GHDR Weekly Review 7.2 – Slow is Smooth, and Smooth is Fast

'Pancakes in a Minute' seen at a Holiday Inn Express Hey everyone! Another belated report on my ever-evolving Groundhog Day Resolutions Goals! Originally I thought I’d be posting these every Sunday, but I’m finding that I need a day or two between each reflection session. I think that’s OK, and results in a better report.

Last week, I was primarily concerned about the kickoff meeting for a new project called MEME, which is a supporting software tool for researchers studying different approaches to teaching scientific systems thinking in 5th graders. The kickoff was at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, and I hugely enjoyed meeting the team. I spent a couple days afterwards brainstorming our approach with my development partners. There’s several threads of inquiry and investigation with respect to the code we’ll be developing. This is directly related to my software development goals for 2018, so BIG WIN there.

Discussing system models in kickoff meeting I also had a chance to review my thoughts on hiring a business consultant to help me get momentum with my stationery business. I’ve not put much effort into growing or supporting the Emergent Task Planner and related tools. I’ve been talking to Brenda to see what we can set up, and I’ve also been thinking about exactly what I need from such collaboration. I’ve tried this a few times in the past, and my working theory is that I might benefit more from setting the expectations myself rather than seeing what the consultant suggests. Brenda’s willing to give this a shot, so I’m looking forward to kicking-off an initial session. Developing my stationery business is one of my business goals for 2018, so that’s another GHDR win!

Those are the highlights; let’s get into the details!

RECAP OF THE WEEK

**WEEK OF SEP 24**
...
[x] + MON diagnose secondary server hack
[x] + MON restore critical website for friend
[x] - SESSION feature prelim
[x] - LOGGING feature prelim
...
[x] + Respond to query on video
[x] + Shop for and order Big External Drive for editing
[x] - TUE Consult with Joy
[x] - TUE Pick up pants
[x] - Pick up letter from doctor
[x] - THU First electrolysis appt (bring personal check)
[x] - FRI Birthday dinner for Sabina
[1] - 15m cardio at gym
[x] - SUN Review week
...
/// - Restart Diet and Exercise
/// - 20 hours available, not minimum 15 hours
/// - Trip coming soon!

LEGEND: [ ]=planned  [X]=planned+done  [+]=reactive+done  [~]=in-progress  !!!=late  ///=remember
LEGEND: { }=optional  [-]=cancelled  [?]=stalled  [.]=paused  [:]=blocked  [>]=deferred [/]=fail

The week was characterized by finishing work for NetCreate, the other billable project that is coming to a close. The researchers at Indiana University ran their initial trials using our work on October 1st and 3rd, and other than a few bugs it apparently worked very well. I’m pretty happy about that. The rest of the time was spread between managing the damage from one of my servers being hacked, attending a couple of social events, and taking care of some “personal style” things related to my physical evolution. All in all, not a bad week.

Do you know what’s interesting? The only change I made last week was in my attitude toward work. Last week I noted, somewhat hesitantly, that maybe I am doing everything “OK” as far as balance and speed is concerned. Before, I would worry about not being fast enough, and fret over all the undone tasks that were piling up. Currently my mindset is that I’ll get done what I can get done and not feel terrible about it. This is actually a difficult adjustment for me, but so far I think I’m able to manage my chill. I got a boost an unexpected dose of confidence on the way to the airport from my Uber driver, who works as a specialist contractor building fully-finished mobile offices in a single day. When I asked him whether his team prided themselves on their speed and competed with themselves to get even faster, he related a training mantra from his army days:

Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.

I LOVED this, and it reminds me of some firearms training I received several years ago along similar lines. I related this anecdote with my house guest when we were talking about learning the piano, and he totally agreed with the principle. So YEAH…SLOW IS SMOOTH, AND SMOOTH IS FAST. It is totally true, and this is just what I needed to hear to be more confident about my current way of doing things. Speed takes time to develop, and so long as I focus on how “smoothly” I can do things, the speed will come and my capability will grow.

Other Happenings

Since we were in New Brunswick for a few extra days, we took the opportunity to try some different restaurants.

Bagel Nosh in New BrunswickSoup Buns at Shanghai Dumpling House in Edison, NJJellyfish and Radish at Shanghai Dumpling House I’ve been mystified by what makes a good bagel, and so we tried Bagel Nosh near the hotel to establish my reference point. This bagel with lox and cream cheese on an everything bagel was judged by my more worldly friend Ben as “pretty good, but too much cream cheese and lox. A bad bagel won’t have this slightly chewy QQ texture.”

We also checked out a Chinese restaurant Shanghai Dumpling House in nearby Edison. After waiting for an hour on Saturday at around 2PM, we finally got in and ordered a few dishes. The jellyfish was delicious, and the soup buns weren’t bad either. Ben was particularly interested in tasting their beef noodle soup to see how it compared to his own recipe, and found nothing surprising in it.

We also tried out Efes Mediterranean Grill after walking around downtown looking for something interesting. I ordered a tasty lamb kebab in yogurt dish that I am craving right now. There had been some excellent hummus at the kickoff meeting at Rutgers, but they had gotten it somewhere else and I was sad that we didn’t get to re-experience it.

Beef Noodles at Shanghai Dumpling HouseLamb Kebab in Yogurt at Efes Mediterranean GrillRutgers Freedom Signs Speaking of Rutgers, we saw this field of Freedom signs decorating one of the quads on campus. It was rather delightful to see social expression alive and well.

THE WEEK AHEAD

This week will largely be one of preparing for the next project, putting together new tools and updating old ones. I’ll be starting on several personal projects too, and hopefully my pleasant mood will continue to carry me. Just gotta remember SLOW IS SMOOTH, AND SMOOTH IS FAST as my overall approach toward excellence, and maybe I’ll be OK.

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!