Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Temper, temper

Underpant rage burns down house | Metro.co.uk: "An angry husband who threw old clothes from his wardrobe in the garden and set fire to them because he could not find his clean underpants accidentally burnt his home down."
On another note, I'm feeling much better today, especially with the laughter brought on by such things as the above. :D

Monday, January 29, 2007

Great to miserable in 3.5 hrs

Holy moly. When a bit of the flu comes knockin' it's no respecter of persons. I felt so great yesterday after riding, but by 5 was feeling fatigued and chilly, queasy by 6, and then had my body try to turn itself inside out through my throat from 7 to midnight. Just feeling beat up now, but I don't see a weight room in today's future. In fact, solids would be an achievement. :(

Artwork by Ra - check it out

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dang, it's a pretty day

Woke up this morning and needed some sunshine regardless of the temps. For me, a little time in some real sunshine is tonic for the spirit, so donned the 'space-suit' and took to the road. Went out on hwy 2 to the bennet hwy, then to panama road, back in on 77 and by the time I got back east to 84th st had a little over 3 hrs today. It was great. I feel like I'm ready to charge into another week of early dissertation mornings, work, and training. Hope y'all had a great weekend too.

This cool pic from from Dave.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

First things first ....

When doing any research at UNL, you have to get your study approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The first step in doing this, is to take an online course designed to ensure you know and can apply the following:
/humansubjects/guidance/ documents: "Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research "

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


OK. I'm gonna put the pressure on to kick out this dissertation and publish my timeline so y'all can hassle me about deadlines if you so choose. It's a weird thing .... really ups the accountability and pressure, but I think that's what's needed, so if you don't see frequent posts, slaying this academic monster is prolly what I'm up to.

BTW, the artwork on this poster is by Ernie Barnes and pretty much sums up what I gotta do.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Weekend snow ride, Monday weights

Whew. Saturday I got back out on the road for about 4 hours anyway. About 2/3rds of the way through it started to really snow so we ended up doing what amounted to a to just under time trial HR from Cortland to Lincoln. Legs were really whining later, but not so bad they couldn't spin at the Y on Sunday for a couple of hours, or operate the leg press in the weight room Monday morning. In any case, I continue to be quite pleased at how much more effective a specific and long-term training plan is compared to a more haphazard "work out every day and ride lots" approach. I think I'm physically stronger now than I've ever been and am looking forward to learning how to apply that to moving the bike forward. Get out 'n ride!

Oh, and why this pic? Well, one, I just like this dude's art, two, beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, it's prolly in the eye of the beheld as well. e.g. If someone is confident and likes themselves as a person, they're probably going to be more likely to be friendly and reach out to others, which will make them more attractive regardless of how closely they approach the "ideals" put forth by Entertainment weekly or whatever. Anyway, thinking too much. Should ride more and keep cranking on the papers I'm writing.

(Jared Von Hindman's comment about his pic ... "I don't get Furries #2, watercolor & ink. I can't say that I came up with this idea. I went into a chat room and that's what started shaking it's goodies at me. Gah. Lesson learned: Don't go into a roleplaying chatroom out of curiosity. Ever.")

Friday, January 19, 2007

Organization is key

Coming home yesterday and needing to peel off layers before getting on the carpet inspired me to finally get my winter gear organized. I was putting it off thinking I'd get some nice hooks and whatnot from the hardware store and finally had the epiphany that just using nails immediately didn't preclude me from anything and would certainly increase the efficiency of my mornings. Sure enough, getting out the door this morning with the bike was probably 10 minutes faster. No looking for the errant shoecover or mitten. Nope, everything from tights to socks was hung up, dry, and ready to go.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Eyes watering? Mascara running? Skin chapping?


