Archive for October 2012

October Hodge-Podge   3 comments

Newest Web 2.0 addiction: Strava. It is having the effect of pushing myself to ride so I can have something to post. [This is Good] Anyone else using GPS devices for biking, running or the like?

October 4 was National Taco Day. To celebrate, I made Korean beef barbecue tacos with red cabbage slaw, served on a soft corn tortilla.
Korean Beef Taco

Orange Refill

The Goodyear blimp was in town for the Major League playoffs.

My own personal cuddle puddle.
My Own Personal Cuddle Puddle

Posted 2012-10-31 by Mr. Guilt in Hodge-Podge

Cats and Pumpkins   1 comment

My how they’ve grown since last year.
Investigating the Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!
Luna and Eddy Investigate

Found Pen   2 comments

Space Pen: Found!I’m pretty good about not losing pens. I felt confident enough to post about it. It makes me feel confident to carry a sixty-year old (or older) pen with me. I confess there was one spot on my otherwise good record.

The Fisher “Bullet” Space Pen is one of my favorite ball pens. It’s probably well known that the pen, developed privately for use in space, can write at any angle, regardless of gravity (or lack there-of). Even though it never went into space, I was especially fond of the Bullet model. With the cap posted, it was a full-sized pen. However, the cap, almost the same length as the barrel, would half the length of the pen when capped. It would fit easily into a pant pocket, bag, or other spot.

This compressibility, however, was perhaps the downfall of mine. A few years ago, I couldn’t find it. I was reluctant to call it “lost.” More “misplaced.” I was convinced it was somewhere in my house. I searched all over, checking the various bags I use for work several times. I looked in the saddlebag on my bike. I simply could not find it.

I gave up. Perhaps, I thought, it was out there, somewhere. There was furniture I hadn’t moved, after all. Still, I was reluctant to replace it. I somehow felt it was cheating my “can keep track of nice pens” record.

I was looking in my backpack, and noticed something shining in one of the pen slots. Sure enough, there was the original Bullet Space Pen. I swore I checked this bag over several times. Perhaps I didn’t notice it, or assumed I wouldn’t have put it in there, as it would easily get lost.

So, I haven’t lost a pen. Huzah!

Posted 2012-10-30 by Mr. Guilt in Fountain Pens

National Cat Day   4 comments

October 29, 2012 is being celebrated as National Cat Day! Naturally, I want to wish a happy one to all my felid friends!
Luna Looking Lovely

Cloudie in the Tree

Beso Can't Be Bothered

Sleepy Cougar

Eddy Relaxes

Hi Nubo!

Pretty Fishing Cat

Napping Maggie

Tiger on Ice

Sand Cat at the Ready

These are just a few! I love these guys, and the rest of the thirty-seven species of cat.

HallZOOween 2012 at the Cincinnati Zoo   Leave a comment

We went to the Cincinnati Zoo, in part so my daughter could participate in HallZOOween, their annual trick-or-treating at the zoo event. She went as a black cat.
Caitlin the Cat!

However, there were two babies we wanted to see. First, Lulu was a baby giraffe born on October 12. She stayed in her stable, close to the wall. All we could see was her head.
Lulu Hides from the Camera

We keep talking about how cute and tiny she is, even though she was taller than me when she was born. However, when she stands next to her mother, Tessa, you can tell. Again, she didn’t do that, but Tessa was in full view, having a snack.
Tessa Has a Snack

The other baby we were interested in was Savanna, the cheetah. She’s been hanging out in the running yard prior to Cheetah Encounters. Such a pretty girl!
Cheetah in Autum

She chased her dog pal, Max.
Savanna Chases Max

Mostly, she did what cheetahs do best: she ran a bit.
Savanna Takes Off

Savanna Runs

Perhaps as inspiration, Nia, the second youngest cheetah in the Cat Ambassador program ran. She really embodies the grace and power of these animals.
Nia's Dash

Note the serious cheetah running form: head low and she’s starting to pin her ears back. Even captive cheetahs treat running after prey as serious business–even if the prey is just a fuzzy dog toy.

Chance did the second run.
Chance Flies

This is the first year I’ve gotten to see Sihil, the occelot, in the Cheetah Encounter. Her climbing ability is amazing! Also, they have such lovely coats (though, at times, I think she’s wearing pajamas).
Sihil Climbs

Cleo the serval shows how to get the last chip out of a Pringle can…somehow, I don’t think I can do it as well as she can.
Reaching for a Treat
OK, Pringles aren’t enough justification for this adaptation. It’s actually how servals can reach into burrows for rodents.

Another pretty cat.
Cleo & the Pumpkin
Note the malor strips on the pumpkin (you can see these as the black stripes running from a cheetah’s eyes (near the notes) to the corner of the mouth. These function similar to the black pain football players put under their eyes to reduce glare. You can see them on Savanna below.
Dreaming of Running

Minnow the fishing cat made an appearance.
Pondering a Dive

And I still wonder why I can’t get Luna to do this:
Through the Hoop!

