Friday, September 30, 2011

Ending the month on a good note

Good: This is the last day of my goal of doing 3 hours of daily exercise for 30 days.

Better: This is the last work day wherein I will be able to collect an unemployment check, since I start a new job on Monday.

Best: My shower still works!

Hey, don't knock it. You try going for months without a working shower. It really affects the mood. Okay, yes, I am happy/nervous about the new job, too.

Summary du 30 day push: The first two weeks were good. After I wrote a status post summarizing the good stuff I did, things went down hill. In short, I got distracted by all the hoops I had to jump through to get my new job (for example, I had to read 45 pages of paperwork and fill out, sign, and send back 20 pages) and all the things (chores, road trips, etc.) that I needed to get done before becoming a wage slave again. Still managed to get some exercise in, but not nearly as much as I hoped.

If my math skills are functioning, by the end of today I will have done a total of 66 hours of exercise this month. That's only two-thirds of the exercise I'd planned (90). Even so, if I hadn't aimed that high I would not have worked out nearly so much. So I'm tossing the calculator out the window and calling this a win.

Video clip du jour: This cracked me up. If you've ever seen A Game of Thrones (or read the books) then you'll know that whatever else the story is, it is not a comedy. And yet, a selection of carefully edited clips and a smooth-voiced announcer can make it sound like hilarity ensues.

Exercise du jour: 1 hour elliptical
Did 45 minutes before the hole-in-the-wall contractor showed up. Damn Knee is complaining again. Methinks it's time to be flexible and try something else for the rest of today's stint.
Done! After the contractor left for a while.

1 hour gardening
Done! After the wasp-killing contractor left.

1 hour gentle walking, stretching
Done! Finally. At 9:49 p.m., but who's counting. It's done. Fini. So long and thanks for all the exercise. That kind of thing. Feels very good to be done.

Photo courtesy of ravenU.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Penultimate day of the 30 day push

Masks have real social value in that they allow you privacy and space in an often brutal world. But there is a price you pay for wearing a mask. Masks cause little deaths -- little soul deaths. When you wear a mask, nobody (not even you) gets to find out what you really need. And when you wear a mask, nobody (not even you) gets to find out what you really have to offer.
- Gordon MacKenzie, Orbiting the Giant Hairball: a corporate fool's guide to surviving with grace
The quote/picture aren't relevant to the blog post; I just thought them interesting.

Penultimate day of the 30 day push. I haven't always made the goal of 3 hours of exercise each day, but just by aiming for that goal I have managed almost always to get at least 1-1/2 to 2 hours a day. This was a good goal. I don't think I will try to continue with that level once I become gainfully employed again, but I will probably be able to do at least 1-1/2 hours of daily exercise. I'll aim for 2.

This must be a bit like what life is like for celebrities or people who go on The Biggest Loser. Being able to focus my attention and my time on exercise, being able to concentrate on just that goal. I know that once I start work again, I'll get caught up in doing the job. The hours I spend exercising will be spent doing nothing more than sitting in a car or on the Max. So in a way, being out of work is useful. If only I were one of the "idle" rich, I could get so much done!

Okay, whine done. Still waiting on Mr. Hopeful to come fix the hole in the wall. He came by yesterday, told me what he could do, how much it would cost, when he could start. All straightforward and positive, except that he warned me that he'd have to take his wife to rehab sometime today. (No, not that kind of rehab.) And so I sit waiting for him to call, so I will know when he can come by.

This probably means I'll have to do something Useful Around the House. Like cleaning it. Damn.

Luckily, this also means that I'll have time to get in exercise. Probably mostly ellipticalling. Some gardening, if the wasps don't mind. It's the time of year to plant tulips and other bulbs. I figure planting something now in the hopes that I will still be here in the spring to see them come up is an act of faith. The old woman who used to live here planted loads of bulbs; even though she's no longer around to enjoy them, maybe she's somewhere that she knows they're being appreciated.

Exercise du jour:
Morning - 1 hour elliptical
Done! And after I was finished, I -- wait for it-- took a shower! In my own bathroom! I feel so proud.

