Friday, April 29, 2016

No Fitbit found.

So I had a Fitbit one and I've had it for a while. I've gone through periods where I lost it then later found it. Most of the time there was laundry and washing machines involved with fitbit disappearing but I normally found it after a while. Then last week happened.

I was in Raleigh visiting my eldest at Duke and setting up my youngest at Chapel Hill (actually buying most of the clothing in the book store), when, while driving in a crappy Jeep Cherokee rental car, I reached into my pocket to take out my cell phone. That same pocket is where my Fitbit usually lives. My fitbit fell out and landed on the floor of the car. When I later stopped, I reached down to get my fitbit and all that was there was it's case. No fitbit found.

I looked under the seat. No fitbit found. Looked in the back seat. No fitbit found. I decided to wait until the next day for the sun light.

The next day I looked again. No fitbit found. Then in a moment of technology genius, I synched it with my phone. The phone found fitbit!

So it was in the car but I couldn't find it. I felt a very small hole in the carpet under the rail for the seat and all I can assume is that fitbit, while trying to run away, fell into that hole. I looked for it for a few days. The phone taunted me everytime it synched with my fitbit. I never found my fitbit.

When I returned the car I asked if they could continue my search for my fitbit. They said if they found it they would put it in the lost+found box at Hertz in RDU. I think deep down they were laughing at me.

Little do they know but I'll be back at RDU in a few weeks. I looked at a garmin tracker and the Apple watch but ordered a new watch-like fitbit, a Curve, as a replacement for my One. It won't live in my pocket. Maybe I won't lose it as much and if I do, I hope will be easier to find.

Now, where are my sunglasses?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The journey starts with a single step

The initial goal of my retirement is to heal my body. Simple to say, difficult to do.

The first problem that I'm working has to do with my gastroenterological system. I had my gall bladder removed last December. I had some "plumbing" problems before that I haven't solved yet. I think a lot of this has to do with too much medication interacting in undesirable ways mixed in with some diet woes. This is moving along.

More of an issue for me is my back. Over 25 years ago, in what seems to be a different lifetime, I had surgery on my back. An L5/S1 discectomy. The issue then, and as it recurred, involved weakness in my right leg with sciatic pain to my toes. I had good days and bad days after the surgery but had a recurrence that we tried a then experimental process of epidural steroid injections into my back. I did three of these shots and they helped me recover and be OK for a while.

Over the past few months my left hip and leg started hurting. I thought this might be a hip or some other type of issue happening and first saw a chiropractor. He immediately said go see a real orthopedic doctor. I found the doctor who did my surgery a gazillion years ago. He was still practicing, sent me for PT and said to come back if I wasn't cured. I tried that PT, it didn't fix me, then went for an MRI which showed I have almost everything that could be wrong with my back is wrong with my back. My main issue is spinal stenosis. I also have herniated discs, nerve damage, scar tissue, degenerative disc disease and other stuff I've forgotten.

Meanwhile, I can't stand for more that a minute at a time nor walk more than 100 yards.

We decided the try the now non experimental shots again. They hurt a lot more than I remember. The first one didn't lead to any relief. I just did round 2 last Thursday. I'll find out if it works in about a week after it kicks in.

This injury is odd in that rest doesn't help. I need to be active but being active triggers pain. Dr.Internet says to get a cane or a walker or anything just to get more active. David Wright of the NY Mets has the same issue and they say he needs to workout and stretch for up to 3 hours a day just to be able to play. I started today with 5 minutes on the 'mill and some stretching. This was an improvement from the one minute limit of last week so I'm going to try to do this a few times a day, mix in some swimming this week, and see where it leads.

I know that losing weight can only help. If I don't fix this with this approach, the next surgery would include screws and titanium rods in my back to fuse discs to together. That, my friends, is something I want to avoid.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pre-colonoscopy conversation

One of the many downsides of getting old is that most doctors recommend that patients to get a screening colonoscopy after they celebrate surviving past the age of 50. I celebrated my 50th by training and completing an ironman and kept "forgetting" to prioritize this other way to celebrate.

As part of my preparing for retirement, I am taking care of all the medical issues that have been pending for a while. Next up on this lengthy list, see a gastroenterologist to schedule this colonoscopy and take care of some of the fallout from my recent surgery (I didn't blog about it but it was decided for my gall bladder and I to part ways recently. Don't want to go into defining the fallout as that could turn into TMI).

We scheduled my colonoscopy for early May. He said in the meantime I needed to start exercising since I am obviously very out of shape. My back injuries (another thing that I'm taking care of soon) are preventing me from running or walking so he asked if I ever tried swimming.

I summarized this conversation on twitter but I decided to try hopping in the pool later today and see what happens.

Wish me luck.