We went to go say “hi” to the snow leopards. On the way, George, a six-month-old bat eared fox was taking a walk.
Happy George!

We also passed a ball’o’cougar.
Ball of Cougar

Renji and Nubo were being quite playful. They also appeared to have secrets.
Snow Leopard Secrets

Renji is so pretty. Another photographer pointed out she has “Cleopatra” eye liner–I never noticed it before.
Pretty Renji

Where Dogs Eat Homework…   Leave a comment

…a cat will do it for you. No wonder they rule.
Beso Does Homework
I can haz a scholarship?

Posted 2012-10-23 by Mr. Guilt in animals, Beso, cats, Family, felis silvestris catus

Doping, Lance Armstrong, and Motivation   Leave a comment

Armstrong StuffAt this point, it’s impossible to deny Lane Armstrong cheated. For a long time, I didn’t think so. At first, I though it was an anti-American bias in pro cycling. Also, I thought he’d be exceedingly concerned around his image, in order to protect his cancer foundation. With each revelation, it became harder to believe without a healthy dose of denial. Once the USADA published their report and Armstrong decided not to contest it, continued belief fell into the zone of conspiracy theory.

I’ve been a fan of Lance Armstrong since before he turned pro, back in the 1992 Olympics. His success was one of the things that inspired me when I got back into cycling when I turned thirty. My in-laws got me a USPS jersey, which I wore on my first century. My wife and I watched an incredible 2004 Tour de France while on a trip together–I remember overhearing her describe a stage he won on the phone. I remember being fascinated by Lance Armstrong’s War while overnighting during TOSRV 2009.

However, it was not the only thing. I ride because I love how it makes me feel. I ride because it forces me to be device-free, and think without direction or distraction. I ride because I have a wife and daughter, and want to keep my heart healthy. Lance Armstrong being a cheater does not take away any of those things.

While I’ll likely view professional cycling more skeptically in the future, life goes on. While I might get rid of my copy of Lance Armstrong’s War and other books, I’ll keep wearing the jerseys. I’ve made my own memories with them (and, as a piece of clothing, they are quite nice). I have my own motivation to ride. I hope those who were inspired to ride by Lance Armstrong have found their own inspiration in friends, health, or simply the joy of riding, and continue to do so.

Posted 2012-10-22 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling, rant

Management Lessons from Jack Donaghy   Leave a comment

Articles titled “Life Lessons from ” is something I always approach with a degree of skepticism. Ultimately, the author is simply using the character to demonstrate attributes he or she already believes in, so little new ground is gained. Quite often, the character will work against those attributes within the same work. Even so, those goals may be of interest, with the fictional character being the gimmick.

I had that in mind when I read an article titled “Management Lessons from Jack Donaghy,” the character on the TV show “30 Rock,” in the Washington Post. However, I found that the management attributes Neil Irwin, the author, chose to highlight ones I have found in some of the better leaders I’ve worked with possess, and ones I try to demonstrate myself. I’ve called out these attributes below, but the whole article is worth a read.

For all of Jack Donaghy’s nutty hijinks and pithy one-liners, there is a surprising set of lessons hiding under the surface of the show, which premiered its seventh and final season Thursday night. The simple fact is that Jack, as portrayed by Alec Baldwin, is a superb executive.

  • Have a career plan, but don’t let it stifle you.
  • Innovate whether they like it or not
  • Take mentorship seriously
  • Tolerate idiosyncracy
  • Personal touches matter
  • Learn from everyone around you

From the Washington Post

Posted 2012-10-22 by Mr. Guilt in Interesting, work

Pumpkin Bread   Leave a comment

My daughter got an assignment to make something with pumpkin, then write about how easy/hard the recipe was to follow, and what she thought of the outcome. After some discussion, she said she wanted to make pumpkin bread.
I looked around, and found a recipe I thought would bee good: “Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.” truth be told, I was skeptical. I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie (I think it’s the texture), though I committed to at least trying one piece, given the effort we put into it. I made a point to have her do the work, be it read the recipe, or measure the ingredients.

I did have to coach a bit there, and make a few decisions about how to handle a few things. For instance, the recipe assumes three pans smaller than the ones we were using. We had two, somewhat larger pans. It was on me to decide when to pull them out.
Finished Pumpkin Bread
My daughter, who had pumpkin bread earlier this month, really liked it. I enjoyed it, too.

Posted 2012-10-21 by Mr. Guilt in Family, food

Stranger Danger Floof   1 comment

Luna is a fairly brave cat–save for her trip to the vet, I never see anything phase her. Even then, it was somewhat understandable, and not to bad. That is, until my daughter wore a pair of “cat ears.” Then, she brought out, for the first time I can think of, her “stranger danger” floof.*

Even after she took off the headband with the ears, Luna was a bit wary of her. My daughter had to go to another room for a while, somewhat upset that Luna “didn’t like her,” until her tail depoofed. Poor girls!

Luna Relaxed

*Scroll down to read “‘What Happened’ by Caspian.”

Posted 2012-10-20 by Mr. Guilt in animals, cats, Family, felis silvestris catus, Luna

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