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By gzt (Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 11:28:16 AM EST) gzt, chess, powerlifting, squats, belt, heat, hot, green energy (all tags)
I might go to a bar on Friday and watch the Greece vs Germany match because why not? It's at 1:45 local time and I have some vacation to burn. I'm not a huge fan of cricket, but it's all good fun. Besides, Heidegger vs Socrates!


I still haven't ever heard the song "Call Me Maybe" and I never will.

We have a gym now at work. They just advertised that they have these fitness classes. There are 15 classes. 4 of them are "core" or ab training classes. Seriously? 6 of them are arguably "core" training classes, as two of the others are Pilates classes. I humbly submit that there should never be a class or a workout devoted solely to abdominal training, but that's just my opinion. The rest of the classes are probably okay, but not the sort of thing I'm interested in. I've never been in that gym, so I don't know whether it can even accomodate the sort of stuff I'm interested in - they might not even have a bench, after all.

It's friggin' hot and it will be friggin' hot for the foreseeable future. Ugh. Yesterday was in the 90s but today they say this: "Today is forecast to be Much Warmer than yesterday." Bastards. Today's high is 95F (35C). It looks like it's cooling down on Thursday. I will have to think about AC strategy a bit. The unfortunate part is that it doesn't cool down much overnight. It stays in the 80s until like 3am. The two hours before dawn can be nice.

I like my machine learning class. I'm using Octave, which is slower than Matlab, unfortunately, and I presume some of these algorithms are slow in Matlab, too. It'd be nice to have a way of knowing a priori whether the program is hanging or if it's just taking a while, but, obviously, that's impossible. The graphics routines, unfortunately, are particularly susceptible to this, even though they put in a status bar! esp. since Octave doesn't guarantee compatibility with Matlab, the crap is written for Matlab, and I am sometimes unsure of whether I munged something or not.

I've been mostly dicking around with weights for theh last year and a half because I've been too busy to guarantee regular training, but, for the summer, I've been trying to ramp up and get to a decent level of strength again before I depart for grad school. Because I've been lifting lower weights, I haven't been using a belt, but, this weekend, I put one on again for my squats because things were getting rough and I typically do start belting up in the mid-300s. It didn't work well because I had gotten accustomed to unbelted squatting. It was pinch-y and uncomfortable. The squats themselves rocketed up, though. Well, I'll try again today, I'll have to get over it. I plan, by mid-August, to be around 365x5 on the squat and 385 or 405x5 on the deadlift. Quite a bit less than I've done in the past, not too ambitious based on what I'm doing now, but respectable. My bench will be what it will be: pathetic, as always.

I cut my hair because it is so hot out. This also greatly cuts down my maintenance time and costs. Much better in the gym, particularly.

I read Stiff. It was okay, but the tone was extremely "chatty" and I don't like "chatty" books. I'm currently reading The False Promise of Green Energy by some Cato wonks. It has a lot of valuable information and is certainly helpful in adding nuance to my position. I have severe philosophical differences with them, of course. But I do agree that a lot of people advocating "green energy" are advocating bad policy. For instance, and I am in agreement with this, biofuels really are a non-starter. Anyway. More when I finish. Perhaps a contrast to Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air or something, though that one is UK-centric while this book is US-centric.

I sometimes glance at the reddit chess page. It's always amazing to me how many beginners post games saying, "Here's my game, what do you think?" and it's some crappy win against a crappy opponent. Here's what you do if you want somebody stronger than you to comment on your game: first, annotate your game. You should at least say what you thought during the game, because chess improvement is in large part about improving the way you think about positions. Second, you should probably choose a loss. Third, you should post a long game, not a "blitz" game. These are all common sense, really, but it's amazing that people don't think about it. Why would somebody spend a few minutes commenting on your mistakes if you didn't even spend a few minutes commenting first? If we have no indication of why you chose what you did? Why would we spend a few minutes commenting on a game that lasted only 10 minutes?

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Biofuel has its place by Oberon (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:13:42 PM EST
When you have a plant (or occasionally animal) waste product with a reasonable energy density, you might as well burn it and get the energy.

Growing foods just to burn them is, I would agree, insane.

I look forward to reading your summary of the book when you've finished.


How now, mad spirit?
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