Friday, June 24, 2011

Ammon's Clef Knot (locking slip knot)

The story behind this is that for weeks, I had been looking for a way to tie up a belay anchor to a tree. I needed something that would be snug to prevent slipping up and down the tree as tension changed and not keep tightening around the tree as tension increased. I first looked at the Girth Hitch. This tightened up to the tree but if tension wasn't maintained, it loosened up and slid up and down the tree. It also got tighter and tighter as tension increased. The other knot I looked at was the No Knot. This is where you just wrap three times around the tree and then tie a water knot to connect the ends. This was better on the tree, but still didn't stay snug when not weighted. I decided to see if I could come up with my own knot to do what I needed. That is when I randomly came up with what I am calling, Ammon's Clef Knot (because it looks like a clef note when tying). It is basically a locking slip knot. If someone else has already come up with this knot, then great they can have the credit, but they really should publicize better because I couldn't find it. Now, before I show you how to tie it, I should tell you that I have not tested it and I have no idea if this affects the strength of the cord or webbing. I'm sure there are some experts out there that could help with this, but that is not me.

Step 1. Start with one end of the rope:

Step 2: Cross the end over the line.
Step 3: Loop the end around the line, back on itself or toward the loop.
Step 4: Loop the end again around the line further up toward the loop.
Step 5: Pull the end down through the first small loop created in step 3. (this is where it looks like a clef note)
Step 6: Pull tight by pulling the end and the diagonal side of the loop.

As the ends of the cord or webbing are pulled, it pulls the knot tighter, keeping it from sliding. To use this in your belay, anchor to a tree do the following:
1. Wrap around the tree three times
2. Tie Ammon's Clef Knot and tighten it to the tree to the desired tension
3. Join the ends together using a Water Knot
At this point, you can clip into the anchor. Ammon's Clef Knot will keep the three wraps from slipping up or down the tree as tension varies. If tightened correctly, it should not tighten any more or less around the tree. The three wraps spread the weight out on the tree preventing damage. The knot doesn't cause any sharp angles so I would think the strength of the cord or webbing is not compromised.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some Times You Just Have To Take What Life Gives You


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Monday, November 15, 2010

7+ ways to turn into a morning person


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via How to of the Day on 11/15/10

Welcome to today!
Welcome to today!
Oh, it's morning again! Why do you hate this time of day? Wouldn't it be better not to hate the start of a new day? Learning how to be a morning person won't happen overnight, but there are some things you can do to try your best to become a morning person.


