Cookie Time

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Kris is hosting FICA, a traditional Swedish Friday afternoon happy hour (or something like that) at Oracle tomorrow afternoon. Since he's hosting, we're making cookies for the crew.

Kris and I don't typically do a lot of cooking together, so this has been an adventure. We started off by baking chocolate chip cookies straight from the Nestle Toll House tube. Terribly entertaining.

Tonight is blueberry sugar cookies.

Maybe I'll try risotto tomorrow.

ASA Workout kicking arse

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Today was the first ASA in a while for me. I missed Monday's workout because of my Monday migraines. I'll tell you what: migraines suck.

Started with the ladders. We pretty much do our own ladders now, with the standard set of them. I know that G has a few more ladder exercises up his sleeves (note to self: get one or two next workout).

Today was a legs workout to complement Kris' Monday killer upper body workout. We started off with figure 8 runs. We ran around a hula-hoop, then around a ring of cones, in a effort to move the arms quickly to lead the feet into moving quickly. We did 4 of these: 2 clockwise and 2 counterclockwise. The trick of these is to move the arms fast. The feet will move arms are moving fast.

Next we had one legged squats. Using a squat machine that held a weight bar in a vertical track, with locking hooks that stop the bar from dropping, we balanced on one foot and put the back foot on a bench behind us. Placement of the front foot was important, as the front knee wasn't supposed to go over the foot. Dropping into a squat straight was also important to maximize effort on the glute, and not the hamstring.

We did 10 squats per leg, doing both legs. My first set was with the bar only, the second with 10# each side, the third with 5# each side. Three sets of both legs.

Alternating with the three sets of single leg squats was jumping onto boxes. The first set we jumped to high boxes (for Kris that means 3 boxes, for me that was 2), landing both feet, count of 10. The second set was 4 landing both feet, 4 landing right foot, 4 landing left foot; but on a lower box. In my case it was about 4" lower: a 12" box with two step risers on top.

Next we had diagonal hops/bounds. G placed a series of cones about 3-4' apart, offset about 45°. We hopped from one cone to the next, landing on the right foot at the end cone. At the end cone, we paused, sank a bit to hold the position, then exploded forward into a sprint. We did about 3 landing on our right foot. G removed one cone and we did another 3 ending on our left foot, pausing before a sprint.

Out and back sprints were next. Three cones were placed at 8m intervals. Starting at the middle cone, we sprinted to an end cone, turned and sprinted to the other far cone, then turned and sprinted back to the middle cone. We did 8 of these, each time trying to beat our initial sprint time. My first time was 6.47, my fastest (which was incidently my 10th sprint) was 6.18. The competition between the two of us was who could reduce his time each time. Whoever had the least number of time reductions had the bonus of an extra 2 minutes of abs at the end.

Kris lost.

I did an extra couple sprints because we were working on explosiveness (and discussing my lack of). I make the mistake of not exploding, or exploding the wrong direction (pulling in instead of exploding out, for example). I think I'll be practicing in front of the mirror.

Balanced "around the world" hamstring bends was next. With a 10# weight, balancing on your left foot, bend over and touch the ground in front of you, stand up, touch the ground 45° to the left, stand back up, touch the ground 90° to the left, stand up, touch the groun 45° behind you to the left, stand up. Then reverse it, touching the ground and standing up four times. Repeat with the right foot, touching to the right. That's one set. We did three sets. My lower back hurt!

Last was abs. Let me say here: I suck at abs now. My abs are so weak compared to a few months ago! The usual: V ups, bicycles, crunches, catch the ball over the head and throw back (this time on an incline), lower back lifts (with weighted ball!). Yes, once again, my abs sucked.

Moments like these

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Emails like this one will often make my day:

Date:    Tue, 19 Oct 2004 20:40:30 -0600
From:  	 Sandie Hammerly 
To:  	 kitt.hodsden
Subject: Thank you...

That's it -- just thank you for all you are doing.... 

It made today.

Migraine the 13th.

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This is just the migraine from hell! Or, rather, Migraine the 13th, the return of the pain. After being awake for all of two hours, it comes back. Back to bed I go.

Ben and Lisa came over this evening to take care of me. They brought dinner for Kris and me. Lisa rubbed my head. It was nice. We watched the end of game four of the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and the, blah, NYY.

During the evening, Lisa suggested a possible link between the migraines and the intestinal tract. In particular, my head was hurting much, but the area between my thumb and forefinger, an area linked to lower GI tract in eastern medicine, was quite tense. Of course, most of me was tense. I've tried to link my recent migraines to sleep, but now I'm wondering if I'm looking in the wrong place. Keeping track of diet will help me see if there is a link between the lower GI tract and the migraines. We'll see.

How needed are toenails?

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So, how necessary are toenails?

There's the theory that nails exist to protect the tip of the toe/finger. However, this seems to be a circular argument: the tips are sensitive because we have nails - the nails make the area underneath them senisitive because they protect the area. After I lost a nail (pick the various times I lost one or more), after the nail fell off, the area under it wasn't sensitive.

There's another argument that they are just evolutionary leftovers: the equivalent of claws and hooves. Fingernails are a different issue: they are useful for picking up items, scratching, etc.: they are small, built-in tools.

Toenails? Well, they are just leftovers.

I'm considering having my big toenails removed. I'm pretty much stuck in the cycle of jam my toenails playing ultimate, lose said toenails, grow toenails back, jam them playing ultimate. The jamming part is incredibly painful. I've taken to keeping a safety pin in my ultimate bag so that I can break the blood blister under the nail that inevitably forms.

There are surgeries that will remove them permanently. I'm seriously considering them. I'm tired of jamming my toenails. I'm tired of having to stop playing ultimate in order to inflict horrible pain on myself. Too much bother. Bah.

And that's a baker's dozen.

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Well, I managed to work an hour and a half before getting today's migraine. Now there's excitement for you.

Speculation at this moment: bad posture, CRT radiation, other radiation (cell tower, wi-fi, etc.), pregnancy, oversleep, insufficient air supply when sleeping, chocolate (yeah, I had some last night), tylenol withdrawal (is this possible?), reaction to supplements.

I'll be keeping a food / sleep / activity journal to track this down. This is definitely a crappy start to my exercise plan.

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