My Coat of Arms, drawn by me at age 11

This is my coat of arms, that I drew when I was 11 and I was in love with Princess Diana and all things British, so I read books on heraldry and ignored most of what I learned and drew some badass unicorn horns and swords and arrows. And some gender ambiguous people hanging out, chilling.

My Coat of Arms

Kate Middleton had to make up her own coat of arms now that she’s a princess, and she put some acorns on it. That is not very badass.


Continue ReadingMy Coat of Arms, drawn by me at age 11

Road Trip: New Jersey

We have a number of weddings to attend this fall, and the first is Stephanie’s cousin Alex’s, which is taking place in New Jersey. This road trip we’ll be seeing the other half of Stephanie’s family; we saw most of her mom’s family last fall.

Lance ready to road trip
Lance is ready to roadtrip.

First Road Stop - new shades
The ear pieces from my shades were making my head hurt, so I got this new pair.

Lance gets new shades, too.
Lance took my old sunglasses.

My Orange Crush
Stephanie Driving

Monkey demands shades too
Hector needed shades, too.

POTUS roadtrip entourage
The rest of the entourage poses for picks.

Pennsylvania Turnpike
Pennsylvania Turnpike Memoribilia

Supreme Court Justice Supreme
Ruth Bader Ginsburg enjoys her notoriety.

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Reasons not to stretch

From the NY Times phys Ed blog:

Now, two new studies are giving us additional reasons not to stretch.

One, a study being published this month in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, concluded that if you stretch before you lift weights, you may find yourself feeling weaker and wobblier than you expect during your workout. Those findings join those of another new study from Croatia, a bogglingly comprehensive re-analysis of data from earlier experiments that was published in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Together, the studies augment a growing scientific consensus that pre-exercise stretching is generally unnecessary and likely counterproductive.

Many issues related to exercise and stretching have remained unresolved. In particular, it is unclear to what extent, precisely, subsequent workouts are changed when you stretch beforehand, as well as whether all types of physical activity are similarly affected.

This was about stretching before a workout. I read the article wondering what they thought about stretching after, but they didn’t mention it. They do say that this is just about ‘static stretching’ and not about warming up with jogging or other exercises that mimic the motions that you’ll be doing in the workout itself.

A better choice, he continued, is to warm-up dynamically, by moving the muscles that will be called upon in your workout. Jumping jacks and toy-soldier-like high leg kicks, for instance, prepare muscles for additional exercise better than stretching. As an unscientific side benefit, they can also be fun.

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The Oxford Cambridge Boat Race 2013

The Boat Race

The Boat Race” is this weekend on Sunday, and we’ll be watching at a pub before joining the rest of the family for Easter dinner.

Helpful summary from wikipedia:

The Boat Race is an annual rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, rowed between competing eights on the River Thames in London, England. It is also known as the University Boat Race and the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, from 2010–2012 for sponsorship reasons as the Xchanging Boat Race, and from 2013 as the BNY Mellon Boat Race. It usually takes place on the last Saturday of March or the first Saturday of April.

The first race was in 1829 and the event has been held annually since 1856, except during World War I and World War II. The course covers a 4.2-mile (6.8 km) stretch of the Thames in West London, from Putney to Mortlake. Members of both teams are traditionally known as blues and each boat as a “Blue Boat”, with Cambridge in light blue and Oxford dark blue. As of 2012 Cambridge have won the race 81 times and Oxford 76 times, with one dead heat.

The race is a well-established and popular fixture in the British sporting calendar. In 2010 an estimated quarter of a million people watched the race live from the banks of the river and millions on television.

Oxford Vs. Cambridge Rowers

If you have Universal Sports on your cable network provider, you can watch it too, or apparently you can watch it online.

Vintage Cambridge Rower

Vintage Oxford Rower

UPDATE: Oxford won this year.

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New Year’s Resolutions – 2013

These are really more goals than resolutions; they are things I’d like to make priorities to focus my energy and money on. If I don’t get them done, it’s cool; this is a big pile of ambitious. But these are all areas I want to make progress in for the coming year.

750 words a day – more days of the week than not
Finish novel
Start new novel

[various work-related goals; not shared here]

Get insulation done
Get siding fixed
Get house painted
Get guest room organized
Get bed frame for our bed

Save 10,000 dollars
Get a new computer

Get split down to 2:00:00
Get an erg
learn sculling

Read more books I own
Buy new books on e-reader
Read first Proust book

Knit pillows
Knit hats – follow design
Learn color work

Photo scanning & organizing
Design 20 new shirts

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Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina

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After our corn maze excursion, we visited Stephanie’s grandparent’s gravesite at Arlington Cemetery. And we rounded out the rest of our vacation with visits to Stephanie’s cousin in Philadelphia, one of Stephanie’s childhood friends in Lynchburg, Virginia, and then a visit with our friends Lisa and Jason in Durham. We also met for dinner with my old friend Dennis and his husband Jeff in DC. I took quite a few sight-seeing photos, but in general I steer clear of taking or posting photos of other people’s kids for privacy’s sake. I got to drive by Boathouse Row in Philadelphia, which was cool. I definitely want to go back and stop at some point.

Durham is always a treat to visit. Lots of cool culture stuff going on there, so we have plenty to do, and we visited their Life + Science Museum to go on the “Dinosaur Walk” which is a nice landscaped garden pathway with dinosaur sculptures. Very fun.

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Washington DC

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Decisions, decisions.

We’re in the DC area for several days to visit Stephanie’s family. Today we’re doing some sightseeing.

UPDATE: We spent the afternoon in the national gallery.


The Biglin Brothers Racing, 1872. Thomas Eakins.


Oarsmen at Chatou, 1879. Auguste Renoir.


The Capitol, Washington, DC

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I’m Being Recruited by the Department Grumps – Manage Your Career – The Chronicle of Higher Education

I’m Being Recruited by the Department Grumps found at: Manage Your Career – The Chronicle of Higher Education

I worry that I’m the Department Grump. I don’t want to be that guy. If I am that guy, I need to stop being that guy, and right now.

Continue ReadingI’m Being Recruited by the Department Grumps – Manage Your Career – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Weekend Update, end of August 2012

This past week I attended An Event Apart, a major web design conference in Chicago, which was pretty awesome. I learned a lot of cool stuff especially about mobile-friendly design that I now need time to go over before I forget or lose track of it. It was held at the Westin just north of the Chicago River, which is a cool spot for walking around and site-seeing. Stephanie went along with and spent the time I was in sessions walking around and visiting museums and site-seeing. It was really cool to have her along because it made the social stuff like going out to dinner and seeing stuff a lot more pleasant. Plus she was willing to drive in Chicago traffic, which is both brave and very nice of her, because Chicago traffic is incredibly difficult.

Here are a few photos I took with my iPhone – more to come when I edit.

In other news only tangentially related, I realized when I was updating my photo on one of our internal company websites how different I look now than I did a few years ago. I don’t quite remember when the older photo on the right was taken; I suspect it was 2008 or so.

Me on 8-30-2012 Large Compare

Bit of a change, isn’t it? I know physically my clothes are looser and I can tell I have a lot more muscle than I did before, but I don’t always realize since I see myself every day how different I look.

Continue ReadingWeekend Update, end of August 2012