so far, i am a fan of this new month.
♥ i am back in my contacts -- and my eyes feel just fine. OH how i missed them.
♥ i got my lost document back!!
after thinking about it for a while, i realized that i must have saved and then deleted it. i tend to save things on my desktop (planning to sort later into the appropriate file/folder), and sometimes i get a little overzealous dumping photos and files from the desktop into the recycle bin aiming to clear up the space (my virtual desktop is cleaner than my real one!). and when i went to look through it, thanks to my blog/planner i could tell that i emptied my recycle bin just 3 days after finishing the document.
so i turned to
and then, lo and behold, this appeared:
it turns out that even when you have (needlessly) emptied your recycle bin of a file, your computer still has it, somewhere. some of you are probably like, "duh." but this actually really surprised me! i was able to search my drive and found the file using the free demo version of the software. and i did not have to relive my baby rat stress experiments again.
i had to buy a mac-formatted external hard-drive in order to use the program. therefore, i spent $150 to get my 2 page document back. perhaps a little excessive, but i was able to convince myself that having a 1 TB hard drive on hand to back up my data is actually a nice, practical thing. after all - what if my computer crashed and i lost more than just one two-pager?!
i am hereby vowing to back up my hard drive (macs have a program called time machine that makes this ridiculously easy) at least once a month, at the start of the month.
the case against buying christmas presents
i was struck by the zen habits post yesterday which provided quite a convincing argument against a traditional gift-laced holiday.
some of his most compelling (to me) arguments:
✔ environmental impact. from the packaging to the volume of presents themselves to the transport required to get them from store (or online retailer) to home, seemingly harmless holiday detritus has quite the carbon footprint.
✔ financial impact. many people actually go into debt to buy presents. this makes me dumbfounded, and it makes me sad.
✔ supporting large corporations. i am guilty of this, as i love to order things from amazon.com and the like. however, this money flowing out of the community does nothing for the local economy.
✔ perspective. there are still many people in this world without access to enough food or clean water -- and yet we find the cash to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts . . . something doesn't add up.
✔ stuff = clutter. in leo babauta's words, "What happens to all the gifts? They go on our shelves, in our closets, on the floor." this is decidedly true, and not really okay with me.
leo offers several alternatives to traditional gift-giving, including spending time doing other holiday activities (caroling, cookie-baking, etc), volunteering, donating to a charity, a gift swap, or purchasing used gifts at goodwill.
those are all excellent suggestions, but i am going to play devil's advocate just a tiny bit and counter that people are not going to want to just stop giving gifts altogether. at least, i don't. personally, i enjoy picking things out for family and friends, although i do not spend a ton of money or buy a lot of things each year.
instead of jumping ship altogether, talking with josh over dinner last night we came up with several categories that ideally gifts would fall into:
✭ edible consumables. examples of great gifts include: baked goods (homemade or bought locally), a special wine or beer, regionally made jams or salsas, or (fancy!) a gift certificate to a dinner out.
✭ practical consumables. i would place useful office supplies/stationery in this category, as well as bath products or other personal care products (perfume, cosmetics) as long as you know the receiver will actually use them.
✭ virtual media. i haven't bought an actual CD in years, but i love my iTunes! if you want to give media and your recipient is like me, purchasing a download is a viable option that is environmentally friendly and anti-clutter.
✭ experiences. leo mentions this one in the context of free jaunts to explore nature, but i would also add experiences that cost $$. a gift certificate for movie tickets, cooking class, or tickets to a show or exhibit would all fall into this category. for a biiiiiig present, you could buy someone a spa day, a yoga pass, a home-cleaning service, or even a weekend away; on a lower budget, you could present someone with a handmade gift certificate for a home-cooked meal together made by . . . you.
✭ nice things that will truly be used. ie: a replacement for someone's ratty old wallet or briefcase. a special pair of earrings that you know the recipient WILL wear frequently. a piece of electronics that you know the recipient has been coveting (and would buy anyway if it wasn't received as a gift!).
all of these ideas are not to suggest that volunteering, donations, and non-monetary gifts are not important -- in fact, they are truly the ideal. but for those of us who can't quite let go of buying altogether, i think it's a start!
what is your favorite/most memorable gift you have ever received? mine is probably the pink, white, and aqua cassette deck boom box my parents bestowed on me at around age 9. thanks, mom & dad!
workout: 6 miles with 4 at tempo, on the TM.
- 1 mi warmup @ 9:13/mi
- 4 mi @ 8:19/mi
- 1 mi cooldown @ 9:13/mi
clean + local
we have been plowing through our CSA box this week! last night's dinner of portobello mushroom ragout (from the CE cookbook) involved local tomatoes as well as broccoli.
healthy, easy, and good. [BAM!]
grant progress: vertebrate animal supplement --> done! research experience --> found! days left before submission --> 4.