I’m a big fan of anything that makes my life easier. Just this morning I learned how to make bacon bits. That might not seem like such a big deal; however, in the learning of how to make bacon bits I did not in fact burn the bacon that I was cooking – a most important fact. Recently I learned it is much easier to cook the bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven minimizing the fuss of standing over the stove and flipping the bacon. I decided I would try that strategy, or life hack, again this morning.
The problem came when I forgot exactly at what temperature and for how long I should be cooking said bacon. My gift to you today is the lesson I learned over cooking the bacon of which I inadvertently made bacon bits (it’s kind of like that if you get lemons make lemonade thing). Here’s how to make bacon bits: put 8 slices of bacon on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 13 minutes at 365 degrees. The result will be prime bacon bits; I mean really exquisite bacon bits. As you transfer the bacon from the cookie sheet the bacon crumbles. A longer cooking time will surely result in blackened bacon bits, and nobody wants that.
To be fair, it wasn’t bacon bits that I actually wanted this morning. Thankfully I chose to cook only half the package of bacon instead of trying to cook the entire package. So I revised the temperature and the length of time – after all this is only bacon – who screws up cooking bacon? Me, that’s who. For the future, to make well-cooked but not crunchy bacon, here’s how you do it: 350 degrees for approximately 8-9 minutes in the oven on a cookie sheet. I line the cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Best bacon ever.
Now that we’ve covered the bacon cooking portion of today’s blog, I’d like to review another life hack: voice typing. I’m a little old school, but I’m learning to make technology work to my advantage. My blog has gone dark because of the other things that seem to consume my time. In other words, work and professional obligations have crowded out the things I most enjoy and want to do. Many years ago I learned that some things are absolutely beyond our control and those are the things that clobber us when we aren’t looking or have no way to predict them. Work and professional duties should not be among those things. I had hoped that voice typing might free up some of my time.
A note about using the voice typing method: the interpretation of spoken language is still not perfected. Here is an unedited version of a portion of this document as my device interpreted it: (Avenue way to predict them [arrgh] song about fucking bitch can’t you get this right Google at least it gets the swear words right mostly. At this point I need to stop the voice typing and save this document it’s a restaurant play again rough draft holy mackerel how everything works right mostly no no no no no that’s not what I said I said. See what I mean I left the stuff that voice auto corrected and I am very articulate person. If this is actually one of those easy life hacks then it’s not as easy as it actually pretend City – pretends to be – which movie – really – is part of the point oh crock – crap – I map seriously. I give up I will come back to this later.)
To be clear, under nearly all circumstances, I am an articulate and intelligent individual. The raw, unedited voice typing in the red resembles little of what I actually said – except for the profanity. Apparently, I still need to work on the voice typing writing method. I’ve been neglecting my writing and allowing other issues to consume my time. I’ll work on perfecting the voice typing, but some words apparently even the Google Doc interpreter can’t get quite right. I need to learn to leave work at work and simplify my time at home.
In seeking ways to simplify life, these life hacks may seem useful to some. Using a speech to text app may create a grocery list effectively, but writing an essay requires more accuracy and finesse. Accidentally making bacon bits by attempting a bacon-cooking life hack turned out to be serendipitous for me this morning, but not all cooking life hacks will end up that way.
Life hacks have become necessary because we live in a busy world. Just for a moment, let’s consider whether or not we should aim for a less busy world – a world that isn’t completely consumed by the next tweet, or the next Facebook post, or the next news snippet on the Internet or on television. Simplifying our lives in this hectic world is not as straightforward as it seems. Maybe it just isn’t as simple as I think it should be. I’ve been trying to simplify my life for quite some time now, and my efforts seem to evaporate into the cosmos.
Nevertheless, I continue the struggle. Part of simplifying my life involves defining the term. If I don’t know what a simple life looks like, how can I possibly achieve it? Good question. For me, spending more time reading books and writing and spending less time following the ongoing disaster that is our government will significantly simplify my life. I admit that I have been quite distracted by this year’s election aftermath. (This post is apolitical – I can write about politics another time. Ample opportunities will arise, I have no doubt. I’m not ignoring the oncoming governmental crap coming our way; I’m just not worrying about it today.)
Choosing what to focus on and staying focused seems to be part of what makes life simple. I am the type of person who likes to complete a task before moving on to a new one. That could be part of the writing problem – writing is never done. A draft can be reworked a many times as a writer feels the need to revise. At least until we submit the writing piece to a publisher, our employer, or our professor. Perhaps I need to learn how to let things go even if I’ve not completed a task. Letting some things simmer might be another simplifying life hack.
Food for thought. Bacon bits, anyone?