Noon - 1 hour gardening elliptical

Done! Had to fit it in around the workmen coming and going.

Night - 1 hour elliptical
half-done. I'm still putting up the star because the reason I stopped is that Damn Knee started to hurt. It's been at least three weeks since Damn Knee complained about an hour's worth of ellipticalling while it was in progress. Improvement.

Photo courtesy of iwinatcookie.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A man, a plan, a ... chainsaw?

Good: The plumber fixed my shower.
Bad: To do so, he had to take a chainsaw to my wall.
Ugly: I've got a hole in the wall that's over five feet tall.

I even took a picture, not that that does much good since I can't find the widget to connect the camera to the computer so I can upload the pic. You'll have to use your imagination. Think the innards of a house exposed. Think two-by-fours. Think fiberglass on the carpet instead of in the wall keeping it nice and warm. That sort of thing.

Am I unrealistic to have expected the plumber to fix the hole before he left? I mean, after all, he did create it in the first place. Didn't his mother teach him to clean up after himself?

Yes, I know I'm being unfair. He was perfectly nice. I have a shower. I shouldn't complain. Much.

Hopefully, a man is going to come by to look at the hole and see what needs to be done. Apparently the edges are only partly sheet rock. The older part of the wall, that wasn't renovated by the flippers, is lath and plaster. Should be fun.

I say "hopefully" because he was actually supposed to come by yesterday at 5 pm. At 8 pm he called to say he couldn't make it and could we reschedule? So I'm taking everything he says with a grain of salt, if not a shot of tequila.

Exercise: I tried to do an hour this morning on the elliptical; only managed 1/2 hour so far. Will get back to it after (if) Mr. Hopeful shows up.

Done! 1 hour ellipticalling

Then I'm scheduling 1 hour gardening,
Done! 1 hour gardening

and an evening hour of ellipticalling.
Fail. Ran out of day before I ran out of To Do list.

I can't do any exercise DVDs at the moment, since I had to take out everything from the office and leave it in boxes all over the living room. Feeble excuse, I know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I hate the iPad's autocorrect feature.

Damn thing doesn't want me to write "Argh" for any reason. Keeps being Helpful and changing it to "Arch."

I don't want to express being "playfully or affectedly roguish or mischievous" -- I am trying to express frustration. The iPad is thwarting me, thus increasing the very quality I am trying to express.


For some reason, my sleep patterns are screwed beyond comprehension. Went to sleep at 2 (in the a.m.), wide awake at 4 (still in the a.m.). Finally got to sleep at 6 and slept until noon. Arch.

Exercise du jour: A late start, but I'm going for the three hours anyway.
1 hour elliptical gardening

1 hour more gardening

1 hour elliptical
Done! Feels good to do something cardio-related again. (Gardening is exercise; it does burn calories; it does look a lot better when you're done. But for raising a sweat, give me that elliptical ever time. And an ice pack afterward, of course.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh, like *you've* never googled Diet Peanut Brittle?

funny pictures - Gawd! Can you please turn down  the Monday!! I'm trying to ignore it!!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Quote du jour: The trouble with living alone is that it's always your turn to do the dishes.
- Anon

Only 4 more days of the 30 day push. I can do this. No need to reach for the highly sugary motivational eats. Willpower, baby.

Only 2 more hours (estimate) of cleaning before I can let the plumbers in to make things messy. I can do this, too. Or so I think.

Site du jour: Cranky Fitness has a great post on getting motivated to work out. I think it was written with regular exercise in mind, but maybe it'll work for lifting and moving boxes as well.

Exercise du jour: Presuming I get all the box moving done in 2 hours, I'll put in the third hour on the elliptical.

