September 29, 2009

skoochin along

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:56 pm

Things are a flurry of activity on the home front these days.  We are selling, packing, storing and otherwise getting ready for the big jump.  I’ve only got a very few days left before my flight.  Today, we are having the carpets cleaned.  Thanks to some near heroic efforts from my sister, the painting is going fairly well.  We have primed 2/3 of the house and done the trim on 1/2 the downstairs.  Tomorrow should see that task done (or close enough).  I expect we will have things straightened out by the end of the week, but probably not by Wednesday.

Thankfully, my new sister in law has leant me her SUV, thus increasing our cargo carrying capacity significantly.  On top of that, the storage space MA’s parents have provided is saving us a bundle of money.  All together, family members are reducing the expense of this move by close to $1,000 a year.  This illustrates how happy they are to get rid of me =)

In other news, I was stung by a bee on my foot yesterday.  Oddly, that has turned out to be much less painful than I would have expected.  Definitely turned out worse for the bee, I’m sure.

September 18, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:53 pm

While we have been doing a lot of sorting and packing for the last few weeks, this weekend will represent the key tipping point.  We will be renting a moving van in order to take care of our couches, arm chairs, etc.  The house is going to look very different with those items out.  This is probably a good thing, as I only have about 2 weeks left, and we haven’t started painting yet.  The pace of change is going to be changing significantly, but the total work is probably going to be roughly the same, since we (MA) have been focusing on dealing with the small objects thus far.

As I will soon be distributing my email address to my contacts here in STL, I’ve been thinking of creating a new email address to replace what my current gmail/hotmail account(s).  Unfortunately, as I don’t have a distinctive name, and 2 billion people have already created accounts, my options for an account name are limited.   Therefore, you now have the chance to influence my future brand!  What email address would you suggest I use?

September 16, 2009

Artistic Expression

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:10 am

As we are packing, we have come across some art work.  I’m interested to know the context around this piece that Star did at her class last year:


September 4, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:02 pm

Ich bin zer froh darauf.

Should be here in 3-5 days.


September 3, 2009

Oh, frabjous day

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:22 pm

Turns out State farm will insure a cello on an international flight.  This really helps with the decisions…

September 2, 2009

My bodily fluids

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:16 pm

Given the vagaries of my currently odd diet, combined with my sister’s reliably capacity to mock me doing weird things, I am now paying more attention to my urine than is altogether expected. Borrowing a page from life lives of diabetics, many atkins-ers use small strips of cardboard with a detector tab on one end to measure the degree of ketosis their body is experiencing. The theory is that once you have induced ketosis, you can dial back to a higher level of carbs (than the expected 20 grams per day) until you are in a stable sort of state. The pee sticks are supposed to help you determine this balance.

In my case they are highly annoying. Aside from the fact that I have never paid so much attention to such things, I get very ambiguous results. Despite staying at 20 carbs for the entire period of this diet, my detector tabs claim I am varying widely in my ketone density. There appears to be a general trend toward low levels during mid-day, which could suggest carbs are sneaking into my lunches, but I really don’t see how that can be happening. An alternative is that about 20% of the tabs are defective, but then I would expect to see the atypical results evenly distributed. A third possibility is that my metabolic trends during the day lend themselves to metabolizing less food, therefore creating few ketones, even though my body is shifted into a proper ketosis.

I spend a lot of time peeing on sticks is the main point here.

In other news, I have decided to start a personal happiness project. This is significantly motivated by how much my happiness has already increased based on certain changes in my life over the past year or so. As those changes have resulted in a very pleasant increase, how about a positive feedback loop? From my research thus far, I have decided to start by applying the following tools:

  • Getting an extra 1/2 hour of sleep
  • Keeping a list of things I am thankful for on a daily basis
  • Regularly self-reviewing for cognitive biases which disproportionately reduce happiness (such as emotional prediction, etc.)

This is going to be a hard project to track for many reasons, several of which are:

  • Inherent problems in subjective measurement in a small population sample (me)
  • Difficulty of assessing the baseline happiness that would be expected under the circumstances
  • Sticking with such a program at all

As a side note, I wonder if collecting this much data on myself is an indicator of narcissism? If so, I hope to be saved by the following:


In family-related updates, Stella has transitioned to a no-training wheels bike. She was quite apprehensive at first, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was for her. She is still adapting to the new mechanics, but she hasn’t fallen off her bike even one time yet. Yipee for her!

On the same day of this momentous event, the children has a play session in the underbrush at the park. They found enough stuff lying around to start constructing a fort/nest. This was great fun for a while, until they found some sort of rusted anti-vampire spike. Here is Dandelion in Hamlettian contemplation:


It was fun for a while, until I decided to dispose of it. Stella was brought to tears by this, but eventually understood that it was not a safe plaything and really should not have been left lying around. My approval ratings barely survived.

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