I have decided to resume my work logs. I enjoy writing, and if I don't do it online, I tend to fill notebooks with journaling. Though journaling is more intimate, the fact that you publish something out to the world changes the feeling of how things are written and I kinda miss that.
Today I woke up at around 9:30AM and was hitting the library by 11am. My waking time has slowly been slipping later and later, and though--by my standards--this is not a bad time to wake up, I came back from walking the Camino de Santiago waking up at 6:30am or so, and I wanted to retain the habit. From experience I know I don't get much done until I leave the house, so instead of setting a goal for waking up, it's better to set the goal to begin the work day earlier. So, getting into the library at anytime before 11am is good.
The library at this time is packed, and I didn't find a seat with a table in which to work, so I took a seat at the reading room and worked with the laptop on my legs. I actually feel it more comfortable to work like this now. It seems the body remembers certain positions are meant for mental work, and it does away with the fiddling and the shuffling so I can focus on the task at hand.
I abandoned the Bézier extension project. Entropy rotted it from the inside, and in the end I could not but admit that I was no longer enjoying what I was doing. "Not enjoying" is an euphemism here, because I'm aware that one of my problems is that I often not finish what I start, and I forced myself to continue working on it well beyond my tolerance, to the point where I didn't want to work anymore. And so I had a couple of weeks of confusion, trying to reboot myself without success, and I knew something had to be done. So, to clear my mind, I went on a 45 day walk on the Camino de Santiago. I walked some 1,000 kilometers, and I found my thoughts coming back to work, but at a higher level. Many conclusions were reached, and now it is time to put them to practice. There is no point in writing them down now, they surface with work itself.
After work I went to buy an avocado and a piece of bread, as I was standing in line absorbed in thought I suddenly came to a moment of presence. I saw the lady ahead of me: she was speaking on the phone hands free, and on the conveyor belt was two liters of milk, a package of cheap cheese, and a sausage. I thought "I can be happy whenever I choose it" and I put my attention in my heart, and strangely enough I felt happy. I left the supermarket with a smile on my face, and came back home for lunch and a nap.
During my nap I dreamed I was preparing to fight Wolverine. It was to be a cordial fight, like when two boxers meet pre-match and taunt each other, but deep down there's respect. I was nervous and unsure I was going to make it, but outwardly I demonstrated bravado and kicked the air doing a backflip, in the style of Guille of Street Fighter. I woke up knowing perfectly what the dream meant, though I was a little bit disappointed that my inner mythology was so barren as to present me comic book and video game characters.
In the afternoon I worked a little bit more at home, again working on a chair with the laptop on my legs. I got sidetracked first by reading about Enrico Fermi, and was awed by his certainty predicting the result of his experiments, which carried on to his personal life. Then this took me to Oppenheimer, and was in awe of his powerful introspecting mind, "Now I become death, the destroyer of worlds". Few physicists dare to put their great intellect to work beyond their area of expertise.
Then this took me to the difference between Soviet and American rockets, and I came across an answer which I had often wondered: Why is the Russian approach to the aerodynamics of their rockets different?, and then I came across the bio of Sergei Korolev, and I was also in awe of a great manager who was able to leave resentment behind (he lost all his teeth from scurvy working in the Gulag) and dedicate his life to his craft. Not really admiration but awe for him, for despite his health failing in incapacitating ways, he wouldn't stop working. Furthermore, his work wasn't known until after he died, because the Soviets had to conceal his identity so he wasn't a target of foreign intelligence. Even Cosmonauts didn't know his last name, they would call him "Chief Designer".
And this is why I prefer working from the library.