Update du 1:34 pm: On the plus side, I managed to get in three hours of cleaning, since the plumber was late. On the down side, there is now a man in my office with a chainsaw, which he is using to cut two-by-fours that are inside my wall. The two-by-fours that are kinda sorta supporting the bath/shower. Hope this doesn't mean I'll have to deal with Falling Bathtub Syndrome.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I could really use is some kind of mental viagra

Quote du jour: In this world no one rules by love; if you are but amiable, you are no hero. To be powerful, you must be strong, and to have dominion you must have a genius for organizing.
- John Henry Newman

What? I only said I wanted mental viagra.

Oh come on. Don't look at me like that.

I'm in the last stretch of the 30 days of 3-hours-a-day exercise, and I could just use a little something to help me keep up, as it were, with the exercising.

The good thing is that aiming for 3 hours means that I usually manage at least 1-1/2 hours, usually more. Considering that I've been spending the past week running around like a head with its chicken cut off, that's pretty good. But I'm still bummed that I'm not perfect.

Are you perfect? Is anyone perfect? (Except of course for some of my brothers as seen from the perspective of my mother, but I don't really think that counts for the purposes of this discussion.)

Yesterday, 1 measly hour on the elliptical.
Friday, 2 40-minute sets, cycling and walking. It was hot. Much swearing sweating ensued.

Exercise du jour: I can't put it off any longer. I have to clean out the office so the plumbers can break the wall so that they can replace a valve in the shower so that I can take a shower. This probably means that I'm going to have to clean the bathroom as well. Since this means I'm going to be doing a lot of lifting and moving, I do think it counts as exercise. Somebody cover me; I'm goin' in.

Doesn't seem like the kind of thing to give a gold star for, but I did three hours of moving stuff from point A to point B. Not sure I'd call it organizing either. But I'm done for the night.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A week of weird and whacky whys & wherefores

Quote du jour:
Oh, do not ask 'what is it?'
Let us go and make our visit.
- T.S. Eliot

Things I have broken this week:
1 laptop
1 treadmill
1 Mustang with only 10,000 miles on it

Number of miles driven in the Mustang before it freaked out:

Number of miles crawled in after the Mustang got fussy:
2.76 (at 10 miles an hour)

Number of mothers who forgot to call the doctor back and tell him that she felt better, thus causing the police to come by to check on her while I was in the pool: 1

Number of cups of spinach said mother insisted I should eat during my visit: 13

Number of pounds lost: 3

Hmmn... maybe that balances things out.

Exercise du jour: cycling, walking, ellipticalling. Spent 11 hours sitting in the car yesterday, so I have some work to do today.

Magnificently attitudinal beast (and actor) courtesy of Edison618.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Obstacles, shmobstacles

Random thoughts:

Two days of only 40min exercise sessions, not great Today, starting again.
Off to visit a treadmill for an hour, or at least until my knee falls off.
Done! Broke the treadmill.
Swam half an hour. Until the police came by.
Maybe I should take a walk.

I loathe typing one-fingered. iPads are not ideal for blogs.

Saw a greeting card that read "I'm much more interesting on my blog." No with an iPad, I'm not.

okay, 9/20:only 2 hours exercise. Broken treadmill, police visit, flimsy excuses. My bad.
9/21 walked 40 on the treadmill, 150 on the sidewalk.
9/22 drove 11 hours in a frickin' almost new damn it Mustang with a funky transmission that semi- gave out two miles from home. Clearly, this is NOT my week to buy a Lotto ticket. Plus, no exercise today.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Dead laptop. Hopefully just the battery. Typing with one finger is annoying.

Did one hour elliptical. Not much of a workout if you keep stopping every five minutes to argue with yourself about quitting.

Goal: 3 hours exercise. One down.
Two hours down. Getting there.
Done. Or at least I am saying good enough. Did fifty minutes before saying @&$)!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why didn't someone tell me it was Friday?

Ack! I sat down this morning to fill out paperwork and jump through hoops. I decided to put off the exercising for an hour or so. Now I just looked up and noticed that it's 2 in the afternoon. Why didn't someone think to mention this?

I'm not sure how I'm going to fit three hours of exercise in, unless I do something creative and do it quick.

Exercise du jour: Oh hell. I'm going to go out and garden for a while. More anon. I'm gonna get a star up here or else.

