jamesq: (Default)
I'm actually feeling pretty good overall.  I've started running again, and the short runs I've had have not taxed me in any way.  I'm not short of breath running, I'm not particularly sore in the minutes/hours/days after.  I've been consistently riding my bike to work (we moved in at the beginning of May, and I've yet to drive to work except to pick my bike up when I accidentally ripped the stem out of the front tube).  In short, I'm getting plenty of exercise.

I've also be buckling down on Weight Watchers.  Still not tracking anywhere near 100% (or even 70%), but I have been eating better.  i've cut down on treats, but I still have them. My meals are healthy-ish since I'm eating my greens.  I've been back for about six months now and I'm down 23 pounds.  I'm officially no longer obese, according to the BMI - merely overweight now.

Short aside about WW.  I mentioned I was on it at [livejournal.com profile] wild_wanderer's birthday party and some dude and I had the following exchange:

"I don't believe in Weight Watchers."
"It exists, I assure you. I've been to the meetings."

Most of all, my physique has had a subtle change.  Where once my belly stood out and hanged down, now it merely stands out.  I haven't dropped a pants size or anything, but everything is fitting better.  This was remarked upon by [personal profile] yainga who noticed that my kilt was fitting much nicer. Thanks Inga, I noticed it too!

My Plantar Fasciitis seems to be all better now.  Six months of physiotherapy and not carrying around an extra frozen turkeys-worth of mass seems to have finally fixed that.  Also, my knees are noticeably less creaky.

Oh, and I just checked my blood pressure at one of those pharmacy kiosks.  It is normal.  Given it was sky-high a year ago, I'll take it.

Finally, I'll be interviewing with a doctor sometime this month about getting into their regular practice and starting regular checkups.  With luck I won't need the simvastatin I haven't been taking.

Physically, I'm doing pretty good for a guy who's pushing 50.  Woot.

My financial situation is excellent. House paid off; a nice little nest egg building up; and I just exercised a stock option that should give me a nice windfall soon.  Some SAIT students drew up some plans for a laneway house which I'm considering.  It's low odds now until I get some other feedback, but it was nice to see that it was possible.  If I don't go through with it, I might downsize to a townhouse, or keep my current place and do some renovations.  My neighbour just sold her place, so I have a pretty good idea what my place would sell for.  I'm not ready to retire, but it's starting to look like I could.  Being a Gen-Xer, I honestly thought that they'd cart me out of work in a pine box.

Mentally, I'm in a decent place.  Not ideal, but an ideal mental state requires things I don't have, so I'll take decent.  Work has been well paying and is somewhat rewarding.  I'm looking forward to my next big vacation next month (Vegas/Vancouver/Nelson). I mostly keep the existential angst and loneliness at bay with good cognitive-behavioral training.

So there you have it. Everything is looking up.  *knocks on wood*
jamesq: (An actual picture of me.)
My uncle Tim is a scrounger. One of those guys who can sniff out deals from here and there. The whole family got together a few weeks ago after my brother died, and we ended up chatting about that.

Tim told me the tale of Vince and Vince's stuff. Vince (I never learned his last name, despite an interesting hour reading obituaries) never had a social insurance number, but over his life went from basically poor, to being the salvage king of Calgary. When he died, he left his widow a bunch of property, several million dollars, and a warehouse full of personal crap. You see, in addition to being a self-trained salvage expert, Vince was also a hoarder. A very rich, very well-organised hoarder. Which is to say, there was a ton of random stuff, but it was fairly well-labeled and properly stored.

The widow, being set for life, not having any children to worry about, and not wanting to deal with a warehouse full of constant reminders, decided to simply get rid of it. So she contacted a bunch of people who had worked for her husband and told them to come help themselves. These guys were all contractors (like Tim), so they weren't afraid of hard work. They also were the people most likely to appreciate Vince's stuff, and most importantly, had big pickup trucks.

Tim came and got a bunch of stuff. Amongst his haul:
  • Over a thousand dollars worth of scrap copper. Tim, feeling a little guilty, offered to split the cash with her, but she wouldn't have any of it. She was already rich.
  • Tons of well-maintained vintage hand tools.
  • An electron microscope. He ended up selling it to a high-school science teacher, who spent several hours in Tim's garage confirming that it worked.
  • A barrel of liquor.
Which bring us to the crux of this story.

Tim and another fellow figured the barrels would be worth something, so they started to empty them into the toilet. Tim realized right away, from the colour and the smell, that this wasn't something that should be poured away, and they ended up scrounging every empty bottle they could find in the warehouse, to decant what turns out to be really good port. Well, technically fortified wine, since you can't call it port, unless it was made in Portugal. That said, I'm just going to call it port. Fuck the EU.

Subsequent investigations revealed that Vince had made the port himself, and it had been sitting in that barrel since somewhere between 1955 and 1960. Most likely 1959. Tim and the other contractor decanted it in 2011. At a minimum, it was in that barrel for at least 51 years, and possibly 56. Because I like round numbers, I'm going to call it 50-year old.

He also thinks it's somewhere in the vicinity of 30% alcohol. Tim has long since hit the age where drinking is often more trouble than it's worth, so has more than he can personally use.

