Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A New Type of Photo Synthesis

Here's an interesting new kind of photo software (presented by a guy with an ice cream cone on his shirt) that can link all public photos across the globe and allows for high-speed and high-res browsing. Thanks to my friend Sara Miller for the link.
If that doesn't work, please copy and paste this url:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Summer is supposed to hit hard this week, with 100+ heat on Wednesday and Thursday. Thank goodness we have a cool basement and an air conditioner!

Another way to stay cool is to have a better conditioned body. (That, and a lot of iced drinks!) Unfortunately, this takes a lot more work than simply installing a cooling machine, but three weeks ago I decided to take the plunge.

With Billy's full support, I purchased a package of personal training sessions at my gym. They talked me into buying the gadget below, a BodyBugg, which measures how many calories you burn while wearing it. It also works as a pedometer and graphs your activity level per minute when you upload it onto their website.

The Apex website (maker of the bodybugg) asked my food preferences and gave me a diet plan with something different for every day of the week.

I keep track of what I eat for each meal, the website compares it to the amount of calories I've burned each day, and I end up with a pretty accurate reading of my daily calorie deficit. So far I've lost 7 pounds.

Billy and I have also started eating more healthy at home, too. I (under)cooked some beans last weekend for hummus and three-bean salad, we make our own 100% whole wheat bread every week, and we've been eating more meat substitutes and hardly any red meat. My online diet suggested that I eat veggie-hot dogs, so I went to the local Fred Meyer to look. The linkettes and the fri-chiks were over $5, which Billy said was waaaay too much, so we've been eating from the Freddy's nutrition section instead.

When I was a wheat-free vegan in the late 90s, I mostly shopped at the local SDA grocery store and bakery, The Daily Grind, located on Hawthorne and 40th. I'm sure they have the canned fake meats, and I always love an excuse to visit their bakery! They have amazing vegan cookies.

This weekend I discovered that bouncing on my exercise ball while watching a movie burns 315 calories an hour. So I was able to make up for my fried clam dinner on Saturday by sitting around watching tv and bouncing. Tee hee!

My trainer loves the ball- my whole upper-body workout is based on the ball, using 10 pound dumbells for various activities. I also do 45 crunches and extensions per day on the ball for core warmup. I never thought I'd be able to do that many situps (or any, for that matter) because my old chiropractor babied my back so much, but amazingly, I've noticed less and less back pain since I've started. What a nice side effect. Here is a list of several ball exercises if you're interested.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Cold Air: Mounted and Ready

This week marks the first week of summer that we haven't had rain, and temperatures are supposed to soar into the 90s. Billy can tell you about the moving fronts and all that weather jargon, but I'm just happy to be prepared with the air conditioner installed! Here are Billy (and Sylvia, high above) working on installing it in the spare room to insure adequate sleeping on work nights.