Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A daily list

Not a to-do list, but a daily check list of things which need to be done.

'Huh? That's a to-do list' I hear you cry.

Yes and no. It is a list of things which need to be done, but it's also not ongoing. A to-do list is generally ongoing with things on which have specific deadlines. This is just daily, and supplementary to any large check list. It also helpfully reminds you of what you need to do, but without worrying you with the daunting list of longer-term tasks which your to-do list contains.

What I mean is, sit down at the beginning of the day, just 5 minutes, and assess the things you need to do that day. If you *know* you can get these things done then shove them on the list. Even if it's something trivial it goes on.

The list is intended to do 2 things:

1) Memory jogging
Don't you hate that nagging feeling that you need to do something and you can;t remember what it is? Worry no more! You've written it down, haven't you?

2) Positive thoughts
Just by ticking something off, you're reinforcing that you get things done every day. You'll feel better for it!

Grab yourself a little notebook to jot these things down in. I carry one of these everywhere I go, and honestly I'd be lost without it.

I've tried using Newtons, Palms, Phones and other random devices to keep my lists safe, but even the task manager on my current Blackberry (see my older posts) isn't as good as paper.

Give it a try! You'll thank me for it (possibly).

Friday, 29 October 2010

I'll get better at daily updating I promise! - Grammar today.

I bet there's no-one reading this, however. Never mind...

Today's task is grammar!

This is a pet peeve of mine, so I'd love to make you all a little better at using grammar correctly.

My top 4 grammar tips:

1. Capital Letters and full stops.
This should be obvious, but rarely is. Please start and end sentences correctly.

2. Apostrophes.
Never, ever, ever use an apostrophe for a pluralization. Apostrophes are used for:
Possession: The Cat's Pyjamas. (The Pyjamas belong to the cat)
Simplifying: He's got an odd shirt. (He has got a strange face, we're skipping the space and the "ha")
Exceptions: "Its" is already possessive. Therefore, one would say: "That tree is rather large. Its branches are toughing the garage roof." The only time "its" has an apostrophe is when it's shortened from "it is."

3. "A or an"
"A" is used when the word following starts with a consonant. "An" is used when it's a vowel.
There are exceptions to this, one can use "an" for semivowels such as 'y' or 'h.' I still prefer not to, however. "A house" can be considered to be correct, anyway.

Please, don't use the Caps Lock key on your keyboard. Ever. It was there because it was on typewriters. There's really no need for it these days, and if you type everything in capitals it makes it almost intelligible.

These are just a few things which can really annoy me, and I'm sure others too. Give them a go, you'll thank me for it! (If not, then you've lost nothing, anyway)

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Off to a great start of course! Almost missed three days. Also I doubt anyone's reading this at the moment, but hey, that's not the point.

Task Two

Why not try this, it's something I decided to try a few days ago, and I'm implementing it as a new method of organisation and making sure things get done. I've tried various methods before, there are quite a number of books on the subject, but none have really clicked with me. This method seems to be working.

Disclaimer: Do not attempt to change your organisational methods if you're in the middle of an important project, about to embark on life-changing exams or similar. I've made this mistake before; new methods don't always work!

0. Ignore this plan. Well, perhaps not completely. Read it, take it in, decide if it could work for you and try it. If you don't like some aspects, change them. I'm not about to dictate how you should live your life!

1. Plan in advance. Work out achievable tasks for every day for the next week (or, at least, the next few days).

2. Every day from now on you'll need to plan another day on your calendar. You can avoid this by planning multiple weeks at once.

3. If you feel you can't do a task on a particular day, or you wish to take a day off, move tasks forwards or backwards to compensate.

4. Do EVERY task set on a particular day. Once the day has begun, the tasks must not change. (Obviously, emergencies may break the pattern, but this should not happen often).

5. Reward early work. If you decide to do more work than you need to before a specific date, make sure you reward yourself somehow. Make sure you follow through with the reward, so you'll associate doing work early with things you like.

6. Get family & friends to help! Motivation is a key to this method, so you need a reason to do things. If you don't like something or it'll take ages, split it up, do things you can manage.

Let me know if you're a fan! Please comment below :-)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Where every day there's something new...

I'm in the process of making this blog much more interesting. My plan is to make at least one post a day, something new to get people to do more exciting things, live fuller lives and to encourage discussion.

