A New Toy -- 01/24/03

[scroll down for Friday Five]

A couple of weeks ago I complained about attempting to buy a recumbent exercise bike from a Sports Authority store but the clerk couldn't find one even though he said his inventory computer insisted that they had three in stock. (This same computer claimed that the two nearest stores in Massachusetts also had this model in stock; his suggestion had not been that he could get one for us from one of those stores, instead he suggested that we could drive to one and find out. Duh.)

Their ad in this past Sunday's paper said that this model was on sale (actually, it's been on sale all month, they just didn't seem to have any in stock). Not wanting to drive 45 miles or so round trip for nothing, I thought I'd telephone to see if they really had any. The first eight or nine times I just got a busy signal, but I can be quite stubborn at times and so, although I was beginning to think they'd just taken the phone off the hook so they wouldn't be bothered by it, I decided to give it one more try and, much to my surprise, someone actually answered it.

When I attempted to explain what I wanted I was told I would be transferred to that department -- country music while on hold -- and eventually somebody actually picked up the phone. I explained again what I was looking for and was told "Yep, we got them in stock." Being skeptical I asked if they were sure they had them and he replied that a shipment of ten or twelve had come in on Thursday. Off I went to Warwick, taking Nancy's Camry because it has more room than my Corolla, into Sports Authority, bought the bike, drove my car up to the front of the store -- realized that the idiot clerk who put it in my car managed to put it in upside down, despite big warnings on each side about delicate electronic equipment this end up, so I stuffed the tip I was about to give him back in my pocket, took the box out of the car and put it back in properly -- brought it home and Sean and I spent an hour or so (maybe an hour and a half) putting it together -- and then he opened it back up to adjust the cable that controls the amount of resistance... it's the same kind of cable that controls the brakes on a real bike, but it gets twisted in the support column which makes it difficult to get the full theoretical range of effort... he's still not satisfied with the adjustment but I don't have any problem with it, the range of resistance is okay for me, having no interest in replicating peddling up a very steep hill in high gear.

Here's our new toy in our basement "fitness center." Yeah, okay, so we never have gotten around to fixing it up and adding an area for aerobic workouts with exercise videos.

Treadmill next to the wall... treadmill and the bike face a television (on the old dresser in the corner) -- Sean ran cable over to it so we can watch TV while working out (that's the TV remote control sticking up from the treadmill console) -- and there is a boombox sitting on top of the TV so we can listen to CDs while working out. A few dumbbells scattered on the floor by Sean's barbell (sometimes he likes to check his form in the dresser mirror while lifting free weights). That's a digital scale (the black shape with the red) on the right edge of the picture and there's an exercise mat on the floor in the lower right corner. Out of sight (on the left) is a weight bench and piles of weights and another barbell and a lot of dumbbells (ranging from 2 lbs. to 30 lbs.)

Friday Five These are tough questions today... require thought.

1. What is one thing you don't like about your body?

Uh, you mean besides that it's old and too fat, etc.? Well, every twenty-four hours it's another day older, nothing I can do about that... and the excess fat is withing my power to control. Actually, the thing that most annoys me about my body is that I think my legs are two short; I'd be much happier with my body if I had an extra two inches in leg length, which would please me by making me taller (it's always annoyed me that I stopped half an inch short of six feet) and having a longer stride might let me run faster.

2. What are two things you love about your body?

(This is difficult to answer seriously, I keep wanting to say something like "The biggest thing I love about my body is..." *grin*) Okay, seriously... One: I love the fact that -- despite my complaints about root canals and tooth implants and about plantar fascitis, etc. -- my body has held together all of these years without any major injuries or life-threatening illnesses. Two: I love that when I actually do get together the will power and the time to eat properly and follow a vigorous workout routine, my body will respond, lose weight, get more fit, etc.

3. What are three things you want to change about your home?

(I thought that was going to say "What are three things you want to change about your body?")

These are fantasy changes; I'm not about to spend a fortune rebuilding the house. One: I wish there were one foot more of depth along the front of the house so that the front foyer would have just that much more room and the entry into the living room would be wider. Two: I wish the dining room were larger... and keep thinking how nice it would be to add a larger dining room on the back as an extension of the existing room (and it would have a cathedral ceiling with skylights). Three: I wish the second floor had been extended so that there would be a room over the garage.

Real world changes? One: new insulated storm windows all around. Two: add a small roofed porch on the back of the house at the laundry room door. Three: finish off the basement, including an interior door leading to the bulkhead stairs, storm/screens on the basement windows. Four: either put a natural gas fake fireplace in the livingroom fireplace or add fireplace screen that can be closed off when you are finished with the fire. Five: Oops, the question only asked for three...

4. What are four books you want to read this year?

This is impossible to answer... Laurel Hamilton's next Anita Blake novel? Or maybe Nancy and I will write a book together? (Hey, we managed to co-author an eighty-odd page master's thesis 'way back once upon a time.) Virginia Heinlein passed away recently; imagine if they found previously unknown Robert Heinlein manuscripts stored in a closet. I don't have a long list of books I want to read: I buy books (usually from amazon.com online or from a local Walden Books outlet or once in a while from one of those jumbo-sized Barnes & Noble stores) or I check them out from our local library... and then I read them.

5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself?

Kept permanently? *snicker* Well, I guess my promise to quit smoking. Twenty-two years and still keeping it.

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