Monday, March 25 – Wednesday, March 27

Alternate history doesn’t interest me much

My recovery from the cold that laid me low over the weekend is progressing very slowly.  While most of the general blah feeling is gone, I don’t have much energy and have continued coughing like a tubercular orphan in a Charles Dickens novel.  As I’m off from work this week, however, my lack of energy hasn’t been much of an obstacle.  Basically, I’ve been lounging around all the time, going on the computer and reading a book on my phone’s Kindle app (After Visiting Friends, by Michael Hainey).

All this laziness has gotten me thinking, however: what if this weren’t a week off?  Would I muster up enough energy to make it through the workday?  It was a surprisingly troubling issue at first.  But then, I realized that it also was a completely irrelevant issue.  I did not have to go to work this week, so it does not matter whether I would have been able to or not.

It’s like the whole field of alternate history.  Many people enjoy speculating about how the course of history would have changed if, say, Napoleon won at Waterloo or Abraham Lincoln had died in childhood or the Russians hadn’t backed down during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  I’ve looked at some of the forums myself.  And while I certainly don’t begrudge anyone’s interest in alternate history, despite my best efforts it just doesn’t float my boat, so to speak.  Maybe that means I’m not imaginative, or more likely it’s just the way I am.

These musings aside, it is unquestionable that these were lazy days for me.  Well not Wednesday so much, as I went to see – of all things – the implosion of a 250-foot smokestack at an abandoned mental hospital.  It attracted a crowd of hundreds or maybe thousands, helped no doubt by the fact that school’s not in session.  As for the implosion, it was interesting, all five seconds of it.  Hey, I knew that it couldn’t last much longer than that, gravity and so on, but I still had a slight feeling of disappointment.  At least it got me out of the house and cost a goose egg.

Published in: on March 29, 2013 at 1:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday. March 23 – Sunday, March 24

With my cold in full fury I pretty much laid low this weekend. While I did venture out a bit each day to do various things, my energy level was way too low for the gym.  By the evening each day I didn’t even have the energy to go on the computer and instead watched TV – Tomorrow Never Dies on Saturday (good escapist fun) and Phil Spector on Sunday (quality HBO fare).  Obviously I’m not pleased in the least by my absence from the gym, but it would have been a waste to have gone either day.

Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 1:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, March 21 – Friday, March 22

Well that’s likely to put a damper on gym-going

I am thankful that these last two days at the current worksite  were easy ones, as by Thursday morning it became apparent that I was developing a cold.  It always seems as if the progress is the same each time.  I start out with a mildly sore throat, go through a couple days of being more or less under the weather, and then have a loud cough for at least two weeks even after all other symptoms have gone.  It’s so predictable.  Sure enough, Thursday’s sore throat segued into Friday’s general malaise.

Getting my work done wasn’t much of a challenge, as it was pretty easy.  My main concern is that I’ll have to go through a hiatus of at least three or four days in my gym-going.  This is not due to any lack of motivation.  Some people are capable of exercising when sick.  I’m not one of them, and never have been.

Published in: on March 27, 2013 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, March 18 – Wednesday, March 20

Winding down at the location

This is my last week at the current worksite, and as often happens with these things the week started out on a busy note.  Both Monday and Tuesday were quite hectic, as an array of small tasks had to be completed in order for the work to be done by Friday.  Wednesday was  a bit easier.  I’ll be somewhat sorry to leave this site, not because there’s anything special about it, but because it’s just so convenient.  It’s not as if the next site, near the Nassau/Suffolk line, is a long distance away or anything, but after having spent a month so very close to home it’ll seem to be a longer trek than the actual distance would indicate.  Hey, it’s not like when I was going to North Haven, Connecticut at 125 miles each way!

I had been planning to go to the gym on Monday, making it three days in a row for the first time since, well, I can’t remember it’s been so long, but naturally enough other things intervened.  Nor did I go on Tuesday, as my back was a bit sore after a tough day at work.  Finally, I made it on Wednesday, and had a decent back session.   Hammer Strength horizontal leg press: 5 x 10 x 300.  Seated calf raises: 4 x 12 x 145.  Life Fitness lying leg curls: 2 x 8 x 70 (I’d planned to do three sets, but a muscle cramp cut the session short).


Published in: on March 21, 2013 at 2:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, March 16 – Sunday, March 17

I had a decent weekend in gym terms, going on both Saturday and Sunday.  On Saturday, I started out with Hammer Strength MTS seated shoulder presses, 5 x 8 x 100/100, and then did T-bar rows, 4 x8 x 135.  Sunday was devoted to benching, 6 x 135, 6 x 185, 3 x 6 x 225, 8 x 185, 10 x 135.  One thing I found out is that the gym might be getting a lot more crowded before long.  Rumor has it, I don’t know if it’s true, that another branch of the same gym that’s located about five miles away may be closing.  It’s actually larger than the branch where I go.  Should this be true, I would imagine that my branch will be picking up a big number of people from the closed one.  Stay tuned.

Published in: on March 20, 2013 at 8:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, March 13 – Friday, March 15

Made it once

I had really wanted to go to the gym on Wednesday, but once again, other things intervened and I couldn’t go.  It just wasn’t – okay, enough with the charades, even though I legitimately had other things to do I could have managed a short gym trip had I really wanted.  Had a similar situation arisen a few years ago, when my motivation was at its peak, I certainly would have gone.  Today, though, it’s more of a struggle.

