Friday, December 30, 2005

Lint Trap Trick for Allergies

Are you allergic to dust? Does cleaning the lint-trap of your clothes dryer bother you when that cloud of dust billows out, engulfing your head?

I found a great solution - don't clean the lint trap when the laundry drying ends. Start the next load, let it dry for around 1 minute, then clean the trap! Enough dampness from the new load will soak thru the lint in the trap, so nothing will float thru the air when you clean it.

What should you do, you may ask, about the very last laundry load? How do you clean the trap then? My answer is, you don't. That lint ain't goin' no place. Leave it until you begin the first load next week, and clean it then.

I figured this out today while doing the 5th load of laundry (out of 7).

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Time Is Here

It must be Christmas - family members are coming into town. My brother-in-law Craig arrived earlier today; my own brother Bill is arriving early tomorrow morning. My dad already lives just a few miles away from us, so basically my whole family will be with us for the holidays, and it makes me happy to think about it.

Craig's arrival was a little more spectacular than most. He just got back from spending a year in Kuwait in the Army Reserves, along with about 100 others returning today to Arizona. They had a whole ceremony for them all, and the local news was there. They interviewed him briefly, along with my wife and son. We got to see ourselves on the 5 o'clock news today. (I recorded it on VHS for posterity).

I sent our family Christmas email card out today. We wanted to include an inline image of our family wedding picture from last May, however neither Yahoo nor Gmail allows inline images normally. I had to use the Flock-to-Gmail inline image trick that I found on the 'net. I can't seem to locate the page now, otherwise I would link to it. The next entry I write for Paulio Tech will describe how I did it.

I still have more shopping to do for Christmas presents. The place I was going to go today closed at 4PM, so I have to go tomorrow. I also have to pick up my brother first thing in the morning, take him over to my dad's, have lunch with them both. Oh, and I'm supposed to work tomorrow from home! I have to fit in some work some time, during the day tomorrow. Such a busy time of the year.

I'm on vacation all next week, which will really be nice. I managed to carve about an hour today to play GTA Vice City, which was really fun. That game is the greatest, most perfect game for me. A whole world you can run around in or drive any car, truck, jeep, bus or motorcycle, and go anywhere you can figure out, based on the physics of the game. You can run from the police, which can be easy or challenging based on how many "stars" you have. Three is perfect, in my opinion, because then the police cars go as fast as the faster cars in the game, and they are willing to follow you off-road more, when you drive on the grass. The story line bores me, plus I won it already. Just driving around causing havoc and jumping off ramps is my favorite thing to do. Man I just love Vice City so much.

It really feels like Christmas to me, today. I almost don't know what to do with myself; there's so much "work" I don't feel like doing at home now. I just want to be lazy, play with the kids, and do whatever I feel like.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My December

This is My December

December is always a time of sadness and pointlessness for me. It's not real, it's just a feeling I get, as hordes of citizens shop madly for Christmas presents and cards for everybody in their lives. I'm part of that horde of citizens, but not happy about it. Life just becomes too much for me in December. I know I'm not the only person like this. Linkin Park has a great song about December, which matches my feelings exactly. I usually can't listen to that song much at this time of the year, it's too depressing.

But this year is better than most. This is the first Christmas where I'm married! We got married last May. So I have someone - a whole family in fact. That means all the difference. I'm no longer alone, I have people to share my life with. All the happy and sad moments are all good, keeping me busy, making me feel useful and parental.

New Years Resolution Time

In December, I spend a lot of time reflecting back on the past year, usually focusing on all the failures and feeling overwhelmed. It takes effort to remember all the positive things that occurred, and when I do, some of the pain is relieved.

I think this is the normal balance of life - at the end of our year, we have a chance to mentally review all the things we wanted to do, how much of those we actually accomplished, and how far we've come. It is painful, but important. I learn two things from these thoughts, which helps me with next year - I realize how much I can actually accomplish during 1 year (so I don't overestimate next year), and I can decide which things to continue working on in my life, what things I want to change, where I want to go, what I want to do, which charities I want to contribute my money and time, and so forth.

In December, I read my New Years Resolutions from last year and plan new ones for the next year. When I do this seriously, the feelings of failure and overwhelmingness completely wash away, and I am my usual chipper Paulio self once again, through the end of the year!

January Comes

Then, in January, the new energy comes! The energy of making these projects come to life. By mid January I can't imagine what I was depressed about in December. There's a bright new year that has been launched, and the future is limitless! Accomplishing my resolutions will be easy! (They always seem easier in January than they actually end up being, by a long shot.)

This is what I've observed about my life, in many years past. It's interesting what solutions you can find to help you get through tough times. I suppose it varies between people. But if you feel the same things I feel in December, I recommend these steps.

  1. Honestly review your year, and your life. Don't judge yourself or put yourself down, just look objectively at all that went down. What have you learned? In what things are you more experienced? If you have a list from last year, you can review it - some things you accomplished, some you probably didn't. It's all OK. Don't block yourself from feeling what you feel about it, remember that it's OK to be you. You're the only you you've got.
  2. Imagine what you'd like to be, what things you'd like to accomplish in the future. Think about every category of your life. What do you want to accomplish related to things you like? Hobbies? What skills / knowledge do you want to learn? What do you want related to your job/work? What about social things - friends, family, etc.? What spiritual goals or accomplishments do you want to make? What food changes do you want to make? What money will you need, and want, during the next year? Dare to put down what you really want, even if it seems totally out of reach to you at this time.
  3. For each of those goals, write down their purpose - why you want them. What's the reason? What would the results be if you had them? How would it help you, or others? Would it be fun? Do some of them interconnect, and create multiple improvements in your life?
  4. Now, for each of those goals, write down as many practical tasks you can do to accomplish those goals! What steps can you actually take that will get you at least part of the way there? Be honest with yourself about what you can accomplish during the next year.
  5. Schedule the next step of each goal into your calendar for January.
You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel if you follow this general guidelines for your life.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

The trick to make Flock work with Blogger web logs is clearly documented in my other web log, Paulio Tech.