Friday, January 04, 2013

Jokes, Lame and...Also, lame

1. Just before wrapping up to go home after seeing-in New Year's Day there was some small talk about Brandy. It seems she had been a force in the pop-music scene 9 years ago and was just on one of the "Rockin' New Year's Eve shows".

Anyway, one of the guests thought she might have gone by the name Brandi in her earlier career but the TV had her as Brandy now. I suggested that in a few years more she could change it to cognac. I did not expect more than a polite chuckle, but my host just about lost his footing. I suppose one never quite knows what is going to work.

2. I put a lot more into one from last night and it got barely a snigger:

Me: So, you know cats?

Wife: Yes...

Me: Well, sometimes they get run-over. If the car hits the front of the animal, it usually dies on the spot. But if it gets winged in the hindquarters it will often survive.


Me: But, what can happen is that the cat will be paralyzed in the rear-legs, much like a human paraplegic.

Wife: Awwe...

Me: So, because of the lack of exercise the cat gets in the rear, the back legs can waste-away.

Me: They call this condition a Cat-Asstrophy!

Wife: Groan!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Memory Conforms With What We Now Believe.

The lake used to be frozen over by New Year's. Sadly, no longer.

The above is a quote from someone I know on Facebook who is a "worrier" when it comes to global warming.

He was refering to Lake Champlain. I was in Vermont for eight years (1992-2001) and I had vaguely remembered that it froze the first winter I was there and the second but then maybe only once after that, so I was curious if my experience was typical.

The records were easy to find.

The records go back to 1816 and there is no year in which the lake was frozen by New Year's. January is the most common month though. Also, while the lake did freeze more often in the past, 1851-1918 without missing a year, this is long before this guy was alive. In his personal memory, it freezes about half the winters. The trend is slight: 19 times in his first 30 years of life and 15 times since then.

Probably the largest influence, besides confirmation bias, is that the lake has gone 5 years in a row of not freezing. By March, we will know if it has made it 6 years in a row.

Update: It did in fact go 6 years without freezing since it didn't freeze in 2013. It has come back with a fury though: Frovze in mid Feb in 2014 and 2015.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Painting The Addition

On the last day of 2012 I spent the bulk of the day painting. I expected that it would go fast and it did--there are no floors in yet, or trim, or even switches, electrical outlets or lights.

I blew-through five gallons of primer in 6 hours of continuous work and then I was done, not with the job, but at least with the day since I was out of paint.

As I was progressing I had a couple of thoughts:

1. I am glad I ignored the advice of the paint clerk at the hardware store. He thought I should need only two gallons of paint, reasoning that each will do 400 square feet and the addition is about 800. I reasoned that the 400 figure was wall area not floor area and that is about the coverage I got.

2. I nearly got one gallon of paint onto the walls per hour of effort and so wondered what kind of benchmark "real" painters achieve? On further reflection, I doubt painters measure their work that way. Most are probably paid by the hour, not by how much paint they use-up. Even if you paid by some measure of how much work was completed, you probably would not want it to be by paint volume since that might just encourage wasteful application of product.

I have never hired a painter since it seems like the quintessential do-it-yourself kind of thing. But I may look into how they quote for jobs. Do they just come in and do everything? Or do you buy the paint and they just apply it?

At the end of the last day of 2012, I was exhausted. I don't know how I managed to find the energy to go out after that and pick-up more paint, but somehow I did. Yet the next day I (with Wife's help) finished the primering and the amount of time on the job was similar to what I had spent on painting on the day before. But I felt fine. I suppose that one's body adapts to whatever kind of work is demanded of it.

His Ethics are...Situational

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. . . . Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

Obama 2006

But Obama warned again that he would not negotiate with Republicans over the $16.4 trillion debt limit, which must be raised in the coming weeks. “While I will negotiate over many things,” he said, “I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether they will pay the bills they’ve already racked up.”

Obama from today's Washington Post

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 running

Running report for the year: 1,502.13 miles at an average pace of 7:57. 861.48 miles with shoes @ 8:03/mile and 640.65 barefoot @ 7:50/mile. I was hoping for 1560, so that the average would be 30/week.

I think that I get about 500 miles on a pair of shoes, so if nothing else, I saved about $50 on shoes this last year. The real reason I do it is the savings in time: 13 seconds/mile on average and what makes it more impressive is that the barefoot runs were mostly medium distance and long distance while the ones with shoes were mostly short runs. The other big savings is on injuries: I get more superficial cuts, blisters and abrasions on my feet; but my joints have never felt better.