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About MaD MaLKaV

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  • Birthday 04/07/77


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    Columbia, SC, USA


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  1. Ambarwen Oromendur: Quenta Mentieryon, part 1

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure the department of Computer Science that I got my Masters from didn't have an option of doing your PhD dissertation on Tolkien, or I might have finished up my PhD there. That definitely beats the "something-something Quantum Computers" topic my adviser was recommending. What Tolkien topic are you tackling?
  2. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    Hmm.. Fascinating issue to deal with. When I bring a sandwich with me to work, it sits on my desk making me think about eating it. I think I'll go find a quiet corner of the "eating room" to stash it in instead. Especially when dieting, I'm generally hungry enough I could eat it at anytime, but I want to try saving it for a proper lunch time (why? I don't know. Because it splits up my day before dinner a bit better, I guess). Especially since I'm not really that hungry right now, I just "could eat". The only thing that's really making it stick in my mind is that it is there in my face. So we'll fix that. In other news, I didn't do so hot on my last day of not keeping score. I decided to allow myself a grand farewell to granola, in which I ate an entire box. With dinner, that put me over about 200-450 calories for the day (the exact amount I went over depends upon how much over two servings my bean helping was.. I was finishing what was left... I should probably learn to stick to my proper portion size and just throw out what's left in the pot if it isn't enough for another helping). Still got all that other stuff done at least. If I was keeping track of last week, that would've lost me a point in avoiding granola and in my diet. Fortunately, it was just a practice round. Had a great meditation session yesterday. I find so often that I complain about my meditation sessions without mentioning when I have a really good one. I probably could've sat a while longer, if my timer hadn't gone off. I'm off to a bad start today. Didn't drag myself out of bed at 5, even though I did get my eyes all the way open. Does that count for half a point? Since I didn't get up, there won't be any extra-credit yoga going on today probably. I like to think that I could fit it in at the end of my day, but I never have so far, so I don't expect to. It just seems to fit in well with my early morning. Oh well, since I didn't wake up early, I still have all my remaining challenges hanging over my head. I'll knock them out as the day goes on and report back later. I'll probably rattle off my success or failure in each point. It's kinda like a catechism where saying it helps reinforce the underlying ideas. Going through each point instead of saying "did all the stuff" helps remind me what all commitments I should be living up to. Guess I'll check in tomorrow to report my raging success on all points, except the getting up thing that I've already blown for today. Maybe we'll get out of bed extra quick tomorrow as some form of make up. In my defense, Monday's are always my worst day for doing the "getting up at 5" thing. Sleeping in until 8 or so those two weekend days really throws me off. One day, maybe I'll try getting up early on the weekends too. My wife likes to sleep in as long as the baby will let her on weekends though, so I don't set an alarm, so as not to wake her up if the baby hasn't. I should have her start waking me up when the baby wakes her up on weekends. I would've been up at 5:30 Sunday then. Anyway, hopefully tomorrow moving from 6:30 this morning to 5 am tomorrow morning proves more do-able.
  3. AverageFish does it again (again)

    Always good focusing on those core needs: sleep and meditation. Good luck staying on track! Hopefully whatever life throws at you, being well rested and properly focused will help you deal with.
  4. Terah: Supercharged

    Ah, yeah. That's a lot smaller. I ate half a pizza, and it was 1400 calories. It was the only thing I ate that day, so it fit within my 1600 allowance.
  5. Terah: Supercharged

    Agreed. I ate half a pizza yesterday and was just fine. It made me realize my stomach has shrunk some, because it made me really full. Being really full was a nice change though.
  6. Ambarwen Oromendur: Quenta Mentieryon, part 1

