Productivity…

… and an entertaining DishCrawl among other things have occupied my time this week! Although my efforts to exercise have been mostly productive as well my knee hurts today due to the fact that I did something weird to it while doing a wall sit this morning I think. Otherwise I'm doing well.

Everyday this week I've done at least an hour or so of thesis work and so am nearing the end of at least one phase of data searching (I still will have to do quite a bit more of searching and then select sources) but my gamification strategy is actually rather successful! I've even been getting some chores, cleaning and mending done around the house, in addition to some decluttering and reading (yay reading!).

And I also don't feel too horribly behind on other things. I'm getting out of the house daily for social and/or networking events and am working at that life balance thing I'm always struggling with. At the end of the month I'll change my gamification formula a bit (uping thesis representation on the die among other things, I'm sure). But I feel like I'm getting more productive and that my to-do list is becoming more manageable.

DishCrawl this week was fun too — but I TOTALLY overate. Worse than I've done in months too! I should have taken more food to-go but I know too much about food safety to want to cart it around for THAT long. *sighs* It was good however to visit restaurants I'm already familiar with on Whyte: Origin India (buffet — which was the first problem as had I stopped eating after that, I would have still been fun!), Fat Franks, Funky Pickle, and Block 1912 made up our DishCrawl this time. It was definitely a good time had by all!

On reading The Cure for Everything

So Timothy Caulfield's great book The Cure for Everything is quite the engaging read! I'm finished the third of 5 main chapters now and well it's already encouraged me to buy the wonderfully colourful vegetables I bought last night to make stirfry for lunches this week and to move my body more… yes exercise. I decided to do some dumbell exercises with my very light dumbells on Saturday but also wore my wrist weights so that was awesome! And on Sunday I went for a great bike ride in the river valley which resulted in my being really physically tired at work last night but I'm pretty excited about getting my body movin' again! I obviously don't ballroom dance enough these days… (I miss it, but really all I want to do is go to the socials these days as I'm too busy to commit to a whole set of classes at the moment anyway, and the socials are often at times/dates when I'd rather do something else).

Anyway I'm excited to continue reading this excellent book and also to improve my own physical fitness and general health (as I always am). Laury was encouraging me to try sword classes eventually… so maybe someday I'll try that too. Health is important. And while I doubt I'll ever stop seeking out yummy food, I already do know I love healthy meals so that helps things!

Trivia, ropes, board games, and networking!

So life continues to be busy this September, but partially since Laury had a week off from work, this past week was a marvelous balance of productivity (as I get used to my gamification routine while at home) and fun and games (literally! I love board games etc.!).

Last night was trivia night and our team placed 5th which is quite good (considering the size of the crowd especially). I quite enjoyed myself and was happy that the items I donated to the silent auction brought in some good money for the cause we were raising money for (Kiwanis Safety City/Village).

Laury and I did Ropes Quest yesterday as well which was fun — I did much better than I did last time though my muscles definitely got a workout! I do rather like this West Edmonton Mall attraction.

This week I also visited a few stores that sell board games (and acquired Gloom and Guillotine, two games that begin the the letter 'G'). I got to play quite a bit of Dominion (Dark Ages especially!), and attended a webinar, a few meetings and a networking event, which was great because these all meant reconnecting with folks I hadn't seen for a while.

Oh, and on Monday night I accompanied Laury while he waited in line to pick up Borderlands 2… I even got to play it a bit later in the week… I'm decidedly not very good at playing FPSes myself, though I must say that game is rather amusing!

The downside of working…

… is when one is in pain. And usually it's my wrists that annoy me (though lately it's occasionally my whole arms or sometimes my eyes or my head or…) but lately it has been my back. It's only a mild annoyance but it's hard not to go and stretch tons (which doesn't work — the last time I tried that — the first day that my back was being annoying recently — it resulted in more pain, which was exercised out — but it's not like exercise is really likely or possible while working at a supermarket).

Realistically it's one of the only downsides of this job when I really want to be thinking of other things (personal development, school/thesis, friends, life in general etc.) in my life at the moment and moving toward other goals. The other downsides are perhaps more expected. And it's not like I haven't gotten various of my pain related symptoms examined by doctors over the years (no answers yet — and since I can still work through the pain as it's generally not earth shatteringly annoying or anything, I don't worry TOO TOO much). Though really, I ought to be honest with myself that pain has interfered with a lot of my productivity this year.

Gamifying productivity…

So I'm good at procrastinating. That's a well known fact. And to break some of my more frustrating productivity habits, I've decided that when I have unstructured time at home I'll roll a D20 to decide which of a number of tasks I will concentrate on. The list currently has thesis represented more than anything else (and this representation will likely only increase once I get into a rhythm with this technique of time allocation). The list itself will likely also change as my priorities do, but it's already resulted in my doing some thesis work this weekend (yay!) along with some chores, along with some of the other tasks that have been plaguing my personal to-do lists as of yet… so while it's not perfect or a habit, really, yet, it's kind of fun — the unpredictability is in any case! And because I've filled the list with both 'productive' tasks and somewhat fun tasks (the things I was using to procrastinate other things anyway), I'm actually enjoying the process of rolling the die! 🙂

Talk about geeky solutions to time management problems, eh? 😉

Refreshing amounts of hope and promise!

Nothing like attending a meeting or event and finding like-minded individuals who are interested in making/bringing about the changes that are necessary to fix certain problems that you all agree that you have. Sure there might be others in the room that aren't these said people, but it's just so satisfying and leaves me with such hope when I realize that these people not only exist but that we're all on the same page regarding these issues! It doesn't matter the organization, the problems, or the setting, it's just plain wonderful…

Now to do all the work to get us to the point of fixing the said problems/issues!

