Saturday, September 14, 2019

Every Saturday At The Y

Today was like every Saturday.
By 7AM I've fed the cats and am deciding: drink coffee in the recliner or go back to bed?
No, I've got my 8 o'clock at the Y.
But what if it's the scary instructor? It's probably the scary instructor. What difference would it make to skip just this once?
What if I just go there to see my friends? I don't actually have to do anything.
Sure enough, it's the scary instructor. He's got biceps bigger than my calves and the endurance of someone in his 20s, which he is and I am not.
It's too late to go back. I lay out my gear, hydrate thoroughly, and wait for it.
I concentrate on breathing as we go. It helps to growl when we reach an absurd number of reps. I've heard yogi call this "lion breath" but it's really just growling. The instructor does not seem intimidated.
Bilateral symmetry is a problem. When we tire out a muscle group on one side, do we stop? No! He makes us flop over and do the same thing on the other side! When will we learn?
Class is tough but not as tough as it was this time last year. He must be slacking off. I've had to go up a size in weights to really feel it.
A funny thing always happens half way through. I get a feeling of distress from whatever muscles I'm working - not pain, just a feeling that there's nothing left so it's time to stop, the "Check Engine" light is on, there are no more fumes in the tank - but I also get a sense of well being.
Could it be that my body, which spends the work day sitting at a desk, actually likes physical activity?
More likely I'm just light-headed.
Then it's over. My jersey is completely soaked.
I say hi to my friends, thank the instructor for the class, and walk out with a complete sensation of relaxation throughout my frame.
It's only 9AM. I've got the whole weekend ahead and a happy body.
Maybe next Saturday I'll sleep in. What difference would it make?

Friday, September 13, 2019

Relentless Positive

I wasted entirely too much time these past couple of weeks with Leo's attempt (partly successful) to involve me in his snit with Ron. It started with Leo asking me on facebook to join in on his thing for organizing trips for veterans to go to DC to see the monuments. I have never criticized the concept but it's silly; if you are going to invest time and money on veteran's issues, tourism should be lowest on the list - but to each their own, I say. And if Leo gets a trip out of it - whatever. 
Anyway - there was a problem with Leo's fundraiser at DAV 23. I was not a part of the argument since I'm not an officer - all I did was show up at the usual time, have the usual lunch which was served this time by Leo instead of the Auxiliary Ladies - and throw some cash in a cannister, I don't really recall which one.
Leo said that bad stuff happened which was Ron's fault. I considered the story he told me and what I had seen, and suggested to him that because there was nothing in writing except a few memo lines on checks written to DAV, it was smart and correct for Chapter leadership to take the most conservative approach to giving him money. Leo argued the point and eventually I gave up.
Then I got an email forwarded to me that had been sent to about 30 people (but not me and not Ron) in which Leo argued his case and accused Ron of theft. That email was forewarded to someone who forewarded it to Ron who forewarded it to me, and I replied to all with about 12 careful points, trying not to be disparaging, but pointing out that Leo was not doing things the right way, any screw up was a team effort and let's just move on. A couple of people replied supporting me, one guy replied saying I should be silent because I was in the Auxiliary (I replied privately to him that I don't need his permission and anyway the issue stands as it stands so who cares?), and Leo tried renewing his conversation with me privately via email. I took one or two more attempts at trying to make Leo see reason but when he told me Ron had asked him to be Chapter president I concluded I was wasting everyone's time and I had to just stay away from the pointless negativity.
I posted this message on facebook and tried to follow the plan. So far so good!

When flowers lose their hair

This used to be a showy flower on the way to my bus stop, but the petals have withered and fallen. I think seeds must now be forming, which isn't exactly what happens as my hair receeds - but perhaps it's my mental progeny that are being encapsulated and distributed in a seedlike way.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Leaves are starting to turn, a little bit

I walk past this tree on the way to the bus every work day. It does not especially stand out in my memory as I search for something cuter or more beautiful. It is lovely in its ordinariness.---
Coming home from work, I tried taking the 131 as it is a shorter walk from the stop. However it came so late that I didn't get home until a few minutes before Zumba started. I skipped class (and the chance to say hi to my friends) and worked on the refi instead. I don't think I'll do that again.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Life Finds A Way

Colonizing the duff at the edge of the street, this brave plant works to return civilization to nature. I am not really fond of this species since its leaves are sticky but I respect its persistence. Or something.

Wednesday nights I have no classes at the Y or Toastmasters. I try to make it a time for doing chores, such as laundry and cleaning the cat boxes. I try to come current with my Toastmasters obligations. In addition to serving as VPE for my club 832, I am organizing an end of summer happy hour and decided to try inviting multiple local clubs. Why not? it's a happy hour - let's all get happy!
This met with approval from our club president Karen and the local area director Nagash. Now let's see how many actually appear.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Are We In Kansas Yet?

Just a couple of blocks down ...

A friend tells me these are prairie sunflowers, so this could be a warp to anywhere on the prairie. Maybe Colorado?

Monday, September 09, 2019

Air Filter

Behold my shiny new air filter!
My old oil heater didn't really have an air filter so much as some fibrous material laid over a bit of chickenwire. I guess I was supposed to take it out and hose it down now and then. The house did not come with an instruction manual and I really had no clue air filters were a thing.
I got a clue when the DAV Chapter 23 airfilter went bad. The numbnuts who were running the thing before and during the club suspension never did any maintenance. Ultimately the air filter got coated with a coating of dust thick like felt, and the fan broke down. I was told this cost about $2000 to fix, which could have been avoided with regular filter changes.
Armed with this experience (which cost me nothing) I paid attention when I got my new heat pump. The installer warned me to change filters regularly and promised that WNE would set me up for a subscription, one new 4" filter a month for a year, after which I'd probably have to buy something to pay for a subscription.
I had to keep bugging them to keep that promise. First they sent nothing, then they sent the wrong filter, finally they sent one or two and I gave up. Perhaps the salesman had not communicated with the office.
I finally figured out that while the 4" thick filters were better, the 1" filters were perfectly good and both cheaper and more available at my local hardware stores. I was resigned to buying these on a regular basis, and throwing them away when done - because they did not look recyclable at all - when I decided to see if I could do better.
Researching permanent filters - which are cleaned with a water hose - gave several options. I chose the one above, which costs about what a year's supply of disposables does. This time next year I should start profitting from the change, basically trading my time for money. It is also great to be contributing less to the landfill.
When I posted this photo on facebook, some friends expressed concern about mold and stuff. I'll have to monitor this but I suspect that due to the constantly flowing air there won't be anything growing on it - it should stay pretty dry. We'll. see.

I Saw This On My Walk Yesterday

I admire the artistry - or is it a servant of the Empire?

The Invention of White Chocolate

"Eureka! I have succeeded in removing everything that is chocolatey from chocolate!! This is a work of genius!!!"
"No, it was not."

Sunday, September 08, 2019

I Would Have Missed This If I Didn't Choose to Walk

Because of the thunderstorm last night, Cyril and I canceled our planned tree trimming at the hospital for today. Not only would they be soggy but apparently one of the areas is an overflow catchment so we wouldn't be able to walk there.
This was actually convenient for me. I drove no where today. I caught up on Toastmasters paperwork, learning more of the VPE role. I used the chipper to make some mulch for the dried-out garden area next to the back steps. I walked to the store to get tortillas and milk.
As I walked back, I saw this flower on about 15th near Roxbury. I am so glad I walked instead of drove for if I drove I would have missed this.