My Potential Future As An Almond Wrangler

As each day goes by, I am faced with the challenge to lose weight and improve my health. Part of this involves riding my bicycle (which I truly enjoy). The bike riding not only has physical health benefits. It helps me to temporarily disconnect from the stressors of life. Lately, I have been averaging a 15 mile ride round trip. My personal best is 17 miles. Reaching such distances are very rewarding.
Unfortunately, the rides do occasionally pose some challenges. Last week as I rode, I had once again ridden to the shore of Lake Ontario. Basically, I try to ride slightly further west than I rode previously, I then ride north to the lake shore. I stop at this point and take a brief break before heading back home. As I headed my way west from my house, my chain came off my bike. I was making a pretty good stride when this occurred so this was quite an unsettling distraction. I reset my chain and gradually made my way to the lake shore. I stopped, made my video to post on Facebook, and began making my way back. It was during this ride back when I began having trouble with my seat. I had been having some troubles with it recently becoming loose and routinely tightened it before going out to ride. I had apparently forgotten to do so prior to this trip. It is amazing how something as relatively minor as a loose seat can make a ride rather difficult. I ultimately gave in and stopped my ride at a gas station and called home. I was less than 6 miles from home. My daughter was already out running errands and came to get me. I felt quite defeated as I pulled the front wheel off my bike and packed my bike into the back of our van. Still, I may have not made 16 miles that day. I DID get more than 11 miles in before stopping. I can only concede that such an outcome is better than nothing.
I rode around with my daughter to help her continue her errands and keep my grandson company. Trying to distract my mind from the defeated feeling of my ride, I browsed along the dairy section of a store my daughter was shopping. As I browsed, I got to thinking: what if introduced a milk alternative into my health? After all, I do have a mild lactose intolerance. Perhaps such an alternative could help me to improve my diet AND offset the effects of my intolerance. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE milk. I am grateful to our nation’s cows and our nation’s dairy farmers. Still, I must keep an open mind when it comes to improving my health. I am trying to put more of a Herculean effort of a Sisyphean task. I may have just made a few mythologist shoot milk out of their noses with that pun. Still, wouldn’t it be better if it was say an almond or soy milk?
I glanced at different brands and read labels to compare nutritional information. There was SOME advantage to be considered there. I then put the milk back onto the shelf and saw the deal breaker – the price. The prices of almond and soy milks can go as much as 2.5 times the price of good old American moo juice. Some brands were nearly triple the price. I can only assume that the source of such milks can be very difficult to obtain. After all, you can just pull such milk from trees or out of the ground, right? I even pondered the idea of having my own almond/ soy dairy farm. I am not to proud to pull up a stool and pail to milk those things myself and cut out the middle man. I imagine the branding might be tough. All I can say for now is that Elsie and Beauregard have no need to worry about their jobs at this point.

Honest, It Really WAS Funny

I am quite sure that I have mentioned more than once previously that I have spent the majority of the last 12+ years working in the Information Technology (IT) field in one capacity or another. I have spent 4 of those years working in technical support but much of my experience prior to that was in software and hardware testing. Such work involves testing a current (or prototype) product to be sure that it functions as it was designed. If you do this and it works, you report said outcome. If you do that and it stops working, you have a potential defect in the product. This is what is known in the industry as a bug. According to legend, it is called a bug because, back in the days when a computer took up the space of a small gymnasium and ran on a bunch of vacuum tubes and whatnot (also an IT term), a moth flew into the back of one such computer. The moth gave his life in the process but also brought the computer to a halt. I can’t help but wonder if this legendary event also led to the ultimate invention of the bug zapper.
Anyway, I digress (I know, what else is new). The reason why I started off sharing that piece of my job history, as well as IT history, is that there are certain habits that have come up as a result of my work experience. For example, when I document things, I tend to give a lot of step by step details. This is a very important habit when you work in IT and well as in healthcare (which I did prior to my IT work). It is, so I am told, rather annoying when I am having a conversation with my family. Another habit I have acquired is frequent saving when I am writing something. Even as I type this, I will frequently hit a keyboard shortcut to save what I have typed so far (Ctrl + S for PC users). I have also come to rely heavily on a feature called AutoSave. This basically means that, at certain intervals, the software I am using will automatically save my work. This is apparently because IT developers thought hitting Ctrl + S or clicking on that little floppy disc icon was just too hard.
Recently, I was typing up a new essay. I was REALLY getting into a groove with it. I was listening to some music and the words were flowing from my fingers to the virtual page like a Vegas fountain. I could even see a light show in my head. I love it when moments like this happen in my writing. When everything just flows and weaves almost like the song I am listening to when I type. It is truly a blissful moment when I get really lost in my writing process. I had even come up with what I thought was a funny ending line to my piece. All I had left to write was the title and the piece would be ready for my Lovely Young Editor (LYE) to review.
I sat back for a moment lost in my moment of bliss as I pondered on a title and even giggled at my ending line. This moment of bliss would be short lived as suddenly and inexplicably, my computer froze. Moving my finger furious on the glide pad did nothing. Hitting random keystrokes was equally fruitless. Even deliberate keystrokes (such as Ctrl + Alt + Delete) did nothing.
As I sat and pondered, the computer remained in its frozen state. It almost seemed to mock me and my years of experience. Finally, I relented to the only choice I had at the time. I did a hard shutdown of my computer. I sat and waited a moment or two before started it back up so that I could retain some composure over this very inconvenient event. I even pondered for a moment about the title for the piece that I wrote while my system was coming back up.
I opened up my blog writing software. I was eager to look over the piece once more and give it a title. It was at this moment that I found out a harsh reality about this writing software. The software has an AutoSave feature BUT it is not turned on by default. That’s right, people. All that wonderful, flowing, blissful writing was GONE. There was not one iota of indication that I had typed even a single character…ZILCH…ZIP..NADA..GOOSE EGG. I sat there with a completely deflated ego. I couldn’t believe that I had not once done a single keystroke or mouse click to save my work at any point. All that work and I had no results; just excuses. What made is worse is that the deflation of my ego also apparently let out my recall of what I had type. I tried to remember what I had typed…ZILCH…ZIP..NADA..GOOSE EGG. All I could remember was that ending line that made me giggled before my computer froze: “This is my quest…to follow my car..no matter how hopeless…no matter how far (then again maybe I am just being a bit quixotic)”. I promise you that in the context of what I was writing before my computer froze, that line was a real knee slapper. So lesson learned: change the settings to AutoSave my work, hit Ctrl + S anyway and click the floppy mouse icon just to be sure. Otherwise, you wind up like an umpire at a Braves Wild Card playoff game trying to explain the infield fly rule that costs the Braves a run (or two). You wind up with years of experience, inexcusable results, and a pocketful of excuses (I know it was last season but I am still not happy about it).