So, let's get started, shall we? In the same vain as the post I made yesterday, I'm going to suggest that you start an exercise plan! Even if it's only walking around the block once a week, it's better than nothing, and so many people (myself included) do/did so little exercise. It's really not hard to start, and once you get into it you just want to keep at it!

I use the adidas micoach application on my BlackBerry to track my progress and motivate me. It plays music from playlists I've defined (lots of upbeat music) and gives me status updates every now and again to either tell me to speed up, slow down or just keep going.
The first few workouts aren't really that hard, and the lower levels are pretty basic stuff. Imagine it progresses quite a bit though!

Here's my running kit:

BlackBerry 9700 Bold Sim Free Mobile Phone - Black

Yes, just the Blackberry. Apparently it works with the iPhone too, probably to compete with Nike+ (which I believe is now able to work without a sensor?)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


I've started running! Every day, for the last few days I've gotten up quite early and gone for a 20-25 minute run. I'm not doing anything strenuous at the moment, but I'll progress to harder things as I feel I'm ready.

I've been playing with the adidas micoach application on my Blackberry Bold, it's rather nice to use and tracks my speed, route etc. via GPS. The upside of that (compared to Nike+) is that I don't need to buy anything to use it. The downside is that if it can't get immediate lock, you're waiting for 5/10 minutes for it to work out where you are (this happened to me this morning...). You can't start your workout until it's ready, you see...

It can also track cycling, walking and a few other exercise methods, but it only measures position, so if you run on the spot, use an exercise bike or a treadmill it won't work.

It's great to use, and the feedback it gives you is nice, it certainly helps with motivation.

I'll be on workout 4/32 tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Baked chicken seasoning

Today I made a seasoning for some chicken which worked remarkably well, and my flatmate told me to write down the recipe. Therefore here I am, writing down the recipe.

2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce,
2 Tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce,
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder,
1/2 teaspoon of piri piri seasoning,
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder,
2 tablespoons of this "Tropics Chicken Seasoning" my flatmate has, he got it from Trinidad (where he's from) so I don't really know where you'd get it round here, but It's mainly Paprica, black pepper and chilli,
1 Chicken OXO Cube,
1 teaspoon of Garlic Pepper,

Put that lot in a bowl, mix it together into a smooth paste and baste your chicken in it before baking. We cooked thighs and legs, which worked amazingly, but it would probably work with steaks, breasts or wings too.


Linux Netbooks

Yes I know we're not supposed to call them netbooks but I don't care, everyone does now.

Today I helped a friend of mine buy a netbook. She told me she wanted 'one of those tiny laptops for typing lecture notes on.' She knew what she wanted, and wanted to pay under £200. Well, we walked to PC World, we had a look, she played with them, asked me a few questions regarding why it was different from her desktop PC, was satisfied with the answers I gave and decided to buy a pink Acer Aspire One.

When she got back she un-boxed it in my flat, she wanted to make sure she could use it properly before going back to her flat. The un-boxing feeling, even for me, observing, was fantastic. I saw the little card with the GNU GPL on it, which made my heart leap slightly. Not seeing any windows logos or microsoft branding was a fantastic breath of fresh air. It felt like something fresh, something free, something fun!

She named it (of course) and had a little fun setting it up. When I got a chance to play with it, I first set about making it work with my wireless network, which it found, associated with, and was happy to use, then used the included "Live Update" utility to make sure it was all current.

Having a play with it myself I have to say, Linpus is actually very nice, some people give it negative reviews, but even first impressions were good. It booted from cold in 15 seconds, was very snappy and was very easy to navigate. It's based on Fedora 8, with the XFCE4 window manager (Made to look a bit XP-like to make windows users happy). OpenOffice started quickly, and she happily spent a good few hours typing up some lecture notes on it.

I can see a few problems occurring as she uses it, on Monday she'll take it onto campus, and I don't think it'll play nice with the WPA2-enterprise network we have to connect to, but that's only due to the version of NetworkManager it has on it not supporting it. We also have the option of connecting via unprotected wifi then VPN, which may be easier to set up. We shall see. There are lots of places with information about connecting by either of these methods, so I'll get that sorted when she tells me it doesn't work.

All in all, she seems very happy with it. We'll see how her relationship with it progresses as time goes on.

I'll be honest, I'd love one myself. I may even go and get one now I've seen what they're like. I'm not sure what I'd run on it though, perhaps the netbook remix of Ubuntu. But will it boot as fast? It would need to...