List to Dict

I have a table with a list of scientific names that I want to replace with their generic names. I found the unique values in the list, exported to CSV, opened in excel and then wrote in their corresponding generic names. Like Biceps Brachiis is Biceps. Then I reimported into pandas to replace all the scientific names in the table with the generic names.

My issue came in coverting my two lists into a dictionary to use the panda.DataFrame.replace() function. StackOverflow to the rescue yet again! I’m am beyond happy the owners of this website have decided to always make this free. Continue reading


HIIT Tennis

Played tennis AND racquetball yesterday and today. That’s about 2000 calories burned in 24 hours!! I love comics, lifting weights, and computer science, but above all, I love playing and watching tennis!!

I have tennis channel as my default channel. It’s normally the first and last channel I watch lol maybe a few premium movie channels sneak into my watch list but not too often lately, especially with the Australian Open going on. Venus’ semifinal win victory dance was everything!!!

Anyway, below are my Fitbit exercise logs from racquetball and tennis, respectively. 

HIIT Racquetball
HIIT Tennis
I love the embedded HIIT component of it. Go hard for 5-30 seconds on one point, rest 30 seconds to a minute, and repeat! My problem is that I have too much fun in high gear and my heart rate goes into muscle burning mode. I’m forcing myself to slow down in between points to get my heart rate lower. 

At least I’m having fun while getting in a quality workout!

Make it work!

I’m importing a CSV file that contains lists within the rows. Pandas is importing the columns as strings and i need to convert them back to lists! Thankfully the list contents themselves are strings. 

After searching around, I discovered that I can delete the brackets and then split the string on the commas. Deleting the brackets was proving tough because I need to delete “[” and “]”. In R, I’m comfortable enough with regex in the gsub function but still getting comfortable doing ANYTHING in Python. Rather than import re or string, I went with the below answer.

Those were my initial thoughts but thought I was being lazy. Sometimes finding a specific way to complete a task is easier than a generic way. I’m sure re or string would have looked more compact but I’m just ready for my columns to be imported!!

Thank you StackOverflow 😘


We burned out back today. For the first superset, two machines are used, one for the lat pulldowns and the other for the row twists. Rod started on the lat pulldowns and I started on the row twists. Then we alternated. 

The back apparatus exercises are new for us. Our trainer had some free time today and decided to give us a few quick pointers. Position yourself so your back is parallel to the ground. Then for the row, simply have the weights straight down and pull your arms back in a rowing motion. Keep the back horizontal the entire time!!

The Y movement is in the same starting position but with no weight. Pretend to do the Y in the YMCA song and then bring the hands back down to the ground. It helps to have the hands in a thumbs up position the entire time. 

Using little to no weight on these back extension exercises is all that’s needed. My lower back was killing me and I couldn’t even do more than a rep or two of the Y with 5lbs in each hand. We left our ego aside AGAIN and did what allowed for good form and painfully slow releasing the contraction. 


Tough workout! We did chest yesterday. We took our trainer’s advice and did every rep really slow on the way down and then accelerate on the way up. Research shows spending more on contracting the muscle can help build more than just relying on heavy weight. We are having to set aside our ego here because going so slow plus doing more reps means we are using embarrassingly light weight!

Then we finished up with interval sprints on the treadmill, incorporating the HIIT cardio that’s so popular now (and justifiably so)
Trying to get down to 10% body fat from about 15% currently. We have a big gay bash to go to either March or April and have our sights set on having a great, confident time!!!

Workout Circuit 

I built a circuit for me and Rod, focusing on shoulders and legs. It’s not easy because he has a bad shoulder where he can’t raise his right arm all the way up. But I tried my best to make a shoulder routine worthwhile and fun, using light weights but high reps. 

BRUTAL!!! We did 5 sets of circuit 1 and were bent over starting after the 2nd set LOL 

I wanted the rowing machine in circuit 2 to have an active rest for us. Everything was designed for us to always be doing something, just not necessarily in the order depicted in the pictures. 

Good times! And the fit bit said I burned about 600 calories!!!

First foray into data mining comics!

I’ve been looking into getting a project started that really gets to me. I love learning, interested in languages, lifting weights, playing  tennis… and reading comics!

I did a quick google search for “comic book data sets” and came across this gem of a website.

Comic book db dot com home page
Home page for

I got access to their MySQL table and the quest now becomes importing this into Python. Thank you!