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Why Me!

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is a contemporary swing revival band from Southern California. 

This video is great & fun.


A Surprising Movie "Pet"

At first I did not want to watch this movie on cable TV.  It seemed like just another version of the same old plot.  Man abducts a woman, puts her in a cage; but she escapes at the end. Lynette wanted to watch it so I agreed. At worst I'd fall asleep.

Without spoiling the plot all I can say is that this movie is different. It's definitely worth a look.




"This haunting, psychological horror follows Seth, a lonely man working in an animal shelter. His monotonous routine is broken one day when he bumps into Holly, a girl from school who he soon becomes obsessed with. However, when she rejects his advances, Seth's obsession reaches a terrifying new level, with Holly hiding secrets of her own."
(Rotten Tomatoes)




My Sleep Study

Tonight I'm having a sleep study at a nearby clinic.  Do I have sleep apnea or sleep related seizures?  Maybe I have both.

I usually have my seizures at night. The sleep study should help with the diagnosis.  But I'm still worried about what it may show.

Today I can not have any caffeinated drinks and naps are forbidden. The result is a headache and feeling very sleepy.

The test is from 9 PM until 5 or 6 AM.


Vegetable "Cube of Protection" Worked!

I found him in a flowerpot just outside the garden!

Here's the best shot, with just a little telephoto.


































Tomato Plant Recovery


This was yesterday right after planting.

This is the tomato plant this morning!

When I Get Low I Get High.



Planted Vegetable Patch May 17, 2017

This is a thin "oriental" version of an eggplant that should produce a sweet crop (if one plant can be considered a crop).

Cucumber, Tomato, Eggplant, Basil 

Basil and two Cucumber Plants
The cucumber plants came with roots entwined.  If I pull them apart both roots will tear away leaving two plants with no roots.  I'm supposed to cut away the weaker plant as they grow.  Which one?  Maybe I can keep both. 

The tomato plant is a bit floppy because I planted a large part of the stem horizontally as recommended and Lynette said it will be in shock for a while until it gets used to its new home. I hope so.

I checked on the tomato plant a few hours later and it's starting to straighten out.  I'll take a photo in a day or so to let you know how it's doing. :)



Do It Tomorrow

Right now I'm trying Google Keep as my main to-do list but I'm going to also use an application I've tried before called "Do It (Tomorrow)".

I have anxiety about missing out on something important and that's why I keep trying different to-do lists; hoping I'll find the perfect one.  There is no perfect to-do list for everyone.  We have to find what works for us.

With Google Keep I'll separate my to-do lists from my list of projects.  Projects are made up of a collection of to-do items.

I'm going to use "Do It (Tomorrow)" to help prevent a feeling of rushing myself. That rushed feeling interferes with my enjoying myself right this moment.

Hopefully this combination of to-do list applications will be just what I need.
If not I'll go to pencil and pad with Google Keep as a holding/organizing area.

Oh no! Here I go again!


video
This video explains the very easy "Do It (Tomorrow)" program. Notice the coffee stained page of the notebook. :)



This Week's Image

Is that a person in the glass container?  After inspection is she put into its "brain" and a receipt printed?


The Importance of Wasting Time

"At the end of the day, all of us have the urge to while away time flicking through a magazine, walking around the block, or simply doing nothing. We should embrace these moments, and see them as what they are: time well spent."

From an interesting article, LINK:
The psychological importance of wasting time — Quartz


National Twilight Zone Day

"Always observed on May 11, National Twilight Zone Day is that mysterious day highlighted with eerie background music and unexplainable occurrences.
The television show The Twilight Zone was created, written and narrated by Rod Serling. It premiered on October 1, 1959. The episodes were wildly popular, stretched the imagination, and captivated viewers. The show aired from 1959-1964.
HOW TO OBSERVE
What’s your favorite episode of The Twilight Zone? Use #NationalTwilightZoneDay to post on social media."

Useful Advice on

Now that Wunderlist is going to be discontinued, I'm trying Google Keep.
https://keep.google.com/

Besides saving notes, images and other things it can be used as a to-do list.

