Saturday, January 30, 2010

More Efficient Font?

Helvetica. There's a documentary about it. Perhaps the most famous font in the world. Some say that it's very efficient, yet I find that capital I and lowercase L look too much alike. 6 and 8 are hard to distinguish from a distance. It's not so aesthetically pleasing...just blends into the background. Some say that this last feature makes it efficient. It imparts only the necessary information and allows people to gather this info fast.

Turns out that one way in which it's not super efficient is ink usage. Check out this article about how much ink is used by fonts. They use pens, but I'm sure it's roughly the same in your printer.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pick #174

Mary Chapin Carpenter - "Passionate Kisses" from Come On Come On

I've been on a country music kick lately. I made a Pandora station seeded with Alabama (then added some later) and it's the good '80s style country music that I grew up with. There are some songs played on Pandora that I forgot existed or haven't heard in a long time. ¡Viva el internet!

Soda Powered Phone

The future is coming...check out this phone.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

100 Mile Club

You can go to the Leach Center's website and get some info about the 100 mile club. Basically, it's for people who want to swim 100 miles in the Leach pool. You write down how far you swim at the end of every session and their staff tabulate the data. Participants who reach the 100 mile mark are given a T-shirt.

The deadline to finish the 100 miles for this year is April 16th. I just started participating earlier this week, so I doubt I'll get in all 100 miles by April. I do want to do it next year, starting in the fall semester though. I don't normally keep track of how far I swim. I log all my running miles and I think it'd be kinda cool if someone else kept track of my swimming.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dinner Club

Last week I decided that it would be cool to start a dinner club where each member takes a turn hosting a dinner at their house and the other members show up to dine. The host is determined by some sort of rotation. I made a couple phone calls and found some people who were interested in joining. Last Thursday I made dinner at my house and we decided that Sundays would work better for many of the people in the group. Micah cooked yesterday and Jamie has this coming week. The idea is to have a regular social gathering where we can try foods that we might not otherwise think of making ourselves. For instance, Micah made delicious lamb chops...I never cook lamb. I hope it continues to be a success.

If you're interested in joining, hit me up.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Krispy Kreme Challenge Race Report

Yesterday, I ran FSU's first Krispy Kreme Challenge to benefit the Student United Way. It started at 1pm at Westcott, ran around campus to the stadium where challengers consumed 12 doughnuts ("slackers" only had to eat one), then around campus again to finish at Westcott. The course was supposed to be 2 miles to doughnuts, then 2 miles back, but it was definitely short. I led the race for the first 3/4 mile and I was 5th into the doughnut area. My plan was to run 6 minute miles to get doughnuts and 10 minute miles back, leaving me 28 minutes to eat doughnuts because there was a 1 hour time limit on the course. My personal goals were to break 1 hour and not puke (both goals were met!).

I ran to doughnuts in 9:12, ate them in 20:08, and ran back in 15:07 (overall time 44:28). I thought I was going to puke about 1/4 mile from the doughnut area and actually stood over a trash can for a few seconds waiting for it to happen. Only one person passed me running on the way back to the finish. I passed lots of people. The course was well marked, but there was a little confusion because there had been another race on campus that morning. I heard a few people made wrong turns because there weren't volunteers at the intersections with poor marking (hmm...that sounds familiar).

In the morning I ate a banana, hoping to be hungry for the doughnut eating. That kinda worked...I ate the first 9 doughnuts without much of a problem, but it was terrible trying to get the next 3 down. I was able to keep them down during the race, but I started to feel like puking again after the race. I ended up going to my office and using some mouth wash to get the sugary feeling out of my mouth. That helped a lot. I didn't eat much the rest of the day...just a bag of popcorn around 6pm because I wanted something salty and didn't have pretzels, and a really tiny plate of whatever Andrew made for dinner.

Ironman Matt Miller won 2nd overall in the challenger division, finishing under 30 minutes! To give him even more credit, he was really close behind the 1st place guy, but that guy puked, making Matt the overall-non-puking winner!

