Experiment I

by zenquaker

Actually it’s three experiments.

The first experiment is a failed experiment. Sort of. Maybe more like a learning experiment. Last week I spent the whole week trying to code data about my life. It was a lot harder than I thought. It’s not that actually coding the data is very hard. The systems I have in place make that very easy. What’s hard is to remember to code the data. I was constantly getting somewhere and realizing I’d forgotten to log the trip, or zoning out on what I was doing and not noticing when the cat got off my lap, or forgetting something else I wanted to record. I don’t think this is really a death knell to the concept of quantifying myself, but it’s definitely going to require a rethink. The first rethink is that I should break it down into pieces (log the commute, log other travel, log evening activities, log mood, and so on). Then do them one at a time in the simple habit method. That will build me up until I’m recording everything. Given my other plans for habit formation, this means putting things off for a year or two. But hey, I’ve got another 38 left (or 108 if these guys are right).

The second experiment was a successful experiment. I got groceries on the way home using the bus. It stops in front of a grocery store. So I went in, got my groceries, and got back to the bus stop before the next bus came by. Okay, I got there barely in time to catch the next bus, but I did catch it. Which means I have to jog across the parking lot to the store, and hope there aren’t more than three people in front of me in the fast lane. Now I have a backup to riding my bike to the store on Sundays. If Sunday is just too nasty, I can get my groceries on the way home on Monday.

The third experiment I don’t know about, because I am just about to engage in it. A few years ago I realized I was mildly lactose intolerant. Harder cheeses, like on pizza, are okay. But soft cheeses make me queasy, milk makes me sick the next morning, and milk shakes and ice cream are right out. But I recently scored some lactaid, and tonight at the grocery store I picked up a pint of Häagen Dazs. So I’m going to take my ice cream and chill with some Firefly.