💿 I couldn’t resist this.
💿 I couldn’t resist this.
As the the calendar turned to September it seemed as though Autumn arrived right on schedule. Temperatures have dropped, shades of gold and brown have started to creep into the leaves on the trees, and I have suddenly noticed how early sunset arrives.
Monday was spent enjoying our last public holiday in the UK before Christmas, so I had a four-day week ‘in the office’. My week off hadn’t felt like much of a break, probably because the two nights we had away were spent slightly on edge. It’s hard to relax during a global pandemic. Still, this squirrel came to check up on me on a regular basis throughout the week, which helped.
A week in which I…
Next week: In the house on my own for the first time since March, with everyone else back at work and school. Focusing on trying to get as much of our Beijing IT infrastructure set up as possible, so expecting a few early morning meetings, starting with one on Monday. At least the commute is short right now.
It’s Bandcamp Friday, where the company forgoes their revenue share from everything sold on their platform for the day. It’s a great way to support artists, particularly during a time where they are unable to make any money or promote their music with live performances.
Over the past few months I’ve really enjoyed exploring Bandcamp and finding new artists to listen to. It takes a little bit of effort, and that’s part of the fun. I tend to take a look at who else has bought/supported an artist I like and see what else they have been buying. Finding something new that you love is very rewarding.
I’ve bought vinyl copies of everything where I can. The lovely thing about Bandcamp is that you can stream from the website or download lossless files while you wait for the physical music to make its way to you.
What I bought today:
I’ve been listening to Magdalena Bay for the past few weeks and really love what they do. Their music and videos both have a very home-grown feel, crossing 1990s sounds with graphics that look like they came out of the early days of the web crossed with GTA: Vice City.
They refer to both of these records as EPs, but A Little Rhythm And A Wicked Feeling is pretty much album length at just under half an hour. There are so many good songs here, and it’s a fabulous journey from start to finish.
mini mix vol. 1 is only 13 minutes long, but you don’t feel short-changed when you hear it. The songs are dreamy and catchy, and you want to start the whole thing over again once you get to the end.
What has recently blown me away is how incredible their songs are when they are stripped back. Paste Magazine posted a set to YouTube earlier this year which has three of their songs with just vocals and keyboard and they are stunning. My favourite is Mine from mini mix vol. 1:
I raved about Helena Deland here a few months back. It was great to get an email to say that her first album will be out soon, so I’ve taken the opportunity to pre-order it today. The title track has been released and I’m really looking forward to hearing the rest.
Incidentally, one of our cats seems to be mesmerised by the video to this song, which is a ringing endorsement.
A band with a very un-Googleable name. Their music is a little bit 1960s surfer guitar mixed with now and the results are splendid. The guitar in the chorus of In Dreams reminds me a little of the climax of Belle and Sebastian’s Lazy Line Painter Jane, in a very very good way.
I’m still exploring Munya’s music but didn’t want to wait until next month. Her mixed English/French dream-pop has pulled me in.
Our youngest boy starts secondary school for the first time today. The eldest is back on Monday. Feels like another step towards normal life. I have my fingers and toes crossed that it lasts and we don’t find them both back at home in a state of lockdown again.
Since Strava dropped support for heart rate monitors I’ve been trying to find an iOS app to track my run data that syncs/uploads to Strava. All seem to struggle with HRM accuracy. TrainerRoad tracks HR great on the bike, so I know it’s not a hardware problem. What do people use?
Had Brightwell Aerials install Ethernet from my router, over my house roof and down to my garden office today. Excellent job. I’ve gone from having 8Mbps download ‘if the door is open and nobody is downloading an Xbox update’ to over 200Mbps. It’s like Christmas has come early.
Key points covered in this episode that stuck in my head after listening:
Sticker seen in Berkhamsted High Street.
I spent Monday ‘at work’ to hand over the various in-progress technical projects to our CTO for the coming week, and then took the rest of the week off. I hadn’t had a break since Christmas and it was good to have a few days to think about other things. While I was away, the team worked with our on-site partner in São Paulo to establish our ‘minimum viable office’ of SD-WAN sockets, a server, a switch and some wireless access points. If staff return to the office they will now be able to seamlessly connect and get things done.
A week in which I…
Next week: Back to the race against our deadline to get our Beijing ‘minimum viable office’ up and running, and completing the first phase of our unstructured data migration project. Plus the first day of secondary school for our youngest boy.
I’d never heard of British Camp until yesterday. Such an odd name. Such a magnificent place.
Used Strava’s ‘suggested route’ for a run in the countryside this morning. There were footpaths but they seemed seldom used, so it turned into a mini jungle adventure. Finally gave up and backtracked when I entered a field and found a bunch of hungry cows running towards me.
Opportunity to feature in a childhood comic strip.
Genius use of an old phone box. Already located in a convenient spot for most people in the village.
A week of trying to ‘dig in’ and getting things moved along and prepped as much as I can for when I will be ‘out of the office’ for a few days next week.
A week in which I…
Next week: A day ‘in the office’ for a handover to our CTO, and then a few days off for the first time this year.
Grotesque shopping trolley sculpture.