Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pelle Journal - won from Gourmet Pens

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"@gourmetpens yay! Thanks for the extras"
Gourmet Pens had a giveaway recently and I was trying to win this through hypnosis.  Imagine my surprise when I checked her blog/twitter feed and realized I had won.  Apparently she started laughing hysterically when she picked my name because I was being silly and had tried to hypnotize her over twitter.  She shipped the package to me Thurs, and I got the package today.  All wrapped up in bubble wrap with a post card apologizing for her cat's use of the plastic wrap on the outside wrapper of the Pelle Journal.  Apparently cats are attracted to the plastic wrapping and totally destroyed it.. oops :)  Also in the package was a nice note and 2 Hi-Tec-C pens that i've been wishing to try.   Thanks!  Too bad I'm currently house cleaning and getting the house ready for all my house guests else, i would sit down and play with pretty paper and pens.. :/

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cupcakes for 04.27.2012

The top cupcake is a chocolate lava cake from Iced Gems.  It is a chocolate cake with chocolate chunks and a chocolate frosting topped with a nonpareil.  That cupcake will be enjoyed by the boy.. since he's a chocolate fan.  The bottom cupcake is the french toast cupcake which consists of a cinnamon? cupcake with maple syrup icing and sometimes you can get it with bacon topper as well.

Daily Arsenal 04.27.2012

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"#dailyarsenal " 

Twsbi with Parker quink blue-black ink, pilot plumix with the pilot cartridge (yay!  i finally am using it), 2 jetstream colors in obviously pink and orange, and a sarasa stick blue-black

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Daily Arsenal 04.25.2012

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"#dailyarsenal "
Pelikan with Sailor Jentle Grenade, neon green hybrid pentel, uniball alpha gel pen, jetstream with 0.7mm black ink, kuru toga, jetstream with blue 0.7mm ink

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake cupcake

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"#food #cupcakes " 

Strawberry Cheesecake cupcake from iced Gems Baking The cupcake is a strawberry hinted cupcake with a cream cheese frosting.  Its one of my favorites from the iced Gems truck.

Daily Arsenal 04.24.2012

Uniball Jetstream Alpha Grip Review

So some of you know that I am a fan of the Jetstream series of pens.  I have several (ok maybe i have a LOT)..

Jetstream pens

but a while ago (i believe right when Jetpens first offered the jetstream alpha grip I decided that I should get the pen.  What is 1 more jetstream pen, especially since i LOVE the way it writes, correct?  I have several of the colors, somewhere I have a bunch of the click pens too.  I tend to go towards the finer tipped pens (and why I dont own any Hi-Tec-C's is beyond me), but I love how the original jetstream pens write so why wouldnt I like this one?  The grip is very squishy -- if you own another alpha gel grip pen its very similar to that.  The design of the grip section is similar to the uniball Signo 207 premier? I feel that its not as squishy but my Signo has been with me for years and is now showing signs of wear and potentially the its uber squishy due to the fact that it's so old.  The jetstream's grip is not as hard of a grip as say a Dr. Grip pen, but it is definitely harder than my signo's grip.  If you own a Sensa (ok I know papermate killed this company) it is similar of a grip to those grips in texture and feeling.  While the Sensa pen has a hourglass shaped grip section, potentially so it is contoured for your hand, the Jetstream is very rhomboidal in shape -- it tapers from the barrel to the tip.

How does it write?  It comes as a 0.7mm tip, and writes like any other jetstream pen would normally write.  I typically have skips on regular 20lb paper, but that is similar to any of the other jetstream 0.7mm tips I own.   Here below are some pictures of the text i wrote, and some of the skips that happened.  As you can see, there is some skipping, its not too annoying to me, but I suppose the skipping does annoy some people more than others.

jetstream alpha writing sample
skipping example

Overall, I still love the pen, and still reach for it time and time again.  But if slight skips while you write is not your thing, this pen may not be for you as it does skip occasionally.  I dont really get blotches of color -- though i believe the colored ones (red, pink, light blue, etc) does sometimes blotch the colors more.  The grip is very comfortable, and i find myself playing with the grip as i write.  Unlike the Dr. Grip pens the grip on the alpha gel is definitely squishy and I find that as i write, if I am trying to gather my thoughts I will knead the grip -- ok maybe I am weird but its definitely a grip that you can squish around while you are gathering up your thoughts.

