Random updates from my life


A few months ago dad got me a BlackBerry. It’s a darn cool device, although some aspects of the OS are a little primitive. It is very good at email, thanks to a wonderful little built-in keyboard that I can actually type on, using my thumbs, and a nice little address book that combines all of the various contact methods in one place. However, the built-in Nextel web browser is pretty crummy, and are the todo list, calendar, and memo pad applications. Plus, it doesn’t sync with CorporateTime, or, well, a Mac.

So I shelled out $30 for PocketMac, which lets me sync with my Mac, somewhat badly, and $30 for WebViewer, which is a really great little web browser. I refuse to pay $48/year for WebMessenger so I can do IM, same with the $195 fo the only available SSH program. Yes, two hundred bucks for something that has been implemented a hundred times for free and open source on computers. BlackBerries are very corporate-focused, and there exists very little useful software that doesn’t come with an exhorbanent price tag.


Next semester I will be spending two days each week working at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. It looks like a pretty neat place, and I’ll be doing something or other related to web filtering. My ideal schedule is Tuesday/Thursday at Berkman and all my other classes on Wednesday, but I’m not sure if that will actually work or not. But four day weekends would sure be fun.


I’ve never mentioned in a tangible medium that Kelli and I have been “officially” dating for about two months now. So there’s that. Sorry, Kelli, had to post it eventually. 😉


Near the beginning of summer Aaron suggested going to the gym, and just like that I made it a habit, kept at it for a long time, and somehow managed to lose about 20 pounds. I’d like to lose 20 more, but that might have to wait until next summer. Or…well, whenever I have a few months of free time. 🙂

This miraculous feat was accomplished by spending almost every day at the gym for about an hour and a half. I mostly did the eliptical machine and a bit of rowing and reclining bike, but Kelli has encouraged me to branch out and now I switch off between eliptical and running, with 10 minutes or so of rowing at the end. Because I could set my own hours and didn’t really have much to do, I was able to do lots of gym, walking around the neighborhood, and cliff walks in Newport over the summer. Once the school year re-appeared I had to cut back a bit, but I still try to keep going at least 3 times a week, for at least an hour each time, and I seem to be staying at around the same weight.

In terms of eating, my eating habits have changed very minimally. I think I ate less over the summer, but with school back in swing I find myself eating pretty much the same as I used to, and I think going to the gym serves to keep me balanced off. If I worked harder on eating healthier and less, I could probably lose more weight, but I enjoy food and its not a sacrifice I am willing to make at this point.

Winter break

My last final is on Tuesday and I am going home Wednesday morning. On Thursday Aunt Linda is taking us to see Les Miserables at the Pantageus and on Friday we are off to Hawaii through new years. At first I was sort of blah about it, but I’ve gotten a bit more excited over time. I’m not big on sitting on the beach all day, but I will be able to get some reading done and hopefully explore some aspects of Hawaii that I didn’t get to or don’t remember from when I was younger.

Well, that’s about it in terms of short updates. I’m sure I’ll have more substantial things to write about once all of this finals business is done. For instance, I’m really excited about copiers, for some reason…

6 replies on “Random updates from my life”

  1. Congrats on Berkman! That sounds way awesome.

    Near the beginning of summer Aaron suggested going to the gym, and just like that I made it a habit,
    I am such a hypocrite 😉 I’ve got me an audiobook to bring to the gym now, so hopefully that’ll encourage me to go more often. What do you to make yourself keep goin’ back?

  2. Yeah, my previous forays to the gym have been unsuccessful because I found it unenjoyable, annoying, and did not see any immediate effect. So here are a few things I did differently.

    No weighing myself – after I while I started doing it a lot, but not to start with. It can take a long time before you have any weight loss, and its better to not worry about it at first.

    Stretching – apparently the latest studies show that stretching is pretty useless, but it was something I could do fairly easily at home before going or at the gym, although I had to sit in a corner because there aren’t any mats, and it helped me get into the mood. It also made me more flexible over time, which is something very concrete that I could see and experience. Even though, apparently, flexibility is not an incredibly useful thing, according to the same studies…grr, it was better when I was uninformed!

    Audiobooks – you said it. Really worked for me. I listened to Diamond Age and also used my computer to record some NPR shows like This American Life and Le Show and listened to them on my iPod as well. In previous attempts I have watched Buffy while exercising, but our gym doesn’t have TVs. Not to mention, I hate commercials, so what I would really need is some kind of little DVD player, but that probably wouldn’t be very practical. So audiobooks it was and continues to be, and I find that if I get into a rhythm and focus on the book its a lot easier to do the exercise. When I’m running on the treadmill I listen to upbeat music, but find that the only music that is really effective there is stuff from musicals, because it is more inspiring and keeps me running.

    Relaxation – this is the big one, and why it worked better over the summer. The gym is a complete waste of time. You go to this weird place with lots of sweaty people, and you get on some expensive machine for half an hour and at the end of it you haven’t gone anywhere. It is stupid, really. What’s the point? Well, I found that what works is using it as a time to de-stress. After a hard (or not so hard) day, the gym is an hour and a half for me to just think about life, reflect on what I’ve been doing and have to do, listen to a book, ignore the rest of the world, etc. You’ll start to get to the point where when you miss a day of gym you feel sort of unfulfilled, because you want that alone time to just think.

    Finally, its all about just continuing to do it. Because at some point, you get into it, and you want to keep going back. I don’t know when it is, I don’t know why, but eventually you don’t have to push yourself as hard to go, because it is just something you find yourself doing and making time for.

    So with all of that, good luck! My intention was not to post “gee look how amazing I am” or “gee look how easy it was” because I don’t believe either thing is true. I’ve tried exercise many times before, and never really got anywhere. For some reason, this time it just worked. Many people find that going to the gym with a friend is helpful, because it encourages them to do it and they have someone to keep them company. I find it works better for me to do it alone, but it certainly helps when I look at certain people’s away messages and they say “gym,” and then I feel like I should be there too. 😉

    Aaron, if you’re here next summer, and its kinda boring and lonely much of the time like last summer, that might be an ideal time to really make the effort. Or if you don’t have much to do over winter break and can swing one of those free two week or month long trial memberships somewhere, you can try it then. But it works differently for everyone, and what works for me might not work for you. I’d say don’t be afraid to experiment and see whats best for you, no matter what the exercise “experts” say is best. If you want to do 15 minutes each on three machines, and that works for you, do it. If an hour of StairMaster is what works, do that. If its just walking around the track for an hour, that is fine too. If you want to lift weights, go for it. Just make sure to set aside a good chunk of time, at least an hour, and stick with it. Good luck.

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