Tuesday, February 28, 2006

2 + 2

2 miles yesterday and 2 miles today. Nothing really to note about them. No great difficulties. No wild animals. No chicks checking me out, but there was one old lady I think was checking me out. (old ladies love me)

Work is a hassle for me right now. I'm supposed to write up a summary of this computational project we've been working on, so that we can figure out what we want to publish, and then of course I'll write that paper. I'm also supposed to be working on my proposal, finishing up the details and preparing an oral presentation. And I found out the other day that I'm supposed to write up another publication (maybe two) about some work I did two years ago. All writing and no working makes me crazy.

But I guess I'm focusing on the negative as I am prone to do. Publications are good. I just wish someone else would write them, and I'll collect the data. You'd think someone would go for that, but, no.

Why don't you buy yourself something nice today, maybe a nice cup of coffee, or a pair of sunglasses, or a nice spiral notebook, or a set of legos, or a book. You deserve it. You are <insert your name>, and you one of a kind.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

2 more miles and a discussion on vitamin supplements

I ran a little two miler down by the Seabrook trails. It's kind of a drive for just a little 2 miler, but I wanted to get out of my neighborhood while I can. It takes too long during the week.

Anyway, I always thought those people that take tons of vitamins were usually flaky hippies. But since I decided to start taking care of myself (May 2003, 248 lbs), my supplement count has creeped up, and now there's 4 of them! And I'm researching whether or not I should add a fifth. It already seems like a lot, but I have good reason for each of them.

My Daily Multivitamin - The first one I started. My grandma sends me these vitamins (Centrum), and she sends them way too often. She sends the 100 pill bottle every couple of months or so, and I have about a year's supply at this point.

Vitamin C - I started taking this to get over a cold, and I think it does help for that, but I stuck with it after I got over it. It's an immune system booster (supposedly), and an antioxidant too.

Calcium - Good for bones and teeth. I would have thought it would be good for your brain too, because it's such an important signalling molecule, but apparently, it's so important for brain function, your body will harvest Calcium from your bones long before levels in your brain drop.

Omega-3/6/9 Essential Fatty Acids - It better be good for me, because it smells and tastes terrible.

I'm considering another antioxidant supplement. There's already a lot of vitamin C, but it's limited because it's so hydrophilic, it doesn't have access to all cellular compartments.

Anywho, am I missing any good ones? What supplements do you take?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

4 mile long run

I met a couple people down at clear lake park for a few miles this morning. 4 miles counts as my long run now! This short mileage is starting to feel too easy now, but I'm going to stick with it for a while longer before I increase. I'd like to solidify my newfound consistency before I make it harder.

It was nice and cool this morning, foggy and cool. No rain yet, it might not be so bad. It was beautiful down by Clear Lake, and there were two teams of people from the rowing club out on their boats. I think I might like to try that too. I've heard it's a pretty good workout.

I hope the weather cooperates for the Rodeo Run. Good luck everyone.

The weekends are always traumatic to my healthy lifestyle. Keep an eye on the Ice Cream counter on the left panel. Let's see if it gets reset.

Anyway, Have a good weekend.

Friday, February 24, 2006

2 miles - and a HUGE announcement.

2 more miles, a five day streak for me, but who cares.

I'm working on something huge. Something that will transform this website and bring it to the next level. I know what you're thinking, there is no next level, but I believe there is, and if not, I'll create a next level.

Very soon, the superfans among you will be able to broadcast your superfan status, and subsequently elevate your place in society.

Men's Tee - Text says "Imagine a world without hatred"
Display your superfan status and at the same time, inform the world that you're not entirely happy with its attitude.

Ladies Yoga Top - Keith is always there
to assure you that you CAN do it!

Someone also gave me the idea to have Keith-brand bottled sports drink and maybe Keith-brand candy bars, so I'm kicking around ways to implement that.

Rock on.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

2 miles and 3 raw eggs

Okay, 13 eggs is too much. 13 would probably ruin my whole day. And Barbara even tried to change her sponsorship to make it 19 eggs. So, I changed the rules, which I think is okay because the rules were never defined in the first place.

So, the rule is, "there is a limit of one egg sponsorship per person." Which made it 3 eggs, more than enough to prove my point, especially considering that I never had a point in the first place.

