January 31, 2012

Running with the devil

I ran 4 miles today, after an 8 mile long run yesterday.
There is no denying I've cut a full minute per mile off my time.
One thing I'm certainly doing is pushing harder, but even when I don't push harder my pace has improved.

I feel like I'm tempting fate, running both faster and every day. (I've officially run every day in January, btw). Until recently, I believed I was injury prone, but until recently I also had perpetually tight hips. That is no longer the case since I started running every day. Either that, or not since I reduced my mileage. I was running 10-milers and up every weekend. Since getting sick, 8 is the longest run I've attempted.

Today's run was also after over 4 hours at my Mom's, moving furniture, climbing up and down ladders, sanding, and mudding. The dining room is almost ready for prime and paint.
Bronte was, as usual, extremely helpful
Tomorrow I will wipe down the dining room walls, along with everything else in the room. I might have to wipe everything down again before painting, since sanding dust permeates the entire house. Hopefully not, though I know I'll have to wipe the furniture down again before calling myself done. I expect to find a few minor mud areas that need sponging, but otherwise the dining room will be ready for priming by the time I leave tomorrow. That leaves the living room and kitchen, both of which already have some mud.
A lot of the kitchen needs to be completely mudded over, which will be fun when it comes time to sand. I've been picking at the mudding in the kitchen whenever I finish something elsewhere and still have mud.

After I wipe down the dining room walls, I'll have to empty the living room of all the stuff I originally took out of the dining room. I'm thinking of putting as much of that as I can into the basement for the time being, so my Mom can still use the dining room table. I will also have to empty the shelves in the living room, but luckily there is an empty bookshelf in the storage room as well. If I stay focused, I can probably finish the living room next week. At this point I have no idea how long the kitchen will take. There are cabinets to work on. There are walls that have yet to see mud. Maybe the project will be done by the end of the month. Maybe.

January 30, 2012

I'm a believer

After screwing up yesterday's run through overindulgence the night before, and with clear (if chilly) skies this morning, I opted to run my long run today. Not every run is stellar. After a week of good runs, today's was less than comfortable. I spent the first two miles telling myself I would do two 4-mile laps. If my calves, ankles and feet didn't loosen up, I planned to cut the run short at 3 miles. I must have started to feel better at about the 2-mile mark though, because where I was going to turn toward home, I went straight. By the third mile I was definitely feeling warmed up, though not exactly full of energy. I started planning the rest of my route, trying to determine if I would do six, seven, or the originally intended eight miles. I wound my way up and down streets, guesstimating final mileage as I went. By the time I hit 5 miles, I knew I would do 8.
You can tell where the uphills were, and that I wasn't feeling this run the way I did my last few. I could tell you I just started out slow, as that would have been the responsible and smart way to approach a long run. That's not what happened though. I wasn't trying to go fast or slow. I was just running as best I could while feeling slow and uncomfortable.

I'd like to draw your attention to the final mile. I've decided I believe the GPS was correct last week when I posted those 11-minute-mile runs, even though the app needed updating. Otherwise, how could I post an 11-minute-mile today, as the final mile on the longest run I've done in months? Granted, this was technically "downhill" with maybe a 10 to 15 foot elevation loss. That doesn't take away from the fact that I pushed hard and ran it though.

After my run, I went out to get some bubble wrap. I have a very special package going out in tomorrow's mail.
These are the result of the domestic archeology at my Mom's house. Three 8mm film canisters (one marked Family 1964, one Family 1965, and the 3rd unmarked) and eight unmarked Super 8 reels of various length. I'm shipping them off to imemories.com, where they will be converted to digital for the low price of $9.99 per 2-hour DVD. I'm thinking there should be no more than 6 DVDs, if that. Once imemories has the film, they will digitize it and post it on their website. I can then view the videos and choose if I want to have them burned to disc or not. They return the originals to me with whatever DVDs I order.

I'm so very excited to see what's on these films. I wish there were some way to convert the sound recording I found, labeled John Micheal (I'm guessing Big Bro, though that was also my father's name). The site also do photographs, so I'm half tempted to send off the books and books Energizer Bunny is currently working on scanning. I'm back to one of her favorite sayings. "There are three ways to do a project: cheap, fast, or well. You can only have two of the three." So. Fast and well would not necessarily be cheap, but this might be cheap enough.

January 29, 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K Race Report and a rant on Apple

Last night I ran The Boring Runner's Second Annual Freeze Your Thorns Off virtual 5K race. Being an overachiever, I actually ran 4 miles instead of the 3.1 specified.

I spent the day at Superman's, and didn't get a chance to run until after 5pm. The good news? All the snow from earlier had melted (or maybe just hadn't fallen in my neighborhood). The sidewalks were a little icy, but clear of snow. The bad news? I was running out of time before sunset. I really wanted to run outside because I'm still having calf soreness issues running any real distance on my treadmill.
a picture speaks a thousand words
I've never run so fast in my life. It was windy, which at one point helped me by pushing me along, but mostly was in my face or pushing me to the side. Mile 3 was a steady incline. I focused on my form, on picking up my legs, kicking my feet, and using my arms. I actually felt like I RAN the entire way. At the same time, I do not believe my GPS results. The first thing I did when I got home was plug my iPhone into iTunes to see if there were any updates. There was an update for the GPS app, so I'm still not certain I ran a 10:30 mile. I'll know if the app was correct by how it reads over the new few days runs.

If you're here for my race report, that's pretty much it and you should probably stop reading now. The following is a somewhat lengthy rant. Proceed at your own risk.

So I plugged my iPhone into iTunes and saw there were actually several apps to update. To update apps, however, one has to log into the Apple Store. I entered my password, and got this:
Now I've had an iTunes account for quite a while, and I KNOW the login name. I also know the password, because I recently went through the very painful process of having to change it when Apple decided I'd had the other one for too long. That password change process was painful because the Apple system used my birth date as a security question, but the birthdate they had was incorrect. The other option for reset involved them sending me an email, which for some reason I never received. I was finally able to change my password through contacting someone at their help desk. The email exchange went something like this:

Me: I need to update my apps, but cannot log into my account until I change my password. I am unable to change my password because your system has my birth date wrong, and for some reason I am not getting the email when I choose that option.

AppleGuy: In order to log into your account, you will have to change your password. Please go to our website and follow the reset password instructions, then try to log in again.

Painful. I was finally able to convince AppleGuy to manually reset my password and send me a dummy one which I could then change. I went about my merry way, believing he also fixed my birth date and the email issue. Turns out I'm rather naive.

Fast forward to last night. After the fiasco above, I know my Apple ID, and I know my password. What I didn't know, because I was still not receiving Apple ID emails, is Apple changed their login name protocol. My Apple ID is now my email address. I spent at least half an hour trying to log in before Superman remembered his had changed, and suggested I try that. Bingo! So I'm logged in, but in the process realize 1) I'm still not receiving Apple ID emails, and b) they still have my birth date wrong.

