Archive for the ‘Fitness & Health’ Category

Serendipity, or, The Troubles That Come With Age

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Marion and I went cross-country skiing in Frisco last Sunday. It was a beautiful day, but the skiing was a hell of a workout. The temperature was in the upper 30s, and it had been snowing all day. Because of the snow and overcast, it was hard to see the tracks in the groomed trails. I had trouble seeing them at times, depending on the light, and Marion found them by following behind me. Because of the snowing and the relatively warm temperature, the snow was “slow.”

Even going down the steepest parts of the Frisco Bay loop, I had very little glide and no carry. On the steepest downslope near the end of the trail, I couldn’t even coast to the bottom, and Marion was able to shuffle down slowly with her skis pointing straight downhill.

It took us roughly two hours to go around the trail once, which is about twice what it normally takes. As I said, a hell of a workout.

The serendipity comes in because I decided Sunday morning that I was going to need a backpack, so that I would have somewhere to put any layers I removed while skiing. It wasn’t a problem Sunday, but I’ve ended up wearing just a t-shirt above the waist more than once while skiing. The backpack I grabbed is one I’ve used for exercising while walking, and had 20 pounds of weights in it. When I removed the weights, I noticed something else in it as well. It was the 18-55mm lens for my Canon camera, which I’ve been looking for for almost a year. That just goes to show how diligent I am about getting my exercise, I suppose.

In any case, I’ve been looking for it for a long time, because I backed a Kickstarter project over a year ago for the Pulse camera controller from Alpine Labs, and I received it last May or so. Since the only lens I could find was the 70-200mm zoom lens that was on the camera, I really didn’t do anything much with the Pulse until this week.

Today, I tried taking a time-lapse sequence of photos. It worked, but stopped early, and I need to determine why (I have a few ideas). However, I did get over 150 RAW photos of the foothills in Golden that I need to figure out how to stitch into a movie. It wasn’t the best weather for anything that looked impressive, but it was good enough for a first try. I’ll be trying more soon.

Ouch. And almost very ouch.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The HOA is doing some upgrades in my development. Siding is being replaced where necessary, and everything is going to be repainted. One of the things they’re doing is re-roofing.

This morning, as I was crossing the parking lot to my car, I stepped on a nail. It was an inch or so long, with a large enough head to let it point straight up like a caltrop. Luckily for me, I felt it and was able to unweight my foot quickly enough to prevent it penetrating the bottom of my foot. If I hadn’t been so quick, I’d probably have had to remove the nail before I could get my shoe off, and that would have been a problem.

I was wearing shoes with thick rubber soles today, and I had to use a pair of pliers to remove the nail. It would not have been fun to try to get the nail out if it had been embedded half an inch or so into the bottom of my foot.

I’m a little more cautious (paranoid?) crossing the parking lot now – the workmen are likely to be here for another couple of weeks.

Yes, there is a reason I’m linking this Dave Barry column

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

I just went through my second one yesterday. No problems, thank goodness.

In other health news, I’ve received a new CPAP that I’m calling “ET” because it phones home. I used it the night I got it, but the next night was the colonoscopy prep, and I didn’t really get any sleep then, so I had it unplugged. The next day, I received a phone call, a text, and an email saying that I needed to make sure it was turned on so it could upload my usage information.

Next week I’m getting a three-month updated set of blood tests done and scheduling a new sleep study. All of my medical procedures seem to be coming due at once.

It seemed absolutely crazy

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

I found this to be an absolutely fascinating article. I am tremendously impressed with Jill Viles. She is a poster child for taking control of your medical care, which is something I should do more of.

It seemed absolutely crazy. The idea that an Iowa housewife, equipped with the cutting-edge medical tool known as Google Images, would make a medical discovery about a pro athlete who sees doctors and athletic trainers as part of her job?

I believe that my sisters were once contacted about a medical study concerning a condition that may run in our family. Jill, in contrast, found an active study about her condition and got them to include her family. She got care for her father that likely extended his life by eighteen years, and did the same for an Olympic athlete. That’s impressive.

Definitely someone more people should know about.

Meh.

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

I set up a doctor’s appointment for today, because I’ve had some symptoms that match with deep-vein thrombosis. The doctor didn’t think so. She thought it was most likely to be sciatica, but set up an ultrasound exam for me just in case.

Apparently, it’s both. I go back later today to discuss treatment options.

Not an auspicious start to the day

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

I’ve been home sick for the last two days, and I’m still under the weather.

This morning, after sleeping in until about an hour ago, I got up to make breakfast. In the process of getting the ingredients together, I managed to knock over an open bag of chestnuts and drop an egg on the floor. In the process of cleaning up, I managed to knock over all of my brooms and mops.

