Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Exercise07:50 PM - So I have a record of it

Long-term weight comparison, from January 3: 162 lbs fully clothed (sweatshirt, jeans, light hiking boots, etc.) around 4:30pm or so.

Short-term weight comparison, from January 30: 152 lbs nekkid on the home scale, around 6:15am after a shower.

Long term will be compared every 3 months at Depo appointment. Next appointment is March 21 at 4pm, so weigh-in should time be consistent with last one. Clothing should be similar barring unseasonably warm weather.

Short term will be compared once a week on Monday mornings after showering, around the same time.

Weight goal for next week's measurement: 150 lbs even.

Rest of the post: me ruminating on various aspects of losing weight, with a bit of unscientific speculation...

[Edit: Guess I should mention I'm only a little shy of 5'3", so it's not like I'm going for the waif or malnourished look in shooting for around 125. I'm not interested in looking anemic and generally unhealthy, so no I'm not going to overdo it. In fact, while it's going to take longer than even losing all the excess fat, I plan on building a nice amount of muscle. Being able to lift 50 or 60 pounds is totally a goal. Being able to curl 20 or so would be nice, too, as well as leg sledding around 200. Not sure what other weight goals I may pick up along with that.]

I suspect I've already lost ~5 lbs, and that's with really only adding cardio for the last two weeks, starting on the 17th, and weighing exactly the same at my regular doctor's office on the 20th after an all day fast for blood work. I also figure that I spent a whole lot more time at about 150 lbs even -- 3 or 4 years -- than I did at 165 lbs or so which was only about a year, year and a half. And I briefly lost at least 5 lbs from the 155 I was at shortly after J and I got married, when I was being sporadic about cardio and doing karate once a week. So I'm guessing that getting to 145, maybe even 140, will be much easier than dropping below that. Nothing scientific, I'm just expecting my first plateau, maybe a mini-plateau, around 140 or so. Getting rid of that last 15, maybe 20, pounds (or perhaps less if I gain a lot of muscle mass, which I don't know for sure about just yet), will be the hardest part. But, I'm hoping by then, i.e. in a few months' time, if I've kept up with eating right and exercising often, I'll have more energy to drive through the last bits of excess squish. Also, if bad habits are hard to break, I would imagine good habits get hard to break too. So we'll see if I can keep in a rhythm of some kind (unlike last weekend where I kinda wimped out a bit).

feeling: accomplished and sweaty
whining no longer being accepted

Monday, January 30, 2006

Exercise Life Technical07:41 AM - Recap and stuff

Wrangling with computer towers is fun! Full size tower + nowhere to lay it down horizontally + putting in and testing a PCI card = barrel o' fun. :p Never buy a PCI card (or other board, but these seem to be more likely) that isn't packaged in antistatic stuff of some sort. Your odds are rather high that it was dead before you ever picked it up for purchase. I went to Circuit City first 'cause it's by far closer than CompUSA or Best Buy. My .1 second pause wondering at its packaging should've been my first warning. Had to go back up an hour later after finding that it was dead and thus my PC wouldn't boot with it in. Took it back, went to Best Buy, got a better card anyway for $6 more after tax, and it was packaged right and thus works fine.

I was lazy this weekend. I did cardio on the recumbent bike on Thursday for 45 minutes, making up for not doing a damn thing Tuesday, but then I did none on Friday (went to a former teacher's 70th birthday gathering for a few hours, so I do have a good reason). Did some lighter work on the treadmill Saturday, and none on Sunday. :\ However, I was weighing myself early in the week and thinking that I must be on the downside of water weight fluctuation or something, 'cause it was reading lower than I'd have thought. Then when I put on some dress pants for the birthday thing, I noticed they fit beautifully, whereas only a few weeks before that I'd had to fight to get them closed. !! So while that's not really a reason to slack, more likely a reason to feel like what I did was working in great fashion and to do more of it, well... this weekend I just felt a very strong pull to relax.

I did get our scanner set up and ready to go, so that's something. It works. Of course, when I do "Acquire" in PSP and it fires up HP's scanning software, if I click accept then realize I forgot to change something, and hit "cancel"... well, cancel doesn't work. It goes, "Scanning to PSP... [cancel]" -> click cancel -> "Cancelling... [cancel]" -> "Scanning to PSP... [cancel]". Ad nauseam. Notice I'm not telling it to cancel the cancel operation anywhere in there. But I can click cancel on the scan until I'm blue in the face but it will just keep going back to scanning. Grr. Shitty HP software at its finest. :p I scanned in a couple drawings I did at work, on graph paper. I'm debating on whether I should upload them and post 'em, just to see if anyone besides me thinks I ought to go take an intro to drawing class or something.

I did get to bed pretty early last night. After J and I got up to shenanigans early in the evening, I fell right asleep on him, and it was only a little after 6. So he got back up and I figured I'd sleep for an hour. Slept for an hour and a half. I still had to get up and do a few things, so I did. Eyes started itching rather uncontrollably, so I went to bed about 9:30, read till a little after 10pm, turned out the light. So I'm rather more awake than usual on a Monday. I did take some melatonin before going to bed just in case getting in bed woke me up (happens to me a lot on Sunday nights; I think I'm sleepy, get in bed to read a bit and suddenly I can't sleep for another 3 hours).

