What? No TV? Getting Things Done

I spent the weekend trying to pry myself from the TV.  Last week, I decided to not turn on the TV when I got home from work, since I’ve been feeling like I need to spend more time doing other things.  Well, Thursday night was not TV night and it worked great.  I had eaten dinner, done the dishes, and de-cluttered part of dining room table and still had time to read before going to bed.  This leads me to believe that my television is like a leech that is sucking away my life.

I tried this weekend to go without it, but I wasn’t totally successful.  Saturday was quite good, but today sucked.  I found myself staring at the box like a zombie and no realize, a few minutes before bed time, that there are a number of things that I still need to do, like pay bills.  I think I will take a few moments and make a to do list and paste it over the TV.  I can’t watch TV as long as the list is taped to the front.

I’ve been using a program called ThinkingRock at work to help organize my to-do list.  ThinkingRock is a free java program based on “Getting Things Done” (GTD) theory of action management by David Allen.  I’ve read his books and can say that at work, his knowledge has come in handy at work.  Since its free, I will install it here at home and track my to-dos at home.  After all, between my aging brain and that evil leech, I am not as productive as I used to be.


A New Relationship with My Money…

Today, I spent a quite a bit of time reevaluating my relationship with money. I’ve been reading “Your Money or Your Life” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, that was featured on The Simple Dollar blog.   Up until I picked up this book I thought I had a pretty firm grasp on money, money management and making it work for me.  As it turns out, I had only begun to understand it and my ego was prematurely inflated.  The key is to understanding yourself and determining when you have reached a comfortable point.  It is much more than boosting the savings account, investing and putting it to work for you. The relationship is more about understanding yourself and reaching a point where you are comfortable without frivolous spending.  It supports something a friend of mine who is quite frugal but wealthy, told me.  When you decide to buy something, give yourself five reasons why you need it, practical reasons.  If you can’t come up with anything beyond “I want it” or “it’ll make me cooler”, you DON’T NEED IT.  I am thinking about making “buying” a hobby.  After all, tons of research can save you a lot of money in the long-term.  I want to get the best value for my hard earned dollar.

Today, I calculated my life earnings: ~ $217,000.00. It is not much, but at least I know how much money has passed through my hands in the hundreds of years I have been alive. 😉 Too bad there is nothing in the bank!  This is the first milestone in my new, healthy relationship with money.


A New Paper Model Project

I enjoyed putting together the model ferry so much that I decided to find some more paper models to put together. For some reason, modern ships seem to excite me, so I surfed the net and found a few asian sites that offer free ship models. Over the weekend, I started putting a paper model of the “Sikinami“. I have no idea if the ship exists in reality, since the site I found it on only appears in question marks. Not to mention that this kit did not come with instructions. I surfed the net looking for references to “Sikinami” and couldn’t any good pictures. I decided not to let that stop me.

Here is a picture of the hull and deck, about to be put together.

Paper Model of the Sikinami, hull and deck

I started putting together the super-structure of the vessel, but it didn’t go together as easily as I hoped. I printed a second copy and experimented with the fit. I ultimately made a modification to the second level deck, which shouldn’t be too noticeable once the bridge is assembled and attached. Here’s a picture of the super-structure with modification:

Paper Model of the Sikinami, super-structure

And finally, a picture of the super-structure, minus bridge, on the deck. I photographed it on the watercolor diorama background I made for the ferry. It is starting to come together.

Paper Model on the Diorama

If anyone has any information about this vessel, please post a comment. I think it is an Asian research vessel, but I would love to know more about the real-life counterpart.


Ethanol is not as clean as we thought….

For the past few months, I have been hearing a lot about how great ethanol is and how it can save the world.  However, the more I research it, the more I worry that we aren’t creating more problems than we are fixing.  A recent post over at The Browser provides a link to a recent article (requires PDF) that studied the affects of ethanol in greater detail.  Initial indications are that the ozone health risk for E85 is worse than gasoline, potentially making populated areas more polluted.  However, with emission regulation, E85 could better than gasoline. We can only hope that E85 emission regulations are introduced soon.