Day 189 – Shower Rod

This is Where One Fishes, Right?
This is Where One Fishes, Right?

I don’t fish. Not unless someone baits my hook and deals with whatever might end on it for me. I enjoy the peace and quiet of standing at the water well enough, and holding a rod is kinda relaxing at the same time… but fishing as such is just not for me.

Abbey went for a nice fishing trip today. She brought a whole bunch of gear along and trekked off while I was relaxing, reading my book and drinking a glass of wine.

Alas, no luck with the fish.

I was a little surprised by what I found in the shower later in the evening though. I have to assume that this is the usual way in which one cleans the rod after use. I have no other information to go on.

I hope it’s out of the way in the morning when I shower, because there are places I don’t want the hook to accidentally end up.

Day 188 – Crunchy Crunch Crunch

I had never watched Anchorman before tonight. It is a very strange movie. Also, Steve Carell is very funny playing an idiot (the role he seems to be made to play).

The reason I finally decided to watch it tonight was the discovery of a special limited edition Ben & Jerry’s flavour linked to the release of Anchorman 2. I can happily report that “Crunchy Crunch Crunch” is a delicious flavour worth sampling.

The only caveat on my enjoyment is that the misogyny was decidedly hard to watch. I know it was on-purpose and for comedic effect, and that’s what pulled me through, but it felt uncomfortably like the kind of behaviour and thinking that still runs in places even now. I’m not sure where I stand on the idea that comedy on touchy subjects is fraught with danger. It may normalise ideologies that we should be trying to eradicate. But where is the line where the caricature of reality actually makes fools out of anyone still holding on to these kinds of ideas? Can something just be funny taken out of the context of reality without carrying the crushing weight of history? Where is that line of “too soon”?

It was decidedly ridiculous and funny though.
So I’m choosing to have enjoyed the movie.
Just not entirely unreservedly.

Day 187 – Ripping and Curling

Today I:

  • Slept in, ignoring my phone several times
  • Went to Michel’s to read a few chapters over coffee
  • Had coffee and an apple slice
  • Read 2 chapters of Ice and Fire
  • Played some Storm
  • Assisted in the removal of the bathroom ceiling
  • Assisted in the covering of a bathroom wall
  • Went to Wet’n’Wild, apologising to Holly for the delay
  • Learned that the 3 slides with originally the Purple rafts were closed due to an excess of water (not joking)
  • Climbed up and slid down the T5
  • Discovered the Bombora was closed indefinitely due to 4 spinal injuries today; Holly was distraught (over the slide closure)
  • Climbed up and slid down the Half Pipe
  • Climbed up intending to slide down the Typhoon, only to learn it was out of order, and sliding the Breakers instead
  • Floated in the wave pool
  • Floated around the lagoon several times
  • Climbed up and slid down the Curler
  • Climbed up and slid down the Double Bowlseye
  • Climbed up and slid down the now-re-opened Typhoon
  • Floated some more in the wave pool
  • Showered, left, got chips and went home

I must try a Fast Pass sometime, because there were people lapping us many times while we were queuing for some of the slides. One day filled with slides and total exhaustion. Maybe to celebrate the end of summer?

Day 186 – Pulped

I started the day with my usual Saturday morning gym double. I think I’m getting a lot fitter, but also at the same time a lot more demanding of my efforts.

As a result I didn’t do much through the middle of the day other than sit, relax and read. Which is a perfectly valid fill-in for a Saturday at the 1/3rd mark through my leave.

Two Mangoes per Baggie
Two Mangoes per Baggie

Tonight however I made myself useful by bulk-peeling mangoes and turning them into pre-pulped goo for later use in cooking/ice-cream-making. I probably will want to buy another box for more immediate consumption so that these can be frozen.

The best part are the bits that I was forced to eat along the way though.

Day 184 – It’s Electrifying!

We were out at Rouse Hill for dinner.
Trying to park.

“Ah, look, there’s a spot!”
“No, it’s a handicapped spot”
“Doesn’t look like it…”

Where the Volts Go
Where the Volts Go

I had never seen one of these before, and I kinda like the pictogram for electric-car-spots,… assuming this is the official one. There were two spots and not that far from the access to the shops either; it’s good to see this is treated somewhat preferentially even though I have no electric car myself.

I am not sure how the payment is supposed to work…

Make Me Pay...
Make Me Pay…

…but it looks like there is some kind of electronic key involved to get access to the power, so I assume that would be linked to a unique identity and payment system of some sort. I like the simplicity of the solution.

The only way this would be better is if there had been a car in one of the spots.

Maybe another time.

Passing Half

On a separate note; I’ve just passed the halfway mark on my challenge. 183 days completed with 182 more to go.

The challenge is relaxing into a slightly more free-form one with every week that passes, but the discipline of writing every day has really become a part of my routine now. I think at this stage it would feel very odd to have a day in which I do not write anything down.

I should start thinking about how I want to bend this new-found superpower to the Purposes of Awesome. I might have to start writing some drafts for bigger thoughts that I could not complete in a single day to start transforming this habit for the creation of deeper musings, because ultimately, a diary isn’t anywhere near as interesting a read.

Something about the Critical Thinking notes I wrote today resonated in that regard as well.