Here are my splits:

Egg 1: I was pretty nervous and wondering why I even started this whole stupid thing. But I took a sip, and even though they're all mixed together in the cup, they come out one by one. And it went down almost without notice. No sweat. There's not much taste, there's just a very rich, fatty, texture. But it goes down easy, I even think about not cheating and doing all 13.

Egg 2: More difficult. 3 will be enough. The yolk broke, but still went down quickly.

Egg 3: Worst one yet. For some reason, I didn't swallow it right away and it just stopped right in my mouth, with the yolk right on my tongue. Very slimy. Exactly as you'd imagine it. And I couldn't bring myself to swallow it for several traumatic seconds. The only thing to do was to break the yolk first and then swallow. Very upsetting.

Right now, about a half hour later, they're still down, but I do feel kind of funny. I have the vague feeling that I want to throw up. But I did it, not exactly with the same composure that Rocky Balboa did it, but it's done.

Tune in next week when I eat 1 cubic feet of packing peanuts.

Rock on.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Get your egg in...

2 more miles on the third day of the rest of my life.

Okay, so I'm going to have to get some fresh eggs tonight. The ones I have are still before their expiration date, but it's close.

So, here are the current sponsors.

Cassie - 1 raw egg
Edwin - 5 raw eggs
Barbara - 7 raw eggs

Total - 13 raw eggs
- the number is getting high, but what the hell, I'll still do it.

I'll accept egg sponsorships until midnight tonight, so there's still time to get your egg in. Keep in mind though, that too many raw eggs and I could get salmonella poisoning and die.

Rock on.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

2 more miles on the road to recovery

2 more miles this morning.

So nobody dared me to drink a raw egg. Come on! I'm dying to try it. Dare me already! Come on!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Watching the Winter Olympics...

This weekend was the first chance I had to really get into the Olympics and I enjoyed almost all of it. For the most part I prefer the sports that don't have judges, but are based solely on the clock or the finish line.

I have new appreciation for the biathlon. I kind of thought that this was a really odd pairing of sports, skiing and shooting. I'm reminded of a joke Norm Macdonald made about combining the 100 yard dash with fishing. But I get it now, and I wonder how good I'd be at something that requires such calm and focus like marksmanship, in the middle of a very difficult race. My guess is not so good. I also think it's funny to see people skiing with guns on their back.

And the coolest winter sport, in my opinion, is short track speed skating. It just seems so fast and chaotic. I guess the only problem I have with it is really about how Apolo Ohno is the only person they ever talk about. I'm sure he's a fine person and all, and I respect the fact that he gave up a rock and roll lifestyle to go live in the dorms at the Olympic Training Center to focus on his training, but there' s too much Apolo.

And the regular speed skating is cool too. And the 1500m race tomorrow should be pretty good, two of the Americans are the favorites. Chad Hedrick (from Houston) is the world record holder and Shani Davis is the former world record holder. Unfortunately NBC seems to be focusing on the fact that they're mad at each other, and it's getting kind of silly. And I was reading about Joey Cheek, who won gold in the 500m and silver in the 1000m, because he donated all his bonus money form the USOC to children in African refugee camps, and I learned from the NBC website, that he enjoys "building and shooting potato guns." It just seemed interesting.

Keith out.

One day back on track

I feel like Rocky Balboa, back on the track to good health.

I ran this morning, only 2 miles, but I though it was important to have a good deal of easy running under my belt before I get back into the meaningful stuff. And I had a good breakfast too, which is extremely rare for me. I tried a protein shake, from a recipe I got from a Jedi Master friend of mine.

Okay, I gotta go eat some raw eggs. Seriously though, dare me to do it and I'll do it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday night - a good night for inner reflection

Okay, I guess that's enough.

Enough pizza. Enough Cheez-it. Enough Zima. Enough donut holes. Enough beer. Enough television. Enough ice cream. Enough Jack-in-the-Box. Enough couch potato.

Like Pai's Uncle from Whale Rider,

or like Bob Montagnet from The Good Thief,

or like Fuckhead from Jesus' Son,

let the purification begin.

Rock on.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Galloway Gallop 1K

So, my friend asked me to run with her 4 year old for the Galloway Gallop 1K, while she runs with her 6 year old, and their Dad takes pictures. But she warned me that he'd probably run a little bit, and then I'd have to carry him for most of the way. So, I agreed, but I made sure I explicitly told her that "I don't know how to carry a child," and also that sometimes little kids don't like me. Someone else ran with him last year, and from the story of that race, I think he had to be carried most of the way, and he kept saying that he was "bumpy."

