interesting discussions. I read Six Easy Pieces around 2003 or so after writing the draft of Model of Attraction and as I fleshed it out and it turned into Complexity / Social Lenses there is a strong underpinning in physics through Feynman’s introduction, followed by discussions with good depth in physics and quantum underpinnings.
The Pete Souza documentary, The Way I See It about his time as White House photographer for Reagan and Obama. It was completely wonderful and a solid reminder of what a great leader does through understanding things deeply and supporting all others through leading with empathy.
Tigran Hamasyan is a musician I stumbled upon through a “what is this” explainer on YouTube, which lead to a mini deep dive. The two videos that had been deeply intrigued and really enjoying his music are IMPOSSIBLE Time Signature or 4/4? Tigran Hamasyan Explained and The Rhythms of Tigran Hamasyan on David Bruce’s channel, which I have enjoyed and stumbled on before. The cross over and different mental model using math transformations and mapping patterns through size relevance patterns that are adaptive is really intriguing.
I don’t understand why sole, particularly Dover or Petrale, is so hard to find on the East Coast. I swear they were pretty much a year round fish growing up on the West Coast. This week I stumbled on a decent sale on Dover Sole so made a quick fry in virgin olive oil and brown butter, with a dry coating of corn starch, rice crumbles, sea salt, and black pepper then finishing with lemon and quick fried capers and pickled capers. This was a good Sunday brunch to say the least.
In this transition from light too mid-term notes in NValt to Obsidian for better organization and cross-linking and an app that actually works (NValt stopped working spectacularly). One of the things I was peeved about was the tagging I had done in NValt. But, Brett Terpstra knows tagging well and tucked the tags in the user interface of NValt into the tag field in Apple’s file metadata. The one that I’m really wanting to get organized is my blogfodder tag, which is really rough drafts of posts, or collections of notes no a subject.
Marked as :: Books :: Digital Media :: Food :: Information Architecture :: Movies :: Music :: PIM / PKM :: Politics :: Productivity :: Web :: Weeknote :: v/d Wal Net Site Development :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Weeknote - 18 October 2020 ]
I have so many partially completed weeknotes sitting for the last many weeks. Some are partial efforts to combine two, then three weeks or even more. The Black Lives Matter need for focus from utterly disgusting lack of people’s care for other humans diverts my focus.
But, I’ve also been needing to do a slight update to get this site running on a slightly newer version of PHP. Yet, in the next few months I needing to do a slow drip conversion to a quite modern PHP. To me it is utterly amazing that this site is still running on code I started writing in 2000 and fully started using in 2001 (I ran it is a temporary travel blogging fill-in when all too often hotels wouldn’t connect with FTP that I used to push Blogger pieces into place for new blog posts). I have made some minor changes to the underlying code three or four times, but this is going to be a large change. I will likely just do a straight conversion of the underpinnings, but following that may finish some better navigation and then a redesign.
Work has shifted from 4 days a week back to 5 days and that shift put a damper on a couple small personal side projects.
Another thing I’m working on is turning some of my core pieces of my talks and workshops into 1 to 5 minute video explainers. I regularly chat with grad students that run into my work around folksonomy, but also many of the social complexity models and lenses. Some of these have helpful animations I use as explainers and get really strong praise from professors when they run across them. This will likely lead to writing them up as well.
The other piece the last few weeks I’ve been focussing on is reworking my note taking and organization model. I will get into this in more detail below in the Productivity section.
Reading took a bit of a back seat the past 6 weeks or so. I’be been reading two books in a slow meditative manner, due to the thinking and rethinking they are leading to. These two are The Map of Knowledge by Violet Moller and Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude Jr., which I’ve mention here before (I think, they may be in unfinished weeknotes I haven’t posted). My fun read, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, has turned into a slow meditative read, which is helping me realize why I stopped writing and sharing on the web as much, but also why I need to get back to it. The last of my concurrent reads is James Fallows and Deborah Fallows Our Towns: A 100,000-mile Journey into the Heart of America fits one of my favorite genres of exploring America though stopping and asking questions, but also listening deeply across America.
The Map of Knowledge runs quite counter to the poor assumption that the intellectuals of antiquity we know shared their knowledge and we have much of it. Well, we have very little of it. Much of it lost to lack of continual upkeep and continual recopying of works that was / is needed. The book looks at the old great libraries and how they disappeared and what happened to their collections.
A few years ago doing expert witness analysis I was amazed that much of the domain of canonical works about the internet, particularly around the Web 2.0 era, were gone from the web, they are also missing from the Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine. I have a decent chunk of them in my own collection as archived html and / or PDF tucked away and searchable in DevonThink. But, many of these are linked to from Wikipedia the sites that hosted them are gone to the digital winds. For a long time we thought of the Web as being the holding of all the thinking of mankind and having it all searchable and within easy reach (this also means the appalling thought of the fringes that get over amplified are there as well), yet this is far far from the case.
I have yet to discern if this loss of knowledge and really good thinking and understanding not being a new reality is comforting or not. A high school economics summer school class that introduced the “pure flow of information” leading to good decisions. Searching Google for “pure flow of information” my blog pops up a fair amount where I’m pointing to Nobel Prize for economists work around the internet and this, how to manage a vast flow of information, disillusionment with the lack of reality of the pure flow, and more. The thought I keep having, is along the lines of, “I thought we had so much more than we do”, then weighing true repositories like the Bodlian Library and the Library of Congress and their seemingly vast collections. The vacillating perspective of “we have only a tiny slice of what we have known” and “we have far more than any one person or collection of people can know” are a tension I’m very slowly learning to live with as a viable tension while still believing in the pure flow.
Like many, I’ve stumbled into and really been enjoying Ted Lasso which has been a really good cultural palate cleanser to the mess going on in the world who want to lead by hate and lies.
Through a Tidal recommendation I found Brian Bromberg’s album Bromberg Plays Hendrix, which is decently good, but Hey Joe really stuck out and I’m really enjoying it (particularly on Tidal and really wishing they had a Master (MQA) version of it).
