SWTLO Weekly

Photo of the Week

So good on a cooler evening

Taken on Monday evening, during dinner with a couple friends. We went out for shabu shabu, which was superb. This is the remainder of my portion, turned into an awesome, slightly spicy, soup.

Five things for the week

  1. I ordered a new everyday carry camera, this week. It also happens to be the iPhone 8+. Do I need it? Nope. It’s an upgrade from my current 6s+ and a little treat to myself (treat yo self) for a busy 2017 and crazy looking upcoming 2018 at work.
    1a. Sure, I want the iPhone X. It intrigues me; smaller form factor and better screen. But I don’t want to be a first adopter with no mechanical home button and face recognition. I’ll wait until the next gen.
  2. This was a bad week for eating. Just bad all week, including ordering in each weeknight (long days, exhaustion, laziness). I ate lighter, and “more vegetarian” over the weekend to try to make up for it. Here’s looking at a new start, this week. Healthier, home cooked meals.
  3. I’m forty years old. I’m not who I want to be but, I am getting closer and closer to it each day.
  4. I have slowly worked myself back into the habit of carrying and using a physical notebook, at work. I use it to take notes, plan, and sketch things out. Daily. And since making the switch, I feel more organized, remember more things, and think more clearly.
  5. Weekly mantra: photograph more, write more, read more, be well.

Recently read

  • The Western Star, by Craig Johnson – It’s #13 in the Walt Longmire series, a series I fully enjoy for the modern western genre and the character development occurring throughout the series. The books far overshadow the short-lived tV series (though that had potential). It was a quick read that very much ramps up to the next book, which hopefully comes out soon.
  • Why Cassini is Ending Its Life with a Kamikaze Plunge (Nautilus) – I grow increasingly fascinated with space exploration every. single. day.
  • The Episodic Career, by Farai Chideya – A good book giving (me) some much needed insight in approaching my career. I have (at least) twenty more years of working life in me, with so many things that I want to accomplish. Highly recommended and a must read for those who are looking for perspective. I first was introduced to Farai Chideya though her podcast, One with Farai. I really miss it; she is a fantastic interviewer.

Recently watched

  • What the Health – an… interesting documentary about the food industry and its relation to our health. I couldn’t help but feel skeptical throughout watching it, though. It was more or less the same voices over and over again, and facts seemed to be few and far between.

//I’m trying out a new weekly format, more to keep track of the things I have read and watched. It’s also a format that, I hope, will evolve as I look to put together a weekly email newsletter.

SWTLO Weekly

Photo of the week


By default, as this is the only photo I took during the week that I would post. Most of the other photos that I took were of my brainstorming sessions on my whiteboard (at the office). I did take a couple of food pics during the week but, on second viewing, decided they’re not worth posting.

Five things for the week

  1. I’m sitting outside, in my backyard, as I write this. It’s so nice out (low seventies, barely any humidity). The outdoors really helps me clear my mind. Most of today will be in my backyard; I’m looking forward to grilling dinner too.
  2. I want (don’t need) another laptop. My mid-2014 Macbook pro is the best laptop that I have ever used, and I plan to use this until it no longer boots up. But, I’m intrigued by some of the others on the market, like the Surface laptop, Dell XPS 13″, and a few others. Since upgrading the desktop PC with a SSD drive, I find that I have been using that a lot more often, too. I think I just like having a lot of different options to get things done.
  3. Weekly mantra: photograph more, write more, read more, be well.
  4. Cold brew > hot brew. I am becoming more aware of different things and how they affect my mind and body. Most of my observations are just me being very truthful and real with myself in how different foods have different effects. Coffee is my most recent. Hot brew is familiar and comforting (in giving me a routine) but, I feel more anxious and have more trouble focusing. And the acidity does not bode well for my stomach. Cold brew? I feel calmer and more focused, and the low acidity makes it much more enjoyable for me throughout the day.
    4a. I’m also more aware of how alcohol affect me, specifically in the quality of sleep that I am getting. This week, I am starting to refrain during the weekdays to begin testing this.
  5. Work is busy and stressful. It’s chaotic, at times overly dramatic. There are some things that need to change in order to make things better. Some are directly within my control, others not so much. But I have resolved to improve those things under my direct control as well as try asserting stronger influence in helping to make other things better.

Recently read:

  • I Call Upon Thee, by Ania Ahlborn – not my favorite of her works (I loved Brother and The Bird Eater) but, overall I enjoy her books.
  • We’re All Damaged, by Matthew Norman – a really fun read. I enjoyed every page and laughed throughout.
  • Domestic Violets, by Matthew Norman – I started it immediately after We’re All Damaged. This one has a little more serious tone, slightly darker, but nonetheless funny and touching.

Recently watched:

  • Wonder Woman (2017): Overall, I liked it. I don’t expect much from superhero movies (not my favorite genre) but, this was entertaining. I was bothered by what I felt was a clichéd and forced love story, and I really wanted more Robin Wright in it.
  • Parks and Recreation: my wife and I are working our way through the series again. It’s nice because there are times when I catch some things (jokes) that I don’t remember the first time around. This series is better than I first gave it credit for.

//I’m trying out a new weekly format, more to keep track of the things I have read and watched. It’s also a format that, I hope, will evolve as I look to put together a weekly email newsletter.

Five things for the week

they like the purple ones

  1. I had planned to begin my weekly e-newsletter by now (September). Things got too busy and I just didn’t have the time to do the initial setup. Perhaps I’ll table it to begin at the start of 2018? Gives me more time to work on formatting and content (think it through some more).
  2. This long weekend (wife and I took a few days before and after the three days) was telling. The thing I have done the most? Sleep. Our minds needed rest. We zoned out all of yesterday (Sunday). All this to say, I need to do a better job at listening to y mind and body, and taking better care of both.
  3. I have non-work projects that I want to work on… I have done a horrible job at writing them down, let alone pursuing them. Here’s the beginning of doing both better. That notebook is going to get busy.
  4. Here’s to also cutting out the noise.
  5. Travel is picking up later this month… looking forward to it but, more so, I’m looking forward to getting things done. I’m in my forties and there are hundreds of things that I want to accomplish… time to get crackin.

I recommend zoning out before you get to work

This morning’s train ride in (to work) was just over 30 minutes. Normal for a weekday morning, right before the morning rush. The train was almost empty the entire way. Best of all, I zoned out for all 30-plus minutes.

Sure, the headphones were in and there was music playing but, my mind was clear. There was no dwelling on today’s tasks and meetings, no worrying about the coding assignment (my final project) for school… no fretting over all of the things around the house that need to get done.

Just a blank mind, listening to music and staring off into space. It was wonderful.

//We all need more of this in our lives. If you haven’t already, I recommend listening to Note To Self‘s Bored and Brilliant series. It has helped me a lot.