Monday, July 17

Eleven is not my favorite number

Today was a bad day at both my jobs. What should have been an easy enough day at my main job wasn’t, on account of some unexpected complications. Instead of getting out a bit early, as I had expected, I worked until shortly after normal quitting time. As for the Major Home Improvement Retailer, I had a 5:30 to 11 shift. Not only is that a long shift for a both-jobs day, but I dislike five-and-a-half-hour shifts on principle too. Under company rules you have to get a lunch break if you work six hours, but anything short of that, even 30 minutes short as in my case, mean no lunch.  I really suspect that sort of scheduling is entirely deliberate.

Another thing I didn’t like is that I worked until 11, which is one hour after the store closes. Which meant that for the last hour of my shift I had very little to do. Had there been a freight delivery I could have helped the freight team pack it out, but there hadn’t been one. As you might expect, the last hour passed very, very slowly.

Published in: on July 22, 2017 at 3:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, July 15 – Sunday, July 16

Two full 8-hour shifts at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Okay, Sunday’s was 7 hours 30 minutes, big deal. What made these shifts tough was not just all the work I did, but the fact that I will be working three out of the next four evenings (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday). By the time all is said and done I will have worked six out of eight days, and that’s not even counting my main job. That’s a lot, and I’m finding that my energy level is diminishing fast. But every dark cloud has a silver lining, or so the expression goes, and in my case it’s that after next week things should be getting much more tolerable as the garden season winds down … assuming it actually does wind down. The sub-season which I call Mulch Season should be almost done, yet people keep buying more and more of the danged stuff.

Needless to say, I did not make it to the gym this weekend, on Saturday I got out of the MHIR early enough for a gym trip but I was way too beat. Once my hours drop I’ll be able to go on a regular basis once more.

Published in: on July 22, 2017 at 2:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday, July 14

Not home on the range

It was a dreary wet Friday, and while I usually don’t care much about the weather today was an exception. I had been planning to go to the shooting range, for the first time in too long, but if it even was open it would not have been a pleasant trip, so I didn’t go. Next Friday, for sure. Maybe.

At least the gym is indoors. I went in the mid-afternoon, fairly early for me, and had a decent back session. T-bar rows: 6 x 6 x 110. Hammer Strength high-rows: 6 x 8 x 90/90. I followed with some assorted medicine ball work.

Published in: on July 17, 2017 at 2:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, July 13

So much for an easy shift

Another decent day to wind down the week at my main job. This really has been a very easy work cycle, I’m hoping that the one that will be starting a week from Monday will be easy too. We’ll see.

It was good that the start of my day was easy, because I had a long shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer, 4:30 to 10.  It looked at first as if it would be an easy shift, as heavy rains kept most customers away and there were several other people working in the Garden department. Of course this state of affairs didn’t last. Around 7, the worst of the rains having passed (and the temperature having plummeted), the manager on duty decided that me and a couple other workers had to disassemble these now-empty temporary plant racks, consisting of boards laid atop cement blocks. Lots of heavy 10″ x 12′ boards and heavy cement blocks. I won’t quite say it was backbreaking, but it sure wasn’t easy. I was very thankful that the temperature had fallen!

Published in: on July 17, 2017 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, July 12

Life intervened

Another decent day at my main job, finishing up my tasks at a reasonably early time. What makes this somewhat surprising is that I was at what’s usually the most troublesome of my four worksites. If something goes wrong at a site, it’s most commonly at this one.

I originally had planned to make another gym visit in the evening, but some issues came up and made that unfeasible. Frustrating, but that’s how things often go … yes, I could be one of those fanatics who won’t let anything short of a Category 5 hurricane stop him from going to the gym (and maybe not even that), but I’m not quite at that level. Come to think of it, if you are at that level, the gym probably isn’t even fun anymore, having become a duty. And that’s going a bit too far, if you ask me.

On a better note, we were able to have burgers at Bobby’s Burger Palace at the nearby mall. I had the burger of the month, the Cheyenne Burger, which featured melted cheddar, barbecue sauce, bacon, and some massive onion rings. It was one of the best they’ve had in quite a while, definitely one of my favorites. Can’t wait to see what August will bring!


Published in: on July 14, 2017 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, July 11

Well that was a decent session

Another relatively easy day at my main job, a bit more difficult than the day before but not bad at all. I was back by 2pm, and in a somewhat unusual move decided to go to the gym shortly afterward. While many people preach the virtues of morning exercise, indeed most gyms open at very early hours like 4am if they’re not 24-hour, that just doesn’t work for me. I prefer to exercise in the evenings, and despite what some morning advocates say it works fine for me. So going at around 3pm was a bit of a change for me.