Unrelated, I'm thinking about having a bathroom renovation done (depending on whether my laneway house project proceeds or not), so I invite Tim over later in the week to have a look.

"When you come over, I'll trade you some peanut butter squares for a bottle of that port."
"Deal."
Having divvied up the existing peanut butter squares, I figure, I'll make a fresh batch. I figured, if he gave me a wee bottle, he'd get a quarter or a half of the batch. He brought me a gallon; 160 fluid ounces; Over four litres! I just gave him the whole damn batch, and if he asks for more, it's his. I priced out 50-year old port that's available commercially. That stuff is dear.

Since I didn't want to keep all my port on one huge-ass bottle, I've split it up. All told, I filled 2x750ml, 1x650ml, 2x500ml, 2x375ml and (unshown) 1x200ml bottle. [livejournal.com profile] nosarious and I were getting high off the fumes.

Left: the big-ass jug. Right: seven bottles of awesomeness!

So how is it? It's easily the best port I've ever tasted. Hell, you can get drunk off the fumes, and it's smooth. As friends describe something this easy-drinking, "it tastes like waking up in a field." I think I'm going to be very popular when I bring some to a cocktail party.
jamesq: (Default)
It occurs to me that, as an 80% vanilla, straight white male professional who would like to be in a happy monogamous marriage, a lot of conservative policies wouldn't hurt me directly.

Nope, all of the hurt (and there would be plenty) would be indirect: by restricting the choices of the people I love; by reducing the pool of talented people society can benefit from; by removing the vast variety we've become used to; by simply making this a meaner world, were bullying and persecuting those who are different is acceptable.

But mostly, that grip would tighten more and more, until my own hurt would no longer be indirect, because the people who want to regress will never stop until we are all the same. I don't want to be the same as everyone else. I especially don't want to be the same as the likes of them.

In the end, I have to acknowledge that Martin Niemöller was right.
jamesq: (An actual picture of me.)
You can negotiate with terrorists.

That's more than a little unfair - I've had physiotherapists before, for assorted injuries. They've never asked for more than I could give - their rep comes from you not realizing that. Besides, I've felt more beaten up from psychotherapy sessions.

I've had a fairly minor running injury that's been plaguing me for a few weeks. I took a break from my training for a week due to a cold and on my first run afterward I managed to sprain my calf.

Swell. So I waited a week to let it heal and then went out for a nice easy run. And it sprained again in the exact same spot.

Wonderful. Again, I wait a week and go for a nice easy run. And it sprains again in the exact same spot.

I may be a slow learner.

That was Sunday and today I went to see a physiotherapist. The verdict? I've got a micro-tearing where the medial Gastrocnemius muscle joins the Plantaris tendon. The Soleus muscle is likely inflamed too. This isn't so severe that it's affecting my life poorly aside from not running. I can walk long distances and it only really bothers me when I climb a lot of stairs. Compared to my 2nd degree hamstring injury a few years ago.

My left leg is simply weaker than my right leg - possibly just because that's the way things are and possibly due to that earlier injury. By laying off the running for a week, I'd lost some tone, then re-injured it whenever I started again, putting myself into a vicious circle. In short, the injured portion takes a lot of the impact when my left food lands, and provides a lot of the force when I push forward. It's one if the most heavily strained portions of my body when I run.

Thankfully my physiotherapist gave me a nice road-map to recovery:
  1. Three weeks no running.
  2. I won't be sitting on my ass those three weeks - I have a stretching/strengthening regime that will be my new religion for the next few weeks, and possibly beyond.
  3. Start running again, but do so conservatively. This will probably be a walk/run program like I often do in the spring.
      Of course, she also offered me a treatment of "non-traditional acupuncture". I declined, citing "woo" as a reason to not engage in a treatment. She then spent a few minutes trying to convince me. No, I think allowing the healing to occur while strengthening and stretching the affected area is quite sufficient.

      Now to actually, you know, do it. Always the biggest roadblock for me. Still, I'm still about .500 for doing my back stretches and I can simply treat these as an extension of the same thing.

      This is as good a place as any to mention it: I won't be doing the Victoria Half-Marathon this Sunday. Instead I've re-booked my Saturday flight to Victoria, and now I'll be spending all of my time in Vancouver.
jamesq: (Default)
For dealing with depression:
* find one beautiful thing, however small, and pay close attention to it
* promise yourself that everything will be easier to face in the morning, and clear the way to going to bed as soon as possible
* remind yourself of a past success, and tell yourself if you did that you can do the next thing on your agenda
* break big challenges into small steps, do one or two of the small steps, then give yourself credit for "starting on the big thing"
* stagger your big-thing struggles so that you've got different ones finishing at different times; success at one will give you momentum for one you're partway through
* try to eat right, sleep enough, get exercise, get daylight
Source.

Thankfully not depressed right now, but it's been skulking around the corners of my mind of late. I blame lack of exercise. Normal coping strategies have been effective thus far. Still, I read the above and thought "Good advice".
jamesq: (Zoidberg)
I was tackled and had a bucket dropped on my head... )
jamesq: (Drunk)
The polling was a sucess despite my inhernent ability toscre w thing s up. Eveytehyr ht wen dt good and the bake sale that wen ta llong with it raises enoguht money to offset the costs of part of it. Also I got to hang out with lots of cool folks so that was OK.

