Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gavin, Day 4

These photos were taken on Gavin's due date.

Gavin, Day 3

A few photos from Gavin's third day:

Gavin, Day 2

Here a few more photos of Gavin. These are from his second day of existence as a separate being.

Monday, May 30, 2011

PR: Vest Fest

Today I set a new PR in one of my favorite made-up WODs: Vest Fest. My new best time, 16:23, was almost a minute faster than my previous best, which I recorded the last time I attempted this workout.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Darmok and Jalad

As a fan of xkcd, Star Trek, and metaphors, I was quite tickled by Monday's xkcd comic.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

No Exageration

My mother-in-law, as Alison and I are heading out the door to the pharmacy:
I need cigarettes and Dr. Pepper and do they have any packs of those little doughnuts that I like?
Seriously. This quotation succinctly summarizes her diet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome, Gavin

Today my lovely wife Alison gave birth to our new son, Gavin. I'm very excited to get to know him.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rapid-Fire Audiobook Reviews

Since I don't anticipate having time, in the near future, to give each of these audio books a full-blown review, I'm posting short-form reviews here.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.

An engaging story set in a well-realized universe. This novel is positioned as a young-adult book, but it doesn't underestimate its reader. 7.5 out of 10.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.

The premise for this story, which is set in the same universe as Ship Breaker, but on the other side of the Earth, is compelling, and the worldbuilding is impressive. However, the characters weren't identifiable and the story was too slow. I just couldn't get into it and stopped about two thirds of the way in. 3.5 out of 10.

Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear.

The premise of this story is intriguing. Unfortunately, since the narrator and all the other characters have no idea of what's going on around them, the plot comes off as a muddled mess. 5.0 out of 10.

Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge.

This story is set in the same universe a Fast Times at Fairmont High, and it includes at least 5 of the same characters. Interestingly, 2 of the main characters are substantially revamped for this novel. The worldbuilding is typical of Vinge, which is to say impressive. The story is exciting, as well. 8.5 out of 10.

The WWW Trilogy (Wake, Watch, and Wonder) by Robert J. Sawyer.

An interesting story set in the very near future. The main character is so likable that I didn't mind reading from the perspective of a teenage girl. Sadly, there's a bit too much teen-girl drama. 7.5 out of 10.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

PR: Deadlift

Yesterday, I set a new PR in the deadlift: 325 pounds. That's 5 pound better than my previous best. That may not sound like much, but I set the previous PR about 3 years ago and frequently overstress my lower back when doing this exercise. Since starting at CrossFit Diesel, I have been working on my form, trying to avoid injury. I've recently be doing my deadlifts sumo-style---wide stance, hands between the feet---and really seems to help. Sumo deadlifts transfer some of the load from the lumbar region to the glutes. That's an improvement, at least for me. My new long-term goal is 2.5 times bodyweight, which currently works out to 337.5 pounds.

Monday, May 02, 2011


Some of you may have heard of Ron Howard's plans to adapt Stephen King's Dark Tower series as film trilogy and a concurrently airing television series. Well, the role of the central character, the gunslinger Roland, has been officially given to Javier Bardem. So, there you go.