Welcome to December

Hello and welcome to December 1, 2020. It is really hard to believe we are here, but we are. We are just a couple of weeks away from the first day of Winter. When the lock downs started back in March it was at the very end of Winter. All of Spring, locked down. All of Summer, locked down. Pretty soon all of Autumn, locked down. If you stop and think of it, it is pretty overwhelming. For that reason, I suggest you don’t stop and think about it. Just put your head down and keep moving forward.

I’ve done 10 album in a month projects over the last 10 months. Today marks the start of project #11. I think I want to restrict myself to just my Les Paul, a Klon Klone overdrive pedal, and my two 15 watt tube amps. I need to put new strings on the Les Paul, but I can do that tonight. I still have five songs left on the re-recording project too so those might be Les Paul. We’ll see.

November was noteworthy for this here little bloggie. It had the most page views in any month since I created the account. It also had the most unique visitors of any month since I created the account. How about that? The numbers are still teeny tiny in terms of most real bloggers’ goals but for me it was kinda cool. Thanks for dropping by, everyone. Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

Today is my weigh in day. I was down a little. That’s nice. I hit a minor milestone. That’s nice too. I was paranoid that I was going to be up, and out of fear I did my entire 30 minute exercise first thing this morning. I doubt it had any effect on the scale, but it sort of made me feel almost better at the time. I find myself doing this on most Tuesdays now. Whatever works, right?

Sunday Night

Sitting in my room waiting for the new episode of the walking dead spin off, World Beyond to start. I had a horrible sleep yesterday, but an epic super sleep last night. I raked a chunk of the front yard this afternoon and I did my 30 minutes of exercise, and somehow all of these things have combined to make me super tired tonight. I’m so tired my eyes are blurring.

I just started tonight’s fast. I’ve been playing with intermittent fasting for 82 days. This is my 82nd fast in a row. I haven’t missed a day. Who woulda thunk it? I doubt my weigh in on Tuesday will go well but given that it’s Thanksgiving, I think anything that isn’t a huge increase will be a win. Also… I might be imagining this… I can’t say for sure… but I think my jeans might be feeling a smidge loose today.

Is Walking Dead World Beyond good? We get the last two episodes of the first season tonight and I still can’t tell for sure. It’s not bad, I can say that with some certainty. I just can’t figure out if it’s good. Gimple, am I right? I just wish AMC would have more variety in their commercials. I mean, if you’re going to blitz us with a commercial break every four minutes, the least you could do is mix it up a little.

Okay. Shows on and my eyes are giving up the fight. I, your humble narrator*, will talk to you tomorrow.

*The “your humble narrator” is a reference to A Clockwork Orange. David Prowse was in that movie. He passed away today. He was in another memorable movie. He didn’t have any lines but his character did. He played the character on screen and then some guy named James Earl Jones added the voice later. What was the character that David Prowse played?

Darth Vader.

Rest in peace, Lord Vader.

Two Miles

Tuesday is my weigh in day. I knew I wasn’t going to be down much if any, but I got into paranoid mode this morning anyway. I got up early and took the garbage out to the street.

When I came back inside, Jen was doing a walk-in-place workout thing. I was planning on doing some of my 30 minutes before weighing in so I joined her. 33 minutes and two (simulated) miles later I had set my record for (estimated) calories burned in a single Apple Watch-tracked walking inside workout. Talk about crazy.

As for the weigh in, for the second week in a row I was only down 0.2 pounds. I’ll take it.


March kinda sucks.

I go through this every year.  I finish my February music projects and then feel this gaping hole in the universe during March.  From reading blogs and forum posts on rpmchallenge.com I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

So what to do?

A few months ago I was working on a way to add the rest of my old myspace blog to this site.  I started up on that again last night.  WordPress.com is able to back date posts but it’s a royal pain in the ass to go back to 2007 and 2008.  Instead, I created a Blogger account and I’ve been posting back dated entries there.  Once I have them all I’ll export them to an .xml file and import them here.  That should work fine.  The myspace blog covered pretty much all of 2006 through November 2008.  I had pulled all of 2006 into my previous wordpress.com site so those are all here already.  As of last night the Blogger page has almost all of 2007.  I think I have about 75 more posts to go.

I’m still going with my Flickr photo-a-day project.  It suddenly feels difficult though.  It was easy last month.  There was always music happening so I could take pics of that, and Disney made things even easier.  Now?  What the hell do I take pictures of now?  Where’s the cat when I need her?

Back in January Jen and I did a tutorial for a javascript extension (I think that’s the right way to describe it… a scripting language built on top of javascript).  It was fun and interesting but my javascript knowledge is ancient and more or less nil at this point.  I thought I might have gotten more out of it if I did a javascript tutorial first.  I would like to try something like that in the coming weeks.  I would like to be a better all around programmer than I am right now.  My company’s development tools and programming languages are proprietary, so even if I’m firing on all cylinders at work it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the world.

