Category Archives: Personal Development

Happy 2012 to everyone!

I haven't posted my own words here in quite sometime and so, among other things, resolve to post more in 2012.

Traditionally, I have created different blogs for other interests (By Will Alone & Spontaneous Ideas among them).  Some of that is to create separate forums for those thoughts and some is for some measure of privacy.  I may merge them into this blog and see how it goes.  Or not.  We'll see.

What not to wear, or our desire to make people conform

Dave Policar cited this post which I rather like and thought I would repost as well:

Today, as usual, $name_radacted got up and dressed herself in a frilly
purple dress, a delicate purple knitted sweater, and blue fleece pants
with hearts on them. Then she came downstairs and did gymnastics for a
while and then we went to daycare and tried to do chin-ups on the adult
tables. I love that. You love it. Everyone loves it. Later in life she
will face unfairness and they will tell her she can't do the rings in
gymnastics and she'll learn that women's hockey is different and that
women's uniforms are skimpy and she'll watch Olympic volleyball players
sliding across the sand in bikinis, but right now she is in a perfect
halcyon moment of freedom and joy.

Here is how it is for boys.
Boys are policed for dress and behavior at two, three years old. I left
a local parent's email list because people kept writing in for advice
on how to stop their three-year-old sons from wearing dresses. It was
couched in this vile language of "I worry about him at school" but
there was not even a breath of "how can I help my son be okay at
school" or "how can I support my son's choices even if school doesn't
allow it." No. It was all "how can I make him stop." In other words:
"Help me enforce the repression I assume will come from his classmates.
Help it come from me."

Let me be blunt: you must never do this.
Never. Parenting styles are different and families are different and
children are different but on this point there can be no negotiation:
you must never do this. You must never do it to your own children, to
your friends's children, to children at the park. You must never
sympathize with other parents who do it. It should be melodrama and
hysteria to say this kills children but we know, right now, that
it's not.

I know it's not easy. I know it's ingrained. I know
it's uncomfortable. I know it's habit. I know other people judge. We
can talk about how and when and practice and flinching away from
conflict. Those are fine. But we are adults. It is hideous and insane
and unbearable that the stakes are this high, but we do not let
children pay our debts just because we can't believe anyone agreed to
those terms. Our embarassment is not more important than a child's

The comments are pretty interesting, but then that is what I expect of people posting on Dave's blog.

Still, the post above reminded me of one of my favorite XKCD cartoons:


Shutting down Kula Ring

I recently found the site Just For The Love Of It
that does pretty much what I wanted to do with my Kula Ring project.  It does not do all that I wanted to do, but since they are further along, it just does not make sense to keep Kula Ring around taking up my thoughts and limited attention, if only to worry about not doing it.

So, I am
officially shutting Kula Ring down and will keep the site around as
long as I want to pay for the domain name.  The decision took me all of two days to make, and allows me to concentrate on other projects that I have been thinking about.

I suggest that folks who want to give others the gift of their time and need a tool to help them find folks to give their time to, and more, should go to Just For The Love Of It.

Project Sweet Tooth Progress – February-June 2009

It has been a long time since I blogged about my project sweet tooth.  I have been diligently recording my efforts to cut down on eating sweets and sleeping more.  Though, based on this night you would no doubt be sure that I am failing at the later objective.

So here is a table of my progress over the first half of the year:

Month Days w/o Sweets 8+ hr Nights
January 23 5
February 19 9
March 23 10
April 16 6
May 20 7
June 20 7

So things have bounced around a bit. Clearly I need to get more sleep, and I should cut down on the sweets better. Still, I haven't had a soda in over half a year and I consider that an accomplishment.

The incentives haven't worked out terribly well, since at this point I have 42 hours of hobby time unused. I think I need to reduce the payoff to provide the incentive I need.

Project Sweet Tooth Progress – January 2009

I found that my previous Project Sweet Tooth incentives proved to be unworkable, because if I did use them I would end up frittering away all my time reading things on the web.  So I changed the incentives back to how I had originally envisioned them:

  • 1/2 hour for each day without sweets or soda
  • 1/2 hour for each night of eight hours of sleep

During January, I avoided sweets for 23 of 31 days and got at least eight hours of sleep for 5 of 31 nights.  This brings me to 14 hours towards my hobbies (aka me time).  Of this time, I used about five hours, and carried over nine hours into February.

Project Sweet Tooth

I have kept my new year resolutions to a minimum this year.  I figure that less is more in this case. 

I have a sweet tooth and I am overweight.  So my primary resolution is to cut back on eating sweets.  This includes soft drinks.  Lemonade is allowed, but has to be watered down by half.  To spur my efforts, I decided to provide an incentive to myself.  For each day that I do not eat sweets, I bank an hour for "me time".  That includes my hobbies, side projects, Green-Rainbow Party activities and surfing the web. This way, I have two limits.

So far I have gone seven days without eating sweets or drinking soft drinks.  I find that I am hungrier, so I am trying to eat more fruit and vegetables.  I even resisted the donuts during a work meeting, which is quite the achievement since I tend to have little will power with them.

Wish me luck.

Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie

I went looking for action figures (aka dolls) for Liam that were not your standard knight/star wars character/monster/transformer.  I searched for Gandhi action figures and didn’t find anything.  They I searched for anarchist action figures and I am still looking.  Along the way I came across Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie.  Very funny and highly useful.  Enjoy.