Daily Training @ Lumosity

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Every day at 6:03am, Lumosity sends me an email to remind me to brain train today. You can set the reminder emails to be morning, afternoon or evening. I like morning. I have also set myself a couple of reminders on my mobile in case I forget.

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When you click on start your workout, you arrive at this summary screen which shows you an overview of where you are presently, and tells you how many days in a row you have trained for.

80days

I’m working on a decent streak of training right now – I have 80 days as of the 8th November 2015 – but if you want to know about a training streak, Sephyroth is at something like 630 674 days of training in a row. I’m not sure I could ever hope to get close to that. ;)

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A workout is 5 games. The games change from day to day, to try and give you some balance in your brain training. When you finish each game you see this screen which tells you how todays result compares with your previous scores.

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I do believe the training works because I have seen huge improvements in my performance *outside* of Lumosity over my time using Lumosity. My short term memory is a lot better than it used to be. My basic mathematic skills have improved enormously – this from the person who hates maths generally and failed maths in school.

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You also get to see this with a measurement called Lumosity Performance Index – above you see my numbers for the 19th of September, and then the 8th of November. These number do fluctuate depending on the daily training and if I have a very bad training moment in a problem solving game, it does get reflected in these numbers. My LPI when I started training was a mere 826 vs 1384 today.

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At the end of your five games, you get a summary like this – the trophies mean I got 4 personal best scores out of 5 games which was a pretty huge day for me. I do notice a difference in results based on the time of day I brain train. Somewhere between 1pm-3pm is the best time for my brain.

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If you got a score in the top 5 scores, you also get a little top 5 symbol. You are given Lumosity points for each game you complete – 1 point for completion, 2 points for a top 5 score, 3 points for a personal best score.

Over to You –

Do you brain train? If yes, how often?

Gaming, Happy Snoskred, Sephyroth

Pineapple Collection

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Gold and Silver pineapples at Pillowtalk

A while back, Kirsten over at Kirsten & Co wrote this post – My DIY Bar Cart Project – and in the comments I mentioned I would check out Target to see if I could get me one of the gold pineapples. When visiting Shellharbour to see Take That live back in July, I did drop into Kmart and they did not have any gold pineapples left. They did have metallic pink ones, but every single one was slightly damaged.

With my Kmart pineapples I bought as gifts for family, I regularly visited until I found a non-damaged pineapple. We have a Kmart nearby so regular visits was not a problem. With Target being a two hour round trip, regular visits were not going to happen.

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My friend who I went to see Take That live with suggested that I visit Pillowtalk to see if they had any pineapples. And it turned out, they did. The gold one was a little pricey for me at $49.95, but they are local and I can keep checking back until they go on special or on clearance which they eventually will.

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So, I bought the silver pineapple for $29.95 from Pillowtalk, and added it to my candle shelf in the entry way. I can see it from where I presently sit, reflecting the late afternoon sun rays from the sliding door. When it is night time, lighting the candles creates a lovely reflection from the silver pineapple, and also from the gold foil sleigh I have sitting on that shelf.

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The yellow one was originally a gift to my sister, but apparently it did not suit her partner and his design ethics and standards (alternatively it could be because he is an a**hole), and thus it was left behind when they went home after their visit.

After all those visits to Kmart to get a perfect one, I figured it would fit in well at my house, though yellow might not have been my personal first choice of colour. They had white and jade ones too, once upon a time. I never saw a perfect jade one, I did find a perfect white one which I gave to my parents, and it now sits on their stairwell shelf.

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So now that I have two pineapples, I guess I am starting a pineapple collection. I’ve seen a couple of others I would like to add eventually, as well. Kmart no longer stocks the pineapples, at least, not that I could find on my recent visits, otherwise I would still be trying for a jade one because that was gorgeous.

I will like to mention, Happy Actual Birthday to Sephyroth today. You may recall I changed his birthday to February, for reasons I explained in this post.

Sadly though, the movie Triple 9 which was meant to be released today has been delayed until March 2016.

Happy Snoskred, Home, Sephyroth

Sephyroth Is A Genius

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I mentioned here on the blog a while ago that I was going through my old posts – updating links, making sure videos still worked, and removing some overly negative posts about an old workplace and about one particular family member.

As a part of this process, I realised that my categories were.. not brilliant. Not at all optimal. They really needed someone with a pedantic flair to take a look at them and completely re-do them. Hmm. Who do I know with a pedantic flair? This seemed like a job for only one person on earth – my excellent friend Sephyroth.

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So I sent off an email on February 28th..

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And on March 23rd, I received me a reply! Parent categories with child categories. This seemed like a good plan.

For some reason I thought I would wait until I finished going through all the posts in order to make the suggested changes. That was a bit of a mistake to be honest. But on the 1st of June I finally finished reviewing all the posts and so I sat down today to begin making the changes.. half an hour later, I sent off another email..

