June 28, 2011

Life is too short and so are 24-hour days.

I have looked into modified sleep schedules, purportedly used by DaVinci and other historical greats, with the desire to make more of my awaken time by making more of it. Modified sleep schedules supposedly allow the practitioner to get by on 3-4 total hours of sleep per day, by modifying the sleep cycles into multiple small power naps throughout the day. Of course, this plays havoc with anyone with a regular job, since scheduling meetings and other activities have to be taken into account, and with less sleep, more rigor is needed to ensure you get it.

I have yet to find any compelling evidence that suggests that any of these sleep schedules can be adhered to or that they increase productivity. I do know that by the time I am done for the day about 10PM, I am usually DONE for the day. My thought processes are mush, and I actually fall asleep at the keyboard while trying to get in just a few more emails or online posts. This could be due to a number of factors, including being slightly overweight and my age, but I can't help wondering just how productive I would be with even MORE sleep debt than I already carry. I'm getting about 6.5 hours a night now during the week. The modified schedules are supposed to help by allowing the body to deal with the sleep deprivation more often, though.

There's just not enough hours in the day to deal with all of the things I've taken on, but there's even more things I'd like to do. I can't remember the last time I had an hour to devote to piano practice, for example. Cutting down on my hobbies is something I have battled my whole life. It's part of why I'm halfway good at a good many things, rather than expert at any one thing. Whether it's an inability to focus, or just the absence of a desire to do so, is a question I should likely be asking a psychologist to evaluate.

As you get older, though, your responsibilities weigh on you as more pile on over time, and they seem heavier, even though you're the one who's changed. We keep thinking that financial independence is the key to relieving the pressure, but even my retired mother has yet to actually stop working, so that doesn't seem to be the answer.

Well, if you've got the answer, let me know..I'll be here, trying a few dozen new things before I fall asleep at my desk...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

June 27, 2011

DC Commuting - The Slug's Perspective.

6:28, I'm sitting in the back of someone's two-seater, heading for DC on I-395N in the HOV lane. I left my house about fifteen minutes ago, and drove 2 miles to a local commuter lot. After standing in line, I got in the first car that called out my destination. I've never met the driver, and we won't speak the whole way in. She's got some kind of religious radio station on that I'm steadfastly ignoring as I type on the iPad. Today, I forgot my earbuds, so no music is being piped into my ears.

6:33, just getting into Shirlington now, most of the way to the Pentagon, probably the most traveled destination in DC during the morning rush, at least for sluggers like myself. Once I get dropped off there, I'll grab a metro train to get to work. Today, I should arrive on time at 7A.

With the addition of the iPad to my commute, I feel almost like I'm being chauffeured to work. I've been commuting this way for more than 19 years, from various points south, and I have never had a problem getting to or from work. It's been a good time to sleep or read, listen to music, etc.

6:39, pulled into the Pentagon parking lot - assuredly much faster than if I'd driven it myself, and I won't be paying for parking or the ride. Riding to work this way saves me gas, parking and headaches. When traffic does back up, infrequently on the HOV lanes, I just take the time to doze off as the driver deals with the stress of the road. I easily save $200 or more a month on gas and parking fees.

6:52 Metro car pulls into my station downtown. I grab my umbrella and my lunch and head the two blocks to my office... A little exercise to get my blood pumping...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

June 25, 2011

Marine Corp Museum

An interesting day visit outside of Washington DC is The Marine Corp museum in Quantico, VA. If you happen to be in the area and have the opportunity, it's a great museum for those interested in Marine Corp history. Directly across from the Quantico Marine Base off off Route 1, access from I-95 is a simple exit and very short drive. The museum is free to access and plenty big for a few hours visit, with plenty of OO-rah merchandise in the store. Lots of photo opportunities, and classes of Marine officer trainees are fun to watch unload onto buses when they visit...we just drove past the museum and I remember my few trips there.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Jefferson Davis Hwy,Quantico,United States

June 10, 2011

The Thought Police

Have the Thought Police arrived? I give you as food for thought - this article regarding the arrest of 'members of the group Anonymous'. I am fairly certain that Anonymous is not a 'group' in the sense of the term that is normally used when referring to other infamous groups, such as 'the mafia', 'the Yakuza', 'the Senate' [see what I did there?]. Membership in the group 'Anonymous' as I understand it is open to anyone who is of similar thought. The group has no leader, and activity is normally sponsored by factions within, where consensus is what brings force to bear, with minimal planning and coordination. People who participate use the masks of Guy Fawkes - as dramatized by the movie 'V' as being a way for the general populace to show support for the actions of a leading antagonist. If the participants of the general populace merely demonstrate support for a thought or action, are they then liable the same way that they would be liable through conspiratorial conduct?

Have we come full circle in democracy to fighting the will of the people against the establishment, punishing those who show support for anti-establishment activities, legal or illegal? If you cheer 'the villain', are you now a member of a conspiracy? In the United States, will we use the RICO act to prosecute you for flaunting your agreement by wearing the mark of the criminal even if your actions are not illegal?

Unless the parties that were arrested are guilty of committing actual crimes, their arrest merely for being member of the group 'Anonymous' would entail the police having acted to curtail the showing of support for their ideas....The article does not give enough details, and is certainly slanted to lead the belief that Spain has arrested people merely for their stance. Even the image suggests only that those arrested wore Guy Fawkes masks - hardly a crime in any civilized country...