Tag Archives: work

Framing your day

I’m pretty sure I’ve written this exact same post before but eh, worth another go :)  So yeah sometimes I like playing about with how I frame my day which can make things more fun and change motivation towards other tasks.  I find it best to start early on, preferably soon after waking and before getting bogged down into other things, when the flavour of the day is still malleable.

One of the old ones I like to use is about framing the day as an adventure – to make everything have that edge of questing, to sort of make it feel like holiday.  So you get up, usually a little earlier than normal, you make sure to pack food, you concentrate on the travelling, and the things you may see, or work out maybe a slight deviation from the normal routine in the middle of the day, and hence you change the flavour of the day to be more about adventuring or questing, trying to see something new in the everyday

The other I’ve used quite a bit at the minute often involves my commute, which usually comes over the top of a hill high up over Lancaster, so I can look down across the town, across the bay, across the countryside out to the sea.  From there I can reconnect with the whole scale of the town, again searching to connect and make things less than routine and dull, to earth myself into the idea that here I am, working at a centre of learning and education the likes of which there isn’t for miles around, working to help scholars do cutting edge research.  All the while embedded in the glorious countryside of the bay, with its ancient hills overlooking at the edge of the lakes, with the roofs of the houses making the whole thing feel like a Ghibli film, with all the historic links of Lancaster – the commute is sometimes within sight of the Castle (and the whole area is a strange Dutchy of the Queen and strangely linked to the crown), built on a fort from Roman times, the ancient priory is there, the misty hills are all kinds of magical, yet at the same time there are people going about their day to day lives almost oblivious to all this strangeness.

So yeah, framing on commutes, it can make a difference.  Holding onto it in the office is something else however.

50% Meditation unlocked

So I intended to pick up some blog prompts today and failed because I was doing other things.  However today did feature some emergency work politics right at the end, just when I was planning on sliding out and heading off to do some zen meditation with the group on Campus.  I think I made the responsible choice of doing that and responding responsibly to emails before heading off to catch the second half of the meditation time (its normally two 15m blocks) as then I’d avoid rushing up campus and arriving out of breath and also interrupting others practice.

This seemed to work, I arrived in the break, said hi to people, then got to settle into my sitting in a less rushed manner without my autonomic system in a mess that needed to chill out first.

Must be said I’ve only been going for a few weeks but it is nice to be doing meditation with people in a group, I’ve done some stuff with pagans before but my zen flavour work is normally just by myself, and sitting with others really does make a difference and seems to carry over a little into my own meditation practice between meetings, so that’s something.

Visability and Graduations

As several of you know I get to go sit on the stage and wear a silly hat for other peoples graduations, and these are graduations I really quite like for various reasons.  I was never much of a fan of my own graduations, because during the first one I was just all bleh for public appearances in general for reasons that made no sense to me at that time, during the second I knew I was trans and was just filled with dislike for inhabiting my body or my social role at that point, however when you’re on the stage its quite fun as you’re not the centre of attention so much its not about focusing on you, also I’m way more comfortable in myself than I used to be I think, at least in some ways.

Interestingly I quite like going to graduations because it helps remind me why I’m where I am, and why I do what I do.  A lot of the time working for the Uni its easy to lose sight of the awesome good work we do, we educate students in all kinds of things, we do kick ass research, we improve the state of human knowledge at least in some ways – however in the day to day grind of projects and support its easy to get lost from this and instead just throw up your hands at all the politics that floods the place.  So graduations are nice for in some ways fulfilling the promise of the establishment, a time we can come together across departments and do our act as formal academics (processing in is nice, because everyone does their best formal and proper thing, we present a professional front, also you never know who you’ll be lined up next to so a nice point for a chat with new people in the queue) and present a united front to celebrate the achievements of the students.

