Sunday, December 17, 2006

Crossfit Update

Max Push-Ups (from toes): 15
Max Dead-Lift: 153 lbs.
Max Pull-ups (jumping): 23

Crossfit Link

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tackling Pynchon

Rob and I have decided to read Gravity's Rainbow together. We bought two copies, and are slowly making our way through it. What a mind bender!

I'm considering getting the companion by Weisenberger.

There's a pretty good web companion for the book online as well.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Crossfit update

CrossFit Santa Cruz: Get Some...Go Again

My Crossfit saga is going well so far. This picture is of one of my classes (I'm the one at the end, but you can just barely make me out.)

Some of my progress includes the following:

I climbed a rope for the first time ever last week.

I can do 7-8 push-ups from my toes.(And 20-30 from my knees)

I can do 50 sit-ups. (full-range, not "crunches")

I can recover in about two days after my legs are so sore I feel like I'll never walk again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Crossfit Update

Had my second Crossfit class tonight..... can't type much, because I'm shaking.... I almost puked during the second run, but managed to hold it together. I didn't know what a Turkish Get Up was before tonight.

I cried when I got home.

Still, I'm going back on Friday.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Crossfit Kicks Ass.... Mine, that is....

Dear Diary,

I had my first Crossfit class last night. I survived! (Barely.) This is after six private sessions with Chriscilla, my trainer, to teach me the exercises. We did something like this:

1000 meter row

21 thrusters (with a dowel)
21 jumping pull-ups
12 thrusters
12 jumping pull-ups
9 thrusters
9 jumping pull-ups

Set 1:
21 cleans
21 jumping ring dips

Set 2:
Sprint (about 400 meters?)
21 kettle-bell swings
12 jumping pull-ups

Set 3:
21 Dead lifts
21 Push-ups

Finish: 500 meter row for time (which means we race to see who can finish first. Guess who came in last?)

Just for fun: 50 sit-ups

I felt pretty good just being able to finish, though. I'm a little sore today, but not as bad as I thought I'd be. My shoulders and back are pretty sore. I also have a hard time squatting to the floor and up again. My goal is to hit two classes a week.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Thesis Wiki

I started a wiki to collect idea possibilities for my Master's Thesis. My current idea is "Wikis as Stigmergic Structures."

(By the way, the picture to the left is a termite mound, architected with no architect.)

If you are curious about stigmergy, check out Wikipedia's article.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sex on the brain - The Boston Globe

Here is a great article in the Boston Globe about the 'women talk more' myth that has been spread in countless self-help books. It turns out, when one looks for the original research supporting this pseudo-fact, it turns out to be bogus.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Rudd Sound Bites: Hot enough for you?

This article on Rudd Sound Bitesbrings to mind something I have been curious about. Is it just my perception, or am I more comfortable with heat since I have lost 30lbs.? I definitely think the thinner I am, the easier it is to handle a heat wave. What if there really is no global warming after all- we're just getting fatter?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Floatation Devices

One of my students asked me, "Mrs. Evans, when the airplanes hit the buildings on 9-11, why didn't the people in the airplane put on those things that let them float to the ground?"
      "Oh, parachutes? They don't have parachutes on passenger airplanes."
      "No, not parachutes. You know those things that are under the seat? You put them on like a vest and blow into a tube..."
      "Yes? What about them?"
      "Why didn't the people on the plane put those on and float down to the ground?"
      "Because floatation device means that you will float in the water, sweetie, not in the air."
Hmmm... time for a little physics lesson, I think.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Beyond White Zinfandel.....

Coming of drinking age in California in the early 90's meant my first wines were the icky-sweet, mass-produced, cheap white zinfandels. As I have branched out and learned to drink wine out of a bottle rather than a box, I have followed popular wisdom (and my changing palate) and left the pink wine behind.

But, lo and behold! Not all pink wine is icky-sweet. There is a long tradition in Europe of dry rosé that is crisp, refreshing, and pairs well with many foods. In fact, there is an organization called RAP (Rosé Avengers and Producers) that is trying to break the taboo of pink wine in California. Vinography has a report on the recent pink wine tasting in SF.

Vinography: A Wine Blog: Drinking Pink: Notes From the RAP Pink Out Rose Tasting

While my local supermarket only sells one true rosé upon its shelves, the liquor store down the street from me (K's liquor on Capitola Avenue) has an excellent wine selection, and a few California and European rosés. In fact, it was the wine merchant that suggested a rosé when Rob and I were looking for something different. Trader Joe's also has a few rosés as well.

It looks like I'll be branching out and blushing pink the rest of the summer....

