Monday, September 12, 2016

Brooks Ghost 9 Running Shoes





I have had Brooks Ghost running shoes for a while, this is my fourth pair. The Ghost 9 is very much like the Ghost 8. [Click here to see older shoe reviews.) The sole seems to be exactly the same. The upper is more stylish with pattern in the vent holes. The shoe is 335 g which is 10g lighter than the Ghost 8. 

I like this shoe pretty well. Much more comfortable than my other shoes, which may mean that they are wearing out. 

I get sore feet during the summer, perhaps because of walking barefoot, but perhaps because I do more miles. They feel pretty good in these.


Friday, September 2, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Abstract Still Lives

As you can see above, I have a wine blog, and I often look for labels that I like. These are usually abstracted still life with a theme that reflect my mood when I bottle it. Since I have a few days off, I am thinking about painting some still lives. Here are some inspirational examples from the web.

From Mark Webster at www.dailypainters.com



http://fineartamerica.com/featured/abstract-still-life-painting-robert-joyner.html



http://mladshoi.deviantart.com/art/Abstract-still-life-174280419


http://www.chess-museum.com/modern-and-modernist---special-show.html


http://fineartamerica.com/featured/abstract-wine-decantur-sherri-of-palm-springs.html
http://picterest.info/v2fpbwdq-wine-glass-drawing-abstract

More on my Pinterest page

Saturday, July 2, 2016

New Shoe Revue: Adidas Pureboost ZG

My new running shoes are an improved Adidas Boost design. See my previous post of my previous pair. These are Pureboost ZG, obviously in the black & gray. It's got a knit upper which is stretch and breathable. I think it is comfortable especially in the bunion area where some shoes are too tight.

Black and gray make for dull photos in the blog, but for better shoes after these shoes have lived their life as running shoes and have been retired to casual shoes. There are some pretty nice fluorescent yellow Pureboost ZG's at Dicks. After I bought them, I notice Adidas has a sales that undercut Dick's -- but too late for me.

The Pureboost ZG is very comfortable as I expected from my previous pairs.
Wow! Adidas dropped the three stripes!!

If you look carefully, there are three strips by the toe. 

The bottom is not a typical design. Not sure about traction
wet slip resistance. 
299 grams; same as my pair in 2014, lighter than last year's. 
























These shoes have a thicker outsole 3-4 mm than either previous pair. Hard to tell what it is made from. 

There is some soil on the shoe. I have run in them twice. As before, it has the illusion of good traction because of the high energy return. 




 It is 299 grams -- nearly the same weight at my first pair of Boost in 2014, and about 10% less than my Supernova's in 2015.












===================================================
August 2016 Update.
Un-happily I have retired these shoes from running, after one month and perhaps 50 miles.

The problem, which I did not realize earlier, is that these are actually slip-on shoes upon which laces were also added. What does that mean? There is an elastic band across the middle of the shoe -- its gray and you can see it in the photos. Underneath the laces there is no loose tongue which sits underneath the laces. Instead if one tightens the laces, the shoe fabric underneath has to pucker.

As the shoe broke in, it go looser, and my foot slipped forward. Since the shoe is not oversized, by toe touches the front of the toebox. I tried to tighten the laces to keep my foot back, but you can't without puckering the fabric in an uncomfortable way.

Bottom line is this shoe looks like a lace-up, but it is really a slip-on. When the shoe breaks in, it quickly becomes too loose the run in.

Too bad for me.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Culture of Smiling

House, Hanges, Javidan and Gupta did a study of smiling, what they call affect, in different countries, and they use it study attitude toward individualism and the tie it to economics.

