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Extensions of the physical self 
Greetings from the shed...
Squinting into the sun. Bit different to last week.
It’s been at least 25 years since I have been using the internet to tell stories. On reading that the Kottke.org blog was 25 this week I realised it was around this time in 1998 when I started to write a more regular email mailing list. Although I am typing my journals randomly so there is a chance I might find some earlier stuff. I wasn’t web-blogging till later but as Thailand saw an explosion of cyber cafes pop up, I found I was in them regularly.
Before Livejournal and Blogger were a thing, I’d share extracts of my diary entries in my hotmail account. I was worried my journals would get stolen and so wrote what I called ‘My online travel journal’. It was just regular emails sent to everyone on a list. 25 years later I’m still doing it. Albeit now with photos, audio and video.
Back then a guy called Ache (Atch-ay) who ran a Chiang Mai internet cafe, inside Daret’s guesthouse offered to build me a html weblog using dreamweaver. But I didn’t feel I’d have the time or the money to be able to code an online diary while travelling the world.
It wasn’t until 2000 when I settled in England that I fired up my own copy of Dreamweaver and started building my own sites.
In one Thai journal entry I comment how I got 11 emails shortly after sending my update. People really knew how to comment in 1998 ;-) Maybe it just there was a lot less to look at.
The grabby alien hypothesis broke my brain. Worth a watch.
Quite possibly Sunday the 28th of February 1999 was the day I recorded and shared my first video online. I made and sent a one minute video for 150 Bhat (just over £2) with the help of Ache (mentioned above.) I only remember this because it’s written at the beginning of journal entry the extract below is taken from. It might not be the first time but it’s the first time i’ve seen the act written down..
I can’t remember what it was other than I shared a link in my email newsletter. Sadly Hotmail deleted my account years later. Someone might still have it on their hard drive, attached in an old email. If so please let me know.
An extract from a diary entry. ( Sunday February the 28th 1999 Day 123)
Chaing Mai, Northern Thailand.
I saw a boy in the market. In a dusty t-shirt and no shoes. Five years old perhaps, no older than seven. He stood behind a small wooden table nestled between two fruit stalls. On his table sat three old whisky bottles, half filled with water. Each bottle held a single, tiny, pretty fish swimming around inside. He was selling the bottles for 10 Baht each (17p).
Sometimes you kick yourself for not carrying a camera and just have to hope the image imprints itself somewhere safe in your brain. I doubt I’m going to forget that sweeter than sweet street scene. The boy smiled at everyone that passed and looked proud of his wares. Even more so than the traders either side of him.
If I had taken a photograph, I would call it ‘the little entrepreneur’.
Anna is in the shower, and the rain is coming. Slicing the air in tropical intersecting sheets. The breeze wafts city dust and ozone. It’s water, all the way up. The empty road is liquid, a river reflecting the looming deep blue.
I love storms at night. When you belong to the music of the rain. Lost in this warm, wet symphony, under orchestral skies.
I hope the boy sold his fish. I wish I’d bought them and set them free.
Earlier in the week I shared another diary extract that involved a ship, an amazing job offer and a die. Thanks for all the kind comments. This really did resonate with some of you.
And thanks to Richard Mackney for sending this to me.
Sergey only went on to become a Captain! I have found him online and have just messaged him.
This week I tasked myself in playing catch up on a friends podcast. It appears I missed a few of the December issues. Weird but fun listening to them now. I have recommended it before and here I am doing it again. Check out ‘Therapy for me’ as it may well be therapy for you as well.
While in the shed I’ve been working through some old mix tapes I was given or listened to at the time of me writing the journals. One of the tapes I’m pretty sure was labeled Untouchable Outcaste Beats Vol 1. This song brought back quite a few memories from all night moonlit parties.
Hard to find fresh jackfruit found here but these are the next best thing. Not cheap.
‘Studies have shown that psilocybin can cause immediate mystical experiences and long-lasting improvements in an individual’s spirituality’
Strong man vs climber. I think we can all guess where this is going.
After I showed the super lightweight EDC kit video in issue  I’ve been attempting to consolidate my own EDC. I’ve spent way too much time on this and if I’m honest was doing perfectly fine with my kit on a belt and not in my pocket. It’s also made me realise I’m never going to be able to consolidate everything I need into a small pocketable package. Ideally I’d need to use all my pockets or a small bag. This is the pocket kit I came up with. It weighed 199g minus the red Swiss army knife that sits in a pocket for quick access.
I decided on a Velo Culture Cake Stop Caddy, A mini ratchet from this kit, a keychain corkscrew, a mini Swiss champ, A Leatherman bit kit, the Victorinox Bantam and the Knipex Cobra mini pliers. I had most of these things already but to buy it outright today would cost about £145.
I didn’t have the Knipex and although amazing, after taking this photo I sent them back. They are fantastic pliers for the size but there’s no wire strippers/cutters and that is a must have for me. For the price of this kit I could buy a Leatherman Wave Plus and have change for a bit kit. The wave could either clip into my pocket or sit on a belt like I’m used to. A compact pocket kit probably more suits those in suits.
The key for me is to work out the nice to have tools vs what I actually need. As I have a full tool kit in the shed, the garage and the house I don’t really need anything at home. But everywhere else there are a few things I like to have to hand. Thinks I find I use mostly daily: Knife, Pliers/wire cutters/strippers, scissors, awl, bit driver or mini wrench, wood saw/file, Philips and flathead screwdrivers, big and small, plus Allan keys.
These are handy day to day, whereas in the age of decent screw top wine, things like a corkscrew are a luxury. If in a hotel I can borrow one or as a last resort use a shoe.
Another argument against the pocket kit is, when I need it, I need it. I don’t need to be rummaging around in a little pouch to try and find this one particular tool. This is what pockets or multitools were invented for. It’s not that I’m impatient to take it all out of pouch and fix something. It’s just that my current system works without me having to rummage around, and then delicately align everything back in the pouch.
The lightest is not always the best or most useful. And now I’m thinking I could do with a multitool that ticks all the boxes above and sits in a pouch with some bits.
I’d love a Leatherman Charge plus TTI but have ordered a Leatherman clone that is six times cheaper. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, the modular Goat Tool might have some answers.
Thanks for being here. And I must thank those that pay $5/month to keep things going and get all the content I share into this feed. If you’re able, please upgrade to become a paid supporter.
Or if you prefer you send a tip via PayPal. Or that Leatherman Charge Plus TTI you don’t use. ;-) Either way… Thank you for reading.
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Thank you for reading. And those that take the time to comment and like. Happy #WorldSleepDay/ St Patrick’s day. I had planned more things for this issue but once again ran out of space. Next week i’ll most likely be in Wales collecting stories for a new newsletter that might happen. Have a lovely weekend filled with the things that make you happy.
“Most of the tools from medieval times were extensions of the physical self. Tools are now extensions of the mental self.” ~ Lotoya Peterson
See you out there.