Overall, I'd have to say that it was very well organized for a first year event. There were about 250 people this year and they want to double that for next year.

p.s. there's a great writeup about the race as a whole (in other words, not just my race) on Trouble Afoot.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Walk in the Weeds

I'm not very good at taking pictures of people...I kinda like this one.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Running Ninja

My friend Maruchy opened up this site called Running Ninja. It's got lifestyle type gift things for runners. It just started, so selection will grow over time. Head on over there and check it out.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Square is a cool system that can let anyone accept credit card payment. I'm trying to figure out if it's cheaper for vendors than conventional credit card systems. This is a cool article that sums it up nicely.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Recap of 2009: An Action-Packed Year

I meant to write this closer to the new year, but got side tracked. I had a bunch of really great things happen to me in 2009. I'm sure I'm forgetting some of them. I'm trying to break them down according to topic...

I finished my coursework for the PhD program in the Spring semester.
Taught over the summer and I'm reevaluating if I want to teach professionally.
Started on dissertation, but learned that it is illegal for me to get the data I'd need for that topic and had to get a new topic. I got a new topic which should be easier to do because it's kind of an extension of my research .

I completed my first marathon in February, my first half ironman at the beginning of summer, and my first ironman in October. I placed really well at the Half. I ran 848.5 miles in 2009. Over the course of my ironman training, I learned more about listening to my body than I have in the past 10 years of running. I was unanimously selected to be the president of the Triathlon Club at FSU. In that role, I hosted a race called "Tri the Rez" at the FSU Reservation. It was put on with pretty short notice and was pretty successful.

I started travelling at the beginning of summer. Put more miles on my car since the summer began than I have in the past 2 years before that. Let's see if I can remember how it went: 1st week of summer to Panama City Beach for the Gulf Coast Triathlon (Thursday - Sunday), next week to Gainesville for Snyder wedding, back to Tally, to Baton Rouge to see Aunt & Uncle (and Granny was there too by chance!) with side trips to New Orleans and surrounding areas, back to Tally for 2 days when my immediate family came up, spent a day, drove us to Virginia to see extended family...back to Tally then off to Atlanta to fly to Prague. Traveled all around Prague with Carmen and got to see some awesome countryside and castles and nature (and field experiments). Back to ATL to Tally and teaching for the second half of summer...Up to Indiana to see Carmen upon her return...spent time in Bloomington, Bowling Green (IN), Indianapolis. Back to Tally. Clermont for ironman. Weekend trips down to S. FL for Granny's 80th Bday and Thanksgiving (with Carmen!) and Christmas.

In April, I got a new gas water heater, gas furnace, gas stove, and energy efficient A/C compressor unit/air handler. I also tried to start a small vegetable garden, but it's pretty weak. I hope to make it better in 2010 after it gets done freezing in Tally. Andrew and Dan moved out and another Andrew and David moved in.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton of stuff. It was an eventful year. I hope 2010 can bring as much excitement, but I'll be alright if it doesn't.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Save Paper and Ink

I thought I would have shared this before, but I'm going to tell you about my favorite way to print things. This works with .pdf files and Microsoft Office documents and maybe other stuff too. It works amazingly well for proof reading essays and taking journal articles to class.

When you go to File -> Print, there will be a section called "Page Handling," probably near the bottom left. Under "Page Scaling," select "Multiple Pages per Sheet." You can have the computer print more than one page of your essay or article on one side of one sheet of paper. For journal articles, I usually put two pages per sheet, then flip on the short edge of the paper (this is an option if you have an automatically duplexing printer...or you can do it by hand if not). For editing double spaced essays, I usually put 4 pages per sheet. I find that this makes it easier to take a sentence or paragraph from one page and move it to another page with just an arrow.

This method saves not only paper and ink, but also time and valuable space in your 3-ring binders.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Candelabra Bases Only

I was at Lowe's looking at ceiling fan light kits and noticed a while back that they were making candelabra base kits instead of medium base kits. The medium bases were getting phased out. Back then candelabra base CFLs were really expensive. I wondered why anyone would want to buy the candelabra base kit when that means that they'd have to keep special bulbs around just to put in their ceiling fan's light kit.

Just this week, I was looking at ceiling fan light kits again and I couldn't find a single medium base kit. Found the reason why: government regulation. It's kind of stupid...because of the way they define ceiling fan, none of the fans in my house would be subject to the regulation...apparently it's not a "ceiling fan" unless it's mounted with a down rod. The reason I can't get medium base light kits for my fans is because the light kits for my fans are compatible with other fans that are installed with down rods (and my fans came with the option for a down rod).