Monday, 10 June 2019

The 42 Step Program. Step one

The past 42 years has been a slow accumulation of wisdom. In 2016 I started planning for a 42nd Birthday party which went off in January of this year. Turns out if you concentrate on anything for a long period of time. It comes to pass.

Reinvigorated from a poignant ceremony of sorts and released from party prep purgatory I have set about reimagining my universe.

Over the next 42 posts, I shall share some of my wisdom. Stay a while and listen.

Step one. Collect Data. Identify Trends. Make Changes.

These posts are going to jump about a bit because all of the 42 steps are intertwined the strands of alien DNA.

Mechanical engineers use trending to identify issues and when to schedule preventative or routine maintenance. For all of our data that is logged, we still transpose information to a written daily log.

In the first step, you must start thinking of your body and mind as a complex machine. Add sensors, capture data, make changes.

Add sensors.

I use a cheap fitness tracker to work out how productive my sleep is.
I count the nutritional and calorific effectiveness of everything I eat. (myfitness pal)
I count my steps and log training.
I write down my mood at the each of day.


I identified my addiction to facebook with the screentime feature on my android phone.

I have worked out I sleep better when I get 10,000 steps a day.

My mood is better when I meditate twice a day.

My workouts are more effective when I use a program.

This all takes time. Time, that you will get back when you divorce yourself from Facebook and that is step two.







Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Writing about Writing

Hellooooooo.

I thought I would quickly write something about the things I have been writing about. Currently in draft purgatory.

I am currently Mid Atlantic near the Bermuda triangle.

I am almost three months into my Facebookless experiment. There are a lot of interesting benefits to starving yourself from that monster. Skynet is already here buried under a like button.

I had a fun time in Fort Lauderdale. It may well have been a bit too much fun. A lot of photos and videos to share.

This is my first Atlantic crossing in a few years. Being a few years older and a little more comfortable in myself it has been highly enjoyable.

Finally, I have been at sea for ten years. We are returning to where it all began, Antibes. Expect a deluge of nostalgia.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Experiment Findings

Today affords me the opportunity to log back into Facebook and I'm not in a hurry to do so.

In a nutshell.


  • I missed the whole awful tragedy that unfolded in New Zealand being simulcast on Facebook.
  • I have more time in my day.
  • My relationships have improved.
  • I feel happier and lighter.
On the flipside
  • I missed the Arrested Development season dropping
That is about it.

I am still using Facebook messenger. So I think the end game from here will be.

-Backing up my account.

-Making a messenger only account with no photos/video/posts/metadata

-Telling my friends my intentions.

-Deleting my facebook account.

Therefore I shall continue the experiment and see if I grow any new limbs, preferably wings.







Tuesday, 26 March 2019

My Day in L.A

As promised.

I touched down about 11am. I was bemused.

I do have to give America a bit of a bouquet as passport formalities were as smooth as I have seen.
The grumpiest border control person on offing took his time to have some chit chat with me which was not at all invasive. I must be oozing charisma from every pore at the moment. This might explain why I have been summoned back to work so quickly.

Eschewing the courtesy shuttle I plodded my way to the hotel. On the way, I paused to sit on some grass on the side of the road. The grass in California is something else.



The hotel allowed me to check in 3 hours early. So after I performed some perfunctory travellers admin, I was soon out the door of the hotel and onto the adventurous Blue Number 3 bus to Santa Monica. Soaking in the business facades and the ever-present paradox of hybrids and gas guzzlers in the herd, I was soon on my feet near the pier.






 A plague of ride-sharing lithium bombs is dispersed throughout Los Angeles. I counted three conventional brands of scooters and at least two types of electric bike. These litter the footpaths with them. Some lying down with broken foot stands. As such riders are reminded to ride on the road or suffer.

After the relative serenity of my Bus. I soon found myself in a tsunami of tourists cresting over the pier. Which is funny as there are ample Tsunami warning signs all around this region.

It is a bit of an iconic stretch of promenade.


Not excessively enjoying this. I soon found myself Power-Touristing and walking about 12 kilometres all up.


Some Pier. Some Dude


 A distant relation of CrossfittusLooniticus


Awesome



About to pass. I am not using my indicators.


One of Hank Moodys old haunts


I found this very sad.


Oh how honest



Noted.

If you walk towards Marina Del Ray you get to see the Hippy, beachy kitsch evaporate and you enter some seriously sun tanned Hipster. Some of the locals have to wear futuristic welding helmets to keep UV at bay.