Photo courtesy of Ravenu.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Halfway through the 30-day push

Quote du Jour:
As a real person, he wouldn't last a minute, would he? But drama is about imperfection. And we've moved away from the aspirational hero. We got tired of it, it was dull. If I was House's friend, I would hate it. How he so resolutely refuses to be happy or take the kind-hearted road. But we don't always like morally good people, do we?
- Hugh Laurie

That quote isn't especially relevant to anything. I just liked it.

I'm still pushing through on this 30-days of 3-hours-a-day exercise, even though I'm dead tired from lack of sleep. I'm halfway through now. I haven't noticed much weight loss -- a few pounds, but my weight fluctuates so much that's negligible.

What I have noticed is a change in the way the body feels. This may sound like an odd statement for a sedentary, overweight, middle-aged female to make, but I'm starting to feel like an athlete. It feels good to move, to use my muscles. I feel like I'm getting stronger. I can bend Damn Knee back almost as far as Good Knee now, and it's no longer buckling under me at odd moments. (Hope I didn't just jinx something by typing that.) I'm starting to feel like I enjoy exercise again. Not the getting up out of bed to exercise part, nor the getting started part of exercise, but the actually pushing of the body to go a little farther each time part. Damn Knee isn't quite up to the point of doing something that involves impact, such as running; I can't use the elliptical without following up with the ice pack and ibuprofen. Even so, the exercise that I am doing feels good. Satisfying.

P.S. Not that I'm becoming one of them Math people or anything hung up on numbers (much), but as of today I will have done over 40 hours of exercise this month. Unless my mad Math skillz are leading me astray, that's one friggin' work week's worth of exercise. Me. Hard to believe. (Now, if only I could figure out a way to get paid for this...)

Exercise du jour: I'm falling into a pattern of alternating one day of mostly using the elliptical, the next mostly doing core muscle DVDs. What I should be doing is including more gardening, but for some reason that seems a lot more work than the other two. Probably that's why I should be doing it. Even after all this working out, the inner slug is still trying to call the shots.

Morning: Elliptical

Noon: Elliptical Walking, gently
Done. Turns out that I kinda sorta pulled a muscle in my hip during last night's core rhythm DVD. That's always the problem -- you start feeling good, you go a little further, then you find out that you went a bit too far. Exercise is educational, at least.

Night: Gardening, damn it.
Done! Well, the 'damn it' part, anyway. The omens look good toward the prospect of my getting another job. Which concept has thrust me into a) the heights of exultation b) the depths of despair and c)the middle ground of "oh, well, it could work out okay."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Binary Gods and stray comets

Quote du jour, from the I Hope He's Kidding department:
Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
- Bill Gates

The Toastmasters thing went okay. It wasn't a typical meeting. They were holding a contest where people had to get up and make impromptu speeches and get judged on their performance. I didn't see any evidence of ritual human sacrifice; everyone looked ordinary and friendly. Could all be an act, I suppose. I'll need to attend a meeting during ordinary time to make sure.

It was odd, but I felt nervous for the people who'd been put on the spot to get up and give speeches, even though they'd volunteered to do it. The idea of doing this myself feels like trying bungee jumping when I'm not too sure about the bungee cord.

Another interview today. This time, I'm going to leave extra extra early, in case of traffic/earthquake/tsunami/tornado/stray comet falling out of the sky.

Exercise du jour: Um... I might cut this a bit short. I don't want to show up at the interview hot and sweaty, so I might only get in a couple hours of exercise in in the afternoon and evening. (Yes, I did say "only a couple hours of exercise" and yes, I know how that sounds.)
Done. 2 hours of light walking and DVDs to work the arms & core muscles. Might have enjoyed it if I weren't so tired. Been tired all day. The interview was quite pleasant, and there was a complete absence of Unlikely Occurrences to delay me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Random thoughts, not to be confused with whining

see more dog and puppy pictures

Quote du jour: Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.
- Charles F. Kettering

Site du jour: I take back every sneer I ever sneered at eHow. If this works, I'll be a happy (or at least alimony-happy) woman: How to marry a millionaire.

