2018-11-27 22:29

Against all odds, I feel better

So I somehow managed to overcome that cold! I woke up this morning feeling like crap with a severe headache and some nausea. I took some Tylenol and got to work. At some point the chills went away, my headache was gone (after the Tylenol would have been metabolized), and I felt like eating. Pretty good day overall.

2018-11-25 20:09

Weekend Update

This weekend was pretty productive. assembled more Ikea stuff (mostly not me) assembled some Lego with the boy got Christmas decorating done inside got outside lights up got tire pressure checked and pumped up BEFORE I put used the extension cord for the compressor to hook up outdoor lights purchased a Santa hat for the boy for his daycare stuff that actually fit! In computer news, I am trying to move my entire “personal” computer set up to my VPS. This means Emacs is all on the terminal on the VPS and I’ll only run Syncthing on the VPS and my phone, etc. We’ll see how it goes.

2018-08-12 11:23

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. So: layout your clothes for the morning, take a shower, and put on clean sleeping clothes (pjs or whatever). grind coffee when making dinner if you grind your own. You are going to be getting your coffee set up before bed so grind it now to avoid making lots of noise right before bed and you’ll be more likely to get the coffee set up. right before bed: let the dog out set the coffee up so you can just turn on a kettle or automatic drip when you wake up. If your schedule allows it, you can even program your automatic drip maker to have hot coffee when you wake up. set out everything for the coffee to make it as efficient as possible (cup on counter next to coffee maker, etc) finally, fill a glass with water and cover it with saran wrap, put it in the fridge Now when you wake up: take your clothes into the kitchen and turn on the kettle or coffee machine then take the clothes to the washroom, do what you need to do, and get dressed go back to the kitchen and drink the fridge water while you complete the coffee process get started on the thing you woke up to do Modify this routine to suit yourself but the water is a key part of it and so is laying out your clothes. You need to rehydrate after you sleep and getting dressed puts you into a “carpe diem” mindset.

2018-07-14 08:50

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.

2018-02-28 02:55

sitrep 2018-02-27

So, my original mission for this blog is to chronicle my efforts to get back into shape. My wife pointed out that I was so out of shape that anything would help and so I could try running up and down the stairs. I did that today. 3 sets of the up and downs. I was definitely winded. Also did some push ups and stretches.

2018-02-22 21:58

sitrep 2018-02-22

Boxes in my office - evenings and weekends and here and there I’ve gotten through 2 of the 4 large boxes in my office from the move. I have a few piles of things that need to be put away, a lot went into junk, and my file/shred stack has grown but the boxes are both empty and gone. Now on to the next one. Index cards - I am using index cards for my TODO system again. I missed the tactile nature. I carry a few with a pen in my pocket to act as an inbox and keep the stack of in-play cards in front of my in a little holder on my desk. I like them because they are convenient to write on anywhere. I found an old Starbucks gift box that is the perfect size for the card archive as well (might as while chronolgically file them when done). Exercise - I made a card to track my stretches, pushups, and trying not to eat after dinner, I’ll make one up each week. I crossed off the days of this week before I made the card but I actually did do stuff on those days. Things are looking up, I guess? Finally, I am planning to write some longer form posts on how working as a cook shaped my mind, how I approach work, and how I handle stress. For better and for worse.

2018-02-20 19:05

sitrep 2018-02-20

I am writing this slowly as I work. I am reflecting on how I did this weekend re: eating less and moving more. Moving: I don’t think I moved more although my step count was up quite a bit. I think I could have fit in some walking or more exercise and stretching if I wanted to so I can’t let myself off easily. I was just lazy. But I feel more rested than I did before the weekend. Eating?: Since I settled on a 12 hour eating window I had snacks on two separate nights (Saturday and Sunday). I didn’t go nuts Saturday night, ate a little more Sunday night but still not a ton. However, I broke my plan twice. I did better Monday night. Weeknights seem fine. I’ll try to do better next weekend. I need to get more stretching in. Re: organizing - I complete going through a box in my office which is a huge milestone. Each of these is filled with small, individual odds and ends that can’t just be tossed out (some of it can but most of it is stuff that needs to be stored/organized). I feel good about getting through that. Slow and steady wins the race.

