New Year’s Resolutions 2016 #newyearsresolution @resolutions

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Being creatively fulfilled, healthy, learning languages, and sorting my career out is what I want most (along with maintaining and/or strengthening healthy relationships with the people I care about). 2015 Began with plenty of hope, but kind of fizzled out. And so unlike this time last year, I feel rather down about my chances of achieving my Resolutions for 2016. But I’ve got to give it a go. So without further ado, I present BRYAN PARRY’S 2016 NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS.

GOALS FOR 2016

  1. Do something, at least half an hour, from each [CATEGORY] on this list, every day.
  2. [LANG] 30′ minimum every day each for Swedish and Spanish using Memrise and Duolingo.
  3. [LANG] Work towards B1 level in Spanish and aim to sign up for a course in the last quarter of 2016.
  4. [LANG] Do an A2 Swedex.
  5. [LANG] Complete Duff’s The Elements of New Testament Greek, and then Taylor GCSE 1, again. One chapter a fortnight. Upon completion, look into doing GCSEs in Ancient Greek again.
  6. [ART] Continue updating The Doggerelizer weekly, Wrixlings monthly, start updating YouTube twice monthly.
  7. [ART] Do one cartoon per six weeks; begin to upload them and/or other artwork online.
  8. [ART] Get the first draft of Part II of a book I’m writing, code name 21CLF, finished in a “polished draft”.
  9. [ART] Get the first draft of Part III of “21CLF” finished.
  10. [ART] Get one feature length script up to 2nd/3rd draft stage.
  11. [ART] Send off the pilot of one of my sitcom series ideas to a producer.
  12. [ART] Over the course of a year, do an average of one 30′ sitcom script per six weeks — total redrafts of scripts are counted towards this goal.
  13. [LIFE] My weight has ballooned again: cut myself down to a healthy BMI & weight (around 13st; a pound loss a week for 52 weeks) and stay there through healthy changes of diet and exercise regime, specifically, a minimum of three days going to the gym, daily use of the work gym for 30′ intense sessions, and less snacks.
  14. [LIFE] Pass my driving theory test and begin lessons.
  15. [LIFE] Get out and stay out of my overdraft.
  16. [WORK] Sit and pass the International Phonetics Association exam.
  17. [WORK] Research and apply to do an MA/MPhil in an area of Linguistics.
  18. [WORK] Begin a DELTA to improve my ESOL career.
  19. [WORK] Do the first two editing courses, set up as an official business, network and set up online media relating to the business.
  20. [WORK] Get a better paid job.
  21. [GEN] Go to Thailand with the Missus. [during Thai dry season]
  22. [GEN] Finish reading the Koran.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

 

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Fatty Parry 10: 2015 End of Year Summary @ww_uk @WeightWatchers

imageYeah, typical yo-yo dieting. Again. I’m 16st 3lb (227lb). What the hell?? Think I’ll have to start convincing myself that  these biccies don’t count ‘cos I will have used the treadmill for thirty minutes again… in January 2016… Till then I’ll just enjoy the guilt-free gluttony of Yule because I know I’ll soon be in the gym. First week of January. I mean, give it a week to recover from New Year, of course… then another to get back in the swing of things… Let’s call it mid-to-late January. Groundhog Day is one of my favourite Christmas films.

2016’s weight goal: I give myself 52 weeks to shed around 45 pounds. And then maybe 52 years to keep it off.

A healthy weight loss is 1-2lbs a week. So I can do it.

Previous Fatty Parry updates: https://doggerelizer.wordpress.com/category/fatty-parry/

By the way: What’s the difference between a BELUGA WHALE (left) and BRYAN PARRY? Answer: At least a BELUGA WHALE is graceful in water.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jspad/69769787 copyright 2005 Jenny Spadafora

 

The True Meaning of Christmas #Yule #Christmas #TrueMeaningOfChristmas

spirit_of_yuleChristmas, Xmas, Noel, Yule. So many names. But why? Christmas: Christ-mass. That one’s simple enough. “X” is the first letter of the word Christ in Greek (Χριστος), hence Xmas. Noel comes from French, and ultimately the Latin, for “birth” [that is, of Jesus]. Yule, on the other hand, was originally the name for a heathen feast of around the same period in Northern Europe. Yule is therefore the homeborn English word.

