Sunday, April 30, 2006

Safety Girl is a Punk!

Today, I woke up and put my skull and bones socks on. I made some super-extra strong coffee and forewent my "wussy" tea routine all day. For lunch, I had a lot of meat. And today I was not going to take any "lip" from anyone, even Galileo!

I'm living on the edge! A risk taker! A punk!

Why? Because I, formerly known as "Safety Girl", got a new mountain bike! In "black punk"! It has all this neat stuff on it like disk brakes, and you can bounce up and down on it like a pogo stick. The bicycle sales guy even called the bike "righteous"!

It's beautiful. It's massive, like a Hummer sitting next to my little delicate Celica of a road bike. A bit like two sides of my personality, sitting next to each other in the garage. It's aggressive, with scratchy punk words on it and HUGE knobby tires. It's righteous, as in "angelic", which is nice since it will be between me and the cold, hard ground. I will also try to figure out if it is "gnarly" or "awesome" as well by throwing myself down a few hills and seeing if I can avoid "endo-ing" or "breaking a leg".

Ruby (for "Righteous Babe") and I will have many adventures together, as soon as I get a really aggressive black jersey with some skulls and bones on it. Maybe I need some snakes for good measure too.

Off to ride!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Friday and it's Still Poetry Month!

I have decided that all good Fridays consist of two things:
1) An hour of yoga
2) A Caipirinha.
Enjoy your weekend!

As for poetry, here's a few for your Friday:

--My favorite Russian poem, which is "I loved you" by Pushkin. I've got it memorized. In Russian! Make sure to listen to the audio!
--My favorite funny poet
Ogden Nash! "Too clever is dumb." Ha!
--My favorite Shakespeare: "All the world's a stage/And all the men and women merely players." So true!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Random Thursday and Jello Mind Tricks

--John reports on the snow situation in Fairbanks.

--Lifehacker reports that wearing sunglasses help reduce jet lag. Why not? Try it and tell us all if it worked or not.

In my life, I am still on my little project Gazelle, in which I maximize my power to weight ratio by minimizing my weight. I am currently down about 4.6% and running faster as a result (I think).

I've also reacquainted myself with Jello as part of this new diet. Did you know that if you mix strawberry and lemon jello it tastes exactly like a strawberry jolly rancher? If you want to know some new Jello tricks, here's a website.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Google Me!

I've been very busy at work lately, and so have used my lifehacker skills to maximize my productivity. You will see at the side of the blog is now a "google" link. Now, instead of having to go to Google, I can just type in what I'm looking for right here! I figure that has just given me 5 seconds back for every google search I in a month, that could be as much as 8 minutes.

Hey, it's a start...

Try it for yourself and let me know what you think. If it saves you a few seconds in life, hey, tell me that too :)

For more useful lifehacking tips:
43 Folders

Tuesday Night Torture today! I've heard there will be hills AND mosquitoes! Sounds dangerous...

Boston Rundown!

The Rundown is up! This edition is on the Boston Rundown.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Just for Steve...

..the guy with two first names! Another sign that Anchorage is acceptably cool:

A dash to avoid the splash: "Jonathan Severson was one of six reckless souls who conquered Alyeska Resort's annual Slush Cup, skiing down the slope of Chair 3, braving a jump and skidding across a 30-foot stretch of water -- dressed as Johnny Cash, with lit fireworks stuck in his ski boots, of course. "

Bet you didn't know the man in black could ski?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happy Picture for Monday

Hi everyone --

Here's a happy picture for your Monday, click it to see it up close:

This is the other side of the Turnagain Arm, across from the Seward Highway, about 20 minutes from our house. The drive from Anchorage to Seward is one of the most awesome drives you can ever make, at any time of the year.

With beauty like this in the world, how can there ever be a bad day?

Have an excellent week!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Spring is not far away?

See anything wrong with this picture?

No? Well here's a better look:

It's April 22, and it's SNOWING. Pretty weird eh?

The Doctor is in...

Frank made his way back to Anchorage very last night, and his plane (#806, the same one that I took last week) came in a half hour early! By the time I got there, he had already found his bags, which was really great.

Smoke Detector Woes
Unfortunately, as we were both just falling asleep, one of the ($&#*&$ smoke detectors started binging. It has to be one of the detectors downstairs (there are 3 within a 5 ft radius), but I can't tell which one without camping out underneath them. Unfortunately, as soon as I got the battery and made my way downstairs, the darn thing stopped beeping. Perhaps I'll change all three and be done with it.

Return of the Birds
Then at 5:30 am, I woke up to the "hoot hoot hoot! hoot hoot hoot!" (in C, of course)of the birds and the honking of geese. I'm not sure if those are the geese coming back from their winter vacation, or the ones that were "training" around ANC until almost December.