oh as an add-on, while talking to Aziziah from Gourmet Pens about refills and she mentioned that she liked to refill with purple ink, and for some reason there is no other color than the normal (red, blue, black) refill inks being sold, I did a quick google and discovered that No Pen Intended had done a review that stated that the Sarasa inks would work in the alpha grip, so if you rather refill with a gel ink, you could go with the Sarsa inks (yes, I did check and yes they do fit) 

Below the left picture shows the alpha gel with the jetstream refill sitting out and the sarasa ink in the pen.  Yes the pen does retract fine with the sarasa ink in the barrel.  The picture on the right shows the alpha gel unscrewed and both the sarasa + jetstream inks just sitting out.



Where to Purchase?

Jetpens $16.50 (without shipping, free shipping if with purchases over $25)
Stationary Art  $13.65 (HK based store, so your shipping will vary)

Jetpens - Sarasa Refills

Other Reviews

Office Supply Geek
The Pen Addict

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dinner 04.23.2012

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Semi Homemade Pizza with Trader Joe's Herb Pizza Dough, Rao's spicy mushroom & pepper pasta sauce and 3+ cheese

Daily Arsenal 04.23.2012

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"#dailyarsenal " 

A Hello Kitty I belive Alpha Grip ball point? I'll have to find the matching pencil so that i can figure out if its the signio 207 grip or the alpha gel grip..

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sole of the City 10k

Some while ago, back in February, I saw a foot race (running) that was being advertised in the city as an inaugural race and it was only a 10k!  Well within what i felt i could be running at-- I am notorious for wanting to do races and then realizing a week prior to the race that I'm not up for it because of yet another injury or aggravating some injury.  The race premium (one of the 2 reasons that i like to do the races--the other being the finisher medal) was a under armour 1/4 zip escape light weight jacket.  Nice, right?  So I tried to sign up a week before the race closed to no avail -- online signups were completely full.  I ended up driving to Charm City Run to sign up in person the day it closed (per the advice of one of my dragon boat team mates).  Well the day has come, time to run the race and i've run 2x prior to the race (oops!) but i've also made it to 4.5 miles each time i've run so I can run this race and know I will be ok to finish -- it may not be pretty and I may be hurting tomorrow, but I CAN run this race.. and I WILL finish.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily Arsenal 04.19.2012

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"#dailyarsenal "
Frixion orange hilighter and my kuru toga pencil that i won from uniball's giveaway a while ago. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dragonboat Practice 04.18.2012

Learning to steer-- such a joy, or is it more of a headache?  I started this last year (2011) and am progressing along, however since i started close to the end of the season, am not very good at it yet.. but apparently I am good enough to start steering regular practice (rather than the Thurs AM practices, which routinely have 10 or less people show up).  Last week was my first steering session of the season, which was really informative.  I realized (yet again), that:
  • I cant steer really well yet
  • I cant wear shoes -- my arches hurt if i am wearing the keens
  • I can steer and not hit anything
  • getting out of the slip is hard, so is getting back in
well the good news is it was rainy and thus one of the more experienced steerers decided to take us out and behind the barge that was dredging the Baltimore harbor.. so i got to paddle.. the bad news is we went out to paddle and now i'm sore.

04.17.2012 Dragonboat Team Runs

So this past winter we started a new Dragon boat running group.  Why on earth would we run in addition to all the things we do?  It helps with our endurance apparently.  So as some of you know, i broke my foot back in November and attempted a team run back in March and it was sort of successful, except for the fact that my foot was sore for a week after -- oops?  Recently, i decided that i needed to get gait tested and since I was picking up compression socks from  Charm City Run after the fiance did the Cherry blossom race 2 weeks ago I decided while i was there I might as well get gait tested.