But what is the true meaning of Christmas? Father Christmas, gifts, and feasting? Family, charity, peace on Earth? The baby Jesus?

As a non-Christian, I like to use Yule to consciously stand for the cultural, as opposed to religious, celebration. Why? Because “Christmas” is and always has been about more than just Christianity. The Church, in a rather savvy move, would often recast local heathen festivals in a Christian mould. And the winter festivities were no different. Therefore, the Christian aspect is but one part of the Christmas period. So why should I tacitly let Christians take the Christmas period as their own, let them dictate to me and the rest of society how, when, and why I should celebrate the period? Christmas is as much mine as it is a Christian’s. Eventually the word Yule fell out of use, except in some dialects, and was brought back to mainstream life in the nineteenth century. Therefore Christians can keep the word Christmas if they like; the rest of us have Yule.

I don’t celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Yule. Happy Yule, everybody!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

article adapted from my article Yule and the Months posted at my blog Wrixlings.

featured image from http://americanhumanist.org/HNN/details/2012-12-out-with-christmas-in-with-yule

Fatty Parry 9: Detox II @WeightWatchers @ww_uk

fattyparryedited1In my last Fatty Parry 8: Detox I, I designed a new diet. Gotta say, I think the diet is pretty good. The only change I made, after Day One, was to add a small side of brown rice to my lunch. Perfect!

Unfortunately…

Yeah, sorry(!) I’ve been moving house this week. That’s meant my diet has been all over the place: hummus and pitta at 11pm, anyone?

But I’ll keep going with this diet, hopefully with a bit more consistency after I’ve finished moving in, and give you an update on how it’s making me feel in around six weeks’ time.

Click here for my other diet posts.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

100 Posts! @wordpressdotcom

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featured image from http://rs176.pbsrc.com/albums/w195/kookybooboo/Emoticons/Smileys/SmokingSmiley.gif~c200

Introduce Sin Bins in Football #SoccerSinBin @FA @FIFAcom @UEFAcom

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-MAN UTD

In Rugby they have this great thing called the “sin bin”. If you get a yellow card, you are sent off for ten minutes. I think this must be introduced into association football. ASAP.

First, there’s too much nonsense in football nowadays. Players just gob off to the ref and act like proper plonkers on a minutely basis. The Laws of the Game give referees the power to give out yellow and/or red cards for unsporting behaviour or dissent. But refs seldom do.

LAW 12
… A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences:
* unsporting behaviour
* dissent by word or action
* persistent infringement of the Laws of the Games …
A player … is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
* using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

But second, even if refs did book every wally, like, whatevz. A yellow card does nothing. What’s that gonna discourage? Send those players off for ten or fifteen minutes, on the other hand… Might learn ’em good. Might straighten out football a bit.

FOOTBALL. SIN BIN. YES.

#SoccerSinBin

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://b.smimg.net/13/35/liverpool-manchester-united_4.jpg

Fatty Parry 8: Detox I @WeightWatchers @ww_uk

fattyparryedited1I haven’t updated you on the riveting tale of how fat I am since June 2015. I wonder why… Yeah, I fell off the waggon. Again. Why does food taste so good, damnit!? But anyway, I decided to turn over a new leaf. About forty-five minutes ago.

I have two big problems in my life.

  1. Being fat, which is largely down to lazy eating habits and not enough gym.
  2. Spending too much money on food, which is largely down to lazy eating habits (such as takeaways and snacks).

So for the sake of both my physical and fiscal health, I need to get a grip. So tomorrow is the first day of a new diet. I’m going to see if it fixes both problems.

NEW DAILY DIET (THIS WEEK)

Breakfast: porridge (water-based), 1 x banana chopped up, bran flakes
Mid-morning snack: apple
Lunch: sprigs of broccoli, sweet potato, chicken
Mid-afternoon snack: apple
Dinner: salmon, avocado on Ryvita, 1/3 of a four egg omelette.
Other snack/extra: 1oz of nuts: 1/2oz walnuts and 1/2oz almonds

NEW DAILY DIET: PREPARATION

Lunch: 1/3 of one head of broccoli, 1 sweet potato, 110g/4oz chicken fried with a little olive oil and water and cajun seasoning powder
Dinner: 110g/4oz/1 fillet salmon fried with a little olive oil and smoked paprika powder, chilli powder, cumin seeds, salt.

