Weekly Head Voices #149: I forgot to proof-read this.

Part of the Sunday morning trail. Although I really enjoy these, I’m at my happiest running down antelope on the savannah.  Antelope strictly-speaking not required, but those wide open plains on the other hand…

This, the one hundred and forty ninth edition of the Weekly Head Voices, covers the week from Monday July 16 to Sunday July 22 of the year 2018.

This week, we have apple watch running adventures, deep learning in production (finally), yet another focus tip and finally a youtube poetry reading.


The Apple Watch, Vitality and You

On Monday, I became the owner of a brand new Apple Watch 3, FOR FREE(ish).

I feel that two points are worth mentioning:

  1. Having one’s work macbook unlock automatically as one prepares to put one’s hands on the keyboard, with a sweet little unlock sound emitting from one’s watch, is much more fun than I had expected.
  2. One was looking forward to using third party running apps on the watch, such as iSmoothRun which does real-time reporting of cadence, which can be shown together with a number of other stats on a number of configurable screens a la Garmin . One has had to cancel these plans, because Vitality, the shadowy organisation responsible for the FOR FREE(ish) nature of the watch, only recognises runs submitted by the built-in Workouts app.
    • The September watchOS update will include runtime (haha) cadence, which is great. However, some technical system for the support of third party apps would have been even better. I’ll live.
    • Runs logged with the built-in Workouts app can be easily and automatically submitted to other platforms, such as Strava, where many of my running peeps hang out, and even to one’s own Dropbox in FIT format, with the HealthFit iOS app, a very reasonable once-off purchase.

DeepLearning Inside(tm)

On Friday, we shipped a new version of the most important work project I am currently involved in.

Again I feel that two points are worth mentioning:

  1. We now also have deep learning, albeit a humble example, out in actual production. I was starting to feel a little left out. Anonymous shout-out (because top secret) to the team members who made this happen!
  2. They say one should never deploy or ship on Friday. Because I come from the I-won’t-do-what-you-tell-me generation, I cut the final release on Friday evening after the traditional weekend-starter braai.
    • To be honest, this was only necessary because I had promised our client that we would release, and it was only possible because we have a fairly good test-suite, with end-to-end being most crucial in this specific scenario, and a checklist-style release procedure.


As part of my chaotic but ever-evolving constellation of systems for maintaining work focus, I have renamed the shorter focus blocks approach to the short-but-specially-defined-so-that-completion-is-possible-within-one-block focus blocks approach (SBSDSTCIPWOB-FBA).

This adds the incentive of a small but probable shot of dopamine at the end of the focus block, and sometimes even leads to its unwitting extension by the woefully undersized (not to mention super lazy) rider sometimes sitting atop my mental elephant.

It sometimes feels like I’m slowly reinventing GTD.

(This blog post is an emotional roller coaster ride for me. This is the first time I’m feeling something.)

I used to be a fan of GTD when I still believed that my function in life was to answer emails really quickly, and master multi-tasking.

Since then however, I’ve slowly had to come to the realisation that, at least in my case, the amount of email processed is more or less exactly inversely correlated to the actual value that I produce.

The impotence of proof-reading

The following poetry reading made various subsets of my neurons fire in extremely pleasant ways.

I hope that you experience similar effects. See you next time!

9 thoughts on “Weekly Head Voices #149: I forgot to proof-read this.”

  1. Your readers are waiting, with bated breath (left wide open for poetic misinterpretation as illustrated in the YouTube video), for the publication of your first Sketchnote! We want (NEED) to see all the juicy details, Charl.

    Since you are a fellow lover of languages, I have to mention this week’s Great Announcement: that you can now program, and be a rock star too.


    I recommend “idiomatic Rockstar with poetic literals” for level 11 effect.

    1. Their “idiomatic Rockstar FizzBuzz” implementation is literally poetry. :)

      However, f#’s versions are not too shabby either, if you’re into Borg poetry:

        |> Seq.map (function
            | x when x%5=0 && x%3=0 -> "FizzBuzz"
            | x when x%3=0 -> "Fizz"
            | x when x%5=0 -> "Buzz"
            | x -> string x)
        |> Seq.iter (printfn "%s")

      (my eyes have gone all moist now)

  2. I really like the RunGap app to move fitness data back and forth between different apps and services. Works great.

    1. One other friend tipped me about RunGap, and it was mentioned more than once on the Strava forums, but I decided to get HealthFit due to the once-off purchase cost. If I understand correctly, RunGap charges a small subscription? (for my purposes, HealthFit is great)

  3. On your freeish AW3: what is your yay/nay after some use? Not only running, but also generic life. One person I know all my life, quite literally, is considering buying an AW4 this year as he has money to smash. Small sidestep; considering your deep learning work and previous remark, deep learning and unregulated currency exchanges are loads of fun. Never know if you wakeup rich or a bug just undid two previous months in one careless hour of sleep. Back on the red line of this chaotic post. As liquidating a tiny bit of previous shared sidetrack, before my digital me decides to burn it again, gives me actual bits of information the world accepts as valid currency I was wondering if buying an AW4 would be nice instead of a Garmin FRxxx. Just because hours spend wearing the thing and not exercising exceeds hours spend wearing the thing and exercising.

    1. To be completely honest, if I had not been able to acquire the AW3 at this reduced rate, I would probably have gone for the Garmin VivoActive3 [Music], or perhaps even a Garmin FR6/9xx. Fewer smartwatch features, but much better battery life, and more running features.

      All of that being said, the AW plays quite wonderfully within one’s Apple home ecosystem. (down here we are still in the single digits of units, but not by much…) The other factor is the watchOS app ecosystem, people are doing interesting things with the flexible hardware.

      I would say that if you’re more serious about your running / triathlon-ing than about your gadgets, consider the Garmin.

      1. Thanks. That confirms what I read on other sources. Bit of a struggle now, Garmin recent versions are so nice for activity tracking but having a little something for rest of the day is also attractive once you start reading into it. I can’t see added benefit of reading messages on it but I can imagine once you have it all these small little things (hi calenders meeting) add up. Let’s see what September brings but I fear no matter the choice I make I will dream about the other :(.

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