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Autumn Woods

Roomba: The Good, but Imperfect Convenience Bot

So I’m still searching for many solutions to improve my day-to-day life in a number of ways including housework, but have only encountered a few so far. The Roomba is one of these solutions, although I will say that it is without a doubt an imperfect one. I’m not the cleanest person, but I do take quite a good deal of interest tidying and cleanliness.

The Roomba happened to be my birthday gift in 2017 and I am writing on this post how I’ve liked my gift in this year since I’d received it.

It has its good and its bad points.

I’ll start with the bad points, I know that most bloggers posts will start with the good rather than the bad, but I’ll start with the bad because most of the bad points happened to come as a surprise to me. First, the Roomba isn’t the smartest robot you’ll ever meet, it will do its job decently well and save you some exertion, but it also just wanders aimlessly a good deal of the time and vacuums in the same spots over and over again and ends up running out of battery before it even completes vacuuming a room sometimes (I googled its charging time and it seems to take about 2 hours). Second, it likes getting itself stuck: under furniture like desks or beds and in the middle of chair legs. Third, it’s had its creepy moments where it has turned on all by itself early in the early morning or in the middle of the night and has started vacuuming or starts talking with its little robot voice demanding to be charged (happened to everyone in my family).

Now the good points and some possible tips: the Roomba will save you some effort, it will do its job of cleaning the floors, perhaps not quite as well as a real person will, but it does serve itself as a helper well. The Roomba can vacuum the floors while you take care of other tasks. As for its wandering about, the little machine that comes with it to block it off helps with this problem and also just moving items around the house to block off the area you’d like to have vacuumed helps as well. Overall it can serve as a bit of a time-saver, but I personally use it selectively. There are times that doing the vacuuming myself is my preference and other times just I let the little Roomba do its thing. So overall it’s a good but imperfect machine.

New Habit Every 3-4 Months

Sometimes I start to get frustrated when I try to make a change or start a new habit but end up turning around and going right back to where I started and end up undoing the new budding habit I’d been forming all over again. I’m tired of this theme so I’m going to make a new one. Instead of jumping from one new change to the next in short and unsuccessful bursts I plan to intend do this instead: form one new habit every 3-4 months. The purpose of this time frame is to give myself some room for error, this way I’ll be giving myself a chance to fail and get back on the horse again and I will have adequate time not to overwhelm myself with too many goals at once. As an added bonus I can also try to make one big change to help someone close to me every two months at most and less often if I so choose as well.

 

Walmart Pick-Up App

This will be a relatively short post, but it will just be my little review of the Walmart pick-up app. I’d mentioned it before in the posts I’d made when I was feeling sick about how this app seemed promising when it came to my idea of avoiding too much interaction with other people when it isn’t necessary, not that I want to be antisocial and avoid people, but rather because the more people I’m around the more chances that I also give myself to catch something like a cold. Since those posts I’ve tried the app twice and I like it quite a bit thus far.

I can just pick my “favorite” items that I buy regularly like dog food, printer ink, antibacterial wipes, etc. so it makes things even quicker and easier. Also the app gives you the option of store pick up where an associate takes the items to you to your car or the delivery option where the items are delivered to your house. I always do the pick up one because my family and I avoid having strangers come to our house, we don’t even have pizza delivered just as a safety precaution we take.

For now I’ve gotten over my cold and will hopefully not catch anymore, so far the precautions that I’ve enacted to avoid catching a cold and to get better from a cold have worked decently well. This is just my little review that I definitely recommend giving the app a try if you’re interested or just curious.

Perspective

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Edison

This post is mostly for myself, a small reminder for myself to always return to regarding my view on life which has changed quite a good deal since I was younger. In my youth I was in more of a state of mind of instant gratification, instant reward. In my mind, if I saw no results immediately, then it must be that the matter at hand must not be worth any effort because of the lack of immediate results, but now I think that all good things take time and effort.

I may jump around every which direction in this short post, but I know where I’m jumping, so you can follow or you can read this post with some sense of bewilderment, either way it’s okay, my mind can be a little flighty at times, but it’s of no great concern.

This is the part where I get a bit flighty and kind of jump from idea to idea:

With regard to the picture accompanying this post, it’s to signify the same general idea with regards to effort. This has to do with a concept that I like and it is the grassroots movement, the grassroots movement doesn’t relate to a single historical movement, but rather a general type of movement. The definition given on the site www.dictionary.com is: “the common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file”. I am just this “ordinary” and “common”, so if I expect to ever make the kinds of progress that I hope to make in my life I may as well be well aware beforehand of the grit and determination it will take on my part and know that my goals are going to require an uphill climb, but this early awareness will make the hard work more bearable.

I can’t find the direct source of the next quote, but it still relates to success and hard work, this time it comes in the form of a sort of story about Chinese bamboo:

“You start with a little seed, plant it, and water it for a whole year, but nothing happens. The second year you water it, again, nothing happens. The third year you water it, and still no signs of your effort. How frustrating! If you stayed consistent and continued to water it into the fifth year, the tree finally sprouts and grows up to ninety feet in six weeks!

The improvement process is much like the Chinese bamboo tree; it is often discouraging, but great things happen if you remain persistent when you aren’t seeing results. If it seems like all your hard work isn’t adding up right now–be patient and keep watering the bamboo.”

I get frustrated with my goals sometimes and discouraged, but these sorts of little reminders help me soldier on and this post is a way to keep all these different ideas all relating to my view of success and effort all in one place as a source for some gentle reminders that success takes time and effort to achieve.

 

EKG and ACLS Review: Rhythms

IMG_1876.jpgFirst things first.

Before I even review what the important rhythms are, I’ll review the basic reading of the rhythms.

So with regards to time:

  • One box is equal to 0.04 seconds
  • 5 boxes add up to 0.2 seconds
  • And 75 boxes together equate to 3 seconds

 

IMG_1877.jpgNext is a review of the waves that are seen on the EKG rhythms:

  • First is the P wave, which under normal circumstances should be upright
  • Next is the QRS interval, the Q wave is a negative deflection, the R is a positive deflection, and the S is another negative deflection
  • Third is the upright T wave
  • And last is a U wave in some cases

 

These diagrams and descriptions are extremely basic and don’t go into too great of detail. For this information I mainly referred to a PDF I found online from a copy of ECG Interpretation Made Incredibly Easy 5th Edition I have no idea if this copy has been posted online without violation of any copyrights, I just googled “ECG for Dummies” and this was one of the sources that came up so I can’t guarantee that it will always be made available forever, but in the meantime it’s there.

Next I’m going to review the rhythms that we’re required to be able to recognize according to ACLS guidelines, the list given in the manual from the American Heart Association includes the following:

  • Sinus Rythm
  • Atrial fibrillation and flutter
  • Bradycardia
  • Tachycardia
  • Atrioventricular (AV) block
  • Asystole
  • Pulseless electrical activity (PEA)
  • Ventricular tachycardia (VT)
  • Ventricular fibrillation (VF)

IMG_1878.jpg

The images above are of rhythms that I traced from the American Heart Association’s ACLS manual.

Those rhythms are also some of the most confusing rhythms for me because all any of it looks like to me are squiggles and it confuses my brain to try and make out one type of squiggle from another type of squiggle.

I may still be wrong now, but perhaps I finally understand to some small degree some of the differences in these rhythms.

In the case of v-fib there is no particular rhyme or reason to the rhythm, it really is just squiggles, on the other hand the v-tach, which can either be monomorphic or polymorphic has more of a pattern to it (in the case of the monomorphic form it has a singular appearance in its pattern whereas in the polymorphic form the pattern varies to some degree).

IMG_1883.jpg

Next I’ll review pulseless electrical activity which has a sort of broad definition being that the rhythm is organized, but that no pulse can be detected. The list of pulseless electrical activity that is provided in the ACLS manual includes:

  • Idioventricular rhythms
  • Ventricular escape rhythms
  • Postdefribrillation idioventricular rhythms
  • Sinus rhythm

IMG_1885.jpg

This most recent image is of the various types of AV blocks. The main resource I used for this is the Youtube video: AV Blocks (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degree).

All the AV blocks are also forms of bradycardia and since I’m on the topic of bradycardia I will add the signs and symptoms of symptomatic bradycardia since knowledge of them is useful to me in my work as a bedside nurse:

Symptoms include chest discomfort or pain, shortness of breath, decreased level of consciousness, weakness, fatigue, light-headedness, dizziness, and presyncope or syncope.

Signs include hypotension, drop in blood pressure on standing (orthostatic hypotension), diaphoresis, pulmonary congestion on physical examination or chest x-ray, frank congestive heart failure or PE, and bradycardia-related (escape) frequent premature ventricular complexes or VT. (Donnino et. al: 122)

I won’t do much review on tachycardia, but I will quote another section of the ACLS manual regarding symptomatic tachycardia because once again, this information is pertinent to my work and care as a bedside nurse:

  • Hypotension
  • Acutely altered mental status
  • Signs of shock
  • Ischemic chest discomfort
  • AHF

Last of the rhythms that I’ll review are a-fib and a-flutter.

IMG_1886.jpg

Source(s):

“The ACLS Cases.” ACLS PROVIDER MANUAL, 2016, by Michael W Donnino et al, American Heart Association, 2016, pp. 122 and 131.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness and Eating Elephants One Bite at a Time

I’m not sure what is going on with me right now. I’m thinking that whatever is going on with me is related to my feeling stressed out about the studying that I’ll have to try to squeeze into my schedule because of some of the upcoming competencies that I have along with this cold that I’m still getting over. I’m not right in the middle of my cold, but my sinuses are still a little congested and is still causing me some discomfort. I’m even stressing out about whether or not to attend the high school reunion tomorrow since it will cut away a bit of my study time and I never know who will be there with another cold virus ready to get me sick all over again, don’t mind my paranoia it’s ever-present.

If I do go tomorrow I might not stay too long so that it doesn’t cut into my time and energy too much, also I may not dress up too much since I usually feel more at ease in more casual attire.

Anyhow, to the gist of this entry. I thoroughly dislike being underproductive and I feel that there are sources of this greater than usual under-productivity that I’ve pinned down more so to my lethargy from being sick in combination with the fear of the many responsibilities that feel as though are pilling onto me and making me feel frozen in a sense of dread of the possibility of failure.

But the whole point in me thinking things out and talking things through is in a hope that I will find some solution to any given problem that I happen to be facing.

In this case the solution that I’m hoping might come to my aid is the solution of: being more present. I noticed that in being stressed out, my mind is always wandering and I have trouble keeping focus, but now I want to give myself a challenge and hope that I will succeed in this challenge and it is the challenge of trying to focus on one task at a time. Although in some ways the single task proposition will feel a little underproductive, since I’ll not be allowing myself to multitask, I actually believe that multitasking may be one of my main problems to begin with. Some examples I’ll give are regarding my day to day activities: example one-I’ll put on some water on the electric boiler, it’ll shut off on its own without my noticing and I’ve distracted myself with some other activity with the state of mind of a sense of convenience and yet I never get back to what I initially started since I’ll forget about it. Example two-which applies to not only myself in this household, I think we’re both guilty of this: putting on a load of laundry with the intent of getting back to it and finishing it, but once again falling into the same sort of rabbit hole and forgetting about it all over again. I’m tired of my own distractibility.

This may almost be a sort of self-imposed punishment, but it serves a purpose and will serve to hopefully aid in some of my own progress. I’ll only semi-multitask from now on. When I set about doing some such convenient activity I must choose a way to pass the time in a way that doesn’t fully distract me from my initial action so as to end up forgetting it altogether. Examples of boring tasks to pass the time with: studying (ding-ding-ding-ding-ding), reading, painting my nails, semi-meditation, exercise, etc. Examples of unacceptable excessively distracting activities: watching T.V., being on the phone or computer, etc.

Also all-in-all I intend to try to eat my elephants one bite at a time so as to not overwhelm myself and cause myself to burnout or freeze up. All these big sometimes seemingly impossible tasks in life are impossible to conquer in one go. We are all human, at least I know I’m only human, so I need to remember and to remind myself that sometimes the only way to get things done is by taking little bites, little bites until the elephant has been eaten.

 

DIY: Pumpkin Bouquet (Easy)

So here I go with the 1 hour limit, plus I’ll likely not add any additional posts in the next few days since I’ll be working, but this post will be where I’ll be getting a little Pinterest-y/Martha Stewart-y on this blog. I saw a post on Pinterest at some point in time of a pumpkin bouquet and I found it really cute and so I thought that I’d give it a shot.

What I used for my bouquet was: a bouquet of flowers, one appropriately sized pumpkin, a large cup, paper towels, some fake moss (optional), and a little elbow grease.

Step 1: Buy flowers and pumpkin, fake moss optional.

Step 2: Cut and clean pumpkin using elbow grease, the top of the pumpkin can be discarded since it’s not used in this DIY. Also, I added an extra step for myself with washing the pumpkin inside and out with a bleach and water solution to slow the rate in which it would naturally rot.

Step 3:IMG_1835.JPG Take the large water cup and fill close to the top with water, then place cup in the center of the hollowed pumpkin. Put folded paper towels under cup for balance and between the glass and pumpkin edges for support as well.

 

IMG_1836.JPGStep 4

Trim flowers to fit container and arrange as desired.

This next part is where you can use fake moss if you wish, I used it to fill the little gaps between the pumpkin and the cup to give it a neater more professional look.

Step 5

Find a home for your pumpkin bouquet, as a table centerpiece or in any other place in your home and enjoy your fall creation.