Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday, writing and working out, sort of

I can't believe it's Friday again and I'm once again at Level P9 and tomorrow? December. It's 6:30 a.m. Colin's been out the door for 20 minutes, the pup has been up and is back in his crate upstairs, and I'm pumping my way to nowhere again, synced into the 9th of 10 different pre-programmed configurations (levels) of my magnetic-recumbent bike, typing on my Dell XPS which is resting into a custom-built rack spanning across said bike's handlebars.

P9 is not my favorite. It's straight-graduated light to hard, then over again. There are 10 one-minute sections in each level's configuration. sometimes alternating light and heavy, easy and hard if you will, as if one is biking up a hill and down a hill, up a hill and down a hill. Once the 10 minutes are up the pattern repeats. P9 is like starting out on the level and climbing the roads up to Kerry Park Overlook in Seattle, gradually increasing straight on up. Sometimes I do 30 minutes or so, just enough to log some burnt calories, and on weekends I've been known to do as much as 75 minutes. However long I "workout," I log particulars in a Google form I keep online for motivation. I've got its results set up in the spreadsheet, and as of the next moment, when I will check it (mind you I'm adding to this as we write), 6569:11:00 minutes, 1607.18 miles, and burned 59097.26 calories.

According to my approximating math, that's just short of 109 hours, or a little over four 24 hour days on the bike.

 Let's have some fun with this. 4 days of my life on a bike since March? I guess that's fair, since at my last physical I had lost 9 pounds since the physical the previous year. Of course that revelation caused me to celebrate by taking it easier on myself and I put a few of those back on, but I'm snapping out of that lately. I hope by next full physical, come May or so of 2013, to have improved a little on that number. Where could I have biked in that amount of time, achieving that number of miles? Go go gadget Google...

Eureka, www.mapsofworld.com has a neat little tool whereby one can calculate distances to other cities from a location. In this case, let's make it Nashville, Tennessee. Well, I couldn't have made it to Boise, or Las Vegas, or LA, apparently, but just look at all the places I could have made my destination in that 4 days of non-stop biking:
Yes, I do suspect those are air miles, but let's not quibble here. We're fantasizing. 

What about the calories? http://www.cookingnook.com/calorie-calculator.html wasn't really any help, though it's a fun way to project weight loss goals in hard and fast calorie counts. According to my results there, if I want to lose 13 more pounds over 90 days (my first entry of 30 days resulted in an "unsafe" warning), I need to maintain my moderate exercise routine and lower my caloric intake by around 500 calories per day (or burn those in addition to my moderate exercise).

At http://caloriecount.com, I received the following information, interestingly parsed out to what? About 90 days again:
You should consume about 1,746 calories a day to reach your goal weight . This is at a reasonable weight loss average of 1 lbs per week, which should be reached by March 01, 2013.

Experts recommend weight loss at the rate of 0.5-2 lbs/week. Remember that this estimate is based on your body weight, height, age, gender, and activity level. It may vary slightly depending on other factors.

Generally, women should not consume any less than 1,200 calories per day, and men should not consume less than 1,500 
calories per day. 

So anyway, I'm sweating pretty swell now and leaning into my 44th minute this Friday morning. I can't believe it's Friday but I do know I'll feel better about it all day because of this time spent in low-impact exercise. I think I'll take in Johnny's Monday morning "Wake up Yoga" class at The Yoga Room again next week, largely to work on the "critically tight" hamstrings he noted last week, obviously further tightened by my what will be 50 minutes on the bike today. You have a good weekend. That's a wrap, at 51:47, 6.5 mi., and 493 calories. Cool.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Teacher's Apple--Infographic

This gorgeous piece of work has been much reposted and repinned, but I'm not shy. I sometimes put stuff in my blog just 'cause I want to remember it. With so many other options for that function available (see http://about.me/scottmerrick), it's not a consistent strategy., but that's mine of choice this fine crisp Sunday winter morning.

Before I do, let me opine that this graphical/text object is interesting because it reads like an article without actually being an article. And that I'm not sure I buy into the prediction of Apple's dominance, though I will further share my opinion that their intentional, focused work in the education sector mirrors the way that they have focused their sales on one particular device, and that the profligacy of android devices noted in the infographic goes well noted in that respect. Personally, I'm suspecting that the Google Chromebook may the the ticket, at least in education (see friend Kathy Schrock's "first impressions" of the Chromebook).

All that said, enjoy:

An Infographic by Open Colleges

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday morning in MNPS Virtual School Worlds

Happy Saturday morning. Got 20 minutes or so to view a little tour of the virtual world(s) I'm building out for my school? If so...



 And pardon all the throat clearing...I'm working out a little upper respiratory thang. If you are a member of the general public, you may visit our Public world at http://www.kitely.com/virtualworld/Scott-Merrick/MNPS-Virtual-School-II-Public. If you are one of our teachers or students, visit that Public world to get your avatar and download the client software to your computer, then send me your Kitely username and I'll whitelist you into our private world. Seriously. Teachers? Incentive credits for exploration and fearlessness! Students? I would wager I can get you a little extra credit in your course if you've managed to work your way into our virtual world--again, credit for pioneering. It's time.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A poem from my morning walk, as always, best read aloud

being alive
Scott Gardner Merrick

Hundreds of cackling grackles
emerge from one horizon,
wings beating and gliding,
sets of six beats, then one long glide,
flapping six times again,
then gliding,
each of them, flocking
across the crisp October sky,
This pattern of motion conspires
with this number of birds
to create overhead an
impressive illusion of order
in a fleeting, private event
of sight and sound.
I am astounded.
Soon they dance away between me
and the full bright silver moon,
his ancient blue-lined face
askance always--
I can almost hear the “Meh...”
A sunrise pink-tinged Learjet
eases across the crisp
cerulean sky after them
sounding one big steady wind,
its engines’ blowings fading,
followed by a light plane’s props,
chainsawing away,
steadfast and unseen.
Unseen also, at long last,
in the far distance behind
my green and golden ridges,
the Louisville and Nashville
morning train, itself
a song intensely complex,
sweetly deep and rich.
And ah, there’s the whistle blast.
One russet leaf spirals lazily
from its tree, down
across the road
and down
and down,
settling.
What is not to like
about being alive?