Saturday, February 28 – Sunday, March 1

Two utterly draining and exhausting shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Thanks to Mother Nature,  to put blame where blame is due. Because of some impending tree and shrub deliveries, the outdoor display area in front of the garden department had to be cleared of snow and ice. The area is around 100 feet long by about 20 feet wide, with several display racks spread throughout. Now, it would normally be a simple job to clear the snow, just use the store’s big snowblower and everything’s done.

Except this wasn’t a normal situation. There has been a thick snow cover on the ground for over a month, and when one of the managers used the snowblower it became apparent that there was a layer of ice on the bottom that was at least three inches thick. It was rock-hard and needless to say far beyond the snowblower’s ability to remove. Rock salt, hundreds of pounds of it, pitted the surface but didn’t do much else.

Only one thing would work: repeatedly lifting a heavy (50+ pounds) breaker bar and slamming it into the ice (normal ice choppers were far too light to work, painstakingly breaking it into pieces, and then shoveling away the broken pieces. I spent a good part of each shift with another couple of workers, alternating between wielding the bar and doing the shoveling. It was extremely slow work, given the hardness of the ice, and physically draining. The fact that both shifts were eight hour ones made me even more worn out. Thankfully we had a nice dinner on Saturday evening, a celebration of sorts,  and I had dry aged beef for the first time ever. Suffice to say that it’s very, very tasty.

Published in: on March 5, 2015 at 2:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, February 26 – Friday, February 27

What a difference a couple hours makes

Thursday was the final day of the very hard 2-week cycle at my main job, though to be sure the second week wasn’t nearly as bad as the first. I have to commend the district office for modifying things to make the workload bearable. As for the next cycle, a change in the workflow that I found out about on Thursday morning means that it will be easier than average, which is something less than I had been anticipating.  Welcome news.

After finishing up at the usual time on Thursday I made a late afternoon visit to the gym. Being in an unusually energetic  frame of mind I decided to have a hard session. And I did. I started out with neutral grip pull-ups,  getting a total of 32, as follows: 5 × 4, 4 × 3. Next I tried to do some dips, but stopped after a couple because they just didn’t feel right. It was a sensation that is hard to describe but was quite evident at the time. I though of trying bench presses instead, but decided against that because I always like to do any benching first in the session. It’s not the sort of exercise in which one wants to risk any sudden muscle weakness.  I did Hammer Strength shoulder presses,  4 × 8 ×.100/100. To finish the session I did T-bar rows,  5 ×.6 × 115.

On Friday, my day off, I had to make a quick trip to Westchester County to take care of some business. To get there I took the Long Island Expressway –> Cross Island Parkway –> Throgs Neck Bridge –> I-95.  I left around 10 in the morning and was at my destination,  just past New Rochelle,  in about 1:10. Not bad for a trip of about 60 miles. The thing is, had I left a couple of hours earlier, thereby hitting rush hour traffic,  it would have taken well over two hours. Ugh. As it was, the only ugh I had was for the (obscene) tolls on the bridge. After just a short while at my destination I had an equally easy return trip, though I made a couple of stops along the way so there were no time comparisons. The highlight of the drive (the (obscene) bridge tolls were of course the lowlight) was seeing most of the water under the bridge, the beginning of Long Island Sound,  frozen over. There was just some open water, probably the result of shipping traffic. Such extensive ice cover is very rare. And Little Neck Bay was completely frozen over.

At 6:30 I went to hot yoga, at the same Bayport studio where I went on Saturday.  This time it was a normal session, not a brutal advanced session like the one we had stumbled into on Saturday. Even so, it was somewhat more intense than the sessions at the other studio. But the instructor,  one of the few men I’ve had as an instructor,  was very good. His pacing was smoother than most and he gave detailed instructions on how to execute each pose. I was pleased with my performance.

Published in: on March 3, 2015 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment