dxmachina: (Computers 02)
...or how I spent my summer.

I spent a good portion of the summer teaching — the lab portion of my usual MCC assignment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 to 10 p.m. The three days a week thing got old fast, but otherwise I had a good class and a good time. One of my students was even a minor local celebrity, a features reporter for a local TV station who is apparently chucking it all to become a (male) nurse. Of course since the local TV station is not local to where I live, I had no idea until some of the other students pointed it out. He was totally not the stereotypical self-absorbed TV personality, but was rather a keen student and very helpful to others.

As for the rest of the time, here are the highlights...

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Last weekend of June... )

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Fourth of July weekend... )

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Readercon weekend... )

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First weekend in August... )

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The funeral... )

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Summer ends for me on Tuesday, with the start of the semester at MCC. Meanwhile I have been busy preparing syllabi and lecture notes. I'm teaching my usual general chemistry course at MCC, Mondays and Wednesdays 4-7, and a lab over at CCSU on Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30. The department chair at CCSU offered me a second lab section, but it conflicted with MCC, alas.

Hoping I can post this...

Nope, still down... and I lost all my tags. Bother.

And now we appear to be back.
dxmachina: (Bike 03)
Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike — Grant Petersen

Real cyclists don't wear underpants. At least that's what the biking magazines have been telling us for the last thirty years or so. They also wear spandex shirts*, shoes that clip into bindings on the pedals, and bike shorts with padding in the seat rather than getting a more comfortable saddle. They fret over every single ounce of weight added to the bicycle or their person. And they pay through the nose for all of this gear.

* Often covered with logos providing free advertising for megacorporations.

Becoming an unracer... )

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Meanwhile, back at the bike path, I had a singular year...

New. League. Record. )

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Volleyball tonight, for the first time since I got sick back before Thanksgiving.

Halloween

Nov. 1st, 2012 11:38 pm
dxmachina: (I Got a Rock)
Had a record number of trick or treaters last night, forty-two of them. The cutest was a little guy (who may have been last year's littlest pumpkin), who said "Trick or treat!" and then turned around to leave without getting his treat. Luckily his mom was there to point out his error of technique, so he did eventually get his fun-sized Crunch bar. I'm sure he'll eventually get the hang of it. The best costume was a pre-teen asian girl in (what looked to be) a silk, traditional Japanese pattern gown. Very pretty. There was also a kid who dressed up as a slab of bacon.

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No volleyball tonight because the schools in South Kingstown (and the rest of South County, for that matter) are still closed due to lack of power in many of them, one of them being Peace Dale Elementary, where we play. I didn't play last week, either, because I had a bad cold. Still coughing a little, but otherwise am fine.
dxmachina: (Warp Speed!)
Heading to Jersey for the weekend to visit mom and family in general. Mom is doing well and spamming folks with her laptop. Have remembered to load spaghetti squash in the truck for delivery, which is better than the last couple of years when I didn't remember to do it until Easter.

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It's been rainy lately, so there have been few opportunities to ride. Played volleyball Thursday, and went out for dinner after. That's half the reason I started going again, to get out of the house to socialize. Now that I'm home all the time, I rarely speak to anybody, other than to myself.

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I watched the entire run of Young Justice over the last few days, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I have a tenuous connection to it in that Greg Weisman, the producer, is the brother of Jon Weisman, the owner of Dodger Thoughts, the baseball blog I most often hung out at. Jon wrote of few of the episodes for the show. Alas, Jon retired Dodger Thoughts a couple of weeks ago, but for 10 years it was the best Dodger blog out there.

Time to hit the road.
dxmachina: (Volleyball)
Volleyball again tonight and I don't seem to be nearly as sore as last week. Mind you, I'm still pretty sore, but there seems to be some progress convincing the ol' muscles to be a little more pliable. It helped that the team I was on consisted of just one old man (me)and five twenty-something athletes with lots of energy. Makes things a lot easier. I was also playing better than last week, so all in all a good night. OTOH, despite losing some sixty pounds since my last stint of playing, I still can't jump worth a damn. Sigh. We'll see how stiff I am in the morning.

