This week is brought to you by an experiment in Library Rules
- no desk meetings
- write more, talk less
- DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE LIBRARIANS
Chess makes your brain hurt
Public digital hero and globetrotter Dan came over to play chess. We tried to talk about things and play a serious game, and found it was like trying to rub your stomach and pat your head at the same time. You can do a shallow version, but try anything more serious and your brains squidges out of your ears. So instead we played a really good game, and then we followed that with a very quick game that was full of exceptionally stupid moves.
There is some kind of lesson in there.
I am getting a little bit better at chess all the time. My rank for daily games is now apparently 1087, which puts me in the 28th percentile on Chess.com. That’s very low, so I’m going to keep plugging away. If you work around me and feel like a game, then let me know because I’d love to play more.
I had various deeply emotional conversations with friends this week. They’re good, but I find myself completely worn out by the end of the week, desperately keen for a bath and some quiet and solitude. Just me, hot water, and the weird gloing-gloing noise that water makes in your ears when your head’s almost under.
On Monday I was at the Foreign Office for a tour. It wasn’t hugely interesting, but then I should have known that beforehand — buildings have always just been buildings to me. On Tuesday I had a free evening so I set up a giant monitor and used it to spur me to finish my book.
No, not really. I played Civilization 5 and may have had a late night. It’s impossible not to just have one more turn on this game.
I also had a meeting cancelled on me; cancelled, in fact, twenty minutes after the meeting had started. That felt very unpleasant, but I’m trying to put a positive spin on it. All the same, I could feel all of that pent up nervous energy before a presentation still trying to escape. So I went for a long walk. It seemed to help. Nonetheless, I think that’s definitely contributed to my feeling of being drained and washed out.
Global Day of Code Retreat
I met more of my colleagues, particularly the ones who do Java. I also met lots of other new people; some people from Makers who were just starting to learn (but were still very impressive), some people who were already well established, and some people who couldn’t code but were very eager to learn. We worked in 40 minute blocks and then deleted all the code that we’d written, which was heart-rending the first time. And the second, actually, and every time after that. What was most interesting was the variety of code I found myself writing, even though the problem stayed the same. I also ate a lot of deep-fried sweet potato fries, and that felt somehow soul-improving.
I also did a tour of our offices, and that was fun because I got to use my ACTING VOICE, which is like my real voice but more confident and willing to do call-and-response.
If I met my acting voice in the real world, I would hate it and be desperately envious of it at the same time.
I also started the morning with a discussion about existentialism and stoicism, because I did a degree that does not pertain to programming except in all the important ways.
It was loads of fun, and re-inspired me to be more test-driven in my developing. I love stuff like this, particularly mentoring, because it reminds how much I enjoy doing it. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that I’ve completely, ridiculously lucked out with this job.