10, Gadgets, Boredom

July 2020

The world is still weird, but if you’re reading this, odds are you’re even weirder.

Insert pithy quote where a famous person said it’s good to be weird.

I’ll be honest, I’m all out of pithy wisdom, to that I had much to start with. But the world is moving - forward, backward, or sideways - and my friend Nick told me I’m overdue for an update, so here we are.

If I haven’t heard from you recently, consider this an invite to change that.

It’s hard to say when I’ll be able to leave Japan again, so all bets are off for travel. The shine wore off Zoom meetings (not that I’ve slowed down), so it feels like a lot of us are re-retreating from public life. I respect those of my friends who can post small updates to social media and have the patience to engage with the gold between fun, ignorant, and interesting responses.

For now, I remain a digital hermit.

🗓️ Here’s what’s up right now:

  • 🎧 Listening to: I haven’t been listening to anything new that’s blown my mind over the past couple of month, but I did make varied, low-key playlist for my local cocktail bar. This is a pretty good sampling of what’s banging my earholes lately.

  • 📖 Reading: The Dog Stars was a surprisingly good post-apocalypse novel, where everyone dies in a (what else?) pandemic. Peter Heller’s travel and outdoors background lends believability to elements I typically find boring and contrived. As Anny told me, I enjoyed Shadow and Bone and have just started the second book on the trilogy. Business related: UnleashedFix This NextEat Your Greens, plus a few I can’t recommend.

  • 🥋 Taido: As of next week, we’re able to use our dojo again, so it’ll be great to be on a regular schedule of training with others.

  • 💭 Thinking about: GMB crossed a major milestone with ten years in business now behind us. We haven’t done any kind of promo or announcement yet, because it doesn’t feel like a good time for celebration right now, but we plan to do something special for our clients later this year when we complete some product updates. But what I’ve really been thinking about is whether or not I want the next ten years to be a continuation of the same things we’ve been doing so far, and the answer to that is: no. So a lot of my time lately is going into designing the company we need to become to grow into the company I want us to be ten years from now.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 People & Family:

  • 🏫 Next week begins summer vacation. Since COVID cases are increasing again in Tokyo, we wonder if it may extend longer than currently planned. 

  • ⛺ There’s not a ton of great travel options right now, but we’re going to Yamanashi for a few days to camp out and get away from the city for a while. It’ll be my first proper vacation this year (I had vacations planned in April and June, but they got canceled when shit got weird).

  • 👴 My friend Bryan just turned old yesterday. HBD, brother.

🧰 Things I’m finding useful:

  • 🧙‍♂️ I met one of the founders of Apollo Neuro in Croatia last year and tried an early version. Finally got the production model, and it’s oddly effective for helping me focus and relax on demand.

  • 🎸 Another gadget I waited quite a long time for: my SPARK amp is tiny, sounds amazing (Positive Grid has the best component emulation around), and is controlled by a handy iOS app. I preordered it back in November last year, and between COVID and international shipping, it took a while, but I’ve been playing a ton lately and enjoying it more than I had since moving to Japan.

✈️ Travel = Nope!

  • 🤷‍♂️ Non-Japanese citizens are still facing a lot of uncertainty right now. Though the government is just (as in, in the past couple of days) starting to allow re-entry, this is so far limited to permanent residents and requires some onerous restrictions and hoops to jump through. At this rate, I’m not gonna be leaving for quite a while.

If you’ve scrolled this far, I have a favor to ask:

Don’t stop fighting.

People are saying that COVID is over. That’s bullshit. They’re saying the protests against police brutality are over. Also bullshit. The economy is doing fine. Bullshit. Democracy is working. Bullshit.

We get tired of being angry all the time, so when someone comes along and tells us everything is fine, we want to believe it. But things aren’t fine.

Whatever you’ve been fighting for, don’t give up just because the fight got boring.