Wednesday, April 2 – Thursday, April 3

Dumbbell time

Wednesday and Thursday were reasonably easy days at my primary job.  A new function has been added to the tasks I have to do each day, which means that I have to stay a bit longer than in the past, but I’m hardly about to complain because I still finish up before the “normal” 3:30 quitting time.  As always, I get paid based on staying until 3:30 but can leave earlier if everything’s done.  Not a bad deal.

One thing I didn’t do was work at the Major Home Improvement Retailer.  Sunday was my last shift until next Saturday, in fact I’m only getting 10.5 hours this week.  Once again, I can’t really complain, because next week I’ll be getting 28 hours.  Feast or famine.  Exactly how the scheduling works, I don’t know for sure, but it must be a complicated system.

No gym on Wednesday, as I had other things to do after work, but on Thursday I had a chest session.  Not wanting to keep using machines, I decided to give dumbbell bench presses a try.  There’s something about my hand position on a barbell that bothers my elbow.  Using dumbbells avoids that issue because my hands aren’t forced into one fixed position.

As I’m out of practice, I stated very light, with a pair of 60-lb. dumbbells, and did 2 x 10. Then I moved up to 70’s for another 2 x 10, and finished with 75’s at yet another 2 x 10.  Even with the 75’s I had no trouble completing the reps.  What was the hardest part was getting the dumbbells into position.  I expect that with additional practice this will get easier, though it’s always a bit of a challenge.  After the dumbbells I did the Hammer Strength plate-loaded seated dip, 3 x 8 x 320.  I was going to do some overhead presses, but my elbow was getting just a bit sore and I decided not to tempt fate.


Published in: on April 5, 2014 at 5:12 am  Comments (1)  

Monday, March 31 – Tuesday, April 1

Now that was unexpected

Please note the date in the heading.  Monday was March 31, in other words it was almost April and a week into spring.  A time when it should be getting warmer and, you know, spring-like.  So imagine my surprise when I got up Monday morning to the sight of snow.  Not just a few wet flakes, either.  There was over an inch on the ground and it was coming down heavily.

Now, talk about bad timing, my worksite was near Exit 57 on the Expressway.  Meaning I’d have to drive several miles with the flow of rush hour traffic.  That’s always a distinctly unpleasant experience, and I knew full well that the snow would make things that much worse.  And it did.  Oh yes, it sure did.  It took me nearly 40 minutes to cover the six or so miles from exits 61 to 57.  While some of that time was spent at a dead stop, for the most part traffic was moving … very, very slowly.  Trying to get off before 57 and taking the service road wasn’t an option, as at many points I could see cars backed up endlessly on the service road.

Despite my best efforts, I made it to the worksite about ten minutes late, fortunately that is not a major issue in my job.  It’s just that I really hate being late.  During the morning the snow got even heavier, and by the time it stopped shortly after noon at least five inches had fallen.  And this is almost April? Fortunately there were no traffic woes getting home.  I had planned on going to the gym, but instead we ended up making a repeat visit to P.F. Chang’s.  Word of advice: the Mongolian Beef is excellent.

Tuesday was blessedly free of traffic dramatics.  No April Fool’s joke on the roads.  The worksite was off Sunrise Highway, and I had no particular difficulty getting to or from it.  In the morning there was still some snow on the ground, but by the afternoon it was pretty much all gone.

My troublesome finger being much better, I ventured out to the gym on Tuesday evening and did some back work.  In a blast-from-the-past moment, I decided to start out with an old favorite, one-arm dumbbell rows, keeping  it fairly light as I’m not accustomed to this exercise: 2 x 8 x 75/75, 2 x 8 x 80/80, 2 x 8 x 85/85.  I should be back up to the 100’s in no time.  Then came T-bar rows, 3 x 8 x 135.  To end the session, I did shrugs on the standing calf machine, 3 x 10 x 250.

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, March 29 – Sunday, March 30

Saturday’s 9-hour shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer illustrated the odd but true fact that it’s less exhausting to be busy at work than it is to be non-busy. When schedulers set the day’s schedule a couple of weeks ago, they figured that the garden department would be really busy, given that it was one of the first Saturdays in spring.  Customers would be streaming in to buy fertilizer and mulch and grass seed and other spring-like products.  There were many employees assigned to the department, including some loaned from other departments for the day.

What no one could predict is that Saturday turned out to be about as non-springlike a day as you could get.  It rained heavily all day, with the temperature not much above freezing.  While the store itself was reasonably busy, not too many of the customers made their way to the garden department.  I could scarcely blame them, as the weather would not put anyone in the mood for gardening or lawn maintenance, and in any event the part of the department that was outdoors was not what you’d call inviting.

I did the best I could to keep busy, but there just wasn’t too much to do.  My 3pm to midnight shift, which obviously is quite long in the first place, seemed utterly interminable.  An hour would pass yet the clock somehow advanced only ten minutes.  Trust me, if there were such a thing as a time-warp superpower, I would have used it.

Sunday was a much better day.  After doing a variety of things during the day, I went in at 8pm for a 4-hour shift.  It was the complete antithesis of Saturday, as I was busy nonstop for the whole time.  For most of the shift I was moving and rearranging products in the greenhouse area, which was nice because even though it wasn’t raining it was still unpleasantly cold.

Published in: on April 2, 2014 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, March 27 – Friday, March 28

I’m sure glad THAT streak is over

Thursday marked the end of two things.  First of all, it was the last day of the two-week cycle at my main job. That’s usually unremarkable, but was welcome in this case because it’s been an unusually tough cycle.  I have reason to believe that the next one won’t be anywhere near as hard. As befitting the present cycle, however, today was anything but an easy day.  I was at the worksite considerably longer than expected.

Thursday evening was the last of my three-in-a-row late shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer.  While working 8 to midnight isn’t really that bad, doing so three nights in a row is pretty tough.  It didn’t help that tonight’s shift was the physically most draining of the three.  I was very thankful that Friday was a day off!

As for Friday, I did my usual day-off errands, and in the early evening went to the gym for another 30 minutes on the stationary cycle.  Once again I used the “rolling hills” course, though at a higher resistance level.

Published in: on April 1, 2014 at 1:42 am  Leave a Comment