A gray mist has enveloped the Tay, hiding Fife from my view out my bedroom window. The gray dreichness of it all, and the smell of whatever foodstuff my flatmate Karen is concocting downstairs makes me wish for a warm, soothing bowl of soup, and a hunk of crusty bread.(And maybe also someone to prepare that for me.) I wish that I had the energy to make Heidi Swanson’s garlic soup, or the supplies to make mushroom gravy on toast. The damp claminess clung to my skin as I walked home from the gym, and only now have I begun to shed it in the warmth of my attic bedroom. I am going to take a bath, I have decided.
The other bank of the Tay is now completely obscurred in the gathering dark and heavy fog. Strangely, I do not mind the return of the Scottish winter (which I am told is par for the course for the Scottish July). As Karen pointed out before her run, it’s nice for a change.
I am listening to the very end of the Eat, Pray, Love audio book. It makes me look forward to my gym time, which I spend laughing out loud to Elizabeth Gilbert’s quips, keen observations, and the hilarious things people she writes about say. I don’t mind looking like a crazy person–I mean, I’m already rowing in place, indoors. I figure that should qualify me more than appearing to be laughing at nothing. Besides, this is Britain–if anyone noticed, no one would hassle me about it.
I spent the day making data visualizations. This ended with me chasing, possibly futilely, this really strange artifact that showed up in my data. Before June-July 2009, the players exhibit one “down time” pattern, where they don’t play the game between like 4 pm and 9 pm. Then, after June-July 2009, the down time migrates to around 2 am to 9 am. The funny thing is that it really does “migrate”. It’s not a sudden switch, like you would expect from a change in the way the data was recorded, or even from a player’s schedule change, like the start of a new semester or a shift change at work. We’re in the process of figuring out what is causing the utterly weird thing with the migrating time. My initial worry was that it was a problem with the way time was recorded in the dataset, and that I would have to either reprocess it, or throw it out. Neither of these options appeal to me. Now, we think it might just be something strange the players were doing. We’ll see. I’ll post more on that tomorrow, with the pretty visualizations, so you can all be perplexed with the mystery with me.