For much of its length Rt 128 runs concurrently with I-95. There is a stretch
in Burlington where it is also joined by Rt 3. I was on that stretch,
simultaneously driving along 95 South, 128 South and 3 North (yes, North).
The radio weather folk were describing the approaching storm with barely
concealed glee. Traffic was uncharacteristically light for 7:30 on a Friday.
At this point in the movie, the young lieutenant would say to the veteran
sargeant "Sure is quiet." "Yep," the grizzled sarge replies "Too quiet." An
electronic sign the Commonwealth had placed over the road to keep its
motorists well-informed at times like this read WINTER STORM ALERT
RESTRICT TRAVEL. When the radio started playing "White Christmas", I
pointed my finger at it, cocked my thumb, and shot it. Sleigh-bell this, Holly
The Lovely Bride had made me swear to leave work as soon as the snow
started. We had had an early storm like this last year and the roads had
clogged like Ronald McDonald's arteries. It had taken me hours to get home,
an experience I wasn't eager to repeat. The Widget Factory was obliging.
My inbox contained an email from Human Resources explaining that,
"consistent with standard practice," any employee who felt it unsafe to drive
could take the time off and charge it to a "driving delay" number. The email
also said you could take the hours as vacation time. Right.
I brought my gym bag with me. I always bring my gym bag. I had a bottle
of water and some snacks in it just in case. I also had an empty wide-mouthed
bottle. Just in case. I never got to use my gym stuff. I had one test I wanted
to set up and run before the snow hit, so I postponed lunch. The test went
well and I was thinking about getting in a short run. But I have promises to
keep. I left as the first flakes began to fall.
My workout was shoveling snow. I was outside as soon as a couple of inches
had fallen. The rest of the family thought I was nuts. Not a new concept for
them. Using the shovel like a plow, I made a path down to the sidewalk. I
made another path along the sidewalk and two more up the driveway. Then I
went down the paths, shoveling to the side. My movements were controlled
and efficient. Scoop, toss, step. Scoop, toss, step. I put a little side twist
into it and it felt something like taking a backhanded shot with a hockey stick.
Orr comes in on Dryden, fakes the forehand, goes to the backhand -- SCORE!
I went out again a couple more times before supper. I went out after supper,
too, and got a stinging faceful of snow. The wind had picked up significantly.
"Ah, well," I thought, "no sense overdoing it," and went back in. Moderation
in all things.
I poured myself a Chopin vodka and settled in with the family to watch some
episodes of "Cash Cab" that The Lovely Bride had recorded. "Istanbul" was
the answer. "Constantinople" and "Byzantium" were also acceptable.
So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople...
Nigel interrupted me to say that he preferred "Byzantium".
"Sailing to Byzantium," I said.
"That's the title of something."
"Yeah, a poem."
"Who wrote it?"
I was embarrassed to admit I couldn't recall.
I finished the song, I finished the drink, and we finished the program. I
stayed in for the rest of the night. And so to bed. But not before a quick
session on Google. William Butler Yeats. Ten years ago I would have looked
that up in my Norton Anthology. Hell, ten years ago I would have
remembered who wrote the poem.
I stood on the sidewalk outside my house. The house is a tiny Dutch colonial
on a tiny lot, not much front yard and even less sidewalk. But after three
days of shoveling snow from the sidewalk onto the yard, the sidewalk was
looking longer and the yard even smaller.
The first day had been relatively easy, the snow was powdery and easy to
move. On the second day the snow as falling steadily and was forecasted to
continue through the night. I'd have let it alone until the next morning, but
we had tickets to the Boston Pops Holiday concert and we weren't about to
miss that. So I cleared off the Caravan and, moving quickly, shoveled the
driveway out to the street. As I went in to clean up, a snow plow rumbled by,
and left a dirty, icy embankment in its wake. I wished the driver and all his
family a very happy holiday.
The storm dumped a good foot of snow on us and it took several hours of the
third day to clean off the cars, the driveway and the sidewalk. My right wrist
and both shoulders were stiff and sore, reminding me of bicycle crashes,
skiing wipeouts and a clumsy attempt at a shoulder roll in a karate class.
Remembrance of klutziness past. I fell asleep in front of the TV that night
and the Lovely Bride had to wake me up to tell me to go to bed.
30 minutes of shoveling every night since last Thursday except for Sunday (rest day). To be continued tonight and into the foreseeable future.
We have a big honkin' driveway. Big as in five or six car-lengths. It's nowhere near being finished.
Last night RP and I worked in the back. That area gets a lot less sun and so with the changes in temperature and precipitation type we feared sheets of ice would soon form. Cementy grey ice. We shoveled.
There is now a large snow fort in the back. The front portion of the driveway is not done but I could take the car out if I had to. More will be done tonight. We have a clear walkways, clear sidewalk and clear steps. Thanks to RP for doing much of that.
But my 30 minutes! I am happy to do it. Had a lousy day at work on Monday and it was cathartic to pound away at the ice crust. I don't think of hockey, I think of Sam Cooke.
That's the sound of the man
working on the chain
Or Todd Rundgren.
