An interesting word – draíochtúil

I am currently reading “The House on an Irish Hillside” – so far this is a lovely read about a couple who moves from London to the Dingle Peninsula. We spent a lovely few days in Dingle in the 90s and I still fondly recall the perfect pubs there.

The word of the day though is draíochtúil – an Irish word I cannot begin to pronounce. Look at that spelling! And recall that in Irish “Taoiseach” is pronounced something like “tea socks” except for “socks” is smoothed out a bit. Whoever did the orthography for Ireland did them no favors. Turns out draíochtúil is pronounced something like “dreck dull” but the ‘ck’ gets a bit of the Swiss-German treatment.

But I digress – draíochtúil means numinous, another word I really didn’t know. If you’ve ever been to Slee Head in Dingle or spent time in a lovely west coast Irish pub, well, if that’s about as close to cozy divinity as things come.

#ireland, #irish, #reading

How much more American? None more. 

Baked Romanesco and Broccoli

Need a good recipe for dinner that is easy to prep beforehand? Have kids who don’t eat broccoli? This is a great and really easy recipe.

Often I cannot find romanesco so I just use regular broccoli. I also skip the olives most of the time. The dish is great, we rarely have leftovers.

#broccoli, #recipe

10 years ago – Zurich web cams

10 years ago we were not Zurich-bound. I was very interested in moving abroad at the time. Susan nixed the idea of Iceland, I couldn’t find a job in New Zealand, so Switzerland seemed like a great idea. Furthermore Google had opened an office there and I would wind up applying for a job (not getting it though, different story).

Hard to remember that 10 years ago web cams weren’t all that mainstream. What’s even more astounding is this same Zurich-cam is still running. Most web sites I reference are gone or broken.

Here is a shot of the Jungfraujoch (same web cam group does this):



#10-years-ago, #zurich

Bucketlist hiking the Via Dinarica

Seriously, check this out!

We’ve talked a lot about hiking more and we’ve definitely talked about doing a hut-to-hut tour in the Alps. But these photos are amazing!

#bucketlist, #hiking, #outside

My February habit

After a reasonably successful January (let’s call it a C+) I am moving on to February. Given all the awfulness in the world and how scared I am about our current crop of horrendous elected officials I wanted to work on something positive. Some options I considered:

  1. No social media: the trouble is I use Facebook to keep up with friends and Twitter to find good humor.
  2. Gratitude journal: I’ve tried this before, it wasn’t all that great. I’m not sure it worked for me.

So I’m trying a 28-day “no complaint” challenge. I first heard about this from Tim Ferriss‘ podcast. The ground rules:

  • No describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem.
  • No unwarranted bad language i.e. no cursing.

I’ll use my Habit app to track this. If I don’t see it happening I might switch to the ‘band’ approach mentioned in the article.

January 2016 recap

My goal (or habit rather) in January consisted of two things: one, to get back on the Slow Carb diet. Two, to weigh in every day. I picked the Slow Carb diet because it’s easy to follow and it corresponded to a time when I lost a lot of weight and felt great. I picked weighing myself daily as it helps me keep focus. For many people weighing in daily is a negative – they see the natural swings of weight and get off track. For me it’s the opposite – by seeing the paper on my mirror daily I tend to make healthier choices during the day.

The process

Goals never work but habits do… so I relied on a new app, Loop Habit Tracker. I’ve used some neat apps before in iPhone but this is the best I could find on Android. And really, it’s better than any other app I’ve found.

I also used an old-fashioned piece of paper taped to the bathroom mirror for weight tracking.

How did I do?

Well… in terms of health and fitness I lost two pounds of overall weight. In mid-January I had my body fat content checked in a dunk tank and learned that I had put on more than one pound of muscle since the last check in November. That’s pretty cool! On the down side I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted to (ten pounds). I cannot attribute that to the Slow Card diet as I didn’t do a good job sticking to it.


Weight habit

This is one view that shows I was never perfect (defined as weighing in seven days per week). But… the other graph shows that the days I skipped weighing in were times I was on the road for business. So that’s pretty good.

My scores for Slow Carb (6 days out of 7) were:

  1. Breakfast: 75%
  2. Lunch: 37%
  3. Dinner: 40%

Clearly I need to address lunch and dinner. Lunch should be easy – more crockpot dinner equal more lunches I bring to the office. Dinner is a mindset thing – cook more, less pizza.


I like the weigh-in habit and will keep it. And add one more new one.