Ooh, and I found some pretty awesome granola bars. Someone suggested Nature Valley, and I looked at the ones available at our grocery store and, um... yeah, kinda ho-hum on the healthful nutrition data and not so good on the not healthful data. But they had these Kashi ones, and... yeah, these are awesome. 4g fiber, 5g protein, almost no fat. Says on the wrapper there's 300mg of Omega 3 fatty acid. With 6g sugar and 140 total calories, it's the perfect midday snack. Tasty, too. Picked up their honey almond flax and peanut peanut butter ones (which have 1g less sugars), so far have tried the first ones only. Didn't do the trial mix 'cause I don't really like dried fruit, especially raisins.

Plus we may have found eggs that don't give J indigestion. See, regular commercial eggs make him start almost immediately burping sulfur, for hours if he eats an entire egg or two. So he doesn't eat 'em. But, he had an omelette made from farm eggs while on our honeymoon in VT, and they didn't bother him a bit. I went to buy some eggs, did a quick scan for ones with omega 3 acids added to 'em (neat idea, huh?), didn't see them, but I did see these brown ones. The package said they were "cage free", so the chickens were free roaming, and I figured that meant J might be able to eat 'em. They cost more per egg, but... yeah. They still taste like eggs to me. I scrambled a couple on Sunday, and J asked for a bite. No problems at all! I think I'll be getting these from now on.

listening to: All Saints - Heaven
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Exercise Life08:11 AM - So, good & not as good

I was a slug Tuesday and didn't do any cardio. So Friday I'll do some cardio in addition to some body toning exercises.

I weighed myself last night and... I think I've already lost a few pounds. Too early to say for sure, given people whose body mass is 100% steady can still fluctuate (even at the same time of day) by 5 pounds or so anyway. But it makes me a little hopeful. :) Also, I think getting even marginally more sleep this week than I have in past weeks is already having a positive effect. Part of my getting more sleep is chemical; the increased amount of melatonin, or at least having it in my body earlier than it's used to dumping it in there on its own, definitely has a direct effect. Also, it's partly social conditioning. First, I have to make myself make the effort to take the stuff early enough, and second, I have to put myself in bed a half hour or so after that, so I'm encouraged to actually listen when my body says "I'M SLEEPY." I'm still not getting an ideal amount yet, partly from various things waking me up at least once in the night anyway, and partly by not being asleep for eight hours yet. But, I'm getting there, and that's made me less utterly groggy during the day.

I like this whole eating breakfast thing, too. Especially 'cause it's yummy. An egg takes me no time at all, including washing the pan from the previous day because I forget to do it that evening. And the "add a little water" tip I got does indeed result in fluffier eggs. So far I'm not tiring of them, even though all I'm doing to them is adding some fresh ground pepper. No cheese, no onions, etc. I also found that eating my fruit & yogurt cup at work, rather than right after my egg, I'm only slightly and not-painfully hungry when lunch time comes around.

I was a little slow or a bit inept yesterday morning though. First, I'd stopped at Radio Shack Tuesday night to get an inline volume control for my headphones and some more earpads for the earbuds. They had both (got silicone ear pads instead of the fuzzy foam ones, 'cause they stay on better -- the foam ones are almost as hard to put on and then they pop off if you look at 'em crooked!) and I got myself set up and ready to go right after we got home. Guess what I forgot to put in my purse so I could have it with me? Yeah. Oops. Then, I managed to slop a rather large gob of yogurt down the front of me while eating it, no idea how. Apparently I have an eating disorder... :p

I have music with me today, I did not slop yogurt down the front of me, and I slept pretty well considering I was trying to sleep with a memory foam thingy between my knees (one of the )_( shaped ones made for it). I don't feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but I dunno if I ever will this early in the morning. But, it's Penn Station day for work today (we go on Thursdays most weeks) though it's kinda hard to eat healthy there. No fries today, even if I love theirs. Maybe get a club instead of something like steak 'n cheese.

Now, I just need to get my right hand/wrist not so tetchy. Tuesday it was really annoying, to where typing was a chore intermittently, then yesterday it was better but I only did 8 pushups before it started bitching so I listened and stopped. I think it's still not quite right today. I think I may take my doc's suggestion and try sleeping in those wrist braces I bought. He suggested that because it'll keep them straighter at night, rather than all curled up against me and stuff. he's right about me curling my wrists up when I sleep. I curl my hands all up including bending my wrists inward, usually with some blanket in my right hand, and pull 'em up close to me or under me. Probably not conducive to good wrist health.

listening to: Bloodhound Gang - Take the Long Way Home, followed by Live - Sun
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Life09:20 PM - New icon

Another I couldn't resist making, but unlike my last and unused (and unmentioned) attempt, I think it turned out OK. Of course, I'd have loved to use a font based strongly on Darby Conley's handwriting, hehe, but I found a comic-like font that works well enough.

GetFuzzy's Satchel: Exercise!

Anyway, how he looks, that's how I feel sometimes when I'm exercising. It's hard, and stuff.

whining no longer being accepted

Life10:35 AM - Starting grocery list

This will probably get added to over time, but this way I can keep track instead of trying to remember everything once we're at the store.

