Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Monday, 23 May 2022


tackle monday morning with this 

Sunday, 22 May 2022

z2 training and 'fat burning'

as i'm doing a ton of z2 training currently, in part to buff up my mitochondria but also to take care of my grumpy heart, so it was interesting to hear it being discussed in terms of 'fat burning'. me, dependent on the length of the session and what my heart rate's up to (resting heart rate pre sesh in the ageing gent - it's important!), i'll add in a couple of sprint sessions to take my heart up to its aerobic maximum and z5/6 power output plus some ugly weight sessions (tho with caution - see ageing gent above! lol). as ever, i advocate for yoga moves as well!

here's the lovely eugene teo doing a reasonably decent explanation of it

Friday, 20 May 2022

major 7th chords

i'm listening to a lot of bill evans while i'm working/cooking these days so i was interested to see this. i loved the use of the keyboard and notation along with the playing - amazingly useful technology! i initially found the presentation style a bit offputting - i don't think it's unkind to say it needs work - but, i found, if i processed it like an old ou video from the 70s and focused on the content rather than the way it was presented, it had a nerdy niche charm as well as being super useful.

i will, later today, slaughter the sounds he's suggesting here but what a privilege to have had a go. 

and here's bill evans 

Monday, 16 May 2022


 nowt better when you've got insomnia than to drift away on the entire works of tarrega, all played by giulio tampalini

Sunday, 15 May 2022


after yesterday's flippancy i found myself unable to let go of the idea of japanese microseasons. i love the division of the year and i love the specific occurences within that (also, i have to love a language that has so many words to describe rain!). i've been a proponent of watching the rhythm of the world about you for some years and i spent the day wondering how i would divide it up. strangely meditative, lovely and clearly a good start for some creative practice - here's one

Saturday, 14 May 2022

60 ways to slightly improve your life

 another one of these guardian things. i'm less in agreement with this one so i've edited it! lol

Go on that second date
(Remember, people are often nervous on their first.) or don't bother. what are you - 15? stop validating yourself through a binary norm!

2 Borrow a dog
It's true, exposure to animals is great and, if you've got a soul, it's immediately obvious that animals have emotional lives not so very different from our own. however, it's also worth considering, as you use wee bonzo to feel better about yourself, it won't prevent you chowing down on a burger later as cows as somehow different. also, at the more extreme end of the spectrum, chairman swiss considers pets as similar to slaves. go out in nature. watch animals there!

3 Get a wifi extender
Don't. Go outside.

4 Forget reality TV and try watching surreality TV
Get rid of your tv.

5 Eat more salad
Just eat healthily. And don't buy more rubbish. you don't need a chopper, just a decent knife!

6 Go to an art gallery and stare at a picture for ages
this is a good idea. but. take a sketch pad and do some copying. take and journal and record your thoughts. better yet, don't go to a gallery but visit an actual live artist who's making things today.

7 Start a recipe club
this sounds like some sort of special hell for me but, really, just eat healthily. try something different. or something the same, better. rid yourself of any processed food!

8 Listen to country music for a week
just listen to music. and please god not the music you loved when you were young. there's a time and a place for that but otherwise it's a kind of death. don't just listen to country music, listen to different types of country music. lisyten to music from different countries!

9 Tune in to the Japanese concept of micro-seasons
We’re between Mimizu izuru (Worms surface”) and Takenoko shōzu (Bamboo shoots sprout”). There are 72! if you only do one thing off this list, then this. are you in japan? no? then make up your own microseasons. the environment is dying on its arse so make the most of it before we start joining in.

10 Learn to do a great front crawl
swimming is great, no doubt. but not for everyone. be near water at the very least. stop walking, look about you. listen, listen some more. see what you can see. if i could do this in london you can do it anywhere.

11 Discover secrets about your immediate surroundings
With Wikipedia Around (insert the address and it’ll tell you all about the area). Don’t forget to turn off your location when you’re done. you could, or you could just learn to search for yourself. take the path less walked, try to get lost. stock up on those interesting facts.

12 Get some proper bin shoes
don't buy more stuff! trainers/boots knackered? repurpose as garden/decorating shoes

13 Paint your nails in rainbow colours
With each a different shade, looking at them will instantly cheer you up. and especially if you're a lad. challenge those gender norms. if people don't like it let them riot in the street. chairman swiss likes a gold (big) toenail as a minimum

14 Wear one colour head to toe
just no. accentuate with colour. embrace style. and, should you want to go and buy something uni-coloured or 'quirky' from some cheap outlet store, take a shortcut and ask a stranger to smack some sense into you. find someone who actually makes clothes (good luck with that) and buy something from someone who actually takes time and care in what they're making. spend some money (you're worth it). or go all in and make your own clothes - it's a game changer

15 Try to join in a game with strangers
Whether they’re playing catch, football or Frisbee, on the beach or in the park, the worst that can happen is they say no. The best? You join a new community, however temporary. It’s worth carrying a tennis ball or football around just in case you need to start the game. chairman swiss can't disagree with this but, clearly, this isn't something i would do. try a combat sport. medieval combat is a lark, the people are niche and lovely, and there's history. better yet, just go training at a boxing club, you don't have to be punching anyone, just willing to put in some graft. should you do so, you'll rarely (in my experience) find a better bunch of people.

