Saturday, March 31, 2012

they do!

a few weeks ago i read on a kitchen blog (i forget which) that instead of buying scallions, you should cut them off and put the bottoms in water and they will just regrow.

they do!

Friday, March 30, 2012

i owe it a push

last friday at five in the afternoon just outside utica, NY, my car turned 100,000 miles.

i should probably push it a mile, just out of respect.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

too busy to work out, eh?

i have a wii fit. it's actually a good fitness tool, if not terribly advanced. it won't take the place of running every other day or riding or putting on the real miles, but it's good for some things.

but you get the part where i run every other day, right? outside? and sometimes ride my bike or something else?

so when you get on a wii fit every other day, the little wii avatar thingie asks you "too busy to work out yesterday, eh?"

maybe i'm just testy, but today i shouted  "no, i'm not too busy to work out, you self-righteous little prick!"

somebody missed the boat when they designed this thing.  software that tracks every fluctuation of weight over three years and keeps track of when you use the blasted thing might -just might- have included a feature that notices a stable pattern and just shuts up about it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


today i went for my run and i was not expecting much out of it since the last three times i ran that distance my times were nearly identical at over 27 minutes.

and i was away all weekend and eating away food, so i wasn't really surprised not to have lost any weight last week. not an ounce did i gain or lose, despite all the running and stuff.

but today i came in under 25 minutes, which is an astounding 14.7 minute mile.

you know.

 astounding for me.

because when i was in good shape i didn't run faster than a fifteen minute mile, not ever.

sweet. maybe next week i will add to my distance or something.

and from my desk, here's a little project.

to break up the trip a little, while i was on the road i took a picture every fifteen minutes and made a cute little video montage.

Monday, March 26, 2012

down on the inlet

it was not all that early in the morning, but i heard all this noise and shouting and thought one thing: maybe i should set my camera to video.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

i get to say it every year.

sadly, each year it is only a matter of when and not if i will post this poem.


Syracuse lost
the ball game last night.
It made me think
of the last time i was in Syracuse
and found myself
pushing a car
on a street
where someone i once loved lives.
Everything was cold and grey,
encased in ice
as we tried so hard
to keep the car from slipping
out of control,
down the hill, because
slides, too easily,

i'm going to go watch the jayhawks game now.

Friday, March 23, 2012

blast from the past

i don't have anything to tell you. not yet, not today.

except that being in the town where i went to college in the springtime feels very much like being 20 years old again, when everything was fresh and urgent and the whole world was laid out in possibility and only the vaguest hint that the future contained not triumph, but illness and sorrow.

but i am here, on the ground in the one town i could be homesick for that is not my home.

oddly, my first blog post ever was about being here.

go ahead, read it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

mailman's mad mod

my mailman drvies a right hand drive subaru.

this is pretty common for rural carriers, and subaru makes a model especially for this purpose.

my mailman, however, does his own modding so that when he wears out one car he can just take out the unit and put it in the new car, which saves him a lot of money.

i asked if it made any difference in how the car gets inspected, and he said it doesn't.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

first day of spring

the speed limit on my road is 35, which these days only amounts to madcap optimism. mud season is often a lot worse than this, and i can't say as other than the road there's much mud season at all. come to think of it, winter never really got here. usually on the first day of spring the skiing is still fine and there are still feet of snow outside my door. this time last year i was still sledding down into snohaus.

yesterday i peed outside, standing up, and although it wasn't as neat an affair as i'd hoped, it was a lot tidier than i'd feared and i managed not to get any on my shoes or clothing, which i count as pretty much a sucessful first run.

i had been noticing a degree of saddle soreness yesterday while at my desk. i always forget that those first few days of riding mean getting into condition where butt meets saddle and even though i ride what are known as "relief saddles",  it takes a little getting used to every season.

if i thought i noticed some saddle soreness at my desk yesterday, it was a whole other kettle of trees when i got on my bike today for a short climb up notch road until you can't go up any farther and a little bit past that and for sure i was NOTICING those contact points.

road condition was kind of a drag, too. mud suck away your energy and even on a flat or a slight downhill you still feel like you're climbing.

and then on the way back down (first day on the blue rocky) i thought i had some brake failure in my front brake, and downhill on a dirt road approaching a T going a little over 30 MPH is kind of a bad time to discover that.

tuns out it just needs a little adjusting and it's fine, but when you're going that fast downhill on dirt coming to the stop sign you need to be thinking about evasive moves and scrubbing that speed and getting your weight back in case there's a sudden need and you're thinking about what you're going to do if you have to go barrelling through the stop sign at the top of the half-blind curve.

