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.

Took a forced month off from publishing In Abeyance - because of computing issues that knocked me off my rhythm. This is the first time I have had to miss a month in 2½ years. In the back of my mind I hope to make it up before the end of the year but won’t beat myself up if it doesn’t happen.

Finished reading: The Story Of The Lost Child by Elena Ferrante 📚.

This one I absolutely devoured. I can’t remember the last time I read three books in a series as quickly as this. Incredible series and one that stays with you long after you have put it down.

I have been on a massive Elena Ferrante binge at the moment. Torn through the 2nd and 3rd Neapolitan Novels and straight onto the 4th. Tarantino’s special power is music. Khaled Hosseini makes you cry at the end of every one of his books.

In the 3rd book Ferrante made me cry at a scene that did not involve anything but two friends talking about her opinion of the others work. It was a masterful piece of writing and probably the strongest emotional hook I have read in years.

💉 2nd Vaccine day. Yay! One month apart exactly. Oh sure, keep hearing that Delta is coming, but hopefully we’ll have a booster shot for that. We might end up having boosters in the future. For now, I am protected and hopefully many around me will also be protected.

It took me a year and a half of working at home before I decided to invest bigly in a screen for my desk. Learning from my previous mistake of not buying the largest television screen available (some 6 years ago), I decided to go all out with my latest purchase, the AOC U32P2, a name that flows of the tongue I know. The real estate is incredible. I’m reminded of this classic photo of Steve Jobs in his office. When I first saw it I thought, ‘Don’t care much for everything in this office, but what an incredible size for a screen’.

What a great string of novels I have read so far this year. The Story of a New Name has been the perfect book for the summer. The hardest part is selecting the book that speaks to me. I have found that sometimes you have to try a few. Don’t force a book if it’s not connecting.

I spoke too soon. The seven levels of hell that is Apple support continues. It has gotten soo bad at the moment that I am regularly loosing my head on the phone. I know I shouldn’t but it has been the worst customer service experience I have ever had.

I think, maybe, just maybe that after 3 weeks of painful (nay, tortuous) back and forth with Apple Support that I may have finally gotten the result I was looking for. It was an incredible slog and I have begun planning a transition away from Apple. What a shit show.

June is the first time that I missed publishing an issue of In Abeyance on time. Part of the reason is the fact that I don’t have a personal computer (save my iPhone). My MacBook died a couple of years ago. My iPad is getting fixed (or not depends on Apple at this stage). While the iPhone is great for capturing short thoughts (like this blog post), it’s a pretty poor experience for the longer form writing - screen is just too small. I have been looking at the AOC monitor for my home office. Combined with the Shiftscreen app, I could have avoided the delay in getting the newsletter out.

Today marks one month back on the No-S Diet. I was doing really well for most of last year but around October I fell off the wagon. The first month is always the hardest to settle into a rhythm (I suppose this is true of anything you do). Now it’s all about not breaking the chain because this is a marathon not a sprint.

A little over a year after COVID began and things are beginning to open up here in Copenhagen. Of course they ‘opened’ a little earlier by means of testing regularly and a Coronapas - not going to lie, the whole process just did not appeal.

Being half vaccinated your mind can start doing something it couldn’t before. Making plans for the future. Some medium term and some longer term plans. Maybe go for a holiday? Maybe even get back onto a plane? Maybe get to see family again in the coming few months.

While I know I have lost many experiences this last year, at the same time I have gained much. More time with my kids. More time for the tempo of my body to slow down. More time for reflection. More time for boredom. More time for reading. More time for writing. More time for getting my ‘house’ in order.

I hope others were able to get something out of a world changing event that will be seared in our memories for many years to come.

Heliotrope is the latest release from one of my favourite type designers. While I am not in the market for something like this I love the name, the story and the italics. Concourse is my next purchase, once I have a project.

It’s been nearly 2 years without MacOS. iOS has served me reasonably well, although somethings should not be this difficult to do. More importantly my machine is in the shop to get fixed (again!). Brings me to Windows 11. Throughout all of this Windows has remained my work machine. This update looks to make my daily experience that much better.

📚Humankind by Rutger Bregman is probably the best book I have read in the last 10 years.

Part of the reason for this is simply that it opened up a certain part of me that was yearning to come out. My optimistic side. I used to identify myself as an optimist, but slowly time beat that out of me as I became increasingly more cynical of the world and humanity around me. This view was somewhat amplified by any number of sources around me. News outlets. Friends. Family. Strangers. Life’s many experiences. A global pandemic.

