Impeccable Timing

Today, I woke at noon after being up until 0400. There were sufficient TAQ project breadcrumbs to quickly reactivate, and get stuck into, adding more text to the draft TAQ summary. I was deeply absorbed in this work until the onset of fatigue. An incipient left side headache reared up and declared itself right at the four hour mark. Say what you want, the “fatigue clock” maintains impeccable timing. The work was abandoned when I went for a forced nap.

This return of the fatigue / headache combination is extremely frustrating. Even when I find the psychic energy to resume the TAQ project, I am forced to abandon it midstream. It is as if my body conspires against me, works to frustrate my will, refuses to fully co-operate.

During the past month of being unable to summon the energy to continue the TAQ summary, I was able to futz for nearly eight hours until the onset of fatigue. During that eight hour period, a mix of activities were performed: some walking, some graphics creation, some clean-up of the house, a slow sorting of papers coupled with reluctantly attending to the unruly piles of documents sprouting on every flat surface (hey, it’s spring! Let the documents go forth and multiply like eager little Easter bunnies), plus some clothes washing and sorting, a bit of ice breaking, and snow shovelling. There was no plan to any of this activity; I simply flitted from one task to the next. Work was accomplished without the difficult burden of creating, or adhering to, a schedule. In this eclectic mode of activity, I could operate for an eight hour stretch before the onset of fatigue. Once returned to the increased cognitive demand of the TAQ project, this operational run-time was cut in half.

Impeccable Timing Research Idea

There is a possible research activity here. The goal would be to log the different tasks performed, and the amount of time devoted to each activity. This would include logging the onset of fatigue and headache. My hunch is that the most demanding, the most focused and directed cognitive tasks, run down the “battery” much more quickly than a varied program of semi-random activity.

The difficulty in this project will be logging task start and end times. A similar project was attempted shortly after obtaining the smart-phone. The problem I encountered was one of forgetting to log entries at the time of task switching. The result was an app record that ran out the clock on a single activity while I actually performed a wide range of tasks. Verbal task entry and logging would be preferable to having to write, or to push buttons. The optimum system would be a wearable device that would recognize each change in task activity, and log both the task alteration, and the task duration, without any human intervention.

Other Random News

I bought a package of six avocados and walked them home. When I went to eat one, I found it was bad. Same for the next. And the one after that. The entire bag of six were cut open to reveal brown mouldering putrid mush. I was instantly angry with the retailer. My hunch was the store had allowed the avocados to freeze before being thawed and put on display.

I do not trust myself when I become angry. I held off doing anything in regard to the avocados. Today, I realized that I was likely the blameworthy party. After the purchase, I walked the avocados home, a 90 minute long jaunt on one of the coldest days of the year (windchill was reported as minus 30). I suspect that it was during this walk in frigid temperatures that the avocados froze and this is what caused their premature decay.

The good news is that spring temperatures are on the way. I have made it through an entire winter without the use of a car.