  1. Reflect about the purpose of getting up earlier. If you're mentally motivated to get up earlier, it can help to make a big dent in your sleeping-in excuses. Think about the reasons why you'd like to get up earlier in the mornings. Common good reasons include:
    • Having quiet time to yourself before anybody else in the house is up. In this time, you can read, write, exercise, contemplate, meditate, make the evening's dinner, or do a little tidying even.
    • For many people, early morning is an important time to reflect upon or practice elements of their faith.
    • To catch the sunrise. As wonderful as the sunset, the sunrise heralds the new day and brings promise of a fresh start. That's often worth the effort!
    • Getting to work, school, or college earlier so that you can come home earlier and do other things you want to do.
    • Looking after other people or animals can benefit from getting up earlier, especially if they need feeding, bathing, exercising, etc.
    • It's a great time to deal with routine matters while you're alert and ready to get going; things such as checking emails, paying bills, and administrative filing can be done first thing in the morning to get them out of the way.
    • For some people, it's about restoring the morning person you used to be until you allowed late night TV, internet chatting, and other wakeful activities to keep you up late.
    • Leo Babauta suggests that early risers can benefit from early commutes while the traffic is still light; even better if you're cycling.[1]
  2. Go to bed earlier. To rise earlier, you'll need to sleep earlier and that can be hard if you're used to using the later hours of the night for activities such as reading, watching TV, or writing. Consider going to bed earlier in increments. Start with 15 minutes earlier, with the expectation of getting up 15 minutes earlier, then gradually increase this to half an hour and then to an hour. If you do this gradually, it will give both your body and your mind time to adjust to the earlier sleeping and waking times. It will also allow you to find your happy medium between too early and too late.
    • Avoid watching TV just before bedtime, use the internet, or eat.[2] These activities can excite you and keep you awake rather than inducing a sleepy state. In particular, don't watch news items or scary movies, or pay your bills late at night, as these will over-stimulate you.[3]
    • Dim your lights one hour before bed to facilitate the release of melatonin and make you sleepy. Avoid bright lights, caffeine, and alcohol, as these will all wake you up more.
    • Eventually go to bed by 10 o'clock at the latest; sleep experts believe this is the optimal time.[4] And as you're easing into the new routine, always aim to fall asleep before midnight, treating midnight as your boundary of "no-crossing".
    • Allow yourself to read in bed. Reading is a quiet activity and it will often induce sleep in the supine position. Especially if it's a dreary textbook or work paper.
    • If you live with a night owl who hasn't the slightest interest in changing his or her sleeping schedule, ask for a bit of slack and no noise when they finally do go to bed.
  3. Bigger is better; as is moving it away from your bed!
    Bigger is better; as is moving it away from your bed!
    Set your alarm clock. Although it is important to learn to wake up earlier as a matter of will, your alarm clock is the main source of helping establish your new routine when changing over your sleeping patterns.
    • Set the alarm clock for a time like 6:00 in the morning (or whenever you want to get up).
    • Keep the alarm clock far enough away that you have to get out of bed to shut it off. The effort of having to rise from bed to shut it off will be enough to start waking you up properly.[5]
    • If possible, make your alarm clock play loud music to wake you up, instead of the traditional beep.
  4. Help wake yourself up. It will be especially difficult when you first try to transition from night owl sleeping patterns to morning person sleeping rhythms, so there are some ways to trick your body into greater alertness. For example, turning on bright lights on first thing in the morning resets your circadian rhythm and essentially makes you more alert.[6] Going out into morning sun would also do the trick provided the sun is up already; natural light will wake you up just as efficiently.[7] The following suggestions won't reset your circadian rhythm but they might help to get you used to a morning routine:
    • Make the bed
      Make the bed
      Make your bed. It's a lot less desirable to crawl back into it when you've gone to the trouble of making it up!
    • Stop rationalizing and start doing. Force yourself to leave the room – go to the bathroom, drink a glass of water, open the curtains, just do something that will overcome your inner chat about returning to bed.[8]
    • Splash your face with water as soon as you get out of bed.
    • Stretch your back.
      Stretch your back.
      Stretch. Stretching can help awaken you gently, as well as improving your flexibility.
    • Put on upbeat music and dance to it a little.
    • Have a cup of tea or coffee to awaken your senses. Some people swear by slightly warmed water with freshly squeezed lemon juice as a refreshing tonic.
    • Morning workout
      Morning workout
      Exercise. Exercise will help to wake you up, and exercise undertaken first thing in the morning is more effective at charging up your metabolism than exercise undertaken at any other time of the day.
  5. Have a good breakfast. Don't be tempted to skip breakfast; it's your energy source kick-starter for the rest of the day and the early bird has even longer to wait until lunchtime.
  6. Keep the new morning rhythm going once it's established. It's important to get up at the same time every day once you're established in your new routine, including weekends. Don't sleep in on days when you don't have to be somewhere; doing so throws out your sleep rhythm badly and it's hard to catch up. Leave sleeping in for when you're unwell. Instead, get up and use the time to read, enjoy a longer breakfast, chat with others, or exercise.
    • Take notice of how much more you have accomplished when you get home from work and/or school. You'll relax more, sleep better at night, and be more refreshed for when you get up early again.
  7. Persevere and be realistic. It can take time to transition from a night owl to a morning person. Moreover, being a morning person or a night owl has a genetic basis that may not be easy to override.[9] [10]As such, it may not be possible to switch yourself over entirely to becoming a morning person unless you're a morning person reforming from a lapse into a night owl lifestyle. However, if even an hour or so earlier is giving you just a little more space than before you tried this transition, it can be worth the effort and the new routine in your life.
    • Even night owls are prone to wake up earlier during the warmer months when the morning light streams through earlier. Try to go with your body's natural flow and it's more likely that you'll wake up earlier than usual anyway during spring and summer months.
    • Stick with the process; it's not going to be easy for the first few mornings. The more your body becomes used to the light cues and the regular bedtimes, the more you'll find it easier to transition.
    • Have rewards in place for early rising, such as a delicious breakfast at the local cafe, a brand new paperback to read, an early appointment massage, etc. Reward yourself with something that encourages you to keep getting up early each day.
    • Remind yourself that today is a new day. Forget about what happened yesterday, it's in the past. Today is a fresh day, enjoy it!



  • A nice bright lamp
    A nice bright lamp
    Use bright, full-spectrum lighting in your bedroom; turn the light on as soon as you get up.
  • Avoid bright lights during the evening hours; these will confuse your body. Dim lights several hours before sleep.
  • Give yourself something to accomplish each day (even on the weekends). Whether it be running 10 miles before breakfast or getting a few loads of laundry through before you go to work, just do something.
  • Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages or energy drinks after 4 pm.
  • Avoid listening to fast-paced or stimulating music 2-3 hours before intended bedtime.
  • A cute alarm clock
    A cute alarm clock
    Novelty alarm clocks which move around on wheels or fly around the room, making it harder to shut them off, are a good choice for the ultra-sleepy. They're more expensive but they're worth it if you compulsively hit the snooze-button.
  • Some televisions allow you to use them as an alarm clock. Make use of this feature to turn on the TV (with the volume set at high level) when you want to wake up. Do not keep the remote near you to switch it off. On the other hand, having a TV in your bedroom is arguably a distraction that can keep you awake at night, so the preference would be not to have it in your bedroom at all.
  • Use an inexpensive electronic light timer to switch on a radio or bright/broad-spectrum lamp at the bedside.
  • Each sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes. Set your alarm clock to go off after a multiple of an hour and a half, and it will be easier to wake up.
  • A pet can be a delightful source of early waking (depending on how you choose to perceive this) – give in to your hungry dog or cat and you'll have a reliable early morning alarm for the rest of its life!


  • Avoid putting your alarm clock by your bed if all you will is shut it off and go back to sleep again. Shift it to somewhere that requires you to get out of bed to turn it off.
  • Sleep researchers believe that many people shift from being temporary night owls in their teens to early 20s (due to hormonal surges) to being morning persons in their 30s onward. However, some people remain night owls for life (being born that way), and if you're a dyed-in-the-wool night owl, it's likely you'll find it hard ever changing over to being a permanent morning person![11]

Things You'll Need

  • Alarm clock

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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