A couple of months ago I switched to reading some fiction as opposed to the biographies or business history books that
I tend to lean toward of late. Dr Blondie introduced me to first of the Lisa Lutz
Spellman books which I thoroughly enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much I went on straight to the second book in the series. Dr Blondie didn't have
the third book when I finished the second, so I switched gears back to my old fictional go-to sci-fi category and read a Star Wars book that
had been sitting on my shelf for a few months.
The Star Wars book, Scoundrels, featured 3 known characters and roughly 2 dozen new characters in a grandiose heist. The characters were split between 3 factions to keep up with, and of course they had appropriate alien Star Wars names. Luckily the first page of the book had the key players and who they were associated with, but I kept losing track of who was who (or with who?). It took me a while to get through the book, and there were a couple of key points I had to have skipped because I just kind of ended up at the end of the story.
Partway through reading the above Dr Blondie showed up with Spellman Book #3. Post Scoundrels I started Spellman #3 but couldn't get into the proper mode of reading through it. 4 or 5 pages in and I'd put the book down, and usually go to sleep.
I don't think it's the story or writing that not keeping my attention, but more likely it's a combo of pre-holiday work stress that makes me want to sleep more + time for a fiction break. With that said, I'm more than 100 pages into Spellman #3 so I feel obligated to finish it up, even if it's 5 pages at a time.
After 4 weeks and 3 classes per week, I repeated the initial Iron Tribe workout. My original time was 10:38.
After a month I improved to 8:19.
2 minutes, 19 seconds fitter. I wanted to improve my time into the 8-minute range. I did that! I wanted to shave 2 minutes off. I did that! I wasn't really expecting that last one, but it happened.
I've had 1 workout since graduating from the beginner class, and I couldn't finish everything in the time allotted. I'm ok with that. Part of me likes that, in that it shows how far I can expect to go. Plus, that first workout involved 800m of total running, where I've had only managed half that in a class so far.
Just to keep it challenging, my advanced years are catching up to me and I've developed a case of either tendinitis or arthritis in my right wrist - I think the details of which are dependent on how much I was wincing at any given time when the chiropractor was twisting my hand. This just means I've gone to Amazon and stocked up on any type of brace that'll fit my wrist.
I don't know what the next goal is supposed to be, other than keep going and keep feeling better (wrist notwithstanding).
Thanks to Joe at work, there's a good chance I might die in the next month.
2 months ago Joe started going to Irontribe. Joe had never lifted a weight before (according to Joe). What little I knew about Irontribe was that it was a form of crossfit, which to be honest was not something I'd ever thought about, much less thought that someone like Joe would not only stick with for 2 months, but also enjoy.
Nothing against Joe. I just know we both spend the majority of our week sitting in front of computers.
2 weeks ago Irontribe hosted a session one Saturday morning to come out for an (easy) practice workout to see if it would be a good fit. As an added incentive, if you're referred by someone (re: Joe) then you can take the 4-week Tribe 101 class for free. I enjoyed the practice workout, and it only took me 5 days to recover. For free, there's no reason to not try the 101 class and learn the moves that they speed through during the regular class.
The 101 classes I'm in are Mon/Wed/Thu at 7pm. I've gotten through the first week, and I've enjoyed each workout. I've yet to not be sore afterwards (or even during, sometimes). It's the only real exercise beyond walking that I've done in years. I'd been slacking off on my walking schedule and realized I need something different - were someone else sets the time and tells me what to do vs walking around a track at a pace I just kind of fall into.
I've had a lot of huffing and puffing. I can actually trot - not quite a jog, but faster than the walking pace I had going around the school track. Granted, that trot is 100 meters at a time vs a 3 mile walk, but string a couple of those together while throwing in some excercises that invariably make my thighs burn, and I think I'm getting a better workout.
The first night we ran a 15 minute capped exercise routine. 100 meter run (well, trot), 3 sets of body weight squats, 25lb kettle bell swings, and sit-ups (set 1 = 15 reps, set 2 = 12 reps, set 3 = 9 reps), finished up with another 100 meter trot (mostly a walk at that point). I managed a 10:38 time. At the end of 4 weeks that time is supposed to go down. I wonder if I can get it down to 8 minutes?
For my birthday this year Rynn gave me a Mitch Foust print that she had picked up some point in the past couple of years at a convention. I'd never heard of Mitch Foust nor seen any of his art before Rynn presented me with my present. Once I saw the hot & sexy Avengers group he had (drawn/painted/arted up?) I quickly became a fan. I framed the Avengers pic and put it up in my office.
A little time went by and one day while looking at Mitch's Avengers I wondered if he made other female focused super groups. A google search led me to his Deviant Art page which held a plethora of his art, including a Super Friends and X-Men equivalent of his Avengers.
A little more time passed and I thought it would be awesome to have a super group collection hanging on my office wall, instead of just some Avengers that might get overpowered in an evil assault where I not paying attention. I managed to find my way to Mitch's website where his STORE page listed books and prints for sale.
Except none of the prints were of the aforementioned buxom super groups I was hoping to get.
My hopes were dashed and thus our story is brought to an end. No, that would make for a lousy blog post. Instead I grabbed Mitch's email and asked him if he had prints of his work shown on Deviant Art for sale. Much to Mitch's credit he quickly replied and told me he did indeed! In fact, shipping for 1 print was the same as shipping for 5 prints. I suddenly had an excuse to go crazy, so I picked out the 2 super groups, plus 3 more.
This images below come from Mitch's Deviant Art page.
A little coordination and I paid Mitch and he shipped the art. Except there was a hitch, it seemed it was taking a long time for the art to go from Memphis to Athens. There was a lot of back and forth email with Mitch setting all of this up (part of why I so easily call him Mitch), so I asked him if there was a tracking number or something similar since it seemed to be taking a while. A frantic Mitch quickly and apologetically replied that he thought everything had shipped but it seems his son had put my package behind some things that had been shipped to Mitch. I actually found that funny but Mitch was still sorry for the delay, and I know he felt worse about it all than I did. To help make up for it, he even threw in a very nice book of his art from an earlier Kickstarter.
Now to be honest, I told him he didn't have to do that but I'm really glad he did, because it's a cool book!!!! He even put a nice little note in it.
A few days later I get 5 wonderful pieces of Mitch Art. Planning ahead, I hit Hobby Lobby when frames were half off (they're not always half off) so I could get frames to match the one I had hanging. Except I got 14x16 instead of 16x20. I should measure before buying!
Another trip to Hobby Lobby for the right size, and hour or so cutting poster board for poor-man's mat board, and I've got everything framed and ready for the office. Once I get to the office, hammer, nails, and laser level at the ready, I realize I need to move some stuff around. The irony here is that it was announced we're moving to a new building around the first of October, so whatever I put up will only be there for a couple of months. But honestly, I don't care. I like my office to feel homey, or homey to me. So I pull down everything on the wall and hang it all back up, but better.
In October I'll do it all over again. I better have plenty of open wall space when they move me!
Permalink books/comics renovation/remodelling
Last week I took my first Dealnews work trip to the Velocity conference in San Jose. I'd last visited California (San Francisco) around 2002 on a work trip to a biotech conference, which was really just an excuse to meet a bunch of people at Stanford that I'd been working with/doing their bidding. This time, I was actually going for the conference.
The conference was focused on Dev Ops. I know marginally more about Dev Ops than I did before the conference, but that's mainly because I don't know how to attend a conference. I've spent most of my career pigeonholed into making web pages/applications and I'm slow to learn. Delving into the world of Dev Ops with people that know Dev Ops didn't help me much.
This is the first conference I've been to that dealt with anything close to what I actually use. I actually learned a little - there was a panel on web browser debugging tools that I enjoyed - but my method of retention doesn't line up with conference presentations. But now I know that, and the next time a conference opportunity comes up I'll most likely opt for some online training instead.
The trip itself was nicer than I anticipated. I upgraded my flights to first class and got a good deal ($141 above what work paid for). The Santa Clara Hyatt, which is joined to the convention center that hosted the conference, was quite nice. The weather... ahh, it was great. Mid 60's in the morning, perfect for walking. There were a couple of sandwich places within ½ mile of the hotel (I didn't bother with a car while I was there). Traffic actually pays attention to pedestrian crosswalks, so it seems very pedestrian friendly. My flight anxiety was once again present for no reason - all my flights were fairly smooth and most arrived early.
Now for some obligatory pictures:
The Cali hat pic from the San Jose airport led me to create my first ever meme pic (or whatever the kids call them), as I had LL Cool J running through my head afterward.
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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