Camino, the Luxembourgish way

Following Monday, I will leave for my very first multi-day hike. Together with my brother-in-law and a close friend, we will walk the “fake” Santiago de Compostela portion of Luxembourg.

I say fake, as I don’t know if anyone ever walked this path in the past. Quoting the official Camino Luxembourg website:

When choosing the pilgrimage route, the “Frënn vum Camino” opted for a compromise between the past and the present. For this reason the path is practical and authentic at the same time. So it runs along places where the cult of St James was practiced in the past, such as the localities of Münschecker, Roodt / Syr and the Jakobsberg near the village of Berbourg, but it also joins the high places of pilgrimage of Echternach and the city of Luxembourg, giving the possibility to profit from the marvelous nearby caterings and accommodations.

The plan is to walk for six days and cover approximately 180 kilometres. Here is the map of the walk we will be doing:

Some practical information

If you want a zoomable map of the walk, click this link.
For a Komoot-URL, click here. In case you want to walk this yourself.
And for the official map on the governmental database, click this

The different steps look like this:

  • Step 1: Lieler - Vianden (40,8km)
  • Step 2: Vianden - Echternach (27,5km)
  • Step 3: Echternach - Grevenmacher (21,5km)
  • Step 4: Grevenmacher - Luxembourg City (34km)
  • Step 5: Luxembourg - Dudelange (25km)
  • Step 6: Dudelange - Schengen (31km)

We are, however, kind of cheating.

While we initially planned to sleep at every stop on this list, we quickly realised that financially this would be madness. Luxembourg is expensive as hell, and so are the hotels. So instead, we will use my apartment as a base and either get there by car (if my fiancée is willing to drive us) or by public transport, which is free and abundant in Luxembourg.

Also, because Luxembourg is so tiny, the furthest I'll ever be from my apartment is when I'm in Schengen, and that's 50 minutes from where I live.


I don’t know what gear I will be packing in place yet, but I don’t think it’ll be too much, as I can travel very lightweight since I don’t need to fill anything too heavy like clothes or coffee gear. I will post an update on the blog!

One thing I know I am packing, however, is my camera. I might even decide to create a pop-up newsletter for the walk and either post pictures only or accompany them with some essay. In either case, I will be announcing the newsletter here, too.


I am both stressed and excited about this walk. It's the longest I've ever walked and like previously said, my first multi-day hike.

At least I will be sleeping in my bed every night!

#19: Did you miss me?

Hello friends! Long time no see.

I absolutely love this GIF. (Gif with a hard G. Fight me!) Moriarty is such a fantastic villain, too. Absolute man-crush! Ugh!!

Did I take a break to send this? Maybe? 👀

Today I come to you with some self propaganda. Share that I am still alive and have done some things. After all, I have to flex my marketing muscle from time to time. Otherwise, you forget I exist. We wouldn't want that, would we?


I mostly spend my days working on overkill.wtf right now.

I've switched the schedule slightly and am sending out two emails per week. We'll try that for a month to see if it's both sustainable – as in, can I publish this much, consistently without interruptions – and if it makes for a better product. More emails lead to shorter delays between when a piece of news happens and when I write about it. And shorter emails, too, as I can split them into two.

Subscribe here if you haven't done so already.

Start here
Hello, and welcome to overkill.wtf. You might be wondering: “WTF is this?” Let me explain. tl;dr: A weekly newsletter summarizing and commenting on what is important in the world of tech and gaming. Sent on Saturdays.Overkill.wtf (which I will shorten with “ok.wtf”) is a weekly

On the reading front: This month has been slow, and I have yet to finish a book. My motivation is non-existent, and I can't get myself to read.

Though, March has been better, as you can see from my latest Tsundoku. Here is the list:

Tsundoku | My Reading List for March 2022
Middle of April already, and I haven’t finished a book yet. I’m lazy this month and feel like I’m a bit burned out on reading. I have started Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, and I can’t get myself to read more than a few pages per week. Usually, when

Also, a small reminder. I publish my reviews on GoodReads, too!


And finally, I'm on a podcast. Yeah, I don't know either why anyone would want me as a guest, but Greg Morris did. And so we had a chat for his "And You Are". We talk about philosophy, tech, work, and many subjects.

I had an absolute blast talking to Greg and hope to be on his show again. He is such a good host!

Kevin Wammer
Kevin AKA Cliophate publishes to his blog “Essays on being human with a pinch of philosophy and a dab of science”.

P.S.: Invite me to your podcast.

P.P.S.: I need to take a new profile picture. I don't even have long hair anymore!


That's it. I have nothing else to say. Bye-bye, have a great Easter weekend.


Why are you still reading? Go away!

