Seeking: Writing Tips
I'v always had this problem when writing text of any sort: my brain works faster than my fingers. I start editing sentences before I have finished writing them. I then I edit the edit before I have finished editing the original sentence. And because proof reading is tedious, I end up with sentences with layers of older sentences within them. Like a lasagna, but with My messages on Slack at work are easily spotted. They are the ones with "(edited)" next to them, as I re-read and notice mistakes. Nobody else seems to edit their messages. I have no idea how people have the discipline to write a thought until the end, then the next, and so on, without changing course half way through.
Knocked out by: New York
Went to my first Yoga class in a couple of years. Work offers a subsidised subscription to a cool sports club app. It lets you pick and mix classes from a wide range of the city's sports establishments. It was a fashionable yoga place downtown as the time slot fitted in well with work. I should have realised my mistake when I read the description of the place. It's part of a small chain, originally from New York. They do a variation on vinyasa . That should have set all sorts of alarm bells ringing. Vinyasa by itself is supposed to be the most demanding style of yoga. Or so they say, I always avoided it for that very reason. Additionally, everything in New York is harder, faster, meaner. Did I mention harder? The class was so flipping hard, I almost fainted half way through and had to bail out. It took me a good half an hour sitting in a corner to steady myself enough to feel it was safe to walk home. Two other people also bailed out right after me, so it wasn't just me. I may have to pick beginners classes next time. Somewhere else.
Eye Rolling: home vs office
Work has gently but firmly started the drive to get people back to the office. They've filled a couple of months with events, parties, get togethers, free beers on the rooftop. It's a ploy to get people back in the habit of coming to the office. And then they finally dropped the bomb: it's going to be compulsory as from September. Only three days out of five. Predictably, at the company's latest all-hands there was quite a few complaints. Vociferous Millennials and Gen Zers of course. I am in the minority that not only doesn't mind, but actively cherishes going to the office, at least part of the week. I find the whining quite irritating. On the other hand, it gave me an excuse to use my favourite English word, "vociferous". So there's that.
(DISCLAIMER: I am based in an European city where people live in small flats and there is good public transport. My flats is a 20 mins bike ride away from work. I am sure if I had a whole house with a porch and a driveway but a two hours drive from the office I would feel different. But that's precisely why I chose to live where I live...)
First, to say that remote working is as effective as office one is plain bullshit. Anyone who's trying brainstorming and is honest can tell you that. Yes there are times when it's nice not to have no distractions and you need to get "in the zone". But how often. And there are always meetings and Slack anyway. But the elephant in the room (literally), is the assumption that there are no distractions at home. Unsurprisingly the people most vocal are youngsters without kids. Well, some of us don't have the luxury of a dedicated room to repurpose as an office. Try working in the corner of the living room, with kids bickering about whose turn it is to use the Switch in the other corner.
Also, how can being constantly stuck at home be good for anyone, psychologically. It's literally how prisons work. How do you separate work and life if you don't have a dedicated room for work in your home. Especially for the people starting their first job, how can they pick up subtle clues from their environment. How do they socialise. Where is the small talk or the cheeky beer after work. Makes no sense.
[old man yelling at clouds mode: ON]
Back in my day the youth used to fight for worthy causes! Now they just fight for the right to sit in comfort in their homes
"What do we want?"
"TO SIT ON OUR SOFAs!"
"When do we want it?"
"[doesn't answer because engrossed in their mobile phone] ...uh.. hrrr... what?!"
I wonder how my line manager will do, he's been flying regularly to Greece to work from there for 2, 3 weeks stretches every month.
Collecting data: Top 10 dishes, Q2
When I was studying food science I read that every household has 10 staple dishes they cook all the time in rotation. I always wanted to check if the theory is true, and what exactly our 10 dishes would be. I posted a list for Q1, but the data was unreliable. I hadn't really keep track properly. This time I did, for the whole quarter. Gosh, is that what data scientists do? Is that my future now that I am moving into that field? Collecting data about the most mundane things. But wait it could be worse.
I remember overhearing a conversation between The Wife and her best friend. One was saying how her dad, whenever he filled up the car at the petrol station, would write down the date and amount in a little notepad. He kept it in the car for that purpose and had a whole drawer at home full of them. To her knowledge, all that data was never processed in any way. It just sat in a drawer, collecting dust. Presumably for the joy of the robot archaeologists who will inherit the earth, and will have to try to reverse engineer what exactly happened to the planet.
"Really? My dad used to do that too!" said The Wife. It must be a Dad thing then. Well, I am a dad, and I work in the Data Science dept. So here's my list
(-) Puttanesca Variation, still #1. It's just an excuse to eat those amazing Greek olives and burrata they sell down the road
(NEW) Kimchi fried rice. Finally the vegan trend has hit the local Asian shops around here, so I was able to find vegan kimchi. Such a quick and great comfort dish
(NEW) Asparagus Carbonara. Managed to get hold of some green asparagus eventually. Made as much of this as I could.
(NEW) Warm potato salad. ...and then I got salmonella. The doctor told me to only eat potatoes. Without fat and (this part particularly sternly) No. Spices. That reminded me that my mum used to cook warm potato salad for dinner when she run out of money. She was also a lousy cook. But with garlic, organo and olive oil it's quite delicious. I have been eating it even after the salmonella
(-) Sag Paneer, still one of my favourites.
(NEW) Pasta with Pesto from a jar. A guilty pleasure for when I can't be bothered to cook. Actually, not much of a pleasure, really. Just food as fuel.
(NEW) Crisps. Crisps as "dinner" is a British concept that I almost adopted. I say "almost" because I eat crisps with just oil + salt. Can't stand the obviously artificial flavours Brits are so fond of.
(-3) Vegan Pho. Hanging in there
(NEW) Grilled Cheese sandwich with avocado. More easy to make comfort food.
(-2) Italian lentil soup. Easy one pot dish
(-6) Szichuan aubergines
...followed by a long list of dishes I only cooked once or twice.
So the number is bang on the money - it is indeed a rotation of 10 dishes. But 60% are new for this quarter, so not much of a staple. Some depend on availability - I would have cooked rice with kimchi earlier if the ingredients were available. Of the new entries, one is seasonal - it replaces a winter dish and will be gone next quarter. Finally last quarter there was some selection bias, in that I unconsciously filtered out thrashy meals like pesto or crisps. We'll see.
And that is all.