I don't know how they do it these days, what with GPS and automated helms and so on, but back in my day, when you wanted to get from one place to another at sea, you put down a track on a chart, this gave you a course to steer. Your desired time of arrival determined your speed, and from your course and speed you could determine your position of intended movement, or PIM.

Before electronic aids to navigation, navigators relied on the stars, and during the day you could shoot a couple of sun lines at known times (which is why accurate timekeeping was so important), and you could construct a running fix from a pair of consecutive sun lines. (Running fixes were less accurate than a star fix, but better than nothing, an estimated position derived from dead reckoning.)

These navigation fixes would tell you where you were, whether on PIM or off PIM. If you were off PIM, you'd have to make a course correction. There were a number of reasons why you might be off PIM. Compass error, inaccuracies in measuring speed by the pit sword, the influence of wind and current. Combined, these were a vector quantity called set and drift, and you'd alter your course and speed to cancel out a calculated set and drift. You'd do this every day. You'd try to take a fix by the stars morning and evening when you could see a horizon and get the most accurate results, and shoot a few sun lines during the day.

There's set and drift in life too. The things that kind of get you off track from where you intended to be.

That's mostly due to poor navigation. We don't take fixes often enough, we aren't paying attention to the track, our PIM. We can't see the stars, we know local time but not sidereal, and maybe it's later than we think.

Anyway, all of this is just preamble to another insomnia insight. I'd intended to establish, or re-establish, a pattern of regular meditation. I'd also intended to try a new kind of intermittent fasting. And I also intended to get off Twitter and stop playing so much Call of Duty.

Perhaps that was too much.

As regards intermittent fasting, I seem to be on PIM. I used to do the two days a week fast, which is how I learned, quite painfully, my gall bladder was shot. I didn't try again after having it removed.

I liked to have breakfast, it was the one meal a day where I really cooked something for myself. Mitzi likes to cook dinner. And there's always lunch. And snacks.

There's just too much opportunity to eat too much. So I figured I'd try the six and eighteen form, a variation on the "fast five." I eat between 1300 and 1900 and nothing in between. I'll make breakfast at 1300, or a more typical lunch if I feel like it. Mitzi makes dinner, or supper, depending on where you're from I guess.

So far, that's on track. It was a bit disorienting, having that additional free time in the morning; and then there are the hunger pangs. Those are diminishing and are fairly easily dealt with by drinking water and distraction.

Distraction is where the trouble lies.

When you're trying to change one addictive behavior, Twitter, eating, you often wind up substituting another. Twitter took over for Facebook and Instagram when I left those platforms. Now it's YouTube, because I turn to it for distraction from a transient feeling of hunger.

Except it's not the social interactions, it's watching videos of people waxing rhapsodic about old video games. Games I used to play, and games I'd heard of but never saw before because YouTube wasn't a thing.

Last night, Mitzi was watching the Golden Globes and I was sitting on the couch with her, with my AirPods in my ears watching YouTube videos on my MacBook Pro about the best Game Cube games, and switching over to eBay on my phone. After spending a few hundred dollars, I kind of became aware of what I was doing and put the computer away and went to bed.

It's the same thing I did with HP calculators. And, um, some TI ones too. Only I was doing it at a much faster pace.

All of this to satisfy some dopamine induced craving for novelty and acquisition.

Desire is the source of all suffering.

I got up around 0330 this morning to have a glass of water (mouth was dry, I wasn't hungry). When I go to the refrigerator, for whatever reason, Cast Away ("I have ice in my glass."), the war in Ukraine where people are without lights and heat and probably often water, the fact that we're likely in the early stages of the collapse of this civilization, I embrace some feeling of gratitude. I tell myself to appreciate this, because it wasn't always so, and may not be again.

Anyway, doing that put me in mind of the nonsense I was doing the night before. And that made me think about not doing the thing I'd intended to do, practice.

Because I'm not in control. I'm not on PIM.

I didn't want to be more "effective," I didn't want to "get things done." I wanted to make meaning. I didn't think I just wanted to buy more shit, and video games at that.

So this is an accountability moment. I've fixed my position. Entered it into the log.

I could just not toggle the export button and leave this post here. Because this is something of an embarrassing disappointment.

I remember though. I've been here before.

It's been worse. I've done worse.

I remember.

Back to work.

Originally posted at Nice Marmot 04:34 Wednesday, 11 January 2023