I said that's it. There's nothing else to see.

You're still here?! Wait, you want more?

Ok, ok. Here is another Moriarty gif!

And just for good measure, this is what he looks like in a crown!

Daaaaaaaamn boooooy!

Tsundoku | My Reading List for March 2022

Middle of April already, and I haven't finished a book yet. I'm lazy this month and feel like I'm a bit burned out on reading. I have started Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, and I can't get myself to read more than a few pages per week.

Usually, when this happens, I read something very lightweight and quick. To get the muscle going again and all that. I have yet to read a paper book this year, so maybe, we'll go that way.

Regardless, here is last month's reading list.

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

A short book, so a short review: It's good, nothing groundbreakingly new, but well presented. I had never heard of the Toltecs before, and I'd like to dig deeper into this culture.

The Four Agreements

Miguel Ruiz

Bookshop

Originals by Adam Grant

Mediocre, although pleasantly written book. The anecdotes are fun to read, but nothing struck me as surprising enough to highlight. (This is the type of book I tend to review by the amounts of highlights I made: a lot of highlights, good book. A few highlights, not so good book.) Also, I ended up skipping a whole bunch of chapters. Meh!

Originals

Adam Grant

Bookshop

Personal Socrates by Marc Champagne

The questions are intriguing, and most profiles interesting. But this book could easily be shorter (and better) by removing a lot of fluff. However, I had to skip the chapter about astrology altogether. Why was this included? A little side-note: Baron Fig is one of my favourite brands in general, so I was astonished seeing them be the publisher of this book.  

Personal Socrates

Marc Champagne

Baron Fig

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

And there I was, convinced that Science Fiction is mostly about spaceships and aliens. This book is fantastic. Every short story is an absolute joy to read, and I can't wait to dive into Chiang's second short story collection, Exhalation.

P.S: There is one story about spaceships and aliens, and the movie "Arrival" is based on that one.

Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang

Bookshop

Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown

An essential book. It's a dictionary of all the different emotions, states, etc. Having the exact definition of words while talking is crucial in avoiding unnecessary frustration and even hurt feelings. Also, I believe the power of language is an essential factor in fully understanding and communicating our inner world. Read this!

Atlas of the Heart

Brené Brown

Bookshop

Thinking in numbers

Recently, I have been trying to get rid of some mental and emotional clutter. Things occupying my mind which don't serve me moving towards my current goals — these goals being:

  • Be healthy
  • Be a good partner, son, brother, and friend
  • Use money to buy freedom (more on this in a later blogpost)
  • Create something meaningful daily
  • Consume good things (books, movies, video games, music) aka never stop learning

I have tried multiple ways to achieve this, but a few have worked exceedingly well. Today I'd like to talk about one in particular: thinking in numbers.

Before we start, I'd like you to calculate what you make in one hour. Take whatever your company pays you per month, and divide it by 173,2 (40 hours * 4,33 weeks in one month). That's your hourly salary.

Let's use a nice, rounded number: 25 eurodollars to simplify the math below.

When thinking in eurodollars

I use two filters whenever I want something a bit more expensive. I will wait a few days before buying (especially for online purchases), depending on the price. This way, I can detach myself from my emotions and my omg-shiny-materialism and go from system 1 into system 2 thinking (read Thinking, Fast and Slow if you never heard of system 1 and 2 thinking).

Sometimes I forget I wanted a thing, other times, I have found either a better or a cheaper alternative and happily take that. The amount of time I wait is arbitrary, but it keeps working.

The other filter: I calculate how many hours I'd have to work to get the money to buy the thing.

Let's do an example with the numbers mentioned above. Suppose I make 25 eurodollars an hour and would like to buy a pair of jeans for 125 eurodollars.

125 / 25 = 5

I'd have to work five hours to be able to buy this pair of jeans. Are the jeans worth five hours of my day? Do I need a new pair right now, and is fashion something I care about?

If the answer is yes, I'll go for it. If not, I'll pass.

When thinking in kcal

For my weight/health goals, I am currently working on two things: becoming leaner and more muscular.

To become leaner, I have to pay attention to my diet. After all, losing weight can be broken down to a simple formula: more calories out than in. (Before anyone tries to slap me with a book on nutrition, I know this is simplified.)

I eat more or less healthy most of the time because I enjoy it. It is thankfully much easier to go for a salad instead of a burger if you prefer the salad in the first place. And damn, I freaking love salads.

But sometimes, I crave something unhealthy. Mostly when I had something unhealthy, to begin with. Funny how much of a vicious circle this is. If I eat a greasy pizza as a meal, I tend to want a dessert.

How do I solve this? Easy! How many hours of exercise do I have to do to burn off the extra calories.

