Running log w/b 15 Apr

Apr. 20th, 2019 10:37 am
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
numbers )

I am noticing that the first running interval each time is almost always uncomfortable, but everything seems to loosen up by the second or third, so I'm trying to make sure I take that first one as gently as possible while still actually running, and trusting that it will get better (and so far it always has). I am definitely reaching the point of actively enjoying most of the running intervals and coming out of the overall exercise with a nice endorphin buzz. Whee.

Zambia and economics

Apr. 17th, 2019 12:41 pm
brainwane: A silhouette of a woman in a billowing trenchcoat, leaning against a pole (shadow)
[personal profile] brainwane
Several years ago I got to visit my sister in Lusaka, Zambia.

I saw how it can work when utility companies work on a prepayment basis (as in, you have to top up your account before usage, much as you would top up a pay-as-you-go mobile phone plan). I found out about how one frequently irons one's clothes, or has them ironed, after washing, not just for aesthetic reasons, but to kill parasites. I learned that Zambia has a four-corners water border with three other countries. And I learned that the indigenous name for Victoria Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya or Mosi-O-Tunya, which translates as "the smoke that thunders", inspiring the name of a beer. (If you visit during the bit of the dry season when the waterfall roars less impressively, enterprising locals will happily photograph you in front of the green-painted wall they've set up, digitally place your smiling family in front of a suitably watery background, and charge you for prints. They also have props available in case you want to, say, wear a headdress, hold a carved stick, etc., in the photo, and I feel mixed about this, as you might imagine.) I meant to write up more of what I observed (I tweeted about a concert I attended but that's about it), then didn't get around to it, sadly.

At the time, India was my default comparator; I noticed how bits of things -- the climate, the physical infrastructure, the history museum, intangibles -- were like, or not like, things I'd experienced in India. I hope someday I get to visit more, different places in Africa so I can get a better understanding of it as its own context.

Just now I reread an old Daniel Davies post about Zambia (he was born there; I think his father did some kind of job there for a while), which he wrote in 2008 but which -- as I see the toll extractive capitalism is taking on my industry and my country -- strikes close to home.

...relevant to natural resource curse. What the continent of Africa is full of, is chancers and get-rich-quick merchants. The natural resources industry is of course famous for such characters, and the trait that they share with vulture financiers is that they vastly prefer to substitute risk tolerance, sharp elbows and an eye for the main chance for graft and creativity. People like this are useful and even necessary in small doses, but (as any history of your favourite frontier and colonisation narrative will tell you), in large numbers they're pestilential; a walking, talking infestation of the same kind of behaviour that's the staple of the resource curse literature.

There's a post forthcoming ... on psychological obstacles to development but I think this is the big one; not the lack of a work ethic, but the perversion of the work ethic in a large proportion of the domestic and expatriate business class, who think that success isn't something you build; it's something you find...
wildeabandon: A silhouette in the dark, with the text "So tired of being here" (tired)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
The last couple of days I've been trying to fit some chin-ups into my exercise routine, to start building strength again, and probably not unrelatedly I've had a bit more upper back/neck/shoulder pain than I sometimes do. I'm currently hoping that reason I'm awake after only about three hours sleep is that pain waking me up and not insomnia brought on by the increased dose of my ADHD meds. (I do think this is reasonably likely, since I got off to sleep with very little difficulty).

I shall hold off on doing any more chin-ups for a while and see if the sleep gets better once the aches fade, and in the meantime I shall start doing some pilates again, which I've been neglecting, and then try again once I've built up a bit more core strength.

I did feel quite a lot more focused and productive yesterday, so whilst that may just be normal fluctuations or placebo effect, if it is the result of the drugs I would really like it if the effective dose wasn't also a dose that gives me ongoing insomnia...

PyCon NA, !!Con and WisCon 2019

Apr. 16th, 2019 09:59 am
brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (smiling)
[personal profile] brainwane
May is my big conference month this year. cut for one photo + length )

.... I need to order business card refills.

(Edited a few hours later to add: crossposted to Cogito, Ergo Sumana.)