Oh and by the way, iTunes insisted I update my credit card info, but wouldn't let me update it with a card that expires next month. I do not have the replacement card yet, and could not update my apps without the new security code. I had to enter a different credit card into their system to proceed. Happy me.

I attempted to contact the person who helped me before, thinking he was already familiar with my ID issues. Apparently AppleGuy was not in last night, and had not one but two people monitoring his email. I ended up communicating with one of them, who ultimately told me I was the only one who could change my birth date in their system. To do that, I just had to log onto the Apple ID website. I followed the link, entered my new Apple ID email address and password, and received a message that Apple had to verify my new Apple ID before I could proceed. A verification email had been sent.

No email arrived. Now my iTunes account is old enough I'd set it up with my Yahoo email address, which I haven't used now in several years. I still have my Yahoo mail forwarded to my current address, but Yahoo is funny about forwarding mail. There is no option to keep a copy of the forwarded mail on their server. Also, it apparently forwards everything, including spam. Either that or it automatically empties the spam folder instantaneously. When I log into Yahoo, there is literally nothing there. This made me suspect the Apple ID email was getting deleted as spam on the Yahoo server, since it wasn't forwarded and it wasn't in my current email spam folder.

I changed my Apple ID email address in iTunes, which caused them to send another verification email. This time I used gmail, which is also forwarded to my newest email account. Gmail, however, allows me to save my forwarded mail on their server. I am also able to view the spam folder on gmail.

There was no Apple ID email. I gave Apple considerable time, and even requested another verification email be sent. I never received any email.

Because gmail is also forwarded to my current email account, I decided to give Apple the most direct path to my inbox. I changed my Apple ID to my current email address. A verification email was sent.

I never received the email. At this point, communication with the Apple help desk had also broken down. My last message indicated I wasn't receiving the verification emails, that I had double checked the email address for typos, and the emails were not landing in my spam folder. The person I was communicating with never responded.

You may be able to understand my frustration at this point. Superman and I had plans to go out to karaoke, so I opted to walk away from the issue. I thought maybe I would wake up to an inbox full of Apple ID emails.

As an aside, let me say that the new karaoke place is small and I can't sing off Youtube like my regular show, but I sang A LOT and got completely obliterated off of only four drinks. They pour heavy, and the drinks cost literally half what I pay at my regular show. I'm also now convinced my regular show waters down their drinks, as I normally would have had more and not been nearly as trashed. It's probably a really good thing I only drink like once a month or so. 

I checked my email when I woke up, and found nothing from Apple or the person I was working with last night, so looked up their support number and called. When you call Apple, they want to know what device you're calling about. The website said the number I called was for software issues, but there was no arguing with the automated phone tree. When I finally did get a person on the line, she told me my iPhone was past the 90 day window where you can get free support.

I'm a bit hung over this morning. My frustration tolerance threshold is probably lower than normal, and this situation had me ranting even before I went drinking last night. When she told me I didn't qualify for free support, I was instantly enraged. I am sorry to say I yelled at her. I swore at her. I told her it was f*cking ridiculous I would have to pay for support when all I want to do is log onto their site and correct my birth date in their system.

She told me she would make a one time exception for me. She then proceeded to spend at least 5 minutes (I'm not exaggerating - it felt a lot longer) rearranging her bookmarks in order to find the one she needed. Because the phone tree had directed me to iPhone support, she pulled up a chat window with the person she thought would have the answers. That person promptly reset my password without telling me first. Apple has a strict password policy. Your password has to have a capital letter, a number, and you cannot use one you have already used within the past year. I'm running out of passwords that fit that criteria, that I will be able to remember. It was all for naught anyway, since I still wasn't receiving Apple emails.

Ultimately I ended up talking to the girl's supervisor, who (hopefully) fixed my issue. I didn't realize this at first, because his emails went straight to my spam folder and got buried beneath a host of spam dated 2017, 2018, and several months later in 2012. I wish I knew how spammers did that. After finding the supervisor's emails, I went back and checked to make sure the earlier emails were not in my spam folder too. I would have felt horrible if they were, but they were not. He said he was able to bypass the system somehow, to send them. I'm hoping the system now works, because it would have been nice to get that notification email telling me my login ID was now my email address.

I was on the phone with Apple for an hour and a half. It turns out my birth date was wrong in the system because my account is so old. The first iteration of Apple accounts did not ask for a birth year, so there was nothing in that field in their system. Of course, had I tried to enter it that way the system would have told me it needed a year to proceed.

I set up a different security question, which has nothing to do with my birth date. I want to change my email address Apple ID to see if the email situation is fixed, but I'm afraid to do so because I'll have to start all over if it's not.

The End.

January 28, 2012

Random

No, this isn't the 11 random things post everyone has been doing. It's just random things.

1. If you look to your left, you'll notice I added easy-peasy widgets for you to see my posts either by RSS feed or directly in your email. With all the changes, and all the opinions about the changes going on with Google and Google+, this offers a simple way to keep up with your favorite blogs when Followers and Friend Connect go away.

2. In the process of what my Mom calls "domestic archeology," I found a box of 8mm and super 8 film canisters. Some were purchased (Mickey Mouse and a Christmas concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra). Some are home movies. I also found the projector, and planned to watch/refilm them with Superman's digital camera. It turns out the projector needs work, which may or may not be possible since parts will be difficult to find. Sad Panda looks at the film and projector sitting in my living room every day, wondering what is in those canisters.

Today I found a film transfer service that will convert them to DVD for only $10 each. Guess what I'm doing this weekend?

3. It's official. Christmas is finally over. If you remember, I was a wee bit upset when my attempt to participate in a blogger gift exchange didn't work out as planned. Rose from Eat, Drink and be Mieri took pity on me, and offered to exchange gifts. I happily went shopping, sent mine off, and promptly forgot about it. Her gift arrived the other day, and I have to say it's far better than the silly socks and headband I sent her.
The package smelled of strawberry, which scent promptly filled my kitchen. This was from the Gotein protein powder, something I tried to win in at least one contest several months ago. You're supposed to put it in a 20 oz. water bottle, but I've tried other protein powders in water with horrible results. I put it in a 24 oz. bottle of milk. Let me tell you, there's easily a half cup of powder in those packets. It took a good several minutes of shaking to mix it all in. The result was... ok. Bland. Nothing spectacular, but I didn't really expect rainbows and unicorns. I can drink it after a run without dread or gagging, which is good enough.

I haven't yet tried the dried bananas, and smiled at the KT tape. Those I will use! The Chi Running book is one I've looked at in the stores, but hadn't gotten around to purchasing. Overall I'm a happy camper, and wanted to give a shout out to Rose. Thank you, my friend! You made the "positives today" list 3 days running now.

