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Coffee Withdrawal

As you rightly guessed by the title of this blog (note: Then ‘Too Much Latte’), I really like coffee. Like a lot. I used to drink all day long. Day in, day out. The first one in the morning always was the most important one as it has been major part of my morning routine: coffee and my news feeds. Whether I was browsing the web, processing images, writing arrangements at 4am or writing some posts for this blog the cup of coffee, or even better, the mug of Latte was always right next to me.

Over time it has become even so, that without this one mug, or even better the two or three, of a nice pint-sized Cafe Lattes in the morning, I could not really function. I had a hard time getting anything done.

My coffee-snobbishness also made my everyday life more complicated. I like my coffee a certain way, but the coffee that I have access to during the course of day say at work or when traveling, is, say, most of the time not to my taste. Think gas-station coffee at 3am: mostly burned to the bottom of the can kind of stuff, which is not really to enjoyed.

I hardly noticed myself, but over time my coffee started to become stronger and more sugarized, ending in coffee-flavoured-sugar. I started to have the feeling that something has to change and in the beginning of the year I decided to quit coffee.

This was on January the 2nd. I went cold turkey and haven’t had a single cup since then. After I got through the first few days of painful headaches, my overall well being improved and I haven’t felt that relaxed and surprisingly awake in quite some time.

Some Observations

In the beginning I was in a permanent state of headaches. To compensate I tried to drink tea, which helped a bit. Up to this day, now a month in, I’m still not used to drink tea. It’s getting there though and I found one brand that I actually can enjoy.

The headaches lasted about three to four days, but once I got passed that point, my physical condition and well being improved constantly. I am by no means a health guy but I have noticed quite a few improvements.

Over the course of the last month I for example noticed:

  • Better sleep quality: I sleep faster and better. Even when sleeping only a few hours during the night (which, due to a bunch of deadlines was common theme) I feel rather rested
  • I wake up a lot better and faster
  • I feel much more awake and less tired during the day therefore find it a lot easier to focus and to get into _work mode_. I don’t have had the feeling that I have to force myself to do stuff and can mostly start working right away.
  • I am generally much more relaxed. At least so I believe.
  • My skin appears to look a lot healthier. This is very subjective and could also be due to cold at the moment.

Another positive side-effect I noticed is, that due to preparing tea at work and at home, I have a much more consistent experience. No more surprises with burned coffee or even worse, some that came out of an automat. I know what I am getting.

After a month it is surely too early to see if I manage to stick to this, but from what I have seen so far it looks rather promising, but I daresay I am mildly optimistic. Hopefully I don’t jinx it.

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Home-screen for November 2015

It is time for another home-screen post. In fact, no major changes compared to my last one. A few more applications have become, maybe not useless, but so rarely used that I decided to get them off of my first screen.

Homescreen 11:15

NEW:

Google Play Music: I have used Google Play Music in the past, and as a matter of fact, like it a lot. The recommendations are even after little usage, much better than on Apple Music and it respects that I from some artists really don’t want to have ANY recommendation whatsoever. The fact that it includes something like iTunes Match and one can upload own music as well is a welcome bonus[^-361150405].
Medium: I have been reading quite a few interesting articles recently on Medium and thought I could give it a try on my home-screen. Somehow though I doubt it will stay there long.

RETURNED:

Flipboard is back. I haven’t been using it for a while, and quickly found myself using it a lot again. I guess it will just stay there for a while.

OFF:

Both Day One and Drafts are off the home-screen for the time being. I used to use both rather frequently, but haven’t opened either for quite some time. Maybe that will change in the future.

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The Laptop Epiphany

Since the iPad had been released, and even before it was officially available around here I have been using and have been a huge fan of the device. I have gone through many lengths to make it work for me and essentially adjusted the way I work to fit the device.

Even a few weeks, after being forced to carry around a laptop and work from there for a few, I was looking for to going back to my workflows and work from the iPad again. In Observations:

I enjoy the MacBook at home, it’s like a desktop computer but it turns out that I missed the ease and focus of working from the iPad when being out and about. Since this period is now over, I’m looking forward to get my old workflows back.

Interestingly it turned out not as I expected. I started to work only from the iPad again, but ever so often I just needed to do something that I can only do on the Mac Book. Mostly this refers to using Sibelius. Convinced that I want to use the iPad at and for work I carried around both devices around for a while. I used the iPad for writing and some music-playing, but did editing and scoring on the MacBook. Together with the running iMac in my small teaching room, we’re talking Mission Control.

Having the Mac Book there though, I slowly but steadily started to work on the Mac. More and more. And you guessed it: more. I could do want I wanted and needed to, effortless with all the tools that do the best job. That’s when it dawned me, that all those productivity issues that I was facing, I have created myself, simply because I insisted on, was convinced, that I all would need is the iPad. I was wrong.

Doing, whatever I do, on the MacBook is 100% faster and efficient, and I, most importantly, can use the tools and formats, that I, want to use. No compromises.

Eventually I left the iPad at home and worked only from my MacBook ever since. Together with the phone for messaging and casual browsing and mobile access to whatever data I need, the Kindle for reading, I haven’t touched my iPad for weeks now. Interestingly I haven’t even missed it.

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Home-Screen For October 2015

It’s that time of the month. The lack of difference between the current the one from July does not convey the changes it has undergone during the last few months. While both seem rather Android-ish, in between I had a very different setup.

A lot of applications had been replaced only to be re-replaced, if there’s a such a thing, shortly thereafter . OmniFocus replaced Todoist for a while, Photos.app re-appeared and I started to use either Mail.app or Dispatch again. Eventually I went back to where I left off in July: with Todoist, Google Photos and Inbox. I’m not 100% convinced about the latter, but it makes sorting through my mail so much faster, that it makes sense to keep it around even though I am missing potential task-app integrations.