Monday, February 29, 2016


I announced my intention to retire from my job the other day. When I told my boss he asked if I was thinking about it or did I already decide and was going to do it. I said I already decided and was going to do it.

We announced it to my peers and later to my management team. I told them I'm going to stay home for a while and heal my body and mind, take a vacation with the Mrs., figure out what retirement means to me and then see if it will stick. Almost everyone believes I'll be back in the rat race soon. I want to prove them wrong.

It will take a while to wind down but I expect more blog posts. After all, what else am I going to do with my time?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Reversing a trend.

Last year I wrote a post about how I got fat. Here it is A Sad Story of how I got fat I'm still fat and it wasn't the holidays that got me fat. I've been fat a while.

The good news is that a trend turned My weight on Jan 1, 2016 was less that my weight on Jan 1, 2015. 10 pounds less. Not a lot and getting sick late in the year helped this along but all-in-all better than gaining again.

A miracle?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Why did I publish that blog post the other day?

There could be a bunch of reasons:

1) I had to pay my domain registration fee and wanted to make sure that it still worked.

2) I have been rarely looking at blogs these days but remember there was a time where they were very motivational. There are people that I met through the blog world but have crossed over to the real world.

3) I'm looking at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too much. I seem more like a voyeur on those other social media platforms though and a 2016 resolution is to cut down the time I waste on them.

4) all of the above.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good Riddance 2015.

2015 was my worst year ever. Many of the details I'm not comfortable sharing which is odd for someone who has often been accused of sharing too much, especially on a blog. I did learn more about certain subjects than I ever wanted to but learning about those subjects is something I wouldn't wish on anyone.

I believe most the bad stuff is behind me and my family. I have a plan to work out some of the remaining physical woes (a contributor to the worst year), other scars are healing on their own. One of the things I am grateful that I learned is who and what is important and I have to remind myself of that every day.

Here's to reminding myself in 2016.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 1; day 1: It is better to train for the wrong race that to not train for the right one.

A bunch of my iron cronies, feeling old, fat and out of shape, are coming up with a "Fran" plan which is centered around getting now un-athletic slugs to the finish line of Timberman 70.3 in 2016. This plan includes an Oly in June and maybe some other misadventures.

There needs some diet stuff in there too. I'm the furthest from my traditional race weight of all my friends so that is my biggest challenge.

I raced Timberman before. It wasn't pretty. The hills hurt fat guys, especially fat guys named Joe. I finished but there is some opportunity for revenge. Whether the revenge comes from me or on me is still to be determined. The difference is that I'm older, fatter but not wiser.

Yesterday was Timberman 2015 so that makes today is week 1; day 1. I hope the blog will turn into short bursts of activity and chronicles of diet and exercise. Hey, if it doesn't work, try something else.

Disney Half is still on. my body isn't cooperating while I ramp up walking so I may need to bias more training in the pool. Luckily, I've got an endless pool for that so the excuses aren't so easy.

Monday, June 29, 2015

You can't out train a bad diet

Especially when you don't really train. But............

Today I ate well, rode a CitiBike from Tribeca to Penn Station instead of taking a subway, and jumped in the pool for a quick 20 minute swim.

One day in a row.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A death and regrets.

Yesterday I got an email from someone who I didn't know stating that someone I did know had passed away. Herb, the person I did know, was a head hunter or, to use the more official nomenclature, an executive recruiter. I don't know how or when we met but the how was probably based on me answering a want ad in the newspaper (just by saying a "want ad in the newspaper" is dating "the when" properly). Herb placed me in my first job in financial services in 1991. I've probably hired 20 people from him over the years with the last one just a few months ago in January. There were times when I spoke to him as frequently as daily yet there were times when we didn't speak for months. He would know the type of people I would hire and when he found one, would send him or her my way. He wouldn't bother me with people who didn't fit. I'm guessing I knew Herb for over 25 years.

The odd part of our relationship was that we never met.

I couldn't tell you if he was young or old, short or tall, what color his hair was (or wasn't) but I would recognize his voice on the phone as soon as he said, "Hi, guy." We sometimes exchanged holiday gifts (by mail), sometimes we didn't, and sometimes we just sent cards. We always said that we would get together for lunch or dinner some time but we never did. Something always came up and it was never a priority with everything else always going on. He often said that he "owed" me at least a lunch for all the business we did. I responded that I owed him for the high quality folks he presented and the best way to make me happy was to keep them coming. He held up his side of the bargain.

Herb's death bothered me. It made me realized that some things that may not seem so important really are. I wish that I made meeting with him more of priority but did not. I will regret that every time I think of him. Then I will remember all the good stuff.

The funeral was this morning. I didn't go. I didn't feel comfortable since I kept thinking about introducing myself as someone who worked with Herb for 25 years but never met him. Even so, I miss him.