Day 13 of the 30-day push. Not feeling enthused about this month's goal of 3 hours daily exercise. I don't think it's the exercise itself that's causing this feeling; I think it's the fact that it's been too damn hot to sleep at night. Miss enough sleep and nothing looks good to me.

Maybe I should put Sleep on my To Do list. Have another interview tomorrow. Need to look alert, or something approximating alert.


Exercise du jour:
Morning - 1 hour split between walking & elliptical. Gotta get that blood flowing somehow.
Done. The elliptical is better than coffee for kicking me into gear.

Noon - 1 hour elliptical. Got a new (to me) DVD that I'd like to watch. Pretty much the only time I watch TV/Videos now is when I'm on the elliptical.
Done. Not a quick & peppy pace, but done. This lack of sleep is kicking me back out of gear again.

Night - 1 hour gardening. I suppose it's a good thing that my weed-rich yard affords me so many opportunities for exercise. I suppose.
Well, sorta kinda done. I cheated and ellipticalled for half an hour. It's mindless, I can listen to music and watch TV (yes, simultaneously) and time goes by faster. I still have to find time for another half hour of exercise, but I'm going to take a break to study for my interview tomorrow too.
Update du 8:42 pm: finished. 3 hours, all elliptical. Hey, I go with what works. Wish me luck tomorrow!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Confidence (or, How I Learned to Love Aplomb)

Torture device or feeding utensil? You decide.

Quote du jour: A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort.
- Sydney Smith

As part of the Learn To Sell MyselfTM campaign, I've decided I need to work on being less introverted. (Less introverted in "real" life, as opposed to the fool who's always blabbing on her blog about her most recent exercise obsession.) In real life, I don't talk so much. A few years after high school, one of the guys who'd been on the staff of the high school yearbook told me that the only reason I didn't win "Shyest" in my senior year was that more people knew the other girl. Background, that's always been my strategy. Not so much a wallflower as wallpaper.

Turns out that approach isn't the best one to adopt when job hunting. Who knew?

So I decided to Do Something About it. I am gulp going to go down and investigate a Toastmasters club. Given my past experience with clubs (e.g. Weight Watchers), this might be a horrible less-than-useful thing to do. On the other hand, it might not. Only one way to find out.

Exercise du jour: I'm still feeling tired & fed up & not in the mood to exercise, but I've decided to ignore that. Well, half-ignore -- I'm still going to exercise 3 hours today, but my definition of exercise will include stretching, gentle walking, maybe even gardening if the wasps are amenable.

The schedule will probably go something like this:

Morning -- walking
Done. Got the muscles warmed up, even if it wasn't a heart-pumping knock-down drag-out workout.

Noon -- exercise DVD
Done. 90 minutes of stretching and belly dancing. I kept the curtains drawn, didn't want to frighten the neighbors.

Night -- gardening

Toaster courtesy of imago.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A sweet sufferin' succotash of a (3 hour) sauna

Quote du jour: Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.
- Thomas Jefferson

Bored with exercise.
Bored with blogging about exercise.
Really tired with not being able to sleep through the night because it's so hot, which is probably why I'm so fed up with everything else. Not up to doing a proper post with an appropriate picture.

Morning - 1 hour elliptical
Noon - another hour elliptical
Night - yet a third friggin' hour on the elliptical

Done, done, done. On the plus side, since it's 89 degrees in my bedroom, where the elliptical resides, I also got some good sauna time in as well.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A whole day of nothing but exercise!

Quote du jour: Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
- Ambrose Bierce

I am now on my 10th day of my 30 day push of 3 hours of exercise a day. For those of you out there who are, like me, computationally impaired, the numbers work out something like this:

So far -- not counting today -- I've done 25 hours of exercise this month. That means (I realize that some of you are, like me, English majors) that over one full day, more than 24 hours, has been spent exercising in this month so far. Is that wild, or what?

