Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
November 04, 2014 at 11:41PM

Unplugging from the Stream

Question tonight is  …
How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes? Do you remember it? Did you start with the “bunny ears” method, or pick up the standard method first?

Question from 2014-10-22
_What part of pop culture do you wish would just go away? _ 

Answers that I received were reality tv and hipsters.  I agree with reality tv, but I would just be happy if someone would do away with skinny jeans … they are frightful 😉

My personal pick for the piece of pop culture that I would do away with would be gauges. I don’t have anything against people doing what they want, but I truly believe that a lot of folks with incredibly large ones are going to regret it later in life, and it’s REALLY hard not to stare at them, ya know?  Think about the fellow who put them in his cheeks so that his teeth show. He must have a ridiculous amount of drool on his pillow for one thing, and who wants that???

My answer to last night’s question of
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

+Elon Musk  – srsly  I’m in this Performance Psychology doctoral program right now, and I’m starting an MS in Space Science in January, and if I survive, then I’ll get a Master of Aeronautical Science in Human Factors and Safety in Space right on top of those two, while earning a CISSP and PMP certification in the middle somewhere.

I had given up on really doing anything worthwhile with my life, but I’ve done everything that I set out to do over the past 15 years, and after my visit to NASA last year … after sitting around shooting the shit with Astronauts and NASA engineers, scientists, and PR peeps at a little watering hole in Houston, it clicked that hey … I can still do this … it’s not too late … I. CAN. DO. THIS.  So, I am.

I have several reasons why I chose Elon Musk as who I would like to be my mentor. First of all, he’s crazy smart, successful, he’s a creative thinker, a problem solver, he thinks long-term, and he thinks BIG!!! That and he owns a space technology company who I would work for if NASA falls through 😀  He has many important qualities that I am looking for in a mentor, and I think that he would provide good advice and possibly sponsorship for my research. If Elon falls through, then I am still looking …

I was really productive at work today, plus I finished an assignment over lunch. At the end of the day I stood up, and I felt …  satisfied … maybe even happy … about what I got accomplished today.  I really like that feeling of having completed everything; of being able to walk away from work with no unfinished tasks dangling in the back of my head and distracting from my enjoyment of the evening. It feels GOOD to be productive, and I smiled almost all afternoon as I saw everything coming together and item after item dropped off my to do list. It’s feeling especially good tonight because I’ve not been posting how I like – I’ve been rushed, and I’ve enjoyed going back through and responding to comments and getting a more substantial post together tonight.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that this lasts 🙂

Questions from a few different nights that I haven’t answered yet are listed below, and I’ll work my way through them over the next few nights. I answered one extra tonight, so I’ll keep doing that every day or two until I get these knocked out … I have some fun memories associated with these, so prepare yourselves for long posts when I answer 😉

1) What was your favorite food when you were little? Is it still your favorite?  Was there a food that you couldn’t stand that you like now?  Any foods that you didn’t like then and never will?

2) Did you ever threaten, or even prepare, to run away from home when you were a kid?  Do you remember why?  Did you pack anything?  Did you make it out of the house, and if so, how far did you get?

3) Have you ever been given a present that you hated/disliked? What was it?  Who gave it to you? What was the occasion? How did you react – could they tell that you didn’t like it?
Have a great night, fellow +Plussers, and Ride the Stream while I dream 🙂

#unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #photography #productivity #dreambigorgohome


From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
October 29, 2014 at 03:06AM

Unplugging from the Stream

Questions tonight are …
Did you ever threaten, or even prepare, to run away from home when you were a kid? Do you remember why? Did you pack anything? Did you make it out of the house, and if so, how far did you get?

Questions from last night were:
If you could have been a child prodigy what would you have wanted to be skilled at? Why?

