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I've been getting to know two of the rowers at the BPRC who are pretty Serious Rowers. Last week, they shared their yearlong training program with me. It's based around the book Serious Training for Endurance Athletes plus some strength training materials by Ed McNeeley (I'm guessing he's the same person who authored Training for Rowing). This year they're also throwing another concept into the mix, which is the notion that one should mix up one's strength training regimen for maximal advantage because our bodies are too good at adapting to more standardized strength training.

This stuff is all fantastic and incredibly useful for someone like me who lacks the resources to create all these tools from scratch. I am also keen to get better about more consistent strength training in particular, as that tends to fall off whenever I get too busy. It's going to take a bit more time for all of it to sink in and for me to think through how it will line up with my life priorities. Hmm, I need to look at my calendar again to double-check dates of events.


My cat has been fighting through the back door glass with some of the backyard cats. Is there any way to stop this ridiculousness other than adding some frosting paper to the lower parts of those windowpanes? I think she's stressing herself out too much, and nobody's going to win a fight through the glass. We know this already from the Howie days in Arizona.


So I am basically gearing up to work on three experiments here, now. The first one involves learning some more about cricket developmental stages, so to begin with I took a handful of crickets and popped them in individual containers in an incubator, and have been checking on them on a daily basis:

Individually-housed crickets

Crickets are hemimetabolous, which means that they hatch from an egg looking like a tiny version of their adult form. As they grow, they go through a series of molts, where they upgrade their exoskeleton to a larger size to accommodate growth. Each molt is referred to as an "instar." During the last two juvenile instars, some of their adult features become much more visible - in the females, both the wing buds and the ovipositor. Here's a juvenile in the penultimate instar:

Penultimate instar Gryllus lineaticeps

Her wing buds are the dark structures that are pointed along the longitudinal axis near her middle legs.

Here's a last-instar female:

Last-instar Gryllus lineaticeps

At this point, her wing buds are longer and they meet in the middle, covering the center part of her abdomen. Notice that her ovipositor is also longer.

Meanwhile: I need to spend more time staring at metabolic pathways and learning about measuring mitochondrial substrate oxidation for this project, and about how to measure enzyme activities, for a different project, and making progress on the cricket video camera setup, too.

No rest for the wicked, as they say.


( 9 remarks — Remark )
Feb. 10th, 2016 09:00 pm (UTC)
Heh heh heh...there has been some discussion about installing one of these in some strategic manner to keep a cat we call "Evil Kong" away from the chickens...
Feb. 10th, 2016 09:25 pm (UTC)
This works too.
https://www.google.com/search?q=motion+activated+air+blaster for the inside side of the door. Basically you have to make it so the cat can't see cats out there any more. Fence off the outside area, plexiglass off the outside area, hose off the outside area. Trap neuter return all outside cats. Try to TNR the raccoons too, immunize them against parvo.
Feb. 10th, 2016 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: This works too.
I just learned this morning that the main outside cats belong to the next-door neighbor, so I'll have to double-check whether they've been neutered or not (if they have, it was late in the game; they spray if they can).

Maybe I should just go for the <A HREF="http://www.plasma2002.com/blenderdefender/>blender defender</A> indoors, heh heh heh heh...that would VERY QUICKLY get Emma to back down. But actually, for all of it, I should gather feedback from roommates during a House Meeting...
Feb. 10th, 2016 09:48 pm (UTC)
Re: This works too.
See if you can build one of these for the neighbor, if they pay for supplies. http://www.post-gazette.com/life/lifestyle/2008/05/21/Feline-freedom-Enclosures-allow-cats-to-enjoy-the-outdoors-safely/stories/200805210204 Charge them minimum wage for labor, maybe.

Then, fly out to NYC and build one for me, if I pay for supplies.

If the neighbor doesn't go for it shave the neighbor's cats.
Feb. 15th, 2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
Re: This works too.
A Catio! My super-awesome former next-door neighbor from Arizona had a phenomenal Catio, although it wasn't completely secure. She has ~11 cats, and went away on a trip at one point, and when she returned she had 12 cats instead because an interloper got in, saw how good life was, and decided to stay (and her cat-sitter hadn't detected the difference).

The cat drama here is drama, to some extent. Apparently there are 3 main cats that belong to the next-door neighbor, named Kong, Roy, and I-don't-remember. Not too long ago, however, we figured out that there's also an Evil Kong. In general, Kong has been boss of the yard, but before we knew that Evil Kong was a different cat, my roommate L got upset because "Kong" was starting to stalk the chickens (he dotes on the chickens). So he started to shoo "Kong" out of the yard.

That seems to have shifted power dynamics, so Roy has been hanging out more and sleeping in a box on our back porch and getting into fights with Emma through the glass.

My roommate P says that if we are nicer to Real Kong, he should push back on Evil Kong to get Evil Kong to stay away from the chickens. And maybe if the power balance is resolved Emma won't spend as much energy fighting through the glass with Roy. Otherwise I think I might just obscure the view through the bottom parts of the glass door.

Feb. 16th, 2016 08:39 pm (UTC)
Re: This works too.
See, this is why I'm against hunting of predators, when you take out the big males, you end up with a lot of youngsters out on their own, attacking people and devouring Daycare workers.
Feb. 11th, 2016 03:52 am (UTC)
Re: This works too.
I love the blender defender so much.
Feb. 15th, 2016 10:07 pm (UTC)
Re: This works too.
I know, right?? *evil cackle*
( 9 remarks — Remark )

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