in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #264 — Board

Maybe I’m just noticing now that I’m going into the office at least three days a week again. Or maybe the train service really is getting back to being its rubbish self once more.

Thursday morning gave us last-minute cancellations and trains rolling into the station on the wrong platform. There may have been some warning on the new digital signage, but only a person with a backstory of being bitten by a radioactive owl would know for sure.

Waiting for the London-bound train to arrive on platform 4. If you squint, you might be able to see a shade of orange on the digital signage that indicates all is not well. But what it says? Who knows!

Waiting for the London-bound train to arrive on platform 4. If you squint, you might be able to see a shade of orange on the digital signage that indicates all is not well. But what it says? Who knows!

Zooming in, we can just make out that the next train is bound for London Euston, but the black on orange text is completely unreadable unless you’re directly next to the sign, like this guy. Higher resolution displays to not automatically mean better visibility, people.

Zooming in, we can just make out that the next train is bound for London Euston, but the black on orange text is completely unreadable unless you’re directly next to the sign, like this guy. Higher resolution displays to not automatically mean better visibility, people.

The delays led to a collision with Ed from Album Club, which was a delightful way to pass the time on our drawn-out journey into London.

This was a big week for me, with a couple of important presentations to senior forums. I feel like I’m just about keeping afloat.

This was a week in which I:

  • Gave a presentation to one of our executive governance committees, asking them to ratify decisions that we made at our programme steering committee. All of the decisions were supported.
  • Took our board of directors through my presentation on Large Language Models and Generative AI. It went down so well that I’ve now been invited to speak to all of our Compliance professionals across the group.
  • Hosted the steering committee meeting for the main programme I am running.
  • Spent some time with our CIO on our strategy.
  • Met the CEO of a company that we are looking to work with to give us data and analytics about our offices — temperature, CO2, humidity, occupancy, light intensity and noise levels. It’s exciting to think about what insights we might get from all of this information.
  • Reviewed the technical AV/IT designs with our vendor and the landlord’s team for a new office that we are moving into.
  • Had the weekly project meeting for an office fit-out and move.
  • Got to see a number of 3D renders of the planned ‘work cafe’ space in one of our new offices, helping us to make decisions about the AV kit that we will install there.
  • Assisted a colleague with how to put together a financial projection as part of a business case.
  • Joined the weekly project meeting for opening a new office.
  • Reviewed a conceptual design pack for the spaces we share with a sister company in one of our offices.
  • Had my first set of one-on-one meetings with my recently expanded team.
  • Joined the quarterly town hall event for our technology staff.
  • Said goodbye to a couple of colleagues. One my peers is retiring after 42 years at the company. We surprised him by sending a parallel invite to our all-team meeting to a whole bunch of old friends and colleagues. It was lovely to hear stories from over the years. Both he and another team member are leaving us for their next adventures at the end of the month.
  • Enjoyed a work social event at M Restaurant. It was great to talk and have a laugh with colleagues that I don’t usually speak to.
  • Kicked off our project to remodel the kitchen. We sold our kitchen corner sofa to a guy who drove down from Derby to pick it up. When he got here he was on his own, which I thought was taking a little bit of a chance that there would be someone to help him to get the parts out of the house and onto his flat bed truck. We’ve also had all of our tiled floor removed, ready for the underfloor heating to be expanded to cover an area that will be open flooring in the new configuration. I’d forgotten how much dust gets generated when a workman even thinks about doing something. Next week we are having the remains of the floor tile adhesive being sanded down, so I expect our kitchen to be in full ‘moon simulation’ mode.
Black granite worktops. Nothing can escape…THE DUST.

Black granite worktops. Nothing can escape…THE DUST.

  • Spent Saturday at the SportsShoes.com Podium Festival in Leicester. My eldest son was looking to get a good 5km time on the board. He managed to get around in 15m22s; it was so great to see him happy after his run. The festival itself was really cool — a mixture of running, live bands and DJs — but would have been so much better if the sun was shining. It had threatened to rain all day but had held off until the elite races in the evening. As soon as we saw the men cross the line in the last race we made a run for the exit. Returning to our car we found ourselves locked in a car park along with a bunch of other people who found themselves in the same boat. Fortunately, another driver made contact with the landowner who kindly send someone with a key to rescue us.
  • Opted not to do the cycle club’s ‘Spring Classic’ reliability ride on Sunday. I’d paid to enter some time ago, but couldn’t face turfing myself out of bed into the pouring rain.

Media

Podcasts

  • I’ve been enjoying this week’s discussions on the Stratechery, Sharp Tech and Dithering podcasts about TikTok and the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. If the act becomes law, TikTok owner ByteDance will be pushed to either divesting the app in the US (whatever that means on a technical level) or face having the app removed from the Apple and Google app stores. One thing is puzzling me though. Given that the bill may take a protracted time to get through the processes and become law, what would stop TikTok from using their platform in the run-up to the election to push content that paints the Republicans — and Donald Trump in particular — in a good light, influencing the vote? If this fails, at this point they probably haven’t lost anything. If it works, Trump may look more kindly on the platform from the help it gave him. He may decide not to sign the legislation when it comes to his desk, or revoke any law that has been put in place. What am I missing?

Articles

Video

  • Finished watching season four of For All Mankind. What an incredible show. It feels bizarre to look up all of the main actors and find that most of them are younger than me; they play the parts so well.

Audio

Web

Books

  • Manuel Betancourt’s book on Judy Garland’s Judy at Carnegie Hall informed me that there is a person called Mayo Simon. As Wikipedia says, “Not to be confused with Simon Mayo.”
  • Bought a couple of books from people whose work I appreciate:
  • Started reading Toxic Positivity by Whitney Goodman.

Next week: A medical consultant, a driveway excavation, a dusty kitchen, a boiler inspection and a gig.

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