Anyways, the itinerary of the weekend includes the Spring Carnival at Alyeska (I'm looking forward to the Slush Cup) and snow and/or rain. Agh!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Understatement of the day

Man with 12 nails in skull complains of headache

The Worst Song?

Going back to the music theme, posted a discussion of the worst songs ever to make it on radio. I was quite partial to nominating "Electric Slide" ("you can't see it/it's electric! boogie oogie oogie -- BLECH!), but ooh, some of these others are so tempting! I've settled on "Achey Breaky Heart" as my personal all-time worst song. It combines repressed memories of the electric slide AND mullets, which is totally unacceptable.

If there are any others you would like to nominate, comment below :)

UPDATE: Frank says his most unfavorite songs include Muskrat Love, Bob Dylan's "Just like a Woman", and anything by Duran Duran.

Have a most excellent weekend!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday Recap

This week has not been a very good week, and today has in particular been quite unpleasant. However, on the bright side, I did make myself a fantastic omlette this morning with my new ScanPan cookware:
Pretty great, eh?

And Tuesday Night Torture...was a 2-mile time trial as I suspected. The first mile was pretty good, and the second, well, let's say it was not as good as the first :) . I spent that last mile off the back of the chase group and in front of the "derriere de la course" as Phil Liggett would say.

The sun doesn't go down now until about 10:30, and the sun rises early at about 5:30. The yard is already looking a bit green near the house, and our dreaded rhubarb that we try to kill every year is popping up again. So there is some significant evidence that it is finally turning out to be spring.

Hopefully I'll have more tomorrow, but here are a few good posts for today:
--Anne talks about her Easter day and family arguments
--lifehacker discusses work-induced ADD.
--John at Life in Alaska is in the mood for Spring and Ghosts...
--Apparently Chernobyl has become a bit of a bird paradise.
--Television without Pity is covering Doctor Who this season.

And I will leave you with a little "only in Alaska" moment...
Yesterday, I was in the car in rush hour and overheard this on the radio:
"On Benson, there is a brush fire in the abandoned parking lot near Minnesota. Please be ready to pull over for the fire trucks as they make their way over there. On Glenn Highway, there is a moose walking down the median near the Ft. Richardson exit. Please be careful -- you never know which way the he will go."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Random Wednesday: Defending the Twinkie

Althouse talks about Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito's comments during a particular case today. Here's the quote: "I don't want a 'competent' lawyer. I want a lawyer to get me off. I want a lawyer to invent the Twinkie defense. I want to win."
Huh? Who brought Twinkies into the courtroom? Apparently, the "Twinkie Defense" came from the Harvey Milk murder case in SF, where the murderer got a lesser sentence -- one of the arguments was that he was addicted to junk food.

So, when people talk about a "Twinkie Defense", they are usually talking about a seemingly illogical defense that actually works. Or maybe they are talking about self-defense.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Song Lyrics and Project G Status

So many people are talking about their favorite lyrics of all time apparently. "One Life, With Each Other, Sisters, Brothers" from One by U2 won out as the most popular.

Personally, "I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now, entertain us" is a better lyric, but perhaps that's because Nirvana totally captured the "angstiness" my friends and I were trying to portray through flannel shirts and dark eyeliner.

On the other hand, these lyrics in some cases aren't even the best ones in the song, let alone from the artists. Lyrics are so connected to their songs, I find it hard to flip through my ipod and pick a particular favorite lyric. Heck, half of my favorites are in Finnish!

So, what do you think? What would you have chosen as your favorite lyric of all time? Steve, I know you must have an opinion...

Project Gazelle, day 2
It's day 2 and I am already sick of vegetables! In the program, snacks are mandatory, but if I see another tomato, I might snap.

On the other hand, I am losing weight already, and was able to survive an entire meal at Moose's Tooth without beer and pizza. I have made a modification so that I can keep exercising, which is to eat a packet of instant oatmeal pre-run -- this gives me enough quick energy to make it through a workout.

Tonight is TNT, so we will see if I can make it through a road trial. Wish me luck!

UPDATE: Steve, Sean and I all list our favorite lyrics below...Mom, I can't believe you haven't put "We need more fruitcakes, and less bakers!" on yet :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Project Gazelle Day 1

Since Frank is out of town this week, I've decided to go on a diet, so that I can run like the wind this year. Because restricting dietary intake makes me severly crabby, I like to do this when noone is around to witness the ugliness.

So lunchtime became grocery time for me, and I acquired enough vegatables to feed my normal self for two weeks. Lunch was a portabella "pizza" with mozzarella, tomatoes, oregano and hot pepper. Tonight might be difficult at Moose's Tooth, watching friends eat pizza and drink beer while I gnaw on some greens. Agh!

Tomorrow is running club day, aka Tuesday Night Torture. Word is, we will be doing "a little test", which sounds an awful lot like a time trial. I've done more running this year than last, so hopefully I will do better than limp in this year.

