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Where Bernie Works [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 10:02

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

Standing among rack space and using Day One for audio journaling.

Experiments with Day One Publishing

Bernie Goldbach - Mon, 01/28/2019 - 09:35

I BLAME GREG DICKSON for interrupting the start of my day as I stack some coffee cups for cleaning and consider how to start reviewing several dozen written journals.


I am hitting the pause button to see if it is possible to upload these short paragraphs directly from the Day One app to my blog on Typepad. I want to see what happens to the image I snapped and to determine whether the mail-to-blog service I use will handle an audio recording in addition to the text and the image.

Experimenting with Day One Publishing

As I explain in the audio clip, I used HiQ MP3 on my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to record an MP3 file because Day One favors M4A formats, reducing the audio reach of my personal blog since many of the handsets used by students work better with MP3 playback.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business in the Limerick Institute of Technology.]

Use Case for Public Day One @GregBD

Bernie Goldbach - Sun, 01/27/2019 - 20:25


While listening to Greg Dickson consider use cases for the Day One app, I watched Dylan (7) snap a shot of Luna, his cat. And then we shared it from Day One to my blog.

I have to remember to reduce the photo quality of the images that I want to share from Day One to Typepad because I use a mail-to-blog facility that won't handle the 7 MB file size of images snapped by my Samsung Note 9.

And I should also mention that I used the Brydge Mini keyboard to type this journal entry because my fingers are too fat for most of the Samsung screens and because the keyboard is so much faster.

[Bernie Goldbach teaches students creative media tools for business in the Limerick Institute of Technology.]


Roasted Veg Pasta

Caitriona Redmond - Sun, 01/27/2019 - 19:34

Make Once Eat Twice

Week 3 Recipe 2

If you made yesterday’s meal of Paprika Chicken with Vegetables you should by now have half of the vegetables along with the leftover chicken from the roast chicken.

This meal is now extremely simple.

Ingredients

  • Pasta (I used spaghetti here but any type is fine)
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • Leftover roasted vegetables
  • Leftover Chicken

Method

Boil some water and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Make only as much as you need (so check the portion sizes on the packet).

1 minute before your pasta is ready, lash spinach into the boiling water with the pasta. It’ll only take a minute to cook.

Strain away the pasta and spinach, leaving the hob on. Return the (empty) saucepan to the hob and put the leftover vegetables and chicken into the empty saucepan. Pour the pasta and spinach on top. Stir well so that all the ingredients are combined and heated through. Serve immediately.

PS: Apologies with the slight delay in posting this. We’ve had an eventful day and I’m only just getting onto the sofa after the Raheny 5 Mile today. Cxxx

The post Roasted Veg Pasta appeared first on Caitriona Redmond - Wholesome Ireland.

Paprika Chicken With Vegetables

Caitriona Redmond - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 17:47

Make Once Eat Twice

Week 3 Recipe 1

Before I get started on the actual recipe for Paprika Chicken With Vegetables I want to ask you how many racks you have in your oven? Everytime I put a meal into my oven I hear my Grandmother admonishing me to make the most of the cooking space. In the past year I added a third rack to my (fan) oven which really makes a huge difference to what I can fit inside it to cook. Also, even with a fan oven you can still cook items on the bottom of the oven (yes seriously). Think of the bottom of the oven as a very warm spot which doesn’t necessarily have a reliable temperature so instead of cooking technical items like cake in the bottom of the oven, it’s ideal for slow roasting or comforting sweet dishes like crumbles.

If you think about it, once you put on your oven all that wasted space is wasted energy. With a little bit of organisation you can maximise what you cook and not increase your energy costs. Where can you get an additional rack? It seems that there isn’t much of an Irish market for them but you can definitely buy a spare rack from Amazon for about €13. However, if you have a grill pan in your top section of your double oven, or a grill pan that you continuously take in/out from your single oven you should just add that to your regular cooking racks to save money.

The secret to this week’s Make Once Eat Twice challenge is making the most of your oven space for a short period of time which will benefit you on the second day. Just in case you don’t have 3 racks in your oven there is another option when making the recipe, don’t worry!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium chicken
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large peppers, cut into chunks
  • 7/8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

For the Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (yes I know this sounds a lot but it has to go a long way!

