Friday, August 28, 2009

Flex Time

There's a neat little policy where I work. Rather than pay for overtime, my boss would much prefer that I utilize flex time. I mean...really in "you ask for some overtime pay I'm going to ask if you are worth it". Submitting requests to be paid for overtime is a pain with paperwork (as if there isn't enough of that in my life) and one is almost made to feel as if you are stealing by asking to be paid for putting in over forty hours a week.

Simply put...not worth the trouble. So I do the flex time thingy. Flex time basically means that I go off the clock. Theoretically I'm not doing any work. The problem is, I still have all the deadlines and tasks that have to be completed. Thanks to modern technology, I can perform a great deal of work on a laptop at home. I can even have my phone calls routed to my cell.

whoop de doo
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 27, 2009

CPR Training

It's that time again. This morning I'll be with a bunch of other people watching a film about CPR and spending a great deal of time trying to resuscitate a legless, armless dummy like the one above. The dummies are suppose to give you a feel for what it is like to perform CPR though...if it were to be truly realistic...there would be significant amounts of vomit and perhaps a bit of blood involved. They should also make dummies with pot bellies and facial hair just to add to realism. They might have some with large breasts; though I suppose a few in class would likely steal those for themselves.

I think I've probably taken these classes at least a couple of dozen times over the years. I sit listening to the instructor while wondering why my agency doesn't join the 21st century and get defibrillators instead of depending on the hit-or-miss method of pushing up and down on a person's rib cage until an ambulance arrives. Still, better than nothing, I suppose. If I flopped to the floor at work due to a heart attack, I'd rather people around me try anything they could to save my ass. Jump up and down on me. Break my ribs. Hook up jumper cables to my nipples. Try something, anything.

The dummies in the class never recover. I would hope for a better result.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Keep Your Hands Off of My Stack

What's worse than somebody breaking into your house and stealing some of your stuff? When it's one of your neighbors doing the stealing.

I foolishly left my garage door open for a period of time and when I went to close it, discovered that my bicycle and several tools were missing. Several things scattered on the floor as if I might have interupted the scumbags work. I peek outside and see my neighbor trotting across the street into his house....then I see him peering out the window.

I know he did it. Nothing I can really do about it. The police in this city are no help at all when it comes to stuff like this. I can't even get them to come over which would at least shake my neighbor a bit and maybe keep him away from my house in the future. I'm not going over to his house to confront him and risk getting a bullet just for a bicycle.

I'm just going to take the loss..which pisses me off. Not because some stuff was stolen, but the idea of other people stealing stuff. I work hard for what I have. It angers me that there are people who don't want to do the same.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 14, 2009

Priorities of Living

Posted by Picasa

Imagine that you lived tens of thousands of years ago. You're strolling along the savanna and you find yourself face to face with the little kitty pictured above. Would you be concerned about what you might have for dinner...or would you be more concerned what the tiger is wanting for dinner?

Would you care about your weight? Your looks? If you had money? What your friends think about you?

Would you be depressed? Would you mope about your rotten luck? Would you tell yourself that you don't want to live anymore and moan to everybody you know to see if they would rescue show that they care?

The human instinct would be an overpowering urge to survive and to run like hell. Would you wait for somebody to make the cat go away, or would you do something about the situation yourself?

In a society that provides for all of our needs...whining is a luxury.

But like most's not very practical or useful.

Gas Shortage?

Protein shakes are wonderful. I find them a great way to have a quick meal without a lot of muss and fuss, they're relatively cheap, and good for me. This is all opposed to my old habit of grabbing some greasy burger or enjoying fine dining at Taco Hell. I use Myoplex vanilla flavor, throw in some fruit, blend it together and I've got myself a satisfying meal with all the needed nutrients for around 300 calories.

The only drawback is that the protein powder tends to produce a bit of gas. Combine that with the chicken, refried bean, and jalapeno burritos I had with another meal that day and.....

I'll be needing to re-tile the bathroom.

and my cat is still in hiding.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Round and Round and Getting Rounder

There is a vicious little cycle that I go through that I'm sure a lot of people experience. I decide "this is it...I'm going to do something about my weight...I'm going to hit the gym and get fit".

And I do. I go all out. Push my body to the limits and beyond.

And pay for it the next day. And the day after. And the next.