The highly individualistic Americans are in the middle -- smiling slightly more than most.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Existential quotes

QUOTES OF NIHILISM:
DON DELILLO, WHITE NOISE:

By SayuriIto
“…Let me whisper the terrible word, from the Old English, from the Old German, from the Old Norse. Death. Many of those crowds were assembled in the name of death. They were there to attend tributes to the dead. Processions, songs, speeches, dialogues with the dead, recitations of the names of the dead. They were there to see pyres and flaming wheels, thousands of flags dipped in salute, thousands of uniformed mourners. There were ranks and squadrons, elaborate backdrops, blood banners and black dress uniforms. Crowds came to form a shield against their own dying. To become a crowd is to keep out death. To break off from the crowd is to risk death as an individual, to face dying alone. Crowds came for this reason above all others. They were there to be a crowd.”
No sense of the irony of human existence, that we are the highest form of life on earth and yet ineffably sad because we know what no other animal knows, that we must die.
Out in the open, keeping their children near, carrying what they could, they seemed to be part of some ancient destiny, connected in doom and ruin to a while history of people trekking across wasted landscapes.
We began to marvel at our own ability to manufacture awe.
The greater the scientific advance, the more primitive the fear.
How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn’t they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for awhile? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it that no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise.
…but I think it’s a mistake to lose one’s sense of death, even one’s fear of death. Isn’t death the boundary we need? Doesn’t it give a precious texture to life, a sense of definition? You have to ask yourself whether anything you do in this life would have beauty and meaning without the knowledge you carry of a final line, a border or limit.
“To plot, to take aim at something, to shape time and space. This is how we advance the art of human consciousness.”
You are sure that you are right but you don’t want everyone to think as you do. There is no truth without fools.
==================================================

MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE, APOLOGY FOR RAYMOND SEBOND:

Is it possible to imagine anything so ridiculous as that this miserable and puny creature, who is not even master of himself, exposed to the attacks of all things, should call himself master and emperor of the universe, the least part of which it is not in his power to know, much less to command?
=======================================================

JOHN GARDNER, GRENDEL:

It’s good at first to be out in the night, naked to the cold mechanics of the starts. Space hurls outward, falconswift, mounting like an irreversible injustice, a final disease.
I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist. All the rest, I saw, is merely what pushes me, or what I push against, blindly – as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back. I create the whole universe, blink by blink.
…this one frail, foolish flicker-flash in the long dull fall of eternity.

I too am learning, ordeal by ordeal, my indignity. It’s all I have, my only weapon for smashing through these stiff coffin-walls of the world. So I dance in the moonlight, make foul jokes, or labor to shake the foundations of night with my heaped-up howls of rage. Something is bound to come of all this. I cannot believe such monstrous energy of grief can lead to nothing! 
=============================================

The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. 

Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism – and their assumption of immortality. 

As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. 

But, if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s √©lan. 

Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation.

 He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. 

The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. 

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. 

―Stanley Kubrick

=====================================================

I would like to beg of you, dear friend, as well as I can, to have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. 

Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. 

Do not now look for the answers. 

They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. 

At present you need to live the question. 

–Rainer Maria Rilke

==============================
We are all children of the same dark night, inhabited by the same demons, haunted by the same specters… 

It is not a question of finding an answer to the night of truth but of sitting up with one another through the night, of dividing the abyss in half in a companionship that is its own meaning.

 –John Caputo

=============================

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Magick

Christmas Magick
Tis the day before guests come,
and all though the house,
No one is happy especially my spouse. 
I with my Kindle, my eyes under a cap,
had just settled down for a well-deserved nap.
Here she comes, here she comes, my mellow to douse
Get up, get up, something has gone wrong with the house.
The switch in the bathroom broke all of a sudden.
If you don’t fix it, folks can’t get their "work" done.
Off to the horses and off to the sleigh,
Off to Home Depot and RIGHT AWAY,
Wait! No! It’s the only day all year,
When you can’t go to stores to buy switches or gear,
Away to the basement I flew like a flash,
To see what treasures, I’d find in the trash.
Off to the basement! Down on the stairs!
Hoping and praying a spare switch is there. 
In boxes of junk, in places where things from old projects had massed,
I sifted and sorted the gear from the past.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when I met with this obstacle, I looked to the sky.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But variable resistance light switch, which caused me to cheer.
To the top of the steps, to the bath by the wall,
Wire it in, wire it in, wire it in all
I was so happy that now it was fixed; I knew in that moment must be St Nick,
Yes, yes that's right, my bath light was fixed by Christmas Magick!


