Yoga, level 2

I started the “Level 2” class tonight, and actually broke a sweat for a change. I can’t even describe the ways I was trying to contort myself, but they all have names in Sanskrit.

This class is much different from the Level 1 class. It’s smaller, for one. Some of the people in that class would drive me bezerk because they knew the room would be full of people but they didn’t space themselves out properly. They’d sprawl out over two people-spaces. The people in tonight’s also talk to each other.

An operations evaluation

We’re having an “Operations Evaluation” at work this week. A group from the regional office in Omaha is in town to comb through our operations and make sure we’re doing everything according to regs.

They haven’t gotten around to me yet. My boss, who usually doesn’t betray any exasperation, looked exhausted after a whole afternoon of answering questions. He’s got more tomorrow.

I say bring it on. I haven’t been there long enough to have my fingerprints all over everything. I might get zinged on a couple of small things, but nothing to which my superiors haven’t attached their signatures. Anyway, the place needs a little straightening out.

Keokuk

It’s snowing now. We’ll get a few inches before its done.

Susan and I went to Keokuk on the Mississippi River to watch bald eagles. Keokuk boasts the largest concentration of bald eagles on the Mississippi River. In the winter they congregate there along the river. I counted 55 birds along the stretch of river that I could see from the river landing at the end of Main Street. I’ve never seen so many bald eagles.

Keokuk is a depressed little industrial river town. There’s a couple of factories chugging away and a new biodiesel plant. It’s got lots of beautiful old buildings (there’s no new construction), but many are run down and most of the downtown storefronts are empty. If I come back in 10 years I wonder if I’ll find the place is completely dead.

Czech Village and snow

Yesterday I went with Susan and her kids to the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids. It’s in an old Czech immigrant neighborhood. There’s still Czech names everywhere. The museum was nice. Even nicer was that we finally got some snow. Just a little, probably less than an inch, but winter weather nonetheless. It might snow more tonight.

I cooked up some wieners I bought from a butcher in Czech Village. They were amazing. I’ll never eat Oscar Meyer again.

Racquetball dungeon

I brought a couple of flyers to the downtown recreation center. They have to be approved. My goodness, all they say is “Racquetball players wanted” and “Call Adam at…”

Then I hit the ball around in the court. To get to the racquetball court, the attendant has to unlock a door to a room with tumbling mats, then down a little stairwell, then he unlocks another little door and I step into a little anteroom with a bench and then into the court. The little door, which doesn’t go all the way down to the floor, just hovers there when you look at it from the inside. I can hear nothing of the outside world in the racquetball court. I could get locked in there if I stayed to long and they closed up.

Evolution of Adam’s artificial habitat

Here’s the design evolution of Adam’s artificial habitat since 2001. Evolution is definitely a good thing.

Adam C. Prato homepage

This was my World Wide Web debut on my AOL webpage, February 11, 2001. I think I wrote it after taking an HTML class.

Adam’s artifical habitat 1.1

This is the first Adam’s artificial habitat in its “taco stand” form. I was playing around with color schemes and Art Deco motifs.

Adam’s artificial habitat 2.2

For my next trick, I moved from using layout tables to more accessible design. This was my first use of CSS. I also moved the page from America Online to my own domain.

Adam’s artificial habitat 3.1

On a whim I experimented with open-source blogging software. After a brief yellow and magenta incarnation, came up with this seashore theme which was the predecessor of the current layout and design.

New York, December 2006

Here are my photos from my post-Christmas trip to New York. I met up with Ava for an evening in Chinatown, then back to her hometown in Rockland County. The next day we went with John to Bear Mountain and West Point. After that I spent the weekend in New Brunswick with Evrim and caught up with a number of other friends. It’s funny, now everybody loves Rutgers after their bowl game win. New Year was fun. Evrim stir-fried some beef and shrimp, and we drank to the (original) Star Wars Trilogy.

2007: Let ‘er rip

A family relaxes after the chaos of Christmas morning gift opening.Picture of the Christmas morning aftermath. You’ll notice that the sofa in my brother’s house is built for lazing around.

I managed to get in and out of Denver between blizzards without incident, but I couldn’t get out of Newark on Monday on time because of slightly inclement weather and low visibility.

I missed my connection in Chicago and, rather than wait overnight at the airport for the next flight to Cedar Rapids, I rented a car and drove the 210 miles home. I think I let my impatience get the best of me. The rental car was more expensive than the money I hope to be refunded by United, and I was dead exhausted the next day. I had figured I wouldn’t sleep at the airport anyway.