Get yourself some ski goggles and a balaclava. Won't do much for the carefully coiffed but sure makes riding in icy winds as pleasant as a spring day. Well, that might be an little hyperbolic, but despite a headwind I had a lovely commute this morning. Sun shining and somehow the tint of my goggles makes the pines greener and the icy spots easier to see. Happy riding! (One more tip.... wait till you get to work to put on your lipstick. Doesn't fair well under the balaclava and no, i don't know this from experience...just almost experienced it.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

No ride day means tight calorie watch

Too busy to ride today, so have to really mind the consumption and stick to my estimated base caloric intake which is 1400-1600 cals. That's a real trim back when I'm accustomed to days of twice or more of that. When I walked in and saw some homemade cookies, I thought my good intentions might bite the dust, but focused on drinking a glass of water and getting to work. Next time I walked by I noticed others had dispatched my problem.

Keep an eye on your goals today, folks. It'll pay off and you'll be so glad you did. :)

* Picture from Jared von Hindman's site

Monday, January 15, 2007

Tired but feelin' satisfied

Well, haven't posted in a couple of days and thought I oughta let you know what's up. In short, I've been working on a paper for my graduate program. Yes, I thought I might quit for a while, but couldn't let it go. So despite being in the running for taking the longest time ever - at least in my program with my advisor -- I've decided to kick myself in the @$$ and knock it out. Consequently, the last few days, if I wasn't on the bike or working, I was reading thrilling academic articles on online conferencing systems, social presence, attention and cognitive load, and exploring some ideas for my dissertation proposal. I can tell you're jealous of my exciting weekend, so I'll stop rubbing it in. ;)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

No ranch romance here

Whenever I wax romantic about my ranch/stable upbringing, the weather turns foul and reminds me why I have a desk job. This morning, my dad sent me this pic and we both reminisced about what we DIDN'T miss. He remember checking on cattle ahorseback in frigid cold and me, well, I drug 5 gallon buckets of ice from the stalls to the horse shower to thaw them out. Yuck.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ice 8!+ch can't kick my @$$

Not riding today, but it isn't because of the ice queen blowing around. I have legitimate errands requiring automotive assistance. But tomorrow ... depending .... I might break out the ski goggles, another layer, some heater packets and cruise about. We'll see.

I have to say that the 40 min ride home from the Y after lifting last night was dang refreshing and underscored the importance of having the right gear. My biggest payoff purchases: PI Amphibs and a Sugoi jacket, both having wind & water proof fronts, along with the Nike cap with the ear things that come down that I got in KC. Also gotta thank Marc for telling me how to keep my feet warmer.... the layering from the inside out: winter grade socks not so think as to make shoes too tight, shoes, another pair of thick poly-type socks with holes cut in the bottom, then an outer layer of neoprene booties. When the temp really plummets, chemical warmers placed under the outer sock over the shoe toe will keep your piggies toasty. And, if your eyelashes are freezing, I recommend ski goggles. Not only are they attractive, esp. with a balaclava, but they prevent any wind at all from abusing your eyes. Happy spinnin.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

How to be popular

Skillz. That's the ticket.

Time to move

I'm tired of waiting to be allowed to switch to the new blogger, so I've just created a new one and all new posts will be there. My new blog address is http://sydney-brown.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

iPhone destiny

I think I'm destined for one of these babies. Listen to the ad and you'll know why.

Recovery week seemed awfully short

Last week was a much needed recovery week with only about 15 workout hours. Twas much needed and appreciated but seemed a little short. That being said, I'm looking forward to stepping it back up this week because the effects of planned workouts and a monitored diet are definitely showing and I'm feelin' motivated*.

Monday, January 08, 2007

3 min to learn all about puberty

For younguns or those of u in need of a review

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Which superhero or supervillain are you?

My friend over at pheLog had this link to a superhero quiz, which also led to a super villain quiz. My results are below. What did you get?

You are Supergirl

Wonder Woman
The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Lean, muscular and feminine.
Honest and a defender of the innocent.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Your results:
You are Apocalypse

Poison Ivy
Dark Phoenix
Dr. Doom
Green Goblin
The Joker
Mr. Freeze
Lex Luthor
You believe in survival of the fittest and you believe that you are the fittest.

