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Severine

Severine: No, But Seriously This Time

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22 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

And WHY is bedtime the hardest one to get? I ahve the same issues. its like "I am planning to go there" Then 20 minutes later you going "Uh, how did I get derailed?"

 

I made it last night! Woo! Just barely, but I made it. But yeah, it's a struggle for me. I have insomnia and so going to bed is often frustrating and not restful, so I don't have a tonne of incentive to try sleeping (which in turn makes it harder to sleep well) and besides that there are just so many things to do, many of which seem most urgent at the end of the day. It's hard but I really do feel better on the rare occasions I manage to sleep well, so I want to decode the magic secret to good sleep.

 

20 hours ago, Athaclena said:

Welcome back! I admit, I did put out an APB, but only after you dropped off my Fitbit friend list in addition to "going dark" on the boards. I just wanted to make sure you were ok - and fleaball reported in for you :).  We worry ya know!

Life certainly happens - and does routinely suck. But - at the risk of getting that song stuck in my head - we all get knocked down, but we get up again.  Getting up is the hard part, but KEEP DOING IT!

 

Hah, that band recently did a reunion concert of some kind in Boston and one of my friends from undergrad (who lives in Calgary, AB) flew all the way here to see them. I told her she was nuts. But yeah, I can't disagree with their message. And I'm back to the Fitbit now, wearing it every day, so hopefully you'll see me back on the list.

 

3 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

How are you doing with the storms hitting your area?

 

It's just rolling into our area now. This is the current view out of my home office window as things get started. Most of the snow on the ground is from the last snowfall - the wind is just blowing it around so it's building up on the steps etc. If you look at the road it gives a better idea of what we've gotten this morning.

2mZjNck.png 

 

We're expected to get somewhere between 25-40cm of snow today (10-16 inches) and hurricane-strength wind gusts. Fun times. Thankfully we're really close to the power transformer, so our power rarely goes down and if it does it tends to be fixed very quickly. I expect to be shovelling off and on from about noon to sundown because the snow will be falling at a rate of 1-3 inches per hour and I like to stay ahead of it. During a heavy snowfall like this, I also use a roof rake to clear the edges of my roof of snow in order to prevent ice dams. 

 

I've seen storms way worse than this and I'm not particularly worried about us because we're prepared and know how to handle it. The sucky thing is that right after the storm the temperatures are going to drop down really, really low (-23 C overnight on Sat which I think is about -9 F) and a lot of water pipes are already bursting in the city. Again, our house will be okay, but it's been rough on the area as a whole. We've already seen local businesses temporarily closed due to burst pipe water damage, and more than one neighbour has already been hit. A lot of people have no idea how the infrastructure of their houses work (like how to turn off the water, or where their water pipes run, or how the furnace works, etc.) and with weather like this it can catch up with you. We try to help our neighbours but often people don't know they have a problem until it's too late.

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OY! Stay warm! Sounds like lots of workouts shoveling snow (I couldn't do that and we would totally have a snow blower LOL).

I hear you on not knowing where shut-offs are.  When we were last house hunting my realtor was shocked that as we walked through each house I made note of where the main water shut-off and breaker boxes were.  We're totally planning on building our next house and there will be a water shut-off for EVERY SINGLE LINE so I can shut off JUST whatever is having an issue without shutting off the entire flipping house! But it'll be at\near the main junction.  There are shut offs AT every spot in my current house, but I have to crawl to get to them. And if the issue isn't AT the faucet\toilet (i.e. before the shut-off) - I'd have to shut it all off anyway.  SO ANNOYING!

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19 minutes ago, Athaclena said:

Sounds like lots of workouts shoveling snow (I couldn't do that and we would totally have a snow blower LOL).

 

I know this will sound bizarre to a lot of people but I actually LOVE shovelling snow. I genuinely enjoy it. Our driveway is bizarrely large (it can fit six cars, which is weird as our house is small: only two bedrooms, 1200 square feet total...we couldn't even fit enough people in the house to need that many cars) and we do the whole thing by shovelling. And I detest snow blowers. To me, they turn a relaxing and satisfying activity into a smelly noisy nuisance. And they're not even faster in a lot of cases, and they don't do as good of a job because they can't go all the way down to pavement. /grump

 

19 minutes ago, Athaclena said:

When we were last house hunting my realtor was shocked that as we walked through each house I made note of where the main water shut-off and breaker boxes were.  

 

Hah! Yeah when we were looking at houses the realtors kept trying to impress us with fluffy cosmetic things like kitchen cupboards and bathroom tile and I was all, "cool story bro, but how old is the furnace and is there any knob-and-tube wiring in the house and how many amps is the service and I'm going to need to look at the gas and water pipes" and yeah, they definitely thought we were weird.

