Weekend Thoughts

As a way to get myself to make somewhat regular updates, I thought it might be a good exercise to put up a regular weekly update with just some odds and ends rather than a completely thought-through post. So here's some stuff that's been on my mind lately:

Getting better at computers

As part of a larger omnibus effort to improve the quality and efficiency of my work, I've been working on trying to use the keyboard for everything. This requires:

  1. Breaking the reflexive habit, built over decades of computer use, of reaching for my mouse to do most things
  2. Remembering that there is probably a keyboard shortcut (or combination thereof) to do the thing I want to do
  3. Actually using the keyboard to do the thing I want to do so that it slowly becomes a new habit. The goal is to become one of those hackers from a heist movie who can do anything by typing as loudly as possible. Or at least it's to do things a bit faster. Right now it's just twice as slow as I stop and think too hard about what combination of cmd and a letter does the thing I want to do.

What I'm watching

My favorite podcast, Blank Check is about to cover the films of David Fincher, and I thought I might tag along as they go through his filmography over the rest of the year. His first major studio film was Alien3, and while I've seen the original Alien a few times, I hadn't ever actually seen Aliens. So in preparation to watch Alien3, I watched Aliens over the course of a couple of nights, and that movie is an absolute blast. The last hour is especially, righteously, badass. Alien3, well, not so much. I think David probably learned a thing or two from making it though.

What I'm listening to

While working I mostly like to listen to wordless music. Lately that's been the soundtrack to Oppenheimer. It's been a long time since I've really been into a movie soundtrack, and while this one can be somewhat melancholy at times, at others you really feel like you're on the precipice of a huge breakthrough. I'll have more to say about Oppenheimer at some point in the future, as I'm listening to American Prometheus on audio book, but I will say that the soundscape of that movie has really stuck with me.

Other thoughts

I'm about to leave on a trip to Canada, and I plan on taking a lot of photos and that has me thinking about how much of a shitty photographer I am. I love cameras, I like holding them in my hand, I like following the industry a bit. I'm just not that great at taking great pictures. I like to think I've gotten a tiny bit better, but I'm always a bit jealous of all the random idiots on YouTube that seem to be able to just take the coolest pics without even trying. And so that leads me to watch more YouTube videos on how to take great photos, in the hopes of finding the one piece of advice that just unlocks the whole thing. But of course that's my brain lying to myself. What I should do is actually start bringing my camera places and, you know, taking photos. Deliberate practice is the only way to get better at taking pictures, if that's what I want to do, and watching 1000 videos on how to nail your composition, or what camera settings to use, is not, at this point, going to make me a better photographer. So while I'm excited to have the opportunity to take a bunch of pictures shortly, I really think I should do more practicing in my day-to-day life, and not substitute "learning" about a thing with doing a thing.