According to my Apple Watch, I burn 400 calories per workout session on average. And I currently go to the gym twice a week. But I loathe exercising. I hate starting it, I hate doing it, I only adore being done with it and feeling the runner's high or whatever the equivalent for weight training is.

So if one medium chocolate chip cookie (and come on, when do we limit ourselves to one?) has 150 kcal:

150 / 400 ≈ 0,4

That's approximately 25 minutes of exercise for one single chocolate chip cookie. And I don't even like chocolate!

Of course, I allow myself a cheat meal once in a while and have an extra dessert. I am not a monster, I love eating! But these are usually the days I'll put more weight in my rucksack.

When thinking in pages

Finally, and this is my favourite way, is thinking in pages read. If I can trust my Kindle, I read between 50-60 pages an hour. Let's say 50 as it's the prettier number. If your average book has 350 pages, it'll take me seven hours to read through it.

How do I get this time? I have to take it by not doing the things that give me less value.

If I waste two hours on Twitter and Instagram every day, I can't read 100 pages. If I had spent an hour in a meeting, that clearly could have been an email and didn't need me in the first place, I could have read 50 pages.

At least to me, it's an easy choice. Or at least, if I end up spending an hour on Twitter, I know what else I have missed.

672.000 hours in a lifetime

According to a very popular book I read recently, we have around 4.000 weeks in a lifetime, depending on your lifespan.

That's 672.000 hours. Of these, we probably spend a third asleep. (Do NOT take this as an excuse to sleep less than what is considered healthy. It'll only reduce the number of hours you have at your disposal!) Fifteen per cent we will spend working (if you retire after 40 years of labour).

If I didn't mess up my calculations, we would have around 380.000 hours at our disposal to do what we deem meaningful during a lifetime.

Sometimes, wasting time is not wasted time if it makes you happy. But don't mistake what makes you happy at the moment for what makes you happy in a lifetime.

Tsundoku | My Reading List for February 2022

I know, I know, I'm late. I am sorry, but I am too busy with overkill.wtf currently.


I thought I ended up reading much less than I wanted. No particular reason, but I found it hard to read last month. Maybe it's because of all of the stuff happening in the world (I did some doom-scrolling, unfortunately), but I often felt too tired reading.

But, in the end, I've read five books and didn't even realize. I tend to read daily, and when I don't, it makes me feel like I didn't touch a book at all. But I had longer sessions and got a lot of reading in that way.

This mental discrepancy is bizarre.

One Blade of Grass by Henry Shukman

One Blade of Grass is the memoirs of Henry Shukman, a Zen teacher of the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in New Mexiko. It's a fantastic book, and it made me look deeper at zen.

But sometimes it's a bit too colourful in its description. (This is not an issue; I sometimes just had difficulties following the story. Then again, Shukman was a poet, which you can feel reading this.)

One Blade of Grass

Henry Shukman

Bookshop

Buddha by Karen Armstrong

3/5

If a book is called "Buddha", you expect it to be a biography of, well, the Buddha. Karen Armstrong's Buddha looks like a biography of Siddharta Gautama but is instead a retelling of how Buddhism came to be. (To be fair, there doesn't seem to be enough source material to create a complete biography of Gautama Buddha.)

It's still a good book, but not entirely what I expected. For a biography of the Buddha, I preferred Thich Nhat Hanh's "Old Path White Clouds" more, though due to the "no-sources-issue", it's more a fictional than factual biography.

Buddha

Karen Armstrong

Bookshop

How to Be Perfect by Michael Schur

Excellent read, hilarious, but what do you expect from the guy who wrote The Good Place?

Talking of The Good Place, this book is everything Schur learned from philosophy while producing the show. It dives into different philosophical schools to show you how to be morally "perfect". It sounds much drier than it is. Read it if you care about this stuff!

How to Be Perfect

Michael Schur

Bookshop

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson

It was a decent read at first, but it just felt too long after a while. Too much randomness and jumping through autobiographical parts for my liking. Good message, but I had to skip a few pages to get through.

Then again, I have never really suffered from this level of anxiety and so have difficulties relating to what Wilson describes.

Gorgeous cover, though!

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

Sarah Wilson

Bookshop

Death with Interruptions by José Saramago

What a fantastic book, both the story and the writing style. But I don't get how Saramago pulls it off. How can he write these long, intertwined sentences with commas and commas and even more commas and still make it work?

I was sad when it was over; I would take a few chapters more. Which is a good sign, I believe. I definitely will look at his other stuff.

Death with Interruptions

José Saramago

Bookshop

P.S: I'm publishing these reviews as I finish a book on GoodReads (and then add the review here.) If you're eager to see what I read, follow me there.