WeekNotes #4 brings a 21km practice walk, tattoos, tooth fairies, Comic Con, roadmaps, group fitness, F1 Calendar, more Make Life Work, NFC apps, money management, PayPal woes, Smart homes, Cold Feet, Jumanji and podcast inspiration.
Prep began for the big Jurassic Coast (walking) Challenge this past weekend with our first practice walk. 21km around surrounding villages, through different terrain and damp weather. Seriously proud of ourselves, especially considering it didn’t kill us, just tightened muscles.
Diet tracking has taken a turn for the worse as I just couldn’t get in to the habit of recording all the food through my day, especially the home-made and takeaway specials. Following my chat with Marc on Friday though, I want to see how his habit tracker could be adjusted to suit me.
My mid-life crisis continues with finding inspiration for suitable tattoo artwork. I’ve had it in my mind for months to cover up the existing Chinese symbol on my upper right arm with something more meaningful to me. A visit to a local tattoo shop gave me plenty ideas although I need to improve my Google Fu when searching.
Princess lost her first baby tooth this week (at the tender age of 7½ as well) to much fanfare. But what’s the current exchange rate for teeth? It turns out the averages fluctuate around the UK, from 50p up to £20! It looks like the tooth fairy went for the safe £2 in our region.
We’re also planning our ComicCon visit for this year, probably heading over to the “Welsh” gathering (in Telford) for a change of scenery. There’s a mix of themes to play with though; The Boy is keen on Stranger Things but Princess on His Dark Materials. I’m considering the former so I can go for the “simpler” Jim Hopper cop with handlebar moustache.
The countdown is on with just a few weeks left at ASOS. All the handovers and 121’s required before my final week (when my replacement is on holiday) so we had to condense in as much as possible.
Before I parted ways, I was keen to help the team identify their vision and roadmap for the next few quarters. I used personas as a foundation, grouping people up to “become” the personas and note down three topics based on emotions:
- What are you currently thinking/doing/feeling? 🤔
- What would you love to see? 🥰
- What would annoy you? 🙄
Each group then discussed their outputs with the wider group, organising and visualising on a wall, which were then aggregated and prioritised together. As we discussed the common areas, other topics came up which we captured as extra “discovery” topics. We then went through the currently planned roadmap to see what overlapped (it helps align with business commitments and decisions) then volunteers claimed the feature they were most passionate about to encourage ownership and responsibility.
It’s not just about the management though; we had one last “Boyband” reunion (which I referred to the benefits of last year). Emotional times as the boys battled through some seriously tough workouts yet they were still capable of lifting me at the end for a posing shot.
I’m not the only one leaving ASOS at the moment; a chat group with a friend who’s leaving and another approaching 10 years definitely highlighted how things have changed over the years (some for good, some not as much). We were reflecting on the situation 6 years ago before the unbelievable growth through some tough times. I’m hoping that “startup” feel is still evident in my new gig – one of the attractive factors – but, after recent investment from a Cantonese organisation, I need to be ready for some challenging times.
F1 Calendar “2020 Edition” was released at the start of the week to controlled fanfare (and minimal pain). Amazing effort from Andy Y to get this out the door before the season starts and initial metrics look like it’s still serving an awesome audience. Side note: waking up to PRs and deployment notifications with Andy’s California timezone are seriously throwing me. (It’ll be another adjustment as I join WorldFirst.)
Make. Life. Work. series 2 recordings are now in the can following chats with Marc and Dan D. I’ve got one more lined up for next week with Daniel V giving me one extra for this round (despite throwing out the gender ratio).
I also recorded a load of videos to create a “Making of…” series to support the project. It started off as a blog draft when I realised (a) there’s loads to cover so I should break it down and (b) video content might be more engaging for this topic. Production is still under way as I find a house style I’m happy with but it’s been great getting feedback from my On The Side acquaintances to shape it better.
Two iOS apps have impressed me this week for completely different reasons:
- ReadID NFC is super useful to validate NFC identity documents. My wife’s passport wasn’t scanning correctly on the return from France a few weeks back so we started the replacement process (along with the pain of capturing a passport friendly photo on her phone). After a little Googling, I tested her passport with this app which proved it’s fine. Much cheaper than £80!
- Yolt is a brilliant app for monitoring your current, savings and credit accounts in one aggregate view thanks to Open Banking. Since I’ve setup a number of online current accounts such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut, I’ve been curious where my spending habits are going. UX is delightful and, so far, no issues. Encouraging and enlightening…
The Boy’s Xbox One S was snapped up last week (at the Buy It Now price too), however, that didn’t come without issues. For some reason, an old PayPal account I created for a family member received the funds which was on lock-down for 3 weeks and incapable of access despite all the security mechanisms and answers. Luckily, I was able to issue a refund directly to the buyer but now it needs rectifying so we can ship that out and order the graphics card.
After putting it off for years, I’ve finally ordered an SSD dock for the replacement drive in my 2012 iMac. The original drive is just completely dead so I want to get it up-and-running with a basic 128GB SSD and see how difficult it actually is to replace a drive. I’ve nothing to lose though; it’s been sitting there like an ornament for the past 2 years.
Since getting an individual Philips Hue bulb for Christmas, it’s been rendered quite useless so far apart from the novelty of changing the brightness from my phone. I finally ordered a Hub with extra bulbs this weekend so I’ll be having fun setting that up next week.
- Deadwater Fell has continued to entertain us with David Tennant’s seriously intense character.
- Trial of Christine Keeler concluded with some unexpected twists at the end. Brilliant performance from James Norton (not that one) – he is definitely one to watch!
- Cold Feet recently returned for another series which we still enjoy – the UK’s “Friends” as we described it to The Boy.
- Jumanji: The Next Level lived up to expectations, that is a dreadful remake and extension of the latest franchise. I’m not sure what I’m more disappointed by; the lack of story or the fact The Rock doesn’t appear to age.
- Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible and Elizabeth Elcoate’s The Elastic Brand have now entered my podcatcher, both for interesting content and inspiration for Make. Life. Work.
- Folamour’s DJ Mag set is a delightful disco/funk/soul mix and a wonder to watch as he enjoys his music.
- The Shapeshifters new track “Second Chance” with Kimberly Davis has been on loop since Defected Radio Shows have been hammering it out to build up interest. It’s working, guys!