Jun 232008

Visited Mom on Saturday. She's getting around great now, and has all but stopped using the cane. She still has to take stairs slowly, but otherwise the surgery pain is all gone but for her kneecap (which was split open to do the knee replacement). The original pain from the bad knee is completely gone and she can walk without limping. I helped her haul many bags of trash to the dumpster; the aftereffects of major redecorating, painting, and reorganization. Now that she's fully mobile again, she's been using the time off work to catch up on all her projects, and the house is looking great. She starts back to work tomorrow, however.

I also got to spend more time working on her iMac. Mom needed a refresher course and some fixes to things that had seemingly changed on their own (translation: user error), and I wanted playtime on it. That thing is such a joy to use that it keeps me motivated to keep saving for my own. I ran some updates that hadn't been caught by the automatic updater yet, installed the trial of Comic Life, showed her the cool screensavers (including the mindblowing RSS feed display), and, in a "Duh!" moment, found that iPhoto does indeed have basic editing functions. What it doesn't have, at least that I could find, was a way to add keywords to multiple photos at once. Very annoying.

After I left, I decided to finally stop at the Sonic in Southgate to see what all the fuss was about. Aaron was put out that I was going without him, but said that I may as well, since he has no idea when he'll be able to get down there.
I pulled into the Meijer parking lot to access the Sonic and encountered a sign in the road saying "Sonic traffic right turn only". The Sonic was to my left, and I didn't see anything to my right except the vast expanse of Meijer's parking lot, so I turned left anyway. The first of the two entrances/exits was blocked off with sawhorses, so I had to go in the further entrance and make a complete orbit of the parking lot to get in the drive-thru lane. There were two high school/college kids hanging around the entrance, getting in the way, and twice tried to tell me something but I ignored them, figuring they were gonna ask for money, or to buy them something so they could skip the line.

I got my food (double cheeseburger, jalapeno poppers, cheesecake bites with cinnamon caramel sauce, and cranberry slushie), pulled out of the lot, and discovered what it was the kids were trying to tell me: the line to get in was actually in the Meijer parking lot, where there were two columns of cars waiting their turn to be allowed into the Sonic lot. I had accidentally jumped ahead of about a dozen cars. I felt like a bastard, but if Sonic has people managing the parking, they should have them dressed in something other than scrubby shorts and tank tops so people KNOW they're actually working. Another sign of the place's popularity is that they had an entire refrigerated semi trailer on the lot to restock the store from, and I saw a couple employees coming out of it loaded with boxes of food. The place is a zoo, but the food is very tasty.

Most of yesterday was spent (after our usual Dim Sum Sunday) clearing out junk from the basement. The broken refrigerator which had sat there for about three years was emptied out, the Lovecraftian horror in the produce drawer banished through the use of an Elder Sign, the doors removed, and the whole thing hauled up the small square staircase accompanied by much swearing, sweating, gouging of walls, and cursing of the laws of geometry.

Also disposed of were the old wrought iron patio chairs, the chimenea (used once, followed by a cease & desist letter from the condo association), and boxing bag and stand, which was claimed by our cute neighbor two doors down. The Jawas* had claimed the chairs, the chimenea, the fridge doors(?!), and its copper tubing and coils, by the end of the evening. Wish they would have taken the whole fridge, and spared the garbage men the effort.

After buying some cheap metal shelving from Home Depot and organizing the camping and homebrew equipment, the laundry room is now a thing of wonder. I discovered that it does indeed have a floor that reaches all four walls, despite years of evidence to the contrary. Clouds of dust and lint no longer swirl at our feet like a Depression-era dustbowl. I finally found that damn sock. Next on the list is the basement's main room, which should go much more smoothly now that there's room to actually store things.

In order to actually start lifting weights again, I decided to give the Body for Life program another shot (but not the actual contest). The first attempt, years ago, was a failure because I didn't plan well, didn't buy enough food, didn't have good equipment, and wasn't used to the method. Now that I've spent a couple years doing something similar with the trainer, I've got a feel for how it's done, which should help my progress.

I prepped all my food and clothes last night, turned out the light at 10:15, and was actually out of bed and headed for the gym by 5 a.m. I miscalculated how long exercises would take me, and ended up cutting the last one short (bicep curls) so I could shower and change, and that took less time than expected, so I was in the office 10 minutes early.

We'll see if I can keep this up, but if I can get through the first two weeks, it should be ingrained enough to have become a habit. The change in sleeping times will be a killer, but I've found that working out first thing in the morning makes me feel good for the rest of the day, instead of sitting in the cube for 8-10 hours, then facing the prospect of the gym afterward, when my energy is low.

* Jawas are my term for the neighborhood scavengers who cruise the streets the night before trash pickup day, hauling away any "treasures" they find. I'm all for it, as I'd rather see someone else get use from my old stuff instead of it ending up in a trash dump.

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