danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I am cycling to work. I know I am. I can feel it in my thighs.

The cycling is working well. It's about three times faster than walking, cutting my journey from just over 30 minutes to about ten. Even with getting changed at work I'm still halving my trip there and back. Crucially, it lets me pick up and drop off the Captain and still make it to work in good time.

I have a locker - in which I keep shoes, a pair of work trousers, some shirts for the week and some toiletries.

The journey to work is mostly down hill so quite fast and exciting. Coming home is a bit more of a slog up Queensferry Road and Lothian Road.

The new bike is performing well overall, but I think needs to go back to the shop this weekend to have it's front gears adjusted.
danieldwilliam: (coffee)
I have spent the late morning and early afternoon reading. I have done so with a rare coffee. I don’t usually drink coffee, particularly caffinated  coffee shop coffee but today I felt in need of a small pick me up. So I had not one, but two large cappuchinos.

In the process of ordering the second cappuchino I fell in to conversation with the barista about the making of a cappuchino. She has just won a place in the national finals of the barista of the year competition.  So I had the opportunity to talk to one of the nation’s best makers of coffee about her work and what she’s doing to improve her work.  She’s working on some feedback from the regional final judges that her cappuchino froth is too thick.  Personally I like a thick layer of froth on a cappuchino. If you don’t like the froth why not order a latte? I also see cappuchino froth thickness as a matter of indivudal conscience. A matter over which reasonable people can reasonably differ. A matter of taste. Apparently I am wrong and there is an ideal thickness of froth on a cappuchino. 1 centimeter for those needing to know.

Getting the thickness right appears to be a bit of a technical challenge. You can’t see under the froth to see how thick it is and you have to get both the volume of the coffee and the volume of the froth right each and every time.

The barista is taking the opportunity with every cappuchino she makes to think about how she can get the froth spot on the necessary standard. I got the impression that she's a bit stumped about how to get the thickness right consistently. I couldn't help.  I don’t think I take a moment with every spreadsheet I produce to think about how I could improve it.  I probably should.

I think I’ve just drunk a work of artistic craftsmanship of national quality.

Pretty good.
danieldwilliam: (Default)

I am trying to untangle the latest Bank of England inflation report. Apart from the fact that they don’t know and therefore don’t want to say and are therefore deliberately obscure it is written in another language, the language of statistics. I think I need to acquire a working knowledge of this language, enough to order a ham sandwich, a beer and solid opinion on inflation in 2014.

 As Harry Flashman used to say the best way to learn a new language is in bed.

 Therefore, I am on the look out for a hot statistician.

 Failing that a few articles on how to read the Bank of England inflation reports.

danieldwilliam: (Default)

Today I resemble Vincent Van Gogh.

What a struggling artist with ginger tendencies from an ethnic background that includes glotteral stops as a feature not a bug,  with a  love of sunflowers, a failed relationship with a prostitute, a history of mental health issues and one ear?

Not quite.

I have managed to cut myself badly, shaving badly, on the ear. 

Few things in my experience degrade one's abilty to have impact in a meeting or absorb new knowledge than blood streaming down your neck from a painless but embarrassingly promonent self-inflicted injury. It's right up there with discovering half way to work that you've put on a pair of your wife's panties by mistake.


danieldwilliam: (Default)

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