This blog is starting to feel like just that, a personal blog, again.
That’s good, in that I seem to be getting some sort of writing routine back (even if it’s still somewhat sporadic) and bad in that I seem to be treating it more like a diary.
Anyway, it’s my blog, I can do what I want.
One thing that I definitely need to focus on is getting into a routine. Tonight, finally, I have an induction at a gym. I deliberately chose one close to work, that opens at 7am, to force myself to get up and hit the gym in the morning (with the fallback of going in the evening). It’s not that far from my flat, about 15-20 minute drive, but as my weekends are looking busy already then I’ll likely, mostly, be going during the week anyway.
That’s the plan at least.
I’m also considering buying a Wii, and Wii Fit, as I did enjoy using it and it was definitely helping with my flexibility (cardio stuff is better at the gym), although I do need to buy a new camera as I’m going to be signing up for a photography class which starts in January…
Chatting to one of the instructors at the gym last night, I mentioned that I had thought about signing up for a Yoga class as I really need to improve my flexibility.
He advised me not to until I’d reached a reasonable level on my own, and at that he turned his attentions to the young blonde girl that had just walked on. Can’t really blame him for that but it did leave me wondering.
What is a “reasonable level”?
I’ll ask for more information when I’m next at the gym, but for now I think I’m gonna go with the Yoga section/exercises available in Wii Fit Plus.
Spending as much time as I do sitting at a desk I’m starting to feel my age, not only in my lack of flexibility but my eye-sight. I do have glasses, but they are for distance, or at least they were the last time I got my eyes checked, some 6 years ago? 7?
Time and tide and all that I guess. I don’t mind getting older at all, I’m just learning how to adapt my lifestyle to cope. One thing I definitely can’t do anymore is go drinking two nights in a row.
But I can always make exceptions, say, on the 8th and 9th of March…
My balance is quite good, says the Wii Fit Plus, but then it also says I have a “Fit Age” of 31 so what does it know. So whilst my physical balance isn’t too bad, I’m finding myself looking for balance in the other parts of my life.
I feel like some caricature when I say this but I’m increasingly realising that I should really be doing more of the things I enjoy, and prioritising everything else.
That’s why, already, I can say that I have read at least one book this year. I couldn’t say the same for the whole of last year which isn’t something I’m happy with.
Nobody to blame but myself of course, and I did achieve a lot last year although it was mostly work focussed (which I enjoy so that’s not a bad thing). However as I roll into this year I’m a bit swamped and finding myself procrastinating somewhat in the form of writing blog posts that don’t really need written.
Enough of this though, it’s not like my lot is a bad one and it would serve us all well to remember that.
And, on that note I’d invite you all to take a look around, see how your life is and then consider others. Naturally I’m talking about the recent earthquake in Haiti.
You can donate online and I’m sure most of you can spare something. So rather than that bottle of wine, or ordering a takeaway, perhaps we can all find some balance by pausing and thinking.
The past few weeks have been a bit, mostly, shit. As I’ve said before, there is a lot of my life that I don’t blog about, and I’m not about to change that so you’ll just have to trust me.
However, all of that is now in the past, and whilst some of it is still very raw it is beginning to heal so I can now start to look ahead. As someone once said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. I am Hercules.
One thing that I let slip quite badly is my weight. I was doing pretty well, had lost almost a stone, but it was (and usually is) the first thing that I take my eye off and so I find myself back up around 17st again.
I had gotten into the habit of weighing myself every day, with the full understanding that your weight fluctuates a great deal each day, to make sure I was aware of my weight as much as possible, trying to trick my brain into remember that I’m fat as, despite the fact my clothes are tight and when I look down I can SEE that I’m fat, my brain doesn’t really seem to register the fact.
So that’ll need to get kick started. The Wii Fit will be dragged out from under the TV stand again, and hopefully the physio exercises for my knee will start to have some effect and I might be able to start walking (not running) as a form of exercise.
