Home > Health and wellness, Life or something like it > Entry 07/23/2011 11:27:01 AM – Mentat 616

Entry 07/23/2011 11:27:01 AM – Mentat 616

07/23/2011

Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard

Jeez, have we ever had a hell of a heatwave the last couple of days. Temperatures were averaging in the mid to upper 90s F (~35 C) with heat indexes getting as high as 105 F (40.5 C). To make matters worse, humidity was well over 70% each day the temperatures were above the 90s. Right now it’s a bit on the warm side with the temperature being 79 F (26.1 C) with the heat index making it feel like 82 F (27.7 C), though with it sporadically raining outside, it’s keeping the breeze cooler than normal. Good thing too as I didn’t think my cat was up for more of the outrageous heat (and neither have I been come to think of it). Though from what I’m seeing of the weather reports, once this rainstorm passes, temperatures around here will return to what we expect of this time of year — warm without being unbearably sweltering. Of course, the fun part has been listening to the local meteorologists trying to explain to the viewers that these temperatures are in part to the excessive rain we had received in the spring and how the moisture is being trapped underneath the cloud cover. This of course coming from people that can be more than 80% wrong and still keep their jobs. Uh, this is also why I have a Magic 8-Ball on my desk so that I can tell a forecast of the weather in the area the same way they do.

Last week I was able to find the Bicycle Shop in Lincoln and drop off my bike for them to get the derailleur re-aligned. Good thing too, given that when we finally found the place, they had put up a sign that tells everyone coming there that they are moving to a new location in Cumberland (about 8 miles (12.8 km) north and east of their current location and about 11 miles (17.7 km) from the house). While I was there, the mechanic also (strongly) suggested/offered to rebalance/reconstruct the bike to make sure everything was put into order as he had noticed several issues with the brakes, the front gear shift and the tires. Price is reasonable — estimate set at $65 or so — hopefully it won’t go too crazy with any other issues that he might come across — though I suspect it’ll still be a thousand time less than if I were to bring in a car to a mechanic to have it fixed (which used to cost me on average $200 – $400 depending on the car I had and the problems that they would discover while it was in the shop). Told the man that I wasn’t in much of a rush to get it back because of the already well on its way heatwave, which he says I should be getting a call from him on either Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Good thing too, given that they’re in the process of moving, and I’m sure that they would want it out of their store before moving day.

In other news… of the most frustratingly stupid kind. After weeks and months of deliberations about whether or not I wanted to upgrade my long-in-the-tooth smartphone, a quick call to my cell phone provider tells me that I’m eligible for grandfathering my plan onto a new phone. So with my eye on something Droid, and my mobile provider has one that’s up my alley. So off to one of the local Wally World‘s I go for the sale that they have going on the HTC Inspire. Nice enough phone, though a lot more persnickety about signal in the house than my old Blackjack, but I was able to work out a good place for it to sit and get signal without burning through the battery while it tries ramping up power to get signal. Even got around to trying out some of the other features on it to get a feel about battery life when yesterday, as I was clearing out the messages, I dropped the phone. Like the physics that makes buttered toast drop butter-side down on the floor, my phone did the same thing with the front panel and leaving it looking like this. I didn’t know whether I wanted to laugh at the foible, or be insanely mad about it and ended up resigning myself to the apathy that comes from the fact that I haven’t dropped a cell phone in the last 8 years. The last phone that I dropped was my first phone, which I affectionately used to call the Angry Cricket, and that thing was extremely durable. So, later on today, I’m off to see about getting a replacement… *sighs*

[Last Edited: 07/23/2011 09:26:11 PM]

All right, I went to Wally World where I had bought the phone from and the look on the salesman’s face when I showed him what happened to the faceplate was priceless. Said to me that it wasn’t a simple buy a new one and put it on the account, but instead would involve getting insurance on the phone and then having to pay the deductable ($125.00 for the deductible) in order to get a replacement. As I didn’t purchase the replacement insurance (because of my experience with Sprint and how the screwed me over when the time came to replace my Angry Cricket when it was stolen and sending me this generic no name piece of shit phone), the salesman suggest a method of getting the phone replaced without paying $500 for the replacement phone… That is to say, get the insurance, and then report the phone damaged for replacement in a week or so time.

Technically the phone works, I can make calls and it beeps at all the right times. It’s just that I can’t do any of the necessary gestures on the face as the glass is splintered and I’m sure I’ll end up with a couple of glass shards in my fingertips. Not worried about my ear or face as I had luckily paired my old headset to the new phone and it was working all right. Particularly given that I received a call from the Bicycle Shop about an hour before their closing with them telling me that the repairs to my bike had been completed.

So off like a shot I go with my aunt down to the shop to pick up my bike. The costs were as estimated ($65.00) with a warning from the mechanic that there wasn’t something quite right about the freewheel. Said that when it was on the rack everything seemed to work properly, but when he gave the thing a quick test right, said that the it felt like shit. Like there was a knock in it. I just told him that given that the shop is going to be moving the middle of the week, I would hold off on bothering him about it, and will give it a test through the week to see what the problem was.

Got the bike home, had a quick bite to eat, waited a half hour (not a good idea, but I’ll get to that in a moment), and took it for a quick spin around the block… 3.6 miles (5.8 km) later, I’m thoroughly sweated, having all sorts of palpitations and completely winded because I did the ride in under a half-hour; I see precisely what the mechanic was talking about. There is indeed some sort of knock going on when one pedals and changes gears. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong per se. I took off my earbuds and listened as I pedaled up the hill — you can’t hear anything unusual about the bike. Gears change fine, pedaling sounds like it should. But I can definitely feel this knock in the pedals as I chugged along. The longer I was at it, the less it was knocking, and so by the end of my ride, about the only time I could feel it knocking away was when I was changing gears… After that it seems to ride much smoother than it did when I started my quick jaunt.

Oh, and you know how they warn swimmers to wait an hour after eating before getting back into the water? It’s about the same with riding. Combine this with outrageous heat, humidity and ground level ozone and it was hell. Not to mention doing that in about ½ hour too. I’ll take my time next time… the last thing I need to be doing is passing out in the rich people neighborhood. They would have a conniption if I did that. And I don’t need that sort of drama in that part of town.

Other than that, I’m doing pretty well… Though I had a bit of a scare a couple of days after my last journal entry when the temperatures really began skyrocketing the first time. Had pizza for lunch one day (last Sunday or Monday) and my feet and ankles were really swollen. Like to the point where I had Baron Vladimir Harkonnen like cankles. Found out from my aunt that my grandmother and she both suffer from the same things, and is attributed with the heart disease that also runs through the family. She tells me it’s salt accumulation in the system coupled with high heat and humidity and that if I kept my feed up for a couple of days and relaxed, they would go away.

Three days later, they went away as promised, but started coming back a couple of days later. Doing a little research I found out that some simple exercise — like a walk break — would cause the water accumulating in my feet and ankles to circulate. While the bike out of commission and later was in for repairs, I decided to take a couple of miles walk every night around the neighborhood, listening to music and taking more than a couple of pictures for Glenn. Sure enough, by the time I got home from my walk, any swelling that I had going was completely gone.

Man, I’m really beginning to hate since I’ve turned 47. It’s been practically non-stop issues since my birthday.

Anyway, that’s about it for the time being. It’s getting fairly late, and with the temperatures the way they are, it’s going to be a rough night for me to sleep. Can’t wait ’til tomorrow night when the temperatures are really supposed to plummet. Until the next time.

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  1. 08/22/2011 at 5:43 am

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