Mushrooms!!

We bought some wild mushrooms from a store in St James Street today while we were out on our afternoon constitutional. There were some weird looking blue mushrooms there (although they look purple now). They look so colourful!

Raisin Bread

I decided to try and make raisin bread in the bread maker. It turned out really well! I used the standard wholemeal recipe, but with about 90% wholemeal flour instead of about 60%. I also added in 3 tablespoons of milk powder, some whey (strained off from home-made yoghurt), about 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon and about 200g of sultanas.

Air Pods

I finally took the plunge and bought a pair of Air Pods. So far I quite like them (although it’s only been a few hours). I quite like the way that you can pause the track you are listening to simply by taking one headphone out of your ear. Playback resumes when you put it back in your ear. They are quite expensive though, and I’m fairly sure that I will lose them unless I develop a routine way of storing them.

iPad Pro versus MS Surface Usability

I have both an iPad Pro and a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet running Linux. Depending on what I am planning on doing on a day-to-day basis affects which device I carry around. Mostly I carry my Surface, as I have Linux installed, and it allows me to easily do development, remotely administer machines, or do general computing tasks. The keyboard on it isn’t great however – it’s kind of flimsy and doesn’t work well if it’s not on a firm surface. I can’t easily use it on a train for example. It was perfect when we were in Australia for a month, and allowed me to both work and do University assignments. I can use it as a tablet for reading, but it isn’t great for that.

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Back to blogging

Well, it’s been a loooonnng time since my last blog entry. One of my resolutions for the new year was to do more blogging. Despite this, I haven’t blogged anything for the whole of January. OK, so this stops now. As of today I am starting to blog again. Even if it’s just a short and almost meaningless entry about how I’m going to start blogging again.

Brighton

Last Monday we bought a house in Brighton. I wasn't sure it was going to happen. Genetically I'm predisposed to worry about stuff, and right until the last moment I was thinking of disaster possibilities. We were supposed to exchange contracts and settle at 2pm. We spoke to the vendors and they were saying that they couldn't possibly be out of the place before 2pm, so we decided to travel down by train and get there around 3pm. We got final confirmation from our solicitor that the settlement had happened at 3pm, while we were still on the train. We got to the house, and the vendors were still in the process of moving out. We grabbed some keys and went and grabbed something to eat. By the time we came back, the vendors had left and the place was ours!

More Notes on Changing Behaviour

I wrote up a post this morning on micro-behaviours, triggers and rewards. Later on I was checking out Hacker News when I stumbled on this post by Alex Coleman, on how to get stuff done. Both posts refer to the same original work by Dr Fogg on micro-behaviours. In my post I emphasize using “triggers” to trigger the new habit, which may be an existing habit or environmental cue. In Alex's post, he puts a lot of emphasis on setting up a routine or schedule. The time itself becomes the trigger.

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Micro-Behaviors, Triggers and Rewards

I watched this TED talk video on changing behaviour a few days ago, which really inspired me to take a more structured approach to developing a new positive habit. The key points of the video are that in order to affect long-term behavior change, you need to have a trigger – some habit that you already have, or an environmental queue that you can chain the new behavior from. You also need to make the new behavior as easy to do as possible. You want to associate a “micro-behavior” with your trigger – something that can easily become a habit, but that you can later expand to fully incorporate the new habit you are trying to achieve. Finally, you need to reward yourself in some way every time you do the micro-behavior.

iPad to iPhone Tethering Issues

The past few days I've been bringing in my new WIFI-only iPad and trying to use it tethered to my iPhone 5. It's been a frustrating experience so far. I've found that it works OK when the iPad is first tethered to the iPhone, but shortly thereafter the internet connection seems to drop out on the iPad, even though the iPhone is still reporting it to be connected OK.

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Shaping Experience

I had heard a while ago that the ideal holiday was one in which you had a fairly bad start to it, but with a peak experience close to the end of the holiday. The rationale is that we tend to base our judgement of the holiday on the range of our trough-to-peak experiences. The larger the spread between the trough and the peak, with the peak occurring towards the end of the experience, the better we perceive the experience to be.

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