The difference between social networks…

I adore social media. I have enjoyed it for many years now but each network of people I communicate with has its own pros and cons. I tailor my online behaviour to accomodate these differences. For example my LJ (the home of this blog) is perfect for longer musings, for watching the communities that interest me, and reading the scant few blogs that are posted here by current friends/acquaintances. Twitter is of course tailored for 140 character replies, retweets, postings of short comments, and links. Facebook is more useful for sharing personal information, along with some photos and links and whatnot.

But it's the people on these sites that realistically determine what I want to broadcast via that medium. On Twitter, I'm more brief and varied. On Facebook I avoid posting statuses about politics and religion (though I might reply to someone else's post or like it if appropriate). I post more photos to Facebook. I might complain more via Twitter (though I do try to keep complaining to a minimum online regardless). I might also post more about food via Twitter (as it is where more food people I know congregate)!

My willingness to post about more varied things on Twitter provides the opportunity to engage in completely different types of conversation than Facebook and vice-versa. Same goes for my blog, and all the other social media sites I frequent. My online identity on each is slightly different as well. And you know what, while this is always changing just a bit, I like it this way.

On being a Girl Geek

September is a busy month — in fact in some ways it's one of the busiest months (and not just because of that school thing that seem to be doing), because everyone returns from vacations and hunkers down to restart whatsoever it may have been that was on hiatus during the summer months. And of course, this September is no exception!

Last night was the first Edmonton Girl Geek Dinner of the third season and it was a blast! Dr. Torah Kachur spoke about worms (C. Elegans) in Space and it was fascinating. I had heard of some small bits of that which she was discussing, but it was neat to learn in more depth about the use of GFP to study the neurosystems and gonads of these worms, the affect of space on muscles, and much more besides!

It was also neat to be able to bring Laury to his first girl geek dinner. The venue was Lux and the food was good (though I would have appreciated more vegetables — they were delicious! The ribs were good but there were so many leftovers). It was also good to see Maria, Glenn, Karen, Dana, britl and others at the event as I don't see them often enough.

And it was a good antithesis to the stupidity that female geeks often encounter. Yesterday I got a particularly stupid rude comment on my OK Cupid profile (and I'm convinced I wouldn't have gotten the similar had I been male) so that wasn't a great start to my day… I'm usually plenty capable of brushing the stupid off and moving forward. And so, I was… but I've noticed certain things lately… like the fact that while Your Turn, a board game documentary is a great explanation of why board games are awesome (THEY ARE!), there really aren't that many women represented. And it was mentioned that a woman has NEVER presented at DemocampYEG while we were at Edmonton Girl Geek Dinner… I've also been totally envious of all those folks who have been going to the AWESOME cons lately (Wendy was encouraging me to attend the Edmonton one in October on Monday night for example), and I'd really love to go to some awesome Geek Cons someday but I honestly don't feel like I'd be comfortable doing so without either a large group of folks or at least one good fast male friend to accompany me, because of all the stupid that occasionally goes on in these environments. Heck, I'm a woman but it's not like I'm only into the female-centric geek pursuits!

Maybe the worms have it easier… they get to go to space after all! 😉

Amanda Palmer music for the win! :)

So I received my music downloads (from the hugely awesome Amanda Palmer kickstarter — which really was a steal of a deal! The music was inexpensive, lovely and wonderful! If I were made of money I would have totally loved the Bed Song Book, but as I sit here wearing my NeverWear Neil Gaiman quote from American Gods shirt and listen to the full album for the first time I am totally pleased)! Music is so evocative and worth having!

I am totally a fan of the Amanda Palmer music videos… particularly The Killing Type and Want It Back among others.

Anyway the whole album is brilliant as of yet…. I highly recommend checking it out!

On Kill the Overlord (the first Kickstarter game I have received in the mail!)

So yesterday's board game gathering (themed around Asian food) was a rousing success! We played a number of games including a bit of RA, Kill the Overlord, Hilarium, some Conversation cards, Cards Against Humanity, and Smart Ass.

What I was most excited about was trying out Kill the Overlord for the very first time. You see, it was the first Board Game Kickstarter that I've yet received in the mail (I've received one graphic novel, one skirt and one board game as of yet if you're keeping track, all of which I've rather enjoyed!), and I was super excited to try out the game mechanic! I even one one game (we played twice — once with the basic cards and once with a mixture of promo cards and the second set of role cards). There's one card where we weren't entirely sure as to how to follow the instructions, but beyond that the game was rather straightforward once we figured out the game mechanic.

I rather like the art on the cards (I didn't think I'd like it as much as I do, to be honest, when I first decided to support the game), and the fact that all the characters have different skin tones, and are featured in both male and female options is a neat aspect to the game! It was interesting that one game took a LOT longer to play than the second one, but that the game rules basically ensure that the game won't last too too long! Very cutthroat (so to speak) and quite amusing, I recommend the game — I think it works quite well with the 7 and 8 player games that we played!

I look forward to receiving other games that I've supported through Kickstarter in the mail as well — there's a number of new editions of excellent games, neat game mechanics and otherwise that I've supported over the past while. I know better than to not keep tabs on which projects are sending out their rewards (or at least updates on the status of their rewards) in a timely manner… and I've put a cap on how many projects I can support at any given moment but I do like this first game and I do really look forward to receiving the third set of role cards (plus the updated/fixed Peasant card) in the mail eventually too!