Monday, May 23, 2011

Capoeira training weekend

Training at Vanderbilt
Originally uploaded by TheTurducken
Capoeira Angola Palmares Nashville held a training workshop this weekend. Some of our friends from Baton Rouge Capoeira Angola Palmares came up to participate, and it was great to catch up with them.

Four days of capoeira is pretty intense, and so by the end we were all a little tired. Heck, halfway through Saturday we were tired, so we asked Cojaqui if we could do some stretching. Here I am getting stretched out on the back of a Baton Rouge capoerista - a favor which I returned, of course.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bledsoe Creek State Park

Stone fence
Originally uploaded by TheTurducken
Trying to fill in my hiking record with some local hikes I haven't done, today I went out to Bledsoe Creek State Park near Gallatin. The hike is short and (aside from one stiff climb) flat to moderate in elevation. The hike was a pleasant surprise, however, partially because I saw so much wildlife. Perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise, given that the first half is along a lakeshore, and given that I was hiking alone.

My first sighting was of a large white bird (my guess vacillated between loon and goose) foraging for lunch across a narrow part of the lake. Next I saw a duck family - mom, pops, and the kids - out for a training swim. Then along the water were three pairs of what I suppose were a species of duck. I didn't want to get too close, but they didn't seem alarmed by the fact that there were campers about 25 feet away on the other side of the trail.

Just before the trail turns away from the water for a stiff uphill, a loon took off right in front of me. And then there were the deer - I'm not sure if I saw the same group twice, or two different sets. There were, of course, a thousand cicadas and the usual insect suspects.

The trail, like many in the region, is along the shores of a dammed lake. Most of it is through middle Tennessee's signature cedar glade, although the ground was better aerated than usual thanks to emerged cicadas.

The hike would be great for families - there are enough changes of scenery to keep the kids amused - but the park doesn't really have any other hiking trails. I followed it up with a visit to Drake's Creek Greenway (you have to really love soccer fields) and a drive by the Rock Castle in Hendersonville. The sign always sounded promising, although a local assured me it wasn't that interesting. I found out that it was a stone house, not a natural feature. Whether or not it is interesting worth visiting I may never know, as I let my stomach get the better of me and lead me home.

Digital conversion

As I prepare to move, one thing I'm doing is selling all of my CDs. I have the music on my computer, and it's backed up to a hard drive, so what do I have to lose besides cover art? (A valid concern - for someone way more "into" music than I).

I've heard it said that our wholesale conversion to MP3s foreshadows a similar shift in the book world, but I have my doubts for two reasons.

One, people read more slowly on screen than on paper. This study suggests 10% slower, but it's up to 25% slower in other studies. Do I want to read 10% fewer books in a year? No.

Two, the conversion of existing media to digital format is much more difficult. A CD can be downloaded in the background, and Gracenote can enter your track names. How about scanning a book? ... hey, come back! I can see all the former grad students in humanities and social sciences running away as fast as they can. You have to scan each page one at a time, and, as Google has discovered, you can't make a high-quality copy without tearing apart the original book. That means no resale. The difference, of course, is that a CD was already a digital format. Imagine if the consumer-oriented MP3 had been invented during the cassette era.

The upshot is that even if people start buying mostly in digital formats, they're going to continue to buy, keep, and resell physical books for a while. There won't be any overnight shift to e-books.

Old photos

Greyrock Summit
Originally uploaded by TheTurducken
I've been scanning in old photos from my pre-digital era. This photo is from summer of 2004, when I interned in Denver. My then-boyfriend came out and we did a one-night backpacking trip (my first!) in the Cache/LaPoudre wilderness in the Rockies. I'm not sure if this was going up or coming down.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Although unprecedented prosperity will be mine in the near future, in the short term funds are tight. I don't want to spend any of my savings - in fact, I want to increase them, as moving to Manhattan is a pricy prospect - and my pay for the next couple of months will be low.

(There are a couple of potential things I could pick up this summer, but you surely know the proverb about counting chickens.)

So one thing I'm doing to save a bit of cash is trying to get to the end of the month without paying for any more yoga classes. That's two weeks, so it's about $40 I'd save, which maybe isn't much, but every bit counts, and anyway, I need an incentive to develop a home practice.

Today I kicked things off the easy way by going to a free class sponsored by Lululemon. It was at a studio I know with a teacher I didn't, and it wasn't as challenging as what I typically do, but that's typical for free classes. I'd like to see if I can practice every day, barring days I do serious hiking - no way I'm hiking 10 miles and then doing more than a stretch!

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's done

Says my mom: "I see Turducken hasn't graduated yet."

Well, here it is: Graduation was last weekend, and I walked. The anxiety level was kicked up a notch because I had to not only walk but carry the graduate school banner, without tripping or impaling anyone. (Success!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Big South Fork

Originally uploaded by TheTurducken
Last weekend we camped at Big South Fork. The weather held until Sunday, when we packed in a hurry to beat the rain. On Saturday we did a hike of 10-ish miles. Part of the trail was a horse trail, with all that entails, and part was hiking-only. It was pretty, but nothing spectacular. In this photo, we are approaching the lunch spot.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Job, found

This fall I will begin a position with LIM College in Midtown Manhattan as an assistant professor of management.