Years ago I found a set of wordpress.com tutorials called Blogging University.  There are various beginner and intermediate level courses to help you get the most out of your wordpress.com experience.  There were classes for customization, writing, photography, and interacting with other blogs.  I might give some of those a try again, just for schnitzengiggles.  If I remember correctly they were mostly prompts.  Things like, today you should write a better About page, or today you should take a picture of water.  Stuff like that.  The photo stuff would be fine to redo, as I just said I’m always looking for ideas for photo-a-day.  The basic blogging stuff is probably too simple for this page, but there is always the lizardfishmusic.com page.  I could make some changes there.  I don’t think I’ve made any changes to the layout there since I first created it.  Maybe a face lift would be fun?

Exercising should be an obvious target for new projects.  I had a really bad night Weight Watchers wise last night and I’m feeling a little crummy about myself today.  I got home from work and just started shoveling food into my face and I really didn’t stop until I fell asleep.  I need to be better than that.  The gym might help in that regard, or at least minimize the damage of any future bad days.  Right now I am having a problem with one of my feet (again).  My right foot feels a little swollen and it hurts to walk.  It’s not the same thing I had a month or so ago, and it’s not nearly as bad, but it is slowing me down right now.  Once that eases up I need to get back to the gym, and I need to get into a regular routine.

There is always more music to record, and more songs to learn for Lizardfish, and more practicing in general to do.  Just because February is over doesn’t mean I can stop playing.  I was doing pretty well with finding time to practice back in January.  I need to keep up with it.  I’m tired of feeling like the weak link in the band.  I’m also thinking of trying something new gear wise.  I want to try to run a two amp rig in the band, but most of the amps I have now are way too powerful and if I paired them up I’d be unable to not drown out the rest of the band during rehearsals.  I keep looking at my 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker as the solution.  If I could pair that with another lowish watt amp that could work.  I am thinking about going to Guitar Center to inquire about trading my Fender Stratocaster in for a Vox AC15.  I think that might be the key to making it all work.  A Fender Princeton reissue could do it, but it’s only a 10 inch speaker and I’d prefer to stick to 12 inch speakers if I can.  I just like them better.  We’ll see.

Should I start looking into using in-ear monitors?  One of the guys in the band uses them.  One of the hosts of the Gig Gab podcast swears by them.  So much so that he’s always inspiring the other host to try them, even though he has a hard time with them.  I don’t really want to spend money on it, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to be mic’ing the room during rehearsals and I always wear ear plugs anyway.  Is it time?  I’m trying to decide.  I’m definitely on the fence.  We’ll see.

I was hoping that by this point in 2020 I would be able to do something to help out with the Warren for President campaign.  I guess that isn’t going to happen.  At least it seems highly unlikely now.  I can get behind Bernie Sanders, but the idea of a candidate in his late 70’s who has already suffered a heart attack during this campaign is a little depressing.  Platform wise I can 100% get on board.  Human wise… ugh.  As for Joe Biden.  He’s a great guy and I love him to pieces, but he’s literally my last choice of all of the candidates we’ve had.  Dead last.  Yet another guy in his late 70’s but this time one who just feels like a frat boy who got lucky.  He just seems a little too dumb ass for the oval office, and we already have a total dumb ass in the office now.  If he ends up with the nomination he’ll get 100% of my support… I was just hoping the rest of the country would jump on the Warren bandwagon, that’s all.  Yet another reason to feel let down by my fellow Americans.

There are a crap ton of TV shows that I want to watch.  February has resulted in me falling way behind on all of the CW super hero shows that I like to watch.  I’m like two months behind on The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman.  I’ve been trying to get caught up on Star Trek Discovery.  Season two is really good, I just haven’t had time to power through.  The last season of Star Wars The Clone Wars is either about to come out or has just recently come out.  I wanted to binge the whole series before I watched the new season but… Jar Jar… he kinda killed my interest in that.  I want to finish season two of You even though it’s definitely meh.  I want to watch Lock and Key and The Expanse and I still want to get back into Breaking Bad and Preacher.  I’ve started both of them, but just haven’t been able to keep going.  I’m not sure why, the are both good.  I’m caught up on The Walking Dead, and the second spin off is just a month or so away.  One show that I did not fall behind on in February is Star Trek Picard.  It is so good.  Just, so very good.  I wish it was going to be a 25 episode season instead of 10 (I think it’s just going to be 10).  I don’t want it to end… ever.

I’m sure there are other projects I can come up with that are just there for fun and a sense of creative accomplishment.  If we get lucky and Spring actually gets here there are always day trips up to the mountains that I can drag my beloved Mrs to.  There are so many waterfalls, and so many scenic views up there.  They are all just sitting there, waiting for me and Jen and my camera to come and visit.

There’s also always Disney World.  Or Disneyland.  Or Euro-Disney, if that’s even still a thing.  I’d say Tokyo Disney too but I have a co-worker who was supposed to go there next week and he told me it’s closed due to some global pandemic* thing.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

On an unrelated note, I am trying a new browser again.  The same podcast that inspired me to try Brave has inspired me to try Vivaldi.  This post is the first thing I’ve done with it.  Isn’t that exciting?  I’m just glad that the Last Pass plug in for Chrome works in Vivaldi too.  That makes life a tiny bit easier.