The cats still haven’t come back into the kitchen. I think I’m going back to bed before I do something to accidentally start World War III.

Not Feeling Good

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

I normally have two hours of dance classes on Thursdays, but I came home after one hour tonight. I thought it was just my lunch not having settled well, but I had half a dozen people tell me about a “six hour stomach flu” that “is running around” or that they’ve had within the last week.

I figured, why push it? So, I skipped out on the second hour of classes, and it’s starting to look like that was a good decision.

My weekend could have been better

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Not that it was bad, but it could have been better. Yesterday, I made meatballs. Good meatballs. Made a spaghetti sauce and pasta to go with them. It was all good, then I decided to open a bottle of red wine to go with dinner. I pulled out a bottle that had belonged to my father, which didn’t have much of a label. I could read parts of a few words, and could tell that it was French wine, but that was it. Unfortunately, the wine was well past its prime – it was a weak, brownish red, and had a distinct vinegary flavor. So, I discarded it and opened a different bottle, which was still good.

Later, I did a search on the partial words I found on the label, and found that currently, recent vintages are going for $90/bottle. In 2003, the wine was $400/bottle. I’m not sure, but this may have been the bottle I bought for Dad’s 50th birthday. The wine was a couple years shy of 50 years old at the time, and I remember telling him, “Don’t wait for it to catch up.” If it is that bottle of wine, it was a vintage that was over 80 years old, and I’m not surprised that it had turned to vinegar.

Then today, Marion and I went to Barr Lake State Park and walked around the lake (a 9-mile walk). Barr Lake is a fairly reliable bald eagle nesting area, so we were hoping to see at least one. We saw a lot of seagulls, a lot of geese, a few hawks, a kestrel, at least one eagle which was either a golden eagle or a juvenile bald eagle, and I took a lot of pictures. Unfortunately, when I got home, it was brought to my attention that I had neglected to reset the resolution at which my camera took pictures.

Earlier this week, I’d been taking some product photos for work, to be uploaded to the web. However, resizing 18MB photos down to 130×150 pixels for thumbnails caused problems. Selecting 720×480 for photos in the camera solved the problem. However, I hadn’t realized that I was still taking photos at that resolution today.

I have several photos of an eagle’s nest that appear to show an eagle on the nest, but it’s not quite good enough to tell, and there’s no zoom available on the photos.

In other words, a good weekend with a good meal and good photos, but it could have been better.

UPDATE: I wrote and posted this late Sunday night, but it got noted as published just past midnight. Apparently, my ISP is on MST already, or is located in the Central Time Zone.

Travel photos to follow

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Well, I’m back. Been on a trip through eastern Europe for the last two weeks – started in Budpest, then through Romania and Bulgaria, finishing in Istanbul (not Constantinople).

It wasn’t the best trip I’ve been on, because I was ill for most of it. We’re blaming the Australians (two of the Australians in the tour group were ill at the start), but I don’t know for certain how I caught it. I just know that I got a nasty cough and congestion somewhere in Romania. I was satisfied to treat it with cough drops and skip some of the harder activities, but I woke up with my right eye bloodshot and gummed shut the first morning in Belogradchik, Bulgaria, and knew that I couldn’t get away without seeing a doctor at that point.

The group was scheduled to visit a cave and a hilltop fortress that day, so we had a local guide. The trip to the cave was delayed while the local guide took me to the hospital. Unfortunately, the doctor spoke no English, and the guide’s command of the language didn’t include medical topics. I did find out that I had elevated temperature, significantly elevated pulse and blood pressure, and was given prescriptions for the main infection and for my eye. We then went and found a pharmacist who filled the prescriptions, but she didn’t speak English, either.

I had to skip the trip to see the cave (and its paleolithic paintings) and the fortress, but I wasn’t feeling up to the effort, anyway. After a day or so, I could tell that the medicine was helping. Unfortunately, it wasn’t sufficient. I was only given a 3-day course of antibiotics, and when they’d run out, I relapsed. Sunday, our last day in Istanbul, I stopped eating, because I couldn’t handle it. Since then, I’ve had a small dish of vanilla ice cream on one of the flights, and some pancakes this morning.

I had other symptoms kick in on the trip back. I’m sure you don’t need details. In any event, the associated gas and cramping have made me unwilling to eat much, if anything. I bought some juice this evening, but it didn’t really taste as good as it usually does. At least I got new medicine to take with it – I managed to get an appointment at my doctor’s office on short notice today. With luck, I’ll be getting healthy again soon.

