THE FALL IS ALL I NEED

Had a nice chill 15 mile bike ride on Saturday. This trail is a rail to trail, so uphill for the first half, than downhill for the second half, but it’s easy and chill. I wanted something I could ride without much thought, and just enjoy scenery.

Then on Sunday I had my first run in three weeks, probably the longest time I’ve taken off since I started running in 2016. I tweaked my foot a few weeks back when running a little too fast downhill, and paid for it by needed to take some time off.

I ran a full mile, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Felt good, felt like I could have ran more of it, but figured I’d take it easy, and will continue to do so for this week and next, probably.

Thought of how neither of these efforts was hard. Neither worked up much of a sweat, but neither were a waste of time. They probably didn’t help me achieve peak physical prowess, but it’s all foundational, one brick at a time.

GOODNIGHT, METAL FRIEND #27

It’s been a minute, but I finally got out another mix.

Made this image for the Goodnight, Metal Friend Substack newsletter. Somehow I fell in love with the overheard electrical wires thing.

I guess I’m still trying to figure out the “design language” and branding for Goodnight, Metal Friend, too. It’s a fun experiment in something that’s not super personal and ME, with my face all over it. Instead, just trying to convey a vibe, I guess.

To listen to more, you can find all the mixes on Mixcloud, or read all the Goodnight, Metal Friend posts here on my blog.

NO RUSH

Via @chronically_cheerful on Instagram

I’ve lately been leaning towards the higher-value work lately, and believing the lower value work will get done eventually. It’s hard, because I want everything done all the time, in a perfect schedule. I used to plan to have certain tasks done on certain days, but I’ve scrapped all that, and just started working on things as my energy allowed.

And while I love being wrapped up and done by 3 or 4pm, sometimes I need that workout in the morning, or that bike ride after lunch, which then pushes “closing time” back, and that’s okay.

THERE’S JUST TOO MUCH

This from Music Business Worldwide:

It was inevitable, but it’s no less eye-popping: approximately 100,000 fresh tracks are now being uploaded to music streaming platforms every day.

That’s according to two of the most influential figures in the modern music business: Universal Music Group CEO and Chairman, Sir Lucian Grainge, plus the outgoing CEO of Warner Music Group, Steve Cooper.

Addressing the Music Matters conference in Singapore on September 27, Grainge said that 100,000 tracks were now being “added to music platforms every day”.

In my line of work I have clients who sometimes release 5+ albums on a Friday, and that to me blows my mind. Five albums isn’t even a tiny blip when you consider 100,000 tracks being uploaded in a single day. Every day.

LOST MY GLASSES AT A TURNSTILE SHOW

I haven’t been to a show since 2019, but my friend Meem suggested we go see Turnstile in October, so we did just that.

Not even 30 seconds into their first song I was pushed from behind so hard that my glasses flew off my head. I was on the ground (it was pavement), scuffed my knee, looked for my glasses for a quick second, and then got the fuck out of there. My friend was punched in the face. Another woman near us ended up on the ground, too.

I mean, in our combined 50 or so years of show-going experience we thought things would be chill, but that wasn’t the case.

I couldn’t drive us home, as I’m blind as a bat without my glasses. My buddy had to drive me to center city Philadelphia to get me new glasses so I could drive back home that day. It was about $380 and I got my new glasses in a few hours. The photo above is from the nearby mall while waiting for the glasses.

Oh, and my friend got a parking ticket while we my glasses.

When it rains it pours, but at least we have another story to last us another 25 years.

SOCIAL MEDIA HAS MELTED MY BRAIN

This bit from Ryan Broderick’s ‘Garbage Day‘ newsletter melted my brain.

“According to Know Your Meme, about 60% of the memes we’ve seen in 2022 were created by Twitter or TikTok. And the three biggest apps behind those two —YouTube, Reddit, and Instagram — all trail far behind, contributing around 10% each. And if these current trends continue, it’s likely that by next year TikTok will outpace Twitter. In fact, we’ve entered a new interesting moment where it’s usually unclear whether people on Twitter are talking about something because it’s on TikTok or if people on TikTok are talking about something because it’s on Twitter. Soon it won’t be. Very shortly, every every platform on the internet will be completely downstream of TikTok.”

Ryan Broderick

Like, what?

Sometimes I see some Twitter drama, and follow it for a day. Then, when I tell someone who’s not on Twitter about the drama, they look at me like I have three heads.

This is that. That is this.

I want off, I want out. I am 46 now and while I’m not going back to a 56K modem or purchasing a flip phone, this idea that we all need to be plugged into the social media slot machine, constantly pulling the lever to ingest more more more into our eyeballs is just about over for me.

Half the shit anyways is in response to things on the internet anyways – news reports, new videos, and – of course – the trendy new happing on TikTok.

