Here’s one I remember from my Physics days. I was so fascinated by this, I spent hours bouncing a tennis ball off the ground the day I stumbled upon it in my 2-ton physics book. Yes, I did read the text before going into lecture. I don’t have that physics book anymore, but wikipedia is a great source.

Coefficient of Restitution – You’re better off reading about it here:


pusillanimous – lacking courage and resolution : marked by contemptible timidity

Source: Webster’s

After studying a Google Map for 20 minutes Saturday morning, I was determined to get out on the bike for a second consecutive day and find more peaceful routes with less debris on the shoulders. (I have to thank my Kathy for spending the entire morning with Alex on a Saturday.) As I’ve said before, I’m about 18 months new to this part of the country and for the first time in a long time, I saw some beautiful countryside (going no more than 25 mph). Traveling various roads in an area roughly bounded by Attleboro, Rehoboth, Seekonk and East Providence, I saw country sprinkled with old plantation like homes (with their barns), unnecessarily gigantic homes (although exquisitely designed), farms, nurseries, an equestrian school, and various small businesses. I noticed something rather odd (at least it seemed odd to me), there were a lot of small cars parked in driveways and on the roads. I really can’t conclude much from that, since Saturday’s ride was the only data point I have for this area- but it was nice. Also, it was comforting to see some “for Clinton” and “for Obama” signs (and even more comforting that I did not see one McCain sign).

So, still no dirt trails yet – I still need to build my endurance. I didn’t do too bad considering, my quads were screaming when I started out. I figure I completed about 16 miles. I don’t know for certain as I rely on Google after I finish each ride (I love the “change route” option). You might be saying, “Get an odometer, you cheapskate!” Well, I’m a mountain biker, no such fragile component survives very long on my bike.


semasiology – the branch of knowledge that deals with concepts and the terms that represent them; a discipline that is concerned with the meaning of words. “What does semantics mean?”

Source: Apple Dictionary; wikipedia

Back in the saddle again

April 19, 2008

I’ve been in Rhode Island now for about 18 months and I’ve taken my trusty ‘ole Klein Attitude Comp Mountain Bike out maybe four times (including today). Not one trip was off pavement, three were on The Cape. Today’s ride was the first I took right out of the garage. What a feeling! Took the day off to get some things done and decided to ride this morning instead.

Since I was diagnosed pre-diabetic in early February, I figured that I’d treat the news as the precipitating factor to get back into shape. Since I make other people wince when I run, since I feel like I’m drowning when I swim and since I acquire an injury every time I play my favorite sport, basketball, I decided that I will sit through excruciating hours of Headline and Fox news at the YMCA while riding a “bike”. All to get ready for outdoor riding.

My first local ride left me with mixed feelings. Not about my riding abilities (I pounded out a nicely-paced 20 miles in a buck-fifteen…on a mountain bike), but more about the riding where I live. Man, I need to hit the dirt. The shoulder on 152 in Mass is very generous for the most part, but it was littered with small pieces of glass and debris between parked service trucks. Selfishly, I thought the wide shoulder was just for us riders. Combine all this stimulus with periodic flashes of being hit by a car (while riding to school as a teenager), its not the most comfortable ride. Nevertheless, it was great to get out. I think I need to head to Lincoln Woods to calibrate how folks rate the rides out here and get a baseline. I’m used to Northern CA mountains and dirt trails, so my expectations will need adjusting.

Oh yeah, I think I need a new pair of padded shorts.


Paralanguage – refers to the non-verbal elements of communication used to modify meaning and convey emotion. Coughing, for example.


Source: wikipedia

I am glad I am not in politics. What a painful debate that was (to watch) last night on ABC between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – and it had nothing to do with the candidates. I sat nervously in my chair for an hour before I was mercifully relieved by my wife, who wanted to watch American Idol at 9pm. The questions from the start put the candidates back on their heels and made them defensive, then it was over. I’m no expert, but where was the debate part of the debate? It was a trial (and that’s being nice). I read this morning, that the candidates were eventually given the opportunity to discuss their platforms and answer real questions in the last thirty minutes, but what a sham. I’ve witnessed better (and livelier) debates between Browns and Steelers fans.

The moderators were awful! George “Step-all-over-you” Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson were just downright child-like in their duties as moderators with argumentative and tabloid-like comments and questions. George even interrupted the candidates’ answers like a two year-old repeating the word “but”, when you are trying to explain to her the reason why she must take a nap.

The candidates are not at fault at all – the questions were so asinine that no matter the answer, the candidate was not going to look stellar. I also doubt that anything was cleared up for folks who are on the fence or whether anyone’s mind was changed to vote for one or the other. Like, Tom Rooney, he asked why Clinton lied about the  “Bosnia sniper comments”, then proceeded to tell the viewers that Hillary Clinton lost had already lost his vote. What purpose then did the question serve? It was entrapment, was there possibly any answer that Clinton could have given that would have changed his mind or anyone else’s?

I could have done a better job moderating. George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson, you should apologize to the public, then promise to never moderate another debate again.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.