4. Today's weather forecast:
Today's weather (so far):
I'm thinking today will be a treadmill run. Maybe speedwork. I obviously need more speedwork, as my gps app will attest:
Straight out the door, with no warm-up
Straight out the door.
No warm up
with a net elevation gain
After the previous mile, so warmed up
and basically down hill
I really wish I could have hung on for that last one, but I ran out of oomph. This speed increase is brought to you by my running every day. I haven't done any speedwork. I haven't lost any weight. I certainly haven't been eating right. I wasn't even well hydrated. The only difference has been running every day. 

5.  You learn something new every day. 
source
Apparently the definition of Kung Pao is "with peanut." I did not know this, and with no descriptions on the menu at the Chinese place last night, ordered Kung Pao Shrimp. I am allergic to peanuts. Not in a "I'm going to blow up and die" way. More like "I'm going to break out horribly tomorrow and be very uncomfortable with the way I look for the next week." It took me until my late 30s to figure out peanuts were the cause of my lifelong (since puberty) acne. This is still sadness-making. It's like being allergic to chocolate or bacon. While almond butter & jelly is good, it just isn't the same. Every once in a while I throw caution to the winds and accept the consequences for a Reese's or Snickers. Yesterday was not one of those days though, and I had to change my order to General Tao's chicken. I didn't trust them not to take my plate in the back and simply pick the peanuts off. 

6. Speaking of eating, I've decided to walk away from the OCD goal of tracking my food within an inch of my life. While I'm not super happy with my body, and I certainly don't want to gain weight, I'm not really interested in losing weight either. I want to not be obsessed with food. For this to happen, I have to stop making myself analyze every calorie I consume. At the same time, I have to think about food enough to make healthy choices. My main meal for the week is a mix of beans, berries, and vegetables ala Salad Bar style:
source
Add in some salmon and as much spinach/spring mix greens as I want, and I won't go hungry. I might add trail mix. I might have some crackers. I will definitely have my coffee, and maybe even a cookie or two. What I have to focus on is whether or not I'm hungry. My biggest problems are emotional eating, and evening boredom or fatigue eating. These have nothing to do with hunger. I'm thinking if I eat the salad stuff all day, that will let me graze to satisfy the emotional thing. Adding the berries gives the salad a sweetness too, which will help. I can then have the salmon later in the evening. The protein should fill me up and hopefully satisfy whatever hole it is I'm trying to fill at that time. I'll be increasing my running mileage too, as an offshoot of the 1K and marathon training goals. If I can stop the emotional and late night eating, my body should normalize and I may lose weight. I wouldn't complain if that were the case, but it's not the main goal here.

All this planning doesn't sound obsessive at all, does it?

January 26, 2012

If it were MY house...

After pulling the baseboards to upgrade the wiring, in preparation for insulating the house, my Dad had me wallboard the spaces between where the walls ended and the floor. The object was to keep the insulation in the walls, to keep it from being blown into the house. His handyman asked why he was doing this, saying it was a waste of time. My Dad looked at the handyman like a deer in the headlights. Was the handyman questioning his judgement? Was there a better way to keep the insulation from filling the house instead of just the walls? Suddenly, the handyman relented. "I get it! You're doing what I would do if it was MY house!"

I'm not sure the handyman did get it, but it did turn out to be necessary, the boarding up of walls behind the baseboards. We still got a small amount of insulation in each room, but I'm certain there would have been much more had we not spent this time and effort.

I started the day yesterday prepared to sand and mud the dining room. I'd also brought my heat gun to remove the last of the adhesive from the kitchen walls, from where my Dad had glued paneling some 30+ years ago. I rearranged the dining room for sanding, then decided I'd really rather start with the adhesive. Then I decided I really didn't want to sand after all.
The heat gun process removed paint as well as adhesive, which may have influenced what happened next.
This is the largest of my mother's kitchen cupboards. All of her cupboards are lined with at least one layer of contact paper. This particular one has two layers, though I didn't know that when I started. There have been multiple discussions with Energizer Bunny and Mr. Math about how to handle the cupboard renovations. The most recent ended with the plan to simply sand the cupboard doors, prime, then paint. My mother is going from an antiqued orange to a high gloss white.
I sanded the little counter in front of the cabinet, in part as a test of the sanding process and in part because there were huge chips and gouges only sanding could fix. There are still gouges, but they are much better now. This process reinforced my concerns about sanding the insides of the cupboards. The belt sander cannot reach the edges. I was concerned about the layers and layers of paint, and about the residue from the contact paper.
I decided to heat strip the insides of the cabinets. Not the inner walls, which need a great deal of repair work. Just the shelves. I am CERTAIN Mr. Math will roll his eyes when he finds out. I could hear Energizer Bunny saying "There are 3 ways you can do a project. Inexpensively, quickly, or well. You can only have 2 of the 3." I opted for inexpensive and well. This is how I would do the project if it were MY house. How could I do my parent's house any differently?
As an aside, my Dad would have loved to learn the top shelf has been replaced. It's a different type of wood, and was missing at least 2 layers of paint the other shelves had (including a primer layer). My Dad was convinced the house has been through a fire at some point, and enjoyed finding evidence of its history. This would have prompted an entire afternoon of discussion.

I started the day late, caught up again with Bridezilla. I'm walking away from these shows. They are horribly addictive, even though there really is no redeeming quality in them. They actually are starting to piss me off.

In addition to this revelation, I got 4 miles in before finally showing up at my Mom's 3 hours later than normal. I've definitely shaved about 30 seconds off my average cruising speed. My calves were slightly less uncomfortable, but I'm still a little worried about my long run this weekend. I think the running every day is starting to catch up with me, and I have to be careful I don't allow my ambition to override my bodies capabilities. Maybe 4 miles today and tomorrow is not the best idea. Maybe I should incorporate more 1 and 2 mile rest days into the week. At the same time I'm thinking these things, I'm considering a 3 or 4 mile run after working at my Mom's today. While I am an intelligent woman, I've never claimed to be entirely rational.

Superman informed me last night he will be wearing tails, spats, and most likely a top hat and cane at our wedding. Probably white. I will be wearing 3/4 length gloves, which means we will probably be married in the fall or winter. Imagine me, silver-haired and 80-something, in this:
in white, and without the cigarette

January 25, 2012

Check!

I can take my Mom's closet off my list of things to do. I still have to paint over the holes from the shelf hangers that didn't work, but that is a quick brush stroke or two when I already have the primer and paint out for the first floor. I told my Mom it would be several weeks before I get to the touch-up, so go ahead and put her clothes up. I'll take down what I need when I'm ready. The placement of the holes means I can immediately put her clothes back up and they won't even come close to touching the wet paint.

After finishing the closet, I worked on finalizing the mud in the dining room. I say worked on, because this corner is all I got done in this room. I really need to focus on one room at a time, but find myself wandering from dining room to kitchen to living room, picking at things here at there. Slowly though, it's all coming together.

