Weekly Head Voices #225: Just a perfect weekend

Dear reader,

Welcome (back) to the Weekly Head Voices, and specifically to the 225th installment, covering the period from Monday May 24 to Sunday June 6, 2021.

Keyboard update: K1

You’ll remember from WHV #204 that my previous keyboard acquisition was the Womier K87 with its all-encompassing RGB and hot-swappable Gateron brown switches.

That keyboard is so much fun to type on.

It’s hard to describe what leads to all that fun, relative to say the MS Sculpt Ergonomic (which makes a lot more sense as a typing device).

Perhaps it is the case that fingers also like the exercise, just like their human owners.

I was not planning to buy any keyboards again soon, but:

  • I was quite curious whether low profile key switches (that is, slightly less finger travel) would be a good compromise between the fun of the Womier and the efficiency of the Sculpt.
  • The K1 was on my list of candidates of keyboards with low-profile mechanical switches.
  • I find it difficult to resist a good deal.

You see, a friendly little bird (who also hangs out on the keyboards channel of the zatech slack) told me about the extra-special Takealot birthday special discount on the Keychron K1 V4 87-key keyboard.

Fast-forward a credit card transaction, a week of waiting for delivery and another week of getting accustomed to the new board, and here we are, with at least me typing these words on the new K1.

It took a while to get used to the keycaps, which can be a slippery sometimes (or rather, my finger tip traction is variable), but my typing speed and accuracy on this thing are in the neighbourhood of where they should be.

The thing is a great deal more stylish than my Womier; the Womier is that guilty pleasure 80s disco that you really love, the K1 could work in a serious coffee shop.

Also, having a keyboard which can switch this easily between wired operation (the default for my desktop) and three different bluetooth connections is pretty convenient. On trips where I usually only take the MacBook, I could consider taking the K1 along when I have to do A Great Deal of Serious Typing.

All of that being said, I can’t yet say if the low profile switches are indeed the compromise that I wondered about. My subjective impression now is indeed that my fingers don’t get so physically tired as sometimes happens with the Womier, but I’ll have to switch between them a few times to get a better idea.

Whatever the case may be, I am certainly enjoying the experience of typing on this thing, and I am certainly wondering about the interesting role that different types of mechanical keyboards have begun to play in my computing life.

Lessons about a new book notes post about Seven and a Half Lessons about the Brain

After two months of early(ish) morning typing on various keyboards, I finally managed to wrap up my book notes about Seven and a Half Lessons about the Brain, a fantastic book by neuro-scientist and psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett.

I had plans, in retrospect clearly too ambitious, to have at least two (2) book notes posts out in Q1 of this year (after it took me months to complete my book notes on Creativity, Inc. by the end of last year).

That goal was necessarily postponed to Q2, and as we can all see now, there is not enough time for a second post like this.

Either I have to change the format of the book notes to something more compact, like a bunch of bullet lists, or I should make peace with the fact that I write these like I write them, a little prose with quotes interspersed that can generally be read like a mini story itself, and with the fact that they’re going to take as much time as they do.

Sometimes I have mixed feelings about the practice itself.

It takes fragments of hobby time spread out over weeks, fragments of time that I could probably use for more reading, other interesting tidbits and, uhm, extra work.

On the other hand, it feels like a sort of a mini-rebellion doing exactly this, assembling so many little pieces into something slightly more coherent and significant, something that stands apart from work.

It seems I do know what to do.

Thanks for the chat!

Perfect weekends and the necessary reminders that precede them

The weekend of June 4, 2021, was unexpectedly perfect, and I would like to make note of that here for future me.

This is the recipe that we followed, utterly by happy accident:

  • 1x reminder during the week to really focus on the now.
  • 1x absolutely perfect autumn weather package: balmy 20ish degrees Celsius, lots of sun, very little wind.
  • 3x braais, one per day, with various subsets of family.
  • 2x runs: one a long weekend morning run, and the other an unplanned one with GOU#1.
  • 1x polishing and publishing of the blog post mentioned above.
  • 1x unexpected Sunday evening star watching with GOU#2.

One would think that daily practice would help, but it turns out that sometimes a serendipitous reminder by a friend can help to switch one’s brain into exactly the right gear, right before the weekend.

During our Friday evening start-the-weekend ritual (it’s a braai. surprise!), I had my first quite visceral “THIS, this is it, this is everything” experience. (so lovely)

From then on, brain remained in the right mode right through most of the weekend.

If you ever run into me before the weekend (it’s always before the weekend!), I would be grateful if you could remind me that it is in fact now.

Folks, I wish you much nowness.