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Is There Such a Thing as Adult Space in New York Anymore? -- New York Magazine

It's not that I don't like children, but isn't there anywhere we can go without children romping around? I thought going to a pub would be a safe, but parents seem to be briging their children to bars, too. It looks like I'm not the only one who has noticed.
Is There Such a Thing as Adult Space in New York Anymore? -- New York Magazine

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Boing Boing: Sen. Stevens' hilariously awful explanation of the Internet

I can't believe a senator said this. Whoa. I am scared for the future of internet legislation.

Boing Boing: Sen. Stevens' hilariously awful explanation of the Internet:

"I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially...

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."

Friday, June 16, 2006

List of problems solved by MacGyver - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If anyone ever questions the usefulness of Wikipedia, show them this entry of the List of problems solved by MacGyver.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lioness in zoo kills man who invoked God - Yahoo! News

Apparently, some guy leaped into the lion exhibit in the Kiev zoo and claimed that if God existed, the lions wouldn't kill him. Then.... a lion killed him.

And people complain about TV leading people to do crazy things. This came from the story of Daniel in the Old Testament.

Lioness in zoo kills man who invoked God - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Newsflash: Reading Makes You Smarter. Duh.

What Effect Reading Has on Our Minds - MSN Encarta

According to this article, readers have better vocabularies, are less likely to be misinformed, and keep memory and reasoning abilities as they age.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search

Rob and I were flipping through the channels and came across this reality show on Country Music Television. I can't believe they are having contests to see who is the best dancer on top of the bar. I'm no feminazi, but this show makes me cringe. Shows: The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search: About the Series: "Beginning in NY, two women are chosen in each of five cities to join a road trip down to New Orleans where Lil lives and where the New Orleans bar needs a grand re-opening. Along the way the women will learn all the Coyote skills - bar flairing, singing, dancing and bartending. Lil will decide who stays on the road trip and who is sent home in regular eliminations until we find five finalists who will compete to be the one to win $25,000 on the night of the bar's grand re-opening."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

YouTube - Won't You Be My Neighbor?

YouTube - Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Here's a video of Mr. Rogers melting the heart of a hostile congressman.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Note to Self: Don't take a JavaScript course and a Cataloging course Together Ever Again!

I'm done. I turned in my course project for my cataloging course a few minutes ago, and submitted my final project for my XHTML, etc. course on Thursday. This semester has definitely taken a toll on me. I suffered through a terrible several-week cold, my neck completely seized up for a few days, and I have gained at least five pounds.

That is the last time I take two technical courses concurrently. Time for a long, hot bath and a cocktail. (Gee. It's a little early for a drink. Well, maybe a bloody mary.)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

How Being a Mother is Like Being a Marine

Today is mother's day, and I have always thought of this day in terms of honoring my own mother. But for the first time, with all the women I know having children, it occured to me: how do I regard Mother's Day as a woman who has elected not to be a mother herself? Do I feel left out? The short answer is: no.

I think of Mother's day much like I think of Veteran's Day. I am extremely grateful to all the soldiers who serve our country; however, I don't grudge those who decide not to join. It's not for everybody.

I feel much the same way about motherhood-- I admire those who have taken the responsibility seriously, and are doing a great service to everyone by raising the next generation. I admire my own mother for the job she has done. You see, I can admire an occupation that I have chosen not to pursue.

So today, I salute those who have chosen to be mothers, who take the job seriously, because they are in it for the long haul- no matter what. All I ask is that you don't grudge my decision not to sign up.

My goals lie on other fields of battle.

Monday, April 17, 2006

BlogShares - Evans' Gate

The fantasy blog stock market. I'm worth about $1200 bucks.

BlogShares - Evans' Gate

Before and after photos

Rob and I before....

Rob and I about 2 and 1/2 years later...


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Seek and Ye Shall Find: Desktop search showdown - Lifehacker

Wendy Boswell hs a review of desktop search applications on Lifehacker

Seek and Ye Shall Find: Desktop search showdown - Lifehacker: "The popularity of desktop search applications - installable software that indexes your computer files instead of Web pages - is growing by leaps and bounds. A simple search in Google for the phrase desktop search returns over 700 million results!

But which offering is best? Today I’ve lined up the top five most downloaded desktop search services - Google, Yahoo, Copernic, Ask, and MSN - with a simple list of their pros and cons."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

:::...Lebowski Fest...:::

A tribute to The Big Lebowski

This agression will not stand, man....

:::...Lebowski Fest...:::: "Lebowski Fest is a bowling event celebrating all things relating to the Coen Brothers 1998 film, The Big Lebowski. It can be likened to a Star Trek convention in a very loose sense. The event takes place at a bowling alley and includes unlimited bowling, costume , trivia, farthest traveled, and bowling contests, prizes, and what-have-you. "

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Asteroid � Easter turducken

When will this be on Emeril Live?

