All posts by Hisashi T Fujinaka

I got nothing.

Not only do I got nothing, but I can’t remember where I put the paperwork from Powells. I have 9 boxes of books there, or maybe even more, and I can’t remember if I need to prove that I left them there. Oh, well, I’ll find out tomorrow. I’m STILL feeling kind of tired and my stomach has been feeling queasy for at least a couple of days and I still have a lot of crap to do around the house. Hooray.

So for those of you who are reading for some sort of humor, I’ve got nothing right now.

I did, however, make it to Harbor Freight today to buy a pair of aviation snips to work on the gutter, and also a framing hammer to go along with the finishing and bizarro hammers I have already. I wanted to pull a bunch of nails out of the wood from the wall I tore down. Now I have enough hammers that I can put them in a sack and I’ll have something to compare Sarah Palin to. Honestly, I think my sack of hammers, though rusty, are smarter than she is. At the very least, they’re nicer.

Well, I thought I was in a bad mood.

I couldn’t really tell how bad my mood was. My stomach is bothering me and I’m not sure if it’s the repeated trips to “King Torta” to get hard-shelled potato tacos, or if it’s the free fresh fruit they’re giving away at work. I only have a couple of pieces a day (you’re only supposed to take one but I figure not everyone is taking advantage) and too much fruit isn’t all that great for making your stomach feel good. I sort of tweaked my back at the gym, but I still feel OK. I suppose the heater being mostly done makes me feel all warm inside (and outside, too).

So really, I don’t know what my problem is, but I’m guessing I’m just forgetting what it is that I’m stressed out about right now. Hooray.

Nothing to see here.

Our furnace is running now, even though it’s not quite complete. The heat pump is hooked up but the vents aren’t complete and the natural gas isn’t hooked up. The furnace itself is confused and is trying to light the non-existent gas from time to time and the basement is being heated by the vents that go nowhere. It’s been getting cold lately and even this half-finished furnace is welcome.

The old furnace is now gone! There’s a big space now that I can fill full of more crap. I’m very excited about this. At the gym I revealed my newest fantasy: going down to the new space in the basement and mopping the floor. There’s a layer of grit over everything from the chimney demolition and it’s always been just plain dusty down there from all the dirt seeping in. Sweeping just raises a dust cloud so I wanted to go down and mop some of the crap up. I tore down a wall so I could access the sink without moving around all the boxes I have stashed in the corners and I used my new mop on all the open space.

THMFIC at the gym told me that my fantasies were lacking but my reality hasn’t been living up to anyone’s expectations lately. Well, it’s been living up to MY expectations because I know what sort of luck I have in life. And I know everyone always says, “Past performance does not indicate future results,” but what else have I got to base things on? A Ouija board? A man’s gotta know his limitations.

What did I miss?

Some people think I was doing something that I wasn’t tonight, but I did spend the last couple of hours drinking with married friends who had babysitters for four hours and needed to kill two more of those hours because their dinner only lasted two. The problem is that I got home late and I had a lot to do, including work for my sister and writing a few more checks from my already-depleted bank acount. I also scratched the brand-new “privacy shield” on my work laptop and I’m not happy.

In case anyone thinks I have good stories from tonight, they’re sadly misshapen and it’s way past my bedtime.

So very weak.

For some reason I wasn’t able to do the workout at the gym today. My shoulders were too tired to do push presses with 25 lb dumbbells. In any case, I was falling asleep most of the day so I should probably just go to bed early. The only thing that woke me up was the preliminary bill from the contractor for $27k. I had enough for that, but the question is whether I’ll have enough for the rest of it, which may or may not be more than $27k.

Also, there doesn’t seem to be any open hotels during the time my mom and I are planning to be in Osaka. Weird. Somehow I’m too tired to worry about that, too.

I dodged that bullet.

Yet another day where I wanted to sleep in but I couldn’t. I volunteered at the Portland Marathon again and it requires standing around from about 7AM to 11:30AM or so. This year it was cold and rainy but we didn’t see many runners with problems. We had a couple of people on sag wagons, a couple of people with foot problems, but that was a lot less than most years. In fact, last year we had to call in a couple of ambulances. Unfortunately for me, though, by the end of the morning my hands were numb and my butt was cramping from standing around.

Just like most years, people I was watching for made it by me without my notice. Last year my sister ran by yelling at me and I didn’t see her. This year, I saw her but didn’t see her friends nor did I see Sean and Shirley from the gym. Sean had a goal to beat my time of 4:13:34 and I don’t think he did it. Which is a good thing, because I don’t want to train for another marathon to see if I can best his time, starting some sort of weird leapfroggy challenge that probably wouldn’t get very far because I don’t think my knees would take it. It’s been 10 years since I ran the San Francisco Marathon and I think once is enough for me. He beats me in lots of other things, like regularly deadlifting 85 pounds more than I do, so I get to be four minutes faster than him in this odd circumstance. In any case, congratulations to all the marathon participants!

I spent the afternoon shopping for clothes. Actually, I spent the afternoon being a clothes hanger for clothes that were picked out by Devon and Tiffany from the gym. I had to get some clothes that fit, because my jeans are mostly falling off of me now that I’ve lost some weight. I hate to tell you about my khaki pants I wear for customer visits. If I don’t wear a belt, they actually do fall off. I had no idea that every single thing cost about $135. I thought THMFIC at the gym was kidding when he said I had to spend about $700 on presentable jeans and a shirt and he wasn’t kidding. OK, so I also bought a couple of pairs of shoes, but still. I told my brother-in-law and he commiserated with me, saying, “It’s hard to see how out of fashion you really are.” $135 for jeans instead of $30 for Levi’s on sale and they don’t even double-validate your parking.

