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Back in the Saddle
2005-08-29, 4:43 p.m.

Day 372 Back to the Y, finally

The maintenance shutdown is over, finally. Actually got back to the Y this morning. I was so desperate I actually used the kids Weider weight bench/gym in the basement yesterday. Did manage to find all the charts & diagrams. Got in a really nice workout too. May have to take advantage of it more often when events conspire to keep me away from the Y.

Only thing at the Y still not open is the pool. Seeing as I float rather like a stone – the loss of the pool is no tragedy to me. Don’t get me wrong – I can swim just fine, in spite of my buoyancy issues.. Well, everything but the butterfly stroke. I just can’t wrap my head around getting a work out in a pool. Not my thing I guess.

Got a lot of stuff done this weekend. Did the weed killer thing to the yard, got my bills all paid, mowed. managed to get the rest of the shutters put back up and added touch up paint to all the mounting screws. Started a fun job Sunday: rebuilding the cupola on the top of the garage. The weather vane (a spread winged eagle) had fallen off last fall. The supporting wood got a wee bit rotten and punky. The vane actually fell off while we were outside eating dinner one night. At least it missed us. Seeing as the cupola couldn’t even support a wimpy little weather vane, it was high time it got a re-do. Especially with the house getting painted. Need to get all the new colors up there too.

So yesterday I managed to take to old roof off the cupola (in pieces), get the cupola un-mounted, remove the base, then get all the parts off the roof with no additional damage. Now, I have the base rebuilt with pressure treated wood, not regular old pine. The base is now cleanly separable from the main body , so I should be able to move them up to the roof separately and attach them up there. That’s also what I intend to do with the roof itself.

The original roof was a curved structure, Kinda nice looking really. The outer skin was very light aluminum sheeting, glued and nailed in place over some thin paneling that was attached to 4 nicely designed struts. The edges of the aluminum eventually let go, allowing water to get inside. That started the wood rotting. Plus, there were several areas where water could get trapped. Bad situation for wood. Plus, nothing was built out of pressure treated. So – the new roof will be a little simpler. Still a 4 sided affair, but straight – no curves for me. Instead of thin paneling and aluminum sheeting, I plan on using cedar shakes for the roof. That will require no underlayment material and also use up the bale of cheap, crap “C” grade shingles I have left over from replacing windows.

Now – colors. The weather vane used to be a deep foresty green – to match our old shutter & door color. Now – black. The eagle itself will get a fresh coat of Rustoleum gold metallic to brighten it up a bit. The arrow tip is now gold, and the fletching (feathers) will be red. It might actually look like an arrow when I’m done. The body and base of the cupola will be the same color as the house – sort of a ‘café au lait’ color. The roof will end up being the shutter color – that nice “Rich Auburn “ from Olympic.

I ought to either get a gold account so I can post pictures, or I could build a web page on our local Road Runner site and link to pics there. My descriptions of the colors are not doing them any justice. It really is a striking combination.

Makes me wish I had some before and after pictures of myself so I could post those too. I’ll have to dig around a bit. I may have some, just not in electronic form yet. I just tried getting a pic of my drivers license photo (taken in December) with my phone. Ought to show up in my email any minute now. If it came out at all, it will make a fantastic ‘before’ picture. I think it may be the last picture taken of me before I started on this whole diet/exercise odyssey. Really – what could be better than a drivers license photo reproduced on a cell phone camera to document the ‘before’ condition of a transformation?? Finally, the lousy characteristics of a drivers license photo can be put to good use. All I gotta do is get a web page built where I can post these things. Maybe tonight after I figure out how to rebuild the darn cupola roof.

Been having some odd cravings for a smoke lately. Odd in that they’re the type where I can actually feel the smoke going down my trachea into my lungs. When it first hits, the feeling of the smoke is comforting, like an old friend. Then I think about what that feeling costs – both in dollars and in health and in the amount of effort expended in trying to quit. One of my prime motivators in the early phases of quitting was knowing that just one cigarette would undo all the progress I had made up to what ever point it was. Just one smoke to ruin everything. That motivator still works. Well, that and the fact that I can actually RUN a 5K now, when even as recently as February there was no chance at all of that happening. Having run cross country in high school about a hundred years ago, I know how quickly smoking can destroy any hopes of going fast & far. I’m not tossing that away again.

Plus, I got to go see all my buddies in aerobics class. Now that the Y is open again and I’m getting back on track with the “less of me” drive, need to keep it up. I reset my weight goals in my nutrition tracking program. Came in at a dainty 222 early last week. (Was it the 15th? Don’t remember for sure) At least, I started tracking all the crap food I eat on a daily basis again. This morning, back on my favorite scale, (it has helium balloons installed beneath the platform, I swear) I came in at 217.5. Proof enough that when you play by the rules, the weight does come off. New target is to get below 190 by my birthday. That translates to 1.88lbs per week, which is a tad aggressive, but I hung in at (actually exceeded) 1.75 lbs per week for 4 months already this year. Another 1.5 or so ounces per week is nothing.

Till I don’t make it for a week. I’ll come here and vent, then go hit the treadmill and put in an extra 30 minutes a week. Someplace in there I might also convince myself that I must have missed logging some food that week. I already measure everything, including cereal. Drives C nuts. Of course, I weigh less than her now, so she can stuff it. Sad part is, I’m a foot taller than she is. I can carry 220lbs and it doesn’t look too bad, she can’t. I’m really starting to think that maybe she’s a little jealous. Of course, I can’t ask her directly. Get nothing but denial. Heh, I should nick name her Cleo – Queen of Denial. At least it starts with a “C”

On a side note – I just managed to clear out a bug in one of my program modules. This gives me much relief. I actually have new stuff to do tomorrow now. Damn work, keeps getting in the way. Better go tend to it.

372 days down. Time is up on a bunch of cravings too.


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old habits - new tricks