The green velvet in the corner of the picture above is the lid of a camera case. While I worked on patching, Superman worked on cataloging my father's camera equipment collection. Superman is very knowledgeable about cameras and photography equipment. He even has a "guy" with whom he trades, sells, and purchases photography equipment. My Mom, like just about everyone else in the world, has gone digital. We are hoping at least some of the film equipment has value.

I'm still stuck wasting time watching bridal shows, though my focus has changed. I'm done with the dress show, and am now mesmerized by the insanity of Bridezilla. I've watched a few shows, and it's like driving slowly by a train wreck. I both do and do not want to continue looking. The brides so far have been completely spoiled brats. There is a lot of whining and crying and stamping of feet. A lot of OCD and demanding perfection, with a healthy dose of "I shouldn't have to do anything" and "what is your problem?!?" I'm just sitting here with my mouth open, stunned, alternating disbelief with hysterical laughter. Laughter is good, right?

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Positives for the day

1. Hysterical laughter, no matter how inane the subject matter (see Bridezilla above).

2. The weather continues to hold, allowing me to run outside for the better part of this week. It looks like snow for the weekend, but it was supposed to snow all week so maybe the running gods will continue to smile in my general direction. Otherwise, I'll have to figure out a long run either before or after the inclement weather, as I'm not yet ready to do 8 miles on my treadmill.

3. I found out today Monkey Boy will be home on leave in June, and then again over Christmas. He has missed the last 2 Christmases here at home, so this is very exciting!

January 23, 2012

I'm stuck


I don't understand my fascination. I talked Superman into agreeing to marry me shortly after we started dating. I convinced him to give me a ring, the equivalent of a cigar band, which subsequently broke. I keep telling him the wedding is completely up to him, because I've done this before and he hasn't. At the same time, it appears I have far more opinions and ideas on the subject. Periodically, I go through phases where all I can think about is weddings.

This is one of those times. I'm stuck watching episode after episode of Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix. I can't imagine wearing any of the dresses or paying anything like the prices on this show. I've been watching almost nonstop for the past two days.

I think about being married to Superman.

I think about what it will be like when my boys get married.

I think about having a wedding without my Dad.

I think about choosing a dress with my Mom.

I get all sad and romantic and mushy and crazy. I've lost my frickin' mind. Again.

I did get out and run both days. 3 miles each day, and I'm shaving seconds off my time every time I run that route. I'm down to an 11:26 average mile. My calves still hurt through the entire 3 miles, but my hips are still not tightening up. I've noticed my calves do loosen up a bit on the longer runs, though longer in this case only means  6 or 7 miles.

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Room for improvement

1. I've lost touch with not only my goals, but also the things I absolutely have to be doing. I have to reign it in and get back to putting in a resume a day. Which leads me to...

2. Focus. I'm learning things about myself here. I'm really good at focus for a few days, a week. Then it all falls apart and I have to regroup. I was hoping the blog and the calendar would help. That does not appear to be the case, mainly because again, I'm not keeping up with them.

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Positives for the day

1. I'm shaving seconds off my runs, even while running every day.

That's all I got. Nothing else happened today.

January 21, 2012

A Better Day

I did not attempt any huge projects today, so by default it is a better day than yesterday. Instead, I hung out with Superman all morning (one of my favorite things). After, I stopped at the grocery store for:
source
Somehow I managed to escape the grocery store with this and only this. I went home and put the crumbles in my vegetable glop for the week. This week my main meal will be very green tasting, but also very garlicy. It's in the crock pot now, stinking up the house.

After putting my weekly menu together, I went here:
and ran up and down this:
7 miles today. I knew they wouldn't be glorious, since I was up several times last night with my lower back and calves bothering me. Regardless, by the 4th mile I was feeling pretty good. Even with 20+ degree temperatures, lower back and calf issues, walking part-way up that hill, stopping to take the frozen creek picture, in the snow, on an icy path, with ~600 feet of elevation gain over 2 miles... I still banged out a 12:28 average pace. I know that doesn't seem like much to all the Speedy McSpeedertons out there, but it still amazes me when I run faster than I expected. Last year those would have been 14-15 minute miles.

I came home, threw my sweaty clothes in the washer, and soaked in a shower as hot as I could stand. Now I'm setting up for Shots and Beer Night on the game I play. About 20 of us get together and run our characters through the older content. Every time one of the main bad guys (a "Boss") goes down, everyone takes a drink. Every time we wipe (everyone dies and we have to start over) everyone takes a drink. Our group is rated in the top 10 on the server, which means we have some pretty powerful characters. A lot of bosses go down on Shots and Beer Night. As the night progresses, we invariably wipe more and more. All the while, we are using a voice-over-IP program to conference call in real time. It's a party over the computer!  
This is who I will be tonight.
Jal is the highest level a character can get
and 2 points below the highest gear score a character can have.

January 20, 2012

A frustrating day

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing goes as planned? Where everything seems to go wrong? That was me, today. Some things turn out to be far more difficult than they really should. Either that, or I'm just an idiot.

Ninja was supposed to be over around 10:30. I haven't seen him since Christmas. The plan was to put up shelving, then go to lunch together. I had a few of my Dad's jackets for him to try on, and some mail had piled up. At 10:40 I texted him, asking where he was. He was still at home, waiting for his Dad to get off the phone with the IRS so he could move the truck/trailer, so Ninja could get out of the drive. He finally made it to my place about an hour later.

We decided we could still put up the shelving before lunch, so headed over to my Mom's.
My mother's closet, prior to construction
While not exactly the plan, this is a fair idea of the concept Mom is going for.
Source
The first order of business was to determine how far below the shelf the closet rod hangs. The rod has to be 82 inches high, to fit a second rod underneath at 41 inches. Turns out the rod hangers we'd purchased did not fit the shelf we'd purchased. The lip of the shelf was not large enough.

I should note that I had my mother's carpet cleaner, along with a bin of hoses that goes with it, in the back seat of my car. I'd brought the cleaner home yesterday, but had yet to figure out where I could store it so never even brought it into the house.

Not knowing which we would be able to replace, we had to take both the shelf and hangers back to Home Depot. This involved moving the bin of hoses out of the car and onto the back porch. I then organized my trunk, allowing me to fit the shelf in the car by laying the back seat down. We drove up to my Mom's store to pick up the receipt for the returns. About the time I pulled into the parking lot at her store, I realized I'd dropped the hangers into the bin with the hoses when first trying to rearrange the car to fit the shelf. I sent Ninja in my car back to the house to get the hangers, while I ran upstairs to get the receipt.

The trip to Home Depot went smoothly. We decided to leave everything in the car while we figured out what we needed, which ultimately turned out to be the hangers my Mom had originally picked, which clamp on to the shelf. I'd talked her out of them, thinking the bigger hangers that screwed on would be more stable and support more weight. We returned the bigger hangers, purchased the less complicated hangers, and put the $3 difference on a gift card.