Notice that most is raw, and nothing takes more than about ten minutes to cook and prepare (8-10 minutes salmon, 10 minutes chicken). Very simple and easy to make, very small amounts of time required.

NEW DAILY DIET: LOGIC

I’ve done a fair bit of research. Your body needs a fair number of things to function healthily in all respects, be it enough energy, burning fat efficiently, strong and healthy hair, and so on.

The bare essentials of what I’ve learnt are summed up in the following list. You need to get a certain amount of each “nutrient”. Hence my diet for the week (above).

Zinc and Selenium: wholegrains, egg, beef
Protein: (eat a variety of proteins) salmon fillet, omelette, roast chicken, soy protein
Complex carbs: brown rice, wholegrain bread, wholegrain cereal for snacks
Iron: (very important) red meat, fish, spinach, broccoli, kale, salad greens, lentils, chicken
Omega 3 fatty acids: fatty fish, e.g., salmon x 2 / week
Vitamin D: 600 IU max daily; egg yolk x 1 = 7%IU max daily/40g
Misc: lean red meat x 2 / week
Vitamin C rich food: (consume with proteins, e.g., orange plus lentils) avocado, blueberry, guava, orange, strawberry, sweet potato, papaya, kiwi, broccoli, blackcurrant
Vitamin A: (do not go beyond 5000IU daily as can cause hair loss) carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato
Vitamin E: nuts (especially almonds and walnuts)

Other principles:

  • Chilli speeds up the metabolism
  • You need to fill full / not hungry andenergised at all times, whilst not over-eating or having an unbalanced diet
  • Drink about 4-5 pints of water a day; more if you work out or drink tea / coffee.

I won’t bore you with the fat, calories, salt etc. This post is going to be long enough as it is!

NEW DAILY DIET: COST

All very well trying to eat well, but what of my second big problem: spending too much money including on food? Well, I just bought the following.

  • £1.49 1 x 1kg box Tesco Bran Flakes
  • £4.60 1 x 4 salmon fillets 460g [1lb]
  • £3.00 320g [11.5oz] turkey diced breast
  • £1.25 1 x bag 10 x sweet potatoes 1kg [2.2lb]
  • £1.75 1 x 6 bag of British Cox apples
  • £3.50 1 x 250g [9oz] walnut halves
  • £3.40 1 x 250g [9oz] almonds
  • £0.49 1 x 335g [12oz] head of broccoli
  • £1.75 1 x 12 pack free range eggs
  • £1.75 1 x 4 pack avocadoes
  • £0.99 1 x pack Ryvita wholegrain crispbread, around 24 bread per pack
  • £0.86 6 x loose bananas, 31p/1lb (68p/kg)

Other ingredients, price and quantity presently unknown (basically, because such small amounts of each are used and I bought these ingredients previously):

  • olive oil
  • smoked paprika powder
  • chilli powder
  • cumin seeds
  • cajun seasoning powder
  • salt
  • porridge (bought previously: don’t remember cost!)
  • cling film to keep things fresh

Total: £24.82

Bear in mind that many of these items will need to be bought again in a few days time (e.g. salmon fillets). Whilst others won’t need to be bought again for quite a while (e.g. bran flakes). Therefore, it’s hard to figure out, at this point, the real cost of this diet.

ESTIMATE OF REAL COST DAILY

  • 1/2oz of each type of nut = 9 days’ worth of nuts = £0.77/day
  • £0.15 per banana
  • 32 servings bran per box = 32 days’ worth of bran = £0.05/day
  • £0.29/apple, 2 x apples/day = £0.58/day
  • 1/3 head broccoli = £0.16/day
  • £0.13/sweet potato
  • 4oz turkey = £1.00
  • 1 fillet salmon = £1.15
  • 1 avocado = £0.44
  • 4 Ryvita = £0.17
  • 1/3 of 4 egg omelette = £0.20/one third of omelette
  • Porridge: unknown cost

Total: £5/day (£4.80, but with porridge, let’s round it up) = £150/month, £35/week

This seems a tad high to me: I’d be looking for around £20-25/week. But not too bad.

