Creativity Sink Hole

Just wanting to smash my keyboard right now, that’s all.  Got that feeling that I want to create something but can’t put together what that is or should be.

I get this feeling a lot.  Why is that?  I honestly have no idea.  One thing that I would love to do is create a product I can sell on the side of my regular job, but often times (including now) I feel like I have no useful skills.  Or the skills that I do have, I’m not sure how to market properly.

Ah well, that’s just my issue.  What’s bugging you?

A Creative Commons Christmas – Day Three

Ho Ho Ho!  Another round of Creative Commons Christmas music.  I’ve been a bit busy with work (who knew the Christmas season would be so busy?), but luckily I had this saved for a rainy (or snowy) day.

https://www.jamendo.com/album/170343/my-favorite-christmas-guitar-songs

This album is full of guitar instrumentals of Christmas songs.  If you’re looking for some non-vocal music to fill the air, this is a good place to start!

Happy holidays!

The War Against CICO

The War Against CICO
The War Against CICO

There are a lot of articles lately in the fitness world about the “phenomenon” known as CICO.  CICO stands for “Calories In-Calories Out”, and generally it refers to the simple fact that to lose weight, you must burn more calories (“Out”) than you consume (“In”).  I think it was shortened to CICO because it’s just an easier way to remember the term, and it is kind of catchy.

I don’t want to give these articles more views; but just do a quick search online of “why cico doesn’t work” and you’ll get a bunch of hits.  I haven’t given a lot of time to these to read them in detail, but many of the articles suggest that CICO is a fad diet that won’t work for sustainable weight loss.

They use a strawman argument to suggest that proponents of CICO think you can eat all the junk food in the world and lose weight.  Technically, this is true!  If you eat all your calories in junk food, but you burn more than you eat, you WILL lose weight.

The problem with these articles is that they focus on the junk food aspect.  They harp on this over and over, telling you that not only do you need to eat “healthy” (which in itself is a very vague term that’s not helpful at all), but you need to include an exercise regimen in your weight loss plan.

What they overlook is that using the “junk food diet” part of CICO is a means to an end.  The /r/loseit subreddit doesn’t advocate eating whatever you want, whenever you want, all the time.  What they suggest instead is to start this way – don’t change what you’re eating, but change how much of it that you’re eating.

As you start logging your calories and seeing how much your regular food costs you in a day, you begin to learn about other foods that are more calorie-dense and leave you feeling full.  In effect, following the CICO principle teaches you to eat healthier.

In short, you need to learn about how weight / fat loss works (CICO is the mechanism of fat loss) in order to learn how to eat better.

It’s important that you remember most of these websites and articles waging war on CICO are in the business of selling a product to you; whether that’s a weight loss tips newsletter subscription, or diet pills, or a weight loss plan – they have some sort of service that they are trying to push.

Technically speaking, CICO is not a threat to their well-being – but they perceive it to be.  They probably sell some worthwhile information (and when you read the articles, they all circle back to the fact that if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose fat), so being armed with knowledge is not a bad thing.

But their perception is that if people knew the basics of weight loss, no one will buy their services.  So, they attack the principle of CICO framing it as a weight loss fad that doesn’t work.

Keep this in mind when you’re reading conflicting information out there.

#110 – Battle For The Net


This is a short episode today – one that comes to you on “Break The Internet Day”.  There’s only one song in the show – the rest is me talking very briefly about protecting Net Neutrality.

As a Canadian I don’t have a direct voice in this fight, but if you’re in the US, you might!  Instead of listening to me talk about it, there are a couple of podcasts on the issue that say it much better.

Almost Educational – Episode 147 – “FCC Me”

Plus Two Comedy – “Break the Internet and Save Net Neutrality”

Track you heard today:
Louis Lingg and the Bombs – Occupy Everything

A Creative Commons Christmas – Day Two

Hope you’re having a good week!  From US artist Explosive Ear Candy, I bring you this poppy single “Christmas All The Time“. 

