Few people know how to take a walk.  The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humour, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most mornings I go for a little wander around my town, generally a 2.5 – 3 mile circuit.  I do this to clear my head after a 2 hour reading period and to get ready for the events of the day.  Yes I am an early riser. In the U.S. Army we had a strap-line that said ‘we do more before 9AM than most people do all day.’  I guess you can take the man out of the army but you can’t take the army out of the man.

I pretty much do the same few circuits. The point of this walk is more about movement and thinking and less about seeing new things.  Saying that, I decided to take of a different of what I saw as I walked.  I used the old Hipstamatic app to capture small random details of my town:

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Hipstamatic settings:

Film: Cano Cafenol
Lens: John S

Shameless freedom is a mystery
Wasteland studded

blasting free adverts

What is this really, except
easy fantasies)?

Normal people trickle down the cracks

neoliberal teenagers

Rock The Brady Bunch and
Unemployed achievers

Source document: The Wire magazine

Midway this way of life we’re bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.

The Divine Comedy: Cantica I Hell, Cantos 1, 1-3

Dante found himself lost and Virgil appeared.

Oh where is my Virgil!

The in-laws left on Tuesday. The house is quiet now, well quieter (my daughter still has moments of blasting her music to club levels). I like it when family is around, there’s a nice buzz about the place that is comforting.

Yesterday, I dusted myself off and got back to the gym and to work.

“Strength has a greater purpose.” | #strengthtraining

A video posted by Clay Lowe (@soulcruzer) on

I haven’t made a vlog in a while so here you go:

I also met up with Eleanor Brown to do a podcast. She’s currently running a crowdfunding campaign to finance here next album. I first met Eleanor about a year ago. She had just finished living in a caravan for 3 months wrote and produced an album based on her experiences during that time.

I was the emcee for her co-launch with my novelist friend, Sarah Beth Hunt.

I like Eleanor’s music and soul, so agreed to do a podcast with her to help support her crowdfunding campaign. Have a listen:

Captured Moments

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It’s been a beautiful couple of days of cold frosty mornings.

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I like Eleanor as an artist and as a soulful person. She’s at the beginning of journey. I’m excited for her.

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Back in the gym after about a week off.  I thought I was going to be sucking, but actually the week off did me some good.  While not quite at my peek strength, I felt good.

Anyway, peeps, I’m trying to cram a lot of stuff into this evening, blogging being just one of those activities and the hour is growing late, so I best be on my way.

Peace.

 

As some of you may or may not know, I started dabbling in the Quantified Self movement and tracking many of my activities throughout the course of a day. I ran the experiment for several months. My biggest take away was how much of a human hamster I am, and I suspect most of us are. That is, our lives on any given day is essentially interchangeably with any other day.

Same shit, different day comes to mind.

Yeah sure, there are nuances to any given day, and some days something totally out of left field happens, but mostly our days are the same.

Yeah, yeah even if you live a life of adventure, if you do it every day for enough days, it becomes the same. Trust me. I’ve spent many days out in the field and after a while one tree begins to look just like the next tree.

That isn’t necessarily to say that my life or your life is boring. It could be as exciting as Hell, but the sun will rise and the sun will set just the same. You will no doubt see most of the same people each day, drive the same car or catch the same bus, wear the same-ish clothes, eat the same-ish food etc.

There’s a sameness to our day that we can’t escape.

There I go again, getting sidetracked.

I’m suppose to be sharing some Quantified Self data with you. Particular the gym, because I kept up with the tracking after I finished the experiment .

Gym Hero Pro is my app of choice for tracking my weightlifting activity. I do believe you can connect it with RunKepper now for you running freaks.

I started using the app at the tail end of 2015, so the year on year improvement stats are not useful. I’m more interested in the 2016 tonnage and reps per exercises:

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Tracking my gym activity was ok because I only had to do it once a day. The life-logging on the hand got a bit tedious tracking every thing. I think if I start again, which I might do come January 1st, I’ll only track those things that can be done with ‘always on’ technology and can happen in the background to what I do like my Garmin smartwatch does and apps like Moves or Momento (which pulls from your social media feeds).

Plus. I’ll continue to do some old school tracking in my journals.

In the 5th century B.C. Herodotus set off on an ambitious mission to record the glorious achievements and remarkable events of the past so that these things wouldn’t be forgotten.

He declares at the start of the Histories:

“Herodotus of Halicarnassos here displays his inquiry, so that human achievements may not become forgotten in time, and great and marvellous deeds – some displayed by Greeks, some by Barbarians – may not be without their glory; and especially to show why the two peoples fought each other.”

And thus history was born.

Herodotus doesn’t generally get much play among academic historians (which is probably why I like him), but he is considered to be the father of history.  Reading the Histories is like reading a modern day literary travel-writing book.

Justin Marozzi on Herodotus:

“Herodotus’ first-person comments and asides reveal an educated, enlightened, adventurous, endlessly curious man with a dancing intellect and a felicitous turn of phrase, someone with a powerful sense of wonder and an all-encompassing humanity, brimming with relentless wanderlust and irrepressible storytelling zeal, revelling in his fizzing sexual curiosity and fierce tolerance of other cultures, buoyed along on the currents of historical inquiry by his continent-spanning humour, ranging wit and questing wisdom.”

I’m feeling the call of history again.  I’ve returned to Justin Marozzi and his book The Man Who Invented History as a starting point.

One, because Marozzi is considered to be one of the new breed of historians – a historian as travel writer type – and as such approaches history as narrative storytelling like Herodotus, the father of history did.

That’s a good place to start, I think, both with Marozzi’s text and Herodotus’s text to rekindle my history roots.