And wind up back where I started.... waiting for the next decision to do something about my weight.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On Leaving the World a Better Place

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." ~ Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I Finally Got Wood

The biggest obstacle in my quest for attaining health and fitness is not my's this 35+ year smoking habit. Habit doesn't really describe it, it's an addiction. I have a habit of waking up early. It is my habit to check my emails and phone messages when I enter my office in the morning. I cultivate the habit of eating with my mouth closed and not belching when I dine around other people. My wife is trying to get me to break the habit of leaving my underwear on the floor.

An addiction is the continuation of an action that causes you harm in spite (and this is the important part) of the knowledge that it is causing harm and the desire not to engage in the behavior. That fits my experience with smoking to a tee. I know it's bad for me. I know it will kill me...and not in a pleasant way either. I continue to smoke. I quit for awhile. I relapse. I quit. I relapse. Over and over and over again.

A problem that I have is that I can't really go cold turkey off of nicotine. That would be the best way to lick this addiction. I mean, that's what works with alcohol, heroin, or meth stop taking the drug...period. That's all fine and dandy if you are in a closed and controlled environment for 28 days or so. I have to continue with my life. I have to go to work. I also have to function. So I put on nicotine patches that give me just enough of the drug to be able to concentrate on my job and not bite some random person's head off during the day. The bonus of the patch is that it keeps me from lighting up a cigarette while I have the thing on. If I smoke anytime within eight hours or so from taking off the patch...I get sick as a dog. So, even when I get intense cravings, I'm pretty much stuck with not smoking for several hours. Unfortunately, this usually leads me to stop putting on a new patch in the morning just in case I may want a cigarette during the day. I's crazy...but this is how addiction screws with your thinking process. Once I don't put on the patch, it's all over and I'm back to two packs a day like I never quit.

I need something for those brief yet intense urges to light up a cigarette. Food works great, but I can't eat all day and it's mostly impractical to carry around munchies everywhere I go. I need something intense to counteract the oral need to stick a burning weed into my mouth.

That's when I thought of cinnamon toothpicks. I searched high and low for some but they seem to be a fairly rare item these days. I looked for cinnamon oil but it seems like it's some kind of controlled substance and is harder to find than crack at an Amish barn raising party. I was about to give up and resign myself to chewing gum or something when I found the beauties pictured above in my local health food store. At $4 a pack they are pricey but still less than a pack of cigarettes.

I'll see if they will work and I can at long last leave this nasty habit behind me.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Grace Under Pressure

I feel good today. I feel good because I've come to the startling realization that, while I may not be physically in the best shape, I'm pretty strong with my mental health.

I recently changed duties at my job. The position that I had before for several years went to another....who left. Then to another who is desperately wanting to leave it because of the stress involved. It is a stressful job. Continuous crisis events, dealing with a wide range of people most of which are experiencing significant life crisis of their own. A thousand details. Countless decisions every day all day...some of which can be disastrous if the wrong choice is made.

It's a meat grinder; and I did it for several years. It was a difficult job but I made it look easy. I thrived on the pressure. I flourished being in charge. I walked showing grace under the type of pressure that appears to make most people crumble. I learned to let the turmoils of the job flow around me rather than batter me down to the ground. Like the trees that grew in my childhood home in West Texas...constantly blown by the wind and sand without giving into it's unrelenting force.

Now; however, I'm in a much calmer environment.

Yet I often feel like a misshapen tree in a sheltered forest. I miss the windstorms.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Safe Sex

Posted by Picasa

Most of us know all about the birds and the bees. For the bee's part, going from flower to flower and collecting nectar is an integral part of reproduction for many plants. The bee gets a little dab of nectar and the flower gobs on some pollen to the bees knees. The bee flies to another flower for another sip of nectar, the pollen lands on the other flower and violins play.

The bees don't do this for the flowers sex lives. They do it for the nectar, so they can bring it back to their hive, throw it up, and make honey. Bees have a reputation of being busy because they have to spend all day going from flower to flower, hundreds of them, to collect enough nectar for their honey production. Given a choice, bees will be just as lazy as any creature and what creature doesn't love an all-you-can-eat buffet.

I put up a feeder right after I spotted a hummingbird in my yard. My hopes were that I might attract a few but the only things feeding on my feeder are these dang bees. I estimate that they are going through about a pint a week. I'm a little afraid to stop re-filling it. You know how sugar junkies can be went you cut them off.

It's okay, I guess. I like bees too. It would be interesting to find out what the honey they are making will taste like. The syrup smells somewhat like maple syrup and tastes like grape kool-aid. I wonder if the honey will be bright red?

The down side is that I have a yard full of frustrated flowers.