A successful change, I might add. It was a quite satisfying session even though the flat benches were occupied and bench pressing wasn’t on the menu. I did some bodyweight dips as a substitute, 3 x 6, followed up by Hammer Strength shoulder presses, 5 x 8 x 80/80. Next came French presses, 5 x 8 x 40, and then pec deck flies, 4 x 8 x 140. I finished up the session with some various medicine ball exercises. All in all it went well, but the fact that I went a few hours earlier than usual does not mean that I’ve magically become an advocate for very early exercise. No thank you!

Published in: on July 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday, July 10

That wasn’t so bad

It was the start of a new work cycle at my main job after a week off, and based on some things I’d heard from management I was fearing a really tough cycle. No early departures. As it turned out, the cycle’s not bad at all. I was finished and on my way back by 1pm, which is pretty good for a new cycle.

We went to a mall about 25 miles away in the early afternoon, for what turned out to be an unsuccessful search for a particular item, but on a better note we had dinner at P.F. Chang’s, very good as always. In a bit of a departure from the usual, I took advantage of the happy hour and had three drinks (I wasn’t driving), two raspberry martinis and one red sangria. Very rarely do I drink that much, but hey, one had to indulge every so often, right?

Published in: on July 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, July 8 – Sunday, July 9

Another weekend largely occupied by working at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. Saturday was a full 8-hour shift, 1:30 to 10, and as always is the case with full shifts the last few hours really dragged. The store wasn’t too busy, in part because of a firemen’s parade that closed one of the two access roads, so I guess that was sort of a break. Didn’t make things go faster, though.

Sunday was a 5 hour 45 minute shift, 9:15 to 3, which I consider a devious way to avoid having to give me a lunch break. Company policy requires a break once a worker hits the 6-hour mark. Fortunately, it was a moderately busy shift during which I did many different things, so it went quickly.

Published in: on July 10, 2017 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday, July 7

Rest and recovery

My tolerance for long road trips just isn’t what it should be.  Even though Thursday’s candy run to Pennsylvania involved maybe 7 to 8 hours of driving, today I just didn’t have much energy.  It was a day off from both jobs and except for a few errands I kept things mostly low-key. At least until about 4pm, when we went to the Apple Store so I could get a new charging cord for my computer ($79!!) and then we decided to eat at the nearby Cheesecake Factory. As always, I pigged out something wicked.

Around 9:30, having digested a bit, I decided to make a late trip to the gym. Not being particularly energetic or, for that matter, motivated, I keep things pretty easy. I used the Hammer Strength high row machine, 6 x 8 x 80/80, and by the time I finished that my energy level was so low I decided to call it a day. Hey, I still went, which is a good sign, and I still did something.

Published in: on July 8, 2017 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, July 6


It was a successful trip to Callie’s Candy Kitchen and Pretzel Factory in Pennsylvania. They are separate businesses, the Pretzel Factory is in the town of Cresco and the Candy Kitchen a couple miles further north in Mountainhome.  Getting there took a bit of rerouting; as we crossed the Throgs Neck Bridge an electronic message sign said 81 minutes to the George Washington Bridge via I-95 (the Cross Bronx Expressway), which is a distance of less than ten miles. Ugh! My solution was to head north on the Hutchinson River Parkway to the Cross County Parkway, then south on the Saw Mill/Henry Hudson Parkway to the George Washington Bridge. It was maybe twice the distance but traffic wasn’t bad at all.  Once on the bridge it was a short trip to I-80, which I took across New Jersey into Pennsylvania.

Coming back was a bit unusual. We got off I-80 in Wayne, New Jersey onto Route 46 to get something to eat at a Wendy’s. As I headed east on Route 46 to find a way back onto I-80, Google Maps wasn’t particularly helpful, it dawned on me that (a) 46 wasn’t a bad road at all, with very few lights, and (b) it has its own entrance to the George Washington Bridge.  It’s not scenic, being lined by countless businesses of all types, but it’s different from Interstate blandness. It offered a surprisingly quick trip to the bridge, followed by the Major Deegan Expressway to the Triboro Bridge and the Grand Central Parkway. What with this being a sort-of long holiday week traffic was notably lighter than usual and we made good time. What wasn’t so good were the (obscene) tolls, around $40 for the trip. At least the (obscene) tolls on the Henry Hudson and the Triboro bridges are the cashless type; cameras take pictures of license plates and send invoices. Hey, what about eliminating (obscene) tolls completely? We already pay enough in fuel taxes, thank you.

Published in: on July 7, 2017 at 2:07 pm  Comments (1)