 

19 minutes ago, Athaclena said:

We're totally planning on building our next house and there will be a water shut-off for EVERY SINGLE LINE so I can shut off JUST whatever is having an issue without shutting off the entire flipping house! But it'll be at\near the main junction

 

That sounds AWESOME. Wooo fellow infrastructure nerd.

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26 minutes ago, Severine said:

That sounds AWESOME. Wooo fellow infrastructure nerd.

So... on our honeymoon we took a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Brand new (at the time) super ship - worlds largest at the time.  It's so large, the bottom is steel and the top is aluminum so that it floats and isn't top heavy. We caught portions of the "how it was built" on the TV during the cruise and BOUGHT the DVD - and have watched it several times. We learned several very awesome things.

  • You can't weld steel to aluminum, so they came up with a process where they have plates of steel and aluminum that they sandwich together with det cord in the middle.  Then BLOW the det cord which fuses them at a molecular level.  Then they weld steel to the steel side and aluminum to the aluminum.  How f'ing cool is that?!
  • Also, ALL of the crane operators are women. When they are working (for instance) to drop in the elevator shafts, their tolerances are extremely tight.  They literally save those installations for the coldest days to have the extra fraction of an inch wiggle room.  They found that female crane operators were more patient and were able to successfully perform the tasks without breaking things (costing time & $$).

It is seriously fascinating!

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3 hours ago, Athaclena said:

You can't weld steel to aluminum, so they came up with a process where they have plates of steel and aluminum that they sandwich together with det cord in the middle.  Then BLOW the det cord which fuses them at a molecular level.  Then they weld steel to the steel side and aluminum to the aluminum.  How f'ing cool is that?!

 

I know how to weld and took a class in it and I would never in a thousand years have thought of that as a solution. That is amazing.

 

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5 hours ago, Severine said:

 

I made it last night! Woo! Just barely, but I made it. But yeah, it's a struggle for me. I have insomnia and so going to bed is often frustrating and not restful, so I don't have a tonne of incentive to try sleeping (which in turn makes it harder to sleep well) and besides that there are just so many things to do, many of which seem most urgent at the end of the day. It's hard but I really do feel better on the rare occasions I manage to sleep well, so I want to decode the magic secret to good sleep.

 

 

As a fellow insomniac I completely understand. I can go to bed tired as all get out, but I will still lay there for hours going "WHY AM I NOT SLEEPING." A girlfriend of mine taught me to make my own "sleepy" tea which helps,  but sometimes, its a matter of not getting there, or not staying there. And I get the "Oh, I need to do all this before bed too" . I may of done that till 2-3 AM when Hubby was out of town last Oct. Not going to lie, I may of been a tad sleep deprived.

 

5 hours ago, Severine said:

I've seen storms way worse than this and I'm not particularly worried about us because we're prepared and know how to handle it. The sucky thing is that right after the storm the temperatures are going to drop down really, really low (-23 C overnight on Sat which I think is about -9 F) and a lot of water pipes are already bursting in the city. Again, our house will be okay, but it's been rough on the area as a whole. We've already seen local businesses temporarily closed due to burst pipe water damage, and more than one neighbour has already been hit. A lot of people have no idea how the infrastructure of their houses work (like how to turn off the water, or where their water pipes run, or how the furnace works, etc.) and with weather like this it can catch up with you. We try to help our neighbours but often people don't know they have a problem until it's too late.

 

This, right here. I am not going to lie, its painful when you are the one who knows how to do these things. MIL lives almost an hour away. one day she called us panicked because there was water spewing out from under the sink. Hubby had to try to talk her down from the panic and to find out where the main shut off was. Turned out, the valve on the sink had blown.

We are also the "I don't care what the cabinets look like, what does the phone lines and wiring look like" everything else I can change.

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Shovelling round one is complete! There's something very satisfying about it making pathways through deep snow, almost like building a snowfort village. Anyway, D and I shovelled together, and by the time we finished there were already 3 more inches accumulated at the section where we started, so it's coming down quickly. We've already gotten more than forecast and it's still snowing, so it'll be a pretty significant snowfall when it's done. Oh, but the new shovels I bought (because my old favourite shovel broke a couple weeks ago and I was sad because I am very picky about shovels) turned out to be A++ so woooo.

