Friday, February 08, 2008

Good Day Friday

Today was a fine day. It started out cool, and I wore my little J.Jill jacket c/ vest with my little red gloves (thank you Suzanne!) when I rode my bike to Computer Club this morning. I did the program for the meeting, talking to the folks a bit about Control Panel settings. I talked about a few of my favorite tips:

1) Under Mouse > Pointer Settings, I like having a bit of a trail on my pointer to make it easier to see.
2) Same place, I like to have the "Show location of pointer when I press the Ctrl key" checked.
3) Under Accessibility Options, I like to have Toggle Keys checked. This gives a tone when Capslock, Numlock or Scrolllock are pressed. Another tone tells you that the key has been turned off. Handy!

I talked about other things, and we made sure that everyone found these things on their own computers.

Next was play practice, which went well. Jack (director) had us all in stitches, without even trying. He's a very funny guy.

Deck construction consumed much of my afternoon, and it was good. The benches are now done, with their neat backs. I'll take photos tomorrow, I promise!

I talked to Dave while I walked, and that was fun too.

This evening, I got caught up looking at Stereograms. There are several sites with fine Stereogram artwork, but this one by Gene Levine is really stunning! Check it out if you like eye games!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gone out with a Feller

Tonight I had a sort of a date, I suppose. This was with Matt, a gentleman from Casa Grande. While I had not met him before, except on the internet, I played it safe, driving my car, and not showing him where I lived till I had a pretty good idea that he wasn't a serial killer.

We went to Romano's Macaroni Grill. The food was delicious, the conversation great, and I'd say that a good time was had by all. The first thing he said to me, when we first met, was that I was even cuter than my photo. Of course ... I believed him! ;)

After dinner, I showed him my cottage, patio, and deck. He is into construction (flip-this-house kinds of projects) and so he was interested in the deck and was very impressed with it!

Yesterday was fun too! The Foto Fun club went on a Photo Shoot to the Reid Park Zoo! Jack and I hung together, shooting pics of otters, polar bears, anteaters... and many other exciting creatures. I hope that some of the ones I took turn out ok. I have not looked at them yet. ... blush...

I've recovered nicely from the altitude/dehydration problem that I had on Tuesday. You're very right, Deci and Kath, that I wouldn't have had that problem if I were nestled into my computer chair doing Pen Tool classes. But I wouldn't have that "Climb Every Mountain" feeling of success, either, and that's very good for me right now. :)

The deck is coming along great. After going to Lowe's for a new orbital sander, we spent part of today working on the benches. It's really quite a neat deck and I'm just tickled by it. I'll see about getting some photos in here pretty soon.

The play is coming along too. I have a small speaking role, and I'm singing in several of the songs. Lots of fun!

And... I've been better at getting to bed at a reasonable time. Tonight will be my first after-11 bedtime in probably a week.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Adventures in Hiking

Today was hiking day! I awoke to frost coating the car, to such an extent that it was hard to get the back door open to put my hiking pack in there. I left the engine running and went back inside, as the car warmed up.

Our hike was on Agua Caliente Hill, between the Catalinas and the Rincons. There were probably 15 of us on the hike, to begin, but people did drop out at intervals. The hike was very challenging, taking us up, up, up to where the cactus began to give way to shin daggers and grasses. And as we got some altitude, we were walking through SNOW! The snow came down as far as 4000 feet, so we were seeing snow for much of the day today.

The other women decided not to go up when we were about halfway to the top. I continued with the men. We reached a nice plateau where we had lunch, and then the guys decided to continue on up to the peak -- about 500' more elevation. I started out with them, but then I started to feel weak and thought that I should turn back. I convinced Jack that I was ok and so he went on up the hill with the rest of the men, and I turned back down the hill.

I didn't get very far before I had a problem. I developed a serious headache, and began to feel confused. I thought that I was perhaps having a stroke, and I tried to remember how to tell that someone was having a stroke. I remembered the symptoms and how to diagnose a person, and I tried to diagnose myself.

I put my hands on my face, and it felt normal. I said something: "I just want to die," and, while I was not comfortable saying that, it sounded normal! I raised both arms, my hiking poles dangling. They both came up to the same level easily. I remembered hearing that a stroke victim's tongue will be bent. I stuck my tongue out and felt it to see, and I couldn't tell.

I became more confused, stopping at one point and walking back up the trail. I remembered that my friends were up that way. Then I thought that I should go off the trail and hide in the brush. I thought that I could die that way, and that seemed ok.

In this beautiful landscape of mountains, sky, cactus, grasses, I sat on a rock and it occurred to me that I had no idea what I was doing, or who I was. I found my nametag around my neck, and I turned it and read it. I looked over and saw a staghorn cholla, and I knew that I knew the name of it. I started to put it back together.

Eventually, the men returned to my rock. I told them that I wasn't doing very well. I was crying and they were all lined up, just looking at me. I told them that I was feeling confused, and Duane told me that I had altitude sickness. He asked me if I had headache, and I said I did. I was not nauseous. He told me that I needed to be drinking more, and indeed, I had not been drinking much, because, in the cold, I was really not thirsty.

Jack gave me his bottle of Gatorade, which I drank, and I felt better almost right away. He told me that he wouldn't let me hike alone, and I told myself that I'll always drink plenty of fluids. I think that I'll get some Gatorade and put that into one of my water bottles.

I had suffered with altitude in Denver, but just with headache. That confusion thing -- not knowing who you ARE -- is really disconcerting. I hope that never happens to me again.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Happy Weekend

I had a fun weekend! Jack and I went to buy more wood for the deck, and went all over town looking for the perfect-sized bolts to attach the seat brackets. They were not to be found, so he ended up notching the 4x4's a bit. He got the benches mostly done while I was out galavanting around the Desert Museum.

I went to the Desert Museum with Eric, a friend from MySpace. We had a really nice time, took lots of photos (which I have not looked at yet; the camera's in the car and it's raining this morning), had a good lunch, quizzed each other on the desert flora and fauna, and saw javelinas! It's always a good day when I see a javelina. :)

Ah! There's a break in the clouds. I'm going to go for my walk. C'mon, Maddy!

Ok, walk was good, though it was starting to sprinkle when I returned. Jack was here and was disappointed that we were not going to be able to make progress on the deck, with the rain, which, by the time he'd finished his sentence, had begun falling harder. And, to make matters worse, along with the rain, came a precipitous drop in temperature, leaving it at only 40° now! It's 50 right now in Bloomington! Yikes!

Today in an hour, I'm going to be rehearsing one of the songs for the play, so I'll have to actually go OUT in the rain. Ewww.