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Catch Up Time, Finally
2006-10-30, 11:22 a.m.

Day 799 Catch Up Time, Finally?

A long delayed post from a few days ago is hiding back there before this one. Read it if you dare – moaning about bad bowling and the foolishness of expecting an alcoholic to leave a few quality beers behind for the guy that likes to have one once every other week or so.

Well, still here in upstate NY. Sunday’s little wind storm didn’t blow us out to the Atlantic. It did make driving more entertaining than it needed to be, especially upwind, but all in all, it wasn’t horrible.

Big Ash tree in the front yard is now pretty much leafless, as is the little sugar maple. Crab apple and hasn’t even started to turn color yet. The Purple Plum is, well, purple. Don’t know how to tell if it’s changing color or not. But all those trees are nothing as far as leaf content goes. The ash tree is big, cure, but it drops it’s leaves right at the curb. Rake them up into a nice little pile and the town leaf truck comes by and vacuums them up. The real problem is out back.

There we have a 60+ foot Silver maple (trunk is 3+ feet in diameter), two 40+ foot Norway Maples (with their huge leaves) and our two teeny apple trees. We have the added benefit of our back yard being kind of a cul-de-sac for the wind. We get leaves from trees that are no where near our yard. With or without the 50mph winds we had yesterday. Somehow even the least little breeze transports all the oak, hickory and cherry leaves right to our back yard and lets them rest there for me to rake up.

Now that the boys are off to school and not available to rake and haul leaves, it’s up to Cindy & I to do the bulk of it. The timing of the leaves falling being what it is, the raking & hauling usually comes in two large efforts, the first probably being next weekend. That’s when the bulk of the Norway’s leaves will be down. I’ll corral the leaves up with an industrial style blower, then rake them onto a ginormous tarp and haul them out front for the leaf vacuum truck. The corralled leaves will be in a pile that’s about 120 feet long, 10 – 12 feet wide and a foot or so deep. If they’re dry (please, please, please be dry), they’ll get raked into that tarp and I will drag that sucker, caveman style, from the back yard, around the gardens & house, down the front yard and out to the curb. A dozen or more times – if the leaves are dry. If they’re wet, there will be more, slightly smaller, loads. I have no idea what these loads weigh, but I’d rather drag a deer a mile than haul these things all day. Mostly because the deer tastes much better.

The last little problem revolves around curb space. Because of the positioning of our house (we’re on the outside portion of a curve in the road) we have one of the larger back yards in the neighborhood. At the same time, we have the least amount of linear curb space. This makes for very interesting piles of leaves. We’ll end up with our measly 60 feet of available curb space packed with mountains of leaves – 8 – 10 feet wide at the base and up to 3 feet high. We usually ‘borrow’ some space from out neighbors too – they’re relatively leaf poor but curb space rich. Our neighbors are nice & reasonable folks. They realize that if they don’t let us ‘borrow’ 20 feet or so of curb, they might wind up with a garage full of my leaves, so in the interests of neighborhood harmony, they don’t complain when they see our leaves on their curb. Of course, getting our industrial blower in their back yard to help corral their leaves probably help even out that equation a little too.

Workouts lately have been going pretty well. Saturdays session ran a little long and caused some friction on the home front. Did my penance for that one Sunday morning and got back some semblance of peace. I still find it odd how I can ‘steal’ an hour on a Saturday morning to get in a better workout and catch hell from the wife for it, but she can steal 5 straight weeknights for no more than getting her buzz on and I’m expected to tolerate it.

I have noticed that the Nautilus based weight lifting sessions run longer than the sessions using the computerized machines. I’m sure it’s all in how long the rests are between sets. On the computer based machines, the system times out after a minute and logs you out. That little inconvenience is enough to keep you moving along all in order to avoid having to re-enter your codes, etc. (Pavlovian response much?) On the Nautilus gear, the only thing to prompt you to start your next set is you – or the person on the machine behind you trying to push you along. So the rests in between sets tends to get a little longer – certainly longer than a minute. There are also 3 additional exercises to do on the nautilus gear. That alone can add 15 minutes to a normal full circuit session.

Bottom line – in order to promote peace & harmony in the house, I ought to keep my butt moving on the Nautilus machines. Of course, I could dawdle at home again, get to the gym later than desired, then only do the cardio work in order to get to work at a reasonable hour. That saves a bunch of time.

Coolest (nerdiest) event of the weekend? Involves my alarm clock and daylight savings time. My alarm clock is one of those that has a radio link to some master clock someplace. If we lose power and the back up battery croaks, I don’t have to worry about resetting my clock. When it powers back up, it searches for that radio signal, reads the date & time from it and sets itself. All I had to do was tell the clock where it is. Must remember that in some sort of flash based device in the clock circuitry.

Anyhow. Saturday night, middle of the night, I had to get up to pee. Happened to notice that it was 3:04 am. Went in the bathroom, did my business, came back out to crawl into bed. Noticed it was now 2:06 am. That was pretty cool because it served as a reminder that I had an extra hour to sleep. That’s never hard to take.

Tomorrow – maybe something worthy of the day. No – not Halloween, 800 days of no smoking. Some sort of mini retrospective maybe.

Oh - to show you what's been keeping me from posting much lately, I'd like post a picture of the first image off of our new machine. Unfortunately, it's a test target, it's not calibrated, it would mean nothing to any of you, the full image at standard resolution wouldn't fit on your monitor, and I'm sure it would be a confidentiality violation of some sort. Let it suffice to say we are extremely pleased to get that first image done. It really looked pretty good considering how far we've come in the last week or so. All that scientific theory crap and thousands of lines of firmware & software code actually works. Good thing.

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight: 186 on 10/28/06 (Nice rut to be in)
Next weigh in: 11/2/06

New target – Aim is 180, by Christmas.

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 10/24/06: 858.81 (on target so far)
Miles with cool down: 944.62
Target for 2006: 1000 miles
Plus 183 miles biking so far. Think outdoor biking is done for the season. Too cold.

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