Maybe I can try to set a schedule where every so many times a week/fortnight/month I complete a more researched article as my daily post and use the intervening posts for the usual diary entries. If so, I’ll make sure to introduce a new tag for anyone that only wants to follow the “better” posts (which arguably is a very subjective measure in this case).

Anyway.

What I was trying to say is: Yay Me! I’m Still Stubborn!
I should have a glass of something to commemorate Halfway-Day.

And cheers to those that have been dutifully reading along the way. I hope you’ll stay. I hope you’ll recommend this to a friend or two. I hope you’ll tell me what works and what doesn’t.

Day 183 – Logic and Reason

I spent a large chunk of today working through 12 weeks of Critical Thinking lectures to work out what they were actually trying to say. I could see the ghost of pure deductive logic shining through, albeit somewhat obscured by a certain amount of hand-waving that I’m not convinced actually did anything to simplify the concepts. Still.

Now I have 5 pages of notes that summarise the key points.

spotify:track:5kWU14BVMuDiYFagBB0BeR

I think for the sake of simplicity the lectures are taking some liberties with precision though. The examples supporting the distinction between arguments and explanations are too ambiguous to be didactically useful. And the distinction is open to interpretation to begin with… in many cases one person’s agreed fact is another’s unsupported premise, flipping an explanation into an argument.

Then it went into a whole notation system for structured analysis or an argument that didn’t get used again until the very last lecture, and without sufficient notational detail to actually illuminate the full structure of an argument. It’s either more than it needs, or not enough for comprehensiveness.

But maybe that’s my scientist brain rebelling against all the superfluous distinctions being introduced. An Argument consists of Premises leading to a Conclusion. Premises and Conclusions consist of Simple and Complex Propositions… why, why, why? An Argument is a Complex Proposition itself; one that asserts that the Implication of the conjunction of its Propositions forming the Premises is the Proposition of the Conclusion.

Either the course should have started from Formal Logic introducing far fewer muddling concepts to begin with, and building a firm and complete foundation for what follows, or it should just have spent less time on the incomplete formalisation it attempts. It just feels like empty calories; very unsatisfying.

As the lectures move from the more formal foundations into the more informal interpretation of arguments written in conversational English, it actually gets somewhat better. Explaining the underpinnings of a strong scientific argument, and correctly using and compositing representative samples gives a lot of practical tools to find the holes or weaknesses in typical “newspaper”* articles.

It does a pretty good job explaining the purpose of a control group in scientific experimentation. It provides some constructive suggestions how to check when correlation might not imply causation. It provides suggestions on how to test the strength of an argument through evaluating alternate explanations. It does a very concise overview of the most relevant fallacies in typical arguments.

It even, delightfully does a reasonably nuanced explanation of both the virtues and dangers of rhetorical devices when constructing an argument. It seems like rhetorical devices are most often either overlooked altogether, or so over-utilised that it harms the efficacy of the argument to convince. It even defines and advocates the ethical use of such devices, which is refreshing.

Still, I wish it were more rigorous and parsimonious throughout. It could be better! (from the perspective of this recovering perfectionist).

I just hope that my notes haven’t gone overboard as a result.
I was after all just helping someone study this material.

I may have gotten a little carried away with my thoughts.


* – for very liberal interpretations of what makes up a “newspaper” in this day and age. I don’t think it tends to involved paper so much.

Day 182 – Lost in Math

I had intended to find a math-y song. I was going to post about logic and reason, which I am re-studying for reasons of helping.

I got a little distracted.
It was wonderful.

I want to share with you my findings.

1. I Have Been Doing Toothpaste Wrong

2. Poincaré Apparently Raps Well

3. Maths Can be Quite Romantic

4. 12 Days is Too Much for Christmath

5. Mandelbrot is Easier to Follow with Images

You are Welcome!

Day 181 – Ginger

I followed through on my massage this morning. It wasn’t as excruciating as I was fearing; not at all actually. I disclosed the state of my shoulders right up-front, and other than a little extra care with the wet towels there proved to be no need to worry.

Remarkably, with the massage oil, even very firm pressure didn’t hurt (other than where there were knots in my muscles). So that was good.

For the rest of the day I had been banished from sunshine though. I had been told in no uncertain terms that I was not to let the sun touch me. Which was easy enough in the morning (overcast) when I went out to my massage, but by the time I returned the sun was poking out from behind the clouds. It’s remarkably how much a few rays can sting (Sting-Rays?) even when exposed only for a few seconds.

I was scuttling from shade-to-shade for the rest of the day.

Most of my time was spent inside arranging pictures for the eBaying of the redundant pieces of technology. Perhaps using a DSLR for eBay pics is a bit of overkill, but I was enjoying myself, so there! đŸ˜‰

I had a brief trip outside to Rouse Hill for some shopping.

And then I got lathered up with Aloe again before heading out to the gym. It’s a really odd sensation when it dries caked on. Every time I moved, it felt like my surface was cracking under the strain. It’s a very unsettling skin-pulling-sensation. 10 minutes into a Cardio class I stopped paying attention though; being out of breath has this way of making everything else in the world seem trivial.

Getting through my plans is proving slower than anticipated. But so long as there’s forward momentum I’m not going to complain. Relaxing is more important than achieving right now.

And on that note; I think some sleep is called for now.