Link love and not doing great at the February challenge

I definitely have not been writing for an hour every morning at 8am.  See, what happened was I had a whole plan all ready … and then I got a major grant*, but they need changes made before they can lock in the money and I really want to get the money locked in ASAP.

Saturday and Sunday I wrote for an hour each sort of in the morning, mostly grant stuff.  Monday I did half an hour.  Tuesday I did half an hour.  Wednesday I did nothing.  Thursday I did an hour.  Friday I did half an hour.  Mostly I did not write first thing in the morning because I was too busy scrambling to get ready for whatever 9:30am appointment I had that day.  I had a lot of meetings (except on Thursday where I only had one!).  Tomorrow I guess I will aim to get that referee report done that I’d planned on doing last weekend.  I still have to read the article and I’m not going to read it tonight.  Maybe Sunday I can try to figure out some actual article writing.

This is the first February challenge I’ve not been keeping up with come heck or high water.  I’m a bit disappointed in myself on that front, but also I’ve been working 10-12 hour days on weekdays (7-5 or 7-7 depending on if I have to pick up a child) and several hours each day on weekends just to keep up with everything, so I’m cutting myself some slack on that front.  Still, my end on the grant thing should be done as of today so I need to get back on track with my original plans.  Wish me luck on that.  (Also, I’ve been keeping my inboxes below 320 messages, but only by deleting around 40/day.  It’s going to be a busy weekend.)

And now for some links!  We tried a little harder for some cheerful non-political ones this week.  It’s a little hard since I’m only reading two twitter feeds and am avoiding the news and #2 keeps sending me horrible articles(!) (technically, well-written articles about horrible things because you know, the US).

Go San Francisco! (part VIII is especially great) (SF is where the appeals court for the 9th circuit is) “Minutes after the ruling was released, President Trump denounced it from his Twitter feed. “See you in court,” he tweeted, in all caps.” (but then he didn’t)

This is one of those horrible articles #2 has been sending.

Zombie apocalypse (#1 notes that there are some pretty strong assumptions in that article)

Fascism

Trump and birth control

I’m not sure I agree with this, but it is food for thought.  I definitely think it’s important to make Neo-Nazis ridiculous again and to not give them a platform.  At the same time, we’ve learned recently that we need to take racist threatening buffoons seriously.

twitter

This is cool

I need a shirt that says “dismal scientist”.  Choose science!  Yay scientists!

#2 is going to the Scientist march in DC!  I’m going to a local one.

let America vote

Where are they going?

Look what is happening in Texas.  In Texas!  Look what is happening in Utah.  In Utah!

If you’re a Democrat in a red state and you’ve spent the last month calling your Senator about [insert evil corrupt cabinet pick here]… definitely read this link.

Also, fight people who tell you activism isn’t worth it.  My colleague who I yelled at for telling me my calls didn’t matter came to my office this week to tell me that maybe they did since the state legislature had tabled one of their awful alt-right bills– after public outcry, they’re not even going to vote on it.

In case you need to measure text readability because your IRB says you have to

persistence postcards

What happened after Huckabee said something homophobic.

general strike feb 17th (I’m not sure how I feel about these since in the US only the privileged can participate, but maybe that’s ok?)

ACLU fundraising frenzy

Does this actually work?

I wore my beta hat today

Happy second blogoversary, Crazy Grad ma!

Four easy and romantic meals to impress your valentine

Love is Love

a podcast so boring it’s meant to help you fall asleep

should parents pay for childrens’ college?

This makes my day better

girlfriend got him a cat  trying to do paperwork

A rich source

tiny hats on cats

three

Note on the videos– this first one here for me is like taking Valium.  Does anybody else get that sense of zen?  DH doesn’t– he feels super trippy, but not like he’s successfully meditated.  I feel like it takes over the part of my brain that’s constantly worrying about the state of the world.

*(yay)

Advertisements

February is challenge month: I gotta get some @$!& written

February is the shortest month, which makes it the best month for one-month challenges!

(Note that we’re still doing activism regularly, but that’s not a one month and done thing.  That’s a we can’t become a fascist state thing and it’s going to last potentially for years.)

Last year I was most worried about my sedentary life style. (Apparently that was also the focus in the previous year.)  This year I decided not to make a challenge out of that, but I’ve moved my “trying to take a walk” thing to lunchtime instead of after work, and that’s been working out a lot better for me, especially since I no longer want to surf the internet on my lunch break like I once did.  Plus I’m back to 6 hours of teaching each week which is surprisingly good exercise when you use the board a lot and get really excited about math…

Prior to that we did a number of frugality challenges, but while DH is still employed we need the time more than we need the money, so they’re kind of exercises in pointlessness.

