Physio for my arm seems to be working well; the nerve test is this Friday, and hopefully it will show that things are okay, so I have hopes of going back to aikido classes next week.

My new boss has started, and I am gradually handing over the reins of various management-y things. We get along well; I hope that she will steer a safe path through the political challenges of being the hardware manager in an increasingly software-oriented group.

Despite the often wet weather, [personal profile] diaspora and I have been getting out for a few walks, looking at assorted birds and other things, and generally enjoying outdoor time together. This year, we discovered and explored the High Lonesome Nature Preserve, where we pretty much never encounter anyone else except occasionally around the entrance. It's a very nice trail system, although there are a couple of wet bits (at least this year), but the mosquitoes were heavy during the summer.

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I've been off the mats, away from martial arts, for a month, due to what we're pretty sure is a pinched nerve in my arm. It's not doing great things for my sanity to be away from aikido in particular, but at least the weather has been good enough for me to spend some time outdoors.

Physiotherapy is in progress, and sometime next month I should get a nerve conduction test; hopefully, I will be free to go back to practice before too long.

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Smartphone, dumbperson?

A recent study demonstrates that having a smartphone within one's sphere of awareness is distracting, reducing one's ability to concentrate effectively. From the Discussion section of Experiment 1 (p. 146):
[T]hese results suggest that the mere presence of one’s smartphone may reduce available cognitive capacity and impair cognitive functioning, even when consumers are successful at remaining focused on the task at hand.
It seems that it is best to leave the phone out of sight, and preferably even in another room, when doing anything which requires intensive thinking.

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