All posts by Hisashi T Fujinaka

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.

Finally finished: 10:45PM.

So all the remaining crap in the basement is now in the corners and there’s a space around the chimney upstairs so the demolition can begin. I probably lost a couple of hours to being a little hung over, but I got a lot moved out. There are chairs and tables in the backyard (not especially good chairs or tables, mind you) and a lot more stuff is going to Goodwill. Thank goodness my brother-in-law has a pickup truck I can use.

Tomorrow is asbestos abatement and Tuesday the furnace chimney comes down. I’m kind of excited.

Best of all, I didn’t seem to hurt my back that much. I did notice that the dust mask I started using yesterday is visibly turning brown. I should have started using it much earlier. I guess you live and learn.

Skipping the gym.

So I got a lot of grief for skipping a benchmark workout at the gym today, but I’m almost finished cleaning out the basement. I even had my sister come over to “help” which just meant she came over to have me tell her she was useless. It actually made me feel better and got me to work harder, and she did go through some boxes of books I found stashed downstairs. And I found out that wearing a dust mask made me feel a lot better. Genius.

It’s funny the things you find. When I was in high school, I went into the basement looking for my dad’s old kendo equipment. I just found it today, 30 years later. Now what do I do with it?

I got close enough to finishing that I went to the gym’s “Customer Appreciation Party.” I drank enough beer to wonder if I’ll be sober enough to finish the basement tomorrow. We’ll find out then!

Skipping the Fight Gone Bad.

I’ve been moving crap around for a week now, and I still haven’t gotten very far. I cleared out enough space in the upstairs bedroom for the chimney removal people and the basement is starting to look better, but at the rate I’m going I still have a full weekend’s worth of work to do to get things ready for all the mayhem happening next week.

I’m supposed to be at the gym for a benchmark workout, “Fight Gone Bad,” tomorrow, but I’m going to skip it. That should give me back at least two hours and I’ll have more energy for the incredibly enjoyable task of packing up the basement. If I’m really smart, I’ll get some masks so I’m not breathing in dust all day, and I’ll also pick up some stuff to keep the downspouts from clogging, since Jay the contractor and I discovered that was another problem I had to address. Good thing I have a motorized snake.

So my “vacation” and “weekend” are still looking to be awfully fun. Hooray.

Not quite as tired, but just as screwed.

I spent all day moving things around and I did get some things accomplished. I moved the “server” out of the basement so it wouldn’t be down for a week-and-a-half and the people who look at my sister’s silly blog that doesn’t even update all that often won’t get their panties in a bunch. I sorted out several more boxes of books. I cut some holes in the wall to see exactly where the old chimney was. And I discovered that I didn’t get all that much done and that I probably have a lot more to move than I thought.

There’s a benchmark workout at the gym on Saturday and I may just have to miss it. Maybe. I have so much crap to move around. The problem is that I’m trying to sort things into pile of keeping or giving away and that takes time. I also have to figure out who to give things to.

I felt a lot less tired today than yesterday, but I probably did worse time-wise at the workout than I did yesterday. I never do that well on Thursdays.

My mom noticed one of our old family friends had passed away. That family has had some issues with inheritances and my mom said it’s a good thing that we don’t have those sorts of issues. Hah. To prove her wrong, I called my sister and asked if she wanted any more of my dad’s crap. She said, “Hell no,” and even tried to give me back the trunk that my brother-in-law fished out of my garage a few weeks ago. It was a steamer trunk that was probably made in the 40’s. Turns out he thinks it’s moldy and he thinks he’s allergic to it. I guess we have the reverse issues as most people who fight over the inheritance.

Tomorrow, Jay the Contractor is coming over to tell me how much crap I really need to clear out. Then I’m going to the Carton Store and buying way too many boxes and I’m going to stop sorting and just start pitching shit into the boxes, just like movers do. It’s going to be glorious.