10# in December; Careful riding in the basement

Fat Cyclist, who never ceases to be an inspiration to me, posted a quick framework for losing 10 pounds by Christmas. Basically, it boils down to:

  • Eat Sensibly
  • Exercise

So, naturally, I’m all over it, despite having lost and regained the same 5 pounds for all of 2010. Haven’t seen south of 175, which is where I’ll be if I can do this, since, early 2009? Maybe. Something like that.

Anyway, I’m in. And characteristically, I managed to get a flat while riding my bike on rollers last night. I’ll let that sink in –

I got a flat in my basement.

It’s probably got something to do with riding off the rollers and pinch-flatting. I haven’t yet looked. But, it’s not the most auspicious start.

Peanuts Nostalgia

Peanuts at comics.com

I hit the comic above today off of my Google Reader feed (follow me at ‘billjank’ – mostly I tag stuff about defense-related computer stuff, management idiocy, and a smattering of smart articles about how folks like you and I are getting shafted by both large banks and the Fed. Not that there’s a better solution, but it’s always nice to know with whom you’ve been intimate)

Anyway, Jon (who was in Michigan but is now much closer to the Hudson River) replied that Frazz seemed to be an influence, too.

As much as I love Mallett, I don’t think he’s much of an “influence”, but rather a mirror; a product of the same set of variables that made (warped) me into who I am today.

The next few paragraphs are what I wrote in response. I you might be able to follow it at Google Buzz. If you are, drop me a comment – I’m also trying to see how much of my privacy Buzz gives away.

Frazz is more a mirror. I’d completely forgotten about most of the Peanuts they’ve been running lately.

But, way back in the stone ages, when I was in Elementary School in the Harper Creek school district outside of Battle Creek, Michigan, we were in the midst of the ’70’s economic crash. ALL of the ‘enrichment’ activities for elementary school were cut – no band, no nothing. We played dodgeball two or three times a YEAR as physical education.

As the ‘smart’ kid in the class, I was usually in trouble for not paying attention. But, as I’d read my textbooks from cover to cover under my desk in the first month or two of school, when the teacher would call on me, I’d know the answer, even though I wasn’t paying a whit of attention.

So, they sent me to the library. (In junior high, they started sending me to the computer lab, but this was elementary school, and no-one’d donated any Apple IIe’s yet) And so I read. And read.

I started in about third grade with the picture book section – banged through all the Dr. Seuss, and didn’t bother with much more – no poetry, poor visuals.

Hit the Wizard of Oz series since I’d been in a local theater production as “the Beast Oz” and the King of the Munchkins (no scars on the persona of a short kid there, I tell you).

But the highlight was the Peanuts books. The library may have had absolutely every Peanuts treasury ever released, and I sat there and read every one of them, under the watchful eye of the librarian, who, in hindsight, I think suspected me of being a neo-Nazi, as I devoured all of the WWII books in the place, too.

I think I was open to most of the ideas behind Peanuts before my exile to the library – I was short, slow, and very much a Charlie Brown, if only because Charlie Brown always wanted to be the center of his circle of friends; to make things better than they would turn out without intervention. That was me; hands down.

Man, I love Peanuts.

This probably falls under “Way too much information, particularly from a random “buzz”‘, but I like it.

Why didn’t Charles Shultz ever win the Nobel Prize for Literature?

Pastis is a Prophet

PearlsCover.pngI’m a huge fan of Pearls Before Swine. A couple of weeks ago, I was re-reading “Lions and Tigers and Crocs”. I was pretty freaked out reading the introduction when I saw that Stephan Pastis had predicted the outcome of this year’s superbowl way back in 2006:

PearlsColts.png

Anyway, I love the book. I’m pulling for the Ain’ts, but this makes me also kind of hope the Colts pull it out, and Pastis gets to brag.

Interestingly enough, Pastis remembers, too.

At least I’m not in the slow lane

First a little cabin fever joke:

Cow and Boy

Tonight was the first night of swim class at the Y. “Assessment”, they called it. Predictably, almost the entire class was late 30- and 40-something guys, with the exception of one really fit guy probably in his 60s. We did a number of drills, and to my amazement, I was consistently catching up to the folks in front of me, until we’d sorted out speeds for circle swim.

The first night’s class wasn’t so draining. The instructor said that starting on Wednesday, we’d divide into two groups. One group would just be given a warmup, workout, and swimdown, and the other would get a little bit more care and feeding. So, we’ll see if I’m still feeling good this time Wednesday night.

Worst case, this is a guarantee that I’ll actually get out and swim for the next 6 to 8 weeks, as there’s a sunk cost for the course. One of the guys is probably going to move up to Masters’ swim, but I’m nowhere near there. So, I think it’ll be good. A chance for me to learn how to do an actual swim workout.

