Soda and Productivity

A lot of people drink soda, or coffee or tea, or some other caffeinated drink. The usual reasons are the same: they either need the energy boost or like the taste (which means they need the energy boost and want an excuse). I personally don’t drink coffee and rarely drink soda or tea. But this wasn’t always the case. I can remember a time not too long ago (a few months) where I was drinking several sodas every day. Most people are fine with this or even need it, I know someone who gets almost sick when he goes through soda withdrawal. I went through withdrawal when I “quit” soda and it is terrible, but I managed to do it and here’s why I did it.

Back even longer ago I wasn’t getting much done. I subsist on liquids mostly because I’m either to lazy or not hungry enough to make food (I haven’t eaten breakfast in months). I only got soda when we went out, I had none at home because my house is the type of house where you only get things if you write them down on the list or ask for them just before (which is a good thing). I decided one day that getting soda would be good, and might even improve my productivity.

When I got it for the first week or two I was fine, nothing really changed, I thought. But soon things started to change. I started wanting more and more soda every day, kinda like an addict. I would save my soda for when I was working, which ironically made me work less because I would just drink the soda and then stop working. I tried to compensate for this by working only at certain times when I wanted soda, which cut my work times even more because I wasn’t motivated. The worst thing though I didn’t even realize was happening. I was staying up later because of all the caffeine, (or just the sugar) which meant that I was getting up later. As I have discovered, getting up and being fresh and awake is one of the major components of working and enjoying that work. Soda was slowly but surely destroying my sleep schedule.

Most of you don’t know me so I’ll just tell you that when I don’t get things done I start to get mad. Not getting things done infuriates me. I didn’t fully realize that I was now a tired, angry, and lazy individual until I stopped soda all together. I had been “addicted” to soda before and quit several times, but that was when I was in school and didn’t care about what I was doing (it also served as a good distraction when I was quitting). I finally quit again by reducing the amount I drank a day slowly. I then had about a week of head and body aches where I was even less productive and really tempted to go back to soda. When that ended however I got ten times as much done per day, I was more focused and even more alert, provided I had gotten enough sleep the night before.

I know that I’ve been making soda drinking sound very serious. It really isn’t and I’m sure it doesn’t affect some people. I still do drink soda when I go out or on a trip. But just be warned that it can cause some serious problems, and I believe that my life is better now that I’ve gotten it out of my house. Think of some things you “can’t” get through the day without and see if you really need them, or if they really are helping you. The answer may surprise you.

The Hurricane No One Prepared For

Well, the hurricane known as Sandy has been raising hell on the east coast recently. It broke a lot of records and hurt a lot of people and places. But unfortunately it has also highlighted the many flaws in our thinking and preparation for such a disaster.

For instance in both New York and New Jersey (the two hardest-hit areas) the people were warned about the event more than a week in advance, and increasingly warned the closer the day came. Many of areas with some of the largest populations in the U.S. were evacuated. This is not a decision that is taken lightly. You don’t just evacuate several thousands of people every Tuesday. It’s hard work. And even then people stayed. PEOPLE STAYED IN THE AREAS THAT WERE ABOUT TO BE HIT BY A RECORD BREAKING STORM! It was forecast as such, it even absorbed several other storms just to make sure that it had enough power to blow everyone’s expectations away. I can’t imagine what was going through there minds! Did they think it was an elaborate hoax and that everyone was lying to them? And it wasn’t like it was just the news media warning them. Police and civilian emergency response organizations went door to door and asked people to leave. And still people disobeyed the law and stayed. They disobeyed the law and stayed in the path of the storm. Why? I just can’t fathom. If a hurricane was about to hit me I’d beat it. I do admit I am in the middle of the desert but the same instinct applies to tornadoes, earthquakes, and fires which we do have around here. Why not just leave?

But that is not the real problem. The problem is everyone went back. Why would you go back to a place that just got hit by the largest storm in the history of the area the day after it hit? You know the electricity is guaranteed to be out. You know there will be no heat for your house, or lights, or anything. And you know there will be no gas because it’s not like gas stations are magically immune to hurricanes. The people in New York and New Jersey in the areas that got hit shouldn’t be there. They shouldn’t be anywhere near there. They should be staying with the family members or friends that live the closest. And if the don’t have any family or friends they should make some friends. Who wouldn’t let a hurricane victim stay in their house for a few days? They should be doing that and not being back and causing more harm than good. And if they are there they sure as hell shouldn’t be complaining or demanding help. It was their choice to go there or stay, and it is their fault they are in such a bad position. Being there is just making it worse for them and everyone else, especially the people who are trying to help them.

But that might have been less of a problem if people had prepared. Wall Street was, it opened the next day and is running just fine. Everyone else was adequately warned. They should have been prepared. They should have moved their belongings. They should have left town, they should have done everything in their power to help themselves. Instead they did nothing. And now they’re paying for it.

However they were not the only ones ignorantly not preparing. President Obama, when confronted with the news that the biggest storm in recorded history was about to hit the east coast promptly said (paraphrased) “I have to get reelected now, tell me when it hits”. I can understand perhaps why he had no plan for when a hurricane hits, but he could have easily made one in the time he had running up to the storm. I guess he didn’t have time to make it eighty-thousand words and a billion dollars over budget.