  • OJ
  • apple sauce
  • eggs
  • quaker oats
  • frozen peas
  • frozen berries
  • frozen broccoli (if we don't have any)
  • baby portabellos
  • other fresh veggies
  • boneless skinless chicken breasts, large enough quantity to separate and freeze

Life08:01 AM - The "tell me something, anything" meme

I know very little about some of the people on my friends' list. Some people I know relatively well. I know you in real life, or we frequent the same message boards, or we have something else in common and we chat occasionally. Some of you I hardly know at all. Perhaps you lurk, for whatever reason. But you friended me and I thank you.

But here's a thought: why not take this opportunity to tell me a little something about yourself? Any old thing at all. Just so the next time I see your name I can say: "Ah, there's so and so...she likes spinach."

I'd love it if every single person who friended me would do this. Yes, even you people who I know really well. Then post this in your own journal.
whining no longer being accepted

Monday, January 23, 2006

Life10:36 AM - Silly kitty

So now Zephyr has taken to washing, rather noisily, while on the bed on my feet/lower legs. LICK LICK LICK LICK! He actually woke me out of a dream doing that at 3 something this morning. I was sound asleep, dreaming some neat intense sorta action movie dream thing, when I could feel the dream slipping away from me right in the middle of it, and then I realized what that sound was. Ugh. Go wash somewhere else kitty, or don't lick so loudly! 'Oopid kitty!

I suppose it's better than other nights when he walks all over me demanding loveys at 3am. Sure, purring and all that is sweet and more pleasant, but it keeps me awake longer than waking up to his bathing.

Yes, I'm just idly complaining. No, we're not closing the door and kicking the cats out of the room at night. At this point it's far too late for that. We'd then have to suffer them constantly pawing on the door, under the door, etc. and never get any sleep at all. And I don't mind them up on the bed if they're just sleeping, or in the late morning on the weekends. Just kinda a silly rant rather than really upset.

whining no longer being accepted

Exercise Life09:37 AM - Potentially better outlook

So, I used the melatonin last night. I could definitely feel it when it kicked in. Now all I need to do is work on the "social engineering" aspect -- going to bed when I'm yawning with my jaw all the way down. Also, 10pm is a little later to take it (takes about 30-40 minutes to start having an affect) than I ought to be for my alarm going off at 5:30, especially if I hope to actually get up when it goes off instead of dozing for another half hour. I should probably be taking it at around 9pm so I can shoot for sleep around 9:30ish, which would be a better schedule for me to be on.

Which leads me to my next item. I had a little scrambled eggs and grapes for breakfast this morning from the work cafeteria. Eggs were so-so, but no worse than expected. And I figured this was better for me than 2 poptarts. Gets me protein, not a ridiculous amount of fat, no ultrarefined carbs, and fresh fruit with "real" sugar rather than sugars that go into processed foods. If I start getting up at 5:30 I might actually have time to feed myself before going to work, mayhap even cooking if it's simple enough. Question is, is an egg or two (done my way, so probably a little less fattening than the same at the cafeteria), actually a healthy breakfast? I know it's good on the protein score. But, I've heard soooo many conflicting things in the past about whether eggs are good or bad for cholesterol and weight and such that I just stopped listening. So what's the lowdown? What kinda fat is in eggs primarily, and is it good or bad? Is it bad, but only in small amounts assuming I eat one egg a day instead of two or three? Is it better or worse than eating a coupla Poptarts or dry cereal such as Cornflakes? I know the grapes were a pretty good idea, and that a cut up apple would be another good one (oranges would probably rock, but I don't like eating 'em, only drinking their super-strained squeezed juice). But... I want something with a little more substance with it. Would I be better off buying some sliced deli ham or turkey and eating that instead? (I'd probably take a couple slices and toss 'em on a pan just to brown 'em a bit, make them more interesting.)

But anyway. I did cardio four times last week. I did some Tuesday evening, Thursday night (way later than I should've done), then Saturday and Sunday before having anything to eat for the day. Plus J and I walked the entire length of The Mills, probably ~ a half mile, Sunday, because the two stores we wanted to look at were at exact opposite ends. If I can keep up with that, and do some of the toning exercises from my class on Fridays, I should be all set. Well, as long as I don't start shoveling in extra food.

I'm hoping if I keep it up this week, come a week from this Tuesday afternoon (I get weighed every 11-12 weeks on Tuesday afternoons for my Depo appointments anyway) I should have dropped at least 3 pounds. More if I'm lucky, but I'm not going to hope for 4-5 since (a) that's pushing it given I'm not doing 2+ hours of cardio each time, and (b) I don't want to set myself up unrealistically for disappointment. So... 2 pounds, hopefully 3. then another 3 two weeks after that.

I might actually see my goal size, shape, and perhaps weight (that's more fluid, who knows how much muscle mass I will or won't put on) by the end of the year. Wouldn't that be a cause to celebrate the coming of 2007 in grand fashion? :D And hey, there'd be a fuckton of clothes I could put on my Christmas list, hehe... or maybe just gift certificates to lots of stores so I can have the fun of shopping a couple sizes lower.

feeling: optimistic
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Life01:00 PM - Feeling much better

I laid down for my blood being drawn, didn't pass out. Had to make conversation with the nurse taking it though, just to be sure. Should find out if there's anything weird on Monday. I'm on hold with the Dr's exchange because they didn't call my Zyrtec scrip in, and I don't have enough to last thru Monday. Grr.

