Of roosting chickens, circling back and WISHBs

"Nothing will come of nothing." #1ismorethan0 #keeptruffling #obese #obesity #obesetron #mcpork #ohbabi #running #fitspo #fitness #fitspiration
“Nothing will come of nothing.” #1ismorethan0 #keeptruffling #obese #obesity #obesetron #mcpork #ohbabi #running #fitspo #fitness #fitspiration

The chickens came home to roost last Tuesday.

I spent the whole of that day privately making jibes at a PR company for using the term “circling back”.

They did so while corresponding with my colleagues, in instances like these:

  • “Thank you for circling back to me.” (I think they meant to say “replying”.)
  • Circling back to our previous conversation…” (“Returning”, perhaps?)

While they weren’t exactly wrong, I was amused because their usage of the phrase was unnecessarily cumbersome.

So I mercilessly mocked them by “circling back” to the same phrase at every opportunity I got, during conversations with my office mates.

I guess it was only fitting to receive my comeuppance by inadvertently making a typo on the same day.

Shortly after knocking off, I accidentally interacted with an emotionally toxic person outside of work.

By the time I reached home, I was so drained from dealing with this person that I almost skipped my weekly run.

But I decided I wouldn’t allow myself to be affected by said individual.

So I thought I’d force myself to carry on with the workout through a bit of self-motivation, based on something I’d learnt from this post on Reddit.

Before heading off for the run, I created the image you see at the top of this post.

It’s supposed to say "1 > 0", or one is more than zero i.e. don’t have a zero day by putting one foot forward, and then another, and so on.

Unfortunately, I only realised later that I used "<", the lesser than sign, instead of ">", the more than sign.

Adding insult to injury was the situational irony of my caption: “Nothing will come of nothing”.

It’s a line from the opening scene of King Lear by William Shakespeare, which I meant to use in a self-motivational manner.

However, the original line was meant to demonstrate the protagonist’s hubris…

I guess the moral of the story is: don’t “circle back” when you can “revert”?

In any case, a WISHB was in order – and duly published:

Stuff you must read today (Wed, 10 Jul 2013) – The TechNostalgia Edition

For Tara and Lucas, with quite a bit of New Yorker thrown in for good measure.


  • The Evolution of the Web, in a Blink | The New Yorker
    A damn good analytical recount of how web browsing has evolved over time from the perspective of the <blink> HTML tag.
  • EpicMealTime: The Early Days – By Mooky Gwopson | EpicMealTime
    “The next video on the lineup was a self-challenge to smash the shit out of a KFC sandwich that was labeled the Double Down. It was said by the crew at the time that they wanted to make a sandwich so insane, so greasy and delicious that no one would ever pay attention to the KFC creation again…the team created a 2 foot layered sandwich, that when placed side by side with the Double Down, created an embarrassing food vision of Twins, the movie. The EpicMealTime monstrosity smothered the little KFC sandwich. To this day, we are convinced The Colonel stopped selling his puny sammy because of us”.
  • Hello Laptop, My Old Friend | The New Yorker
    “Laptop’s air of general anachronism makes this cultural detritus doubly strange… . His Web syntax is charmingly outmoded: I was a relatively early arrival to Facebook, and the standing bookmark still goes to TheFacebook.com, the site’s Mesozoic incarnation. Two of his three browsers are so out-of-date that Web sites think he is an early smartphone; home pages answer him with giant type and stripped-down formatting, as if yelling, at full voice, into his digital ear. The Internet has a cruel nose for obsolescence”.
  • Goodnight Hotmail, You Sweet Prince | The Bygone Bureau
    I never used Hotmail – I was adamant that I’d never use Hotmail because (1) everyone was using it (I was quite the hipster, on hindsight); and (2) it didn’t cater for POP3 usage (definitely a hipster), so I ended up using all sorts of other email messaging systems, like Geocities and MyRealBox. But Hotmail’s presence as one of the pioneering forces of the ’90s Internet revolution cannot be denied.
  • The Ongoing Story: Twitter and Writing | The New Yorker
    “Most great writers could, if they wanted to, be very good at Twitter, because it is a medium of words and also of form. Its built-in limitation corresponds to the sense of rhythm and proportion that writers apply to each line. But…[n]ot everyone is primed to be a modern-day Heraclitus, like Alain de Botton, who starts each day, it seems, by cranking up his inner fortune-cookie machine and producing a string of tweets that are, to varying degrees, sour, funny, fatalistic, and bitingly true”.

Gmail Meter

So I’ve been using Gmail Meter on my work account for a couple of months now because I’ve always been interested to know how and whether email at work is used efficiently.

I don’t have any conclusive data (because I’ve not been actively tracking things!), but I thought I’d share some interesting statistics which recur every month, without fail (the graphs and pie chart I’m using are from July 2012, BTW):

Daily Email Traffic
Daily Email Traffic
  • From the visual above, most email is sent in the morning and just before lunch.
  • People enter the office after lunch and try to send a bit of email but they’ve more or less cleared their quota for the day.
  • Work is still done in the evening, after dinner. Work-life balance, anyone?
Monthly Email Traffic
Monthly Email Traffic
  • LOOK AT THOSE PEAKS! The most emails are sent at the start of the week, on Mondays.
  • Thankfully not a lot of traffic on weekends, though you can see some traffic from me last weekend – I was clearing stuff in preparation for the surgery I underwent on Monday.
Email Categories
Email Categories

Last but not least, most email messages I get are not exactly… relevant to me. Either that or I don’t like storing a lot of mail in my inbox.