Engineering data…

On my day off from doing anything ethics related*, I worked on making exercises for the university data engineering course. I completed a couple of exercises, and wrote Matlab code to be an example solution, and then uploaded them and passed them on to the lecturer so he can integrate them into the lecture for the relevant week. These are fairly simple exercises on calculating summary statistics from a bunch of data, and making conclusions about the data based on them.

Then I started work on exercises for the next week’s lecture on data presentation. I’m partway through that, and hope to finish it off later this week.

Tonight I tried a new thing: sourdough pizza dough. It didn’t rise nearly as much as dough made with yeast – it would have been good if I could have let it rise for longer, but the timing is tricky with sourdough starter. I fed the starter this morning and then made the dough about an hour before dinner. I probably should have fed the starter last night, made the pizza dough in the morning, and let it rise in the fridge most of the day and taken it out for a final hour or so at room temperature.

But despite that it turned out pretty well! The pizza crust was nicely different and it didn’t really matter that it hadn’t risen much.

* That sounds wrong… I mean, I didn’t specifically do anything unethical today.

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Scully’s grooming day

Today I dropped Scully off at the dog groomer for her regular clip.She was getting quite shaggy, but now after the grooming she’s trim and velvet-fuzzy again.

In between I did my last couple of ethics classes for the topic of Artificial Intelligence. I did some comics stuff. And now that I’ve finished off the paper proofreading that occupied last week it’s time to start working some more on the data engineering course that I’m helping out with. This week I need to produce some exercises for students to do on summary statistics and data presentation, and also make some graphics for the data visualisation slides for the lectures.

This involves writing some actual code for the first time in ages. Both Matlab, and also some Python to massage some of the raw data downloads I’ve found into better shape for exercises.

Oh, and when I was outside doing stretches in the park across the street after my run, I saw about a dozen ravens circling right above my home. I can only presume this means something ominous. And for reference, I know that our place is built on the site of a former church, which must have been demolished to make way. So… it’s entirely possible that the place I live in is built on a former graveyard…

Maybe I’ve been watching too much horror on Netflix.

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Meeting the new dog neighbour

That noise that had been keeping me awake all night seems to have disappeared. I haven’t noticed it for the past few nights, and have been getting decent sleep again. This does play into my theory that it might be a fan that someone is using on hot nights to help them sleep, because the weather has turned cooler for the past few days. I guess I’ll see if it returns again when the weather warms up again, as it’s forecast to do over the next week.

This morning I had the first lesson in a new session of my course on Creative Thinking and Board Game Design. Only one student, when I was hoping for more, but he’s a slightly older kid at 14, and seems very interested in what we were doing today. So I think this will be a fun and successful instance of this course over the next 5 weeks.

The new downstairs neighbours messaged today to suggest we meet up at 3pm on the grassy courtyard near our building. We got there first, and then they arrived a minute later. Their dog is a female cavoodle named Billie, and when she and Scully saw each other, they immediately wanted to go closer and say hello, with tails up. That’s a little unusual for Scully, who is normally a bit shy with new dogs, so that’s a great sign. The two of them played together on the grass while my wife and I chatted with the new neighbours – mostly about our dogs.

It turns out they know the previous tenants of the apartment they moved into. They’d met up at one of the local dog parks, and our previous neighbours had actually suggested to them to move in here after they’d moved out. Anyway, they seem very nice people, and now that Scully has met their dog Billie, this afternoon she was noticeably calmer when Billie made noise downstairs. It should improve more over time so Scully will be as relaxed as she was with the previous dog downstairs.

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Friday/Saturday double post

Friday I was very busy, doing the last part of the paper editing, so I could get it sent back to the author by the end of the working week. Then when I’d completed it and sent if off, the author wrote back to remind me that I also had their response letter to the journal to go through! So I had to do that as well, and cross-reference all of the comments regarding changes they’d made to address concerns raised by the referees, to make sure they were consistent between the edited paper and the letter. I had to change a couple of the edits I’d made. Finally I got it all done and sent off. Then the author wrote back to remind me that I had to draw up an invoice for the labour!

I had a couple of ethics classes before dinner, and then my wife and I went out to a Turkish restaurant near us to unwind and enjoy a nice meal. We tried a new dish, red lentil koftas, which I liked, but my wife thought they were very spicy.

After dinner it was virtual games night with my friends. I was joining late because of the dinner, but got in games of 7 Wonders, Kingdomino, Coloretto, Azul, and Wavelength. I neglected to post a blog entry because I was playing games.

