February 7th, 2008

Six Million Dollar Man

Ponderous, Man, Really Ponderous...

Pondering software purchases. In the upcoming months, I'm going to need a much more robust set of tools for my comics etc. production, so I have to decide which path I'm going to take:

Cheaper Path
$500: Upgrade to InDesign from my beloved-but-creakingly-ancient PageMaker 6, plus a full copy of Adobe Acrobat

More Deluxer Path
$1200: Spanking new license of Adobe Creative Suite Standard, including InDesign, Acrobat, Illustrator (which I have a long-running love/hate/but mostly hate relationship with), and the current version of Photoshop (I'm currently on 6, the 1999 version, which works perfectly well)

What it boils down to: is it worth $700 to me to have the shiny new Photoshop, plus Illustrator? I currently don't have any vector-based draw program, since CorelDRAW! died about the time that Windows 98 was on its way out. (I used to love CorelDRAW! ... and I have long suspected it may be my inability to get out of the CorelDRAW! way of thinking that's led to my love/hate/but mostly hate relationship with Illustrator. That plus the fact that Illustrator has always crashed any machine I tried to use it on, no matter how powerful.)

I'd be more ready to jump on the More Deluxer Path if the package also came with Flash, which it doesn't. There's only one package deal that has InDesign and Flash both -- which is the "Whole Adobe Library for the low, low price of one arm and one leg" collection. I got no use for that.

Not that I need Flash, really. But it would be fun to play with.

Must ponder. *ponders*

-The Gneech
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    thoughtful ponderous
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What a Day. :P

Good Thing: Several of our Chinese co-workers brought in dumplings and noodles to celebrate Chinese New Year. Yum! :d

Bad Thing: Another coworker was summarily fired today for throwing something at his boss in a fit of intoxication. 0.o

Good Thing: It's a bright blue beautiful day! This is February? 0.o

Bad Thing: I had to bring laurie_robey home early because she's not feeling well.

Good Thing: I'm working from home on a bright, blue beautiful day.

Bad Thing: I'm not just taking the rest of the day off. :P

What a day!

-The Gneech
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    confused confused
Torey Rave

A Few Words About Muscles (Plus a Workout Report)

I mentioned a week or two back that we were digging out the Bowflex, as it had been covered by debris during our battles with the 16-ton weights. Besides the abstract and ever-present "ya gotta work out" reason, there was also a very specific and concrete reason, namely that I could feel my muscles atrophying, and I didn't like it.

When you've been "pumpin' iron" a while, even if you don't get the chiseled physique of an Olympian demigod who's auditioning to be an underwear model, you do naturally build muscle mass (assuming you really do pump iron and don't just pfutz around on the machine). And while it doesn't really make that much difference while you're sitting around at your computer typing away, it does make a difference when you're doing things like yardwork, cleaning up around the house, or carrying groceries. In particular, laurie_robey and I recently ran a big load of miscellaneous stuff we were getting rid of over to Goodwill, and boxes which I should have been able to carry with one hand and not notice, were very cumbersome -- and the trip took forever because of all the multiple loads to and from the car.

In short, after you've done it a while, you get used to being strong -- and all the advantages that come with that -- which makes quite a powerful motivator to get back on the program when you discover it starting to go away. It's nice to be able to heave gallons of milk around, take out the trash without a fight, and even toss your buddies across the room if the occasion arises.

For myself, at this stage I don't really expect to lose weight until the medical profession gets off its collective butt and figures out what's going on at a glandular level. While I don't eat like a bird, I don't eat like a horse either, and however many years of Kung Fu plus Bowflex plus pushups every morning plus keeping myself perpetually hungry netted a grand total of 15 pounds lost and a case of asthma. By all rights, I ought to be in great shape -- and under this layer of polar bear fat, I am actually very muscular. But I do want to stay strong, and as I coast along at age 38, I'm starting to get to the point where my body is going to be looking for excuses to fall apart. So yeah ... I may never look like Torey in the LJ icon there, much I would like to. But I can at least keep myself fit enough to dance around like he does!

All that said, Collapse )

You may notice that some of the weights seem pretty low, particularly compared to c. 2004 or so. I'm effectively starting over to some extent, but I expect some of those weights to shoot up over the course of the next few weeks, especially the ones that say "easy" now. My body tends to respond very quickly to weight training, so assuming I stay "on the workout wagon" (which I expect to do now that all the house-buying etc. is out of the way), in just a few months we'll be looking at 60, 75, 80 lbs. plus for some of these.

-The Gneech