πŸ”— “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel | Strong Songs: A Podcast About Music

Strong Songs Season Six kicks off with a widely requested classic: Peter Gabriel’s 1986 yearner “In Your Eyes.” Because why hire one rhythm section when you can hire two for twice the price?

🎧 A favourite song on a favourite podcast

Finished reading: Although I’m far from having a crisis, I’m well into midlife. So, Midlife by Kieran Setiya was a powerful book.

I could relate, when Setiya describes what he expects to feel after he finishes writing the book:

If experience is anything to go by, the hole will be filled soon enough. There will be another project: a class to teach, a book to read, an article to write. I will move on. But the movement is like running on a treadmill. Life is a succession of projects, each one left behind, their numbers slowly adding up. What the future holds is only more of the achievements, and the failures, that make up my past. It will differ only in quantity from the life I have already lived, a mere accumulation of deeds.

I won’t spoil the outcome. Suffice it to say that this book has lots of good advice, written clearly and with humour.

Setiya also has a good session on Waking Up.

πŸ“š

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Back to cold, snow, and ice on today’s run

Icy and snow trail. Overlaid with run stats: 16km in 1.5 hours

Investing in the MacSparky Productivity Field Guide βœ…

There is absolutely no shortage of productivity methods and content out there, especially in the β€œinfluencer” racket. I’m quite sure that there is no one true way to be productive. In fact, I think there’s some merit to switching up my approach on occasion, just to reinvigorate my interest. To that end, I’ve really appreciated the MacSparky Productivity Field Guide. I find the roles based approach suits me really well, as I try to juggle multiple parts of my life, while the intentionality it creates helps with prioritizing and staying engaged.

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πŸ”— The strange and turbulent global world of ant geopolitics

What is surprising is how poorly we still understand global ant societies: there is a science-fiction epic going on under our feet, an alien geopolitics being negotiated by the 20 quadrillion ants living on Earth today. It might seem like a familiar story, but the more time I spend with it, the less familiar it seems, and the more I want to resist relying on human analogies. Its characters are strange; its scales hard to conceive. Can we tell the story of global ant societies without simply retelling our own story?

Fascinating

Finished reading: I enjoyed Making It So by Patrick Stewart. Although not as much Captain Picard as some Trekkies might want, I appreciated the broader view of his career πŸ“š

Great video from Casey Neistat. I too, somehow, continue to get older and am trying to hold on to some goals.

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Mostly trails on today’s run

Trail through forest with a sign saying β€œStay on trail” to the right. Run statistics overlaid: 17.64 km 1hr32min

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Nice to see some sun on today’s run along the Leslie Spit

Toronto skyline from across the lake. Overlaid with running stats: 23.54 km in 2h11m

πŸ“š These Wheel of Time books are long! I only got 1/3 of the way through The Shadow Rising before the library loan ended

πŸš΄β€β™‚οΈ Great crew for a ride up both sides of Achterbahn

Strava map of a 51.6 km virtual ride

Finished reading: System Collapse by Martha Wells is another fun book in a great seriesπŸ“š

Finished reading: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury is rather strange. Some really lovely, poetic passages about the tranquility and beauty of Mars, coupled with buffoonish characters from Earth. I totally get this could be intentional, though it is jarring πŸ“š

Finished reading: The Gulag Archipelago [Volume 1] by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn is a remarkable book. I’ve never really comprehended the Stalin-era purges. Solzhenitsyn’s dark humour and extensive narrative details really helped make them feel horrifyingly real πŸ“š

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Found some company on today’s run

Two swans floating close together in a lake with a yellowish sunrise behind them

πŸŠβ€β™‚οΈπŸš΄β€β™‚οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Fitness in 2023

I kept busy in 2023 with triathlon training. As a reference point for next year, here’s a comparison of 2023 with 2022. My running was surprisingly consistent. Although the totals are almost identical, I do think that my structured workouts were much better in 2023. Each run had a purpose and all were part of a bigger plan. There was a trade off for cycling between indoors and outdoors. In 2023, I couldn’t quite get aligned with most of the outdoor group rides.

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New books for the new year πŸ“š

Stack of books: Midlife, Make it So, The Future of Us, The Rise and Reign of Mammals, My Effin’ Life

πŸ₯Ά Shortest and coldest swim of the year

Group of people standing in front of a lake. All bundled up and getting ready for a swim

Year in books for 2023

I read some great books in 2023. My favourite fiction book was The Mountain in the Sea by Ray Nayler. Non-fiction was Enemy of All Mankind by Steven Johnson.

Finished reading: Lords of Uncreation by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a good end to a fun series. I enjoyed the world building and premise of the trilogy which doesn’t get too serious πŸ“š