Open Thinkering


Weeknote 05/2024

Doug pointing to a sign that says # KING OF THE TRACK

I’m tired. It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m watching Man Utd vs West Ham on TV instead of taking my son out for a driving lesson. He’s nursing an injured ankle from what sounds like a somewhat fractious match against a team who have always been known for their spicy tackling.

My wife and I had to divide and conquer as he and and my daughter had games at pretty much the same time. She also injured her ankle in while playing for a mixed team. I heard the contact from a flying slide tackle by their centre forward over at the other side of the pitch. It quite rightly earned him a yellow card. I think she’ll be OK, as will my son.

On Thursday, I managed 280kg on the leg press at the gym, which is three times my body weight. While I was impressed with myself for achieving it, I found it difficult to sleep that night as my lower back was hurting. Perhaps I’ll ease off a bit now that I’ve proved I can do it. According to Strava I’m 16.6km ‘ahead of plan’ to run 1,000km this year, which I’ve achieved by adding short 2.5km treadmill runs before my weights sessions.

Last week, I mentioned that I’d asked for an extension for my latest MSc module assessment. I’ve started on this after finishing the activities from Part 2. It’s not easy, but then that’s the point. I like that I can immediately apply it to client work we’re doing — and, indeed, my ‘situation of interest’ (i.e. case study) concerns work we’re doing with the Digital Credentials Consortium (DCC).

We ran a Theory of Change workshop with the DCC on Tuesday. Having run these with multiple clients, I’ve written this up as a post for the WAO blog. I’ll publish it when one of my colleagues has had a chance to review it and give feedback. I’ve also been doing client work for our collaborations with Participate, the Toro Impact project with CSUDH, and a digital integration project with WEAll. Laura and I also managed to record another episode of our podcast which will go live at… some point.

After much postponement, on Friday we finally had gigabit fibre broadband installed courtesy of Virgin Media. What. A. Difference. Not only should I have the lowest ping out of my gamer crew this evening, but I shouldn’t have Zoom calls flake out on me. Thankfully, although we’re planning to be moving within a matter of weeks, we should be able to take our account with us to the new house.

On Tuesday, we went e-karting again, this time with all of Team Belshaw getting involved. Hannah got absolutely taken out by a rando on the circuit meaning she had to apply ice to her shoulder and sit out the second session. There were some on the track at the same time as us with their own helmets and suits, so we weren’t really racing against them.

Not being competitive at all, I’ll just point out that I beat my son by over a second (in terms of our fastest lap). I’m sure he would point out that I span out several times and perhaps that you’re supposed to let the birthday boy win. Whatever.

Next week, my MSc assignment is due so that’s going to be top of my mind over the next few days. We’ll also be starting a new user research project, running a second Theory of Change workshop with DCC, and continuing with other work.

I’m recording an episode of the Artificiality podcast with Helen and Dave Edwards on Tuesday, after they mentioned some of my thinking on the concept of a ‘serendipity surface‘. I’m also going to get back to posting regularly at Thought Shrapnel, but that’s probably going to have to wait until I’ve submitted my assignment (due midday on Thursday).

Image: me at TeamSport in Newcastle.

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