Once back at the house, we started putting up the shelf track.
source
It's been a while since I've done a project like this, and it wasn't until I drilled the first hole that it occurred to me I really should line these tracks up with the studs. The first track went up smoothly, after determining the stud was almost exactly where I'd originally planned to put the track. It wasn't until I drilled the first hole for the second track that I remembered the stud finder starts beeping at the edge of the stud. Yeah. The drill bit bounced right off the edge of the stud, into the space between. Now I had 2 holes to repair. The rest of the strips went up easily, although I could not find a stud anywhere near where the third strip belonged. Luckily this strip is in the corner, where the two sets of shelves will butt up against each other and my Mom will not be hanging clothes. The strip is well anchored, so it will bear weight. It's just not anchored into studs like the other two.


While on the final strip, the hammer fell from the stepladder, leaving a huge black mark on the wall. Luckily I'll already have the paint out to fix the extra holes in the wall, so can fix this at that time.

With the strips up, we were in the home stretch. We put the brackets on the strips, put the shelf up... and discovered the brackets were too long. They stuck out past the lip on the shelf, leaving the shelf tipped upwards and preventing the shelf from locking into place. We would have to go back to Home Depot and get different brackets.

By this time, both Ninja and I were hungry. We decided to combine trips and get lunch while out near Home Depot. We also decided poor Bronte would be distraught if we left her again, so we brought her with. Bronte loves car rides, and is accustomed to sitting in the car while my parents stopped for a quick bite. We parked away from everyone else in the lot, so she wouldn't get overly excited with people passing by, and she had a nice little nap in the back seat while we took care of business.

There is an IHOP right across the parking lot from Home Depot, so that's where we decided to eat. I made this choice with trepidation, as I've had poor service in this particular IHOP before. To make a long story short, nothing had changed since my last visit. It is rare that I leave a restaurant without leaving a tip. Yup. That happened today.

Ninja and I went across the parking lot to Home Depot, returned the brackets, and went back to the storage section to find the right size brackets. Half an hour later, we left Home Depot with a set of the exact same brackets we'd come in with. It took me that long to figure out how to slip the tips of the brackets through the lip of the shelf, to make them work. There were no shorter brackets available.
Shelf/closet rod one of three
My brother has a saying, that any project requires three trips to Home Depot. Today proved that saying true. My mother wants two shelves on the back wall, giving her two closet rods to hang blouses on. Do you see the white spots in the picture above? Yeah, those are the result of our attempt to hang the second shelf.
Instructions for shelf kits
The smaller shelves were anchored with 5 clips and 2 bracer bars. We never got as far as the bracers. It turns out there is a broken lathe in the back wall, at the exact height we wanted the shelf. I drilled the hole for the anchor clip, then couldn't figure out why it would only go about halfway through. I pushed in, it would bounce back out as if it were bending. I finally saw the problem, after putting the other anchor clips in. There was nothing for it. We pulled the clips and made plans to return to Home Depot for shelf tracks, like the other wall. I'm actually happier with this solution, as the tracks offer more support than these shelf kits did. The third Home Depot trip will happen with my Mom on Tuesday.

As if the project wasn't frustrating enough, the closet had a final parting shot. Scroll back up and look at the original picture of my Mom's closet. Do you see the double rack against the back wall? That stupid thing fell to pieces when we tried to put it back before leaving. We had to unload the whole thing and put the rack back together, before loading it up again. Ninja and I cleaned up, packed up, and congratulated ourselves on getting out without an emergency room trip or other major mishap. The project just seemed prime for major disaster.

My treadmill setup, including Netflix on the iPad
I've been running on my treadmill for 3 weeks now. I don't know if I change my stride, if it's the speed I'm running, or what the issue is, but running anything more than a mile on the treadmill makes my calves sore. I assume this means I'm building muscle, and that I will be able to run farther the longer I use the treadmill. Much like learning to run in minimal shoes, I'm adding mileage slowly. This does mean, however, that I cannot do long runs inside. I keep an eye on the weather and plan my longer runs accordingly. Now we have snow on the ground this is a bit more difficult, but there is a park near my house that plows their path. I'd planned to run 6 miles there today, but the closet project took too long. I thought I'd at least run 3 on the treadmill, but made the mistake of sitting down at the computer when I got home. I was immediately sucked in, and only resurfaced with time enough for a single mile before heading out to meet Superman for dinner. One mile is enough to keep my streak going, but I'd really hoped for more.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Improvements I can make

1. My food plan has been shot to hell the past several days. I'm binging again, which may be a direct response to the snow and cold. Regardless, it's a vicious circle when I eat this way. I overeat, I gain weight, I beat myself up, I overeat more... I have to find a reasonable and achievable way to break the cycle. I'm coming to realize (again) that I'm not particularly interested in losing weight. I am interested in feeling attractive, strong, and capable. That, and fitting in my jeans. I can't do those things if I continue to eat this way.

2. I snapped and got mad at Ninja simply because he didn't do what I wanted, today. What I wanted was for him to turn around on his way home, because he forgot the jacket he was supposed to take. Yes, I was thinking he would be cold without a decent winter coat, but getting upset like that was unreasonable. Then I transferred the frustration over into a conversation with Superman immediately after. I have a tendency to get frustrated with Ninja when he doesn't do what I want, which seems out of proportion to the reaction I have when other people do not do what I want. I'm not certain why this is, but it is not fair to him. He's a grown man now, and if he thinks the jacket he has will suffice for another week, I have to believe it will. If he gets cold, he gets cold. It is extremely unlikely he'll freeze to death.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Positives from today

1. Superman's infinite patience, as I've been short tempered and easily annoyed all evening. I'm not sure why I'm such a pill, since everything has gone my way since arriving at dinner.

2. It supposed to snow tonight, but there is no snow in the forecast for tomorrow or Sunday. This means I can run the park both days. Sunday in particular will be sunny and in the 40s, which is perfect running weather.

3. While I haven't yet found it a home, I actually have a carpet cleaner. Given time, I may be able to eliminate all the spots 10 years of cats and kids have created on my poor carpet. Yeah, I know, I'm a dreamer.

4. I'm finally starting to feel almost healthy. I haven't taken any cold medicine in over 24 hours, and my sinuses are almost completely clear. Cross your fingers I haven't just jinxed myself into another bout of illness...

January 19, 2012

Boring myself

Source
You may have noticed I haven't posted at all this week, until yesterday's blackout. The reason is, I'm boring myself with all these goal related posts. If I'm boring myself, I imagine that's exactly how my faithful readers feel, x 10. At the same time, it's helpful for me to focus on how my goals are progressing daily. In addition to writing about them here, I've been tracking them on my calendar. The combination of both blog and calendar has been time consuming, which is counter productive.

