FIND THE GOOD STUFF

I removed Twitter and Instagram from my phone, as both were sucking up way too much time. Way too easy to just lose 10 or 20 minutes at a time and come away with nothing of any value.

Of course my brain somehow found Google News, or Apple News, which is just throwing more blunt force trauma into my eyeballs on the regular. No thanks.

Then I remembered, wow, there were design sites I used to frequent which always linked to the coolest stuff.

So in hit up Swiss Miss and found earth.fm, which is amazing nature sounds from all over the world.

Then I found this amazing video, too. A soothing, gorgeous video. Absolultey inspring.

So scrolling through Swiss Miss didn’t flood me with all these things. They were spaced out over several days, not just video after video, pummeling my senses and stealing my attention.

Worth checking out: https://www.swiss-miss.com/

NOT A HOBBY

I posted one of those “I’m too tired from work to do my hobbies so when I get back to work I’m mad I didn’t do my hobbies” memes on Instagram, and meant it mostly for the music / creative side of things.

Which made me realize that biking and running have stopped being a “hobby,” and turned into who I am. I’ve been biking for 30+ years. This July I’ll have been running for six years.

I have so many running clothes, and bike tools, and fuck, I have three bikes again. A Zwift subscription. A gym membership. An Apple Watch. A Garmin for longer runs.

So those hobbies haven’t fallen off. And since January they’ve actually ramped up, as evidenced by my falling resting heart rate (hooray).

But getting in a five hour run takes more than the hour or so it takes me to run it. There’s stretching, cool down, fueling afterwards, getting to bed early to aid with recovery.

So with that, yeah, there’s not much time after a full day of work and an hour long run or bike ride for other stuff.

And right now that’s plenty okay.

FEELING STUCK

Via @NXHLVS

I don’t know how I had the energy to make daily loops in early 2021, or weekly Goodnight, Metal Friend mixes, or live audio streams a few nights a week.

It takes all the energy I can muster to get out for a run or a bike ride most evenings. Creating or making things is absolultey the hardest thing right now. Fuck, even trying to keep writing blog posts is hard, like this one.

But right now those runs and bike rides are enough. I’m not “creating content” like I used to, for other people to enjoy. I’m getting my butt outside, and off the computer, and just staying in the present moment enough to get the blood flowing.

Everything is hard right now, so I’m just trying my best to keep a bit of softness in my life, and not try to beat myself up for not being the most creative, or productive person right now.

BUY THAT BIKE

I said this last month:

But honestly – I turn 46 next month. Luck runs out someday, right? So in the meantime, fuck it. I’m going to spend the money on shit that makes me smile, shit I use, and shit I want, because someday the oceans will boil and shit. Today is it.

And well, I said fuck it again, and bought a mountain bike.

To be 46 and own three bikes again, well, whatever. Life is short. I’ve seen too much death in recent years. COVID has shown us all how fragile everything is. Modern society in here in America has shown us how “on our own” we truly are, so fuck it… if I want to ride on the road, or some easy rails-to-trails, I got my gravel bike.

And now, if I discover miles of single track, I have a bike that can handle it. Fuck it.

I don’t want to be on my death bed and think, “shit, I shoulda just got that bike,” or “I shoulda just went to that trail but never did.”

MUSTER WHAT YOU CAN

Had two great talks this past week with two folks doing creative, vibrant work.

This after Tweeting less, posting less, and sending out one of my HEAVY METAL EMAIL newsletters after a month or two hiatus.

So often I think my words just disappear into the void, that I’m a horrible writer, that I should “write better copy” to get more work, and all the other shit you read from people who achieved success and think their method is the right method.

This is a weird spot to be in – not publicly posting things, sharing the work, whatever. But in these trying times, it’s all I can muster.

STOPPED SHOUTING

One of the two “blogs” I regulary check out has gone on hiatus, or sabbatical as Jason Kottke puts it (the other is Daring Fireball, but he’s still going).

It’s weird – I had been writing online since 2001 with a music blog, and responsible for running a music site up until 2011. Then I did daily metal trivia on social media from 2011 through 2018, with nightly fucking email newsletters with the answers.

