So, this is bordering on some “unacceptable” thoughts to the wider discourse, maybe don’t sharpen your pitchforks just yet. Loosely held musings.

Part of what cottagecore seems to be, moreso than the physical aesthetic of the idyllic cottage, is the underlying unspoken assumption that at last you’d get to put down the internet and actually live a life.

Right? When we see the verbs of cottagecore it’s always the humble cute things you’d expect: baking fresh bread, learning pottery, sewing and weaving, gardening, foraging for berries in the forbidden forest under the silent gaze of a crumbling lighthouse, carving wooden…

the obligatory Medium retrospective

I also went to Japan this year

Today is november 29th, tomorrow the 30th, which marks three years since losing my job and going it alone.

Spoiler: still crushing it.

For those of you not familiar, the story is pretty straightforward: on november 30th, a regular old monday afternoon, I was called into the boss’ office and left 10 minutes later without a job.

Most reactions, I think, are to scramble as quickly as possible to find another job but I’ve always wanted to try freelancing and this seemed like as good a kick as any to start fresh. Worst case, I’d just…

not a guide as much as an open question

This has been something I’ve written about before and have been thinking about for years as I’ve found myself with more and more available time.

The other day I tweeted these:

…and although I clearly love talking about the future of work and post-work society and whatever, the leisure thing specifically is our goal here today.

What do we do with our immense amounts of free time?

That sounds like a privilege thing — and it is — but collectively, societally, we do have more free time than we…

Specifically This One Right Here: a Report

yeah, you

The other day I wrote a romantic look at my time backwards, of road trips and first dates. Today it’s nothing but cold water and sobering facts: I happen to have a folder with every single dollar I’ve ever spent on this car accounted for.

It is a shockingly hefty amount of paperwork.

I’m scared.

Let’s get started.

January 12th, 2013.

If you’re not familiar, january in Calgary Canada is a dark, cold affair.

The sun sets before 5 pm, and is low on the horizon well before you leave work. It’s frosty and the ground is covered in old snow — not even the fresh white christmas snows of november and december. January snow is crusted dirt that piles up everywhere, plowed and sanded and plowed again.

And I had just bought a car.

It’s funny, in hindsight, how it came to be. I didn’t even really mean to.

On failure and progress

So I’ve started playing Spintires again.

For those who aren’t familiar with this moderately tiny game, Spintires is a physics mud simulator where you drive hulking Soviet era diesel trucks through rough landscapes and try not to get stuck while being tasked to deliver logs and things across the map.

It is a slog.

It is perhaps the slowest racing game ever, each mission often taking multiple hours to drive 10–15 km. In the meantime you will almost certainly get stuck, flip your truck, run out of fuel, damage yourself to the point of stalling, get…

Long before I started I was just a brennan who ate pizza.

Here’s the mostly uninteresting evolution of the past 7 years of orders:

  • In college there was a Domino’s near me and at the time I didn’t really like Domino’s — it was the cheap pizza of kids birthday parties and tasted like cardboard. What I didn’t know is this was the era where they overhauled everything they did and changed everything. Also, they had a 50% student discount on everything, and I was a broke student, so…
  • For the next ~5 years I ordered from that Domino’s…

The snow fell lazily, lethargic.

That’s not a metaphor or some flourish of writing — I mean literally the snow fell at about 1/3 the normal speed. Not sure why. Who would you even ask about that?

I stepped forward again, each footprint a pitfall up to my knee.

The funny thing about the prairies is there’s no reference for snow depth, the entire flat land rises and falls as a big plain. For lack of trees or tall grasses, there’s little to measure by. An odd fence dots the landscape, far away.

What there are, though, are power lines…

from my instagram

This won’t be glamorous — have many other actual stories to write — but since we happen to have the data my inclination is always to share it.

All prices in Canadian CAD dollars and cents rounded.

Trip date was feb 21 to march 07, exactly two weeks. Flew into Tokyo Haneda from Calgary, Canada. Stayed the first two days then Shinkansen to Kyoto / Osaka for 6 days and back to Tokyo for the last week.

Plane ticket: $652

Airbnbs: $126, $184, $270 (for a total of $580)

ATMs for ¥40K JPY cash: $125, $366 (plus 2x $5 withdraw…

and how to fix it

used without permission from Katerina Kamprani at

There’s a hypertext book called Meaningness that wrestles with the journey from eternalism (everything is meaningful through a god / religion), then rejecting that and going through nihilism (nothing is meaningful because it’s all arbitrary) and finally leaving that trap to meaningness (some things are meaningful, and some are not, and the various filters we choose to decide that ARE the journey and self-discovery).

You can and should read at least some of it, but it’s not required for this post.

It resonated with me a lot at the time in its most literal form…

Brennan Letkeman

Industrial designepreneur. Working on a degree in curiosity. Always walking jay and crackin' wise

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