Okay, maybe you smart-alec Math majors are out there right now yawning, but that made me think. It seems incredible that I have devoted 1 full day of the past 10 to 100% exercising. Even if some parts of the exercise was going-through-the-motions, other parts were not. And I can never tell if the body (especially Damn Knee) is going to feel like limbering up and working out until I have, in fact, been working out for at least 10 minutes. So it's worth exercising at least 15 minutes just to find out what shape (not mood, never mood) my body is in.

Exercise du jour:
Morning - 1 hour elliptical

Noon - 1/2 hour elliptical, 1/2 hour gardening... under the blazing hot sun... whimper...

Night - 1/2 hour gardening, 1/2 hour DVD. That's the plan.
Done. Not according to plan, however. It's too friggin' @#!%!%!@#!%% hot outside. Let the weeds fight the wasps for control of the yard. I stayed inside and did T'ai Chi and a Core Rhythms DVD.

Friday, September 09, 2011

In a rut or in the groove?

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Quote du jour: People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet.
- Sa'Di

Funny du jour: Evening classes for men, sponsored by WICOE (Women In Charge Of Everything) from the blog DD's Diary.

Exercise du jour: Yeah, yeah, the usual.

Morning - 1 hour elliptical

Noon - 1 hour raking, weeding
Done! Very hot outside, so I had to break it up a bit. But still, done :)

Night - 1 hour core strengthening
Done. Well, to be technical, I did another hour on the elliptical. That way, I could watch television, which distracts me from the fact that I am doing yet another @#% hour of exercise.

I know, I know. I'm in a rut. The thing is, if I can make exercising so intrinsic a habit that I'll do it automatically, then I'll be in a good rut.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

It was a 2 out of 3 day

Quote du jour: You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
- Jack London

The good part about having a goal to do 3 hours of exercise a day for 30 days is this: when you get hit with a nasty headache and spend most of the day lying down in a dark (and hot and stuffy) room, doing only (sic) 2 hours of exercise seems like you're getting off easy. Am I crazy? No, don't answer that. No, really. I think I already know the answer.

Exercise du jour: 1 hour elliptical, 1 hour gentle walking/stretching.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Exercise early, exercise often

cute puppy pictures - Dewd! Spot meh!
see more dog and puppy pictures

Quote du jour: With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
- Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Okay, finished week 1 of the 30 day push. No body parts fell off.

It takes a lot of discipline to do three hours of exercise a day. (Yeah, brilliant thought, Merry. Any more gems to share?) Specifically, it takes the discipline to exercise early and exercise often.

I am good at getting things done by the end of the day, but that doesn't work with this challenge. I have to get up and exercise first thing in the ... shudder morning. It's too early for that kind of thing, but there's no way I will be able to wait to the last minute and then do three hours on the elliptical. Posting the exercise up here does seem to be helping to make me follow through. Knowing that there are thousands some people who might check the blog to make sure I get it done does encourage me.

Exercise du jour:
Morning -- call me traditional, but it works. Going for that hour on the elliptical before it gets too hot.

Noon -- walking, preferably somewhere reallllllllly shady. I probably could get a workout trying to find parts in Home Depot to fix my air conditioner.

Done. Eventually. I mean, we're talking 20 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes walking, then 40 minutes elliptical, hey wait a minute aren't we into the evening exercise? Oh, shut up, conscience. There were the requisite number of minutes spent walking, even if they were accompanied by stress and angst. Don't ask me about the completely simple and ordinary small part for the air conditioner that I couldn't get for love or money or begging... unless I wanted to wait for three weeks' shipping time.

Night -- stretching, core-strengthening exercises.

Done. Finally. Eventually. Not according to the script, but done. We're talking 20 minutes walking, 20 minutes ellipticalling, more minutes walking, more ellipticalling. I have no idea how I'm supposed to figure this out on my internal calorie counter sheet, but I can vouch for the fact that the body was moved for the requisite 180 minutes du jour.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Maybe I should've gotten that Ph.D after all...

Quote du jour: Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Study du jour: Don't Get Too Excited About Job-Creation Plans.

