Category Archives: Environment

Physical, biophysical, and social

Now both cats know that the outside is filled with adventure.

Somehow the back door was left open and both made it out – Jennifer came home and discovered they were missing. One cat scaled the back deck to come back inside; he looked like he’d survived a harrowing experience. The other was nowhere to be seen. Since she’s not the brightest one, we weren’t sure she’d know to come back.

I came home and started calling for her and looking in the obvious areas – neighbor’s yard, the alleyway, etc.  None of the neighbors had seen her.  I walked around making “smooching” sounds and went back inside, trying to work up a game plan, when Jennifer said she could hear frightened meowing.

Turns out she was stuck up in the neighbor’s tree.  I got out a step ladder, but it was too short to reach her, so I had to get a larger one.  She refused to let go of the tree so I had to reach behind her and startle her into my arms, where she proceeded to dig in with all four sets of claws, hanging on for dear life.  Also, it turns out cats can yodel really loudly when they are frightened.

Anyhow, the cats are back home, looking very proud of themselves and showing a distinct lack of PTSD.  I’m sure they are already plotting their next escape.


Wife sleep ramblings, January 2016

“Don’t you DARE!” she suddenly announces in a gravelly voice.

“Dare what?” I reply.

“You better stop what you are doing right now” she threatens, sitting up.

I look back at my Surface, looking at the book I’m reading on the Kindle app and try to keep from laughing.

Jennifer gets out of the bed, and crosses over to the desk.

“What is this?!” she demands, picking up a medium cardboard box that had, until this afternoon, contained several pairs of pants I’d ordered online. Now delivered & emptied, it was languishing on the desk, waiting for me to take it downstairs and then out to the garbage.

“An empty box, honey?”

She quickly shifted it aside, hunting for something that had drawn her ire. Her gaze narrowed and she seized the object of her hatred. “What is this?? THIS!” she screeched, thrusting her arm at me.

“It’s a mouse?” I snicker.

“Why is it flashing?” she asks, her voice becoming confused.

“Because the battery is dying” I respond.

She rubs her nose and the light begins to appear in her eyes, then heads for the bathroom. I turn back to my book…

Exercise, diet control, lack of progress and more.

Let’s face it, I’m on the wrong side of 40 years old and nothing is free anymore.  I can’t eat what I want, sleep as much as I want, and life is taking its toll.  The damage from years of stupid decisions is adding up and overcoming the hurdles has become much more difficult.

I decided that I needed to start working out again in June of 2014.  I weighed myself then and the scale said 253lbs.

I love my comfort foods.  I love frozen cokes, and cake, and ice cream.  Bread. Pizza. Hamburgers. Tacos.  That’s the problem, I love them too much and have little ability to say no.

You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet.

I weighed myself today and the scale says 252.75.

I compared pictures of last year and now.  I look exactly the same.

There’ve been significant road blocks to progress.  Every time I get my squat up to 185-190, my back injury flares up and I have to stop working out.  Mostly though, life gets in the way.  Last year, I stopped working out in December due to family issues, then I wrecked my shoulder in January and didn’t start lifting again until June of this year. 7 months of inaction and lethargy and watching my gains go down the toilet.

I need to control my diet. I’ve been using Myfitnesspal’s app and restricting my caloric intake for the last few weeks.  I’ve been trying to avoid the junk food and garbage.  When I can keep away from the frozen cokes and don’t blow my diet eating out, I lose weight.

When I fail, I don’t.

Looking at the datapoints in the iPhone and on MFP, I’m yoyoing between 258 and 252.  Since I’ve been paying attention though, it’s decreasing. We’ll see what happens.

I will say this – I’m a lot more consistent working out with the cage & weights at the shop.  I just wish I had a means to do assisted pullups and dips.

0230 and I can’t sleep

I can feel my mood worsening and I’m getting into one of those states where the pressure is increasing from all sides.  I finally got fed up with it, and made the decision to get dressed and come into the shop and try to do something, anything.

‘Jennifer’s’ cat was outside waiting for me, lounging on the stoop of the neighbor’s apartment.  I unlocked the front door of the shop, relocked it behind me, and made my way to the receiving area.  I pulled open the side door to get some airflow, and started in on the task in my mind: making a small box planter out of reclaimed wood.

About 3 years ago I’d deconstructed a bunch of pallets with the intention of using the reclaimed wood for various projects.  The first thing I did was make a small wooden crate that wound up collecting scrap pieces of other boards.

By the time I was finished, this box was packed full of dressed wood in various lengths.

Life happened, and the crate was moved to the new shop where it languished in a corner until tonight.  I came in, thinking that I’d have dozens of pieces of wood to choose from for the planter.  Unfortunately, as usual, circumstances got in the way.

A year passed, then we moved, then two years passed.  The new shop has had multiple problems with roof leaks, and the wooden crate, neglected in the corner, apparently was resting in one of the spots where water not only dripped down, but accumulated.

As a result, I didn’t have a plethora of beautiful wood – I found a mess of wood with 6″ covered in black mold.  The bottom of the crate is a mess as well; I shouldn’t have butted the edges together.

The cat decided this would be an opportune time to come in and supervise, so he watched as I unloaded a handful of wood at a time and separated the clean pieces from the moldy ones.  10 or so minutes later there are now several dozen pieces of wood laid out behind the shop where the morning & afternoon sun can bleach them.

As I type this, the cat is wandering the pitch black shop, making himself at home.  Periodically he brushes against my legs to let me know he’s on patrol.

Jennifer’s sleep ramblings

Her: *snorrrrreee* *gasp* You aren’t taking pictures, right?!?!?!?

Me: wat?

Her: You aren’t taking pictures are you?

Me: Taking pictures of what?

Her: (indignant) Of me!!!

Me: Honey it’s pitch black in here and I’m reading on the kindle

Her: *grumble mumble* *snoring resumes*

MRI Monday

I went to see my GP about my arm injury on Friday, and after an Xray & range of motion tests, it would appear that I have a supraspinatus injury.  I was referred to a MRI place and had imagery done this morning.

If you’ve never been in an MRI, it’s an interesting experience.   Though I had a general idea about how the machine worked and limited exposure to seeing them in action (generally through popular media), I hadn’t been inside one prior to today.  After filling out the multipage questionnaire asking if I had any metal within me, wires, and the like, I was brought back to a changing room.

Surprisingly I was told that I could stay clothed, I just needed to empty my pockets, remove any jewelry and my belt.  This surprised me; I was wearing jeans and I had a fleeting vision of my pants violently being yanked through the air similar to what happened to this hapless police officer. Fortunately for everyone involved my pants remained on me and I was settled into place.

The technician put headphones on me and asked if I had a particular station I’d prefer to listen to – I asked for NPR, hoping for something soothing & relaxing.  Instead I was treated to a discussion about war crimes and other horror stories while I was put into the machine headfirst.  It’s a good thing I’m not claustraphobic – all you have to look at is a featureless curved wall a few inches past your nose.  The pre-procedure documentation stated I should make every effort not to move, and that the scanning would take anywhere from 20-60 minutes.  I hooked my thumbs into my rear pockets and lightly pressed my hands into my sides to keep from shifting and focused on taking shallow breaths.

Then the scanning began.  WHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMPWHUMP whiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr knockknockknockknockknockknockknockknockknock over and over again.  Boring, yet I’d be lying if I said my heart rate wasn’t elevated with worry about what the scans would reveal.

After all was said and done, I was out of there by 10:15 and on my way to work.  Tomorrow I should know the results of what was found.