2011-0730 Saturday

SUMMARY: IKEA, Cowboys and Aliens, Star Trek Online, Crash.

The day was spent with friends driving to IKEA in Stoughton, MA. It’s about an hour drive each way. The mission: pick up supplies to build a standing desk, which is based around four VIKA KAJ height-adjustable table legs ($15 each) and a 47″x28″ VIKA AMON birch veneer table top ($20). I also spied an interesting trestle table system that I could make a nice drafting table from, and picked up a $4.99 wok for the portable induction cooktop (for stir frying on the deck) and a $6.99 roasting pan for Roast Beef Business Summit Nights (the design, featuring fewer seams in the rack than normal plus a teflon-coated pan with generously rounded corners, I think will make for much easier cleanup).

Afterwards, we went to see the new John Favreau movie Cowboys and Aliens, featuring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, with Olivia Wilde. Impressions: There were cowboys! There are aliens! It’s a western! I love Daniel Craig’s intensity, which carries the movie. It’s always good to see Harrison Ford; he’s like a favorite uncle who used to bring you forbidden toys when you were a kid. In this movie he is not the lead. If I have an issue with the movie, it’s that the western setting is akin to a painted backdrop with a few recognizable character types and props sprinkled around. The same can be said for the alien design as well. Neither genre is lavished with loving attention; there is just enough to sell the context of the “Cowboys and Aliens” premise as it lurches from set piece to set piece. Without Craig to watch, I wouldn’t have been as drawn-in.

It was well after 7PM when I got home, and I managed to cook some dinner and get in some email and an hour of Star Trek Online before conking out at around 10PM. Didn’t take the melatonin.

OBSERVATIONS

I apparently needed the weekend to decompress. I was thinking I could do a bit more work (the desktop wallpaper is turning into quite a rabbit hole) but I need the time away from work. The brain refuses to cooperate…it needs to do something else for a while. I also need to take some time to look at what’s on my plate right now, as I am feeling some nebulous anxiety about having forgotten something.

That suggests two things for the coming week:

  • Monday Review Day, or Sunday Review Night, to look at what’s coming up. I think the nightly one will be preferable, as it means I can awake on Monday with a clear sense of what to do. I think this reinforces the idea of weekly sprints, to borrow an idea from Agile development.

  • Reviewing the hour log I kept for the past week to see how well it conforms to my “required time” estimates, as I posted in apportioning the day.

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p>A second observation, project-wise, is that the desktop wallpaper project is far more complicated than I had imagined, because it puts pressure on several areas:

  • I want this to be really good
  • I want to create something original with hand-made details
  • I want to create something that is authentic, moving, using sources that are drawn from within me.

I’ve always, I think, approached my more personal projects like this, but as this project is for someone else I am feeling the added pressure not to disappoint. This brings in still more pressure and stress that doesn’t need to be there.

On a positive note, since I’m being very time-aware with these activity logs, it’s I’ll be able to estimate future projects like this more accurately.

I’m going to copy these notes into the DesignThink post and resume my thoughts there.