Even organizations meant to help people in times of disaster spent none of their time preparing. Most government or non-government aid organizations were not preparing in the week before the hurricane. And afterward they even dared to seem startled by the damage. As if hurricanes just don’t do things like this. FEMA didn’t prepare and now everyone wants its help. It’s understandable that some non-governmental organization like the Red Cross might not be ready, but FEMA, FEMA has to be ready, and now everyone wants something from it. Perhaps they should have asked us down here when we were having the largest fires in the area’s recorded history and all the “help” we got from FEMA was a few words.

Really people shouldn’t be in the New York/Jersey area and people should listen when a record breaking storm is approaching. When we were having these fires I knew exactly what I was going to save, and how I was going to get out. Certainly I didn’t expect to have a house left when I got back, let alone POWER. They should feel lucky they have anything, especially those whose homes didn’t get washed away (those whose did should feel lucky to be alive). All I’m saying is, that when it hits the fan, know to step out of the way, get in a sealed suit, and don’t expect to not get hit.

Cleaning The Dishwasher

I don’t clean out the dishwasher. I just don’t. I have no idea why. Okay, well, I do clean it, but it takes so long for such a small task. And maybe I do know why. It is just the way my mind works. I feel like it is just unimportant. When I am reminded of it I just put it to the back of my mind. To my mind I have more important things to do. I don’t know what they are right now but they must be much more important then something as menial as cleaning the dishes. What wonderful things could I be doing instead of putting up the dishes? But most of the time what I do is not as important as cleaning the dishes. However I still could be missing something, and because I was putting up the dishes I could miss the most amazing thing that I could ever do, or the path to do so. The act of putting up the dishes is pushed to the back of my mind, I always have to do something else first, even if that is just sleeping on the couch.

Does this reflect something in me? Does anyone else have problems with cleaning out the dishwasher? I like to work. Sometimes I find work to do. Sometimes I just make it. But I can’t empty the dishwasher. And I can’t take out the trash. My mind just doesn’t click with that. I can’t tell if it is simply something that is wrong with me or what. Most other people I know can do basic chores. But they also are generally able to simply drop what they are doing to get it done. I can’t. To me it is all about finishing what I’m doing now. If I stop I lose steam and will never finish it. I will have a half finished thing taking up space on my shelf forever. I just have to finish. And to finish I can’t clean out the dishwasher. I just have do end up doing something wonderful and to do so I can’t let the dishwasher slow me down. (I think, or I could be completely wrong!)

But even if I am wrong nothing has been able to get me to clean it out any faster. I guess I’m just stuck with a full, clean dishwasher forever.

Lying to people who trust too much.

This is going to be short, but I can’t think about anything else right now. This is making me feel so… such and unquantifiable feeling.

About a week ago I saw the worst fake documentary in history, Mermaids: the body found. It was on the discovery channel at some ungodly hour (after some investigating I found it first aired on animal planet). The thing was proposing the idea that mermaids were still around, blah, blah, blah. I thought it was like those other discovery shows that use the thinnest evidence to support the most outrageous conclusion that could possibly be drawn, and I am used to those, it is interesting to hear what little evidence they have to offer. And so I watched, just watched, casually thinking it was some lame program, and then this happened.

I am not joking, this is in the documentary. And yes it is purposely blurred in an attempt to distract from the fact that it does actually look that fake. I should mention that this comes at the end of the most professional looking “cell-phone” video of all time. By that of course I mean the most fake. The entire thing is obviously fake, and is completely unnecessary to the documentary. I mean they could have just done what all other Discovery shows do and just show people talking, but no, they had to show this.

Now, why do I hate this so much? I mean, I wouldn’t blame you if you were saying “so what if the creators want to show off a little crappy CGI, what’s so bad about that?”. I’ll tell you, because people will believe it. I don’t care how crappy or fake it looks and is, people from now on will be saying “no man, mermaids are real, I saw it on the Discovery channel, they had a video and everything”. Some people really are that gullible/stupid. And they could have done without it entirely, it’s irresponsible of the creators and the Discovery channel to show this obviously fake video and claim it’s real. Because someone will believe it. And while it’s not alright that they did that, they still went further. If you went to check on the story’s credibility and found the website that supposedly belonged to one of the people interviewed in said documentary you found this.

Yes, that is a very fake Homeland Security seizure. And let’s thank the officers seizing it for providing us with the very specific badge that says “Special Agent”, even though no agents are actually there. Of course we all know that “a” United Stares District Court is the most trusted U.S. District Court there is.

I hate this! It is, like the video, obviously fake, but if looked at from far enough away appears to be real. And since it aired on both the Discovery channel and Animal Planet people will believe it. They will believe that there is video of mermaids, and that Homeland Security is trying to stop the truth from getting out. It is a completely irresponsible usage of this Science Docufiction piece. And I can’t get it out of my head the fact that now, along with all the other stupid conspiracy theories, we have to deal with mermaids. Why, why… mermaids?