Yesterday was pretty stressful, though, so I had three cups. When the workday starts two hours earlier than normal to do an upgrade on the client's live database, sometimes extraordinary measures are required.
The coffee paid off, however, when the day turned into the afternoon which involved me chaperoning a visit to the doctor's office and more blood than I care to see on a given day.
A few weeks ago I bought an aeropress. I was introduced to it by a cow-orker who brought one in to the office one day. He brewed up a pretty amazing cup of joe for me with it. So when my
french freedom press died recently, I bought an aeropress as a replacement.
I don't drink coffee at home all that much. Most weekdays, I go into the office where the coffee is to be had for free. This leaves weekends. But on Sunday there is free coffee to be had at coffee hour after the liturgy. This leaves one day a week where I need make coffee by my lonesome. So learning to get a good cup of coffee out of the aeropress has been a weeks long exercise. Sometimes I made the brew too strong. Other times I made it too weak.
This morning, I came across just the right combination of amount of coffee grinds, amount of water, precise temperature of the water, etc. Damn, that thing brews a great cup of joe.
I started the week out running five miles in forty-four minutes and change. That's my best time in some time. Upon reflection, I suspect that part of the reason may be that I stopped using the leg and lower body weight machines on the days I visit the gym. I think that stopping those exercises, specifically the calf raises, also contributed to the return of leg cramps. Since I started running seriously, I've almost never had leg cramps. I've never really bothered to figure out why. But the past month or so, I've been getting them. Then this week, I was lying on the floor preparing to do crunches after running but before using the weight machines and I figured I stretch my calves. The motions of the stretches reminded precisely of doing calf raises without any weights.
My work on the weight machines shows no progress this week. But neither have I faltered.
My weight has been meandering between 178 and 180 pounds. This is about ten pounds over where I'd like to be. I don't see myself shedding that weight anytime soon. At this point, I'd rather eat when I'm hungry. But I still have hopes that despite the weight gain, I can get rid of some of the flab on my gut.
A brief tale.
An email from Amazon.
We're writing about the marketplace order you placed on 12/31/2010 with xxxx. Unfortunately, xxxx has not confirmed the shipment of this order, and we are not able to provide you with shipment details yet. Because of this, your credit card has not been charged.
So I used Amazon's form to communicate with the seller of the book.
Amazon alerted me that it hasn't received notice from you that this item (Farabi's Commentary and Short Treatise on Aristotle's De Interpretatione) has shipped. If it's out of stock and not going to ship, please let me know. I'm planning on heavily using this title for my MA thesis and I'd like to order it from somewhere else if you've not got it in stock. Thanks.
And the reply:
I apologize for the delay, but I cannot find the book!
Organization at its finest!
I recently read Brian Patrick Mitchell's Eight Ways to Run the Country and I was pretty darned tootin' impressed. The title isn't really justified as its a descriptive work rather than a prescriptive work and the title makes the book sound like its a popular work trying to gain popular support for a prescription of how the country should be run. (I suspect that the title was a publisher's choice rather than the author's choice.)
The main content of the book is a new political compass that places various USian political traditions on axes of their views on kratos (coercive power) and archy (rank and order). The genius of this is that it allows for a comprehensive, and fair, analysis of pretty much every political tradition in the US. The chapters on each of the eight traditions compares and contrasts them with their neighbors on the chart so that how they differ becomes clear. Many times, the descriptions even point out the differences in extent within a tradition (i.e. some persons or groups are closer to the center than to the edge of the chart).
The book isn't without its flaws. Mitchell says a few things that don't square with me, including one thing that is almost unforgivably wrong about libertarianism. I also disagree with Mitchell on his categorization of "the middle" as being inherently populist. (I think you can have a theoretical framework that holds that both archy and kratos are necessary but should not be unlimited.) The book is also entirely US centric. Such blemishes are minor.
The book starts with the left and works around in a circle through the entire left end of the spectrum and on to the right. While reading the bits on the left, I thought that Mitchell was tough but fair and, possibly, a bit biased to the right of the spectrum. Then I got to the chapters on the right end of the spectrum and Mitchell was just as tough. If there is any real bias, it seems to be against Austrian style economics. Interestingly, the review on Lew Rockwell's site (by Thomas Woods) seems to have the opposite impression and states that Mitchell writes positively of groups like the Mises Institute.
I really ought to do a full on review. It's a lovely book for a political junkie.
In my last diary, I forgot to mention that while TCM was having an Australian movie marathon, I caught Peter Weir's The Last Wave. Parts of it I quite liked. It was definitely a slow burning movie that kept heightening the suspense. My largest complaint is that I'm not certain how aptly the ending fit the plot arc. But that was a few months ago that I saw the film. Now that Oz is getting hit with massive floods the likes of which haven't been seen for a hundred years, the movie seems quite relevant and even profound.
Since I posted my last diary, I tried to watch Superman Returns. I kept falling asleep and not only not caring about the bits I missed but was able to keep up with the plot without any trouble.
I also re-watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Brilliant.
On Morning Joe, the various talking heads were discussing Verizon adding the
Jesus Phone iPhone to its line up and one of the mentioned the Motorola Atrix as an alternative. It looks pretty sweet, an Android based phone that plugs into a Netbook like shell of a docking station. That is potentially a pretty clever set up. That said, while I've not used any Androids made by Motorola, my inclination is that they'll somehow manage to bollocks up the software and turn a very nice piece of hardware into something unusable. For a long time, I was a diehard fan of Motorola phones. Then I had two in a row that made what I think were some pretty serious UI mistakes. And that was without being "smart" phones. But the contract on my current phone doesn't expire until August. So there is plenty of time for the reports to come in on how well the Atrix actually works.
Social Media supports freedemocracy. Well, until the masses tweet, "Kill the blasphemer!" I'm a bit concerned, but not surprised, that the western media can instantly see the potential for social media as a force for good but fails to see how it can also lead to groupthink, stifling of dissent, and easy organization of lynchings and other forms of vigilantism.
WaPo has a nice bit on why the Confederate states tried to secede from the Union. Too bad that they didn't title it States' rights my ass.
My adopted hometown gets community gardens. I should apply. I won't apply. While well intentioned, if I got a plot, I'd probably never get around to using it.
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