Months Pass

Been a while since I’ve posted here. If you don’t count that email test. That was just goofing around.

So, what’s going on? I’ve got a new job working at Google. So far, I’m having a blast. But there’s a lot to learn. I can easily imagine taking a year to learn how to fit in. For now, I’m just taking things one step at a time.

Because of the new job, and the fact that it takes 1.5 hours to commute to the office, one way, I’ve not had any time to play World of Warcraft. So, for now, my subscription has lapsed. But that could change at any time. Every day I’m tempted to resubscribe and play. Could happen today, in fact. Is that a sign of addiction?

I continue to lose weight. This is a planned thing, not some wasting disease. I’ve been losing weight steadily for the last two years. When I started I weighed over 190. I now weigh about 158. So a loss of something like 35 pounds. The trick has been to take things very slowly. Nonsense about losing weight in weeks is, well, nonsense. I’ve gone for as long as a month without seeing a weight loss. Sometimes longer. What did I do to lose weight? Portion control and exercise. I started by scaling back my portions. That was good for about 15 pounds, I think. Then I started exercising. At first it was running. I got the CouchTo5K app for my iPhone and worked my way up to running for 45 minutes. I was only doing it 3 times a week, though. And then winter hit and I stopped running completely. I ride our stationary bike instead. I now ride for 45 minutes every day. Riding daily has been a big help, I think. Especially since the amount of food available at work is no joke. It takes serious effort not to be eating all the time. I think the daily exercise is the one thing that saving me from ballooning back up to 200 pounds or more.

But enough about me. Wait. This is a blog. I guess it’s all about me. If I manage to post again anytime soon, maybe I talk about what I’m watching on Netflix these days. Or books I’m reading. Or maybe I’ll be back to WoW.

Edit: Hmm. Maybe I should read old posts before posting again. I see I covered the whole CouchTo5k thing before. In detail. Sorry about that.

Afternoon Coffee Notes

1. Yeah yeah. Coffee is a morning drink. It’s afternoon. But I am drinking coffee, so I figured I’d try posting some notes. Especially since I forgot to post any yesterday.

2. Not sure this will get posted to the correct blog or as the right persona. I just accidentally posted something here that was intended for Alterior Motive. You might have even seen it briefly. If so, sorry about that.

3. Funny thing happened on my run today. First, some context. I’m on week 5 of my Couch to 5k program. The first day of week 5 had me run three times for 5 minutes each. The second day of week 5 had me run two times for 8 minutes each. I was a little worried that today would be something crazy like two 10 minute runs. Nope. Not crazy at all. Just one run. Of TWENTY minutes. That’s, like, real running. I was terrified before I started. As it turned out, it wasn’t hard at all. Physically. Mentally, I struggled a bit for the last 5 minutes.

4. Turns out, I’m an idiot. But you already knew that. I’ve been using the Get Running iPhone app for my Couch to 5k running. The app is great, but I’ve long wanted to play music, or something, between the cues from the Get Running app. I’d just been “playing” silence up until now. But anybody with an iPhone knows that I could have been playing music all along. I just needed to get the music started from my library (using the iPod app) and then switch to the Get Running app. The music would continue to play, and the iPhone will automatically fade the music during the Get Running cues. I just noticed that there is a Couch to 5k podcast that kinda does the same thing as the Get Running app, but using the app together with my own music is much better, as far as I am concerned.

5. I had a doctor’s appointment today. The doctor suggested that with my weight loss and increased activity, I might be able to get off my cholesterol meds. I currently take 20mg of Lovastatin for high cholesterol. I have zero side effects that I know of, so in some sense I’m not in any particular hurry to get off of it. On the other hand, reducing my intake of drugs is probably a good thing. So the plan is to stop taking it for four weeks and then get my cholesterol checked. If it is in a decent range, I can stop completely. If it needs tweaking, then I can try taking 10mg instead of 20mg. Hopefully there will be some change. If I’m at 250+ like I was before I started taking the Lovastatin, then I’m probably going to have to stick with 20mg.

Coffee Notes

1. I guess I didn’t do any Coffee Notes over the weekend. Or even on friday. Friday is my work-at-home day, and in some ways feels like part of the weekend. But, I assure you I do work on friday (my boss isn’t reading this, is he?).

