Friday, 14 May 2021

Pay no heed to critics

No one errected a statue to one.

One of my favourite quotes.

Yet last night an old companion I thought to have evicted years ago payed a visit.

The self critic. This morning I gave this loathsome character some thought. 

At some point accumulating grey hair and wrinkles. People started asking me for advice and I reminded myself of a good technique. If I presented my self to myself. I would probably say.

"Dan, you have just worked 3x months without a day off and have spent 2 weeks in solitary confinement. You should probably be kind to yourself.

The worst critic is the self.

ANYWAY. This very blog will change quite radically in the next few days. Please leave a comment at your own leisure when it hits you.

We have had a wee bit of a relative cold snap over night so this morning I have been rationalising my extensive wardrobe. One welcome possible change will be, being able to utilise this to its full capabilities. That said a good portion has been vacpacced for next summer. The benefits of doing such things as it reins in my al fresco tendancies that are potentiated by my son

I do have another FaaS crate in transit and will unbox this as some video content in the future. Do not know what FaaS is? Wait and see.

I did have a good idea for a tshirt slogan.

"Too young for Facebook. Too old for tiktok"

Merch idea for the xenials.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Testing Times

So I had a good interview, I pressed flesh, asked intelligent questions and was offensively charming. The curveball was a test.

Let it be known. I HATE TESTS.

The test was written and practical. I don't know about you guys but my handwriting rapidly devolves into an unintelligible scrawl if I have to write more than my signature. Still, I took my time and was only really hampered by one element. 

A simple solder job of an RCA connector and cable. Usually, I have my holster of small tools on me for work but I was left to use someone else's tools. My problems were not being able to get the collar of the connector over the cable. After cursing and muttering to myself at length. I did what all good ETOS do. I improvised, I desoldered and repurposed another more suitable connector and used that.

Technically this was cheating but it let me pass this question. The solution was actually to cut the collar short on the finest Chinese RCA connector. 

It sounds like a lot of candidates say they can do everything. Sadly when presented with tasks the skills do not meet up with what is in a CV.

So I am grateful I have learned a little about a lot of things. 

Fingers crossed I will be learning a lot more about a lot of things.

An Interview

Wish me luck I'm suiting up.

More news after the break.

Monday, 10 May 2021


My ride out of MIQ was late. He does suffer from being terminally tardy so I was not crestfallen. It was an exercise in feeling awkward, standing outside the hotel I will never return to. I now have 3x hotels in New Zealand struck of my register of places to stay.

I am a product of the '70s and the north. It was quite common as a child to be left in the car whilst my parents were at social gatherings. When you have a small horizon you get to know it very well. The immediate becomes very intimate and comforting. 

My hotel stays have become the same. Every little part of the hotel room is known well. Things noticed in a professional capacity and also on a cosmetic level.

Loitering uncomfortably outside I was struck by how quiet things are. That is not to say there was not an absence of sound. But there was an absence of vibration. The sound of HVAC. I first noticed this when I was waiting for my bus after landing in New Zealand but could not put my ears on it. I had had 3x months of HVAC and temperature-controlled rooms.

When this is removed, it's a little like having been to a concert and suffering from tinnitus. You know something is missing and wonder what it is. Having spent 30 minutes outside desperately trying to look like I was supposed to be there. I had my Eureka moment.

Thank you, Richard. If you had not been late I would not have realised this. I suffer from being perpetually early. How many revelations have I cut short?

Day 14

I leave MIQ today. My imagination is in a celebratory mood. I have a good friend collecting me from the gates today. I woke up with this scene playing through my head. A soundtrack for release if ever there was one.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Day 10 insanity

I have a confession. I did go a bit mad on day 10. I bought this for my impending Tesla.

If you plate it, it will come or something.

Day 10

Having made a half-assed recovery from my suspicious illness. I remain in a self-ordained house arrest. I had 3 intranasal batterings before I was given a plastic freedom bracelet. The problem with the relative freedom is that it looks a little like this. 

MIQ has gone through a lot of changes since I have been doing it. In my previous two sessions in New Zealand, we could leave our rooms whenever we wished. I do get the severity of the situation but walking around in circles is not appetizing. There are sometimes Army supervising. Not my cup of tea.