The past few days, I tried just tracking on the calendar. That hasn't worked so well. Things aren't getting done. It's interesting to me which things are happening (running every day) and which are not (eating well, housekeeping, studying, and resumes). There's my priorities, right there. There is what I fear or find difficult or just do not enjoy doing. Those are also the variable elements in my calendar, time-slots which I allow to move freely depending on things like what time I wake up, what time I finish at my Mom's, and what I FEEL at any given time. I'm thinking I need to stop letting what I FEEL affect what I want to accomplish. I'm not letting what I FEEL affect my daily runs. Why am I letting it affect my daily studying, or daily resume submissions?

Once again, this blog is evolving, and I'm not certain of it's final form. My goals are also evolving, as I find what fits with who I am, and who I want to be. I imagine THAT will be a lifelong process. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 positives from the last few days:

1. I've now run 18 days straight, each week increasing in mileage.

2. I'm tentatively excited about some of the resumes I've submitted, particularly to Progressive. I've not heard back from anyone, but my credentials are more in line with these than most of the other positions I've applied for of late.

3. I don't know if I've lost weight, and I've not exactly stuck to my food plan the last several days, but I FEEL more slender and fit. Ultimately, that's the result I'm looking for anyway.

January 18, 2012

Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge


We can either be part of the problem, or part of the cure. 
Find your representatives and learn more here.
Contact them, before your favorite blogs look like this too.

If that's too much work, consider going to Google and signing their petition.
Let your voice be heard.

January 13, 2012

Ugh

Turns out some bugs are not afraid (or ashamed) to hit a person when they're down. There's a reason I was so exhausted the other day. I got got by another bug, and it is not the same bug I started with around Christmas. This one took the super duper mega ultra uber cold medicine they keep behind the counter to stop my nose from dripping like a leaky faucet, and even that doesn't get rid of the symptoms - it just makes them bearable.

Knocked.
Me.
On.
My.
Ass.

I was a zombie most of the day yesterday. I've been sleeping all day today. Apparently when I'm ill, all bets are off. Apparently Pierre's Strawberry Ice Cream is comfort food. The only reason it fit in with my meal plan is because Superman stopped off at our local vegetarian restaurant and brought me a care package:
Tommy's CeeBee Sandwich
Almost entirely vegetable calories.
Needless to say, I did not stay within my calorie allotment. I didn't even track what I ate today. That whole "eat for energy" thing keeps kicking me in the head. Eating for comfort. Eating for things that are not hunger. I wonder some times how I got this way, and what it would take to change me. Not everyone has these problems. First world problems, right?

Not everything went out the window. I put in 5 miles outside yesterday. I missed the sunshine, but it was still nice. My body didn't feel fatigued - it was just my head bothering me at that point. I am consistently hitting paces around 11:35-11:40 per mile, which is faster than the 12:00-13:00 minute miles I ran last year. I did a mile on the treadmill today. My body felt alright doing it, but I had a headache by the time I finished. It's just not possible to get enough oxygen through my airways right now.

I've kind of lost site of the stretching again. I thought about doing yoga a few times this week, but didn't want to put in the hour it requires. I did stretch yesterday and today, but both times they were perfunctory foot and leg stretches. Just enough to say I stretched, not enough to do much good.

I put in an application yesterday for an entry level .net developer position. I have only the vaguest idea what that is, but I'm certain that if someone wants to teach me how to do a job, I am fully capable of learning how to do it. I planned to take the Cleveland Clinic test today, but that didn't happen. Instead I basically lazed around and slept all day. Housework consisted of laundry and dishes, which I don't count on my goal because I do them by rote anyway. I did clean the toilet. I know you're all relieved to hear that. An example of exactly how out of it I am: I did not make my bed either yesterday or today. That happens even less frequently than me napping, which happened both days.

I did some studying yesterday too. I learned about the IN command in SQL. Well, part of the IN command. There is apparently more that I'll learn later on. Yesterday I learned that it is used to bring up multiple values when using the WHERE clause. Going back to our contacts database, you can use the IN command to look up all the people in both Cleveland and Youngstown at the same time. I also learned in a script like this you can use * as a wildcard if you want to search more than one column or field.

5 Positive things about today:

Dr. J is a research psychologist and professor at Florida State University. She is concerned with my "list 5 positive things about today" goal. Apparently this type of scenario is used to make people in research settings depressed. If they cannot come up with 5 things, they think the day did not go well. If they cannot come up with 5 negative things, they think maybe the day went better than they thought. She suggests I only list the 2 or 3 things that immediately come to mind, and leave the rest alone.

I appreciate her concern and love her for it. What she doesn't realize though, is I'm having fun coming up with the 5 things. I list the easy ones, then I get creative. Some of them are kind of BS, but it makes me smile to spin them in a positive light. Dr. J suggested another way to improve my outlook was simply to smile. As long as listing 5 positive things makes me smile, that's what I'm going to do. The minute I feel pressured or depressed because I can't come up with 5, I'll leave it alone and let the ones I can come up with speak for themselves.

1. I love my sister. In addition to her concern about my goals, she also is trying to get me to play with
    my clay again. She has an Etsy shop where she sells the results of her playing with glass, her
    husband's photography, and a bit of Dr. Who paraphernalia. Apparently Dr. Who sells. She's offered
    to sell my mother's sock patterns (my mother is a master knitter who designs socks and sells the
    patterns on Ravelry) on her Etsy site. To link the knitting with what she already has, she suggested
    I create Dr. Who paraphernalia too, including Tardis stitch holders for knitters. It sounds like so
    much fun! I actually watched some of the more recent episodes yesterday, when I wasn't sleeping.

2. My mother, the master knitter, made me this:
    I ran in it yesterday, and it was perfect. VERY warm over the ears, but not warm enough I wanted to
    take it off, as I often do my hats while running.

3.  This came in today's mail:
    It's officially official. I'm gergitated. 

4. Tomorrow I'm scheduled for my first Christmas present massage. I don't think we'll do the
    myofacial yet, but we might. I have to talk to him and see what he thinks. Again, I'm not sure if it's
    because I'm running every day, or maybe because I am not running any real distance, but I do not
    feel as tight as I did. I don't know if myofacial would be beneficial at this point.

5. Apparently, I'm very organized. I had to go up to the pharmacy to get my cold medicine last night
    (after deciding around 10 pm there had to be a stronger, more effective medicine than what I had.
    Also after leaving my wallet at home and having to turn around to get it. While on the phone with
    my Mom...). Either I'm overly organized, or the girl behind the counter just isn't. She commented,
    then spent several minutes talking about how organized my wallet is, while running my information
    through the computer twice because I hit enter without signing the federal form necessary to
    purchase the super duper mega ultra uber cold medicine. The entire situation struck me as amusing.
    I would lose my mind if I behaved the way she said she did, just dropping her debit card in her
    purse. She said it's because she's always rushing. I organize because I'm always rushing, and I lose
    things if they're not in their place. Witness the wallet I left at home. It was in one of two places -
    either on the doorknob or in the glove compartment. Somehow I didn't see it on the doorknob.

January 11, 2012

Who's bluffing now?