Method

Preheat your (fan) oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Combine the seasoning ingredients in a large bowl and set to one side. Line 3 baking trays with non stick baking paper. Get a large basin of hot soapy water and have it at the ready.

Take Tray 1: Put the chicken on the tray (do not wash the chicken). Take 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mixture and rub it onto the skin of the chicken. Use the soapy water to immediately clean your hands once this is done. Put Tray 1 in the oven immediately.

Take Tray 2: Put the root vegetables on this tray; butternut squash, carrots, and parsnips. Take 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mixture and pour it over chunks of vegetables. Mix the vegetables well so they are coated in the seasoning. Once again wash your hands!

Take Tray 3: Put the soft items on this tray; tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Repeat the steps with the seasoning mixture and washing your hands.

The Large Bowl: There should be a small amount of seasoning left in the large bowl. Take the potatoes and toss them in this mixture. If you don’t want roast potatoes with your dinner, just make mashed potatoes as normal and skip this step.

After Tray 1 has been in the oven for 30 minutes, open the oven and carefully spoon the coated potatoes into the baking tray beside the chicken. Put Tray 2 in the oven.

Let the trays cook in the oven for another 30 minutes. If you have 3 racks in the oven, now add the third tray to the oven.

If you don’t have 3 racks, skip and leave the 2 trays in the oven for 1 hour in total. Put tray 3 into the oven when you remove Trays 1 & 2 after 1 hour’s cooking time (1 hour 30 minutes since you put the chicken in the oven).

Remove the chicken and roasted vegetables from the oven and serve your roast paprika chicken.

As this is a Make Once Eat Twice meal, reserve half of Tray 2 & Tray 3 for tomorrow. And don’t forget to pick any leftover chicken from the bones as well.

The post Paprika Chicken With Vegetables appeared first on Caitriona Redmond - Wholesome Ireland.

Training Data for Machines, Training Data for Us

Damien Mulley - Wed, 01/23/2019 - 07:17

Google is an amazing organisation for gathering and processing data and then giving it to their software to learn from, that then changes the software. The data changes the software, the software changes that data, that data changes … etc.

Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (anyone want to buy ArtificialIntelligence.ie btw?) are (I think) about using training data to perfect/improve things. Make that software better. Can we make our brain’s software better?

Those CAPTCHA things asking you to figure out what are bridges, traffic lights, road signs (and even chimneys!) are all there to create training data for their autonomous software for cars/drones/whatever they’re going to do next. Google Streetview has taken photos of every major road and street in the Western World at least and that’s some amount of data. The basics can be figured out by buying in street plans and other mapping data. Traffic lights, stop signs and so forth? They need human intervention at least for now. To be more human, Google needs to get more humans. And that’s where we come in. We’re making their data better which helps change their software which changes the data…

There are trillions of photos on Facebook that each perfect their facial recognition software. The more photos in, the better the software gets, especially when the software gets us humans to tag the photos. Now the software is suggesting who these people are so we’re just confirming more than telling the software who these people are. The software now figures out clothing types, food types, locations in those photos. Microsoft and Google have been doing that for years “show me all recent photos taken around the Louvre in Paris”.

Amazon has a service called Mechanical Turk that allows you to write a basic command structure that gets sent to people to do. A very famous one was the guy that paid people $0.02 to draw a sheep facing to the left. He got 10,000 made. Yeah, 2 cents to do something. Say you drew 3 sheep a minute. That means you’d earn $3.60 an hour. So it’s interesting that software that goes through so much data needs humans to polish it up, for now. How smart of Google and Facebook and Amazon to get humans to do work for them for free or for next to nothing.

Google Home and Amazon Alexa are also devices that are taking in training data. They log what 100s of millions of people are saying, so many languages, so many local dialects and accents. Every time you use that the device you paid for, you are training their software to be better. Now this benefits you too and we’ll eventually have devices that finish our sentences. The next step is the camera on the speaker that takes commands from nods or winks or simple hand gestures. We’re evolving from screwing in valves, to punching holes on cards, to keys on a keyboard, to voice, to subtle eye + finger + head moves.