I think I’m going to post my weekly weight on here, in the vague hope that it will publically shame me and keep me focussed. This morning I was 16st 13lbs, but will probably post my weekly updates on a Monday which is, again, a subtle form of engineering that should stop me pulling out my usual “ach it’s the weekend…” excuse.
At least, that’s my plan. As ever I reserve the right to change my mind as and when my life takes another turn.
I’m sitting at the dining table, the laptop in front of me with a view out of the back garden. I’m being dazzled as the in the sharp light of a crisp winter day bounces off the last of the snow.
Ollie has been in a couple of times to check I’m ok, and to warm up the keyboard of the laptop for me and I’ve just opened a letter from the bank that says they miscalculated a recently settled loan so please would I take this cheque for £400.
My heart is full and light, I’ve lost weight, I’m enjoying work despite the ongoing manic nature of things, and I seem to have hit a productive streak.
Yup, if it wasn’t for the dull ache in my knee I’d have nothing to complain about! Well that and the fact my webhost seems to have been a bit flaky recently, anyone having issues getting to the site? Ohh and not forgetting our flaky Sky+ box (engineer out this afternoon).
Anyway, I was back at the physio this morning where I discovered that, as well as the aforementioned Osgood Schlatters (now benign), I also have a condition known as Sinding–Larsen–Johansson Syndrome. Add that to my slightly knocked knees, my flat arches and my entire lower body is out of alignment and, frankly, it’s a wonder I can stand up right.
OK, it’s not that bad or pronounced and the basic reason I need to go back to physio is that I rushed back to running too soon, and need to stay away from impact based exercise. Which means elliptical trainers, bikes, swimming, stepping machines and the like. Which means going to the gym. Which means paying out money for something I’ve never really enjoyed all that much.
This is purely down to my boredom threshold being very low, something I don’t have a problem with on the Wii Fit as it is entertaining (if only mildly) and uses games/competitions to keep you motivated. However the Wii Fit isn’t going to solve this, although it will help.
Low impact cardiovascular exercise is what is needed both to help heal my knee and help me drop some more weight (it’s been very slow since the start of the year). I’m hoping the Wii Fit will help with flexibility and core stability, and I have my dumbbells for toning up.
All of which sounds very do-able. So, I guess, the only thing stopping me, is me. Which has been the case all along of course.
One thing I don’t do very often is revisit previous, recent, posts and offer any closure or update. However I think the following are worthwhile revisiting:
1. My iPhone Apps
In the process of writing that post, I realised that the some applications I did have on my iPhone weren’t quite right. So I spent a little time hunting for better alternatives and on the way picked up a couple of new applications.
Replaced applications include:
Tweetie in for Twitterific – Twitterific was great when it first came out but seems to have been left dormant, Tweetie is far more complete.
Remember the Milk in for Zenbe lists – Zenbe is a good, web aware, list app but it’s not as good as RTM for task management. I’ve had a badly used RTM account for ages so this was a good push to get me focussed on using it, especially as I’ve now put money behind it (you need a Pro subscription to use the app on your iPhone). Working well so far.
New applications, some of which I’m still evaluating, include:
CameraBag – a simple photo manipulation app with presets that mimick various effects. Very much a one trick pony but kinda fun nevertheless.
Tumblrette – I have a Tumblr account, and this app might help me make better use of it rather than just recycling blog posts and Twitter statuses.
RunKeeper Pro – I had the lite version of this but the Pro version was offered free for one day, so I’ve nabbed it and put it back on the iPhone in the hope I get back to jogging sometime this year.
MMS – which provides MMS capabilities on my iPhone, not done much with this yet
SaiSuke – which gives me direct access to all my Google Calendars. Not quite sure why I have this, think I thought it did more than it does!
I also re-jigged my home pages some, and they now look like this (click for bigger):
2. MacBook screen issues.
I reported a weird glow, right in the centre of my MacBook screen, that would appear and disappear, seemingly, intermittently.