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The Other Half helped out by adding the little + and – so that all you will see to begin with is the parent categories. Like this –

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If you click on the parent category, you will see all posts for that parent category. I may still do some tweaking in the weeks to follow, but for now I’m happy with the results. YAY! ;)

In Other Blog News

I made some changes to the right hand sidebar, adding more articles and putting them in different categories.

Sephyroth helped me out once again with the padding on the posts because we had to do a theme update and lost a lot of our changes to the theme as a surprise. This will not happen again as we are now using a child theme, long story and way too technical, but it means things like link colour, text size, and teeny little settings on the blog that readers are not even aware of, like 10 pixels of padding around paragraphs, headings and photos, are in a separate file so future updates to the theme will not cause those changes to be lost.

On the right hand sidebar, The Other Half coded a thing, which means my comments no longer appear in the most recent comments stream. This is great because I often go through and reply to comments in one sitting, so you tend to see a lot of comments from me suddenly.

Yesterday..

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Wow, what a huge day here on the blog yesterday! Just 3 minutes after the scam warning post went live, on average there were 120 visitors every hour. Interestingly, there was a very Australian skew to the people who were sent this email. Here’s a screenshot taken at midnight AEST..

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People from 22 more countries than you can see here dropped by, which makes 32 countries in total. Many of the people who arrived were good enough to take the time to leave a comment with the name and email address and in some cases the email they were sent. Plus, a lot of people sent me emails via my contact page with that info.

I’ve sent an email off to outlook.com to let them know what has been going on, because every email address used was an outlook.com one. Most troubling, they seem to be bot generated.

What’s Happening At Yours?

Let me know in the comments! :)

blog housekeeping, Happy Snoskred, Sephyroth

Something Arrived..

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Last week Sephyroth received a surprise package from me, which you can read about at his blog – I can haz Krudd Tea?.

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Today a package arrived for me – this one I knew was on the way because my Dad had wanted specific Calvin Klein underwear from Macys. His present underwears were actually literally disintegrating. Originally Mum said get 6 pairs, and I said no, get 12 and put 6 away for later.

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So we’d sent some money via paypal to Sephyroth and he did all the buying and shipping. They don’t sell this particular underwear in Australia and we’ve even been in contact with Calvin Klein Australia. Likely due to some kind of licensing arrangement, Macys will not ship it directly to Australia and you need a US credit card and address to order.

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Thanks for sending the package Sephy! I will deeply enjoy these chippies and this chocolate! ;)

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Also many thanks for the Costco Connection and the files on this thumb drive – this contains some photos which we lost in the server meltdown.

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And I will respect these wishes. I will *not* mention the Genius of Sephy, that is a post for another day.

food, Happy Snoskred, Sephyroth

Happy Birthday Sephyroth

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My dearest and bestest friend in the universe, Sephyroth, has a birthday which was a great day for many years, until 2001 came along. Why 2001, I hear you ask. Well, his birthday happens to be September 11th. So after 2001 the birthday became a bit of a downer day for him instead of the happy occasion it ought to be..

So much so, that at some point I assigned him a totally different birthday. I forget what it was, I think it was sometime in April. I guarantee you he will pop up in the comments and paste in the actual emails or logs of our chat on this subject, because he saves these things foreverz. :)

But this year, it SHOULD BE be a very happy birthday, because September 11th happens to be the release date for a little movie I am super excited to see. It is called Triple 9, and it contains Norman Reedus – better known as Daryl from The Walking Dead – and Aaron Paul – better known as Jesse from Breaking Bad. Plus, a few other randoms, eg Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor..

Yo, best you be planning a cinema trip for your next birthday, Sephyroth.

Of course release dates can and do change, I’ll keep an eye on it.

Me personally, I don’t really do birthdays myself, nor do I tend to remember other peoples birthdays. I actually seem to remember other things, eg I have a friend whose birthday is the day after International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yes, that is a thing and it gets mentioned around the web quite a bit in the lead up to the day, so it is like a little reminder for me.

Update –

Did you guys know that Sephy has a login for my blog? No? Well, now you do. And of course you can guess that Sephyroth happened to log in on Monday, for reasons but that is another post, and he saw this post scheduled and could not help but read it. He then forwarded me the email I sent him, and here tis.

Subject: Happy Non-Birthday

On Sep 11, 2011, at 5:49, Snoskred (snip) wrote:

As I cancelled your birthday and rescheduled it to Feb 18th, today is no longer your birthday, officially.

So Happy Birthday for next Feb 18th, instead. :)

Your new birthday is the anniversary of this –

1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden “flight” on top of a Boeing 747.

It comes with a photo!

And this

1979 – Snow falls in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history.

