Open Thinkering


Weeknote 38/2022

Laptop covered in stickers

Every weekend when I sit down to write these, I cast my mind back over the previous week’s events, and it seems that there’s always something dramatic that’s happened. This week, in order or drama: I had a suspected minor heart attack, helped talked a man down from jumping off a bridge, and accidentally set off all of the smoke alarms in our three-storey house at 1am.

First things first: my hospital visit. I’ve written about it here, so I’ll just say that on Tuesday I ended up spending six hours having tests which revealed I had slightly elevated levels of Troponin. This is a protein released by the heart when it’s damaged. It can be impacted by intense exercise as well as other factors. It seems I’m OK, and have been told I can exercise as usual, but I’m taking it easy.

I wasn’t far into a gentle run on Friday when I went past a man who was acting strangely on a bridge I was running over. Over the last few months, Zoë Rose has been sharing on LinkedIn what she’s learned from doing suicide prevention training, including asking a very direct question. So I stopped, and said, “you’re not thinking of jumping off there, are you?” The man, in his twenties, didn’t say “no”, so I stayed and talked to him for a good 20 minutes. His life story was horrific and he was very drunk, especially for 11 o’ clock in the morning.

I asked someone who happened to be taking a photo from the bridge to phone the police, and when they arrived, from both sides of the bridge, it turns out he was well known to them. I’m not sure whether he would have jumped without me being there, and I’m not sure if the drop would have done him much damage, but I’m glad that what Zoë shared meant I could help in a small way.

The smoke alarm mini-drama just increased my tiredness levels. My son was a bit freaked out by a weird ‘chirping’ sound coming from downstairs. I’m not sure what he thought it was, but it was just our mains-powered dining room smoke alarm chirping to let us know that the backup battery was running out. I’m not sure whether it was because it was 1am but it seemed to take me a long time to figure out how to take the unit apart. I’m just pleased we happened to have a spare 9v battery in the cupboard. I’m changing the other seven during the daytime this week to prevent that happening again!

I don’t believe in monarchy, and no-one was paying me to take the day off, so I worked through the extra Bank Holiday due to the Queen’s funeral. That being said, work has kind of taken a bit of a back seat due to the events recounted above.

One thing I am glad we’ve managed to get sorted is to book accommodation for our first WAO in-person meetup just north of Amsterdam in January 2023. It will be the first time since before the pandemic, although I did see Laura and Anne IRL at The Badge Summit in Colorado last month!

Other than that I’ve been working across various WAO client projects, as well as helping out the Bonfire team. The latter have released a significant update to the Playground instance; I’ve recorded a Loom video giving a quick overview of how it’s going beyond microblogging to become a real federated app toolkit.

Other than that, I’ve been collaborating on a new email course called How to Unf*ck Your Organisation which brings together some of WAO’s tools and approaches to help with organisational strategy and architecture.

It’s a significant birthday for Laura this weekend, and there’s a good chance she’ll read this, so Happy Birthday! 🥳

Next week, I’m working on WAO client work, some content design for the Bonfire website, responding to questions from NLnet around a bid we submitted, having a flu jab, and getting an MRI scan. And, of course, bracing myself for whatever drama life decides to throw at me…

Header image: my Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga laptop, covered in stickers!

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