Alive and Well

Howdy. It’s been quiet at the ol’ DDoE lately, but I thought I would check in and let you know I’m still around. I generally slow down a little in the Summer, but this Summer has been surprisingly busy. I have some nice Excel posts in the queue. In the mean time I thought I’d tell you what I’ve been up to.

Golf, of course. My goals this year are 1) No less than five rounds under 80, 2) no more than five rounds over 90, and 3) an index under 10. After 10 rounds (about 1/3 done), I have one round under 80 (75 – best round ever) and four rounds over 90. My index, due to that stellar round, is down to 9.1

It’s headed back above 10, sadly, unless I can shoot better than 84 this weekend.

A couple weekends ago I went to Branson, MO for a family reunion. It was great to see some of my family that I don’t see often. I played golf at Branson Creek, which is an outstanding course. Other than that, I don’t see myself making it back to Branson. It’s just not my kind of place. On our way into town, my son said “They should call this place advertisingville” referring to all the billboards lining the highway. When ads for comedy shows have this guy

I assume it lacks the edge I require in a comedy show. We did see Kirby, the Prince of Magic. I think it was a good magic show and that I just don’t like magic shows. I had the over/under at five bible verse quotes and he only did one, so there’s that (it’s really an uber-Christian area of the country). Kirby’s wife Bambi is nails, which I think constitutes coveting on my part.

While I was in Branson a tornado hit near my house. We sent someone by to check it out and she told us we had a hole in our roof. I started to freak out, but someone else went by and said it was just a few shingles missing. Whew. Unfortunately, my basketball hoop blew through the windshield of my neighbors car.

Tornadoes are the best kind of storms. With floods, everyone in the flood plain is affected. You can’t get away from a Hurricane if it hits where you live. Blizzards cover a huge area and spare nobody. Tornadoes, on the other hand, can demolish my neighbors house and leave mine untouched. Oh, their deadly, don’t get me wrong. I just like those odds.

A while back I read about stand up desks. I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time. Recently on the stackoverflow podcast Joel Spolsky was saying he was buying adjustable height desks so his coders could stand or sit as they wished. It dawned on me that I had an adjustable height desk. I know this because I bang my knee against the switch about once a week and I have to return the desk to its original height.

Last Friday I decided I was going to give the whole standing thing a try. I raised my Steelcase desk as high as it would go. It doesn’t go high enough. Why can I lower this desk to 20? off the floor, but I can’t raise it so that the monitors are at eye level? Perhaps I just don’t get it. I ended up raising the desk as high as it will go and tilting the monitors upward so that I’m looking down at them. My laptop monitor tilts, obviously, but my second monitor didn’t. I grabbed an unused monitor that does and now my laptop and the new monitor don’t line up. Finally I ended up with the desk at max height, the keyboard tray three inches above the desk, the laptop on a phone book (with rubber grommets as feet to allow air flow) and the laptop and monitor tilted.

The result: After two days (I went to the College World Series yesterday), I have concluded that my feet and back hurt when I stand and they don’t when I sit. My plan is to mostly stand half of the day and mostly sit half of the day. Only the computer part of my desk is raised, so if I’m doing tree-based paper work, I’m sitting at the normal-height portion of my desk. I’m not sure what the schedule will be, but currently I’m standing all morning and sitting all afternoon. I think I need to stand from 8-10, sit from 10-12, stand from 1-3, sit from 3-5. I’ll give it two weeks and see what I come up with. I predict the hurt feet and back will go away and I’ll be standing most of the day.

Finally, I’m still mowing with my robot mower. I could swear that John Walkenback said it would be more work than it’s worth, but I can’t find the quote. Anyway, I want to make sure he gets credit if he deserves it. After 1.5 years, I think it’s more work than it’s worth. I didn’t properly store the battery this Winter (totally my fault) and now it doesn’t last nearly long enough to do a good job. That means that I have to buy a new battery. My wife is telling me to admit failure and buy a regular mower. Of course that’s not going to happen. I’ve ordered a new battery and I’m going to get this year and next, at least, out of this mower. Then the boy will be old enough to mow the grass and I can eschew the robot and get something more traditional.

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4 thoughts on “Alive and Well

  1. At least you’re in the USA, where it’s easier to buy a battery. The shipping costs to Canada are brutal.

    And you should buy one of the floor scrubbing robots too (Scooba). They’re even more entertaining than the vacuums.

  2. I’ve always thought of you as a stand-up guy, Dick.

    Until about a month ago I worked at a tall old Atari game stand I outfitted with an extra tray slide so I could sit or stand, after suffering nasty back problems a few years ago. For a while I would stand when I first got to work and was checking emails, returning phone calls, stuff like that. But for some reason I prefer to sit down for heavier thinking :).

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