Personal Performance: A word this morning about one of the most important tasks I go through on Monday morning. I “score” my weekend.
Sometimes, even the commies get things (partly) right, you know. Take the late Chairman Mao. Before we get into the “scoring” part, a refresher on “criticism, self-criticism” from Wikipedia:
“A struggle session was a form of public humiliation and torture used by the Communist Party of China in the Mao Zedong era, particularly during the Cultural Revolution, to shape public opinion and to humiliate, persecute, or execute political rivals and class enemies.
Continuing on “struggle sessions” we read how…
“In general, the victim of a struggle session was forced to admit to various crimes before a crowd of people who would verbally and physically abuse the victim until he or she confessed. Struggle sessions were often held at the workplace of the accused, but were sometimes conducted in sports stadiums where large crowds would gather if the target was famous enough.”
The criticism came from the assembled multitude while the self-criticism was from the accused. It was brutal, but the notion of hard-self-criticism is a useful personal tool.
About here, you may be asking “What does this have to do with our cheerful cup of coffee Monday morning and Ure’s light-hearted views of Life?”
Fine point: Ure, deep down inside, is brutal on himself. Not to the point of depression, or anything like that. Instead, I am quite “hard on myself” because unless you put that up as a personal standard, most people bullshit themselves about life, in general.
That’s what the Monday Review and Scoring is all about. Look back over the weekend and make a list of all the things you actually did and compare it with a list of things you should have done or a list of things you might have done which would put you further ahead this morning.
In order to “score” you need to list the things you personally “made happen” each day.
Here’s what we got done Saturday:
- Got up at 1 AM and started working on website migration issues. Worked on this until 4 AM.
- Starting at 4 AM, did the finishing work (ChartPack) for what I thought was a very useful Peoplenomics report. Got it posted at 6 AM.
- At 6 AM I rewarded myself with a fine breakfast.
- At 6:45 AM I put on my “radio detective” hat and solved three technical issues on tube type radio gear. My old Johnson Transmit/Receive switch was one of the issues.
- At 7:15 AM I did the “smoke test” – and there was smoke. The equipment went back to the electronics bench for a session with the Electronic Detective later in the day
- At 7:30, I began work on two WordPress themes that I’m considering for the coming changes to Urban. With the overnight/early morning work done, the LAMP stack on :localhost was working and a LONG series of support tickets had finally been answered.
- Windows User Learning: Win-10 doesn’t work for certain operations if your data files are larger than 2 GB. (Who knew?). When I pulled down the archive of UrbanSurvival (2.3 GB) Windows refused to play nicely. What the grand support team at ServerPress explained was that I had to copy my “Content” folded out of the archive and then do a database clone. When done cloning (which now worked, BTW) then it was a simple matter to import the big “Content” folder into the WP-Content director of :localhost. I’m sharing this so you can get your computer super-jock endorsement on mixed systems, lol.
- About 8:30, Oilman2’s son showed up and we got rolling on the real work.
- First up was rework on the battery, solar, and MPTP charge controller for the ham radio tower. New charge controller and such.
- Then we tore open the Johnson Thunderbolt linear amplifier that I’d purchased recently and installed tubes and did some upgrades like new higher-dissipation plate caps on the 4-400C’s.
- About 9:30 AM, my understudy learned that if you have a vacuum tube, and you can make out the numbers of it, you can often rub the tube in your hair. The hair oils will adhere to the glass enough so you can make out the tube number. Understudy was astounded…”I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself…” This little incident shared nearly occult knowledge of old-time electronics that will probably be lost to history…and keeping it alive felt really good.
- OM2 lite then hefted the 125 pounds of amplifier onto my radio desk. Umbilical hernias and linear amplifiers are not a good combo. It’s OK to get help with some things as you age.
- The gutters on the house and the shop got cleaned out and some releveling of gutters done while I banged on code in the office.
- Next *(around 11:30 or noon) it was a lunch break for me (15-minutes) and back banging code. This was the part when I got disappointed in the Genesis WP framework because I didn’t see how I could embed HTML snips in the header to drive the updating gold, silver, and Forex charts that people love at the top of the pages…. back to head down.
- 1:00 PM, the changes to the tower bracket began. My first design was too weak and bent under high load because the arm, being too long, was a big lever… now fixed. Eyeball engineering test, lol.
- Meantime, 2 PM, or so, the one sine wave inverter that had problems was removed from the power center wall. At 65 pounds, it was another “give me a hand” item.
- We got that torn open and found all the capacitors on the FET Power board were blown – literally bleeding noxious liquid all over – so that cleaned and the unit boxed and loaded into the pickup truck for transport to UPS this week.
- At 3 PM, the electronic detective found the two problems that were vexing the transmit-receive switch: One was a new component needed to have some shrink-fit tubing installed to ensure it didn’t contact the metal case. The other – which was weird – was a capacitor (0.005 uf disk ceramic if you care) in an unreachable position that was replaced with a new 0.01 uf polyester.
- The Electronics Detective lesson is that polyester capacitors have a lower noise figure than disk ceramics. Again, arcane knowledge, but a major reason why a Collins radio had a lower noise flood than competing brands. People just ignore the fine levels of detail. Which is why the Electronics Detective will be installing poly caps (or silver micas) in the signal path of the 1962 vintage Drake 2B which already is on par with the current Kenwood TS-590S…which tells you how good the R.L. Drake company built radio gear back in 1962!
- About 3:30 (after leading the choir singing praises of my cheap capacitor tester – a Signstek MESR-100 V2 Auto Ranging in Circuit ESR LCR meter Capacitor / Low Ohm Meter Up to 0.01 to 100R, Support in Circuit Testing, $55) the T/R switch was fired up and ran great.
- Worked a ham out in California; Morses, straight key, 22 WPM, and down in the noise as the band was changing.
- As this happened, OM2 Lite had broken down some shipping boxes and packing peanuts out in the shop.
- After this, he loaded up some goat fence, which we’re not using as cross-fencing any more. Nice to recycle field wire fencing…
- By 4 PM, I figured enough was enough and that was the end of the formal work day. 15-hours of serious work with no contacts in and there was a ton to show for it.
- While all these things were going on, Elaine was working on her list (many housely things if that’s a word).
- To cap things off? A cocktail with Elaine, a steak sandwich and salad for dinner…and the movie Thurgood on Amazon streaming – which is a damn fine movie, BTW. Highly recommended.
That was Saturday. Sunday was just starting as these notes flew out of the fingers, but unlike some weekends, when motivation is on vacation, this one rocked.
Sunday I prepped my novel DreamOver for a print run and The Millennial’s Missing Manual will go to print, also.
And that’s the whole point of this morning: When you nail the schedule and accomplish a lot, take a few minutes out at the end of the weekend and pat yourself on the back.
As fans of B.F. (operant conditioning theory) Skinner know, people are stimulus-response critters as much as the family dog or cat is.
When you get a ton of stuff done? Give yourself reward and tell the critical voice inside your head to STFU for a few hours. When you do good…doggie treats are in order. Which meant pointing the beam out over at Europe…while eyeing Sunday’s schematics for the Electronic Detective’s next session on the workbench.
Down into the detail level of .CSS coding in child themes had to wait until after breakfast Sunday.
Balancing accomplishments and fun is one of the critical missions in Life… Monday’s a fine time to look at how the scale ran over the weekend and adjust it for the coming week. This particular struggle session went pretty damn well.
Write when you get rich,