Greetings from 53.5° north latitude, at the end of a week consumed by COVID-related news and work. Here in Alberta, the government is now openly calling COVID a public health emergency. Not sure why it took so long to place that moniker on the pandemic, but clearly the satiric news site The Beaverton has their opinion on the matter.
In other COVID news, the consulting and research organization, McKinsey, released a report on the future of organization models. (Note that this article was released in August, but I just read it this week). In the report, McKinsey suggests that organizations can take advantage of the changes COVID forced to adopt and adapt to a better and more resilient structure. Part of the "next normal" as they call it is based on gig workers and contractors (read: people the organization does not have to pay benefits to), but the really interesting part was the leadership behavior changes exhibited by the most successful leaders. The chart below is taken from the article and shows which behaviors have risen and fallen in importance since the start of COVID.
Using "Challenging others and being provocative to inspire" as a baseline, it is interesting to see how "Being supportive and caring" has risen in importance nearly as much as "Using consultative leadership" has decreased. I can personally understand how authoritative leadership and internal competition have decreased, but consultative leadership was a surprise to me. I wonder if that means that some employees are part of a rapid decision-making process while others are just provided the outcome of the decision. Or perhaps the increased focus on empowerment and delegation means that less group consultation is required.
The other striking item from that chart is how much more the "rising" items went up in relation to how much the "falling" items went down. Nine falling items went down a total of 103 points, while the eight rising items when up a total of 128 points. The takeaway from that point for me is that it is way more important to focus on the rising items than it is to focus on the falling items.
Beyond COVID, there was little else of note this week. I finished one book, had one beer, and got in some cycling. There was some new music, but I only got through one listen this week so I will defer comments until next time.
Let's get through the recap and head into next week with hopefully more to speak about when all is said and done.
Good news this week. I was able to finish off the first leg of my cross-Canada virtual tour and made good progress on the first segment of the second leg. Here is what the chart looks like after the week.
It is nice to see the solid block of green for the first leg. The second leg is much shorter than the first, so I anticipate getting through it quicker. In the 60 days since I started logging my rides, I have averaged 8.8 km per day so I should be able to finish the Vancouver to Kamloops segment by the first week of January.
Putting the Port Hardy to Victoria leg to bed, here are some fun facts about Victoria according to Wikipedia. The greater Victoria area has a population of just over 367,000, the airport code is YYJ, it calls itself the Garden City, and it has the highest rate of bicycle commuting to work of any census metropolitan area in Canada as per the 2011 and 2016 census. (As a side note, my Starbucks mug from Victoria touts the city as the Cycling Capital of Canada.)
One might think that my reading would have been significantly increased this year due to COVID, but I am not sure I will equal my reading for 2019 at the rate I am going. I am in the middle of two books with the daughters, I have one more that I will probably finish tonight, and five that have been "in progress" for a long time that I should be able to finish by the end of December. Whether I will be able to finish an additional five books in the next month is pretty unlikely, so my 2020 total will probably be in the high-4o's.
Book #40 for 2020 was "Invictus" by Ryan Gaudin. This was a decent book with a quite interesting time travel premise. It is next to impossible to discuss the premise without spoiling the book, so I will not do that here. Gaudin seems like a solid writer and I will seek out other books of hers in the future, but I did feel like the premise in Invictus would have been better served by a more seasoned sci-fi writer. I think Invictus would be a good basis for a Hollywood screenplay as well.
Only one new beer this week, but it was check-in #700, so it was a bit of milestone. The Florida Weisse from Blindman was a fruit sour with "lemons, limes, and clementines". I did get a bit of citrus and a little pith while tasting it but I could not differentiate between the citruses unfortunately. It was clean and tasty, but was not superb. (3.25 / 5)
It was a wet and then warm weekend at 53.5° north latitude. The week was interposed with rain, wind, coordinating camp dropoffs and pickups, and all that is entailed in the first week back to work. Let's kick off this week's Show Notes with a nod to one of the most influential sources in my teen years.
The end of MAD Magazine:
Adam Greenfield's newsletter, "The Dispatch from London", alerted me to the end of new content from MAD Magazine. MAD was a constant in my teenage years, and I suspect I'm much like Greenfield in how I learned to wield cynicism and sarcasm as comedic weapons. More importantly, the constant satire from MAD convinced me to question and be skeptical when others would rather just not think about the celebrities and institutions around them. It is hard to take anyone seriously when they are being lampooned in print. But, again as Greenfield said, it would be hard to argue that the time of MAD isn't off in the past. I'm not sure if there is an archive of Greenfield's newsletter that can be referenced, but instead of rehashing his points, I'll hope that you'll be able to subscribe and fine the archive.
Lastly, I was also able to finish "The Starlit Loom" with my older daughter. "Loom" is the fourth and final novel in the Keepers series by Ted Sanders. I absolutely loved the series and the last book was very emotional, both for the characters and for the reader. Reading books with the kids is somewhat frustrating because we only read about a dozen pages a day, and probably only three or four days a weeks, so a 424 page novel like "Loom" takes a LONG time to read. Added to that is the fact that we started this series well over three years ago (with many other books in between). However, the wait, and the elapsed time, were both worth it in the end. If you do read the series yourself, and I highly suggest that you do, I do encourage you to read them faster. Thanks to Sanders for four very enjoyable books. Do check them out.
Hey, not depressed yet? Read this.
The Washington Post has an opinion piece by Max Boot entitled "What comes after Trump may be even worse". If you are interested in American politics, it is worth the read. Spoiler alert: Tucker Carlson.
Grabbed a few pics of some birds out at Elk Island this week: Red-headed Grebe; American Coot, and American Bittern. Seriously, there is a bittern in that last picture, I promise.
I haven't updated the blog with my new beers since before I went on vacation. As a result, this update has 16 beers in it. In the picture below are the following beers (and ciders, in some cases):
Most were pretty average, although I really didn't like the Granvillie Island NW Pale. The best were the Spinnakers IPA and the Alley Kat Dragon DIPA. I will say that there are a lot of good beers on our Pacific Coast.
Those 16 check-ins on Untappd gave me 12 badges, 3 new and 9 with increased levels. Reading across the image are:
mete (as in mete and proper)
1: to give out by measure : DOLE OUT
2: archaic : MEASURE