Wow. I don't know what the deal is, but I have been simply exhausted all day. I got stuff done, but it was a struggle. Even after a nap, I'm still tired. At least I ate today, and ate well. Balanced and within my calorie allotment. Hunger is not why I'm so tired.

It all started when I got up early to meet Energizer Bunny at my Mom's. I did not want to get out of bed, even going as far as to hit snooze 3 times, when I rarely if ever hit snooze even once. Energizer Bunny and her husband (Mr. Math) refinished my mother's woodblock kitchen table today, and we talked about cabinets. The options on the cabinets are:
  1. strip with the heat gun, prime and refinish = 20+ hours of work
  2. sand, prime and refinish = <20 hours of work, but we're not sure what the quality will be
  3. reface everything = $$
  4. replace everything = $$$$$$
Energizer Bunny is getting prices and testing the sand/prime/finish theory on the door to the laundry chute. I cannot do much in the kitchen until I know what we're doing. I don't want to patch walls, only to have them torn up if we replace the cabinets.

Luckily, there's plenty to do in the dining room and living room. After everyone left, I spent almost 4 hours working on the windows and front wall of the dining room. There was more water damage than I first thought, but I think I've at least got a plan now. I said I wasn't going to scrape anything since my hands are still sore from last week, but I ended up scraping the window frame. <shrug> It needed doing.

I left my Mom's mid-afternoon, which is early of late, hoping to get a run in out in the sunshine. I was just too fatigued though, and opted for a (*GASP*) nap. I am not normally the nap taker, but I haven't been sleeping well again, and I think I may have caught another cold. I just feel run down. So I slept for a couple hours, then got up and (FINALLY) swept the basement stairs and vacuumed the basement. My run, which I'd hoped to be 3 miles, which my calendar says should be quarter mile intervals, turned into an easy mile on the treadmill at 5mph pace. Since I ran at least a mile, I'm good with that. I didn't do more than stretch my feet, but again, the smallest fulfillment of my goal still fulfills my goal.

Next on the list was studying. Today I learned more qualifiers for the SELECT command. In addition to the WHERE from yesterday, I learned you can narrow the search even more with an AND or Or command. So in our contacts database we would SELECT the city column in the contacts table. Then we would search with the WHERE command for city = 'cleveland", refining that with AND (zip>44113 OR <44122). This will return any addresses in the Cleveland area with a zip code greater than 44113 but less than 44122.

I had to go back and check to make sure the AND/OR commands could search through a different column than the WHERE command. They can.

I submitted today's resume to Cleveland Clinic, for another systems analyst position. I still have to take their assessment test, which is on the agenda for tomorrow. I want to make sure 1) I am as awake and alert as possible, and 2) I have enough time for the hour+ test.

For now, I'm tired and heading to bed. I'm hoping for the run outside tomorrow, since it's supposed to be the last warm dry day this week.

5 Positive things about today:

1. Superman just informed me I'm awesome, for no apparent reason other than I said I had to come up
    with my 5 positive things for the day. 8-)

2. My mother did actually go out and purchase an Ott light for me to use in my craft area. Now I have
    to come up with time and energy to do crafts. Seriously. She said she knows it's not the sole reason
    I'm not doing crafts right now, but it's something she thought I could use. I thought that was very
    sweet of her.

3. Not only did I get to talk to Aunt Gertie and Energizer Bunny today, I also spoke with Big Bro. He
    has my Dad's old hard drive, which may contain some of the historical content Energizer Bunny,
    Superman and I were talking about scanning. We are definitely going through all this material on
    Sunday, and I'm very excited to see what's there.

4. I spent some time today planning my garden for next year, including where and how much trellis to
    put up for my grape vine. The trellis will serve a duel purpose of supporting my grapes and hiding
    my garbage cans. The strawberries and raspberries appear to be wintering well. All I'll have to add
    is a more manageable tomato plant than the one I had this past year, and replanting of my peppers
    which are currently wintering in pots inside.

5. I hit all my goals today. Maybe not with the flair and gusto of a 10 miler or hour of yoga, but I hit
    them nonetheless. Now to do that on a regular basis...

January 10, 2012

fatigued...or... well exercised!



This was today's project. Remove the paneling and adhesive from the wall over the sink and behind the microwave (already removed). I was surprised that my hands and arms were still feeling last week's endeavors. I also got a little distracted. You see the lower cabinet to the far right? After a conversation with Energizer Bunny, I started taking the paint of that cabinet. We are going to refinish all the cabinets, and it appears the heat gun will be the quickest and easiest way to remove the paint on them now. Of course, this will mean about 2 more weeks of work for me. It really does need to be done though.

I did get the wall cleaned up, including a good look at why the tile was put on in the first place. Sorry I forgot to take pictures. Blogger fail, I know. Not eating anything all day may have had something to do with that, though I certainly had enough pizza to carry me through today and tomorrow as well. Mostly I wasn't hungry, and when I was I didn't have a microwave to heat up what I'd brought to eat. Instead I had some tea and the hunger passed, which means I must not have really been hungry in the first place, right?

I was hungry by the time I got home, though. I made a huge bowl of veggies with the protien and vegetable concoction meant for this week's meals. There was no way I was going to run immediately after eating that, so I sat down and got my studying and resume out of the way.

Today is brought to you by the WHERE command. This is another qualifier for the SELECT command, but it doesn't connect to SELECT in the same way yesterday's DISTINCT does. WHERE is another line in the question "what are you looking for?" You would use it in a contacts database to retrieve only the records from a specific city (city = 'Cleveland'). I also learned that text criteria such as 'Cleveland' are entered with single quotation marks. Numbers, such as zip codes, are not.

After digesting that little tidbit, I started searching for a resume to submit. I'm actually a little hopeful and excited about the Systems Analyst position I applied for at Metro Health. It's an entry level position, meaning they will be willing to teach me what they want me to do.

Once dinner had settled (read: several hours later) I hopped on the treadmill for my run. I was tired, so only wanted to do 1 mile. My calendar said 3, but that is a purely arbitrary number based on nothing at all, including my physical health at the moment (thought I was better, but now my sinues are acting up again). I split the difference and ran 2.

I'm not doing so well with the housekeeping goal the past few days. I still haven't vacuumed the basement, even though I did move the vacuum down there. Maybe if I get to bed before 2am, I won't be so tired tomorrow and I'll get it done.

5 positive things about today:

1. We have had several warm, sunny days in a row. I'm liking winter this way!

2. In line with the warm, sunny days, the sunsets have been fabulous out my mother's back window.

3. I got to chat with both Aunt Gertie and Energizer Bunny today. I like it when I chat with my sisters.

4. One of the people I worked with in my last job touched base with me on Linkedin, which resulted in
    a recommendation and I'm using her as a reference with the resume I submitted today. Funny that I
    found my Dad on Linkedin, listed as manager of my mother's sewing and alterations shop. That
    made me smile.

