Weeknote 0016

  • Engagement ring acquired, to her precise specifications. It’s a lovely sapphire on a band that screams deco.

Engagement ring

  • Went to see Fran Lebowitz on stage. One of those kinds of gifts you give to someone where you get to go too. Really good. A half-hour in dead-pan conversation with Fiona Lindsay, followed by questions from the audience. Her style has such a quick and seemingly effortless nature that it’s reminiscent of street magic.
  • Bayer (yeah, you know, that thumping-great consumer health org) announced its partnership with Lumino, the start-up I co-founded. So that’s nice. This has been embargoed for a while, which has the effect of making the magnitude of it creep up on me from time to time. So I alternate between casual mention and holy shit. Anyway, onwards. ✊ Better mental health for everyone.
  • Oh, and it’s my birthday. When I turned 40, I was writing a little newsletter and so took one edition to record 40 lessons from 40 years.
    • These things are often worded as if they’re advice to others but, as the first lesson states, people giving you free advice are talking to themselves. So this is me talking to myself about successes I want to build upon and mistakes I needn’t repeat.
    • I put a lot of thought into them; nearly all are backed by at least three data-points. At the time, I thought maybe I’d pick up one more each year and the list would continue to grow with me. In fact, each of these do not represent one year, but long-running themes.
    • Meanwhile, all the points remain largely true. They were not written in any kind of priority order, but what’s happening over time is that their relative importance is changing. The one that jumps off the page as proving evermore valuable is to “talk about mental health as often as you might about physical health”. The one that jumps off the page because I have struggled is the fourth: “cut out cancerous people quickly, actively seek out better ones”.
    • Maybe in a few years I might be able to capture a couple more. There’s certainly one currently on the boil concerning sacrifice in the name of principles. This is not an original thought, but a value isn’t a value unless it costs you something. Bill Bernbach phrased it as “More and more I have come to the conclusion that a principle isn’t a principle until it costs you money”. And there are social and emotional costs too. So you can expect to see that in my list of 50.

Bass notes

[In which Mo learns the bass guitar]

  • The bass is back! Andy the luthier finally made it through his backlog and did me a full setup. The E string now also has a machine head with a lever that drops it to a D, which on a short-scale bass is quite a fun and angry thing. The drop in string tension makes it more inclined to rattle the frets, which through the fuzz/overdrive pedals sounds incredible.

Machine heads in situ

  • I need to get back into regular practice. Five bursts a week seems to be optimal.