Baby Carrots Are The Devil

babycarrots

Whenever one tries to “start eating healthy”, the first purchase is almost always a big bag of baby carrots. Do not make this mistake. Baby carrots prey upon the human instinct for shortcuts. A much much better option is to buy full size carrots, skin them, and cut them into carrot spears. Full size carrots are much better tasting than those little baby carrots.

Plus, don’t you think it is odd that all the baby carrots are perfectly sized and shaped? These have been manufactured. That’s not natural.

Consider this a public service announcement.

A New Place For Gems

If you have enjoyed the gems that I’ve posted on this blog, you’ll be happy to hear about a new site I started today. FreeMacMusic.com is where I’ll be putting the gems from here on out.

You can check out the site here. And sign up for updates by email here.

I hope that some of you will come by and hear the good music and comment on the ones you like.

24 Hours of Work

I learned something about my little ants. They naturally take shifts when working on the tunnels. At first I thought that I just had some lazy ants, but it turns out that while some sleep, others will work. Then they will switch.

So it has been 24 hours on a rotating shift, and they have one very long tunnel to show for it. It’s fun to watch them go into the tunnel and ball up the gel and bring it back up. By request, I’ve taken some more photos of their work, and also took some close up ones. I suggest that you click on the close up pictures and view the extra large size of the photos. You can see how sharp their pinchers are and you can even see the eyes on a couple. (The close up pictures are not incredibly clear because the plastic throws off the focus.)

Ant Farm

Ant Farm

Ant Farm

Ant Farm

Ant Farm

Meet My Friends

For Christmas, my sister gave me a very fun gift. It is an ant farm….but not just any ant farm. This one uses a gel rather than sand. And it is lit from the bottom so it has a really neat glow.

A couple weeks ago, I sent for the ants in the mail. I just got back from San Francisco last night and they were waiting for me on my desk. I put the ants into the ant farm and I’m very excited to watch them do their work. Although, so far, they haven’t done much work. These harvester ants will die of famine if they don’t get to work.

I’ll keep you all updated on the progress. Anyone have an idea of how long this might take? At the rate they’re going, I’m going to have to plan for their food money in my retirement fund.

Here are a couple pictures of the little guys in their new home.

My Buddies

My Buddies

Update: 24 hours of work

Don’t Want to Do It, Just Do It

As you start writing your thank you notes for your Christmas gifts, try to avoid a too commonly used phrase. Instead of writing “I just wanted to write and thank you for the shirt”, try writing “Thank you for the shirt.” It comes across more powerful this way.

It is also true when you make phone calls or deliver speeches. Avoid the “I just wanted to _________” and just get right to it.

How Would I Have Responded in History

Over the weekend, I read a book called Hübener vs.Hitler: A Biography of Helmuth Hübener, Mormon Teenage Resistance Leader. It was a fascinating book about a young LDS boy that was beyond his years. He was the branch clerk for a small branch in Hamburg, Germany during the WWII years. With the typewriter he was given to do branch reports, he typed up leaflets after illegally listening to the London BBC on a radio that he had hidden in his room. He recruited friends and associates to distribute thousands of leaflets that spoke bad about Hitler, the Gestapo, and the war in general.

As you would imagine, all of these things were incredibly illegal and the books talks about the capture of Helmuth and a few of his friends, some of the tortures they went through, a trial with the highest court in the land and 16 year old Helmuth standing strong and defiant until the very last moment. I always enjoy books on history, but this one was especially interesting to me because it was a young man taking on the great Nazi party and their sadistic leader.

It got me wondering, how would I have responded in the pages of history. I’d like to think that I would have stood up for what is right, but it’s really hard to tell. Would I have found ways to undermine the Nazis?

Over the last few days I’ve been letting my mind wander to different stages in history and placing myself in those times. Try it yourself. It is an interesting means to a self inventory.

School vs Real Life

I recognized something in my learning process that has been very very good for me. I realized that I pay much better attention to individual tasks when I am doing two things at once, rather than just trying to focus on one thing at a time. For example, if I was sitting in a class in college and trying to just listen to the lecture I would have a hard time focusing on what was being said. On the other hand, If I was listening to a lecture AND playing a little tetris game on my computer, I’d be able to give full attention to both of them. This doesn’t just pertain to school either.

When I’m just watching a ball game, my mind can wander. But if I am watching the ball game AND tracking the movement of a certain player I focus well on both.

If I am listening to a talk in church, I do much better if I am also reading a essay on photography fundamentals.

I think this is why I got into so many pranks and games in high school. The teachers were so adamant about students focusing only on the lecture and doing nothing else. In search of a parallel thought process, I’d usually resort to planning the next great prank. If the teachers had just let me play a game boy or even fold papers into shapes we both would have been much better off.

This is also why I like computers so much. It is very easy to have more than one process flowing at the same time and switching to any of them is just a key or two away.

Once I realized this (and got rid of pesky teachers) I’ve been able to learn much more thorough and effective. Strangely, focusing on two things at once helps me to give 100% to both. The alternative is to focus on one thing and only giving 50% to the item and the other 50% to the wind.

Rebirth Of The Photoblog

As much as I like Flickr (and if you’ve been reading recently, you know that I do), it seems that with all the pictures that are uploaded, sometimes the best ones can get lost in the mix. For this purpose, I’ve rebuilt a photoblog where I can post my favorite ones from Flickr. I hope that you’ll visit and give me any comments, including constructive criticism.

The new photoblog is in the same place as the old one, http://www.brianstucki.com/photoblog . And of course there is an RSS feed here. (What is RSS?)

Often Imitated Never Duplicated

Over the weekend, “The Wizard Of Oz” was on television. I had a good time watching the film, as it had been a long time. I’ll tell you what, the sets are much more fake looking when you are older. Oh well, great movie.

But after watching that film again, I added one more phrase to my “Movie Phrases That Are Often Quoted But Never Done Well” list. As you would expect, the list is quotes from movies that people always recognize, but not because they sound similar to the original. My List so far:

  1. “Say hello to my little friend!” -Scarface
  2. “AHHHHHHHHHH!!!” -Kevin from Home Alone putting on after shave
  3. “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!” -the Wicked Witch of The West from The Wizard Of Oz
  4. “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father: prepare to die.” -Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

I will add to this list as necessary.