Make that List! (day 106)

Make that list!  Write it down!  Ya, you might remember it, but you might not.  Life enjoys throwing curveballs at you, but all you have to do is remember to check a strategically placed piece of paper, tiny slickboard, or your favorite list app, instead of everything else.  And that piece of paper doesn’t stress out about forgetting to buy pasta, or forget the 3 things you needed because you locked your keys in your car, are running late, or a family member had something bad happen to them.

The cost of writing it down is low.  The cost of hauling a scrap of paper and a pen, or just your phone around is low as well.  The emotional cost of forgetting something is medium to high, the practical cost somewhere between low and moderately high.

Plus, when you do it consistently, you’ll recover more time and emotional energy, because you’ll spend less of both trying to remember whatever you need to remember!  And you can spend those things on other stuff you care about more than the pasta you forgot to buy from the store (which is the *reason* you went to the store in the first place).

I know i’ve written this one before, but humans generally take lots of iterations to learn and remember things; I certainly do. And despite *knowing* I should write things down, I *still* frequently just brush it off.  Especially silly because I have a couple different things which negatively affect my short term memory and attention, but *still* haven’t mastered this particular skill.

So this one is especially for me, although I’m sure everyone who read the first “write it down” might not be executing as perfectly as they’d like either.  Also notable to coming to terms with “never ever repeat yourself” that has been plaguing me; being repetitive is something I want to avoid, but being *useful* is something I want to do, and that can easily involve touching on important things multiple times.

Little things (day 106)

Do little things to make yourself (and people you care about) happier.  Don’t demand of yourself everything be monumental, don’t dismiss the effort as meaningless because they’re small or simple.

Its impressive how much a handwritten name and number from a week ago, or a tiny glass figurine you like feeling the different textures of; a picture, a helpful gesture, or any of a million other tiny things can make a big improvement on your happiness.

You’re worth it.

Ask (day 105)

If you want something, ask! People are not mind readers, have lots going on in their lives, or simply not thinking about whatever specific thing you might want.

Obviously there are exceptions, but very seldom will a polite request end up being negative.

Had a wonderful dinner with a couple good friends I don’t get to see very much tonight.

Sinister Seating (day 104)

The world is designed for right handed people.  It mostly means that intuitive designs aren’t intuitive, and a lot of things are slightly more difficult or awkward.  Most left handed people I know are used to it enough that adaptations are not particularly noticeable, but there’s still plenty of ways to make life a bit better for everyone.

For your standard rectangular table with seating on two sides, there’s only two “left handed seats”: if you’re facing the table, the leftmost seat on each side.  If you’re looking into a booth, it will be the seat all the way against the wall on the left side, and the seat closest to you on the right side.

High quality Text Diagram:


You can sit multiple left handed people in a row, as long as the first one starts at one of the two left handed seats; just as long as you don’t stick any right handed people in between.

Doing this right, you don’t have a left arm bumping a right arm while eating.  It might not sound like much, but bumping arms and elbows during eating gets annoying fast.

Doesn’t have to be a lot of work, but checking quickly if anyone cares, or simply not filling up those seats first can make life a fair bit easier.  Most Lefties that care about it automatically migrate towards those seats, so simply not immediately occupying them will make it easy for everyone to do the seating dance in a way that everyone gets the seats they want.


Kudos to the Joint Chiefs (Day 103)

I’m very happy with the Joint Chief’s quick announcement that nothing will change before guidance is received from the White House regarding Trump’s announcement of Transgender people being banned from the military.

Having the military straight up say “no” to the Commander in Chief is an *extremely scary* thought (worlds scarier than anything that has happened yet, no matter how scary or terrible it has been).

However, completely reasonably dragging one’s feet, not going one step more than is absolutely required to do Trump’s dirty work, and demanding “guidance on implementation” so exactly what Trump wants to do has to be clearly laid out is a great way to not just “follow orders”.  While I dislike Godwin’s law-ing any comparison, bureaucratic obstructionism has saved a tremendous number of lives in the history of the world.

Which leads to the next point: no matter how you stand on Transgender Military Service, decisions like this should not be made rashly, without properly assessing the impacts, costs, benefits, and effects of such a decision, and how the details and specific of implementation may affect all of those criteria.

That none of the top Military people knew this was coming is ridiculously absurd.

Which makes me fairly alert to other policy changes and other international things that may be happening.  Trump is certainly very skilled in playing an audience, so I would not be surprised if this is to distract from other things.  The simplest and most obvious is its a “hey, look over here, look out outrageous I am!” while the House and Senate rush agreement on ACHA.  But it could be something else too.  (A bit tin-foil-hatty, but not outside the realm of possibility)

Seven quotes (day 102)

“Ernest Hemingway once wrote “The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.”. I agree with the second part.”

