Motivation Monday: Tree Branches of Choice

A tree is a good way to represent a series of decisions.  Start at the trunk and move to smaller and smaller branches, each branch tip representing one o the many possibilities.  A tree representing a persons life would be immense, far larger than any tree on Earth.  There are an incredible number of possibilities that arise due to a persons choices, and every waking moment we move along a path.  But there is one stark difference between this tree and a real tree.  With the decision tree, you can cross back over to other paths. I started thinking about this...

Astrophotography: First go at Luna

The Spring has been a bit slower than I would have liked in terms of astrophotography.  I have seen a lot of fantastically clear evenings, but have been plagued by a lack of time and a few technical issues that have kept me from getting the many hours of practice needed to become competent.  I did manage to purchase an inexpensive adapter to use my camera with my telescope, giving me a ton of new options for photography, as well as a ton of new challenges. The two main problems I had, and need to address in the future, are...

Motivation Monday (on Tuesday): Rest and Recovery

When I was younger, I could get away with pulling an all-nighter, eating like garbage, and never taking a break.  As I get older, I find it’s much easier to burn out.  I feel the effects of a poor diet or a late night, and I need the extra time to recover at the end of a long week. Over the past few months, I’ve been getting used to waking up at 5am, going to the gym, and then going to work for the day.  I watch what I eat, generally avoid alcohol, and enjoy a few cups of delicious coffee...

Motivation Monday: Consistency or Change?

You’ve heard the advice before.  Be consistent to be successful over the long term.  Do the same basic things, eat less, move more, and don’t expect quick results.  It takes time to lose fat and gain muscle, and you won’t see the quick progress that you expect. On the flip side, it’s important to change it up to keep yourself interested.  Vary your exercises to keep your muscles guessing.  Your body gets used to a routine and doesn’t need to adjust after awhile, so keep changing it up and shock your system. Be consistent but change it up –  Two completely contradictory pieces of...

Motivation Monday: Forms of Distraction

What distracts you from doing the things you need to do? What keeps you from moving forward? We all know the common distractions – TV, games, alcohol, social media, etc.  But when you’re working on a particular goal, things that can seem positive can actually prevent you from achieving it.  You may not realize it, but there are plenty of counterintuitive forms of distraction. Let’s say that, like myself, you are working out at the gym, and you’re built up a pretty solid routine.  You go in the morning, go to work, and have your evenings free for other pursuits.  Now...

Motivation Monday: Routine

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” – Mike Murdock                  This morning was rough.  Getting up at 5am was getting easier.  Even though I was getting up in the dark, there would be a bit of morning twilight to greet me as I left my apartment, and by the time I left the gym, the full brightness of the day had arrived for my drive to work.  I didn’t need to turn on the headlights for the drive, even in the rainy weather. The time change made it tougher.  Suddenly I was up at what my...

Motivation Monday: Situation Variation

Why is it hard to keep a long term goal? Logically, if you complete 1/365th of a task every single day of a year, you will complete your goal.  When I started my year of blogging, I thought it would be easy to commit 30 minutes every day, in the morning, to writing a post, and then after a year I would have 365 posts.  How it actually happened was a few weeks of consistency, a few days of nothing, a few days of double, triple, or even quadruple posting to catch up or get ahead, and no regularity or discernible...

Astrophotography in 2015

I made a big purchase this year, one that I have wanted to make for a long time.  I bought a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR) – A Canon Rebel T3i.  The only reason I did this was for astrophotography.  I like photography in general – the idea of getting the perfect shot, cleaning up an image, enhancing details that were not there before. But after a trip to Europe where I felt I took too many photos, I decided that I didn’t want to experience my life through the lens of a camera, especially in an age where...

Motivation Monday: The Make or Break Cliff

There is a pattern I’ve noticed in the last few years.  As much as I have gotten better at setting goals and carrying them out, there are times when those goals come to a head, and then slowly fade away, whether I achieve them or not.  A good example of this is running.  After running a big race, which for me is a 5 Km or 10 Km run in a goal time, I find that the next few days are sluggish and slow and I have little focus and energy.  In the past this would sometimes derail my progress...

A Sunny Cold Sunday is a Good Day to Find Sun Dogs

When the temperature is just right, and the sky is clear, you can see some amazing phenomenon from the Sun.  It isn’t your eyes playing a trick on you, it just means you’re seeing the right conditions for a really amazing experience. Sun Dogs, known scientifically as Parhelia, typically appear as two bright patches on either side of the Sun.  Occasionally they reveal rainbow colours in their pattern, but can be quite bright.  They are most easily visible when the Sun is low in the sky. Sun Dogs are made from the refraction of ice crystals in the upper atmosphere....