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Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for August 2012

Classics, The Anti-Fad

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I’m Back!

Today I want to talk about things that are the opposite of a fad.  For some reason I seem to be very fad averse. I have always been that way.  When people were wearing Levi’s in the 1970’s I wanted JC Penney plain pockets jeans.  I also admit that I prefer not to pay for what someone else tells me is “cool”, “hot”, “fresh” or “the bomb”.  I am not an early adopter of technology and still do not have a flat screen Television.  Yes, I said television.  Read more about that rant here.   It seems to me that the price to pay for leading edge of technology is more correctly described as the “bleeding edge” because it is going to cost an arm and a leg or a pound of flesh and somehow that sounds bloody to me.

I prefer my fashion to be on the classic side.  I like things such as:

  • A blue blazer, a white shirt, chinos and penny loafers.
  • I like my jeans with a straight leg but not “skinny jeans” or bell bottoms either.  I suffered through bell bottom jeans in the 1970’s and liked them at first but quickly grew tired of them.
  • I will never pay more than $100 for athletic shoes that will not be used for their intended purpose.  If I am in the NBA then I will fork over the big bucks for Air Jordan’s or whatever is in style now, until then forget it.  Based on my age, height and inability to dribble a basketball, I will not have to ever worry about playing in the NBA.  A nice cross training shoe will work for me.  I can use it to power walk in the winter for exercise and to navigate the grocery store aisles.  I also actually tie my shoes but that is a story for another day.
  • I don’t own and never will own a wide, white belt.  Yes, I actually like sweater vests!
  • Getting back to blue jeans, I wear mine at my waistline as defined as about an inch below my belly button.  I don’t wear hip huggers nor do I let them droop.  I will admit I have some pants that I wear that do sag but I did not buy them that way on purpose.  I (fortunately) “downsized” and wear them around the house doing yard work.

Have a great week.

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Written by pacelinebiz

August 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

Back To School Memories

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The wheels on the bus go round and round

In the next 2 weeks, almost all schools will be back in session.  Some schools in Northwest Georgia went back on August 1st.  That is crazy if you ask me.  When I was in elementary school I think we went back the last week of August or early September.   I can remember in 6th grade we had a teacher’s strike and did not go back to school until early October and did not get out until late June.  My dad had planned a 1 month vacation in a Winnebago starting on June 6th.   Read about it here.    I think I only went to about 160 days of school that year but I managed to do just fine in 7th grade. 

Some things I remember about going back to school:

Getting new clothes.  I can remember one year (late 1970’s) that corduroy was a real popular alternative to blue jeans.  I also remember getting a corduroy winter coat – an alternative to the jean jacket.  I actually liked upgrading my clothes for the new year although by the time I was in high school I usually wore a T-shirt with a silk screen image of some sort on it.

Catching up with the buddies and seeing how much everyone changed.  This was especially dramatic in the Junior High years when some guys would grow 6 inches over the summer and the girls also grew in areas that were particularly “noticeable”.

Getting homesick.  I remember in first grade I was homesick for my mom.  I was two years behind my older brother so for two years when he was in school I had her all by myself most of the time.  I can remember that being very cool.  What a shock when I had to go all day without her!  I did not have this problem in kindergarten for some reason perhaps because it was only a half-day.  When I was entering kindergarten it was not required and my district did not offer it so I went to a neighboring school.  That makes me sound old, but it is an anomaly I assure you.

I hope everyone has a good kick off to the new school year regardless what stage of life you are in.  I only regret the beginning of school because that means traffic will be worse.   Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

August 20, 2012 at 9:22 am

Going Faster By Going Slower

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The need for speed continues

The title of this blog doesn’t make sense.   It seems to be a contradiction but let me explain.  In the context of using your heart rate as a training tool, it was a critical element of getting faster.  

