Open Thinkering


Weeknote 18/2021

Lines on the side of a building at Seahouses, probably something to do with sailing

I’m composing this on my trusty ThinkPad X220 sitting in the car while my daughter plays football. It’s just started pouring down with rain and it’s forecast to hail, as it did earlier this week. As a result, there’s fewer girls here for the session. Living as we do in the North East of England, avoiding sport when there’s inclement weather would basically mean avoiding sport for nine months of the year.

This week has been a shorter one, work-wise, with a Bank Holiday on Monday. There’s another one at the end of the month within half-term, and only a couple of weeks after England is scheduled to lift many coronavirus-related restrictions. Consequently, prices are through the roof to stay pretty much anywhere that’s self-contained. After all, it’s not like we can easily go abroad.

We deliberated about what to do and, in the end, decided to book three nights away just over the border into Scotland. It’ll be nice just to get away, do some walking in the hills, and spend some time within four walls which aren’t the same as those we’ve been staring at for over a year.

I finally got around to choosing and purchasing a new smartwatch: a Garmin Venu 2S. My rambling blog post coupled with a handy spreadsheet of what I can only describe as ‘functional specifications’ showed that it was the one to get. I haven’t been disappointed. As you can see from this detailed review, the number of options and bells/whistles is quite staggering. I’m still discovering features!

Coupled with a decent family Bank Holiday walk and returning to the gym, I’m starting to get back to the pre-pandemic levels of physical activity. The great thing is now that I can geek out on the data relating to what I’m doing! Happily, my ‘fitness age’ is 38.5 which is lower than my chronological age of about 40.3.

As with last week, I’ve been working on the Greenpeace project that cannot be named, wrapping up the Catalyst UC project, preparing for the next Participate ‘Keep Badges Weird’ session, and doing some business management and development. I finally got around to updating the co-op’s privacy policy as well as responding to a disclosure from a white hat security researcher about not having a DMARC record set for Dynamic Skillset (or WAO, for that matter).

One of the highlights this week, other than working with Laura, which is always a pleasure, was talking to the founders of Gradual. They tested out their new idea/platform at the (virtual) Mozilla Festival this year, as well as with a storytelling community. Essentially, the idea is to facilitate social and community learning through a ‘map-match-meet’ approach. Tom Salmon connected us, and I think it’s a promising idea that will probably take a bit of funding to reach true product-market fit, but they’re definitely onto something.

The sun is now shining through my windscreen, and I can see blue sky replacing the clouds that loomed previously. Next week, I’m solo parenting again, as my wife (who’s currently not very well herself) helping a relative who needs her assistance. So I’ll just keep on keepin’ on in this strange world in which we reside.

Image: lines on the side of a building at Seahouses, probably something to do with sailing, taken during our walk on Monday.

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