I found a useful article about "How to Make Your To-Do List Doable".
The link: How to Make Your To-Do List Doable

The article:
There's no better feeling than checking something off your to-do list. Done! Finished! Mission accomplished! Yet it's so easy to let a whole day or week go by without knocking one task off your list. How does that happen? Well, your to-do list can be a tool that guides you through your work, or it can be a big fat pillar of undone time bombs taunting you and your unproductive inadequacy. It all depends on how you write it.
Think of your to-do list as an instruction set your Boss self gives your Assistant self. Like a good computer program, if the instructions are clear, specific, and easily carried out, you're golden. If not, you'll get undesirable results, such as fear, procrastination, and self-loathing. Read on for a closer look at how to write a to-do list that makes getting your stuff done dead-simple.

You Are the Boss of You

At any point during the workday, you are in one of two modes: thinking mode (that's you with the Boss hat on) and action mode (that's you with the Personal Assistant hat on). When a project or task comes up, the steps you need to take start to form in your mind. Now you're in thinking/Boss mode - the guy/gal who gives the orders. Your to-do list is a collection of those orders, which your Assistant personality will later pick up and do.
When you're wearing your Boss hat, it's up to you to write down the instructions in such a way that your Assistant self can just do them without having to think - or stress. Taking the thinking out of the acting is one of the best ways to make your to-do list a cinch to finish off.

How to Order Yourself Around

When it's time to add something to your to-do list, think it through using the following guidelines.

Only Put Items on the List That You're Definitely Doing

Sometimes you think of tasks you're just not ready to do yet. Maybe learning a new language - while it's an eventual goal - just doesn't fit into your life right now. Maybe upgrading the website is low priority because your business is shifting gears in a major way, and any site overhaul will look very different - or maybe won't be needed - in six months.
Instead of letting tasks you're not quite committed to loiter on your to-do list until you're sick of looking at them (and sick of the reminder that you're not quite there yet), move them off to a separate list, a holding area for Someday/Maybe items. You'd tell your assistant to do something only if you absolutely, positively want it done, so only concrete actions you're committed to completing should live on your to-do list.

Break It Down

The quickest route to a task you'll actively avoid working on: Make it a vague monstrosity. Put a nonspecific item such as "Clean out the office" on your to-do list, and I guarantee that's the last thing you'll ever start working on. Actually, "Clean out the office" isn't a to-do at all; it's a project. Author of Getting Things Done David Allen says projects are not tasks; projects are collections of tasks. That's an important distinction. Internalize it, because your to-do list is not your project list. Don't add multi-action tasks to it, such as "Clean out the office." Break projects down to smaller, easier-to-tackle subtasks, such as "Purge filing cabinet," "Shred old paperwork," and "Box up unneeded books for library drive." Your Assistant self will ask, "What do you want done?" and when Boss you says, "Clean out the office," that won't get you anywhere.
The smaller and more atomic these subtasks are, the more doable they are. Inspirational writer SARK breaks down her tasks into five-minute increments, and calls them "micromovements." She writes, "Micromovements are tiny, tiny little steps you can take toward completions in your life. I'm a recovering procrastinator and I have a short attention span, so I invented micromovements as a method of completing projects in time spans of 5 minutes or less. I always feel like I can handle almost anything for 5 minutes!"
Coming up with those tiny tasks requires thinking up front, when you're putting the task on your list. The following examples contrast vague to-do's (the kind that can throw up roadblocks) next to their doable counterparts.
Roadblock To-DosDoable To-Dos
Find a new dentist.Email Jayne and ask what dentist she goes to.
Replace the broken glass table top.Measure the table dimensions. Call San Diego Glass at 555-6789 with dimensions.
Learn Italian.Check U of Whatever's website (whatever.edu) for fall Italian class offerings.
Upgrade website.Draft a list of five website upgrades.

As you can see, breaking down your tasks into next actions creates more than one task for items that look like regular to-do's but turn out to be small projects. For example, replacing the broken glass table top involves measuring the table, calling and ordering a replacement, and possibly going to pick it up, which brings us to the next guideline.

