April 15, 2020
Upgrading the key hook of a Patagonia Atom Sling Bag
Being a bag nut, I have a couple of Patagonia Atom Sling bags in my collection, which are perfect for my daily carry.
There is one tiny detail about the bag that always bothered me a little. There is a little pocket on the side which can store keys and other items. It has a small strap with a plastic hook at the end, to attach to key holders and similar items. This plastic hook is a little flimsy, and the hook doesn’t close completely.
I had a couple of small dual-lock S-biners lying about which I thought would be a perfect replacement. They are small, and the dual locks mean they can be unhooked from the loop (unlike the plastic ones which I had to cut off.)
The small S-biners were the perfect size for the loop.
Pocket strap with keys attached:
I’m quite happy with this replacement, and I feel more secure that whatever is attached to the loop will stay there.
March 1, 2020
DIY Chair - The Build
Last year I wrote about a carpentry workshop I was going to attend to build the Sedia chair designed by the italian designer Enzo Mari.
To my disappointment, I wasn’t able to attend that workshop, but it was repeated yesterday, and finally I was able to attend and build my own Sedia.
We started out with some lengths of untreated pine, which we cut into pieces according to the cut list.
After all the lengths were cut, we sanded them by hand using 80, 120 and 180 grit sandpaper.
After we sanded the wood, we drilled pilot holes for screws. This build differs slightly from the original plans by Enzo Mari. He used nails to build the chair, but we are using screws. To hide the screw heads from the finished chair, we drill countersunk pilot holes for the screws so that the screw heads are well below the surface, then we are covering the holes with wooden plugs.The plugs themselves we also drilled from wood using a plug cutter bit.
Once the parts were completed, we started mounting.
Once the parts were mounted and all the screws fastened, we filled the holes with the drilled plugs, sawed the protruding bits off with a Japanese hand saw (what a wonderful tool!), and then sanded the surface again.
Bias aside, I am very happy with the end result!
September 17, 2019
Coffee and other things
I no longer have a coffee machine.
I have a simple plastic cylinder through which I press coffee manually.
I buy coffee beans, and grind them by hand.
I drink less coffee.
Each mug of coffee takes more effort to make, but means more to me.
I also mounted a turntable at home.
I listen to less music.
Each album I listen to takes more effort, but means more to me.
I find this pleasing.
August 22, 2019
The summer holidays are over, and a relaxed attitude to food and drinks has reflected itself around my waist. It is time to get back on the exercise train. I have realized that I am not a big fan of running, so I have been looking for alternatives.
Some time ago I read about rucking, which is as simple as wearing a rucksack with weights, and walking.
As a dog is part of our family, every day I take her out walking, and now I am combining it with rucking. So morning and evening, Brownie and myself now go rucking.
It is better for the knees than jogging, and I enjoy it a lot. I currently carry 20 kilos (44 pounds) of weights in my backpack, and a brisk, long walk turns into a nice workout. Walking like this also gives me time for thinking and reflection, so I am very happy with the practice.
July 9, 2019
My favourite rucksack
My favourite rucksack is from an American company called Goruck. I bought my first rucksack from them around 8 years ago, and it has been my daily carry ever since. It goes with me to work, and when I travel for work purposes.
After 8 years of close to daily use, the rucksack was finally starting to show a bit of wear, and a hole was developing near the base of the rucksack.
Goruck claim lifetime guarantee on their products, so I decided to send the rucksack to them for repair. I honestly was a bit skeptical, but this is what they have to say about their guarantee:
“All GORUCK built gear, apparel, and footwear — everything we manufacture — comes with our Scars Lifetime Guarantee. If there is a defect in workmanship or materials or if you actually manage to wear our stuff out, GORUCK will fix or replace (at our discretion) your item, free of charge. No receipt necessary — we can recognize our own stuff — and your date of purchase does not matter. Hence lifetime.”
After they received my rucksack, I received a reply from them that started like this:
“We have determined that we cannot repair your gear given the allotted time and materials needed to do so. There are additional signs of wear and tear around the base of the ruck and the top handle (the Cordura is fraying more than anticipated and there are other weak points on the side panels).”
At this point my heart was sinking, and I thought the worst. Then the next sentence blew my mind:
“We would like to send you a new one!”
As I write this, the new rucksack has left the states and has reached the FedEx station in Roissy (France) on its way to Lisbon. I am thrilled to bits to get a new rucksack, and in awe of the way that Goruck stand behind their products. The stuff they sell is not cheap, but when you buy gear from them, you literally get gear that will last you a lifetime, so you get what you pay for.
My hat is off to them!
June 24, 2019
Over the last few years I have cut down on social media consumption/participation, and increased the time I spend reading books. They say correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, but I attribute increased calm and improved quality of life at least partly to this change.
I now average around a book a week, with a ratio of non-fiction to fiction of about 70/30.