2018-02-15 12:05

sitrep 2018-02-15

So I get up pretty early for work as I am working “in another timezone”. I work at home and have a lot of interests and responsibilities outside of my job so I need to track my hours closely. The early morning hours are crucial as my young son requires attention before and after daycare so these early hours are “work time” that lets me hit my hour target earlier in the day meaning more time for dinner prep, errands, and occasionally some Dwarf Fortress. Lately, though, I have been getting to my desk a little later each morning. I think it is my coffee routine. So last night I made some very strong green/matcha tea plus Orange Pekoe, put it in mason jars with honey and lemon, and put it into the bar fridge in my office. Now I’m drinking that tea and shaved off 15 or 20 minutes of non-work time from my morning routine. I’ll make a nice coffee later after lunch or something. Hopefully, this routine works out and gets me a little bit of my morning back.

2018-02-06 19:28

SITREP 2018-02-06

Thinking of writing one of these after I eat, before work. I take between 15 and 30 minutes for lunch, sometimes not even that. My timezone if offset from the office so sometimes I need to stuff food in while working with someone remotely, etc. No big deal, that is why they pay me. So updates on my life (just personal, no family/work unless it is very, very noteworthy): Dwarf Fortress - a forgotten beast devastated the fortress and I am down to a wave of new migrants who I can’t seem to get to join a squad. The FB is parked in a dormitory, heavily wounded, and getting attacked by various dogs and children, etc. I figured I would let it roll, hopefully figuring out how to get migrants to join the military and just finish him off at some point but am now being invaded by elves, war horses, and war bearsas payback for repeatedly raiding their seaside town. For playing only 15 minutes a day or so this is a pretty big payoff. Health - cold is radically improved from yesterday thanks to an amazing sleep. I am going to try fitting in a post-work walk to the mailbox as this is better than intending to go at night and not going and it will result in me getting some sun. Eating - I had a nice roast beef sandwhich with tomato and lettuce for lunch on whole grain bread. Normally, I would have put the roast beef into a grilled cheese fried in bacon fat so I think this is progress. Some nuts and a bit of chocolate rounded out the meal. And an espresso.

2018-02-04 03:54

Snow clearing in Edmonton

So I live in Edmonton, AB. The frozen North. It’s really not too bad here in the winter as I got used to the crazy freeze/thaw/blizzard winters of the East Coast growing up and I have dealt with the bone chilling, soul crushing cold of an Ottawa winter. So -20c with very, very occasional, light snow is pretty easy for me. HOWEVER: They don’t plow the side roads and the cold weather combined with humidity makes the highways like sheets of ice. There were well over 200 accidents (see http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/another-38-crashes-reported-saturday-morning-on-edmonton-roads-following-snowfall) on between Friday (2018-02-02) and Saturday at around noon. So basically a crazy situation. And this is from about 10cm of snow. I have NO idea what they are thinking with the snow clearing policy but that is how it works here. There is often a slow, steady accumulation of very dry, light snow which makes road surfaces slick, builds up over time. When there is a melt (happened once so far) things go crazy because all the layers of snow pack go from merely slick surfaces to zero friction wet skating rink ice on the roads… Spring should be fun. Fortunately, it only lasts for a few weeks, I hear. So that’s the situation. Now as a homeowner we need to keep our driveways and sidewalks clear. Approaches range from snow blowing with a leaf blower (the snow is that dry and light) to daily scraping when you pull your car into the garage, to full on snow blowing which seems to only be needed a couple of times a winter as far as I can tell. I have never liked snow blowers. The last thing I need is another thing that can break down or can lead to me getting even less exercise than I get now. So I get out there and shovel. Every house in this neighbourhood and almost every other one I’ve seen has a driveway that will park two cars generously. With the light snow, even when 10cm deep, it really takes like 15 minutes if you get a move on to get it done with a shovel. I guess if you had a serious health condition it makes sense to own a snow blower but it would be like owning a really powerful self-propelling lawn mower if you had a lawn that was 6m x 8m, was perfectly flat, and that you used maybe four times a year. I just don’t get it. And using a leaf blower to clear your driveway? It is really, really loud and takes forever. In the conditons where this is appropriate I can literally scrape my driveway in less than ten minutes. Get some exercise, people! </Rant>

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