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Life Metaphor

A Life Metaphor, is a meaningful metaphor for your life. It come up on the Slate CultureFest on Oct 13, 2015. Susan Krause Whitbourne wrote about them more intellectually in Psychology Today.  She liked metaphors like caterpillars & butterflies, or winding roads. 

I have a metaphor that I have carried with me from adolescence, and I thought of it when I was ten. It has evolved though. It is about defending myself, with originally, an anti-aircraft gun. I thought of it when a neighbor parent was at my house, and accusing my brother of some misdeed. The anti-aircraft equipment was impossibly complicated and always breaking.

As I grew older, I favored jet fighters over anti-aircraft guns, perhaps after I had gotten a car. Similarly the plane was impossibly complicated and always breaking; Just like my old cars. I also felt insecure in my early adulthood, like I was one auto wreck from homelessness.

When I got a job at a large company in a fancy research center, I imagined super-modern fighters, and while impossibly complicated like my conception of the adult world, they didn't break as much.

Later, I worked at an industrial site, and they were stripped-down and rusting. Competent, but with missing rivets, parts that I didn't understand, and always need repair.

Time marched on I got a bigger house, and I found it too dangerous to be flying around, I decided to shoot baddies down like Ronald Reagan with ground-based lasers. This isn't so crazy because my thesis work involved focusing and tuning big lasers. This fit my more sedentary life, and my unwillingness to get hurt. The lasers always needed fiddling with.

When I became a manager, I became way too busy, and I want to tear down the machines and build something that doesn't need fixing. Gleaming new machines with good software that I can fix and forget. Just turn it on, and the computer does it. I don't have time to fiddle with it. On the other hand, they kept needing upgrades just like my Mac.

Today, we are empty nesters, and I am looking for connection. I am interested in a network.  "It takes a village" to be okay. The neighbors and I each have 2-3 drones that work together, and our autonomous network of thousands provides safety for all.

So there is my life metaphor.


Post-Financial Economy

Can a country have so much capital that it can build all the factories and infrastructure that it wants, and still have extra capital? In such a situation, demand would be served, and still there would be un-invested dollars sloshing around and interest rates would stay low.

In twenty-teens economy, the scarcity is of demand. If there were demand, then capital would chase it.

Right now, the real interest rate is 0.14% on ten year debt -- the ten year T-bill is at 2.04% and the core rate of inflation is 1.9% and 2.04-1.90 = 0.14%. This means a bond paying an inflation adjusted $1 per year, would be worth $714, which is crazy. Historically, should be closer to $20 or $25.

What about all the poor people would love to have a new iPhone, a bigger TV, a new X-Box, and a vacation in Maui? Isn't there unlimited demand?

There does not seem to be. The people with money are sated, and the people without money are without money. Transfer mechanisms between the Haves and the Have-Nots are too small to create demand.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Running Shoe Update


 Here are my Adidas Supernova shoes with the Boost expanded thermoplastic urethane ETPU soles. These soles have great resilience or energy return so they are fun to run in. They weight 334 g per shoe which is 35 g or 10% more than my first generation Adidas Boost Shoes

I had worn these for about six weeks and you can see the discoloration of the ETPU from the sunlight.

The toebox on the new shoe is larger, and the shoe is more comfortable than my older Boost shoe.
I had a chance to visit Brooks in Portland and get a tour. I saw the treadmill lab where they test out the new shoes.

While I was there I got a discount a new pair of Ghost 8's. These are a similar design to the Ghost 6 & 7.

Notice that they went back to the black outsole. I wonder if that is for performance or for style.

This pair of Ghosts is the least homely pair. My Brook's shoes have been great to wear, but they are not so stylish.

These shoes are 345g. 10 g heavier per shoe than the Boost. 24 g heavier than the Ghost 7 and about the same as the Ghost 6.