All posts by larrinski

About larrinski

I am a science loving, mountain biking addict who blogs about evolution, politics, my take on GTD/productivity, corporate greed, cool science, the insanity of intelligent design, my spin on current events, and a bit of random stuff to lighten things up! In other words, my ramblings...

Birthday Surprise! Beer of the Day – McEwan’s Scotch Ale

McEwansMy wife and I went out for a date tonight to celebrate my birthday! We went to a nice restaurant called the Mahle House, thanks to my mother-in-law getting us a gift certificate for Christmas!

The best part of the dinner was that I decided to treat myself by getting a beer, which I typically never do when we go out. To my surprise, on the menu, was my very favourite beer, McEwan’s!

Back in the early 90’s my good friend Dave and I went camping on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in a place called Tofino. It’s beautiful! Trust me when I say if you ever want to visit Canada, Tofino & Long Beach are a must stop on your trip.

Anyhow, when we were setting up our trip, we didn’t have a cooler, and needed to find beer that we could drink warm on the beach. The guy at the beer store suggested McEwan’s. Ever since I’ve had such fond memories of my times camping there, and have considered it one of my favourites.

That is until a couple of years ago, when I was told that this Scottish classic wasn’t being imported into Canada anymore.

That is until I saw it on the menu today, on my birthday!

What a great birthday present for me. :)

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A Football Coach teaching Tolerance and Inclusiveness

Today I was moved by an article I read over at Delancey Place. The excerpt speaks for itself, so I won’t go into too much of the content, as I recommend going there to read it for yourself.

Having grown up in a hockey & football focused high school, I have a pre-conceived notion of what the boys were raised to be like by their coaches. I ran into aggressive, sometimes violent classmates that loved to fight, intimidate, and gang up on other kids that were not part of their small circle of like minded friends. Being a soccer player, into trumpet, and having friends in drama, I was a target myself of bullying. Luckily for me, I had an athletic streak, and had a way to talk myself out of getting the shit kicked out of me. Many other kids were not so lucky…

When I read this article, all I could think about was how I wished that this coach’s program would be taught as a mandatory course in all high schools! I was blown away…And, I really questioned some of my beliefs on why I lump everyone involved in these sports into the same box. This coach seems amazing!

Here is a short part of the excerpt. Click through the link at the bottom to read the entire article.

In today’s encore selection — as reported by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jeffrey Marx in Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood. Gilman High School in Maryland has a highly successful football team. And its coaches have a few unusual rules — such as an ironclad rule that no Gilman football player should ever let another Gilman boy — teammate or not — eat lunch by himself. And the requirement that players constantly base their thoughts and actions on one simple question: What can I do for others?:

“What happened that first day at Gilman [High School] was entirely unlike anything normally associated with high school football. It started with the signature exchange of the Gilman football program — this time between [head coach] Biff [Poggi] and the gathered throng of eighty boys, freshmen through seniors, who would spend the next week practicing together before being split into varsity and junior varsity teams.

” ‘What is our job?’ Biff asked on behalf of himself, Joe, and the eight other assistant coaches.

” ‘To love us,’ most of the boys yelled back. The older boys had already been through this routine more than enough times to know the proper answer. The younger boys, new to Gilman football, would soon catch on.

” ‘And what is your job?’ Biff shot back.

‘To love each other,’ the boys responded.

“I would quickly come to realize that this standard exchange — always initiated by Biff or [defensive coach] Joe [Ehrmann] — was just as much a part of Gilman football as running or tackling…

Click to continue to read the full excerpt!

Smartening up where my Remember The Milk (RTM) lists are concerned!