Running log last 2 weeks

Apr. 15th, 2019 01:17 pm


Apr. 13th, 2019 01:31 am
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
For many years, my go-to "is there big news I want to/need to know about?" source has been BBC News's front page. It has more of a UK and worldwide focus than most US sites, and that helps me both be a bit less provincial and see less "the latest outrage from the federal government" coverage.

On mobile in particular, one just gets a short headline plus a graphic for each story. I have this little habit of reading each one and mentally responding re: whether this is good or bad news. So my brain is going, e.g.,:

"Good? .... Bad .... Bad? .... Good .... Depressingly bad .... Soccer, no response .... Bad ..... Good? ....."

I am probably a user persona of some kind, in case you work on CMSes for news.


Apr. 10th, 2019 10:11 pm
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
While I am off work, I don't need to do my usual commute but I decided to keep up a daily weekday run anyway. I've been going out first thing in the morning and it's great: nice and cool, and no backpack to carry! And then I get home and shower and I've already knocked off a lot of my daily steps target.

Inevitably, looking at Jeff Galloway's site has got me thinking about longer runs and what's practical. more notes-to-self about target paces and distances )

Things wot I have done.

Apr. 10th, 2019 09:46 am
wildeabandon: writing an appointment in a diary (scheduling)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Further to the last post, I am trying to remind myself that even with reduced executive function I have managed to achieve quite a bit of stuff in the last few weeks. Cheerleading and affirming comments would be appreciated :)
  • Organised a Thronescamp
  • Organised a group trip to see Richard II on Saturday
  • Organised [personal profile] leonato's birthday weekend
  • Run a training session for new servers
  • Planned and led three singing rehearsals
  • Run a couple of hundred miles, including knocking a minute and a half off my Parkrun PB
  • Done a bunch of wedding organisation
  • Delivered the church annual accounts
  • Made a plan and booked flights to go and visit [personal profile] danohu next month
  • Done this whilst travelling up and down the country every week, and mostly managing not to leave anything vital at the wrong end

I am still managing to come up with all the reasons why this is insufficient or doesn't count, but I mostly think this is my jerkbrain being a jerk and it can go do one.

New brain meds and imposter syndrome

Apr. 9th, 2019 04:43 pm
wildeabandon: A silhouette in the dark, with the text "So tired of being here" (tired)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
As I think I've already mentioned, I started on new brain meds for ADHD a few weeks ago. The good news is that I'm not noticing any unpleasant side effects. The less good news is that the theraputic effect is so far pretty minimal. I think it's greater than zero, but less than the effect of the Modafinil which I had been buying on the grey market and self-prescribing for the last few years, and came off a week or so before I started on the new meds.

It's really difficult to judge though, because basically what's happening is that I'm finding it harder to get up in the morning, and being more inclined to procrastinate and more forgetful and disorganised, and one part of me is going "yep, those are ADHD symptoms becoming more pronounced" and another part is going "don't be ridiculous, you're just being lazy and rubbish and making excuses for it". It's also the case that since I observed that the new meds are less effective than the moda they seem to have become even less so, and now I can't figure out how much of that is psychosomatic, because it gives me an excuse to be lazy. Ugh. Brains.

I've got an appointment with the specialist on Monday, when I shall be asking her to increase the dose, and I think it's probably sensible to just carry on as I am until then rather than experimenting with taking moda alongside or instead of the new meds. I don't have any major deadlines between now and then, so I can actually get away with being less productive than usual, and should just be reasonably compassionate towards myself for not achieving a huge amount but that's always easier said than done.

A poll

Apr. 9th, 2019 12:11 pm
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
My spouse and I got into a conversation, riffing on Columbo and A Suitable Boy, that leads me to ask:

Poll #21776 Live-in masseur/masseuse
This poll is anonymous.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 37

When I think of the idea of a masseuse who lives in one's home (assuming the employer is wealthy enough to afford such a servant), I think:

View Answers

8 (21.6%)

Who gets massages that often?! Or, do they serve the whole household, including the other servants? [Logistics spiral]
27 (73.0%)

Someone's having an affair.
8 (21.6%)

Wait, what word do we use now? Masseur? Massage therapist?
6 (16.2%)

Something else, which I may discuss in comments.
4 (10.8%)

Fitbit goal/activity check

Apr. 7th, 2019 11:16 pm


Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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