Focus Only on the Next Action

When you have a multi-action task - such as replacing the glass table top - keep only its next sequential action on your to-do list. When the task is complete, refer to your project list (again, separate from to-do's) and add its next action to your to-do list. At any given moment, your to-do list should contain only the next logical action for all your working projects. That's it - just one bite-sized step in each undertaking.
Imagine that you're at your desk, you have a spare 10 minutes before a meeting, and you pull out the preceding roadblock to-do list. Can you find a dentist or learn Italian? No. But you could get an item done from the doable list. You could email a friend about a dentist referral, or check the university website for fall class offerings.

Use Specific, Active Verbs

When you tell yourself to do something, make it an order. An item such as "Acme account checkup" doesn't tell you what has to be done. Make your to-do's specific actions, such as "Phone Rob at Acme re: Q2 sales." Notice I didn't use the word Contact; I used Phone. Contact could mean phone, email, or IM, but when you take out all the thinking and leave in only action, your verbs will be as specific as possible. Literally imagine instructing a personal assistant on her first day on the job as to what you need done.

Include as Much Information as Possible

When formulating a to-do, the onus is on your Boss self to make it as easy as possible for your Assistant self to get the job done. For example, if you have to make a phone call, include the name or number. Instead of "Donate old furniture," assign yourself "Call Goodwill to schedule pickup, 555-9878." When you're stuck in the doctor's waiting room for 20 minutes with only your cell phone, you can't donate your old furniture, but you sure can make a phone call - if you have the number. Be a good Boss. Arm your Assistant self with all the details she needs to get your work done.

Keep Your List Short

Just as no one wants to look at an email inbox with 2,386 messages in it, no one wants to have an endless to-do list. It's overwhelming and depressing, as though there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Instead, keep your to-do list under 20 items. (This morning, mine's only 17 tasks long, and I call myself a busy person.) Does that sound like too short a list? Remember, your to-do list isn't a dumping ground for project details, or "Someday I'd like to" items. These are tasks you've committed to completing in the near future, such as the next two weeks. Keep your projects and someday/maybe items elsewhere. Your to-do list should be short, to-the-point commitments that involve no more deciding as to whether you're actually serious about doing them.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Although your to-do list might have 20 items on it, the reality is that you're going to get only a couple done per day (assuming that you're not writing down things like "get up, shower, make coffee, go to work...." - and you shouldn't be). So make sure the most important tasks are at the very top of your list. How you do this depends on what tool or software you use to track your to-do's, but do make sure you can see at a glance what you need to get done next.

Keep Your List Moving

Although my to-do list is only 20 items or so, it's 20 items that change every day. Every day, two to five tasks get checked off, and two to five tasks get added. Remember, your to-do list is a working document, not some showy testament to organization that quietly gathers dust because you're off doing real work that's not written down anywhere.

Purge and Update Your List Weekly

In addition to sorting by priority, you should sort your list by age. What items have been on your list the longest? Chances are you have mental blockage around the tasks that have been sitting around forever, and they need to be reworded or broken down further. Or perhaps they don't need to get done after all. (Remember! Deleting an item from your to-do list is even better than checking it off, because you've saved the time and effort of actually doing it.)
Just as a manager would meet with her staff members once a week, schedule a 20-minute meeting with yourself every Friday or Monday to review your to-do list, project list, and someday/maybe list. Use that time to rewrite any items that aren't broken down as much as they should be, purge irrelevant items, and move next actions from your project list to your to-do list.
This short, weekly ritual can make you feel more on top of your game than ever. It focuses your energy and weeds out any detritus that accumulated over the past week.

Log Your Completed Tasks

As any good assistant does, you want to show the boss exactly how much you accomplished. Make sure you stow your done items somewhere so that you can revel in your own productivity and even refer to past work activities. Your "done" list is a great indicator of whether your to-do list is working. If more than two days go by without a new done item, it's time to revamp your to-do list and get back to best practices.

