Thursday, January 26, 2006

back again

Sorry for that interruption to the regular programming. I kind of got a bit busy there with a birthday, a snowboarding trip, reading a couple of books, and having too much work - not necessarily in that order.

The snowboarding trip (excellent thanks!) also served as an informal fitness check for my spine, and although I did hear my neck make some really loud "doing up a zipper" noises when I didn't quite land on my feet (though the snow was very soft) it seems that the area of my lower back where I had some problems is reasonably recovered. This is great news because for the last 4 months I have been unable to play pool or do ergs. I did a fairly gentle erg yesterday and (luckily, I can't report the distance as my batteries were very weak so I was getting some weird splits) my back still feels okay. So, I will start to get back into it (much needed) and see if I can make my fitness goals for this year (part of my "New Year Resolutions"). I will also start to play pool again which I'm really looking forward to - I want to make some kind of video montage about pool so I definitely need practice for that.

I just read "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" (actually, I should join Amazon's affiliate/associate program and do proper reviews and see if I can't generate a bit of cash from people clicking through or something - has anyone any experience with setups that work ?). It was a fairly nice and an easy read. The "story" way of illustrating the points was quite alright and actually let me identify quite clearly those people in my current organisation that have the same character types. That said though I think that tbe book missed out by not exploring more why teams tend are so easily put out of kilter - though perhaps the scope there is a bit too broad. [Incidently, a book I read a while back that was also written in story form, called "The Goal", was also a good read.]

Here's a neat idea: track paper money as it moves around to improve models about how disease might spread. Perhaps it is possible to do some historical analysis and see how ideas spread too before the internet and wide distribution newspapers appeared. Perhaps it can also be done with the internet but looking at demographically based spreading rather than geographically based.

Further to my comments about wanting to improve my typing, I used this typing test and tutor (note that for the tutor only the first couple of lessons are free). I'll take the test once a month and post my scores. What's a good goal over the course of a year ? I'm currently thinking that 100wpm is doable.

This Dilbert is very funny (though maybe you have to know me for this to be very funny :-D ).

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