It’s been over two months since the last French music jam, which was in November. I didn’t write about it because there was nothing particularly remarkable about it compared to the whole past year of French music jams: there was Lisa, John, Allison, a new fiddler Liz, and Leslie joining us on banjo again.
Tonight, an addition was made to the program. For some time I had suggested to Lisa that for French/blues dance night, maybe there should be a blues jam in addition to the French jam. She liked that idea, got hold of people she knew who were interested, and so tonight was the first blues jam!
It was actually my first full participation in a blues jam.
I was very anxious, but I’ve grown somewhat used to feeling anxious at least once a month in the past two years pushing myself into unfamiliar territory repeatedly.
In addition, there were some changes for the French jam. Here’s how the evening went.
Today I had a really tough workout. It was unexpectedly tough, not expectedly tough.
I went for a run in the trails of Frick Park. The route was my usual 5-mile rather hilly out and back (down to Fern Hollow and back up) that is a staple for me, and which I last did almost a month ago. As I mentioned then, in winter I have not usually run in the trails of Frick Park, because of snow or ice, but this winter, I’m trying to do more trail running when feasible, because road running and “treadmilling” (because of some friends using the term recently, I’ve recently decided to use it myself and no longer call it “running” at all, since the biomechanics are so different) are not as fun for me.
The run quickly turned out to be very challenging. I thought of bailing out. Here’s how I gutted it out.
I was a bit sick this past week, a result of overexerting myself on various projects the previous week, and also Abby herself getting sick. We have been basically fine since Thursday, but I was feeling pretty bad Sunday through Tuesday in particular.
The question always comes up, when I am sick or just plain tired, “What should I do to recover as efficiently as possible?” After trial and error over the years, I’ve come to realize I have to do a couple of things:
Get more sleep, whatever it takes.
Eat only nutritious food, no junk.
Take some supplements such as vitamin C, B, zinc, fish oil (I don’t know if this is just a placebo effect, but it doesn’t matter because it seems to work, I end up believing, and therefore by the placebo effect it does work).
Start canceling lower-priority near-term engagements in order to free up rest time. (In retrospect, I should have bailed out of going to the first OpenHack Pittsburgh meeting.)
Get some kind of exercise.
It’s the exercise that gets tricky sometimes. When one is low on energy and weakened, what should one do, if anything at all? Here are some thoughts.
Round 2 of the annual Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship had me playing a tough and very long game, the second to last game to finish (which it did after four hours). There was time trouble for both me and my opponent near the end of the game, but I managed to win.
So I thought I would touch on the issue of time trouble in chess.
Jan 21, 2013 · 1 minute read · Comments OpenHackPittsburghprogrammingScalaRubyPythonClojure
OpenHack logo I was excited to attend the very first meeting of OpenHack Pittsburgh, out of curiosity and as a way to force myself to make progress on a personal programming project of mine using Scala (ironically, after spending the day at work on Scala; apparently I couldn’t get enough of it).
The point of OpenHack is to provide a space for programmers to meet up and work on something.
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Four times now in the past two weeks, I have done exactly two repetitions, no less and no more, of the 36-floor Cathedral of Learning stair climb.
A friend of mine who also started the stair climbing, inspired by my one-repetition initial climb before New Year, was very excited about immediately going to two, and then after that, going to three reps. I, on the other hand, have chosen to stay at exactly two. So yesterday I did two, as planned.
Jan 18, 2013 · 3 minute read · Comments chesscomputersViswanathan AnandSemi-Slav
Last September, I described how a shocking chess opening novelty illustrates the subtlety of human chess preparation and the psychology of practical play.
I had no idea that an even bigger shock was to come, in the very same chess opening variation.
Critical position This is a critical position of the Meran Variation of the Semi-Slav, White to play:
Meran Last September, Topalov as White played the natural 12 b4, but that led to the stunning sacrifice 12.
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