My new toy

It’s a wobble board—a circular board with a small round base. I have to stand on it while using my the foot, leg, and core muscles for balance to keep from toppling over (or prevent the board from touching the floor).

It helps develop a better sense of balance, and with building strength and coordination for all the muscles from core down to the toes.

The proficiency targets are (largely subjective):

Level 1: Stand with both feet without touching the floor for 30s.

Level 2: Same as L1, but bouncing and catching a ball off the wall in front.

Level 3: Same as L1, but standing on a single leg.

Level 4: Same as L2, but standing on a single leg.

Level 5: Standing on both legs, squats.

Level 6: Single legs squats.

I can’t even do single leg squats on the flat, steady floor, so there’s no hope of me ever doing that on the wobble board. Completing level 3 is the ultimate target I’d love to achieve.

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Maths for fun on run

Doing simple maths is one of my favourite things to do on solo runs1. I try to calculate my pace based on distance and time on the watch2, or I try to calculate the time it’d take me to the finish, or most commonly, I calculate the pace I need to run to finish a race in under a certain time.

Today’s schedule had an easy 55 min run, so distance and pace weren’t very relevant. I was instead thinking whether I’ll complete 15000 steps by the time I got home.

I had about 4500 steps after the boys’ walk. I walked around the house a bit—changing, procrastinating, feeding the boy, warming up, etc. So, I could assume I would have had ~5000 steps when I started the run. Here’s a simplified version of how the calculation went:

My metronome was set at 182 beats per minute, so I could assume I’d have an average cadence of at least 182 steps per minute. Total steps would thus be…

= 182 * 55
= (180 + 2) * 55
= 180 * 55 + 2 * 55
= 180 * 55 + 110
= 180 * (1.1 * 50) + 110
= (180 * 1.1) * 50 + 110
= 198 * 50 + 110
= 198 * (100 / 2) + 110
= (198 / 2) * 100 + 110
= 99 * 100 + 110
= 9900 + 110
= 10010 steps

That should get me past the 15K mark :)

Later, on the way back up the hill, the watch buzzed to tell me I’d completed 10000 steps (for the day). I’d run ~27 mins at that point. It was the cue for the next mental maths for fun. Here’s how it went (again, grossly simplified):

Starting with total run time of 55 mins, steps I expected to get in the remainder of the run were:

= (55 – 27) * 182
= 28 * 182
= 28 * (180 + 2)
= 28 * 180 + 28 * 2
= 28 * 180 + 56
= (30 – 2) * 180 +56
= 30 * 180 – 2 * 180 +56
= 30 * 180 – 360 + 56
= 30 * 180 – 304
= 3 * 18 * 100 – 304
= 54 * 100 – 304
= 5400 – 304
= 5096 steps

Still on track to make it to 15000 steps.

Here’s what the watch said when I got home :)

Continue reading Maths for fun on run

And down…

I’ve been having a decent long stretch of good days. I’ve been very productive with work, with non-work work, been running regularly, sleeping well, and been mostly happy. Today is bent on breaking the streak.

I slept over 10 hours last night. It was not a good sleep. (Don’t all bad days start with bad sleep?)

I remember having a good dream—I had two good friends I used to live with, one of their friends brought over his dogs (big scary Rottweilers) who got along fabulously with me. I must’ve woken up around this time. That may be why I remember the dream. That’s also probably why rest of the sleep was bad. I had a bad cold—the bedside kerchief is a testament to that. The head started clouding over with all the bad thoughts and worries. I had to resort to some meditation exercises to get myself back to sleep.

In the morning, I woke up before the first alarm (5:10), but was in a terrible state—nose and head full of fluid, and body feeling tired. The Brooklands parkrun plans went out the window. I switched off the alarms and went back to sleep. Finally got out of bed at 10!

A bad night was followed by a not so good morning. The loo visit was unfruitful. I skipped this morning’s Duolingo practice. Took the boys for only a short walk. Didn’t even feel like finishing the coffee that R had left for me.

Now I’ve got to go for the Saturday run but it’s warm outside and I’ve got no spirit.

Continue reading And down…

A random post

tldr: Add ‘?random‘ to any WordPress based blog to see a random post from it.

I have long wanted this feature to visit a random post on my blogs. It’s a lovely way to revisit the past—see what was happening then, what I was thinking, and how I was thinking and writing at some random point in the past. It’s also a wonderful way of—as Matt put it—breaking out of ‘now’.

For a few years, I have had a todo in my list to surface random posts at a click of a button/link. It’s fairly low priority, so I never got to it.

Today, Matt mentioned it as an aside in his conversation with David Perrell. WordPress has had this feature all along! I was walking in narrow woods so didn’t have much space, but I was jumping in excitement. This was what I’ve wanted all along!

I immediately upgraded the priority and due date for the random posts link task in my app. ‘A random post’ link is already here on Speak Easy (main menu on the left on desktop, click the ☰ icon up top on mobile). I’ll add it to Converge, Middlering and others tomorrow.

The only question I have is ‘why doesn’t WordPress communicate this beautiful nugget way more prominently?’.

Give serendipity and melancholy a shot :)

Today in food fusion experiments

Wholemeal toast (warm, medium toasted), egg mayo (cold), Indian style spicy beans (cold)
Wholemeal toast (warm, medium toasted), egg mayo (cold), Indian style spicy beans (cold)

It didn’t taste bad, but the strong flavours of egg mayo and the beans sort of cancelled each other out. I got a bit of both flavours, but neither was too distinct.

Based on experimentation: Indian style vegetable dishes go better with humous, while egg and mayo does better with my usual cucumber-tomato-onion-rocket combo.

Farewell, mug.


My favourite coffee mug is no more :'(

R1 dropped it ages ago—breaking the handle, chipping the lip, and cracking the body. I superglued back the handle, and kept using it. The glue is good for regular use but comes off every few weeks, specially when using warm soapy water to clean.

Last night it broke again while I was cleaning it. This time it won’t be stuck back. With a heavy heart, I’ve decided to say my thanks and put the mug to rest.

You served me well, señor mug. We had many good times together, all involving that great drink we both love—coffee. Thank you for your service. Thanks for the company. Thanks for the coffee. Rest in peace.

Continue reading Farewell, mug.

Achievement of the day: meals without screens

Ate both meals without screens.

No phone, no TV, no laptop, no kindle,… nothing.

Yesterday’s lunch—the first fully screen free (alone) meal—was a bit of a mess. I was anxious, itching to either pick up the phone or switch on the news.

It took a bit, but by the end of the meal I was calmer. I also took longer to finish the meal—spending more time on every bite, chewing better, putting the fork/spoon down between the bites,…

Today’s lunch was easier. Yesterday’s experience comforted me that any anxiety was unwarranted.

Dinner was harder in the usual aspect—R was home and watching TV1. It was easier in another way—there was a beautiful sunset outside. I placed the rocker facing the sunset (back to the TV), and slowly ate my dinner watching the orange sky and the green canopy.

It was quite pleasant. Slow, tasty, pleasant 🙂

Continue reading Achievement of the day: meals without screens