So whatever.

I’ve been writing here at sethw.com since about 2018. On and off, stop and start, sometimes not a lot of writing, and sometimes a bit more. But this place is mine, and mine alone.

Anyone from the world wide web can discover this site, read what I’ve been writing about going back to 2018, and go on about their merry way.

Try reading someone’s Tweets going back to 2018. Good luck.

For the last two months I’ve been getting my ass out of bed and to the gym instead of scrolling social media. I deleted Twitter from my phone (again). And two months later I feel better.

Social media is a habit that’s meant to be broken.

JUST KEPT CLIMBING

I joined the ‘August Run Climbing Challenge‘ on Strava, which set a goal of running up 2000 meters in during the full month. This got me exploring some of the more hilly trails in the past few weeks.

On a Tuesday I set off for The Pinnacle, which starts very matter of factly as this yellow gate. In total it was 898′ of climbing, mostly power hiking because a lot of it is over 10% grade (it even hits 20% at one point). That was a 3.6 mile adventure in under an hour, and it even started raining at the end, which was very nice.

Then on Wedneday night my buddy Mimi hit me up, saying she’d be in town for a bit, so I went to crash with her and her family that night, so we could run up Mount Minsi the next morning. This was 1,171′ of climbing, and again it was steep, upwards of 20 and 30% grade in parts when you just sort of had to crawl up the mountainside. It was amazing. We did that, plus some extra miles to and from the trail head (because of this cool creek crossing) for a total of 6.15 miles, in just under two hours.

Then Friday night, I’m feeling good, an my friend’s still in town and leaving the next morning. She texts me saying we should run up the other side, Mount Tammany in NJ. So I got up at 6am on Saturday, drove up her way, and we set off for the trail (and parked much closer this time).

So we start that at about 7:30am, before it got too warm or crowded. This climbs up to about 1500′ in elevation in 1.5 miles, so pretty steep in places. Lots of rocks to climb over. It’s like going to fucking Mordor. But we made it, and you can see the other peak in the distance, which is what we climbed two days prior (Strava).

Afterwards we get some Dunkin Donuts, we’re hanging out, all is good, and I head back home. Then I get the idea to drive to Palmerton, PA and try running up that peak!

I stop at a grocery store and pick up some yogurt (for protein), some fruit (carbs), some iced oatmeal cookies to use as a spoon for the yogurt, a gallon of water, and a Gatorade. Turns out after eating this, then waiting about 30 minutes, I was able to give the trails in Palmerton a go.

Mercifully the trail to the summit was closed, I think, and I stayed on the Prairie Grass Trail which was grassy (duh), up and down, and led into some pretty neat sections of single track. So I ran that out a bit, then came back, for yet another 3.6 mile run.

In all that was 3,709′ of climbing, and almost 17 miles in five days time. Today is Sunday and I’m feeling pretty good overall, but definitely need a nap later today (and no running).

MAKING SURPRISES

Love this from James Clear’s 3-2-1 newsletter:

“Children are joyful and treat each day as a miracle—in part because they are continually surprised.

Each day, they hear a new word or listen to a new song or learn about a new animal. It’s their first time visiting that restaurant or jumping in that pool or riding that rollercoaster. The world is continually unfolding before them.

How can you introduce more surprise into your life as an adult? How can you renew your sense of childlike wonder?”

James Clear

How, at 46, do I introduce wonder and surprise? That’s a tough one.

Going biking in new places brings about some surprise and wonder, as the weather may change, or I might show up right when a steam train is leaving the station, and I can try to “race it.” Those small, spontaneous moments, I guess.

Running is always a surprise, too, because I sort of never know how the body will feel. Most days it can be hard to get out the door (especially with the heat wave we have here on the east coast), but then 1.8 miles into the run everything feels great, or I see a breathtaking sunset, or I come across a dog who loves racing me from the other side of the fence.

In part I think it’s just getting out and doing something, throwing myself into the world and seeing what happens. That’s looked different in the past few years due to COVID, which has meant a lot of missed opportunities to meet new people, so lately it’s been about the experiences, and the scenery.

NOTHING SHOCKING

From @joysullivanpoet via Instagram.

I always thought of these people as having the “audacity to dream,” and how I loved being around these folks, something I’ve been lacking in recent years given the pandemic and all.

The dreams have withered though. Maybe it’s because I’m 46, over a decade since I got rid of all my stuff and started riding across the US with my laptop, and crashed on the couches of my friends.

Money is hard to make, free time is scant. The time for dreaming is hard to come by, so maybe the dreams get smaller. I’ve heard more than once in the past few years, “wow, I wish I could just have health care,” or something similar. Like, that’s a dream for some people in America, which is fucking gross.