I always respect seeing tasteful Unicorns in a shop front. Less than 15 minutes before I had seen my first pair of rainbow suspenders since Mork and Mindy.



About now the 5-hour energy I had quaffed upon landing started to lose its effectiveness. It was about 5 hours later.

I guess if I was to take anything away from my walk today. Los Angeles has some startling disparity. Beneath the sparkling veneers there are a lot of fillings. The homeless are so prevalent they all have registered cardboard sleeping pads with the city municipals. It is heartbreaking to see.

I lurched back to my hotel. Ordered in some room service and wrote this.

I am about to have a long bath.

My earlier script didn't really go to plan, a bit improv towards the end. But I guess at the end of the day. I do actually like my own company, I'm pretty good at it.






I did actually go downstairs later for libations and had some very animated discussions with a handpicked audience. We stopped just before a revolution.

I did have a moment in an extra long elevator ride. I am alien life form who calls them elevators. We stopped at a floor and no one got out or in I said very loudly when people were confused. 

“the ghost just got out, he is staying in room 3108"

This got some movement and I do beleive I made a couple of tall brothers laugh out out. They the proceeded to join in SSH and promptly missed their own floor. My job was clearly done it was time to call it a day. 











I do have supplementary tales however they are of a different tone (moan). I may have been exposed to a fatal amount of Boomer radiation in transit.








Monday, 25 March 2019

24 Hours in Los Angeles

I am currently lying down in the Air New Zealand lounge writing. My Facebook starvation diet continues to surprise me. More about my 3 step program on the 1st of April. Zero Fools.



My travel itinerary has afforded me about 24 hours in LA with a night in a Hotel.

Past layovers have usually been a bit dull. I squander the opportunities. Turning a jetlagged cheek to tourism and onto a comfortable bed. Given my circumstances, I thought I should probably try and enjoy my brief time in LA and maybe get some inspiration which has been serving the Tinsel town for over a hundred years.

This is pretty much what I do when I want to achieve something. Welcome into my inner workings. I have added a bit of unnecessary tinsel to make it more readable.

What follows is a loose script. It may or may not survive cutting or the flight. We shall see.

Scene One. LAX

Bemused Man arrives in America after a 12-hour flight from Auckland. He is interrogated by Customs. Invariably gets asked who he works for. Invariably says he has signed an NDA. Stifles Trump and border one-liners. Smiles through freshly brushed teeth and leaves.

After collecting a large suitcase he walks purposely out into the hazy air. Zigzagging through touts, buses and taxis. Determined to walk to the hotel he can't check into till 3pm.

At the Hotel he leaves his luggage but not before descaling himself and putting on a fresh costume.

Scene Two. Bus

The Internet warns tourists from using Buses. Which is precisely why the bemused Man will catch a $1 bus to Santa Monica to be surrounded by tourists. Let it be known the only actor has a common touch when it suits him. He likes to think of himself less a tourist and more of a Universal Citizen.

If he hasn't made a Busload of friends by now the Actor will probably try and get some photographs. The photographs will be utilised at a later date. The oddness of California should be displayed. This may take a few hours.

Scene Three. An Eatery

Hankering for some gluten-free Apple pie and a highly probable Burger an eatery is found. It may well be a Diner. It must have chrome, booths, a waitress named Beth and a Grill man who has served time. There will be an absence of high tension dialogue befitting a Tarantino film.

Scene Four. Some Shopping

An important item must be sourced. The details of which must be kept secret from the viewers. It shall be wrapped in a brown wrapping paper.

A tacky fridge magnet (is there any other kind) shall be found.

Scene Five. A Bar

Some libations shall be poured to this diety. Enough to spark up some conversation. In his experience, the New Zealand accent affords some adoration in American which is always welcome. Care is taken not to over hydrate on Libations

Scene Six. The return home

Depending on the outcome of the last scene the Bus may be swapped for a Taxi or an Ambulance (jokes) Feeling a bit more than tired it is time to retreat to the Hotel and rest for what promises to be a very ten days in Mexico.

Scene Seven. Zzzzzzz


And that is how I see my day in Los Angeles tomorrow. I look forward to sharing reality with pictures.

Hopefully, it is not a selfie of me sleeping.

Safe Travels future Self!

Friday, 15 March 2019

Guest Preference Sheet : Ruby McConnell

One of the more pressing and facile things we do at work is Guest Preference sheets. They provide insights into the whims of the more demanding visitors. Information gleaned is added and amended. They tell us what to expect and how to prepare.

I thought I might write one for Ruby. She's been a demanding Guest from Day dot.



