Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for June, 2007

Montreal bound!!!

Posted by quirksalight on June 24, 2007

I leave Sunday morning for a two week trip to Montreal. Originally, it was supposed to be one-week, for a scientific conference (my last major conference as a grad student for the forseeable future) there. Interestingly enough, the conference overlaps with the Montreal Jazz Festival, so I decided to extend my trip a couple days. A couple days became an extra 8 days upon learning that some friends of mine will also be attending.
Most definitely psyched! I haven’t had a long vacation in a while, and the total music immersion is something I’m very much looking forward to.
I’m staying at the Montreal hostel, the run by Hosteling International. The place has great reviews from individuals and other independent guide books, and it looks like the place is well-run, has bar crawls (woo hoo!) twice a week, and has gotten rave reviews.
I plan on renting a bike to see the city before the Jazz fest, as Montreal is supposed to be a very bike friendly city. I’ll fill in details time to time but I doubt I’ll be posting much while there.


Posted in amusing, Beer, biking, Humor, Jazz, liquor, Montreal, Music, nightlife, Otherlife/grad school, restaurants, Science, sleep, travel, vacation, yarn | 3 Comments »


Posted by quirksalight on June 19, 2007

Alas, my iPod Photo has gone of a catastrophic hard drive crash to wherever destroyed iPods may go. I’ve been looking for a replacement for it, something smaller, as carrying the iPod on my arm made me feel distinctly unbalanced while running/biking.

Here’s my latest baby – it arrived today in the mail!!!

It’s the 2G MuVo v100 from Creative.

It’s much smaller – only 3 inches long, and 1.5 inches wide, 0.75 inches thick. It runs on a replaceable AAA battery and no cords!!! It’s separates into a flash drive. So far, sound quality is pretty good, and the lack of proprietary software is definitely a bonus.

Posted in gadgets, mp3 player, Music, Tech | Leave a Comment »


Posted by quirksalight on June 17, 2007

Mountain Biking the Icelandic Frontier

Image from http://home.wanadoo.nl

Posted in amusing, biking, Iceland, mountain biking, Nature, outdoors, Sports, trail riding, travel | 2 Comments »

The effectiveness of sleep on performance

Posted by quirksalight on June 16, 2007

Sleep is a bit crucial to one’s physical and mental performance the day after. Even though I was not able to sleep much on Friday night, I decided to keep my weekly Saturday morning trail riding. (Gotta keep a pattern going)

[Image Removed upon request]

Heading back to Rocky point with two friends, we were attempting to redo the ride from last week, minus the mud, rain, and needing to hose off the bike and self after.
One that that became very rapidly evident was my decreased stamina and reflexes. There were many times where I had to stop due to flying off the trail and into the bush and other times were the physical exertion on top of fatigue was making me nauseous. The nausea went away about 6-7 miles in, but it wasn’t pleasant. We were going a slow enough pace for me to stop and get the blood back to my head to decrease the nausea and to cope with my delayed reaction time.
What sucks is that we did the main loop of the trail, but not the west loop this time. Argh. Lesson learned. Sleep before exertion the next day

Posted in accidents, amusing, biking, Humor, metaphors, mountain biking, Nature, outdoors, sleep, Sports, trail riding | Leave a Comment »

Conflict and Coffee….

Posted by quirksalight on June 15, 2007

….was the title of my 5-minute teaching audition for Kaplan.

It went very well, actually. I guess the title and the subject matter was odd enough that I was able to easily grab the attention of my audience.

Personally, I like reading about the history of a certain item and its role in historical event. Recently, there have been several books on food items’ role in world events. Salt, cod fish, sugar, coffee, tea, all had were pretty important roles in the shaping of modern events. Boston Tea party, anyone? And the coffeehouses of Europe brewing revolutions with the dark liquid favored by millions worldwide.

Some interesting books on the subject:
Salt: A World History
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that changed the World
Spice: A history of a temptation
Uncommon Grounds
The Devil’s Cup

Posted in amusing, Coffee, Food, history, Humor, Kaplan, military, Politics, teaching | Leave a Comment »

Another trail, another fall

Posted by quirksalight on June 9, 2007

Trees are dangerous things. They can whip you as you pass by, knock your handlebars sideways, causing you to fly off the bike, and then just get in the way when all you want to do is ride on by.
I went mountain biking on a different trail today, the Rocky Point natural resources management area.

[Image removed upon request]

Two of my roommates, two friends, and I went, and it took us three hours to finish all the intermediate trails. Not too bad… One minor accident involving a tree, but no real injuries. Though one of my roomies had issues with a loose bike seat…. poor guy.
Oh, and today’s weather conditions – rain, 68 degrees. Living in a house with a yard and a outside hose was a very good thing.

Posted in accidents, amusing, biking, Humor, mountain biking, Nature, New York, Sports, Suffolk County, trail riding | 2 Comments »


Posted by quirksalight on June 4, 2007

So…. I’ve got a problem. I’m a yarn hoarder. There are tens of thousands of meters of yarn in my possession, some of which were bought years ago and still forlorn of what it would become.
But I’ve taken my first step in dealing with my yarn habit. I have ….. destashed!
I gave away two bags of yarn to Project Linus, an organization that makes blankets for the sick children.
It’s strange… I think this is the first time that I actually gave yarn away. I mean, I’ve gifted yarn to other knitters, but huh….not bad… not too painful… 😛
So now what… hmm… I guess I should continue sorting through the stash…..

Posted in amusing, Blogroll, craft, destashing, Humor, Knitting, Other Blogs, yarn | 1 Comment »

Cathedral Pines 1, Me 1

Posted by quirksalight on June 4, 2007

After a loss in the first round, for round two in my foray into mountain biking, I went back to Cathedral Pines to tackle the course with repaired brakes, new bike seat and tuned up bike. And with my roommate, who was also eager for the ride.
And success! I completed it with no falls and even tackled one of the optional “black diamond” runs for extra kicks. 😛 A couple near misses (do they count?) where I braked too hard with my rear brake and one place where I just plain ran out of steam on a nice incline, but I completed it in 50 mins. Not bad for 7 miles in the woods. 🙂

Posted in amusing, biking, Humor, mountain biking, Nature, Sports, trail riding | Leave a Comment »

Rediscovering my love of Joss Whedon

Posted by quirksalight on June 1, 2007

Upon the recommendation of my bro, I discovered the awesomeness that is Firefly. Of course, the immediate heartbreak upon discovering that it was canceled after ONE SEASON!! The horror!
But now, I’m looking at the other series he’s done and deciding that working through seasons 1-7 of Buffy may be a good idea.
On to the very beginning….Wow… his writing really improved since Buffy started….

Posted in amusing, Bizarre, Buffy, Comedy, Fantasy, Firefly, Joss Whedon, Science Fiction, TV | 1 Comment »