Before I continue my story, let me give you some background.   I began using a heart rate monitor for bicycling training back in 1992 and, believe it or not, I still have the same 20 year old Polar Pacer which still works quite well.  I have had to buy several new transmitters but the receiver is the original.  Back in 1992 this was a concept that was beginning to become popular for amateur bicycle racers including mediocre ones like me.  The professional ranks in Europe were using this in the late 70’s or early 80’s but it became possible for the masses when the equipment became affordable.  The idea which was helpful for me was the importance of taking days to rest and recuperate so that you could have faster “fast” days.  What this means is essentially slow down if you want to go faster.   On the slow days it is best to keep your heart rate at about 75% of your maximum heart rate which would be in the aerobic training zone and out of the anaerobic threshold which is roughly between 83% and 85%, depending on the individual.  At the anaerobic threshold you begin to feel the “burn” of lactic acid in your muscles as you burn oxygen in your blood versus from the intake of your lungs.

My final race of any kind was in 1997 and I was past my prime then and had no appetite for finishing 10 minutes off the back after I had enjoyed the excitement of finishing at the front with the big boys.  It was also after one too many wrecks and trips to the ER to get stitched up.  As I gave up any thoughts of racing I still had the urge to go fast but gradually got busy with life and was not able to devote 12-14 hours per week on my bike.  As I got older and slower I put away the transmitter for my heart rate monitor but always kept the receiver on the handlebar of my bike, like a reminder of my glory days (however minimal they were).  By the mid 2000’s I probably used it a couple times a year and just for a curiosity to see how far I had fallen.  My days of using the heart rate monitor were long gone.

Let’s fast forward to a few weeks ago when an interesting reunion took place.  I was struggling this year to explain why I did not seem to be able to make much progress with increasing my speed despite riding very regularly.  It finally hit me – time to get out the heart rate monitor and begin to add some discipline to my training.  As I suspected, the problem I was having was too much “pedal to the metal” which was wearing me out.  I was not taking training days to recover and rest so I could get better.  I needed to slow down to go fast.

Over the past 3 weeks I have begun to get back into my old training regimen and have already noticed progress.  I am going to add interval training to my weekly riding schedule this week to build some power now that I am adequately rested.  I don’t anticipate getting anywhere close to my previous condition but I am sure I will notice significant improvement within 6 or 8 weeks – if not sooner.  I will keep you posted.

Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

August 13, 2012 at 7:27 am

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

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Numbers

If you gave me a penny on the first of the month, would you agree to double the amount you give me every day until the end of the month?  I hope so, because if you did I would be rich.  See below.

Numbers

I know it is just mathematics but I find that example amazing.  Sure, go ahead and make nerd jokes I deserve it.

If you invested $502.14 every month (not an insurmountable sum) at a 6% rate of return beginning when you were 20 you would have 1 million dollars when you were 60.  This is an amazing fact to me and shows the value of slow but steady saving and the power of compound interest.  You would have deposited $241,027.20 and the $758,972.80 difference would be your 6% return on investment after compounding.

The rule of 72’s is also interesting.  Based on that rule, a dollar invested at 6% interest will double in 12 years.  Looking at it another way a dollar in 12 years will be worth half its original value with 6% inflation.  Click here to read more.

 There is another interesting number-related item that I would like to share with you before I end today’s blog.  Does it make sense to you that there is about a 60.2% chance that any naturally occurring number has a first digit of 1,2 or 3?  Most people would expect that the first number of a number (1 – 9) would occur in about the same amount or about 11.1% for each number.  That is not true.  What I mean by a naturally occurring number is that it is not created or assigned like telephone numbers or social security numbers.  Also, these naturally occurring numbers can’t have an upper or lower limit or some other restriction.  An example is if you looked at all numbers  for interstate speeding ticket speeds it would probably have a high concentration of first numbers in the 7’s or 8’s meaning tickets were written for going 70 – 80 something miles per hour.  

Naturally occurring numbers are found in financial data (the world I live in) in the form of vendor or customer invoice amounts, amounts due from or to a vendor or customer and sales volume etc.  Read about expected digital frequencies, an interesting discovery explained by Benford’s law in a Journal of Accountancy article by Mark Nigrini.  It is useful in fraud detection and for identifying errors, irregularities or manipulation of data among other things.

Have a great week pondering numbers and what they mean.  I know I will.

Written by pacelinebiz

August 6, 2012 at 8:05 am