Pinky aches


My left pinky hurts. A lot.

I've been spending a lot of time working on a project with Mike Gull the last two days. The project involves, unsurprisingly, a lot of programming. And, since I program in emacs, I've been using a lot of control characters during my editing of files.

Control-x this and Control-s that, and Control-x e this other, followed by Control-x k. Bah. So many control characters!

I think I strained the finger last night when I edited 250+ files with an insert buffer (Control-x g a (that would be buffer a, I'm inserting)), move down a few lines (Control-n a bunch of times), another insert buffer (Control-x g b (that would be the buffer b being used there)), followed by a delete line (Control-k to delete to the end of the line, another Control-k to delete the empty line after it), Control-e to end of a bunch of lines, Control-a to go back to the beginning, Control-f I don't know how many times to move forward a character or two, Control-x Control-s to save the file and finally a Control-x k enter to close the file (or rather, kill the buffer) and stare at the next one.

That, 250 times.

No wonder my left pinky hurts.

My Garden is a wreck.


My garden is a wreck. In so many ways.

I had to cut down my 12' tall sunflower with the 16" seeded head because the friendly neighborhood mice (they could have been rats) decided it was a tasty, tasty treat.

This whole time, I thought it was the racoon that lived down the street (at Mike and Kate's new place. The same one that chased me as I walked around the block. Yeah, that one. But it wasn't. It was mice. They ran along the back fence at night, driving the dogs CRAZY. They'd run into the garden, where the dogs weren't supposed to go, driving them CRAZY. It was a bad situation getting worse.

So, pfft! Down came the lovely sunflowers. I think I'm going to try again in the front yard with those. They are so cool, especially when you use mutant seeds and get double heads, double leaves and gi-normous heads. Whoo!

And then there's the tomatoes. If you don't pluck the suckers off tomatoes vines (suckers are new branches that grow between two other branches), you end up with A LOT of tomato vines. The whole thing bunches up into this tight mess of tomatoes, so that even the dogs can't get through. Blessing, or curse? We have a LOT of tomatoes. More than I can eat, more than Kris and Chris and Warren and Kyle and Mark and I can eat. Lots.

Did I mention the zucchini? I think I did. I have one okay plant, and one killer, poisonous, horrible, awful, BITTER plant. Did I mention the zuccini?

I managed to eat three strawberries over the last month. Annie has gotten the rest. She's also decided to CRAP right in the middle of the three plants, just to mark her territory. I have to fight with the dogs for food from my garden.

The undesirable trees around the garden (the palm tree, the sticky purple-flowering bush, the shrubs I cut down last year) are all taking off and encroaching on the garden. A couple of them are also harboring mice. Ick. Mice.

And then there's the bugs. I have Japanese beetles in my garden. I have earwigs. I had a lot of snails until Kyle cleaned them out of the yard by gathering them up every night for two weeks and throwing them in the trash. Note: the first night, he managed about 8 pounds of snails, followed by 4 pounds, then 2, then successively fewer, until there were no snails in my garden. Ole! Kyle's my hero.

But I still have earwigs and Japanese beetles. Did I mention their grubs? The most DISGUSTING grub EVER. I almost threw up when I saw my first one.

My Italian basil has all flowered. The sweet basil hasn't though. That, I guess is a good thing. The yellow and red pepper plants have been beating up by the dogs running by them that they're on their last stalks. Stupid dogs.

So, the garden is a wreck. A disaster.

I managed a handful of raspberries today, though. Damn, those were tasty. No wonder the dogs like to eat them before I get to them. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

ABCs & Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?



I just realized that the ABC rhythym is the same as the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Actually, I didn't realize. I had to be told it.

Omigod. I am so clueless.

Open source publishing


John Bartlett owns and operates Bartlett Publishing,
which puts out approximately four titles per year in programming,
business, and ... religion. Huh? Those don't go together, do
they? This is the strength of small publishing, to bring together the
disparate genres that make up a particular publisher's passion.

