Open Thinkering


Weeknote 28/2022

It’s 16 degrees C and raining where I am as I sit down to write this. I’ve just been for a gentle run. It’ll get warm here later today, but not dangerously hot like further south in England is predicted to be. Stay safe out there!

A couple of months ago I listened to a podcast episode entitled Run Like a Pro (Even If You’re Slow). In it, someone was interviewed who had some great advice on running: increase the overall volume of running that you do, while mixing up low intensity and high intensity workouts. So this week, I’ve alternated 10k runs with shorter runs, running every day other than Saturday (my rest day). It’s worked really well, and has felt fantastic starting each day with a run!

  • Monday: 10k
  • Tuesday: 4k
  • Wednesday: 10k
  • Thursday: 2.5k
  • Friday: 10k
  • Saturday: (off)
  • Sunday: 5k

Saturday was an important day for Team Belshaw. My wife, Hannah, completed a 26.2 mile / 42 kilometre (i.e. marathon-length) Mighty Hike with some friends to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. Meanwhile, I was with the kids: our daughter made her debut in a friendly for her new football team, scoring one and making two assists in a 5-0 victory; our son participated in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament where he played well against kids older (and much taller!) than him.

After literally weeks of agonising, I’ve finally purchased a new laptop. It’s a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga and should be arriving today. As far as I can gather from my extensive research, it should be a fantastic replacement for the Google Pixelbook on which I’m composing this. In other words, it’s got a 3:2 form factor touchscreen and can be turned into a tablet. I’m planning to run Linux on it (obviously) so will be testing out various distributions. I’ll probably try Fedora Silverblue first and then my go-to distro of Pop!_OS.

This does mean it’s the end of the line for my Mac Mini on which I’ve been experimenting with Asahi Linux. While it’s been amazing to see the progress the team behind the project have made in such a short amount of time, it’s realistically going to be another few months before I could use it as a daily driver. So I think it’s better to use the sale of the Mac Mini towards the new laptop.

Work-wise this week I spent about 40% of my time on LocalGov Drupal community stuff. I’m really pleased with the progress that’s being made in a short amount of time, and it’s a fun project to work on with Aaron, Laura, and the core LGD team. The plan is to experiment with Open Badges soon, after an enthusiastic response to a quick overview in the Product Group meeting.

Some of the rest of my time was spent working on WAO‘s collaboration with Participate on the Keep Badges Weird community project. I’m heading to the US in a couple of weeks’ time to The Badge Summit, so we’ve just been making sure we’re ready for that. We also ran a Badge Wiki barn-raising session with KBW community members, which is something I always enjoy.

Other than that, I worked with Laura and Anne on the Sport England open working programme, getting the slimmed-down and contextualised version of our What We Talk About When We Talk About Open email-based course ready to be delivered over the summer. We also worked on planning out the third module on Open Access to be ready for September. A bit of business development, marketing, and a tiny bit of work on a Greenpeace project, and that was that.

I published two blog posts here:

…one on the WAO blog:

…and a few on Thought Shrapnel:

I’m really enjoying watching the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament. The standard of football is pretty high, and it’s so inspiring for my daughter to see the England team play so well and with so much confidence. She genuinely could be playing for them in a decade’s time. We’ll see.

Next week, it’s the last week at school for our kids. So everything is nice and relaxed. Everything is under control work-wise, so I’ll have plenty of time to set up my new laptop and make sure we’re ready for the kids being off for six weeks. I’m taking most of August off, which will help, but going from Colorado, to Devon, to France might not feel so relaxing…

Photo of the Jasmine in our garden after a bit of remedial work and lots of watering yesterday!

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