Notes for May 5th 2023

  • My favourite author is Haruki Murakami. Which, for literary fans, is a bit of a cliché. But as cliché's go, I'm ok with it. I've read everything he's written, sometimes more than once. I'm thinking of revisiting the tonality of Dance, Dance, Dance this month because I'm a bit burned out by "business" books. But I woke to the news that a new book has been released in Japan. Which normally means I have about 18 months of excitement as someone painstakingly tries to capture the magic realism and chaotic descriptions of music or food in English.
  • Our first son, who turns 3 in summer, was watching some fun science show the other day. It's aimed at kids, and he's probably a little young for it. But it captivated him. And me. Because the subject of the show was magnets. It featured one of the kids DJing his parents' anniversary party, and him wanting to surprise his parents with their first ever mixtape. Cue cassette, and an explanation of how magnetism worked to carry audio. Including a joke around using a pencil to rewind a cassette tape. And it ended with needing to get the audio from there into MP3 as soon as possible. I felt ancient.

  • F1 bosses (particularly Toto) have been saying that yesterdays dismally boring race needs to usher in change. The change I propose: stop pandering to rich states seeking to sportswash with their shockingly bad street circuits. We only tolerate Monaco because of the prestige. And have some quality control on new circuit proposals. US is a market that F1 wants to break, but the tracks are terrible. Meanwhile Spa is at risk!
  • Happy Cinco de Mayo
    • And May the 4th be with you.
  • I was watching Succession & did something I've not done as a result of a show before, to my memory anyway. I looked up the designer behind one of the characters' jackets. It's Loro Piana. But sweet jesus, the price was 2x that of anything I've ever owned before, and I have reasonably expensive clothing (thanks to years of buying Ted Baker or Paul Smith almost exclusively). Knowing me, I'll somehow justify it some day. Like a fool.
  • I was considering how easy it is to cycle to work this week, as I zipped by hundreds of parked cars on roads all over my 4km route to the office. I have an electric Van Moof S3 bike, which has delivered enormous value to me. I would love to have that value extended to my young family, but the sheer cost of an electric cargo bike is off-putting. How we maintain tax, import duty or excise on something so clearly valuable to society as it transitions it's lifestyle away from cars or fossil fuels is mind-numbing.
    • And I don't blame people for driving. It's often the only viable option in a city like Dublin, which has ostensibly shocking public transport infrastructure, or direction. We've also, as a species, been driving and told driving is good for 100 years. We're not going to flick that switch as quickly as we're flicking the switch-to-EV one.
    • I expand on this here.