But, we went to Mongolian BBQ last night and I just... gorged myself. It was so good. But, nothing incredibly bad for me, at least. It was my only meal of the day, so I feel less guilty about it than I would have otherwise. (I wouldn't have eaten that much otherwise.)

I also picked up some melatonin at Walgreen's so I can maybe reset my sleep schedule.

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, January 20, 2006

Life02:17 PM - Fun stuff

I'm starting to feel actively shaky from not eating all day. Just made use of Google maps' ability to show street and satellite simultaneously to figure out which building I need to go to the doc's office and not keep missing the entrance (the street's up and down hills from the start, but the buildings are set into the uphills and often kinda sideways so you can't see street addresses, but I have been there a few times before). I think I'm good to go as far as finding it. But... yeah, I'm feeling slightly lightheaded and my hands are definitely twitching when I try holding them still in the air, so... this driving thing is going to require a ton of concentration. At least I won't be heading out in all-out rush hour, 'cause I'm going in the direction it generally goes in the afternoons. I'll be returning during rush hour, but going against most of the traffic at least. After that I'm going to suggest J and I start heading towards the Mongolian BBQ place. We haven't been in a while, and while unfortunately that would mean going in heavy rush hour to get there I'm practically gnawing on my keyboard I'm so desperately hungry, and I don't want to wait to eat until "normal" dinner hours. Heh. "You go home now! You eat like killer whale!!" I'm totally wanting two very full bowls of raw meat and veggies to hand to the wonderful guys who cook with sticks on a heavy cast iron wheel thingy. Mmmmm.

feeling: starving!
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Life10:21 AM - Yesterday was good, today will be OK, tomorrow's gonna suck

Worked out yesterday, definitely feeling the burn in various muscle groups. Watched "Big Trouble in Little China" with J finally. Campy 80s movie, but fun anyway. Mortal Kombat totally ripped off them, man. :p

Today's only OK instead of good, because I started it off by being very sleepy and sleeping 65 minutes after my alarm went off. 25 is OK, 30 is even workable, but waking up and seeing that I normally want to leave in 5 minutes, 10 minutes max, is definitely pushing it. I managed only to be 15 minutes late, at least. That's what a mostly sponge-bath style shower does for ya, just washing the important stinky bits and leaving the stuff for later that probably really isn't dirty.

Gonna work out tonight with some type of cardio (either a bike at the gym or the treadmill at home or something), either immediately after work or after dinner. We're having dinner at my parents' house tonight just for fun (we used to eat there once a week, then J and I, and my dad in his car, would head to karate class right after). If J's not going to work out at all, then I'll have time because I can immediately change and go downstairs, then still have time for a shower before getting to my parents' house without showing up right when dinner might go on the table. However, if he's feeling better today and wants to go, I'll just wait and we can go hit the gym after (they're open till... I dunno, 9? 9:30? something like that) and then I'll use an exercise bike. Easier on my heels anyway, so I can get a more intense workout without fear of overdoing it for my feet and having to quit too soon. (If I'm lucky the recumbent bike will be available, so my ass won't hurt for a day and a half afterwards.)

But tomorrow's gonna blow. I'm just about out of my last refill of Zyrtec, so I need to go in to the doc to get another one (he's not one of those docs who will just call you in a new one, makes you come in even if you're healthy, just for allergy meds with no decongestant even in them...). I figured since I've never had a "complete" physical (checking my cholesterol, blood sugar, yadda yadda, whatever else) ever in my life, so I could knock out 2 birds with one stone. Well... there was a 3:20 appointment available tomorrow, or I'd have to wait till Monday. If I wait till Monday then I'll have no allergy meds all weekend and be stuck taking benadryl like it's candy and being all sluglike. The hitch? That kinda blood work requires fasting from midnight on till the appointment. Which is why most people make those kind of appointments in the morning. And no, even though midnight to 9am is long enough, that doesn't mean my 3:20 appointment indicates that I only have to fast from 6:20am instead. Midnight's the rule, no bending it.

I'd have said the hell with it and just made an appointment for Zyrtec, but... well, it's hard to do morning appointments 'cause they don't (understandably) have them before I'd want to be at work (that'd mean a 5 or 6am appointment, heh). So, if I wanna do a physical any time, afternoon is it. Unless I want to wait 2 or 4 months to do it, in order to do it on a Saturday (he does Saturday appointments every "7 or 8 weeks or so"). I also am rather not partial to needles, so I will be lying down for the blood drawing. Between that irrational anxiety and the not eating all day thing, even lying down I'll be a bit surprised if I don't pass out or get really close to doing so. I just hope they don't need much...

