My wolf pack

At work, I’m subscribed to an e-mail distribution group called “dogs@amazon.com”, a list dedicated to anyone interested in dogs. And today, I read an e-mail that broke my heart. A fellow Amazonian just had their second child and they are now giving away their 3 year old Labrador because they can no longer give it the attention that it deserves.

I cannot stomach the idea of letting go of either of my dogs — Metric and Mushroom. To me, they are permanent members of my family, my pack.  Metric joined my world 6 years ago, when I picked her up from a backyard breeder in Austin Texas; Mushroom joined us about 4.5 years ago, when Mushroom was pretty much spending most of her days in a crate at my mom’s house.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to having them around for a long long time. In fact, I cannot wait for them to welcome another member to my pack in September, when my wife and I are expecting our first child.

 

History of i,j,k variables ?

Any time you read code (in production or from a textbook), you’ll often see the control variable, when employing for loops, being declared with the variables i,j,k. And for most of my programming career, I’ve never really questioned why we specifically choose those three letters. Why not m (a great letter), or c or d or e — or any other letter for that matter. Seems rather arbitrary.

But, I suspect that it has to do with William Rowan Hamilton, a famous Irish mathematician, who published a book in the 1800’s, the book titled “A theory of Systems of Rays”. And in this book, William uses i, j, notation when representing vectors (in R3).  This representation of vectors became the standard notation and he’s the person we need to thank when we type in those three letters when programming.  

No exercise (or tennis) this week

I’ve been limping around for the past week, pulling a muscle in my left thigh. No fault other than my own, though. 

One evening last week, Jess and I hit the gym together, exercising at the Northgate 24 hour fitness (which is apparently one of the more popular 24 hour fitnesses in Seattle, due to the larger floor plan and access to the wide range of newer equipment).  The two of us were standing in front of the mirrors, facing the dumbbell racks, shrugging our shoulders up and down to work our traps. After 12 shrugs, the first set was complete but out of no where, I decided to transition, without rest, directly into a new exercise that I invented on the spot: air lunges with 35 pound weights in either hand.

So with the circular 35 pound weights dangling on the finger tips of my hands, I stepped my left foot out in front of me and lowered both my knees to 90 degree angles, pausing for a moment and inhaling deeply, and then pressed the balls of my feet into the ground to propel me against the gym floor. After a thunderous landing, I switched to the other side, my right foot now in front, repeating the same motion.

But it only took 1 repetition of this ridiculous exercise to realize that this was a bad idea. Air lunges — without weights — already strains both the muscles in my thighs and calves, the additional weights pushing me over the edge, exceeding my pain threshold. Immediately after, I regretted my decision. Worst of all, this impromptu exercise must’ve really damaged either my ligaments or muscles or tissues (or all three) cause since then, I’be been in a fair amount of pain and unable to neither exercise nor walking normally.

Lesson learned.

Take it slow — I’m not 15 any more (in fact, I’m twice that age!).