L— had the week off so it was my turn to be at work while she wasn’t, at least from Monday to Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening we went to the London Coliseum to see something totally at odds with the venue: Fabric at the Opera. Yes, that Fabric. It was kind of ideal for me: a chance to enjoy electronic music in a comfy seat. The tickets were very reasonably priced, too.

We took a day trip to Brighton on Friday. We’d chosen that day a while ago, to work around other commitments, and it was by far the worst weather of the week. It was still fun, although we didn’t spend more than a few minutes on the wet, windy, cold beach.

I picked up a lovely old 1980s Roberts AM/FM radio in a second-hand shop. It’s surprisingly heavy: less surprising when you realise that it contains a lead acid battery. The top panel is an acrylic sheet, which makes it an ideal candidate for retrofitting with some more modern electronics to turn it into an internet radio. That will have to wait a bit, however: the great chip shortage means that you can’t buy a Raspberry Pi at present.

I fixed my AKG headphones for the third time by 3D printing a replacement for the latest broken part. I’d been putting it off for ages, but in the end it took me five minutes to modify the model for the corresponding part on the other side, and nine more to print it.

Recent events have reminded me of one startup I worked at, where we had a weekly management meeting at which we’d produce a red/amber/green status report which would ultimately be sent to the investors. Every week, the executives would ask us whether some of the red things could be amber, or whether we could have more greens. And we’d usually acquiesce, because it made our lives easier not to admit that things were worse than the (arbitrary) targets.

It sounds like the Kremlin runs the same way. You could change “Russia” to “the company” in this letter apparently from an FSB mole and describe my own experience:

you are being told that it’s just a hypothetical and not to stress on the details, so you understand the report is only intended as a checkbox, and the conclusions of the analysis must be positive for Russia, otherwise you basically get interrogated for not doing good work.

Remember “government as a startup”? What if it was here all along?