Archive for December, 2007

Weekly Fitness Update

December 17, 2007

One week into my workout routine and I’ve gained 2 pounds. Oops. In my defense, we had back-to-back-to-back Christmas parties this past weekend.

My workout consists of 15 minutes of cardio, a round of weightlifting on the “express” fitness machines, and then 20 more minutes of cardio. I’m not crazy about the weightlifting, since using the machines tends to focus on individual muscles groups instead of giving me a more holistic workout, but they are handy for providing a controlled environment while I work through some of my injuries. I’ll be starting with a personal trainer soon, and that should shake things up a bit.
I wake up at 6am, catch the 6:20 bus, and I’m working out by 7am. The workout takes about an hour, and then I’m at work before 8:30. My plan is to spend 3 or 4 days at the gym, plus a run on the weekend, plus soccer when that picks up again in January.

The Power of Being Ungentlemanly

December 16, 2007

Kate and I were watching the Amazing Race last week.  During a difficult stretch for one of the teams, one competitor remarked to her boyfriend, “I expect you to be gentlemanly!”  (Or something like that — I’m paraphrasing).

I was immediately struck by the thought that Kate would never say something like that.  Because, awesomely, she doesn’t have an expectation for me to “be gentlemanly”.

Of course I act with kindness, politeness, and respect towards her, but the difference is that I do it out of, well, respect.  And love.  I don’t “act like a gentleman” — that’s just going through the motions, doing what is expected, and being conscientious of neither the motivations for, nor the effects of, your actions.

If anything, the place for being a gentleman is outside of your relationship.  When you’re with people with whom you don’t have strong ties, then “acting like a gentleman” is by far the best course of action.  Those rules for interaction are an important shorthand for human relationships.  But if you’re still using that shorthand to navigate your closest relationships, then something is missing.
It is wonderful to continue discovering ways in which our relationship is unique, powerful, and unconstrained.

(Kate would like to add that she is always lady-like.)


December 16, 2007

I’m writing this blog post while running Ubuntu!  The migration is now (more or less) complete and it had some delights and some frustrations.

After spending a bunch of time trying, unsuccessfully, to re-partition my hard disk I decided to throw in the towel and just start from scratch with a complete overwrite.  To my surprise, though, Ubuntu installed itself automatically into a dual-boot situation.  And, even more delightful, it was smart enough to import my user settings (such as Firefox bookmarks) across the divide.

From there, though, things went downhill.  Networking was flaky and, after appearing briefly ended up disappearing for a few days.  It took several sessions of poking and prodding to get the network connection running.  I’m still not sure what I did or if it’ll still be there the  next time I reboot.

A similar problem occurred with the video drivers.  My laptop has a native 1280×800 resolution, but the computer was running at 1024×768, making the screen appear blurry.  Many more sessions of poking and prodding got that fixed, but again — I’m not quite sure what did it or what’ll happen the next time I reboot.

The only remaining major issue is that the monitor’s brightness is turned way down.  This laptop’s screen is kind of dark to begin with, and it’s kind of hard on the eyes when the brightness is at its lowest.  I managed to boot once into a bright screen, but it didn’t last and I’m not sure what did (or didn’t) work in that situation.

So now, I’m recompiling the kernel with the hope that I can enable some toshiba extensions or something that’ll turn on the brightness hotkeys.  Hopefully it’ll work — I’m mostly stumbling around in the dark.

Overall, I’d say that this OS is a long way away from prime time.  Linux is still far too arcane for even an intermediate user.  One of the more frustrating problems is the sheer number of variants and revisions that are out there.  I’d find several solutions to my problems online, but then I’d never be sure which, if any, applied to the version I was running.

Once it’s up and running satisfactorily, I expect Ubuntu will meet all my needs as a communication platform (email, chat, web browsing), multimedia platform (playing music and videos, and editing and managing photos) and as a web development platform.  At this point, though, I must admit that my confidence level is quite low.

Tee hee

December 9, 2007

Just click here.

Leaping To Linux

December 9, 2007

Today I started preparations to convert my main computer over to linux. Ubuntu, specifically. This computer had become too slow and unstable and I figured if I was going to have to re-install Windows anyway, I might as well take the opportunity to make the conversion.

It turns out my leap won’t be such a big one after all. I’d like to keep Windows around just in case, and to do the occasional Win32 development, and I found a tutorial that’ll let me do an in-place conversion. All I need to do is find enough space on my hard disk to create a new partition.

So today I’ve been deleting unnecessary applications and redundant files, and now I’m defragmenting the hard disk. Tomorrow, we jump!

Goodbye, My Little Furry Friend

December 8, 2007

So few got to know you; even fewer understood you. And now, you are gone… forever?

Moustache #2

Big Old Me

December 8, 2007

I joined a gym last week and had my first workout on Friday.  My plan is to have several early-morning workouts every week, often joined by my friend Michael, and to supplement those with weekly soccer games and the occasional weekend run (weather permitting).

I weighed 205.5 pounds after my workout yesterday, which I figure it pretty much the most I’ve ever weighed.  I’m just 10 pounds short of being offically “obese”.

My ideal weight is about 175 pounds.  A realistic goal is probably in the low 180’s.  In the past, my emergency “time to lose weight now!” number has been 190 pounds, but somehow I managed to glide right by it.

My weight hasn’t gone down at all the past two months, despite my earnest efforts to eat sensibly.  The biggest problem is that my exercise has been cut way back due to various aches and strains (documented here) and getting past my many nagging injuries has been difficult.  My lower back hurts every day, my left groin muscle is only running at about one-quarter strength, and my right ankle has settled into a slightly smaller range of motion after my last sprain.  I’m hoping the controlled environment of the gym will let me work around (and then through) these injuries on my way back to health.