Saturday, June 17, 2006

And Time Is All We've Lost

No morning weigh-in -- it's the weekend!

Got home last night, hit the towpath for a fairly hot lap. Sand Island and back, about 22 miles in 1:45. I've done it faster (a lot faster), but that pace is really not bad. I got to try my new heart rate monitor: once on the towpath I kept my heart rate at about 160-165 BPM, just about what I assumed my anaerobic threshold would be. My average for the whole ride was 159 BPM, and my max was 180 -- all standard stuff, as I remember. The HRM says I burned about 2100 calories, but that seems a little high.

I was going pretty fast on the way out, but on the way back I was fatigued; I had to keep dropping the pace to maintain the heart rate I wanted. As I remember, this is also typical for me.

Got home, washed up and went out to Which Brew. Saw Stu & Kathy, also ran into Heath & Hans and a few of their friends (singer in last night's band is a buddy of theirs). Dinner was a Cuban sandwich, washed down with two Weyerbacher Hefeweizens. A good night, but I was home by 12:30.

Breakfast this morning was at Coffee Works, then I went to the gym.

And I ran: A two mile jog before my workout -- took me 26 minutes, but I did it. Quick stats: 146 average heart rate, 156 maximum, 481 calories burned (again, that seems about double what I'd expect). The workout itself was also good; I'm not far from where I left off and I didn't feel overwhelmed. I'm feeling a lot happier right now than I did, say, a week ago.

Tonight I'll probably be meeting Doug & Lori for some burritos at Tulum, then catching some of that film festival. They went yesterday, saw some animations, but Doug had mixed reviews. Eastern European "art film" cartoons -- who knows what you might see?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ding, Dong, The PICC Is Gone!

And I got no strings in me! Oh, hi-ho, the dairy-o...

Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 178.5, 12.5%
Morning weigh-in (Friday): 179#, 4% (wha...?)

The Ancef I.V. ended yesterday, but there were some more coordination SNAFU's and the PICC line didn't get pulled until this morning. The visiting nurse made what was hopefully the last visit, did some paperwork, checked my vitals, and then pulled what looked like an extremely long, bloody piece of linguine out of my arm. Slightly weird feeling as it came out, but no pain; it was a pretty smooth simple procedure. I am now pretty much cleared for all activities.

Since the Rifampin also ended yesterday, one other activity I am now cleared for is drinking. Woo Hoo! You'll never guess where I went last night for dinner... actually, Brian called me up and we met down there; turns out it was his birthday so I bought him dinner (turnabout is fair play), and K-Jo gave him a piece of cake with a candle in it, and yes we sang "Happy Birthday."

Gadget Watch: My blood pressure was normal last Tuesday, and I expected that it was because of the dropping stress levels but I'd also had a little of the Topherol (is that the right name?) in me at the time. Today I delayed my dose, and the Topherol-free BP was 137/80. Not bad, but not the greatest -- I still took the pill. As part of my quest for returning health & fitness, I got a new heart rate monitor watch; now I think I'll also get a cheapo blood pressure thingie. Digital self-obsession, you thought the "morning weigh-in" was bad...

I also picked up my bike yesterday, got the new front fork. I'll be trying it out tonight on the towpath, and doing a mellow ride at Jim Thorpe on Sunday. Tomorrow I'm back at the gym as part of my "Selfish Day," and tomorrow night I'll probably check out some of the Film Festival in Bethlehem. Tonight is Which Brew again: my friend Hans is in town, and will probably be there with his brother.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Soylent Green

Morning weigh-in: 179#, 12.5% BF

Quote of the Day: "I have so many things you haven't got."

-- The Raconteurs, "Intimate Secretary"

SNAFU at the doctor yesterday: I was there at the correct time per my appointment, but my appointment was incorrect; the doctor was not in. Apparently, some receptionist working there had made enough of these mistakes that they fired her -- or that's what they told me as they apologized. (We do the same thing here at work: whatever goes wrong, it was the fault of the last guy to leave.) Anyway, my appointment was rescheduled for this morning. I go in, doc likes what he sees but he cleans out the incision and applies some silver nitrate, to cauterize the hole and aid "granulation," which I think means scar formation, wound closure or something like that. He declined to remove the PICC line, but it should come out tomorrow afternoon.