 

For people who care about language learning, I forgot to mention that I'm doing a three month language learning challenge starting January 15 to help me focus on learning Spanish. I recently saw a job I would absolutely LOVE and one of the requirements was fluency in both English and Spanish and ugh, it just broke my heart. I'm still going to apply, and be honest about my level and tell them I'm working on improving it, but the posting seemed pretty clear that it was a requirement so my hopes are not high. Anyway, all the more motivation to buckle down and improve my Spanish, right? So in a couple weeks, expect me to start posting some updates on language stuff even though it's not technically part of this challenge.

 

About half an hour and then it's time to shovel again. If it's not too dark I'll try to remember to take a picture.

 

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2 hours ago, Severine said:

For people who care about language learning, I forgot to mention that I'm doing a three month language learning challenge starting January 15 to help me focus on learning Spanish. I recently saw a job I would absolutely LOVE and one of the requirements was fluency in both English and Spanish and ugh, it just broke my heart. I'm still going to apply, and be honest about my level and tell them I'm working on improving it, but the posting seemed pretty clear that it was a requirement so my hopes are not high. Anyway, all the more motivation to buckle down and improve my Spanish, right? So in a couple weeks, expect me to start posting some updates on language stuff even though it's not technically part of this challenge.

Details pls? I've been halfassing Spanish on Duolingo again lately and am curious.

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37 minutes ago, fleaball said:

Details pls? I've been halfassing Spanish on Duolingo again lately and am curious.

 

It's this thing. Basically it's kind of like NF Academy or Rising Heroes, but just for language learning? It's a structured 90-day challenge where you have to commit to a set schedule of language study, and commit to making progress videos at regular intervals, and they put you into 'study groups' with people learning the same language as you and they create a Slack channel for everyone to talk to each other during the challenge. They give assignments and mini-challenges along the way, and track everyone's progress and stuff. 

 

There are people doing all different languages for the challenge, at different levels, so they don't directly teach you your target language - they just give you ideas and tips as you go to make learning more efficient in the general sense. You provide your own books or audio courses or whatever, although they'll help you find good resources if you need. The main purpose of it is to motivate people to actually stay on track with language learning, and to turn it into a community where you have a chance to meet other people who are trying to do the same thing. Since one of my main issues with language study is consistency, it seemed like it was worth a try. Like the NF Academy/Rising Heroes, it does cost money, and I think for people with already great motivation it'd be a waste. But honestly I need the extra structure and encouragement. I want to really progress in Spanish quickly over the next little while (mostly for career reasons as mentioned) so I need to be pretty intensive about it, and I don't think I can do it without some help.

 

It's going to be my first time doing one of these, so I'll definitely let people know whether I think it ends up being worth it.

 

ETA: If anyone is interested, the website says the challenge is currently closed but I know they still have some room in the challenge starting Jan 15. Apparently as of right now there are 49 spots left. Applications close in 2 days. 

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I love shoveling snow <3 

 

From the picture, man that's a lot of snow! That's a full workout with that much.

 

Hows tracking your food? And what kind of hobonichi do you have this time around? Those things are the coolest. 

 

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46 minutes ago, Severine said:

 

It's this thing. Basically it's kind of like NF Academy or Rising Heroes, but just for language learning? It's a structured 90-day challenge where you have to commit to a set schedule of language study, and commit to making progress videos at regular intervals, and they put you into 'study groups' with people learning the same language as you and they create a Slack channel for everyone to talk to each other during the challenge. They give assignments and mini-challenges along the way, and track everyone's progress and stuff. 

 

There are people doing all different languages for the challenge, at different levels, so they don't directly teach you your target language - they just give you ideas and tips as you go to make learning more efficient in the general sense. You provide your own books or audio courses or whatever, although they'll help you find good resources if you need. The main purpose of it is to motivate people to actually stay on track with language learning, and to turn it into a community where you have a chance to meet other people who are trying to do the same thing. Since one of my main issues with language study is consistency, it seemed like it was worth a try. Like the NF Academy/Rising Heroes, it does cost money, and I think for people with already great motivation it'd be a waste. But honestly I need the extra structure and encouragement. I want to really progress in Spanish quickly over the next little while (mostly for career reasons as mentioned) so I need to be pretty intensive about it, and I don't think I can do it without some help.

 

It's going to be my first time doing one of these, so I'll definitely let people know whether I think it ends up being worth it.

 

ETA: If anyone is interested, the website says the challenge is currently closed but I know they still have some room in the challenge starting Jan 15. Apparently as of right now there are 49 spots left. Applications close in 2 days. 

Oooh cool. Bookmarking for the future. Super interested in hearing how it works out for you though. Are you gonna take classes again or is that not a thing anymore?