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Got home in time to watch Elementary expecting to dislike it, but I didn't. I'm not sure having Watson become more of an investigator is a good idea, but it beats Nigel Bruce. I will keep watching for now.

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Have gotten hooked big time on Longmire which I had never even heard of until it popped up in an IMDb "People who liked this also liked..." box. Good cast (Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Initiative Graham from Buffy, and one of the bad guys from The Matrix as the title character). They even had Peter Weller as a guest star.

Volleyball

Sep. 21st, 2012 09:14 pm
dxmachina: (Volleyball)
So, I went to rec volleyball for the first time in eight years. The last time I went* I noted here:

Went to volleyball, and now everything aches.

Turns out the only thing different is that this time everything ached even more. It's amazing how muscles that haven't been used in a particular manner for eight years will complain. It didn't help that the crowd was a little sparse, so I played a lot more than I anticipated. Hopefully, the muscles will be a little less touchy as I get back into it.

* It was the night before my one and only ambulance ride, which was the original reason I stopped going.

I was worried going in that I would be way too old for the crowd, but a lot of the people there were folks I played with back in the day, and they have aged right along with me. It was comforting not to be the only one moving as though through setting concrete towards the end of the night.

I was very sore when I got home, and this morning I felt like the Tin Man after a good rain storm, although now I think of it, he probably was just stiff, not stiff AND feeling like he'd been run over by a tank. Will try again next week with the hope that instead of being run over by a tank it will merely feel like being run over by a small Volkswagen. Baby steps.

I rode my bike this evening and was fine, so the soreness in my legs apparently comes from muscle groups other than those I use to pedal.
dxmachina: (Garden01)
My legs are sore, my back aches, and my right index finger hurts when I move it. Yes, I've been playing volleyball.

Have had a couple of busy weekends in a row, with one more to come (Readercon). Youngest sister visited with her kids two weekends ago, so we did all sorts of stuff. Spent a day over in Newport gawking at the rich folks and their cottages. Spent another day on Block Island (aka, the Block Island Death March) walking hither and yon in the heat and humidity, since we didn't have bikes for the younger kids*. Still, a good time was had by most all, except for younger nephew who was being quite the pill and is fortunate the rest of us decided not to reenact the massacre at Mohegan Bluffs. The next day was a combination pool/volleyball party where the kids swam and I played volleyball for the first time in a year. I also introduced them all to Pratchett via the adaptation of Hogfather, and teenaged nephew left for home with the loan of several books.

* My suggestion that we let the adults and teenager ride whilst the little kids walked was met with disapproval, alas.

This past weekend had another pool/volleyball party, and I played a lot, which is why I ache all over. Still, it's a good ache, and I'm contemplating going back and playing again with the group at the Guild come September. I'd quit after I had my bike accident in 2004, which was followed by back troubles, and general problems with being old and fat. But I've lost considerable weight, and I've been considering going back. I hadn't yet because I was wondering if I could still play up to the competition at my age, but I was able to keep up without embarrassing myself the past two weekends, so maybe. I doubt I could do it every week like I used to, but it'd be fun.

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July 4th is my annual marker for trimming back the shrubs, and I started working on that. The problem has always been the size of the shrubs in front of the house. They're huge, because the previous owner wasn't diligent about keeping them trimmed back, and they're a pain to keep in check. I don't mind so much with the rhododendrons, because they are gorgeous in the spring, but the arbor vitae and, especially, the junipers (I'm mildly allergic) drive me crazy.

So anyway, I was out there trimming away, and I finally decided to do something about it. Went into the basement, found the chainsaw, and cut down juniper #1. Then I spent the next couple of days hacking away at all the intertwined branches with my loppers to separate them all into manageable bits so's that I could dispose of them all. I was worried that the side of the rhododendron would appear bare now that it's neighbor is gone, but it's not too bad, and will undoubtedly grow in now that it has more access to its environs. Juniper #2 meets its fate this week, and then I'll make a decision about the arbor vitae. Then I'll need to replace them with something. I'm thinking azaleas.

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