Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lucy, meet Spike!

Steph brought Spike to visit us today. Lucy came downstairs several times to check out the little intruder, and she didn't hiss at all. Spike barked at her once when she sniffed his rawhide bone, though. She's currently upstairs under the bed, and Spike is on the couch with me and Steph.

Spike will be staying with me later this week for a few days. He'll be restricted to the kitchen and back hallway when I'm not home, both to give Lucy some space of her own and to keep him out of trouble. He's been a very good guest so far this afternoon.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Update on Skate Cincinnati

I didn't have time to blog about Skate Cincinnati last weekend, and when I tried to post during the week, Blogger was down. Anyway... Skate Cincinnati was a lot of fun. My freestyle event was on Saturday, and I skated okay. I didn't land my loop, but everything else was average or better. The ice was very hard and I felt like I couldn't get a good grip on it, so some of my footwork was a little trippy. I placed fifth out of seven, which I think was accurate. The first-place skater did an amazing program to a piece from the soundtrack to The Incredibles.

My coach was there on Saturday because she had another skater competing, but she didn't go on Sunday. I got to introduce her to my old synchro coach, which was fun. (She'd wanted to meet her because she heard so much about her all the time.) It was really nice to catch up with several people from my old synchro team, too.

My interpretive/showcase event was on Sunday, and I skated well. I must have been skating faster, as I had enough extra time at the end for another jump. This time I used the kind of green makeup that is not in a tube, and I like the effect better. I placed second, which I expected -- my competitor was a silver-level skater (two levels above me).

Next up: South Dayton Silver Skate in mid-May.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

This weekend

I'm competing at Skate Cincinnati this weekend. Tonight I had a pretty good practice, and I ran through both programs twice.

My freestyle program is starting to gel -- two more sections of it fell into place tonight. It's hard to explain exactly what I mean by that -- it happens when the transitions get smoother and everything starts to have its own place in the music. Usually it happens sometime after the first time I compete the program. (I keep programs for about two years.)

In other news, my friend Ellie did a three turn tonight all by herself!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

One of my favorite things

I love sitting on the couch and reading with my girlfriend.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Articles from my dad

Every couple of weeks or so, I get an envelope in the mail from my dad that contains some newspaper and magazine articles he thinks are interesting. Steph often says that it's my dad's way of blogging -- if he had a blog, he'd write about the articles, but since he doesn't, he sends them to me. (My mom also saves articles for me, but not nearly as many or as often.)

Recently I received

* a Jim Coates article from the Chicago Tribune about a card you can put in your PC to get HDTV
* an article that says that the Federal Reserve's raising short-term interest rates means that investors should take less risk
* an article about the Furminator, a de-shedding tool designed to remove hair that pets will shed; next to it (included because it was underneath the large headline) is an article about a homeopathic remedy to stop snoring in pets
* an article about a penguin statue in a Sox uniform that was stolen and later found
* a brief mention of the Camry hybrid
* a column about how workers' futures are in their own hands (in terms of retirement)
* an article about how bond funds aren't a particularly good investment right now
* a Post-It: "languagemonitor.com ex. 'refugee' is now an 'evacuee' per Katrina (site may be of interest?)"
* an article about an online test that helps you understand your money motives (http://www.marketpsych.com) -- it said it was a free trial at the time but will cost $100 now
* a printout of a Yahoo! Finance article about why people work long hours
* an article about biodiesel that mentions Willie Nelson's first BioWillie fuel pump
* a recipe, cut out of the paper, for Mom's Chicken Soup

I love the variety of stuff my dad sends.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A little late (on my part)

Someone did a song about Sasha Cohen to the tune of Copacabana.

What Kind of VW Are You?

