Friday, December 16, 2005

Full Plate

Morning weigh-in: 182#, 10% BF

I was going to go to the gym last night, but my legs felt tired so I took a rest day, played with the computer & ended up going to bed at midnight anyway. I played with this & that, downloaded some more nonlinear optimization software, also moved photos from the camera card to computer & processed them. I put a few from my North Carolina trip on flickr, but they were experiencing difficulties and the process was taking too long (bedtime! bedtime!), so the rest will have to wait. Tonight, hopefully.

I think it's time for a bike ride, so I'll be skipping the run tonight & taking out the singlespeed. Maybe I'll do some of the towpath, but I mostly plan to just fool around, maybe cruise downtown for a while etc. I have a little work to do on the Turner, must bleed the brake lines & see if I need new seals, I think they're leaking -- that all is supposedly slated for tonight as well, but it also has "not gonna happen" written all over it...

Tomorrow I'll be hitting the gym, and will probably do a run beforehand (I don't want to skimp on the weekly running quota, I'm trying to build my mileage up). Then comes Bill & Jackie's "Christmas Cookie Party" (an afternoon event for me), followed by the Valley Mountain Bikers Christmas Party (WARNING! DANGER! BLOWOUT!) at Greg H's -- I'll be blowing off Joe G's party to do this one, dang.

I may or may not go out tonight; given the stuff I want to do I probably shouldn't, and I've also gone out twice -- on "school nights," no less -- this week, but tonight should be a good night to pass along Christmas greetings, many of my friends should be out & about. However, I've got a huge "third eye" pimple on my forehead (typical cold-weather burn: I've really neglected the humidifier lately, finally turned it on again last night), don't feel especially sociable so maybe I will stay in.

Way back at Beth & Kevin's Chili Party, Kevin broke out his new camera: it's good for photography as well I guess, but its video capabilities were what really impressed me. Smaller than my digital camera, rugged, with a 1-Gigabyte memory card and a remote "helmet cam," the thing was made for cyclists. Kevin is a motorcyclist, so we ended up watching some motocross videos he made on trails in West Virginia. Killer toy, still kind of pricey (approx $400) but it should come down -- wish I could remember the brand and model! Anyway, I'm thinking about getting one eventually, so last night I started messing with the video mode on my camera. Stay tuned...

By the way, things are real busy at work, but I'll be on vacation next week.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oddly Enough, It Never Ends

Morning weigh-in: 184#, 12% BF (aaaargh!!)

Went home last night, made/ate a healthy dinner & played with computer, then ran, played with 'puter some more, and finally went down to Which Brew to catch The Insidious Rays -- unfortunately they seemed to be busy with some shark-jumping project, so I took off, ended up at Taco Bell (sigh). I expect the beer didn't help either...

I Miss Gilda Radner: I'm driving in to work yesterday, county road and the woman in front of me is driving slowly -- well, not slow exactly but slower than I want to go, not the best way to get on my good side. I see she has a bumper sticker, sez: "Well-Beloved Women Seldom Make History." WTF??!? That got me annoyed, thought up some quick counter-examples, angry analysis & deconstruction, then just decided to make like Amanda and say "well, I blame the Patriarchy." Had a great rant set for it, but googled the phrase and found that the bumper sticker really read "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History." Oh. Well, that's very different then. Never mind! (And speaking of smart women bloggers, here's the latest from Chicago, and from New York.)

And one final oddment: You can see those "this is a weapon" shirts/tattoos here. Historical interest only I'm sure, though they're probably still printing them at Piccatinny Arsenal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Odds & Ends #5

Just one more loose end... Here is something about Huntington's disease, a terrible affliction that my cousin Joe suffers from. I found it in Tangled Bank #43 ("tangled bank" -- what a cool quote that comes from!), via Pharyngula of course. Not very close to a cure, but they are starting to understand it.

Odds & Ends #4

This is another graph of the predator-prey relationship, only they are graphed against each other instead of time: the X-axis is prey and the Y-axis the predator.

Odds & Ends #3

This is a graph I made using octave to solve a pair of nonlinear differential equations, namely the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey equations. The prey is the red curve, and the green curve is the predator. You can see the prey population increasing, until the predator population also increases, overhunting the prey and causing a collapse in both populations, until the prey species recovers and the cycle repeats. I chose the parameters (ie reproduction and mortality rates) used to create this somewhat arbitrarily, but this agrees with the ones I've seen for real-world predator-prey relationships.

Odds & Ends #2

This graph shows more samples of curves from the "logistical map," with even higher values for reproduction rate. The population curves start to bounce around pretty nicely as the function gets progressively closer to chaotic behavior, which I didn't actually show.

Odds & Ends #1

This is a shot of some plots I made of that logistic function, the difference equation one found here. I took a few sample curves with different reproduction rates to show the function converging smoothly on different equilibrium levels, and then (as the reproduction rate rose above some threshold) the "equilibrium" becoming more of an oscillation.

Burn Rate

Morning weigh-in: 181.5#, 11.5% BF

Time seems to be moving pretty quickly this week...

Hit the gym last night, then had dinner at Which Brew. The only one there from the usual Tuesday night crew (other than myself) was Scott; even the bartender was an alternate. Food was salad & hot wings, beer was Sierra Celebration Ale, but things seemed harsh (sometimes that happens in the low-humidity winter: sinuses/throat become very sensitive to irritants, hoppy beers especially), and I ended up taking some wings home. Finished the beer though.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Fox And The Hare

Morning weigh-in: 180.5#, 11.5% BF

It took a great deal of willpower I know, but somehow I avoided going to watch the game at Porters. Instead I did laundry, played with the computer, ran, and played with the computer some more: put together a predator-prey model based on those Lotka-Volterra equations, ran it with various parameters -- I wish I could find that Hudson Bay Fur Company hare-lynx population data, try the model on that. Once again, I got some cool graphs which I may post but probably won't...

Speaking of cool graphics, I parked some old screenshots here; I probably will not make a gallery for them, but have a look anyway.

Tonight is more laundry (of course), the gym, and my Tuesday night stop-in at Which Brew.

Oh, the fox and the hare, and the berries and the bear,
And the sun and the bees, and the lichen and the trees...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Football, You Bet!

Morning weigh-in: 181.5#, 12% BF

Sunday of last weekend, as I was getting ready to leave for the Nesquehoning ride, my neighbor saw me and we got to talking. His daughter, 7th grade or so, is now playing clarinet so well she's in the high school band. The family therefore goes to all the football games, and he told me about the game the day before, when Wilson was down by maybe 9 points but won it in the last two minutes, which meant that they advanced to the state championship game. (Liberty High also advanced to the state championship, but in a bigger division.) Both those games were this past Saturday, and both lost -- Wilson to undefeated South Park, who came from behind to win at the end. Live by the sword, die by the sword...

So anyway, back to last weekend: We stopped to regroup on the ride, also to check out some stripmine reclamation, and one of the guys started going "Woo-hoo, Wilson! My alma mater's going to the championship!" and I was all like "Go Wilson! Down by nine points, two minutes to go and they pulled it off, what a game." Came out smelling like a red-blooded all-American rose.

Caught some MNF at Porter's last week, was able to talk intelligently about the Eagles debacle the next day at work. Saturday of this weekend I ran into a friend at the Quadrant (bookstore/coffeeshop), we shared a table, since the place is cramped, and discussed local HS sports rivalries. Yesterday was my brother's surprise 40th birthday party, the Giants-Eagles game was on, and I was all "hey you see those guys get stomped last week? Yeah, well, you're right, friggin' Giants could still blow it" -- and they almost did.

If this keeps up I'll have to buy some golf clubs.

Other highlights from the weekend just past:

Friday was the Chain Gang Christmas dinner, very nice affair at Everybody's Cafe in Stroudsburg -- we had a cozy room to ourselves, with awesome buffet-style dinner and our own private (cash) bar with bartender. Pretty swank!

Saturday was gym etc, then I was off to Gary & Gina's Christmas party. Was only going to stay a short while, but left around 2:00 AM, spent most of the time gabbing with old racer buddies Joe G and Gary.

Sunday was another mellow morning (rest day, plus more predator-prey population modeling), then my brother's party in the afternoon.