Thoughts on productivity

Before you do something, ask yourself “is this the best use of my time right now”?

When you are not sure what to do, sit down and make a list. This works for groceries, moving your house, or planning a night of hobby work.

Get enough sleep, drink enough water.

Try to react like this: – stimulus – consideration – action

Most people just act on stimulus. Learn to get ahead of this.

Leave any task you can in a resumable state. If this is programming, leave a little note. If this studying, make a little note on a sticky where you left off in your text book. If this is woodworking, clean your bench but leave the piece ready to work on again with the tools you need laid out.

If you are procrastinating, try to do something useful.

If you are in university: at the beginning of the term use your syllabus to make a chart of what each assignment is worth and what your score was on it. This tells you how close you are to passing. As time goes on you might need to half-ass an assignment or even abandon one. This chart tells you which you can do that with safely. It also can help you decide how much time to devote to one mid-term over another. Walking into a final exam knowing you’ll get a B+ even if you fail it is a nice feeling.

Also, related to University but also Work – if you get long term assignments (projects, homework, whatever) try to do some work on it right away. As soon as you can. This establishes how much work it will actually be. Use this estimate to guide how you fit this in with your other responsibilities.

What am I hearing?

OK, regardless of which side you come down on re: Donald Trump this discussion is probably very important to listen to:

I was really freaked out by how reasonable Scott Adams sounded as he didn’t just defend Trump, he actually made a case for how Trump’s moves are highly intelligent and all make sense. Adams is a very smart person with a broad education. He has made certain public predictions about Trump and it is my belief (sorry, Scott Adams) that is heavily emotionally invested in these being correct. I guess there is chance he is seeing things clearly but there is also a good chance he is falling victim to the same cognitive dissonance he sees in others. His ego requires him to be right (this is not uncommon) so he’s picking things that “make him right”.

I obviously don’t agree with Scott Adams. I mean I agree Trump is a good persuader but that doesn’t make him a good leader or good for the US. History is full of good persuaders that are also regarded as History’s Greatest Monsters. There are also many that stepped in at times of strife and took charge — they get the job done but are maybe not great peacetime leaders (Rome’s tyrants, Winston Churchill, etc). I don’t think Trump is one of these. Trump is not one of these people. In my view he is simply profiting personally from his position and seeking to benefit those people he has “deals” with.

It is possible Scott Adams agrees with me on this but sees nothing wrong with it. This is the fascinating thing I am seeing with Trump supporters. People like me want our leaders to be moral. Yes, they are human beings but I expect the same level of decency and sense of public service that I would try to bring to the job if it were me. Others see the world more cynically and think “yeah, everyone is just trying to get theirs, and so I would get mine”. And they see cutting regulations and social programs as trimming the fat since “scammers” aren’t getting government money. I just don’t see the world in such black and white terms.

Adams is a good persuader too, but like Trump, his arguments don’t hold up to moral or intellectual scrutiny. Unfortunately, people hearing him speak who don’t take the time to look more deeply into his points (or are predisposed to agree, anyway) will accept his arguments as reasonable. Make up your own mind. I have no doubt he would win any argument with me but I would walk away frustrated, not convinced. This is not how decisions about the public good should be made.

Cst. Chelsey Robinson Park

Constable Chelsey Robinson Park
Parkland County, AB T7Y 1H6

Took the little guy here for a fun morning ending in a picnic.

This is a shallow river on the park side but there was a decent current the day we were there so don’t leave kids unattended as they could definitely get downriver quickly if they get too far out from shore on a raft or inner tube.

There’s parking as you arrive but it’s quite a walk down to the recreation area so keep going down the steep, gravel road to one of the two lower lots (they both have river access).

There are fire pits, firewood, outhouses, and picnic tables.

To get there you need to drive to Range Road 23, Spruce Grove, AB as indicated in the map, above (zoom out) and then the park is at the end of that road. Google maps driving directions to the park try to take you to the other side of the river at the moment so you best bet is to lay in a course for the Range Road and then keep driving a short distance past where it seems to end on the map.

Smoked a brisket

Last night I rubbed a brisket with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder. Then I got up at 6:30 and fired up my smoker (Big Steel Keg). Let it around 275F until about 2pm then wrapped it in tinfoil and left it again until about 4pm. Delicious!

I followed this recipe and method:

Next time I do it on would use way less salt and pepper. The meat was perfect but over seasoned (still delicious).

We ate the brisket with fried, green tomatoes, roasted cauliflower, and fresh, raw peas. Pretty tasty!

Morning Zen

I had a dream that a blind master was teaching me the tea ceremony.

He said, “you know everything I know, now”.

We had a good laugh because I knew nothing at the time. He had just told me some little thing like how to hold a spoon.

We are taught to have a mind like water but also that the mind should be an empty vessel that we will fill. The only way these can be true at the same time is if the mind is made of ice. Cold. Still. Nothing is more impermanent than ice when placed into the environments where people live.

Let that one sink in. Watch it melt.

Canada day ribs

This is the technique I used to make the best ribs yet on our Big Steel Keg:

  • Light charcoal and burn it until it is well lit.
  • Vents wide open and let it burn until thermometer reads 400+
  • Close vents down to a little under 2 (top and bottom)
  • Put the ribs on directly on grill (top position)
  • Get the grill temp down to 250.
  • Leave for an hour and a half.
  • Turn, leave for an hour or so
  • Turn, dress with BBQ sauce every 30 minutes until done