🕹 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.

Been having a rough time with keeping Zane safe from himself. He’s a curious kid, but also one that is completely unaware of the world around him and how he can hurt himself. First a bunch of logs busted his toenail (he couldn’t walk for 3 days). Then he caught the flu (it got bad and we thought he might have gotten pneumonia). He decided to climb a tree and on the way down had a scratch on his face that was mm from his eye. We’re about to go to school and he crashes into some other guy on his bike, hand swells up for a few hours. The next day he goes on a field trip and gets stung by 2 wasps. It’s been relentless.

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.

Day 2 of our staycation. We decided to forsake the air travel this year and try and enjoy Copenhagen in a manner we have not really had a chance to since moving here a year and a half ago. Yesterday I ventured into town on my bike and just took in the sights like a proper tourist. Today it was an Amager day out. Tomorrow we might be going to the Zoo for the very first time ever….we live 15min walk away.

Took the kids for ice cream today. Noticed a nice little place not to far from the house. It was a whole thing. With every step we walked, the kids were getting more excited. We arrived and the place was shut. Zane was the first to really get upset. Gentle guy walking just behind us goes, ‘Not to worry, go around the corner there is another excellent ice cream place.’ So we did. And it was excellent, had a few Nordic flavours I have never tried before (something that looked like Mango but wasn’t). Definitely going to be returning.

While there are no native Windows apps for Micro.Blog, I would be happy with an Obsidian plugin that posts to my site (with or without a title). Then again, I think that everything should be built ontop of Obsidian at the moment. Easily my favourite software of 2021.

This post by Austin Kleon about the ‘twisters’ and ‘yips’ is great. I have been finding it more difficult recently to carve out the time in the morning to do my regular writing. It’s all a mental game. The opposite of mis-en-place.

📚 Been meaning to dive into David Epstein’s book Range for a while. I feel like my personal experiences follow his thinking (what I’ve understood from interviews), so will be nice to go deeper on this.

Some thought on Tokyo ‘2020’ opening ceremony:

  1. It was no where near as extravagant as I know the Japanese to be capable of. Not sure if this is by design or they were purposely held back by the you-know-what.
  2. The highlight for me was the drones in the air and the pictogram montage (so much fun).
  3. I can’t help but feel a little sad when I see countries represented by a tiny delegation.
  4. By contrast there is huge pride in those tiny countries and managing to make it there.
  5. The IOC can go fuck itself. This should have been a celebration of humanity. Rather it will be fine when it could have been spectacular. They could have and should have postponed it another year.

Issue 048 of In Abeyance is out. This issue is late, a first in the 2½ years of publishing. It’s hard to write when your main and then your backup work machines both fail. This knocked my writing, researching and publishing rhythm off its axis. So I took a month off. This month its all about nuclear power, Olympic beds and Muji horology.

For the last year I have been trying to work out a ‘capture-configure-control’ setup. For those wondering what that is start here. Newport recommends Trello, which I think is bloated. I tried using Basecamp, but I found the system offered friction I couldn’t overcome properly (it’s me not the software). Enter two plugins for Obsidian, that in tandem work together to focus my mind:

  1. Kanban
  2. Day Planner

There is actually a third feature that I have found invaluable and that is the fact by default Obsidian allows you to fold lists. Capturing just became much easier and either move them into their own note or straight into the Kanban ready for action. Obsidian really has been a complete revelation in how mature, solid and versatile it is out the gate. I hope development continues on this app for many years to come.