Your new birthday is also the birthday of – 1968 – Molly Ringwald, American actress

It is also –

Christian Feast Day:
Colmán of Lindisfarne
Flavian of Constantinople
Simeon of Jerusalem (Western Christianity)
February 18 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
Independence Day, celebrates the independence of the Gambia from the United Kingdom in 1965.

Pls to note that on almost everyone’s birthday, something not awesome happened. EG on my birthday –

1896 – The deadliest tsunami in Japan’s history kills more than 22,000 people.

Had that happened in 1996, my birthday would be quite the bummer. :(

Anyway, happy Non-Birthday. And if you don’t like Feb 18th, pick another one, There’s 363 other days you could choose. :)

So, its night to me.. :)

Blog Friends, Sephyroth, things to remember

The Package

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My excellent friend Sephyroth sent me an awesome package this week. Interestingly, it arrived just one day after I had been at the post office sending my own package – not to Sephyroth and on this occasion I would have much preferred to be sending it to him. I was sending a package to a very much loved Aunt, who has recently been diagnosed with cancer..

I had an idea that I could put together just a few things each week while she is having both radiation and chemotherapy. I can’t be there in person because she lives in Adelaide, but maybe I can put a small smile on her face each week and remind her that all the family here are thinking of her.

For the first package, I made sure to include a few ginger treats that another good friend of mine swore by during chemo. There was also some Chai tea, some pawpaw lotion, some amazing mango scented anti-bac hand sanitizer that smells exactly like you just rubbed an actual mango into your hands, and a few other bits and pieces. I have already picked up a couple of items for next weeks package.

So what was in the package Sephyroth sent to me? Let us take a look.

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Some shower gel and handwash from my favourite Bath and Body Works.

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Some cup-a-soup and some loom bands.

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Many chocolates!

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These things are SOOOOO tasty! I love wild cherry flavoured things. :)

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Some wax melts – I bought Yankee Candle two wax melts for my next package to my Aunt.

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A lovely Wisconsin calendar!

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There are actually 2 bottles of 265 antacid tablets. These things do not taste like chalk like Australian Quick-eze does.

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A shoe bargain which we chatted about on the Kakao Talk while Sephyroth was in the Adidas clearance store near him.

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Another view of the shoes.

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Some potato chips of awesomeness.

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And my Guaifenesin. :)

Thank you many millions my excellent friend! I will organise a package for you soonest, I already have some stuff put aside to send. :)

Happy Snoskred, Sephyroth, Snoskred hearts, yay

Shoe Sunday – Pearl Harbor

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Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It is not my intention to tell the story of the attack, or the leadup to it, or the aftermath. If you don’t already know the story there are loads of places you can find out – starting here with Wikipedia – and more than likely your local history channel will air a documentary about the attack at some point today..

I could not do justice to the story of what happened, nor could I do justice to my own personal feelings about Pearl Harbor. I cannot tell you the story of my meeting survivors of the attack during our visit to Oahu in 2011. I will simply state that Pearl Harbor is an incredibly special place for so many reasons – and so is Hawaii overall.

What I *will* talk about today is the shoes I wore to visit Pearl Harbor, and a special map moment that happened while Sephyroth, The Other Half, and I were at Pearl Harbor in November 2013.

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These Adidas Climacool shoes were the first pair I bought last trip and the photo above is me trying them on in the store. I got them at Ala Moana on Friday the 1st of November. You may recall, I also own Adidas Climacool in green.

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The green and pink Climacool shoes saw a lot of wear while on Oahu because they are super perfect for a hot environment – most of the other shoes remained unworn until they arrived back home.

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At Pearl Harbor there is a large map drawn on the ground near the entrance. You can see in the image above my feet standing near Sydney.

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At the same time, the feet of Sephyroth were standing around abouts where he hails from in North America.

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And there you see our feet together near the map in Hawaii. Oahu is around 10 hours flying time from home for both of us, so it is a perfect meet in he middle location. This is the second time our feet have been together in one place – first was when Sephyroth travelled to Australia in 2011, second together in Hawaii in 2013, where will the third time be? :)

Please to note –

this will be the last Shoe Sunday for 2014 – we will be taking a break over Christmas and the New Year. Shoe Sunday will be back mid to late January 2015. :)

get the InLinkz code

About Snoskred, Sephyroth, Shoe Linkup, travel

Counting Down!

My good friend Sephy who I have never met in person arrives in Australia this weekend. We have multiple plans of awesomeness, and at the end of that we fly off to Hawaii with my parents – Sephy on his way home to the US, and me for a happy holiday and shopping trip..

I’ll try to put some pics up of our antics touring various places in Australia and certainly you will hear all about the shopping in Hawaii. :)

Happy moments for all! ;)

The garden is looking very awesome and I’ll update with some pics later this week when I have a moment..

