22 February 2013

7 Quick Takes

Here are my 7 quick takes for this week.

1. I'm taking two classes at the university rec center - yoga and pilates - and I'm reminded every week, that even though I do slow deliberate movement, it is still quite a workout. My abs are sore this morning.

2. It was quite difficult to give away our old bed via Craigslist. The amount of flakiness was astounding, to the point that Matthew thought he was being trolled. Trolled = someone e-mailing saying they will take the bed away, but then never coming over to get it, over and over again.

3. We are taking the train up to Portland, Maine for a weekend with friends not named Shane.

4. I hope the snow this weekend doesn't cause a disruption in the train schedule. I heard conflicting things about how much snow is supposed to fall.

5. Homemade bread is probably the best thing in the world.

6. I would like to make these sweet potato fries and possibly this chickpea flour pizza crust this weekend.

7. My favourite thing about winter involves stepping on thin sheets of ice to hear the most satisfying crunch sound ever.

18 February 2013

The cat was super cuddly this weekend

There were several points this weekend I couldn't move because the kitty was too cute snuggled up next to me. Most mornings, she likes to get under the covers and lay her head down on the pillow, put her paw in your armpit, and fall back asleep. On Sunday, she wanted to lay completely under the covers and when I got out of bed, she stayed there. She slept there for hours. I guess she likes the new bed!

Twice yesterday, while I was working on my laptop on the couch, the kitty came to cuddle with me. I couldn't really move my arms, but that is okay.





I guess I shouldn't really call her a kitty, she is 20 years old.

17 February 2013

Productivity

I procrastinate. A lot. And it leads to not doing my work as well as I can. I am always on the search for some way to help keep me working instead of things that don't really matter that much. Here are a list of things that I have found helpful.

The Firefox extension Leechblock or the Chrome extension Nanny. Since switching to the Opera Browser, I haven't found anything similar, maybe I should switch back to one of those browsers. You define websites that you want to limit your time on and you can specify times when you are locked out of those websites and/or an amount of time you want to spend on a certain website over a specified time interval. I found it pretty useful because I have a hard time pulling myself away from random websites sometimes. Metafilter and Reddit have things I need to see.

Project Hamster. It is only available on Linux, I believe. It is a time tracking software that bothers you every five minutes (or specified amount of time) to ask what you are doing. It is a little nudge to remind me to get back to work and looking at the reports on how you spend the day is interesting.

Pomodoro Technique. I have been using this pomodoro application to help track my pomodoros. You break up your day into 25 minute chunks or pomodoros, and take a 3 - 5 minute break in between the pomodoros. After 4 pomodoros, take a 15 - 30 minute break. I'm not quite sure why my brain enjoys this technique so much, but I have been getting so much more work done actively following it. In order to not disturb my pomodoros, I put my chat program on one desktop and I don't look to see if I have any new messages until my break, so if you try to message me and I don't answer right away, that is probably why.

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EDIT 8 March 2013
I started using the website Kanban Flow to track Pomodoros and my tasks in general and it is working so so so well.
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Having a lot to do. It seems like the more activity I have going on in my life, the more I get done. I spend less time on things that don't really matter and more time getting things done. This semester I am taking 2.25 classes, research, writing papers, collaborating on a project, and spending time with my husband and I have been actually getting most everything done on time and to my high standards.

15 February 2013

7 Quick Takes

My first 7 quick takes. It looks like this started as something on a Catholic blog. I really like the idea of documenting seven things or thoughts that happened over the course of the week.

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I made Salted Caramel Brownies last night, and they did not come out exactly how I planned. The homemade caramel worked with non-dairy coconut creamer, but I needed to let it set up longer before mixing into the batter, the caramel melted into the brownies. I guess starting the brownies at 20:00 when I usually go to bed at 21:30, was not the best idea. More experimentation is needed.


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I read about the book Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America on one of the vegan cooking blogs I follow, Bonzai Aphrodite, and I downloaded it to my e-book reader. I'm looking forward to reading the book and I'll post my thoughts when I am done.


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After sleeping on a crazy comfy mattress in Berlin, we could not go back to our terrible, rock hard IKEA mattress. After looking through the websites Sleep Like the Dead and Mattress Underground, I found a latex mattress on Amazon, Ultimate Dreams Latex Mattress, and purchased it. I was a bit leery to buy a mattress off the internet, but I did a lot of research and decided to go for it.

The mattress arrived yesterday and I loved watching the mattress unroll and puff up. We have not slept on it in order to give it time to expand fully, but after laying on it for a bit, we are very very happy.


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The mattress came in a box a bit taller than me and about the same diameter. When we were cleaning up the packaging, Matthew remarked that a kid would love to play in the awesome box. So we turned it into a "time machine" and "teleporter" and shook each other around in the box to make the machine work.


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I like the idea of giving up things for Lent and nine years ago I gave up meat. Over the last few years, I've given up eating most dairy products due to a lactose intolerance.

(I was going to link to the blog entry I wrote about going vegetarian on my old livejournal, but oh my goodness it is waaayyy too embarrassing. I'm glad to know I have grown up between 2004 and 2013.)

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Today an asteroid is making a close pass to Earth. In the magnetospheres class I am taking this semester, we calculated if we should detect the pass of it with ground magnetometers. Probably not is the consensus, but I'll be looking at all the data tomorrow to see if we did!


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I finally took the time to load the pictures I took in Germany onto my computer. Here is my favourite one of me:



I'm drinking Gl├╝hwein at the Potsdamer Platz Weihnachtsmarkt. I am glad I waited so long to upload the photos to my computer. It has been 1.5 months since we returned and looking at the photos reminded me of how much fun I had. Rocky: das Musical! Eating tasty vegan food (even if everything was super salty)! Meeting a friend of Matthew's from high school whom he hasn't seen since high school! I can't wait to return.

11 February 2013

The snow comes up to my knees



Looking out our deck after the most recent winter storm hit the east coast. The snow comes up to the level of our patio chairs. The cat is most displeased that she cannot go outside.



The car buried under all the snow.

I was born and lived until I was twelve in Utah, even so I came completely unprepared for the snowfall that happens in the Northeast. The sky opens and the snow falls steadily for hours. After the snowfall, the sky usually turns a brilliant blue and the temperature plumments. It is stunning. One of things I like about living here.

10 February 2013

First Post!

I've thought about starting a blog for a few weeks. I already have several - cooking, photography, and field work - but I did not have a place to express thoughts I wished to get out of my head and in front of people I know. Also, I wanted to be apart of the seven quick takes Allison and Meghan have been doing every week.