16 Put up a bird feeder
Here’s how to get birds to come, says the RSPB’s Anna Feeney. “Finches, tits and sparrows love sunflower hearts; the latter will also enjoy a mesh feeder with peanuts. Many birds like fat balls, though robins, blackbirds and dunnocks prefer a ground feeder tray (avoid this if there are cats in your area). Place hanging feeders and bird tables high, and a couple of metres away from thick cover so birds can retreat from aerial predators such as sparrowhawks. Avoid anything with salt, cooked food, loose peanuts and dry, hard foods or bread in spring and summer (chicks can choke on them). Clean your feeder with a mild disinfectant and hot water once a week.”

avoid if there's cats!? there's always cats! chairman swiss loves a cat but, for wildlife, they are a plague. os, if you do see a sparrowhawk, consider yourself blessed

17 End your working day properly
Do something, anything, when you clock off – a walk; a swim; a free online yoga class. Especially when WFH. yes. work to live, not the other way round!

18 Rewatch Our Friends in the North
don't. have some self respect and do something, anything that isn't watching tv.

19 Do a DIY, cheapo face steam and/or hair mask
avoid loaded terms like 'cheapo' and actually make some stuff that'll personalise your self care regime (jonathan van ness - chairman swiss thanks you). what you spend on 'product' is not related by how good they actually make you feel.

20 Pick some flowers and foliage
don't. yes, flower arranging is lovely but a plant living its life is better. grow a wildflower garden if you must. or encourage the council to do so. or prevent them hosing their verges with insecticide. go out and photograph said flowers. find out what they're called, local names and binomials. research some background, look forward to their reappearance next year (see micro - seasons!)

21 Head to the water
see previous on water

22 Do something to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee
don't. unless royals are your thing, in which case have at it, celebrate the working man/woman. celebrate your gran. celebrate your own self.

23 Get a bath pillow
or learn to meditate.

24 Learn a new, achievable skill on YouTube
chairman swiss says if you're going to have a standard, make it a double. learning new stuff is what the internet should be all about. so use it. then do it.

25 Read a vibe-shifting new book

chairman swiss doesn't know what vibe shifting is but, living somewhere where book reading is either not encouraged or just not done, just read a book, any book, live in your own head just for a little while. 

26 Invent a cocktail
don't. have some respect for the craft and practice making a classic properly (see youtube above). 'inventing' your own cocktail is the equivalent of badly cooked barbecue food. work on your skills, the reast wil follow.

27 Draw something every day
yes, i  mean, really

28 Change your lighting
It will shift the mood of a room, says Habitat lighting designer Tom SullivanSwitch off bright overhead lights in favour of side lamps that emit a softer, more soothing glow. A rule of thumb is: three light sources per room, with a mix of floor and table lights, alongside task lighting for activities. If you do want overhead lights, soften with rattan or bamboo shades and use ‘warm white’ LED filament bulbs.”

29 Grind your coffee beans
this is good advice. be warned however, if you catch yourself droning on about it, it's because you've turned into a dick.

30 Keep a commonplace book
you can't seriously be on this blog without at least a sympathetic point of view for any sort of notebook keeping

31 Get some ‘peel and stick’ wallpaper
Great if you’re renting and can’t make permanent changes; if you tend to change your mind; or if you’re rubbish at DIY. Chasing Paper and Marimekko do especially cheery ones.

maybe, or maybe not. the most joyous thing i heard last year was a work colleague who, in lieu of arguments re christmas decoration, drew one on the  wall and let her kids do what they pleased on the grounds she could just paint over it later. absolutely, i say.

32 Switch to silicone-free shampoo
Ideally, in soap bar form to save on packaging. Your hair will be thicker, and you’ll barely need to wash it.

i had no idea this existed. but yes, more thought on product. you're worth more than cheap rubbish. read the ingredients. stinkiness = chemicals!

33 Burn incense
Scents are subjective, but the least cloying are palo santosandalwood and frankincense.

i have women friends who wave sage about and the like. they are wise, smell nice and feel to me like the nice. we should all strive for as much

34 Try roller-skating or skateboarding
chairman swiss is at an age where a fall is like dropping a sack of spuds. bony injury is an inevitability. but try something, anything.