Bartlett is a true believer, in God and Linux. He chose open
source tools because he "believes in free information." He uses the
DocBook DTD,
running the manuscript through OpenJade with a heavily
customized version of Norman Walsh's
. "Using OpenJade and Norman Walsh's stylesheets to
typeset gives me a huge advantage in both costs to produce a book and
time to market. In particular, with DocBook, an index is amazingly
easy to produce," says Bartlett. Post-processing of the PDF is done
with Perl's Text::PDF module
and Adobe
for complex work. A professional graphic artist produces
the cover and Bartlett does post-processing with the GIMP. Finally he uploads the finished
materials to CafePress or LightningSource.

Bartlett's recommendation of the open source tools he uses is
unequivocating. "DocBook makes your book look professional with very
little effort. The combination of DocBook and a good cover artist
gives you very professional results with a minimum of time and money."

John Culleton of Able
Typesetters and Indexers
provides services for small- and
self-publishers with a completely Linux-based workflow using variants
of TeX. First, he keys in and
corrects the source text in Gvim.
Culleton compiles the text to PDF with ConTeXt or pdfTeX and views
the output in Xpdf. He
also uses various other bits and pieces: grep; the Ghostscript ps2ascii

translator; pfaedit (FontForge); PSUtils
for brochures, makeindex
for indices, and some custom macros and scripts. He does image
processing in the GIMP and has recently begun using Scribus for book covers because it
can handle ICC profiles and
produce CMYK output.

Culleton makes two points about the strengths of open source
software. First, "All of these tools are supported by active email
lists. I don't have to call an underpaid clerk.... I
get superior support from users and maintainers of the software." (Ask
any XPress user about Quark's customer support. It's infamous.)
Second, when Donald Knuth backed away from TeX, others picked up the
torch. Development continued and TeX is still going strong.
Meanwhile, in the proprietary world, PageMaker is dying a slow and
painful death and is no longer the behemoth of book production;
FrameMaker has been losing ground as well. Adobe now pushes InDesign.
QuarkXpress went years between updates on the Mac, still
the dominant desktop publishing platform. With proprietary software,
Culleton says, "[You] face the potential discontinuance of the
product, just like users of the once excellent WordPerfect have found
their own purgatory -- the Curse of Corel."

Posted by klsh

Last July Session of ASA's MVP class


Yay! Lisa joined us! She's signed up for the class, so we'll be seeing her twice a week. Whoo!

Today's workout focused on arms. Not in a workout sense, but in a movement sense: quick arms propelling quick feet. I was also working on moving my arms forward and backward, and not across my chest.

I also asked G about intensity level. Should I be going all out, all the time, or should I try to pace myself. G was actually surprised. He thought I was already going all out. Essentially, he was reducing the recovery time each time, to adjust for our improved performance. Whoops. My bad.

I started early with my ladders, with G giving me direct feedback about moving my arms. I tend to chicken-wing my arms, keeping them away from my body and often crossing my chest when they come forward. It really helped to have G give immediate feedback.

  • twisting from the outside: L foot on the right side, twist to put R foot inside, L outside left side, R next to L, twist to put L foot inside, R outside right side, L next to R, etc.
  • Outside L-in
  • Outside, R-in
  • Outside, R, outside, L, outside, together
  • Ali shuffle
  • probably more

We started off with the I of pain and square drill. Kris and Lisa worked the I-of-pain, while I worked the square drill. My first time was about 11.6, with the subsequent three being about 10.5. I think I cheated a little on those three. The last one was 10.9, which was around the time all my runs should have been. Not cheating on that one.

We switched, and I ran the I-of-pain, while Kris and Lisa ran the square drill. I ran the I-of-pain as hard as I could. I needed longer than the 30 second rest. My legs felt spent at the end of the drill.

Next, we had the equivalent of running ice-skaters. Instead of side-to-side ice skaters, we shuffled forward. We were working on quick feet. It was a little difficult for me, more so I think for Lisa. Kris, with his fast feet, had no problem. The cones were about 3 feet apart, width-wise, and 2 feet forward-wise. The goal was to shuffle through the cones, around the outside, facing forward. Shuffling forward. We ran 5+ of these runs. We then faced sideways, instead of forward, and quick-feet ran around the cones. We went through this way a good number of times, too. It was difficult to get the arms moving quickly and correctly in synch.

