Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood
fallenpegasus

Friday

Gym. Session 58 of 124. Back and triceps.

I did measurements with the trainer. Highlights: Since I started training in March, I've gained 8 lb of lean body mass, and shed 16 lb of, ahem, "non-lean". Since I last did measurements, my waist has dropped 1.5 inches, my chest has gained an inch, and my upper arms have gained 0.75 inch (while losing almost 0.25 inch of "pinchable").

We did the regular Friday thing. Back and tris. My form is getting better, which means that targetted muscles start to burn sooner. I'm also getting better at visualizing and feeling which muscles are which, and avoiding "junk effort", contracting muscles that don't actually contribute to the movement.

After the first set, I went up 10 lb per arm on the overhead isolateral row. Much quivering and burning by the end of that one, but I did do all 3x15. Go me.

Email Cleanout

I spent some time cleaning up my email feeds. I subscribe to a lot of lists, and have my reader (Gnus) break the incoming into seperate folders, one per list or regular source. And I had "unsubscribed" to a lot of those folders, meaning that the mail from them was still coming in, and taking up time and space, but I wasn't reading it. So I went through each such, and actually went to the list manager for each, actually unsubscribed, and then deleted the local folder and split rule.

All these technical lists are indexed by Google anyway. Its faster to Google and read them out of their own main archives, than it is to grep my own hard disk.

The Boob Tube

I caught up on the unwatched episodes of "Dead Zone" and "Gary The Rat" on my ReplayTV. "Gary" is a Kelsey Grammer vehicle that got it's start as a Flash animated short on the web a few years ago, and then seemed to die. TNN, as part of it's makeover to "Spike TV, the Network for Men", has picked it up, and while it still looks like it was done in Flash, I really like it. And I love "Dead Zone" it's one of my favorite shows. (Which is odd, considering that I don't care much about either the original King novel, or the Christopher Walken movie.

Vernor Vinge's New Story

One of my very favorite SF authors is Vernor Vinge. He's a Computer Science prof as well as a SF writer, and his stuff is both revolutionary and precient. Unfortunately, his rate of production is, well, not so fast. One of my highlights at WorldCon last year was listening to him read from a work in progress.

Well, that piece is finished, and is in this month's Analog. I bought an electronic (PDF) copy off of Fictionwise, and enjoyed it many.

It's traditional Vinge, in that it's about the impending explosion in artifically enhanced intellegence, and how it will remake the world into something unrecognizable. (The moment of transition is now known in SF, futurist, and transhumanist circles as "The Vingian Singularity", and by critics and naysayers as "The PRapture of the Nerds".)

This story butts right up at the limit, it's about the very first "AI", newly created, carefully controlled and enslaved, and how it is just about to explode in it's creator's and slaveowner's face.

It's called < a href="http://www.analogsf.com/0310/cookie.shtml">The Cookie Monster</a>. Enjoy.

Saturday

Cursing the Sky

I had been hoping to get my directly supervised AFF jumps done this weekend. But the elements opposed me. This morning began with rain and then grey skys. But around noon the sky turned blue, so I thought I had a chance, and so I drove down to the DZ. But right about the time I passed the county line, the skys turned grey again. Crud.

When I got the the DZ, they were just sending up a plane for a cloud check. Only 2100 ft. Over the next several hours it burned up to 3500, high enough for the pop-n-droppers to play, but no big holes for the high altitude folks like me. Really annoying, the layer was less than a thousand feet thick. But I as a student am certainly not allowed to punch clouds, and even the experts there were grounded. Apparently the DZ has an asshole neighbor that kept reporting them to the USPA and the FAA for cloud punching violations.

But on the plus side, I chatted with a couple of jumpers who are on the (National Championship) CReW team. CReW stands for "Canopy Relative Work". They are the nuts who dock up and put together formations WHILE UNDER CANOPY. That form of the sport tends to have a lot of collisions, raps, entanglments, and cell collapses. They get to ride their reserver a lot more often than other jumpers. I learned a bunch of important safely lessons from listening to their near-death stories.

The two main ones I gleaned out were: Make sure your gear fits properly in your container, because a hard pull and an unplanned deployment are both unpleasent surprises. When you have a mild but unfixable malfuction, dump it immediately, even if you are high, instead of just riding it down for a while. Because a mild one can instantly turn into an intanglement or a spinner, and make it almost impossible to get out of.

I don't think I ever want to do CReW...

Playing with the Girls

Anyway, after a few hours of glaring at the sky, I threw in the towel, I started heading home. Of course, as soon as I got back to King County, the sky turned blue again. Crud.

As I was passing Southcenter, my phone beeped at me. omahas had left me a message a few hours earlier, inviting me over for dinner. A quick callback, a course change, and soon I was at their place.

Much fun was had hanging out with elfs and omahas, and with playing on a swingset/monkeybars with Kouryou-chan and Yamaarashi-chan. The girls are strong enough to hand-over-hand the bars, and after I showed them how, do a couple of chin-ups. Darn that cube-square law! I showed Yamaarashi how to do a Parachute Landing Fall, but she was uninterested in trying it herself.

Dinner was a yummy concoction of seasoned chicken breast baked with sweet onions and withs peaches, on a bed of couscous.

After a game of 4 match Fish (which is surprisingly different from the more usual 2 match version), and then a round of "Who's Got The Brain?", I had to go. In the past, I would usually just overnight, but I had to get home to hydrate Birki.

A tenth of a litre of subcu LRS, every night, EVERY night, for the rest of her life. Poor thing. She's in traditional round sleeping form (tail over nose), right now, on her regular night spot on the bed, as I type this.
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