My podcast listening slowed as I shifted my morning breakfast routine from a 15 minute making a black bean bowl (black beans, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, fresh turmeric, Canadian bacon, sometimes grape tomatoes (cooked so they are jammy), and with a farm fresh egg on top). The current is thick yoghurt and fresh fruit, sometimes with muesli on top and a perfect bar. I’ve also gone back to doing a coffee walk in the morning to fetch coffee (this ensures I get out for a decent walk at least once a day) rather than preferably making coffee at home. This shift from 15 minutes to under 5 minutes knocked out my usual podcast listening time.
I finally tried some gluten free baking. A peach and blueberry clafoutis was a good pleasure, but the gluten free Dutch baby went all sorts of wrong.
I’m about a third of the way through Ghosts of Tsushima and a bit stalled. This game is a really gem. It is utterly beautiful (yet insanely bloody, which is something I often steer clear of) with an open map, good game play, and a tiny bit educational and has lead to reading understanding feudal Japan and samurai culture. I am a big fan of Sucker Punch’s prior series, Infamous, and Ghosts expands on what I really like about their games.
The past few weeks I’ve been needing to find a different and improved method for my note taking method and workflow. I have long used NValt and it stopped working, but since it is just a front end for many (1,200+) markdown text files, I can use any markdown editor or text editor. But, what is missing is a loose wrapper around these short snippets of somethingness, collections of quotes, lists of interesting words with definitions, drafts for blog posts, other stubs of ideas (fiction and non-fiction), and also finished items I’ve started in NValt and then using small apps loosely joined method of doing things I use focussed writing tools for longer pieces that work with markdown files natively and can output to many other formats.
This exploration I pulled from here and posted it as its own piece (in very rough form) as Rebuilding My Note Taking and Management System and Model on Saturday.
Marked as :: Book Review :: Books :: Games :: Music :: PIM / PKM :: Productivity :: Television :: Weeknote :: Writing :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Weeknote - 04 October 2020 ]
The past many weeks I have been digging into a better note taking and management method, while also embracing what I have and my core underlying principles. A continual genre in YouTube I watch is around productivity, particularly around personal knowledge management methods and tools. A couple years back I ran into Zettelkasten Method, that comes from Niklas Luhmann, which focuses on his prolific reading and his card catalogue and related note taking system. Then a few months back I heard Jorge Arango’s interview with Beck Tench it drew Zettelkasten back into focus. The interview with Beck focussed on Tinderbox, which I love, but I also want mobile access to my notes from phone and tablet.
I have been using Notion a little bit, but my only use the last few months is as an interstitial capture for YouTube and some other rich media. [I like Notion and it seems like a modern take on Podio and has a similar downfall of not sorting out an adaptive data structure for interoperability and consistency.] But, the communities that are interested in Notion became obsessed with Roam Research, so I looked at Roam. Roam and Notion are two vastly different approaches, which can complement each other but in to way replace each other. But, each has a similar faults, no API, no standard export for structured information, and fully cloud based. That is too many common failure points wrapped into one product (Notion is working on and API, which is really good). Roam bugged me most because it relies on an outline format but has no clue about OPML exporting, but worse has no good export model. The cloud based, which requires being connected and online is a model I really don’t like as, particularly if their isn’t a local sync nor standard data format model. What I really like about Roam is its block focussed format, that is akin to purple numbers model of small chunks that are addressable and reusable.
In this time of looking what a next generation of quick note taking would look like, but long used tool, NValt failed spectacularly, in that it would not find my directory where my 1,200+ notes were stored, nor could I add new notes. Fortunately all of my notes are in plain markdown text files, so all I was missing was my tagging of the files in NValt (Brett Terpstra who created NValt has been working on a new tool that can replace NValt but has been taking forever to show up and my need became immediate). This is one of the common reasons for owning my own notes and having them locally and not using somebody else’s model and framework. But, also using the [small apps loosely joined] model where many tools pointing at well formatted / structured data / information can function to their best ability and can use their strengths without breaking anything with the information / data.
Seriously Looking at Note Taking and Management Tools
I started looking at about five or six different note taking tools. I was building out a rough attribute model of tools to help see what each offered or didn’t. I am needing to write this up, but it started with watching Mike and Matty’s, Notion vs Roam vs Obsidian vs Remnote - How to best fit note taking app for you and using their criteria as a base, then building on it. Obsidian and Remnote were already on my list, but also included Zettelnote, Zettlr, and a couple that extended Tidlywiki for a Zettelkasten type model. I also included OmniOutliner as that has been (and will be) my core outlining tool that interplays well with OPML and I can back and forth with good mind mapping tools that also output and import OPML data standard. I also included DevonThink Pro as it is my long used (since 2005) note and information storage and smart search tool (it already was indexing my notes directories) that there is no chance I’m going to give up, but also knew it didn’t have the core functionality I was seeking, wiki-style back linking.
I did a quick test or Roam and ruled it out as it broke rules I try not to break, and it broke many of them (biggest one is know now you are going to exit before you enter anything and a lack of any structure nor API made it a giant risk I’ve been burned by too many times, but the developers have a lot of arrogance about their approach that far too often leads to disasters - sometimes the kindest, smartest, and solid planning people end up with disasters that I feel very badly about but arrogance and ignorant I don’t).
Zettlr and Remnote were next. But the setup took a bit more of me managing and building things and I know when I lose focus those may not be best choices for myself (my past self 15 years ago or more would have loved it and done well with it, but those days are not now).
Obsidian Ticks the Right Boxes and Adapts to My Existing Model
Obsidian is where I put some time. I pointed its “Vault” to my notes directory (and sub-directory) where I had my 1,200 markdown notes already (some of them were .txt extensions, which I did bulk extension swap on) and it could read everything perfectly. One of my first tests was adding backlinks to some of my social lenses and social scaling notes, which worked really well by making related elements connected. I started capturing my notes about what I was doing in Obsidian and the ease of not only connecting things with backlinks, but having the ability to set empty node wiki links (many notes with the same link to a note / page that doesn’t exist yet, but have the same link to it) and then being able to use backlink following from that non-existent notes link list of things pointing to it was insanely valuable.
