Posts filed under 'Schtuff'
My Twitter feed includes TED talk announcements. The one that caught my eye this afternoon was ‘9 thought-provoking talks in four minutes or less‘. Whatever the topic, I appreciate someone working to express something well in a short period of time – thought it was worth a few minutes to hear a talk or two.
The first talk in my stream was Matt Cutts ‘Try something new for 30 days‘ The idea is that anyone can try something out for 30 days : it’s long enough to let you form a habit, and not so long that it’s too overwhelming to begin or make it through. It’s also long enough to actually let you achieve something.
I think I’ve read the idea in other magazines and such before, and can’t state whether Matt is its originator or just a good person at expressing it. That said, he did get me thinking – what are good 30 day goals for me?
Quick run-down of ideas:
- read the Bible every day (that oughta already have stuck, but I fall off the wagon and have to get myself back on)
- some sort of fitness activity : squats, pushups, … These aren’t new, but I could get to a new level. Beats aiming at new levels on Temple Run 2
- a software activity: code in a particular language every day for, well, 30 days.
- a more specific software goal: build a mobile game. Doesn’t have to be great – just a game. Frankly, copy an idea, so the idea itself isn’t the blocker. Since the goal isn’t to make money/copyright, just try to get a simple game working.
- unicycle… As in, I can’t now, but I want to. I have two unicycles – warm them up.
- garden. An odd thirty day goal, perhaps, but maybe week 1 is planning, week 2 is seeding/planting, and by week 3 I’m weeding/watering? [Highly optimistic timeline, but I'd love to get in a gardening habit that doesn't die out in weed-choked, low yield apathy.]
… more inspiration / ideas to come. Putting it out there here helps me catch the idea and inspiration, and then see it again later and do a ‘hey, I wanted to do this’ thing that’ll nudge me forward.
Feeling a bit inspired now, and only did 1 of the “9 thought-provoking talks.
February 27th, 2014
Just saw an image of a woman giving CPR to an infant, and it reminded me of a few things I need to act upon.
Learning CPR is important – being ready for the emergency, for the opportunity to save a life – that’s important. I was trained in college, when I was a rugby coach. But I haven’t renewed in a long time. Time to find a class…
Giving blood is important. My body produces blood, through no talent of mine. Even on my worst day, in terms of impact to the world, I can give blood and help tip the balance for someone’s life. Time to donate again, particularly before I get my next tattoo (tattoos mean you can’t give again for a year – the ink can be in your bloodstream, which could cause an allergic reaction in others…). Which means, time to take more iron – to not repeat the last ill-fated donation. If I’m going to get my finger pricked, I’m darn sight gonna give some blood this time.
Sharing my faith, particularly with my kids, is important. In fact, growing in my faith, so that it’s more evident as being meaningful, is even more important. My oldest daughter has been asked by our church to consider confirmation classes, and I think she’s likely to side-step this year… She can claim she’s shy (true), that it’s a lot of work (true, too)… I count that as a loss, but I’d rather have her do so when _she’s_ ready to investigate than when I wish she were ready. However, our pastor sent ahead the confirmation “to-do” list. I want to share the list with her, and then let her hold me accountable for working through the list myself… It may make an impression on her, it may not, but I certainly think that the things they ask teenagers to learn and practice are ones that would be valuable for me, as well.
February 21st, 2014
Hanging out in my local pretentious bar. It’s not what I’d call the local pub – too many ‘interesting’ beers on the menu. But oh so interesting. And the bartender is talking about the sorts of drinks she’d like to try – will _have_ to come back in, even though the food is overpriced. I have this image of having a book club here, and letting this bartender suggest a drink of the night. She’s raving over international recipes and ingredients like tamarind. My kind of adventurous place.
January 6th, 2014
I’m looking around my home this morning, two of my three kids in view. One’s at the computer – I’m thankful that we can provide them things that let them explore the world. The other greets me with a chipper “Hi, mom!”. I’m thankful for the great relationship we have with all three of them. The last is downstairs, I think: of the three she’s the one who most often leaves little drawings around, and I’m thankful for her creative spirit. Yesterday, she and her big sister got tasked with “make something that looks like a turkey – here’s some walnuts, pipe cleaners, and other craft supplies”. Our centerpiece of mums ended up with 3 turkey heads poking up out of it, and the explanation was that the turkeys were hiding from becoming Thanksgiving supper.
