Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A few of my favorite things:

Cool stuff you should know about for your mind, body, and soul (plus a local bonus):

MIND: Sudoku is a logic game with no math or guessing, just analyzing and eliminating. You can find unlimited free games (and the extremely short rules) at Very fun, but I warn you - also very addictive. They are difficult at first but as you start to figure out the strategy they go much faster.

BODY: Last week I mentioned Keens and Merrills. I'm famous for being a cheapskate, but good shoes - like a good bed - are worth every penny. I'm not kidding about trying them out. They make Birks seem like Keds, both ergonomically and aesthetically.

SOUL: For a little entertainment, rent Carnivale. It was a short lived (2 seasons) HBO series about some freaky and fabulous carneys traveling the country in 1934. It's a magical whirlwind with great sets and amazing people who evolve as the show spins out. Available on Netflix, among other places. NOT for kids!

Lagniappe: Check out Superior Automotive, 17 1/2 102nd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004. (425) 454-5028
These guys are real, honest-to-goodness old-fashioned mechanics. They can figure out anything. They're honest. They're cheap. Thery're fast. We are oh-so-glad we found them!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Not all who wander are lost...

Matt & I have been taking advantage his time off, and my break between tests, to explore the magnificence that is Washington State. On Saturday we took part in an antique British car run. Unfortunately most of the cars who came were neither antique nor British, but there was a lovely '59 Jag Mark IX (ahead of Wallace in the pic - I'm shooting while driving Wendolene) and a few old MGs and Triumphs. The route was fantastic: Lots of well-maintained roads through woods and beautiful farmlands. On Sunday we drove up to Snoqualmie Falls and took a train ride. Yesterday we intended to see the Sequoias at the Olympic National Park, but got diverted and wound up on the Dungeness Spit at Sequim instead. The pic of Seattle was taken from the ferry coming back home.

I'm very happy with the pics I took (far more than I can post here) and the best will be added to the next picture CD.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wind Beneath my Wings AKA The Perfect Day

Some Chemistry and Organic Chem, then off to the city for some real fun! First we stopped at REI, where I found a pair of Keens on clearance. Haven't tried these yet? Along with Merrells, they are my prescription for happy feet.

Debbie, Steve, Matt and I hired a seaplane for an airtour of Seattle. When the pilot found out I used to fly, he let me take the yoke for about 10-15 minutes. It was INCREDIBLE! I've been really missing flying recently - even dreaming about it - so I was doing serious binkies heading TO the plane, let alone afterwards! We had great visibility and just a few gusts. Utterly perfect! Steve took the pics.

Afterwards we had a stupendous seafood dinner at Chandler's. Like I said: Perfect! This is so cool - with my friends coming to see me, I feel like I've been on vacation, and I haven't even missed any school! :)

Friday, May 19, 2006


WOW do I feel GREAT!!! I've been working out hard again, and it's difficult to express just how different I am. Instead of tired, depressed, and weighted down by a giant Fat Suit, I am springing all over the place. I know I still look the same (okay, I'm obviously losing a little - my watch bracelet is looser) but I FEEL like I'm back in my Personal Trainer body. I feel energized, integrated... lithe and light.

I started back in the gym a few weeks ago, just doing the usual treadmill and weights, but I was sick of it and unmotivated. I obviously wasn't pushing myself enough.... until last Monday when my buddy Steve came to visit. He's been overseas for a few years and I've missed him tremendously, so our week-long visit has been great. Steve has always been extremely athletic (rock climbing, martial arts, etc.) but now he's gotten into this Crossfit (you guessed it, thing and he's really loving it. I am too! The workouts are different every day, so you don't get bored. The paradigm is completely unlike my old bodybuilding routine: It's built around functional fitness and is designed to generate core strength with multi-joint movements.

Boy, do my quads hurt! :) Woo-HOOO!!

PS - Act fast, girls, he won't be single long now that he's back in the country. It's hard to find such a brilliant, funny, sexy sweetheart of a guy!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


My vertigo is mostly gone but zings me once in a while. More troublesome: Matt's been having some short-term memory problems and is back on medical leave. We are going to do a sleep study and are investigating some other causes. Anyone want to buy a really cute car?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Austintatious! It's a boy!

The A30 baby has arrived! His name is Feathers McGraw, in keeping with the Wallace & Gromit theme of our other Austins. Generally he looks very good for a 1955 - an excellent project car! The paint is of course tired, but the rust is confined to a few small areas and the engine sounds just fine. We'll be shopping on eBay for chrome and a water pump... getting all the little bits and pieces as we can find them cheaply. :) Alan & Doug at Superior Automotive are having fun playing and now Alan wants an A30 van for himself! Tons of detail pics here for the mechanically inclined:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

You spin me right round, baby!

In early April I started spinning some amazing fuschia/ red /purple / pink / coral roving, while Thoth romanced the other end. :) Then the room started spinning. I had three weeks of fairly intense vertigo. After four doctor appointments, the diagnosis is (probably viral) damage to one of my inner ear canals. The left and right ear are supposed to work together, so if one is not quite up to snuff the resulting message to the brain is slightly scrambled... thus the perceived distortion. It was an interesting process and opened up a whole new area of medicine to me that I didn't know about before. The diagnostics were fascinating. Infrared goggles, moving lights, hot and cold water in my ears, the whole deal! The good news: The brain is plastic enough to compensate quickly. I'm already feeling normal again, but I have some therapy exercises to reinforce the relearning. Sweet!

Once the walls starting holding still, I was able to tolerate the spinning wheel again. To maintain the color separation as much as possible, I did a Navaho ply. Fig seems to approve. I've got about 540 yds - not even close to enough for the sweater I had hoped for. Any project ideas, people? I think it'll be about 4 st/inch. As always, click to enlarge.