I have quite a few book list and book note pages already and I started linking them and linking authors and making author pages. I also found I was wanting note page templates for simple book pages in a Zettelkasten model, a book notes template, author / creator template, and a few others. I created these from existing structured notes I’ve used for years and put the outlines in TextExpander using a simple input line or two to label all of the headers with author name or other name.
I started typing out my notes and highlights from books I’ve read and annotated over the years and after the first three or so books I was deeply hooked.
The Use Where Obsidian Showed I was Hooked
Where I knew I was sold was this last weekend I went back to one of Matt Webb’s blog posts on Small Groups that is dense and has links out to great resources. I captured my initial notes on Matt’s post, and annotated relating to his sections. But, I also quickly dug through the linked materials and created and filled out structured note pages for those as well. The James Mullholland post on Small Groups was fantastic and it spidered out to more related resources, so I followed those and took notes. All of this was cross-linked and back-linked and fleshed out small group notes that I have been building as part of social scaling I’ve been writing on and presenting (talks and workshops) for years. The small group size they focus on is roughly team size, but not a team. Both of these are cooperative social models, which scale from teams, groups (small to large groups with similar social interaction models, but the dynamics shift quite a bit around 75 people and break fully about 300 to 500 people), community (everybody inside a firewall or inside an walled off construct), and network (inside and outside a firewall - so for business it is customers, contractors, consultants, vendors, etc. where there needs to be a safe model for sharing information with shared goals as different roles with their purpose come together for back and forth exchange) - more can be found in my related write-up 5 Core Insights for Community Platforms Today.
This note taking and contextualizing and cross linking to rip through and gut a series of related and interrelated pieces has been something I’ve long looked for and wanted. Many dog years ago in college I took reading notes on note cards with citations and context. When writing a paper / essay I would assemble the note cards in an order that could tell a story. Then I would build an outline in WordStar and type in the quotes. Then I would write the narrative and wrapper. Obsidian is starting to get at that, but ripping through a resource to pull out highlights, quotes, annotations, and notes is utterly fantastic. It gives me a solid resource to easily pull together ideas and supporting information.
Other Obsidian Capabilities
Obsidian can show two note pages at once so to easily copy book citation information from the structured book note file into the book note page. The multiple notes in panels also works well for copying quotes to quote pages and cross linking.
Using Obsidian and Still Working from Mobile and Tablet
The mobile use essential had been broken for a bit after Dropbox stopped supporting softlinks in Mac and requiring that to be native in Dropbox and doing the softlink from the Mac to Dropbox. I moved the directory to Dropbox, which leaves a copy locally usable should something happen to Dropbox and added a softlink for local backups. I pointed DevonThink to this directory to index and I was back running. Now I can use Drafts to take a quick note from my iOS devices and push it to the notes directory (later go back and fix the file name) and I have good inbound notes and can use backlinks (which I test later). This method also works for share sheet to Drafts from Overcast or YouTube and having the link to the media and the notes all pulled in.
Happiness with notes has been missing for a while, perhaps happiness has returned.
Marked as :: Collaboration :: Contextual Design :: Folksonomy :: InfoCloud :: Information Aggregation :: Information Architecture :: Knowledge Management :: PIM / PKM :: Personal :: Productivity :: Reference :: Research :: Resource :: Social Software :: Software :: Technology :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Rebuilding My Note Taking and Management System and Model ]
The weeknotes have been, well, weekly since George Floyd was murdered. As that sunk in it took a lot of focus away from this restarting writing and sharing and put it to reading, supporting, and talking to others. I was utterly gutted, mostly because I felt like I looked away and had been feeling things had improved over the decades. But, I was somewhat blind to much of the issues I grew up in a Sesame Street world where everybody gets along and learns about each other, their background, and the wonders they bring to this world.
Much of this disappeared for me after high school as I ran an errand with a friend who I had just met in one of my courses. We went to get a couple tires from his car and went into a tire store in Stockton, California. There were people in there working and my friend and I were the only two customers in the store, but nobody was stopping to help. I finally said across the counter, “excuse me…” and it was like throwing a match on gasoline as the n-word started flying and one of the guys grabbed a tire iron and slammed it against the side of one of the large metal shelves and walked off. I just wanted to leave as it seemed like it was going to be more than nasty words thrown around. My friend said, “No, it is fine”. I really had trouble comprehending that. A couple minutes later a big sheepish guy walked up to the other side of the counter and apologized quietly and asked my friend what he needed. Tire sizes were shared and a couple minutes of walking away from counter and away from where the commotion had come from. When he returned he said they didn’t have that size, but they would have it in stock in a week. We left checking all around us in the mid-afternoon light.
This was the mid 1980s and the anti-apartheid movement and awareness was in full swing. Joining causes, writing letters, and going to concerts with an awareness focus was common. Our church was housing the Anglican Bishop of Namibia and some of his Deacons around this time. I enjoyed talking with two of the Deacons that were staying with my parents and I. They talked about the South African soldiers beating parishioners and the priests to drag them out of their church. They had dents on their upper arms where bones had been broken and one of them a good dent in his head from the butt of a gun. I said I would really like to come and help, but I felt my skin was the wrong color to do any good. They stopped and grew more calm and looked at me in the eyes. One gently took my wrist and turned it over and pointed to the veins and said, “You know the blood in your veins is the same color as the blood in our veins. We are all the same color on the inside. What really matters is what is in your heart.” That really stuck with me, as did their stories. I didn’t go to Namibia, but I did read everything I could about Africa after that.
In the late 80s I took my last semester of undergrad in Oxford and spent time in Lyon, France, and traveling a little. I read a lot of the broadsheet papers and Namibia was in the news in English papers as well as other African countries. But, one of the things that stood out was how people of color were treated around Oxford and France. It was quite different from than in the US. That difference stood out. Talking with other Americans of color whom I knew or got into conversations with on coaches or trains, I brought up the question of what they found. The difference in their perception was things were much more open and equal (this is far from everywhere in Europe), but the differences then was a sense of freedom to be who they were, more so than they felt in the United States.
