Thursday, June 14, 2012

The NBA (Fart) Finals

How dumb are the team names in this year's finals?  Both names are related to farts.

I'm not rooting so much for the Thunder as I am rooting against the Heat.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Alien 1979 and Oatmeal

My memory is a little fuzzy since I was so young ... but I think my older sister was getting married and for some reason only my parents could go, so my oldest brother stayed with my sister and me until my parents got back. He was in college at the time I think.

It must have been a Friday night ... he rented and watched Alien.  The scene below horrified me and my sister so much that we wouldn't eat our oatmeal the next morning.  The video doesn't really show it, but I think the dude was just eating something resembling oatmeal.  So my sister and I made the connection in our minds that eating the oatmeal would cause an alien to burst out of our chest.

Anyway - Prometheus is out now and one of these nights I plan on checking it out.  Looks just as good as 1979 Alien.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Nigel Davies had a great post (as is almost always the case) on his Chess Improver Blog.  His recent post is about a OpEd piece in the New York Time entitled The Amygdala Made Me Do It.  This general topic of the science behind our decisions is very fascinating to me.  It has implications for pretty much everything in any one person's life - especially mine.

Having dabbled a bit with the concept of changing a habit (it's much more difficult to simply drop a habit; you must change it instead), I've found that it indeed works.  You just have to stay focused on it long enough.  It's worked for me before, but then I slipped back into 'bad' habits.  However, a few good habits have stuck.

Anyway - I was preparing a "productivity" minute for my job and I decided to discuss this simple formula for changing a habit.  Here it is below:

1. Identify your habit's routine

  • every habit has a basic pattern
  • routine, reward, cue
  • identify the components of your loop

2. Experiment with different rewards

  • rewards satisfy cravings
  • to figure out which cravings are driving a habit, change the reward and keep experimenting until you figure it out.
3. Isolate the cue

  • isolating the cue is vital
  • take note of 5 things when you 'crave' the bad routine/reward
    • location
    • time
    • emotional state
    • other people you're with
    • the immediately preceding action
4. Have a plan

  • now that you've figured out the loop (routine, reward, cue), you can shift the behavior with your plan (new habit)
  • when I see a CUE, I will do ROUTINE, in order to get a REWARD
5. Look for keystone habits

  • where do you begin to change your habits?
  • focus on keystone habits - those habits that have the power to start a chain reaction which shift other patterns in your life
  • ask yourself: which habits are most core to my self image?
More info at