The good news: For workers over 25 years old with a bachelor's degree or higher, the unemployment rate stands at 4.3% down from 5.0% a year ago.
The bad news: For those over 25 without a high school diploma, unemployment stands at a staggering 14.3%, up from 13.3% in August 2010.
Moral: Get that degree.

Or not? This guy has a different take on it:
...if we take the average earnings of a high school graduate and college graduate, account for cost of college and the opportunity cost of going to college (time not spent earning money) and assume a 5% savings rate for each, the college grad has a net worth of $400,000 when he retires. The high school grad: $1.3 million. Revenge of the jocks.
- Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Or, you can compromise -- you don't actually need a degree if you can merely convince people that you have one instead of going out there and doing your homework. One woman wrote a memoir, Phony! Or, how I faked my way through life, about how she built a successful career by lying about having a college degree. Apparently, she worked her way up to a six-figure salary with several people working under her. Her main skill seemed to be picking the right people to do the work that she herself didn't have a clue how to do. That, and the fact that she mastered the art of confident lying.

I'm not sure how much credence you can give to this story-teller. I mean, she admits first off that she's a liar, and a good one. And then you're supposed to believe this memoir?

Oh wait. This is an exercise blog. I suppose that means I should get back to actually doing some of it. I was going to go bicycling, but it's going to be too hot for that today. Luckily, all the trees have left me with lots and lots of raking that I can do in the shade.

Exercise du jour:
Morning -- 1 hour elliptical
Done. Well, by 'done' I mean I turned the resistance down to nothing and went through the motions in super slo-mo. I pretended to work out for an hour. I'm going to pretend that counts.

Noon -- 1 hour gardening
Done. Gardening is riskier than I'd thought. Simply because I destroyed his web while I was raking the lawn, a spider climbed up the inside of my trouser leg and bit me on the ... well, let's just say I'm sitting a bit funny right now. The things I do in pursuit of fitness...

Evening -- gentle walking, ellipticalling
Done. Decided not to rake the part of the lawn that was occupied by a wasp's nest. The elliptical doesn't sting, at least.

Monday, September 05, 2011

That's what Knee said

funny sports pictures - OWWW MY KNEE
see more Sports Pictures

Quote du jour: I'm fine, and my hips are fine. My false knee is fine. My false hips are fine. Everything's cooking.
- Liza Minnelli

Recap: I keep bitching about Damn Knee. If you missed the saga, here's the 10-second recap:
  • Two months ago, a vicious garden hose leapt up and caught my right ankle, causing me to land with all my considerable weight on my left knee and left hand.

  • My left elbow (Damn Elbow) was so swollen I couldn't bend it more than 90 degrees for a week.

  • Damn Knee was swollen, and a lot of pretty colors, but I could walk on it, so I didn't worry.

  • Until a month went by, and I still couldn't walk without pain, or kneel down without agony, or...

  • Anyway, the doctor said things like "Bone bruise" and "patience" and "exercise anyway."

  • So I did, in a limited fashion, for another month.

  • Which brings us up to now.

What's really weird is that it is much, much easier to spend an hour on the elliptical working up a sweat than it is to spend ten minutes doing yoga. Downward facing dog? I last maybe 90 seconds. I can't fully straighten Damn Elbow, and it can't take the weight. Child's pose? Damn Knee throws a tantrum.

A saner woman would say "screw yoga" and stick to the elliptical, but I want to stretch myself in both senses of the word. So I'm compromising by aiming for 10-minute yoga sessions and lots of pilates or belly dancing DVDs mixed in with the ellipticalling.

Exercise du jour:
Morning - 1 hour elliptical

Noon - 1 hour core-strengthening drills
Done... well, if you call 1/2 hour elliptical and 1/2 hour raking exercise.

Night - 1/2 hour elliptical, 1/2 hour mixture of what yoga poses I can manage and pilates.
Done. Except for the yoga and pilates part. 1 hour elliptical. However, I reduced the resistance to make it much less of a workout.