This and that
Various notes on my life this week:
Over the weekend, I finally went to the bike store and bought a bright! yellow! bike jacket! (The exclamation marks are to give some indication of just how very bright this jacket is.) This is a big improvement over my former habit of biking home in the dark while wearing a black jacket, a black backpack, black pants, and navy shoes. (And a blue reflective helmet, and white reflective pants-leg ties, and reflectors and lights on the bike, so I wasn't totally invisible, just mostly.) It's theoretically waterproof, too, though I don't plan on biking in the rain if I can help it. I also got some adhesive reflective strips, and have put one of them on my backpack. Also bought a bike seat to replace my old one (the cover of which was torn); more about that some other time.
Yesterday morning, my cable modem suddenly stopped working, and all attempts to resuscitate it failed. Spent a while on the phone arranging a service visit for this morning; but then half an hour after I got off the phone, the modem suddenly started working again all by itself. Odd. Cancelled the service visit, and got to work at home as originally planned. Yay.
Later yesterday, I finally went to Sears and bought a treadmill, after months of thinking about doing so. The primary factors influencing my choice of treadmill were (a) price ($400; note that some websites say that anything under $1500 counts as a "budget treadmill"), and (b) the fact that there's a space on the console that's exactly the right size to hold my PowerBook. (More on that anon.) Thanks to Kam for helping me assemble the treadmill!
Also yesterday I paid my property taxes. I'm not yet used to having this big end-of-year expense; next year I'll try to remember to budget for that in advance.
Was up late last night watching old West Wing episodes (we're halfway through season 4), and then couldn't get to sleep for a while, for no reason I could figure out. (No need to offer cures for insomnia; it's an old companion of mine, and I know the things to try, it's just that it's been a while since I had trouble falling asleep.) Then woke up several times during the night.
So I was already off-kilter when I started the day today, and it turned out to be a day of startlements and suddenness. Found out indirectly, for example, that they'll be moving me to a different building at work sometime in the next couple weeks; I'm not looking forward to having to share an office or cube. I plan to move the desk out from the wall and sit behind it; I get very tense when I try to work while sitting with my back to a big open space with people in it. Also, change bad. :)
Been reading Elizabeth Moon's The Speed of Dark in interstices between other stuff. Good so far, though I'm not loving it as much as I think everyone else did. I probably shouldn't have started it so soon after reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, though they're certainly very different books in all sorts of ways. While reading both books, I've been struck by how many quasi-autistic traits I and many other geeks have (see above comment re "change bad," for example, and how easily I'm startled/flustered by unexpected social situations), but also by the many autistic traits not associated with geekdom. . . . The most interesting aspect of Speed of Dark to me so far is the (fairly central) question of whether "disabled" people should be "cured" if/when it becomes feasible to do so; it reminds me of the debate in the deaf community over cochlear implants.
Tonight after our editorial meeting I put the PowerBook on the treadmill and walked 1.4 miles in 45 minutes while I read four submissions. Productive. According to the machine, I theoretically burned 211 calories while doing this, which I suppose just about makes up for the piece of chocolate I had beforehand. Oh, well. I'll probably make more strenuous use of the treadmill eventually; still learning how to interact with it for best results. One unfortunate thing is that the floor creaked ominously while I was using it (it's on the second floor); I'm not sure whether to be worried about that or not. Perhaps I'll buy a soft pad to put under the treadmill to cushion the impact or something.
. . . Oh--I keep neglecting to mention that timestamps of my entries are not necessarily accurate these days. As may be obvious by now, I wrote a bunch of "items" entries over the weekend, and scheduled them to post at future times, to try and keep them from being quite as overwhelming as last time. I probably should've scheduled them further apart, though.
Okay, I think that's all for tonight.