I really wanted to play the piano but I hated practicing, and I was a good singer. I had no idea how to pursue becoming a professional singer, though, so I never pursued that. I was NOT, however, a child prodigy, and I don’t think that I would have chosen that. I think that if I were to choose now, that I would have chosen to be a Math or Physics prodigy … or a mind-reader, or empath … either of those would have been both a curse and a blessing, but think of how far someone who can consistently demonstrate either mind-reading, true empathy, or both could take us in the study of our brains and future capabilities!!!

Previous question that I will eventually answer 😉
Have you ever been given a present that you hated/disliked? What was it? Who gave it to you? What was the occasion? How did you react – could they tell that you didn’t like it?

I felt wide-awake and alert almost all day at work today again, but by the time I got home, I was falling over tired and took a nap. I woke up at 1:15am, did a quick homework assignment, and now I’m here doing my final post for the day.

The time change should help me a bit because that will be a two rather than three hour difference, so I won’t be working at such extremes in school. Yes, I KNOW that I should set an arbitrary time to be my deadline, but it doesn’t matter if I try to do that … I still KNOW that my assignments aren’t due until 2:00 or 3:00am, and I end up being on that schedule while trying to work on Eastern time … it’s interesting and has been a bit difficult to adjust to, but I’m getting there 🙂

Today is now day 28 (YAY!!!) of my favorite month which culminates, as I’ve mentioned many, many times now, in my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my next Halloween themed image can be seen below …

Have a great night, fellow Pressers, and sweet, batty dreams to you all 🙂

#goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #humor #halloweeniscoming #eileenshalloweenproject #october #october2014 #halloween #halloween2014 #bats #batty #ozzyosbourne #ozzy #photographyproject #zombie #samhain #celticnewyear

Organization Makes for Improved Efficiency and Performance

Well, I got up in the middle of the night, and I completed my (small) assignment with two minutes to spare, getting it in at 2:58am, which equates to 11:58pm MST, and is just under the wire for my assignments. It could possibly have been interesting reading, but I was in a hurry. I do have another related essay due this week on the same material, though, so I will take the time to read it more thoroughly tomorrow.

One of the reasons I got into performance psychology is that I really love psychology – I find it fascinating, and I’m looking forward to learning more about it. I really want to give it the time it deserves to be cemented in my mind, but that wasn’t going to happen today. I’m in this for the long haul, and after my first course ended, I knew that I needed to make some changes. I’ve been having a horrible time with my sleep and energy levels, however, and I haven’t been up to taking the steps needed to get everything in order to help me succeed.

That changed today when I went to take a nap this afternoon. I felt tired, but for 15 minutes or so I just lay in bed looking around my room and thinking about what needed to change or move or be removed in order to help me function more efficiently. A plan came together in my head, and all of a sudden I was energized and ready to do it!

My younger son came in to help me, and we moved my furniture around, swept, wiped down walls, emptied trash, and I have a much better set up in half of my room. That’s the important half for now – the place where I can work and keep my work related materials organized. The other half is filled with shelves and bins and clothing that I will start noodling on now. I don’t like how my clothes are arranged, and I have a number of bins full of random stuff – two boxes full of electrical cables, chargers, jumpers – many of which are orphaned, but I have orphaned hard drive enclosures and the like, so I don’t dare toss the lot until I pair everything up. Really, it’s more like 3/4 of my room is complete as we tackled the bathroom today as well, and it feels a lot better to me to come in here now.

I had a huge issue with my desk in that my chair keeps going missing, and rather than continuing the war of the desk chairs with the kids, I now have my desk set up in the corner of my room where the bed is close enough to use as a chair, and it can double as a nightstand. My table on the other side of the bed toward the bathroom, and is now the family charging station with multiple hookups as well as where I organized a number of perfumes and hair care products for ease of access by my daughter and me. There’s room in the bathroom for the actual products, but both of us always walk outside to use the hairspray, mousse, gel, and perfume because we need the extra space to flip our hair around or down then back up, and we both walk into clouds of perfume rather than actually applying it to ourselves. The products, then, inevitably get set down on my table while we go back in to rinse our hands or finish up with whatever other preparations we are making.