Now gait testing is not a fast process, first you get sized for shoes (it helps if you already know your size-- which i did) and then we did a walk test.  Basically, I walked from one end of the store to the other and the sales associate watched me walk as to figure out how i tread.  She basically told me that the running shoes i was using (Asics Gel Nimbus) were not the right shoes for me because I pronate -- and i needed a shoe that would correct that.  Plus apparently  i have lower arches than normal so those shoes wouldnt be really good for both reasons.  So we ended up trying on 5+ different shoes, each time, getting back on the treadmill and getting video taped.  5 shoes, at least 10-15 mins per shoe, you do the math -- not a fast process.  I ended up narrowing it down to 2 different shoes a different style of Asics (Kayanos) or a pair of Saucony.  I felt that the Asics didnt have weird padding on the bottom which the Saucony did(and apparently this is what happens -- you find a brand and the padding is similar so you gravitate towards those shoes naturally) so I ended up buying the Kayanos.  But, because they are different (they correct my foot treading) I cant wear them on longer runs yet -- just short distances, which is clearly not a 50 minute run, so I decided to wear what my feet have been use to -- the Nimbus.  Clearly, that was a good idea since I ended up running 4.5+ miles yesterday in 50 mins, not my 10 min/mile pace but I did walk a bit on the run back from the inner harbor so that probably added more time.  But, this week I'm going to start running with the Kayanos a bit, probably break them in slowly -- by adding them to my daily run (which i'm suppose to be doing, but really failing at right now).  If i run 1 mile/day in them they should be broken in soon, right?

Daily Arsenal 04.18.2012

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"#dailyarsenal "

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Race Practice 04.16.2012

Well, yesterday's temperature was a blamy 86 F at about what noon?  So we had a great day for dragon boat practice.  We started the afternoon/evening out with some fun warmups that included:
  • suicide runs (i did burpees instead-- on account of not wanting to run in keens)
  • squats - 30?
  • oblique planks?  (the ones with pushups in between)- 20 each side
  • dips - 20
  • oblique reverse lunges
Then we went out on the water for about an hour -- close to 1 full boat of people showed up which is nice so early in the season.  First we did about 10 mins of paddling warmup which consisted of 50-75-100% intensity drills up and down the cove.   Then we worked on some rotation drills -- which apparently i still cant do right *whines*  i keep going up and down not front and back and i cant feel myself doing it which is part of the problem.  We did some fun pyramids (100% for 30 strokes, 10 strokes of rest repeat x6) not quite sure how this is a pyramid i guess but its more of a intensity drill *shrug* it was billed as a pyramid.   We repeated that drill quite a bit ( i believe 4 instances at differing intensities just for fun)  Then we practiced some start pulls to get the boat up and basically "surfing" above the wake.  I still need to work on feathering because the poor coach that was sitting in front of me was splashed SO much :(  So i guess at some point probably this weekend i'll go to the boat and practice early in the wee hours of the AM before practice so that i can get the stroke better.. and maybe actually right for once?

Daily Arsenal 04.17.2012

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Pilot Dr. Grip ball point pen with black ink.. i guess fine tip but not sure since ink is not labeled.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Knitting project update 04.16.2012

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"#knittingproject "
So after thinking about making and actually finishing my scarf, i decided with the slew of babies showing up at work and amongst my friends that I would knit a baby blankie or 2 for people.  I found the simplest diagonal baby blanket on ravelry and downloaded the pattern.  This is 1 of 2 blankets that i'm working on, same pattern similar color.. yes i love blue :)  too bad i still dont know if the babies these are intended for are little boys or girls.. oh wells!  Their respective parents just better appreciate the baby blanket(s) oh and 1 of them has to be completed before May 5th.  So recently in all my non-existent spare time i've been working on baby blankets.. so that I will have at least 1 of them done.  Eeks! thats only what?  3 weeks away?

Dragon Boat Races

So part of being the race committee is to register for the races that we do every year and then coordinate the race schedule etc.  So this is what Baltimore is signed up for currently:
  • DC Dragonboat Festival, May 19-20 (Washington, DC): BCS team only
  • Independence Regatta, June 2 (Philadelphia, PA): 1 mixed team
  • Baltimore DB Challenge June 23 (Tide Point, Baltimore, MD): we're hosting.. i'm probably on chase boat
  • Fingerlakes Int'l Dragonboat, SUP, OC festival, July 14-15 (Ithaca, NY): 1 mixed team
  • DC National Harbor DB Festival, August 25 (Washington, DC -- really PG County but whatever): 1 mixed
  • Mercer County Dragon boat Festival, Sept 19? (Princeton, NJ): 1 mixed
  • Philadelphia Int'l Dragonboat Festival, October 6? (Philadelphia, PA): 2 mixed teams, 1 womens
only problem is, i've yet to really register for Fingerlakes, National Harbor races because they are not accepting online payments so i've done the prelim work but still have to get our treasurer to submit the check.... 

