Return to Old Form

I am returning to old favourites.

I have let my gym routine slide far too much over the last two-three months under the pressures of work; it’s important to do a good job, but I may have taken it a little too far. So, over my break, I am working on putting back together my exercise routine.

I have decided that Pump (weights) is not that important now. I have let some excess weight build up, and cardio is going to be my best new friend. And because my back has been suffering from a lack of flexibility as well, Yoga and Pilates are the other main pillar of my renewed routine.

I’ll have to work out how to integrate my routine with my commute to the city from Feb onwards, but I’m sure I’ll work something out.

And today was at long last the start of my own personal Wet’n’Wild season with Steven and Holly. I had been one time earlier in the season on a cold freezy day, which proved a bad plan. But so far December hadn’t been very lucky either… the weather has been too unpredictable and/or torrential. I think we vowed to work on the weekends over the coming months and get more sessions in.

I haven’t worked out any other resolutions just yet.

Day 284 – Last Chance to See

82 – 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear

I have been over-ambitious, but I don’t care.

I’ve had the past week off, and I have gone to a few extra gym classes during that time. I think I have totalled 8-9 for the week compared to my more usual 5-6. I was going to round it out with my usual double this morning.

My first class was trouble… the instructor wasn’t feeling well, and she was heading home thereby about to miss the second class I normally take with her. I think she decided the right way to compensate for this loss was to double the effort in the first class. And I wasn’t paying enough attention to notice as it happened.

It dawned on me that there was a problem when the treadmill between classes felt tougher than it usually does. Although I may not have had legs at that point. I cannot be sure.

I tried to get through the second class with the fill-in, but about halfway through I had no upper-body strength left, and my lower back was aching. It made me concerned over locking up my back again, so I did some extra stretches and quit early.

Now, that’d have been a fine amount of exercise to fill the day with.

But I wasn’t done yet.

By about noon I arrived at Wet’n’Wild. You see… this is the last weekend of the season. Last Chance to Slide. Although I worried it would be a bit cold, the weather was actually fairly cooperative even if the water was not.

I spent 4.5 hours having fun and freezing by turns.
But it was completely worth it.

I tried wading into the lagoon while I was waiting for friends to show, but I quickly gave up. The water was like ice on my legs. I did the thing where you take slow inching steps forward, but I didn’t make it to waist-depth before giving up, afraid.

The big redeeming factor in a water-slide is that you make the commitment to plunge into icy water long before you actually get there. It’s far enough removed that I could rationalise why it was going to be fine… and then once in the slide there is no turning back. An inevitable conclusion.

And the reason I kept going back for more… once you’re doused in icy water, standing in the free air that is a few degrees warmer than the water makes you feel that it’s really not that bad after all.

We managed to do a last run of almost all the slides. Definitely all the ones that were worth doing. Except for the what-do-you-mean-people-got-back-injuries-off-it-Bombora. With my lower-back pain I wasn’t game to tempt fate with that particular jarring drop. I made do with the Half-Pipe which is almost as big a drop, but a much smoother gradient.

I’ll miss the park for the next 4 months.
But I have my fingers crossed that my entry in their feedback-form suggesting they add a floating bar in the lagoon is worthy of a free membership for 2014-15. Because I’ll totally do it all again through summer.

Day 234 – Siren Song

Last day of the week arrived just in time.
Although a day that consists of meetings from 10am – 4pm is not exactly the ideal way to end the week. I choose to focus on the ending rather than the means-by-which.

I had hoped to spend some time at Wet’n’Wild to disconnect the working week from the non-working weekend, but the weather had other plans. As I was driving to the park I got stuck in traffic, spotted lightning on the horizon, and had a downpour start on me.

When I got to the park, the gates were closed and people were leaving in droves. I waited a while with my friends to see if the situation would improve, but the lightning kept the park shut for 45 minutes after I arrived at which point I gave up. By that stage there were already only 23 cars left in the parking lot. I’d never seen it that deserted before.

Had the park re-opened, it’d have been an awesome way to end the week, even having to brave the rain. Having the park all to ourselves would have meant unlimited rides without queues. I would heartily recommend that experience, even at the price of a bit of rain or wind.

Instead I headed home.

And I moved the last vestiges of my Ativ 700 onto the XPS 15. One machine down, one more to consolidate. 15″ already doesn’t look as large as it did when I first got it. Maybe I’ll have a chance over the weekend to bring the contents of my PC across as well. Then it’ll be eBay time for both.

I need to make sure I don’t let myself be tempted by this PCs siren-song though. I really need to get a good night’s sleep so that I’m fresh for the gym. Too often before have I experienced “lost time” at the hand of my latest gadgets.

Day 223 – …

I’m not quite sure what to do with today.

