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Harriet

Act VII - Harriet Scouts the Lands Beyond the Fortress

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So.... the thing I baked bears a resemblance to eclairs. In the same way that gollum is an adorable halfling. Or like this is a sweet puppy dog:

 

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Oh well. At least I learned some things that will make future attempts better.

 

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

https://ottolenghi.co.uk/chicken-with-potatoes-prunes-and-pomegranate-molasses-shop
 

It's super easy. You basically throw everything in and cook. Small amount of chopping, no stirring or anything.

 

Thank you! I love these kinds of recipes where you just drop everything into a pot and it does the work for you. :) 

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22 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Thank you! I love these kinds of recipes where you just drop everything into a pot and it does the work for you. :) 


Yesssz. I left out the maple syrup, though, because I thought it would be pretty sweet as is. I'll update on how it turns out.

 

ETA because I crammed everything into a barely big enough pan, the liquids didn't reduce enough in the oven so I tipped them off and boiled them on the stove to reduce. It was not too sweet, the pomegranate molasses is surprisingly savoury.

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In for food! And the other stuff of course. :) I really like how you phrased the challenge, especially since I also have a tendency to hide in the fortress. How's it going overall? From your posts it sounds like you're doing really well in venturing to the lands beyond?

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6 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

In for food! And the other stuff of course. :) I really like how you phrased the challenge, especially since I also have a tendency to hide in the fortress. How's it going overall? From your posts it sounds like you're doing really well in venturing to the lands beyond?


Hi! I'm doing okay. I still spend a lot of time in the fortress, but that's because I'm really tired a lot of the time. But I'm trying more things gradually.

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3 hours ago, Defining said:

Choux pastry is loads of fun, but if you need some tips: https://www.theflavorbender.com/how-to-make-perfect-choux-pastry/

 

And yeah, pastry cream always tastes super eggy to me. I'll often beat a bit of cream cheese and fold sweetened/whipped cream into it instead.

 

 


That's a detailed look at choux, thank you! I have one problem though. Is it just inevitable that the eclairs will go soggy after the addition of the creme patissiere? Or is the creme supposed to be, um, drier? How do eclairs survive in bakery shop windows all day? 

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On 4/26/2019 at 5:27 PM, Harriet said:

 

Oh. But that's where I get my lifting knowingness. So many internet shoutings, vying for my attention. 

 

 

Is there any benefit to e.g. walking out with a higher weight that you can squat, then putting it back, no rep? Or is that bosu ball nonsense? If so, how do you know? Which internet shoutings do you listen to? 

 

To be fair, most of the internet is full of dipshittery. T Nation publishes articles by a lot of people. Some of those people write good stuff; some don't. Be skeptical, do more research, and so on. I listen to as many internet shoutings as I can, and try my best to parse it all.

 

People use supramaximal weight primarily as a way to push past sticking points, and to "medicine ball" the CNS. Walking out a heavy weight could help you gain confidence if you lack it currently; it will also probably make any subsequent set at a "regular" working weight seem incredibly light in comparison. For sticking points, people will do partial reps, isometric holds/negatives, stuff like that.

 

Edit: As Blocky said, some people like it and some don't. I've never personally done it either. But for the folks who do like it, that's more or less why.

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1 hour ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Be skeptical, do more research, and so on. I listen to as many internet shoutings as I can, and try my best to parse it all. 

 

That's really the only way to do it. Using a single source for information, or only sources from the exact same perspective, is one of the best and most effective ways to stay ignorant about a subject.

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On 4/26/2019 at 5:27 PM, Harriet said:

 

Oh. But that's where I get my lifting knowingness. So many internet shoutings, vying for my attention. 

 

 

Is there any benefit to e.g. walking out with a higher weight that you can squat, then putting it back, no rep? Or is that bosu ball nonsense? If so, how do you know? Which internet shoutings do you listen to? 

I'm not sure if there is a benefit to your strength to do this, but I like to do it prior to a meet because it helps me mentally conquer my 3rd attempt before I put the weight in my hands on the platform. 

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On 4/27/2019 at 6:38 PM, scalyfreak said:

 

Thank you! I love these kinds of recipes where you just drop everything into a pot and it does the work for you. :) 

That's like my instapot chicken enchilada casserole.I had to do two things. Chop the tortillas into strips and shred the chicken after it had cooked.

 

1 hour ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Oh. But that's where I get my lifting knowingness. So many internet shoutings, vying for my attention. 

 

 

Is there any benefit to e.g. walking out with a higher weight that you can squat, then putting it back, no rep? Or is that bosu ball nonsense? If so, how do you know? Which internet shoutings do you listen to? 

Blocky hit the nail on the head. There's some good stuff on T-nation, but most of it is meathead stupidity and incredibly frustrating when it comes up in the top two or three on a search.

 

Re-Walkouts. I do them if I've been having problems with a particular weight, I'll go extra heavy, walk it out, hold it for a bit and put it back, it's been pretty successful in hitting the next marker. 

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So, I was a bit patchy about my goals. I mostly got to sleep quickly without allowing thoughts to take over. I lifted with less distraction (not zero). Sometimes I ate without screens (not always). I did a few minutes of reflection here and there. I did think a little about why I was eating and how it made me feel. I did a tiny bit of sketching. And I did cook a bit more attentively and adventurously.