Daily Arsenal 04.16.2012

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Daily Arsenal 04.13.2012

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Working with the air filter units., So I started my day in the lab, not even my lab the Environmental Engineering lab so i could use both their sonicators.  So how many things can you identify in this picture that is not me related but lab related?

yep that's a vaccum sealer on the back right... and yep that's a 50cc conical rack on the right.. and we can also see a Fisher pH buffering solution on the top above my laptop.. in case people are wondering its the acidic pH buffer solution.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Daily Arsenal 04.09.2012

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look at what i finally found?!  Yay!  took lots of trips to random stores but finally found the Sharpie pen...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Day! 04.06.2012

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"#orioles #openingday "
So what was i doing at the O's stadium on opening day?  I was working a stand. Originally i thought i would work the hotdog stand with the rest of the Boy Scouts Crew (this is a really long story) for my Dragonboat fundraising fun.  Its typically 9-10 hrs of work and i get money donated to my dragon boat racing fund -- which cuts down on the amount of money i end up spending each dragon boat season for racing fees.   (Just as an FYI each race has differing fees that range from 30$ to 70$ -- depending on what you are doing, # of boats, etc)  So I was all set to work the kitchen area (cooking hot dogs, pretzels, and cashier) but instead i get asked to do a beer portable.   Well ok -- i can do the beer portables, i just typically dont like to plunge my hands in cold ice water all day but sure why not, its suppose to be warm during the game right?  
So i go to the beer portable (which is set on Eutaw Street),  we look high and low and cant figure out where the stand is-- the portable numbers were taped on the side with 8.5x11 sheets of paper).  Anyway when we finally found the portable, it was empty-- no cases of beer sitting next to it, no bags of ice... now its already 9:30-10am and the doors open in 2 hours... our stand sheet says we are suppose to have over 900 bottles of beer and everything has to be counted.  Ok, well the beer should be here soon right?  We're suppose to be set up 30 mins prior to the doors opening.. so at 11:30 we should be completely set up and ready for people.  We sit back, relax twiddle our thumbs (what else were we going to do? -- nothing to count, nothing at the stand other that us)  So we wait... and wait... and wait... finally ice shows up, and the beer kegs for the next stand over.  The kegs show up without instruction on how to set up and apparently the guys next door dont know how to tap the keg -- so they are hopelessly lost, staring at the keg and the CO2 sitting there next to them.  Good thing they finally get the attention of a stand manager, who sort of attempts to help them tap the keg, fruitlessly though, and then the Budweiser guy shows up and finishes tapping their keg for them.  And all this time, we're still waiting for our beer to show up.
At noon, the doors open, and we stray from our stand, why you ask?  Well at that point all we had was ice, we had asked multiple times for beer for our stand from various stand managers who all assured us that beer was indeed on its way up to us, but no one really knew where it was.. hrms indeed.  At about 12:30 or maybe it was closer to 1pm, by then i had stopped looking at my watch, after pleading with various stand managers, the NPO manager and one of the higher ups, we finally see beer headed our way, yay!  We count the cases that we had and had perfect counts-- even better!  We started icing down the beer and putting them into the coolers -- mind you we had to take beers out of their cases to ice them so we have no clue how many beers we've now placed into our coolers, another flat of beers show up.. uh oh!  we have to count them, but the stand manager doesnt want to wait, so we have to offload the beer onto our pallet.  We were not done re-counting the cases that were left yet so now we're left with a dilemma, what was the new stash that showed up?  We would need to report it in the end so we have to figure this out ASAP!  Ok, so we make up realistic numbers (it doesnt matter anyway we are selling both beers for 8$ a bottle so it doesnt matter how many cases of whatever showed up)

 The day was just very long, lots of beer opening, tips stuffing into Tim's pocket, counting out change... at somewhere after 5pm the game finally ends and we're able to eat lunch.. and count and pack up.  Somehow we ended up with the end inventory, end sales and the money matching up to the dime -- so no figuring out things, no recounting necessary.. yay!  Pack everything away, make Tim count the tips.. we sure earned a LOT of tips..  close to $350 just for our stand alone.. not to mention the other 2 stands that were part of our group.. so i guess not a bad day for us in general.  Just frustrating because it took over 4 hours for 50 cases of beer to show up to our stand...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Last Land Training session.. or is it the beginning of paddling season?