On the up-side, the intermittent stomach-ache I’ve had since the middle of last week seems to finally have disappeared. On the down-side, it didn’t do so before making me miss out on Wet’n’Wild tonight. (I hope the weather keeps for later this week)

Work was a mixed bag of urgent, important and trivial. I think on the whole I achieved something, even though I cannot quite articulate precisely what.

And the gym was a struggle. But by choice. I don’t feel too bad after pushing through some extra weight, so either I’m improving quickly… or I’m going to pay for it tomorrow.

Watched some Fringe.
Helped with some analysis.
Played some Isaac.
Browsed.

It doesn’t feel very productive, but there was a whole lot of “stuff” in the day.
And now I’m just tired.

Maybe I’ve spent today too much inside my own head?

Day 220 – Plans and Schemes

It’ll feel strange to have a weekend with no Wet’n’Wild in it.

This weekend I’ll be doing whatever I can to help with the bathroom renovations. I’m going slowly insane without a shower at home. If I start gibbering in the coming weeks you’ll know what’s going on.

There will also be a jigsaw in this weekend. A puzzle that is; family gatherings over puzzles are too far in the past. I get a bit OCD over puzzles, but it’s a great way to let the impulse run its course in a controlled environment. You might want to give it a try yourself.

And I’ll be making some ice cream.

Today I at long last handed Peter his winnings. I still need to work out when Sin has time to come over and make Port Pear Ice Cream with me.

But I also intend to work out what Carrot Cake Ice Cream is supposed to be, and make it. And I will be making Elderflower/Lime Ice Cream for Amelia.

Not sure what I’ll do with any left-over time.
If there is such a thing.

Also, I left my stray thought at work, so I’ll have to leave thinking it for Monday. I’m not going into work on the weekend to gather my thoughts.

Day 215 – Lethargy

Have you ever had a day where you had plans, plans you were looking forward to, but when the day came you just didn’t have the energy or willpower to do anything? Yep, that’s me today.

I intended to spend some time at Wet’n’Wild today; the temperature was okay and the rain just heavy enough to keep everyone else away. But first I didn’t want to wake up when my alarm went off. Then I just wanted a coffee to sip on till I felt human. And then I just didn’t want to do anything. Holly and Steven made it sound like a day I shouldn’t have missed.

For penance I forced myself to wash clothes and clean the floors.
Although even that came slowly.

So my sole achievement for today is finally finishing the last few episodes of Breaking Bad. It was a satisfying end to an amazing series, but I suspect I’ll be struggling with the symptoms I heard many describe on Twitter in the aftermath. Like a million eyeballs cried out in despair and then were suddenly aimless.

In April what’s alleged is the last season of Mad Men will start.
And in July the third and last season of Newsroom will kick off.

By the end of this year I think I’m going to need a new hobby, because the networks are systematically erasing my current one. Maybe this’ll be a year to start creating and not just consuming.

If I can find the willpower.

Day 201 – End and Beginning

I feel spacey.

A little like I’m drugged.

Extrapolating from an earlier step-count, I am guessing that today involved around 70k-80k steps. My legs hurt. My ass hurts. My brain does not care. It was too much fun.

Back to work tomorrow.

I have no idea how I will go.

I’m going to crash into turbulent dreams shortly. I will wake, most definitely sore, possibly incapable of movement. If I make it out of bed, work will be interesting. If I make it to 4pm without crashing I’ll be happy.

I guess I need a day to catch up with 3 weeks of email triage.

I have no idea what awaits.

If I did, I don’t know that it’d make any difference.

Day 195 – Apocalypse

It is a good thing I didn’t pre-write my post for today based on my suggestion yesterday, because it would have proven un-truthful in various ways.

I had set the alarm for 8am, and went to bed at 1am. Then I was tossing and turning over some inner turmoil I forget now till what felt like 2am. To make matters worse I found myself awake by 7:15 and unable to get back to sleep, so I decided to just get started with the day already. The early thingy catches the whatchamacallit and such.

An empty Esky turned into a perhaps-too-full-for-3-people Esky in no time at the shops. I decided to grab an early coffee as I came past. The staff at Michel’s was too stunned at my early arrival to remark on it. Or maybe I was too asleep to notice the remarks. It’s hard to be certain when my brain is still in a fog.

I had 4 parcels to send off by mail, but it was still a bit before 9am, so I moved the car, listened to my podcasts and sipped my coffee. But first I had a quick look at the store front to make sure they were going to be open; I had checked online, which suggested they would be, and the times on the store front were regular opening hours. Still, it looked awfully dark.

I heard of the mysterious pyramid in Night Vale and kept an eye on the clock. At about 5-to-9 seemed like a good time to take my bag of parcels back in and wait the remaining minutes staring in through the glass doors with a stupefied look of postal longing. At which point the interior of the store was still completely dark.

Odd.

