Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organic Cucumber, Extra Wrapper

I was at Publix last night and saw an organic cucumber for sale that was individually wrapped. What's going on there? Not that I think that organic is great for the environment (you need way more land to produce the same yield)...but I would think that a company trying to push that image to get consumers to pay more would not want to waste packaging.

Maybe there's a disconnect between "eating healthy" and "helping the environment." I imagine that the two are correlated though.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fuck FSU Student Financial Services

I just went to the university center to pay my tuition bill in person to avoid a $7.00 online convenience fee. If you click a link for more details about the convenience fee, you get this:
The convenience fee is non-refundable after your transaction is completed. If this fee is not acceptable, click CANCEL and/or use another payment method such as mail, in-person or drop box. (Please do not send cash in the mail.).

I decided to use the "in-person" method. I got to the payment office and while standing in line I see that they have signs up saying that they don't take credit cards there. I didn't have $817 in cash and I don't have that much in my checking account (nor do I carry checks with me). You have to pay online and pay the $7.00 online convenience fee if you want to use a credit card. It should be called a $7.00 credit card convenience fee. I was infuriated. It actually took effort to keep my cool. I had gone all the way over to the corner of campus and stood in line only to come back to my office and pay the bill online with the $7 fee.

I've always paid online before. The fee used to be $5. I heard that the lines aren't bad over at the payment office so I thought I'd give it a shot this time. Fuck them all. Not the employees, but the higher-ups. There's no reason they can't put credit card swipers in their office.

Pick #204

Howie Day - "Collide" from Stop All the World Now

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Busy with Triathlon

I've been busy with triathlon stuff. A little of the ole swim, bike, run (but without the swim), but mostly paperwork and BS for the sports clubs office. We've got to get recognized as an organization on campus and there are workshops and whatnot. I've also been the liaison to the Florida Collegiate Triathlon Conference talking about the coming year. We just had an officer meeting to try to plan on things to do for our membership. Races and social events and all kinds of stuff. Not to mention that I just registered for USAT Age Group Nationals today.

Triathlon Club at FSU's first meeting is on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 6:30pm in Union 311C.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Brought my Bags Before it was Cool.

As I was walking in to Publix a couple weeks ago, I realized that I started bringing my own canvas bags to the store before it became popular. I kind of felt like a trend setter. Maybe so many people saw this cool dude doing a cool thing and it started to catch on. More likely the transition to seeing so many people bringing their own bags is due to marketing efforts on the part of Publix and other stores encouraging their customers to bring bags with them. Also, I don't think that Publix or Wal-Mart used to sell bags at their stores.

I'm glad to see this bag thing turned into a thing that people do. I hope it's not a trend. A change that's here to stay would be preferable. Hopefully the next thing that everyone will copy me on is riding their bikes a lot.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Saved a Stamp

I dropped my utility bill payment off at the Renaissance Building. There's a sweet box outside that you can put your payment inside. I was riding past there anyway. I think I might start doing that regularly. It also keeps one envelope from circulating around the postal system. I guess I pay most of my other bills online so they don't have that same concern. Your Own Utilities has you pay online through Western Union and there's something like a 5% service charge. I'm not into that.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dryer Sheets for Doggies

Did you know that you can rub a dryer sheet on a dog to make it less worried about an approaching storm? Abbey doesn't like storms very much and usually hides somewhere when it's thundering (or even when the storm is approaching). My mom heard that you can rub dryer sheets like Bounce on dogs and it does something to take away the static electricity which is what causes the dogs to freak out in the first place.

It worked really well. Abbey still followed me around a little bit, but she was visibly more relaxed than she normally is during a storm.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Brown's Sunset

I thought this was pretty appropriate as we left Brown in what will be his final resting place (before the scrap yard).

There was also a really cool view I had of the sunset reflected off the driver side view mirror and I was looking through the open passenger window...camera wouldn't see what I saw though so you don't get to share that image.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

VFF Running on the Beach

I went running on the beach in my Five Fingers yesterday. I ran for 18 minutes and wasn't sore at all immediately after nor the next day. I normally get sore after running for about 12 minutes in them. I don't think that this lack of soreness was due to an improvement in my conditioning but rather in the beach surface. I was running down where the waves break on the shore, so I was ankle deep in water or on damp sand. It definitely had nice shock absorption properties. Also, the air right at the ocean seems a little cooler than it is inland.

