Think Week & other life things

It’s a “light work week” at GoDaddy. I’m using the time for professional development, to catch up on some reading, and to kick the tires on some little R&D projects that’ve been knocking around in my head for the last several months.

My acquaintance Maddy Osman dropped this tweet a couple weeks back:

…and that’s basically how I’m going into this week.

My calendar is cleared of meetings, so I can knock out several hours of focus time, versus the sputtering 30-60 minute blocks I’m used to sprinkling throughout my day.

I’d love to block out these sorts of weeks once every 2-3 months, like a quarterly mini-sabbatical, free of meetings, but still focused on work.

What am I working on?

I have a massive backlog of stuff to read: articles and books spread across Instapaper and Todoist. There are at least a half-dozen product management texts sitting around my office; I’d like to crack those open, too.

For side projects, #nocode tools have my interest. There are a couple content and community platforms I want to build out, just little things to apply product management concepts.

I’m also working on an end-of-year post/talk for Community Club, reflecting on where we are as an industry with community tools and platforms, and what a modern community stack might look like for different types of organizations.

What else is going on?

We’re almost done with our major home renos. We bought our house in late 2019 and we really lucked out on timing and price.

The house is an old 1970’s side split that hadn’t had any major work done since (we guess) the 80’s or 90’s. Our realtor said we paid too much for the place, but overpriced properties are par for the course in today’s GTA.

We went all-out on the work soon after moving in. We redid the kitchen, basement, roof, living room, and siding. Our carport-to-garage conversion is almost done, and we have new windows coming in December and January.

Despite being an iOS household, but our smart home setup is all Google. It’s a nice blend between the first-party product refinement of Apple (via Nest hardware) and the open platform upsides of Android.

***

This time last year we were preparing for the arrival of our baby girl. She’ll celebrate her first birthday on Christmas Eve, only five weeks from now (ish?), and that’s just such a mind bender I don’t even know where to begin.

From now on, every Christmas Eve carries a different meaning – it’s our daughter’s birthday, making the holidays so much more special between that, and Christmas, and Boxing Day, and New Years. It’s a rapid boom-boom-boom of family time. I can’t wait to see how that evolves over the years to come.

Speaking of family time… we’ve found a sort of rhythm to our evenings in the last couple months. We eat in front of the TV, watching Richard Osman’s House of Games, then tidy up before turning in for whatever series we happen to be following. At the moment it’s Succession and Wheel of Time (more thoughts on that below).

Our mornings are also finding a new rhythm. I’m running three times a week, working my way along a training regimen towards my first 10K. Running was never my thing; I preferred cycling. But cycling is intense — the equipment, the time, the distance — and my wife isn’t in to it. Running, though? That’s something we can do together.

I don’t know if it’s because of the pandemic or because of being a new dad, or some combination, but I’ve put on something like 20+ pounds in the last couple years. That’s the other reason why I’m getting out there, first thing in the morning, in the cold, to go for a run. I need to be in better shape, for myself and for my family.

***

Alright. Back to Wheel of Time. I plowed through the books ten years ago and absolutely loved the series. When Game of Thrones took off, I wondered if we’d ever see that for WoT.

After years of rumours, Amazon finally delivered, and I binged those first three episodes as soon as they dropped. I also hit up Twitter and Reddit to see what others were saying.

To no ones surprise, there’s a vocal contingent of fans who were absolutely outraged at the changes made to the characters and the plot structure.

Personally, I found the changes to be interesting, but not substantial. The essence of each character remains intact, albeit with altered dynamics and motivations.

If anything, I think there’s more of a comparison to be drawn between Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings. Both are genre-defining works with sprawling worlds and a pantheon of characters. They’re also very long.

You can’t bring everything to the screen. Look at LoTR, for example. Merry and Pippin were very different in the books. We lost Tom Bombadil and the Scouring of the Shire.

I haven’t dug into any forum discussions from the time, but I bet Tolkien fans were pissed at how those parts of the story were omitted. But honestly? The films were better for it, and I’m sure a lot of folks picked up the books who otherwise would’ve never bothered otherwise.

And I suspect the same will be true, to some extent at least, for Wheel of Time. And if that still doesn’t work for you… well, let’s just pretend we’re in a Wheel of Time multiverse situation.

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. 😏

Have a great week!

P.S. Currently listening to:

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