As I have no blog of my own, and no real time to blog, I shall “blog-squat” on Mr. Bourassa’s fine blog.

I have grown lately, and that growth is unfortunately just more unwanted fat on my previously already-overweight frame. Exercise has unfortunately taken a backseat to schoolwork and wrangling kids when not doing said schoolwork.

Don’t get me wrong, I have tried to exercise on the treadmill. But the combination of the fifty pound nursing books and the inadequately-sized and poorly positioned book tray typically lead to a headache, neckache, or both.

After another exercise attempt (and subsequent neckache) this morning, the solution came to me. Adapt one of the lonely shelves in my basement into a book/study tray.

So while my one-year-old napped, I transformed my idea into reality. Total time from start to finish was eighty minutes, the bulk of which was removing the lower shelves (lots of bolts and nuts in hard to reach places) and a top shelf.

Here it is. I am excited. Now maybe I can just live on the treadmill while studying. The only difference (besides the hopefully significant loss of fat) is standing while reading versus sitting while reading. And isn’t the slow workout supposed to burn more fat anyway – something I have no shortage of!






Where are the editors?

Being a netizen, I’m used to the rather poor grammar and spelling that pervades the blogosphere. Folks are often more interested in the speed of getting their content out rather than the formatting of that content. Even though, ironically, it may turn out that all that “rushed content” may be the most permanent legacy of anything that folks today are producing. These people are not necessarily all that well schooled in written expression and content may absolutely be the focus of their efforts.

I accept that the English language is changing (evolving?) on an almost daily basis and, for the most part, I see this as a good thing. One of the greatest strengths of this language is its ability to grow and diversify in an unstructured and yet amazingly universally understood manner.

But I do take exception to news outlets being similarly sloppy with their written products. These are professionals, or at least the articles are published by supposed professionals whose job it is to make the form of the message every bit as relevant as the content. Presentation, in all aspects of life is important. Poorly crafted messages, in my opinion, degrade the perceived intelligence / care / thoughtfulness of the writer regardless of the reality of the situation.

I was reading this article this morning, and while I found the content compelling – it’s a situation we may all face some day – I couldn’t help but being struck by the fact that there had been very little care taken to proofread it before publishing it on a reputable site (WSBTV’s website). I found incorrect homonyms, missing possessive apostrophes and missing words. All perfectly acceptable in an amateur posting which is exactly what this isn’t.

You may call me nit-picky but I do feel it crucial that professional publishers set an example of what the current epitome of writing should look like. Folks producing their own content can use this to gauge the professionalism of their own work. They can choose to strive for such excellence in their expression or not, but I think it important that the examples continue to be produced by those who are supposedly trained in the art of writing…

Busy busy…

Wow! A reasonably productive weekend…

Let’s see, I got in my 5K interval training run, attended two get-togethers with friends, the power supply on my server in the back room blew so I replaced that yesterday, reconfigured the printer associated with the misbehaving server, took Michelle out to “The Cheesecake Factory” for a late lunch, got all the Christmas decorations down, stowed and put away for another year, finally installed those 3 smoke detectors I received for Christmas 2007 (!), installed a couple of bedside lights that Michelle picked up months ago that actually complement the sleigh bed and the end tables that we had made when the master bedroom was redone a year and a half ago, got in a bunch of research for a new vacuum cleaner that Michelle is wanting, experimented with installing Vlingo on my Blackberry (still can’t get it to work), saw the movie “Wanted” (it was OK but lacked any real depth), moved one of our paintings in the master bedroom to a new location and have set up 4 different price-watch services to see which one(s) are the most timely and accurate in monitoring Amazon.com (and others) for price changes.

I was thwarted by the fog on Saturday night. One of the get-togethers that I attended was up in Buford where they apparently don’t have light ( 🙂  ) so I had hoped to get in some stargazing with my personal planetarium and binoculars. Alas, the fog was so dense I could barely make out the mailbox of the house I was visiting…

I think beef stew and a movie are just the thing to cap things off tonight…

ReliOn Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor

Whenever I’m in a store and I see one of those blood pressure monitoring stations I’m drawn to it like a moth to a light bulb.

It’s like a video game only the results actually matter.

I often take the reading over a shirt and am surprised that the gadget gives me any reading at all.

Recently I got a reading that was a bit higher than I thought it should be and I thought that I should really just get one of my own that can give me an accurate reading whenever I choose.

Those of you who know me know I love my salt (best salt you can get is from Wendy’s BTW. Those little salt packets you get with take-away meals is really finely ground – sticks to your food better). And I’m often asked if I have high blood pressure as a result. Never fear, for most of my life my blood pressure been classed as “Low Normal” and that’s partly why I want to keep an eye on it.

Anyway, I went to the Consumer Reports website (I maintain on online subscription so I can check things out before buying them) and found that the ReliOn Model HEM-741CREL, available at Walmart for about $40, is one of CR’s best buys at about half the cost of the other recommended models. It was out of stock on Walmart’s website but there was one, albeit in a slightly crunched up box, available at a local Walmart when we were there picking up some groceries.

It remembers the last 30 blood pressure readings for two people and can run on batteries or an AC adapter. I put in batteries to retain the reading memory so I can get an average over time for myself.

It comes with a “regular adult” cuff which I wasn’t sure would be adequate for me so I also picked up (for $10 extra) the large size cuff as there was only one of those left as well. It turns out that the regular cuff was just fine for both Michelle and I. So I’ll be returning the larger one.

Anyway, I tried it out and the results seem appropriate for me. I think I need to try this out on some other folks to make sure that the results are accurate for them as well.

Consistently my results 108/66 to 115/69 with a heart rate hovering around 50 – 52 bpm. Guess I need more salt, eh? 🙂