Friday, May 16, 2008

Piped-in music at Marketbasket

I went shopping for a few grocery items Wednesday and noticed an old song on the PA system.

"Don't Pull Your Love" by Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds

It took me a bit of poking around to find the name of the song and who it was by. I remember hearing it a lot when I went to Whitworth Elementary School in Spokane, WA. Around once/month the whole school would go roller-skating at the near-by rollercade. They would play whatever the current hits were at the time and it was lot's of fun. So, the below song was a big fave of mine when I was in 2nd grade.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm not slow because I am old: I am slow because I am fat

The calorie counter from the previous post got me thinking...

I didn't run a lot of 10Km races when I was in High School, but I ran enough that I have a pretty good idea of the pace I would be able to maintain. I also remember what I weighed back then. If I punch in the data: When I was 18 I weighed about 125lbs and could probably do a 10k in a 6:05min/mile pace. This gives a rate of 938 cal/hour. From the previous post I indicate that my 7:11 pace and 150lbs translates to 933 cal/hr.

What this tells me is that my system (lungs, heart, liver, muscles & etc.) is capable of pretty much what it could do 25 years ago. I am slower because it takes more energy to haul-around the extra 25lbs I carry.

As a caveat; Spokane, which is where all of my running was done, is around 2,000 ft above sea level and the Boston area where I am now is less than 100 feet.

As an added note: This is all a moot-point, two ways. 1. It may be physically possible to loose 25 lbs, but I am not sufficiently motivated to do that. 2. My wife would kill me if I tried. She would say, "You are already too thin, I don't want to be married to a man who looks like a teen-aged boy"! etc.

My Carbon "footprint"

According to this calorie counter, I was burning 933 calories/hour in my last race. (150lb and 7:11 min/mile pace)

Table sugar (sucrose--which is a dimer of Glucose and Fructose) is 342.3g/mole and provides 3.94 calories/g. So, using high school chemistry:

(933cal/hr)(1g/3.94cal)(1 mole sucrose/342.3g)(12 carbons/mole sucrose)(44g CO2/mole)(1g/0.00220462262lbs)=0.816 Pounds of Carbon Dioxide per hour!

The race was only about 45 minutes, or 3/4 of an hour; so I generated about 0.6 lbs of Carbon Dioxide in the course of the run.

Note: I use the common form of calorie as applied to food, this is actually Kcal when dealing with chemisty. Also, for those of you in Metricland...0.6 lbs is just over a quarter of a kg.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sweet Little Meenah...

She is kind of a cannibal.

She dug this up from somewhere, along with the top half of the skull--which I now cannot find--and she has been chewing on it and playing with it. Thing is, I am no zoologist, but it looks like a dog's bones. Not the kind they chew, the kind which provides them with a skeleton.

Update: I found the other half of the skull.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blog comments curation--a blog

I came up with an idea for a blog today.

This blog ( is a tiny little thing which exists to keep friends and family up-to-date with whatever is going on in my life and in my head. But there exist greater blogs, full of wit and learned thought: Ones with millions of visits per year and scores of comments per post.

The comments are often as good or even better than the posts which prompt them. The problem is that in amongst the gems is a lot of crap: Repetitions of arguments already made, off-topic thread jacks, side-jihads and a plethora of distractions. The idea would be to read through it all and then create a blog post which sums-up the ideas presented in the discussion. I think the most direct way would be to describe the flow of ideas as they occurred, but leave out the sniping and side-issues (unless they are interesting or funny). It would be kind of like Television Without Pity, except it would be recaps of blog comment threads instead of TV shows.

The kind of blogs that regularly have great comment threads are: Althouse, Just One Minute, and Megan McArdle. I am sure there are lots of other great ones, but these are the ones I look at.

Maybe one of these days if I really feel like writing but don't really have any idea that I want to share, I will choose a comment thread and try out this idea of mine.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Internet Tubes are full of interesting corners...

Some time ago, possibly years ago, I came across an odd phenomina.

Amazon sells fresh milk.

Some people find this funny and have turned the customer review section into a hodgepodge of clever essays, poems and satire

Tuscan Whole Milk

Growing Asparagus

I have tried both in Vermont and Massachucetts to grow asparagus. All I have ever gotten are a few spindly spears that become less and less each year.

Today, I went for a walk instead of running and I found asparagus growing on the side of the road! Big fat spears were poking up through gravel and litter in a ditch.

Maybe I should plant some in whatever part of the yard is the most rocky and desolate. Then, follow-up by neither weeding nor watering

Bumper crop to come!