Diet Progress

Around about the beginning of February I started trying to lose weight. I’m using the Hacker’s Diet which essentially says that to lose weight you must burn more calories than you take in. To burn more calories, I’ve been exercising, mainly running but also swimming and playing racquetball. So, after a month, here’s my current progress.

Diet Progress 2012/Mar/04

I’m hoping I can continue at this rate for a while since my goal is to lose around 60 pounds. I may have more of a problem right now since at the moment I’m currently under doctor’s orders to do “no exertion” until he can figure out why last Wednesday I had a thunderclap headache that sent me to the emergency room. I’ve got an MRI scheduled this coming Wednesday that will hopefully find out more about that and I’m hopeful that once that is done I will be able to get back to exercising regularly.

Anyway, I will try to post at least monthly updates here on my dieting progress.

Telescope Viewing

Drawing of Orion Nebula</del>
Drawing of Orion Nebula

I took my telescope out for a bit this evening and managed to get a good view of the moon, the stars Betelgeuse and Sirius, and M42 (also known as the Orion Nebula). I managed to get a very nice view of the Orion Nebula and I decided to make a sketch of what I saw. This is from a 6 inch f/8 Newtonian reflector with a 12.4mm lens. I could clearly see the Trapezium (the four stars in the center of the nebula). Unfortunately, since this was in my front yard, and because we have a streetlight right next to our house (!), I was only able to see a bit of the nebula (the shaded in area) and all of it greyscale. At some point, I need to get the motor on my equatorial mount working so that I can try my hand a deep space astrophotography.

Woodworking projects

Apparently, I forgot to post anything about various woodworking projects I did this past year.

First off, I built a bench for our foyer to hold all the various shoes that piled up there:
Click for details: Shoe Bench

Then, I built an electric train table for my son:
Click for details: Electric Train Table

Finally, I made a couple of end grain cutting boards I gave as gifts (one to a friend on her birthday and another to my mom at Christmas):
Click for details: End Grain Cutting Board

A few weeks ago, I also made a set of shelves to fit our VCR that got displaced when we got a new TV recently. I don’t yet have pictures for that but I’ll post some later when I take them.

Now I’m wondering what woodworking project I should tackle next.

Accumulated Press Coverage

We have gotten quite a bit more press coverage than I had anticipated. Here’s a list of what I know of so far:

And, here’s video from a segment on WRAL’s 6pm news yesterday evening:

Quick Balloon Update

I’ll have a more complete writeup later when I can slow down and wrap my head around things, but for the moment here’s a quick update. Our first balloon lost tracking about about 20k feet. Not to be deterred, we quickly put together a second balloon from spare parts and sent it up. It landed a few hours later in Rocky Mount and we spent 4 hours getting it out of the tree where it landed about 65 feet off the ground! Once we did, it turned out to be well worth it as we found some great pictures!

Also, we ended up on the front page of the News and Observer today! Here’s the article.