The star-shuffle came next. It was a small circle: only one step between the middle cone and the outside cone. It made, once again, for quick feet and fast arms. We couldn't get a full shuffle in, so we had to move quickly. We went counterclockwise twice, then clockwise twice.

Kris offered a suggestion to G to modify the exercise. Instead of shuffling from cone to cone, G walked around the circle, adjusting his distance from the center cone. We shuffled from the center cone to G, as he walked around the circle.

Wall ball came next. Kris and Lisa started out playing wall ball against each other with the 8# ball. They threw from their hips, playing twice for a minute each round. G and I played next, with the 6#. When it came time to play throwing overhead, using abs, of course, G had Lisa play wall ball with me, instead, with the lighter ball. 8# was 2# too heavy.

Abs, of course, were last. The first set was a three exercise round: ab pull downs with the weight machine, bicycles, and big ball balance (where we balanced in a plank position with elbows and forearms on the ball, then back up, with just hands on the ball, butt in the air). We each rotated through the three exercises. Next were cross-over V-ups, similar to Lisa's cross-over bicycles from the workout she developed for us. There was another few ab exercises.

The last ab exercise was 6" leg holds, for only 30 seconds. No problem.

Special K sprint workout

Update: changes made for the SCU women's team, with more explanations.

Derived from an article I read about the US National Women's Soccer team, the Special K workout builds sprinting stamina. It was modified by Kris for Special K, which is no longer a team. The season this was written for was a shortened season, with coed playing in July and open/women playing in fall. As of this moment, it was the last year a player could play in more than one division in a season.

For reference, a stinker is:

Sprint 50 yards out and back 3 times in a row for a total of
300 yards.  If you are feeling really ambitious, do this in
under 1 minute.  Rest one and a half minutes afterwards.
A stinkette is:
Sprint 25 yards out and back 6 times in a row for a total of 300
yards.  If you are feeling really ambitious, do this in under
1 minute 5 seconds.  Rest one and a half minutes afterwards.
And a suicide is:
Run 5 yards out and back then increase to running 10, 15,
20, and 25 yards out and back.  Rest 25 seconds afterwards.

That said, the workout is:
Ultimate Workouts  4/3/00 - 7/6/00

4/3/00 Monday
   7x20, 5x40, 3x50, 3x90

4/6/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 3 suicides

4/10/00 Monday
   7x20, 5x40, 3x50, 3x90

4/13/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 3 suicides

4/17/00 Monday
   7x20, 5x40, 4x50, 4x90

4/20/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

4/24/00 Monday
   8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

4/27/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

5/1/00 Monday
   8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

5/4/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

5/8/00 Monday
   8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

5/11/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

5/15/00 Monday
   9x20, 7x40, 5x50, 5x90

5/18/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

5/22/00 Monday
   9x20, 7x40, 5x50, 5x90

5/25/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

5/29/00 Monday
   10x20, 8x40, 5x50, 5x90

6/1/00 Thursday
   1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

6/5/00 Monday
   10x20, 8x40, 6x50, 6x90

6/8/00 Thursday
   1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

6/12/00 Monday
   12x20, 8x40, 6x50, 6x90

6/15/00 Thursday
   1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 6 suicides

6/19/00 Monday
   14x20, 9x40, 7x50, 7x90

6/22/00 Thursday
   2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 6 suicides

6/26/00 Monday
   14x20, 9x40, 7x50, 7x90

6/29/00 Thursday
   2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 7 suicides

7/3/00 Monday
   16x20, 10x40, 8x50, 8x90

7/6/00 Thursday
   2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 7 suicides
I believe it is worth noting that although we do these various "workouts" on different days, the US National World Soccer team did both the weekly workouts on the same day. They are some amazing athletes, those women.