Solving the Mysteries of My Universe


About a week ago, I finally figured out what my password was to get back into my Blogger accounts. This was a big deal, because for about two years I couldn’t crack the code. I set a new password and it was a tricky one. It incorporates random numbers and flip-flopped letters so the word itself is spelled weird. And dumb me, it appears I didn’t write the new, tough password down anywhere. I’ve looked all over. I keep all my passwords in one place, and this new one never made it into that list for some reason. So, I couldn’t update anything. My old blog, or my writing blog.

I finally figured it out, and it was a very cool moment. I felt like a ray of sunshine came down from the heavens and shone on my forehead (and started to burn me). So, as you might already know if you’ve been to the Old Blog(TM) by now, I’m posting some of my posts from here… there. I’m carefully selecting only those I’m OK with people seeing. I still can never make this URL public, of course. It is, after all, my diary… I can still has this diary.

I figured something else out today, too. My sprinkler system for the lawn didn’t seem to be working. My grass has just gotten browner and browner instead of greener like the other people’s lawns I see this time of year. I have messed around with the control box and changed the programming several times, according to notes the landscaping guy gave me about 6 months ago. I’ve added weed-n-feed. And yet, GRASSY DEATH.

Meanwhile, my trees and plants are doing fine. They’re growing well, and sprouting new growth, so surely they’ve been getting water… since everything is technically on the same sprinkler system (lawn= Program A and plants= Program B), I was pretty sure that the lawn was getting water too. I just kept missing the cycle. It does come on during the time I now go out for a bike ride or walk on my treadmill before work… and goes off well before I’m finished with my workouts.

Or so I thought!

I played with that programming control box for 20 minutes this morning. I tried all kinds of things, and double-checked the manual to be sure I was doing it right. And yet, no water was coming out when I went around back to check. WTF?

As an almost last-ditch resort, I thought I’d check the sprinkler’s water valve. The one for the sprinkler system comes off of my main water valve. I know that the MAIN water valve was on, since it was in the correct position and everything. The sprinkler’s valve was also in the correct position. Again– OR SO I THOUGHT.

Just to see what happened, I turned the valve’s handle to the right. I heard water in the pipes! When I felt the pipes themselves, I could feel the water getting cooler as it ran. Son of a bitch… the water valve was never on all this time?!

How the hell did that happen? I totally don’t recall ever touching that valve. It must have happened when the landscaping guy was there, showing me how to program the thing. He probably said it was best to turn off the water valve when changing the programming or something… and then we never turned it back on.

Well, it’s on now. And I saw the sprinklers working with my own eyes, so I’m very happy. Now I just need to wait several days to see if the grass is still alive in there, or if I need to reseed. (I only have about 400sq.ft. of grass out there–for HURLEY, I might add–, so it won’t cost much to pick up some ‘replacement’ Bermuda seed if I need to.)

The question is, have the plants and trees been getting water all this time…? It seems like they have, what with all the growth I’ve seen and the lack of rain. But maybe, just maybe they didn’t get anything. I can’t imagine everything doesn’t run off that same valve. So weird. Well, it’s on now, and I can’t wait to see what happens out there in my personal little jungle-in-waiting.

Wow. So, that’s the stuff going on with me, I guess. Figurin’ Stuff Out!!! Yeah.

*I’m still going to the chiropractor 3x a week, sadly. I say sadly because it’s a hassle to get there every time (completely out of the way) and it still costs $35 each visit. Ugh. However, the pain is improving a little more all the time. I’m no longer getting that “flip-leg” thing, which is excellent. (My right leg’s movement no longer causes pain only in my left leg…there is no pain at all, anymore, like that.) I’m still dealing with flare-ups of the sciatica, but I can take it. It is getting marginally better all the time. Once the pain is no longer in my leg, but is instead localized to my back, more or less, than we will have made significant progress. I can’t wait.