My husband walks into the kitchen, on the phone with his mom. They’re finalizing the preparations for him to fly out tomorrow to go help his brother and brother’s family move to our area. I’m thankful for my husband’s generous approach to life: his brother one of many folks he’s helped in various ways this year. I’m thankful for the opportunity upcoming to get to know my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece, as they move into the area for a few years. And I’m thankful for my mother-in-law and father-in-law: they were over yesterday for an early Thanksgiving dinner. They have always been supportive of our family, and are just great folks in general.
I think out more broadly… we’ve changed churches lately, and I’m thankful for both the church we’ve left and the one we’ve been attending. Both have and are teaching us much, and I cherish the friendships we grew at our “old” church, as well as the chance to engage with new folks at our “new” church. Both churches honor and worship God, and I am thankful to get to share in their fellowship and worship.
I think of my extended family. Those relationships are more strained this year than I’d like. I’m thankful that there’s still at least the potential to repair them, that family members still seem to have their health, and that for one family member, at least, this year wasn’t their last.
I think of our health, those of my kids and my husband and mine. My husband’s been given a clear bill of health again this year from his doctor’s, and we get to grow another year older together. My kids have been blessedly healthy and even injury free this year. I drew the short straw on injuries and managed to top out our HSA this year (thankful for great healthcare! and thankful for a reprieve from surgery!), but have recovered and gone back to the activities I love.
I’m looking around at my WordPress dashboard, and seeing an upgrade notice. That reminds me that I’m thankful for the opportunity to work in a field I love. Later today and this weekend I’ll be working on a volunteer project to provide a registration system for a charity that’s doing some great work in the community. I’m thankful that the Lord’s blessed me with skills that I can use, and pointed me towards opportunities to use them.
Yesterday we had the mom of Cora’s friends over, and the day before we were out and about with a young lady who’s an extension of the Coleman family. The day before that, we were retrieving Callie from a not-quite-successful sleepover at another friend. Very thankful for friendships, growing and grown, and hope to always remain open and inviting for more.
The Lord has blessed us this year in many ways, and I offer thankfulness to Him for another year to live, to enjoy His blessings, and to learn more how to serve Him well in every area of my life. May your Thanksgiving be as abundant in thankfulness!
November 28th, 2013
Well appreciate this ad campaign for motorcycles. I’m not someone who’s likely to buy a Ducati (wrong style of bike), but REALLY love this campaign.
Full article available at Fast Company…
November 23rd, 2013
Just got a new Twitter follower. Wasn’t someone I knew, so I went out to check out who they were. CEO of a tech company who has a large number of folks who they follow. My suspicion is that this guy noticing my Twitter feed was due more to me following someone else that they follow than anything else, but might be related to OWF or to rugby or to open-source or to who knows what else. Twitter is slightly nondiscriminate.
So, this guy’s tweet feed. Typical executive feed: links to articles they find interesting, which, actually, is far more useful than to me as a Twitter follower than some of the folks who mostly use it to hold visible conversations. Seeing a ‘thanks!’ tweet or ‘I thought the same!’ isn’t enough to make me go check out the full thread to see if there was something useful there. Seeing an interesting article cross-referenced: usually more useful.
2nd tweet down the list:
These High-Tech Underwear Keep Your Farts From Smelling | Co.Exist | ideas + impact http://buff.ly/16u2aON #finally
This poor guy, who I’ve never met / will likely never meet, will forever be linked in my brain as the guy who advertised to the world that he’s interested in underwear that covers up his farts… And THAT’s why you need to be careful what you link to. And now I’m sorely tempted to link to it, just to pass along that ‘hee hee’ moment to someone else.
