Wednesday, October 29, 2008


My husband just mailed an acceptance letter for a new Systems Analyst job at a small local military contracting company. He had another interview in September, during the evil on-call week, but that job feel through, and he ended up hearing about this one through a former colleague. Also during an evil on-call week, which just ended on Monday. The new job involves some travel, mostly short trips, but no pager duty. No on call, and no weekend duties. This is a very nice way to head into a long weekend holiday to wine country!

Also, I can graduate 6 months sooner than I have been planning, IF I go full time 6 months sooner, and think up a thesis subject lickety split. I want to do it, it would be great to knock a whole semester off. I'd be defending this time next year, and finishing in December '09. Crikey.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Challenge: Initial Test


Three measly incline push ups, using the arm of the futon as a bench. Week One, weakling column here I come.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I would do 100 push ups (just to be the one who fell down at your door)

I've been thinking about doing the 100 push up challenge a la Dietgirl, but I'm pretty sure that right now I can't even achieve one good form push up. Since I've been thinking about it, and my lack of ability, I've realized that the inability to perform even one is the perfect reason to make this a project. Push ups and squats are excellent simple indicators of basic fitness and right now I am earning a big fat FAIL at basic fitness. At least I used to be pretty good a squats, even though I never managed decent push ups.

This sounds like an excuse, but I am really feeling the difference of living in a car culture metro area, in a neighborhood that is not conducive to walking (neither by it's infrastructure nor it's climate). I'm grateful to the experience of going back to university for showing me how little I now walk and climb hills/stairs as part of my normal life. For the first month or so of this semester I was parking in the same structure as everyone else with classes on my side of campus, this involved at least fifteen minutes of trawling for a parking spot, following people as they walk to their car, playing chicken at intersections because whoever gets ahead of you MIGHT STEAL A SPOT FROM YOU...until I noticed that I was chronically late for class and getting mileage from my car that would be more appropriate for a small truck. Now I park in an unpopular lot close to the freeway and down a hill and a staircase from the campus. My thighs complain on the ascent, and it's less than half of The Mound in Edinburgh, which I used to trample up and down with no trouble.

So...I've been thinking that it would not be a bad idea to take the 100 push ups challenge, starting with bench push ups and working up (or down, really) to the floor version, and taking the same simple scale-up type approach to simple unloaded squats.

Feeling weak and achy sucks. I want to feel strong. I want to be stronger. It's about time I did something about it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sneaky Knittings

A perk of working in a lab (and being in charge of ordering surgical gloves) is that I know, when plotting to make fingerless gloves for my lab mates, that S. has slim hands, but fairly long fingers, and V. has hands pretty close to my size. It's nice not to have to rely on guesswork when putting in the time to hand knit something. All I have to worry about is picking colours (royal blue for S. and pinky red for V.)

We all spend a lot of time in an overly air-conditioned computer lab, looking at highly magnified photographs of nerve fibers, and using software to analyze those nerve fibers in excruciating detail. Last winter we all had very cold stiff hands. I can't make myself a pair of fingerless gloves to wear while my compadres suffer with stiff chilly hands.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mouse 'flu* sweeps through laboratory

Over half the lab is down for the count. I'm in, but functioning on low brain power - only slow and steady computer analysis for me today, no sectioning or anything else involving sharp things.

*no such thing, but we work with rodents and I just had a class on avian 'flu.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

For Isabelle

In explanation of my previous anecdote.

Monty Python's Holy Grail, the bridge scene.