Thoughts for the week’s end

“Find a single focus.”

Is what I wrote down on a few pieces of paper this week. Sometimes in large text! The repetition is starting to work. I’ve been closer to focused as the week goes on, but there is also just a lot going on!


The News and our collective reactions to The News has been the most detrimental to my focus and I changed a few things that have made an immediate impact.

  • I moved the Twitter icon to a different area of the screen on my phone. This causes me to hesitate before opening and I think reduced the number of times I went through with it.
  • I removed the app icons for The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The NY Times from one of the main screens (Android) so that now if I want to look at them I have to go hunting among all of the other apps. This process reminds me that it’s okay to avoid them for periods of the day and I usually stop.
  • I removed my COVID-19 and Regular Reads bookmark folders from the bookmarks toolbar. I was using those as quick shortcuts to various graphs and news sites. Because they were quick shortcuts, I… drum roll… quickly visited them!—frequently. Now that they are off screen, I am visiting them much less.
  • I re-added Twitter to my block list, something I first tried in January. This makes it harder for me to visit Twitter and reduces the amount of time I spend on it.

These are all strategies that help delay the delivery of updates. Just because things are happening in the world doesn’t mean I need to know them now. There’s nothing actionable I can do anyway!


I am grateful the population density of Pullman means daily walks outside can still happen in a responsible way without much effort.

We’ve been averaging 3 or so walks around the neighborhood each day. Luckily we have a nice (quaint?) primitive trail system a couple blocks away that can get us off pavement for a bit.

I only knew part of the Dry Fork Creek Natural Area’s backstory until I looked up that article just now. So great!


When I walked downtown to drop off our city bill the other day, the neighborhood seemed super quiet, which is a weird thing to think about a neighborhood that is already super quiet. I don’t doubt I’m projecting.


The espresso machine is fixed! Except it wasn’t the espresso machine.

Michelle cleaned the machine and replaced the silicone ring. We tried a thousand different grind settings, watched videos on proper tamping, started deciding there was just no hope, etc, etc…

Then, I decided to try and clean the grinder just in case there was something going on with that. I made it sparkle, but we still had bad coffee. And at some point, all of the coffee started tasting like garbage—except for the moka pot, which is proving to be exceptionally resilient.

And then! I finally looked up some troubleshooting info on Baratza’s website and saw that the plastic around our ring burr was in fact missing a few pieces. This explained the unknown plastic pieces I saw when I opened up the grinder. 🙂

These missing plastic pieces were causing (I think) the ring burr to be very unstable. This meant that it wobbled or otherwise moved around while the machine was grinding and the grind came out coarser than normal and super inconsistent.

I ordered a new ring burr from Baratza, received it a couple days later, and voila—beautiful, fine grinds. And espresso is back!

Baratza sets an excellent example. They make great grinders. Every piece of the grinder can be ordered on the web. And they included a “Don’t Dump It – Fix It!” sticker with the shipment that is going on the laptop. 🙌🏻


I enjoy Björk so much.

This week I found myself working chronologically through all of her standard albums, ignoring the live and remix releases.

Often, I’ll get my fix just by listening to Post. Army of Me is such a great opening track. I also find myself at Debut again and again—once again, Human Behavior is such a great opening track.

I’ve realized this week that I absolutely love Homogenic. There’s so many layers and the album just feels good all the way through.

When listening to Vespertine, I remembered that I somehow ended up listened to it while looking out the airplane window over Iceland one time and it was an almost magical soundscape. The next time I flew over Iceland I was very excited for the repeat.

I decided this time around that Medulla is the strangest album—though I really enjoy Who Is It and Triumph of a Heart.

Volta is a lot more fun than I remember and I’d like to hear her redo “Declare Independence” with a heavy metal backing band for some odd reason.

Biophilia is calming—there’s a perfect track for this era, “Virus”.

Vulnerica is excellent for brain getting work done.

And I’m not sure what to think of Utopia, it is getting late, but it feels similarly calming to Biophilia.

Anyhow. One day I’ll give her the same treatment I did Steve Earle 8 years ago. I need to revisit that post and fix all the Rdio links.


The first day of Spring came this week, the earliest it’s arrived in 124 days. We were lucky to have sun and I was lucky enough to go for a walk outside in a t-shirt.

I hope anyone reading this is doing well!

☀️

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