This training data idea is not new at all at all. I did a post recently enough called Pattern Recognition that talks about this. I mentioned Poor Charlie’s Almanack where Charlie Munger has all these rules for making decisions. Knowing everything about your potential purchase and what can impact on it is crucial. And how would you know that? Study the data, study the patterns. Know humans. A quote from him “Acquire worldly wisdom and adjust your behaviour accordingly”

I’m reminded of the book Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef by Massimo Bottura. If a chef isn’t sampling the goods, trying things out and testing them then are they really progressing and moving forward? Now I know many skinny chefs that live off adrenaline and pot noodles but the book title is fair. Doesn’t look like they were using the training data.

As I was knitting this post together I saw this tweet pop up Writing advice from Haruki Murakami: “I think the first task for the aspiring novelist is to read tons of novels. Sorry to start with such a commonplace observation, but no training is more crucial.”

Charlie Munger – financier – advises people to read
Every author advises people to read

Buy some good books and read them, go to a library and read them.

Read some fucking books

via GIPHY

A Budget-minded Woodland Nursery Theme

Evin O’Keeffe - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 14:25

I’m in the midst of redecorating my sons’ shared bedroom which has me thinking about the first incarnation of our former guest room being spruced up as we were about to become parents. So, naturally, I am writing a post...

The post A Budget-minded Woodland Nursery Theme appeared first on EvinOK.

Shakshuka – Baked Eggs

Caitriona Redmond - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 15:00

Week 2: Recipe 2

Make Once Eat Twice

To make this simple and delicious meal of shakshuka (baked eggs) you’ll need half of the sauce made yesterday for the taco fries. Although to be fair you could make this first, and the taco fries second if you wanted to! I use small baking dishes for everyone in the family so each person gets a dish with sauce and 1 egg. However, if you don’t have these you can bake this meal in a large ovenproof baking dish and dole out the individual portions once cooked. Ingredients (serves 5 people)

  • Half of the sauce recipe made yesterday
  • 5 eggs
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 large lime cut into wedges
  • Crusty bread or pitta bread

Method Preheat a fan oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Spoon the sauce into a large oven proof baking dish. Put the baking dish into the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes (this allows the sauce to warm through). Using a large spoon make 5 pockets/dimples in the sauce and immediately crack an egg into each space. Cover the baking dish with a large saucepan lid or tinfoil. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve your shakshuka/baked eggs with torn coriander leaves on top, crusty bread for dunking into the sauce, and a wedge of lime on the side to give it an extra sour kick (this is my 7 year old’s favourite part). 4 recipes down, only 100 to go!!! Eek!

The post Shakshuka – Baked Eggs appeared first on Caitriona Redmond - Wholesome Ireland.

Taco Fries

Caitriona Redmond - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 17:39

Week 2: Recipe 1

Make Once Eat Twice

I know I’m a week behind, don’t worry that will be fixed over the coming months! Unfortunately the entire family came down with the flu this past week and everything had to go on hold while I dealt with that. This week’s recipe is based around a vegetable and bean stew which I use to make a taco fries dish on day one, and day two will follow tomorrow. Once again this is a low fat recipe making it slimmer friendly, it’s high in fibre and protein. Remember this sauce will do you for 2 full sized family meals (family of 5) and it’s like a hug in a bowl this one. The kids love it; when I asked them which dish I’d make this week from the list this was what they opted for. The 10 year old wanted a vegetarian meal that he loves and the 7 year old (who doesn’t like cheese) said he wanted it plant-based. The biggest challenge is always convincing my husband that he doesn’t need meat to complete a main meal and the great news is he doesn’t feel hard done by with the taco fries.

Ingredients (for the sauce)

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, ground cumin, garlic powder, and paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 100g split yellow peas or red lentils (either is fine or a combination of both works too)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tin of chickpeas (including the water)
  • 1 carton of tomato passata
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey

For the Taco Fries

  • 1kg of baby potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon each of paprika and onion salt (optional)
  • 2 scallions/spring onions chopped
  • 100g of grated cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 2 limes