So yesterday (April 4th) was our last dragon boat land training session with our trainer.  For some strange reason, the team really just wants to paddle for 30 mins rather than get an ass kicking for an entire hour, so we decided to go out onto the water for 30 mins, come back to the gym and finish our workout there.

me and my big mouth, asked whether i was paddling or steering.. oops!  Coach had forgotten i could steer.. so of course i get put into the steering position cuz, well I need to practice steering right?  Well, everyone reassures me that i did well, but I know that I am so rusty after the winter off steering.  How do i turn again?  How does one leave the dock?  ohhh, the problems I had staying straight last night :/  Oh well that is what practice is for i guess, making mistakes, learning from them, etc.

Then we had 30 mins left -- with the trainer.. hrms this could be bad.  We did chin ups, followed by kettle bell lunges?  with some shoulder component (held the kettle bell straight up, as we lunged around the gym) -- Sorry UA gym folks that were actually trying to use other equipment..  Then we did some hip workout, followed by wall squats, and then we ended the workout with a plank contest... whew!  i'm sore thinking about all this again...

04.05.2012 Daily Arsenal

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dragonboat practice 04.02.2012

Yesterday (04.02.2012) was the first race practice on the water.  Firstly-- its in the upper 40s to lower 60s in MD right now.  The water temperature is not much better -- having been cold all winter and all.  So, you would think with it being the first race practice of the season we would have it easier.. hrms but wait!  all of us have been working out together in the gym so of course all of us are fit enough to be killed on our first official race day practice, right?  It doesnt matter that the water temperature is probably 32F, nor that there is gusting winds that makes the cold water that was splashed on you even colder... nope.  So yep, for about an hour i was out in the cold Baltimore Harbor paddling my heart out. 

We started the practice off with a bit of a warm-up on land - squats, lung twists, suicide runs (or burpies), a bit of stretching -- this was about 5-10 mins and then we were off!  There were 14 paddlers yesterday so we just took 1 boat out with a coach sitting in the drummers chair  and a steersmen.  So I guess we had 16 people show up for practice.  We paddled out towards Little Havannas (Baltimore Museum of Industry) going up in intensity so starting at 50% power to 100 % power till we got a bit past Domino's Sugar.  Then we came back around doing drills and such (such as odds/evens, rotation drills, paddle exit drills, power drills, etc)  Then we switched strokes and did some more fun intensity drills going from 25% to 100%, start stroke (power) drills.  Then we switched strokes to Ada and myself for the last 20 mins of paddle..  with more fun start stroke drills, paddle exit drills and such.. then we had a fast cool-down paddle (ramping down from 100% to 25%)

Quick stretching and we were off to the locker room.. to shower and get warm

04.03.2012 Daily Arsenal

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

knitting project picture 2

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"So cold at the national mall waitin for cherry blossom 10 miler to finish #cherryblossomrace"

So while the fiance and friends ran the cherry blossom race that I ended up not signing up for back in December because of the broken foot.. i knitted, read a bit, stared out into the cloudy cold sky... I started this project because I have quiet a few friends/co-workers that recently announced their pregnancy.. so i figured i should knit them baby blankets.  But first I needed to learn how to knit the blankets, and figure out which pattern to choose, etc!  So this was a really easy pattern that I found on ravlery--and since this required circle needles, and I dont own a pair I had to obtain a pair.  The pattern uses the Lion brand Pound of love yarn which i found to be too scratchy, so i picked the Lion brand Vanna label but dont quite like the texture either.   So its probably back to the drawing board for yarns but I do like the pattern and will be using it.    Here its about maybe 1/8 done (so about 20 stitches on this row?)  I have to go to about 209 stitches.. so hopefully I will have this done before my friend comes down in May.  AND have a color yarn picked out since she's not told me if its a boy or girl...

random babbles: new knitting project
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