Category Archives: Taking Stock

Taking Stock: August 2017 (Finally Published March 2018)

Another unfinished draft, finally published, with commentary from today.

Making
A laser-cut stencil of the Coiled Spring logo. Online laser cutting company Ponoko has a $20 introductory discount, so I whipped up a stencil of the logo and sent it off. We’ll see how it turns out.
Turned out nice! Good quality plastic, clean cuts. I stenciled my aluminium audio kit briefcase. I should post a photo. I also tried a t-shirt which didn’t work so well.
Cooking
We have an Instant Pot, so Cassie’s trying lots of new things. I’m still making my daily sandwiches, now including a couple of carrots to peel at work. I could leave the skins and scrub them, but that’s messier prep at home, and I’d need another container for them.
The Instant Pot was a great investment. Cassie got this sticker for it (not this exact design, but the same idea).
Drinking
No more alcohol. Just can’t handle it, and it drains my energy. I’ve been hardly touching a drop the last couple of years, and then I had a rather boozy British Dads brunch, and I felt rotten for two days. Not for me any more.
This continues. I’ve had perhaps 3 glasses of beer since August, and nothing else. Gaining weight was an unexpected effect.
Reading
Haruki Murakami – ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’. Classic Murakami, even with the surreal bits and strange stories, just following a character eating simple meals and listening to music is enjoyable.
Kind of a disappointment, actually. Not enough magic realism. Oh well. I’ve been reading Paul Auster recently too.
Trawling
Through stuff in the apartment that was not unpacked yet, but if we aren’t staying in Dubai, I shouldn’t bother too much.
Well, we did stay. We should still go through stuff.
Wanting
A new job. I have a couple of solid possibilities, but I don’t yet know if they will be right. I must be sure they’re right – I’ve sabotaged myself in the past by taking jobs just because I needed one.
Finally started current job in October 2017. Since then, it’s been firefighting all the time, but despite that I feel more valued and supported than I have for a long time.
Looking
For a new job.
Found one! I like it! It likes me!
Deciding
If the job offers are right for me.
One DEFINITELY wasn’t – it had a clause in the contract that meant I would have to pay them 2 months salary if I wanted to leave within 2 years. What?!
Wishing
Stuff would settle down.
I could be calm and happy.
I was with my family.
All is better now. I’m having to travel a lot for work, but in some ways that makes things better at home.
Enjoying
Spending time in Abu Dhabi with my lovely friends who are taking care of me while I’m on my own.
They were/are great. Thanks, J & T x
Waiting
For my final paycheck from Thales, and the whole bureaucratic domino Rube Goldberg perfect storm that will trigger.
For a $2.50 delivery from Hong Kong.
For a first repeated coherent word.
Storm didn’t materialise in the way I expected. Don’t know what the delivery was. Trying to remember words – so much interaction now! I think possibly “turtle” was first.
Liking
My homemade muesli. I did try toasting stuff first, but now I just throw oats, raisins, shredded coconut, wheatgerm, and anything else I fancy into the big plastic ex-protein canister and shake.
Still good. Flaked almonds ftw.
Loving
A&E and their mother, obv.
Pondering
How do other people do it/manage/cope/organise etc? Exactly the thoughts the CBT doc says aren’t helpful.
Yeah right.
Listening
The Pattern Forms, “Peel Away The Ivy” (my review here), and the old “Welcome To Mars” series from Ken Hollings.
New Meat Beat Manifesto album ‘Impossible Star’ out now on Bandcamp!
Considering
Actually editing and publishing the Coiled Spring backlog of interview recordings.
Buying
As little as possible.
Watching
“Soundbreaking”, the PBS music production documentary. Fascinating and educational, even for the bits I already knew.
Hoping
We find a nice cheap place that ticks at least a few of our boxes.
I think we did pretty well.
Marvelling
At the effortless grace and smoothness with which all construction, bureaucracy, services and everything here is performed.
Cringing
see above
Needing
To do more exercise. A combination of lack of time and lack of will to overcome that lack, is making me very out of shape.
I’ve just today slotted swimming sessions into the calendar.
Questioning
What on earth is wrong with people. If society abandons those less well off, what do you think will happen to them? They’ll magically bootstrap themselves?
Smelling
The mint tea, and at home the Bitter Orange hand cream I’m still working through. My aging hands.
Some ginger tea today.
Wearing
The same Clarks Desert Trek I wear every day. So comfortable, great patina, shame the soles are now paper-thin and you can’t resole crepe (without some hassle).
Got them resoled in the UK. Plus I added an arch support. There’s life in them yet!
Noticing
The weather here in Dubai is warming up. I stepped outside on my way to catch the Metro at 7am, and it was already balmy. Uh-oh.
Same as last year. Funny that.
Knowing
Things are possible, and that I can do them.
Thinking
I can’t.
Admiring
The people in the US resisting the blatant lies and cruel actions of 45’s administration.
They persist. Hopefully not for much longer.
Also Cassie, for reasons soon to become clear.
Getting
Out of the rut of not bothering with things.
Still working on this, but getting better.
Bookmarking
Interior decor ideas, especially ones with DIY and/or scrap materials input.
Feeling
More in control, depending on the day.
Meds, therapy, and circumstances are all helping
Hearing
The JBR Music Festival.
Celebrating
All the little things as much as possible.

