Thursday, April 28, 2005

The amazing microbial fuel cell: turns poo into power - Engadget - /

The amazing microbial fuel cell: turns poo into power - Engadget - /

Anything that helps our energy situation is good in my book. $3/gallon for gas, anyone????

Violin Masterclass

Violin Masterclass

Awesome resource on violin technique, with Quicktime videos! I think this site will be very helpful in cleaning up my viola technique and in general performance enhancement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Tonight's Training

Woke up with the shoulder completely pain-free and spend the rest of the day pain-free. Then in the evening took the Power Rings to the playground for this circuit:

Body Rows x6
Reverse Grip Pushups x6
Pullups (Monkey bar chain handles) x4
Leg-assisted Dips x6
Jacknife Pushups x5

Repeated 2x, with joint mobility and Body Flow practice during breaks. For my very last pullup, I tried a Polevaulter Pullup, being inspired by this video:

I made it easier by tucking my legs, but still, it felt good to finish the pullup with the little flourish.

I was interrupted during my final circuit by a couple of little boys who were drawn to the rings and wanted to play with the monkey bar. On the one hand, I do not mind encouraging kids to pursue fitness as a fun activity. On the other hand, I was really concerned about the kids hurting themselves on the rings. Next time, I will not allow them to touch the rings without permission from a parent. Managed to pry the rings away from them long enough to finish my workout at the playground with a 20-sec. support hold. When I got home I did 4 light-resistance military presses with the TNT Cable for the rehab effect.

I never tried leg-assisted dips and so did the first couple of sets in atrocious form - my shoulders did not appreciate this. For my last set, though I think I found a decent groove, because right after that, I was able to do the 20-sec. support hold. It could be that I'm just getting used to handling the stability issues imposed by the rings, but I'm sure the assisted dips helped. I do notice that this time around, instead of jumping into the support hold, I actively used my arms to press myself up into the hold, with assistance from the legs. That definitely has to be a factor

Gymnastic video from waaaayyyy back

Old-School Gymnastics Video

This is an awesome video of gymnastics from days bygone. Check it out!

Harmony Central User Forums - Just saw the Locust and Fantomas! (gear questions/answers/moog report)

Harmony Central User Forums - Just saw the Locust and Fantomas! (gear questions/answers/moog report)

Having just recently seen Locust and Fantomas myself, it was interesting to read this review. They put on a heck of a show in DC too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Phidgets - USB sensors, USB robot sensors, robot kits, hobby robots, robot parts

Phidgets - USB sensors, USB robot sensors, robot kits, hobby robots, robot parts

Phidgets are a tremendous tools for artists interested in making interactive art projects. By embedding Phidgets into an art project and attaching them to a computer a student or artist can add limitless interactivity to their ideas.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Tonight's Training

Pecs and rear delts still sore from Saturday's ring workout...

Deadlifts (13): 240lb x4, 215lb x4
Suitcase DL(7) - 80lb x3, 70lb x3
Open-Hip Hack Squat : 55lb x1, 45lb x2, 35lb KB x5 x2
TNT Cable Military Presses x4 x3

Still feeling strong for most reps on the DL, so will continue pushing weight up. I still had some problems balancing the bar in my left hand for the Suitcase DL, but not enough to delay going for 85lb next time. Trying to do hack squat off the floor with the bar was very, very hard at 55lb. I think I'll forget about hack squatting with the bar for now and instead build up volume with the 35lb KB.

Actually, I feel like I underperformed in general with the exception of the DL. Haven't had adequate sleep of late. Will try an active rest day tomorrow.

Concert: Kazue Sawai at Meyer Auditorium, Smithsonian Institution

Kazue Sawai is a koto player who is doing some interesting things with contemporary Japanese music. It's getting late and maybe I'll edit this post later, but I'll say now that this was a tour de force of state of the art koto playing and composition for the koto, as showcased by Sawai's koto ensemble, which included 3 bass kotos (amazing sound). The shamisen ensemble was also very cool.

I met a couple of local Japanese music instructors (for shamisen and shakuhachi). Hopefully this will lead to more music connections in the DC area and opportunities to see more live Japanese music.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Today's Viola Practice

I worked on Sokoote-Shekasteh, this time emphasizing keeping my bow straight and hitting the F# and A notes on pitch. I also started working on a yet-unnamed piece which is also of the Persian classical repertoire, but for beginners.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Today's Physical Training

Took the Power Rings to the playground and did the following circuit 3 times:

Sternum Pullups 2-3 reps
Partial Flyes 3 reps
Body Rows 3-5 reps
Pushups 3-4 reps
False Grip Pullups 2-3 reps
Reverse Grip Pushups 4-5 reps
Support Holds 5 sec. x3

After the circuit, I tried a couple of the core training exercises on the Ring Strength DVD:

Jack-knife Pushups x3 x3
Ice Cream Makers x0 - I must not have the necessary upper body strength for this yet.

I then returned home and did:

TNT Cable Military Press x4 x2

Jumpstretch flexband shoulder stretches

Be Breathed Butterfly practice

After the ring training and TNT cable work, my shoulders didn't feel like they needed the stretches like they usually do, but I did them anyway. Power Rings are MUCH more forgiving than ab wheels for jackknife pushups. The TNT Cable work was affected by my upper body (especially arms and shoulders) being fatigued (but NOT pumped!) from ring work. I believe I will do my cable military presses on a different day from my ring day.