Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blogging about Twittering

I have been interested in Twitter for a while. It seems to be quite the hot site/activity these days. Everyone is talking twitter this, twittering that. Occasionally I have gone to the site with the intent to sign up, but I always ended up backing out at the last minute (not sure why). This morning I was listening to Weekend Edition on NPR. Weekend Edition/Scott Simon are pitching themselves into the almost 2010s and have set up You Tube and Twitter accounts. In this segment Scott Simon was trying to explain Twitter to Dan Shore. Now Dan Shore is about 100 (for real) and I'm not sure Daniel Shore was fully embracing the concept, but I thought I needed to jump into Twitter and check it out myself.

So, I set myself up with a Twitter account and ran my Hotmail account through to see if any of my friends have Twitter accounts (almost none do). The first thing I learned is that Dan Shore is actually Dan Schorr (after 10 years or so of visualizing him as Dan Shore). The second thing I learned is that through twitter you can jump to youtube and actually see what Dan Schorr and Scott Simon look like. Goodness, so much information without any effort or thought.

And after spending some time browsing, I don't quite get Twitter. I guess you post what you're up to. Or you can post witty comments, words of wisdom, philosophical observations, inpiration, links to whatever, and really just pure crap. Then, anyone who is following you can check it out (maybe they get an email?). Most of the posts seem to be in some sort of code. In the effort to stay under 140 characters (or whatever the limit is) people do a lot of abbreviating/omitting of words and many of the posts come out a bit garbled. I am assuming that if you are on frequently, it all begins to make sense. I think it's a bit like Facebook, Facebook has a place for one to make some comment, it's called a 'status update'. (my current status update is "Roberta is excited to be getting a cold, what could be better - freezing temperatures and sickness when it should be spring.") I guess Twitter is just a perpetual status update and your followers care (or not).

Twitter does have some cool applications. I guess Obama, or his campaign/employees use Twitter to get their message out. The NPR show was speaking about politicians being frequent users of Twitter to keep their constituents abreast of what is going on. Or to sell their positions. I looked at a couple senators twitter pages and it looks like most of the tweets (?) are links to comments they have made or articles. I do think that is kind of cool. And I think it makes our Democracy more of a Democracy.

And I was thinking of the social applications - in a teenage obsessive Twitterer kind of way. Think how tuned in you could be. Or think how frequently you could 'bump in to' (stalk) someone you have a crush on. I really do think that the current teenage/20 something generation must have a completely different sense of privacy, personal space, and their connectedness to both people they know and to politicians and other famous people. Imagine the connection a teenager today must feel to Obama (having gotten emails and tweets from him for 18 months) versus how I might have felt towards say Reagan or Mondale in 1984 (by the way, I just googled it, did you know Reagan won 49 states in 1984! Mondale won Minnesota and DC, God). Also, imagine the different sense of ego that must go with the knowledge that people are following your every move.

So, how I might use Twitter? Well, I am not sure I will. I think it's a bit like a tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear. If you're reguarly posting witty, pithy tweets to Twitter and you have no followers, is it really a tweet???

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


16 minutes is nothing. Think about all the things you might do in 16 minutes without even giving it a thought. 16 minutes left in a work day? Nothing. A 16 minute bike ride? Not even worth getting suited up for. A 16 minute nap? Nice, but really not going to make a dent in any fatigue. A 16 minute dog walk? Otto is suggesting that is completely worthless. A friend 16 minutes late to an outing? You probably wouldn't even start to get mad.

But 16 minutes of crossfit? Lord, that's a different story entirely. 16 minutes of crossfit can be deadly. 16 minutes of crossfit can leave you unable to ride your bike to work or run for days. 16 minutes of crossfit can make you completely unable to type (something I am experiencing right at the moment). 16 minutes of cross can chew you up and spit you out.

Now, think about 20 seconds. When you think of 20 seconds of anything it barely even computes.

Finally, combine 20 seconds and 16 minutes and crossfit. Today we did a 'Tabata' workout. Tabata is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. 20 seconds of work? That doesn't sound too bad. Shoot, one might even argue that sounds easy. We did four exercises, 4 minutes of 20 seconds on/10 seconds rest. We even got 3 minutes of rest between each excercise. And I'm here to tell you that even when your brain is screaming '20 seconds is nothing!', at 10 seconds to go, you body is screaming 'must stop now!'

And now a call out, I need ideas for good workout music. The music during out workout today was some of the worst, I don't even know what 70s rock combined with bad techno. So I have been challenged to do better. Any ideas???

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Twice a day, like clockwork.

