Category: Weeknotes

Week 89 31/05/2020

I have missed several weeks/weeknotes. They have gone by in a lockdown blur. For the amount of time I spend staring at a screen you would think typing would be an easy habit to keep but it is not for me. The last note I successfully posted at the time was on the 26th of April. It is now the 2nd of June and I am late again. The constant consumption of headlines and tweets and other digital sugar that while only ever feels like skimming the surface but still drags you down. Must get present and content. Not that kind of content.

Work very busy as we head towards a big test and release period. Team crunching through loads of work to get us close to the next point. Fraught, plate spinning from me as usual. Trying to get three other projects up and running all within the same team. Not sure how it will work really. Still not a delivery/programme manager but feel like I am doing more of that role.

A week of glorious sunshine. Took Thursday and Friday off work for a break before the craziness of the next few weeks. We were also meant to be in Turkey this week. Instead we spent lots of time in our garden. First use of a cheap Aldi BBQ, my first ever charcoal one. Eating outdoors, how luxurious. Started to build some garden sofas/big benches. Put up some shelves either side of a chimney breast and turned a room into more of a gaming room for the kids. Sorted one childs bedroom out a little. Badly smoked some meat on the BBQ. Felt like a proper middle aged man. Very lucky to have this life.

‘Finished’ Horizon Zero Dawn – not quite 100% and have been really addicted, about 95 hours spent so far, but I must move on. Uncharted 4 next I think. Or maybe I should get all those blazing sun trophies first? One of the most addictive games I have ever played. Highly recommended.

The news becomes ever worse. Society failing on many levels. We only ever seem to look at a few countries though. The clapping has stopped now what comes next? Just becoming numb to it all.

Week 88 – 10/05/2020

I wrote just a fragment of this note before the habit faded away and the time in lockdown whistled by. What to do now? Disappointed I did not do a 100 in a row. Do I keep number the notes or the weeks? I think the weeks. This will be my last fake note, fake in the date sense that is.

Binge watched Normal People. It is very good.

Wii emulation – trying to get gamecube and wiiware games working via homebrew on an old Wii. So flaky and the games interfaces are very hit and miss. PC emulation looks much more solid. Now should I build a little gaming PC?

Week 87 – 03/05/2020

Posting this in June. I did write something but never finished. Even more stuccato than normal

Grumpy at work. Lots of requests for change as more people use our new product. An issue with a lack of design. Too much change for me to handle. I want it to be perfect and that is not realistic. I also want to please everyone and know I can’t. Need for more collaboration across the company. Need for skilled delivery people to let me focus more on what the product should be or I just need to get better at the delivery aspect of product management. Accept you have to say no more than yes as well. Grumpiness usually caused by my failings.

Went for my first bike ride in many years. It was tiring but fun. I went up a hill I hate running up. It turns out I can actually run up it faster than I can cycle up it. Not sure if that is a good thing.

Went for a very slow run, legs maybe not working after bike ride.

Bought a new TV. Not working for HD channel on Freesat. After lots of hunting I found an oscure thread on AV forums. Advice to buy some cheap attenuators from eBay and daisy chain them to reduce the signal attenuation becuase the tuner cannot handle a perfect signal, it needs a filtered signal. Now working. Love it more because of that solution. A lot of telly for £400.

Put my massive Tannoy R2 speakers by my TV. They sound great but look monstrous. I doubt they will stay but I wish they could.

Abandoned watching The Outsiders. Both read the book. Slow burn series dragged out yet cut out key story lines. Shame. Started Normal People. Very very good. Watched six episodes in a row. More books getting converted to TV is a good thing. Proper stories told well. Film dying? As cinemas close. Trolls world tour story. But only for films deemed non box office. What if they did really go for it? What could they do with a major release like Black Widow?

Proper addicted to Horizon Zero Dawn on the PS4

Week 86 – 26/04/2020

My eldest son got unwell on the last day of isolation. He is fine now thankfully but it was a kick in the teeth that we could not get out….but it turns out if you are isolated for all that time then the effects are no longer as effective so it turns out just my eldest has to isolate for another 7 days.

Used my freedom to do exciting things like go and buy nice cheese and beer. Not really done much else yet. You yearn for the freedom more than actually being free….or something like that. Also one of us has to stay home with my eldest.

Polished off series 3 of Mr Mercedes. Good telly. Watched Quiz. Also good telly. Now started The Outsider. We have both read the book. Now we are both trying to remember what went on and how the TV show deviates from the books.

I abandoned playing GTA V as it was too much boring driving. Switched to Horizon Zero Dawn instead and it has grabbed me. I can also play it in front of my children which gives me more chance to play it. Win, win.

These weeknotes are getting more boring. I am bored. I am boring. Oh well they will be a record of something I guess.

Week 85 – 19/04/2020

Falling out of the weeknotes habit. Must stay on it. Weeknote 100 is in sight.

Work is a constant. Need something to fill my days and being at home means I can focus on different parts of it more easily as their are less office distractions.

Have a weekly Zoom quiz nights between friends. A cliche almost but still fun. We managed to win this week.

Sanded and oiled an old bench. Going to do another old bench, chairs and a table. The garden will be important this year. Wish I knew more about plants etc. Time to learn I guess.

Isolated for another week but my wife is allowed out now. She went out for her first bike ride in a long time. I was very jealous. That sentence sounds wrong. I just want to get out of the house.

Week 84 – 12/04/2020

Work goes on. Team hammering though work. Maybe a fully remote team is good…

Set up Dolphin and retro arch for ‘my son’. Frustrating but rewarding to see my son play some classic Nintendo games. Ninetendo really should get more of their back catalogue updated to run on the switch.