So I get to have only water, or unaltered tea or coffee (evidently plain tea leaves and coffee beans don't have anything that would mess up any blood work) all day at work tomorrow. A coworker is wearing his "Grumpy" sweatshirt today (as in Grumpy of the seven dwarves), and I asked him if they made one that said "Bitchy" on it. :) I'm going to keep to myself as much as possible tomorrow. Also, because tea is less boring than water, I'm going to pick up a half gallon thermos tonight, brew a half gallon of tea in the fridge overnight, then put it in the thermos and take it with me. No coffee, 'cause while I'll probably want the caffeine I cannot stand black coffee, especially the crap available here at work. So lots of tea and pee for me tomorrow, yay.

At least the out of nowhere headache (sinuses, I suppose) a bit ago that had the right half of my head sharply hurting in random areas all the way down to my neck didn't last long. I hate those, and would've said the hell with it and gone home if I couldn't get it gone.

feeling: sleepy

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

News Links08:30 AM - Yoinked from f'opolis thread

This has got to be the oddest animal friendship I've ever heard of. A rat snake and a dwarf hamster share a cage and seem to be best buddies, with no indication the snake will ever eat the hamster.

Obviously, had this snake been out in the wild he probably wouldn't have lived long, if his tendency to befriend his food is any indication. That's just not a good survival-of-the-species trait to have, heh.

feeling: amused
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Life08:25 AM - So yesterday was productive

I'm very tired today 'cause I stayed up longer than I should've, but that's OK. I did lots yesterday, so it's a good tired I guess. Notably, I...
  • got the car gassed up.
  • got 2¢ stamps 'cause of postage going up.
  • washed the sink in the main bathroom, including cleaning the toothbrush holder (freestanding, not wall attached), the clock, the Q-tip holder, my hand mirror, and the over-sink mirror.
  • walked a half hour on the treadmill, getting up to 3.3mph and maintaining that for at least 8 of those minutes (I've a 27" inseam and healing heal spurs, didn't wanna fuck myself over).
May not seem like much, I suppose, but that's with an 8 hour day at work, other stuff I did that's not really worth mentioning, plus some free time and dinner with J.

It's amazing; when I was having my walk, I could totally tell when the endorphins had kicked in. I mean, it was a rather noticable, somewhat quick change between "man, this sucks, this is work but it must be done" to "OMG this is so awesome I am so pumped and I can do this and I could walk for hours!!" Really quite nifty. Of course, my target was a half hour, and just about the time I really started stepping down the speed my right heel was just starting to twinge ever so slightly, which was a pretty good indicator I should not try to extend beyond that. But still, I was all jazzed and being goofy in my head. I hope I can get that feeling going every time; that'd make it so much more enjoyable.

I think my making lists most days of things I need to do is starting to pay off. I even sometimes put in things like, "Get on WoW at least long enough to do daily alchemy transmute" or something, so I can make sure things I "need" to do within my fun time get done, which keeps my fun time more in perspective and less likely to utterly take over my evening. Also, having a separate work list that breaks down a detailed list of things to do within that day for work (specific pieces of a program, scheduling a meeting with my boss, whatever) is helping me focus there. It helps that I know what direction I'm going in, of course, but making a list for it keeps me more focused.

Granted, it's 8:15, I've been at work an hour now, and I've only done my morning internet routine and am now taking the time to write all this, but well... I've never been much of a morning person, and when I'm not fully rested that's even more true. My brain just rarely gets fully kickstarted within the first couple hours of being awake (been up since 6). If it didn't make scheduling life outside of work more difficult, and if it wouldn't irk my boss too much (right now it would, given it would have my work hours coincide far less with my other coworkers' hours than they do now) I'd work more of a second shift style schedule. Or maybe first-and-a-half shift. Work from, say, noon to 8:30pm. I'd probably only stay up a couple hours more than I end up doing most nights, but then have more time to sleep in the morning if I need it.

At the same time though, that'd mean doctor's appointments would have to be done in the morning, and I'd have to drop a workout class I really like because it's from 6:30 to 7:30 and doesn't have a morning session. Among other things, like dinner either being pretty damn late or really short if I take my half hour "lunch break" at 6 or 6:30 and meet J at home or out then go back to work. Since the logistics just don't work out, I drag myself in at 7am and leave at 3:30, give or take on both ends a little. And yeah, I'm not super productive for the first 90 minutes or so, but I do get shit done the rest of the time and haven't shoved us off schedule from it.

*yawn* I think it's time for me to go in search of coffee. Much as I find the stuff provided in the galley for 15¢ a cup (or $1.50 a week, and lordy I don't drink 10+ cups a week!) to be rather horrible coffee, it does provide caffeine, which seems to give me the ever so slight kick I need to not fall asleep on my keyboard.

feeling: productive but tired

Monday, January 16, 2006

Games & Gaming Life10:06 AM - I hate when my whole week is thrown off

Was sick two full days last week, which of course wore me out the whole rest of the week. Didn't exercise at all.