Asteroid � Easter turducken

Happy Easter.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Library Hotel

I'm drooling. I would love to stay here, if I ever win the lottery.

Library Hotel, New York City, Best Small Hotels

Rob wins 2nd place at Ronde Van Brisbeen! The competition was fierce, as you can see. (Actually he did win 2nd, but it was in Cat 5, 35+). Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 02, 2006

My New Holy Name

My Holy name given by the Order of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is Prego Julia de Cavatappi.
Take Flying Spaghetti Monster Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

May you be touched by his noodly appendage.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dark Portrait of a 'Painter of Light' - Los Angeles Times

Oh, dear. My apologies to any Kinkade fans, but I have always been a little cynical about the "painter of light," especially the way he uses Christianity as a marketing tool. (And why are there no people of color in his "idealized" paintings?) Anyway, this just goes to show that public behavior will always come back to haunt you.

Dark Portrait of a 'Painter of Light' - Los Angeles Times: "On the eve of the broadcast, Sheppard said, he and Kinkade returned to the Disneyland Hotel after a night of heavy drinking. As they walked to their rooms, according to Sheppard and another person who was there, Kinkade veered toward a nearby figure of a Disney character.

'Thom wanders over to Winnie the Pooh and decides to 'mark his territory,' ' Sheppard told The Times.

In a deposition, the artist alluded to his practice of urinating outdoors, saying he 'grew up in the country' where it was common. When pressed about allegedly relieving himself in a hotel elevator in Las Vegas, Kinkade said it might have happened."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Vegan Experiment: Day 9

Major changes noticed so far after eating a vegan diet for nine days: none.

Digestion: slightly improved; that is to say, things seem to be moving through better, if you catch my drift. Probably due to the extra fiber I am eating.

Weight loss: none. I attribute this to the increase in bread consumption to make up for the loss of meat.

General health: terrible. I got a severe cold from the kids I teach and have been hacking up my lungs for the last few days. I don't think this has anything to do with diet. It may have more to do with the gin & tonics I had while out on Saturday night that were the last straw for my immune system.

Negative effects: none. No loss of energy (except due to the cold), no cravings for meat, no problems eating out (order salad), no urges to wear hemp, grow dredlocks and protest downtown.

Foods I have discovered I like:
  • Soy sour cream. Yum! Makes a baked potato taste the way it should be. Not any less calories than real sour cream, so not much advantage here, unless you have some clear reason for avoiding dairy.
  • Boca burgers. One minute in the microwave makes a tasty sandwich.
  • Peanut butter Odwalla bars. Need I say more?
  • Tapioca pudding made with coconut milk. A real calorie and fat bomb, but a tasty vegan dessert.
  • Sweet potatoes- otherwise known as "yams"- the dark orange ones
As you can see, I haven't been suffering at all. In fact, there is not much that I miss except for cheese. Most soy cheese contains "milk proteins," so I am staying away from it for now, just so I can say I haven't cheated.

Honey is technically ot considered vegan, but that is only due to philosophical issues. It's not much different chemically than sugar, so I won't bother avoiding that.

I have a suspicion that the "health" effects of a vegan diet are a way for hippies to push their animal rights agendas on us omnivores. But its still pretty early to tell. Who knows, maybe I'll keep this going longer than the two weeks I had originally planned.

panopticist: The Electric Company: We're Gonna Turn It On

Panopticist posts about the box set of the Electric Company. Includes some nostalgic video clips:

panopticist: The Electric Company: We're Gonna Turn It On: "As I watch these discs, I'm constantly struck by the overt fetishization not just of letters, but of the letterforms themselves. I imagine at least one or two typography careers owe something to the childhood sight of gigantic letterforms on The Electric Company. Look, next to Spidey, it's 10,000-point Franklin Gothic Condensed:"

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Vegan Experiment: Day 1

I've decided to try eating vegan for the next two weeks. Why? To see what happens. More specifically, there are a few things I am interested in monitoring:

1. Weight. I am on the "last ten pounds" phase of my weight-loss goal. There is no real evidence, as far as I can tell, that a vegan diet contributes to weight loss. But this is a last ditch effort to see if there is an easy solution to losing ten pounds before I go back to counting every calorie and dropping my caloric intake to 1,300/ day. In other words, hopeful laziness.

2. Lactose. I've never removed dairy from my diet. Ever. I know it affects a lot of people's digestion, etc. What happens to me? There are a lot of claims about improved skin, sex drive, etc. from removing dairy. We'll see.