When I finally got back to the US so I could go through graduation (I could have stayed and rowed in Oxford and travelled with the college boat I had an offer to stay for Trinity term and row with and I could have stayed and travelled with my friend in Lyon). When I left the US in the prior December to head to Europe I was expecting to have culture shock in Europe, but I didn’t experience much and I deeply enjoyed it. It was an amazing experience. Returning to the US I had massive culture shock, which I wasn’t expecting and it shook me. My perception of life and lives of others, the news, the size of cars (as well as needing a car to get around), and the lack of fresh produce and fresh bread within an easy walk. But, watching news on tv the racial tone of the news was something I had completely not seen before I left. It was really clear watching news of a conflict in Virginia Beach between young (mostly black) beach goers and police and CNN (in 1988) was framing those of color as the problem. It was something I hadn’t seen or noticed until being away and returning.
Somewhere over that summer I stumbled onto an interview and focus on James Baldwin and he was echoing a lot of what I was seeing and feeling as a difference between Europe and the US. On a trip to Berkeley I went to one of my favorite bookstores and picked up a couple paperbacks of Baldwin’s works and started reading. Having somebody else writing about things I was seeing and feeling, which I didn’t think I knew others around me I could talk about was comforting. Baldwin also wrote about other issues I didn’t have experience with, but it opened my eyes to things others dealt with. What I got with Baldwin was an understanding of America, Europe, personal freedom, equality, and living in one’s own skin. I no longer remember the essays nor which books (I still have them, but I picked up one or two more that I didn’t put time into and memories of them ran together).
As Black Live Matter marches and protests were fully under way I found I was thinking of Baldwin a lot. I picked up Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.’s Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its urgent lessons for our own and have been reading it slowly. Reading bits and letting it sink in. It has been good.
The Year of Covid–19 it has been difficult to keep up with friends around my son’s basketball, which feel a lot like a home and family. My son is missing his team and coaches and the common goal of the team.
The next weeknotes I will fill in some of the past few weeks of other things I’ve been reading, watching, listing to, and more. There have been some good sparks that have me excited, entertained, and exploring again.
Marked as :: Personal :: Weeknote :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Week Note 6 - 9 August 2020 ]
This started (and was on time for) the week before Memorial Day for release that weekend, but it didn’t ship. The life diversion beasts seam to have come in the way.
This was the first week that furlough Friday came into effect, so have essentially an “4 day week of 8 hour days”, as if workdays are that short. So I’ve gone from a week of: Monday followed by three Tuesdays and then a Friday; to Monday followed by two Tuesdays and a Friday (on a calendar stated Thursday), which this being now a 4 day weekend a 3 Saturday and one Sunday (on a calendar stated Monday) weekend. The shortened week turned into a week with some of the longest days I’ve had for a while with a 14 hour day Monday, a 12 of Tuesday (the real Tuesday, or the first of them if thinking in Covid week time) that I initially thought was 9 hours, 10 hour Wednesday (second Tuesday, for those playing in Covid time at home), and 9 hour Thursday (well Friday in Covid adjusted time, or as others call them all, “Blursday”).
I’ve been trying to sort out if I was going to work a bit on the long weekend, start digging back on reading, tackle some of my long put off personal tech such as converting this website back to https or some other digging into updating some of my productivity practices.
Since this a double week edition (edition? Heh, well I just hit the “post” button (or whatever I’ve clicked since 2001 when I rebuilt this)).
This second week had me baffled with what day it was and the hyper rhythm of the week prior was mired in a sludge of timing being off. But, on the work front a lot of positive movement happened, which was really good. We are about a third of the way through what I’m working on and the next chunk over the next few months will be one of the more challenging from the perspective of pulling it all together. Getting the next piece right and worked through the foundations properly will set up whether it has long term success.
A lot of the work is talking the complicated and complex and making it more simple to understand and using that as a foundation to bring more people along, but also get the tough decisions understood and in front of the right people with their understanding to bring their expertise and needed framing from their domain. The downside (always) of making things more simple is having people believe it is that simple, but not grasping the complications and complexity under that need attending to properly.
On the personal side this week had me utterly stumped and hurt with injustice of George Floyd’s death. These hurt. They hurt deep down to the fabric of the core that stems for basic humanity. During the week I pushed it aside, but this weekend as work wound down on Friday it really sunk in.
Students are failing AP tests because the College Board can’t handle iPhone photos is an example of an organization failing to do the basic tests and fixing problems, but then failing more with their response.
Microsoft’s New Fluid Office Document Is Google Docs on Steroids is something I’m keeping an eye on.
A New York Times piece about what is on bookshelves behind people as they are interviewed on tv. It is about one book, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York” by Robert Caro. The piece is really good and dives into why it is behind so many people and the meta value of it in view.
Another piece in the New York Times pulled me in, Brooklyn, Before It Was a Global Brand: Walk Its History. It is a wonderful pieces (on the long side for some) that gives the history and and background of common areas. The last year or so I’ve been going up to Brooklyn to work and been really fascinated by it and this fills in some of the background I’ve been hoping to track down one day. One of my friends has done that for me, when I’ve caught up with him in Brooklyn across the years.
A few weeks ago I was in a discussion with folks in one of the back channels about the economics of the new food delivery services. I repeatedly hear from shop owners and restauranteurs that they often are losing money on each delivery. I brought this up, partly because I hadn’t had / found the time to dig into what this means. But one of the folks in the group shared this gem by Rajan Roy in Margins, Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage. This hit on target on so many different levels and now I’m wanting to dig even deeper.
Along the lines of the above, the Washington Post picked up on this in their piece Restaurants are barely surviving. Delivery apps will kill them..
