in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #119 — Red legs

A three-day week at work, top and tailed by a public holiday and a Friday spent with my family. I’ve swapped the jeans and socks for shorts and flip-flops, but nobody I work with is any wiser. I was grateful for more time away from the keyboard and another long weekend.

This was a week in which I:

  • Overslept on Tuesday due to the Sleep Cycle iOS app deciding to terminate at some point in the night. I know that this is always a risk with a third-party app that isn’t part of the operating system, but it’s been pretty solid over the eight years and many iPhones that I’ve been using it. It threw out my cycle training sessions for the week which left me feeling mildly annoyed. It’s interesting how much I’ve been able to make exercise a part of my life since the pandemic hit, and losing it is the biggest fear I have with going back to the office.

  • Completed a deck of slides on the IT infrastructure story of our New York office ahead of a Management Committee meeting this coming week. In the three days at work I had thirty minutes here and there between meetings to get the work done, and I felt as though I was always just picking at it instead of sitting down and getting absorbed in the task. It was interesting to do the work and see visually how different it is from the Beijing deck I put together recently. Three more sites to go.
  • Put together some additional slides for the same meeting on a recent process failure and the work we have done to put it right.
  • Presented options for in-room meeting equipment in one of our offices and agreed on a solution with the CEO.
  • Reviewed and discussed the need for redundancy in public cloud installations that we use, and agreed on next steps.
  • Agreed our approach for initial monitoring and maintenance contracts for our sites where we still need to complete our back-end infrastructure rollout.
  • Spent time reviewing the epics/projects on one of our sub-team’s Kanban board with the head of the team. To be concluded next week.
  • Had my first regular one-on-one meetings with a couple of members of the team that I don’t speak to regularly. It was great to have a space to catch up and get aligned.
  • Attended a talk held by our Marketing and Communications team on the preparation for our big investors conference that takes place at the end of the month.
  • Watched a very entertaining talk by our Head of IT Governance, Risk and Compliance on the importance of risk management.
  • Attended Visualise Your Agile Strategy and See Your Roadmaps in Context with Craig Cockburn, organised by the Agility Leadership Network.

  • Caught up with some school governor emails. I have such a massive backlog of work to look at for school and I am not quite sure how I will get on top of it all.
  • Spent Thursday evening and a chunk of Friday afternoon setting up Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi. Our new doorbells are fantastic, but I wanted to solve the problem of their being no audible chime in the house when a button is pressed. In a few hours and with the help of a ton of Googling I managed to create a script that pauses the Sonos speakers in my house, plays a doorbell chime mp3 and then resumes whatever was playing on the speakers. There is so much to Home Assistant and I want to write up my experience so far in a longer blog post, if I can prioritise it.
  • Took my youngest boy and three of his friends to Topgolf in Watford. I had no idea that such a place existed — it effectively turns a driving range into a digital bowling-alley experience. It wasn’t cheap but they had a lot of fun and it was great to see them out enjoying themselves.
  • Had a family dinner at Pizza Express. Due to the iffy weather we had to eat inside which I didn’t feel very comfortable with. We’ve got used to takeaway food over the past year, so the price of the meal felt enormous for a visit only lasting an hour or so.
  • Went out on the bike with my eldest boy on Saturday for his first 100km ride. I’d created a route that looped around Luton and I had no idea that the surroundings were so beautiful. We stopped for a perfect lunch at the Surfin Cafe in Ampthill and fuelled up with sandwiches and drinks. About ten miles from the end of the ride his front wheel started making some strange noises, and with just one mile to go he hit a pothole which gave him a flat rear tyre, so we walked the few hundred metres to the local bike shop and dropped the whole thing off for a service. I’ve been using a new Garmin Edge 830 for the past couple of weeks and it is so impressive — incredible battery life, rolling ascent/descent profiles and information on climbs as you go. It’s a massive upgrade from my seven-year-old Garmin Edge Touring in every conceivable way.
Somewhere in Bedfordshire

Somewhere in Bedfordshire

  • Regretted not putting sun cream on my legs before the bike ride. I only ever seem to go red on my nose, neck and arms and made sure that they were coated in factor 50, but my legs now look ridiculous.
  • Enjoyed an alfresco dinner with a couple of close friends at Rosanna’s in Berkhamsted. We hadn’t eaten together in so long and it was great to see them.
  • Watched my youngest boy’s side win a friendly 10v10 football match as I ran the line.
  • Loved watching the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. It was sad to see Verstappen lose out on a win through no fault of his own, but great that Hamilton’s error meant that the championship race is neutralised.

Next week: Another week jam-packed with meetings, and an Album Club at the end of it.

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