Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Three Dorky Endeavors

I: Running in Rows and Columns

I've been running off and on since I was in high school, but I never kept track of it. In August, though, I decided it was time to push myself a little harder, so I brought to the act of running the one thing guaranteed to make it yet more exciting: a spreadsheet!

It's a good spreadsheet. For every date, 1 to 31, it tracks the maximum distance, the average distance per run, the average distance overall, and various other arcana, and it's set to turn encouraging colors when I do well and nasty colors when I'm sub-standard. Plus, there are a bunch of statistics for monthly totals as well.

And here's the weird thing: it totally works. On days when I don't feel like running at all, I'm now totally motivated to get out there and run just a couple laps around the park, just to get a number on the board. On days when I feel like running, I know that taking a few EXTRA miles will make my numbers look good. Since I've started this, I've run more days than I haven't (I'd like to get it up to 2/3 next year), and I'll cross the 200-mile mark tomorrow. For what that's worth.

For those of you who know me on the Facebooks, yes, this is why I'm constantly nattering on lately about how I just set an all-time record for miles run on the 28th day of a month. Or whatever.

Down side: it hasn't helped much with the weight.

II: International Man of Chess

It's been almost a year since occasional L&TM5K commenter Morgan got me involved with chess.com. He has since stopped playing online chess, but I've stuck around like a chump, gradually picking away at my project of playing a game of chess with someone from every country in the world -- and this according to chess.com's very inclusive definition of "country," under which there are close to 300.
There is, of course, a spreadsheet involved in this one too.

I am pleased to announce that as soon as I lose this match I'm playing with a guy from Barbados, I will have crossed the 25% mark in number of countries played!

Down side: I'm at more like the 15% mark in number of countries won against.

III: Like County Collecting on Steroids. Or Maybe Acid.

You are of course familiar with XKCD, the droll internet cartoon, the self-described "webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." You know, the one with the stick figures! And you may vaguely remember having seen this specific strip:

Well, I learned recently that there is a small and I daresay quite dorky community of people who have taken this algorhythm to heart and begun making treks to the random locations that this formula generates in their local graticule of latitude and longitude. So -- to make this perfectly clear -- where some people might try to get their passports stamped at every national park, or play 100 golf courses before they die, or keep track of the counties they've been through, or (like Brother-and-Sister-in-Law5000) climb every "fourteener" in Colorado, the Geohashers travel to randomly selected locations.

Well, of COURSE I had to get in on that action. My first geohashing adventure, completed last Saturday, is chronicled here.

The introductory page of the Geohashing Wiki is here.

And if you live in or near the City of Roses and want to go on an expedition, I am SO IN!!!

Oh, did I mention there are achievements?!?

Down side: I frankly can't see one.


DorkFest results tomorrow!



Elizabeth said...

As you appear to have the Dork crown firmly on your head, there's no point in competing. You wear it well, sire.

Yankee in England said...

I have heard of this geohashing but was not quite sure what it was, I am still not completly sure the point is but that is not for me to question.

Nichim said...

I'd never heard of geohashing until this post. If you take me along sometime, will you still get the drag-along award considering that you were my portal into knowledge of geohashing? I'm unclear about the rules, but I like it.

The Calico Cat said...

O.K. geohashing sounds interesting. But I am very much in like over the spreadsheet that changes colors... Mine barely adds.
Oh & I want to see the Chess spreadsheet. :o)