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8 minutes ago, fleaball said:

Oooh cool. Bookmarking for the future. Super interested in hearing how it works out for you though. Are you gonna take classes again or is that not a thing anymore?

 

Nah the class ended up not being super useful. The best thing about it was it was a set time once per week to focus on Spanish. But there was such a range of abilities in the class, and the teacher (who I liked) was making an effort to balance everyone's needs. But there were a few of us who had a bunch of experience learning other languages, have experience with other romance languages, and could have moved a lot faster, and it was frustrating to sit there bored for 30 minutes while he tried to explain how the 'me gusta' impersonal construction worked to people who just weren't getting it, and it felt like such a waste of time. Not to mention the 30 minutes driving each way, paying for the course, and paying for parking.

 

Anyway, in terms of vocabulary acquisition and learning grammar and stuff I actually progress much faster alone, but then I don't have speaking practice. The one thing that would have kept me in classes despite the drawbacks would be if there was a lot of speaking practice, but there was only a bit and it was super artificial, based on textbook activities. So now I just do italki language exchanges with Spanish speakers for that part. And the combo of self study + language exchange convo practice actually works super well...when I do it. But my problem is that without a set structure I find it so much easier to procrastinate. Hence doing this thing! 

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19 minutes ago, Severine said:

 

Nah the class ended up not being super useful. The best thing about it was it was a set time once per week to focus on Spanish. But there was such a range of abilities in the class, and the teacher (who I liked) was making an effort to balance everyone's needs. But there were a few of us who had a bunch of experience learning other languages, have experience with other romance languages, and could have moved a lot faster, and it was frustrating to sit there bored for 30 minutes while he tried to explain how the 'me gusta' impersonal construction worked to people who just weren't getting it, and it felt like such a waste of time. Not to mention the 30 minutes driving each way, paying for the course, and paying for parking.

 

Anyway, in terms of vocabulary acquisition and learning grammar and stuff I actually progress much faster alone, but then I don't have speaking practice. The one thing that would have kept me in classes despite the drawbacks would be if there was a lot of speaking practice, but there was only a bit and it was super artificial, based on textbook activities. So now I just do italki language exchanges with Spanish speakers for that part. And the combo of self study + language exchange convo practice actually works super well...when I do it. But my problem is that without a set structure I find it so much easier to procrastinate. Hence doing this thing! 

Yeah I remembered you mentioning that and I can totally relate. Jesus where was the class though? I'm so lazy I would have never signed up if it involved that commute lol. 

 

Yesss this is me. I blitz through lessons on Duolingo but then if you ask me to try saying something in Spanish I'm like "no hablo español!" There have been a few times I've had passengers who ask if I speak Spanish when I've tried telling them something, and I just wind up pulling up google translate :rolleyes: Although I've discovered I'm a lot better at listening than I thought, after eavesdropping on conversations. Setting structure for yourself is overrated. Or at least that's my excuse.

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That's a lot of snow. A few years ago I took the train to Reno and saw snow for the first (and hopefully last) time. 

 

Signed,

A native Californian who plans to die here and never see snow again.

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26 minutes ago, Emma said:

That's a lot of snow. A few years ago I took the train to Reno and saw snow for the first (and hopefully last) time. 

 

Signed,

A native Californian who plans to die here and never see snow again.

I'm with you, Emma.

 

The amount of snow in that picture is offensive to my delicate Californian sensibilities. 

 

(We'll casually ignore the fact that the Sierra Nevada and much of the mountainous northern regions of California get plenty of snow annually.) 

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30 minutes ago, Emma said:

That's a lot of snow. A few years ago I took the train to Reno and saw snow for the first (and hopefully last) time. 

 

Signed,

A native Californian who plans to die here and never see snow again.

 

2 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

I'm with you, Emma.

 

The amount of snow in that picture is offensive to my delicate Californian sensibilities. 

 

(We'll casually ignore the fact that the Sierra Nevada and much of the mountainous northern regions of California get plenty of snow annually.) 

 

Y'all would have been so unhappy here a few years ago. I think it was the beginning of 2015? We had storms several Saturdays in a row that each dropped a substantial amount. Eventually there was nowhere to put it. So obnoxious.

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1 minute ago, fleaball said:

Y'all would have been so unhappy here a few years ago. I think it was the beginning of 2015? We had storms several Saturdays in a row that each dropped a substantial amount. Eventually there was nowhere to put it. So obnoxious.

When I applied to JET they let you indicate a location preference and I selected all the southerly regions and said "I don't care how rural it is but I've done the experiment and I just don't do well with snow. Please send me anywhere without it." 

