Saturday, September 08, 2007

Desk and Running Progress

(Written on Linux with Andreas Vollenweider then Will Ackerman playing in the background.)


Work has been slow the last few weeks (waiting for parts, engineering drawings, etc.) so in my idle moments my mind wanders to my new desk project.
Since I completed my design phase (other than a couple of details noted last time) and got started last weekend (having Monday off was useful), I have been highly motivated (“stoked”) to move the project to completion.
Thus, each afternoon after I got off work this week, I hurried home (actually I drove at my normal speed on Drake Avenue) and accomplished various tasks that the desk project required.
On Thursday, my boss indicated that he did not know when we would be getting the parts needed to assemble the two vehicle enclosures we are building.
This inspired me to ask for Friday off.
Which he granted.

My desk has evolved from some lines on some pieces of paper, to a bunch of boards cut into various lengths, to the cut boards glued together into various sub-assemblies.

So... yesterday I spent most of the day working on The Desk.
(the time NOT spend building The Desk was spent napping, washing clothes, fixing meals, eating meals, and cleaning up the stuff used to fix the meals that I ate.)
Specifically, I was plaining and filing the square edges and corners into more rounded shapes so the desk would look “finished”.
I also began sanding the various sub-assemblies – the last step before applying stain.

A couple of parts of The Desk are pretty heavy – the large bookshelf (left side) is about 70 pounds, I estimate.
The L-shaped top is about 40-50 pounds (but easier to handle than the bulky bookshelf).
Anyway, by mid-day my back was whining – thus, the nap.
That helped.
But I was still tired from my wrestling with the different pieces of my creation.
And I knew there would be more of that today.


So... the run this morning was a slog.
It started out with the Coach in me urging the Runner in me to go for the three-mile distance in spite of the lingering fatigue from The Desk building project.
It ended with the Runner in me hating the Coach in me.

I knew it was going to be a push to go the longer distance.
But the Coach was saying that I needed to build myself up, in spite of the leftover tiredness, and this was the way to do it. (the reasoning being, the extra effort on The Desk is under my control – not like that at work, thus, if the run took too much out of me and I became too tired, I could simply stop building The Desk and take a nap.)
It sounded logical enough.

The first 20 steps, my lower back began whining loudly.
Other protests from hamstrings and calves were also heard.
Running Central noted the discomfort and did some rapid assessments to determine if the run should be aborted.
But with each step, slight improvements were felt.
Running Central ruled that the run could proceed as scheduled.
The farther I went, the better I felt – surprise to me.

There was no fast breathing on the first hill, and just a couple of minutes worth on/after the second hill.
There was no argument about which path to take when I came to the point to cross Old Madison Pike.
As a sign that all was well, there was no traffic to impede my immediate traverse of the five-lane road.

The two bikers had picked up another guy and they were both several hundred feet ahead of the lady.
Interestingly, we meet almost the same spot each Saturday.
My greetings were not returned by the men today, but the lady made amends.

I continued on, feeling tired but doing surprisingly well until the last quarter-mile or so.
It was somewhere in the last half mile that a biological necessity made its presence known.
This, I did not need.
But by then, I just wanted to get done.
The Runner in me was saying that if we had taken the shorter route today we would already be finished.
The Coach was saying “shut up and run.”
The Runner in me kept complaining but continued to run.
Surprisingly, all of the parts that were complaining at the beginning of the run had healed.
Everything was working nicely.
I did notice a faint grumbling from my hip joints.
Barely enough to mention, but I pay attention to signals like this.
It may be the beginnings of problems to come.
We shall see.
For now, I will just enjoy my runs.

The run ended 40 minutes and some seconds after the start in a blur of fatigue and intestinal compression.
There was no sprint at the end or even an extra push.
I just kept running until I saw the finish line/crack, then I stopped.
How I managed to shave three minutes off my time, I know not.

I hurried home, took care of the biological issue, took a shower, washed my running clothes and sheets and towels, and treated myself to a cheese omelet.
I washed the dishes, hung the laundry out to dry (crispy sheets and towels tonight!), and drove to Wal Mart to buy my week's groceries.
I also bought a can of wood stain (heh, heh).
Then it was home again, home again deskity build.


I finished sanding all pieces (there are five sections – left base, right base, work surface, left bookcase, and right bookcase), then I applied the stain.
At three o'clock I cleaned my hands and fell onto my bed for a surprisingly short (one hour) nap.
My back was really sore/tired.
The horizontal repose helped.

I purposely used a light stain this time.
I am not sure I like how it has turned out.
One good thing about light stains.... if you don't like it, you can always darken it up.
It's not so simple going the other way (BTDT).

Next comes a couple of coats of baby oil to seal the wood, and the building of a couple of small accessories for my computers n stuff.

I am very eksiited.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ha! there's something about an "intestinal compression" that brings out the motivation to move quicker! Hence, your faster completion of your run!! I'd never really heard it put your way, I couldn't help but laugh.


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