Sunday, September 16, 2012

blazing speed-of-light machines

I like to walk fast. I like to hear the swift, business-like click of my heels along the sidewalk. I like to feel my stride lengthening until I hit my accustomed pace. I like arriving at the crosswalk seconds sooner than the people I shared an elevator with, even though we all cross at the same time anyway.

(Mostly I like the way it feels. It feels healthy.)

Sometimes I imagine the people I leave behind mocking me inside their heads. "Look at that girl, she's going so fast when we're all getting to the same place at the same time." But I'm really not out to race them; I'm out to walk as fast as I feel like going.

(Interesting side note:  when I'm sad, I walk way more slowly. It's almost like wandering instead of walking. It's as if my emotions have drained me of the energy I would use to put one foot in front of the other.)

Obviously I have paid attention recently to my walking pace, but usually it doesn't make very much difference -- maybe I'm waiting a little longer at the elevator or the crosswalk than the people behind me.

I did notice the difference it made when I was actually walking with a group. (Of girls. I think part of my problem is walking in groups of men, who also tend to walk faster I guess.) I was just going along my normal pace and I kept having to stop and wait for my sister and her friends. This happened several times! We weren't in a hurry, so I wasn't walking fast. I was just walking. They were just slow.

I also like to drive fast. I don't know if they're related, walking fast and driving fast. But I almost think the end result is the same: we're getting to the same place at the same time, why rush?

Maybe I just like the way it feels.

But let's be scientific here: does driving faster actually improve your travel time? Let's say you're traveling 80 miles one way. (Randomly picked that number out of a hat.) And let's say the average speed limit is, oh, 65. (Also a random number, of course.)

How long does it take to drive 80 miles going 65 mph the whole way? My handy dandy calculator suggests, 74 min.

But we're in Utah. Everybody goes 5 over. It's our right as Americans. How long does it take to drive those same 80 miles going 70 mph the whole way? Calculating...68 min.

A whole six-minute difference! Does it really save you that much time to speed? Not really.

(Oh, but what if you decide to go 10 mph over the whole way! That brings you down to 64 minutes. A ten-minute time difference, for 10 mph velocity difference? I'm not sure where the benefit really is here.)

So...why speed?

I don't know. I like to walk fast too.

I got a new car! It has cruise control, so it's much easier to control my speed instead of just going with flow of traffic. It looks like this:
And while I'm on the topic, I'll explain the name really quick. I decided to name my car Tia, even though ... I don't think it looks like a Tia. But I almost felt like I had to. See, this car is an Elantra. Elantra sounds like Elantris, which is a book I like. In the book, there is recurring silverness. So I wanted to name my car something from that book. In looking through the glossary of Aons (just read the book I guess) I found the Aon for travel was Tia. Travel! That is exactly what I do with this car! So I decided that driving in the car was almost exactly like close enough to drawing the Aon for Tia. Hence, the name. I know everyone was so curious about that.

Also, I feel like I have to admit that I could do a lot with 10 minutes. But I've had that portion of the post written in my head for over a year now and finally decided to post it in an attempt to shame myself into going the speed limit.

Title text: "Enough to Go By"

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I can trace all my books [August 2012]

I thought I'd read so many books this month! But when I sat down just now to enumerate them all it's actually not that many. (Of course, since I didn't enumerate until today, it's possible I forgot some.)

Sorry that all my posts lately have been about books. I do have another couple posts in the pipeline, if I can remember them. But in the meantime, here's my list for August:

70. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
71. Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart
72. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
73. Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leef
74. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
75. Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame
76. The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede
77. Rebecca's Rose by Jennifer Beckstrand
78. The Confession by Charles Todd
79. Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack by Wendelin van Draanen
80. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale