Monday, August 23, 2010

The living room makeover

I want to repaint and put some paintings on the walls. Then we need a few nice flowers. We do actually have a nice carpet but we don´t use it for some reason. I just have to have it cleaned.
For the moment the room is divided into a playarea and a tvarea, the two areas don´t look connected at all. The bookshelfs are full with stuff and books so I have to go through them all and see what will end up in the cellar.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Children´s room - makeover

The children´s room also needs a lot done. My daugher needs a new bed. I want to paint the wardrobe doors pink. Also we need a rack to put on the wall close to the ceiling for the children´s bags and put up paintings since the walls look kind of empty.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hallway makeover

The hallway needs a lot done. I have to contact the landlord since we need the walls repapered. I don´t think me or my partner have the knowledge to do them ourselves.
We need a nice carpet and a rack to put on the wall for the kids jackets. We need to move the shoecabinet and fasten it to the wall so it doesn´t fall down on the kids. And perhaps a nice mirror aswell. And a chair of somekind to sit on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kitchen makeover - what needs to be done

I have decided that we need some pictures in the kitchen, a nice tablecloth, a carpet (which I´m crocheting right now) and flowers. One wall needs repainting.
I have been looking for pictures of fruit, vegetables or food but haven´t found any. Instead I might try to develop some of my photographs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Week six - refurbishment planning

This weeks challenge is refurbishment planning. We have been living for 3 1/2 years in the same apartement, and it looks like we just recently moved in. It really needs some pictures on the walls, painting here and there, carpets and so on. This week I´m going to figure out what to do.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Enhanced reading skills

I have practised speed reading techniques, from a book and with the help of a software, for a week now. I haven´t superincreased my ability to read, but from the earlier online test were I scored 142 ewpm I score today 270 ewpm (measured with the software). The test with the software is similar, a short text to read and 10 questins to measure the comprehension.
While using the software I have read text at the speed of 600 wpm with ease, but I don´t know how well I comprehend the text since that was just for practising. Probably I read a lot slower knowing I will be tested later.
I will continue practising speed reading until I come up to a speed I´m happy with. Increasing the reading speed benefit a lot of areas in your life. I merely wish I could find a software in Swedish!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why do you read slowly?

The reason people read slowly is because while reading they try to pronounciate every word. Even if you don´t read out loud the vocal cords are moving as if you were speaking. This comes from when we learned to read as children by slowly pronounciating every syllable out loud, mainly so the teacher could hear that it was correctly read. The vocal cords are controlled by muscles and muscles can only move so fast, so this has to stop if you want to read faster.
Also the eye movement has to change. There are certain eye movement techniques that increase the ability to see text differently than most people do today while reading, scanning actually instead of reading.
So if you want to read faster, get on with it! We have learned the wrong way to read,  it´s time to correct it.

Get better eyesight while learning to speed read

While practising speed reading I read a text about the software I´m using. It says that speed reading excersises the software use are well based upon experience and scientific research since long. Also that speed reading techniques are commonly used in Japan since decades, specially in private schools and companys. People reading 300-600 wpm read after a month up to 20 000 wpm.
Not only does the software teach you to read faster, the eye movement exercises also strengthen the eyesight. I have very poor eyesight and after a session I see much clearer. My grandmother used to do eye exercises to strenghten her eyesight. She got that from a book and also I bought the book after a while. The problem was that to really gain good vision you had to loose the glasses for long periods which I wasn´t able to do since I couldn´t manage without the glasses at work. I didn´t continue with the exercises, instead I did an eye surgery in 1996. Unfortunately didn´t the operation succeed to a 100 %. I still had to wear lenses afterwards and since then the eyesight has slowly gotten worse. Hopefully while learning  to speed read I will strenghten the eyesight aswell.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fasting in Ramadan

The fasting makes me really fatigue and somewhat confused. On Thursday, the second day of fasting, I was convinced that I was working this weekend and when I checked our working schedule I couldn´t find the hours I was supposed to work. I called my boss and after 10 minutes of checking schedules here and there we finally agreed upon that I wasn´t working, it was my weekend off. (I also previously misplaced my calendar which I´m dependent upon.) Yesterday I was equally certain of that I had written a post, which I obviously haven´t done. I don´t know if I should have a penalty for not writing a post a day as I earlier said I would do. Perhaps at least 5 posts the next day?
Today I went to the city to check out "the longest booksale in the world". On the most busy business street people put up tables and sell their books, this event happens once a year. I were there for 3 hours and managed to walk only halfway, the bag was already packed to the limit and heavy to carry. I found so many fantastic books for a bargain that I will be in a excellent mood the whole next week. The speed reading should really come in handy since I have a lot of books that I still haven´t had the time to read.
A funny thing was that I found books from the 50´s about obtaining good memory with memory techniques. I still wonder why they don´t teach this in school since it is obvious that many students need this, at least when they go to the university.

Friday, August 13, 2010

More speed reading

I´ve downloaded a speed reading program that I will work with this week. The program is in English aswell, I really wanted one in Swedish but haven´t found one and I don´t even know if they exist. I´m still puzzled over that it´s possible to enhance the speed in reading that much, and yet it´s not known to the public. If so everyone would exercise speed reading. I will most definitely teach my kids speed reading if I succeed in learning it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Speed reading

I found some speed reading tests online and did this one. I chose it since it had a normal text to read and it also measured the comprehension afterwards. According to the test I read real slow, 157 wpm, but the reading comprehension was good, 91 %. 157 x 0.91 gives an ewpm of 142 which is average.
It is really amazing if it´s true what the text said, that an average reader is compared to a pianist playing every day of the week for 20 years and only able to play music like a beginner, or a racing driver never exceeding 30 mph. Since we do most of our learning by reading we should learn first and foremost speed reading in school. This should be a subject as well as studying techniques.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The fifth weekly challenge

This week´s challenge is going to be to learn to read faster. I have a book about speed reading which I started to read and study today. Now I have to measure how fast I read and then compare it to the result at the end of the week and see if I managed to speed it up a bit.
Mentally it has been a slow day, the fasting does that everything takes longer time do. Now I have just eaten and besides the headache I feel I am back to normal again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Ramadan starts tomorrow. I have fasted a few years but this time it´s going to be tough. No eating or drinking from 03.13 am to 08.59 pm tomorrow, I have never fasted that long hours before. Everyday the fasting gets shorter with a couple of minutes though due to that the sun rises later and sets earlier each day.
This is not going to be a challenge, that would be a blasphemy I´m sure. :) I were earlier thinking of doing the Mensa test on the 25th but that is not a good idea with a brain drained of fuel. I will do it on the next occasion instead.

Pillow cover

Today I´ve created a pillow cover as the work of art of the day.
This weeks challenge have been real fun. It´s been challening to find different material to use when not being that "artsy", but I felt really good when creating stuff and my children had fun also.
I haven´t completed all what I have started since I chose to create things that take longer than a day to complete. My  goal was to start something everyday and finish them sooner than later. I´m crocheting every evening in front of the TV and now the carpet measures 1 m x  30 cm.


Today, Monday, I did a work of art out of beads.
It´s difficult to come up with different things to do everyday. It´s not only having to be creative doing the work of art but being creative about what material to use. Luckily I have children, which means we have a lot of stuff lying around in the house that I can use. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday - puzzle day

Today´s work of art is going to be a blank puzzle on which I´m going to paint a picture. My daughter got one to paint herself yesterday so this one I´m going to do to my son. Probably with lot of cars, machines and men working, he´s really crazy about that kind of stuff right now. :)

Creative recykling

I am at work and I´m completely absorbed in today´s work of art, so I totally forgot about making a post. (this is becoming a bad habit...) On Saturday I started on a carpet made of plastic bags as the work of art of the day.
I want, for some reason, a carpet in the kitchen made of plastic. I couldn´t find any one to buy so I decided to make one. My grandmother used to do these carpets for the toilet. She used to crochet them round and quite small, this one is going to be 1 x 3m so it´s going to take a while. :) I have already crocheted for a couple of hours and the cutting of the plastic bags takes a while aswell. The result measures so far 1m x 3 cm...
The guards that came by were staring at me and the plasticbags around my feet. They were polite though not mentioning the mess. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010


And today I did a drawing with charcoal as the work of art of the day.
I didn´t have any charcoal at home so me and my children went to the city for a look around. My daughter is very keen in creating and painting, she draws at home all the time, so the two stores we went to was like heaven for her. In the first one we found what I was looking for, the charcoal, and and in the second what she was looking for - everything. As it happened it was SALE, so we came back home with two bags full of paperboxes, stuff to do decoupage, seashells for her boxes, cute butterflies, tinboxes, you name it. We were there for more than two hours, no complaing from my four-year-old daughter and my son slept through the whole event in his carriage.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Creative with a karott mat

Today I started on a karott mat made of mosaic on wood. It will take some days to finish since it needs drying up in between.
This was a project I started some 5 years ago. I bought all the tools necessary, the mosaic and other stuff needed. At the time I did a sketch of a fish and prepared the wood for the mosaic but didn´t continue alas. It will be fun to see it done finally. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The fourth weekly challenge - creatíve week

For the fourth week I have chosen the challenge of creating a work of art in different material every day. Today me and my children created a curtain out of decorated shapes made of paper.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Third weekly challenge completed

I have listened to classical music every day this week = task completed!
I learned a little of what I prefer to listen to and what not to, also I learned about some of the great composer´s life. It´s quite the drama when reading the cd covers, insanity and deafness among things. Reading the cd covers is good for understanding the composer and the music better.

