Flowers And Chocs

Sometimes I wish it didn't take me quite so long to be resigned to the end of the gardening season. It's only mid-October and I am already longing for spring. Yes, spring. I'd like to zoom right by winter and be watching my spring bulbs flower.

It seems as if each October, a niggling sense of impending doom comes creeping over me. I suppose it isn't tough to figure out why that is. Besides shortened days, frost-laden mornings and less time spent outdoors, memories of mid-winter blizzards and long cold snaps come careening into my consciousness with a clarity that is just plain irritating. At the same time, my summertime memories have receded in a distant and hazy glow.

Well, the only way to counteract these feelings of doom, I decided, is to partake of some of my favourite things. With the sun shining this morning, I had an unexpected surprise when I walked in the back garden. There I found this Anemone coronaria(pictured above), blooming amid the fallen leaves.

Besides flowers, chocolate ranks right up there in my list of favourite things. No doubt that's pretty obvious from the look on my face in this photograph. I was glad that my friend Rox, had his camera along at lunch today since this dessert was well worth remembering. Oh yes, it was scrumptious and, as Rox commented, I looked as if I was praying over the chocolate mousse bombe with raspberry sauce.

If we hadn't been so busy talking and eating, we might have thought to take a photograph of the tourtière and the land chowder, both of which were also wonderful. I also ordered fries and enjoyed every one of them. Soon after I wrote a post about a muslin tote bag swap with a property developer going by the name of Ian Ainslie at Ian’s site, I received a lovely-wrapped package from Trish. As you can see from photographs of my tote and from Trish's blog, she is an incredibly talented person.
04:09 AM
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Getting Locked Out Sucks

Well, this is a blogpost that I never thought I'd be writing any time soon. It's a sorry tale about time management and focus. As in, if I had either of those qualities, I wouldn't have put myself in the sorry situation that I did last night.

Locking myself out.

Yeah, maybe that's something you've done in your adult life, so you'd be able to realise how frustrating it is. And how time consuming.

And, for me at least, none of it would have happened if I was not in such a rush (that's where the time management thing comes in...). And I wouldn't have locked myself out if I was concentrating on what I was doing (that's where the focus thing comes in.

The background to me locking myself out: I had a doctor's appointment to discuss my ongoing chest pains. But I managed to forget about it until an hour or so before I was due to be with the doctor. It takes an hour to get there in good traffic. My appointment was just as rush hour strikes and, as you're no doubt aware, rush hour is never good traffic.

Which means that I was rushing around like a dog chasing its tail to pick up everything I needed for the trip and get there before rush hour really kicked in. Before you can say "Rick's a dumbass for getting locked out", the front door's slammed shut, locking me out and the keys in. So, now there's now chance for me to make the appointment.

The silver lining here is that I had my cellphone with me to make some important calls - the doctor and the locksmith to get me back in to my apartment, so that I could get my keys and be on my way.

Suffice it to say, the doctor put the appointment back 30 minutes and the locksmith did whatever locksmiths do to legally break into my house. I'll blog a bit more about it in another post - I just wanted to vent some steam here first. Anyways, there's always got to be a moral to a story like this. And, as far as I can tell, the moral of this story is: if you lock yourself out, make damed sure you know a good locksmith.

Not a sentence that I thought I'd ever have to write, but you live and learn.
01:59 PM
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You Getting Enough Water?

Are you one of those people who drink one or two glasses of water per day, and by the end of the day you cannot even remember if you’ve had any water at all? Do you drink coffee, soda, milk, tea, instead of water? Well, if your answer is yes, than you’re about to be genuinely surprised when you learn the importance of drinking water. You may even want to develop a new habit...
  • First of all, around 70% of your body is made of water and if you deplete it out of its main ingredient on an everyday basis, you are doing a lot of harm to it.
  • Your blood has an even bigger percentage of water in it; more than 80%. If you don’t drink enough water, your blood becomes thicker, your heart needs to pump harder, your blood flow is slower and the oxygen and the nutrients cannot reach your cells on time, so you become sleepy and anxious, and eventually you develop a natural state of chronic fatigue.
  • Your brain is also largely made out of water; in fact, an average brain has about a liter of water in itself. Imagine now what happens when you don’t drink enough water! The brain shrinks. You are not able to concentrate, your head hurts as hell, and you start drinking concentration pills and caffeine and pain killers, when all you had to do is just drink a glass or two of water.
  • Water also boosts your metabolism. So, if you are overweight, you will definitely start loosing weight, because you will increase your body’s ability to burn calories. It will also improve your digestive system and it works great as a detoxifier.
So, if you think you are not drinking enough water, you should know that humans need about 2l of water on a daily basis and it is really important you drink it as soon as you wake up to boost your metabolism and blood flow.

03:23 AM
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Finally Learning...

The time has come.

Yes, I am about to do what most of my friends managed to successfully complete some time ago (and most of them did it on the first attempt!). It's time for me to learn to drive. Up to now, as I live in a major city, it's not really been much of an issue. Catch a cab, rice on the tube or even take a train some place.

But it's time to man up and, at the age of 25, it's time to get driving.