What is really a problem with my life right now is that I have NOTHING UNDER REVIEW.  My last under-review paper is forthcoming.  That’s it.  Nothing is under review.  Nothing.  Some of that is that I spent way too much time writing a couple of book chapters.  Some of it is my work being accepted fairly quickly.  But a lot of that is that the election and activism and getting back into teaching etc. have kind of pushed me off my regular work rhythms and I haven’t been doing the writing/data munging/reading/email/classprep daily routine that usually works best for me.  This month is going to change that.  I am going to have a conference-ready draft of one paper by all of the upcoming March deadlines and I’m going to have something under review before my annual report is due.

How am I going to do that?  The old-fashioned way.  I need to start my mornings with an hour of writing.  If I can commit to that, the rest falls into place because I need to have something to write about.  I also can’t putter around during the quiet 8am hour on days I have a 9:30am class and I certainly can’t spend the morning on the internet before putting my clothing on and getting to work.  The five day a week habit will hopefully get back into place for March itself, but the challenge will also include weekends.  The one day a week I will take off from early morning writing is the day of my 8am office hours, for which I will do the writing later in the day (I have late office hours another day).

I may not have a new draft done by the end of February, but I will be a lot closer to meeting those March deadlines than I am now.

So that’s my February challenge:  28 days of writing an hour each morning.  Starting today.

A journey of a lot of steps: What I did or didn’t learn from the Feb challenge

I learned that having to think about exercising (and, indeed, to exercise) decreased my work productivity.

I learned that pacing is a lot easier in a 3000 sq ft place than a 1200 sq ft place.

I do like walking, but if I want to do more of it, I think it needs to be in a world where I don’t want to do other stuff as much.

Normally with exercise challenges one wants to know if one got stronger or if one lost weight.  Both of these are really difficult to answer because of two things.  1.  DH decided he needed to cut back on sweets and then gave up on cutting back and then got reenergized to give up sweets again.  Since I have ZERO willpower when it comes to high quality pastries, my weight mostly fluctuated with his decisions.  Who knows what the no stepping counterfactual would have been.  2.  I got really sick the third week with lingering cold/allergies which made it hard to breathe deeply.

Everyone in the house was pretty happy when the step challenge was over, even though for DH it meant more walking chores.  One fewer chore to have to remember every day.

I think I need to go back through previous posts and see if any past challenges have been worthwhile.  And then a thinky post on the nature of challenges.  I suspect that I know the answer– challenges that produce something worthwhile in the short term (money saved, pages written) seem to be better than ones that attempt to change a habit, but there may be other items I need to ponder.

Link love!

Challenge update:
Goal: 4000 steps/day
Sat: 6,639 (I was sick and had trouble breathing)
Sun: 8 (walking through it on Sat didn’t help, so I spent Sun in bed)
Mon: 4,055 (still sick, but on the mend)
Tue: 7,047 (DH gone! Had to walk places)
Wed: 5,137 (still sick)
Thurs: 10,947 (much better! decided to walk DC2 to school and back)
Fri: 12,297(walked DC2 to school and back *and* walked DC1 downtown for lunch because Friday was a short school day for NO REASON)

Disney:  still racist.

Historical African American needlework in context

Tech companies, stahp hiring and coddling bigots!

Still loving true stories backward’s posts on career driven girls in YA literature.

What civil war nurses did after the war.

Protesting sexist dress codes!  (Because a boy’s inability to concentrate in a normal environment is still more important than a girl’s right to learn.)

John Kasich being sexist.

Of all the good G#$@#$ gall.

How American journalists reported the rise of Hitler.  (Interestingly, this was commented on in the Ngaio Marsh book from 1935 that I just read.  Could totally have replaced the word “Hitler” with “Trump” in that scene and the context would have been the same.)

Powerpoint to UH faculty re: new gun law on campus.  Full ppt here.

depressing if true (if results hold up)

tragic and so preventable

I think this post on agency pairs really well with our post on complaining– we are more sympathetic when people are complaining because they don’t have agency (or when they’re using their agency to reduce what the problem is, but less sympathetic when they use their agency to cause the complaining or to not try to mitigate it).

Summer camps for gifted kids and teens.

In case you wanted to know more about the man behind Mr. Money Moustache

Donna Freedman has been thinking about retirement.

Does your family qualify for financial aid?

Planning for job evaporation and what’s next

Did you know that you can look up your name on urban dictionary?

In case you ever wondered how much a house hunters episode is fake vs. real

stata can do some pretty cool stuff with MLM in the newest version

daria had a web page back in the day.