All tired, all the time.

I like sleeping in on the weekend, but this isn’t the weekend for that sort of thing. Today I had to get up early because the electrician and the HVAC guys were coming in. I found out that the power would be out most of the day and that meant I had no excuse but to take all my books to the used book store. I took 3 boxes at first, thinking I’d take 3 boxes at a time until they were all gone, but I found out that they have more rules than the ones that are posted on the wall. You’re only allowed a single transaction per day, so the three boxes were all that I was allowed. I guess they had some people who would keep bringing in the same books over and over. They did, however, let me bring in the rest of my books and leave them to be checked at their leisure. Honestly, Powell’s is everyone’s favorite book store, but they always find some way to annoy me. I think I got them back by leaving them with 9 boxes of books.

I also ditched a bunch of gardening and bonsai books with a woman from the gym who has a degree in Horticulture, just like my dad. I think I stuck her with some crap along with the good bonsai books, because I think I remember a 1930’s seed catalog somewhere. I felt a little guilty about that and helped her carry the books up to her apartment, which was on the top floor of her building. I think that was the hardest I worked all day, and I even went to the gym today. Carrying books up all those stairs made me kind of light-headed.

Earlier in the day I decided that Nicky from the gym and I should compete in the “Crossfit Games” but the other competitors should be required to compete at elevation (say at about Mt. Everest’s base camp) while we could go below sea-level somewhere. Todd & Nick, the Subterranean Crossfit team.

All furnace, all the time.

Well, it’s Friday, traditionally a day of short posts from me anyway. I’m usually just plain tired by Friday and I even went to the gym today, making it an especially tiring day. So I’ll just post a picture of my furnace, NAKED. They’re down to the heavy heat exchanger for the old furnace.

Looks like the HVAC guy, the plumber, and the electrician are all coming in tomorrow (Saturday) to do some work. This probably means I’m going to owe a lot of people a lot more money for coming in on the weekend. I think I’d better figure out how much I need to borrow to pay this all off because there’s a credit crisis right now, or so I hear. Maybe I’ll be eating jam sandwiches for a while (where you jam two pieces of bread together). I guess I’ll find out soon.

Stealth Helen.

I went to the gym expecting a normal workout, not the benchmark workout Helen. Most of us expect some order in our neurotic little gym lives and we’ve grown to expect a benchmark workout every other week, usually on Wednesday. Last weekend I missed a biggie, Fight Gone Bad, and the results have been on the workout whiteboard all week. No one saw Helen coming: a run around the block, 21 kettlebell swings of 1.5 pood (like 53lbs), and 12 pullups. And you do it three times.

I think we did this one today because it’s October now and it’s time for it to start raining. We expect to see the sun a couple of times in the dead of winter, and also when it gets to be late springtime, but it’s going to be raining most of the time until then. This is probably our last chance to run around the block and why not? We started and finished early, trying to get done before it was pitch black out, so one of the fitter guys in the gym made up an additional workout that I somehow decided to join in on. I really need to have my head examined.

Tired or not.

I’ve been pretty tired all week but unable to sleep very well. It’s probably all the stress from the furnace construction. I mean really, I had to spend probably a full seven days emptying out rooms so we could get the chimney torn down and the asbestos-covered HVAC vents removed. We also needed natural gas lines put in and the old hulking furnace is being replaced by a svelte hybrid (gas/electric) unit.

At this point, most of the demolition is finished and we’re rid of the chimney (and the roof is patched) and the asbestos is gone. Now the old furnace has to be removed, the old vents replaced, and the heat pump and exchanger installed. None of that seems to be as big a deal as the earlier deconstruction. We should be good to go with the whole system some time early next week. I hope this means my subconscious worries have subsided and I can get some sleep tonight. We’ll see.

Why not to check your email in the morning.

I usually check my email first thing in the morning because I work for a large multinational corporation. It woudl be much more convenient if the multiple nations were in my time zone, but as far as I know the only countries in my time zone are the US and Canada. In any case, I checked my email this morning and I saw a message asking me to visit a customer in Santa Clara in the afternoon. I booked a flight and went down on short notice.

Short notice also meant I got a funny looking, funny smelling, funny driving rental car. I saw one guy drive off with a Prius and I got this thing:

Funny looking rental car.

I got into Santa Clara fairly early, and certainly before “afternoon”. I figured this time there was no way I was letting anyone keep me from something I dream about.

In-N-Out Burger near Great America.

That’s right, a Double-Double, animal style!

A double-double animal style!

I made it to the customer site with time to spare. In fact, the customer didn’t know I was going to show up today. That’s some fine work by our sales team right there.

I caught a flight back and made it home about the same time I would have if I had gone to the gym, but I was much more tired and probably a bit fatter. There was also a giant hole where a chimney used to be, gritty dust all over the floors, and a gas meter on the side of the house. The furnace work is progressing!

Where's the chimney?

Guess who didn’t show up?

After all that effort, nobody showed up to do any work today. It’s not that big a deal, since I never would have been able to do anything today anyway, and I had to get everything done during the weekend. It’s especially not a big deal since everything has been properly rescheduled and the furnace is still supposed to go in at the same time.

The worst part of it is how tired I was today. It was a combination of the poor sleep the night before and staying up later than I should. Today was a constant balance between drinking enough coffee to stay awake without drinking so much that I wanted to throw up. Unsurprisingly, I made it to the gym and felt better after warming up. I certainly didn’t set any land-speed records and I was there with some of the faster people in the gym, but I didn’t do all that bad. Now if I had any sense, I’d be asleep instead of paying the bills I’ve been putting off and compulsively writing in this blog thingy.