Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Art of Spending More Time Doing Less

Sitting with a freshly ground, newly brewed cup of coffee in my metaphorical hand — no way I'm actually going to hold the cup, the memory of Oaky still burns too fresh — and thinking slightly about the week that has passed way too quickly. In terms of my own perspective of the passing of time at least. It hasn't actually passed at a rate any slower or faster than usually, or that couldn't be predicted to a certain extent by the observation of our universe.

Yeah, okay.. that rabbit hole went I bit further than I would have expected.


Coffee. Hand. Laptop. Last week. Yes, last week. I have been completely cigarette-free since last Sunday (23rd of September). And counting. Since I started smoking, roughly 12 years ago, I have smoked about a pack a day and I have only ever once been without cigarettes this long. And that time I was heavily medicated and under intravenous painkillers, so in all fairness.. it doesn't really count as being cigarette-free if you're getting better, more addictive shit. So far, so good and that is all I will say about it. Not for any fear of jinxing it but rather that the craving is more as I think/write about it. So I simply wont. Focus, clarity and other words than sounds like buzzwords until you manage to get your mind into those states.

The company I work for/at/with.. under? is moving office and come this Monday it will be interesting to see how much they have managed to get sorted over the weekend. And because of the move everything was chaotic yesterday, to the point of no one really getting any work done and only some actually even trying. I was one of the people not really trying.

Now, I imagine what you might be thinking. Well, depending on if your my boss and reading this — whilst very possible, highly improbable — or if your simply a friend of mine back in Finland (or Sweden). If you're the latter, "Hey, how nice of you to drop by!".

And for the former. Chill dude, I didn't actually sit and roll my thumbs an entire day — I get bored too easily to do that — No, what I did was something I wish was endorsed more than I at times feel it is. Now I am not pointing any fingers at my current employer simply because I am not actually 100% sure what their policy is, but for for those of you who don't subscribe to this particular train of logic. Allow me to explain. I call it proactive labour. I am sure I am not the first to coin this term or even think about this, but since I have never read about it anywhere that I can recall I am now freely going to assume I am the first. Until proven otherwise of course.

Proactive labour — or lazy people aren't lazy but effective and inventive — at its core is very simple. Mind you, not necessarily easy but very simple. It all stems from a single point of thought;

"Why spend less time doing more when you could spend more time doing less?".

And I will gladly illustrate what I mean. Imagine you are facing a problem, possible a problem you will end up facing more times than one. Now it seems to me, most people will rather solve it in 3 hours the first time and 2 hours every consecutive time. I don't. When facing a problem that may or may not recurring I want to (and for the most part do) go for analysing the shit out of it and solving it in 6 hours the first time. So far, so bad, right? Well, yes. But because I have taken the time and considerable effort to understand the problem in a much more fundamental way, every time the problem recurs, I solve it in 1 hour. You do the math and then tell me which method is more cost-effective and productive in a fiscal year.

That's what I thought.

Again. I am not pointing any fingers at my current employer but more at the general attitude amongst many employers. An expression I have heard too many times is "You're over-thinking it". To which my answer from now on will be "Yes, so that next time I won't have to".

For simple clarification as to how I practically spent my time at work yesterday — since I didn't actually get to that part yet — I basically spent my time creating a project template to remove all the redundant steps I have to do every time I start a new website design. Such as creating and consistently naming folders to keep projects organised. Does this take a long time in itself? Well, no. But it takes long enough and requires enough brain effort that I thought it was best to delegate this action to a .bat file instead. Why should I remember the names and structure of all the folders and files I need every time I start a new project, when a .bat file could do it for me.

So, I created a template folder (that can evolve as needed) with all the necessary files and my own css grid template, js libraries, etc.

I have taken something that in total can take anywhere between 15 minutes and 2 hours and condensed it into ~10 seconds.

Now I honestly don't think this is very mind-blowing. A part of me thinks it's quite crude in its simplicity, though I suppose that's part of its charm. No, the question becomes, "Why is there not already such a .bat file or similar time-saving device?" Why?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

I Suppose I Should Feel Bad

For you know, not really writing that much lately. And whilst I admit a part of me does feel bad.. there's an ever bigger part that doesn't. And today I thought I would talk to you about that part. The second one, not the first one.

Truth be told, I have so many different things to talk about. But I don't feel like I have the time to talk about them, at least not yet. Are things still hectic here? Well.. yes, a little bit. Obviously not as much as the first couple of weeks when we were moving on a two week basis, from one place to another not even knowing where we were going until a few days beforehand.

