The Gym

After many frustrating months of trying to run for exercise and failing because of ongoing problems with my calf muscles and Achilles tendons, I started working out at 8th Day Gym (they’re on Facebook). I was already aware that I was out of shape, but never so painfully aware as the first few weeks at the gym. Since my inauspicious beginning, though, I’ve made fairly steady progress in both my strength and my technique.

While I still have a lot of room for improvement, I reached another milestone today: my first “muscle up,” a tricky maneuver on the rings that probably requires more technique than strength. Posting a video of myself without a shirt on is way outside my comfort zone, but this is one of those little accomplishments in life that I’d like to be able to look back on later, so here goes:

Working out at the gym has boosted my quality of life in a huge way, improving not only my physical health, but also my emotional well being. For me, it’s the next best thing to a happy pill.

Posted in self-indulgence | 4 Comments

Dirty Clean Words

A few days ago Michigan state congresswoman Lisa Brown dared to utter the word “vagina” on the house floor. In return, she was prohibited from speaking the following day (cf. Detroit Free Press). Later, in a superb attempt at back-pedaling, … Continue reading 

Posted in miscellany | 11 Comments

Things we’re good at and things we like

Now that my kids are getting to an age at which their proclivities are becoming more defined, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes us good at things and what makes us like things. I’ve heard people claim that … Continue reading 

Posted in family | 6 Comments

Handedness and Decisiveness

Researchers have firmly established as a very true fact™ that left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people and that ambidextrous monkeys are more talented than both. But what about people and robots who are neither right- nor left-handed and cannot show off their ambidextrosity at the talent show? What do researchers have to say about those who are right-handed at some things and left-handed at others? And why would anyone care?

Posted in self-indulgence | 4 Comments

What did you say?

When I read the first couple examples of a recent blog entry on “Marital by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic, I laughed in absolute recognition of the scenes in my own life. Then I read this…

Posted in miscellany | 1 Comment

Calling All iPhone Users

I finally got my very own iPhone this weekend, and I’m very excited about it. A lot of my geek friends are talking about the Android-based phones now and some are even acting like the iPhones are a bit passé, … Continue reading 

Posted in technology | 14 Comments

The World Is Too Much With Us

I’ve never been an outdoorsy kind of guy, but something about these first few lines from William Wordsworth’s poem resonates with me.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers …

Posted in language | 3 Comments

Goodbye, Edgar

It all happened much more quickly than Sara and I had expected. We put our 1993 Volvo 240 Wagon on Craigs List last week, and within two hours it was sold. In addition to the guy who bought the car, three others called to ask if they could check it out…

Posted in family | 7 Comments

XyliChew Mints

A big box of mints arrived at my doorstep last week. But they weren’t just ordinary mints. No, they were XyliChew Mints with 100% Xylitol! I’ve been a big fan of XyliChew and its dusty purple cousin Ricochet for a couple years now, but their great taste is only one small reason for my affection.

Posted in miscellany | 1 Comment

Paper Airplanes

On Sunday at one in the afternoon, a local Grand Rapids guy named Rob Bliss and a handful of friends started to dump paper airplanes off of downtown buildings. By the time they finished, one hundred thousand planes had descended on the nearly 20,000 people crowding the streets below…

Posted in friends and neighbors, photography | 3 Comments