Corona in the house. My wife tested poisitive after a few shifts back at work at the Northern General Hospital. She is amazing.

Had my first home haircut. I was not a good customer and was very grumpy when my amazong wife tried some weird fading thing without consulting me. Just told her to do number four all over after that. What an ungrateful shit.

Running again. Slow and heavy. Short lived outside time. Really fucked off with people not self isolating proper like gove. Lots of others not taking it seriously. The 14 days thing being fully ignored.

Started watching Mr Mercedes series 2. Good series. Annoying last episode. I wanted the good fight team on the case. So many holes in it. A series that includes mind control and they did not have the mind power to exploit that.

A bit sick of being stuck indoors. Can’t focus enough to learn some new things. The pandemic strangely has not changed me as I could not focus before it either.

Week 83 – 05/04/2020

Turned 44 on Tuesday. Lots of nice beer thanks to local delivery services and my well prepared wife and very nice cheese and bread courtesy of Silver Hill Larder and Forge Bakehouse.

My son turned 7 on Wednesday. I had more nice wine and beer but he is not as keen on them. He got lots of sporty gifts and a new trampoline. He had a little party on Zoom and a few friends did drive buys / present drops from distance. Nice birthday.

Work is a good constant in these weird times. Quite liking the qorking from home as it allows me to focus on things that seem to get lost in the office. Missing actual human contact obviously and pub lunches.

Not much exercise until the end of the week we did a couple of kettle bell sessions. Want to get out and run again but feeling a little reticent/lazy. Routine required and I have done a bit of planning to try and get more structure next week. Let’s see if the plan actually gets carried out.

Did half a day of working and having to look after the boys. Thank god for screens. More homeschooling demands next week as my wife returns back to work and onto the front lines of a hospital wards. A little bit worrying to say the least.

We have become a bit obsessesed with bird watching in the garden. Bought some new squirrel proof feeders and now I want different seeds to try in them. Excitment peaked when my wife snapped a male bullfinch. Bev is also forever photgraphing a pair of Jays that are regulars now.

Handsome bully

Jay birch nut in beak

Mainlined two TV series this week. Ozark season 3 is exceptional. Again Laura Linney probably the stand out but so many good characters and an amazing season finale as they say these days. We also watched the Tiger King after hearing about it non-stop. It is as batshit crazy as everyone says and is car crash watching at its finest.

Week 82 – 29/03/2020

Who knows what happend this week as my weeknote habit is getting a little weak. Lots of staying at home with the family. Work happened. People kindly brought us food. We had a video conference games night. Finished Mr Merceds. Pretty good but strays from the book quite a bit I suspect for beudget reasons. Weird week.

Week 81 – 22/03/2020

Weird start to the week. It felt like it would be the last visit to the office for a while and I only really went in as it was the start of sprint. Official announcement from the Prime Minister at 5pm meant our office was pretty much closed from then on.

Enjoyed working from home Tuesday as it gave me much more time to think. Fewer meetings. Plus we have just got through a tricky deadline and now we have a bit of breathing space.

I did a remote standup on Thursday that went ok. We recorded it too on MS teams but it failed to record the screenshare so the recording is just lots of bored faces in their houses. Makes a change from a lot of bored faces in the office 😉

Working from home was going well then my son got ill early hours of Wednesday morning. A high tempearature and a hacking cough that sounded croup like. We feared the worse and as my wife is a nurse and was due to work that day but we had to self isolate for 14 days. Been at hime ever since. Our friends have been very kind and helped us with bits of food. We also had a few paracetomol deliveries. We managed to get out in the garden over the weekend which was our first real taste of fresh air and it felt good.

Started watching Mr Mercedes (and lots of other things) which is bsaed on the Stephen King novels. Not too bad, Brendan Gleeson good as the grizzled retried out of shape cop. Brutal start to the series and some pretty dark bits in between. Which could be a metaphor for other things happening.

Week 80 – 15/03/2020

Ran to work after a weekend in Amsterdam. It was difficult.

Another customer visit. Love them. Totally changed the way we saw a product which we had decided to take in a certain direction. The challenge of designing something flexible to use is ever flexible and shifting.

Mentally checked out of the Half Marathon traiinng as the virus took hold. Surely it will be cancelled when mass gatherings inevtiably get banned. Rumours it will be rearranged to September to coincide with the Sheffield 10k.

My son feel over at school. Quite a bad fall and he hurt his arm and knee. Touch and go on the day whether to take him to hospital and we decided against it. Next day at school he got sent home and we went to the Children’s hospital. 3 hours waiting and one X-Ray later and it turns out he has a greentwig fracture of his wrist. We are bad parents.

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The eldest has his first broken bone.

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Polished off series two of the ominously titled ‘The end of the fucking world’. It is a good watch but at times it feels a little like a dram in the middle of a music video. Such a great soundtrack. It also reminded me I only get ‘new’ music from TV and films now it seems.

Killed all the Valkyries in God of War. Tough. Made me swear a lot and the final one I had to switch to easy mode to complete. Excellent game but after the main story the valkyries, and two other worlds felt a bit grindy and rushed. Would have been better to weave some of them into the story more but this is a minor gripe about one of the best games I have played in a long time.

Finally watched Rise of Skywalker. It was pretty average. Better than the last one. The beginning throws a hell of a lot of story at you with little explanation just a lot of fast cuts. Made it feel like a really forced plot. Macguffins everywhere. Made me feel nothing in the end. The Mandalorian was much better. Star Wars Rebels better again. I will guess the new Clone Wars animated series probably better. It seems the Star Wars future is TV based.

Virus getting real now.