Feeling a bit like a white-collar criminal I spent yesterday day trading cryptocurrency. I made my usual daily wage before stopping. I do not have the patience to do this day in day out. Protip. It's gambling with a looser dress code.

I am very lucky I have windows I can open. This is a first. The nurses take my temperature in the doorway. I get good sunlight in the morning but I am really in a groundhog day loop of sorts. My day reads a little like this.

6:00 Wake up. Use coffee. Reply to messages received overnight. 
6:30 Meditate.
7:00 Pre-workout.
7:30 Prison Workout
8:30 Breakfast.
9:00 Shower, what to wear etc.
10:00 Something from my to-do list.
12:30 Lunch.
13:00 Nap.
14:00 Spiralling vortex of Reddit, Youtube, Music, Parks and Recreation rewatch.
18:00 Dinner.
18:30 More of 14:00.
21:00 Sleep.

This regimen seems to be working OK. Day 10 has typically been a point of relative insanity and I feel perfectly abnormal. I have not resorted to gaming. I have managed to overhaul my CV into some semblance of respectability and have an interview for a conventional job next Tuesday.

There is a clamouring for purpose-built isolation facilities to be built. I am not sure what these will look like. I kind of envisage porta-cons in rows with small caged areas outside. The things we will do.

I do believe my lunch has arrived so I will leave you here. Thanks for reading an item from my to-do list.

One last thing. It turns out you can use Tequila to treat sore throats. It is an antibacterial and is delicious. The problem with it is that it may cause sore heads.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Rolling with It

I have had a few thoughts percolating since last Wednesday when I had the spontaneous cessation of my work-related duties and contract unfold about 4 hours before I was due to disembark. Typically in times past, when something awkward has happened I have let the thoughts and feelings bubble away until I have the right words to explain. Certainly, it was unexpected, and the explanation given did not reconcile with actions or relationships.

Anyway, it was a fraught few hours as I packed up my things and said a couple of goodbyes to the few people that knew. Boats are the oddest of workplaces. They are a fully operational functionally dysfunctional family. A strange sense of relief enveloped me as I said goodbye to my cabin and office. I realised this shock was actually quite a blessing. My only regret per se is that I didn't get to say goodbye personally in a manner that respects my ex=colleagues.

This year has been a good one for me. I have been able to rededicate myself to a few practices that I lost in the mire of child-rearing and related confusions. Challenges and unexpected change are really just opportunities disguised. 

COVID has changed yachting, I could count on one hand the times I have been on land in the last 3 months. Vaccines may change this but for the foreseeable, I will still be spending months of my year isolating which is where I am now. 

My ever-evolving strategy for isolation suffered a bit of a setback this week when I became ill enough to complain to everyone I communicated with.

Man flu.

I do not think I have corona the symptoms are not consistent, but I have been dealt a bit of an odd hand.

I arrived at my hotel on Monday and was tested in the evening. I did not receive the results for this test before I fell ill. Was tested again yesterday, and will be tested again today. But until I get an all-clear I am hotel room bound.

This in itself is not an issue, I have a lot of important things I need to accomplish including the trivial factor of deciding what I want to do for a job.

If I have learned anything in my time in this form I can have most things if I set my mind to it. But what do I want? that is the question. I have had some cursory glances at more traditional land-based jobs but given my unique talents and lack of formal qualifications, I would really have to approach a company and tell them to make a job for me. Is that arrogant? Probably, but it's also honest.

I shall spend the next 10 days thinking about this and other matters. You as always will be the first to know.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

A Special Message to my Email Subscribers

Hello dear readers.

It is terribly nice how you have continued to get Dan Email Digests after all of these years. I picture you sitting down each morning in slippers, grasping a warm cup of something and wondering how after clicking the spam button over ten years ago these still arrive.

This blog is having a refit at the moment and it has somehow coincided with the Feedburner service having a google funeral in July. But do not worry. The ever enterprising Web Propellor head in charge of the refit has a plan that involves a Mailchimp.

I am not sure how this migration will unfold but if you receive an email from a primate do not be alarmed. It is me.