Not to mention regular Tweeting since 2006, with the occasional podcast (Workbench, Metal Minute, On The Rag Again, Later, etc.), and newsletter (The Soft Run, etc.). A Daily Loop. Just always doing… something.

I’ll tell you what gets me going, though: talking to other people about putting stuff out there. Making their websites go, or their newsletters, or starting a podcast. Not like I’m the guy to talk to about how to make it “go viral,” but I’ve done enough of this stuff to know how to build a foundation, and build from there.

That’s such a different medium, though, for me. For years I’ve followed the wisdom that I need to always talk about it, put it out there, share my knowledge with everyone. And weirdly enough once I stopped shouting about it from the roof tops (I’ve slowed down Twittering, stopped sending out my HEAVY METAL EMAIL newsletter), that’s when a few calls have been set up to actually talk about the stuff I do.

MORE TIME OUTSIDE

I started posting on Flickr again (here).

I bought a 1Up bike rack, making it 1000x easier to get out and get moving during the week.

Been heading for the woods on the weekends for runs and bike rides.

Highly recommended.

MORE GOOD STUFF

It’s been a week of movement. Of steady forward motion. Not sure if it’s the weather, or the kick in the pants from a recent doctors visit, but I am not standing still.

More running, more walking, more biking.

I got a hitch mount installed on my Chevy Sonic. First time ever buying an “after-market” item like that. Ordered a 1UP Bike Rack, which should be showing up soon. All an investment in my overall happiness and joy in life. If it makes it easier to get out with the bike and smile, hell yeah, I’m gonna do it.

More solid running. I’m not trying to make it all about weight, but for me being lighter makes running more joyous. I know I’m supposed to love my body, and throw out the scale and all that, but I also have a family history with this stuff, and a blood pressure that’s creeping up. So fuck it. And honestly, being more sensible and not eating a row of Oreo cookies before noon as a way to cope with day job stuff is way more unhealthy for me than stepping on a scale every day.

I keep being flippant with the ‘ole “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.” I mean, a local college student got hit by a distracted drive this past week, and days later is still in critical condition (here’s a GoFundMe link if you’d like to help out).

But honestly – I turn 46 next month. Luck runs out someday, right? So in the meantime, fuck it. I’m going to spend the money on shit that makes me smile, shit I use, and shit I want, because someday the oceans will boil and shit. Today is it.

A bit dark, sure. But hey, it’s Saturday morning and I’m up earlier than I am during the week. The upstairs neighbor is vacuuming and I’m planning on getting into the woods today. Make it great.

I SPIED ANOTHER PLACE TO RUN FROM THE ROAD

Spotted a section of paved path while driving with a friend today. On our way back I made sure to watch via Google Maps, and find out if it was a park, and sure enough it is.

Graphic design aside, the above map is from their website (hooray for websites in 2022), and it shows that the outer loop is just over a mile. And from the looks of things I could switch up some of the turns here, make loops within loops, and get some nice mileage in without going nuts, or being too far from my car.

REALLY LIKED SEVERANCE

I started watching Severance (Apple TV+) last Sunday. Watched all the shows in a few days, then had to wait until Friday (yesterday) for the season finale.

Oh my god.

I’ve tended to not really be a “TV guy” most of my life. My last real “broadcast TV” favorites was ‘The Mole’ was 2002. Shit, that was TWENTY YEARS AGO.

I remember rushing home to see new episodes, absolultey hooked. Then season two started and it turned to shit in a hurry, and I fell off.

Sure, I watched movies here and there (like the Matrix of course), and TV shows (Parks and Rec, etc.), but just nothing hooked me.

In 2019 we got The Mandalorian – WHEW. Wasn’t even fair. A TV series based around my favorite movie of all time? HOOKED.

LOKI in June of 2021, which pulled me in because of the “who’s really behind all this” story? I love that sort of stuff, which goes back to the Matrix, of course.

That things aren’t what they seem.

Which then lands us here at Severance on Apple TV+.

Aside from the amazing sets and design, and the brilliant acting, is a premise that gnaws at me a bit.

The “everyday you’re back here, you chose to come back” part.

Wow.