Which VW Are You?

by Auto Glass Across America

Yep, I'm a Bus. I don't consider this to be an insult to my New Beetle, though, because a Bus played a big part in developing my love for VWs. My parents owned a 67 when I was little, and they even drove it on a trip around the country and camped in it. It started out white, and my dad painted the lower half red when I was two. He let me help him sand it before painting, and apparently I was so into it that they had to keep me inside for a while after he painted it because I wanted to keep sanding!

They sold the Bus soon after we moved to Indiana because it didn't have enough heat, and my dad says that when they told me, I went outside and sat in it for two hours. I was two and a half at the time. I remember eating in the Bus only once -- we had McDonald's on the little table in the back and my Oma was with us.

A couple of years ago, lisa took us for a ride in 9Westy, and it felt just like riding in my dad's Bus. I don't know how I know that, because I don't have any memories of actually riding in it, but somehow I know.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Loop in program

With the Boat, Sport, and Travel Show taking away a lot of my ice time lately (we always lose club ice time from mid-February to mid-March because of it) and life getting in the way, I haven't had as much practice time as I'd like. One of my goals for this quarter was to start landing my loop in my program, and I did just that a week ago Thursday (twice, in fact!). Maybe it'll show up for Skate Cincinnati in two weeks.

Power class

I hadn't taken a power class in a while, and I didn't get to skate much this week, so I decided to go on Friday. This particular class is a walk-on, not the kind where you sign up and pay for several weeks, and it's at a convenient time. There were nine skaters, and I was the only adult. My coach said that I'd probably be in the middle speed-wise, but I was definitely one of the slower skaters.

Sometimes one of the kids would request a specific exercise to do. Although I'd done most of them before, I knew them by different names. One of the exceptions was the seal crawl, which is surprisingly difficult. You lie face-down on the ice with your feet splayed out like a seal and support yourself on your hands, propelling yourself down the ice using only your arms. I had my own cheering section for that one -- the skate moms in the bleachers thought I was pretty hilarious.

The power classes I've taken in the past have focused more on technique, and I missed that. Also, a short water break at some point would have been helpful. Otherwise it was good. I think I'll go again next week.

Four for Friday

Last week I neglected to link to belicove.com, where I get these from. Mikal, I apologize.

This week's Four for Friday:

Q1 - Pay E-mail: Starting in April, AOL will charge companies about 1/4 of a cent to send e-mail messages to its users that will bypass the company's filters. E-mails from paying companies will go straight to a user's inbox, while e-mails from non-paying companies will go through a gauntlet of filters that could divert them to a junk-mail folder or strip them of images and links, even if they're not spam. How do you feel about this? Should companies like AOL be able to put policies like these into place because they protect its customers, or pay E-mail a bad idea because it doesn't account for bulk messages sent by not-for-profits or other legitimate groups who cannot afford to pay the price to bypass the system?

I don't think AOL should be stripping images and links in the first place. I appreciate the spam folder at Gmail, for example, and at home Outlook is getting better at diverting spam into my junk mail folder, but I don't want my ISP keeping messages from me; I want to decide what's legitimate. Putting them in a separate folder for me is helpful, but I don't want them to disappear before I've had a chance to decide what they are. Oops, I think I ranted on the wrong subject. I don't think pay e-mail is a good idea.

Q2 - Weather: Do you check your weather report on a daily basis? Regardless of how often you check, where do you go for information about the weather... newspaper, television, radio, or do you receive your weather reports via the Internet?

I usually listen for the weather report on the radio on my way to work. I sometimes check it online if I think the weather might get in the way of my plans or if I haven't heard a weather report in a couple of days.

Q3 - Sold: What's the last thing you sold (both personally and professionally)?

The last thing I sold personally was a book on half.com. The last thing I sold professionally is harder -- I don't work in sales right now, but my company does sell things. Probably books at the IU Bookstore in 1996.

Q4 - Footwear: How many different pairs of shoes do you own verses how many you actually wear on a regular basis?

I own about 40 pairs of shoes, and some of them are of course seasonal. I probably wear 25 of them on a regular basis throughout the year.