This week’s recommendations 

Podcast: Do by Friday. A weekly challenge show by Merlin Mann, Alex Cox, and Max Temkin. It’s funny, it’s insightful, it’s well worth your time. 

Book: A Month in the Country, by J L Carr. This is a 104 page lyrical masterpiece about a WWI veteran hired to restore a medieval mural in a Yorkshire church. A real gem- one of those books that you judge other people by.

Tea: Feng Qing Premium Black Gold Pearls – a “chocolate and malt” Yunnan black tea rolled into large marbles. Sweet, mellow, smooth and a feast for the eyes. Almost too good to share.

And also: if your New Year’s Resolutions aren’t SMART, you are wasting your time, attention, and effort.


Gratuitous photo of Jaffa on a clear winter’s day.

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This week’s recommendations 

Buying

I couldn’t sleep last night for no good reason other than the noise from the neighbouring synagogue and my terrible late night iPhone Twitter habits. The iPhone addiction is on me, but what can you do about French tourists being obnoxiously loud obnoxiously late when they stand outside a synagogue long after closing time, far past midnight? I considered throwing a bucket of water or hefting a shoe at them, but I couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed. Meanwhile, they outshouted the closed windows and air conditioning. Only American tourists get any louder.

I saw an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine tonight that hit close to home regarding to my spending habits. Unlike Jake Peralta I am saving money, and I have never even considered buying one massage chair, let alone six, but I can get carried away sometimes buying junk that I don’t need and will never use. There is a collector’s bug that runs in the family that doesn’t help, and FOMO is a real thing when it comes to limited editions of things that I like (mostly pens and stationery), but mostly I just need to learn that buying stuff online is not a good coping mechanism for a bad day at work or a sleepless night. Money spent on experiences, like races and trips and escape rooms with friends, is better spent, period. And maybe more than me needing to learn to just enjoy using what I have, I need to accept that whether it’s headphones or pens or mechanical keyboards, there is no true perfection out there — there is only what there is.

Buying