Sunday, January 13, 2008


I was in the best shape of my life from 2000-2002 and since then I have been in a state of rapid decline. I stopped running regularly. I stopped lifting regularly. I stopped biking regularly. I drifted away from soccer and ultimate frisbee. Now I sit at a desk all day and a bathroom scale recently told me I could stand to loose 10 pounds.

I am sick of this.

This morning was my first day doing the P90x Classic workout regimen. Generally speaking, I am wary of products hawked by infomercials but I know several people who have tried the program and liked it. Even if the workouts weren't excellent if you exercise for an hour a day six days a week for 12 weeks you would probably see impressive results.

I've committed to doing 72 workouts over the next 84 days and I'd appreciate being held accountable to that goal. You can track my progress in the sidebar of my blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October Sky

Lately, as we finally transition to fall, the trees have grown colorful and the clouds have often been breathtaking.

There is change afoot in my life as well. Today, for example, I got two job offers within 20 minutes of each other. It has given me something to mull over.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thoughts while on the job

"I wonder how many times I can jump around up here until I hurt myself. Ow. One."

"I'm pretty sure this harness doesn't increase my personal safety."

"I wish I knew what I was doing."

"Solvent hangovers are no fun."

"It's a good thing I'm not afraid of heights."

"Tyvek clothing was not a good idea."

"Why would you pay for overnight shipping if it was just going to sit unopened for a week?"

"Shouldn't I be getting hazard pay?"

"Ah, so that's why burning sulfur is associated with hell."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

3 months in under 3 minutes

June: Spent a week in Wales
July: Finished PULSE, missed LDRS because my supervisor left for a better job, moved back to Goshen
August: Spent 10 days in the Pacific Northwest, became CMC MYF sponsor, became an environmental engineering technician, spent 2nd week of work in Toledo, got motorcycle running (fixed starter clutch) only to have clutch problems (slave cylinder?)

pictures and details to follow.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


IGN has the scoop on StarCraft II. It's only been 9 years since Starcraft was released but it looks like it may be worth the wait. All I know is I may laps back into regular gaming which I haven't really done since Warcraft III...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'd rather be riding...

I spent the better part of the last 18 months without a motorcycle to call my own. From mid November to Feburary I had been trying to buy a 1976 CB 750F from a guy on craigslist before he finally decided it wasn't for sale. I had wanted a Honda CB 750 from the early 1970s because I was attracted to its legacy. The air-cooled inline 4 was arguably the most influential motorcycle of the 20th century because it showed the world that Japan could produce world-class superbikes not just scooters. They are also, by today's standards, fairly simple mechanically which makes them easy to rebuild to their original form or make them into fantastic custom bikes.

When that option fell through I went looking for something slightly different. I eventually found it in the v65 Magna of the mid 80s - the original musclebike. Although it was overshadowed during the later part of its brief lifespan by the Yamaha V-max its 1098cc liquid-cooled 45 degree V4 engine is still an impressive performer. And what are the drawbacks for having modern power in a bike that is over 20 years old? Cam oiling problems, underpowered breaks, spongy rear suspension, a flaky starter clutch, a front fork brace that is prone to failure, and a carburetor assembly that can only be removed from the motorcycle after you drain the coolant system among other gripes. This is enough for at least one satisfied v65 owner to proclaim:
I didn't listen to him. I must subconsciously filter out sentences written in all caps as having been written by fools. I'm now questioning my reasoning.

I like this motorcycle. The first time I saw one it was parked by a V-max on a side street in Chicago. I was immediately drawn to it. It is a brute of a machine. It is heavy. It is powerful. It is fast. I have no idea why it has an overdrive - at 70 mph it rolls along at 3000 RPM leaving the remaining 7000 RPM before the redline useful only in extra-legal pursuits.

I rode it from Goshen to Pittsburgh without a hitch but the third time I went to start it after arriving at PULSE house the starter made a very unsatisfying twitching sound. It did not fully engage nor did the engine turn over. I suspected the battery as I had inadvertently discharged it a few days earlier because it didn't occur to me that it would be possible to leave the taillight on after locking the steering column. Today I installed a brand new factory-sealed high-performance battery, replaced side covers and the seat, and expected it to fire right up. Instead I was greeted by a wisp of smoke wafting up from the general vicinity of the rectifier.

I didn't so much say the words "Oh. No." as feel them.

One moment I was eagerly anticipating hours of corner-carving in the hills of southwestern PA and the next I had good reason to believe that I would be without a functioning motorcycle, and perhaps several hundred dollars, for the foreseeable future. There is a serious problem, the exact nature of which I have yet to discern, but something has shorted out the battery entirely. They weren't joking about the battery being "high performance" either. It generated so much current that the stainless steel block in the positive battery terminal got hot enough to melt the lead surrounding it.

Oh well, such is life.

49% of americans do what?

A recent study(pdf) by the Pew Internet and American life Project concluded that:
49% of Americans only occasionally use modern gadgetry and many others bristle at electronic connectivity

Being a "Lackluster Veteran" that spends most of my day staring at a monitor I find it difficult to relate to the mindset of several of the other groups named in the findings. During the past few years I have completely removed myself from realm of broadcast television and I can't that I'm any worse for wear. The potential for the internet as a vehicle for delivery of information and entertainment will render all other mediums obsolete in the coming years.

Group name% of populationWhat you need to know about them
Elite Tech Users (31%)
Omnivores8%They have the most information gadgets and services, which they use voraciously to participate in cyberspace and express themselves online and do a range of Web 2.0 activities such as blogging or managing their own Web pages.
Connectors7%Between featured-packed cell phones and frequent online use, they connect to people and manage digital content using ICTs – all with high levels of satisfaction about how ICTs let them work with community groups and pursue hobbies.
Lackluster Veterans8%They are frequent users of the internet and less avid about cell phones. they are not thrilled with ICT-enabled connectivity.
Productivity Enhancers8%They have strongly positive views about how technology lets them keep up with others, do their jobs, and learn new things.
Middle-of-the road Tech Users (20%)
Mobile Centrics10%They fully embrace the functionality of their cell phones. they use the internet, but not often, and like how ICTs connect them to others.
Connected But Hassled10%They have invested in a lot of technology, but they find the connectivity intrusive and information something of a burden.
Few Tech Assets (49%)
Inexperienced Experimenters8%They occasionally take advantage of interactivity, but if they had more experience, they might do more with ICTs.
Light But Satisfied15%They have some technology, but it does not play a central role in their daily lives. they are satisfied with what ICTs do for them.
Indifferents11%Despite having either cell phones or online access, these users use ICTs only intermittently and find connectivity annoying.
Off the Network15%Those with neither cell phones nor internet connectivity tend to be older adults who are content with old media.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Image search

When you type 'theater' into google image search this picture of Kyle Dean Reinford and Beth Hofstetter shows up on the third page. I wasn't expecting that to happen. I'm not used to seeing people I know on the internets by accident.