Also it’s a more personal thing, in that not only does it give an institutional/group celebration but I tend to mostly come and sit on the stage for students I know through various societies, so its also a personal thing of celebrating the achievements of friends and giving them a grand sending off as yup – you are now officially recognised as more awesome in some specific manner, its nice to sit on the stage and try not to grin too much to be improper while applauding them :)

The final point, which is kind of what spurred me on to post this (being as I’ve just come back from watching the Manchester Pride Parade at the weekend) is the visibility aspect of it.  Whenever I go to graduations I make sure to flag with at least a small rainbow pin, if not a trans one as well, and also while I tend to blend into crowds in direct or focused interactions I get read as trans pretty easily – and this is one of those cases where I don’t mind.  By being there, being in a group of academics and walking formally with them as a colleague and academic doctor and making myself obviously visible I aim to get some subtle exposure – to help say to people that hey it’s okay to be trans or queer, I’m here, looking respectable and not hiding.  And hopefully I’m helping out closeted students, and I’m helping normalise various minorities as a thing that exists for visiting friends and family who are in the hall, and those who watch the remote streams or for times I’m caught in pictures (amusingly I was grabbed for pics out of the line with some students this year, I’m not sure what I was doing beyond featuring as an academic to pose with, I have no idea how they were even reading me, and I don’t really mind).

While it’s true this could be said to be in some ways being over obvious with my sinister dark agenda (okay I’m maybe being snarky), or “rubbing their faces in it” I like to think I’m striking a balance between being too obvious (on a day that’s about the students), and being too hidden.  All I’m doing is wearing a small rainbow badge in my outfit and just existing and being there which is the part I think is important, physically being there and in front of people and being comfortable – and I can do this because the University is an accepting place, I know that 99% of the staff and students wouldn’t give me shit, so based on the work of others (standing on the shoulders of giants) I can help continue that work by being there, by normalising things, by being visible and wearing small subtle symbols to help make it okay for others to come out and be themselves.

The Bells! The Bells!

So I was just in the super secret basement machine room, picking up pointy crap and listening to some drilling above the room (well I thought it was there) when I became aware that there was an alarm going off in fact a two tone alarm. So we legged it with 28 seconds to spare and phoned the office.

Turns out the drilling was from next door and they’d somehow created a mountain of dust, one brief panic and arrival of the fire brigade later things all sorted themselves out.

Things that have irritated me this week

Gamer Claims Identifying As a Lesbian Led To Xbox Live Ban although we don’t have the full story as the original only mentions things and doesn’t actually say what was in the profile. Still it seems just generally crappy behaviour.

And secondly some crap about Cerrie Burnell a disabled presenter on the Beeb whose only got one arm, apparently parents are worried that this will scare children, and that they’ll have to explain to them what real life actually is. No actual reports of children being in any way more than curious and then going to get on with other things.

In other news I had a nice afternoon helping (badly) to tidy up the Faraday machine room, which we got done (we’ve replaced about 15 servers with 1 blade server that runs VMs, cuts the power consumption and heat generation to bits) and I got educated by kind mathematicians about how .999 recuring to infinite length was 1. Initially it offended my innate logic, until I realised I was being a dick and failing to grok what infinite really meant.

Also my order from sofawolf arrived, so expect to her me squeeing about ky00te for a while.

Good things that make the day

Okay so today has sucked in some ways, didn’t get a chance to make lunch in time so had to buy it (my own fault), spent the day looking at random too small office furniture (srsly our office piled about a desks worth of crap on it and it was overflowing, we can’t use them) and lots of small jobs.

Got home to find that there was a bit of glass in my boot that has stuck a hole in my big toe before quietly hiding in the corner of my boot being well behaved, so had to bind up my toe with a plaster to keep it intacted.

However this was all made up for by the fineness of doing iaido. Everything seemed to flow, there were mistakes, but their causes were spotted and fixed, balance seemed okay, relaxing a bit more seemed okay, the cuts went to shit a bit, but mostly they were okay. Its one of those fun activities where everything just flows right that reminds you how fine a day can be.

And its followed by slightly spicey sausage sarnies on fresh bread. Omnomnom

The machine stops

Well I had a fine weekend, which included rambling a little about old-style sci-fi. So heres the link I muttered to people about:

The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster (1909).

In other news I’ve just had fun fixing up my testing environment, so onto Stage 2 testing (mailing lots of docs back and forth between accounts on one system and packet dumping).


Well thought I’d better write something proper since I’ve dropped off the map rather. I’ve finally finished (at least mainly) a big chunk of work I’ve been doing for a long time (the distributed trust stuff) and hence I can actually relax now and have a proper weekend without thinking of it it, which’ll be nice. It has rather been eating my brain lately. Anyway, some of you have heard me rambling recently about the use of coding trances so I thought I’d write a little ramble about that.

Coding trances, how to start them, stop them and use them