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Setting yourself up for deep focus

I have started to notice my day going by without a meaningful awareness of my daily actions. I did things here and there but I didn’t feel complete. The sense of accomplishment like figuring out some python code or that math problem or the idea behind a plot.

To remedy to this situation I want to add daily practices and setting time to do them. Not only this will give me a schedule to work from but it will also give me time to set myself up to work on one big project that requires all my focus. I can work with a schedule but sometimes I just need to know that in the afternoon, I have the time to focus on this one project. My daily ritual will get out of the way of my deep focus project. On the flip side of this during my deep focus project, I wont try to check twitter, I wont try to read the latest news flash. I will be able to give my full attention to this one thing.

My project is learning python. Im using it with this website through pelican. What my ah-AH moment was I figured out how to fix a non-working piece of code in python called spotify-ripper. Its those little moment where you spent half you morning in deep focus and though WOW that was fun. I wish I could do that more often. Well, yep, I can.

Booze leading to cancer

My relation to booze has been on a downside lately. I’m reducing my consumption dramatically because of a few reasons. The most important one is that the alcohol that I like is a tad expensive. I don’t drink beer because of wheat. Wine is acting weird in my stomach. I’m staying away as much as possible from all wheat/grass after reading the book called Wheat Belly. The second is that its a pastime that I don’t want to have when a bit older. Third, I’m trying to be more healthy and active. Being more healthy means different things to different people but for me, I think that means being receptive to cancer and what it entails. It also fucks with my sleep pattern. In the article in the Well New York Times, it mentions that alcohol is/could be a cause of cancer.

The risk for heavy drinkers — defined as eight or more drinks a week for women and 15 or more a week for men, including binge drinkers — are multiples higher. Heavy drinkers face roughly five times the risk of mouth and throat cancers and squamous cell esophageal cancers than nondrinkers, nearly three times the risk of cancers of the voice box or larynx, double the risk of liver cancer, as well as increased risks for female breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

From this notation I drink at least one drink a night which is by definition a heavy drinker. I dont differentiate between women and men. Why is a 150lb woman different then a 200lb men? I dont really believe there is. Smoking is bad for you no matter what.

One way alcohol may lead to cancer is because the body metabolizes it into acetaldehyde, which causes changes and mutations in DNA, Dr. Gapstur said. The formation of acetaldehyde starts when alcohol comes in contact with bacteria in the mouth, which may explain the link between alcohol and cancers of the throat, voice box and esophagus, she suggested.

Same logic then the Wheat Belly argument which is that pesticide or chemicals gets intertwined in food and this affect the integrity of the food itself. This cause havoc when it’s digested. I believe that any kind of chemicals that is used to prevent or alter food is not for humans and to the same extent animals.

On the flip side, are all alcohol created equally? What’s the difference between tequila made from a small farmers that dont have money to even think about chemicals or vodka made from potatoes?

Have I done enough?

Should I have done more?

With all of those sexual assault case popping up all over the place one has to wonder if one has done enough. Its crazy to me that something like haven’t been brought forward by people. People are good right? Right?

I think that all of this is fucking crazy. Reading Anthony Bourdain article in slate.com is eye opening and also at the same time sad. I believe you are either part of the problem or doing something about it. I remember when I was working in retail, someone made a joke that was condescending and at the same time sexual. I immediately reported it to HR. I didnt confront the guy but that was not my place to do it. Someone else job and for once, I liked how HR dealt with it to some extent except I would have fired him.

It seems vulgar to me that either sexism or racism is still thriving to this day. Reporter Tracie Mcmillan wrote about her experience in thedailybeast.com which is eye-opening again. Being part of this kind of club is bullshit. It breath the same air then all of the Weinstein stories. Its toxic and it will bring a lot of people down. I hope that the lawsuit against The Weinstein Company will serve proper justice. Good for Dominique Huett to sue them theguardian.com.

The ‘meathead’ culture is and will probably will be there for awhile. I wonder if someone could do something about it?

Pulse Check

  • Do I feel better?
  • Do clothes fit better?
  • Do I have more energy?
  • Do I have less anxiety?
  • Am I building stamina in my workouts, and improving my fitness overall?

My two cents on happiness

I was reading the article A Lazy Person’s Guide to Happiness and it made me think about my own perspective on happyness. What makes me happy? Im not sure that I have a set of rules or even a guideline about happyness. I have tought for a long time that inner peace was enough to be happy but now I’m hitting the +40 years old, it makes me rethink this. Inner peace is a slice of happyness but it’s not quite enough anymore. I wonder about leguacy and subtantial life experiences. The author of the article Hamblin argues that Buettner changed his perspective on life.

Few people bring the unique perspective to this mess of questions like Dan Buettner. Over the past 15 years, he has carved out a niche at National Geographic, where he travels the world in search of the healthiest people and “distills their lessons,” as he puts it, translating existential philosophy into practical information for limited-attention-span U.S. readers. The result has been a mix of journalism, academic epidemiology, advocacy, and entrepreneurship delivered in easy-to-implement bullet points. The mix allows Buettner a certain vantage to synthesize information and see it through to the real world.

Here it is.

Notable in the new pages are a shift from what started out as more traditional guru-type personal advice for longevity—drink a glass or two of wine after 5 o’clock with friends or food, eat a plant-based diet, maintain a bicycle, join a faith-based community, etc. Buettner hasn’t entirely given up on self-improvement, but he has come to believe it gets way too much emphasis. His focus now is improving our surroundings, for the same reason that “dieting” tends to fail but changing a food environment works.

It seems to me that not only having a group of people around me that truly makes me laugh might be a positive thing. How do I do this while being my introvert self?

You could work your butt off, pursue your purpose, become financially independent, and get there and realize “Oh, my life sucks.”

Now that’s something that I fear will never happen. With my wife and kids, things are just never sucking. It might be hard sometimes but definately not boring.

One facet of happiness is sum of positive emotions. So I like the idea of a “pride shrine”—a place in your house that you pass a lot where you put pictures that trigger pleasant memories. Or diplomas or awards that remind you of accomplishments.

That is something I will think about going forward is just this, proud shrine. In other words, a retrospective of what I have accomplished that makes me happy and from there I hope I’ll find a clearer path to what happyness means to me. More to come on this…