Even though I have the KSO (Keep Stuff Out) model, lots of sand got in my shoes. It all fell into the toe holes and I felt a weird pressure on all my toes. I emptied a crapload of sand out of my shoes when I was leaving the beach. I emptied more after I got home and took the shoes off for good, even more after the shoes had dried in the sun, and apparently my mom got a bunch of sand out of them this morning. I didn't have any sort of skin irritation/blistering even with all that sand in my shoes. I would like to run barefoot on the beach, but I'm scared of cutting my feet on sharp rocks/shells (or soda cans).

I would definitely do this on a regular basis if I lived near the coast.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

DIY Bike Lanes

Here is an awesome writeup about some cyclists who take the matter of making bike lanes into their own hands. I think this would be super cool to do on Thomasville road. The article is a little bit long, but high quality.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jersey Shore?

I decided to watch an episode of Jersey Shore so I wouldn't be so out of the loop. I've heard lots of references to it and had never seen even a 5 minute clip. I almost had to force myself to get through the episode. I'm not sure what everyone loves about this show. Anyone want to enlighten me?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Nice Saturday Down South

I got up at 6am on Saturday to get up and go diving down in Lake Worth with my dad and his friend Danny. We launched the boat around 9am and I've never seen a calmer inlet (maybe one just as calm). The ocean was as flat as a back yard pool except when boats cast their wakes.

My dad and I went on the first dive. Visibility was probably 30-40 feet. We caught a couple lobsters. I think this was the first time that I caught an egg bearing female (so I had to throw her back). As we were swimming, 2 remoras started following us. Later, Danny told us that they probably wanted to latch on and hitch a ride! I tried to chase them away and I was actually able hit one with my tickle stick. I've never had a fish let me hit them with my tickle stick. Fish seem to swim out of the way and not let me hit them with a tickle stick. Letting me hit them kinda made me think that these remoras were bad ass fish. It took us a while to shake them. Both of us hit them and we were pretty aggressive toward the fish.

When I went to surface on the first dive, I wasn't able to let air out of my BC, so I stayed down for a little bit. Let me mention that I was using Danny's regulator which does not have a BC inflator...so I had to inflate it by mouth. Apparently oral inflation isn't the only reason that the BC took on water, but I had lots of water in my BC. I tried sucking it out...breathe from the regulator, transfer my mouth to the BC inflator/deflator and suck out the water, spit out the water, and breathe again. I was finally able to get some air to come out of my deflator (probably had about 400psi left at about 60 feet at the time). I made a reasonably slow ascent but started having to suck really hard to get my air at about 20 feet. My dad was right there and I could have used his air if mine had run out...he surfaced with 1000psi left in his tank. In fact, my dad always has more air than I do when we come up.

I realized yesterday why I always burn through air faster than the other people I dive with. I used to think it was because I breathe continuously while others might hold their breath. I thought that I should be more efficient and therefore burn less air. But I realized that I'm an oxygen burning machine. I have a VO2 max of 77. I burn more oxygen at rest than anyone else in the room. My body has a high metabolism and a high resting metabolism and a great ability to burn oxygen which is a good thing on land but limits my time below the surface.

After surfacing on my first dive, I had a little headache so Danny took the next dive with my dad instead of me. They went on a not-so-scenic dive because Danny had them drop off over a big sandy patch...oops. I was feeling better when they surfaced after I ate and drank a little. I took my dad's equipment for the next dive. His BC is a little big on me and it's not designed to hold weight (like the other one I was wearing). But his weight belt is too big on me, so I put weight in the pockets of his BC. On my initial descent, I lost 8 pounds of weight when the BC pocket came open and they almost fell on Danny's head. I had to surface and ask my dad for spare weight out of the boat. Danny recovered my weight and I had to put some in the catch bag to keep from being super dense.

Danny and I caught a couple more lobsters, but all 3 of us totaled only 8 on the day (limit would be 24). During my last dive, I saw the BIGGEST sea turtle I've ever seen. His head was probably the size of my head. He was napping on the sea floor and woke up when we approached. He swam around lazily and I touched his shell. I've never touched one before. He was probably 6 feet from head to rear legs. Totally cool.

I had a nice ascent with great decompression. Danny was coming up with me, but at 30 feet he told me to surface and he went back down! I got a headache again which is rather uncharacteristic. I tried to go swimming on the surface while waiting for Danny to come up, but my headache got worse as I swam.