Method Place a large saucepan (which has a sturdy lid) on a medium heat. Into the saucepan add the olive oil, onion, and peppers. Stir for about 3 minutes so that they start to soften. Next add the ground spices and the tomato puree. Stir so that the puree starts to cook in the heat and coat the peppers and onions. Pour in the split peas and stir well so that they are also coated in the sauce mixture. Stir for another 2-3 minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients. Stir one more time and wait until the sauce starts to simmer. Cover the saucepan and turn the heat to low. Cook the sauce on low for 90 mins. After 90 mins, turn your oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Slice the baby potatoes into quarters. Toss the sliced baby potatoes in a large bowl with the sunflower oil and spices. Put the coated baby potatoes onto a non-stick oven tray and roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. To Serve Serve the cooked homemade potato wedges/fries, with spoonfuls of the sauce on top. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese and chopped scallions on top of the sauce, finally add a wedge of lime on the side of the dish and enjoy while piping hot. Don’t forget you should keep half of your sauce for the second meal the following day! The cheddar cheese is optional, if you are making this a vegan dish then leave it out.

Notes on storage: As this dish doesn’t have any meat or dairy in it, the sauce will store in a sealed container in your fridge for up to 4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the sauce for another time and it will keep in the deep freeze for up to 3 months once it’s stored correctly. I use glass containers to store sauces in the freezer if that helps.

The post Taco Fries appeared first on Caitriona Redmond - Wholesome Ireland.

Art live

Treasa Lynch - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 18:56

I don’t own a television and mostly I don’t miss it. This is because I spend more time watching stuff online, on my phone, than anywhere else. 

One of my treats are living sketching videos on Instagram and especially, Alex Hillkurtz’s channel. I did two workshops with him last year and basically he is great. 

His live sketching evenings are lovely to watch, lovely to listen to and his output is always gorgeous. I’m envious although to be fair, he puts in a lot more time than I do. 

His website is here. His instagram is here

Brexit et al

Treasa Lynch - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 18:28

There was a time I used to comment on political and day to day stuff but at some point, it got far too tedious, around the time the UK voted for Brexit and the US voted for Trump. 

As long as I live, I will never understand why. 

However, apparently there is an upside to Brexit. It will put up the cost of Lyons Tea in Ireland. Apparently a load of people in Ireland, many of them Dubs, believe Lyons Tea is Irish. Well it isn’t, any more. 

If you want true Irish Tea, Barrys is where it is at. Never without it. 

Piling up the planners

Treasa Lynch - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 18:26

Some time last year, after a  bunch of failures, some stress and a lot of stuff I’m not used to, I capitulated and bought a Filofax. It was a beautiful aquamarine Finsbury because I wanted a “good” one (ie, leather rather than faux leather) and also, because I wanted an aquamarine one. I liked the texture of the Finsbury and it had 30mm rings. 

If you aren’t really into planners or Filofaxes, these are boring details. Anyway, I wanted to use it as some sort of a bridge between work and personal life and also because really for someone like me who has a degree in artificial intelligence and has worked in IT for nearly 20 years and who loves gadgets, but who has also been keeping a diary for more than 25 years and who writes most days, it really was the case that trying to keep several different digital tools in sync was a balls. I *think* everything eventually reaches the calendar on my iPad but that is the only place. So the idea was to be able to book flights for the correct weekend when I wanted to go to Ireland as opposed to having to write of a set of flights because I booked them the wrong weekend, for example. This worked like a dream until it was obvious that my personal life and work life together were way bigger than one Filofax so I gritted my teeth and acquired second Filofax. This too was a Finsbury, albeit some deep pink colour. Raspberry, apparently. I’ve checked the blog entry I did at the time. I applied that one to work and the aqua one to personal. It’s a measure of my contrariness that I wanted to keep the aqua one which I love most for my personal life but it’s the pink one I used most often because I use the tool most for work. 

However, that’s irrelevant. The problem is that not long after I got it, it became obvious that one Filofax was not going to be enough for work. I struggled on for a month or two; resolved to buy another one but preferably not another Finsbury because beautiful and all as they are, they aren’t exactly inexpensive. I could have a new iPad for the money I have spent on organiser related stuff in the last 6 months. 