Click here to take the "Which Super Villain am I?" quiz...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lost no more

Yep. In a coat pocket. Don't carry purses much any more, so when it wasn't in my msgr bag, the only other place it could logically be unless it was truly gone was a coat pocket, and sure enough, there it was. Whew.

Friday, January 05, 2007

My mom wants a bike for her birthday

Guess who wants a Surly Cross-Check? Yep. My mom. She's been riding a mtn style bike and a cruiser but says they're too slow, so I suggested a cross-check because it won't limit her tire choices, it's smooth ridin' steel, yet light and a ton faster than any upright comfort bike or mtb. We tried one out at MWC over lunch and she likes it. She also tried a Bianchi, but prefers the Surly. I think black is the right color too. I'll have to watch out tho, once mom starts running this down the hiway 'stead of those heavy bikes, I might have to work to keep up.

Where o where can u be?

Hmm. I can't remember where I put my nano and it's so small, nearly as small as keys and a lot less noisy. I checked my bags - no nano. Maybe a coat pocket? How do you find things? Usually, I lay down, close my eyes and retrace steps. If that fails, I just look everywhere. Pick a likely room, move clockwise through it, open every drawer, peer under every paper and piece of furniture, etc. until the room has been completely searched and I always find the missing item in the last place I look*.

* My mom popped this one on me when I was really little and I remember contemplating it for sometime....Why might that be....? :D

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Off the wagon, on the wagon

So, during the holidaze I just gave up on calorie and nutrition tracking and simply tried not to binge. I mean there's so many tasty treats around that one might as well enjoy them. Today, I'm back on the nutrition wagon so take your leftover cookies, fudge, and other treats and keep them away from my desk please, please, please.

For those looking for the right wagon to get on .... again, I recommend sparkpeople.com and calorie-count.com as two free sites providing nutrition tracking. The former actually suggests menus and has lots of user support to help you reach your diet goals.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mind the ice folks...

I was not impressed by the Billy Wolf trail this morning - hope Lincoln saved lotsa $ by leaving ice for the commuters and elderly dog walkers. By all standards, the folks who clear the Mopac do a MUCH better job, at least by last year's observations. I got plenty of good 'cross practice on today's ride in.

Fear I will be visiting Underworld: Third Layer* once again ...

Only this time it's to deal with insurance and money making hospitals. As some of you will recall, I managed to get myself quite the black eye with a head-on collesion. I didn't go to the doctor right off, thinking that if it got worse, I would go after Jingle Cross. Well, it hurt quite a lot and my upper jaw teeth on that side hurt so badly that I began to wonder if something more serious was amiss. Because I have insurance, folks encouraged me to have it checked out, especially my regular doctor. So despite some misgivings about it, I went ahead and followed by doctor's advice and went to Bryan West where I waited more than an hour for a doctor to come see me. He felt around on my face and then told me a regular x-ray wouldn't give a very clear picture and recommended a cat scan. Nervous now and dependent on his expert opinion, I went ahead and had it done only to have him tell me in another hour, that although severely bruised, there didn't appear to be any bone cracks and that it would heal in time.

Then, I got the bill. $1200. Cripes! There's my DuraAce stuff for next season. Why didn't he tell me the cost?! I feel like I've been totally had by the health care industry. I feel like they see me coming with my insurance card and then attempt to stick me for every non-insured non-paid bill. Moreover, unlike other 'consumer' interactions, the medical profession has a position of extreme power. We trust that they "know what's best" for our health and I think my trust was abused. Because of the doctor's manner, I think he knew there wasn't really anything he could do but that maybe it was his job, or the hospital's mandate to try and sell the most expensive thing. I'm not sure, but Friday I got a letter from the hospital telling me my insurance provider, BCBS (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), was refusing the claim. Consequently, you can see the first week of '07 sucking big time for me.

Am I the only one thinking there's someing wrong with this picture? Is it truly 'buyer beware' not just on used-car lots, but hospitals too?

* Underworld: 3rd Layer -- neve_r_est put me in the loop on this.