General Chit-chat, Sephyroth, travel

Sephy Out of His Niche – My World In Pictures

I was approached by Snos a couple of weeks ago to do a quick post “out of my niche”, which for me could be hard, since I don’t really have a niche, per sé. However, I’ve gone with a cunning plan – show off a few of my favorite photos of animals and stuff in my world.

Just so you know, I’m using the thumbnail option, so if you click on the photos, they will load full-size. ;)

A horse in its field

As I was perusing the photos, I found this one of some of the horses that one of our neighbors has not quite staying in their paddock earlier in the summer. True story – a couple of weeks ago, I was walking and I saw a shadow cross the road ahead of me. I didn’t know what it was, but as I got further down the road, I looked down this same driveway and saw one of the horses standing there. ;)
Live Turkeys!

This is, by far, the best photo of a (living) turkey that I have, even if it is walking away. It was taken a couple of months ago as the pack were moving across the road and up the hill that is there.
More famous than Goldy?

Here’s the web’s most famous gopher, I would suspect. You might have seen this picture before. I’ve used it for a few other things around the show. ;)
A camel. And not the cigarettes.

I had posted this camel way back in August of 06. It was literally standing there with its owner on the side of the road next to a community park. Apparently the owner lives right in that area and is well-known for having his camels.
Fall colors. Spelt right in the title, hehe.

One of the neatest things about the fall where I live is that we have such vibrant colours in our trees. This year wasn’t too spectacular, but this picture from 2005 more than makes up for the lack of decent colors this year. :)
Down by the lakeside…

Another thing that we’re somewhat well known for is the abundance of lakes in the area. This was a shot taken early this summer alongside one of those lakes. It was a weekday, so there weren’t too many people out there using the lake.
Pink flowers

I spotted these in a flowerbed along the road as I was walking in August; they’re pretty good looking, aren’t they?

Thanks, Snos, for letting me show off my photos. I had another 20 to show off that I had processed for posting when I was reminded that it was only “a few” photos. I posted them a couple of weeks ago – More of my world in Pictures. ;)

Get Out Of Your Niche, Sephyroth

About Letting it go

Many of you have seen or commented on a recent post here – Letting Go.., about one of Snoskred’s friends who has been battling with depression for a long time. Well, I am that friend. In fact, I have been battling it for longer than eight months. It’s only been in this time that we have been working on getting myself sorted out.

Up until now, it’s been a lot of going through the motions, ultimately leading me back to where I started. I’d even learned the “right” things to say to appease her and make it look like things were going well. Of course, that led to her having false hope in me, and ultimately to the point where I needed to be shocked into action. I needed a major wake-up call.

That call finally came on Tuesday, when a very bleak picture of my world was presented – one where I’d be on my own, with nobody caring about me and about turning my life around. It would be hell on earth for me. From there, I had two options – 1) wake up and start to act on making myself better, or 2) ignore it and go forth on my own, with no support. After we finished our discussion, I went for a walk and then posted about my commitment to change.

Included in that post was something that I hadn’t done before – make myself accountable for my actions. I also posted a comment on Craig Harper’s blog about my commitment to change. If you’re not reading his blog, you really should – it’s a great source of information about how to go about improving yourself.

After that, I then read the Letting Go post over here. I knew right away that it was about me, and essentially reinforced that I had to make the choice – shape up or ship out. It sounds harsh to think of it that way, but that is what it is. I’ve used up my chances, and now it’s time to prove myself. It’s making the small steps that lead to big things. It’s committing myself to doing the things that we had discussed all the way back in November – such as seeking out professional help. It’s about breaking the cycle of yes, ok, I’ll do that, wait a couple of months without doing anything, back into the hole.

As Snos said in her comment that she made today – this post was the catalyst. I’ve gone to see a doctor and have received an unofficial diagnosis of dysthymia – a mild form of depression – one that, without treatment, can last for a very long time. I received some samples of an antidepressant and start taking one a day from tomorrow. I was also told to get a consultation with a counselor to start with counseling appointments.

It’s definitely a start, but it’s a long road and I know that there will be ups and downs. I need to keep myself honest and that starts with myself. I mentioned yesterday the Post-It® notes that have begun to surround my monitor. One of them says “I will hold myself accountable for following my plans”. Part of that is posting a photo from when I go out to walk; it’s also keeping you all updated on my progress via my weekly updates. I’d really appreciate it if you all would help me out with the accountability – it doesn’t have to be constant, but the odd reminder will not hurt. :)

Lastly, this wouldn’t have happened if Snos didn’t care about me – she could have said “Fine, you’re on your own” and let me spiral. However, it is like she said in one of her comments – we are there for each other – it’s not always emotional support – most of the time it’s just to shoot the breeze and share what’s going on with our lives, or to solve a problem that one of us is having with a program or site. Thanks for letting me post this over here :)

I am posting this here, and also at Sephy’s Platzish, my blog.

Sephy

depression, moving forward, Sephyroth