I went to Kansas City to go to J's sister's baby shower. She's due about a week into Feb but the doctor's pretty sure she won't go that long, and he'd be a-OK if she didn't. So she's probably pretty close now. Anyway, got up at like 6:30 (OMG before dawn on a Saturday!) so I could get to J's grandma's, then we headed to Kingdom City to meet up with J's mom. Then she drove us all the way to KC. I'm so glad she knew exactly where she was going. :) Anyway, we got there right at 1, and it was fun. There were a couple games, but pretty light in that respect which was a good thing. She got so many nifty helpful things I didn't know existed, that I'm trying to keep mental notes on things to look for and register for when we get around to having one. Like, they make special dishwasher containers that will hold all the little baby sized spoons so they won't fall out and thus they don't have to be hand washed. And there are these suction cup bowl sets, where you get 3 different bowls, and they all fit into this suction cup base you can stick to the table so the baby being fed can't knock it crashing to the floor. Stuff like that. Then some of us went to a place called Sweet Tomatoes which is awesome and I wish they had one in St. Louis. Build your own salads, plus yummy soups and pastas and breads and stuff, most of it really healthy and very tasty. Then we headed back home, parting with J's mom in Kingdom City and parting with his grandma at her house. Spent about 15 minutes giving her cat Fritter some lovin' that she demanded. Got home about 11:15 and went almost straight to bed.

After Saturday's full day and not having caught up on missing sleep from the week, I slept until after 2, though I woke up a few times once the sun was up. I had lotsa semi-memorable (i.e. at least for a little while I could vaguely remember them) dreams Saturday. The only one left in my mind is one that kinda flipped me out. I dreamed that I woke up one morning for work and the medicine I use on my head daily "quit working" in dramatic fashion. I'd gone to bed normal, and woken up with large amounts of scalp completely bald, with some of it normal skin color and some of it an unhappy red, but none of it flaky in the least. (Besides the fact that it couldn't happen that suddenly anyway, for me to have eczema bad enough to lose that much hair would probably make me look like I had mange.) I freaked out and started using a Q-tip to put the cream I normally use on my face, all over the bald patches, which were all on the left side of my head on the "diagonal" (neither the top of my head or all the way to the side), and saying there's no way I could go to work like that and I'd have to work from home and such. Just... very very O.o .

So anyway, I finally got on WoW yesterday after we got a late late lunch. I'd grabbed the 1.9. and 1.9.2 patches but not played. I decided to get into the PvP lines for WSG and Arathi, even though I'd waited in those 2+ hours before with no bites, and then farm the shit out of linen Westfall to get the war effort turn-ins. In total I turned in 540 linen bandages, 27 stacks of the stuff. Plus I sold lots and lots and lots of lowbie green items, both the random shit that dropped off the gnolls and Defias, and the stuff that came out of the supply chests from turning in the bandages. In the middle of that, I actually go to go to both PvP battlegrounds a few times each. :) The first time in WSG we totally owned; I didn't click "enter" immediately, and by then it'd already started and we already had their first flag in transit. We beat them 3/0. But the other times I went we got owned as badly; we apparently kept getting put in with a horde WSG group that was supposed to be the best on the server. So all those times after they had our 2nd flag in transit and we couldn't keep hold of theirs, we'd end up just warring it out in the middle to get what honor we could. Arathi was a ton of fun; I was on the winning side twice and the losing side once, and either way it was a good time. Guarding gets a little boring, but only until the other side decides they want that particular resource. The last group I was in was super organized. There were 5 groups of 2-3 people each (we didn't start with a full 15) and the guy running it assigned locations to each group.

For WSG there's this one 'lock that just kept owning me hard. Evidently high enough rank you can get a trinket that will dispel the charm effect from a 'lock succubus, but I don't have it yet, and boy did he know it. Every time he saw me I was his A#1 target, and I just couldn't do a thing. So I tried to avoid him since I couldn't do a damn thing in the fights if I went near him. The funniest, though, was when I got ganked by a rogue and two bear-form tauren druids. Hah, man that was so fast. Though I don't know why the druids bothered, I guess just in hopes of getting the killing blow, 'cause I'm not so good against rogues yet either. Of course, that rogue didn't have me down in 4-5 hits the way one other guy could, so maybe the druids figured he'd like some help. :p Anyway, I have to say battlegrounds is a ton of fun. I'm not super duper competitive (only some, and in some ways) so it's just as much fun dying as it is killing someone else, so I have fun whether we win or lose. (Not that I purposely try to die, I'm just not really worried about it, since you don't even take damage to your stuff.) I'm definitely gonna go back tonight after my workout class so I can see if I can make it beyond the rank of private after they've done the weekly maintenance.

I also replaced my front blinker on my car, and now all is normal again. Really, J did all the work, I just told the guy at the auto parts store what make, model, and year my car is. Given how simple the required steps are (unscrew one screw, pull light out, unplug from wires, pull out bulb, replace, then put it all back together) it sure wasn't easy. J even had trouble unscrewing it, then of course they left very little play in the wires so it wouldn't pull out far enough to be easy (the dummies have this cable clip inside there that doesn't look easily unclippable/reclippable so we couldn't get the extra play let loose).

So this week should be interesting. If things go as planned (hah, like they ever do! ;) ) I'll go to my toning class both days, get in some cardio in between at least two days. Tonight I'll be linen farming and going to battlegrounds again in WoW. The rest of the week I may do that more evenings, depending on how encouraging or discouraging my rank outcome is and just how much fun I have tonight. I should start back up putting away more clothes again. I really should hit the Gap for another pair of the jeans I bought, since they're wearing at the thighs. :\ I still need to go through those Tae Bo VHS tapes and write down start and end times and such for conversion to DVDs (which includes removing the junk advertising at the beginning and end).

