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Weeknotes: 2022, week 10

· 5 min read

[713 Mar]

Last week I took for test drives three of the EV's I've recently mentioned here: the Volkswagen ID.4 on Monday, the Kia EV6 on Wednesday, and the Škoda Enyaq iV on Friday. I'm probably the worst car tester in the world, and I insisted to my wife that it should be she going to those appointments at the dealerships. But me being still on paternity leave (last week of that!) and she at work in the mornings, I ended up being the tester.

I am bad at this because in general I don't like cars, and I care mostly (and almost exclusively) about the figures and the easily quantifiable stuff: price, power, range, storage, warranty, etc  and I am sceptical of looks and impressions. (Come to think of it, that last sentence defines me well in lots of other areas of life) So I sat behind the sleek wheel of those three beauties, and my most sophisticated reflection was something along the lines of: Wow, isn't this cool. Look at that huge screen over there! And the upholstery feels so soft Then there's the inconvenience that all decent EV's today have a comparatively impressive response when one really steps on the gas pedal, and so it's difficult to tell awesome acceleration from great acceleration from amazing acceleration (not that it matters much to me). In summary, I liked the three of them (but perhaps the Škoda more than the others).

Breaker of Horses was supposed to take a test drive of the nursery school himself starting Monday, but he didn't look very well on that morning, so we decided that he'd stay home for the day. He went to school for exactly 30 on Tuesday, and then three hours each day for the rest of the week. He seems fine there: little crying, mostly tranquil and indifferent to the changes in setting and faces around him. That is good.

I attended a meeting for prospective parents (clients? users?) at one of the public schools in our neighbourhood. Miss Entropy will start going to primary school in September, and we're deciding which school. We haven't spent much time on this yet, but one of the centres nearby seems good, and we keep on hearing from acquaintances whose kids attend school there about how happy they are with it in general. Also, there doesn't seem to be much difference between the handful of public schools around here. Barring surprises (and moves), my daughter will go to this one. Primary school! My baby! Time flies.

Another morning I had the pleasure of riding the bike to Madrid Río to have a coffee with D., another interesting new acquaintance of mine that I found orbiting my dear groups of rationalists and effective altruists. We talked books, politics, Ukraine, mass media he's a learned reader and writer, and a fellow traveller and ex-expat. I always learn something by reading him or chatting with him.

Once again, riding my bike a few times last week felt very good. Even doing so within the Madrid metropolitan area, along unremarkable routes and often surrounded by traffic is quite nice. It's the novelty, I suppose: I bought my BMW F800 GT almost six years ago, but the last two or three have been anything but normal, and so I rarely use it now. Keeping a sport touring motorbike is very close to a decadent waste in my current vital circumstances (and riding it was always a dangerous pastime), and therefore I'm sometimes tempted to get rid of it. But I get to go for a ride from time to time, and then I'm glad I still have it.

Last week I was conflicted about returning to work after these three months on leave. I mostly like my job (I'm a senior software engineer) and many aspects of it. On the other hand, if I have been paid to do it for more than seventeen years is because my employers always knew that I would not choose to do it for free. Last week, I was looking forward to the intellectual challenges again, the learning, the laughs with colleagues, and those quiet hours from Monday to Friday, sometimes with music in the background  and I lamented having to send both kids to daycare, those hours at the edges of the day when one has to attend a meeting while the family is at home too, the responsibilities of the job, the boring parts of it, and the exhaustion of having to juggle it all.

On Saturday I did some (more) research about EV's: charging stations, charging networks, their availabilities and prices, etc.

On Sunday we went to visit our friends L. and P. and to meet their newborn daughter, S.

Toot of the week: