Saturday, February 2, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
A universe from nothing,
Big Bang's shockwave clap,
Roman candle burst of light
Sprays glowing ashes of matter,
Clots into star-embers,
Flames again and swirls
In a smoky haze,
Scums over with worlds
Shivering by fading hearths
Just warm enough to wake
The faintest trace of life,
To wonder at the whiff of gunpowder
As the thundrous echoes still
And the fires sputter out
And the peace of the inevitable
Soothes away the remnants of the shock,
And welcomes the longest night.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The walk itself was an enjoyable time — free food for those who had raised enough money and a pleasant walk through the brisk evening air, in the company of a nice group of people. The impending approach of Hurricane Sandy may have put somewhat of a damper on the attendance, but there was still a pretty good crowd, and I was pleased to hear the Foundation Beyond Belief, our umbrella team, get a shout-out in the list of major sponsors of the event. That, combined with the relaxing chat with my teammates at a bar afterward, was worth the price of admission.
Next year in Atlanta!
For some reason I just felt like getting on the treadmill and walking for a while, but I figured I should run some in the middle (as per today's schedule), so I did. I kinda got tired quicker than I would have liked, though, and had to go back to walking, and then after about 80 minutes of continuous use the treadmill overheated and shut down. I really need to do something about the dented cushion deck (under the belt), as it makes it hard to run on fluidly and probably is what causes the occasional slowdowns and eventual overheating. I wonder how much a new treadmill deck costs. Probably almost as much as the treadmill itself. :/
Friday, October 26, 2012
I figured all that work oughta count as exercise, so I went in this morning to log it on Fitocracy. The closest exercise type I could find was "Shake Weight", so I figured, okay, that sounds reasonable, and I logged 100 reps as a rough approximation for the amount of time I spent. Imagine my surprise when Fitocracy rewarded me with a grand total of -5 points for my efforts. :D I guess the site creators don't take shake weights any more seriously than the South Park guys do. Anyway, it was too funny to delete, so I left it as a permanent blemish on my record. There oughta be a "Sucker" badge for spending too much time using gimmicky As-Seen-On-TV fitness equipment.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
My partner and I did an actual proper cycling workout today. It was really a pretty trivial distance in terms of what genuinely dedicated bikers do, but we got a good reasonably fast ride up the Schuylkill River Trail from the Drexel/Penn area to the East Falls Bridge. It's a pretty smooth ride with a gentle upward slope, and the trail is well lit and mostly empty at night, so it's actually a good addition to the ride home. When we lived over near the Schuylkill, by the south end of the trail, we used to go up and then back down sometimes on our way home to turn our 2 mile commute into a 13 mile ride. Now that we live along the Delaware a bit further north, the most sensible route is to just go up the river to the bridge and then turn pretty much straight east to go home, which approximately doubles the length of the trip from about 5.5 miles to about 11 miles.
The only problem is that it comes at the end of the day, when it's easy to be tired and unmotivated and just want to go home dammit, because I've gotta get up tomorrow and I've already stayed here too late. And I was feeling almost like I was starting to get sick at a couple of random points today, so I came pretty close to reneging on my promise to go tonight. But biking is the one exercise that my partner really likes to do in a focused way, and he finds it really demotivating if I abandon him to do it by himself. So I couldn't quite bring myself to just say no outright, and instead we negotiated back and forth a bit and I agreed to do a little bit at least and then we actually ended up doing the whole thing we'd originally discussed anyway. And it was actually pretty good — a nice fast sprint about five and a half miles up the river, a quick snack break, and then a somewhat more leisurely ride home from there (about the same distance).
I'll probably feel a lot less good about this when I'm struggling to drag myself out of bed for my 9 AM appointment tomorrow, though.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
In fact, it was so non-sequit that neither I nor my partner was really able to respond effectively, but we must've looked dismayed, because the person immediately tried to cover by turning it into a critique of laziness in "our culture". So I said, "Don't worry, we're pretty lazy too." Then there was a little more back-and-forth in which he kept angling for us to agree with him about the importance of white PhDs and we kept disagreeing with the "facts" he was using to support his stance while not quite being able to believe what was going on enough to just straight-up yell at him for being a racist like we probably should have. And then the subject turned to the weather. But, ugh. There's not enough water in the world to wash that off.
L'esprit de l'escalier suggests that we probably should've just told him that we study science because we like it, not because we're racists. But it's so damn hard to summon hostility in a nominally friendly environment, even when somebody else starts it. So I'll have to settle for being hostile now.
Hey, racists: I'm sorry your lives are so pathetic that the only thing you have to be proud of is having been born with the same color skin as some of the many people who actually have real accomplishments, but the rest of us are too busy trying to achieve successes of our own to share in your ugly little obsessions. When you tell people your creepy racist thoughts and they just sit there looking uncomfortable, it's because they've been trained so thoroughly in politeness that they try to be polite even when they shouldn't be, and because they're so shocked they don't quite know what to do, not because they consider your behavior remotely socially acceptable. So stop assuming that other people are as hateful and worthless as you are just because their skin is approximately the same color as yours, and keep your grotesque, slimy, retrograde vileness to yourselves. Because, seriously, fuck you.
I'm not sure I can say that enough, actually. Fuck you, guy, just, fuck you fuck you fuck you. Keep your racism off my PhD. Fuck you. I'm going to build a time machine just so I can go back to that conversation and say it to you properly. Fuck you. Fuck you sideways with a rotting porcupine corpse. Just, fuck you. Stop contaminating the world I have to live in with this poison. Stop alienating and marginalizing my friends and my colleagues and my fellow human beings. Stop trying to get me to side with your small-mindedness against a goodly percentage of the people who make my life worth living. You're my enemy, not them, and you are not welcome in my life. Your good will is worthless to me, and next time I am not going to be nearly so "polite".
Friday, October 5, 2012
In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.(Others say, "Support Israel." instead of "Defend Freedom.") Here's a picture of one of the posters:
Friday, September 28, 2012
Of course, it was not really all of them, but it sure looks like it on my activity feed. The baseline plan for today was just to complete the triathlon quest (bumped to today from yesterday since I didn't go to campus yesterday). But then I got to looking at more of the introductory strength training quests and that's when things started to get a little silly. A lot of the strength training stuff is focused on barbells, for whatever reason, and those are something I don't have at home. But I was going to the gym today! I could play with the barbells there! And, look, I only have to do one of each of this small number of things to complete that quest! And it doesn't say what weight, so I don't have to already be a badass to do it!