NEXT STEP…

I’ll let you know after seven days (i) how I feel, (ii) how much I spent in reality (e.g. after buying more salmon, if I give in to temptation, and so on).

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

Shadow-outline @FiatLingua #conlang

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A nonce word is one made up on the spot, for the occasion — a one-off, one-time-use word, as it were. Recently I wanted to say “silhouette”, but the word would not come to mind — so instead, shadow-outline plopped out.

I was immediately struck with how elegant and self-explanatory this nonce word is. Since then I’ve tried slipping it into conversation, but that’s been quite hard — how often do we talk about “silhouettes”, in any case? But when I have used it, it seems to have gone down well. That is, nobody has noticed I’ve smuggled in a made-up word — and I seem to have been clearly understood(!)

So there we are. Shadow-outline. A nonce word worth keeping around, perhaps? (if I do say so myself) And it also does away with remembering how to spell that Frenchy word S-I-L-H-O-U-E-T-T-E.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

this post originally appeared on my other blog Wrixlings: https://wrixlings.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/shadow-outline/

featured image from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silhouette#/media/
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New Year’s Resolutions 2015: Update #newyearsresolution @resolutions

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It’s thoroughly December. So with a matter of weeks left of 2015, I’m going to review / update my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions.

Warning: this post is more for my benefit than for you guys.

IF YOU WANT TO SKIP THE SELF-INDULGENT WAFFLE AND REFLECTION AND HEAD STRAIGHT FOR MY MAIN CONCLUSIONS, CLICK HERE.

GOALS FOR 2015 & (previously) EXPECTED DATES

  1. [GEN/KEY] Create a timetable with slots, just like at school, and fill that timetable intelligently with all I need to achieve… and STICK TO IT!!!! [JAN]
  2. [LANG] Continue my programme of 30′ minimum every day each for Swedish and Spanish using Memrise and Duolingo. [Effective immediate]
  3. [LANG] Do an A2 DELE and at least begin the course which leads to a B1 DELE. [JUL-DEC]
  4. [LANG] Do an A2 Swedex and at least begin working towards B1. [JUL-DEC]
  5. [LANG] Complete Duff and Taylor GCSE 1 again. Upon completion, look into doing GCSEs in Ancient Greek again. [Begin JAN; one Chapter per fortnight, expected finish date NOV/DEC]
  6. [ART] Do one cartoon per six weeks; begin to upload them and/or other artwork online. [Begin Jan]
  7. [ART] Get the first draft of Part II of a book I’m writing, code name 21CLF, finished in a “polished draft”. [JUN]
  8. [ART] Get the first draft of Part III of “21CLF” finished. [DEC]
  9. [ART] Get one feature length script up to 2nd/3rd draft stage.
  10. [ART] Send off the pilot of one of my sitcom series ideas to a producer. [MAR]
  11. [ART] Over the course of a year, do an average of one 30′ sitcom script per six weeks — total redrafts of scripts are counted towards this goal.
  12. [LIFE] My weight has ballooned again: cut myself down to a healthy BMI & weight (around 13st) and stay there through healthy changes of diet and exercise regime, specifically, a minimum of three days going to the gym, daily use of the work gym for 30′ intense sessions, and less snacks. [Begin JAN]
  13. [LIFE] Finish buying the/a house. [FEB]
  14. [LIFE] Pass my driving theory test and begin lessons.
  15. [LIFE] Save ideally a minimum 20% of my post-tax income (or minimum £300, ideally £600, per month). [Begin 27th JAN]
  16. [WORK] Sit and pass the International Phonetics Association exam. [JUN/DEC depending on when they run it this year]
  17. [WORK] Research and apply to do an MA/MPhil in an area of Linguistics. [JAN/FEB]
  18. [WORK] Begin a DELTA to improve my ESOL career. [ASAP]
  19. [WORK] Do the first two editing courses, set up as an official business, network and set up online media relating to the business. [ASAP]
  20. [WORK] Get a better paid job. [ASAP]
  21. [GEN] Go to Thailand with the Missus. [during Thai dry season]
  22. [GEN] Finish reading the Koran. [DEC]