“-Do you like what you do for a living? These things you see?
-No, I don’t. But that’s life.”

” But you got to be a hero? You want to be a champion. Well, let me tell you, people don’t want a champion. They wanna eat cheeseburgers, play the lotto and watch television.”

“-It’s more comfortable for you to label me as insane.
-It’s *very* comfortable.”

“Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.”

“Picking up diamonds on a deserted island, saving them in case we get rescued.”

“Detective, he’d die of shock right now if you were to shine a flashlight in his eyes. He’s experienced about as much pain and suffering as anyone I’ve encountered, give or take… and he still has hell to look forward to. Good night.”

Hogwart’s houses & Triforce Pieces (day 101)

“I know exactly what I *need* to do…I just need to actually get off my ass and *do* it.”

When playing around in the Triforce/Serenity Prayer realm, the symmetry’s between the 4 harry potter houses and the triforce pieces was fun to play with:

Power ~ Ambition (Slytherin)
Courage ~ Courage (Gryffindor)
Wisdom ~ Knowledge (Ravenclaw)
Hard Work/Loyalty ~ ??? (Hufflepuff)

My conclusion was that Hufflepuff is *playing the game*.  Grinding out heart pieces, slogging through solving the Water Temple puzzles, figuring out where next to go.  Its not glamorous, its often time consuming, and the rewards are often incrimental or facilitating everything else succeeding: that 11th heart container is extremely innocuous until you finish a dungeon with half a heart remaining.

Unguided power can be tremendously and indiscriminately destructive.  Courageously perpetuating wrong actions build the 8 lane superhighway to Dark Places.  Knowledge without context and implementation is that pile of boards and blocks sitting in your backyard, that will totally be a back porch Someday™.

In the end, once the goal is chosen, the right direction is determined, and all the knowledge collected, you gotta get that nose to the grindstone and do the work.

When it comes to video games, generally that hard work is designed to be fun, or entertaining, because video games are a product to be consumed.  When it comes to reality, that hard work is frequently *not* fun, else people would pay to go do it.


Gratitude (Day 100)

I’d hoped to have something excellent for day 100, but instead it was a fail to go to sleep 4 times kind of night/morning; I have enough data that it was reasonable for me to expect the de-sync due to camp, but I think I was still naively hopeful it’d be different this time.

So right now I’m grateful for carpet, its soft, slightly strange feel on my back, and how strange the corners where 2 walls meet the ceiling look when you stare at them, and how they kind of rotate and lose up/down frame of reference. Because focusing on that is far better than staring at anything else, and I’ve hit the wall where I’ll be worse than useless on any productive projects available, and all the mindless stuff is done already.

But more relevantly: thank you to everyone who’s responded to my posts, and given me feedback (positive, enjoyable, and otherwise). I’m glad you’re my friends; hopefully my writing has improved your lives a little bit, as some of you have said, and hopefully I can keep doing so.

Life is better focusing on what makes things good, at least when not actively working on solutions to things that…increase difficulty.


Sleep list: try things (Day 99)

Starting on the list of everything I’ve tried…there’s a *lot*, probably over a hundred unique things to try. This isn’t really news to anyone.

The notable thing is that any given method, habit, or drug has helped people sleep. many people require some combination of these things, and many things don’t work, or don’t matter.

Its good motivation for me to work on this project: having a giant, cohesive list and guide to walk through would make it so much easier to work through the things that do and don’t matter. Collecting bits and pieces from dozens of different sources is hard, especially when you’re tired.

In any case: if you’re struggling, keep trying new things when you can. Frustration is certainly a hell of a hurdle.

Just remember: most everyone stopped when they found what worked for them. “its always darkest before the dawn”. Cliche, but accurate: you get to stop working on it, as well as enjoy getting great sleep once you’ve found what works for you.

Sleep list/book (Day 98)

After a excellent recommendation/suggestion/reminder that I could/should write a book on sleep stuff (with exactly the right amount of sarcasm) from Brian Patrick, I started today. That occupied a significant portion of time, fulfills my goals for the writing project, but doesn’t really correlate to a nice, FB-sharable package.

So expect to get little snippets of sleep things, many of which you probably “know”, although I expect many people are not the best at following them.

#1: only use your bed for 2 things: sleep and sex. Doing other things in bed trains your brain that those things happen in bed. If doing something else in bed until you fall asleep works very well for you (watching something, usually), stick with it, but if you’re having trouble getting to bed on time or with quality of sleep, consider doing those activities outside of your bed, then moving to bed as you get very tired.