Weekly Head Voices #234: Huis op die duin

Hello and welcome back my friends!

It’s 17:50 on Sunday, October 10, 2021 as I write this.

We have just returned from the most amazing spring break in one of our favourite spots. I’m relaxing on the sofa, with GOU #3 to my right doing what little digital natives do.

Figure 1: Beach run on Lappiesbaai at low tide is as great as it looks.

Figure 1: Beach run on Lappiesbaai at low tide is as great as it looks.

I’m not sure when exactly this post will be done, but whatever the case may be, it samples, extremely sparsely as always, the period of time from Monday September 27 to Sunday October 10, 2021.

(I’m wrapping this up on Thursday evening, four pretty full days later. Phoowee!)

Strange days

In the previous edition of the WHV, I mentioned that I had found a solution for making my Org mode notes database accessible from my phone.

Well, it’s a rather unconventional trick involving CMake, pandoc and Microsoft Word that you can read about in this probably nerdy vxlabs post.

(Back in 2018, I did something similar by exporting my Org mode database to Apple Notes, which worked well when most of my devices were of Apple manufacture. Fortunately the Org mode part of the equation, the most important bit, remains the same.)

Continuing on from the blog mirroring work mentioned in WHV #232, I configured the necessary github workflows to auto-publish this site to a github.io site.

In other words, if I were to disappear for whatever reason, this blog should remain available via https://cpbotha.github.io/ for quite a while longer after my hosting and domain registration eventually expire.

Spring break

As part of the week-long Sprink break, we spent an absolutely fabulous long weekend in Stilbaai, more specifically in the Bosbokduin private game reserve, in a house with the most amazing views over the ocean.

Although we were there for only a few days, it feels like we were somehow able to compress the experiences of a substantially longer period into the time at our disposal.

I am grateful for all of the runs and walks on beautiful trails on various bits of the coast, notably the trail passing right in front of the house connecting Stilbaai and Jongensfontein, paddling on the river, lounging on the beach, and just lots of family time in that beautiful house.

(When I look back at my notes from the return on Sunday, it’s quite clear that we were still on a sort of perfect vacation high.)

What was interesting to me this time, was that almost immediately after the initial disconnect which thankfully happened quite soon, my brain started producing strange (as in, far removed from work, and in some cases just plain unconventional) but quite plausible new (engineering) ideas.

In other words, this is the nerd version of experiencing creativity.

This made me reconsider the effect of spending a fair bit of energy on work every day.

Of course the picture is almost always complicated, but my work currently requires a great deal of focused creativity, that is, thought and effort that goes in one primary direction.

This is great in terms of getting those big things done, and also of compounding (personal) improvement in that same direction, but the trade-off is that the energy spent is now spent, and can’t go into the exhilarating feeling of ideas shooting off in different and often new directions.