in short, you don't have a lot of time to think: "is there really a problem with my front brake, or is it just pulling unusually high?"

by the time you realize there's no actual problem it's kind of anticlimactic.

here's a picture of a crocus i took today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

some discomfort

speaking of discomfort, did you see the kansas/purdue game last night?

i did.

a lot of the time when i am watching sporting events i am doing crafts or making soup or something. not this game. i was rooting for the jayhawks (q.v. cr, below) and things didn't look good. not good at all.

jayhawks didn't manage to tie up the game or even take the lead, not ONCE until they had about three minutes left in the game and squeaked out a one point lead which they lost immediately on the next turnover and things were looking very grim indeed until they managed to get that slim one point lead with nineteen seconds left on the clock.

nineteen seconds is a LONG time to defend a one point lead with purdue hitting long threes all night.

but they managed to do it, and sink one more basket besides. the purdue team and fans looked something just past disgusted and i'm sure there's a lot of moaning about "should'a'" and "deserving", but the ball falls where it does and there's a REASON kansas was seeded higher than them, anyway.

it was pretty exciting. i stood up most of the time, right in front of my tv.

today i went to the house i'm modeling to take measurements and pictures. while the homeowner is very happy to see the model and will love having it done, i do not think she gives much thought to the idea that i am necessarily in her house poking into corners and taking pictures of things like baseboards (what rooms are they in? along what walls?) and plumbing fixtures and closets. i think she would be appalled to know that i have seven hundred pictures of her house, and very few of them are pretty arty shots. they are mostly of things like the underside of the stairs.

and i went to a friend's house and did some light yard work and house chores. never mind why. and if anyone asks, i wasn't there. i only bring it up because when i got home after having done a good piece of work already and already "enjoying" some discomfort, i went for my run at the new distance.

it did not suck as bad as i thought it would. i started out in moderate pain, but it was localized pain, so not so bad. and i didn't reach the level of "hurts pretty much bad" (which is not as good as "significant pain" but not as bad as "extreme pain") until i had only about  two tenths of a mile left, so it almost doesn't count.

i timed it, just so you could have an idea of exactly how slow a runner i am. even when i am in peak form (and by peak form i mean a year in which i might win some cycling trophies) i am a very poor runner. in my present condition i ran the whole 1.66 miles in just twenty-seven minutes.

that is very nearly a sixteen minute mile, my friends.

i have never run better than a fifteen minute mile. not even in a year when i considered and sixty-mile bike ride to be no big thing and did it a couple of times a week and got trophies and stuff.


there's hope.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

running right along

i'm still working on that model, and some things i am not telling you about.

like the penny hunt. you have to sort of know me in person to have current news on a thing like that, although i am finding it interesting.

the model is coming along well, but it is right now such a huge file that i can't get nice video of it because of all the nice photorealistic textures and stuff.

yesterday when i went for my run i graduated up to 1.6 miles, which is about half the distance i need, but it's early yet. i'm getting faster to to the point that other people might actually recognize what i'm doing as running, as opposed to my trademark slow lope.

and today i went for my first bike ride of the season.

here's my handy dandy profile of yesterday's run.

i made it at but it is not dynamic or live linked because while i'm pretty free about telling you about where i live, i am not comfortable posting a map that goes directly to my front door. i'm just not.

notice that it has a bigger elevation gain, though. and the pain never started. oh, sure, it hurt. but by "pain" i've come to mean "subsuming pain" because anything less is hardly worth noticing these days.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

my bad

syracuse is playing kansas STATE.

it comes from not caring very much, i guess.

meanitime, i'm working on my model and making duct tape roses.

later i will sort pennies.

never mind why.


today syracuse (goooOOOOOO orange) is playing KU (rock chalk jayhawk KU) since i like both teams, there's not really a bad outcome for me. i would be happy to see either team advance. i'd be happier if they BOTH advanced, but that's not how tourneys work.

the last time a thing like this happened to me it was syracuse getting beat by UVM and i got teased about it by someone who ought to have known better.

it was sad, though, because that year syracuse was hosting a bracket, and i was in syracuse the morning after the game and (as often happens in syracuse) is was grey and cold and raining. it was like the whoel town had dolled up for a party they were having but then at the last minute all the guests arrived and the host was suddenly, inexplicably uninvited but the guests stayed on anyway even though the house was covered in mourning crepe.

but what i'm REALLY (and predictably) excited about is and awesome interactive chart that you can find here.

