My Pyramid Tracker

One Website I’ve been using lately in an effort to improve my overall fitness is My Pyramid Tracker. You enter what you eat each day as well as your activities, and it gives you an indication of how what you eat fits with the recommendations as well as how your activities give you the recommended activity load.

I like the idea, but sometimes it can be hard to find what you ate in their list of items. Additionally, if you do the comprehensive activity tracking, that can be quite tedious.

Find the site at http://www.mypyramidtracker.gov/Default.htm [Site is now superseded by https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/default.aspx].

Blogging Helps Sleep

I have done no scientific study of this, but I have read about it elsewhere and have experienced it. One of the issues that kept me from sleeping well was that I would be thinking about things for some time before I fell asleep. As a consequence, I would wake up at least once a night. Since I have started blogging regularly, I cannot remember awaking in the middle of the night. If I did wake up, it was within a half hour of when my alarm clock would go off. I think that is pretty cool.

Open Casting Call

I am currently casting for a role of a lifetime. The role is in an impromptu production entitled Life co-starring myself as Brant Gurganus and one other person as herself. The production is currently set on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The requirements for the position include at least cursory interest in both computing and camping. This role is open only to straight, single females between the ages of 18 and 25. This production has a worldwide audience. No acting experience is necessary. In order to apply for the role, just e-mail gurganbl@rose-hulman.edu. Casting ends when the role is filled. All casting decisions are final.

In case it isn’t clear, this is not an actual acting role. It is just a creative method that came to mind to advertise my availability and interest in dating or some other activity with another.

Goals

There are certainly many times when people make goals. I like to make goals at times that coincide with the beginning or ending of an event or preferably a collection of events. I made a goal at the beginning of this school year to be off academic probation. I have succeeded in that goal. At the beginning of last summer, I made a goal to rekindle my interest in math, science, and computers. I succeeded in that goal.

It is now the year 2007. It is a new year. That is frequently a time for new goals or resolutions as they are frequently called. While there is no natural reasoning for a year to start or end when it does, the fact that other human events start and end at that time make it a reasonable time for goal setting as well. My goals for 2007 are to stop a few bad habits I have had since childhood, more consistently exercise, and more consistently write.

Many resolutions are broken because they are either not taken seriously or the right steps are not taken in attaining them. One of those right steps is to right down the goals. I will write the goals here so that they are not only written but publically known. By making the goals publically known, peer pressure can help me attain the goals.

My first goal to stop some personal bad habits cannot be described significantly because they are personal habits. I will say that one of my desires will more likely occur as a result of stopping one of the bad habits.

The second goal to exercise more is one of those lingering ones that is typical of resolutions for a new year; however, I already made good progress on it at the beginning of this school quarter. I was doing cardiovascular exercise in the mornings. It was a routine that worked pretty well. I woke up at 7AM. I went to breakfast, and I then waited at least a half hour. I then did the exercise in the SRC once I felt that breakfast had digested. I came back and took a shower. I then had some time to kill before lunch and my first class of the day. However, one of the courses I was taking decided to start meeting at the time I was running. I am a person for whom consistency helps regular events to happen. Because of the occasional meetings for that course, I had a hard time making myself exercise on the days I could. For this and other reasons, I have dropped that course, so I can renew my work on this goal.

My third goal is to more consistently write. The primary inspiration for this goal is the character of Atrus in the Myst computer game series. In addition to the game series, the authors of the game also wrote a series of three books, collectively The Myst Reader: The Book of Atrus, The Book of Ti’ana, and The Book of D’ni. From both the game series and the three books, it is evident that writing is central to the D’ni civilization. Specifically, nearly everybody kept journals of their day-to-day findings and reflections. Additionally, the D’ni had a form of writing known as the Art that allowed one to write a description for a world and that book would literally form a link to a world matching that which was described. That form of writing is not what I am after. The first, reflective, journaling form of writing is the kind I wish to master. For both the characters of Myst, particularly Atrus, and people in real life, writing forms a means of recording what you learn. The reflection aspects provide a means by which to improve one’s own life. Further, much of history is revealed first through written accounts.

From my own history, I wanted to try journaling for a while and I wanted to improve my typing skills. I had learned touch typing in school, but at heart, I was still a hunt-and-pecker. One summer, I made the goal to keep a journal, but I was only going to use the touch typing skills. I created a text file in Notepad and started the file with ".LOG." If you have ever read the help file for Notepad as any geek/nerd/tool like me has, you will know that putting that text at the start of the file will cause Notepad to append the date and time at the end of the file whenever you open it so that log typing may commence from that point. I credit that experience with providing most of my current typing skills. Additionally, I gained insight that combining goals can help them to be achieved. For that reason, not only will I write my goals for 2007 here, I plan to write about my progress with those goals and other thoughts with this blog.