Author Archives: Kerch McConlogue

Reusing grocery bags

Grocery storeI have learned that if you that if you take your own bags to the grocery store, even if you only pack their bags into them when you get to your car, it takes A LOT fewer trips to get all that crap (er, food) into the house.

AND the worst part about grocery shopping, in my opinion, is carrying that stuff up the steps into the house.

Because by that time, you have already touched the stuff FOUR times:

  • once from the shelf to the cart,
  • once from the cart to the belt,
  • once from the belt to the cart again and
  • once from the cart to the car.

Yes, you still DO have to touch it to get it out of the bags and away.  But I figure, just ONE fewer time, especially THAT one time,  is at least a 20% saving in energy.

Delay is preferable to error

curiosityIan King posted on his FaceBook page this morning this quote by Thomas Jefferson:

Delay is preferable to error.

Ian says it’s like being able to “press the ‘pause button.'” And that makes for a much “different life.”

His friend, Nancy Robinson, worried, in her comment to Ian, that delay might let her forget entirely.

But see, I read the quote differently. I thought it said “Delay is preferable to terror.”

That’s a whole different kettle of fish! Seemed a bit out of character for ole TJ. But hey, he lived in harrowing times.

So when I put these thoughts together, well, my mind goes a couple of ways.

If it’s terror

Sometimes the decisions I think I must make immediately really only seem that way because of some worry or anxiety I’ve got over the outcome.

A choice to delay an action removes, for me, a measure of anxiety and gives me space to consider options and possible out comes.

If it’s error

A choice to delay allows a situation to unfold a bit more and that may present different opportunities.

Now, sometimes, that delay could eliminate certain choices. But sometimes, too, fewer choices makes the decision easier.

How do I make the choice to delay?

I like to pay attention, as best I can, to the Morita notion “to do what must be done now.”

I can handle now.

  • Is the error inevitable?
  • Is it necessary to make the terrible decision now?
  • Will babies die if I do or don’t do this thing? (That would sure put a different kind of pressure on the terror.)

Must the decision be made NOW?
If not now, then the decision to delay is exactly the right one to make.

Read more about Shoma Morita here

Making a plan and sticking to it

Once upon a time, long long ago, my husband and I had a party.

Actually, we’ve had pretty many since then. But I digress.

At the time of that particular party, we were in the middle of doing planning  a lot of projects around the house. We had the list of all those projects posted on the wall in the kitchen.

Here’s a party hint.

todoimageSome stuff you can’t clean up before people come over. But if you post a larger than life list, it WILL give people something to talk about. And they’ll focus on your list instead of the half painted walls.

At another party, when the hallway needed paint, I went to the wall paper store and got a bunch of samples. I taped them all over the hall way and asked people to vote on the one they liked best.  Another great conversation starter!

(The Christmas tree went away and the dining room got painted.)
I sure wish I had a picture of that original list. But I tell you what, everyone who came to the party remembers that list and that the lynch pin task was fix the gutters!

Personally, I never understood why the gutters needed to be replaced before a bedroom was painted, but some how, in the mind of some-other-adult-with-whom-I-live, there was no point in doing anything until that task was completed.

The point is this: sometimes you need more than just a list.

Sometimes you have to figure out which parts of the project come first and then what happens next.

I love a good list. But stuff can get missed if it’s just linear. Or, as in my case, in a notebook on many pages.

Gantter: Cloud-based project schedulingHowever, I just read or at MakeUseOf.com about this cool new online project manager called Gantter.com You don’t have to sign in, or make an account.

The MakeUseOf guys say it’s a  lot like MS Project.  But it’s freakin’ free!  You work on the plan, you save it to your own machine, you upload it when you want to come back to it. You can print it out as a pdf and carry it around with you. OR blow it up really big, post it on the wall in your kitchen and have a party!

It’s surely over kill for figuring out a normal weekly schedule.  But if it’s a complicated week, or a project with many steps, I think it will really rock.

How to get up in the morning Redux

Funny how one of the most viewed posts on my blog is one called “How to get up in the morning.”

I thought it a bit of an odd fluke til I read over at MakeUseOf.com that THEY also noticed it’s something people search on a lot. So they reviewed an online alarm clock that allows you to pick the song you want to wake to.. and a lot of other stuff. And it’s on your computer so it will even work when you’re traveling—presuming you travel with your computer. (HA! Silly me, of COURSE you travel with your computer! Doesn’t everyone?)

And they this other link to a  great DIY project: World’s Loudest Alarm Clock

Hope you don’t live next door to me!

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/a-great-online-alarm-clock-metaclock/

And you thought procrastination was bad

There’s a word for those who have it worse…

A friend sent me this info… today… on the day it was posted at Wordsmith.org.

perendinate

PRONUNCIATION:
(puh-REN-di-nayt)

Meaning:

verb tr. : To put off until the day after tomorrow.
verb intr.: To stay at a college for an extended time.

(Personally, I like that the day after tomorrow and being at college too long are somehow related!)

I’d like to think that this is not necessarily a bad thing… the putting off part, not the college part.  If I just don’t get around to something to day for some “whatever” reason, then I feel like a slug.

HOWEVER, if I decide that I can’t do it today, and tomorrow won’t work either, then I can perendinate on purpose. I can give myself a slight break from feeling guilty for putting the thing off and make a real plan to do it the day after.

The trick is to actually pat myself on the back for making the decision and then doing the thing.

We can hope, right?