My Big Diet Change

I signed up with a new medical centre recently. My old medical practice was only open from Monday to Friday, which made it awkward to make an appointment. The medical centre that I go to now is open seven days a week. I can just walk in on the weekend and, providing I don’t mind waiting a while, I can see whichever doctor is working that day.

Just over a week ago, I went in to get a script from an asthma inhaler. Quite a boring request, and the sort of thing that normally only takes five minutes. However, the doctor took one look at me and realised that I wasn’t in good shape. I have known for a while that I am a overweight, and need to lose a few kilograms. I think the doctor saw this too, and decided to get an idea of what was going on inside my body.

The doctor got me to do a blood test, and a week later, I went back to get the results. While the results weren’t good, they weren’t as bad as I thought either. I was worried that I would be diabetic. It turns out that I am pre-diabetic. While I don’t have diabetes at the moment, I would eventually get diabetes if I carried on with the same lifestyle.

As a result of this, I have had to change my diet. I have had to cut back on the chocolate. When I say “cut back,” that is perhaps an understatement. I used to sit at my desk pretty much eating chocolate and drinking soft drinks all day. However, I have only eaten chocolate once in the last three days, and now drink Coke Zero once a day at the most.

Everyone at work has been really good about it. People have joked for ages about the amount of junk food that I eat. I told several people that I have to change my diet, and a couple of them turned up the following day with nuts and frozen apples for me. That was awesome!

It is going to be difficult for me later in the year when I go to Auckland on holiday. One of the best parts about going on holiday is being able to eat out, particularly for breakfast. However, I won’t be able to have my usual french toast or pancakes this year, and will have a narrower range of options to choose from.

My New Credit Card Saves Me 2.4 Seconds

I got a new credit credit recently. It is a Visa card which has a fancy feature called Paywave. If the transaction is under a certain threshold, Paywave allows to me to just hold the card in front of the terminal, and the transaction goes through. I don’t have to type in my PIN number.

Now, let’s think about this. The only benefit of this feature is that I don’t have to type in my PIN. How long does it take to type in your PIN? Two or three seconds?

We are living in a world now where people want to fit as much as possible into their day. What are you planning to do with the two seconds that you saved?

How To Delegate Tasks In The 21st Century

I own a small web hosting business. It is a business that I run to bring in a bit of money in addition to my main job. I am the CEO, programmer, web designer and tea boy. As I have a regular 9-5 job as well, I have to run the small business during the evenings and weekends. The cliche “so much to do, so little time” certainly applies in my case, as other small business owners in the same situation will attest to.

In larger organisations, it is easy for work to be spread among several employees, so that no one employee is overwhelmed with work. You can’t do this in small one man bands. However, the Internet has become popular over the past few years, and there are now a number of sites that allow people to outsource tasks to people overseas. Need a logo created, a press release written, or some advice on which cell phone to buy? Sites such as fiverr.com allow you to pay someone else to do the work.

Not only do the sites allow you to find someone (usually more talented than yourself) to do the work at an affordable price, but time zone differences allow your business to operate 24/7. You can recruit someone in another part of the world to do some work for you at 5pm, and have the work in your inbox by the time you start work the following morning.

I outsource a lot of SEO work. SEO can be a rather tedious yet necessary task when creating a web site. There are sites that specialise in outsourcing SEO work. Needless to say, I have spent quite a bit of money with them!

A Shaky Day

Wellington had a large earthquake today. Wellington is right on top of a faultline, so everyone used to expect that the capital would be the most likely city in New Zealand to experience an earthquake. That all changed in September 2010 when Christchurch had its first large shake. The city experienced two years of tremors.

Today’s quakes in Wellington no doubt had many people wondering whether Wellington would be next.

One benefit of the earthquakes, though, is that Christchurch will be getting a large number of new buildings and some new infrastructure. That will be something to look forward to.

