The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

June to March in 12 hours

The Tribune has a graphic up demonstrating how Chicago temperatures dropped 20°C in one day. We went from a high temperature of 28°C at 4pm Monday down to a morning low of 7°C by 7pm Tuesday.

I should mention that I had several windows open Monday night, and closed them around 4am. That helped a little, but it would have helped more had I turned the heat on.

Despite the colder weather, through yesterday I've had six consecutive days of 15,000+ steps, including two of better than 20,000. Today looks promising as well. Fitbit also has a new feature that awards a pip for each clock hour in which you get 250 or more steps, the idea being to get you off your ass. I've got my app set to count from 8am to 9pm. Since Friday, I've had 13 of 13 hours four of five possible days—and today looks pretty likely as well. (The trick is to take Parker for a walk at 5 minutes before the hour, which gets me two pips in 10 minutes.

Decent weekend so far

Today's weather was finally spring-like, meaning twenty degrees warmer away from the lake than near it. But Parker still got over an hour of walkies, I've gotten (so far) about 18,000 steps, and all the windows in my house are open for the first time in about a month.

Also, I made a decent showing yesterday at a trivia tournament (tied for first place, but lost the tiebreaker), and today at a Euchre tournament (upper half of the pack, 7-2-1 overall record).

That is all. Time to feed the dog, and maybe walk another couple thousand steps.

Fitbit reports the damage

Scroll down and you'll see that I did not achieve my goal of 25,000 steps on Saturday because (most likely) I ate contaminated kefta kebab on Friday night.

My Fitbit did provide some interesting data, however, that underscores how disappointing the trip turned out to be.

Sleep: I average 7 hours a night, generally. Friday night, more because I had absolutely no responsibilities than anything else, I slept in, getting 9:34 total. But then the sleep chart goes almost full-circle as the Fitbit recorded all my naps. Total sleep from Friday night to Saturday evening: 14:11. Total sleep in Bend: 20:41. (Given that I was only in Bend for a little over 40 hours, I slept through more than half of it.)

Steps: Instead of 25,000 on Saturday, I got 11,633. That includes the one-hour hike Saturday morning when the symptoms first hit me, and a shuffle to the nearest Walgreens to pick up some Gatorade. Do you know how much I hate Gatorade? Less than I hate serious dehydration, but only just.

Resting heart rate: My RHR usually hangs out around 63. Give me a good, painful illness, and that goes to hell: 65 on Friday, 68 on Saturday, and 70 yesterday, despite yesterday being spent mostly in transit.

Weight: Well, here's the silver lining. My body mass has remained frustratingly stable about 3 kg over where I want to be since mid-November. While I expected that to drop some as the weather got warmer, as it has every year, I didn't expect to drop all 3 kilos in one weekend. This may have something to do with me having no solid food from my bagel Saturday morning until I attempted (successfully!) some pretzels, saltines, and a hard-boiled egg yesterday afternoon. I also had a bit of success with a container of steamed white rice when I got to O'Hare. It turns out, water has no calories, and Gatorade has just over 200 calories per liter. So altogether, I had perhaps 1,000 calories in two days, at the same time my body was shedding every gram of food and water that got into my system from Friday night on.

Don't worry, I'm hydrating. I might gain a kilogram back in the next day or two. On the other hand, my appetite hasn't fully returned, so I might keep it off for a while.

Anyway, other than being pissed off about spending my one day in Bend asleep or on the pot (and not the pot one would ordinarily want to be on in Oregon), I seem mostly recovered. It's going to be a beautiful day in Chicago, so I plan to get another 20,000 steps today. And drink a lot of fluids.

Heading home

It's great that I spent 21 of 44 hours in Bend asleep. Yeah, that's just special.

It's a beautiful day both in Oregon and in Chicago today, which is why I'm even happier to be inside the PDX terminal.

Still, the extra-special-fun symptoms I've experienced over the last two days seem to have subsided. I may attempt to eat solid food in a few minutes, which I haven't done since 9am yesterday.

Can I get a do-over, please?

Well, this sucks

The good news is, I've gotten almost 12 hours of sleep in the last 18.

The bad news is, of course, I'd rather be exploring Bend, not passed out in my hotel room clutching my stomach.

It's not alcohol; I had precisely one beer with dinner and one glass of local wine after. And I went to sleep at my usual time (11pm CT/9pm PT). But when I woke up this morning, I felt a general malaise that became, after a bagel and coffee plus a one-hour walk around town, light-headedness, nausea, and unbelievable fatigue. 

I'm now going over in my head everything I've consumed in the last 24 hours and I have a suspect. Still, it doesn't feel like food poisoning exactly, so I'm not entirely sure what's going on.

I feel better now after a 3-hour nap. Making my goal of 25,000 steps seems highly unlikely, but I can still get in another 10k or so before collapsing completely.

Bonus: here's the Mirror Pond, just a few blocks from where I'm staying.

After after after After Hours

Friday went long, so yesterday was pretty quiet. The Apollo Chorus had its annual fund-raiser on Friday. As one of the volunteers, I tagged along to the official after-party, which turned into two subsequent unofficial after-parties, and a completely lazy day yesterday.

We should get preliminary results on the total fundraising take by tomorrow's rehearsal. We did get a pretty good haul at the door, and during our "Money Song," which included a challenge grant that got completely used. So, in all, great event, fun weekend, slept like a dog last night.

Regular blogging resumes tomorrow.

Social psychology, A-Z

The Ph.D. psychologist at Deeply Trivial is participating in the A-Z Blog Challenge this month. She's six posts into a great primer on social psychology, starting with last Friday's Attribution through today's Festinger.

The Daily Parker is not doing the A-Z challenge this year because I'm not nearly as disciplined as Deeply Trivial. That, and I'm not clear on a topic that would interest anyone else. Maybe next year.

The Beast is Here

The new computer has arrived, and I am now setting it up.

This used to be a total pain in the ass. Copy files, install from disks, copy more files, find passwords... And by "used to" I mean in 2012.

Today my working files are all in OneDrive, my frequently-used, unimportant Web passwords* are in Chrome, and my apps are all in the cloud. This pretty much means the only things I have to do are (a) log into my Microsoft account, (b) download Chrome, and (c) copy a portable hard disk onto my local. So much less babysitting.

And then there's this:

I mean, 40 GB. I feel like the first time I used a computer with 32 MB of RAM. I haven't even taken it out for a spin yet; that's after I install Lightroom, Visual Studio, and SQL Server.

Speaking of, I do have to install my development environment and make sure I can compile and deploy the important things. But I don't have to do that this second.