Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On using Lights

I have been keeping a Google Sheet (their spreadsheet program) that Sebastian Marshall started to help his followers and himself to develop and track habits. It is called Lights. My second full month of lights has been kept and I have added a few new habits to the list. I have also had a 70% or better keeping of the habit since my start. Most of them were things I wasn't particularly good at keeping.

This is last weeks results. It uses a simple "yes/no/halfway" logic and gives a readout of the percentage of times you kept the habit (in the top left portion. . . this was a crazy and lower counted week for me.

Anyway, this has increased the number of times I brushed my teeth, stretched, and edged up slightly the taking of my medicine.

Here is Sebastian's link to the spreadsheet ( and a guide to Lights (

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Toe touching

I have rarely ever been able to touch my toes. I have done it very few times without bending my knees over my entire life. After two-three months of stretching everyday, I am finally able to touch my toes.

Pretty exciting!

I'll keep stretching. I think most of my problems before was not realizing that more of the stretch is in the lower back than it is in the hamstrings. It is similar to another problem I had once.

Before I joined the US Army, about six months before, I was unable to perform a perfect form push-up. I just never realized how to do it and how to bend the right ways in my arms.

Of course, the Army made me do lots of push-ups. I can now do a good amount even though I gained a good bit of weight. I am working on losing it, but it can be slow.

Squatting is another big project of mine. I had trouble staying in a cross-fit program due to lack of being able to squat with perfect form. I'll start working on that next.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Getting stuff done

I have been getting a lot done.

I have been counting calories to stay around 1800. I have been drinking 166 or more ounces of water per day. My dissertation is sitting at my proposal stage and I have a population and sample lined up. I stretch and am getting really good at remembering my medicines.

I am looking forward to the next couple of iterations with my dissertation proposal. I think it will be accepted soon.

As for weight loss, there is probably minimal of that yet. I will get to it. My main goal isn't to look better or anything but deal with a fatty liver issue.

I have read probably 50 books over the last month. This would be bigger but I have been somewhat scattered, as two weeks ago I was dog sitting and house sitting.

I have been contemplating a single question: If my life were ideal, what would I do? Obviously, this leaves a few steps in between, but I should start figuring out those steps soon.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Rape of Nanking

I am listening to Jocko Willink's podcast on the Rape of Nanking (via iTunes). Terrible things occur there, but everyone is so caught up on the Nazi references that they do not think of Imperial Japan. As a right-wing person, I have been called a Nazi many times. I have never been called as bad as the Japanese. Maybe this is due to my white heritage.

Of course, as a young boy, I was always taught that Japanese culture was more enlightened than ours. We watched the martial arts movies, with special attention to portions with an Asian master. Many times, these were said to be Japanese.

It is too bad that history leans towards the cold, mass killings of the Nazis. There were many other situations like this. I think it is because of fighting against Western Civilization.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Goals and targets

I picked up SUCCESS Magazine with the Jocko Willink cover today. I was excited about it. I know there are some errors, that Jocko has worked on fixing. I am looking forward to reading it. 

The primary thing is to stay disciplined. I am waiting on my dissertation, but during the meantime getting a lot of reading done. Reading is the primary way I stay on top of what is happening and generate ideas. 

I am having a little trouble with my prospectus and its approval. This is a subjective struggle, where I pleased the chairman of my committee while not pleasing my methodologist. I have to please the methodologist to get the chair in line. Approval will follow.

The secondary thing is to branch out into my self-quantification. I am counting ounces of water I drink. I am also counting calories right now. I want to start journaling a minimal amount every morning. 

So, if you are having trouble meeting your goals, set little goals that target all the others.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ethics in studies

I plan on going out to recruit for my dissertation study tomorrow. It is difficult.

Here's why? Recruiting can be seen as leading to bias. Especially if I actually meet the people I will by studying. The Institutional Review Board at my university sees that as a bad idea, forcing their answers.

If I meet them, I can recruit them and make them more likely to complete the study. If I don't, I can keep out bias.

They won't answer emails without introduction, so my idea is to try to pass out a flyer to the church secretaries. It would be easier if I had large churches to work with, but I have already recruited the largest in the association I am attempting to study.

I could change my sample and population, but that leads to a change in the prospectus and proposal. Since I already have a third of the sample, I am not giving up at this time on my current subjects.

Ethics is good, but sometimes makes it impossible to run into people.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Genghis Khan

I recently read Jack Weatherford's Genghis Khan and the Quest for God and Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Weatherford points out Genghis Khan out for his own contribution to religious freedom. Also, his dynasty has a long reach.

First, many Chinese-appearing artifacts are Mongol appropriations of Chinese work. To fit in, Genghis and his followers would have artwork make in Chinese style garb. They would also take names that appeared more Chinese.

Second, Genghis Khan's numbers of vanquished foes were great but likely exaggerated to reflect the times. Many militaries kept greatly exaggerated numbers at the time, but Khan's numbers (even if exaggerations) were larger than others. This may reflect a larger truth.

Third, Genghis Khan appropriated both religious belief, cultural ties, and followers that were great craftsman. One of Khan's generals and closest confidants was a man who had shot one of Genghis Khan's horses through the neck. Khan liked what worked, and gained literature and culture through hiring vanquished men.

These books taught me a great many things about the time and culture of the Mongols.