Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wheeeew. I just had a huge exercise session.

It might not have LOOKED huge. It might have looked like rollerblading around the block one time.

Don't let that fool you. I made the error of starting BEHIND the house, where the common driveway for our whole block is. (Our street is set up so that cars can park behind the houses, or pull into the garages in the houses that haven't remodeled and gotten rid of the garage.) The pavement behind the house is most definitely old, put down back in the day when they used to mix the cement with gravel. This paving has some of the largest gravel I've ever seen used in paving. I don't know if the intent was to provide extra traction for cars, or maybe the concrete has worn away a little bit over time and the gravel has been left to protrude markedly from the pavement surface.

Whatever the reason, the end result was that I was trying to skate over a surface that is so rough, the wheels would barely move. I went to take a skating stride and the moment I ended my forward push, my foot just... STOPPED. Dead. I was this-close to pitching forward and landing on my nose.

Mark had his bike and was trying to follow along behind me. He wound up practically walking while seated on the bicycle, because I was progressing at a snail's pace. It was an absolute fight against gravity and friction to make my way to the driveway that runs perpendicular to the street, the one that lets cars access the driveway that runs behind the houses from the middle of the block. It wasn't much more than a half block's worth of distance, but it felt like I'd skated a mile uphill through sand. Every muscle from my knees downward was killing me.

Note to self: remember those stretching exercises you're supposed to do prior to skating? DO THEM next time.

Eventually, and with only two spills, I managed to get off the gravelly pavement of the common driveways, and onto the sidewalk that's in front of the houses on my street. FINALLY. From then on it was clear sailing... Er, skating. So we headed up to the corner and back. By that time, my lower back had joined the chorus of complaining muscles. Did I mention I forgot to do any stretches before heading out to skate, and was regretting that omission heartily?

So I decided to call it an evening. I went in the house (by way of the FRONT door -- no way was I going to deal with that frightful pavement surface behind the houses again), and told Mark, "Let's do this tomorrow".

I'm all about getting back into a routine of exercise. It's high time I did that anyway. But next time, we start with stretches and we skip using the back door. I'm going out the front door next time. :o)

P.S. My two legs, my lower back, and my right arm are all reminding me enthusiastically to stretch next time prior to going out. I think I'll take their advice.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

OK, here's a perfect example of BAD product placement.

I'm watching a program on the Discovery Channel called, "The Iceberg That Sunk the Titanic". It's showing how the iceberg was formed and moved down into the North Atlantic, much farther afield than an iceberg would've been expected to be, and met its destiny on April 14, 1912.

Prior to this, there was another program showing people involved with the movie "Titanic", as they went below the surface and used an unmanned remotely-controlled camera device to view the rooms of the Titanic wreckage, interspersing the rooms as they look today with photos of the rooms when they were built, and the scenes in the movie where those rooms were shown.

Basically, we're all getting a long and detailed look at the remains of a sunken cruise ship, as well as stories of some of the people who were known to have died in the tragedy.

So what I want to know is this: WHAT IDIOT thought it would be a good idea for Carnival Cruise Lines to purchase commercial time during this program? HELLO? Talk about bad timing! While we're at it, why not have McDonald's advertise during programs about how eating fast food causes heart attacks? Let's see some airline ads during a program about plane crashes, too. Or Amtrak ads during a program about train derailments.

DUH... I sincerely wonder what people are thinking sometimes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

OK. So, the bad news is that I didn't get the file clerk job I interviewed for. The practice manager believe I'm way overqualified for the position.

The GOOD news is that in the same practice that had the file clerk job opening, they now have TWO Patient Services Representative openings, neither of which job was open two weeks The practice manager who interviewed me recommended that I apply for the PSR jobs instead, so I will.

In the meantime, all I'm willing to say in the blog about the people making trouble for me in the Rheumatology clinic is that they're 2/3 of the way toward causing me to lose my job. I had a meeting with HR and my manager (the one who's on my side in this mess). I'll be filing some official paperwork of my own. It might or it might not undo the damage that these people have already done to me, but if nothing else it will show that I disagree with some of what's gone on so far.

I do have to get out of this job. I can put up with a LOT of stuff, but one thing I can't, and won't, abide is spite. I refuse, and I do mean REFUSE, to put up with spitework day in and day out. Better for me to find a place where I'm NOT going to be inundated with stress-related digestive problems and insomnia issues. I don't need this aggravation.

Enough ranting. I have to finish proofreading the minutes for tomorrow's Phan Club general meeting. TTYL.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I was calling the appointment confirmations yesterday; that's one of my daily tasks. One patient's answering machine greeting was slightly garbled. Either the audio tape was worn out, or the person's diction was less than precise; in any case, what it sounded like was a request for the caller to "leave a message at the weep".

Well, after the news that I received this morning, that's how I feel: like weeping. Jeff Lamana, the founder and webmaster of, an online community of fans where I've posted for the past several years, lost a two-year battle with cancer this morning. We've known for a few weeks that this might be coming, but when my cell phone rang this morning with the call bearing the sad news, it was still an immense heartbreak.

To visit the online community that Jeff founded, visit the link on the left-hand side of this page. To view the discussion thread that broke the sad news to the board, go here.
Actually, that's a great link to follow if you want to get a clear idea of how much Jeff meant to a tremendous number of people. We've lost a good man today, and the world is a lesser place for it. Heaven, on the other hand, has just improved with this latest addition to its population.

I'm posting a photo taken in happier times: the get-together at the Phantoms game on November 5, 2004. Jeff is the tallest person in the picture, standing just to the left of the Flyers logo.

We'll all miss you, Jeff! Pray for us till we meet again.

And if anyone needs to get in touch with me, leave a message at the weep. :o(