After raining all week we finally got some blue skies and a bit of sun. Shame about the wind.

Currently doing a major overhaul on the Stet.Build website (first time I do a complete update the website since I started publishing 2½ years ago now). A true revelation has been Textastic, which is by far the most polished environment for writing code on the iPad.

Going Electric

Been recently moving around the city on my electric powered Babboe and it has been transformational. The ability to travel several km within a safe dedicated bicycle lane, without breaking a sweat and worrying about traffic and parking on the other end is magical.

Being in control of the amount of energy that I exert on a given distance travelled is an amazing incentive of actually using the bike more regularly. There surely is a time and a place for a car, however depending on your daily life this might not actually be all that important really.

I certainly never intend to buy another non electric bike ever again. To all those ‘purists’ thinking about it as a torture exercise, it becomes a mega chore when it’s combined to a daily commute, in all types of weather.

What was meant to be a glorious day out began in abject disaster. A flat tyre. Apparently pretty common on new Babboe bikes as they put thin puncture prone tyres by default. Soo stupid.

Issue 050 of my newsletter In Abeyance is now out. Special issue as it doesn’t dive into a specific topic, rather it provides a loose taxonomy of the built environment and categorises all the articles so far within this taxonomy.

Writing In Abeyance for nearly 3 years I have learnt to be a little more chilled about deadlines, if the newsletter doesn’t feel ready. Last night I was ready to go, but woke up and the theme had galvanised further. Sometimes you need time to let things percolate a little.

🚲 I believe this makes us officially Danish (even though it’s a Dutch product).

The new weather app for the iPhone is exactly what you want from such an app. Completely best in class. It’s only taken them 15 OS versions and an acquisition. Better late than never!

🌂 The rainy season has begun. Prepping myself up for our third winter in Copenhagen. While I don’t mind the rain (have most of the gear to endure), I really dislike the wind. Always have. Wish someone would create a magnetic field that envelops you like an invisible umbrella.

Amazingly my Kindle still works, although the battery is not in great shape. Every new Kindle that gets released, I wonder whether or not I should upgrade. It’s taken 8 years, but the new Kindle Paperwhite might push me towards a meaningful upgrade.

🕹 I don’t normally get excited about video games, but I have been wanting Wipeout for the iPhone for as long as I have had an iPhone.The decade long wait is nearly over once Wipeout Rush is released. Finally.

Watched the Apple event foolishly hoping for M2 news. Maybe I am getting desensitised by the yearly refresh cycle, but apart from the different activities tracking on the watch I found it hard to get excited about these upgrades. Maybe because I am not in the market for anything?

Just finished my first HIIT workout in nearly a year. Felt pretty rough after it, but as always with these things give it 30 minutes and you feel a lot better for having done the work out. Combined with the cycling I am currently doing, should get into a little better shape (should).

Tried to watch Bird Box. Can’t finish it. Too intense for me. Maybe it’s because I’m a father and my kids are either same age or slightly older than these kids? Just keep pausing.

It’s probably been over a decade since I spent any meaningful time inside a vector tool designing a website. Usually most of my designs are pretty simple and so this step is seemingly superfluous. However the new version of Stet.Build needs a more considered approach, as I intend to live with this design for many years forward. I do wish I could magic the coding up once the design is complete but that is at least another week’s worth of work afterwards.

Mela is an incredibly thoughtful app for collecting and using recipes. As a regular home cook, this is the app I never knew I needed. The exceptional feature for me is scraping the recipes from websites and books and can be exported into markdown.

Just listened to an episode of Deep Questions and was surprised by a reality that I have not been able to articulate. My type of writing is better written as notes, not words or pages. Write several notes a day (in my own words) and the rest of the article will follow.

Issue 049 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out, and focuses on biomimicry. This one was harder to write and finish - probably because I have not regained my rhythm since my whole iPad debacle. I also experimented a little bit, veering more on opinion than just facts and analysis.

📺 While I continue to enjoy Ted Lasso, the gratuitous Apple product placement is nothing short of distracting. They really should tone it down.

☕️ One of the biggest reasons to avoid going back to the office? The coffee sucks. In every office around the world. Thinking about asking for a bunch of v60s, a burr grinder, some filters and coffee beans. Seriously, would make an infinitely better cup than the horridness we have.

Went to the comic book store(s) over the weekend. It’s been over a year and a half since I had done that. Didn’t buy anything but it was fun browsing the shelves. Took me back decades to growing up in Athens and living inside Solaris. Hopefully will be taking the kids there soon.

☕ Recently I had not been enjoying my V60 coffee. Then it dawned on me that I have been using a fine grind size (one I use for the Aeropress). It’s impressive how different a cup of coffee tastes depending on grind size - in my case going from a fine 1.5 setting to 3 setting.

Sensible Defaults

I have a new form of obsession, finding my own sensible defaults. I am tantalisingly close to getting most of the way there for a number of aspects of my life. The more defaults I can add, the easier life flows and opens up the opportunity for me to explore beyond the mundane. Although this year was originally intended to be the year of learning, it really has turned into the year of sensible defaults. From clothes, to technology, to the house, to my thoughts and ideas, to what I need.

Every item that is allowed entry into my life has to enhance it in a meaningful and long term manner. Short term gains (such as the euphoria of having purchased something) is very much a thing of the past for me. Impulse buys are not allowed. Every item in my surroundings has a target on its back - unless I have some use for this item, it’s days are limited (sometimes it does take me a little while to get there but get there I do).

🦠 Life is so strange right now. Kids get to go to school and then get to catch some virus, but because it might be 👑, we all get to go to the 👑 testing centre on a Saturday afternoon along with everyone else.