But, frankly, a new iPad isn’t going to solve any of my problems really. If it did, I’d never have needed a Filofax in the first place 

So I was lucky enough to find another leather Filofax, a Holborn, in a sale and it will join my pink Finsbury and together, I will rule supreme over my workload and related paperwork. While I was at it, I also bought an A5 clipbook which is one of Filofax’s various other related products. It has the benefit of being that aqua colour I like, and it’s possible the cover is leather. It should take A5 Filofax refills, but I am intrigued because the ones which came in the Clipbook are really really nice in many ways and may enable me to drop preprinted calendars next year. The plan for it at present is to come to work and enable me not to have to drag around 2 other Filofaxes. 

But deep within me, there is Disappointment in myself. I spend a lot of time on instagram and youtube watching planner related videos and leaving aside the very huge problem with planner related stuff on both sites, one thing I never really got was why anyone would have more than one planner. It’s been easy for me to say this because for years, I never needed one. I was working on one project, I had a notebook with a to do list and I didn’t have to manage more than one project at a time and the stories of work I had to manage over more than a day or two tended to be simple enough to keep track of. Buying the second planner hurt. Buying the third one is just beyond the pale for me. 

When I look at some of the planners on instagram – no, wait, nearly all of the planners – what strikes me more than anything is the sheer amount of time people spend administering their planning system. I need the system to be practically invisible. If I have to have an invisible system across 2 Filofaxes and a clipbook, grand; but I do not want it to take hours of my life administering the system itself. It needs to “just” work. Most of the social media planning gurus put significantly more work into the appearance of their planners than the content. 

And they have loads of them. Libraries full of planners. As I now have three, I can’t actually comment any more. 

The issue is more, I look at a lot of these planning videos, blogs, vlogs, instagram accounts and even though someone might have 30 different planner colours, and planners in different sizes for different occasions, it never seems to me that they have to coordinate a whole lot. My daily to do list can run to 60 items on occasion and yes it spills over. But it’s no use to me someone demonstrating their wonderful system for handling 8 items on a daily to do list (“Collect the kids”, “Clean the bathroom”, “publish my youtube video”) when I could do that in my head. I don’t need a planner for 8 items. No one needs a planner for 8 items. 

So one of the things that really grates on me around the whole planner industry – and it is huge in a cottage industry kind of way – is that it doesn’t reflect reality for me. It clearly reflects it for a bunch of social media influencers but that isn’t my life. I work in IT service management, in a big organisation and currently my life is a mixture of urgent stuff, really urgent stuff, spectacular stuff I need right now, a bunch of projects I shouldn’t be involved in but am because stuff, and a bunch of projects I am planning strategically, a bunch of projects I got pulled into and then there will be, because there always are – a bunch of projects I never saw coming because in theory they are someone else’s wonderful opportunity to shine. I love my job but sometime in September I ran out of the capacity to remember everything I had to do over time. 

It’s at this point I should produce a tastefully well styled picture of my pile of planners. But I’m not a social media guru and I’m not planning the release of my carefully timed posts, carefully planned in my monthly spread. 

I’ve already whinged about the online planning world, so at this point, I want to talk a little bit about why I will use 2 planners to organise my work. 

My work is broadly split between administration and delivery. I used to use a slightly personalised version of Ryan Carroll’s bullet journaling method which has been consistently simplified over and over such that I have three main symbols: Empty box: this is a to do item. Tick in the box means it’s down, X through it means it’s cancelled for some reason and arrow pointing right means I have decided today to postpone it to some other day. I keep two main to do lists: a) the immediate needs of today b) the stuff that I need to do at some point in the future or don’t have time to do today or is interesting strategically. I struggle to keep a lid on that list but at least I’m getting stuff noted which I previously wasn’t always managing to do. 

If managing a couple of to do lists was all I wanted to do, then I wouldn’t need 2 planners. I also keep a work log or journal. It’s a basically a record of things that got done, particularly for other people, of information that comes my way, particularly organisationally, of changes of rumours, and some personal views on them. I don’t often refer to it but it is there for me basically to get stuff out of my head and not distracting me. I also keep an overview of each major project or piece of normal business. I have less control over that (who are these people who do not have customers to serve, I ask myself, in the IT world) and as a result, the categorisation and structuring of that can be a bit fluid. Some things might belong in two places. Fixing that only comes over time. Each overview has meeting notes and actions or progress. 