And it was sooooo cold, and raining a little bit, and windy. Nobody was expecting a breakthrough performance. He ran straight through probably 700 meters. He was pushing through pain, I could tell. He was digging deep. He was visibly tired, and zigzagging on the road a bit, but when someone passed him, he'd find another gear, and match pace. At one point, he said, "mumble mumble TIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRED!"

There was a difficult point, about 3/4 of the way through, where I think he was about to cry, and I suggested he walk a bit, so we did. And I asked him if he wanted me to carry him, so I piggybacked him for a hundred meters or so, but when I asked him if he wanted me to put him down so he could finish, he said Yeah! And he took off running again and even kicked it in the last hundred meters or so.

And his parents were very proud of him and his brother. They both did great, and nobody was bumpy. And I had fun too. We've discovered yet another talent of mine, "pacing young children in road races."

Rock on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm finally finished

Well, I'm finally finished with my proposal, the written part anyway. I have about six weeks before I get to defend it in front of a band of angry rabid professors.

This is the European robin (Erithacus rubecula). I've been reading so much about these little guys, I have such a huge appreciation for them now. And look how cute they are, I just want to put the whole thing in my mouth.

It's a huge weight off to finally get this thing finished. And I think it's a pretty good proposal, although I think I waited too long to start writing it, and it could be improved with a couple days of tinkering.

Anyway, it's finished. I can relax now.

No offense, but...

I don't mean to offend anyone that reads this blog, but I can't really hold my tongue on this issue. I don't really think it should start any controversy, because it's really an open and shut case. Maybe some people are just raised a certain way and are resistant to change, even if it's for the better. But the facts are clear. There are 17 kinds of Cheez-its and only 2 kinds of Cheetos, and the Flamin' Hot Cheetos are really just a novelty snack, no one really buys them more than once. I always though Cheetos were kind of a disappointing version of the classic Cheese Puff, like maybe the throwaways from the Cheese Puff factory. And I think Cheez-its are baked, although I don't really know that for sure. I actually wouldn't even put Cheetos at the level of the Pizzaria Combo, although maybe better than the Cheddar Cheese Cracker Combo.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Surfside Beach Half Marathon

A beautiful day for a race, mostly. And a beautiful place to have it. I enjoyed the Surfside race, and I'll definitely do it again. It was probably my favorite race so far. It was great to see some of the HRBers again, you guys rock!

Here's a picture of the medal, and the other thing, I don't know what it is, but it's cool.

I ran real slowly though, my slowest half marathon ever, but I'd have to say that it still wasn't all that bad for a non-runner. It's really not fair to compare me to runners, or even to myself when I was a runner.

So, now I can concentrate on my quitting running full time. I can concentrate on my competitive eating, and watching Stargate SG-1, and my drinking. My drinking has really suffered from all this training, any my total alcohol consumption has plummeted at least 95% probably. I had two beers last weekend, and it's been a long time, and I got a little bit sick from it and stopped. :(

Next week, I'm considering doing some audioblogging directly from my sofa. I can talk about what's on teevee, and I'm planning a series of reports about the strengths and weaknesses of the many different types of Cheez-its.

So tune in next week.

-Edited to add-

I completely forgot about the best part. The post race food was great. There was barbecued brisket and something else, that I didn't hear what the guy called it, but it was basically, bacon, crispy bits of something, and magic. I don't know why I eat anything else.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The sun is a bitch to the clouds.

I have less than a week left, now. I've been doing nothing these past few days except writing this grant proposal, and I'm starting to go a bit loopy. I started brainstorming ideas on the opening paragraph, and went in a very strange direction. I need a break.

Cryptochrome dependent magnetosensation in the avian retina

     Can’t tell which way to go. Getting so cold.
     The sun is a bitch to the clouds.
          No contest.
     A few cloudy days and the whole flock dies.
     Nothing gets pollinated.
     The sky turns black with cicadas
          …and death.
     But, alas! A hole opens up.
          I can see the horizon.
     It saves us from the gamble.
     Keep the sunset on your right,
     and find your rhythm, young one.
     It’s a long way, but we’ll be all right.
          …this time.

That’s what the world would be like without cryptochrome dependent radical pair formation in the avian retina. Literally, the whole world would die!

