Sciread77

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About Sciread77

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  1. The Trading Post -- Where Adventurers Gather

    I can't recall ever confusing books in my head. People do ask that a lot when they find out I read many things at once. I almost never read two books by the same author or set in the same world at once, so that probably helps. I'm definitely a visual learner, and I've always been able to remember most of what I read pretty well without much effort. I rarely even use bookmarks, as I usually know what page I'm on. I'm freakish that way, so books, IMs, message board threads, and the like work well for me. An actual conversation? More difficult to remember and keep straight. Professionally, I take copious notes and concentrate hard. It's one of the many reasons I avoid bars or other loud places where people expect socialization. It's difficult and stressful. I have remarkably few books on Kindle/iBooks. I've got about 60, and most are either electronic copies of books friends have published (to go along with the physical copies) or copies of old books no longer under copyright. My wife is a theatre teacher who has previously taught 5th grade and High School English, speech & debate, and theatre. So we have a lot of books from that too. When I was teaching math, I still had a classroom library for kids to read when they were done with their math work. I love buying books, and I read most of the ones that I buy. There are several in that category that are queued up for the arrival of the baby, though. Hopefully, being off of work for longer will give me more time to catch up. I'm definitely leaning on that time to make my annual reading goal. My digital books are more hoard-like, although many are books like Treasure Island and the Jules Verne books I read as a kid. I know I'll never finish my to-read pile because any time we get close, my wife and I go buy a bunch more. I also love and regularly use libraries.
  2. The Trading Post -- Where Adventurers Gather

    See, I knew that the Adventurers were the right group for me. We set up a Trading Post and immediately begin to talk about what we're reading. There's nothing wrong with trashy historical romances. One of my friends has published quite a few historical romances. Twain is awesome, and considered a local in my area. I'm currently reading The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. I'm also reading Jurassic Park ("The Dinosaur Book") to my young boys, who LOVE it when the dinosaurs eat people. My tablet book is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in French, with audio. I don't stick to one book at a time. I usually have a book for every location I read. I'm severely behind my annual goal due to the last... 6 months? of effectively no book reading. Over the last week, I've been sneaking in ten minutes here and there and it's been helping my life quite a bit. I want to get back to reading more fiction, though. I've been reading an overwhelming number of non-fiction books, and most of them have been practical or business-related. Not that it's bad to read them, but they're not quite as good for me mentally as some good old sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, adventure, or thriller books. Or general-hilarity novels like the Stephanie Plum series.
  3. [Sylvaa] From Dud to Spud

    I remember playing soccer as a kid. I could never run fast enough or long enough to be a forward. I was a solid defensive player with a long, accurate, and powerful left foot so I was always able to secure a place on the good teams. Never did score in a game, even though my dad offered me a lot of rewards for motivation. My biggest motivation was to play left defense lol. That's the hard part sometimes. We're members of a private swimming pool in the area, but it's expensive. We've also been YMCA members. I've not gone swimming regularly since I lived in an apartment with a swimming pool, though, mostly because even the YMCA and private pool association pools aren't that close to the house.
  4. How do you track your weight loss?

    I log in Fitbit, usually on my phone. I also keep an Excel spreadsheet with running statistics (it's a tab on my personal D20 Modern character sheet). I'd do a physical chart, but I'd never remember to fill it in. My phone is always with me and I can remember the number long enough to plug it into the phone when I have a moment.
  5. Sub six minute mile?

    I don't miss a lot about being a teenager, but I do miss the energy levels.
  6. Adventure Prep - Fall Baby!

