A Quick Update

When I survey this blog I notice it gives the impression that my life is full of leisure. I tend to post about the little pockets of time I manage to find to explore or relax, but in truth life looks very different most of the time. Instead of hiking and exploring I am grading papers. Instead of hanging out at the beach I’m preparing lectures. Instead of reading I am writing grant proposals. Instead of watching a movie I’m attending a recruiting dinner. Work often invades the weekends and evenings. I’m not writing this because I want pity–I enjoy my work very much. I try to be cautious about how I blog about my work. I don’t want to share too much about students or university affairs on a public forum. This means that a large portion of my life receives very little mention here.

Here are a few things I’ve been doing or thinking about recently. They might turn into full posts later. . .

Reading

Pam and I purchased Kindle Paperwhites with some of our wedding gift money. I had been adamantly against digital readers, but the Kindle is slowly growing on me. Right now I have three books in progress: two hard copies [Tomatoland (Barry Estabrook) and Seeds of Change (Henry Hobhouse)] and one digital [The Yosemite (John Muir)]. In the past few months I have read White Fang (Jack London), A Day in the Bleachers (Arnold Hano), The Teammates (David Halberstam), and How Carrots Won the Trojan War (Rebecca Rupp). I enjoyed A Day in the Bleachers very much. I love books.

Sugar Added

In the past I made conscious decisions to eliminate some sugars from my diet. I stopped drinking soda regularly (it is now rare). I started drinking unsweetened iced tea. I eliminated most fruit juices. I did this to try to reduce my odds of getting Type II diabetes (research shows sugary drinks may increase risk). A few weeks ago I read an article about Robert Lustig and his views on sugar (Robert Lustig: The Man Who Believes Sugar is Poison). Lustig believes sugar should be treated like other damaging agents, such as alcohol, cocaine, and tobacco. His arguments make a lot of sense to me as a scientist. I have no difficulty believing sugars can be very harmful. I still need to investigate this further. I’m not planning to eliminate all sugars, but I think being aware of sugar intake is a good thing. I’ve started watching how much sugar I am ingesting. The numbers have been shocking to me. I’m thinking about tracking this for awhile to see how the numbers trend.

Canasta

Pam and I play Canasta frequently. We are rather evenly matched. I’ve been trying to form conclusions on some aspects of strategy, so I have been keeping records of our scores. At some point I might write a post looking at typical game flow and scoring. The key thing I would like to resolve is if playing a hand with high risk and a potential high reward is worth the gamble, or if playing conservatively is a better path to victory. Part of this depends on the opponent. The hazard of making this a blog post is that Pam will be able to see my conclusions. . .

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