35 Surprise someone with something small but nice
Think a takeaway (picked up, ideally) or a home-cooked meal, rather than a puppy.

just surprise someone. give up on those horrible, approved customary dates like birthdays etc. and live every day as a potential for surprise. kindness makes us better (and again, puppies? pets = slaves)

36 Follow @Fesshole on Twitter
twitter is a cesspool. you're better than this

37 Listen to music in the bathroom
don't buy more stuff! sing!

38 Get an analogue alarm clock
Not only is this a good way to keep your phone in another room, but it’s harder to read a clock face than a digital one at 3am, meaning insomniacs won’t (hopefully). Ditto get a wristwatch.

i have no opinion on this. but i feel analogue is preferable to digital in most cases (but not all)

39 Improve your short-term memory by building a memory palace
Take your next shopping list. Pick a place you know well (a room, office, short walk), then plan a route around it. Decide what you want to memorise (say, garlic and crumpets), then place a mental image of each thing in a particular spot. Visualise the room again, really thinking about the items in situ, and head to the shops. You’ll be staggered at how much you remember.

or just work on your memory

40 Take a microbreak
Just one night (two tops) somewhere random, out-of-season, for no reason. We recommend Northumberland or Naples.

is it me or is the guardian far too obsessed with consumption to be a so called left wing paper? go to the end of the bus/train/subway route. see what's there. i used to do this in stockholm but that's a whole other story.

41 Watch monster wave videos on YouTube
With a cup of tea, when it’s raining. Trust us!

chairman swiss loves a big wave video. but better to go to a surf spot. on a rubbish weather day. have a swim. or take a picnic and some binoculars. and some wet weather gear.

42 Sign up to be a telephone befriender
be kind. make a daily habit of it. not just because you can, or you feel the need to virtue signal, but just because there's too much negativity in the world for you to be adding to it.

43 Don’t be greedy
see above

44 Try false eyelashes
They’ve come a long way from Gaga and cabaret. Honestly, try a weirdly natural-looking pair by Lashify for a day: we promise you’ll look more awake.

young and female? give it up. chairmand swiss is bewildered by your eyes, that look as if a moth has crashed into them and your bladed eyebrows! lol if however, you're a heteronormative straight lad, then absolutely. you'll find out who your friends are real quick.

45 Get some proper matching pyjamas
Tekla’s cost just over £100, Arket’s about £75 , but both are organic, wash well and are chic enough to wear to the shops.

see be greedy. if you're needing to be spending 100 bones on some statement pyjamas you need to having a word with yourself. but, if it's a commitment to a certain style, maybe i need to check myself!

46 Go outside every day before 9am
self evident. if you don't like the idea of sunrise, the world coming awake, you've got no soul.

47 Change the default typeface on your email
We recently went from sans serif to Georgia; it was like starting a new job.

no, it is not. but never forget the importance of fonts!

48 Rent a few nice pieces of fashion
chairman swiss is unaware of this but feels it's unlikely to be found outside of that london

49 Buy a single share in something non-evil
buy shares? the gateway to capitalism. but as capitalism has won, then why not? let's all burn together

51 Find one practical way to make a difference
be kind. be kind. be kind.

52 Posh up your toast
Add olive oil, a rub of garlic and a few tomatoes; or butter, cinnamon and brown sugar; or butter, salt and pepper.

or buy decent bread. or make your own.

53 Literally count your blessings
Sounds a cliche, but writing them down can help you focus on the good things in your life, in the midst of bleak times.

british? you're a miserable bastard. note all the negative things you say in a day. look at that long list, consider what that does to you

54 If you wear glasses, attach a chain
A bright resin or acetate one, like this from Etsy) could improve your life.

lots of people will have something to say about this. since chairman swiss got readers at the commencement of his 'fuck off fifties' he cares not a jot. get your glasses chain. let the haters hate (see miserable british bastards above)

55 ‘Double’ the size of your garden with a mirror
chairman swiss cannot condone the use of more glass in urban housing. research bird friendly glass. and, for pity's sake (and remember chairmand swiss loves a cat), get rid of your cat (pets = slaves)

56 Plant one (manageable) thing and tend to it
Indoors, we recommend aloepeace lilies or spider plants. For outdoors, tomato and strawberry plants are especially cheering.

absolutely. but not not native species. once your slave pets are gone your plants will be colonised and frequented by all manner of creatures. buy close focus binoculars or a magnifying glass to look at them. don't pick them up. be a grower not a destroyer. 

57 Beanbags are back
no they're not

58 Arrange your socks like the late Richard Rogers
or don't, whatever floats your boat.

59 Stock up on your spices
you don't have spices!? just because we can live like savages doesn't mean we have to! a decent spice rack is the gateway to a world of cooking. for the more niche inclined there's a wealth of reading material re the history of spices you can access

60 Film an entire party on your phone
or just give up on life. have a party. have interesting conversations with interesting people, maybe get lucky with some of them. don't record it it. let it fade from memory like an old photograph.