go on, go. don't waste your time here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

march meh-ness

it's the NCAA men's roundball tourney! yay!

it's not that i'm truly indifferent; i'm uh, limited in my fandom. i am wildly interested if syracuse is playing. i am a big syracuse fan (but only for men's basketball and no other sport) (no, i am not trying to explain that to you.).

i am moderately interested if UVM is playing, because i live near burlington, VT and grew up in that particular college town.

i am casually interested if KU is doing really, really well, because cr went to school there and while she cares litte for sports of any kind, she remembers some of the boys that used to play them and has some vestigial fondness. cr useta be friendly with the cheerleaders and had a close call with being little jay. (YOU look it up if you want.)

in other sports, i only care about baseball if the red sox are playing. my enthusiasm for the sox does not extend even so far as to give me the energy to hate the yankees, which is what you do around here: you love one and hate the other.

not me.

i hate american football of every kind, regionality, and age level. i extend my antipathy to football players, cheerleaders, and the entire superbore weekend.

i have a passing interest in soccer (or football, as it's called nearly everywhere else), especially if the revolution are playing.

WWF extreme fighting is the gayest thing i have ever seen.

bear in mind that i have no objection to gay things and am entirely gay friendly. i can see gay male porn with equanimity but mixed martial arts cagefighting embarrasses me with its intimacy. every time i see it on tv it feels vaguely and uncomfortably like i have walked into some couple's bedroom at an awkward time.

i adore watching canadian curling when i can find it on tv, and i will watch the tour de france obsessively, every day it's on, every year, no matter who is riding. the tour is the whole reason i have satellite tv in the first place. if you want to know where i am in the entire month of july, i am at home watching bicycle racing.

i'm willing to watch other races too, but they just don't give the other big classics or even newer races much full coverage and televised bicycle racing is weird: it is stunningly boring to watch unless you watch the WHOLE THING, in which case your glacial attention span is rewarded by amazing awareness of subtle drama and breathtaking courage.

and golf? i watch a lot of golf, but not on tv and only on one particular hole. i wouldn't bother, but i can see the 7th green from my sofa.

btw, i cannot find proper attribution for this comic. i am still looking.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

eat more pi

today is pi day.

if you are paying attention to the world of mathematics at all, you know that this is an increasingly controversial day.

there seem to be fewere and fewer holidays that don't involve controversy of some sort.

the opposition on this one comes from proponents of tau, which makes sense to me, except this morning i was laying in bed (not snoozing, mind you, these were my first thoughts on waking) and i do not think i have seen the arguably more convenient tau used to describe the area of a circle. seems like that's not a simplification, but i haven't had time energy to really think about it.

instead, i'm going to provide you with some little links about pi and tau and let you sort things out for yourself.

i was going to say that i'm simply going to retire to the sofa, but today some men came to take it away for reupholstery.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

be sure to check back

i have decided to learn to pee standing up.

at its fundamental level, this isn't too hard.  all of you who never pee in the shower, please raise your hands.

thought so.

anyway, a friend of ours swears she has a friend who can do this with accuracy about as well as the boys and that was at the back of my head a week or so ago when i read an article about river rafting and it mentioned that on these trips women learn to pee standing up, since you can't pee on the shore because of environmental concerns and you can't get in the water to pee because of safety concerns.

i wish i could remember the article so i could link you to it, but someone asserted that if you took a picture of a line of pee-ers from the back, you wouldn't be able to tell from the streams who was male and who was female.

so i thought that would be a handy skill to acquire. i don't imagine it will ever be quite as handy as having point and shoot apparatus that one can just pull out of a conveniently placed portal in the clothing, but it's supposed to be an improvement over simply squatting in the woods.

while i won't be reporting in any great detail (you're welcome), i'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

three days running

it turns  out to be six calendar days, since i can't run two days in a row.

i just can't. one little mile at this point brings on an asthma attack of the proportion that makes me think suddenly about reconsidering my attitude that asthma isn't all that serious.

even with the inhaler, it starts an hour or so after the run and doesn't let up entirely for two days. that's ok. i don't like running enough to do it every day.

i have some other issues with what your dentist calls "discomfort", and if you've been following the story you already know about my feet and knees and my point isn't to whine about how much they hurt, but to marvel at how progressively less they hurt.

the first day i started out in "discomfort" and the real pain -the kind where you grind your teeth and start to cry came on even before i was to the top of the "hill"... and i use quotation marks with the word "hill" because even though i live out here in the mountains, my road runs pretty level along the bottom of the mountain and although there are some elevation changes, it's pretty flat.