I use colour to some extent – mainly because Filofax has a pile of useful coloured paper. So the to do lists are generally blue, meeting notes are generally yellow. Mindmapping exercises are generally kept together unless they absolutely belong with a specific project or work piece so I want to add some more effective weekly objective/goal planning. I could do that as part of the journal/worklog. I also know there are fixed periods that I cannot work directly on things because I’m stuck in meetings moving direction forward if not production. I miss personal planning schedules a lot around this so I want to try and get a better picture of why that balance is not working for me. I want to track output and follow up that output where possible. 

When I started thinking of my workload in those terms, it seems obvious to me that the technical deliverables, despite the issues in categorising them sometimes could be stored together, and things like the agenda management, goal setting, journal, management related tasks can be kept together. 

Green Screening in Clonmel [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 17:04

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

Green Screen with Note 9 [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 17:03

Bernie Goldbach posted a video:

Walking to work in January [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 15:57

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

600 feet above the River Suir.

The Fever-Tree of Milk: if two thirds of your coffee is the milk, wouldn’t you want it to be the best?

Damien Mulley - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 07:31

via GIPHY

I’m always fascinated by the idea of work and craft. How a restaurant gets a Michelin Star and gets a second or a third. Getting your suppliers to grow old strains of grains, to breed certain strains of birds etc. This piece on the hard work and obsession with ingredients is inspiring. And Cork has a story just like that now thanks to Mews restaurant in Baltimore. Everything is local, as organic as they can find and everything has a purpose.

“If you stick to your vision and don’t compromise then you reap the rewards and the first step is the Michelin star. We knew what we were doing. We wanted to be one of the best restaurants in the country.”

I’ve eaten in a few Michelin Stars and some would blow you away with the work involved in dishes, for others I genuinely question how they were special and how they got an awards for anything more than media mentions. Nothing remarkable food wise and service only so so. Earlier there was the wonderful story of a father and son team growing real Wasabi in Ireland, something that’s even hard to grow in native Japan. The work involved in getting this to grow in Irish soil and in Irish weather shows real dedication. Already the top restaurants are asking to use it. This is a perfect match.

It was in Chapter One that Ed Jolliffe told me the story of Fever-Tree Gin and recommended it to me when I was having some Dingle Gin. Local! I loved the story and their pitch “if three quarters of your G&T is the tonic, wouldn’t you want it to be the best? “ So they went around the world getting the best natural ingredients. Then the bit I really loved – they targeted the best restaurants and best hotel bars who they probably knew would love to get something of this quality to pass on to their customers.

Sourcing local well reared meats, well caught fish, well grown veg is a big thing for this restaurant and some of the best ones around. Every piece of a meal has an origin story. You see and are told the work that goes in to presenting this to you. I remember at some point a desert was described where hot juice from apples was dropped into an ice bath to form little pure beads that was one minor part of the dish. Impressive.

The idea of owning and controlling the whole stack, like how Apple controls everything, both the hardware and the software but not just buying in the parts but dictating how the glass is made in the phones, designing their own chips to their spec, where the materials come from and having them made sometimes using machines they designed. Every single detail. I like that, compared to a fucking pickle on a stone I got in another Irish restaurant. Let the food speak for itself not go-faster-stripe bullshit. Shit coffee but the mugs were amazing yeah?

I see good restaurants do more and more of this as they have the swagger and purchasing power to do this even to the degree that the salt and pepper, the butters are special compared to what you’d normally get. Everything is examined to see can improvements be made. Teas and coffees were some of the last elements to be changed but this is changing. Special teas, bespoke roasted coffee blends. So coffee then…

It makes me think what can be improved in coffee and all the new intense-about-what-they-do coffee shops. I see all these coffee shops and some are roasting their own beans but yet you look at the milk and it’s the same milk that everyone else uses. We’re so lucky in Ireland that our milk is great. But I was wondering why the main element in most coffees is not consistent or being controlled more? To reuse Fever-Tree’s question: “if two thirds of your coffee is the milk, wouldn’t you want it to be the best? “

I remember being told how in LA bagel and pizza places would install special filters to mimic New York water that makes NY bagels the best. All to make sure everything is perfect. It wasn’t fully the water it seems though.

