Ghost in the Machine, Pain in My Arm, and Bunnies in the Yard
So one day, the TV starts displaying closed captioning. There's a button on the universal remote with both words and symbols indicating that it's for closed captioning, so we try pushing it. Nothing happens. We try lots and lots and lots of things. Nothing. So how did it get turned on in the first place? Presumbly one of the dogs had something to do with it, but damned if we can figure out what they did. Both cable TV and DVDs give us printed words as well as sound, and neither of us is hard of hearing. During Australian Open tennis, the printing covered up the score line. This is apparently not a unique problem: when I searched for an answer, I found this person.
For me, the situation has an additional wrinkle, in that I tend to mentally copyedit everything I read and the captions have an awful lot of typos. Aargh!
I've been working out for a couple of months now, gradually building up the intensity. I've tried this many times over the past few years. Usually an injury or illness stops me, and then I don't get going again. But this time it's going pretty well. I started on the exercise bike in front of the TV. Then when I could do five days in a row at a decent intensity without feeling much soreness, I moved up to step aerobics. I've been gradually increasing the length and intensity of those workouts, and just last week I added my homebaked version of BodyPump (a weightlifting routine set to music, with ~5-minute sets for each muscle group). I think I had a mild hamstring pull in December, and then I got the stupid ankle-nerve thingie last week (see last post), but I've kept it up. It feels really good.
Then yesterday, I guess I overdid it on the tricep extensions, because I woke up to agonizing pain in those muscles. I couldly hardly push myself to a seated position to get out of bed. (The Rottweiler snuggled up against me like glue didn't help.) It took a few hours, but I finally sorted out the pain enough to figure out that, instead of being muscle soreness (of which I have none, I'm happy to say), it was injury. The left arm has pretty much cleared up, but the right tricep doesn't want to extend. It contracts just fine, which makes me think the problem is a tendon/ligament thingie rather than a muscle thingie. Yes, I'm right-handed. Dressing myself and feeding myself present real challenges. Fortunately, there's no problem working at the keyboard. Unfortunately, I was going to do housework today and really can't. So I'm writing this.
I won't be doing upper body weights again for a while, but I should be able to do step as long as I'm careful to keep my arms straight-ish as I move them.
Rabbits have always been attracted to the spilled seed under the birdfeeder (birds are messy). After we put up the privacy fence around the backyard about five years ago, we got a lot fewer rabbits in the backyard. One night this winter, though, we spotted a bunny under the feeder. I started filling the feeder at dusk every day and intentionally spilling a tablespoon or two of seed on the ground. Bunny came back, started coming back more often, and now comes every night. In fact, there may be more than one bunny -- I think I'm seeing at least two, one larger than the other, but only one shows up at a time so it's hard to tell. I've never had a steady "relationship" with a bunny before, so this is fun. I'm looking forward to baby bunnies in the spring.
- I haven't yet acquired this book, but I must: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. This novel "features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. . . . [It is] a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead."
- This new study published in the journal Science may explain why copy editors and proofreaders (and many English teachers) use red pens (or the electronic equivalent). Apparently, the color red may help people focus on detail, while the color blue may help us be more creative. Although I can't help wonder, given the tasks the study used, if the connection has more to do with red = verbal and blue = spatial. Anyway, interesting stuff. I had my office walls painted peach (a mild red tone) and the ceiling an intense blue-green, so I think I've got some inspiration for whatever kind of thinking I want to do, depending on where I look. :-)
- If the zombies invading Regency England don't give you nightmares, this might: Titanoboa cerrejonensis was probably about 45 feet long, snacked on crocodiles, and was the biggest land animal on earth for about 10 million years. It was named for its size (genus) and the Cerrejón coal mine (species) in northern Colombia where at least 28 skeletons were found.