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.

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.

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.

https://bricin.net/2007/02/16/blogindex-phplocationpreviewcom-zueri/

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

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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.

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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.

February…

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

Outside – what Seattle really looks like

Lots of people have visited Seattle but most are here for a few days and never see what the city is really like. In the old days I’d tell you about the Puget Sound, the ferries, the mountains, the rain and drizzle… but these days the most iconic site in Seattle is construction and cranes.

The first photo shows one the gazillion building sites in Seattle. According to one report there are 58 cranes currently operating in Seattle – the next biggest use in the U.S. is Los Angeles with 40.

As a native the growth is absolutely stunning. Turn around and an hold house or VA hall is gone and there is a huge hole in the ground. I miss some of the old buildings and restaurants but overall the growth is great.

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One of many downtown construction sites. South Lake Union (SLU) used to be garages and welding shops. Now it’s Amazon.

 

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New substation being built in SLU. All these buildings need more power.