About 18,000 words

Well, it’s been ages since my last update.

Weekdays have become a blur of working and working out and playing guitar and cooking and chatting. Lather, rinse, repeat. I’ve started doing the NYTimes crossword puzzle, which to my surprise I’ve found is quite fun. Also, we’ve been watching this guy as much as possible. He just cracked a million dollars this week. Go Ken!

It’s weird that he’s making all these appearances on the Today Show and stuff now, even though the show was filmed in February. I guess he has to act like they’re being filmed now. I wonder if he’s slipped up at all.

I love my new digital camera. My affair with cameras has been long and tortuous, and a little bit torturous too, I guess. (I just wrote a long blurb about it here, but then realized how boring it was and deleted it. Didn’t have a camera, had to mooch pictures, finally got one and then it got stolen, etc.) Anyway, here are some recent pictures:


A trip to Vancouver a couple of weeks ago. It’s a beautiful city.


Pictures from the (17 mile) hike we went on this past Saturday while camping at Mt. Hood.


My new haircut. I wasn’t a big fan of it first, but it’s growing on me (har har). Also the cast I had to wear after I sprained my knee playing soccer two weeks ago.


An intrepid dog at Snoqualmie Falls, and some of the intrepid players on my Ultimate team at Potlatch.

I love estimating. I’ve found a partner in crime in N-d (for explanation of the d, see 20-Across in the 14 July NYTimes crossword puzzle). We must annoy the hell out of everyone else, but we just like doing it. Usually I’ll do it in my head, but now that he’s around, we follow a much more vocal process. We’ll estimate all kinds of stuff: how old the forest we’re hiking through is, how far we’ve really walked on the hike so far (and what techniques the cartographers might have used for their trail measurements), how long it took to build the bridge we’re driving over, how much a particular yacht or apartment costs, the number of people at the Pro Sports Club that are from Microsoft, the value of all the infrastructure in the U.S., the probability that a date will go well, whatever. We don’t have to know much about the subject, just enough to get started.

I think it’s a good mental exercise because even if you don’t know the specifics, it makes you think about how things work. A good estimate requires you to analyze the mechanisms underlying any process. For instance, estimating a forest’s age makes us think about the height of the trees, the rate of their growth, the historic weather and possible occurrence of forest fire that might influence that rate, and so on. Even if the numbers we make up for each of these factors are way off, at least we’ve gained an appreciation for the forest as a complex growing entity rather than some staid bunch of trees that we’re walking through.

In short, estimating prevents you from taking things for granted. Just about everything you use or see has a history or process behind it; I figure it’s good (and entertaining) to appreciate these things.

This theory occurred to me recently about why people lose touch with popular music (and not because they stop being rebellious). I’ll write about it next time.

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7 Responses to About 18,000 words

  1. dianaca4 says:

    i hate knee sprains

    awwww, sorry about your knee sprain, that SUCKS!!!!
    Does the knee sprain pic precede the Potlactch pic? (are you healing that quickly?).

    also, yay to crossword puzzles =).

    • aj says:

      Re: i hate knee sprains

      Actually yeah it did! It was the Monday before, so I was really pissed off. The doctor said I had to wear the brace for two weeks, too! Luckily I felt good enough to play and ended up doing all right.

      I had a follow-up appointment the week after Potlatch, and didn’t tell the doctor anything about my activities. He checked out my knee and thought it was all right, but told me “definitely wait a couple more weeks before playing soccer or doing anything strenuous.”

      I was like, “yeah, right, okay, I’ll definitely do that…” :)

      • dianaca4 says:

        Re: i hate knee sprains

        what the hell, lucky ducky! when i sprained my knee two years ago, i couldn’t run for MONTHS. I pretty much went insane…

        • aj says:

          Re: i hate knee sprains

          Yeah actually when I injured it (I was fouled really badly by a defender) I heard something snap and I fell over. Then I got up and found I could jog okay… so then I started playing again, and the first time I tried to turn on it, I heard something snap again and I fell over again and it really hurt. On the way to the emergency room I was terrified that it was an ACL tear, and that I wouldn’t be able to play for a whole year, etc.

          When the x-rays came back, I couldn’t have been happier. Phew! And then it felt better within a couple of days instead of a couple of weeks. I guess I got really lucky…

          Even a couple of months would have been horrible. I feel bad for you!

          • dianaca4 says:

            Re: i hate knee sprains

            wow that’s amazing that you recovered so quickly! I also thought my knee sprain was an acl tear, and thanked my lucky stars when the doc told me it was no biggie and I’ll just need some physical therapy. But although I was able to walk normally within a week of my sprain (which occured during ultimate practise, I also heard a load snap) it just hurt so badly to run for a few months.

            anyhoo, injuries suck!

  2. jtlu says:

    dude i’m impressed that you’re still sporting that fogdog hat!

    • aj says:

      Yeah, it’s been with me through thick and thin

      I thought I had lost it a couple of times… But it’s still here. Goin’ strong, baby. Still have my fogdog sweatshirt too :)