Friday, August 14, 2015

Current life priorities

I know that I need to simplify my life.  The easiest part has been divesting myself of various possessions.  The much harder part, and the much more critical part, is simplifying how I spend my time.      I have a ton of interests.  In order to simplify how I spend my time, I decided to list out some of the activities/interests/commitments that I somehow plan on spending time on in the next few months.  The following are in no particular order.  
  • Healthy sleep patterns
  • healthy eating habits
  • regular exercise
  • time with kitties
  • write for professional blog
  • write for personal blog(s)
  • time with friends
  • prepare for move to Portland
  • shambhala mindful eating course (6 weeks)
  • shambhala general mindfulness course (6 weeks)
  • Learn Node.js for robot programming
  • Spend time doing something 'creative'
  • YMCA adult chorus
  • read for fun every day (including form church book group)
  • work:  commute to cambridge 3 days/week (150-180 minutes/day)
  • work: commute to Bedford 1day/week (100-120 minutes)
  • Work:MBO goals
  • work: research projects
  • work:  email filtering project
  • work: incident response escalations
  • work: learn new warehousing system
  • waste time watching video content (typically 1hr/day)
Yes, I can see that there's way too much on my plate.  I guess I need to prioritize what is there, and learn to say "no" to others and myself, even when something sounds like a good way to spend my time.
  UPDATE: Here's another blogger's post that fits in well with this theme  

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Things to do before I move away from New England

I know that there are a boatload of things that I should do before I move across the country.  I could probably use some help coming up with some things that I haven't yet done but that I should get around to doing before I move.  Here's a start:

  • Take the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour in Merrimack and check out the Clydesdales!
  • Visit Clark's Trading Post up in the northern neck of NH.
  • Drive up the coast of Maine to the tip of the Bay of Fundy and see the massive tidal change.
  • Niagra Falls
  • Western Massachusetts museums (Norman Rockwell, Dr Seuss sculpture garden, Crane Museum of Papermaking, etc.)
Anything else that I'm missing here, that I'd just kick myself for not trying before I leave?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Historical periods I would like to visit (and survive)

I may add to the following over time, but here's some of the historical events/periods that I would love to pay witness to:

  • The court of Henry VIII (early 1530's)
  • The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 1943)
  • The shootout at the O.K. Corral (October 1881)
  • The grassy knoll (November 1963)
  • The sinking of the Titanic (April 1912)
  • The court of Elizabeth I (late 1500's)
  • The court of Victoria (late 1800's)
  • Jonestown (November 1978)
  • Woodstock
  • NYC (9/11/2001)
  • Paris (early 1790's)
  • Yekaterinburg, Russia (July 1917)
  • The courts of Henry II, Richard II, and John 
  • The court of Richard III
  • Battle of Little Bighorn
  • The fall of Berlin 1945 (particularly the Bunker)
  • Jerusalem (1945 - 1948)
  • Dunkirk (1940)

Feel free to ask why if the reason is not obvious to you.  :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Every weekday morning I make a to-do list for work tasks, and every morning I make a to-do list for personal tasks.  On weekdays, I am lucky if I get to check off two of my work tasks; and I am extremely lucky if I manage to take a break and tackle any of my personal tasks.  On weekends, I usually complete three or four personal tasks each day.  As to week days, my job is driven by reaction.  While I am expected to do project-oriented work, I am also expected to drop everything to analyze a possible security incident.  My work days are never dull.

That said, I really don't want to talk about 'work'.   I want to talk about lists. 

Probably soon after I learned to write, I found myself making lists.  I think it's a sign of a low-grade OCD thing.  I like to organize things.  Which is actually quite humorous since I tend to make cluttery piles.  (I do that a lot less than I used to.)   I must have subconsciously decided to go with that whole organizing thing when I found myself going to graduate school to become a librarian.  I even worked my way through the program by cataloging books at the University of Pennsylvania.  I really liked assigning subject headings and call numbers to items.   Twisted, right?

At home, I typically organized my own growing book collection.   Non-fiction was grouped by topic.  Fiction was alphabetized by author.  My music, whether it be on vinyl, cassette or CD, was always organized by artist and then album title.  Eventually my movie collection was shelved by title.  And, lest we forget, my spices were typically alphabetized as well.

I don't do this with everything I own.  But, it does give me a wonderfully warm feeling to have certain collections of things organized by a discernible system of sorts.

Back to 'lists'.  Not only do I find myself making to-do lists.  There are the everyday grocery lists that everyone makes.  Then there are also the lists of places I want to visit before I die, household projects I want to work on, packing lists for various types of trips, books I want to read, playlists, groups of movies that would make great double/triple/quadruple features, and so on and so on. 

A few years ago I discovered this wonderful personal digital organizing tool called Evernote.  This tool is a list makers dream.  Not only can I keep track of all sorts of important pieces of digital data, in various subject-oriented notebooks, but I can organize all those lists that I like to make.  I use it for a bunch more things as well (saving web pages for future reference, scanning documents into it, etc.)  Highly recommended means of organizing your digital and digitized resources.

A few years ago I picked up a fun book that I like to randomly dive into every now and then.  to-do list by Sasha Cagen is a collection of lists with an introduction by the people who made them.  While it may not sound like much, there are some truly amusing lists in the collection.  Some examples include "Adult Movie Props", "Drinking and Running", "Sayings to Live By", and "To Start A New Church".

If the idea of that book amuses you, stick around.  I plan to start sharing lists of things that come to my mind from time to time.  Some will be totally mundane, some will be silly, and some will probably be grumpy or offensive.  Hey, we all have 'those' days, right?

"And so it goes." - Kurt Vonnegut