Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Impermanence

skyride TS
photo by smcgee

Read anything good lately? I just finished a book I cannot stop thinking about. It's a short, but really thought-provoking read. Even though I disagree with a few key points of Stoicism, it was still a useful thought exercise in developing my life philosophy.

One stoic technique I found particularly useful is negative visualization, and contemplating impermanence. Sound depressing, huh? It's not, I promise. (Maybe just a tiny bit.)
We need to keep firmly in mind that everything we value and the people we love will someday be lost to us. More generally, any human activity must have a final occurrence. There will be -- or already has been! --  a last time in your life that you brush your teeth, cut your hair, drive a car, mow the lawn, or play hopscotch. There will be a last time you hear the sound of snow falling, watch the moon rise, smell popcorn, feel the warmth of a child falling asleep in your arms, or make love. You will someday eat your last meal, and soon thereafter you will take your last breath. 
By contemplating the impermanence of the everything in the world, we are forced to recognize that every time we do something could be the last time we do it, and this recognition can invest the things we do with a significance and intensity that would otherwise be absent. We will no longer sleepwalk through our life.
- William Irvine in A Guide to the Good Life

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bike is Free!

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A broken car jack, bent bike rack, 2 empty cans of compressed air later, it came down to a power tool. (Courtesy of the newest member of the Bitcasa iOS team - swede, wakeboarder, engineer.) Hope you have a fun weekend!

P.S. Any bike lock suggestions? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Longboard Commute

skate

Since losing both (main and spare) bike lock keys, my bike has been out of commission. Numerous attempts have been made to free it from the bike rack with zero success. As a result of my inability to lead a life that requires keys, I've fallen back to relying on my longboard for shlepping to and fro work.

Bike or no bike, I've loved speeding through my 0.8 mile commute from train to the office. It reminds me that I have a perfectly capable, resilient body. And my body wants few things more than to feel like it's flying. Honestly, is there a better way to wake yourself up by the time you park your butt in the desk chair for the day?

if i wasn't deathly scared of getting hit by a car, i'd also pipe this to my ears

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Thoughts

photo via oktoberkind

oof. what a busy/productive week
but no dinner at the office!
took time to learn how to spatchcock a chicken, instead
better late than never, right?
i'm skipping out on outside lands and backpacking this weekend
for this book
and this
no regrets (at least not yet)
hope you have a lovely late summer weekend

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bonne Maison Socks


Holy socks! These are winning.

I've been partial to Happy Socks for my less-boring sock needs. But I'm pretty sure I'm ready to jump ship. I still love the quality, but it's getting a little too wild for me. It's time to grow up and graduate to more muted fun, hm?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First-Time Churros

IMG_3238

This recipe was excellent. I've been wanting to make it for roughly a year. (Even marked my intention by getting a giant tub of Crisco, which I ended up having to move across the state.) It is still deep frying, so it's not a quick weekday dessert by any measure. But the dough was surprisingly simple to make.

Just in case you decide to spring for your own tub of Crisco, here's what learned:
1) Pipe the churros onto a baking sheet instead of directly into the oil.
"dough can be coaxed into a slightly straighter shape with some gentle nudging with tongs" Ugh. This step makes me anxious just thinking about it.
2) Invest in a thermometer that you can leave in the pot of oil.
I was roughing it with an instant-read thermometer, and the temperature fluctuated a lot. Just ordered this one.
3) The chocolate sauce is totally worth it.

And some more photos, if you'd like to see...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

24 - A State of the Union Address

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Today is my least favorite day of the year. I get to tally up everything I've done while I was still young and 23, and compare it what I could've accomplished. What fun!

Here's the good news (there is good news!)...