Moore Nature Preserve: Trying to Scale an Average Day

Struggling with a little depression, or is it perhaps instead, some unknown medication that makes me sleepy in the middle of the day.   I wake up motivated to try for a “big” day – one that will scale to the max.  I start out testing my blood sugars, blood pressure, getting on the scale, eating right, mowing the lawn, watering the garden, running Spin on the treadmill and grooming him, repairing the weed eater, trying to get a Greek font to work on the console (I probably need to download a console emulator with a frame buffer that can handle the Greek letters with accents).  I plan to do some sports in the evening after having dinner with my brother, but I end up taking a nap instead, and I bail on sports.  I have been completely out of money for 3 days now.  My food card had disappeared last week with money on it.

I opt instead for some “poor man’s therapy” – my brother with his big heart, taking me out to dinner.  It counts as a family event.  The local restaurant scene is really not very cooperative about posting nutritional information.  McDonald’s does it, and my brother suggests we go there, but I’m out of vegetables, and hungry for something different.  I finally find Panera’s – across from a hospital that has a motivating bridge to the shopping mall. 102_2546

I muse that during the Syrian conflict today in Damascus, a historic Mosque had been secured by the regime, and a hospital in turn by the rebel forces.  Perhaps, between the 2 sides, they will yet manage to save some of the country.


I ordered the vegetarian corn chowder soup which was delicious.  They were out of the tomato basil loaf, and substituted 1 slice of wheat bread instead.  Part of the 2-for deal so typical of American appetites that can never settle for just one option, I also get the 1/2 veggie sandwich.  So, everything came to about: 400 cal, 45 mg chol, and 1080 mg Na, plus a slice of bread 60, 0, and 120 altogether 460, 45, 1200.  It wasn’t by itself over my limit, but I did go over for the day in the end.  I guess, in some parts of the world, the plate might have been 3 meals.  It probably is somewhat short of hospital food, but I note that they have wifi at the restaurant, and an outdoor seating area that can probably accommodate dogs.  If I ever had to go to a hospital, I’d be motivated to wheel over across a bridge to see my dogs.

So, how to scale this day.  I think the thing to do is to start with +5 points if the day was a better day than the day before, since I’m struggling with depression.  Then, list what happened during the day, and rank the day on a scale of 1-10.  10 being the best possible day, and 1 being the worst.  Allocate 190 points for a 10, 10 points for a 1, and scale the rest by 20 point increments.  So, if today was a 4, yet better than yesterday so 70+5=75.  Now, distribute the points accordingly to the list of events that were accomplished today.

Instead of sports, I did take my pups out for a 1 and 1/2 hour nature walk at the Moore Nature Preserve after dinner, recording several bird calls and photographing trees.  That was also worth a bit.

1 hour of yard work

1/2 hour of repair work

2 hours of dog care

1/2 hour of family event + an additional family phone call

1.5 hours nature exploration with low level of exercise

1 hour of computer work

1 hour of writing

failed diet, and 1/2 of measurement goals

took a cool water bath (kind of like swimming), and raised the temperature to 82 degrees (28 C) while I was gone.

How to distribute the 70 points?  To be empirical and less theoretical about it, I suppose one could do this for a few days, or a couple of weeks, assign a variable to each event, and solve a linear system of equations for the values.  One might eventually have to reject some data in the parametrization, though, when things get redundantly defined.  Maybe use a 1 standard deviation cut off on a rationally (probably normal) distribution for the values.  Or average the parameter values that are inferred by systematic temporary exclusion of random, and yet piece-wise complete, samples of data.

So, strategy 1 might be, take every possible combination of 12 values obtained from a set of 20 for a given parameter by solving day equations.  So, for the day labor value, maybe get a sequence of: 12, 11, 10, 5, 18, 12, 13, 14, 12,13,14,15.  One would get a SD of 3.12.  So one could decide whether to go back and adjust the weights given to that event on days that were outside of that SD.  That action would assume that the value of the event on each day should behave normally, and not for example, elastically or nonlinearly.  That is, mowing the lawn on a day when one has run a marathon is worth the same number of points, as on a day when one has been sunbathing at the beach with family.  It probably isn’t.

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