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Herd Immunity

I had my belated annual physical yesterday. My doctor informed me that my weight was up some from previous years and we had some discussion as to why. She's a super rad lady and made sure that I knew it wasn't that I needed to be skinny, but that she wanted to make sure I was fit, healthy and strong. I've been relatively inactive this winter and it definitely shows. So I began thinking about lifestyle changes and goal setting which boil down to trying to loose 18 pounds by the end of the summer through exercise and modifying my eating habits some. I think I mostly need to work more on portion control and doing things like eating more slowly and waiting longer before I decide I need seconds. I think what I eat is mostly fine.

It's already bringing up some feelings of food guilt that I need to deal with. I think I need to have an attitude about eating that's more about listening to what my body needs (or doesn't) than one that's about deprivation or control. More about always having leftovers when I go out to eat than feeling like I shouldn't go out to eat or feeling bad about doing so. And of course trying to make healthier choices when I'm out to eat (salad instead of fries) and going out a little less frequently. It's mostly how I function now, but I think I need to be more conscious of it and really reflect on the food I'm eating and think signals my body gives me around hunger and satiation.

I also started tetracycline for my skin and got vaccinated for tetanus and Hepatitis A. Both of my arms are sore, especially if I raise them more than 90 degrees. I got blood drawn for HIV and syphilis testing and the poor n00b phlebotomist had such problems getting and then milking my trickster vein. I tried to reassure her that people always have issues with my veins and that it's no big deal and I think that helped some. She didn't even end up bruising me, even though it took awhile.

Snapshot from my evening

I'm participating in the domestic arts, a loaf of whole wheat bread going in the bread machine and The French Chef on TV, watching Julia smack the hell out of some fish. The sun is setting and the house is getting cozy dark and I'm enjoying laying under a blanket on the couch. The bead machine makes its usual noises of mixing and kneading and the occasional beeping. Suddenly it starts to sound louder than usual. I press pause, Julia now mixing a cream sauce and go to check on things in the kitchen. Right before my eyes, the bread machine is one foot off the edge of the counter and before I can extend my arms to catch it, it tumbles to the floor, dragging the coffee maker down with it. With a crash, the bread maker lands on the floor along with the carafe from the coffee maker which instantly breaks splattering the remains of my morning brew all over along with the basket of used grounds which fly everywhere. The bread dough sits in a pool of cold coffee and glass, little brown mouse turds of coffee grounds stuck in it here and there. I stand there for a minute, slightly hunched mid-grasp and take in the carnage before me. Slowly and carefully I begin to clean up the sickening scene and wonder how I'll make my coffee in the morning.


  • Drove Gregg's car (a manual) by myself for the first time. I think I'm getting the hang of it, but I still feel slightly nervous.

  • Walked to Midtown and finally got my passport application in

  • Made a pretty healthful and tasty dinner

  • Finished knitting the first of a pair of socks and think it might actually be possible to finish before the Olympics are over

Good one!

Does anyone actually like Catcher in the Rye or is it just a cruel joke played on us by high school English teachers?


An acquaintance from highschool posted this on Facebook:

"has the guts to say Shame on you America, the only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations. 99% of people won't have the guts to copy and repost this"

This is the second person from highschool to post a similar message on FB with regards to the disaster in Haiti. This particular one bugs me in two ways. First, the obvious isolationist message: fuck you dirt poor folks of Haiti who have now had pretty much your entire lives destroyed, we have homeless people in 'Merica to take care of! Now, I'm pro taking care of the homeless, mentally ill, providing good health care to the elderly, but where is the call to do that the rest of the time? These folks aren't out there spreading the word about how we can take care of our own citizens, only complaining that we don't when there are black folks getting money and aid relief from us. Also, I'm pretty sure these people aren't supportive of health care reform that could potentially solve some of the issues they seem to find "so important."

Secondly, the "99% of people won't have the guts to copy and repost this." This is some FB meme that I've seen mostly relating to g*d, i.e. "I'm praying for a cure for breast cancer because god is awesome but 93% of you won't repost this! False statistics are bothersome enough, even more so when they're used to fuel your sense of self righteousness. People won't copy and repost this because it's a load of bullshit.


This will get messy

It is no surprise that the Department of Homeland (in)Security has come up with some stupid "security" measures in response to an attempted act of terrorism aboard an airplane bound for Detroit. In protest, I say we all urinate in our seats during the last hour of flight. If you're really committed to the cause, shit yourself too. Remember to pack an extra pair of pants in your carry on. Counter ridiculousness with messy, stinky ridiculousness!
Yahoo hired female lap dancers, for the second year in a row, for their "Hack Day" event in Taiwan. Then issued a stupid ass apology. To say that this is infuriating is an understatement. Some of the comments are also pretty enraging. For those that don't get it: objections to female lap dancers at a tech conference IS NOT sex negative, nor is it an effort to deny women their sexuality or sexual expression It is about treating women as people of worth, rather than sexual objects. This does not create an environment that is comfortable for all people, women and men included, but especially women who are already confronted an incredible amount of sexism in the tech industry. Yahoo does not need to reinforce this by saying "tech guys, women are here for your objectification!" It doesn't matter if there were male strippers there too or not or if this is par for the course in Taiwan. A tech conference is just not the place for it.

solid as a rock

I went bouldering with Gregg yesterday at Midwest for the second time in as many years (at least) and it was super fun. My upper body is very sore today! I look forward to going more often.
Thursday on my way out the door from work I noticed I had a broken spoke on my front wheel. It was only a matter of time I guess. I rode home and walked over to Freewheel. Half a minute after the mechanic gets my wheel off he says that I actually have four broken spokes and my wheel is basically toast. I was only a matter of time I guess. I decide to get a new rear wheel as well, because I'd been having some troubles around throwing my chain and the likely contributing factor being a bent tooth on the rear cog, which I can't replace because I can't get the lockring off. I take my bike, two new wheels and some rim tape home and spend an hour switching out the wheels and only popping one tube. One complication arises in that the chain is too stretched out and doesn't want to work with the new cog. I make a couple different trips to Freewheel, one to get a chain that's actually too narrow and another to replace it with one that's the right size. Finally by Saturday afternoon, I have a whole and functioning bike. Time to ride...

Sunday we did the Minneapolis bike tour. We had a rough start but a mostly incredibly enjoyable ride. It was gorgeous, my bike felt good and my legs held up well (my back, not so much). I experienced some clicking on and off and realized when I got to St Anthony Main that it was the screw holding on my rack being hit by the master lock as it passed by. Thankfully the guy from Park Tools had a bunch of odds and ends and found a shorter screw that fit. I think (hope) that was the last of the kinks. The rest of the bike ride was delightful as we went through parts of Minneapolis I've never seen. All told, we rode 40 some odd miles and I'm not really feeling it at all today, other than being tired, but I think that's also a complication of being somewhat sick. In my lethargy and desire for coffee, I took the bus in to work, so we'll see how my legs feel tomorrow. I really don't feel at all like I rode in one day almost what I ride in a whole week. Maybe I'll be whistling a different tune tomorrow when I get back on the bike.


Puttin' Up

I had my first adventure in canning last night. These be the specs:

  • 3 wide mouth pint jars
  • lemon plum tomatoes, raw packed, 1T lemon juice and topped off with boiling water
  • processed 40 minutes, water canner method

I realized my biggest pot is still not quite big enough to can pints jars in but I think it went okay anyway. Well at least until we get botulism...


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March 2011



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