I my “to read” stack got another addition with [Stephen P. Anderson and Karl Fast’s book Figure It Out: Getting from Information to Understanding)[https://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/figure-it-out/] ariving. Two favorite people and minds I miss and haven’t run across in person for far too long. This is a book I’ve been waiting on for quite sometime. From my perspective this may be the conversations I’ve been missing with them.
About a decade or more ago I was talking with a friend about a book of his that was coming out that had a quote / quip or two of mine in it and saying I was really looking forward to his book. His comment to me about his book was, “This book isn’t for you, as you know everything in it already. But, I would hope it is worthy of you blessing and sharing with others.” This brought clarity to many books I have, as they are about the conversations and deep dives with many of the authors over the years. But, a good chunk of the books I pick-up are to dig deeper and push at the edges of the domains I read in and work to understand so to find unknown areas to dig.
I stumbled into a custom Tidal playlist that was triggered by Danny Wilson’s “Mary’s Prayer” and includes Prefab Sprout, The Style Council, Propaganda, Haircut 100, Wang Chung, Blue Nile and so much more. The night I listened to this was a quite rainy evening and I had the balcony doors open and could hear the occasional car sloshing by and it took me right back to the mid to late 80s in England and France listening to this music on walkman or radio over sloshing car noises. So many memories tied up into all of this, it was wonderful.
The Verge podcast seems to be running interview podcasts along with their weekly Vergecast. This week was Nilay Patel’s interview / chat with Stewart Butterfield on The Vergecast. Stewart is one of those people I miss talking with and interacting with. Stewart doesn’t approach things like most others, but there are similarities with a handful of others I also miss that we all regularly interacted, but we each went our own directions and got absorbed there.
Leading up to the long weekend there really wasn’t much play as the work front had sets of issues that needed sorting and digging. The long weekend didn’t provide as much play as I thought it may (nor as much reading) but a bit of MLB the Show and Death Stranding was played on Monday.
I’m deeply realizing I need to get outside more for walks, hikes, and perhaps finally get my bike out of storage.
The past month or two I’ve been trying to sort out the value of Roam, which many productivity types around YouTube and blogs have been discussing and raving about, but it negatively hits some of my must have for note taking and organization. Roam is outline focussed, but can go long, but to keep track of nested hierarchy it has grey dashed lines to show / hint at the nested layers, but I find it quite distracting. My favorite outlining tool is OmniGroup’s OmniGraffle which handles this far more elegantly and keeps the focus. The other is its export offering which lacks OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language). Yep, an outlining tool that doesn’t use OPML as an import nor export offering is utterly bizarre. There are many insanely good reasons to use OPML for outlines and a means to transfer or integrate with workflows, but the top one for me is keeping the nested hierarchies. Roam currently is an island that doesn’t interconnect well with other productivity services and doesn’t work well in outline centric or tangential workflows. Roam’s biggest advantage is the internal linking
I have somewhat similar feeling for similar reasons for Notion, which I use a little bit, but keep from working in it heavily due to import, exports, and integrations.
Marked as :: Books :: Productivity :: Weeknote :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Week Note 5 - 24 May & 31 May 2020 ]
Another really busy work week where I set work aside for a few hours then back at it, which means reading and other things were down a bit. It is the last full (5 day) work week (not that work stops at 8 hours or 5 days) until September. Deeply fortunate and grateful for the work and challenges on that front, which are things I find deeply fun and get my brain lighting up. I’ve been joking that I’ve been trying to sort out 6 day work week with 3 day weekends or 7 days workweek and 4 day weekend.
Where I am in Maryland, the county is still shut, which I’m mostly fine with. Quick trips to the store aren’t going to change from the hour to 90 minutes back to 15 to 25 treks they were. I am looking forward to getting back to my favorite bookstores and having a couple favorite restaurants open back up in some form.
Some pre-ordered books and books ordered a while back from local bookstores arrived this week. I’m trying to sort out what follows Agency as my fiction read, but likely going to be finishing Charlie Stross’ Empire Games. I know have Chris Pavone’s The Paris Diversion at hand, which likely could be a good romp of a read.
The long awaited Steven Johnson Enemy of All Mankind arrived and I haven’t had even a preliminary scan of it yet. Robert Reich’s The Common Good also arrived after a good wait. I’m thinking extra weekend day (if I use it that way in coming weeks) could be good to get some reading done.
Early in the week I stumbled onto Coast Modern on Amazon Prime, which is about modern design on the Pacific Coast. Some of the architecture reminded me of homes around Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles that intrigued me when I was a kid. The modern and cutting edge design had shifted into some of the more mainstream vernacular by the time I was a kid and evoked a lot of memories and had me realize some of the seeds for domestic design that feels “normal to me”.
I rented Little Women and finally watched it this weekend. I was really impressed with most everything about the production. I had never read Little Women, nor seen it on screen or stage before. But, a lot of friends have long used the characters as short hand when discussing others. The characters now have resonance, but also set in a really wonderfully filmed movie.
This weekend we finally watched Prince George’s County: In the Water on Showtime on Showtime and have been waiting for this for months. There is a lot of lore and solid history with PG County basketball. Walking into a lot of the gyms and rec centers the trophies and familiar names are impressive, but so is the coaching and the level of play. If you want to know if you can ball as a teen on up, that is a good place to learn that and learn to play well in and against a broad array of styles of offenses and defenses.
Yet another Postlight gem! One of the few must listens each week for me is Track Changes with Paul Ford and Rich Ziade, I though last week I missed and it drifted into this week. tk!
It was great to have Exponents pop-up in my podcast feeds this week and be a good listen for a Friday evening wind down and dinner prep.
My morning routine has been shifted a bit as with the Covid lockdowns my coffee walk in the morning hasn’t been something I can do, before the work day starts. The coffee places are now back open for pick-up, but starting too late to get my work day going. I have been going with Ceremony, which is my favorite brew at home option, particularly Thesis. I’ve picked up beans on sale and a local grocery is back stocking it again, so I’m not doing the delivery route.
