former piano

Ex-piano

A post shared by David Phillips (@cafedave) on


I spent years learning the piano. I can still remember my late piano teacher – a lady who devoted most of her life to teaching kids like me how to be better musicians – showing me how the sustain pedal works: lifting the dampeners so they no longer press against the strings to cut off each note. Walking past this abandoned soundboard brought me right back to that moment.

Side projects

I’ve had a chance to look through some of the projects I’ve been aiming to start over the last while. A video from Gary Vaynerchuck talked about the 7pm-2am window to work on other projects, starting something big. At the moment, I’m pouring that energy more into my main job: there will come a day when that settles down and I’m able to try some other things, but for now, I need to make my peace with keeping the side projects on hold. 

A day (almost) without podcasts 

A lift to the train station meant that it was too late, by the time I realised, to go back home for the earbuds I’d left in my jacket pocket. And so I faced to prospect of a whole day without audio entertainment, until I was finally – hopping In the car for an evening meeting – able to reconnect with some hands-free, sped-up audio entertainment. 

It’s not until a channel is inaccessible that you’re able to see how much a part of your psyche it has become. I have a large queue of podcasts waiting for my attention, and so to get through them, I listen  them at high speed whenever I’m alone (which is not all that often). 

With the silence, I was left to my own thoughts: a lost hobby. I miss my podcasting companions with their cheery ad-reads for Casper mattresses, mail chimp, square space, Harry’s razors, warby Parker, and Lynda dot com. 

Reflections on running

Lately I’ve been trying to go for a run in the mornings. It’s worked pretty well when I haven’t been sick. I get up at or before the sunrise, walk a little, then run for a few km’s in a loop, walk a little bit home. I take my phone with me. While I’m running, it measures how long/fast/where I’ve been, plays me podcasts, and let’s me take photos of the sunrise.

So far, no injuries: time will tell. Even without all the apps, I love running, but the hardest part is taking the doona off the bed and getting out of the house. From there, it’s not too bad, especially those mornings when the sky puts on a show. 

part of the problem

I was watching a movie on TV while working on some other projects, and this ad kept coming up.

I was chatting earlier today about the idea of everyday sexism: this ad is doing a lot of the stereotype perpetuation – the mum is reducing her relationship with her daughter to being able to provide her with the fashion item that she wants. Unhappy with her inability to look the way she wants, the Mum steps in, and – using the product – makes the daughter happy again that she can fit the stereotype she aspires to. I know it’s a lot to ask of a cleaning product ad, but could we see the product fit into a more intellectually fulfilling life somehow? 

gardening

Yesterday I spent some time in the garden, after a lot of weekends when we were too busy to make it happen. It was a good mix of cutting up branches, and getting the kids involved in helping tidy up, and mowing the weeds, trying to reveal the underlying grass. There’s something re-energising about switching off from the online world (except, perhaps, the podcast I was listening to) and do something in physical space.