Archive for December, 2007

We are becoming the machine…

December 24, 2007

I read Wired magazine when I can.  I used to subscribe.  Now I am broke.  But I did keep a page out of one month about the 2007 Rave Awards so that I could look up further information on it later.

The Machine is Us/ing Us is the blurb to which I’m referring.  It’s short so take a moment to read it.

Then go to its YouTube page and check it out.   I believe it’s worth your while to spend five minutes to see what Web 2.0 is doing to the way we live… in a good way!

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Between stimulus and response…

December 24, 2007

“Between stimulus and response is a space. In this space lies our freedom to choose our response. In these choices lie our growth and our happiness.”

“Regardless of the social and psychic scars you may carry inside, regardless of how others treat you, regardless of the disappointments and strains and setbacks which may blindside your finest intentions, you see the space between all of that an your freedom and power to respond to it.”

This is by Stephen Covey, the author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” I have never read the book in full. But I am reading a daily reflections book of his that echoed this sentiment. Pretty powerful stuff.

It seems that as a result of practicing this, we could lose what makes us “us”. That is, our reactions, our emotional outbreaks, our wittiness, all in the quest to be self-aware. I have a friend like that and he is so uber-thoughtful on everything. Occasionally he breaks out of that shell. But usually he takes it all in and then hits you with a barage of thought.

I don’t know if I like that method so much. I want to be me. And I want to believe that people will either stick around because they like who I am, or they won’t. But then again, I guess this tells me that I can be self-aware in all cases, but that I can still react when I am aware that the consequences are low, but on the other hand that I should think carefully before I respond when the consequences are high. That sounds better to me.

But doesn’t that go without saying? I guess so. But some us are much better at it than others. I consider my self in the latter camp with a desire to improve. =]

DRG

December 24, 2007

Also in the vein of learning one’s calculator…

Did you ever think of what the DRG button really stood for on your calculator?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  It’s that button that you have to use for trig functions.

We mostly used it on the Degree setting.  And I often thought it was a weird assembly of letters form the word degree… like DeGRee.  But of course, maybe it was British or something.  You know, like how they spell theatre or centre differently.  But even that never made sense because who would put the ‘r’ in front of the ‘g’?

Alas, I was just a dumb kid and didn’t try harder to figure it out.  Now, after reading my trusty  TI calculator book and understanding that the unit circle can be broken down into Degrees (360 of them), Radians (2π of them), or Grads (400 of them).  Hence the DRG.  Duh…

Pi (π)

December 24, 2007

How many of you know that the formula to calculate the circumference of a circle is 2πr (where r = the radius of the circle)?

Now how many of you also inferred that π = C / d? That is, that the value of pi (3.1415926… blah blah) is equal to the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter?

It seems to make perfect sense… but I can tell you that I have NEVER, to my recollection, been taught the value of π in this way. I was expected to memorize it as a constant. And this begs the question… WHY?!

If circle after circle after circle follows this simple equation (again, which is easily inferred based on the formula for the circumference of a circle), that π is equal to the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter, why wasn’t THAT driven home in our brains instead of, the value of π equals 3.14…?

Anyway… where did I find this out? I was reading an old book I have on how to use my Texas Instruments calculator. Pretty neat book. And at least it solved one of life’s great mysteries!

Champagne and Chicken Wings

December 24, 2007

Because who said they DON’T go together?!  And who said I have to save the bubbly for a special occasion.  I’m celebratin’ my chicken wangs!  What!?!

Uncle Luda would be proud.

Affairs of the Heart

December 19, 2007

I cannot explain why these matter so much.  All I know is the end of relationships is always hard.  And even the beginning of relationships can sometimes be hard.   And damn if the relationship itself isn’t sometimes hard.   Why is that?  Why do we have to make it work?  And why are we in search of that perfect someone or trying to create that perfect someone out of whom we are already with when we know that that perfect someone is just a figment of our imaginations?

Anyway, I babble.  But that is how I feel.  And it’s making me lose my hair, dammit!

Phantom Energy Loss

December 14, 2007

Do you guys know that you are probably suffering higher energy bills than need be?  I always find this stuff amazing.  So I did an energy audit for myself about six months ago and found that I was wasting about 100 kilowatt hours a month (probably more if I really wanted to go gung-ho green).  While that only translates to a $11/month and $132/year, it’s still wasted electricity, which has obvious consequences to the environment as we are all becoming more aware.

I’m not preaching about this stuff, though.  But I do like to spread the word from time to time.  Check out this site to see a nice display of how you might be wasting money and energy in your home.  — Vampire Energy

Dips…

December 3, 2007

Ever since I had my first shoulder surgery on my right shoulder two years ago (the day before Thanksgiving), I haven’t been able to do much in the way of working out. My second shoulder surgery followed exactly one year later (also the day before Thanksgiving), this time on my left shoulder. And so it’s now been one full year since my last operation.

Not working out sucks. I used to have a chest and shoulders to brag about. Until recently I was almost reduced to man boobs. But without a gym membership, I didn’t think I could really regain my physique.

About two months ago, though, I started to push-ups. It was horrible. I was winded after ten. Now I’m pumping out 40 before I’m winded. At the beginning, I couldn’t do a diamond push-up any more. Now I can do them easily once again. My chest is actually in better shape now than when I was actively working out. My shoulders have regained their definition, and my arms are becoming more shapely as well. All from push-ups!?!

The thing I thought I’d never do again, however, were dips. It seemed like so much stress on my shoulders. I had tried them a few months back, but I was tentative. After a couple of months of push-ups, though, I finally did some dips today. Twenty of them, in fact (two sets of 10, let’s be honest).

Now, if I can only start adding abdominal work to my daily routine… Hmm…