One thing – I lost about 10 pounds on the trip. I could certainly afford to lose that much (and more), but it’s not the best way of losing weight.

Miscellany 24

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Big roundup here of things that have been hanging around (non-political version).

It’s war! The ants are coming for our chocolate. The article is actually much wider-ranging, and quite interesting.

A Faberge egg not seen (and known for what it is) since 1902 was purchased a decade ago at a Midwestern antique fair.

Need a handy reference for musical intervals? This may help.

Planning to record some audio at home? This may help.

How to take excellent notes and be productive with paper. I can always use the help.

This looks like an interesting resource for computer science.

I’ll want to spend some time reminiscing at this site.

Two scary economic charts, billed as documenting the demise of the American Dream.

An interesting list of Google Easter eggs.

I like these thoughts on the Starship Troopers movie. I didn’t much care for it myself; I’ve usually referred to it as “Paul Verhoeven’s rebuttal to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.”

Google makes an emulator in Chrome for the Amiga 500. I still have two Amiga 2000s in my basement, although I’ve only got one monitor for them, and the hard drive on one needs to be reformatted. It’s too bad there was never a widely-available Ethernet board for them.

Men’s Health says these are the best over-the-counter medications.

The Smithsonian says these vitamins and supplements are worth taking.

Continuing on the subject of health, how old is your heart?

Here are photos of various famous locations. There are two photos of each location: one showing the normally-presented view, and one showing surroundings that aren’t normally seen unless you’re there. I’ve been to the pyramids of Giza, and it’s startling how close development has come to them.

Wanna learn something? Try here.

You can find over 22,000 comics that are out of copyright here. Via.

Man sublets his apartment, comes home to find a plus-sized orgy going on. Then he loses his apartment, because his lease doesn’t allow him to sublet.

Do incorrect and inappropriate use’s of quotes (like that one) bother you? Best stay away from this site, then.

I’ve seen the movie Head, but it was many years ago. There’s a link to the movie in this article.

It looks like there’s some good information in this gardening thread at Ace of Spades HQ.

They’ve found more Dead Sea scrolls.

Interesting art. I’ve seen similar things, but it’s still cool. Now, imagine the following in a Cockney accent: “That’s not a bird, that’s a bird! Via.

Speaking of birds, but not really

And not speaking of birds, but really! Rogue Chihuahuas overrunning a town?

I like this guy’s obituary. He’d have been fun to know.

What if the Winter Olympics had been held on Hoth?

I’m not surprised that this happened in Japan.

In 1731, King Frederick I of Sweden gave a lion to a taxidermist who had never seen one. Some of the comments are hilarious, also. I particularly like the first reply to this one.

Information you can use: 7 Myths About Storing Beer.

More Information you can use: Picking a lock with a hairpin.

Some people believe that this is the best newspaper correction ever. I’m not so certain of that, but I don’t have any other suggestions handy.

As a European, this is how I imagine Americans have breakfast. Via Protein Wisdom. The comments at both locations are good, too.

Looking for back issues of Starlog magazine?

Why do we do some of the things we do at weddings?

An interesting clock presentation.

These are impressive tattoos. Not that I’d ever get one, but …

Some carbon fiber musical instruments. I’ve played a Blackbird tenor ukulele and liked it, and I have a friend who is trying to set himself up producing carbon fiber soprano ukes.

I knew people drank more in the past, but damn! That’s a lot of booze!

How to make a sling from woven paracord. The site is often NSFW, but this post isn’t (unless your company employs extreme hoplophobes).

On the same website: If you ever feel stupid

Remember the warehouse scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? It might not have been too unbelievable.

Figure skaters caught in mid-spin. They look much more graceful and elegant when you don’t catch all the details.

When it goes, it all goes at once.

Giant desert art project in Egypt.

Sarah Hoyt is a local science fiction author. I met her at a party at a mutual friend’s place a couple years ago. This post on her history with SFWA is absolutely hilarious.

There may still be time to apply for this job – it’s got to be hard work. Then again, a lot of people like swords.

Ever seen a ship break apart?

Were you aware that France was still conduction executions by guillotine as recently as 1977? Were you aware that the actor Christopher Lee attended the last one?

I wasn’t able to find an update on his recovery, but the fact that he survived going through a wood chipper is amazing. When I was in the Navy, if you were going to work on anything that could be dangerous if it were turned on during the process, you’d attach a red tag to the power switch. I wonder if they’ll implement a system like that for the wood chipper?

Boy, the Aussies don’t hold back with their PSAs, do they?

I have a friend who photographs most of his restaurant meals. I should send him to this site.

I think that’s about enough for now. I may do another one (with older accumulated links) later.