During this week I have listened to:

Albinoni - Adagio in G minor for Strings and Organ, Oboe Concerti. The music is very beautiful and relaxing. My favourite composer.
Bach - "Air". Very beautiful and relaxing.
Bartók - Violin concertos 1 & 2. All parts starts so beautifully with the violin, but only a few seconds later they become unbearable.Very painful for my ears.
Beethoven - "Für Elise", "Moonlight Sonata", Quartet in A minor, Op. 132, Quartet in F major, H. 34. I love the "Für Elise" and "Song of Thanksgiving" (second part in Op. 132)and the "Sonata" are very beautiful.
Berwald - Symphony No. 1 "Sinfonie sérieusé, Symphony No. 4. No like, bit boring.
Brahms - Violin Concerto in D major, Op.77. Reading the cover one would assume to prefer Brahms to Schumann (both concertos on the same cd) but I had difficulties in listening to him. "The extensive use of the wind instruments to colour the first movement"..."from which the music seldom descends" and "Its first few notes apart, the violin never has the tune in its basic form." I think explains why I don´t like this music.
Gluck - "Dance of the Blessed Spirits". Very beautiful and relaxing.
Mozart - "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", Serenata notturna in D Major (K. 239), Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G Major (K.313), Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in D Major (K. 314), Adante for Flute and Orchestra in C Major (K.315). I like Mozart´s music very much, puts me always in a good mood. Some parts in the concertos for the flute are very beautiful, but I find the flute to evasive.
Pachelbel - Canon and Gigue in D major for 3 Violins and Basso Continuo. Very beautiful. Listened to this a lot.
Sibelius - "Finlandia", "Valse triste", "The Swan of Touvela", "Tapiola". I liked the "Finlandia".
Schumann - Violin Concerto in D minor. This I like.

Summation: I really like listening to classical music and I don´t find it strange anymore. Even listening through the cd with Bartók didn´t make me feeling sick. I soon got the habit of picking fingers in the air, as playing the violin, and it reminded me of an old lady I once saw. Made me feel old , but even so, I will try to continue listen and even go to concerts (not picking fingers there).

Monday, August 2, 2010

Doing the Mensa test

Earlier this evening I put "Improve the Mensa test result" on the monthly challenge list. It would be interesting to see if I can do better than the last time by eating brainfood, excercising logically and physically, anything that is beneficial for the brain. I went to the Swedish Mensa site to see what dates the have the tests, and ended up doing the smaller test they have online. It´s not the real test but it says it can give an indication of  the IQ. I scored 126, or more.
According to the Mensa it is possible get a better result by excercising the ability to do the IQ tests, but only by a margin. Some people who do the test more than once can score better, but it has more to do with they get used to the situation, are less stressed and pay better attention to the task, than improved IQ.
The next Mensa test here in Stockholm is already the 25th of August! Should I? Not even a whole month left to excercise the brain!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Monthly challenges

I came up with couple of ideas that don´t fit the one week schedule, instead a monthly one.

Lose 5 kg. Me and my sister have already tried twice this summer to lose 5 kg in one month. Both of us really want to lose the weight but we don´t seem to find the final piece of motivation.
Start an internet shop. I have been interested in this for a long time and it should be fun to try. I was thinking about a shop that doesn´t require a lot of financial investment. I have been following the Magento seminars this summer, which I find helpful. The internet shop would be a kind of a tryout-shop, not necessary a serious attempt of starting a business.
Cooking different dishes every day. I have started to get really stressed when thinking "what should I cook today?". I lack imagination and cooking skills :) but I think I can follow a recipe to the letter. I want to see if we can find more favourite dishes than the 5-10 we now alternate between. My daughter has started to be picky about food so it would be also a challenge to teach her to eat versatile.
Improve the Mensa test result. I did the Mensa test some years back and scored 119. Would be interesting to see if brainfood and excercising logically will do any difference.

Added more to the weekly challenge list

Today I have added more to the weekly challenge list. Do you have any ideas of what to do?

Minor slip up

It bugs me that I didn´t publish the previous post before midnight! It means that I´ve actually failed the challenge of making a post a day, I failed by 18 minutes.
I don´t know if I should take this as a big failure or a minor one? A failure is a failure.
Ok, I ´ve decided to call it a slip up. One year from now I´m not going to write "I did it! I did it!", but instead  "challenge completed with minor slip ups".

Improve your understanding of the music

Today I listened to Albinoni´s "Oboe concerti" while driving to work. The music really fills the car! So far has my time to listen to music been limited and I have done most of it at work. Today I´m working aswell, and all the sounds from the machines and people interrupting makes in more difficult to really hear the music. When the music is new to ones ears it´s easy to discard it as ok but not more, as I did with this cd, since I couldn´t hear all the subtleties the first time. After listening at it in the car I find the whole cd so relaxing and beautiful, despite the oboe.
I read the cover of the cd aswell just a while ago, and that is something that also can improve the understanding of the music. It describes how Albinoni approached the oboe as compared to Vivaldi, who also made concertis for the oboe at the time, and about Albinoni´s favourite rhytmic device of hemiola.
My brother sent me an email saying that it was not Albinoni who composed "Adagio in G minor for Strings and Organ", but a 20th century composer Remo Giazotto! It´s a very beautiful piece regardless who composed it. :)
At wikipedia you can read about consonance and disonnance, really interesting. Apparently  has dissonance been understood and heard differently in different musical traditions, cultures, styles, and time periods.