Wow, that feels pretty crazy in retrospective.

So, at least it's not that crazy. But there are still quite a few things to attend to which means that I don't feel like I have enough time to devote to writing. Well that's not entirely true either. I have started writing a manuscript for a short movie I want to make. But it's still very early stage writing, fleshing out back stories and character motivations. So yeah, I haven't been writing here, but I have been writing.

So why do I not feel bad about it? Well, aside for the reasons I already said, there's also the other reason. A very exciting reason.. at least for me. I want to refine my website.

Yes, again.

As a growing entity (much like the internet itself) I think it should grow and evolve as I evolve. And also because I am a little bored with it. And with that I would like to merge my blog with This is something I have thought about for a couple of months now but I still haven't decided what the best way would be. Obviously there are perks to letting the almighty (and slightly scary) Google host it, but at the same time I can't help but to think that as the "brand" I would like to consider fiinixdesign to be, it would benefit greatly from a unified and single source design. Hence, I want to merge to two.

Whilst I could easily just start writing under my own domain, quickly creating a CMS to manage that, I would obviously like to export all the posts I have written here to its new home too. And that's where it gets a bit trickier, not for any other reason than that I have some ideas I would like to refine with this merger and with that I would have to go through every post I have made and clean them up. By no means an impossible undertaking, but a time-consuming one nonetheless. And one that I don't particularly feel like undertaking at this moment. Any good ideas beije?

Anything else? Well, for one I get to do web design every day now, which is a lot of fun. But it has also reminded me of how much I like doing other things like; sculpting, painting, writing, composing, copy writing, branding, interior design.. and well, a lot of other forms of design. But "Hey!", that's what spare time is for, I suppose.

Except I don't have enough of it.

Which is why the posts here have been shining increasingly with their absence. I won't assure you that things will get better — though they probably will — instead let me part you with these sweet words of sorrow (or something that makes more sense).

I finally got a digital kitchen scale again, so I am now one step closer to the MBJ. Hurray for me!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Friction Blew My Mind

Just wow.

Les Friction. Remember the name.

Monday, 3 September 2012


This.. is super-extra-licking-awesome.. and I'm have to buy this album.

But instead of linking to just one song — check out Bonfire Of The Dolls — I am going to link to the whole thing. So yeah, go check out this.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Reviving the MBJ

Oh [deity] I just realised how much I miss my morning hit of MBJ. Yes.. The EmBeeJay.. The Manhattan Blow Job. Coffee, remember?

Since we moved I have been force to improvise many times, been forced to do things I'd rather not remember and much less speak of. You know what I mean. Drinking instant coffee — I'd rather stick my tongue in Satan's fiery butthole — buying ready-to-drink coffee drinks at Tesco's — "Are you fucking kidding me?!" it tastes like sweetener with a tiny little bit of coffee. I did at one point manage to find coffee beans in a few shops but when the package said proudly "BEST BEFORE May 2013" they lost me. Methinks not, no.. two week at best.. from the day the were roasted, which it didn't say. So no thanks, he who shall not be named *cough marks cough and spencer*.

So far, the wonderful people at Hasbean has been keeping me sane with door delivered fresh coffee. One of their beans, the Nicaragua Limoncillo Pacamara Natural 2012 "Funky" is so awesome it's mind-blowing, imagine a strawberry milkshake and you're pretty close. That reminds be, I should order some more before they run out of stock.

Right, I'm back. We're good? You're good? I'm good. So we're good? Good. Now that I have that taken care of let's get back to the MBJ — not to be confused with other street drugs — I have decided to revive it, by which I mean, start making it again and hopefully improve it even more. Although the summer's coming to an end and Autumn is rearing its red-tinted head (the carpet matches the drapes) some might say that "Surely not, it's getting too cold for you to drink Ice Coffee". I have two points of information for those nay-sayers. 1] You can make hot or cold coffee using a cold brewed concentrate. 2] On average the temperature drops to -15 °C around February in Finland, here in England it only drops to -5 °C. And last winter I had nothing but Iced Coffee, all winter. And it was magically delicious.

But before I can revive the MBJ I need to find a decent digital scale (didn't take my old one with me), some cloth to filter it through (I can't remember what it's called but I know where to find it), some ice cube trays and a good supply of coffee beans (the tiny bags at unnamed shops won't do).

I'll get back to you when I have successfully revived it. I'm also going to start roasting my own beans soon. And I have plans of recording some more songs.

Let's see how many of these things I manage to complete before the end of the year.