Friday, January 13, 2006

Life11:26 AM - Got the blinker problem figured out

I called my dad after dinner and asked him about it, and it turned out rather simple. Basically, blinkers work because of an element that heats up when current is applied. When it heats up the connection to the blinker light is made, then it cools down and the light turns off, over and over again. At least, I think I have that straight. Anyway, that means that a side effect is when the current draw is different, it will change the speed at which the blinker blinks. Some blinkers will slow down, others will speed up, presumably based on the implementation details.

The probable causes of a different current are a burned out, dim, or otherwise messed up bulb (a loose filament in the bulb that would cause it to light up inconsistently counts); corrosion of the light socket; or corrosion where the wire from the socket is screwed down to its connection.

So J and I went to check it out. I had J stand at the back of the car, and turned on the left blinker whcih is normal. Then I did the right one. Then we repeated this in front. The conclusion? My right front blinker is burned out, and J thought the right back blinker was rather dim. So, those bulbs will be getting replaced, and that should fix the problem. We'll probably go ahead and check the sockets at the same time, since any corrosion should be easy to clean up. My dad explained that a little LimeAway or diluted CLR appleid with pipe cleaners or not-too-fuzzy Qtips should do the trick quite easily since it's just rust, and that's what those are great at. I'm glad it's not likely to be the wires, 'cause while that's easy to clean some cars make it hard to get to 'em.

whining no longer being accepted

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Life10:13 PM - How's that for a coincidence

It turns out that the Helix Nebula can rather similar to the movie rendition of the eye of Sauron when viewed in false-color infrared. I found that so nifty that I just had to make a background picture:

Not linked, so I don't get bandwidth slammed on the rare chance it's too well liked. However, feel free to email me or contact me in other ways if you have such, if you'd like a copy. I have it available in five sizes: 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x960, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200. The 5:4 ratio one has a lesser amount of black in between the image and the text than the others and was made separately.

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Life01:51 PM - Potential car electrical problem

My right blinker has become spastic, with a slight arrhythmia noticable if left on long enough for a turn as opposed to a lane change. It started this morning. Left blinker is fine. This definitely has me concerned, given it's rather odd and I don't know what could cause it (a fuse going related to blinkers would, in theory, make neither work at all). Grr.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Life09:27 AM - Oh, and a question

I'm in the market for earbuds, but it would appear my actually knowing exactly what I want is biting me in the ass finding it. My requirements: reasonably comfortable, retractable or easily stashable cord, and a volume knob on the cord itself somewhere. Preferably not noise cancelling since I'd be using them at work sometimes and I'd like for people not to have to tap me on the shoulder or shout at me when I have my volume nice and low where it should be anyway. Decent sound quality is good, but I don't require these puppies to outperform the average home theatre system, y'know?

The kicker? Not spending $100+ on the darn things. I want the retractable cord so it doesn't get tangled up in my purse, though a really easy to repack carrying case would suffice. I want the volume knob to save battery on my iRiver. To adjust the volume on it, I have to wake up the screen. Since a lot of the songs are all recorded with different volume levels, I'd like to be able to just reach for a knob on my earbuds and adjust it that way. I'd go with headphones instead of earbuds, but earbuds are more comfortable for me for longer periods of time (they only bug my ear canal after a few hours, rather than the earphones bugging my whole ear after a few hours), and they're much less obtrusive and take up much less space so are 100% more portable.

listening to: Billy Joel - Matter of Trust
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Life09:17 AM - On a happier note

  • J and I are finally watching Firefly (could've sooner but for my not having/making time). It really is as awesome as everyone says. With dialog and action like that, someone tell me... why did it get cancelled again? I can't think of a good justification for it unless the Nielsen Viewing Masses really are such braindead sheep that they watched even the dregs of reality TV over Firefly.
  • I made cookies Sunday. They were white chocolate chip, and even better is that the recipe on the bag called for cocoa in the batter. Mmmm, good stuff.
  • I'm feeling very, very tired all of a sudden so I'm thinking I might just go lie back down after all and see if I can sleep. On clean sheets, washed Sunday. They may not be 500 thread count Egyptian cotton, jersey cotton, flannel, or satin, but I lubs them anyway. Good clean comfy sheets, yay.

Heh. That's awesome. J left his Winamp playing for me in case I wanted it, and guess what it's playing? "Who Needs Sleep" by Barenaked Ladies. Eee.

listening to: Barenaked Ladies - Who Needs Sleep

Life08:44 AM - Grah, feeling cranky

So I haven't said a peep lately because I felt like I ought to do the whole holiday update thing before I wrote anything else. But, it's now Jan 10 and I haven't gotten around to it. Fuck it. I feel like bitching, so the hell with that.

I'm sick again, yesterday (starting Sunday evening) and today. This annoys me to no end because I was just sick: I finally came down with J's nasty cold at like 9pm Christmas. I spent the following day on the couch or in bed, feverish almost all day and not wanting to move, then two days after that feeling like ass but mostly functional. I still hadn't quite had the "leftovers" (dredging of sinuses in the morning, empty occasional cough with nothing to cough up, etc.) when this one hit. WTF? What else bugs the crap outta me is that this one isn't that bad. No massive fever, no aches, no horrific headaches. But I can't shut the goddamn faucet off that has become my nose. Anyone want a bucket o' snot, real cheap? 'Cause I got plenty.

