Retry, abort, fail

Dear J-

Forty hours to go, or so. If all you’re doing is marking off time until the next whatever, then maybe you’re not being properly motivated to do … whatever. It’s not like everything is going to be life-and-death all the time, so you might as well enjoy what you’ve got as long as you can. Do you really need to be spending this much time worrying about how long it’s going to take if you still need to do it? I guess it would be more productive to fret about seeing if you can get it done more efficiently instead. While I like the idea of a three-point fit there’s far better ways to go about estimating parameters, aren’t there? I’m happy with the work I’ve done so far, and proud (pride goes before a fall) that I was able to fix my errors with the prior fit.

It turns out I was missing a set of parentheses, which made the old fit off by a factor of two (it got multiplied, not divided) and I couldn’t figure out why until well into the weekend. I should have known better, given the way one view of the distribution (which was calculated correctly) was off while the other view (with the parentheses error) was not. Nevertheless I chalked it up to oddness in the fit and proceeded along blithely, even going so far as to tweak the factors to fit better. What’s wrong with me? Or, let me do it this way: what’s wrong with that? Proceeding in the face of uncertainty. First time evolution. All the classic human performance error traps and I’m feeling good this morning because I was able to catch them, not that I ignored them in the first place. Stay classy.

I know we have a thousand other commitments this upcoming weekend, and a thousand after that, between the kids’ social lives and our no-longer-living-amongst-strangers situation (down in San Diego we were really on an island, relatives and friends-wise, although perhaps by choice) but we need to get out and be more active, said the guy who spent at least two hours napping while the kids were occupied. One of these days I’ll have to see how long it takes to bike to Millbrae. There’s a marked difference between the ambitions of Monday versus the realities of Friday. And there’s a ton of stuff I have yet to do for the house, what with laziness being the watchword lately. Reshelve. Restock. Repair, restore, redo.

Mike

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