Sunday, November 8, 2009

Four things I should be doing

I was originally going to call this one "Four things you should be doing" but this seems so much less accusatory. :) These are all good ideas regardless of your age, political affiliations, religious convictions, or past experience. I'll be listing each item, followed by why it's a good idea and why I (and maybe some of you) aren't already doing it.

1. Start a garden.

Why I should: This is one has been on my mind a lot lately. There really is no negative aspect to it. A little bit of time, a little bit of money (more than offset by the reduced food bills), and you get healthy food and increased independence. What's not to love?

Why I don't: Living in an apartment, we don't have much space. Any food gains would be too small to have a noticeable effect on ye olde grocery bill. As well, neither I nor my lovely wife are any good whatsoever at raising plants. There is that old "practice makes perfect" thing though (a common theme on this list).

Conclusion: even if it's just a windowsill pot full of herbs, there's no reason not to try this out. And with the advent of efficient hydroponic and enclosed box growing techniques, even a small place can yield usable levels of food.

2. Shoot more.

Why I should: shooting is a perishable fine motor skill. Although the basics of good technique can linger indefinitely, it requires regular practice to maintain a high level of competence.

Why I don't: ammo can be costly, the ranges in this area are atrocious, and time is an increasingly scarce commodity.

Conclusion: owning/carrying a firearm carries serious liabilities (both moral and legal) with it. Being able to use it well is one of those responsibilities. And if you don't agree that carrying a gun is a vital part of being a responsible grown up, well.... wait til next post and I'll lay that out for you. :)

3. Exercise more.

Why I should: probably the most self-evident one. Regular exercise means more energy, better health, and a longer life (speaking statistically).

Why I don't: I hate running. Can't stand it, and spending a couple years in a job where I was legally required to run most days of the week only intensified that. The forms of exercise I enjoy (swimming, hiking, kayaking, biking etc) require more money and time. Even making a couple yoga classes every week (a personal goal) has proven to be annoying
to fit into the schedule.

Conclusion: find what you actually like to do, make it a priority in your schedule, and do it. :) New Years is coming up for the resolution making types.

4. Develop practical, non-job related skills

Why I should: when your car/furnace/AC/etc breaks, would you rather pay the the eponymous sumdood $80 an hour plus %50 markup on parts to fix it, or would you rather DIY (the sweetest three letter acronym in the English language after EOS :D )? And those are just the beginning: from cooking to crocheting, you can never run out of things to learn how to do (or do better).

Why I don't: this one I actually have a decent excuse for. I spend a lot of my time learning this sort of stuff for my job. None-the-less, I could still do more to expand my horizons.

Conclusion: books, youtube videos, website tutorials, community classes; never has learning so many things been so cheap and so available. Hell, even MIT is putting their class material online free for anyone who wants to learn. Take advantage of it, and stop letting people take advantage of you.

Well folks there you have it. A little window into what I'm thinking, and maybe some motivation for you to do some of the stuff you've been wanting to but haven't gotten around to yet. Sorry, I know the last couple posts haven't been my normal smart-assery but I suppose I've had some serious things on my mind lately. I'll try to get back to the nonsensical humour soon. :) Please feel free to comment here or on Facebook and let me know the sort of thing you'd like to see here, or any particular topic you might enjoy hearing my take on. Lord knows I have enough opinions to go around...

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