After getting back, we went to my dad's mom's house and took her out for dinner. Then we stopped by the house of one of my dad's classmates who was having a 50th birthday party. I was exhausted and passed out a little on the ride back home. I slept 11 hours last night and I'm still a little tired. Working with Dillon on Friday and yesterday's trip were taxing but a very good time.

The Cost of Raising Kids

Kids cost a crapload of money to raise. According to an article on MSN which calculates the cost of children only up until their 18th birthday, each child can run a family anywhere from $125,000 to $250,000. So at a minimum, having a child will cost you an average of $6,944 per year. I guess that's only $578/month...at the margin it's not such a minimal figure.

However, looking at the calculation of the costs, about a third of it is for housing. I guess they impute the cost of having an additional room in the house/apartment for the child. You sure don't have to outlay an additional $2,000 per year "for" the kid, but you might end up moving to a bigger place or one with a yard, etc. because of the kid.

I think this is something they should teach in sex ed classes. On top of abstinence, condom use, other forms of contraception, stuff, stuff, stuff, and all the junk you could buy if you don't have a kid.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't have kids...that's sure not sustainable (or in a way it is). It would just be interesting to put little price tags in people's mind when they make a decision about whether they want one or not.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Speaking in Tongues

I heard some douchebag on the radio talking about Jesus and blabbering nonsensical syllables and thinking it was OK because he was speaking in tongues. Aside from being asinine, I have one more problem with "speaking in tongues:" nobody knows what you're saying!! The original goal of speaking in tongues was during the Pentecost when Jesus's apostles spoke the word of God and everyone COULD understand what they were saying. (See Acts 2:1-12).

I don't know what good mimicking baby talk does when goofballs are trying to preach, but there must be some sort of audience that this appeals to. I want to know: does anyone understand this gibberish? Is it considered some sort of gift to invent ways of putting sound together that don't have an interpretation to the listener? What if I said oohgawadio? WTF?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Multilingual Labels

I think it's really nice to have more than one language on packaging. For instance, I might recognize the words "mise en garde" or "achtung" in a place where they mattered. I know that I can use "douche integral" on my hair and body. I that I can recognize that "en prime" means something akin to bonus.

Maybe with more and consistent exposure to multilingual labeling, we could all pick up nearly substantial portions of other languages without putting in much effort.

Monday, August 9, 2010

VFF Training

I've started to incorporate Vibram Five Fingers into my running training regimen a little more partly because I want to develop muscles that those shoes target in order to have a strong 8k cross country race at the end of the month.

The VFFs have been killing me. I'm only running about a mile in them at a time and I get really sore. I think what I should do is run a mile in them every day, no matter how sore I am and after about a week it will go away. The truth is that I haven't been running every day. It's no longer abnormal for me to log under 20 miles per week. Isn't that crazy? I don't know what's changed. Maybe my motivation. I think one thing that's kinda cool about the VFFs is that I can get in a little workout in a short amount of time. I'd be happy running 10 minutes in the VFFs whereas I wouldn't normally lace up my Sauconys for fewer than 4 miles.

I hope to get some cross training benefit out of the VFFs, strengthening muscles that are not normally developed by running.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1,000 Awesome Things

Sarah Mac's blog told me to check out 1,000 Awesome Things, a blog that posts one new awesome thing every day. I guess it'll stop in a couple years.

Monday, August 2, 2010



I saw an amazing documentary called Sharkwater. There is an online pledge campaign to get people to make it known that they are opposed to shark finning and the astronomical numbers of sharks being killed each year for only their fins.

This film was very moving. I recoiled at the sight of fishermen cutting off the fins of sharks and throwing the rest of the bodies back into the water where the sharks can't swim so they sink to the bottom and suffocate while being eaten alive by other fish. The waste of not eating/using the entire shark is a pretty big issue, but the inhumanity of doing such a thing to a creature is nearly unimaginable to me.

It is difficult to get people to want to protect sharks. We're scared of them. In the movie, they show how gentle sharks can be. My favorite scene shows Rob Stewart hugging a shark. They are on the sandy sea floor and a shark is motionless, embraced by Rob. They stay this way for about 20 or 30 seconds before the shark calmly swims off. Rob shows us that sharks are not vicious creatures. In fact, soda vending machines kill more people each year than sharks do.

If you don't already love sharks, you should watch this film. If you have Netflix, you can get it on DVD. Otherwise bootleg it if you have to.