30 September 2010


I'm back from travel and decided to stay home today.

We were there Mon through Wed. The temperatures at the site were in the lower 40s (deg C) and dry. We were at the site at about sun rise. It was nice then, but once the sun came up, it heated up quickly. Then there was the dust and the flies.

The objective was to test this company's equipment with ours. The short story is that theirs was not ready for our application. The environment combined with the troubleshooting, made a un-fun trip and all the prep work we did last week was mostly pointless.

I spent the evenings in my room. The second evening I did some circuit training with the jump rope and stretch cord I brought along. Better than nothing. Worked out here at home this morning :-) Today's 10x10 was dips. I couldn't do 10 reps all the way through, but it was still good.

Our daughter has her third volleyball game of the school's season this afternoon. I missed the first two (earlier this week), but plan to attend today.

25 September 2010

weightlifting class

A week ago I went to a gym that does weight training for Olympic weightlifting (snatch, clean, jerk, etc.) for a session with a personal trainer. The web page said you needed to attend such session(s) before taking the weightlifting class, but it turns out that they different classes, so this morning I went to the beginner's class. It's a drop-in class and only meets twice a month and I was told on the phone that the attendees generally schedule a private in between the class meetings.

Both of these sessions were on the snatch. It is work on the shoulders and legs because it's a press and a squat. After the private lesson, I felt uncoordinated because it's a lift that takes skill and timing. After this morning's class, my lifts were doing better. I could do that again :-)

The week that has been was busy at work preparing for travel next week. The requirements for the project have been shifting for weeks, so the guy who was trying to do the planning was as unhappy as we were as we all adapted to the changes.

While on travel I probably won't be able to visit a gym there. I would like to get out of the long, group dinners watching them drink beer. I'd rather read or work on a crochet project in the hotel room: quiet time to unwind before the project starts up the next day.

19 September 2010

mad hatter's tea party picnic

We attended a costume event today. It was a Mad Hatter's Tea Party Picnic, so Alice in Wonderland or Victorian costumes were the theme.

I'm the white rabbit in the middle. It's actually a hoodless rabbit suit that we rented. My wife made the dresses though.

The event included tea (including snacks), poetry reading, and games, such as croquet (with flamingos, mallets decorated with flamingos, but no hedgehogs) and caucus races.

A rabbit (me) playing croquet.

The first caucus race group on their way back. There was only one Alice out of the entire group, who can be seen here, but there were several white rabbits and a lot of hatters. One other rabbit is in this race and another was a woman in a white dress and ears like his. That's one of the tweetle sisters on the left. The caucus race was a relay with a potato carried on a spoon.

A number of the women were very colorful Mad Hatters. My wife and daughter are on the right here.

The event was in a park in a nearby city. A neighbor of the park dropped by and left, but came back with their rabbbits. The one with the argyle sweater stood up like this often and the other wandered around the pen, being pet.

18 September 2010

balloon rocket on a string

We bought a science kit for our daughter about a year ago, I think. After doing a few activities in it initially, we have not done anything with it. Last weekend we dragged it out and did a couple things. Today we did it again.

One of the experiments was a balloon rocket, where we blew up a balloon and taped it to a straw. The straw was strung on a string, so when the mouth of the balloon was released, the balloon took off down the string. We had it set up from the kitchen, through the dining room, and into the living room, total about 10m. There was also a two-stage version, but that didn't work very well.

Empty balloon in the living room.

chicken update

The chickens are finally getting along better after weeks of establishing the pecking order. We had to keep them separate most of the time, either in a temporary coop for daytime use or a wire screen barrier in the "hen house" at night. The younger one also needed separate food, which the older hen liked better than her layer food. When they were out in the yard, they also needed supervision and the adult hen needed some reminders from a squirt gun to not chase the little girl around the yard. All those measures went on for weeks. Chicken care is much simpler when they are separate with different feeding requirements.

This is the young chicken, pullet, resting in the hole that they keep enlarging on the edge of the grass.

I heard from a woman at work, who also has chickens and replaced one of theirs with two chicks, that her chicken's adjustment to each other lasted a few days and they were settled into life in the coop. If only ours had been that simple.