So I made a mistake this morning. Otto and I had just come to the end of our walk and I let him off leash, as I always do, at the top of my street. (For those of you who don't know, it's a quiet dead end street). As soon as I let him off leash Otto went running as fast as he could into my neighbor's yard. Now, he always runs top speed into into my next door neighbor's yard because there used to be a cat there complete with cat food and he'd race back there to eat as much food as he could before I yelled at him. Now the cat is gone (the neighbor too) but he still runs back there full speed out of habit, then runs right back out. But, the yard he chose this morning was a yard he never goes into. I 'hiss' yelled at him a couple times and slammed his leash into their retaining wall (that actually works) but he didn't come. Then I noticed he was kind of circling, so I thought, oh no, he's going to poop. I walked a few more steps down the hill and I heard some scratching on my neighbors porch. I was about head height with their retaining wall so I peered up and saw my neighbor come out to her porch.

I immediately said, 'is he pooping?' and then walked up to her yard to clean it up. On my way into her yard, I tried to be friendly. I made some joke about how we had just been on a 20 minute walk and I didn't see why he couldn't have taken care of it then. She didn't say a word. She just stood there and stared at me the entire time I was looking for, then picking up the dog poop. When I turned around, she was still standing on the porch glaring at me. Perhaps she thought if she didn't stand there and keep an eye on me, I would just walk away without cleaning it up. I looked at her and said 'have a nice day', smiled and walked off. Never did I get a response.

Now I fully admit, I was in the wrong. My dog was off leash, in her yard, pooping. But, I apologized, took care of it immediately, and tried to be friendly about the whole thing. And it's not like Otto poops on her yard frequently - I'm pretty sure this was the first time. But she made me feel like, well, like dog dooky. And I thought it was pretty unnecessary. There was no reason for her not to be neighborly. We do live across the street from one another.

And at least my trees didn't take down her electric wires leaving her without power or heat for 10 days. Her trees did that two years ago. Something for which she NEVER APOLOGIZED or even really acknowledged!!!! Not that I'm holding a grudge or anything. That would be unneighbourly.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


So I haven't update y'all (I'm watching Friday Night Lights and I'm currently aspiring to have a southern accent and say ya'll, hon and babe all the time so y'all will have to excuse the y'alls). Anyhow, as I was saying, I haven't updated y'all on how I am holding up with my current diet for a while. The food I am eating it so healthy, it's a bit scary. Here is the current no list no dairy, no wheat, no soy, almost no sugar, no nuts and very little alcohol. I'm scared to write this because I sound ridiculously pure and, frankly, boring. Oh, and along with all that, is very little processed food, because there isn't much processed food you can eat once you take all the above out. Who knew one could eat like this and, for the most part, not crave anything else. My guilty pleasure (get excited) potato chips, Kettle potato chips - mmmmmmmm.

And I added in meat. I haven't eaten meat since 1988. Well, okay, after and during the Vietnam trip, there was some pig eating going on (hard to avoid pig in vietnam), but there was not much of it and that was only on special occasions. Now I buy meat. I eat it almost every day. I don't know how much I like it ,it's kind of strange and fleshy tasting, but I'm not sure what else to eat. I have not been able to cook it yet. I go to the deli in the coop and buy pre cooked meat. A couple times I have looked at the meat section and tried to buy me, but I get intimated. After not cooking meat for 20 years, I'm not sure where to start.

And that's another issue, cooking. I am a good cook. I love to cook for people. But now, I don't know what to cook. All my favorite dishes, pizza, roasted veggie quesadillas, spinach/rice casserole, quiche, they all involve at least cheese, if not cheese and wheat. I need to completely relearn to cook, a challenge I have yet to take up. I have been invited to a couple potlucks and so far have just brought things that I couldn't eat, because, literally, I can't think what else to cook.

The good news in all this, is that I am actually feeling good. I can wear fairly tight fitting clothing all day and actually be comfortable all day. In the past, my stomach would swell up through out the day and I would just get uncomfortable. In addition, I am strong and fast. I don't know whether to attribute that to crossfit or to my eating, but it's kind of exciting. Last year I ran a 5K on my birthday and was impressed with how fast I was. I can't really remember, but it was something like 22.5 minutes. I'll have to run another one this year to see how I stack up. But maybe I'll be even faster! My 800s are about 10 to 15 seconds faster than they were 13 years ago when I was training for marathons.

So, I don't know where all this will go. Is this just the way I eat now? Do I eat chocolate chip cookies again? I think there will have to at a minimum be some dark chocolate in my life. This is starting to feel like a pretty significant shift that might be sticking, at least for a while. Otto, for one, thinks it's the coolest thing ever. Every time I pull that meat out of the refrigerator he runs into the kitchen so quickly, well, see for yourself .


I'll do anything for chicken!

Am I embarrassing myself?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Dance of the Dogs

This weekend Biscuits Jackson came for a visit, adding a certain level of excitement and raising the energy level in the house a few meters. We chewed on bones, we chewed on each other, we chased cats (ie Daisy), we ran on trails, we ate food, we forgot the command 'come', and we completely forgot how much fun it can be to sleep for hours and hours at a time. It also seemed to be a weekend for synchronicity.........