As you might gather from my ideisyncracti spelling that I'm drunk. fsI figure I dserve to have few dringk s on account of my successufly organizing of the polling.

It'll be awhile before I hear the results, but I'd be srprised if 'thuk and Wilma weren't acclai,med.. But what do I know?

Afterwards, I went with [livejournal.com profile] minyata (accomponied by [livejournal.com profile] cat_cetera) to her company Xmas party. [livejournal.com profile] garething and [livejournal.com profile] stephtopia joined. Also we met CV there, who is also an electrician , alng with G. We specualted on some of the c;assic cars that were at the venue (Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park) - specifiacally my cunning plan:

1) get agirlfriend who is into Edwardian Cosplay.
2) BReak into GAsoline Alley and find 1915 car that looks just like the Renault that sank on Titanic.
3) recreate the "jack and Rose Consumate their relationship" scene from Titanic.

Woot.

Eventually we all realzed that none o fus ewant ed to be at a company Christmas prty and we all want d to drink our faces off andplaey Rockband. So we went bwck to my plac.e

We started drinking. but te Televeision was in use so wer had a nice conversation about sex toys, fantsy novels appropriate fo r 11-ear olds (not simultanelusly) and the unfortunately implications of being abandoned in SOutherna Cliforna.

HOLY SHT MY TYPING IS ATROCIALUSLT...

I cn do better then this:L As I'll demonstrate:
"Extinct Pleistocene Megafauna"
A! I can spell, if I concentrate.

Back to thge narriative,.

The conversation was plesant, but we had some trouel (owing to a PS3 System update) getting started. People began drifting off,. Then it was fnished and we decided to play a few sets, which was fun.

Now I'm posting drunk for no real reaons. The demons and my ego are battling in my brain. Trying to decide ifI'm, cool or not. "I think your cool" says [livejournal.com profile] conejita_diabla. Awwww. Weirdly I don't vcare who whins. I'm just drunk and happy and if I wasn't so tired, I go for an ill-advicsed jog. I love feeling this way and it's hard to actuallyu pull it off. Probaly blew ay chance f hitting my ewihgt goal this week, but who cares.

And now they're back to playing WoW. I could keep going, expressinga all kinds of deep dark secrets, but I own't - mostly becayuse I'm getting drinker. [livejournal.com profile] stephtopia explained a mechains tof his, so I have no realy cohoice but to believe her.

Plans for the week:

1) Skull Island Superherose tomorrow. Might inclued Gnsters.

2) Tuesday night I plan on drinking at the Hpo in Brww.

3) My sohort vacation starts. Wednesday. I'm thinking afternoon trip to Banff (DAMMIT) whith a luch at the Bison Cafe and a soak in the hot springs. Dinner at Cheese Cake Cafe south here in Cowtown.,

4) SCA tavern.

5) Coronet ont he weekend!

Sp yeha, I'm feelin pretty good right now.l Hopefully I'll remember to rn tomorrow, since s kieppled today.

Ok, TIREd and drunk now. Godd night everyone. Post a reply if you know womeone who thinlks I', m sexy. Cause I need a litttle validatins.
Validation even.
jamesq: (Gratitude)
Things I'm currently grateful for:
  • Old friends.
  • New friends.
  • My health.

Gratitude

Feb. 27th, 2009 01:54 pm
jamesq: (Gratitude)
Good things last week:
  • Only gained two pounds, despite Estrella, Vegas and not getting back on the wagon immediately. Normally I'd be pissed, but all things considered, I'm happy It's not 5 pounds higher.
  • Having people praise my cookies.
  • Getting lots of warm fuzzies from my friends, courtesy of the avalanche meme.
  • Getting over stupid emotional BS quickly.
Looking forward to:
  • The weekend.
  • Doing a little shooting.
  • Being able to enjoy a pint at the pub tonight for a change.
  • A successful week in WW.
  • Running on Sunday, first time in over a month.
jamesq: (Gratitude)
I've been feeling low-grade crappy all day and I just assumed it was post-vacation depression. I was going to make a post bitching about my lot in life. Then two things happened that clued me in.

1) Couldn't actually think of anything to bitch about.
2) The onset of other physical symptoms indicating I'm not depressed, I'm actually just ill.

I'm sick! Yay me!

As for the writer's block, the fact that I can come up with three good things in my life tells me the block was just over the subject matter.

Gratitude:

1) I gained weight over my vacation. I'm not grateful for that per se. I'm grateful for the mental eureka moment I had about it yesterday: Weight gain is just another form of payment. I spent money and time going to Scotland and I also paid in weight gain. I've accepted that that's just the cost of doing business. I'm grateful for that knowledge. It will help over the next few weeks as I recover.

2) I'm grateful to be able to make that kind of trip.

3) I'm grateful to be in the familiar surroundings of home again.

Bonus:

4) I have friends who actually missed me. It's nice to know that my presence has a positive impact on the world.

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