    Looks like you've thought everything out well. Best of luck on your challenge. I agree that trying to grade quality of meditation is a recipe for failure. It still is for me, and I've gotten pretty good at it. Lol. I think even when you're experience there's still good days and bad days when you try to quiet down. Showing up on the cushion each day is what's important.
  7. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    I think I've come to terms with Paradise Lost. I'm reading the Cliff Notes summary of the book of the poem in advance of reading the book of the poem, so I don't get entirely lost, and I only look up a footnote if I think it will help me understand something I didn't get the gist of. Looking at the Cliff Notes glossary for the chapter in advance also helps me avoid looking at some of the footnotes. It turns out a lot of the footnotes are archaic uses of words. I didn't have to worry about that when reading the previous far older poems, since they were translations and the translators made things accessible for modern readers. Since this was written in English, you get to read it without translation, which also means a lot of the words have uses that faded with time but were current at the time of publication, so those need to be dealt with. Some of them you can guess by context without having to follow the footnote at least. Some of the other footnotes are references to bible verses or explanations of mythology that I can skip easy enough. I'm up on most of the classic references thanks to my other recent readings, and knowing which verse of the Bible justifies a point doesn't help me much unless I feel like pulling out my Bible to see what the verse says.
  8. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    I was going to try this month with "no breakfast, no lunch; just eat dinner". But that puts me in a calorie pattern that is arguably too low, even though it didn't cause me problems in the past. 500, 800, 1250, 500, 800, 700, 2400-ish. Those are my dinners by themselves. I used to do the "no breakfast, no lunch; just eat dinner" early in my weight loss when I hadn't actually counted up the calories and didn't realize how severely I was starving myself. I didn't have a noticeable drop in energy levels and I lost weight fairly quickly, so it never worried me that much. But really, I don't have so much weight to lose that such severe measures are necessary anymore, even though I wouldn't mind objectively trying them for a month and paying close attention to get a datapoint to compare to other calorie patterns. Anyway, all this thinking came about because I was quite impressed with how much weight I lost last month (3.3 pounds) following a strict 1600 calories per day, with filling in a lot of empty calories of granola, and feeling like I was forcing myself to eat at times (and not so much at others; I also had severely over-indulgent cheat days, and failed to comply on at least three occasions), and I still lost over 3 pounds. So with that in mind, let's try the less severe of two alternatives. ... This month, to get my less than 1600 calorie goals, I'll try the "one sammich protocol", in which I eat a peanut butter sammich for lunch, and eat a sensible dinner. Doing so, I will follow a daily calorie pattern of 800, 1100, 1550, 800, 1100, 1000, 2400-ish (the actual meals are beans, beans & rice, pasta and pesto, bean, beans and rice, quiche or eggs & tots, reasonable cheat day). Next month, I'll try the "two sammich protocol", where I eat two peanut butter sammiches for lunch, and my daily calories follow a pattern of 1100, 1400, 1850, 1100, 1400, 1300, 2400-ish. I'm not to tight on my measuring peanut butter, so those may be a little higher than I give them credit for. I think it's around 2 Tablespoons though. These patterns are not entirely exhaustive... Sometimes in a week I fix a special meal that adds a couple of non-standard days, but they're normally healthy vegetarian fare, so make for another 800 calorie-ish dinner thrown in, which becomes 1100 and 1400 for the day when supplemented by sammiches. But yeah, I want to compare to the two alternatives and see how much weight comes off with each. I expect to lose more weight with the "one sammich protocol" than I do with the "two sammich protocol", barring my body freaking out at the really low calories and trying to fight me, but I expect to see weight loss both ways, since each puts me at a deficit most days. It's entirely possible that I'll see comparable weight loss on both plans, and that I really have no reason putting myself through the deprivation of the lower calorie alternative. We'll just hold off on testing the "no sammich protocol", and ultimately I think the "two sammich protocol" supplemented by some protein shakes or a light breakfast will make for a healthy "off my diet" meal plan of mostly 2000-ish calorie days. Since I'm only about 20-25 pounds from my goal now, it pays to think about what is going to keep me stable. I think when I am at optimal weight, the "two sammich protocol" plus shakes will do pretty good, since I'm used to not eating breakfast anyway. And try to eat my beans with rice, or maybe even opt for some bean-less weeks of other healthy vegetarian fare. But with two protein shakes add 460 calories, I'ld be at 1860, 1860, 2080 (one shakes on pasta day), 1860, 1860, 1760, 2400-ish. I might have to increase those a tad to stay even, especially if I start working on strength at some point. I could add in three eggs some mornings for 300 calories... Or something else; it's really too easy to find calories. That seems a reasonable way to maintain and keep an eye on things though, and I can take an idea from @Elastigirl in another thread, where she said once I'm at weight, I can buy clothes that fit, and then I'll know if my weight is creeping up when they start feeling tight. It would be a fun change to not have to watch the scale so much.
  9. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    I almost forgot the funniest thing about the book. It starts with a publisher mandated note from the author to explain why it’s a poem but doesn’t rhyme. That’s a note the original publisher added to later copies of the first and all copies of the second edition.
  10. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    On the bright side, I misunderstood the footnote numbering. That was line 798, not the 798th footnote. Granted there’s still 30 pages of footnote for 30 pages of poem. It seems pretty readable mostly ignoring them.
  11. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    Wow! I'm starting to reconsider if Paradise Lost is a classic that I want to read. The first page has 14 footnotes, and the first book (of 12) 798 footnotes! That's crazy. And the sections are too long to just put them off til the end like I did with Dante. I'll try to struggle through it, I guess.
  12. Terah: Supercharged