Dietary requirements:

Ruby will eat anything at least once. Favourites include Popcorn, Avocado, Meats and anything going bad. She will help herself to table service and loves a good impromptu buffet. She will eat from your hand. She will also eat off the floor and in mid-air.

She will not eat citrus.

BBQ's are a favourite as is any sort of fast food.

Do not take her through a drive-through.


Habits:

Ruby usually awakens at 7am. If there is no food about she will usually lie in bed. She likes to listen to the radio and the fridge opening. She will wait until the youngest person has eaten and then she will stand directly under the feet of the nearest adult.

After breakfast, she will stand by the door. She does not like to use her dog door, preferring the nearest human to let her out and back in again.

After visiting some grass she will find the warmest comfortable spot and will move as the sun does.

As other people eat she will help clean plates and is quite fond of detailing utensils and plates inside the dishwasher.

If anyone needs to lie down she will quite happily ruin said relaxation by sitting on pillows and barking once you are resting.

At 4pm Ruby will demand something to chew.

Bedtime is usually when there is no chance of food being served. She prefers to lie on an Adult bed but can be coaxed into her accommodation with a treat

Exercise:

Ruby does like a walk before dinner. She also likes to get very animated when there are chickens around.

She has been known to chase balls but prefers avocado stones these days.

Tipping:

Ruby will not leave tips. She will leave a lot of hair.

We love Ruby.





Thursday, 14 March 2019

El Draco

I wrote earlier in the month about the pains of making mixes.

Given my relatively short stay in New Zealand and a timely internet outage over the weekend, I have managed to hatch El Draco.

Giving a mix the name of your Alter Ego is quite an arduous task. Luckily I have some experience with all things Dragons. Myself included.

You can listen and download here. Please heart if you enjoy. Share if you dare and download at your leisure.

There is a bonus track at the end after the burnable section of the CD. So if you burn to CD you might miss it. Who burns CDs ? Dragons do of course.





Monday, 11 March 2019

A Loveable Son of a Gun

I departed work at 10:30am on Thursday the 7th of January GMT -7.

I quickly discovered that the person responsible for our passports had separated my American Visa Passport EST 2009 from my current Passport. Returning back after 15 minutes to my workplace was a little ignominious but I am glad I returned in this timely manner and did not disgrace myself at the Airport. 

The part of Mexico we are in is awash with Americans celebrating Spring break. Americans like the English are migratory animals tending to defile holiday spots en mass. My driver stopped about halfway to Cabo for a comfort stop. There was a large group of middle-aged males drinking beer like it was their last. I smiled knowingly, not really knowing what it is like to drink beer in such a fashion. Rest assured it won’t be beer when it is my last. 

At the airport, I was again overwhelmed with Americans. I saw queues like I had never seen. I abandoned purchasing a choice bottle of tequila in the duty-free, gave up hope on eating anything and found a spot in a lonely looking bar. The atmosphere was passable, Frat boys on their way to oblivion and middle-aged people like myself trying to remember/forget why they came here year after year. 

My connecting flight was San Francisco. In San Francisco, I was bewildered with my airline's lounge. United has two tiers of lounge. The lower tier lounge I found myself in had not changed much since I was born. Blending in with wallpaper paper I quickly imbibed a bottle's worth of Napa Red and ate several bowls of non-descript potato salad. The coffee making facilities did have jellybeans in a bowl. What an attentive snob I have become. 

I was soon boarding my plane and what was to be an eventful flight to Auckland. I had something quite strange happen on the flight. My first time in over 18 years of long haul. If you would like to find out you can reach me with other means and I will retell the story a few times until it becomes something quite extraordinary. Hopefully the retelling the tale will ease the trauma.

I was soon dripping around a rainy Auckland waiting for my next flight. I had a phone message to contact work. Thinking it must be something serious I called. I wish I hadn’t. My prize for being such a loveable Son of a gun is that I am to return to Mexico in 2 weeks for a week-long trip. I am not altogether enthused at this prospect. We had plans. I changed jobs to avoid situations like this. I really am some bodies toy.

Blah.

Still, it always nice to be home.

Maybe I will get that bottle of Tequila when I return to Mexico. I've probably earned it.



Tuesday, 5 March 2019

He Stopped the Dance

"'Flint had spoken publicly about taking his own life when he was "done", but said, "I swear to God that's not suicidal – it's definitely a positive thing... I'm not frightened of who I am; I just want to look back and know that I've lived what I consider a fulfilled life. That's all. Happy days."

Very Sad.