5. Energizer Bunny, Superman, and possibly my mother will be getting together soon to go through
    and scan in a bit of our family history. My mother inherited photo albums from my father's mother.
    They chronical my grandparent's courtship and my father's youth. I can't wait to go through it all!

January 9, 2012

Long run, done!

All 4 miles of it. I did them outside and nonstop, at an 11:40 pace. So much better than my runs earlier in the week! I started feeling good enough about mile 3 to consider running 5, but I didn't have time and I was starting to feel a little chilled. I missed the good weather this week, and while it was still sunny the temperature had dropped. Also, it appears I only stretch after running on the treadmill.

I didn't have time for another mile because Superman and I went to see
The Adventures of Tintin
Superman has fond memories of going to the local book shop after school and reading these in between the stacks. I'd never heard of them, other than through Superman, but I can see why he enjoyed them so. In addition to the fast paced story and exciting adventure, I was fascinated with the artwork and detail.

After the movie, I stopped by the local running store to return the Brooks I bought last week. They apparently have arch support or something which I do not need. One mile into my first run with them and I knew they wouldn't work. 1.5 miles and I switched back to my old shoes, which need replacing. Turns out I didn't know the Kinvara's were reworked shortly after I purchased my pair. I'm now the proud owner of another pair of Kinvara's, which are slightly wider and slightly more yellow (if that's at all possible) than last year's model.
On the way home from the running store, my self destructive half convinced me pizza was a much better idea for dinner than the concoction I'd made yesterday for this week's meals. I decided I could afford a personal pan pizza, but it didn't take much for the person who answered to phone to talk me into a large. Apparently Pizza Hut has a special going on now, where all toppings on a large pizza are free. The personal pan pizza cost as much as the large. It didn't make sense to go small, except for that whole "I'll over-eat then chastise myself if I go large" thing. So of course, that's exactly what I did.
This is the compromise my two selves came to. I steamed up a bunch of vegetables and scraped the cheese and toppings into it, then ate the crusts. No, I am not well balanced vegetable-wise today (unless you consider pizza a vegetable). I also didn't stop there and proceeded to eat 2 more pieces of pizza, which I completely did not need. I would have been within my calorie allotment had I restrained myself. Note to self: next time go with the personal pan pizza, no matter what deal you think you're getting. That deal is not in your best interest.

I did get a resume in, for an IT Auditor position at University Hospitals. I also studied SQL for the first time this week. I'm in the early stages of learning this language. The first lesson was on the SELECT command, which will call up the contents of a column in a database table. So if you want to see all the last names in a contacts database you use the SELECT command. Today I learned about SELECT DISTINCT, which returns only one instance of an item in a column. So if you want to see how many different cities are in a contacts database, you use the SELECT DISTINCT command. It cuts out the duplicates.

I have yet to vacuum the basement, but I took the vacuum down to do so before I go to bed. Right now I'm piddling around on the game I play.

5 Positive things about today:

1. I found a coffee candy that is tasty enough, with considerably fewer calories.

2. My mother remembered today that she owns a carpet cleaner. After all my work last week, she no longer
    has any carpets. She offered the cleaner to me. Yay! Maybe now I can get the stains out of my carpet.

3. My mother has also offered to find me an Ott light for my craft/utility room. This lamp apparently shines
    with a natural light, but is not just a "daylight" bulb. The Ott website offers "true colors, clear details, and
    reduced glare and eyestrain - all in a low heat, energy-efficient bulb" which should do well to simulate the
    sunshine I need to be comfortable working in that space.

4. I'm not sure if it's because I'm running every day, because I'm stretching more, or why, but I've noticed my
    hips are not as tight as they were. Before I would be standing by the sink and realize everything was
    clenched and tight. I'd have to deliberately relax those muscles. This week that has not been the case. Yes,
    my back was very tight after working on my mother's floors, but my hips were not. Go figure.

5. My friend from high school responded to my email about Progressive. He is going to submit my resume
    when he's back in the office next month, with his recommendation. He says people who are recommended
    at least get a call from HR. 

January 8, 2012

The Bug


Today was a one step back kind of day in the food plan department. I did well until this evening. Basically I ate instead of hydrating. Then, even knowing I was eating instead of hydrating, I continued to overeat.

I haven't been hydrating well for the past few days, and it shows not only in tonight's eating, but also in my runs. I ended up with 2 miles today on the treadmill, and those were interspersed with breaks every half mile. I'm certain hydration had something to do with how I felt. I even made tea, which I haven't done for the last few days. Then I had the bright idea to add Amway's Nutrilite to the tea, which ruined the taste completely. I should have just made another batch, but I didn't.

I did accomplish several things today, including getting my car washed and cleaning the kitchen floor. I also spent quite a bit of time preparing my meals for the coming week. I have the plan perfectly balanced for my basic calorie requirements. This means I will be challenged to balance any additional calories from exercise or working at my Mom's. I don't know if I have enough vegetables in the house to balance those additional calories. I guess I'll have to work something out, even if it means another trip to the grocery store.

I also stretched after running. I woke up with my lower back VERY stiff, so stretched my back as well as my legs. Did I mention how excited I am about Friday's massage?

I'm failing on the studying front, though. I was supposed to study yesterday and today, and it just didn't happen. Things took longer than expected, and I made choices which excluded the studying. I have to start making it a priority, and am considering going back to the "every day" concept I started with. Even if I only learn one thing a day, that is better than how I'm learning now (read NOT). 

I submitted another resume to Progressive today, as well as emailing my high school friend who works there. This position is for a college student who graduated from a Masters program in December (that would be me!) or expects to graduate in early 2012. I haven't had any statistics classes, and could not detail a time when I made a proposal or recommendations to a manager or business leader, but I'm a whiz at Excel and I am willing to learn...

5 Positive things about today:

1. My neighbor stopped by and we talked about "The Occassional Dining Club" which apparently will
    have another meeting the weekend before Valentine's. No clue where we'll go to eat, but it should be
    enjoyable!

2. I didn't get to run in it, because things took longer than expected all day, but it was a gorgeous 50+
    degree day again. I can handle this kind of winter here!

3. I've been completely entranced by the Yellow Bird movies of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,
    The Girl Who Played With Fire, and now The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. (the movies
    are available on Netflix) I haven't read the last book, but these interpretations (done by a Swedish
    film company) are spot on to the books I have read, leaving literally nothing out and changing
    nothing either.  They are dark and fascinating. It's a shame the author died, as I understand there
    were plans for more in the series.

4. My cold is just about gone. No need to medicate, and only a one minor coughing jag. Now to get
    my endurance back...

5. I'm incredibly thankful I chose to list only 5 positive things about my days, as I usually get stuck
    around 3 or 4, and the 10 I was originally contemplating would likely have been impossible!
    Overall, I have good days, but the good things do not stand out at the end of the day.

Because I have no pictures for you, I offer a smile. My one and only celebrity crush...