Wednesday, December 3, 2014

50 Questions To Free Your Mind: #6

Q6: If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

   Something that balances right and left brain.
   Something with Austin.
   Something dynamic.
   Something that involves planning.
   Something that involves problem solving.
   Something that gives me a great deal of flexibility over my time and work, but still has rules and deadlines.
   Something with regular breaks. Like a school year, but with less summer vacation.
   Something that involves great stories.

   I've been thinking about this question for months. This is all I've been able to come up with and I'm not really sure what (if any) kind of real position meets these qualifications.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Review: Dragonflight

   Not my favorite book. Interesting concept, but the delivery could have been better.

   I think there are some things McCaffrey did well. She wrote a strong-willed woman protagonist into an adventure story in the 1960s. She questioned the way society sees women's roles. She created an interesting world. All very respectable.

   Her story structure, though, I found lackluster. Maybe this is due to a modern perspective, but the story never felt like it went anywhere special to me. I never felt the weight of the stakes. The foreshadowing didn't seem to really do its job. I could pick out a few scenes that were perhaps meant to be climax scenes, but I couldn't say that any of them really were climactic. In fact, I found the beginning of the story much more engaging than the end. I didn't see much real growth in the characters throughout. It was just overall unsatisfying.

   Her writing style on the other hand, I think just didn't suit me personally. It was unemotional and a little dry. I know plenty of people who prefer that in a story, so I suppose I can't fault the book there.

   I wouldn't personally recommend this book, but McCaffrey was the first woman to win a Hugo or Nebula because of it. I suppose there's something to be said for that.

Monday, December 1, 2014

My First Triathlon

   As I wrote a while back, Austin and I spent the summer and early fall training for a triathlon. And it happened! We did our very first one on October 19th in Keller, TX. It was a sprint-distance event which involved a 300m swim, 12.6mi bike, and 3.1mi run. 

   Apparently the swim distances will vary a lot from race to race though. We saw as little as 150m and as much as 750m when we were browsing the different sprint tri's in Texas. The logic behind this swim distance is most likely because it took place in a pool. We swam as a long line of people going up and down 50m lanes. Passing people in the lanes got a little frustrating at times, but otherwise the pool swim was very nice. I would definitely do it again.   

750 people in line to swim! We're in the middle of the line waiting on the

Me high-fiving "the Pope" before jumping in. He was the M/C of the
He was also the reason we had goggles. We forgot ours and the kind
soul let us use some out of his own swim bag <3

Austin ready to go.

We're in that crazy mess of swimmers somewhere.

   The bike covered a 6mi loop twice and the run was a halfway down, halfway back setup through some trails - which I liked. It was encouraging to see so tangibly when I was halfway done with each leg. The bike went way better than expected. Road bikes aren't really my thing, but I'm working on that. The run went worse than expected. I had a really hard time with the bike -> run transition, plus I was just so darn tired by that point. I ended up walking a little bit.

Austin got very silly at this point in the race.
It was a nice distraction from my cramping calves.

   We finished (yay!!), even if not in the way I wanted to finish. So for now I'm content with the race and proud of myself for doing it - but I'm not crossing it off the 101 list just yet. When I envisioned completing a triathlon, the image did not involve walking. The whole thing was so much fun, though, that  we're planning to do an entire season of triathlons next year! The hope is to do a couple of sprints and then an olympic-distance (1500m swim, 25mi bike, 6.2mi run). So here's to our first race of 2015 being walk-free!

P.s. The matching thing - 100% unintentional.


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