It just made sense to go ahead and arrange for them to be there instead of piling them amid a bunch of other external hard drives, vitamins, magazines, and other items that I am now keeping on my desk/nightstand on the other side. There’s plenty of room in the boys’ bathroom for all of this stuff AND the required maneuvering, but … it’s the boys bathroom, and we girls just don’t go in there …

This is probably incredibly boring, but I like a good system, as it frees my mind up to think about other things, and eliminates a lot of frustration like when my face lotion or chapstick or earrings get lost amid the piles of mail and other items that had collected over the months. I have an entirely separate table now for mail.

When I had surgery earlier this year, I bought myself a hospital table, so that I could use the computer and eat in bed. I knew that I would need it for a few weeks, but hadn’t given much thought to what I would do with it after I was better. It has been sitting on the other side of the room holding a fan, random bits of mail, a computer that I am refurbishing, and, of course, has had many articles of clothes tossed upon it 😉

The shelving unit that was relegated to the back corner of the room is now out next to the window, and is accessible from the front and both sides which makes it much easier and more useful. Under the window along the side wall is the bed table which is now holding two of those nice cloth-covered boxes – one to sort mail, and the other for additional vitamins, supplements, painkillers, safety pins, needles, a tape measure, extra deodorant, spare keys, spare change, and other random items … basically a junk drawer, but fairly organized … for now …

I also have cables for my monitor and laptop charger that are long enough to allow me to either sit at the desk in a normal position, or I can turn around and lean back in bed while still using the big monitor on the desk. Overall, I’m extremely happy with the change, I’ve enjoyed walking into my room today, and I feel like it will be easier and more pleasant to tackle my work from here on out 🙂

From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
October 21, 2014 at 04:23AM

Unplugging from the Stream

Questions tonight are …
What was the apartment or house like that you grew up in? How many bedrooms did it have? Bathrooms? What was your bedroom like?

My answers to the night before last’s questions
What cartoons did you watch/like best growing up? Were Saturday morning cartoons your favorite part of the week?

As I mentioned last night, last Saturday was the end of an era, and the first week since about forever ago that the main networks didn’t show cartoons on Saturday morning.

I used to get up ridiculously early on Saturday mornings to catch Casper.  He came on at 6:30 or 7:30am, and if I got up too early, then I had an interminable wait staring at the fuzzy screen until the channel came alive 15 minutes before.  I watched the Superfriends at 11:30am (not sure why that stuck), The New Schmoo was on at 10L00am, I think, and there was Johnny Quest, Scooby Do, and Hong King Phooey, and Bugs Bunny, and Land of the Lost (not a cartoon, but c’mon), The Pink Panther, Underdog, H.R. Puffinstuff  (yes, I am admitting this publicly), The Jetsons, Mr. Magoo, Shazam, Sigmund and the Seamonster, Captain Caveman, that thing with Lamb Chop … whew … this is NOT an exhaustive list … but man – that was the highlight of my week to get to watch all of these, and sometimes I would flip back and forth because I couldn’t decide which one to watch.

When I was a little older I watched G-force, Speed Racer, Two Stupid Dogs, and many more, and my all-time favorite was Underdog when I was little, and later on The Tick 😀

I took a marathon nap again today,  although much shorter than yesterday.  I am definitely splitting my days up with a long nap, work, another long nap, homework/posts/stuff around the house. I was incredibly productive at work today, and that always feels good.  I struggled, however, with my homework assignment, and I was two minutes late with it   My freaking internet went out again, and the 5 minutes that I had to spend getting that back up and running literally put me 2 minutes over the deadline.  Grrrr

Yeah, I know that I shouldn’t be cutting it so close, but dangit – I had it ready to submit and the connection dropped.  How do you plan ahead for shit like that?