I Love Listening To Online Radio Stations

When I was young, I wanted to be radio announcer. I was particularly interested in the technical aspects of radio, such as how radio stations worked, and I thought that being a radio announcer would the ultimate job.

I vaguely remember that when I was ten years old, I did some school homework on a subject that escapes me. One of my answers on the homework sheet was “I would love a radio that can pick up any radio station in the world.” And I really would have loved such a radio. However, this was in the mid-1980s. I was aware of shortwave radio, but I knew that a device, such as a small portable radio, that could pick up any AM or FM radio station in the world would be a mere dream.

Little did I know that a few years later, this thing called the “Internet” would become popular. Little did I know that radio stations all of the world would be setting up web sites and broadcasting their stations online.

And then along came smartphones. These small palm-sized phones were capable of accessing the Internet and playing the audio streams. My dream of having a radio that could pick up any radio station in the world didn’t quite come true in the way that I imagined, but we have got something very close. And the audio quality from the online stream is often a lot better than what I would get on a radio.

One of the main benefits of listening to stations online is being able to take advantage of time zones. I often don’t have time to listen to local breakfast shows or drive shows as I am usually busy getting ready for work or coming home. However, once I am at work, I can put some headphones into my smartphone and bring up an Australian radio station. As Sydney is two hours behind, I can catch their breakfast shows and get my daily dose of humour.

In the evenings, I have the choice of listening to either an Australian drive show or a UK breakfast/morning show.

The Internet is a wonderful thing that allows us to do what we want, when we want to.

Sometimes I’m Too Well Organized

The other day, I wrote a post about how I procrastinate. Maybe I should clarify things a little. I don’t always procrastinate. In fact, sometimes I have tasks completed early – ridiculously early.

Take holidays. If I am planning to go away somewhere, I have everything planned months in advance. I have already organised, and largely paid for, my Christmas holidays this year, when I will be visiting Hamilton and Auckland. This is despite the fact that the Christmas rosters haven’t been finalised at work, so I don’t even know if I will be getting the time off. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

I prefer to arrange holidays in advance to make sure that I get the best air fares and accommodation, and that everything ties in nicely. I am planning to be in Auckland on New Years Eve. The fireworks display that is held on the top of the Sky Tower is something to look forward to.

Happy Birthday

It’s my mother’s birthday today. It has got me thinking about how people celebrate their birthdays differently. Some people go all out and have big celebrations. People like me take the day off work (so that they don’t have to deal with annoying customers and work colleagues) and relax. And then there are people like mum who treat it like any other day and go to work.

I remember when I was young, my birthday was a big deal. A really big deal. Mainly because I got presents. I was given things that I couldn’t afford to buy by myself. Oh, and there was chocolate cake too.

But now that I am older, birthday’s aren’t such a big deal. I can afford to buy whatever I want now that I’m working, so presents aren’t so important. Indeed, I wish that people would stop buying me presents, and spend the money on themselves instead.

For me nowadays, I would just prefer to have a bit of R&R and spend time with family.

Procrastination Is The Thief of Time

I am a procrastinator. In fact, I am probably the world’s worst procrastinator. If I’m really not interested in doing something, I will leave it until the last minute. And even then, I probably still won’t start the task.

I even procrastinate if I do want to do a task, but it is a rather big job. Having to create a program or script for one of my web sites is the worst. Even though I want to create the script, and I know that it will benefit my site greatly, it pains me to know that it will take me some time to create it. So I put it off. I put it off until I get sick of using any workarounds, and I realise that I really need the script. Once I have created the script, I realise how much time I could have saved if I had created it weeks ago, and not had to use any workarounds to achieve the same goal.

At the moment, I am procrastinating with my company’s financial reports and tax return. Preparing financial reports is never fun. The tax return was due on 7 July. I could, in theory, be fined $50 by Inland Revenue for filing it late. But it upteen years of never filing a tax return on time, they have never fined me.

And anyway, writing blog posts is much more fun!