Agile Update – Week 16

Last week was very successful. I wrote four blog posts on WordPress – my weekly Agile Update, posting a recipe that received twelve “likes”, posting the full Doctor Who episode list, with missing episodes, as a formatted table (though it lacks the color of my original in Excel), and reviewing Season 2 of Upstairs Downstairs.

I was extremely successful with exercise – exercising on five days. When I went to Meijer’s to buy hand weights (little mini bar bells), I found a Pilates DVD, but not in the same series I had been using. In fact, it was by another company all together.  I tried out the first segment, which seemed much longer than the 13 minutes it said on the box – and the other workouts on that DVD are all about 30 minutes. However, now I have something for when I want a longer, more intense workout. The Pilates DVD I have is from 10-Minute Solution (5 10-minute segments you can combine it any way you like), and, as I’ve stated, I was taking Yoga classes through church. Well, I thought, “I wonder if there are any 10-Minute Solution DVDs for Yoga?” And since Meijer didn’t have any, I tried Amazon. And there were several available at Amazon. It took me a bit to figure out which ones to get, but I finally settled on four:  Pilates for Beginners, Yoga for Beginners, 10-Minute Solution Yoga, and a Dance Exercise DVD (also from 10-Minute Solution).  Of the new ones, I’ve tried the Yoga for Beginners, and I’m enjoying it, though I don’t like that I need to buy yet more equipment. Again.

Anyway, here was my (daily) schedule:

  • One set Pilates (10 Minutes) – Arms with Weights (2 lb. mini bar bells, one per hand)
  • Pilates – 13-minute set, new DVD
  • Two sets Pilates – Arms, Flexability (20 minutes)
  • Two sets Yoga (for beginners) – 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes of Yoga (3 sets)

I’m enjoying the Yoga and the Pilates with hand weights the best. But I like the other Pilates too, and it makes for a nice change from Yoga (which at times hardly feels like exercise, though I do get sweaty (yuck).  On Sunday, I tried the Dance DVD, the ballet-inspired segment, and for the first time I just couldn’t do it. It made my feet hurt – a lot.

The goal is to now exercise for at least 20 minutes daily, and 30 minutes when I can. For me, who’s never been particularly active, and hated gym class with a passion (not to mention my dislike of sports, especially anything with a ball or something being thrown at me), finding exercise I actually like has been a really amazing thing. It actually feels good, and hopefully all the Yoga and Pilates will help my balance and flexibility, and I might even lose some weight.

In terms of professional development, my class is done and my next class doesn’t start until mid-May. I ordered and received my textbooks, and downloaded the datafiles, samples, exercises, etc from the textbook website. I also have the Photoshop and Illustrator books that I bought on my own. And I just recently bought a book on The GIMP. And since it will be a few weeks until my next class, I might just start the book on the GIMP.  However, I have been reading “Thinking with Type”, which is more of a history of typography rather than the “How To” book I was expecting.

Still, if anyone has suggestions for good books for learning graphics design and/or web design concepts, please leave info in the comments (title, author, and a link to Amazon would be nice). I’m basically trying to get a handle on not only learning programs like InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator (I now have several books on those) but the actual nitty-gritty of good verses bad design. Which seems an incredibly opinionated and fashionable field – but there must be some rules or some place to start.

Anyway, overall, it’s been a very good week.


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