Stress

I think I mentioned our friends who are travelling the world this year… [checks]…

Yes. Yes, I did.

I’ve been following their progress though South America, a bit of North America, Australasia and then on to Malaysia, Thailand and towards Vietnam. Their images and videos have been amazing, and their blogs have – entirely reasonably – been… hmm… can we say “infrequent”? 😉 but always interesting.

I particularly enjoyed St.John’s latest observations as he reflected on stress and the difference that traveling for 6 months has made to his view of it. (Spoiler: (or maybe not) it might not be quite what you expect):

I have come to the conclusion that what I have come to call “positive-stress” that drives the get-up and go urge, is innate. The brain will look for things to worry about and create must-do’s regardless of how inane or trivial. It needs to prioritise and feel important. It will try and fit a certain amount of stress into your life regardless of what one is doing.

Not many people have the opportunity of being able to conduct this sort of experimentation, so I was intrigued by his hypothesis. Now, I’m driven to  try to find a “beautiful remote resort, only accessible by boat, two tropical reefs 100m offshore, turtles nesting, friendly staff and cold beers” in order and reproduce his experimental conditions.

Facetiousness briefly aside though, it’s an intriguing idea that in a stress-free environment, we are compelled to create our own… discomfort(?) in order to actually get things done. Surely this is an entirely personal thing? There must be people out there with the ability to exist wholly stress-free in a stress-free environment?

But what of the rest of us? What of St.John? If his innate “positive stress” fails to kick in – what then? Can that even happen? And if it does, does the lack of “positive stress” and its benefits lead to a build up of “real”, negative stress?

The short-term stress of travel is real. I know that. But once you are there, once you are six months into a year-long round trip, surely that diminishes?

So many questions. And I don’t have the answers yet, I’m afraid. Too few beaches, too few turtles, (but a reasonable number of cold beers if I’m honest).

Hit the blogroll – sidebar right – for more on their year-long sabbatical.

Last week

This is the last week of school before the holidays kick in, and so it’s also the last week of work before… er… the holidays kick in. While the kids are on a general wind-down after a busy term, the pressure is increasing at work to get things finished and out of the way before we leg it off to France and beyond.

As a consequence of this, I might be a bit scare on the interwebs and a bit brief on here. I mean, I’ll fit in what I can, but there is so much to do here that it’s actually rather scary.

So, in lieu of a proper post, here’s a video from Casey… no… wait… hear me out, please… Here’s a video from Casey Neistat about an amazing person, and with an important lesson from a brilliant song.

This story and this message deserves more than just a few lines on the blog, and I reserve the right to return to it when time allows. But in the meantime, please take the time to listen to Wayne Coyne’s words on this song which I am amazed I haven’t included on the blog before.

Do it.

See you tomorrow.

Got wood?

(Firewood, that is…)

We’ve covered this before, but after this weekend, I feel that it needs covering again.

And before we go ANY further, this ISN’T a paid-for post.
Not in cash, not in kind, not in… well… wood. Otherwise it would be utterly pointless in you reading it, because of course I’m going to say that [Company] is amazing, when [Company] has paid me to tell you that they’re amazing.

This isn’t like that. Although this company is amazing.

Given the cold snap, we’ve been burning a lot of wood and we needed a new supply. And given the fact that Cape Town can also be ridiculously warm on some days, I needed some braai wood too.

Step forward, metaphorically at least, The Fireman.

I ordered 16 bags of Bluegum and 10 bags of Rooikrans (other woods are available) on Friday evening, and was offered delivery on Saturday lunchtime, but we had plans.
No problem: how about a delivery slot at 4:30pm on Monday?

Perfect.

They arrived at 4:27pm. You can’t fault that. Much, anyway.
And I will judge you if you do.

When I came home last night from a busy day in the lab killing TB, my wood was stacked neatly in bags, exactly as I asked, exactly where I asked. It’s good wood, too. (Not Goodwood, I don’t live there – I mean that it’s well-seasoned, dry wood, ready to serve purpose.)

Good service is getting harder and harder to find in Cape Town. Rather than just constantly whining about the bad stuff (although that is a completely legitimate approach), we should celebrate and support those companies which are doing things right, doing things well.

So, if you need braai wood or firewood (or both) delivered free of charge to your home address and stacked to your liking (T&Cs apply), then please support The Fireman. And please share this post.

 

M: 021 712 2251 | E: firemanjack1@gmail.com

 

And please just remember that this isn’t a paid for post. If anyone pays me to blog about their product, I’ll tell you very clearly that they have done. And then I’ll spend that money on beer.

QOTD – Science and Racism

Here’s an interesting piece on the misuse of scientific data by right-wing groups.

I especially enjoyed this quote:

In an argument between a logical person and illogical person, the logical person is always going to lose because the illogical person isn’t playing by the same rules.

This has long been my approach to discussions with religious people about religion. I’ve found that they (the discussions, not the people) are a lot more educational and enlightening when both parties enter the dialogue accepting that:

you’re not going to change anyone’s mind.

But there’s a lot more of interest than just that quote in the ScienceMag article linked above.

Delve in.

Miscellany

A few things that aren’t really worthy of a blog post of their own, but which still need recording on the blog.

FirstlyJames‘ new song is rather good.

From the forthcoming EP Better Than That out 18 May.

_____

Then, this:
A Family Guy writer has turned Prince George into Stewie Griffin: his 26 bitchiest comments

Ouch.

_____

Changing subject slightly.
Dinosaur vomit: The physics.

from here.
I’ve been doing so rudimentary calculations and that’s the same force as a 1 tonne car hitting you at 12kph. That might not sound like a lot, but you wouldn’t want to give it a go, now would you?

_____

Still hungry?
Do you have any eating plans
for the weekend? I do.

I’ll spare you the photos and save your keyboard from drool.
(And hopefully dinosaur vomit too.)

_____

Finally.

Why I’m not about to become a photographer.

Professional wedding photography is dead. Change is afoot. I see it all around me. Photographers who once charged £2,000  for a wedding, now putting themselves forwards for jobs less than a grand. Award-winning photographers getting part-time jobs to supplement their income because they can no longer afford to shoot weddings full time. And it’s all a dirty little secret.

What follows is a rather distressing synopsis of the industry, lamenting the lack of change and innovation of experienced photographers, juxtaposed against the offerings of the “new breed” of wedding ‘togs.

Just stop. It’s time to change. Time to change how you look at your business. Time to introduce a new way of doing things. Because the old way isn’t working. It’s time to strip back to basics, take stock and figure out what the future holds. It’s time to embrace new tech, new ways to get your work out, new ways to appeal to the clients you want.

Lots of advice, but notably no specifics as to what exactly that change entails. And there are some rather scathing comments on what is essentially just an op-ed on an interesting subject (for me at least).

More tomorrow. Probably less disjointed. But perhaps not. Who knows?

Come back and find out.