I’ve been sticking with my breakfast, which started a couple years ago as heuevos verde, with corn tortilla, black bean refried, then then brown garlic and add fresh spinach and a pinch of salt to cook down, then top with sunny side up covered eggs, and top with salsa verde. That morphed into making my own black bean smash. To now it is a black beans cooked in a Canadian bacon (loin, not reconstituted pork bits), garlic, mushrooms (shiitake or brown button), fresh garlic, and grate in fresh turmeric. Then add some large spoonfuls of canned (not drained and unsalted) black beans to cook down and put in a bowl. Then sunny side up covered runny egg on top. In about 10 minutes it is great comfort that with coffee will get me into afternoon just fine.
My usual routine was get up, check late night messages and email, grab coffee and eat, and map out the day while colleagues are driving to work. Now they don’t have a commute and that planning time on paper or in an app has drifted to the winds a bit.
My scratch paper sort of has some framing and occasionally I get to my journal to map a FGL for the day: Something to Focus on; Something Grateful for; and something to Let go of. Then right out a few things that need to get done. Then check it a few times a day. This week I realized I’m only getting to that once a week at best these days.
The days and weeks shift focus and priority, but longer work goals remain, as well as some of the longer priorities that will take effort over a long stretch to make a lot of things run much more smoothly.
One of the great things about working in tech and optimizing toolsets and patterns, is things change rapidly. What was a really good practice 12 months back is now depricated, or a more secure or computationally efficient way is now the norm. Staying up with this tools, shifts in tools, vendors adding new functionality or tool, and vendors going out of business or selling to another company is all a large task in and of it self (but also part of the fun), but also part of the big challenge.
Marked as :: Books :: Food :: Movies :: Podcast :: Productivity :: Television :: Weeknote :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Week Note 4 - 17 May 2020 ]
This week had a lot of focus on work matters and the weekend has too (a bit, and will more when I post this).
The big score this week was toilet paper, as the last time I picked up the usual purchase was 3 to 4 weeks ago and it was down the the two roll panic. Instacart claimed there was stock, but never could deliver on that promise. Friday late afternoon, it seemed there was stock at a local market finally, so headed over and found not only toilet paper, but decent paper towels. Now keeping a better eye on stock now that I have the usual purchase.
The Monocle Weekend Edition (a weekend version of the weekday newsletter Monocle Minute) is one of the things that they have rejiggered in the past few months and I’m finding I really have been enjoying on Saturday and Sunday mornings. They also post to their site for easy making use / reuse of the content.
I ran across a really brief (not so informative) article on the mutations and different strains Covid–19 has been taking, but it linked to this really good mapping / data visualization of Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus - Global subsampling by Nextstrain.
A nice piece of research that came through the electronic transoms was Emily Webber’s research with Robin Dunbar on social group size and impacts different scales have. Emily discusses the work in Social group sizes, Dunbar’s number and implications for communities of practice. This mostly echos social scaling shifts in dynamics and what functionality is viable at various scales. If you do work with start-ups to large enterprise and switch between them you can pretty accurately guess the scale of the company by the problems and pains they are having, but also the deviation between groups in a large organization. This call out of this research is around the maximal size for groups functioning in a democratic manner (where all input is valued and there really isn’t an overseer or leader type role) and that size is roughly around 40. The slotting around 40 is about 5 to 10 people higher than I see small companies struggle with bumping into the next growth scale. Most companies will stay around 25 to 35 as above that there are a lot of pains and new roles needed. If those shifts are made (usually 5 to 10 functional roles to support the organization) and things can scale somewhat well to around 60 to 75, but the organization has shifted and changed and no longer as tight. The shift up also draws into consideration is there enough work to scale to that size larger size. I love research along these lines as it anchors a lot of what is seen and highly predictable for company size, group sizing, team size, and then the tools and practices to work at those scales well.
Lastly, in the reading section I finally finished reading William Gibson’s Agency this weekend. Starting in on 300 to 500 page fiction often takes 3 to 5 days or it is done over a couple months or more. This one fell into the three month window as work shifts, changes to personal life practices shifted, and the story seemed to interweave with what was going on with our pandemic state of things. I really liked it and now want to go back and finish its predecessor, The Peripheral. When I started Agency I was reading two other novels with time travel concepts that were very similar, and Agency using a different concept allowed for me to keep it straight.
This weeks not a who lot was watched due to trying to focus on the work front. But, I did fall into watching many Charlie Berens YouTube videos of his comedy sketches, including the Manitowoc Minute. “Keep ‘er movin’”.
I’be been testing headphones and going back through music and finding some sounds utterly amazing and other music types really aren’t great. I have a couple of weeks to sort out what I may do.
Still trying to fully sort out Notes search problem, but it has improved a little.
I keep running across Roam, as web-based outline / bulleted list note taking tool that
Marked as :: Books :: Weeknote :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Week Note 3 - 10 May 2020 ]
This week, like many in the life and times of Covid–19 pandemic, was a week of three Tuesday’s bookended by a Monday (a day I try to get back into the swing of things (unless it is filled with meetings)) and Friday. Tuesdays are often when I did into the meat of things I’m trying to get things accomplished for the week. But, while I’m used to working remote (15 years mostly working that way) coordinating with a corporation just gone through a large merger, is a bit more unusual (not bad, just needing different adaptions). I also am finding I really miss my monthly week with the team in Connecticut and time in Brooklyn to work though ideas in person. I’m also craving large workspaces with a lot of walls and whiteboards.
This week flew by yet again (not a good thing when feeling there is a lot that needs to be done) and trying to use weekend time to decompress, think, recalibrate, and meditate on solutions.
Also finding the simple errands that were a 30 minute walk shop and return or drive for a 45 minute shop and return are now 60 to 90+ minutes. Much standing and waiting in 6 foot apart lines, mask in the up and locked positions, to get into stores. Trying to get get tasks done while waiting in line, like clearing email, reading favorite daily items, organizing things for the week note, editing notes (downside is Dropbox breaking sync’ed folders makes this (and a whole lot of other things) impossible (reminds me I need to fix this when not standing in line to get eggs and fruit, but at a home).