 

To be fair, I do think snow would be significantly more tolerable if I had ever experienced it in a place actually set up to deal with it and with a population who knows how to handle it?? That surprisingly does not include Tahoe or Tacoma, which are the places I usually encounter snow. 

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1 minute ago, Wobbegong said:

When I applied to JET they let you indicate a location preference and I selected all the southerly regions and said "I don't care how rural it is but I've done the experiment and I just don't do well with snow. Please send me anywhere without it." 

 

To be fair, I do think snow would be significantly more tolerable if I had ever experienced it in a place actually set up to deal with it and with a population who knows how to handle it?? That surprisingly does not include Tahoe or Tacoma, which are the places I usually encounter snow. 

Yeah, knowing what to do makes a huge difference. It snowed maybe 4-6 inches my first winter in DC, during a storm they knew was coming for at least a week, and it was a massive pain in the ass because it crippled the city. I'm pretty sure I still went to school in similar conditions as a kid. (The storm started in the afternoon and got worse in the evening.)

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12 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

I'm with you, Emma.

 

The amount of snow in that picture is offensive to my delicate Californian sensibilities. 

 

(We'll casually ignore the fact that the Sierra Nevada and much of the mountainous northern regions of California get plenty of snow annually.) 

 

That is a fairly large amount of snow. Its almost offensive to my live in hte middle of the plains and look snow all the time sensibilities.

Then again, if we get more than about 10 inches at a time, the world ceases to function. I remember the polar vortex a few years ago that hit, and even Hubby's work (that will never take a snow day due to the industry he is in), said "DON"T come in. We will hold those who are here over until we can resume normal ops"

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14 hours ago, fleaball said:

Yeah I remembered you mentioning that and I can totally relate. Jesus where was the class though? I'm so lazy I would have never signed up if it involved that commute lol. 

 

It was in Cambridge at CCAE. Really interesting group of people in the class, but yeah...parking in Cambridge sucks. It's only a 20 minute drive without traffic but Cambridge so there was always traffic.

 

Quote

Yesss this is me. I blitz through lessons on Duolingo but then if you ask me to try saying something in Spanish I'm like "no hablo español!" There have been a few times I've had passengers who ask if I speak Spanish when I've tried telling them something, and I just wind up pulling up google translate :rolleyes: Although I've discovered I'm a lot better at listening than I thought, after eavesdropping on conversations. Setting structure for yourself is overrated. Or at least that's my excuse.

 

Yeah it'd be easier if I could converse only with robots who I could be sure wouldn't judge me/laugh at me  ;)   But yeah, listening is way easier than speaking for me. So many hilarious conversations overhead while grocery shopping...

 

14 hours ago, fleaball said:

Y'all would have been so unhappy here a few years ago. I think it was the beginning of 2015? We had storms several Saturdays in a row that each dropped a substantial amount. Eventually there was nowhere to put it. So obnoxious.

 

Oh man, you guys. It was so hilariously terrible. Okay, look at the photo above. You see how you can see two windows? In the picture below (which is from the year @fleaball mentioned) the one window visible is the LEFT window in the picture above. Where is the right window you ask? You can't see it. Because it's buried with snow that we had to clear off our roof because there was so much snow that some buildings' roofs were collapsing. If you climbed to the top of the snowbank, it was just one big step up onto the bloody roof.

 

zHoyKdq.png

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Okay, time to  get back to actual challenge talk. First week is going decent-ish, except that I was in the process of recovering from my cold and then I had to spend hours and hours outside shoveling and that seems to have angered my throat/cough. Nothing serious, but just enough to be annoying and slightly demoralizing. Harder to get stuff done when I'm feeling sick.

 

  • Only missed one day of exercise and that was mostly timing - left it too late and then I was too tired.
  • Missed a couple mornings of stretching because too much stuff was going on right when I woke up and I felt like I had to jump into action, didn't feel like I could take time away for stretching. Which is mostly just me needing to change my mindset and accept that it's okay to not be instantly ready to deal with tasks when I get up.
  • Had takeout today, but I'm allowed once day a week under the rules so as long as this is the only day this week, I'm good.
  • Journal writing: I'm not sure I'm aiming to write in this every single day. Still have to think more about that. The writing I've done has felt beneficial.

I've gotten some bonus points, too, though I would like to do better. Daily meditation in particular is helpful enough that it's worth making a special effort. Still using Headspace, and like it for the most part.

 

image.thumb.png.56822a58a5469ca97d4d1711ff0f4d3c.png

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49 minutes ago, Butternut said:

Is it weird I envy this??

 

You're totally invited to my house next time it happens to help with shoveling  :D  Kids would have plenty of snow fort building materials.

 

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