Dan Ott holding a bottle of hot sauce.
Dan Ott's Website

Recently

I’ve been writing a lot recently. Not publicly. Privately. Honestly, much of it is too abstract to share publicly.

I write in fits and spurts when the inspiration strikes. Usually I’m not at a keyboard, so the shorthand of iOS Notes has to suffice. Spoken word recordings have been attempted, too. My voice is foreign.

Books

I’m slowly working my way through Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart. It’s mostly good. My mind drifts from the density. But what I do retain is helpful.

Frank Chimero’s The Shape of Design is interwoven. Ten years later, it’s timeless principles hold up. Frank has that way of speaking in the abstract such that I can clearly see how it connects to my immediate problems to be solved.

Stoic philosophy has been jiving with my sensibilities. Modern translations of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelelius and Epictetus’ The Manual are a breeze. Lots of practical application from ancient day-to-day. It’s the pull quotes found in tons of books today, expanded out to a wider thought.

I stumbled upon Good Entertainment and The Burnout Society. Both authored by Byung-Chul Han. The ideas in both are marinating. Time will tell if the cultural commentary will stand the test of time.

Articles

I collect articles to write about. The problem I’m recognizing is that I capture the link, but not why the link is interesting. And when it comes time to write it up, I’m not willing to re-read the article to find a pull quote.

The takeaway: I need to change up my process. Highlighting why something is worth sharing needs to happen at the time of capture. Curation can be refined if a starting block is provided. But without that self-framing, it re-emerges as brand new information.

That becomes an even wider thought. If it feels like brand new information, how good was it to begin with? Maybe the information wasn’t that great after all. Or maybe there’s too much information for one brain to process.

I went to bookmark a particular article the other day. When Pinboard launched, it turns out I had already bookmarked it. In 2019, no less.

Travel

The pandemic settled down for a while there. We got a trip into the North Carolina coast. Two weeks at that. Far superior to one week.

A group of friends went to Alabama to visit some sights on the Civil Rights Trail. It was emotionally exhausting, and necessary.

Slowing

My life feels pretty slow. But I continue to feel compelled to slow it even more. Fewer commitments. More space to listen. Rising above the urgent to see the true needs in my community.

And even that, is new for me. I’m a systemic thinker. Probably a remnant of being born and raised in the land that produced Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon. Always trying to find the systemic solutions to the problems above my purview. Letting that go. At least attempting to. And focusing on what’s right in front of me.

Dwelling

We moved to a new house this year. One week in, I discovered the bathroom sink leaking into the basement. This past week I got into the walls and subfloor to investigate. The original 1940’s piping had completely rusted away. Water was not draining into the stack. It was flowing strait into the structure. Thankfully it found passage to the basement, rather than collecting in the walls. The upside is that it expedited the timeline of gaining an additional full bathroom.