It was a real treat to listen to – it fits right in there with some of the bouncier holiday songs out there. 

Here’s a little bit about Explosive Ear Candy:


Explosive Ear Candy is the brainchild of the muse-infested mind of L.A based songwriter Tal More. It features explosively infectious Rock, Pop and other furry animals- ranging from the purely fun to the more artistic and deep. If you enjoy the music, please support EEC and help it record more songs by buying the music at: ExplosiveEarCandy.bandcamp.com. If you’re interested in licensing a song please shoot an e-mail to ExplosiveEarCandy (at) gmail.com with the details and your budget. If you’re into artistic, moody and “singer-songwritery” type material, be sure to also check out Tal’s other project- The Quiet Revolution (TheQuietRevolution.com).

Bullet Journal

Preparing my Bullet Journal for December
Preparing my Bullet Journal for December

Pictured above is the set up I used to set up my monthly pages for December 2017 in my Bullet Journal. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Bullet Journals, you probably haven’t been to the notebook section of your local book store chain recently; in that case, have a look at the “official” website for this popular system. I’ll wait for you to come back.

The System in a Nutshell

Up to speed? In case you didn’t read it, the short version is that the Bullet Journal is an analog system designed to allow for rapid logging and tracking of virtually anything you want. It was developed by Ryder Carroll but since its inception has taken on a life of its own.

The great thing about Bullet Journal is its flexibility.  You can essentially use any notebook you like – and any size you like – to make the system work for you.  The pieces in between the pages can be flexible as well, using what works for you from the main system and ditching what doesn’t.  

For some people this is a point of contention and has led to people slapping the “bullet journal” label on any hand-written notebook / journal, straying from the “pure” Bullet Journal experience.

I understand where they’re coming from, but really…if it works for you, don’t listen to the naysayers.

How it works for me

I use a pretty loose implementation of the “OG” system.  I have a monthly layout where I put all important things for the month, and then from there I write things daily and use the space as needed.  Lately I’ve been adding more “thoughts” (probably what you’d call rapid logging) under each day.

Ultimately what this is REALLY doing for me is feeding my addiction to buying pens and notebooks.  I haven’t found the perfect notebook yet, and there’s no such thing as a perfect pen.  They’re all great.  I just can’t use them all at once.

But I find that it does keep me better organized.  When I write things down, I tend to remember them better.  I know that if I don’t put an item on a ‘to do’ list for the day, it sometimes doesn’t get done.  So writing things down makes it easier to commit to memory.

Closing

Other than that, I also appreciate that it gives me time to sit and figure out things I need to do, things I’ve accomplished, and so forth.  It’s a great tool for that, as one of the notions of the “BuJo” system is to review each month and each year.

I’ve started tracking some daily habits I want to do, and got really excited when I hit 5/5 for the first time (I’ve got max 4/5 all month so far), and I think if I wasn’t deliberately tracking these habits I might not have even taken notice of it.

So check it out – pull out a cheap dollar store notebook and give it a try.  It’s fun!

A Creative Commons Christmas – Day One

Welcome to “A Creative Commons Christmas”!  By now (and probably even earlier) you’ve been listening to plenty of Christmas music as you go about your daily lives – we’re outside of the ratings periods so there are many stations that just go all out and switch to 100% Christmas music.  I know of a couple near where I live, anyway. 

So how about some Christmas music from the Creative Commons world?  That’s where A Creative Commons Christmas comes in.  I don’t have anything grand planned – I will just share some of the cool Christmas or Holiday-themed songs that I find licensed under Creative Commons. 

First up is “The Xmas Split”, a 2016 single released on Blocsonic from Donnie Ozone and The Impossebuls.  It features “Christmas Shopping at the Dollar Store” by Donnie Ozone, and “Do You Know…?” by The Impossebulls. 

Check it out and add it to your holiday playlists!

The Xmas Split