    -> Lose an average of 0.5 to 2 lbs per week over the course of the challenge. I ended last week up a bit less than a pound, and this week I'm starting out a bit more than 1 pound over that starting this week. So hopefully I can get back on the right track. -> Consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean bodymass, Major fail Friday and over the weekend. -> Eat no more than 1 thing per day that does not support this goal via nutritional value, ie sweets, junk food, etc. The reason the protein was a fail over the weekend was the consumption of this stuff. ->Increase my total push ups from 28 to 35 and my total pull ups from 6 to 8. I actually did ok on this most of the week, but only a handful of negative pull ups on Friday. ->Complete PT daily. Mostly hit this, actually. -> Obtain 8 clock hours of sleep per 24-hour period. I only had about 6 hours of sleep last night but I took about 4 hours worth of nap yesterday. I don't feel great today but it's not quite as bad as I thought. -> Do something social, even if it's talking on forums, with an adult every day. I've been able to do this so far. -> Accomplish one long-term development task per day. I started the day by filling out a questionnaire for a promotion within my department. Here's hoping. -> Complete one side business item per day, even if I don't feel ready. I completed zero of this over the weekend or on Friday. I've otherwise been doing pretty well. -> Avoid news. Reading an article someone shares with me is ok, looking on my own is not. The Jason Stockley verdict has the whole community on edge. Half my friends are out there protesting. I've only checked the news for specific things, but even with the shared articles it's been a pretty bad news cycle. -> Disconnect each day for at least half an hour mid-day and in the evening with the family. This, fortunately, has been a major victory. It's been helping my mental state a lot and it's freed up quite a bit of time. -> Read a physical book for fun at least 10 minutes each day. I'm slowly but surely meeting this one. I think it'll be easier after the baby comes. One thing I've noticed is that my wife reads a lot when the TV is on, which I find to be nearly impossible and incredibly stressful to attempt. -> Listen to "good" music each day. And perhaps avoid "bad" music atm; sometimes it's cathartic but it's been too easy for me to fall back into old thinking patterns. Listening to music has been extremely helpful. There's a ton of stuff to do before the baby arrives. And she could be here any minute. On the flip side, a lot of what we're trying to get done becomes an SEP once she arrives. Friday our work location shut down due to the protests. I can easily work from home when that happens, but I need a better plan on how to deal with eating and activity. At work, I have a routine. Even putting out the daily fires isn't too bad for my stress or eating habits. At home, though, I noticed some issues: I didn't drink nearly enough water, I didn't follow my normal eating routine, and even when I had time to work on stuff this weekend I spent most of the time effectively spinning in circles trying to figure out where to start. I usually work best off of lists, and I need to create one for the must-do stuff at home too. In any case, I'm off to a bit of a rocky start but I'm pressing on.
  7. Sub six minute mile?

    I completely left that out. We trained with weights on long run days. It's also another critical component of speed, and at the time I didn't take it nearly seriously enough. I was fast but better weight training would have taken me to the next level.
  8. [Sylvaa] From Dud to Spud

    Yes. Several major companies including mine shut down their operations today over it. I don't care about that. I care about the fact that people are hurting, scared, and seem unable to find any justice in our system. I've heard heartbreaking conversations between parents and children. So I can understand why a lot of people, often led by local clergy, are out protesting the status quo. Tensions are pretty high.
  9. [Sylvaa] From Dud to Spud

    My condolences, and you're right. My city is typically either a powder keg or exploding. Denial helps nobody.
  10. Adventure Prep - Fall Baby!

    There's lots of excitement in the air. I hope the laundry list of goals is not too much.
  11. Adventure Prep - Fall Baby!