During Easter dinner, Tara and I have also decided to run the Gold Nugget again this year, which means I have to dust off the old aero bars and goggles for another 500ydS/10mB/4.1mR. Last year was not so great, so I feel motivated to put out a good showing before I age up in Oct.

Random Wednesday: Arctic Man Madness

Last week, a group of people went out to the Hoodoo mountains to watch and do something pretty crazy. Skiers around the world come to be towed behind a snowmachine, to slingshot themselves at 90 mph down a mountain summit. It's called Arctic Man, and ADN has done a good job covering it this year.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Joshua Tree

Here's some pictures from Joshua Tree. We took them on our own "Escape from LA" trip during our vacation to Anaheim. I think they are pretty self-explanatory.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Anchorage Happenings

Girdwood was the home of the Red Bull Fuel and Fury event this week. One of the events, a week-long backcountry video making event, knocked off all but six of the competitors, who wound up with serious injuries such as broken backs. Ouch!

Don't try this at home! Get your adrenaline fix by viewing the videos here and voting for your favorites instead.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday!

Suprise, suprise! My excitement was thoroughly pummeled into the ground by another horrendous flight trip. While you all were sleeping, I was spending my night comfortably nestled between two rather large men, with no pillows. This morning, I woke up around ten with that normal "hit by the truck" feel of a long redeye flight.

Anne, on the other hand, spent time at an
immigration reform rally in Kentucky, and having allergy issues. Anne, my red eyes can sympathize with you after a week in Cincy!

36 hours from now, Frank will be on a flight to Orlando to a conference. It's being held in Celebration, which is pretty funny if you think about it.

Also, Frank brought up to me that software engineers have the best jobs according to Reuters. I pointed out that the second best job in the US is a college professor, who averages a work week of 30 hours and the highest number of vacation days. Doesn't that make you want to get your PhD?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

"Sittin' Around, waiting for an airplane..."

I'm looking out onto the runways from the food court in terminal B, watching the planes and buses taxi. On my left is a grande skinny latte from Starbucks and Widespread Panic's "Airplane" on my iPod. All around me are people getting from one place to another, but for the next two hours I have no place to go at all, and I'm loving it.

Even with a long plane trip ahead, times like this are intensely satisfying. It's incredible to be so unbelievably wiped out, and so unbelievably enthusiastic at the same time!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

LA Trip

Hey! I guess it's time to blog about the LA trip!

Our trip started with *suprise* traffic on our way to our hotel in Anaheim. Once we made it to our resort, instead of taking a nap because we had so little sleep on the planes, we decided to attempt a trip to Knotts Berry Farm.

Knotts Berry Farm is quite a nice little park, and even more exciting if you have had no sleep for the last 24 hours or so. Even for a theme park junkie, I was pretty suprised at how sleep deprivation really made any ride -- heck, even finding the entrance to the rides-- quite thrilling.

After this debacle, we went to Joe's Crab Shack, where we proceeded to stare into space like zombies waiting for our food, which was quite good.

On day 2, we went on one of those sightseeing trips in a bus, all over LA. Buses must have special powers, because I don't think we ever were in traffic, eventhough it was the day of the LA marathon.

We got to see the walk of fame:

And the El Capitan:

Oh, and who can go to LA and NOT get a picture of the Hollywood sign?

The funniest part of the trip was the bus. We had this bus with broken seats, and the poor people in front of us could not use the backs of their chairs along the very bumpy highways of LA. In addition, our guide for the day was a pirate -- in fact, apparently a "Pirate of the Carribean" and he showed us all of his pictures. Not only was he a pirate, but he was also a roller-skating pirate:

In other news, Frank has a dog park injury. A bit like an NFL quarterback, he was clipped by a pit bull who was not looking at where he was going. Having a 60 lb pit bull slamming into your knee so far does not look so fun. We're hoping he didn't tear a ligament or anything.

That's all I have for today. Next week, I will be escaping the lovely breakup and travelling "Outside" to Cincinnati, where I hear it is so hot that I will melt, very much like Snowzilla.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Anchoress on South Park

Did you watch South Park last night, or have you stopped watching it? The episode last night was really great, taking on the religous cartoon violence. The Anchoress writes gives her take as well as religious mocking.


Sounds like NASA needs a Zero-G coffemaker. Can't we figure out a way do do that?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


This place still suprises me! I didn't even know we had a giant snowman in town. Maybe we can go see him before he melts.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Snow in April?

We've got snow! It's April! Isn't that crazy? Word is that there's about 5 inches of snow on hillside, which is great because we'll be able to go ski for another few weeks.

On the other hand, it does seem like it *might* be springtime. The mountain ash's bark has become a hyper-orange color, and the willows have little fuzzies on them.

We also have beautiful sun today! I'm looking forward to going skiing tomorrow in the beautiful weather.