Remember the milkI have been a Remember the Milk & GTD user for a few years now. I absolutely love the marriage between them and their efficencies. Having said that, I have a confession to make. I find I am now starting to ignore GTD as a productivity tool, and it is not Remember the Milk’s fault! The fault lies solely on me. I’m getting lazy and complacent…

One thing that GTD doesn’t seem to address for me, is what happens when my lists, tasks, and projects become just like me. Burnt out… Overwhelmed… Scattered…

The solution is sitting right in front of me. I am a horrible weekly review user! Horrible! In fact, I can’t recall the last time I did a weekly review… I have gone from location and context specific lists, to simply sticking my tasks into a calendar type thought process. I mentally figure out when I want to attempt to complete the task, and add a due date to the task. Then the day comes up, and I don’t bother doing it as I have put too many random things to happen all on the same day. Did this really need to be done today? Ya, probably not. Just hit postpone, that’ll get rid of it…

GTD says not to rely on calendars for that reason! It is about tasks that I may want to do, to ones that need to be done on a certain day…

A quick online search brought me to http://hamberg.no/gtd/ with a short GTD review to help get me back in focus…

Here is a snippet from the article discussing the Calendar.

Calendar

calendar_picThe calendar is for things you have to do on a certain date or at a certain time, and nothing else! That’s right; no putting “install Bonzibudddy” on your calendar for next Wednesday if you just think you want to have it done then.

But… why‽

By only having items which really are time and date sensitive on your calendar it will be more useful, since it will actually tell you the things you have to do a certain day without being “diluted” with other items. The thing you want to do, but that doesn’t need to be done at a certain time will be on your next actions list any way, so you will be reminded about it and have the chance to do it anyway.

So, it is time for me to start asking a better question of myself when I have a new task…It is not going to be “When do I want to start this task? And, when do I want to be reminded to start this task?” It needs to be, “What is the next action step for this task, and in what context do I need it to be part of?” If it has a due date, I’ll apply it, but other than that, I need to develop the mentality that my contexts lists need to be trusted!

This week, I am going to do a weekly review, for the first time in probably 6 months! And, I’m going to re-jig all my tasks to be tagged with their appropriate context. And then?

Well, stop looking at my due dates & reminders for my Next Action Lists, and start looking at the Contexts and Getting Things Done.

Hopefully this tweak will move me from being a complacent GTD’r to a more efficient one!

Best Tweet so far in 2014!

ben-and-jerrysI must be dreaming…Never in my life have I ever thought I would be living on the West Coast of Canada, sitting and reading about legal pot sales in the USA. At least, that is, before I voted on allowing liberal access to this ‘harmless’ drug in my province and country! I have watched countless TV shows & movies about the USA’s “War on Drugs” and have always felt that they were far more conservative than us leafy green Canadians…

Truth be told, I don’t go down to the US more than once every 10 years or so, but after September 11th, I have been a bit fearful of the direction that country’s government has gone. I went to Hawaii a few years after 2001, and didn’t even bring my favourite Che Guevara t-shirt for fear of being branded an enemy combatant! lol.

So, when all of a sudden, US states started voting on legalizing marijuana, and they passed, I was shocked!!

Today it makes me smile to see a major US corporation tweeting in jest about it!

What are your thoughts about marijuana laws? Is pot a gateway drug? Is it an innocent plant? Medical miracle cure?

New Year’s Resolutions and habit forming

As it is the time of the year for people to make a fresh start, and take on some ambitious resolutions, I quite enjoyed reading a recent post I received from delancyplace.com.

English: New Year's Day postcard. Reads: "...
English: New Year’s Day postcard. Reads: “A New Year’s Resolution / Jan. 1st / To Gossip, Slang and Cuss words / I’ll bid a last “Adieu” / And place a bridle on my tongue / And thoughtless actions, too!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As much as it seems easy to start up any new project, you would be surprised how repetition is needed for a habit to form! Apparently, it can take more than 2 months and up to a year of repeating a task for it to stick as a habit! No wonder it is so hard to quit smoking, take up running, eat healthier…
Here is an exerpt from yesterday’s post that goes into more detail…

In today’s encore selection — from Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick by Jeremy Dean. Make that New Year’s resolution stick!  How long does it take to form a new habit? You will often hear that it takes 21 days, but the real answer is j than that:

Click here for the rest of the article!