We did this as a Christmas present for DH’s grandma before she descended into Alzheimer’s (though with a book that had questions listed already).  I’m so glad we did.  Making up your own questions has to be even better.

the potato apocalypse

we’ve so far survived the week without whatever

#ObamaAndKids  Love it SO MUCH!  I really do hope a coffee table book comes out because I would totally buy it.  How can you not get teary-eyed scrolling through it?

Little light little late link love

#1 was traveling this week and meant to do link love last night but went to sleep instead.

Oh, and you probably wanted the challenge update (goal this week 3000).  Where did my phone end up?
Feb 7: 4,411 (<3 library!)
Feb 8: 3,069 (I paced to tip me over)
Feb 9: 3,239 (ditto)
Feb 10: 3,012 (there was a lot of pacing this week)
Feb 11: 3,154 (sense a pattern?)
Feb 12: 6,898 (I connected in a different airport on the way back and it wasn’t clear where the terminal shuttle was so I walked to terminal C.  Then I took the train home.)

Let’s see, what all did we have…

11 comics to read if you loved Beyonce’s formation

The case for Hillary Clinton.  A must read even if you have no intention of voting for her because it is really clear about a lot of the sexism in the cases against her.

Progressive.  Also a must read.

The presidency should go to the most qualified candidate

down and out in statistical computing

A problem with those Zika warnings

This is kinda fun

In the world of, wait, what?

to solve the skills gap

procrastination

A new nope gif

Link love and a challenge update

For those following me at home.  This week’s goal was 2,500 steps/day.  How did I do?:
Feb 1: 7,194 (DH had a dentist appointment so I had to get DC1 which I did on foot)
Feb 2: 2,951 (Pacing while waiting for DH put me over the edge on this one)
Feb 3: 6,946 (I had the car so I had to walk from the parking lot, went for coffee at work, walked to the village store during DC1’s piano lesson to pick up a loaf of bread)
Feb 4: 9,769 (DH had the car so I walked to pick up both kids.  We got smoothies on the way home from DC2.)
Feb 5: 4,420 (Decided to pick up DC1 by foot for funsies because I was home because my laptop broke at work and I’ve been seriously procrastinating)

Go me.  One thing I notice is that I would rather exercise than work which means my work has been suffering a bit.  :/  DC1 chatters a lot more while walking home than zie does in the car (where zie generally reads a book).

And now for some links!

UN experts horrified by how American schools treat black children.

Marlon Brando on Hollywood’s diversity problem.

America Ferrera answers a stupid question.

What happened when Texas defunded Planned Parenthood, the answer may not surprise you.

The comments on every article about sexism illustrate the exact problem

For a laugh.

Read the comments and ponder how privilege is a many splendored thing

Michael Moore on the Flint tragedy

Dr. Cleveland was wrong about Hillary Clinton.

The only reason to attack Clinton on lack of progressivity is political.

Wandering scientist has a one hour productivity seminar

Budgetpalooza

Hypnotic

newborn horse sneezes

How many steps: February challenge update

I spent the week trying to do better about carrying my phone so I’d have a baseline step information.  This was complicated by two factors:

  1. Not all of my pants pockets are cell-phone compatible.
  2. At the end of the day I need to plug my phone in so it can eat yummy electricity (I usually do this as soon as I get home so I don’t forget).

Add to that that my DH and I did the exact same hike on Saturday but somehow he ended up walking considerably “longer” in miles according to his phone than I did in addition to taking “more” steps even though I’m much shorter (probably because his was in his pants pocket and mine varied between my jacket and a bag used to carry jackets), and I’m fairly sure that the actual number of steps is incorrect.

However, incorrect they may be, so long as they’re consistently incorrect that’s a reasonable baseline.

Here’s what we’ve got:

Jan 25: 1761
Jan 26: 2127
Jan 27: 1519 (incompatible pants day)
Jan 28: 2134
Jan 29: 2362
Jan 30: 10862
Jan 31: 6430

So that tells me that I can get 2000 steps per day pretty easily.  Here’s my plan for the month (minimums):

Week 1: 2500 steps/day
Week 2: 3000 steps/day
Week 3: 3500 steps/day
Week 4: 4000 steps/day

I know it seems pretty modest, but it did take a 2 hour hike plus grocery shopping and walking to the library to get that 10,862 step number and I have some deadlines this month so two hours+ of exercise each day just isn’t feasible.  Plus I don’t wear the phone all day, though I bet by week 4 I’ll be better about remembering it during the day even if I still plug it in when getting home at night.

I will allow myself to take a break if I am genuinely sick (not the irritating cold I’m nursing). If I break my leg or something I’ll find an alternative exercise.

Wish me luck and a lack of broken limbs!