Meanwhile, today's quote: I remember seeing something once about the 50's-era slang term "to signify." The context was someone explaining the term to another guy (I think they were on a bus), using the following example: a guy in jail tells a fellow inmate "I get out in three days;" what he really signified was "ha ha you're still stuck here."

I did the same thing recently with an uninsured friend, talking about my operations and saying my co-pay was around $16 for each (actually it was way more) -- all of a sudden I realized that she could easily take my statement as semi-bragging about the insurance I had that she didn't. Sometimes I worry too much, but I made a point of not mentioning my own situation when talking to that other girl in the quadrant Saturday.

Anyway, dinner last night was spinach & lentil burritos, closer to the book version of "soylent green," but still...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Score One For The Good Guys

Morning weigh-in: 180.5#, 11% BF

Quote of the Day: "In this land, right now, some are insane, and they're in charge."

-- Gang of Four, "To Hell With Poverty"

The visiting nurse came this morning, and took my temperature and blood pressure, things they do sometimes but not every time. My temp was 97.5, and my blood pressure was ... wait for it ... 124/80. No idea if that was because of the topherol I took a few hours earlier, but I haven't had a reading like that in a long time. Maybe I was a little less stressed, because this may be the last nurse visit, and I may get the PICC line out as early as today.

Reading: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. It's sort of like the old saying about Voltaire: the battles he fought (against organized religion) seem quaint to us, mainly because he won those battles so thoroughly. Reading along, I just keep getting the urge to say "well, duh, no kidding;" it's hard to realize the kind of world she lived in, where her assertions were considered crazy rather than truisms. It's a little scary to think that there are currently forces in this country, allied with and used as props by those in power, who are trying to roll back both of those victories.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Last Non-Riding Weekend Update

Morning weigh-in: 181#, 10.5% BF

Lotta things happened this weekend... Well, except Friday night, when I stayed in.

Saturday I got up early, got my oil changed at Revelation Motors -- the mechanics also straightened out my dented car door -- then had breakfast at Coffee Works and did a few errands (Nature's Way, etc). Hit Barnes & Noble, got a book for my Dad's birthday, also got one for myself (Silent Spring) as well as the new Raconteurs CD, and a Gang of Four CD -- I thought it was a sort of "greatest hits" compilation, but was really the band getting back together in 2005 to do what were essentially covers of their early stuff. Some was good, a few were even better than the originals, but most were inferior to the early stuff.

I had no shoes and cursed my luck: I needed to get coffee beans, so I stopped in at the Quadrant and got some lunch while I was there. A woman came in for lunch, a pretty, youngish-thirty-something alterna-girl, probably a local because she chatted with the owner while eating. She was bummed because she's currently unemployed (and uninsured) and had some recent medical problems. I told her about Taylor, who was in a similar big-medical-bill fix, and who was advised by a doctor friend to negotiate the bills down to something he could pay -- basically I gave her that same advice in the form of a story. We got to talking, and it turns out that she'd been in a nasty motorcycle accident when she was 20, and now the plates/pins/rods in her back are interfering with her spine. We commiserated about antibiotics, painkillers, not being able to drink (alcohol, but she can't have coffee either), and when we got around to my PICC line she said "nothing phases me anymore, they keep giving me catheters."

I walked out of there thinking "this foot stuff isn't so bad -- and thank God I have insurance."

Saturday Night was my dad's birthday. Me, parents, my brother Chris, and his wife & son. It was pretty nice, BBQ burgers & steak plus birthday cake; we ate inside because it was kind of chilly out. My nephew went swimming -- water looked freezing -- played with his scooter & showed me some trick moves, but I think he was bored; there was no one his age to hang with.

At Home I Feel Like A Tourist: I stayed overnight at my parents' house, and went home Sunday morning. Hit Cosmic Cup for coffee & a muffin, then went downtown to catch the Blues Festival. It was pretty neat and the day was beautiful, but things were low key (atmosphere was more like "family fun, face painting at Manalapan Day" than anything really bluesey) so I took a walk down by the river and took some photos.

After that I went to Jacobsburg and walked around there for a bit, found a nice clearing and "took some sun" (ie napped) for a while before heading home. The rest of the day/evening was spent playing with the computer.