Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

With the Axtells of Chico by suzipaw
With the Axtells of Chico, a photo by suzipaw on Flickr.

Another turkey day slipped into history last week. M and I went up the coast as usual, but it was a larger celebration this year. Brother Mark brought his clan over from Chico and niece Felicia subjected her new beau to our scrutiny later in the holiday. There was a lot of good eating, good weather, walks on the beach and trash picking on said beaches, potato gun shooting, cards, games, and sleeping. It was the best in a long line of wonderful Thanksgivings--even more to be thankful for.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Monday P.S. to Sunday

It was a lovely day on Sunday, so we were able to take the motorcycle to write with the other Pointy Pals in the morning. On the way home, we took a detour to a sheep farm that had invited local artisans, mostly knitters and spinners, to gather for a holiday sale. So not only did I add some lovely hand dyed and spun stuff to my bulging yarn stash, I had a tasty wood-fired pizza for lunch, munching it among the flies and cow patties of the pasture turned alfresco dining area. Thank goodness I was hungry. We kept our eyes focused on the bucolic views of the Chileno Valley during that part.


I started wearing my Fitbit yesterday, and after a somewhat discouraging start, today was much better, balancing yesterday's caloric overage, mostly because I went back to the gym for the first time in nearly a month. In other data, apparently I only slept 4.5 hours last night. I feel pretty darn perky for so little sleep, so maybe I'm not wearing it right. Or maybe the melatonin makes my dreams so active that it tricks the Fitbit. Tonight is another night, for wool gathering of all sorts.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Some New Work Tasks

I've been given a new work assignment that I'm totally thrilled about: writing for our news site, O'Reilly Radar. My first article went up on Friday, and it’s gotten some comments even! I guess this means I really have to get serious about my public speaking. Yikes. Public speaking really is a skill I’d like to be comfortable with and good at, but it still is very intimidating. Maybe I should give the beta blockers (what are they--do I need a prescription?) a whirl as some of the commenters suggest.

My new work duties have changed how I consume information now. When I listen to the radio or read messages in my Inbox or Facebook posts, I'm now thinking, "What's the news angle--should I write about that?" and "What's well-executed about that story?" It's fun and energizing and inspiring. I also plan to use my new status as a reporter to get into events for free on a press pass. We’ll see how that goes!

In other exciting news, I bought my first new computer in over a decade: an 11” MacBook Air (I bought it on Nerd New Year, aka Nigel Tufnel Day, aka 11/11/11). It’s not a lot bigger than an iPad, but I wanted more functionality than the tablet provided so I realized I needed an actual computer. I’m not sure if I can get used to the small screen, but I have 10 more days to play with it before the no-questions-asked return deadline when I can swap it for the bigger size. That should be enough time to figure out if this is the right size for me.

Today is my first day with the Fitbit. I’ve already eaten half of my caloric allotment and I don’t think I’ve expended my energy at all. Hopefully just having to log everything I eat will help me consume less. I’m going to try to sleep with it tonight--I hope it’s not too uncomfortable (it has a little wristband for nighttime wear).

I forgot to post this photo of a souvenir I brought back from Wilbur. We’re using it to prop open our front gate, and it’s a nice regular reminder of the last Wilbur visit.

I also forgot to wish Rex a happy birthday at Halloween--like Nigel’s amp, he goes all the way to 11 now!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Time Change

We fell back this morning, piped into the time change by a good quantity of rain. A sharp contrast to the weather the last few weekends, which (when I've been in town) has had a much closer resemblance to summer.

The holidays are already here, of course. While I was shopping for candy on Halloween, the ghoulish items created for us American consumers in China (what do they think of us, I wonder, as they finish off faux rubber masks, fill tubes of fake blood, six-foot tall resin nutcrackers, and inflatable snowmen trapped in inflatable snowglobes?) had already been replaced by red, green, and white Christmas items. I have my order in to Whole Foods for the Thanksgiving turkey, to M's specifications. He's pretty much planned out the whole menu already, to be executed at Mom's, as usual. Yesterday we received a letter from the Christmas tree farm where we "hunted" (their word) our tree last year with our $5 discount for this time around.

It's funny, we don't have any plans for Christmas yet. The office is closed again for the days between Christmas eve and New Year's day, and I've taken the four days before off, so two whole weeks for the price of four vacation days. It's a great time to be on vacation, too, since everyone else is and you don't come back feeling oppressed by the amount of work that's pile up while you've been gone. What shall we do?

I did purchase a New Year's resolution item yesterday: a Fitbit. I'd met a woman at a conference last June who raved about hers, and one of my old college chums has been reporting his losses on Facebook, thanks to its inspiration. I'd been thinking about it for a while, and the need to spend my birthday bucks pushed me into the Yes zone. I've been feeling very unhappy with my weight this last year, and I hope this tool will help me be more mindful about what I eat and how active I am, two things that are heading in the opposite of the right direction for me.

Well, time to get ready to go--I have a rendezvous with the writerly Pointy Pals today, our first gathering in months! Julia's novel has been accepted for publication so it's time to celebrate with her in person. That's a very exciting development.