3. More healthy foods. Removing all animal products will force me to look to other sources that I commonly neglect (e.g., vegetables). Perhaps forcing myself to eat more leafy greens in the short-term will help me to make them part of my regular diet in the long-term.

4. The placebo effect: If I think I'm doing something good for me, perhaps I'll feel "healthier" simply from the psychological effect of it.

The only legitimate health concerns I found about a vegan diet are the possibility of not enough B-12, or omega-3 fatty acids. I think my fancy-schmancy vitamin supplement I picked up at New Leaf market should take care of that.

It doesn't seem like it will be very difficult. I live in Santa Cruz, Ca... probably the easiest city in the country to be vegetarian in. I can even eat out at Dharma's.

So far so good. Breakfast this morning:

Soy milk
Coffee w/soy creamer

Thursday, March 16, 2006

NMAH | Taking America To Lunch

NMAH | Taking America To Lunch

The Smithsonian has a cool collection of vintage lunchboxes.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Moderate Drinking

What is Moderate Drinking or Alcohol Consumption?

Here is a comparison of what some different countries' guidelines are on "moderate" drinking. (Vive la France!)

The U.S. gov't says moderate drinking is one drink a day for women, and two per day for men. Who has one drink at a time? What if I have seven on saturday night?

Canada seems to have a little more sensible view: no more than nine drinks a week for women, 14 a week for men, no more than two at a time.

It looks like moderate drinkers (however you define them) also have a lower risk for developing type II diabetes.

Now, where was that bottle of Pinot Noir I've been saving . . .

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tiki Fireplace Eerily Reminiscent...

Tiki Fireplace

This fireplace is awesome. It reminds me of something...


If you haven't seen Zardoz, it's one of the best "bad" movies ever. It stars a young Sean Connery running around in a loin cloth for most of the movie. It begins with a floating head (much like the above fireplace) that descends upon a bunch of men in loin cloths shouting "Guns are good. The penis is evil!" I am not kidding. It's a must-see.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Living Kid Free

Marketplace on living without children:

Living Kid Free: "There's a new American dream. The picket fence is still there. So is the hope of a nice career. But, you might not find the 2.5 kids playing in the backyard. Alex Cohen reports."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Our Christmas in Yosemite Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Espress Yourself

Rob and I have gradually increased our coffee intake to the point where we both drink an incredibly large mug in the moring (the equivalent of two or three small mugs), and then have to pee every hour for the next three hours.

Consequently, we have decided to start drinking espressos in order to reduce the overall intake volume.

We bought this Bialetti stovetop espresso machine (cost: approx. $38.00):

But does it really make espresso?

Short answer, no. It makes strong, "italian-style" coffee, which I like. But it doesn't have sufficient pressure to make the crema and flavor of an espresso made with a power machine.

What's a coffee geek to do? Buy an expensive espresso machine. We are researching brands and prices.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Don't Skip the Roux, People.

Julia Child would be proud of Sara Dickerman, who favors the traditional roux-based aproach to mac n' cheese.

"Crusty Macaroni and Cheese" - What's wrong with�the New York Times' weirdly popular recipe. By Sara Dickerman: "Moskin offers up the tantalizing possibility that delicious macaroni and cheese can be made without white sauce, or b�chamel, the butter/flour/milk goop that binds pasta and cheddar together in a traditional mac and cheese. For backup, she quotes a cranky John Thorne, the iconoclastic food writer, who calls white sauce 'a noxious paste of flour-thickened milk' that diminishes 'this dish flavored with a tiny grating of cheese.'"

Friday, January 13, 2006

Are Orange Aprons Next?

A public sector employee taking customer service seriously? Maybe they will adopt my idea of outfitting them in orange aprons.

HeraldNet: Librarians on the move

"A private-sector sales concept is improving service at public libraries in Lynnwood and Mukilteo.

On busy afternoons, a librarian walks around and is available to anyone who needs help, as opposed to having staff stationed at reference desks."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Out of the Cameras of Babes

This photo was taken by a five-year-old with my camera phone. She set up the books (Winnie the Pooh) just the way she wanted. I think it's pretty good.

"Please Keep Your Feet On A Floor"

This notice was photographed on an airport shuttle bus. It says, "Please keep your feet on a floor." I didn't know I had other floor options to choose from.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Tri-Anorak: IMAX Cycling Movie

Tri-Anorak posts:

IMAX Cycling Movie

The subject of the film is the amazing ability of the human brain to overcome adversity, accomplish the near-impossible, and power each of us to victory and success in life. The film will illustrate these various abilities by following cyclists racing in the Tour De France.