October 26th, 2013
My kids gets this amazing summertime experience: long days, little to no schedule, and family members around to be able to do things. They have the benefit of a stay-at-home-parent, so we don’t need to send them somewhere to fit into someone else’s schedule. The rub: they’ve got no driver to do anything in particular. So, every summer I ask each kid to think about what they’d like to learn or try over the summer. Callie and I in particular have had a great time building these lists. Last year’s list had everything from ‘go to a tea party’ to ‘rollerskate’ to ‘learn to unicycle’ to ‘go camping’. We didn’t accomplish all of them, but it was a lot of fun to both think up the list, and then also to get to cross things off. I also think it’s important to point my kids to thing towards bigger ideas and goals, to not just live in an hour by hour what keeps me from being bored kind of mental model.
I have an informal summer list this year… things on it include ‘learn to juggle 4 balls’ (I can do 3, but have never solved 4), ‘unicycle’ (we didn’t solve it last year, but now have two unicycles to work with), and ‘write a mobile app’. That last one’s for a contest with a deadline. Deadlines are good things. I’ve had that same unicycle goal on a list of 100 goals since 2007… Some of the other 100 goals I’ve met: I’ve driven a motorcycle, gotten another tattoo, taken my family to Disney, and read the Bible through completely, as well as a few other goals. Of the original 100, I’ve accomplished 12 1/3 so far. The 1/3 comes from a goal that says I’ll crochet an afghan for each of my kids. 1′s done, 1′s in progress (been in progress for a while) and the last hasn’t started.
Looking over the list, none are ones that I want to strike, though a few have gotten more complicated. It was simpler to visit my grandmother once a month when she lived in Silver Spring rather than out near Cumberland: think that one will be amending to ‘visit or call’. I could see adding new goals prioritized over the original batch of 100. For example, I want to earn a most-valuable-player ring from my rugby team, as well as want to win a championship with our team. Those goals might come ahead of ‘spend at least a week touring in Australia’…
Revisiting the list helps kick me out of my own personal rut of whatever I’m dealing with day-to-day to remind me of big dreams and the idea that some things are worth planning out small steps to get to bigger dreams. That’s one of the things I want to teach my kids, as well as remind myself. Going to go sketch in some ideas for my mobile app…
July 4th, 2013
May the 4th was Star Wars Day, as well as Free Comic Book Day. Complete geekfest. After an alumni rugby game (we won, I scored!) and a lunch out with the kids, I took my younger daughter to the local comics store. She’s not hooked, but now I am – after she asked me the ‘where are the girls in comic books?’, I went hunting for female characters. Found two new comic series: the Fearless Defenders and Ame-Comi Girls. Fearless Defenders is a new story line, mostly, while the Ame-Comi Girls series tells the stories of the women from the DC Universe comics. We see how Wonder Woman ended up coming off her island and why she’s in such a revealing costume (she resents it, by the way), get to see adventure stories of BatGirl and SuperWoman, etc.
I was never all that interested in comic books as a kid, but really liking this stuff. I figure purchasing them helps send an economic signal that folks are interested in these story lines. And if it doesn’t succeed, I suspect these comic books could end up as collectibles of interest to women such as myself – win, win.
Oooh, I see there are two new Fearless Defenders out – gotta go hit my local comic book store!
June 1st, 2013
After a pretty lousy day at work, had great fun geeking out a little this evening.
* Lego WeDo – spinning ducks! (first efforts at activities for a corporate Women In Computing Day this Sunday… LOVE that the women in our company are now pulling this together for the 3rd year! Uh, linked video is not me or my child commenting…)
* Used a random number generator online to pick the winner of a 50/50 raffle to benefit some rugby players fundraising to go to Russia for the World University games. These ladies are all Naval Academy midshipmen, so have some significant restrictions on how they can fundraise. Help them out via their fundraising site
* ThinkGeek has a Mother’s Day section! Uh, not so keen on the whole idea of cosmetics on ThinkGeek. That said, superhero socks (somehow listed in the cosmetics section?) would be pretty fun to have peeking out under slacks at work on tough days…
April 30th, 2013
I’m ready to get my next tattoo, or even set of tattoos. Kid-themed, I think, where kids = bears, squids, and maybe CareBears. That’s parental love, if I end up with the pain of inking for a CareBear. Given that Callie just got her hair dyed blue (ends only!), I’m now thinking Squid Girl – anime series.
Tattoos for my kids. Not exactly the kind of rebellion I imagined when I got my first at 19… But somehow a good marker of my life and how it’s changed since then.
April 2nd, 2013