*Go wash your hands.  Seriously.

Post Vacation Exercise Summary

I slept through my weight watchers check in on Saturday so I don’t know how much weight I gained in Florida.  I’m sure it’s some, but I did so much walking over the six days that hopefully it counteracted my junk food splurge a little at least.

I checked the Activity app on my phone to see how much movement my watch registered.  Here is the break down:

Steps/Day Distance/Day (miles)
15331 8.3
19906 10.9
15035 8.3
11999 6.6
11311 6.2
10862 5.9
Total Steps Total Distance (miles)
84444 46.2

Now every time I do something like this I have to add the following disclaimer:

I have no idea if these numbers are good or not for a normal human, but for a grossly overweight non-exerciser like me they are stunning.

46.2 miles over six days.  84,444 steps over six days.  It did not feel overwhelming the way I was afraid it would.  There were a few times when I told Jen and Harry that I needed to stop for a spell.  Mostly those times were due to back pain, and I think most of those had something to do with the way I was carrying my backpack.

Did the handful of trips to the gym have any effect?  I can’t see how they didn’t, but on most of those gym trips I was only walking between 0.5 and 0.75 miles.  I can’t even imagine how much more difficult it would have been without those practice sessions.

Sleep was another matter.  As previously stated, in a moment of supreme genius I managed to leave home without one (teeny tiny little) piece of my CPAP machine which rendered the device useless for the duration of the trip.  I also didn’t use it the night before we left, as I had already packed it.  On that last night at home my sleep numbers were the worst they’ve ever been.  That was due in part to me staying up way too late and waking up way too early, which is probably down to excitement.

The first night in Florida, without the CPAP machine, was (according to the data collected by my watch) the best nights sleep I’ve had since I started using the machine.  You read that correctly.  The best sleep I had was WITHOUT the machine.  The highest restful sleep percentage and the highest heart rate dip percentage I’ve had since I started paying attention.  I believe that was due to having almost no sleep the night before, but it was still rather surprising.

The second night in Florida followed a day where we left the hotel early and went to a theme park, then just before dinner we went to a second theme park and stayed there until around midnight.  If you look at the chart above, that was the day with the 10.9 miles of walking.  I was so tired by the time we decided to go home that I was having trouble lifting my feet as I walked.  At one point we were strolling down Main Street USA and I had to step up onto the sidewalk and I couldn’t do it.  I had to stop walking, gear myself up, and then force my feet to step high enough that I could get over the curb.  It was a disturbing experience to say the least.  The sleep numbers that night were just a hair less than the first night.  Easily the second best nights sleep I’ve had since I started paying attention, and once again it was without the CPAP machine.

After that it was more like I expected it to be.  One night I barely slept at all.  Most other nights I slept okay but the restful sleep percentage was maybe 25% lower than when I use the machine and I definitely did not feel like I slept much, regardless of how long the watch said I was out.  Once I was home and back on the CPAP machine the percentages went back to where they should be, even if the total number of hours was still way too small.

So to sum up the physical health aspects of our trip, I had a near infinite increase in exercise and, despite some weird outliers, the expected shitty CPAP-free sleep.  I also had lots of leg pain, foot pain, hip pain, back pain, arm pain, and shoulder pain, all of which were expected and within tolerable levels.  All in all, I am pretty happy with how I held together.

Summing up the mental health aspects is easier.  I loved every second of it and I wish I could go back onto vacation right now.  Maybe this week we could go to Disneyland instead of Disney World?  What about Euro-Disney, is that even still a thing?  Let’s go and find out.

Ol’ Man Spicket

Pictures of the Spicket River mean I went to Weight Watchers (or WW for the cool kids).  I didn’t want to go.  I thought my weigh in was going to be bad with a capital Bad.

Nope.  I was down.  A bunch.  I am kind of in a cycle where one week is up a fraction of a pound and the next week is down a lot.  I’m not doing anything different, it’s just working out that way.

Whatever, I’m on vacation.



Hello There, Spicket

I have a couple of new pictures of the Mighty Spicket River in Salem, NH…



These of course are taken from the Weight Watchers parking lot, which means I went to weight watchers today.  I don’t want to talk about weight loss on the blog anymore, for now at least.  Every once in a while I need to search for something here and I end up reading some happy post from years ago about how I lost two pounds or some nonsense.  When that happens it is really depressing.  It’s like saying, look how good I used to be doing before I started to suck again.  I hate feeling that way so I am not going to keep track of stats or anything,  My first week back was good.  Enough said.

Except that I also went to the gym.  I walked on a treadmill until my sore foot woke up.  15 minutes at a very slow pace.  That’s a good start.  We’re a month away from Disney and I need to be able to walk around all over Florida so I need to start practicing now.

Oh yeah… practicing… guitar… gig… Way to ruin the good vibe and scare the crap out of yourself, fat ass.