Upon closer inspection, on the side opposite to the usual store hours was posted a little white sign declaring the store closed for Australia Day. I hate it when they put those up between when I first looked and when I was hoping for them to open the doors already. It would have been much more polite had they just put it up first thing. But alas, the doors were locked and there was nobody inside, so I had nobody to complain to except the inanimate interior. This did not help.

Luckily I was still very early for Wet’n’Wild despite my unnecessary delay. I parked the car right outside the gate where there were still plenty of spots at 9:15. I waited a while longer with my podcast, and by 9:30 I was wandering in through the gates with my Kindle ready to read till Steven and Holly were to arrive.

Sadly, neither of them arrived till about 11:15. Between 10am and 11am, the queues were so short that we could have easily fit in half a dozen rides. Never mind though, because we made some very good time in the queues for the Curler and the T5.

When we were queuing again at the Riptide things started to go pear-shaped though. First there was a commotion at the food pavilion in the middle of the park. We were only halfway up at this stage, so we couldn’t quite see what was going on. Screaming, and people calling park attendants into the pavilion. Steven suggested somebody must have choked on some of those deliciously crunchy fries they sell there, but Holly wasn’t convinced.

When the park attendants came back out with their shoulders visibly slumped even from that distance, it was clear all was not well. The urge to go down and check the situation out was strong, but there was nothing we could contribute, so we just stood watching alongside everybody else on the stairs.

Then more screams from the pavilion, and a confused scramble of fluoro shirts weaving back inside. No more slumped shoulders, but shaking of heads now.

The first one wandered out of the pavilion not long after. Just as you see in the movies; an uncoordinated weave into the main path. Some visitors wandered over to try and lend assistance, but it didn’t take long before they went down and turned into carbon copies of the first.

At this stage there was a push on the stairs of people trying to get down past us; we three just stood aside as we tried to figure out what was going on.

Sadly, Wet’n’Wild does not provide for very good ammunition against zombies. OH&S standards will have a lot to answer for, because how does one fight a budding zombie horde when there is nothing sharp around at all?

“How ’bout Mitre 10 down the road?”, Steven suggested.
I offered, “My car is near the gate, we just need to find a way to get there though.”
“First we should get our locker?”

The growing groaning mob downstairs wasn’t going to make that an easy task though. At this stage the problem had become sufficiently clear that the slide supervisors and most of the queue remaining in front of us had already made their way down the slides without waiting for any available rafts. A confused tangle of limbs whirling in the Double Bowlseye was steadily feeding the pool below. Luckily the zombies seemed too occupied with fleeing pedestrians on the concourse to concern themselves with the feeder fish yet.

“Better get down quick while they are still out-of-the-way!”
“We should grab the green slide then. It’s a quick ride and we really want to grab our thongs before we try to brave the gravel in the parking lot.”

Less than a minute later we’re climbing out of the pool, and taking a turn through the crowd back up the path where our towels and clothes are waiting. Holly dashes a bit further up the path though.

“Hey, where are you off to?”
“You’ll see…”
“Hey!”, Steven and I make a half-hearted dash after when she bends over and picks something up off the path.
“The guard dropped her weapon”, Holly now brandishing the measuring stick with its two sharp protrusions and giving it a vicious whirl about.
“Careful”, I nervously dodge back but she seems to know what she’s doing with a grin on her face.
“I’ll make a path to the lockers for you boys”
“We want the car thou… oh, keys… right”
She looks at me like I’m an idiot.

There aren’t too many zombies between the bottom of the slide and the lockers where our belongings are stored. She readily carves a path for us, meting out her judgement on two or three zombies shuffling our way before we find some shelter between two rows of green lockers.

I frantically try to open the locker with my token.
“Hurry, hurry!”
“It’s not opening… I got a dodgy locker”
“Why didn’t you change to another one?”
“I didn’t exactly know our lives were going to depend on it this morning; don’t rush me”
Two more shaky failed attempts, and then at last, success.

As we quickly grab our belongings, a girl steps out of the entrance to the toilets down the back. “What is going on?” Before we manage to get a word out, a middle-aged guy with glistening skin and dead eyes takes a chunk out of her shoulder. A second later the measuring stick is stuck inside his head, but alas, too late for the girl.

“Help me, help me, oh god, help me”
“Sorry, we can’t, there’s nothing we can do, we have to go, we have to go NOW”, Steven urges us.
“Don’t leave me, don’t go, I need a doctor”
Holly tries to rip loose her weapon, but sadly it has gotten lodged in the back of the man’s head and we are forced to abandon it here.
“Let’s not waste time, we need a way out”

The moment we step out from the protection of the lockers it becomes clear that the main path is no longer an option. It is crawling with the dead and the dying.

“We need another way”, I say.
“How about we climb the fence? The parking lot is right on the other side”, Holly offers.
“Follow the fence on the inside to the gates? If we’re quick we might get past before the place is overrun wi…”

Wait.

