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~Saturday~  I was up at around 9:00, and off to Durham at 11:30 for our December Manbites Dog Theater Board of Directors meeting from 12:00 - 1:30. We had a productive meeting, and things are looking a little better financially for the theater, so that's a nice boost of spirits.

I was going to meet Robert for a late lunch after the meeting, but when I stepped outside it was snowing. He was kind enough to let me beg off, and head back to Raleigh before the roads possibly got too bad.

The snow did eventually make its way to Raleigh, and a lot more stuck to my deck than I thought was going to after having glanced at the weather reports yesterday, which is precisely why I usually don't. Wrong more often than not. Generating buzz for marketshare and ratings.



I did make it to the gym before it closed at 7:00, and where I did some stretching, 300 (15 sets of 20) ab crunches, and an upper body workout. I'm so pleased that I can touch my toes with my fingers on the first or second try now, as when I started I back exercising regularly, about three weeks ago, I couldn't even touch them at all, and then eventually could in five or six times of working my way down to touch them. Progress.

Every time I do ab work, I wonder about the connection between strong abs and reduced back pain, because it's definitely the case with me that when I'm doing ab workouts, my back pain starts dissipating, and if I keep exercising regularly enough it completely goes away. I finally remembered to do a Google search on that and was led to this article: Strong Abs for a Strong Back.

I increased the weight by five pounds on all but one (the arm curl) machine in my upper body routine, and I know I'm going to feel it tomorrow. I was already feeling it by the end of the workout.

I spent most of my time trying to strategically choose my next machine wherever this Neanderthal guy also working out wasn't at the moment. He had on one of those types of tank tops that are virtually a strip in the middle so that most of his chest and torso, which was phenomenal, got maximum flesh exposure.

Which would have been hot if he didn't think so much of himself, like maybe taking his eyes off himself in the mirror for just one second even—and I don't mean just while doing his exercises, but also walking back and forth to get water between his sets—and if he wasn't doing all this grunting and hissing (which you're not allowed to do at Planet Fitness), and yelling "Shit!" every now and then, because he was lifting such a monumental mass of weights that it had to hurt that bad.

All I can think of when I see guys whose self images and complete sense of self is based on how their body looks is, "Good luck with that. Old age is going to shake your being." It's not unlike former colleagues at IBM whose whole self was Big Blue and when they got laid off or retired, they didn't know who they were.



I met Joe at Flex at 10:00, where it was Santa Bear Night. If you brought a stuffed Teddy Bear for a donation at the door, you got in free. The bears go to kids at the Duke Children's Hospital at Christmas. They had the stage set up for "a $5 picture with Santa Bear," which a surprising number of people did—more than I thought would. I'm not sure if those proceeds went to charity, too, or not.

At one point in the evening, I went to pee, and in the water in the middle of the toilet bowl, I found a fly that was still alive with one wing still flapping a little. I aimed my urine stream at it to put it out of its misery, but instead of sinking it, I first hit right next to it and it started moving toward the side, and as I followed it with my stream it kept just ahead of it.

Eventually, it reached the side of the bowl and started climbing up the side and disappeared. I waited long enough for it to save itself by coming up over the edge, but after shaking my junk, I flushed the toilet to its demise.

That vignette reminded me of some of the most famous urinals in the world, those at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, where a urinary study determined that aim, and therefore cleanliness, improve with a target. So all the urinals have a small black fly in the target area. You can click on this image of one of the urinals to see more pics and/or read about the study:

Click to see more pics and/or read the article.




I'm going to say two things about today's holiday song selection. One is, if you're not familiar with "flash mobs," it's where a group (of any size) plan ahead of time to plant themselves somewhere in a public space and then, unknowingly to those around them, burst into some performance as if spontaneously.

That's how this particular favorite holiday song of mine, which I first heard and sang in high school chorus in the early- to mid-70s, is presented:

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