Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A better way to brush your teeth

Yesterday Mila informed me that various people have pioneered improved ways to brush one's teeth. One of the ways is the Bass Method. Basically, you point the brush into your gums at a 45 degree angle and jiggle the brush. See description (scroll down to "Modified Bass brushing technique") and video.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Make your own mini Moleskine notebook for (almost) free

Moleskine makes these nice mini notebooks that are so small you can slip them into your wallet. But they cost $10 for two. Here I'm going to show you how to make something pretty similar using materials you probably already have at home. All you need are:

  • a 3x5" writing pad
  • a 3x5" index card
  • a stapler
First grab a bunch of paper from your writing pad, and put it on top of the index card:

Next, fold everything in half:

Add a couple of staples along the fold:

And voila, you have a mini Moleskine-like notebook that you can stick in your jacket or wallet. I like to write the date in front – since these cost essentially 0 cents to make, I end up making a lot of them over the course of a year. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New todo-list system: One-Minute Todo List

I was trying a todo-list system called SuperFocus, in which you keep your todos in a notebook, and you must do at least one item on each page before moving on to look at the items on the next page.

But I got frustrated with it because tonight I had 10 minutes to do something from my lists, and I had a ton of important stuff in the last few pages. But because I have to do at least one item on a page before moving to the next page, I was stuck a few pages back on: polish shoes.

That tells me that there is something wrong with this system.

So I'm trying yet another todo-list system. This one is called the One-Minute Todo List. Here is a link to the free e-book PDF. The basic idea is to have three lists:

  • Critical Now (stuff that must be done today). Max 5 items. 
  • Opportunity Now (stuff to do within the next 10 days, when you get an opportunity). Max 20 items. Review daily.
  • Over-The-Horizon (stuff that could be done after 10 days). Unlimited items. Review weekly.
The third, unlimited list scares me a bit - it could get really huge. Anyway, we'll see how it goes.

One of the advantages of trying out a new to-do list system is that you can start with an empty list :-)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spotted license plate 000 NPE

The significance of this odd spotting will probably only make sense to computer programmers (NPE = Null Pointer Exception), but a few days ago, Mila and I were following an SUV with license plate 000 NPE, which is quite amusing. I don't think it is a customized vanity plate – here in British Columbia, license plates have three numbers followed by three letters, or three letters followed by three numbers. It could be a genuine coincidence.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Figured out my favorite kind of music: poetry recordings

I don't have a favorite kind of music that I like to listen to. If you ask me, "What's your favorite kind of music?", I have no answer. I like a song, but I soon tire of it.

But there is a recording that I enjoy listening to over and over: The Caedmon Poetry Collection: A Century of Poets Reading Their Work. Here you can hear T.S. Eliot, e e cummings, Auden, Yeats, Pound, etc. reading their work. I wish there were a link to a page with some audio samples that I could share with you.