Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another Trip to Buffalo

We made a quick trip back up to Buffalo last weekend as EZ's gma passed away. She would have turned 98 yesterday. It was wonderful that we made a trip up there last month and got to see her and the funeral was beautiful. We know she is in a happy place now and will rest in peace. It was good to see family again, and we saw some of EZ's family we haven't seen in a while.

I finished reading my 60 papers which is nice not to have that looming. But I was smart enough to volunteer to read math abstracts for an undergraduate research conference...I have 100 of those to read by next Wednesday. The more stuff I do, the more valuable I am right!

As for books, I read Flatland, which was interesting enough but not something I would call a page turner. I did enjoy the mathematical aspects to the books and the idea of what life would be like in these different dimensions. I also read Catcher in The Rye which was rather depressing and I am not sure I liked the ending but it is what it is.

God Bless You Grandma Zack.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Last Day of Summer School

Tomorrow is final exam day! Yeah!! Made it through another "semester." My class this summer started out good and slowly digressed to high school antics, but oh well, it is practically over now and I can be done with it. I have been making a dent into all the reading of freshman papers I had volunteered for, hopefully after tomorrow I will be through 45 of the 60 I have to read so I will only have 15 left.

I have taken a hiatus on the reading schedule, this happens when you are teaching summer school in the month that the Tour de France is going on. There is just no time to read when your evenings are spent watching the best cyclists in the world race up the steepest climbs possible. It has been an exciting tour all around, so it has been fun to watch. I am in the middle of reading this "math" book called Prime Obsession about the life of a mathematician Riemann. Then I just started The Code Book (another dorky math book) about the history of cryptography. It actually has started with Julius Ceasar and his famous code called the Ceasar shift and then Mary Queen of Scotts secret language. Quite interesting. Although I am reading this because I am creating a course at HPU that will use this book so I have to read it eventually.

My friend took me to this enormously large used book store and I walked out with maybe 8 new (used) books at a few dollars a piece. I have more books that I haven't read then I know what do to with. On top of the two mathy books I am reading I started a third mathy book called Flatland by Edwin Abbott. It is extremely short (less than 100 pages) and actually was not written by a mathematician but by a literary man. It was written in the late 1800's and it has all sorts of undertones about society and classes and religion but in the form of geometry. I am also reading this book because I will be assigning it in my class this fall. I have read 1/3 of it before but just never finished.

Hopefully I can finish some of these books so I can start something a little more for my pleasure than just for knowledge. I picked up a few classics that I have been wanting to read (or reread actually): The Catcher and the Rye, East of Eden, and The Jungle.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lots of Exercise

I haven't been exercising too much lately, perhaps doing something almost every day, but nothing really hard or long. I am maxing out at 30 min of running/elliptical and I did an hour last weekend on the bike. But I had a crazy spurt of 24 hours from yesterday morning to today.

I woke up yesterday morning for a nice run, which actually wasn't too bad. The first time in a couple weeks I was able not to stop and walk for part of it. Then last night EZ and I played 45 min of tennis (we are getting much better) and then I walked for an hour with my neighbors who are trying to lose weight. Top that off with an early wake up call this morning to run to the gym and do the elliptical and that makes 4 workouts in 24 hours.

Something is seriously wrong with me. What am I training for...absolutely nothing!

On the flip side, I tried out a new recipe, some chocolate pb puppy chow mix, which is pretty good!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Strength and Flexibility

I had been talking with EZ about how I wanted to start yoga back up again. I did it for one semester back in grad school and I felt like I was regressing on flexability issues. So I had plans to start back after Europe and then the day I was going to go was the first day I got sick, so here I am finally feeling like I have the strength to make it through class.

A brand new studio opened up a couple months ago by a women in our neighborhood so I headed up there Monday night for their "basic yoga" class. I told the guy leading the class that I was extremely inflexible and he handed me the block and the strap. I didn't do too terribly except for the countless times we had to go from downward dog into the plank (think slow push up for those of you out there that don't do yoga)...and after a couple times I had no arm/shoulder strength to get me through.

Well I am way worse than I thought on the flexibility issue. Countless years of biking and running with not enough stretching has not been good to me and I couldn't do half of the yoga poses properly without a block or strap! The only thing I can do is sit on my feet thanks to year of swimming and having flexible ankles! But I know it is good for me, so I will keep going back hopefully 2x per week, first I need to at least wait for my shoulders to not hurt anymore!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


This funny piece of mail came for me yesterday:

I have never been an All American (been honorable mention 3 times), but it seems so far away that I was training for triathlons. It has been almost 10 months since my last tri but seems much further than that. I looked up the rankings online and I was pretty far down the list, not even close to the AA status (I was one spot away a few years ago). And I would never think of myself as an AA anyway. I think that comes from my years of swimming and what it took to be an AA then, and I only once in high school was name AA for the 500 yd free, and I was a much better swimmer than triathlete. Or maybe not!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Nice Long Weekend

We had a relaxing long weekend, full of errands and a small get together and a little working out, oh and some good ole bocci ball! I have run a couple times and went on a easy 10 mile bike ride and it is nice to do a little bit of exercise again. My first week of summer school flew by and it is already exciting to think there is less than 3 weeks left!

I managed to volunteer for some reading papers for HPU this summer. Turns out I need to read 60 freshman papers in the next month and rate them. Doesn't that sound like a fun way to spend some of my remaining summer afternoons!

I went on a reading spree of some easy summer reading. I read Itty Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews. It was a very entertaining funny story that had great characters. I would recommend this book and her other one (Hissy Fit) if you want a brainless fun read. I then read Chasing Harry Winston (author is same as Devil Wears Prada) and it was just an alright book. Not as exciting or captivating as Itty Bitty Lies, but a decent easy book to read about three best friends who make a pact to change their lives. Next up was a book called How I live Now. I think it is a "young adult" book and it won some awards. But the story follows this girl who goes to the UK to live with her cousin and a war breaks out there and basically she is left with her cousins to figure out a way to live and survive. It was a decent book, but nothing I would say was wonderful. Lastly, I read the 4th Twilight book, Breaking was by far the best one and it was really quick and easy to read. The novels really got pretty good on three and four, so if you can get through the first two, the last two were worth reading.

I feel like I should read something more serious, so I just started a book called Prime Obsession, which is the story of a famous mathematician and the Riemann Hypothesis. The book alternates chapters between math stuff and then history stuff. And no, I didn't pick this book up, a friend who actually read it (the nonmath chapters) read it and gave it to me saying it was pretty good.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Joys of Summer School

It is that time of year again to make a little extra money. I started up teaching summer school on Monday. It isn't bad though, 4 weeks, 2 hours a day, with a class I taught last summer. I do all my notes on my tablet, part pre done and then write on them as I go and so there is absolutely no prep for me. It is great. It is a simple class, for people who are majoring in something that only requires a basic math for the core curriculum, and I only have 10 students. I also do all my homework online, so no grading for me either. This boils down to just about a little as work possible in a short time for a decent amount of money. Money that will be spent renovating our back yard/deck area.

I am finally over the stomach bug, thank goodness. And feel so much better. I am back to eating just about what I was eating before and can handle regular foods now too, so I am going to try and do a little cardio this evening or tomorrow morning. I am getting close to finishing the last of the Twilight series. I had my doubts after the first two novels, but gave the third one a try which turned out to be good, and the 4th one is great. It is lots of teenage drama and I skim through some parts, but overall, the story is finally very entertaining and captivating. Should be done with this one in a few days.