Friendly Reminder

You should probably take the tree out, if you haven't already done so.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Magnetite = Migrate-ite

Hey! Somebody else had a comment about bird migration, so I have an excuse to write more about it. And this time, I get to use the term "testicular diameter."

Dave brought up the fact that they are said to have actual magnets near their beaks, and that's true too. They have very small crystals of a mineral called magnetite, which is a type of iron oxide. The current thinking is that it is a different system, which gives the bird information about the strength of the local magnetic field, more like a magnetometer, rather than a compass. It is thought that the birds can use this sense to form a map of the magnetic environment and it can help them find their way around places they've been before, like how some animals can explore and learn where they are based on odors and gradual variations in types of vegetation. It has been calculated that with the sensitivity of this organ, they can recognize locations they've been before to within a few 10's of kilometers.

And he brings up another cool fact, about how they know to go North at one time of year and South at another. No one can explain how that happens, but it's clear that it isn't learned from older birds, they know it instinctively. In fact, you can fool them, by artificially controlling the light/dark cycle to make them think that it is winter, and they will begin to put on weight, and the males will experience an increase in testicular diameter in preparation for the breeding season, and they will show migratory restlessness, trying to go South. Even a caged bird will spend more time at the South end of the cage!

Anybody else want to talk about migratory birds? How about single domain and/or paramagnetic particles? How about learning and computation in the brain? Anyone? I can talk about the proteins that underlie electrical activity in the brain too.

I wonder how many extra hits I will get now that I mentioned "testicular diameter."

Anyway, I gotta go.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sunday, February 05, 2006

There are going to be some changes around here

Other than the new template, I'm going to institute some other changes around here too. For example, I'm going to refer to myself in the third person exclusively. I'm also going to make some other changes in my non-virtual life too, like when people sneeze, I'm no longer going to say "bless you," or anything of the sort, and if someone sneezes many times, I'm going to say something like "yeah, yeah, yeah, you're airway has become irritated, we get it!" And I'm not going to hold the door for anyone anymore, otherwise, everything will be the same.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Running Update - I quit again.

Hey America,

Well, I've been working like a jungle fire on my proposal all this week, and haven't updated the blog in a while, so here's an update.

It has been an eventful week in terms of my running. To sum it up, I quit. And I'm determined to quit this time. There's a different look in my eyes, everyone notices it. I'm focused. I have a schedule worked out and everything. It goes a little like this:

Everyday : 0 miles.

And I'm going to stick with it. Until my proposal is finished. Until my lingering injuries subside. Until I feel like running again.

Actually it's not the running I'm most tired of, but the racing. I hinted before that I wasn't really into racing at this point, and I've decided not to force the issue. At times I really do enjoy the challenge that a race offers, so I'll wait until I get the bug back. I probably won't race again until next fall. (Except for the stuff I'm already registered for - I'm not burnt out enough to waste $50)

So really, I'm just quitting racing for a while, and I'll probably start running again in a couple of weeks or maybe next week.

If I had scheduled this cutback time, like everybody suggests you do once a year, it probably would be much more easy to accept. I long for the days where I'd run a few miles and feel better because of it. Lately I haven't been looking forward to it at all.

Rock.on.Keith. (ouch)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Vitamins and Veggies

I'm writing in response to Lisa's question about the connection between vitamins and photoreceptors, but it leads to some interesting points about vitamins and stuff, so I put it out here so everybody can read it.

The photoreceptors in your eyes use molecules derived from vitamins to absorb the energy from light around you. The most common is derived from vitamin A for use in a proteins like rhodopsin (the main photopigment in your rods) and the three color-opsins (for the three types of cones). Another is derived from Vitamin-B2 and is used in another photopigment called cryptochrome. So, in research, sometimes people can use vitamin deprivation to shut down one pathway to determine if the phenomenon they are studying happens through the -opsin pathway or through the cryptochrome pathway.

But it's interesting because these vitamins, aside from being good at absorbing energy from light, they're also inherently good at absorbing energy from free-radicals too. This makes them very good anti-oxidants, which is the main reason why they're good for us.

For the same reason, you're supposed to eat your vegetables, because they have lots of photopigments to absorb light from the sun, and act as anti-oxidants. Carotenes, lycopene, xanthophils, chlorophylls, are all photopigments, and are also good anti-oxidants.

So everyone should take their vitamins and eat their veggies and pick the most heavily pigmented ones and also you should try to give and get eight hugs a day.

Rock on.