Last week was calmer. It was also largely taken up by trying to write the previous blog post. So this entry is a little shorter.
The week before last amounted to a revolution in my productivity, if it lasts. It centered around single tasking and punctuality. I had one of these revolutions a few years ago. That one was about energy and future orientation. Both revolutions have also been about the joy of accomplishment.
My new habits at work have hung on pretty easily. Strangely, I actually kind of look forward to work each day. It feels weird and a little cheesy to say that, but so far it’s been true. Work is a place with structure where I know what I’m doing and where I can get a substantial amount done. Very satisfying.
Evenings have been a somewhat different story. Much more lazy and scattered. Down time is important, but I’d still like to figure out how to balance things and get a more done outside of work.
One bit of increased chaos in the background of my life was last week’s release of Firefox 57, aka Firefox Quantum. It is faster, as advertised, but it also broke a couple of add-ons I relied on–Tab Groups (see the developer’s statement and this long appreciation thread with some more details from him and this Mozilla article on the tab hiding API) and Session Manager (see this bug report).
So until I figure out how I’ll be using Firefox, I’m sticking with Chrome. I took the add-on breakage personally for a while, but that’s another bad mood I wasn’t able to sustain. But it highlights just how important of a tool web browsers are to me. This post reflects my take on these changes.
Some frustrated users have been turning to alternative browsers that have branched off of Firefox, like Waterfox and Pale Moon. Or unrelated ones like Vivaldi. I already use Firefox, Chrome, and for a few purposes Edge. Maybe I’ll just use ALL the browsers!
Tuesday my futurism group had another meeting. This one was on propaganda. I like the people and our discussions, but I still need to figure out the most beneficial way to participate. It’s a familiar type of group conversation where I seem to have a different agenda and way of approaching the topic than the others, so I have trouble knowing what to say when, and I mostly stay quiet.
I saw Thor: Ragnarok with Tim on Sunday. I liked it about as well as any other superhero movie. That’s to say it was fun and visually impressive, but it didn’t stick with me and make me think for hours afterward. I will say that Cate Blanchett was a really good villain.
I will also say that Isaac Arthur has gotten me to pay more attention to math, physics, and engineering, so I asked myself things like what materials characters’ bodies would have to be made of to withstand the force of whatever just happened on screen.
Thursday in chapel we had famous calligrapher Timothy Botts, who spoke about Masterpiece Ministries, an arts camp for teenagers he started years ago. It looks like a great program, so if you have artistic teenagers in your life, it’s one to consider. The camp covers drama, songwriting, drawing, painting, and sometimes creative writing, dance, photography, film, and film animation.
Hearing his stories and seeing photos of the campers’ obvious enthusiasm for their craft, I mentally inserted myself into the situation and compared my typical response to theirs. When I’m asked to do something creative, I usually shrink back because I feel I lack skills and ideas.
There’s something to be said for just jumping in and seeing what happens, but it’s also helpful to think about what it would take to feel comfortable in that kind of situation. I’d say it takes picking a skillset, practicing enough to feel competent, learning creative thinking techniques, and practicing those enough to feel competent.