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Showing posts from August, 2007

Hip! Hip! Hoo...its a what?!

My previous post was entitled "Animals!". Well this one is about a real animal...a hippopotamus exactly. Its not just any ordinary hippo but a pet! Isn't that cho chweet?! I found the video moving especially in the way the big booby opens its mouth to prompt the human for another helping of a snack. No, I am not going to cry but it makes the mastodon look so...vulnerable. This is yet another stark reminder of humans ability to change (or disturb) an ecosystem. At 6000 lbs, a hippo is still a dangerous animal. But still, so moving!

Five exercises I like - Part 5

This is the last of 5 parts.

Over the years I have tried many movements and exercises. Some felt like a waste of time. Others helped me add on pounds and absolute strength (thereby making me look muscular than my 165 lbs) while at the same time keeping me light on my feet (like I was when I was a 100 lb kid). Here are five movements that I seem to have settled on now. They get done on a regular basis although not in each and every training session.

Breakfast

Ok, so this isn't exactly an exercise but it contributes to my overall feeling of well-being and infuses me with plenty of energy at the beginning of the day.


This is a typical breakfast for me.

I eat a traditional western breakfast 5 to 6 days in a week. A couple of days I have breakfast outside in a restaurant near my office. The rest of the days I wake up famished enough to prepare breakfast at home. I haven't eaten cereal in close to 3 years now. I have never experimented with other "foods" like pop tarts. And I d…

"Gage"ing progress

I feel bad about all these people losing their homes because they couldn't pay their mortgage. On second thoughts...why should I feel bad? It was their decision to buy a house when they didn't have enough money in the bank to buy the whole thing in one stroke. In the movie Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood gives good advice to Hilary Swank when he advises her to pay cash to buy her first piece of real estate...a house.

For the past couple of years, I had been reviewing real estate in a lot of places: Newton, the North End, Charlestown, etc. But now I am going to wait a bit and buy real estate after I make enough money to pay cash for the whole thing. With only a single source of income (that is, a monthly salary), it could probably take a couple of decades. But you know how the saying goes: Necessity is the mother of invention.

Five exercises I like - Part 4

This is the fourth of 5 parts.

Over the years I have tried many movements and exercises. Some felt like a waste of time. Others helped me add on pounds and absolute strength (thereby making me look muscular than my 165 lbs) while at the same time keeping me light on my feet (like I was when I was a 100 lb kid). Here are five movements that I seem to have settled on now. They get done on a regular basis although not in each and every training session.

Bicycling


Who? Me, of course...

Getting on a bicycle is a great excuse for me to get out and do something. 2007 is the year that I have spent most on my bicycle. I have been getting around Boston on a bike too, a first. Unlike a sport like Tennis or Snowboarding, bicycling is an extremely low impact activity on the knees. There is no lateral movement involved, which means you are not likely to tear a meniscus in a knee. You also end up using the muscles of your lower body through a fuller range of motion (as in sprinting but unlike in walking…

Anatomy of a scene

I sat there for a while on my paloose in the middle of a small, snow-covered clearing and studied the scene around me. It was very late in the afternoon. There was no sun. And the sky was awash in dark grays and blacks. Yet somehow there was light. The big pine stands surrounding the clearing were still. Not a soul seemed to be stirring within them. I was maybe fifty yards away from the nearest tree and could see the dusting of snow on their leaves but what caught my attention most was how still the trees were. Their tops gradually and unevenly disappeared into the swirling fog above. It was eerily quiet and surreal. This was an entirely new world and me and the paloose had somehow wandered into it. Had man even tread here before?

I looked to my left and ahead to the edge of the clearing where a short black cliff maybe 20 feet high glistened in the dusky light. There was a faint rough, white line somewhere about the cliff's middle that gave the suggestion of a slight crease in it…

'nuff said

The Sacromento Bee has an article today about people who still have no use for cell phones. Some excerpts:

"I'm a cell-phone holdout and proud of it. I have yet to find a situation where I feel that my life would be enhanced by owning one. When faced with a flat tire on a freeway ramp in 100-degree temperature in Sacramento, a kind young man saw my plight, stopped and changed my tire. I would have missed out on experienceing this act of kindness had I used a cell phone to call my towing company."-- Maria E. Tebbutt, Davis

"I purchased a cell phone in February 2006 and it's still in its original package. I bought it because my friends were telling me it's good to have in an emergency. Well, apparently I don't have emergencies since it's still gathering dust in the package. I've seen people walk right into oncoming traffic, light rail trains, you name it, because they were so busy yakking that nothing else seemed to matter."-- Alexandra Adams, S…

Pondology

I have a thing for ponds. I do. Someday I will have a cabin in the woods, somewhere in Northern New England (or maybe up in the Yukon) and a 100 miles from the nearest road. I will get around on a mountain mustang and have a rifle handy so I can turn that fat red squirrel into a mid-day snack at short notice.
People who want to stop at my cabin for a coffee and a hot meal will first be required to shout,
"Halloo, the camp!"
Or risk being shot in the caboose.
But the highlight of the cabin will be my own pond. It will be as big as a skating rink and maybe 5 feet deep in the middle. My colleague John, a former field biologist, tells me that if I really want to preserve the ecosystem, I should leave it alone. Normally I would agree to that. But not on this one. I shall build that pond, fish year round and I shall ice skate on it in the winter. In the spring, I will lie beside the water's edge with the sun on my back, just me and my picnic basket and some good memories, and chew…