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Friday, August 14, 2009

Spandex, Apples, Freesouls

Today we walked over to our local bike shop down the street, and I picked up some gear for my bike. I got a helmet, a yellow spandex jersey, a yellow reflective rain and windbreaker jacket, and a rear view mirror for my handlebar. Then I suited up -- how glorious the spandex is, let me tell you -- and rode the route to school. It's nearly 3 miles from our place, and it only took about 15 minutes to get to school. About 2/3 of the ride is downhill, and the other 1/3 is a relatively gradual uphill slope. I had to rest halfway, because I'm not in terribly good shape and haven't figured out how to breath in this moist air yet (can someone get me a tank of dry desert air, please?), but all in all the route to school is doable. The final half mile or so takes a path through the amazing Tryon Creek State Park, which abuts the law school. It is so beautiful, like I've landed on Endor. I'm going to figure out how to mount my Flip Mino on my bike so I can film that section of the ride. It's so cool.

The way back is more challenging than the way there because that 2/3 that were downhill before are now uphill. I kind of wanted to die a little bit. It took closer to 20 or 30 minutes to come back, and the whole time I was imagining how much worse it would be with some law books and a laptop weighing me down. If I could only drop about 20 pounds, it wouldn't be so bad, and I'm hoping that's just going to happen in the normal course of affairs around here. We are getting a good deal more exercise in this neighborhood than we did in our Utah neighborhood. I stepped on the scale today for the first time in a long time, and I've dropped 4 pounds since the last time I weighed myself. So that's encouraging. If I could just drop the same number of pounds as the weight of my law books, that would be great.

So, the good news is that the law school offers a free shuttle which I could take on the way home from school, and which would drop me off about 3 blocks from my place. So I could ride my bike to school and then shuttle back home. I'm going to start off riding two days a week to school, and see how things progress. I'm pretty excited to get some exercise and wear some amazing spandex. Oh the glory of spandex!

In other news, I am currently typing this post on my new MacBook Pro, which arrived yesterday. I'm very happy with it so far, and think I made a fine choice in laptops. As a lifelong PC user, there is some adjusting to do. For instance, it took me awhile to figure out that the task bar changes depending on which program I have open. Where the hell is the menu? I wondered. I was in iTunes trying to authorize my account on this computer, and I couldn't figure out where the damn menu was! I even searched for a tutorial online, and everyone was like, "Go File > Authorize Computer", or whatever, and I was like, "well, that's great, but where's the mother effing File menu?" Then when I noticed it, I felt stupid. But it's separate from the window, so it wasn't obvious to me. You Mac users probably find this amusing. My friend Aaron told me that, as a PC user, you have to kind of unlearn a few things, but that when you figure out how things work on the Mac, it's actually more intuitive, and I'm inclined to agree. There is still a lot of exploring to do, but so far I think this machine is pretty sweet.

So things are going well. There's still some organizing to do before I can post some pictures of our place, but I'll get to it.

I also wanted to mention that there's this guy in the neighborhood who walks around the village listening to his iPod and singing at the top of his lungs and dancing. It is very amusing to me. I love this little town.

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sov said...

Where's the picture of you all spandexed up like a super hero?

Sra said...


FrankandMary said...

Bun&Spandex? I'd rather see you tattered in a studious manner.

Sra said...

There will be plenty of studious tattering. But a girl's got to get her exercise too. Good to relief stress and maintain balance in one's life.

B.R. said...

Sra, I'm a fan of biking to and fro the place of thinking/studying/working. It gets the juices running, you know? I get many of my best ideas while riding. Granted, it helps if there are showering facilities available nearby. If not, that's what a quick change of clothing is for. Shirts don't weigh much. The thinking person has to move if not s/he won't be as productive. Agito erg sum, in my mind, is more potent than, cogito ergo sum. Good luck with this most exciting chapter and enjoy beautiful Oregon.

Sra said...

Luckily, L&C has shower facilities and dryers for this very purpose. They are very friendly to bike commuters. I can see what you mean about movement to get the juices flowing. I used to do all my good thinking when walking to school or to the coffee shop to write papers. I'm excited about this.

B.R. said...

Congrats on the Pro. Great machine, isn't it?
I wonder if I might ask you which program you use for your general typing/docs/and such. Did you get Word for Mac or are you privy to any other Word-like programs?

Sra said...

B.R.: Yes, I really am loving the Pro so far. It's a little odd of a transition for a PC user, but I think that Macs and PCs are like Word and WordPerfect: they do basically the same things, only differently, but each have their strengths. Actually, though, I might say that the Mac seems to have more strengths than the PC, at least in user-friendly features. I love the different finger motions on the trackpad, and the spaces feature.

So, I use both Word and WordPerfect on the PC, but favor Word, and so I ordered Word to be loaded on my Mac. I haven't used the Mac version much yet, but it looks basically the same as on PC. I've always liked the program.

I have also recently started using Google Docs, which is an online document editor which you can access through a gmail account. It's not a high power word processor, but the advantage is you can save files online and then open them from any computer. I use that program if the information is something I want to access on my ipod when I'm away from home.

As for notetaking, just yesterday I purchased a great outlining program for the Mac called OmniOutliner Pro 3. You can download the program from the Omni Group website and get a free trial license to try it for a day. I think it's going to be what I use to create my class notes and course outlines in school. One cool thing with that program is you can record audio right into the program, so I can create voice notes to supplement my outlines, or record my professors directly. You can also embed video or really any media right into the outline, so I can get anything relevant all in one place. I like that.

So in short, it depends what you are looking to do, but in general, for word processing, I like Word. I don't know if WordPerfect has a Mac version, but that is also a fine program.

B.R. said...

Congrats on the Pro. Great machine, isn't it?
I wonder if I might ask you which program you use for your general typing/docs/and such. Did you get Word for Mac or are you privy to any other Word-like programs?

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