Contents

2023-11-12

Contents

Funny how this daily journaling has deteriorated. Finding ten minutes a day to be alone with my thoughts and without distraction is surprisingly difficult. Nevertheless this ritual of coming to basketball practice and writing once a week whilst the big guy plays has become something of a ritual. And you know what, low expectations is often the secret to starting any new habit so the fact that I’ve managed to maintain a weekly practice of journaling is something that I’m quietly proud of.

So diagnostics check. Where are we this week. I’m a little bummed that I appear to have put on a kilo or two of weight despite a focused attention to what I’m putting into my body. But the reality there is that whenever I double down on well-being and fitness I don’t just focus on the food but the training as well. I’ve started a new fitness cycle with double kettlebells, which despite the relatively low weight of each bell seems to be kicking my ass - which likely means I’m adding a chunk of muscle. Especially, after reading some recent science, discovering that my protein intake was pretty low for a male of my age, let alone one conducting some strength training. Yes, the science seems to say that once when get past 30 their protein requirements sort of jump up. On any given day I was perhaps getting half of the 200 grams that I should be targeting. Which doesn’t sound like a lot if your diet contains a steak every day, but is challenging in most cases. For instance I was eating around 120 grams of salmon as a serving previously when I measured it and that really is only 75% protein.

On the family front, the grandparents have headed south of the border for a week to visit friends which makes the apartment feel oddly empty all of a sudden. In the past few days, I’ve come around to a new way of thinking. If I consider that they are likely to be staying with us for 5+ months of the year for the foreseeable until they become too old to travel, which might be another ten or fifteen years from now, then perhaps we should put more effort into making the space feel like home for them. Specifically, I’m thinking that what was historically my office should just permanently a guest room. After all, I haven’t actually used my office as an office since July.

I also accept the fact that now the precedent has been set. Now that they’ve stayed with us for a visit, there’s no likelihood that future visits will include them seeking out their own accommodation. As a matter of fact, I actually think that have stay in the same space is better for everyone. Personally, when they have nowhere else to be I don’t have the resentment of “why are you always here?”. But also I think it encourages better behaviour on their part. Entirely because they have nowhere else, it encourages them to be more a part of the household and contribute to the cooking, cleaning and everything else. Previously it had always felt a little like locusts descending destroying everything and then disappearing once the utility had been fulfilled.

On the work front it’s been an interesting week. The supermarket project invited us to present the proposal to them in (virtual) person and immediately upon seeing the very technical audience it was decided to pivot the presentation from a heavy business sales pitch to a technical deep dive. That meant that I found myself not only introduced on the call but presenting a few slides for over 10 minutes on a call with more than a million dollars on the line. Overall I think it went well and they were making all the noises associated with being close to a sale. All in all a good week for my spreading of wings.

I had explained my plan to move further up the sales funnel to my VP earlier in the week, and it was interesting to watch. Although we had previously made mention of developing into other avenues, when I suddenly presented action, I got to watch him mentally pivot in real time from an initial “oh fuck” to a “I completely support you”. For me this is just reflective of my struggles recently. Despite all the rhetoric around everyone having a three to five year development plan, when push comes to shove, I feel like we’ve all been left to our own devices and if we’re not driving it ourselves it doesn’t happen and it’s all status quo.

After the sudden influx of inbound requests for conversations, I actually went through the motions of the first two rounds of the job interviews this week. A small, boutique AI firms within the city, but one has two major continental-level electricity supplier and national grid operators. Their problem is the sort of thing that has become my hallmark over the years. A lot of smart science and math types are starting to make in-roads but lack a technological maturity to get them into productizable solutions. I’m still a little unclear as to whether they want an engineer with experience or a manager that can take ownership of the entire work stream. If it’s the latter, it’s going to make for some challenging thinking if the third round interview goes well.

A small firm with good ideas, and more work than people, looking to move fast and grow. Versus the safety of my matured medium enterprise with five year time horizons and HR policies.