Ah, Thinkgeek! Great idea. Toys for technically minded people. The best thing about it so far is, however, my employee discount through VA. A lot of the toys are suddenly nicely affordable with the discount.

My most recent toy is the Powerball (yeah, let's see how long that link lasts, eh?). It's a self-contained gyroscope with a speedometer on it. Using constructive interference oscillations, one can increase the gyroscope's RPM theoretically over 15k. However, it takes more wrist, forearm, bicep and shoulder strength to do so than I have.

Current "high" scores for people I know are:

  • Patrick Hard: 11462
  • Kris McQueen: 11394
  • Ariel Garza: 11157

I topped 9k, but will have to wait until I go into work on Monday to recall what I exactly had.



I find it fascinating that certain phrases can drive certain individuals nuts.

Some of them are grammatically incorrect phrases that a person may have been taught was wrong, causing the person to want to correct people who use the phrase. I certainly fall into this category with "Where's it at?" As a common Midwestern phrase, I hear, "Where's it at?" or "Where you at" all the time. If you expand the contraction, the speaker is saying "Where is it at?". The "at" is redundant and unnecessary. "Where is it?" is a perfectly valid question. "Where is it at?" is not.

Another phrase that annoys the piss out of me is "drill down" or "drilling down". Often used in information gathering terms: "We'll drill down into the data and extract general user preferences to set the defaults." The phrase was first used publically by some Microsoft executive in some presentation at some conference some six to eight years ago. The phrase has always annoyed me because it is a Microsoftism being foisted into American vernacular. I'm probably the only one that hates that phrase.

Ariel recently commented to me that the word "pardon" annoys him. Much the same way "Where's it at?" grates on my nerves, "Pardon?" used to request a speaker repeat what he just said annoys him.

I use "Pardon?" because many (or was it many, many?) years ago, I decided "Huh?" didn't sound good. I chose "Pardon?" because it was short, simple and conveyed "Could you repeat yourself, please?" in a courteous manner.

According to Ariel, both Bharat and I both use the word "Pardon?" in the same way. And it annoys him.

Does it annoy the piss out of him the way "drill down" and "Where's it at" annoy me? Unclear. But if I can annoy a friend less, then "Excuse me?" works just fine.



By decree of the One True Mother, I will hereby have no more migraines. For as the Mother has spoken, thus shall it be. And to indicate the words of the Mother, so shall the phrase "NMM!" be said. And as thus said, no migraine shall I have.

Big metal objects hurtling toward me.


Today was not a good day for random reasons.

The morning started out with my highly anticipated strawberry-peach smoothie receiving a high-fiber boost from a wooden spoon (which should have clued me in that this was going to be a long, long day). Making two smoothies is not a good way to start a day.

Later in the day, after our run, Richard, Priyanka and I were almost run over by a small silver SUV (5ELM748, if you'd like to know the license plate). We were waiting at the south west corner of the Gateway-Bayside intersection when the SUV of note came whizzing up and stopped just before the crosswalk (about a foot away from it) as the light turned green for us. The light changing included the walk sign for us.

Figuring the guy was waiting for us (and saw us since he stopped just outside the crosswalk), we started crossing the street. Priyanka was at the driver side headlight, I was right in front of the car and Richard was at the passenger headlight, when the car started accelerating. It was a real acceleration - the "accelerate fast to get in front of the car coming through the intersection" type of acceleration.

Priyanka shrieked and jumped out of the way. Richard jumped back. And I cried out, twisted, and threw my arms up. The driver hit the brakes and stopped. I looked up at him - he had a look of terror on his face. He never saw us.

That look stayed my anger. Any other look and I would have launched a fury at the car.

Priyanka started laughing. Richard was shaken. I was relieved we were okay.

Later as I was driving home, the car in front of me stopped at the metering light at the 880 south onramp from Gateway. I had no idea why it stopped. Several times I could have passed the car on the way to the onramp, but I didn't (I wanted to drive home calmly - what was I thinking?). Perhaps needless to say, I drove around the stopped car on the onramp and took off.

What is it with big metal object rushing me today?

On a Roll!


I'm on a roll! Migraine number two in two weeks!

Woke up this morning with a migraine. Fortunately, I wasn't blind, or I would have been completely upset, instead of just mostly upset.

I woke up at 9:30 (having gone to bed at 3:30) with my hand numb and my mouth numb. At first, I thought it might just be from sleeping on my arm. Until the numbness started moving up my arm in the oh-so-migraine way it likes to do. Following the numbness spreading across my face and I knew it was another one.

Priyanka had some tylenol, so I downed two and tried to go back to sleep. I wasn't very successful, unfortunately.

The day ended up being a lazy, sit around and avoid the light sort of day. I ended up sleeping at 6:30 and awake again at 9:30, so my sleep is _all_ messed up.

Rediscovering frailty.


I had another migraine last night.

I was driving Jamie and his family back from the airport when I realized I couldn't see half of the car in front of me. I can probably not express fully how sickening it feels to discover, once again, I'm going to be blind in fifteen minutes and there is nothing I can do about it. Worse, that if I hadn't noticed it when I did, I could have caused a serious accident because I couldn't see a car one lane over and didn't know I couldn't see it.

I was fortunate last night that I could pull over. I was fortunate last night that Jamie could drive us the rest of the way home. I was fortunate that Kris could take care of me.

I was less fortunate with the severity of this migraine, though. I was in bed by 9:45, asleep by 9:50 and awake at 12:30am crying (screaming?) in pain. This was the worst headache I've had in years. The pain was so bad I was nauseous - something I hadn't been in years, if not decades. (Hey, I can say that! Whoo!)

Kris gave me two tylenol at 12:45 and rubbed my head. He also agreed to take me to the hospital if the pain didn't drop by 3:00 am. Thankfully, I feel asleep with thoughts of, "The tylenol is working... the tylenol is working..." drifting through my head.

So, two days before my vacation is over, my day is shot. No playing ultimate today. No heading off to track practice today. No loud noises. No bright lights. No walking the dogs. Just another lazy, dark room day, where I rediscover my frailty.