Every day when I get home from work
I feel so frustrated
The boss is a jerk
And I get my sticks and go out to the shed
And I pound on that drum like it was the boss's head
I dont want to work
I want to bang on the drum all day
I dont want to play
I just want to bang on the drum all day
Plus 30 minutes for 5 days so far beats the hell out of the 5 minutes for 2 days I would've done last year.
"Chain Gang" -- now there's a good work song.
Break away a chunk of snow, Hunh!
Toss it onto the snow pile, Aah!
Gotta remember that.
May be make a medley with "John Henry" and "Sixteen Tons".
Oh I toured a gym yesterday, thinking of joining. Women's Fitness of Boston.
Is it that you'd feel more comfortable in a specifically woman's gym?
Doing 4 to miles everyday since arriving on the sand. I'm at 994.5 today.
The weather has been difficult to take. 79 degrees and breezy skies full of pelicans and kites.
I wish you all were here.
A bit, seeing as the last time I was a member of a gym it was pre-RP and it was quite the pick up jernt. Plus it's close to my office. Funny, most of the people who work there are male.
Finished on Christmas morning. Ran up the beach to the North End went over to the other side of the island to watch the sun come up.
Be well everyone.
Joe(going to retire these sandy shoes.)Nation
Welcome to the One Thousand Mile Club.
You put on one heck of stretch drive to do it. Very impressive.
Jes, we go to Planet Fitness. The only reason I mention it is because it is
reasonably priced and the atmosphere is laid-back.
This place seems laid back. I'll try before I buy. Hmm I need new sweat pants.
I settled myself into position on the chest press machine at Planet Fitness
and inhaled and pressed out 140 as I exhaled. I should have been doing more
weight, but that's as much as I could do and still get ten reps. After ten, I got
off and set the weight for Clive, who was distracted by the TV monitors
overhead. Clive is about my height and about forty pounds lighter. Hans
und Franz we ain't. Clive got on and did his reps with my nagging him to bring
the handles back closer to his chest. When he finished and got off, he
pretended to punch me in the stomach and I said "Oof" and pretended to
grimace. It's a ritual he never grows tired of. I did only seven reps in my
next set and four in my last.
It was Christmas Eve and this was the first exercise I had had in a week that
didn't involve a snow shovel. We moved onto seated cable rows. I set the
machine at 140 there also, the most weight I've done rowing in a long time.
I was very slow and precise in my motions, having hurt my back on this a
number of times. Slow learner. Clive was getting better at the row. He
wasn't rocking and his motions were smoother. We used the upright press
machine next. I had to set the seat as low as it will go to stay within a range of
motion my cranky shoulders could tolerate. Clive was distracted again, this
time by a young lady in snug exercise pants bending over to wipe down the
machine she had just finished using. After careful consideration, I decided
his distraction was excusable. We got in a pretty decent routine. I'm stuck at
65, but that's not bad for me.
Pull-downs felt great. I could feel the muscles in my back working hard, and
I felt strong all the way through the rountine. We did knee wrist curls after
that. We used to do upright rows, but my bursitis won't tolerate those any
more, and both Clive and I can use the forearm work. We did ab work on one
of these slanted benches with roller pads to hook your legs into at the upper
end. Clive does crunches. I do sit-ups with a 25 pound weight held against
my chest. Maybe some day I'll shed the fat around my middle and get to see
my abdominal muscles. I know they're in there somewhere.
We finished with ten minutes on the ellipticals. Clive loves the ellipticals.
He did a few of what he calls "speed bursts" at intervals. I just chugged along.
"Be careful you don't break that thing," I warned him. "You can't afford to
buy them a new one." He just smiled and went faster.
Back from a week of skiing and cross-country skiing and snow-walking (no, not snow shoeing) and some serious sauna. Feeling every last muscle in me...luckily my dad has a sauna in his basement, too. More sauna for me. Oy vey.
My gym is closed for four days. (That's the downside of going to a free gym at work.) They actually closed at 1 pm on Wednesday, but I snuck away from my office and got a workout in during the morning.
I had big plans to do a lot of walking over the long weekend, but just at the end of a brisk walk with my sister on Thursday afternoon, I tripped and fell in the street. Skinned one knee, both elbows, nasty bruises on right shoulder and hip, quite a lump on the side of my head, and skinned the palms of both hands. The hands are the most inconvenient, but I'm sore all over. Maybe I'll be up for a walk tomorrow, but I won't push it. What a pain!
Oy, mac, that's no good. You need to be in sick bay with Set who also tumbled the other day.
(then again, you two might be dangerous together)
Feel better fast!
My exercise goals are simple and three-fold.
1) Walk more often already. Do it early in the day.
2) And I've been thinking about doing this for a while.. make my own bread again - which I used to do though never all the time.
I just made pizza dough, hand kneading, remembering how much I like the kneading part. I have great recipes at hand, and I could improve my upper arm strength.. get out my aggressions with dough slapping (I forget which recipe that trick is in, might have been the one with the really wet dough).
3) Garden more.
Ow, Mac, I'm hurting just thinking off it.
Take it real easy tomorrow, just walk enough to loosen up.
Thanks for all the sympathy, guys.
Bethie, I hope to meet Set some day. I don't know how dangerous we'd be, but it would be fun for sure.
Today's walk was quite brief. I was too sore to get very far. (I'm still discovering bruises actually.) Just down the bike path to the armadillo statue and back - maybe 3/4 of a mile.