GOALS FOR 2015: PROGRESS

  1. FAILED. No. I keep doing my daily “to do” lists. This might have something to do with the lack of progress all round…
  2. FAILING. Stopped Memrise, CatSpanish, and since my Summer holidays, I aven’t picked up Duolingo at all. Till June, I was succeeding 100%; since July, failing 100%. Very disappointing.
  3. FAILED.
  4. FAILED.
  5. FAILED. Big time. Haven’t even opened the book. Keep going to Greece on holiday, though; Modern Greek’s appeal is growing by the day…
  6. FAILING. But I am trying. I am consistently working on and thinking about cartoons, but it is genuinely more like one per six months. Need to be more consistent!
  7. FAILED. Started well. But got side-tracked a few months ago (Summer holidays again!), so close to the finishing line. I need to set aside like a full day soon and just go for it!
  8. FAILED. Nowhere near. This is dependent on getting Goal 7 done first (see previous note).
  9. FAILED. Nowhere near. Very disappointed. Creative stuff is very important to me, and I am failing dismally. I have been putting this off so as to focus all effort on Goals 7 & 8…
  10. FAILED. Have not gone back to redraft an episode, so clearly haven’t sent one off.
  11. FAILED. Wow, was I optimistic…
  12. FAILED. I got my weight down a little, then it shot up, then it went down a bit again, and now it’s right back up again… It’s around 16st 3lbs / 227lbs now. Pathetic. Being a healthy weight is a simple as not eating too much crap and exercising regularly.
  13. SUCCEEDED!! My proudest achievement this year, I’ve gotta say. The only thing I desperately wanted to do which I’ve done in 2015.
  14. FAILED. Not even started…
  15. FAILED/N.A. Savings are highly variable. Plus, I’ve re-evaluated my financial plan so this may no longer be relevant. Unsure.
  16. FAILED. Haven’t even begun revising.
  17. FAILED. See Goal 14’s Progress for in depth coverage.
  18. FAILED. No money, no time, not emotionally ready.
  19. FAILED. But not for lack of trying. No money, no time are the main problems here.
  20. FAILED. I’m earning more dough through various avenues, but I haven’t yet found the standard higher paid job.
  21. N/A. Not happening, but it isn’t the time. Who knows…
  22. FAILING. I’m reading it, but I’m behind my schedule.

So, that’s ONE SUCCEEDED out of 22, the rest have FAILED already or are FAILING fast… not a fantastic hit rate, I’ve got to say. I had a very busy Summer with several holidays — mostly friends’ weddings. Kind of derailed me a bit.

2015 can be characterised thus. Great first quarter, followed by stagnation in Q2, then total chaos and shambling along in Q3 and 4. The things most important to me — getting a better paid and more fulfilling job / furthering my career, learning languages, and creative / artistic endeavours — have all fallen on their arse.

But I think this looking over my goals is the shot in the bum I need!

THE WAY FORWARD?

I think the key to my failures in 2015 has been, as usual, LACK OF CONSISTENCY. I’ve done a lot this year, a lot of good stuff. But I’ve not managed to be consistent. I’ve had strong bursts and relapses. It’s been stop-start. Yet most successful endeavours in life require non-stop toil for an indefinite / never-ending period.

For 2016, I think I need to focus on how to maintain consistency especially in my routine. Whenever I have had successful periods in my life, it has been down to a consistent routine religiously followed (and sleep deprivation!).

Filing my goals away in nice folders maybe hasn’t kept me on my toes enough. I should print out copies of my goals, keep them in my wallet, and look at them daily; as the lists get crumpled and decay by overuse,  this will stand as a reminder and prompt to make sure my dreams aren’t also decaying.

Right now I know I’m not doing everything I can to succeed. I’m missing one key element at least: consistency. Let’s see if I can get a grip here and start 2016 the way I mean to carry on.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry