Wake Up Early

I see lot of people talking about waking up early. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I love the peacefulness of an early morning and now I am working in a different time zone (there’s more to it as well) so I have to do it for my job.

For me, the key to waking up early is the bedtime routine. Much has been written about sleep hygiene so I will focus on the things I do the night before to make the morning go smoothly. Reducing the reasons to stay asleep just makes it easier to get up when you need to. If you pay attention you will notice that stumbling around first thing is way less efficient than setting things up the night before.

sitrep 2018-07-30

First post in a while:

  • After stalling with weight loss for a bit I am back on track but feeling hungry sometimes so my fat intake is off, I guess.
  • I got a Halti for my dog. As a 100lbs Lab with impulse control issues he was a lot to handle and I wasn’t walking him because I didn’t want to deal with his lunging and pulling… The Gentle Leader solves all that. I don’t know why I waited this long. He had one before but he fussed so much he ended up damaging the skin around his muzzle so I had to get rid of it. Maybe it is because he is older now but he is tolerating it much better (yes, I read all the stuff about how to introduce it). Very relieved and he is loving all the extra walking.
  • Health-wise I could use more sleep but what can you do? Feeling pretty good and have some new stretches from physio to do that will also help core strength.
  • I want to get back at the bot fight code! I will do some now for 20 minutes, I guess.

Outrage Porn 2018-07-14

I just went down a rabbit hole on YouTube following a chain of videos where Jordan Peterson was apparently “owning libs” and “destroying feminism”. What was actually going on was reasoned debate and discussion between him and people slightly to the Left.

The videos, though, were edited to have childish reaction graphics like a visual laugh track telling the viewer how outraged to feel. These were really extreme reactions that had very little to do with the actual context. In the video where he is “destroying feminists” the two women are largely agreeing with him, the interviewer is doing her job by pushing him a little, and everyone is being respectful. If you were incapable of following what was being said and just relied on predudice and the reaction graphics you’d think it was a completely different, and fictional, conversation.

The Bill Maher clip was actually worse as the video makers were editing in violent footage of the Charlottesville riot including the car plowing through the crowd. I think the viewer is supposed to be on the side of the alt right at the rally or you are supposed to be afraid of what the Trump people will do once he’s impeached or convicted. It isn’t really clear (I am definitely not the target audience).

This experience really has reinforced my belief that critical thinking is declining and people want to be spoon fed thier echo chamber media even when it makes no sense. From my pespective this is a much, much bigger problem on the right but the left has these people, too.
something and something else stopping them. There needs to be a cost to be paid, something risked.

Morning Pages 2018-07-11

The following is based on something I wrote about in my Morning Pages on 2018-07-01 (Canada Day). I was sitting in a car after sleeping in a tent all night with my wife and son. I didn’t want to wake our son up by going back in the tent (it was around 5AM meaning the sun was well up) and so I climbed into our car and froze quietly while trying to write a little.

The idea I was struggling with involved me never being a great (even readable) writer because I suck at completing stories. I have never really had those flashes of inspiration where a fully formed story just comes into existence and is just there waiting to be written down. Instead I get a character. Maybe a scene. Or a setting. Sometimes I get a few characters and I interweave them but their connections are fairly tenuous. So I can give up or I can do something else. I can try to get there in a different way. What I am working with now is the only thing I have found has worked in the past for me: take an idea and just work it. Spend time each day building on it. Take one of those snippets that comes to me and start asking questions: how does this person make money? who are their friends? where do the live? what do the really, really want? what do they think is stopping them from getting it? These are going to be the story. I am also working on always having a ticking clock type element to the story where options are disappearing or a very significant deadline is approaching. Something to build tension besides a character simply wanting to do something and something else stopping them. There needs to be a cost to be paid, something risked.

sitrep 2018-07-09

I haven’t posted for a while. Not sure why. I stopped the clock on my work timer so I could write this up quickly (so this is not time theft, I am clearing my thoughts).

Some achievements:

  • clothes reorganization was a success… still not perfect but using less space and much easier to get at the clothes I need, etc.
  • health - stretching regularly again
  • bedding storage - I have a plan, bins! Going to execute this week and make it super easy to store and retrieve laundered sheets and bedding while keeping the laundry room looking tidy

Some frustrations:

  • fitness - still not making the time but I have a plan and it is going to work, I think. I HAVE been getting in my stretching more regularly so feeling good about that
  • waking early - I am not having good luck with this… I still end up feeling groggy… might just go back to getting up a little later and forgetting about trying to do things like exercise or write in the morning… I end up hitting “snooze” more often than just getting up and even when I get up early I am too tired.
  • morning pages - yeah, this went OK for a couple of days but I am so drowsy when I wake up I forget to do it… so I’ll try later in the morning.

OK, going back to work… My damn fingers are killing me from the arthritis so typing this actually helps (since movement leads to relief).

sitrep 2018-06-27

After not really seeing much improvement yesterday I tried to sleep on the couch and that got me into a much better place. I slept well last night as well and managed to not eat carbs all day or snack after dinner which has left me feeling much better as a result. I am still tired this morning but nothing a coffee will not fix. Looking forward to making some serious progress on my work projects.

After work I’ll prepare some dinner for us (Cod Putannesca, pepper and mushroom stirfry, and a salad of cucumber and mint, I think) and try to organize some of papers I need to deal with. A lifetime of poorly decisions around the organization and storage of paper documents has left me with a bit of a mess on my hands. Mixed in with the shreddable gargage are lots of things I want to keep. And moving several times has left this in a bit of a jumble. I am getting there, though.

Time to work.

sitrep 2018-06-26

I think I am experiencing some kind of auto-immune flareup or a general malaise.

Going to update this as the day goes on.

I found a replacement for my habit of eating crackers and butter late at night. Salami “chips” and cream cheese. This provides the butter spreading action, the creaminess, the automatic eating, etc without the carbs. Trying to stick to the keto. Doing my best.

On turning 46

As I turn 46 on this day after the Summer Solstice there is a lightning storm slowly banging away outside even though it is very sunny. My wife is reading to my son in his room as he prepares for bed. We are far enough North that it is still sunny at his bedtime which makes this a very challenging bedtime for about half the year.

Here are some bullet points on what I have learned this year:

  1. Carbs - they sound fun but being really stuffed full of them isn’t great. Next year I’ll eat the fried chicken but not the fries or roll. An keto Brownies instead of cake!
  2. Lightning - it’s no joke, folks.
  3. Sleep - I am going to start taking melatonin at 9pm from now on. When you sleep 5 hours a night you can’t afford to have that sleep be inconsistent or broken. I always forget to take melatonin and then it’s after midnight and I’m wide awake. I’ve been dealing with insomnia my entire adult life. When it is light outside until 10:30 and you are not getting enough exercise bedtime can be challenging. And this low carb diet we’ve been doing for the last three months (see #1, I regret #1) has given me a lot of energy. Turning that off and dropping off to sleep is not easy. So melatonin.
  4. Don’t leave Fiddler or SQL Profile running unless you have capture paused. You can take that to the bank.
  5. I still like punk rock. But after an hour I’m ready for something a little more relaxed. I test it out every year. I was like that when I was in late teens too, so I guess people really don’t change?
  6. My new wallet is still on the way but is in Vancouver now so that’s good. I guess I’ll get it Monday or Tuesday.