* They’ve started me on the decompression table. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s basically a modern-day rack. You lie on this table and they strap something around your waist and another strap around the hips (generally speaking–this is how they do it for my spinal issue), and you put your arms through these things they call “parachute straps” and they attach the strap at your hips to the end of the table somewhere. Then, they turn the table on, and it mechanically moves you apart…stretches you… slowly, and then slowly releases you again. I have to stay there and do this for 20 minutes. Dear God, it feels like the longest 20 minutes ever, mostly because I’m all anxious being all strapped-in like that. I keep wondering what I would do if there was an emergency, like a fire. I know that won’t happen… and I know where the ’emergency release’ buttons are, because they showed me… but still. My mind goes weird places when I’m in there. On Monday, I started to imagine a deep blood clot somewhere in my torso being dislodged by the stretching, and shooting to my brain or heart. Like I said, my mind goes to weird places. I’m not normal.

* I’m still working out. Injury or not, I’m not stopping no matter what!! For now, I am still biking every other workout, walking the others. I prefer the treadmill for the walking, because of the even terrain and the lack of 110+ heat outside. (These days, it’s 97 by 6am, and I’m not joking.) I’m feeling very good, cardio-wise. I need a better heart rate monitor, because the one that came with the treadmill worked fine last week, but today I noticed it showing a super erratic heart rate, or a very low one when I was clearly in my 70%-80% max range, based on my pulse. I think it’s not fitting me right. Either way, it’s fun using the monitor because I can work out at the specific intensities I want at any given time. (Wow– when did I become the person who has fun using a heart rate monitor while exercising?! Who am I, and where’s the old me? Ha ha.)

* I am NOT LOSING ANY WEIGHT. This one is very puzzling. I’m watching what I eat, keeping a food journal and counting calories– keeping my daily intake between 1,200 and 1,500, which should be fine, according to the running and fitness websites I’ve been reading. I work out 4-5 times a week, and I don’t just meander along or take a leisurely ride on the canal: I’m working hard. I’m doing some light strength training, sure, but it can’t be enough to create serious muscle, I don’t think. I’ve tried weighing myself when I am full of water, and then after, and there is pretty much no change.

I’ve been doing this training thing for 6 weeks now, and I expected to lose at least 5 pounds minimum by now. Sure, in the beginning, I was still eating pretty much the same, but that’s all changed for the past 3 weeks. WTF? It kind of sucks. I’m looking forward to LOOKING LIKE I AM DOING ALL THIS WORK, you know? Ugh. Well, if this continues like this for a couple more weeks, I might see my doctor and show him my food journal and everything. Man, I am so glad my body loves hanging on to my heft so damn much. Wonderfulness.

It is possible that muscle is forming and even if fat is coming off, the muscle is adding weight right back in. Yeah, maybe. But wouldn’t my pants fit looser and stuff like that, if that were the case? I do see some change in two areas, though, to be honest: my calves, and my waist. My torso area is getting a little less jiggly. But beyond that, everything else still feels huge. My arms are still flappin’ around, and my face is round and Big & German(TM) as ever. Oh, well. Patience, patience. I hear it is a virtue.

* I booked a flight to NJ for vacation! I’m really psyched. I finally found a decent roundtrip fare, and figured out a few days I could easily take off of work without it disrupting anything… and I just booked it. I’ll be staying with Kristen the whole time. It’s only 5 nights, but it’s 5 nights of being ON VACATION.

I already told her I don’t want to do anything of note. I want to just hang out, go down to the beach, go to the woods maybe, and possibly New Hope. She’s totally cool with that, which is another reason I love her so much. I’m also playing with the idea of not telling a lot of people I’m going back there, because I honestly don’t want to feel obligated to have to see people. Every damn time I go back, I spend so much of my time running around trying to meet up with this person for lunch and this one for dinner and still have time to see my Dad, too, and it’s not really a vacation anymore when I do that.

I know a few people who might be pissed that I don’t make an effort to see them, but so what? That inevitably happens every time I go back, anyway. You can never please everyone. I mean, nothing says that I have to be social and see people just because I am in their part of the country for a few days, right? Or am I being a selfish dick? Hmm. I’m leaning towards the “OK not to see people” thing, myself.

* I am getting a sidewalk/walkway put in my front yard! At the moment, the whole thing is covered in river rock, and that shit is hard to walk across. I’ve wanted a pathway down to the mailbox since I moved in, and I’ve even priced some pavers and/or flagstone “plates” (I don’t know what to call them), but never figured out how to do it. Hauling that shit alone would be a hassle, let alone installing it the right way.

