Friday, June 29, 2007

Life Balance

One of the great things about working at Micrososft is that work/life balance is measured and considered a metric of health for a group. In the last few weeks, I had the opportunity to discuss with my manager "how do I measure work/life balance" in an effort to get an individual understanding and work toward improving the balance.

My answer included these two measurable quantities (among other things):
1. At what rate am I finishing books?
2. Am I cooking for myself more than I am eating out?

Now that I have defined these metrics, and I am paying attention to my own progress, I consciously try to fulfill them.

Sicne I started counting, I've finished about one-and-a-half books. This is enabled by the fact that I started taking the bus to work about 80% of the time four weeks ago. (The other 20% is split between carpooling and driving alone.) Riding the bus is great. It gives me back about an hour-and-a-half that I would otherwise not have in my day. I love driving, but not in traffic. Walking to and from the bbus stops also gives me a nice chance to be outside.

Today, I also cooked a healthy, quick meal for myself. I thought it was tasty, so I'll share it with you. This was partly inspired by a recipe on Everyday Italian with Giada DeLaurentiis.

  • Whole wheat penne
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Red pepper, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Basil (dried), Garlic powder, S+P
  • Tuna
  • Parmesean
  • Fresh Mozzerella
Cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain it and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a skillet. Use extra because this becomes the sauce.
Saute the peppers until they're soft, then add the spinach and cook it until it gets limp.
Add the tuna and and all seasonings, mix well
Add the pasta to the skillet and stir together
Add parmesean and mix to melt

Serve topped with slices of fresh mozzerella.

This dish comes out very colorful with the green spinach and red peppers. If I were to do it again, I would use fresh everything, Then again, the beauty of this dish is that it can be made with mostly pantry ingredients. I would definitely use fresh garlic (I was already in the checkout line yesterday when I remembered garlic). Fresh basil would completely change the flavor, but can't you just imagine how delicious a bite with basil, red pepper and fresh mozzerella would be?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

24 Facts about Sage

Inspired by Erin Dean's "26 Facts about Erin", I've compiled 24 Facts about Sage.

1. I organize my clothes by type of collar.

2. For exactly the same reason as Erin's second fact, I have not bought a polo shirt since 2004. [edit] I looked into my closet and realized that was false.

3. When Erin ate my pizza, I felt closer to her.

4. Why I started riding the bus to work …

  • 70% - Time to Read!
  • 20% - I get exercise by walking uphill to the bus stop on 4th Ave
  • 6% - I'm on track to exceed my 10,000 mile/year lease
  • 4% - Al Gore and polar bears

5. Whenever I write a grocery list, I intentionally misspell "serial" and laugh quietly to myself

6. I have five years worth of saved IM conversations.

7. I enjoy hanging out in Steinbrueck Park because it is also popular with tourists, homeless people, weirdoes and drug dealers.

8. I can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best and Tully's coffee.

9. Since high school, I have read exactly one fiction book.

10. I have enumerated the shortcomings in the user interface design of my car.

11. I have won a pie eating contest.

12. My college roommate Brendan and I once took our laundry quarters and bought 42 bouncy balls from a prize machine … one each for every person riding the trombone bus.

13. I built a flame throwing trombone with my friend Will.

14. In elementary school, I would skip recess once a week to go to the library and play Geo Jeopardy.

15. I really only cook for other people, rarely for myself.

16. After I'm done watching a movie, I usually can't recall the character's names.

17. I think it's really adorable when girls sit cross-legged in the front passenger seat of my car.

18. I lived in New York for 11 years 2 months, Texas for 11 years 2 months, and Seattle for 2 years 3 months

19. Double Fact: Watching SuperSize Me made me crave a Big Mac. I eat at McDonalds approximately twice per year.

20. I feel personally responsible every time my team does not sweep the music category at trivia night.

21. My favorite art in my apartment are two paintings that I bought from the artist on the side of the road.

22. I am very good at whistling.

23. My best job ever (and worst-paying) was being a Longhorn Music Camp counselor.

24. I still see "adults" as a different category of people.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kids these days...

(BELLEVUE , WA) Nude driver cited for drinking and 'embracing' while driving

The incident happened when a state trooper noticed a sport utility vehicle drifting between lanes and driving at unusual speeds, sometimes speeding up then slowing down to well below the speed limit on Interstate 90, near Bellevue Way, about 1:20 a.m. Friday.

When the trooper stopped the vehicle, he noticed the 19-year-old driver and a 20-year-old female passenger were naked, according to a state patrol news release. The woman began hiding alcohol containers and put on a shirt but the driver, from Seattle, made no efforts to cover up.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has some even better quotes:

"There were some acts of physical intimacy going on in the vehicle that were best saved for not driving down the freeway," [State Trooper Jeff] Merrill said.


"We don't see it very often," Merrill said of nude driving.

"We harp on the fact that being impaired is so dangerous, but being distracted is equally as dangerous. I can't think of anything more distracting than this."


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

To Burgle

I learned today that burglary does not necessarily imply theft. It's one of those things that I had assumed from when I was a child (see: Hamburglar).

Well, as it turns out, burglary is just the act of illegally entering with the intent to commit some crime.

Come to think of it, I kind of already knew the difference. What would you yell if you are awakend in the night by an intruder? "Ack, burglar!" But what if you were to come home to catch someone fleeing from your house? "Stop, thief!"

The fact that burlary requires the combination of the intent to commit any other felony brings to mind some interesting combinations that have nothing to do with theft:

  • Burglary + Treason ... Break into a Kinko's at night in order to use their fax machine to send nuclear weapons plans to the Iranians.


  • Burglary + Obstruction of Justice ... Two witnesses meet in an abandoned warehouse to corroborate testimony over improper firings of US Attorneys
  • Burglary + Violating the Engangered Species Act ... While running away Fish and Wildlife agents, break the window of a parked car and discard the sea turtle eggs which you have heen carrying

Monday, June 11, 2007

Colin Powell on Meet the Press

"If it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo no tomorrow, but this afternoon. I would close it. And I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system. The concern was 'well, then they'll have access to lawyers, then they'll have access to writs of habeas corpus', so what? Let them. Isn't that what our system is all about?
"And by the way, America, unfortunately, has two million people in jail, all of whom had lawyers and access to writs of habeas corpus. And so we can handle bad people in our system.

Check out this clip and the rest of the interview on

Friday, June 08, 2007

Quick Poll: Where do you read my blog?

a) Facebook
d) Some other RSS reader: ____________
e) I don't read your blog, but I'll leave a comment anyway just to be explicit.
Pleae leave a comment with your answer.
Why?  I kind of want to revamp my personal website, but I want to know if anyone ever actually goes there.  Maybe that time would be better invested making Facebook applications instead.

Where is my mind = Tyler

I just realized that Tyler by the Toadies is essentially the same song as Where is My Mind by The Pixies. 
I was walking back from lunch humming Tyler, and by the time I got back to my office, it had morphed into Where is My Mind.  I mentioned it to Brian, and he was like, "dude, the Toadies even admitted that a long time ago.  They were huge fans of the Pixies."