Weeknote for 6/26/2022



I researched my primary races and voted. I like to base my votes on some degree of principle, but since I don’t understand the issues or candidates in much detail, I end up relying on proxies, like newspaper endorsements. My favorite is the Illinois State Bar Association’s judicial evaluations. Very clear and objective looking.

This time some of the candidates were impossible to find online, which made them easy to rule out. In my book, if you want to be a public servant, you have to communicate with the public. These days that means leaving a record of yourself on the web in the form of a website or at least media interviews.



I’m reorganizing my email and task management around Kanban. This system update project is teaching me that even if your problems would be solved by implementing your grand vision, you can still make a lot of progress by making smaller changes. I’m hoping this Kanban workflow will be an example. But it will at least be an experiment.



Maxwell House Colombian Ground Coffee: 4/5. It’s a decent everyday coffee with only some occasional sourness, and I stopped noticing the inconsistency after a while.

My opinion of oolong tea has risen. I’ve been getting through my box of it by drinking it at work. Some teas get bitter as they cool. The oolong from Twinings tends to stay mild, so I’ve been content with it as my everyday plain tea. Next I want to see how green tea compares.

People skills


I’ve started a reading project on people skills. I’ve had this on the backburner for years, and the catalyst to finally start it was Software Estimation‘s discussion of principled negotiation, largely drawn from the well-known book Getting to Yes. I have a reading order for the first few books in my head, so I’ll follow that and then see where things go.

Conversationally Speaking is a nice intro to a central people skill. I found this back in college and picked it as the best general conversation book I’d found. The advice seemed on point and the examples not too stilted. It covers the core dimensions of conversation as well as some key trouble spots.

The Art of Civilized Conversation focuses on etiquette. I picked this up a few years ago just because I liked the idea. One helpful feature is its outline of a conversation’s natural flow. Keeping to this flow lets the interpersonal boundaries shift naturally. You’re not invading people’s space with strong feelings just after you’ve been introduced.

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