Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts


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Berger cookies are a Baltimore thing, or so I’ve been told. That’s one argument for me to try them before leaving, and another argument is “Why not?”. So try them I did, and was sorely disappointed. It’s a crummy little wafer with a ton of chocolate fudge frosting all over it. OK sure, chocolate fudge frosting isn’t the worst thing in the world, but what the heck?  Though coming from the land of sild, leverpostej and akvavit I suppose I should hold my tongue.

Needs more fudge frosting

In other news, today was terrible. Problems with a paper, experiments cancelled because of a missing password and absolutely couldn’t get in the zone for making a presentation. Bleh. But somehow it wasn’t quite as bad as it should have been, because I for some reason felt that it was only a short period of crap which would naturally be followed by a terrific day or two. I do find that the pendulum often swings like that, but to straight up expect it? I’m wondering whether it’s a byproduct of my intermittent fasting, where I’m so used to hardships lasting only until the next day (which is what makes it so doable). And perhaps also the fact that I get a shot of hunger-induced euphoria every other day, coupled with a total lack of food-induced drowsiness. Or it could just be psychosomatic truth that I’ll soon get better. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.


Written by Martin

2012/10/24 at 23:01

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Aching for completion

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The other day it fully dawned on me that I’m a habitual progress-measurer. I’m sure I would have admitted as much had I been pressed on the matter, but in this case the weight of it hit me in the middle of a bike ride: the majority of my activities are broken into quantifiable steps towards a definable goal, and many a thought is spent gauging my progress along these paths. I must finish X papers for my Ph.D., this or that paper requires Y experiments for completion. Each day, each week and each year has a to-do list attached, and tasks are checked off upon completion. As soon as I make a beginning, whether painting my Yu Jing or just buying food, I’m already looking towards its end. Lord help the kids if I ever end up being minister of education.

As far as I can tell this is a trait that cuts both ways. Certainly there are scenarios were you just need to work your way through something…

That’s a gallon of milk right there, and it’s got nothing on those Charms

… and measurable progress along the way can be very motivating. But sticking firmly to the program is bound to result in missed opportunities, and not everything of value can be measured. Nor does progress always come at a steady rate, so banking on that as my main source of motivation is certain to bring woes. I wax poetic, so I’ll bring this to an end with the simple statement that I’m a habitual progress-measurerer. Just something to keep in mind.

PS: It seems that I’ve somehow transformed into a person that prefers oats with raisins and walnuts to Lucky Charms. I wish I’d noticed that before I bought the box in the picture.

Written by Martin

2012/09/26 at 19:57

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Things I read that seem true

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  1. The superior man, in the world, does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow. (Analects of Confucius, Book 4, Chapter 10)
  2. In this way of thinking, events, regardless of when they happen from any particular perspective, just are. They all exist. They eternally occupy their particular point in spacetime. There is no flow. If you were having a great time at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, 1999, you still are, since that is just one immutable location in spacetime. (Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos, Chapter 5)
  3. “Ego,” sayest thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater thing—in which thou art unwilling to believe—is thy body with its big sagacity; it saith not “ego,” but doeth it. (Thus Spake Zarathustra, Chapter 4)

Written by Martin

2012/08/28 at 20:26

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