Table Topics Family 2 #3-4


1. Would you rather your parents hug you, praise you, or do something nice for you?

2. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. I’d prefer them do something nice for me, I’m not a hug person, and I hate praise from almost anyone.

2. The hardest thing I’ve done that I’ll say on the internet is make a full 32-page historical comic book in a month to sell at a gallery event. (running my company is pretty difficult, but I have barely done anything successful, so I won’t count it)

Speak Your Mind 159 #791-795


1. How often should laundry be done?

2. What is the best time of year to have a party?

3. Do you like to play board games?

4. Do you think picking blackberries would be fun?

5. Do you think children should be allowed to have candy?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. About once every three-quarters of it is used.

2. I’m not sure as I don’t have or go to parties really.

3. Yes, I love to play board games, and I design them, so there’s that indication.

4. Maybe for a little while, but not for very long, no.

5. That depends on how good they’ve been.

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.

On Deadlines

Too much bluffing will make you show it,

Too much pressure will make you blow it.

-Guy Clark

By: Austin Smith

I love Blogging, and writing in general, and doing things. I’ve never turned and said to a person ” Man, you know what I hate. Doing stuff!”. But I’m also terrible at getting stuff done. I have so much to do and never end up doing it all. Like yesterday, I had three goals, and I got them all done… in the two hours before midnight.

That’s what I’m going to talk about, deadlines. People just do better with deadlines. And the ability to force yourself to meet a deadline is an awesome skill. Like right now, I’m forcing myself to get something done on friday before eight. Friday was my choice, eight was my friends’ choice. It’s not like I have to get anything done, but I want to. I could just not go out and do stuff, but then I would have no friends.* I could also just forget about it all together, but then I would let myself down.

Deadlines help us get things done, they give us a feeling of necessity. I have not seen one person do worse with a deadline then without. Sometimes I haven’t seen them do better, but that’s because they suck. And it doesn’t need to be a fast and hard deadline either. Some people work better under pressure and prefer that, but others crack. The deadline doesn’t have to be the end, though. I could stop now and still have “met” my deadline. It isn’t necessary to put all the pressure on, just some, just enough to make you get it done. Telling someone that they have to finish something or someone’s going to die doesn’t help, and I can guarantee you that if you told one of the novelist crowd to write a book in a week or the world would end they couldn’t do it.

A lot of people will say that you need time to create the masterpieces that your ideas were meant to be, and if you can write ” War and Peace” fine by me, but from my experience the best ideas come when you need an idea. Sometimes they are forced and bad, but sometimes you can overwork something to death, too. The deadline never has to be the end of something, just ask George Lucas. Everything you do will get the time you owe it.


* Not that I have any anyway.