2. Today was the day 2 of week 5 for Get Running. I expected it to be the same as day 1, which has you run three times for 5 minutes each. Imagine my surprise when I was told to run twice for EIGHT minutes each. I’ve never run eight minutes in my life. Heck, I’ve probably never run five minutes in my life. Or three. But I managed those runs. And I managed the eight minute run as well. In fact, physically, it wasn’t really all that difficult. At this point, my main obstacle is mental. Half way through, my brain starts to tell me that it doesn’t want to run anymore. I tell it to shut up, but it won’t listen. It never does. I do believe that I can now get to week 9, where I am to run for 30 minutes. But I worry what happens after that, when I’m on my own. Somehow I need to figure out how to keep going with the running, even when I no longer have a narrator telling me what to do.

3. I have a thing for historical mysteries. One mystery I am particularly interested in is the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. There’s a group called Tighar that searches for, and recovers, lost aircraft that has been looking into the AE case for over twenty years. Tighar’s theory about what happened seems pretty reasonable It isn’t a conspiracy theory. In fact, it’s really just the original theory put forward by some people of the time, which is that Earhart and Noonan, her navigator, were traveling on a line of position that would send them past Howland Island, where they were supposed to land. If they traveled north on that line, and missed Howland, they would fly out into a part of the ocean without any landfall. If, however, they traveled south on that line, and missed Howland, they would travel on through to the Phoenix island chain. Tighar assumes that Noonan would have known this fact quite well and would have taken them south, not north. That would put them in a position to land on an island in the Phoenix chain, and the most likely candidate for landing is an island now called Nikumaroro. Tighar has a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that suggests Earhart and Noonan did, in fact, land on Nikumaroro, and eventually died there. I can’t do the evidence justice, so be sure to check out their site.

What I like about Tighar is that they appear to be quite serious about using the scientific method to investigate what happened to AE. They are quite willing to toss evidence that doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. I have a few problems with their hypothesis, but I think they make a pretty compelling case.

4. I’m thinking of setting up my Twitter account so that it also posts to Facebook. Am I crazy? Why do I even care about Facebook? I’m not sure. But if tweeting also posted to Facebook, then it would look like I’m updating Facebook to my friends, which might be kind of interesting.

Or, maybe I should just delete my Facebook account. Jury’s still out.

Wave Could Have Been My Failure

I see that Google is not going to continue developing Wave. That’s what they get for stealing my idea.

Ok. They didn’t steal my idea. But several years ago the guys I work with and I had this idea for a collaborative messaging system that would be kind of like a mixture of email, Usenet, and IM. It would be like email in that messages would arrive asynchronously if you weren’t online. It would be like IM in that messages would arrive synchronously if you were online. It would be like Usenet in that discussions would persist so that people coming in to the discussion late would be able to go back through all the messages to see what they had missed. Also, and I believe this isn’t in Wave, discussions could be either private or public. Private discussions would require an invitation to join. Public discussions could be discovered by anybody. Anybody could participate in public discussions as well. I imagined that people would have a way of discovering public discussions and joining those they like. Kind of like Usenet. Perhaps people could discover private discussions as well, but not be able to see the messages without being invited to join? Or maybe there would be three protection levels: public, protected, and private. Public discussions would be open to all. Private discussions would be hidden and invitation only. Protected discussions would be read-only for those not invited.

When I first saw Wave, I imagined it worked exactly like my co-workers and I had envisioned our collaboration software would work. I set out to see if I could discover waves to join. But, at least in the beginning, that didn’t seem possible. I lost interest pretty quickly and never really kept up with Wave, so maybe they implemented something like discoverable waves and I just never saw it.

Now that I think about it, I guess in some ways Facebook is also like our collaborative messaging system. The implementation isn’t exactly as I had envisioned, but I think it might have all of the features. My friends post updates, which I see when I visit my Facebook page. I can comment, and my comments can be seen by other friends. If I become friends with somebody, I can immediately see their past updates and they can see mine.

Rather than be discussion-based, messages on Facebook tend to be friend-centered. But it is also possible to create Facebook groups (right? I’m not all that up on Facebook, actually) to which people can “join” (by “liking” the group? again, not that up on Facebook). Perhaps that works a bit like a discussion?

So there you have it. My co-workers and I were way ahead of our time. We thought of Wave (or Facebook), but were too lazy to implement it. But if we had, we might have been the first Facebook. Or, the first Wave.

Or, more likely, some unknown piece of software that nobody would even be aware of.