What I needed was something uplifting. Something that could hopefully awaken the old me. Something that could help me work through and understand the injustices and terribleness that is so prevalent in our world today. The why is only the start of the process. The how can we change this for a better situation is far more interesting.

Will definitely be buying a paper copy of this book and run through some of the copious sources and counter arguments referenced throughout the book. If you are looking for something to present a different worldview than the one you likely have (which sometimes rubs you the wrong way because you want to believe in the alternative), then I highly recommend this book.

Started working on a typeface based on my handwriting 2 years ago. Its not baked yet - because it really isn’t a priority - but it was fun to remind myself where it stands right now.

I am really loving the look of these Dan Cederholm books. While my brain is telling me to just buy the ebook, my heart really wants the physical copies.

⚽️ It’s great to have the Euros on while living in Europe. All the matches are at the perfect time. No classics yet but overall a good tournament so far. Only ding is how tired most of these stadiums look like.

The new ‘Reading Ruler’ setting on the Kindle app is a subtle but wonderful addition to a reading app. Wish web browsers had this feature.

💉=🖕🦠

I know, very childish, but I feel in that mood following my first shot! Can’t get this song out of my head.

My yearly iPad issue continues. Seems the USB-C connector is busted (it works in only one direction) and the battery gremlins are back again. For all it’s rock solid performance the hardware on this machine has not been reliable - even considering it was not a road warrior!

Slowly been amassing this beautiful range of freely available printed material across a wide range of subjects.

On Email Pixels

And like that war on the email pixel has been declared. I’m not going to say I will miss it. The only useful aspect of this technology for me is to see who has or hasn’t opened an email in a while. Truth is even then I haven’t used this feature to cull addresses.

I imagine that this then becomes an issue only as a newsletter grows. There will have to be new solutions adopted to address this. This could be as simple as a yearly poll that asks you to confirm you still want to receive the email, otherwise you will be removed. This might get annoying if everyone adopts the same technique (think that GDPR shitfest from a few years ago).

What people click on is even of less interest. I’m just just happy they found it engaging. I guess in the new world of newsletters, the only thing that matters is if someone signed up or removed themselves. If they sent you a response. Nobody ever seems to forward on an email so no need to worry about that.

🍎 I had completely forgotten that WWDC starts today. Nothing earth-shattering, just solid improvements across the board. As for favourite new feature: the keyboard shortcuts & the new multi-tasking looks great. The Safari and Weather app updates are solid as well.

I’ve linked to the Poetry Foundation before, but I just stubbled across this site again and took a moment to appreciate the care and attention to detail. Wonderful looking website with an equally lovely looking publication.

💉 Vaccine-booking-day finally arrived in Denmark. Like everyone else around the world I have been waiting for this day for months - honestly feels like years at this stage. I was a few months off when I thought this day would come (early optimism was for sometime in April/May).

I was given access to a beta version of one of my favourite iOS editors. An already great editor just got an incredible array of polish. Will have tons to say when this is released. For now it put a stupid smile on my face.

📚 Currently reading Human Kind. A Hopeful History. Just got to this amazing parable (apparently from the internet somewhere):

An old man says to his grandson: ‘There’s a fight going on inside me. It’s a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil – angry, greedy, jealous, arrogant, and cowardly. The other is good – peaceful, loving, modest, generous, honest, and trustworthy. These two wolves are also fighting within you, and inside every other person too.’
After a moment, the boy asks, ‘Which wolf will win?’
The old man smiles. ‘The one you feed.’

Its not every day that I decide upon next month’s subject and instantly have the image of the cover clear in my head. Maybe after 2½ years of doing this, I am finally getting the overall hang of things.

I’m doing a ton of fun research at the moment about various paper products (will be sharing soon), but in the process I stumbled on the work of George Townley. Architectural drawings, mainly of and around LA.

Issue 047 of In Abeyance is out. This issue is about Brutalism, a subject with seemingly infinite avenues to explore. Also in this issue, Art Gensler and Dieter Rams.

Not sure how this happened, but apparently I have read on my kindle every single week for a little over a year now. This is the kind of metric tracking that I can really get behind - until a couple of weeks ago I had no idea this feature existed. Looking through the log, there were a couple of weeks where I read only once. In fact the 17 day streak is a far cry from my longest streak of 89 consecutive days. That is now clearly in my crosshairs.

I don’t normally talk about the weather, because I live in Northern Europe and the weather here is not great. May however has been probably one of the worst months in memory. Rainy, windy and cold, weeks before June. Having said that this weekend looks to be different. Bright & sunny. Definitely taking my bike for a long ride.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
— Winston Churchill