I think some of that last part we might have made up.

The queues to some of the slides can be awfully long, and what better way to make time fly than by working out our zombie evacuation plans? I mean… even the CDC has a Zombie Apocalypse preparedness site.

Day 194 – Today and Tomorrow

Today didn’t start in a very timely fashion; it was well past 11am before I even picked up my mobile from the bedside to check what the world had been up to in my absence. Alas, between the hours of 3am and 11am, apparently everywhere has been boring, so I didn’t miss much whilst unconscious.

My normal Sunday routine involves Yoga and then an extended period at Michel’s with my Kindle. Not today. Today I slept through Yoga. But that’s no reason to give up altogether.

By noon I was sitting in the not-sun outside Michel’s. Apparently a cool overcast Australia Day deters everybody else from doing the same, so I didn’t have much company outside. As usual, I sat at a table along the window with the opposing chair pushed in enough to rest my feet upon. Setting this up caused me to bump the chair into the window and Steve did look over, but I don’t think he realised it was me. No harm done though, so it doesn’t really matter.

There is something very relaxing about sitting in that specific spot near the entrance to the shops. I’ve always been good at tuning out background noise, and helps me focus on my reading somehow. And as a bonus, between chapters I can watch the people as they come by on their shopping errands.

I sat through two mugs of cappuccino, about 5 chapters, and a good 2 hours. This involves a lot of leg-exercise as well; if I do not keep re-adjusting which leg is resting on the opposing chair, I end up with wicker-shaped indentations on my legs that take forever to settle down again. Which probably isn’t healthy. I think?

The only reason I didn’t end up staying longer is that Dana started clearing the outside chairs and tables around me; I should have realised Australia Day means closing early. And I feel that good patron-etiquette at that stage calls for finishing my chapter and making room for the staff to do their jobs.

After returning home I spent some time on the PC. That always flies by. I cannot readily say what I actually did, but I can conclusively say that I achieved nothing. This strongly suggests I spent time on Facebook, Wikipedia or Steam.

The most productive part of my day consisted of watching Sherlock with Abbey. Not so much because of the show itself, but because I did the laundry and hanging while watching. I enjoyed the latter two episodes better than the first. It also means I’ve now fallen back in that pit of despair called waiting-for-the-next-season-to-come-around-in-another-48-weeks.

It is both bliss and absolute cruelty that they make only 3 episodes which they then air in 3 consecutive weeks. I wonder if this is on purpose.

The rest of my evening has been consumed with tomorrow. Or rather the planning of tomorrow; causality was in no way harmed by my actions.

I recently sold some hardware that had gathered dust, and now I must make good on the shipping that eBay requires of me. So, I have a list of all the addresses I need tomorrow morning first thing. Hopefully I can get through that very quickly.

Because after that I hope to get to Wet’n’Wild early enough to secure a parking spot near the entrance. They do not let you bring your own food in, but they cannot stop me from having an Esky in my car and ducking out for lunch and snacks as needed. So I have my bag packed for a visit there… and I still have a gym class booked that I may or may not go to at 5pm, so on the chance that I do, I’ll have to pack my gym gear as well.

So, odds are that tomorrow my post will go somewhat as follows: woke up at 8, went shopping, filled Esky, posted stuff, drove to Wet’n’Wild, spent day in sun and on slides, went to gym, aching after Nikki’s class, collapsed in front of TV, rushing this post sorry.

If I weren’t too stubborn to break my remaining 365-rules, I should really write the post now and set it on a timer. How would you ever know the difference?

Day 187 – Ripping and Curling

Today I:

  • Slept in, ignoring my phone several times
  • Went to Michel’s to read a few chapters over coffee
  • Had coffee and an apple slice
  • Read 2 chapters of Ice and Fire
  • Played some Storm
  • Assisted in the removal of the bathroom ceiling
  • Assisted in the covering of a bathroom wall
  • Went to Wet’n’Wild, apologising to Holly for the delay
  • Learned that the 3 slides with originally the Purple rafts were closed due to an excess of water (not joking)
  • Climbed up and slid down the T5
  • Discovered the Bombora was closed indefinitely due to 4 spinal injuries today; Holly was distraught (over the slide closure)
  • Climbed up and slid down the Half Pipe
  • Climbed up intending to slide down the Typhoon, only to learn it was out of order, and sliding the Breakers instead
  • Floated in the wave pool
  • Floated around the lagoon several times
  • Climbed up and slid down the Curler
  • Climbed up and slid down the Double Bowlseye
  • Climbed up and slid down the now-re-opened Typhoon
  • Floated some more in the wave pool
  • Showered, left, got chips and went home

I must try a Fast Pass sometime, because there were people lapping us many times while we were queuing for some of the slides. One day filled with slides and total exhaustion. Maybe to celebrate the end of summer?