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20 April 2005 — Observed

Tuesday is Sno-Ball day!


The song Lick it Up by KISS is, quite possibly, the worst song every recorded.


I mean to write a follow-up to yesterday's entry about technology, but I just can't find the words. I want to write about education, but everything I get on paper is incoherent. I'll keep trying.


This will come as no surprise to most of you, but getting more sleep makes me feel more rested. Amazing! Consider:

I get up at 5:30 during the week. Kris likes to be to sleep by ten on most nights, but I just can't do that. I sit in bed reading, or web surfing, or — Kris' favorite — writing weblog entries. I generally don't try to sleep until eleven, and it often takes me half an hour to fall asleep. Net result: six hours of sleep, and I often feel exhausted.

While Nick has been in Italy the past few weeks — he just drove in for his first day back to work — I've been living a life of luxury. I've been coming to work at nine, which means I can get up at 7:30. 7:30! Omigod. You cannot imagine how pampered I've felt. If I follow my normal routine, I'm getting eight hours of sleep. Even if I stay up til midnight to, say, play World of Warcraft, and even if it takes me a half hour to get to sleep, I'm still getting an extra hour of sleep. Even seven hours is far superior to six.

What is the moral of this story? I'm exhausted all the time, but I really don't have to be.


Remember my hypothesis that obsessive play of World of Warcraft was a contributing factor to my recent bout of depression? Preliminary anecdotal evidence would seem to indicate that this is, indeed, the case.

Since I wrote about my problem last Friday, I've played the game only once, for three hours on Monday afternoon. I had fun, and I didn't feel like I was neglecting anything.

I feel great. Kris remarked last night how much my mood has improved over the past few days. It's as if I've awakened from a stupor.

In January I wrote about a moment of self-actualization. This moment actually came about a week into a one-month period during which I set aside the game for other priorities.

Coincidence? I think not.


My fiscal responsibility program continues to work wonders.

Before October, I had a savings rate of zero. I never saved money. I didn't feel pressed for cash (in the long term), but I never accumulated any capital.

When Tony left Custom Box, we restructured salaries in such a way that I began earning an extra $400 a month (which is a lot of money). Then I paid off all of my debts, which freed up another $350 a month. Finally, I've been working to reduce discretionary spending, and have been able to trim another $250 a month. Do you see that total?

In about six months time, I've gone from saving nothing to being able to save $1000 a month. Unbelievable. My mind boggles. (Of course, at the moment all of this money is being poured into our bathroom remodel, but still: in theory, I'll be able to save a lot in the near future.)


Here are two examples of how I've reduced my discretionary spending, both of which involve books. (Remember that last year I spent over $200 on books and comics every month. (It's difficult to separate those two number because I buy most of my comics in book form.))

Last week I placed a small order with Amazon. This order has been in-process for about ten days, and because it's still active and I haven't received the books yet, it acts as a kind of mental stop preventing me from wanting to buy more. Because I already have a book order in process, I feel no need to obtain other books. Strange, but effective.

Except for last night.

We were in Portland running errands for the bathroom remodel. I insisted that we stop at Powell's. I wandered the store for half an hour, picking up Latin texts, books by Wendell Berry, Modern Library editions of favorite classics, a compilation of James Bond comic strips, and several other fine volumes. When I sat down with my basket, I had over $100 worth of books. I took them out one-by-one, deliberating. In the end, I decided on a set of Latin texts and the latest Wendell Berry anthology. On the walk to the cash register, I changed my mind. Ultimately, I purchased only the Wendell Berry anthology, which, ironically, had been the first book I picked up. Even six months ago, this scenario would have had a completely different conclusion.

Last year I spent $200+ per month on books. This month I've only spent $77. I'm not sure if it's possible for me to reduce this much further, but I'll try.


At last the sun has returned. After our month-long festival of early spring sunshine, we suffered a month of wet and grey. It seems, however, that things have returned to normal. We'll even have highs around seventy for the next few days. I like that.

Comments
On 20 April 2005 (11:27 AM), Rich R said:

Have you heard the Kiss song "let's put the X in sex"...it is much worse....much worse.


On 20 April 2005 (12:43 PM), traitor said:

When Tony left Custom Box, we restructured salaries in such a way that I began earning an extra $400 a month (which is a lot of money).


Wow, you got a fairly large raise to essentially do the same thing you where doing when Tony was there. Now what is it again you do at Custom Box????????????? :) or maybe it should be:( .


On 20 April 2005 (01:15 PM), Denise said:

I'd have to agree with Rich, X in Sex is much worse.

The video for Lick it Up is definitely in the running for worst video of all time, even by 80's hairband video standards.


On this day at foldedspace.org

2006Spring Reverie   In which I capture some moments in spring.

2004Snopes   In which I discuss urban legends.

2003Water   In which I share a photo that I like but nobody else does, a photo of Silver Creek Falls.

2001Virtual Baseball League   In which I get all obsessive about a trade I made in my computer baseball simulation league.