To follow: bitchy rant about the lack of good decongestants, cut to save sanity, then a brief work rant of sorts:

In other words, if the pharm companies could make a decongestant that fucking worked, I would've been able to sleep Sunday night and last night, and I would've gone to work both days rather than staying home sick. But oh no pseudoephedrine is the bomb diggity, why should we make anything else? Oh, what's that? Every pharmacy across the country now has to sell behind the counter even though it's still OTC, and take down names and addresses? Oh, well then here, have this phenylephrine instead, it can't be used to make meth so it's easier to get hold of. Nevermind that it's older than shit because no one's bothered to research any new meds since the Holy Grail of Pseudoephedrine. Nevermind that the most effective drug, phenylpropanolamene, can't even be gotten because OMG heart attacks!!!111one Now, because that's a chance (and let's face it folks, all decongestants are stimulants to one degree or another, so all of 'em have at least a minute chance) of causing heart problems they won't even let docs prescribe it for those who need it and are at low risk for heart problems. Perhaps enough people will be dissatisfied with the seriously limited choices of decongestants that once again the pharm companies will find enough of a potential market to do some fucking research to come out with something more effective one of these decades.

And now I'm even more cranky because this damn shitty laptop keyboard is pissing me the fuck off. I swear I never have half these fucking typos to go back and delete on a full size, full depth regular keyboard. Of course hitting the backspace is much harder causing more frustration. Weh.

And I securely remoted in to work to send an email to my boss saying I could take a sick day OR work from home (she's not a huge work from home fan yet, but I think she's trying somewhat) and I've been on forever and not heard which she'd prefer even though I thought it was obvious I wanted some direction on the matter. So I dunno if I should even be trying to focus on getting some coding done or if she'd rather I charge it as sick time and come in tomorrow or what. I like working and all, and it's awesome and nifty that I have a laptop now and a secure remote access (with my own DSL connection, how neat is that?) but I don't want to mess with my manager's comfort level on that, y'know? I don't mind deferring to her at all about it, but I just wanna know what she wants and she hasn't said and augh! Angst! Frustration! Confusion! Maybe I should say fuggit and go back to bed and try to sleep. I dunno. Maybe I'll IM her (company IM FTW?).

Edit: Well, I IM'd my 3 coworkers now they're all on company IM and they said my boss sent out a note that I was out again today. One said I could always IM her to find out if I should do anything after all (got specific stuff I could do) but immediately after that she went "away" and I think she's in a phone meeting, so... yeah. I can either wait around 10-15 minutes and see if she comes back or just shut it all off and forget about it. I hate doing that, 'cause while I'm not up to leaving the house my brain seems to be working OK and just a little more than average sleep debt clunky, so... I feel like I should be working, now that I can. Pre-laptop I would've stayed home, but now that I can do that and work it bugs me that I'm not. Thing is, if I'm "supposed" to take a sick day, then I also am not keen on coding for a chunk of the day and still having that come out of my sick time instead of getting regular work credit for it. Not really down with "free" work, if you know what I mean.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Life01:32 PM - So I didn't die or anything...

... rather, I mostly fell off the internet, for lack of a better phrase. I spent some of my holidays off from work busy visiting family, some of it sick and not doing a whole lot of anything, and the rest gaming. I spent almost no time at Forumopolis, so of course I missed some fun drama yet again as usual, until after the fact. I read my LJ friend's list, though I had 2 pages to go through last Tuesday because I hadn't read them since Christmas Eve, so it took me a couple hours to catch up. Don't get me wrong, I didn't stop using the internet, I just stopped being sociable through my usual channels for a while. No reason, just didn't feel like it. My internet time was mainly spent keeping up with webcomics and my friends page and playing WoW. Not much of me typing things up.

So I guess I have a lot I could talk about, but if I did it all in one post that'd be a Very Bad Thing, so I'll try to break it up. Brief (I hope) summary here:

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day were spent with family, first J's and then mine. Day after was spent feverish all day 'cause J's cold finally caught up with me after all. Next day or two was spent with a little family & friend socialization but not much, mostly with me taking drugs and being spacy from the tiredness and blowing my nose constantly. Friday I actually felt mostly normal, and finally got to get into WoW after visiting a bit with a good friend and his parents from Rolla at the airport where he had a flight back home to MN. New Year's Eve, I gamed while J's friends watched Ghostbusters, then around 8:30ish we found somewhere open to eat, then we rang in the new year watching Ghostbusters 2, then chased that with Serenity. What geeks we all are. :p The 1st was spent sleeping in a bunch, playing WoW, and visiting with my cousin who's in town from Honduras, which was cool 'cause obviously he's not in town all the time. Monday was more sleeping in, playing WoW, plus the first toning exercise class of the year. And more WoW after that, till way too late. Last night was me getting in maybe 2 hours of sleep and being a half hour late for work.

Good break, but I want my 3 days back where I was sick. Makes me want to take the rest of this week off in vacation days. :p

feeling: sleepy, 'cause a nap != a night's sleep
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