Next semester’s plan

With classes starting up in a week it is time to set some goals for the semester. I have been on vacation camping for the last two weeks and all the intense news has made an intimidating prospect for blogging. The more I learn about the Gaza-Israel conflict the more I realize I am not qualified to talk about it. I plan on getting back into a regular blogging schedule once this week is over. This next semester I really want to be productive so I can land a good job for the summer.  I have a real problem with hitting snooze for an hour if I don’t have anywhere to go in the early morning which will suck next semester when my first class ins’t until 11.

Get over a 3.75 for the semester
– Put in three hours of study time for each hour of in class material in my harder three classes
– Put in an hour of study time for each hour of in class material in my two easier classes
– Miss less than one class a week for any reason
Improve my health
– Do a core and upper body workout five days a week
– Run at least 3 miles four times a week
– Meditate every morning
Be creative
– Blog at least three times a week
– Draw at least three times a week
– Read every day for half an hour
Improve my Home brew
– Move to all grain brews
– Brew at least once a month
– Learn about the science behind brewing
– Work on getting a recipe that would be worth bringing to a home brew festival

I will be adding goals to this list and how I will achieve them as the semester starts.  I like to use chains to keep track of how I am doing  so that will be how I measure my daily goals.  I will also be working and in band this semester so that adds to my work load but with dedication I know I can do well this semester.

The Joy of Getting a Letter

I love getting things in the mail, whether it be a game, or a book, or even my razors.  The joy of getting something tangible is great, but what is better than getting stuff is getting a letter.  Letters always make me smile so much.  They are a dying art form but I believe a proper letter should be cherished.  Love letters or letters home just aren’t as common a they once were more that we can call our loved ones whenever we want.  I can call to let my loved ones know I care about them but they don’t get an object they can hold when I do that.  You can’t replay a phone call like you can re-read a letter.  I keep all the letters I get to be able to remember all the important people in my life and I feel like we lose that kind of connection with cell phones.

Looks like Google is getting into the home security game

I am a huge fan of Google.  I am a fan boy for Google like hipsters are for apple.  My phone is android, my browser is chrome, my primary email is Gmail so Google pretty much knows everything about me and I have come to accept that.  I don’t inherently like that all my personal information is possessed by companies like Google and government bodies like the NSA but it seems like that is the direction the world is moving in.  That being said I don’t know how I would feel about using Google home security.  Letting one company have so much knowledge about my life seems a bit scary.  I feel like I wouldn’t want one company to have all my information and have the ability to see my home surveillance footage.  What if something like a security breach in the company happens, if the company that had that breach had all of my info it is all gone.  If I have a company that does my home surveillance and another for my internet use and another for other aspects of my life maybe the odds of  a breach go up but at least they wouldn’t have everything all at once.  Maybe I am just being paranoid but I think I will keep my home security and my shopping habits in the hands of different companies.  The move to buy Dropcam does seem like a good business move though and makes sense to compete with Apple but I really don’t think I would want either company having access to my security.


NBC LosAngeles Article 

Taking a before pic is the hardest part?

This summer I was going to do research but that fell through last minute so I am back at my old job living with my parents… Which is kind of disappointing but it is giving me an opportunity that I may never have again in my life to better myself. All I have to do right now is work, no classes, no band, no homework, nothing but work 8 hours a day. I am going to use this summer to better myself, to get in shape, to learn new things, to create the habits I want to have for the rest of my life. At the start of the week I took a before picture and at the end of the summer I will post the before picture and after picture and hopefully have a noticeable change in my body shape.

I am using to track my progress and form habits.
The things I want to do every day are
Wake up by Seven AM
Create something (either art or writing, just be creative)
Go to bed by midnight
Do a core and chest workout

I have a three day streak going for most of them and hope to turn it into a 90 day streak by the end of the summer. Every goal takes dedication every day and that is what I am working toward. I am also looking to find other things to learn to better myself over the summer, I might try to learn a second language and make some other progressions in my life. I will have to see where the summer takes me.

8 math talks to blow your mind

I love learning about math, and the 7th video about Fermi problems was pretty great.

TED Blog

Mathematics gets down to work in these talks, breathing life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzlers both solved and unsolvable, and even some still waiting for solutions.

Ron Eglash: The fractals at the heart of African designs
When Ron Eglash first saw an aerial photo of an African village, he couldn’t rest until he knew — were the fractals in the layout of the village a coincidence, or were the forces of mathematics and culture colliding in unexpected ways? Here, he tells of his travels around the continent in search of an answer.

How big is infinity?
There are more whole numbers than there are even numbers … right? Actually, there aren’t. This TED-Ed talk makes it crystal clear why not, in a lesson on the infinite infinities and math’s unanswerable questions.

Arthur Benjamin does “Mathemagic”
A whole team of calculators is no match for Arthur Benjamin…

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Homebrew Beer Brats

Last night for dinner I made beer brats with my American Wheat homebrew.  It was fairly simple but I was happy with how they turned out.  I coated the bottom of a pan with vegetable oil and added half a dozen brats to the pan and started them cooking.  I added half a chopped onion and a handful of mushrooms to the pan.  Then I poured a bottle and a half of homebrew into the pan to cover the brats, onions, and mushrooms.  I cooked the beer down till there was almost none left in the pan and the mushrooms and onions were caramelized. It was too cold and snowy outside to grill the brats but they still came out well.

Beer brats Beer Brats

Alum Cave Hike

Directly following the Chimney Tops hike I hiked Alum cave (not an actual cave) outside of Gatlinburg Tennessee.  I went on this hike with several cavers who were greatly disappointed there was no actual cave, but there was a staircase cut under the rock face which was very interesting and made the hike worth it.  Just like the first hike I decided to join just as people were walking out the door of the cabin.  Unlike the first hike though I was not dying part way through the hike to keep up with them.  This was a nice relaxing hike with a small elevation change which is what I was hoping the first hike would have been.  While there were spots with nice views of the creek that ran next to the trail and some good views over the forest at the end of the hike most of the first mile of the trail had the same greenery grown on both sides of the trail so dense that your view was completely blocked. This hike was about as difficult as the Cascades trail I have hiked which is to say not challenging at all but the views were a lot less rewarding, yet still worth the relaxing hike.