Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Starry Starry Night

Tonight was Family Astronomy Night at K's school. The local astronomy society every year brings a bunch of telescopes of varying sizes to the back lot at the school and the kids (and parents) get to view the night sky through the scopes. Tonight we got to see the Orion Nebula, Mars and a few other constellations through the telescopes. Our weather, for this event, was atrocious. It is extremely windy out, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. I have so much sand in my eyes. It was cool to see the stars up closer than you can with the naked eye.

I would love to have a giant telescope in the desert, away from the city lights. Imagine what one could see out there.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Gym

I have been going to the gym three times a week for the past 3 weeks. Instead of losing weight, I am gaining weight. How does THAT work?

I went a couple of times in late October, once with my husband, and once by myself to get the "orientation" meeting with a personal trainer. This "orientation" consisted of asking questions about my health (valid), getting my weight (valid), figuring out my BMI (valid), calculating my body fat percentage (valid), showing me 3 or 4 machines (valid), doing some stretches (valid), and then going into the hard sell about how I should spend more a year for personal training services than I do for the actual gym membership (NOT valid). I tried to ask on three separate occasions if I could just see a trainer for an hour every 3 months or so, just to fine tune my workout. The trainer/used car salesperson completely dodged the question and kept telling me what a good deal the training package would be for me. It angered me enough to keep me away for almost two months.

If personal trainers want to have the respect due professionals, they should not whore themselves out like that. Because of the courses I took in college, I have more than a nodding acquaintance with principles of human physiology, and so I am not stupid. I hate being treated like I am stupid.

I know that the exercise is supposed to make me more energetic, but that "feature" is slow to kick in for me. So far, all I am is tired and sore. I am not overdoing it, I am increasing my activity slowly, and increasing weight in a manageable manner. But all I am is tired and hungry. Oh well, this too shall pass.

Here is what I have been doing (sample two weeks) 1M Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Lats, Chest, Pectorals, and 25 minutes on the bike at 70-80% capacity (Avg HR between 140-150). 1W Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Hip Abductors, Hip Adductors, Lower Back, Abs, Obliques, and 25 minutes on the bike. 1F same as 1M. 2M same as 1W. 2W same is 1M, 2F same as 1W.

I think I need to add one more cardio session in each week, so that I am going 4 times a week, assuring that I am allowing my body to recover, and that I am not overdoing it. I have to be concerned with a number of issues. First, I have asthma, and must be cognizant of my breathing. Second, I have a heart murmur, and some mitral valve regurgitation, so I need to keep my heart rate in check. Thirdly, I have to make sure that what I am doing is not putting too much of a load on my artificial hip. Finally, I need to be careful with my lower back, strengthening it slowly, so I do not re-injure it (I have had back surgery).

The thing I hate the most is that it takes so much time to start seeing any real results. I know it has not been that long, but I wish there were noticeable signs I could see. I am motivated by results, and the results are slow in showing up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Looky Lou-ing

I saw snow today, real snow. Not up close or anything but there is a lot of it up on the mountains just beyond our foothills. I am certain the folks driving north on the 5 today were absolutely thrilled with my gawking at the snow. Some people do the Looky Lou thing at car accidents, others at the Highway Patrol pullover. Me, I Looky Lou at snow, because I ache for it.

Someone needs to send a memo to folks driving in southern California about "slower traffic keep right". Invariably I end up in the left lane behind the complete buffoon that wants to go 40 when the rest of the traffic around him is going 65. This is to ALL of you out there who do that, if you want to go 40 on the freeway, please, oh, please, have mercy on the rest of us and do it in the far right lane, where you are supposed to. There is nothing like the bottleneck that one person going 15-20 mph slower than the rest of the traffic can cause.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy to Be a Flatlander

We live in a "bowl" between the bluffs near the shore and the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. Today, I am very grateful that we live in this bowl. They are predicting that we will be getting 3-5 inches + rain over the next few days, and that those areas that were burnt in the fires are now in danger of serious mudslides. We are not in the canyon, we are not in the canyon, we are not in the canyon.

I have not heard whether folks will be evacuated from there, if it were me, I would high tail it the heck out of there and wait till the storms pass. Really scary. But we are lucky, we do have a few places we can go. Not everyone is that fortunate.

Today is Caucus day in Iowa. I am following it with some interest. Some of the candidates, particularly on the GOP side of things, really scare the bejesus out of me. Huckelberry Hound, er Huckabee, Ghouliani er 911 911 911 er Giuliani, and Willard Git, er Mitt Romney, most notably. On the Democratic Party's side, I will vote for whomever is nominated, but I would prefer that our candidate be John Edwards. The things I have heard him talk about are resonating strongly with me.

Our Primary is February 5. And we have not only a presidential candidate to choose, but we also get to choose the ballot propositions. Ballot propositions are a way that the California Assembly can weasle out of having to make the tough decisions and votes that they were elected to make. I would love to put up a proposition that forces the assembly to actually vote on stuff, and not just vote to make it a ballot proposition. Never did anyone do less with more than the California Assembly.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

I want to wish all the readers of this blog a prosperous, healthy and fulfilling New Year. May your opportunities be plentiful, and your joy immense.

We went out for dim sum this morning. I am not sure I will ever need to eat again in this lifetime. I am not sure what the dish is called, but my favorite dish that I ate today was a shrimp wrapped in a wonton and deep fried. YUMMMMMMMM. I ate like 6 of those puppies.