Last week, a special Kudzu deal came through: $500 worth of pavers for $189 from this one company! I couldn’t pass it up. I put it on my “home repair and renovation” credit card. Tomorrow, the guy comes out to take a look and help me figure out the plans and what I can do for the amount of pavers I’ve bought. Apparently, it is 500 sqaure feet worth of pavers. He said on the phone that the walkway wouldn’t use all of that, so we could figure out where else we might be able to use it. I have a couple of ideas, like redo the little concrete sidewalk and tiny front porch so it all blends with the new walkway (and has some style– the current stuff is plain, boring, unadorned concrete slabs). Or maybe make a path across the front of the house, near the bushes, so it is easier to walk to the electric box and the sprinkler control panel. Or maybe create a paved parking area next to my current driveway… I’m excited to see what is possible, and what kind of pavers I can choose from. It’s been several months since any significant remodeling-type stuff has occurred in/at my house, and I think I missed it. 🙂



8 responses »

  1. I had the same trouble with losing weight when I was doing my training. Er, I still am! Anyway, I’m not sure what you’re eating, but one thing that did help me was to cut out as much carbs as possible, unless you’re doing a long run or walk. Then you would have a carb meal the night before. Up your protein and if you’re eating fruits, limit to apples, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit. Only have a banana if you are having leg cramps.

    Also, another trick I learned…have your caloric intake at 1,200 or below all week…and then pick one day where you eat whatever. FREE DAY! That sometimes help to jolt the metabolism and make those fewer calorie days make a difference.

    Are you drinking any diet sodas? That was another one of my problems back then. It really held me back from losing any weight. AND I was always feeling so hungry.

  2. Well I don’t want to complicate your trip, but if you find yourself with a meal you wouldn’t mind sharing, I’ll come to wherever you are if you wanna get together.

  3. Oh, I totally have to get more sleep, too! I realize that’s a big part of it. When I think about it, I can’t remember the last time I slept straight through a night, and I average only about 5 hours each night, anyway. I have trouble falling to sleep lately, so I lie awake forEVER. I know I’m following ‘directions’ and making myself prepared for a good night’s sleep, but it’s not happening anyway. Makes me really angry! Grrrr! (And anger will keep you awake, too..,son of a bitch!)

  4. Try focusing on your breathing. Breathe in for as long as you can, until you can’t possible draw in any more breath. Pause for a moment. Then let it out, slowly, til you can’t push out any more air. Repeat.

    This slows the heart rate down, which is key to interrupting those circadian rhythms responsible for keeping us in the awake state. Sometimes, thanks to our crazy brains running away with us, we have to make a conscious effort to put the body into the restful state that would normally occur as we approach sleep. Have you ever noticed that trying to fall asleep while your thoughts are racing usually has your heart beating at it’s daytime, up-and-at-’em heart rate (or more) rather than the slower heart rate of sleep? (Yes, being angry can do it, too.) If you can slow your breathing, you can slow the heart rate, and that will bring on sleep. You’ll notice the suggested breathing pattern is similar to the way we inhale/exhale during sleep.

    I swear, I do this and all it takes is 3 breaths and I’m out cold!

    You might also have noticed how Hurley, and maybe even Simon let out a deep sigh right before they fall asleep. That’s their mind and body letting go and giving over to restfulness. Notice how if you let out such a great exhalation it’s likely one or the other or both of them will, too. Kansas does this every night, once she hears me do it (it’s something we do unconsciously, but we can also make a conscious effort at it). It’s only then that she knows she can “let go” and fall asleep, herself, because I don’t need “watching” anymore.

  5. Glad you figured out the sprinkler thing. That would drive me nuts! You are so smart. 🙂

    I need to lose weight and get better sleep. I know both will be aided with exercise. However, it is so effing hot out there and I dislike exercising inside I am not sure what to do. I may end up looking into taking midnight bikr rides.

  6. CP, is it possible for you to wake up really early and go out for a bike ride or walk then? That’s the only way I can do it right now, of course, what with this heat. And it is still hot out there at 5:00-6:30, no doubt. But I bring lots of water and once I’m riding, the “wind” helps cool me off! You can do it. If I can, anyone can! 🙂

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