You’re nobody till somebody… does… something…

I got my first unsolicited comment on my weight loss this week. So that makes it official. Even though I can’t see any difference when I look in a mirror, someone else can. I got the complement from my store’s assistant manager, who used to work with my wife at another store, so we’re not complete strangers. Despite that, and even though the kind words weren’t much more than “you look good”, they were preceded by a procedural litany of disclaimers so that there’d be no confusion about whether or not she was hitting on me. Our company can be draconian when it comes to the whole harassment in the workplace thing and as a manager, it becomes ingrained. It’s nice to get that little extra side effect from my efforts. I’m not doing this for the praise but hey, who doesn’t like complements?

So why am I putting myself through this? I don’t think I’ve mentioned that yet. I started doing this for my health (and yes, for my wardrobe). My back was in a constant state of spasm. I was getting a sensation across the front of my stomach that felt a lot like numbness. It used to only happen when I was sitting down, particularly when driving. By January it was constant, sitting or standing, and was just painful. I still don’t know what it was. I do know that when I changed my diet and started dropping pounds, it went away. The back fatigue subsided as well, but it’s been creeping back. I’m straining muscles in my back every few days lately, doing things as mundane as getting up out of a chair. I can’t explain it except that perhaps my body is still getting used to moving without the extra 25 pounds and tends to overcompensate. Whatever it is, I’m happy to put up with it. For now.

What else? A few years ago I gave a Linux operating system a try, and now I’m back to give it another run. The system I tested was Suse 9.1, which I installed side by side with Windows 98. One day it inexplicably stopped working and so did the boot manager, making it impossible for me to use my old Windows system. That’s when I upgraded my whole system, settled in with Windows XP and forgot about Linux. Now I’m taking a peek at Ubuntu Linux, the Kubuntu flavor to be specific. It has the advantage of being able to run off a CD so there’s no commitment to changing my system till I’m happy with it. It’s going to take awhile to get used to. I’m starting this time with doing some actual reading into how a Linux system differs from a Windows system, so that I can better understand what I’m getting in to. My biggest Linux stumbling block has always been how to install and remove programs, and where to find them once I have installed them. Once I’m comfortable with that I’ll be golden. Since I don’t expect my wife to have to re-learn a whole new operating system due to my computer quirks, I’m only looking at putting Kubuntu on our laptop. If that’s not possible, we’ve got an older computer in the garage that’s begging for a second life.

On the maple front: I soooooo want that big time sugar shack. Next Spring, if my yard isn’t criss-crossed with a web of tubing that all ends at my new shack, I’m going to be a very melancholy guy. I’ll still make syrup, but you’ll be able to taste the disappointment. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. I’m already designing a cheap pre-heater in my head. But right now, today’s boil is finished. I’m guessing I made a little more than 3 quarts today. I need to start bottling this stuff. Oh wait, I already did! My wife has 4 bottles of syrup listed on Etsy. Get it before it’s gone!

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