Saturday, March 28, 2009

Improvements and changes at Sertoma

I made a trip up to Sertoma for the weekend to work on some summer planning, while I was there I drove around (it was raining, so I didn't walk) and took some shots of some of the new things going on.

The Flying Squirrel, ready for lift-off, and now has a mulched landing

The Giant Swing, still giant, also mulched in

A view of the new low-ropes area, currently in development and going to be ready for the summer

Here's another view, that's a bridge across the stream right in front of you

Where the old low-ropes course used to be, now has a maintenance shed!

High ropes course, still high, bordered in with 8x8's and ready to be mulched the same way the giant swing and flying squirrel are

The road to the horse pasture, now graded and less treacherous-looking

Path to chapel, looks much nicer now with the 8x8's and the rocks, the parking area in front of the classrooms has also been "rocked out," this should help keep mud from getting tracked in when it rains

New windows in the rec hall! Soon they will be made soccer ball-proof

Windows from the outside

Improvements being made to the pool

New chairs for the conference room! Well, not brand-new, but they're new to us, and definitely an upgrade to what we had before.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I dislike Alex Ovechkin's prancing

A lot has been made of Alexander Ovechkin's 50th-Goal-Celebration-And-General-Asshatery over the last few days. For those of you not in the know, after beating Mike McKenna for his 50th goal of the season, Ovi dropped his stick on the ice and pretended it was too hot to pick up. To date it was the most elaborate goal celebration of his career (that I think of) and added fuel to the Ovechkin-Cherry dispute. Don Cherry, an old timey Pro-Canada Anti-European traditionalist, hasn't been afraid to rail against Ovi's shinanegans, #8 and his supporters have been saying that his antics are good for the NHL, that it attracts fans to the sport.

Let's get a few things straight before I start in on this. I'm not a fan of Ovi8, he plays for one of my favorite team's (Carolina) rivals, but I do recognize that he is the best offensive player in the game, and I say "offensive" with good reason. Ovechkin is always looking to score, which often has a negative effect on his defensive play. I don't agree with all of Don Cherry's talking points against Ovechkin, but I agree that Alex's tomfoolery makes him look like an ass, and I'm going to tell you why.

His celebrations don't draw any fans to the game, period. Would you seriously tune in to an NFL game for the touchdown celebration? We watch the game (any game, really) because we want to see it played with skill (something Ovechkin definitely has). We're going to want to watch players of Alex's ilk no matter what because they're the best at what they do, his celebrations are unnecessary. Critics have lamented that the NHL doesn't have any one-name superstars a la Kobe, Lebron, A-Rod, Peyton, Eli, T.O., but this perceived (and as I believe, incorrectly perceived) lack of marketable stars isn't because they aren't prancing around like a band of idiots when they score, it's because the NHL has a piss-poor TV contract that keeps it's potentially marketable stars out of any markets that don't have NHL teams.

I'm not about to say that he shouldn't celebrate as frantically as he does because it might hurt the opposing team's feelings (which is a point Cherry makes). The way I see it, if teams didn't want to see number 8 roll around on the ice like a dumb ass they would keep him from scoring, or they should put one of their goons out there to slap some sense into him. The thing his celebrations do do (I'll pause while we all stop giggling at that list sentence), is draw all of the attention to him. This is what Ovechkin wants, of course, but he does this at the expense of his teammates. Hockey is a team sport (duh), and nine-times out of ten in an NHL game the player that scores the goal isn't the player that made the best play, for every goal there is usually some spirited fore or backchecking and at least one great pass, that's why hockey awards up to two assists per goal. Now, to his credit, Ovechkin celebrates enthusiasticly any time somebody on his line scores (even if his team is still down 4-1), but these choreographed celebrations take attention from the other five guys on the ice that put him in position to put the puck in the net. The first thing most hockey players do when they score is skate over and celebrate with their teammates, Ovechkin drops his stick and acts like an idiot instead.

So that's my case against NHL players making a big production out of goal celebrations. We don't need NHLers taking a page out of the NFL celebration playbook. Unlike NFL players, NHL players come across as personable to their fans, which is one of the reasons why we love them so much. If I saw Ray Whitney or Joe Corvo at the grocery store, I would feel comfortable quickly letting him know they've had a great season so far. A big-time NFL player? I don't think they even go shopping for their own groceries.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

How Wikipedia saved my life

It's Saturday afternoon, the second to last day of my spring break, and I'm bored. I've been needing to blog for over a month now, and since I don't really feel like thinking and writing, I thought I'd goof around with some Mac apps I've been neglecting (Photo Booth, Numbers) and answer a useless question I've been wondering about for a long time:

If I drink a lot of water, how much weight will I gain? Also, how will my drinking a bunch of water affect my scale's calculations of body fat % and body water %?

Yes, questions you never cared to ask, and I'm asking them.

So here's the lowdown.

Me being bored

The water bottle I'm going to be using, holds about 33.8 fluid ounces, I weight it using my scale and it showed 2.2 lbs, which is about right

The scale in question, it uses those metal pads to send electricity into my feet and, using my age, gender, and height, calculates my body fat % and body water %

Another FYI, as far as weight and body fat % I'm not going to tell you the initial number, just the amount it increases or decreases, because I'm like a woman when it comes to my weight.

4:40 PM Downing the first bottle of water. I'm wondering how much fluid the stomach can handle. I'd like to avoid puking.

4:45 PM Finished the first bottle of water. Results of the second weigh-in:

I gained 2.5 lbs, my body fat% went up by 0.4% and my total body water % actually went down from 53.3% to 53.1%. Odd.

Wikipedia says that the stomach, on average, expands to contain about 1 liter of food. Not sure how it handles water, but I just downed a liter of it, so I'm going to slow down a lil bit. No use puking in the name of science.

5:25 PM Finished the second bottle. Gained 2.1 lbs from the last weigh-in, my body fat % jumped up by .6% and my total body water % continued to go down, this time by 0.3%

At this point, nature is calling, but I'm going to hold off for now. In the name of science of course.

Such a trooper!

As a precaution, I read up on wikipedia about water poisoning/intoxication. I found this little tidbit: "In 2008, Jacqueline Henson, a 40-year-old British woman, died after drinking four litres of water in under two hours as part of her Lighter Life diet plan."

Holy Shitballs. About one hour into this game I've downed 2.5 liters. Granted, this woman was probably clinically obese, I'm not sure what kind of complications that would put into the whole deal, but I'm going to take it easy on this water drinking deal. I'm not puking for science, and I'm certainly not going to die for this stupid lil deal.

To balance out my electrolytes I'll see if I can find a banana or some pretzels or something. Yeah, I don't want to die.

6:09 PM finished my third liter of water. Gained 2.4 lbs from the last weigh-in (must be noted that I ate a few things to try and add nutrients to all the water I've been drinking in the interest of not dying) my body fat % went up .4% and my total body water continued to drop, this time by .3 percent.

I'm done drinking water for now. Wikipedia scared me straight, I don't want to die by something as lame as water intoxication, I'm actually starting to feel a little woosy, so I'm gonna end the consumption (and idiocy) right now. However, before I end the experiment all together, I'm interested in seeing how answering nature's call will change the numbers.

6:51 PM Nature called... and called... and called. I just lost 2.4 lbs in about a minute. That's about a liters worth of urine. My body fat % dropped by 1.3% and my body water % went back up to 53.3%, which is what it was at when this whole thing started.

Here's a graph of my exploits