Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Summary # 40

A very good week. I managed to either complete or tackle all my goals, and have gotten a significant amount done, though have been considerably down due to financial concerns. I'm doing well to identify other goals for self-improvement and what else I'd like to achieve, so things have been fruitful introspectively as well. Correcting my sleep habits has also been a massive help, as I had no days where I felt too tired to do anything.

The list:

1.) Read The Chocolate Tree and The Objective Standard: I got through one chapter of the former and finished the latter to my satisfaction, all while using the "scribble-book" and "everything I know" method. I feel richer and more content. The chocolate history book is a rather mixed read, bouncing from being engaging and dry, but I think it's worthwhile to stick to til end.

2.) Practice tossing pizza with wash cloth, for three half-hour sessions: Done. I think I've just about mastered the simple toss and catch, but keep messing up the passing from hand to hand. I think on that last I'll just have to pick up a piece of dough and see how it differs from a thin cloth. I ought to keep practicing, but now I'd rather wait until I get some real dough in my hands so that the physics will be proper for real-life. A wet wash cloth can only simulate dough so far.

3.) Brainstorm list of traits for ideal self:. Started thinking about it, at least. In the end I think it might be silly to just sit and write a concrete-bound list of ideal traits. Instead -- as I've already have -- I should concentrate on adhering to ideal principles and allow those to be my guide to establishing ideal behaviors and practices as I come across situations and am forced to think.

4.) Research ways to play DVDs on computer: Tried and toyed around, and gave up again. I'm tired of this problem. I can get my programs to at least load the DVD up, but then the audio and video plays in a choppy fashion, and the amount of reading to do for potential solutions just makes me want to give up. Perhaps I'll revisit it later on, but the frustration itself has actually quelled any desire to want to play DVDs on my computer.

5.) Optimize computer and browser: Done to satisfaction. I found neat little tricks such as pipelining Firefox, making the start menu respond faster, and so on.

* * * * *

Aside from doing well to attack my goals, I've also found that taking a more serious approach to cooking has enlivened my practices again and made me more of the process, leading to me being more thoughtful and even discovering problems with past practices. As such, I feel more and more eager to enhance my study efforts, and this intriguing article on how intense concentration changes the brain steels my resolution even more. This week I'd like to continue working on making myself into a more serious and voracious reader, increasing both the amount of reading I do and the benefit I derive.

1.) Study menu from work: I feel foolish for having not done so before. If I am to be serious about my work, then I need a more intricate knowledge of what foods I participate in the creation of, even though I'm quite removed from the process (given I'm a dish washer).

2.) Perform at least five conceptual exercises per day: It's hard to link to any one post where I describe this process since it's been edited various times, so I'll summarize it as philosophical vocabulary exercises, where I take to not only learn a word, but to ground its meaning in reality, establish conceptual chains, and nurture certainty. I know I vowed to make it a permanent practice in the past before. The reason why I keep slipping is because it's such a darn nuisance to document words to perform exercises for, though the exercises themselves aren't annoying. If I found a faster way to hurry up and document words for later reference then it'd be an easier habit to maintain, but for now I guess I'll just have to be disciplined. This goal will especially help in understanding my restaurant's menu.

3.) Research/contemplate ways to constantly try new recipes, techniques, and meal plans: Part of my efforts to hone my cooking skills. I still need to find a good way to keep myself trying new recipes, techniques, and whatnot on a regular basis. I've already made small resolutions such as referencing my knife book each time I get my big knives out, but more thinking is needed.

4.) Read three chapters of The Chocolate Tree

5.) Research how to create RSS feed for chocolate reviews only: I've often wondered if there's a way to create an RSS feed solely for my chocolate reviews. I'm nowhere near satisfied with the views they get.

6.) Do Mental Calvinball during every working shift: It's time to bring back the counting game for dishes, I think. I've been sorely disappointed in my efforts at work lately. I keep up with strict consistency my use of a stopwatch, but I haven't used the counting method in several months. It's time to bring it back to see what benefits I can wring out of it.

* * * * *

I have to confess that as a blog author I've been feeling rather impotent lately. It seems that I've been putting out more and more mediocre pieces, though have no thoughts on how to improve my writing habits at the moment. And to tell the truth I'm not all that worried about it, as my concentration is where it matters: On pursuing my dreams.

Well, time to get back to it.

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