So what about the milk, what milk gives the best cappuccino, gives the best flat white? There is some research about milk with higher protein count and fat count giving a better taste. Yes yes soya milk and oat milk is popular too but people still go for ordinary milk in big amounts. Here’s the story of a crowd in the UK looking at this and like so much coffee culture, Australia has been looking into this for a much longer time.

Ireland of all countries should be at the cutting-edge of this, we produce great milk, cheese and anything dairy. We’re big into our bespoke dairy farms too so why not bespoke milk for our coffees that we seem to be consuming in bigger and bigger amounts? Start your milkers!

via GIPHY

Planning Updates in Four Frames [Flickr]

Bernie Goldbach - Thu, 01/17/2019 - 09:39

Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:

With creatives in Clonmel.

The many (16) Rs of presentations

Damien Mulley - Wed, 01/16/2019 - 09:19

I started off trying to put these tips into a form of a Mnemonic or Acronym but R started appearing a lot so I decided to go for all Rs instead. These are a randomly ordered list of tips for doing presentations, the before, during and after. Tag friends or share this to your network if you think it would be of interest.

Rehearse
A lot. Rehearse, a lot. You need to read your presentation out loud. Reading internally you go faster so you’ll get your timings wrong. Know your quarter mark, half and three quarter marks so you can judge your timings. Could you do the presentation without your slide deck?

Run throughs
I use my slide deck as prompts more than anything so I would run through a presentation non-verbally 30-40 times and out loud 10-20 times. At least. Full run-throughs are needed. I don’t like the sound of my voice so I don’t record myself, I know of others that do though.

Research
You need to agree on the topic and how they see the talk/presentation going, research who asked you to give the talk and what their goal is (they do not want to be the person who hired that crazy guy who said their industry is dead), the audience and specifics to all of those e.g. relevant case studies.

Relevant Examples
The easiest way people can remember/understand what you are going is compare your examples to something they already understand. “We’re Uber for plumbing jobs” “We’re Facebook for mothers”. Make sure your case studies, example are relevant to the audience you are talking to.

Reach
If you’ve done your research then your content needs to get the attention of the audience and retain their attention. Do you want to talk to 50 people or engage 50 people?.

Recycle
A totally fresh deck and a new talk is very exciting but iterating on things you’ve done can be better as you know that stuff backwards and being familiar helps to ground you. Saying that, you don’t want to be like that guy that used the same case study for 3 years in his slidedeck for every talk that he gave. When your audience can give the talk you gave, why do they need you?

Real audience
You can also test this work on a real but different audience before the main presentation by testing with smaller more informal audiences. Offer to give a talk at another event such as a BarCamp or one of the million TEDx talks that are always happening. To reference Jerry Seinfeld again and the documentary Comedian, he live tested the hell out of just a few jokes nonstop until he got it right.

Remove excess
Cut cut cut, cut all bits that slow you down. Too much is bad, if you have too little you can flesh it out on the fly but you don’t want to end up only half way done when your time expires.

Room + Recce
It would be good to visit the location and the room beforehand to get a feel for the place, if not, you can get photos taken by someone and/or have them fill out a checklist. So many times they tell you they have VGA and HDMI and when you get there you find out that the port has been damaged or works badly. A checklist isn’t a contract but it forces more onus on the venue to ensure it all works.

Respect the audience
Treat them like peers, talk to them like you are talking to a cousin at a family reunion. Don’t talk down to them, don’t try to bamboozle or mislead them. Share your talk/presentation like it is something wonderful you want them to know about.

Readables
I don’t like printing out my whole presentations plus most slides are image heavy and text light but I do hand out a summary sheet where people can add in their own notes.

For the live presentation:
Run through with the audience what you are going to say
Realise these points during the talk
Reflect with the audience on what you said

Repeat
Presentation went well? Do it again and again and again with more live audiences.

Reactive and Randomness
Be ready for something going wrong like the AV going, the wifi going, the projector going. Someone sharing a terrible opinion or wanting you to explain something that has nothing to do with the topic.

Review + Revise
Post event, review how you thought about it, solicit constructive feedback from others. Remember though that everyone has an opinion on how you should present but the audience is the best critic. If they didn’t seem engaged, if they weren’t looking to ask questions urgently, if nobody came up to you afterwards, rejig your presentation!

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