i estimated the elevation gain might be all of 20 feet, but i went and made a handy chart of the profile of my half-mile out-and-back and it turns out the elevation gain is twice that!


anyway, the second day the real pain didn't show up until i was nearly at the turnaround and today i kept waiting for the real pain to show up so i could tell you about it comparatively, but it just wasn't there.

soon, i hope, i will graduate up to a three mile run. that would be nice, because when race season starts i hope to be in better shape. today the sun was at just the right angle so that i could see the shadow of my massive thighs jiggle with each stride.

hey, at least i'm moving fast enough to jiggle them.

here's my handy chart:

Friday, March 09, 2012

pain in the neck

i do not remember when it started. it was unremarkable. it happens often enough: you move wrong and something catches in your neck and for a few days you can't turn your head all the way, and maybe your shoulder hurts but after a few days it gets worked out.

over years i learned that it will come out in a big fat hurry if i have a ski or biking crash, but also (and more helpfully) i have learned that a dose of muscle relaxants at bedtime on that first night usually sorts the whole thing out and no harm done.

because this i'm prone to muscle spasms in my neck and in my back and because one night of muscle relaxants usually sorts it out, i have script written for them.  i'm written for one a day, but when things are good 30 last me three or four months.

in a rough ski or bike season or when i'm sleeping in my car i might take one every three or four days or sometimes two nights in a row. a beer or two would probably do the same for me, but i don't drink.

so all i remember about when this started was that it was two sundays ago, and i remember that it had been going on for more than a day or two and i heard somebody two pews back complaining of exactly the same thing.

so it's around three weeks now. for sure this spasm has pinched something in my neck because i have pain and swelling and numbness all the way down my left arm and back into my shoulderblade and ribcage.

there isn't a comfortable position to sit or stand in, but the worst of it is when i'm lying down, partly because i do not have a complete rotator cuff in either shoulder. i have no huge deficiencies, no gigantic tears ro missing bits, but just enough so that i don't have full support of my shoulders, so lying down is a challenge.

i found a position in which the pain passed relatively quickly, but it only aggravates my reflux so that's unpleasant.

i know from the number of podcasts i am listening to each night that it takes on average and hour an a half for the pain to subside enough to sleep. it's an interesting meditative exercise. i know that the positional change alone is hard, and i have taken to lying down for short bursts during the day just to get used to it. i also know that while i am moving there is less pain, but when i am still the throbbing, pounding, aching starts and i have an interval of subsuming pain.

yoga helps. the exercises from physical therapy help. i've taken three of the muscle relaxants, but i don't like to take too many in case there's something worse around the corner.

but i needed a refill.

and i called my doctor's office and left my message on the refill line.

they called me back a day or two later with some questions. then they called back a couple hours later.  and again about an hour later, to tell me i need to come in for an office visit to get my refill.

ok, fine.

their first available opening is may 5.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

model citizen

oh, right, that.

i was keeping a blog and it's not like it would be so hard to just write down what i'm working on.

right now (read: for the last three weeks or so) i am working kind of obsessively on what barbara is calling my snowfort, since this year there isn't enough snow to make a fort and this fits the pattern of doing SOMETHING obsessively at this time of year.

-did i even show you all of last year's snohaus pictures, or did i shelve them until i processed all the pictures? eh, probably that second thing.

anyway, i'm making a little sketchup model of a friend's house and it is a challenging project. most houses are basically a box or two with some sticky-out bits but my friend lives in a house that's five boxes with a slightly asymmetric T and a quarter-round room and some sticky-out bits. add to that the challenges of the original builder having been the original homeowner who was an engineer but not an architect or a building professional and what appears to be his natural predilection for dividing spaces by threes or fives and it gets interesting, never mind that for some reason no roof anywhere on the house is a standard common pitch.

and there are places in the house where everything goes fine until you draw that line out to its logical conclusion and - uh-oh! - the basic geometry of those things do not form intersecting planes in any universe, but a multitude of rough edges (up to two inches!) can be covered over with putty and tape before painting.

the upshot is that as i work my little model, i am having to make a lot of guesses as to what the actual framing of the house might be and i'm just drawing most things to standard lumber dimensions, nevermind the siding or sheetrock.

idiosyncrasies aside, it is a very pleasing house to the eye, lovely and gracious, even if you know that the stringers were inexpertly cut.

if you want to see the progress on the model as i go along, i'm posting the dailies here.


Related Posts with Thumbnails