For a while I was using also Podcast.app again, but eventually went back to Pocket Casts. The obvious benefit of Podcasts.app is of course voice control, but I find the overall experience using Pocket Casts that much better. Organizing and making ad-hoc playlists, or better the Up Next playlist, and not even talking about the much better functionality and design make it for me. I’m looking forward to the upcoming iOS update of the app.

I removed a few apps from the home-screen simply because I wasn’t using them that much to justify them for myself on the home-screen, but Day One made its way back to the home-screen. I have though the feeling this is more to due to good intentions than of actual use. I am experimenting with and like to get more out of Google Now, hence I have Google-App on the home-screen as well, but most of all I keep it there since I really like the icon.

Naturally iA Writer is in the dock, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because where else should it be.

I have tried to use the CGB-Grey setup with only one screen, but somehow can’t convince myself of having folders, even if it’s only one, on the home-screen. I might give it a try for the next post.

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Home-screen for July 2015

I planned to publish this, or better, a post like this for a long time. My last home-screen-post is already a long time ago, and an update is more than overdue. As so often before, I had started to write the post, but since I never had been satisfied with the actual home-screen, hence also never finished the post either.

This, my current set-up had been in the works for quite some time but currently I enjoy it quite a bit. It could be subtitled: The Android Phone Setup, or best of both worlds.

I’m using this one now for a couple of weeks and so far it works fine for me.

The Apps

Most of the apps are more or less self-explaining, Google Calendar and Inbox are though relatively new on my home-screen. I enjoy Inbox since it makes checking and dealing with my email a lot faster and easier. Also the previews for trips, receipts, photos and other things has proven it’s usefulness during the last few weeks. Also the auto-adding of appoinments from Gmail to my calendar is rather handy.

The WordPress.app made it’s return since I am in the process of, yet again, moving back to WordPress. Pinner I don’t use that much, but still it is useful every now and then.

I wish I would have stuck to my original idea and posted my home-screens more frequently, it would have been fun to have a look at my old ones now. But let’s see how this will look in a couple of weeks.

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The Red Horn

A concert with trombonist Nils Landgren was planned for many, many years and now it finally happened. How great is that. I heard first about it many years ago and apparently this weekend’s gig with the Oulu All Starts Big Band was booked more than 1,5 years ago.

Needless to say it was a great gig. The place was full and we played well and Landgren was fantastic. It was fun, very inspiring and challenging to play with a master like him, a real treat.

Pics or it didn’t happen

Obviously there has to be at least some images. Here’s one image taken at soundcheck:

During soundcheck

And another image for my collection of me standing next to someone famous:

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Before They Disintegrate – Pt.2

The other day a few more T-Shirts arrived and they are already among my favourites. So, even before they start to disintegrate eventually, an image for the digital archive:

And yes, still not ironed.

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Before They Disintegrate

As a kind of digital preservation, and a reminder to myself which shirts I own. Think of it as a digital wardrobe of sorts.

The other day I got a new T-Shirt and this was again a reminder how many of my tees had become a favourite. The go-to shirt. Sadly though they get worn too much and eventually start to rip apart up to the point they almost completely dis-integrate get thrown away and then eventually forgotten.

I still remember a specific Star Wars T-shirt I owned as a kid. It was one of my most priced possessions, but now I can only hardly remember how it looked like. To save my current shirts from this fate, I thought it would be fun to turn this into a project and collect them, at least in a virtual way.

So, here’s the state of my current favourite T-Shirts:

And before you ask: No, I don’t iron stuff.

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A Very Much Belated Anniversary Post

So, there you go. I missed it. For the first time in now four years I missed the anniversary of this little blog of mine. It passed by un-noticed, that is until now of course, but without noticing the anniversary, I did though give it a little facelift and roughly just in time.

I wanted to take more advantage of some of newly introduced features here on WordPress and with the help of this recently released theme I will be able to present the posts like I envision them. I plan to bring text and photography together in a beautiful and exciting way.

I have some ideas on how to use some of its features to present my work in a cleaner and fresher and modern way, while at the same time have a consistent experience. It starts with finally having my galleries under the same roof as my main site. Something that I have been wanting to do in just this way, with a simple, stylish and responsive theme, for now more than one year already.

In order to get everything done right (finally I hope to say), I’m currently in the process of updating several of the older posts to make it more fun to visit overall more beautiful (seriously, don’t you just love this font or the new carousel in the galleries) and hopefully more of an experience. Looking at for example this or this post will give you an idea what to expect.

Additionally I will finally edit the galleries (still on the to-do list) and the images in it will be more carefully selected. Something that I felt to be overdue already. On the other side more and bigger images will be added to post’s on the blog and tagged for easier browsing. And then there’s the re-installment of the landing page, but that’s still on a bit on hold, until the inspiration strikes me.

For those of you waiting for fresh posts, which are admittedly amiss at the moment, I can assure there’s lot’s to come, I’m just way behind. But to start things off, here’s already one fresh image from a recent shooting from a familiar location.

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Most Likely On The Road Already

It’s time again for my second trip to Norway this year. It’s going to be a short again. I planned to visit the area of Senja and it’s surroundings as we visited there for the first time two years ago under not so fortunate weather conditions.

Looking at the forecast for the next few days it’s looking not much different this time though…

During those last two years I have learned quite a lot and now actually I’m looking forward to explore the are in conditions like that. After all I have made my personal favourite series of images, the Mountain Sketches, under less than ideal conditions. Naturally I can’t expect to find similar inspiration this time, but it’s sure worth a try and in a few days I will be definitely wiser.

If possible I will post a “postcard” from the road.