I added Play to my template as that fills in for watching, and is often my decompression, as well as discovery mode, which out of guilt of “play” from childhood I don’t often embrace.
Matt Mullenweg posted his Distributed Work’s Five Levels of Autonomy, which is quite good.
As part of this week’s 99 Percent - The Smell of Concrete After Rain as part of remembrance of Michael Sorkin (which was really good) it surfaced Sorkin’s Two Hundred Fifty Things an Architect Should Know, which I’m really enjoying.
My books to finish or read more from last week didn’t get touched much this week, but may today. It was a busy week.
I did find a good piece in Vanity Fair about Regan being shot from a young CNN’s perspective and how that was the start of a viable cable news medium, in their piece “Shots Fired. Hilton Hotel”: How CNN’s Raw, Unfolding Reagan Coverage Heralded the Nonstop News Cycle.
The NY Times piece, In Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine, an Oxford Group Leaps Ahead offered some good insights on structure, innovations, and challenges for a vaccine in a timely manner.
Monocle’s May edition and the 2019 The Entrepreneurs edition my time between time reading this week. Stepping away from online news and having Monocle is my guilty pleasure that doesn’t come with notification and alerts popping up (but the pages don’t offer the time with you touch the top of the page, no matter how long or hard you press).
I really liked this NY Times piece - This Florida Student Was Accepted at All 8 Ivy League Schools, which is an all too rare “Florida man” type story.
Jim Kalbach’s The Job’s to be Done Playbook arrived this week in physical form (digi version did this a bit before, but I hadn’t had time to get to it) and I did a quick skim and read the early bits. I am really looking forward to this.
JTBD has played a common role in a lot of my focus over the last 10 to 12+ years. Enterprise work environments make a lot more sense when trying to understand problems and gaps through using the JTBD lens and framing solutions is so much easier as well. I’ve never been a full convert, but use it here and there (mostly because JTBD isn’t a full frame for understanding, but is good paired with other insight tools and methods, it by doesn’t get one far, but it opens paths for insights). Or I should say I wasn’t a full convert, as a little over a year ago I paired to do an internal work shop on work patterns, different social scales of work, tool types teams need for work, and the different tools at different scales and what type of interactions and work can be done at those scales to help set clarity for what the problems are, what are the gaps, where are tools types missing, where are wrong tools to the need being used and making utter messes (the same sort of enterprise workshop I’ve done for 10 to 15 years) using my social / complexity lenses. But, this workshop I paid with an internal designer lead who brought deep JTBD background and created a survey that mixed JTBD and a few of the complexity lenses around how teams work and interacting and working at different social scales. The outcome was insanely good that provided solid insight for what is needed, where there are issues and problems that decision makers needed to see openly and clearly to take the correct steps.
A good friend and occasional colleague has long pushed the pairing of JTBD and the complexity lenses, particularly to use as a survey and entry to capturing and showing gaps and needs. I’m a huge fan of Kalbach’s work, writing, and insights.
So, yes. I’m really looking forward to this book to putty in some of the gaps I may have.
This week was mostly a YouTube week, other than starting in on the Michael Jordan biography series running on ESPN.
I stumbled onto Explaining the Pandemic to My Past Self by Julie Nolke, which was utterly brilliant and funny. That had me checking out her other offerings.
But, YouTube being YouTube watching Nolke’s pieces I was recommended Charlie Berens’ IKEA Husbands and down a rabbit hole created by Charlie Berens I went for my distractions. I love IKEA and needing to get there once lockdown lifts to finish something I started in early March with Billy (Billy is my buddy, but so is donating) and 12 years on an Ektorp, may just be a bit too long.
On the podcast front two friends I don’t get to run into nor talk to enough in recent years (one I haven’t talked to in quite a while) started a new podcast Finding Our Way, which is Jesse James Garrett and Peter Merholz talking about design, user experience, and leadership. I stumbled into this late in the week and listened on Saturday and I’m now looking forward to every session. I’m really happy they have a real website for it with a transcript, which seems like it should be the basic for a podcast these days, but oddly it isn’t (also for newsletters to have a real web home the kludgy Webmonkey hack, isn’t done well enough to really count).
I stumbled back into Prince’s New Power Generation, One Night Alone… The Aftershow: It Ain’t Over! after a couple weeks not listening and found it is as magical as always.
This was a week of putting off grocery runs, as trying to work through some of what I have. But, also my usually stores have been out of what I’ve normally been seeking. There is a local egg farmer that a local store carries that have amazing yolks (the color of the shell doesn’t mean anything, but the color of the yolk tells you a lot). But, Saturday was restock day and things were in stock (even found brown rice) and good lentils (I have some asafoetida hing powder I’ve been wanting to put to good use). I also found one of the brands of gluten free flour as well as pancake mix I like, so things are good-ish.
I did make a fresh garlic and anchovy paste as a base for a quick lunch spaghetti (corn and brown rice pasta) with pea pasta bowl with Parmesan and butter / olive oil light sauce. I may want to come back to this one again. Using good jarred (pink) anchovies that aren’t overly pungent seems to be essential.
I’ve been playing MLB The Show as my post work decompression for about 90 minutes each day (one thing I like and appreciate with sports is building teams and I’m playing franchise mode with this year’s Pittsburgh Pirates and did some gutting of the team (not quite intentionally) but building on contact (hits) and speed, which in current MLB is undervalued so inexpensive. I’m also focussing on decent starting pitching that can get through 5 to 7 innings, then use a series of pitchers to get through the remainder of the game pitching an inning each. The salary budget is in the $60 to $75 million range for players and I spent heavily on coaching. It is working, as I’m a week from the All Star break and 6 games up in first place.
I took advantage of a 50% off sale and picked up Death Stranding, which is a bit dark (something I normally stay away from), but the graphics, story, and AR interfaces are good. I normally keep to sports games (or sims) to time constrain play (or help reduce over play - playing a far longer stretch than intended as I did with Sim City on my birthday in an empty house in 1993 and wondering why the sun was coming up).