Taking Stock: March 2017

Making
Nice piece of artwork for the children’s nursery. Quite proud how it’s coming out. Also, working on a coding/art/music project which is challenging and educational, if not aesthetically good in an orthodox way.
Cooking
We have an Instant Pot, so Cassie’s trying lots of new things. I’m still making my daily sandwiches, now including a couple of carrots to peel at work. I could leave the skins and scrub them, but that’s messier prep at home, and I’d need another container for them.
Drinking
Moroccan Mint Tea, my new favourite for the desk. I’ve had it at restaurants, with the fancy teapot, high-lift pouring etc. The teabags at work aren’t so fancy, but it’s a delicious refreshing sip.
Reading
China Mieville – “Embassytown” – usual stuff, society, structures, aliens, magic and tech. “The Tsar of Love and Techno” by Anthony Marra – grim af, how shitty must it be when you live in the Arctic Circle and miss the good old days of the USSR?
Trawling
…Through the bathroom cabinet, using up hotel shampoo, soap, airline toothpaste. It’s never enough for actual trips, so why not just use it up?
…Under the bed in the vacuum bags for old clothes that will never be work again, even if we go somewhere cold.
Wanting
World peace. A more stable and progressive future. A clear path forward for us. An idea of what will be next. A friend once asked what my five-year plan was. I didn’t have a next month plan – I wasn’t joking.
Plus lots of consumer items. I always find myself looking at watches.
Looking
At possible new places in JBR or the Marina. Busy area, lots of stuff right on the doorstep. Downside – possible noise from douchebags revving.
Deciding
Where to move to. A move of apartment would be a good thing now, especially to a cheaper place closer to my office with more of a Western social scene.
Wishing
We could create a FrankenApartment, with that location, this living room, that rent, this floor. We could teleport our stuff into the new place.
Enjoying
Coming home each day in time to have bathtime and bedtime with A&E, who are now splashing and chattering so much it makes my heart burst.
Waiting
For a $2.50 delivery from Hong Kong. For a first repeated coherent word.
Liking
My homemade muesli. I did try toasting stuff first, but now I just throw oats, raisins, shredded coconut, wheatgerm, and anything else I fancy into the big plastic ex-protein canister and shake.
Loving
A&E and their mother, obv.
Pondering
How do other people do it/manage/cope/organise etc? Exactly the thoughts the CBT doc says aren’t helpful.
Listening
The Pattern Forms, “Peel Away The Ivy” (my review here), and the old “Welcome To Mars” series from Ken Hollings.
Considering
Actually editing and publishing the Coiled Spring backlog of interview recordings.
Buying
As little as possible.
Watching
“Soundbreaking”, the PBS music production documentary. Fascinating and educational, even for the bits I already knew.
Hoping
We find a nice cheap place that ticks at least a few of our boxes.
Marvelling
At the effortless grace and smoothness with which all construction, bureaucracy, services and everything here is performed.
Cringing
see above
Needing
To do more exercise. A combination of lack of time and lack of will to overcome that lack, is making me very out of shape.
Questioning
What on earth is wrong with people. If society abandons those less well off, what do you think will happen to them? They’ll magically bootstrap themselves?
Smelling
The mint tea, and at home the Bitter Orange hand cream I’m still working through. My aging hands.
Wearing
The same Clarks Desert Trek I wear every day. So comfortable, great patina, shame the soles are now paper-thin and you can’t resole crepe (without some hassle).
Noticing
The weather here in Dubai is warming up. I stepped outside on my way to catch the Metro at 7am, and it was already balmy. Uh-oh.
Knowing
Things are possible, and that I can do them.
Thinking
I can’t.
Admiring
The people in the US resisting the blatant lies and cruel actions of 45’s administration.
Getting
Out of the rut of not bothering with things.
Bookmarking
Interior decor ideas, especially ones with DIY and/or scrap materials input.
Disliking
The commute. I used to get a ride each morning with a colleague who lived in the same complex. Since he moved, and we have one car, I’m taking the Metro and bus, and while it’s not horrible and quite cheap and modern, I’d really rather not be doing it. It’s getting hotter outside, and it’s a long journey (over an hour, mostly standing). The move should help.
Feeling
More in control, depending on the day.
Hearing
The clanging and calls of the construction workers over the road.
Celebrating
My children’s 15-month birthday.