Sunday, February 27, 2011

two pots

two pots
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

Chinese ceramics in the Asian Wing, second floor of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, today.

compassion bodhisattva

compassion bodhisattva
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

Compassion bodhisattva (guanyin), about A.D. 580, in the 2nd floor Asian Wing at Museum of Fine Arts, today. Nice!

Calder courtyard

Calder courtyard
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

View of the Calder Courtyard at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this morning. After a night of snow.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

no more lessons!

Oh no, it turns out the rink is closing for the season next week. That means my last lesson of the season was today. I'm totally bummed.

My instructor encouraged me to try some crossovers, and I pulled off a few very awkward ones. She also got me to do a move which turned out to be easier than it looks, I think it's called a 3 turn on two feet. You start with a forward swizzle, and then twist around while moving into a backward swizzle. Whew! Exciting! I wish I had more time to practice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

been a while

I've been learning to ice skate since November, so rock climbing has taken a back seat. I've only been rock climbing about 4 times over the past 4 months.

Today I got started again. It was a bad day to go. For some reason (is it spring break already?) the place was crowded, even though it was the middle of the day. So I left in under an hour.

I climbed a 5.4, 5.5, and a vertical that was labeled 5.10 (I think it must be mislabeled). Also, I got 3/4 of the way up the overhang, which is better than I've done before. That's a surprising improvement. It may have helped that I've begun using a chin up bar at home during my weight workouts.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-one

Total miles: 51972. Trip miles: 346.8. Gallons: 7.465. Price per gallon: $3.119.

Screen mileage: 51.5 mpg. Tank mileage: 46.5 mpg.

Long trip.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty

Total miles: 51625. Trip miles: 226.0. Gallons: 4.707. Price per gallon: $3.139.

Screen mileage: 47.0 mpg. Tank mileage: 48.0 mpg.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

3 hours of skiing

I went skiing for 3 hours at Wachusett today. I didn’t stay longer because I wasn’t well rested, and started to feel tired by noon. Probably would have been better not to go ice skating the day before.

I started around 9 am with Ralph’s Run, a blue trail. At first everything went perfectly! I was carving some beautiful turns and the trail felt great. Then I noticed it began to get a little bit icy. Not solid ice, but there were sections where the powder was wearing thin.

So I went over to the green trails, Indian Summer and Sundowner (my photo was taken at the top of Sundowner). Sundowner has hills which make it a little tough to practice turns, so I mostly went down Indian Summer. The only problem with this area is that the lift is slow. It’s a nice ride though, and gives you time to rest. The snow conditions were better here, but the trail is pretty short, unfortunately.

I also took a few trips down Conifer, another blue trail. This has some sections which are slightly steeper than Ralph’s Run, and in addition it had more scrape-y icy spots. I wound up on my butt more than once!

For my last run I went down Challenger, and somehow managed to invade a “NASTAR” training race. Oops! I wasn’t the only one who was confused, so I didn’t feel too bad. This area was getting icy too so I decided enough was enough, and turned in early.

Nice thing about Wachusett, if you leave before 12:30 you are refunded $10. It seemed wise to leave and get the discount, since my form was getting progressively worse as I got more tired and the conditions were clearly not getting any better.

I think my skiing technique has continued to improve. Lito Tejada-Flores' video is a really big help, especially if I watch it the night before a ski trip. Also, it feels like my ice skating work has helped my skiing technique – the pumping motion is similar, and my balance is better.

I need more practice. I also think I need to get more specific advice about how to deal with icy conditions, since I encounter them too often.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I want to ski the black diamonds

I’ve been skiing for about 20 years, but just a few times a year, and not every year.

I’m still not very comfortable on skis. I can ski down blue and green slopes but the reds and blacks are pretty much off limits. (Of course it’s all relative; I have skied down some black slopes on very small mountains.)

Tomorrow I’m doing a little skiing. So tonight I’m pulling out Lito Tejada-Flores' video “Breakthrough on Skis”. Watching this helped me improve in the past. Hopefully it will be help tomorrow.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

amazing roast chicken

amazing roast chicken
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

I decided to roast a chicken this weekend.

This chicken was about 4.5 lbs. It was tough deciding to get a whole chicken. That's a lot of meat. I will freeze a lot of it.

Since I don't know how to roast a chicken, and my recipe books were somewhat lacking, I searched online and found this Whole Foods recipe. I completely modified it since I didn't have rosemary, lemon, or wine at hand. I didn't add the chicken broth until after 30 minutes, when it seemed clear it would be needed (I was afraid it would be soggy).

The hardest part was deciding when it was done, since I don't have an oven thermometer. I don't like dry chicken, but was afraid to undercook it. Total time in the oven was about 2.5 hours, at which point I cut open a leg to see if it was still bloody. It seemed to have cooked through, so I turned off the oven then.

Now I'm just waiting for it to cool down enough to try it. It looks really really good.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tank one hundred and forty-nine

Total miles: 51399. Trip miles: 119.4. Gallons: 3.733. Price per gallon: $3.159.

Screen mileage: 39.9 mpg. Tank mileage: 32.0 mpg.

More snow. Terrible mileage!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

January 2011 - Pattern Recognition

I found it kind of hard to get into William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Page after initial page is spent discussing branding and marketing (in the personal context of the lead character), topics that don’t grab my interest, except in a dry theoretical kind of way.

Despite that, at some point I got drawn into the more enjoyable, central mystery. It’s not a life altering book, but interesting enough to make me want to go back and re-read some of Gibson’s earlier stuff, which I found less accessible at the time.