Thursday, April 23, 2009

I will call him... Mini Me!

Well, I don't exactly have a mini genetic clone of myself. Even if that were technically feasible, I'm not sure it's a wise idea to have a mini-me wandering the world. I think full size me is all the world is ready to handle right now.

What I do have now is a Dell Mini 9 netbook with Mac OS X installed on it. Yep, I've fully caught the Mac fanboy syndrome. I was hooked after my first hackintosh, so I wasn't satisfied with the default Ubuntu install on my netbook. I was intent on making myself a mini-mac. After an initial hurdle of not having a recognized usb boot dvd drive, I got Mac OS X installed in under an hour. Then there was the task of shrinking the install so I could install the 10.5.6 combo update and MS Office (believe it or not, I do actually do work on my computers). Then I had to get two finger scrolling working on the touchpad. All in all, probably about 2-2.5 hours of install time, most of which I was surfing on another computer.

My mini-mac works surprisingly well. Ok, maybe not it wasn't so surprising since I extensively researched the Mac compatibility of the Mini 9 and people's general experience with hackintoshed Minis. I won't say that I can do serious work on my Mac mini. The non-standard keyboard and mini keyboard really slow me down. I did manage to create a short two page technical document on it; I won't say that was an efficient process. But for surfing the web, typing out short blog posts, checking my mail, etc. on the couch or on the road, my mini-mac really shines. And chicks dig the mini notebook. So far, the typical response has been "Oh, it's soooooo CUTE." It's not the typical compliment I like having thrown at my manly ego, but I'll take it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fitness inspirations

I know it's not being modest when I say that I'm more fit than the average person. But the thing is, while I like knowing that I'm in the upper percentiles, I don't think I should be in the upper ranks of fit people! The only reason I'm more fit than the average is because, well let's face it, the average ain't that fit. Properly taken care of, the human body is amazing and can easily maintain high levels of physical fitness. Don't believe me, well, these guys are genuine senior citizens can put most people to shame. I find that really inspiring that at their ages, they're still so physically fit:

68 y.o. banging out some pull ups

71 y.o. doing a 450lb deadlift. I'm not even at half that weight with my own deadlifts!

524lb deadlift at age 75!

Here's a 67 y.o. doing a workout that most people probably can't do.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Might as well jump (a.k.a. why I don't run)

I'm not a big fan of running. I know it's great exercise, but I'm short and I have flat feet. That's not a great combination for excelling at running. If I run for distance, my shins kill me. Add that to the fact that I always ran with people taller than me and with longer legs than me (i.e. longer strides), and it's no surprise that I'm usually the last one in the pack. Things have gotten better recently, but it's not because I run regularly. I sometimes do some sprint or stride work on the track just for a change of routine, but most of my cardio conditioning comes from something that I can actually do somewhat well: skip rope.

When done with proper technique, jumping rope is easier on the joints than running. It's also inherently plyometric and pretty much becomes an interval workout by default. Plus, you can do cool steps and tricks with the rope. Of course, you do whack yourself a few times with the rope learning the tricks, but it beats tricks with running for overall safety. While I think free running (parkour) is awesome, the potential for injury there is whole lot higher.

Anyhow, I managed to play around with my camera's video features. You can see what a typical rope workout looks like for me.

Round 1: Warmup

Round 2: Speed things up a little.

Round 3: Double unders

Round 4: One more speed round

Monday, April 6, 2009

Taking a month off from goal setting

Last month wasn't great for my attempts at 30 day challenges. I didn't come anywhere close to getting in bed by 10:30 p.m. every night. I just got too busy. Eating dinner at 9, then cleaning up around 10 pretty much guranteed that I wouldn't even be winding down until 11. Combining daylight savings, traveling, and periods of being busy was not a good combination for that goal. And I still can't do a handstand, though I am getting closer. I also never quite got to 10 straight muscle ups (8 ain't bad though...).

I think I'll be taking a break from setting 30 day challenges for myself this month. Now that my schedule is returning to something more resembling "normal", I'll try re-pursuing the goals from last month. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Basketball Dilemma

I haven't had a television for nearly 3 years now. I can't say that I've missed it much, though I do occasionally miss being able to vegetate with FoodTV, TLC, Discover, and HGTV. More recently, I've missed being able to watch sports. College basketball is nearly over for the season, and how many games have I watched? Zip, zero, zilch. That's how many.

Perhaps that's not such a bad thing this year since my beloved Duke Blue Devils got beat (well, stomped more technically) by Villanova. Despite living close to 'Nova, I can't actually bring myself to root for them. But UNC is still in the running, which is both a good and bad thing. It's good because I'm happy to see a North Carolina and ACC team still in the tourney. On the other hand, it's UNC.

So, I'm just a little torn about where my loyalties lie for the Final Four. UNC winning is great for NC and the ACC. Equally appealing is the idea of UNC suffering a heartbreaking loss. It's a tough call. I'll have to ponder this dilemma of sporting proportions while I consider my game viewing options.