This weeks productivity insights and practices took a backseat to frustrations with my daytime lack of good tools for productivity, particularly when One Note decides it won’t include anything in search from 2020. My brain dumps and notes live there and lacking basic organization, refinding, and productivity tools on Windows side (particularly that run locally) that there are on the Mac side of the world, I’ve been down that road battling.
I sort of treat OneNote as I do DevonThink as my catch all and lean on search heavily and organize later approach, which is a model that works really well with good to great search (something DevonThing is aces with, but OneNote is just okay with as its search is a blunt approach and not finesse approach).
Marked as :: Books :: Entertainment :: Food :: Games :: Productivity :: Weeknote :: in Weblog
[perma link for: Week Note 2 - 3 May 2020 ]
This is my first weeknote, which by the name I am committing to posting weekly. I’m not sure how this will work as aiming for daily writing to set a habit is far more anchoring something in place that a something new with a weekly cadence.
I’ve long been a fan of friend’s and acquaintances weeknotes as it is a way to keep up with what they are reading, watching, listening to, writing, and thinking. I deeply appreciate other’s sharing their interests and likes and after many years planning to do similar I am finally doing this. I am also doing this for my own consumption and tracking.
I have a template setup with general categories / headings in TextExpander and each week I’m planning on opening a new markdown file in iA Writer and filling it in as I go. The starter headings are: Read; Watched; Listened; Food; and Productivity. This is largely what I care about from others, but also things I’m continually tracking down. I regularly tuck things into my Pinboard and tag links of interest with “linkfodder” and podcasts with “podfodder”, but also things I think I may want to write-up and have more of a fleshed out response to as “blogfodder” (those rarely actually get done, mostly due to being busy).
This first weeknote I’m catching up on the past few weeks a bit.
I’m still trying to get through the last few chapters of William Gibson’s Agency, which I have been deeply enjoying (for quite some time, as it arrived when it came out and I started in then, but work and other life slowed progress). I always have a few books going at once and Violet Moller’s The Map of Knowledge has been a wonderful slow read full of thinking and reworking some back history on knowledge and understandings I have that were set in place in undergrad when studying at Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford (now changed a bit since Middlebury took over, not a bad thing, just different) and the shift of pockets of knowledge and learning from the Middle East / Arabian / Northeast Africa areas and some of that shift to Europe after Constantinople fell in the Spring of 1453.
Supporting my favorite local bookstore, Politics and Prose I ordered Humo Ludens by Johan Huizinga for delivery. I have just tucked into that, which I have in a few readers and collected contributions to the value of play in understanding work as well as the world around us. Having the full text (only 213 pages) I can finally read as a whole rather than a gutting or selected reading approach.
Being a fan of Kenya Hara’s work and writing (Designing Design is a favorite of mine) I picked up a sale copy of Designing Japan and the preface and first few pages really has me looking forward with some quiet time with the book.
Last weekend, on recommendation of a colleague (and has been mentioned in other’s weeknotes as well) I watched Devs that was on Hulu / FX. I nearly gave up on it as it is a bit dark and gruesome, but stuck with it and it has turned into a show I’m thinking somewhat deeply about a week later. The inclusion of theoretical physics / science got me really hooked. Sorting out what character was the focal view from wasn’t clear for quite a few episodes, but understanding that helped frame sorting through some of the ambiguities. But, it also had me digging out framing resources on a few of the theoretical physics I’ve never fully anchored in my head, and don’t really have folks I’m talking to regularly to talk through thing around this.
The late summer and fall of 2018 when I was digging for work / projects I started in on the corpus of Bon Appetit on YouTube (along with a few other channels). During this time of lockdown and remote work, this crew of cooks / chefs has been highly entertaining with what they are sharing.
I’ll address podcasts in later weeknotes, but I’m consuming them at a slower rate than I was prior to covid lockdown (mostly due to my morning listening I’m spending some of that time trying to pull focus on what I need to so that day for work and focus has been a bit more fragile).
Music, well music to help focus to get work done has been something I’ve been working to get sorted as my usual go to playlists haven’t really been doing the trick.
I have cut back my use of Apple Music streaming listening as a few months back I picked up a discounted set of months from Tidal and the Master quality with MQA decoding (or partial decoding) has been a real find and source of enjoyment for headphone or in ear monitors (IEMs). I’m still on trial with Amazon’s Music HD (which their Ultra HD, is similar, but not quite the quality of Tidal yet can still hear details of well recorded playing and hear the room) and trying to sort what I may do between the two services.
This past week I found Hans Zimmer’s soundtracks have been good fodder for focus listening that, for me, can fade into the background a bit yet still drive energy and focus for work forward. The “Interstellar”, “Inception”, and “Batman Begins” soundtracks had multiple plays on days without many meetings to work through some explainers I’m working on to shorten getting to understanding with people we’re trying to onboard into a complicated system nested in a world of complexities.
Spring foods (or one’s that really have me loving spring) are fading as spring onions (not green onions) were no longer in the farm fresh section of the grocery store. I am on my last bundle of them and using the last of them in Canadian bacon, garlic, shitake mushroom, spring onion, asparagus, and feta omelettes is planned. Also putting them in the black bean, Canadian bacon, mushroom, garlic, fresh grated tumeric breakfast bowl with soft fried eggs during the week may finish them before they go bad.
Over the last year or two I stumbled onto Ali Abdaal particularly Ali’s YouTube Channel and he covers a lot of productivity tools and focus. Ali shares his study techniques he picked up studying for medical exams at University of Cambridge where he studied and now for medical exams as a junior doctor near Cambridge. Ali share a lot of how to study insights and deep dives, which are mostly applied practical organization and productivity practices
Through Ali’s work I re-stumbled upon Tiago Forte and his work, which many of my long time practices (when I am in them deeply) are quite similar. A project / product I was helping about 10 years ago was trying to bring Tiago on to it as well and I started looking into his work and what he was sharing.
Well, this wraps a first weeknote. Let’s see if it there is one next week.
Be well. Stay safe. Peace be with you.