I have really come to appreciate the Mikkeller brand of beer. Pricey but buttery smooth.

📺 Recommended by my brother, watching ‘The Untold History of the United States’ by Oliver Stone. Just finished WW2 which gives a fascinating portrait of a period I have not given time to understand. It is overwhelming but essential watching to understand the world as it is.

42

As of today I am a 42 year old stoic believer (I have much road to travel on this road). I have also begun my path towards a better understanding of myself and what is important to me. I now use this marker to reflect. Did I use this year wisely? Did I gain new experiences that I will remember 5 or 10 years from today? Did I create anything that I will be able to share with others? Was I a good father? A good husband? A good mentor, brother, son, cousin? I continue to live my life. Raise my children. Write. Draw. Learn. I continue down a path of self realisation and trying my best to determine what is essential and what is enough.

You ask what is the proper limit to a person’s wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough.
— Seneca

And to my Micro.blog twin @hollyhoneychurch, happy birthday to you to.

📚 Currently reading The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes. I bought this book when it first came out in Dubai but never got around to it. Now that he has released his second book, really enjoying his perpective and writing.

🖋 About once a year I finish off an A5 notebook dedicated to all my creative projects (in this instance anything that relates to Stet.Build, In Abeyance and kaa.bz). This time around I decided to pull out the big boy, the Nanami Seven Seas notebook. A 480 page brick of a notebook complete with tomoe river paper. This book is likely going to be around till August 2023. Can’t wait to fill it with ideas, sketches, articles and notes.

📺 Totally binge watched Narcos: Mexico. Such a great show. Probably one of the best shows I’ve seen on Netflix. Although stylistically not the same as something like Breaking Bad, it has that same level of polish, in the twists and turns and in the character development.

Cargo Bike

I thought it would be fine. We would take it nice and slow. It’s a straight line, soft downhill with a a few turns at the very end. The thing is it really has been pretty stressful these last few days taking and bringing Zane from school on his bike. Every jut out in the road I see as a trap. Even though it is only 10min on the bike, his concentration meanders. I occasionally see him where he shouldn’t be, so I slow down. I raise my voice. Sometimes he listens. Sometimes he doesn’t. He’s only 7 after all.

So I’ve decided to remove this stress from my daily life. Gonna bite the bullet and buy myself an overpriced cargo bike and go all Danish on the situation. The reason it’s taken me this long is down to need. I haven’t really needed this until this week, but I imagine it will be a very important addition to the family. Ryan will no doubt learn to love going on rides for the fun of it. Not decided which one to go for yet but aim to have that resolved by the end of tomorrow.

First day of school for Zane. He was so excited to get there and be part of this new world. His younger brother is certainly feeling the absence but as with all things he will learn to get used to it. On the positive he gains more attention from myself and Yasmine.

Love the very start of a new issue for In Abeyance. There is so much opportunity, so much to learn and dive deep. This months topic was borne out of another topic (which I will get to in a future issue).

You know things are stupid with the weather when all day it’s been sunny with scattered showers…at the same time. Reminds me of the truly strange Arabic expression to describe this, ‘The Devil is washing his wife.’

Mise En Place

These last few days have been exhausting. I decided to tackle the house in every single manner. When I began this process, I just knew that we had too much ‘junk’ around us. We certainly were not using everything and in a small little house, it all becomes more apparent as things tend to pile on top of each other. So I began the process of Marie Kondo-ing the house. Be ruthless, but remember to be kind to yourself throughout the process.

I have done this before but in a different time and place, during transition periods between country to country. This is the first time I review the situation within the confines of our lives as they exist now. For the most part, I was able to remove a large amount of things however there were a few things also coming in - either as necessary replacements or omissions that became clear after the clutter was removed.

While it might seem wasteful to dedicate such a large amount of my holiday time to sorting out our house this process actually frees my physical and mental space to focus on what is important. The greatest feeling I have had post this exercise has been the fact that there is now a specific place for everything. The joy of Mise en place, in a small family of four, is liberating. I highly recommend taking the time, no matter how much of a chore it feels like. Your future self will thank you for it.

🍻 Met up with Nicolo and Valya today. Had a few No.5 from Bootleggers. Way back home was through a summer shower, which surprisingly I didn’t mind - especially once it stopped and the sun came out a little, meandering through the empty roads of Copenhagen at ‘night’.

📚 Just finished Final Incal by Alexandro Jodorowsky and José Ladrönn. It’s been a while since I dedicated some proper time to a graphic novel and this has been on my list for a while now since I bought it several years ago. Jodorowsky is one of my favourite writers in any medium. I would recommend the truly sublime Son of the Gun and The White Lama along with the epic Saga of the Metabarons.

What he is best known for however is The Incal. A mad space opera that set the foundation for a universe. I can see the reticence that Morbius had in returning to this world. Readers of the original series will understand.

This series was fun and mad, but honestly it wasn’t as compelling as the other works I’ve mentioned, which set an incredibly high bar. I’d like to say it’s me, but honestly the dialogue didn’t flow for me. Ladrönn‘s artwork couldn’t capture the emotion of the characters. While the story flowed, it certainly doesn’t feel ‘final’ in any way. Many of these characters can and likely will return in new stories. I’d give this one a miss and rather go for the other series I’ve mentioned.

Last few days has been about discovering Copenhagen. Today was about sorting out the house. We finally got a proper couch (rather than the makeshift rubbish we bought with us from Dubai). Took me all afternoon to build it, but it was totally worth it.