Thursday was better.  I made it to the gym in the early evening, and did some leg work for the first time in forever.  My back was a bit sore from work, so with some reluctance I decided that squats would not be the best idea.  Instead, I did some Hammer Strength horizontal leg presses: 10 x 270, 4 x 10 x 290.  Next came seated calf raises, 4 x 12 x 135, and some lying leg curls on a machine whose name I can’t remember, 3 x 8 x 100.  I’d forgotten just how exhausting leg work can be, even on machines.  Next time I’ll do some squats, even if I have to use a light weight.  It also occurred to me that with last weekend I’ve now gone to the gym three times in six days, which is a perfectly respectable rate.  I considered going on Friday but decided to wait until the weekend.

After this week I’ll have just four days left at my current work site.  I will have the week of March 25 off, during which time I might make a quick trip to Florida if the fares are decent, and on Monday April 1 I will begin a new month-long assignment at a site in eastern Suffolk County very close to the Nassau line.  It’s about 30 miles away, which isn’t bad, but it probably will seem longer after this much closer work site.

Published in: on March 18, 2013 at 2:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, March 11 – Tuesday, March 12

At least I had an excuse both days

For not going to the gym, that is.  I hadn’t really planned on going Monday, having made it to the gym both Saturday and Sunday, and as things turned out it would have been a real challenge to have gone even if I’d wanted.  It was a long and rather difficult day at work, one issue after another, and although everything worked out in the end I was left pretty well drained.  And then, I had to do some food shopping after work.

Tuesday wasn’t as tough a day as far as work was concerned, in fact it was relatively easy.  It’s the nature of my job for things to vary a great deal from day to day.  Which is not entirely a bad thing, as too much predictability can get boring.  In any event, while work was fine, I had a dentist appointment afterwards, and as such things often do it turned out to last much longer than expected.  For reasons I cannot understand, going to the dentist often leaves me rather depressed afterwards, and today was no exception.  Perhaps it could be the amount that I owe.  One thing about dental insurance is that it never seems to cover most of the cost.  The co-pays and exclusions always result in big out-of-pocket expenses, and today was definitely no exception.

But hey, I promise I’ll get back into the gym-going frame of mind.

Published in: on March 15, 2013 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, March 9 – Sunday, March 10

Heh.  I actually made it to the gym both days this weekend, which may sound like a minor accomplishment but actually is the first such weekend in, well, a long time.  We’ll leave it at that.  On Saturday, I did T-bar rows, 4 x 8 x 135, 2 x 8 x 105, followed by Hammer Strength MTS shoulder presses, 3 x 8 x 100/100.  Sunday was bench press day: 6 x 135, 6 x 185, 3 x 4 x 225, 8 x 185, 10 x 135.

Published in: on March 14, 2013 at 12:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, March 6 – Friday, March 8

Now I’m really getting annoyed with myself

I have no more excuses for avoiding the gym. When I was driving 2+ hours each way to my work assignments, okay, it was different then.  While driving a car is not necessarily a physically exhausting activity, the mental concentration it requires can be draining, and in turn can reduce one’s desire for hard physical exercise.  At least this can be the case with very long driving, especially in heavy traffic.  So yes, at some times I have had a semi-decent excuse, the “semi” part being added because a strong enough motivation will overcome almost all obstacles.

None of this has been the case over the past two weeks.  It takes me only about 20 minutes to get home from the current worksite and there’s rarely much traffic.  What’s more, because I start work at 7 in the morning I’m usually home by mid-afternoon and have more than enough time to go to the gym.  But I’m not going, at least not during the week.  This lack of motivation wouldn’t be quite so surprising if I’d only started going to the gym in the past year or so.  That is definitely not the case, however, as I’ve been a regular at Ultimate Fitness for almost ten years.

As lamenting isn’t going to accomplish much, it now is a matter of just finding the motivation and going.  No more looking for excuses (“I’m too worn out, it’s too cold out.”)  When I’ve gone on weekends I’ve enjoyed the experience, so once I muster up enough motivation to get in my car and go, everything should be fine.

Published in: on March 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday, March 4 – Tuesday, March 5

Did I ever mention that I really hate Verizon Wireless?

I probably have, but it bears repeating.  Verizon Wireless has such abysmally poor service it is impossible to imagine how it remains in business.  The service at the worksite where I’ll be through the end of March is bad, rarely more than one out of four bars.  It’s not so bad that I can’t make or receive calls, though call quality can leave a lot to be desired, but it’s bad enough that my phone rapidly loses power as it constantly searches for a signal.  In eight hours the phone will go from 100% charged to completely discharged.  In fact, it often conks out after about seven and a half hours.  Now, if I were in some isolated rural area this might be somewhat easier to comprehend, but the worksite is in a densely populated and affluent suburban area, where service should be flawless.  Guess nobody ever told Verizon Wireless that.

On a better note, work itself has been going well.  It’s a bit different in scope compared to what I was doing for the past few months, in addition to being five days a week rather than four, but I seem to have made the adjustment just fine.  And of course it’s nice to be working so close to home, I’m not constantly stopping at gas stations.  Now, if there could just be some semi-decent cell phone service …





Published in: on March 7, 2013 at 11:42 pm  Leave a Comment