    Welcome back. Goals all look reasonable.
  13. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    My list of challenges is becoming quite a mouthful to individually claim that I've kept each one. Is it enough sometimes to just say "did all that stuff" (NB: refer to original post if you have any questions about what "all that stuff" entails). But even though I'm not keeping score this week, I did all the stuff. Well, I still have some stuff left to do today. Haven't flossed yet, and we won't know until the end of the day if I successfully avoided granola and finished the day under 1600 calories. So far today, I've had 300 calories, so I still have a lot left over for dinner. I haven't done the waking up early thing all week, but I don't try to on weekends anyway. I had a lot of time for reading (normally do on weekends, when none of the grandparents are in town), so finished the Divine Comedy (which did get better than my complaints after I made it a little further in the Paradiso) and read through the 100-some pages of introduction to my copy of Paradise Lost. I think we're about to go get groceries and new shoes for the baby, so I'll wait until later to make it into the body of the work.
  14. [MaD MaLKaV] gets up early!

    I like the idea of a banishment spell, but it isn't my candy basket. It's there for all the office, so it wouldn't really feel right to just throw it out. I made it through the day without touching it. It would be nice if someone else would go ahead and eat it. Then it would be empty until the next time Ranjith refills it. It will get refilled at some point though, so I honestly just need to discipline myself to overlook it and not take any interest in what is or isn't in the candy basket, if I'm going to keep up to my challenge of not eating from it. I'm often at one of my weaker points when I'm going to get coffee too, since I'm probably as often prompted by being a little hungry as by wanting coffee to go refill my cup. Hot beverages tend to take the edge off of hunger. But the candy basket is right there in the middle of my path to the coffee pot. I could take a longer way, but it would be awfully weird pathing. I've withstood it's temptations one day though, so that means I can do it easily enough. I just have to multiply that one day out.
  15. Quieting down the mind.

    Insight Timer has 8,968 free guided meditations, if you want more without signing up for Calm. Calm's paid service isn't bad; I had it for a little bit when I was into guided meditations more. You can also just google guided meditations and find lots of free ones from various places online. Otherwise, it's like Alfaso says if you want to go the non-guided route. Just sit, relax, and breathe. Some people like to count breathes to 10, then start over (assuming they make it to 10 without getting distracted, which for most people takes a little while). You don't really need it, but if you want a good free book on meditation you can legitimately download the PDF for the 'Sitting Buddha' book at: