Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Easter!

Found an Easter egg last night, in fact two of them: playing an old CD on my new car's stereo, and when it got to the end there were two tracks I'd never heard before. This was a Fu Manchu CD from 2000 or so, and I'd played it to death years ago -- it seemed impossible that I wouldn't know every note of every song on it, let alone finding two whole unfamiliar songs. Turns out they were bonus tracks in MP3 format, and since I now have an MP3 player built in to the car stereo, it just played them like the others. Well whaddaya know...

Anyway, rode last night with Larry, then caught Steve McDaniels at Which Brew, plus a little bit of Post Junction at Porters. This morning was yoga and then the gym; now I'm getting ready for the Picatinny Arsenal mountain-biking engineers Christmas dinner -- Joe & Dawn both work there, and I ride (and hang) with that crew on occasion.

And finally, your word for today is ergodicity -- that's the term that describes a population model's independence between initial conditions and long-term results. The example I was playing with the other day was not very ergodic.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Oh, And Another Thing...

Go read this. Wow.

In The Shadow Of The Wolf

Morning weigh-in: 167#, 10% BF
Well that wasn't so bad! I had the dates mixed up -- the "regifting party" is next Thursday (a-and Which Brew was closed last night anyway because of weather), and the VMB Christmas party is next Friday. Car is still parked where I left it, but there was no snow emergency even though schools (and work here) got out early. Went home, played with the computer, then went to the gym but it was closing too. Porters was still open though, so that's where I went next, had dinner (Irish peasant stew & a cheese plate) and a Corsendonk Chistmas Ale, huge bottle. So, there's some un-suppression in those numbers up there... Usual Porters crowd, but I also saw Tim S there; usually I see him at WB of a Thursday.
Went home, prepped the bike for tonight & got the batteries charging. A little more with the 'puter, then early bed. Funny, I've been sleeping well, and with the early bedtimes I've been waking up refreshed every morning about 4:00 AM, then falling back to sleep -- and waking up tired at 6:30. Wazzap widdat?
Lycanthrophobia: We used to pay a guy to walk his dog by the lake here, to chase away the geese, but the dog got downsized and now we've got these sort of scarecrow-thingies, very lifelike coyote statues placed here and there around the grounds. It seems to work, but I noticed the other day a colony of geese by one of the evergreen "landscape features," all packed together on the visual leeward side of the bushes -- where they couldn't see the coyotes, and the coyotes couldn't "see" them...
(Had a dream last night that I was the sole, severely wounded survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, and I was exhausted, dying, lying trapped at the top of a cliff over the Colorado River, and just waiting for the Indians to catch up with me before throwing myself over it. Cut to a medium-long aerial shot, watching my blood cascade down the cliff into the water, where the wolves were waiting in the shallows. Next thing, I'm partway down the cliff, waiting for the wolves to close in, as they move along the cliff face like goats.)
Anyway, tonight is the towpath, then maybe WB or just more computer play, and tomorrow is yoga/gym/Jacobsburg, then that dinner party at the Long Valley Pub.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Constant Whitewater

Morning weigh-in: 166#, 10.5% BF
What A Revoltin' Development: Turns out that there are two people living in my apartment, one named <me> and the other named <me> Junior; one of them owns my old car (his name is on the title), and the other has a driver's license plus other forms of ID, and can prove that he exists... I cannot sell the car until that gets fixed, maybe some time after Christmas -- the paperwork is in, but the PA bureaucracy may grind a little slowly at this time of year. Oh well. Car was "parked"  (read: "broken down") on a snow emergency route, so I called and had it towed into storage before the cops came and, uh, had it towed into storage...
Meantime: Yoga last night, then Which Brew for dinner, broccoli soup and fish 'n' chips. Very early night though, I was in and out by 10:30 so I could finish messing with the car. (The roof rack is basically rusted on, I may ask the shop to cut the mounts off so I can salvage the racks & crossbars.) Tonight is a late night here, then alterna-workout nite at the gym, followed by the Which Brew "Re-Gifting Party" -- I'll be ditching that Xmas Elmo P.O.S. from the Chain Gang party, not sure what I'll come home with.
I have a Christmas party tonight, tomorrow night, and Saturday night. I don't feel up for the season and I'm already dreading it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Insects And Cobwebs

Morning weigh-in: 167.5#, 9.5% BF
Is that you, Shaun Ryder? Wow I had a dream about this last night, must have heard it on the news or somewhere & not realized. (I was at work in my dream, and I told my co-worker, who happened to be George Bush, that I had the President's cell number. I then told him what the number was, and he crank-called it -- using my phone.)
Busy evening: I dropped off the rental car and picked up my dry cleaning, each within minutes of the place closing, and then I went to the gym. Dinner unfortunately was Taco Bell, but I got two (relatively) healthy 7-Layer Burritos instead of the usual ground beef calorie fest. After dinner I cleaned the old car. I still have to take the roof rack off -- it was almost midnight when I got to it last night, and I was just too tired -- but it should be ready for sale/junking by tonight.
Finger Exercise: Working my way through the first and thinner of those two bio-math texts. I've been basically bouncing back and forth between Chapter 1 (insect populations, types of competition, and stability analysis of the population size), and Appendix A ( ie "the math you need for Chapter 1"). Very information dense; the second, larger book seems much more conversational in tone, though I've only looked at the introduction so far.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Got It, And Other Odds & Ends

Morning weigh-in: 169#, 10.5% BF
Picked up the car last night, car-purchasing process took forever but now I have my new Outback -- I may be able to sell them the old one too, we'll see. Doug helped me move cars around, and so he and Lori got the first ride in it; we went to Brew Works for dinner afterward. It was a very early night though, went home after dinner, bed by 10:30.
Quote of the night: I was babbling last night about my computer adventures, Lotka-Volterra, Achewood, blah de blah blah, and Lori said "Why can't you just be into porn?" Oh you're a riot Alice...
No yoga last night (obviously); tonight will be the gym. In other news, the humidifier is now back up and running, pumping 1.5 gallons of water into the air per day  -- indoor air at home feels great.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Reichssieger Von Thanatz Alpdrucken

Morning weigh-in: 170#, 10% BF (Sigh... good times, bad choices this weekend.)
The Finger Exercise: I've been playing again with Octave, basically just doing what I'd done before with the Lotka-Volterra equations, but this time using scripts to help automate the process & save it for later -- also, Octave can be run from within emacs, but that's not quite as convenient as it seems so I'm back to running both programs separately. Coupla insights:
1. The final steady-state (or rather, periodic) populations seem more dependent on initial conditions than I realized -- I would have thought that the final state would depend only on things like birth and death rates, and that no matter what the initial population it would trend to the same end state for any given set of those rates. Um, not so; I found that where you end up is very dependent on where you start.
2. It bothered me for a while that the actual predator-prey equations didn't look the way I thought they should. I expected to find some term for death rates based on starvation, for both predators and prey, and neither one has anything like that. (The prey only die from being eaten, and the predators have a constant death rate.) Another surprise for me was the food-dependent reproduction rate for the predators, but I now remember reading something in Bear Attacks about the overriding importance of food in reproductive success, at least for bears... Anyway, my insight is that I might have to learn some real biology along with my modeling: logistical death rates may not be as important as I once thought, at least compared to other factors.
Reading: Gravity's Rainbow, coming to the end of Part 1. Yowza, forgot about that, I thought all the truly crazy-brilliant writing was in Part 4... Imperial soldier of the death-nightmare, don't you know me? Don't you really know me? (Also working my way through those new biomath textbooks, though "studying" would be a better term for that.)
Sunday Afternoon, Coming Down: Spent most of the morning yesterday sleeping in, then reading/playing as stated above. Went out in the early afternoon, lunch at the Quadrant, then back home for more reading/playing and laundry. Caught part of the Colts-Ravens game, 2nd & 3rd quarters at Porters while the laundry dried. Boring game. Taco Bell -- D'oh!