… gonna end up throwing the stupid eggs away …

Today is now day 20 (YAY!!!) of my favorite month which culminates, as I’ve mentioned many, many times now, in my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my next Halloween themed ANIMATED photo can be seen below …

I stopped to snap this on the way home, and then I kept not being happy with the processing, so I tried again, and again, and again until I had seven versions.  At that point I couldn’t decide which one I liked best, so I just animated the lot, and shared them all 🙂 Turns out that those don’t work here, so I changed to the static images …

Have a great night, fellow Pressers, and many sweet dreams 🙂

#unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart#darkness #night #photography #halloweeniscoming#eileenshalloweenproject   #october   #october2014 #halloween   #halloween2014     #photographyproject   #samhain   #celticnewyear #pumpkins #animated






From: Eileen A. McAllister @ Google+
October 07, 2014 at 01:55AM

Unplugging from the Stream

Would you help me title this photo?

Remember how I said that I was going to bed early last night?  Yeah, well, I didn’t fall asleep until 2:00am, and I was exhausted all day 😦   There were thunderstorms and hail today as well, which probably contributed to my sleepiness.

This is now day 47 of my doctoral journey, and I finished my small assignment.  I fell asleep after work, and ended up not starting it until 11:00pm which is why I’m so late with this, but I got it in on time 🙂

Today is now day 6 of my favorite month which culminates in my favorite holiday of Halloween, and my fifth Halloween themed photo can be seen below …

I call this one – I don’t know what to call it … any suggestions?

Have a great night, fellow Pressers 🙂

#unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #photography #halloweeniscoming #eileenshalloweenproject   #october   #october2014 #halloween   #halloween2014    #photographyproject   #graveyardphotography #graveyard


Day 43 – Unplugging from the Stream

Tonight was PMP class from 6:00 – 9:00pm after working all day. Kid drama today was finding out that my 15 year old skipped school today … grrrr

On the social media front, I have been elloing like a fool! You can find me there @eileenamcallister – … come join the fun!!!

So this is day 43 of my doctoral journey, and so far things are going well. I made a mistake on an assignment, but the teacher didn’t notice, so I’m certainly not going to point it out. I’ll just consider it a lesson learned, and not do it again.

Today is also day 2 of my favorite month which culminates in my favorite holiday which is the inspiration for the theme of which this post completes day 2 of 31 😀

So here is my second Halloween themed photo:


It’s not great, but it works 😉 I learned a valuable lesson recently, that everything doesn’t have to be perfect … it just has to be good enough, so that’s that.

Have a great night, fellow ‘Pressers, and Ride the Stream while I dream 🙂

#ello #unpluggingfromthestream #goodnight #digitalart #darkness #night #photography #halloweeniscoming #graveyardphotography #eileenshalloweenproject

Day 40 – Big Happy Sigh

Happy, because I have had a positive, productive, and fun day! Work was, well, work, but I shared a few laughs and good conversation with folks, and I accomplished a lot. I have my notebook sitting open on my desk ready for me to write my six pages in the morning, and I wrote up a fresh, shiny to do list to start on tomorrow. I usually leave one on my keyboard on Fridays as a memory jog for Monday morning, but I neglected to do so last week as I took an unexpected half day off. I will not do that to myself again. It took me until close to lunch to get my brain wrapped back around my priorities, and I never was able to write my pages today.

This cascaded into preventing me from taking my 11:00am walk with my friend, and caused me to cut my lunch short to prepare for a meeting. The good part was that I did take a walk, camera in hand, on my truncated lunch hour, and I found some lovely little gems to photograph on a seldom-used secluded slice of nature behind my place of work. One of those is shared below.

I took a nap after I got home, completed my homework, and now I am catching up on my self-imposed social media responsibilities. The nap thing is a little difficult to adjust to, but after 6 weeks, my body seems to be adjusting well. The mental aspect is more difficult. My mind gets distressed when I’m up so much later, so that, even though I am getting enough sleep, and have plenty of energy during the day, I start to feel almost panicked after so many years of 1:00am indicating insomnia rather than the norm on a work night.

IMG_2347 copy

Until then …