On the way out, let’s close with a little question that’s bugged me a bit, too:

Frazz: Why do good sunglasses cost ten times what good swim goggles do?

Happy Festivus!

Yeah, just wanted to get that out there. As you all may know, as I can see from the many aluminum poles in the audience, tomorrow/today, December 23, is Festivus. As such, we all need to be prepared for:

  • The Airing of the Grievances
  • Feats of Strength

Before we come to that, however, I’d like to catch up on a couple of things.

Saturday – Almost a foot of fresh snow, and a great mix of powder and costal New England concrete laid a wonderful base for about 7 miles of XC at Bluff Point. I basically did the epic Bluff Point Trail Race 7~ish mile loop in reverse, and was completely in reverie the whole time. I always love getting out on the local trails on cross-country skis, as it’s a quick and easy way to survey the other post-hippies in the community. No deer, though.

Sunday – Extra sore from the XC – man, does it really, really work the core. Skipped the morning’s Hundred.

Today – Work, supper, kids, and headed to the Y for a swim. I’m in “Base” mode preparing for Mooseman in June. Essentially, what I’m going to try to do is to swim 1K to 1.5K on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, bike 30 minutes to 1 hour on Monday, Wednesday, Sunday, and run 30 minutes to 1 hour on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with Friday as a rest day. Shoot for about 8 hours a week training, shower included. More on this another day.

Today’s swim was good, at least as good as last week’s trip to the base pool when I realized it was a 35m pool instead of a 25m pool. The only bit of awkwardness was afterwards in the locker room with one of the guys who can’t stand to be naked with other guys. Gives me the creeps.

OK, so, let’s get on with the festivities:

THE AIRING OF THE GRIEVANCES

  • Food – Why are you so darn tasty? If you weren’t, I’d eat just what I needed to survive, and would have fabulous abs.
  • Fat – Leave. Just leave.
  • Weather – All I ask is for one nice hour each day. Is that so hard? Why do you have to squander so many nice hours during the spring, summer, and fall when I’ve got to be at work?
  • Shoe Companies – Look, just stop already. Nike – the Air Pegasus 25th anniversary edition is darn near perfect. Asics – I dig me some Gel Cumulus X’s. New Balance – Why did you mess with the 803’s from about 3 years ago? I’ll wear out the pairs I’m using now soon enough, and will happily buy more
  • Clothing Companies – Can we get some options for guys besides baggy pants and t-shirts? Oh, and would it kill you to build more shirts with pockets for mp3 players?
  • Sunglass Companies – How ’bout something that doesn’t make me look like Bono?
  • Other runners – the fuel belts look dorky. Sorry, they just do. Pick up a banana at the gas station. They’ve got water and juice, too.
  • Gadgets – Look, here’s what I want: one thing that I can strap on my wrist that logs everything – run, bike, swim; inside and outside; treadmill and stationary bike; and if it could electronically monitor my blood glucose level to estimate how much I was eating, so much the better. Then I want it to automagically sync to my web interface of choice (Mac, PC, Linux, Wii, whatever), show pretty graphs and pretty maps of where I’ve been, and then write 400 witty words about the day. The 400 witty words could be done by a speech to text converter during the workout, ‘cept I’d like to be able to set a filter to edit around the f-bombs and other four-letter words to keep the blog about PG.
  • Beer – What happened to all the good Belgian imports?

Yeah, that was fun.

Feats of Strength

  • Uh, I plan to get up in the morning, and drag myself into the office and face the year-end tasks I’ve been putting off, so they’re not waiting for me in 2009.
  • Oh, and I’m going to the hundred in the morning. I’m building towards doing something like this every time I wake up.

So, Happy Festivus! Get the bile out of your system, and then either continue enjoying your religious holiday of choice. I cannot wait to go sing my lungs out at the Christmas Eve service.

Cry me a river.

If you give the federal government $700 billion, it will just ask for more.

When you say you’re not sure about more and ask what the money will be used for, the federal government will stamp its foot, tell you you’re too dumb to figure it out, and then ask you for a handkerchief to cry in because it now hates you.

[From McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: If You Give the Federal Government $700 Billion.]

Marginally safe for work (Contains the s-word)

A quick one

So, one of the moments for which I’ve been waiting all my life arrived this evening during my Strategy and War class. The professor was talking about World War II, and said “so when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor”

Before anyone could correct him, I jumped in with “Don’t stop him, he’s on a roll!”

(Clip has the S* word, so may be NSFW)

Random bits of Constitutional trivia

So, digging into the iPhone/iPod touch constitution app, apparently Rhode Island is the only state that never ratified the amendment authorizing Prohibition,and Connecticut has never ratified the amendment authorizing the federal income tax.