What the reason for such an enormous paradigm shift? Well, I got me a new girlfriend and she lives out of town. She's been driving in to see me and is a bit annoyed that I can't reciprocate and drive out to see her when she doesn't feel like driving. It's only fair and, as a proper millennial, I booked some lessons with an outfit that helped my buddies. Keendrivers, apparently. And, most importantly, they are active in my area - Keendrivers covers brentwood. And it's important to me that I support a local service provider from the Brentwood area.

So, getting ready to man up and hit the road and, as I have this little blog to keep things real, you can expect updates here as things gain momentum.
03:14 AM
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Getting A New Habit

Getting a New Habit Most of us would like to change at least one thing about ourselves. Whether it’s quitting a habit or making a habit (like changing your diet for something more physically benficial), it’s never easy. And, are there any ways you could do it more easily or at least do it without much difficulty?
There are actually, and the key to it is making
  • a clear goal
  • tool(s) for achieving the goal and something we all love and have abundantly
  • consistency
Let’s assume that you want to exercise and you’ve never exercised before in your life or it passed at least ten years since you’ve exercised the last time. You have probably tried to exercise a couple of times before and failed miserably because “you are a grownup now, and you don’t have time for this; you get tired, it hurts, you might get injured…” and you’ve found a ton of other excuses. These excuses are direct consequence of not having the clear goal in front of you and I will show you now why the goal is important.
You cannot set exercising as your goal; you need to have a firm and concrete goal that is going to make you exercise. It can be losing weight, living a healthy lifestyle, looking better, getting into a pair of jeans again, something like that. When you set your goal like this, exercise will become a tool for achieving this goal. You will be able to say - If I want to look better I need to exercise more - and then you are quite clear on why you are doing something; you’ll know WHY you exercise.
Finally, you need to be consistent. You cannot exercise once a week or just randomly and expect results to be wow! You need to do it every day, or at least 5-6 times a week; and then, after a few weeks or a month you’ll notice the first results AND as an added bonus – you won’t be able to stop it. It will have become your new habit; a good, healthy habit.
Once you reach your goal, simply make another one and keep pushing.
The same goes for breaking a habit, only in reverse - instead of doing something, simply stop doing it; make a firm goal, tool(s) and be consistent. After a month, you will have a habit of not eating candies after dinner, or not smoking, or whatever.
04:36 AM
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WTF is Paleo All About?

Paleo diet is based on the belief that for the sake of health and feeling good we should eat just as our Paleo ancestors did.
So, what happened after the Paleo era that made our nutrition worse?The answer is agriculture and everything that it involves. It is believed that humans evolved as beings whose nutrition is based on eating fruits, vegetables and animals. These types of food gave our ancestors a diet high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates. Consequently, the main source of energy was fat, which could be stored around our muscles and used during the winter. Luckily for us, we don’t have to do this anymore, since most of us have enough food on an everyday basis. Yet there are many obese people.

Why is agriculture bad? There is nothing wrong with agriculture; but a lot of it is wrong with the starch-based food, that is mainly produced by the agriculture. Starch food consists mostly of carbohydrates, and human beings are not, for want of a better word, equipped to properly exploit as a source of energy. Maybe we will eventually develop a way to process starch; but for now – it’s the way things are.
Starches are basically chains of glucose molecules that our body transforms into glycogen. Glycogen is stored in muscles and liver and when the capacity of muscles and liver becomes full, we store it in fat cells and that’s where all the obesity comes from.
So, the easiest way to explain Paleo diet is – no starches, or in other words, grains and potatoes and no industrial sugar as well; eat everything else in abundance, especially fat, which will be your main source of energy.
I am reliably informed that Paleo diet is also the easiest way to lose weight. Once your body is depleted with carbohydrates, it will start burning fat around your muscles. It’s as simple as that! Apparently...
03:59 AM
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Listen to me, Marlon

Marlon Brando is believed to be the best actor who ever lived. His talent was obvious even in his first contact with the audience, which was incidentally - in theatre. His first theater role was in one of the most famous Tennessee Williams’ plays - The Streetcar Named Desire, which was later made into an equally successful movie.
Before the Oscar winning role in the movie called On the Waterfront, Brando played in movie adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951); a movie about a Mexican revolutionary, called Viva Zapata! (1952), while his first movie appearance was in a film called The Men (1950).
Later, after a huge success in On the Waterfront, directed by the Elia Kazan, Marlon decided to quit theatre because he found it overwhelming to experience the same dramatic emotions over and over again, each and every night. He committed to making movies.
Many considered Brando’s decision to quit theatre a waste of talent. Nobody knew at the time that Brando was about to make a revolution in acting performance. His roles in movies like The Fugitive Kind, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Godfather and The Last Tango in Paris are considered to feature the best performance ever.
Brando was more than just an actor; he was a bit of a philosopher, too. The way he was able to understand the human nature and behavior is perceived as scientific by many. Recently, a documentary got out of the production called – Listen to me Marlon, in which you can hear Brando’s thoughts on this and that.
Namely, Brando kept a diary all of his life, but he was too lazy to write his thoughts down, so he recorded his voice instead. Stevan Riley went through 200 hours of Brando’s recordings and assembled the best ones into less than a 2-hour documentary. If you like Marlon as much as I do, watch the documentary; you are definitely going to enjoy it.
08:57 AM
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