Today my wife was doing a few things, and I took Scully out for a walk a couple of times in the morning so she wouldn’t get upset at my wife leaving. Then in the afternoon we all went for a walk together and to give Scully some ball-chasing exercise. The weather was unsettled, with intermittent sun, showers, and some heavy rain. We got caught in the rain when out with Scully, but it stopped and we’d dried out by the time we got home.

New neighbours moved in downstairs today. They have a cavoodle, and unfortunately Scully was barking and growling for much of the afternoon, hearing it running around in the yard down there. I posted a note under their door to introduce ourselves and suggest that we let the dogs meet each other some time soon, so they can get to know each other to eliminate the territorial behaviour. They messaged back and sounded nice, saying some time tomorrow would be good.

Late this afternoon I took some time to do a taste test on four bottles of gin. I’ve almost finished one bottle, and had been waiting for a chance to do this comparison test before emptying it. I was comparing Bombay Sapphire Sunset, Buffalo Vale Clair de Lune, Backwoods High Country, and Backwoods Muscat Gin (a special limited edition, no longer available). I find the differences between gins to be fairly subtle, and can only really pick it with side-by-side tasting, which is why I do this occasionally with as many bottles as I have, comparing the old ones just about to run out with the new bottles that I’ve recently acquired. The muscat one is unusual because of the sweet muscat grape infusion, but the other three are all conventional gins with subtle differences that I took notes on: Sunset was warm and spicy, with citrus peel notes; Clair de Lune is earthy and woody with lemon/lime hints; High Country was orangey, floral, and a bit grassy.

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Home made pasta

After getting into making bread, and pizza dough, I tried something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now for the first time. I made pasta from scratch.

I used semolina, and aded eggs, rolled it into a dough, and then cut small pieces and tried to shape them into orecchie. I’d seen a show on TV recently where an old Italian woman made pasta like this.

Home made pasta

They were a bit uneven – obviously my technique needs a lot of work. I boiled them up and just used some pesto from a jar, with toasted pine nuts and some pecorino romano cheese.

Home made pasta

The pasta puffed up a little bit, and they were really a bit more like tiny dumplings than pasta. And they were still a bit firm after 10 or so minutes of cooking, and I wasn’t sure if they’d soften further or not, so I took them out and we ate. They tasted fine, just a bit too firm. I think next time I might try rolling the pasta thin and cutting it into tagliatelle or something, to see if that improves the final hardness.

The rest of the day I spent teaching ethics classes – four on a Thursday, so it’s my busiest day of the week – and doing my exercise routine, and baking some sourdough, and going out with Scully for a walk at lunch to get some fish & chips and sit overlooking the harbour. The day was cool, cloudy, and windy today, a very pleasant change from the warm and extremely humid weather we’ve been having for the past few weeks. And tonight we had a brief thunderous downpour. It looks like the forecast is for cooler and wetter weather for the next week or so.

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A full-on day of work!

It’s been a very busy Wednesday. I went for a run early, and it was raining. The change in weather is welcome – it’s cooled down significantly compared to the past few days of heat.

I had to be ready for a virtual meeting at 10am, with the lecturer of the new data engineering course we are designing for this year, plus a guest lecturer from MathWorks, who will be giving one of the lectures on how to use MatLab for advanced data processing.

After that I had to write my new lesson plan for this week’s ethics topic on artificial intelligence. Which I ran this evening in three classes in a row. I think this is a better lesson than last week’s topic. It has more open questions and led into some disagreements and open discussions more easily. Oh, and I had a new girl from the Philippines in one class – another country to add to the list. I also had an extension follow-up lesson on the wealth topic with one student.

And I also spent an hour working on the paper that I’m editing.

And that’s pretty much a wrap. It was a solid day of work. I didn’t even cook a proper dinner – I just had some grilled cheese sandwiches and my wife made eggs on toast.

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Bad sleep update, day 4

The mystery noise continues to buzz throughout the night, and kept me awake again last night. I’ve tried knocking on the immediate neighbour’s door a few times, yesterday and today, but they never answer, despite me hearing people inside. Maybe they just don’t want to answer random knocks. (I don’t know these neighbours very well – they only moved in a few months ago, and have kept very much to themselves, although I have chatted to the man a couple of times when we bump into each other in the hallway.)

So today I’ve contacted the building strata executive committee to inform them of the noise and ask them to investigate. I’m not really sure it is the neighbours. It may be a common property pump or ventilation fan or something like that. This morning at 8am in a relatively quiet moment I could hear the noise again – so it may in fact be going 24 hours a day, and just not noticeable during the day.

Today I worked more on the science paper that I’m proofreading/copyediting. It’s seriously heavy going, but I’m making solid progress. It may take me until the end of this week to finish it off, given all the other things I need to do.

I think I’m a bit too tired to write much else this evening.

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