Year MMXXI in 8 minutes

Near the end of 2020, I put a lot of thought into reevaluating my business’ value proposition, strategy, and processes. It’s a good thing I did that back then, because 2021 was quite different from 2020; I had much less time to “deepthink”, and I spent a majority of 2021 on an intense work treadmill, which led to me micro-burning out three times in the process. Also, guilt about feeling like I’m not contributing to open-source enough.

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CHANS battery rebuild: giving traditional laptops a new life with refactored batteries cells

Back in 2018, when I acquired my legendary ThinkPad X220, I discovered that there is a lady in Ontario, Ms. Chulkova, who does professional battery rebuilding as a side-gig: if you’re in Canada (or the USA, to an extent) you can get your laptop (and other power tools) battery cells replaced by new high-quality cells. This is interesting if you have an electric bike or if, like me, you are a luddite who believes that the last great laptop keyboards were produced in 2011 (before the ThinkPad X230/T430/etc.) and that ultrabooks—with their proprietary slim LiPo batteries and general planned obsolescence—are an ecological disaster.

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The goldsmith and the chaos warrior: a typology of workers

As I’ve spent a number of years working for various organizations, big and small, with different types of collaborators and staffers, I’ve devised a simple typology of workers that can help explain the various levels of success, self-organization, productivity and stress of those workers, depending on whether there is a fit between their work type and their work processes. This is one of the many typologies I use to describe human behavior, and I haven’t spent years and a Ph.D. thesis devising this, this is just some down-to-earth reflections I’ve had. Without much further ado, here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

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A secret to productivity for busy individuals with chaotic contexts

Over the years, some people have asked me how I manage so many projects—short and long—without forgetting anything, without breaking promises and commitments, all while looking like a zen buddha. A few observers also remarked (often in mockery) that I tend to take a note of everything, that I document an outrageous amount of seemingly mundane details in my professional and personal life.

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Painting two old friends—Tintin vs Sephiroth

A little over a year ago, I wrote about my humble restoration of an old drawing of Cubitus and Sénéchal, which was a straightforward operation. Shortly after, I began working on another piece of artwork to decorate one of my walls, this time my own bespoke painting, made 100% with free software.

I did not want to buy some generic framed/canvas picture in a retail store, nor did I want to simply showcase some other artist’s illustration work (even though there is no shortage of jawdropping illustrators on DeviantArt): that would have been too easy, where’s the satisfaction in that? Having far too few occasions to do illustration work in my life, I wanted to challenge myself to create something meaningful (the depicted scene needed to tell a story) and that I can be artistically proud of.
I also wanted something quite big, so I planned to work in “Arch D” format (24×36 inches) and to have it on canvas material. I wanted to push myself to a level of detail and perfectionism way beyond my previous illustration works; no shortcuts and no time limit! Beyond the fact that 24×36 allows cramming a lot of detail, I thought, “If I am to hang it on a wall and look at it more than once, it needs to be perfect”.

The concept

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Pour en finir avec la congestion nasale: comment effectuer le rinçage nasal correctement

Ce billet pourrait aussi s’intituler “Comment en finir avec les allergies et court-circuiter le rhume, la grippe ou la sinusite”, car selon mon expérience la congestion nasale est un symptôme qui empire tout le reste au point de prolonger la maladie. Quand on élimine la congestion nasale et la sinusite, on récupère beaucoup plus rapidement (ou, du moins, beaucoup moins péniblement). Regardez comme cet homme semble heureux:

neti pot sinus rinsing epic dude
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Nostalgia for the sunlight

One of my best remedies against gloominess is sunlight.
shadow of the colossus sword of light beams
I have a fairly luminous apartment in theory: a big window, lightly-colored floors and white walls. Therefore, when strong direct sunlight hits the floor, the difference is striking: the whole place glows up. The tricky part, however, is making the most of the sun’s presence.

  • In Montréal, you get around 8.5 hours of daylight in the heart of the winter (vs nearly 16 hours during the summer solstice). During the cold season, the sun is at a very low angle which, combined with the presence of a 9 floors building in front of my window, means I don’t get much more than two hours of direct hard light on those rare sunny days. In January, it shows up around eleven o’clock and disappears within the span of 20 minutes around 13h30, whenever it goes below the angle of 25 degrees above the horizon.
  • Paradoxally, I don’t get that much more sun during the summer because the sun is too vertical (¬_¬)
  • My apartment is long (“shotgun style”) with windows only on one side, so the inner side remains too dark for my tastes.

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