in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #150 — An ounce of prevention

I needed that.

I needed that.

I had my COVID-19 booster vaccine on Friday, 29 days after having tested positive for the virus. This Moderna jab (now seemingly named Spikevax‽) completely knocked me for six. I spent a lot of Friday night awake and shivering in bed and the whole of Saturday oscillating between freezing and boiling, drifting in and out of sleep between doses of paracetamol. I wandered off to bed at about 7pm on Saturday night and didn’t get up for twelve hours. My fever has now gone but I’m sitting here still feeling spaced out and groggy. This is the the most ill that I’ve felt in years.

It’s been frustrating to be incapacitated as I had a long list of things I wanted to get done this weekend, but I am grateful to get an immune system boost while the virus is circulating around the country in such crazy numbers.

The news that the Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tested positive for the virus for the second time in three months is worrying. At some point the pandemic becomes endemic, but at what level? Will we all just be catching the disease over and over again?

This was a week in which I:

  • Took advantage of a break in the weather to chalk up the first 100km bike ride of the year with my eldest son. It was the furthest either of us had ridden in some time, and I was proud of him getting to the end. Our route took us directly past the flight path into Luton Airport.
  • Felt good being back at my desk, ready to grab the reins of 2022 and get a lot of stuff done this year. The children went back to school a few days later which wasn’t good from a sleep perspective; they were still up late mooching around the house when I was trying to wrap things up for the day. I managed to deal with all of my new emails and Teams messages within a day, made possible by working in a small team, in a company where most people go on holiday at exactly the same time.
  • Completed a review of all of my open projects, as well as my team’s entire Kanban board of work.
  • Baselined our department budget for 2022 so that we are able to track variances throughout the year.
  • Started thinking about the list of key documents and artefacts that we need to review in the first few weeks of the year, including our Team Charter.
  • Reviewed the backlog of suggested topics for our weekly team learning/presentation session and encouraged colleagues to think about moving forward with some of them.
  • Met with the internal technical team to review and agree next steps for putting Teams mandatory compliance call recording in place.
  • Reviewed a matrix I put together on the monitoring, support and maintenance of all of the components in our infrastructure environment and agreed some next actions for areas where we have gaps.
  • Reviewed the delivery goals for 2022 put together by our Networks team.
  • Reviewed initial proposals for reconfiguring our audio/visual setup in our meeting rooms. We’re still at a very early stage in determining our needs, given the small number of weeks that we have been back in the office using the rooms since the pandemic struck.
  • Created a first draft delivery roadmap for 2022 for our department as a whole.
  • Spent some time reading and digesting On Industrialization: A Technology-Driven Path To The Next Generation Organization by Simon Wardley. Interesting, but not surprising, conclusions.
  • Published the first set of ‘random coffee’ pairings for 2022. Since May 2020 we’ve had over 2,900 randomly-selected pairs across our part of the organisation and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.
  • Finished my Evernote to OneNote migration. It took me days to review the 6,500 notes and get them down to just over 5,000, and the process to export and import them was a multi-day affair as well. I’ve now turned off my premium auto-renew in Evernote and have a few months to make sure that I’m not missing anything before I delete all my data there.
  • Watched The North Water. Beautifully shot, but one of the bleakest stories I’ve seen in some time. Colin Farrell was incredible, and almost completely unrecognisable from previous roles.

Next week: An almost full compliment of colleagues at work and a return to the normal schedule of things.

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    • A few things. I already pay for Office 365 every year and Evernote isn’t cheap on top of that. The Evernote app is really slow and clunky. I trust Microsoft with the security of my data more than Evernote and I see that only becoming more true as Evernote seems to be declining in popularity. My main use case is to save stuff down in a massive archive for reference in the future and don’t use it much for active project work at the moment, so it just needs to be stable and searchable.

  1. @adoran2 Yeah, I had my second Shingles vaccine on Friday, spent all of Saturday in bed and find that I’m still most comfortable back in bed on Sunday. I’d planned on losing the Saturday but had anticipated being back to normal today. So it goes.

  2. @agilelisa So sorry to hear that. I didn’t realise there is a vaccine for shingles. The COVID-19 vaccines seem to be a complete dice-roll in terms of their effects. A friend of mine was floored by his first one while my reaction was very mild, and the second one I barely noticed. Hope you’re back to full strength tomorrow!