    September 17 - October 14 Adventure Prep - Fall Baby! So I've completed my first challenge, and it feels pretty good. I feel like I'm finally prepped to begin Adventure Prep. My aches and pains from odd weaknesses and inflexibility are diminishing. I'm getting physically healthier and I'm in that magic period in which I can make some progress on all fronts. I need to add another category to the long-term goals: Mental. I've struggled with various issues for years, and the last several have been the best. I need to find the middle ground between obsessing and framing my whole life in terms of these issues and becoming complacent or ignoring the problems. Finally, the time has come. Sometime during this challenge, baby 3 will arrive. Her arrival marks the start of the next Grand Adventure. Long-term goals: Body fat: 12-15%. I'm currently sitting at ~20% Strength: I want functional strength. Ideally, I'll be able to carry my whole family at once. Endurance: I'd like to beat Gaston in a push up contest. With matching pull ups and lower body strength Social: Build a stable, loving family with strong roots among friends and family. Mental: Build strong, stable mental health by adopting good habits and shedding unhealthy ones Professional: I want to move up, making a greater impact and more money. I am also looking to build a business on the side, helping business owners and managers standardize and systemize so they can take back their lives, grow their businesses, and/or replicate their successes. Challenge Goals: Body fat: My target is to consistently lose fat while minimizing muscle loss. -> Lose an average of 0.5 to 2 lbs per week over the course of the challenge. *I keep a spreadsheet with daily weight, weekly highs, weekly lows, total loss, average loss since I began tracking, and lbs to go until I hit my goal weight. Goal weight is a fuzzy, general number that corresponds to my 12-15% bodyfat goal. Diet: To maintain muscle, I will want to ensure -> Consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean bodymass, -> Eat no more than 1 thing per day that does not support this goal via nutritional value, ie sweets, junk food, etc. I expect diet to be a struggle. With a new baby and being at home during the holiday season, I've got two strikes against me. Over the weekend I ate myself a couple of extra pounds of pie, candy, and brownies. I'm not strictly concerned with the one instance, but I am concerned with how easy it is to go back to my old, annual habits of eating desserts like a starving hippo. Strength: ->Increase my total push ups from 28 to 35 and my total pull ups from 6 to 8. I think those are reasonable goals. Maintaining strength during the fat loss period is more important to me than gaining the muscle, but if I can improve during this magic period, I will! PT: I will continued to do calf/ankle exercises as a warm-up. I am working on strengthening my wrist/forearm/grip while improving flexibility. My goal is to do mobility and strengthening exercises daily, with an ultimate goal of being able to do traditional push ups and pull ups without pain. ->Complete PT daily. Rest: My third kid's ETA is October 1st. This is it. She'll be here in less than 3 weeks. -> Obtain 8 clock hours of sleep per 24-hour period. The Fitbit will not really register sleep until you've been asleep for at least an hour, so with a newborn it will be substantially less reliable. I'm the point parent post-partum for a lot of reasons, including 1) Not being the person just recovering from birth and 2) Having the ability to wake up, care for a child, and go back to sleep with minimal disturbance. My sleep agility is excellent these days. I have very little insomnia compared to years past, compared to my wonderful wife who will be up for hours if she wakens enough to care for a baby. Social: I've basically withdrawn socially during these last few months in preparing for the arrival of the baby. We both have to work until she's born too, so most of what is left over is dedicated to taking care of house stuff and the kids. I need connection with adults other than my wife. After the baby comes and we start getting into a routine, we'll start inviting friends over too. -> Do something social, even if it's talking on forums, with an adult every day. Professional: Since I'm looking to build something professionally, I'll list those goals too. -> Accomplish one long-term development task per day. Most of my job for the last 9 months has been a series of emergencies and tire fires. I can't keep doing survival mode (see Mental category below), and I have several development projects going. Once the baby comes, I'll work on a career or business-related skill each day. -> Complete one side business item per day, even if I don't feel ready. I read an article by the World Economic Forum today about overcoming perfectionism, procrastination, and anxiety. A particular quote stuck out to me: "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." Nobody starts out as an expert. Even experts usually aren't the best. I'm not worried about doing intentionally shoddy work. I have a graduate degree. I have years of experience. The fact is, I'm entering an new stage of my life and the time for action has come. Mental: The summer and fall are the worst times of year for me. (Even though fall and winter are my favourite seasons). I'm quite sensitive to sunlight. More tends to be bad for me, and the summer peak usually throws my moods off throughout most or all of the fall. This year I'm sort of stuck in a rut at work, with an understaffed team putting out fires all day every day. It's been a disappointing summer in that regard, and I've been feeling the weight of it pretty hard the last couple of weeks. It's the early stages of burnout, which I've had before and I must be proactive in addressing it. I have a few goals to help mitigate it until I'm out with the baby, and to help me prepare for my return afterwards. -> Avoid news. Reading an article someone shares with me is ok, looking on my own is not. I like knowing what's going on in the world, and it's normally not an issue. But one of my bad habits is constantly checking news ad nauseum, and it does nothing good for me. -> Disconnect each day for at least half an hour mid-day and in the evening with the family. -> Read a physical book for fun at least 10 minutes each day. I 've read a paltry 6 books this year. It's basically a book desert in my life; I've never read so few. I still read a lot, but blogs and other online content hardly count. I've also read several business books and technical guides beyond the ones I counted, but I'm basically not counting it if it isn't on Goodreads. I'm partway into the biography of Robert Moses, Jurassic Park (which I'm reading to the boys), and Vingt Mille Lieues Sous Les Mers (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by JV, which I'm reading along with an audiobook). But I've really not read anything for fun since coming back from vacation in mid-July, and prior to that I'd not read anything since March. I had an ok first three months, but for comparison I read 4 books last November and 5 books last December. -> Listen to "good" music each day. Defined as music that helps me achieve feelings of calm, ambition, laughter, happiness, or otherwise helps condition my mind. The good thing here it that the goals support each other. Right now, I waste several hours a day on the obsessive checking of news and Facebook. I can replace that with healthier, more productive, more enjoyable alternatives. Plus, I'll have about 4 months off when the baby arrives. It's a lot of little stuff. I can do it. Only a few short weeks before the newest Grand Adventure arrives.