The circumstances of when I first noticed this was when I was sitting on the sofa with the laptop, I was facing the window and it was a nice sunny day outside. I was dropping the brightness to eke out a little more battery life (too lazy to go upstairs and get the power cord) and when I dropped the brightness to 0 (a black screen) there was the weird glow right in the middle of the screen. I tried to replicate this effect later in the evening but couldn’t.
Got all that?
Now take a look at this photo of the case of a MacBook. Notice where the Apple logo is, that translucent section of the casing? Right in the middle of the screen.
Yup. That’s right. Sunlight streaming through the Apple logo onto the back of the ‘darkened’ LCD screen.
So, apparently, it’s not just my Mother that is an idiot.
Speaking of which…
3. My Mother is an idiot.
At Christmas we got my parents a Wii Fit board to go with their new Wii. My Mum has been using it and enjoying the various mini-games, one of which includes using the position of your body on the board to help balance a tight rope walker as he walks between two buildings (on the tight rope).
You lean left on the board to make him lean left, right to go right. It’s pretty basic but quite tricky.
So I could understand when my Mum said that she couldn’t complete the task, that she kept ‘falling off’. It is quite a tricky game.
However it was only when she mentioned it to Dad that she realised why.
She had the Wii Fit board round the wrong way. Lean left to go right…
Sorry Mum, but I need to do SOMETHING to distract from my moment of idiocy!
Twitter pulls random thoughts from my head now, but there are some that require a little more room to breathe. In no particular order then…
The iPhone is a wonderful device, and if you are web-savvy and heavily invested in web applications and social networking then it is THE choice. If you just want a phone with a few features, it’s still a strong player but remains lacking in some areas (camera is poor, lack of video, no MMS). Needless to say I think Apple pitched this phone at the right group of users and it will only get better as more applications appear.
My fitness is slowly improving, although weight loss is very very slow. I’ve been trying to keep up a basic regime comprising physio exercises (eccentric loading for my injured knee), some dumbbell work, and basic floorwork of pressups, situps, the plank, with a few stretches to improve flexibility. I’m still lacking aerobic activity, but that will come (a few walks here and there for example). And yes, Wii Fit is still on the radar.
The big news remains, of course, my sister’s engagement. The party is booked and talk of weddings is slowly starting to dominate conversations. I’m still getting used to the idea to be honest I mean it’s my wee sister, getting married! Blimey.
Aside from that.. yeah life continues to plod onwards.
Now, I’ve not asked in a while, but how the hell are YOU?
As Budapest fades into rose-tinted memory the mundane returns.
Well it’s not mundane really, it’s quite exciting you know, getting up at 1am to save a little mouse from the clutches of our cat and then again at 4.30am to remove a dead mouse from the kitchen floor (different mouse, he’s getting good at this!).
Elsewhere, there are still a few small jobs to do in the kitchen to finish it off, including a rather bizarre problem with the new light I fitted. We are using LED bulbs (like a halogen bulb but with 8 LEDs crammed into the same space), and when you turn them off they … well they aren’t on full but they are still on. It’s only really noticeable at night. I’m wondering if there is a short somewhere but… wouldn’t that have blown the light? Back to O Grade Physics for me, for despite getting an “A” I can’t remember a damn thing…
And, of course, as we currently have the bright shiny thing in the sky the next two weeks are officially Summer. So, out to the garden we go to do some weeding and general tidying up, ignoring the fact that my office still needs some order restored as it is holding the remnants of the kitchen upheaval.
Ohh and on that, still no response to our complaint letter. If there isn’t a letter waiting at home this evening then tomorrow morning they’ll be getting a stern phone call.
So, aside from mucking about with Joomla with half a mind on resurrecting Scottish Blogs, popping pills and generally trying to be healthy so my next check up at the doctor will reveal a lowered blood pressure, and considering buying Wii Fit, it’s pretty much life as usual.