I have a sore hamstring. It’s been bothering me for about 4-6 weeks. Nothing major, no severe pain or anything, but I can definitely feel it when I’m running, kicking the ball with the kids, or stretching. This is the same leg that bothered me off and on when I was training to run a half-marathon a year-and-a-half ago. And now that I think about it, the same leg for which I tore my hamstring and glute muscle pretty badly way back in high school.
In this situation, the obvious tonic is to rest, take it easy, so that’s just what I’m doing. Have also been careful to stretch out that area without stressing it too much and massage it in the spa. But this is also where you can start playing tricks on yourself. Isn’t a certain amount of soreness expected – especially as you get older? Are you just being too careful, not tough enough? Is this the kind of soreness you just drive through with a few pain relievers and get on with it? And how much recovery time do you really need? Continue reading
One of the few episodic shows we continue to watch returns for its fourth season this Sunday: The Walking Dead on AMC. Not since we watched The Wire have we been so enamored with a show that can just be so damned depressing. If you’re behind on episodes or looking to catch up with the plot again, AMC is currently running through all the prior seasons leading up to this Sunday.
I still remember picking up the very first trade of Robert Kirkman’s series back in the day, when the buzz about the comic book was starting to increase, and thinking the central premise was a pretty blatant rip-off of 28 Days Later (guy wakes up form coma and zombie apocalypse has ensued). But the way he set up the characters and paid them such careful attention, the focus on the human element in the midst of such a horrible situation – these really stood out. I still want to back and check out his book, Invincible, a character-driven take on the familiar teen and family superhero story.
Like an ancient hunter, prowling the banks of the mighty river in search of quarry that will feed his family for days, he sees the mud swirl and the lazy flick of an immense black tail-fin. This fish is older than him – wily, clever, strong like the currents of its river home. The fish is the ancient challenge. It is Catfish Hunter. It is Sharknado. And so, armed only with a cheap-o discount rod-and-reel and a laundry basket, he wades into the muck, braving the current and prepares to do battle…
Well, most of that’s true. Except it was my buddy’s dad’s stocked pond, so no dangerous current or muck. The discount rod-and-reel part and the laundry basket to get that catfish landed – true. It took awhile as that setup was meant for bluegill not (fairly) big cats.
And yeah, that’s probably the biggest fish I’ve ever caught – freshwater fish anyway. Fishing’s not something we’ve done a lot of, but with the kids getting older and more outdoor activities on the horizon, I can see us doing more. Soon after catching this one, the boy also hooked a decent sized catfish, which we helped him reel in and land. He was excited. What were we using to land them? Trade secret.
Not as fun as a Bill Cubit offense, but definitely better than a Beatty/Gonzales offense in the overall theme of things last weekend.
Over the holiday weekend, we switched media providers from AT&T to a combination of DirecTV and Comcast-Xfinity. The reasoning was simple: a savings of about 40% per month off the combined monthly bill for TV and Internet, along with expanded options and quicker net speeds.
Of course they offer to do it all for you; they offer lots of nice perks (which you’ll get charged for later if you don’t remember to go in and cancel the services). Sounds easy.
You also better be sure you’ve done your research. Comcast is happy to lease you a combo cable-modem/router, which you could have paid for in a year had you bought the equipment on your own. So have that ready. DirecTV now requires their techs to ground the service to your meter box, so that means extra holes and wires.
And then there’s the scheduling…
Having taken in a number of youth sports, some of which our kids participate in, some of which other family members play, we’re going to unveil our listing of team sports – from least to most fun. The sample here is twelve and under.
Your own results may vary, based on bias, level of coaching, your sports’ organizational set up, and how bad or good your team is. We can all appreciate how poor or indifferent coaching and a disorganized league can wreck the fun. Ditto for being on a really bad or incompetent team. Here goes…
About a month ago, Google retired its Reader (for RSS feeds), forcing a switch in the Beemsville web protocols. You see, a good feed reader, serving up the news, blogs, happenings for our digital consumption whenever we feel like checking it, has become our staple of information gathering. The feed reader is like our daily newspaper (and indeed features some feeds from our local newspaper).
We’ve been using Netvibes and Feedly since the end of Google Reader. Netvibes gives an iGoogle-like interface (and other templates if you want to try them) and an easy to navigate reader-mode. We like most of the features, although the Facebook add-on doesn’t work very well, and any Google-bridge apps either don’t work or have suspicious origins. This especially bothers us because we are big users of the Google-Calendar, and it would be nice to have a compact version of my agenda sitting there on my desktop via Netvibes. Continue reading
Trying to stay up to date on the road presents problems. Hotels don’t provide free internet in the room (why is it the more expensive the hotel, the less likely the free internet?). Using a tablet for longform typing = not ideal. Your schedule’s messed up. You may not sleep well.
You have to go to a bar to watch the Gold Cup semifinal (tonight at 7 pm EST on Fox Soccer). Well, it’s not all bad…
Sometimes, you do get cool side benefits like alterations to the workout routine:
Anyway, more quality coming soon, including a book review and reactions to comicon news.
The Sta-Cation has concluded, the routine resumed. Mostly positive, mostly productive, and relaxing in a way. A couple of aspects not featured this year: no sleeping in (no time with taking the kids to camp), no PS3 (just no time for it), no copious sweating (the weather was actually pretty nice for July).
Deck – now sealed
So what did we cross off the list? The big items, mostly…
- Take kids to Soccer Camp (watch them, learn new drills) Check
- Power Wash the Deck and seal said deck Check
- Fix leaky toilet Check (sort of)
- Build three tree boxes in the front yard Nope
- Install ceiling fan in guest room Check
- Build new desktop computer Check (sort-of)
- Retrieve and load piano from the home town Check
- Take clothes and stuff to Goodwill Nope
- Read Patrick Rothfuss’ Wise Man’s Fear Check (100 pages in)
- Back up this blog Nope
- Watch some Gold Cup Check
That’s 8 for 11. Not bad, not bad. The caveats here: toilet disassembled, diagnosed, and faulty part ordered (it’s a very old American Standard). Should be fairly easy to finish off once the part arrives. The new destktop PC is functional and sound (hoorary!), but I need to finish installing the software and get my backup files on there.
This year’s Sta-Cation is officially on as of today. The idea is to use vacation time, relax, spend time with the kids, and get be productive around the house. Past versions have been associated with big projects (for me), such as the Deck, (photos), the Basement flooring tileage, and Tiles of Woe in the old house’ bathroom. This year we’re not so aggressive, but we do have a growing list of smaller items:
- Take kids to Soccer Camp (watch them, learn new drills)
- Power Wash the Deck and seal said deck – probably the biggest, most time consuming item
- Fix leaky toilet
- Build three tree boxes in the front yard
- Install ceiling fan in guest room
- Build new desktop computer (looking forward to that, which could be folly)
- Retrieve and load piano from the home town
- Take clothes and stuff to Goodwill
- Read Patrick Rothfuss’ Wise Man’s Fear
- Back up this blog
- Watch some Gold Cup
Now that you mention it, that doesn’t really look all that relaxing. Ah well, we will just have to see what kind of progress occurs.
The millions of us who use Google Reader everyday to organize and browse RSS feeds have been hit with the frequent reminder: After July 1, Google Reader will no longer be available. Apparently, in Google’s pre-do-no-evil days, the designers who came up with such a straight-forward and useful RSS-aggregator were too concerned with user experience and not fixated enough on the bottom line. Google Reader hasn’t generated enough income.
Google has also announced that its iGoogle start page will also disappear later this year. Again, one can surmise iGoogle – with it’s simple yet effective design – doesn’t bring in enough dollars. Continue reading