I realised that I'm not just lazy, I truly am tired. So, when the fatigue and depression was at its worst a few years back, I used to do basically nothing. Then Mr Harriet basically pushed me out of the house and into a masters degree, which was difficult (anxiety) but greatly increased my capacity for getting out the house, meeting people, etc. And I've made improvements since then: I now lift, walk a lot, do taekwondo, take care of our groceries (on foot, three time a week because they're heavy) and cook almost all our dinners. That's a lot more than nothing. I also try to say yes to more adventures with Mr Harriet, like going to the theatre, which we did last night. It's been easier to do these mostly physical things than to add in writing, sketching, reading, and perhaps more socialising. Because when I'm exhausted (which is sometimes all day and sometimes just in the afternoons) mental focus and motivation is a lot harder to come by than another rep, a few more steps. So I guess what I'm saying is the screens and distractions are not just wilful time wasting (though they are sometimes) they're also something I can do when I'm completely mentally drained. 

I'm not sure how to proceed. I think the saddest thing is doing screen time out of habit on days when I would actually have the energy for something else. Anyway, while I think about this, have some sketches of poppies, a mill, and people eating noodles. I also made a little progress on the writing. And I read an interesting memoir. 

 

IMG_5879.jpg.5f8b7653e17c03ccb2ef1c446036e604.jpgIMG_5880.jpg.bc065f1d690a34e9d8782c06918045d8.jpgIMG_5884.jpg.999c75fa746ad23f436d04e424396a90.jpg

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your sketches are beautiful. i can see why putting pen to paper is more mentally draining than scrolling your phone. a lot of people are touting coloring books though, do you think some other type of art would be easier to sit down with on your drained days? something you don't necessarily have to think too much about or be upset with yourself if it comes out bad? on those days, i would think you'd want something that not only is calming but takes very little brainpower.

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Lovely sketches! If you're really tired maybe a better option rather than screen time, which is not very restful, to actually rest? Either a nap or just lying down listening to music or do nothing at all. It can be hard to do but giving your body and brain proper rest even for 5 minutes can sometimes do wonders.

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Because when I'm exhausted (which is sometimes all day and sometimes just in the afternoons) mental focus and motivation is a lot harder to come by than another rep, a few more steps. So I guess what I'm saying is the screens and distractions are not just wilful time wasting (though they are sometimes) they're also something I can do when I'm completely mentally drained. 

I'm not sure how to proceed. I think the saddest thing is doing screen time out of habit on days when I would actually have the energy for something else.

 

I tend to seat myself comfortably somewhere and practice meditation exercises when I'm mentally tired but not physically tired. It's more difficult, but it does help the brain relax and recover when i allow it to do absolutely nothing but focus on my breathing for a few minutes. I use the timer feature on Insight Timer if I am at a place where that is possible, and set it for five minutes or less. I always feel better afterwards... maybe worth trying to meditate and see if it helps? Meditation is used for treating depression as well as anxiety, according to my therapist, and there's probably good reasons for that.

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13 hours ago, Harriet said:

That's a detailed look at choux, thank you! I have one problem though. Is it just inevitable that the eclairs will go soggy after the addition of the creme patissiere? Or is the creme supposed to be, um, drier? How do eclairs survive in bakery shop windows all day? 

They're refrigerated, and often use gelatin & cornstarch as stabilisers. The cream shouldn't be super loose, and the choux should also be able to withstand soaking up too much for a few days at least. Luckily, the whole thing also freezes very easily, which is typically what I do for my stuff at home!

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3 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

I tend to seat myself comfortably somewhere and practice meditation exercises when I'm mentally tired but not physically tired. It's more difficult, but it does help the brain relax and recover when i allow it to do absolutely nothing but focus on my breathing for a few minutes. I use the timer feature on Insight Timer if I am at a place where that is possible, and set it for five minutes or less. I always feel better afterwards... maybe worth trying to meditate and see if it helps? Meditation is used for treating depression as well as anxiety, according to my therapist, and there's probably good reasons for that.


I'll try it. I could do it now, for example. Totally exhausted from lifting and walking home, but I need to do some meal planning and go grocery shopping.

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Woot. Progressing one set at a time, as inspired by scalyfreak, is working well for me. Just did 2x5x85lb bench, then dropped back to 80lb for the third main set, then did some slightly lighter back off sets. Then I attempted 125lb squat for first time ever. It was a bit wobbly, and I think it was a mistake to put squats after bench, because my weakest link on the squat is my core/lower abs, and I probably use these at least a little in the bench. Whereas the weakest part of my bench is arms and chest (so, uh, the main bits), and those aren't used in the squat, I think. Also, my hip flexors were really creaky and it took me 10 minutes to warm up. So doing the squats first thing might help, as I should still be flexy from my walk. Also, I was doing some cable rowing things, and wondering whether I was really using my lats. So I dropped the weight and just tried to contract my shoulder blades. Wow. Just using them is hard. I guess I have to think of these exercises as "activation" and not rush to add weight, because every time I do, every other muscle in my body is ready to take over from my nearly non-existent lats. Yes, even my foot muscles. And ear muscles. And just everything except lats. 

Anyway, the point is, PR for squats! 

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Choosing subjects for potential sketches this week. Random subject generator on... Oak, beetle, person tying shoes, desert, kettle. 

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17 hours ago, Harriet said:

Oak, beetle, person tying shoes, desert, kettle. 

 

Are you doing combinations? There's some potential for weirdness here....

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10 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Are you doing combinations? There's some potential for weirdness here....

 

No, I don't think so! I tend to draw from reference pictures, not from imagination. But now I'm imagining a scene with all the things... 

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