All the posts I didn’t write

I could write about my encounter with the Wasserschutzpolizei, a wherein I gain lasting fame as the only sailing boat to collide with another in the Seddinsee 25 years (at least that the police came out to). A tale of bureaucracy, neglected licence additions, and the crazy fact that I am (until I get this piece in place) allowed to motor but not sail, despite that the only missing part is a theory test on the signs and sounds used in inland waterways – which one also needs to know when motoring.

I could amuse you with the sailing club trip to see the fireworks, and our impromptu jam session afterwards, where I played a nice acoustic, sang, and vowed to practice playing more, as that’s at least one reason to do so.

I could tell you of the mid-trial-period meeting with the management, where I’m strongly encouraged to talk to my colleagues more – but not loudly, and to let them finish sentences. The management have evidently never met my family!

I could baffle you with my adventures with the 3rd party grid control we use, or even write up my solutions on some far geekier forum for the education and entertainment of future generations.

I could let you know that I’ve spoken to some legal people about a financial affair that’s lost its glamour, and got an estimate to find out if I’ve got a case, or if I’m just gonna have to use my own low cunning and persuasive skills to bring it to successful closure.

I could let you know that I ditched the raw eating at day 20, because the insane hunger was back, and if there were going to be any mental health benefits, the opinion amongst fellow-experimenters was that they’d have shown up by now, and sticking to some mildly tedious task is something my working life, gym life and musical life have already given me plenty of practice at.

I could tell you about the mild floor flooding in the band room, the gig in Hamburg where we survived the Berlin Friday traffic jam, performed well to a modest audience, gained some nice praise, had some excellent photos taken by a new acquaintance and enjoyed an excellent proper meal at 1:30am.

I could tell you about my new Business German evening class – found, booked and started within 3 days of the idea being mentioned in conversation with my boss.

I could tell you (again) how nothing feels like anything, then add “except a few tears the other day, and the constant mild stress-ball round my solar plexus”. No excitement. No disasters. Just things going right, things going wrong, and me getting on with it all, wanting there to be a dream to work towards, but not knowing what that might be.

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Must be Thursday

Day 8 raw. The “Big Hunger” that I had in the first few days disappeared by day 4. My deadlift workout in the gym yesterday was absolutely unaffected. My stomach (which can swell up a bit sometimes, depending on what I eat) remains very flat. I think there’s very minor fat loss – hard to tell, as I’ve not got a huge amount. I peed a ridiculous amount on Tuesday night, normally that only happens 1-2 days after big workouts, I’ve always thought it was down to getting rid of the breakdown products from the muscle “damage” that preceeds growth. Here, it could just be random. I’m spending about €17 every 2 days, instead of 35-40 a week on food – but not eating out, so it balances up I guess. I’ve not been getting quite enough sleep, but that’s summer for you (or for me, at least). Mostly I have been totally fine, but today at work I feel it. No biggie.

Mentally, I’ve been on a pretty consistent level of discontent with life – not knowing the path, not having a dream to aim at. I really miss that. I feel very strange going through the city, with its shops and bustle and people busy buying things, cut off from the casual “pick something up to eat on the way” culture, from the infinite choices they have. Nothing seems quite real, and I can’t engage. Work, I can disappear into, but lack of progress is not cheering, and lack of purpose even more so. I’m not inspired by a future learning the obscure details of a particular logistics and supply operation, like my colleagues already have. Superb and very specific domain knowledge has never been a major motivator for me. 

I like working hard towards a goal that I value.  I want to be the only one telling me what to do, when to do it. I want to be the only judge of whether what I do is done well enough. I want to work in bursts, not continually. I’m tired of others judging – by whether they are willing to pay for it. I love learning new things – but not the pressure of having to learn to do it well enough that people will pay me regularly for it – in a world where standards and competition are global.

A friend of mine is embarking shortly on a degree and a different direction. He’s made a very smart choice, with something that can only be done in person, one on one. It’s the in person skills that seem to let you be “good enough” at a local level.

I really would love to learn a craft for the joy of it. Irrespective of whether it makes me money or not.

I want to be location-independent.

The point of this raw trial was to see if I gained any added mental clarity, to feel more connected to the Universe, to be able to better read the signals of where to go. I’m not sure yet if that’s happening, but we’ll see at the end of the 30 days.

Festive Season

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Jump the Curve, wear the tinsel, deck the halls, join Marketing in a super-ultra-mega-blowout-feast… we keep them behind glass, like rare specimens … But they do know how to party!

You’ll see my promised “Black Xmas” tree. Black fibre optic tree, black tinsel, black baubles. Just needs to be playing metal…. next year, next year. Very Metal Xmas – with Dio carolling “God rest ye Merry Gentlemen”. Now That’s What I Call Xmas….

They call me the working (wo)man, that’s what I am

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Very busy week. Monday band practice, where I trialled a biker chick variant of the portable guitarist. Using guitarist in the loosest possible terms, of course, as they have to be to include my efforts. The studio is 5 mins ride from my work, and we usually practice from 6pm so I figure I can work a bit late rather than have to take the car.  The traffic is not terrible…  but on the bike it’s irrelevant. >:-) The gear all fits in my old scruffy yellow rucksack. Must be 20 years old, like the big purple one. Seen so many others come and go, still with me, an old favourite… Used the Pod, attached to the mic stand with a hairband, and even managed to switch effects in the one song that I have to. I only use 3 sounds anyway, so just a question of having a set of these with different amounts of reverb  to cope with different rooms…

Guildberg – the new hill by the river! This appeared last year, when they knocked down some old offices. They did that really quickly, reducing them to hardcore in a couple of days. Shame I haven’t a big hole to fill, no bodies to bury – still, must have use to someone? But no, there it sits, brooding. Waiting. They haven’t removed the obstruction from the river yet, either,  just added some incident tape (now blown to tatters). Haven’t checked if the fallen tree blocking the towpath has gone…

“Something terrible has happened ” So says the error message. It’s only work. Even ASP.net onto dodgy old databases can’t be terrible, surely? Time will tell, but okay so far, once I wrapped my ex-contractor head around not necessarily pushing to get really useful stuff done right, right away. I can afford to take the time to understand, the rest have been there 15 years, mostly. I can slow my pace, see what the local style is, fit in (mostly). Listen. Be nice. Anyway it’s MVC Razor, so I am reading/watching up on this to see how it’s canonically done before seeing how we do/did it (and I recalled to say ‘we’- actually came quite naturally…). Good to see the wide world catching up to all the stuff they thought I was mad for wanting/making/rolling my own toolsets for 10- 15 years ago…

Jam night mark 1 (George Abbot) saw last minute cancellation due to football, so Andrew the harp man and I had a pleasant car park conversation instead. Jam night mark 2 (Stoughton) saw a few new songs make an outing, Chris looking dubiously at his DDR banjo, me making it a late, late Weds night after I left, but surviving the following working day quite fine. Didn’t do much in the evening  – Game Of Thrones catch up before the new series next week…

Midlands music mayhem this weekend. Friday night motorcycle motorway madness more like – the only madder thing would be taking the car…