Practice Makes Perfect

This may seem like a long set of guidelines for something as simple as adding to your to-do list. But 90 percent of the work involved when you're tackling tasks that matter is the planning, and that's true for what may seem to be the most trivial tasks. As with any good habit, practice makes perfect. The more you practice the art of creating effective to-do's, the faster and easier it will come to you, and the more you cross items off your list and leave the office with that delicious sense of completion.


Starting a Mini Vegetable Garden 2017

I added more soil to top off the garden from last year.
I have a plastic net over the top to keep the deer and birds away.

 The front, back and side wooden frames make it a cube
to keep the rabbits and squirrels away.

I put a plastic sheet over the soil to prevent the weeds from growing.
But it looks ugly and Lynette said it may encourage mold so I'm removing it as soon as I get a chance.  The garden is so small that weeding it should be easy.


Toad Abode

While I was clearing away some weeds I found two or maybe three toads.  I must have wrecked their home.  One was larger so he must be the male. The smaller toad must be his mate.  I'm not sure if I saw a third toad.

One went under a concrete square.  The other watched me for a while, then moved away.  I blocked his path making him go in the opposite direction. But I decided to leave him alone to go back to weeding.  

They lined up their bodies against the brick wall as if posing.  It must be a defense mechanism.

 Last year a toad made its home in one of my flower pots and it stayed all summer.  I messed up their home while weeding so I want to make them another.

They sell "toad abodes" but the prices are high:


I decided to make my own, something like the flowerpot a toad used last year. Here is an article from the National Wildlife Federation.

I'm sure I can make a better looking home than this one.  Lynette seems interested in making a few toad abodes herself.


From an Old Magazine Cover

I played around with this photo because it just fascinated me.  It was for an article about schizophrenia.


It's a bit scary.

Up Close!







National Pretzel Day

Now I want a pretzel but the only thing in the house is Lynette's frozen gluten free pretzels.  Not what I had in mind.  Here are some interesting facts I found.


NATIONAL PRETZEL DAY

National Pretzel Day is observed annually on April 26.  A bag of nice crunchy, salty pretzels or a big, warm, soft, cinnamon pretzel is the question of the day.  Either one is an excellent choice.
There are a few different accounts of the origin of the pretzel.  Most people agree that it does have a Christian background, and they were developed by the monks.  According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, “an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers.  He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, pretiola (little rewards).”
Another source puts the invention in a monastery in southern France. The looped pretzel may also be related to a Greek Ring bread from the communion bread used in monasteries a thousand years ago.  In the Catholic Church, pretzels had a religious significance for both ingredients and shape. The loops in pretzel may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in Job Berckheyde’s (1681) painting.
The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced pretzels to North America in the 19th century.  At this time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania, and their popularity quickly spread.
It was in the 20th century that soft pretzels were very popular in areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago and New York. 
  • Today, the average Philadelphian consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average.
  • Pennsylvania is the center of American pretzel production for both hard and soft pretzels, producing 80% of the nation’s pretzels.
  • The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million.
  • The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds of pretzels per year.
  • Philadelphia opened a privately run “Pretzel Museum” in 1993.
  • Hard pretzels originated in the United States in 1850.

HISTORY
National Pretzel Day began in 2003 when Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell declared April 26 “National Pretzel Day” to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy.

Miss Brooklyn and Miss Manhattan

These statues are located at the entrance to the Manhattan Bridge on the Brooklyn side.  What surprised me about them was how they rotate and how they are lit up from within at night.

I took these two videos, one during the day and one at night.

video


video
They're almost ghostly.

Here's a news video  about the statues.

video


Some Brooklyn Photos While Visiting Newborn Evelyn 2017

My favorite bridge is the Brooklyn Bridge.
(Feel free to use these photos.)



We visited a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn that is located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan across the East  River.




Miles and his father Ryan look across the East River.


The Manhattan Bridge  

The Manhattan Bridge is also a favorite but it lacks the stone construction of the Brooklyn Bridge towers, using steel instead.

Here is Jane's Carousel, as seen in the map above.
 It was closed that day.


Evelyn and her mother Laurissa.

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