Opposite of the Matrix

My internet is out. I woke on Monday and none of my computers would connect. I tried some standard troubleshooting to no avail. So I would wait until after work to really tackle it. When I called Shaw though, it looked like nothing was going to magically get fixed.
This is a bad week for this to happen. Work is fairly demanding right now with our initial release. And Shaw can’t come in the evenings. I’m gone this weekend to visit my family for Easter. The earliest I can get connected again will be next week. (Unless replacing the modem does it, which I will attempt tomorrow.)
The weirdest part is how on-edge this is making me feel. I feel as if part of me is missing. Is this phantom limb-loss? I can’t just decide to relax and browse the internet. Best I can do is look at things I’ve already downloaded. Basically, I feel disconnected from reality.
If it wasn’t for my phone having a connection, I would be totally lost.

Eating Habits

Eating has become weird for me lately.
For most of my life I have not paid much attention to my dining habits. In the last few years though my age has caught up with me and I needed to start. I can’t trust long distance running to burn off all my calories anymore.
As previously mentioned, I’m seeing a nutritionist who has promised I don’t have to bonk on an ultra. That is actually the worst part of an ultra. You can have the strength and mental fortitude to go on, but completely run out of energy.
The first session could be summarized with “eat more protein”. Actually looking through my notes from my first naturopath from last year, she said the same thing. But there are only so many lifestyle changes you can make at one time.
The second session was more useful. We went over what I should be eating in a typical day. She sounded like my dentist; she didn’t want me drinking orange juice in the morning. (Not going to happen.) Now I need to be eating more balanced meals more often. So less, porridge in the morning, and put some olive oil on it. Greek yogurt for snacks.
My lunch has changed for the first time in 20 years. Previously: one sandwich, two apples, three cookies. Currently: one sandwich, one apple, one cookie. I had to negotiate hard to keep the one cookie.
The end result is that I am now tired and hungry all the time. This does not seem to be good. The more I stick to her exact plan, the hungrier I am throughout the day.
On Thursday, it came to a head. I was hungry all day, no matter how many snacks I had. In the end, I went to McDonald’s for dinner, and had two quarter-pounders and a large fries. My headache was gone within the hour. The next day, there was a lot of pizza for lunch. So I fell off the wagon hard. When I went for my run on Saturday, my stomach got upset with me at 34km and I had to walk a long time. Maybe that is because I was now dealing with hills while still trying to run fast? Or maybe it was the peanut-butter Lärabars I was using to maintain energy? I’m starting to worry I’m not able to eat peanut-butter anymore. (Too much during a previous run has now made me sick of it forever?)
I’m going to continue experimenting with her initial plan. I actually saw her briefly on Thursday so she is now aware of the issue. I think the important part is to have a bigger breakfast such that it takes me longer to digest it.

Home from Houston

I have just arrived home from Houston.
The biggest reason I go is to see my friends. Friends make a vacation so much better. So even though the weather was not as summery as I was hoping, I had a good time. I’m operating on surprisingly little sleep, but with the time change it isn’t as noticeable. I should crash into bed soon.
The flight back wasn’t that good. Even though I spent more money on the ticket, such that Air Canada said I could pick my seat, I was never given that opportunity. In fact, I think I had the worst seat on the plane. It did not help that I was seated next to a gorilla. He had a huge upper body that meant he spilled over into my seat, and he was strong enough that he could push me aside easily. I’m probably going to be feeling pain tomorrow from sitting awkwardly.
But I also chalk it up to the fact that I am tired and probably cranky.

Boating Trip

Today the group got together and we took a boat trip. The weather is still cold (for Houston) but their were periods of sun. it was an enclosed boat, so it wasn’t too bad. It left the port, and then went out into the ocean for a while, before it turned right around and went back inland.

This area of town is around an inlet called “Clear Lake”. It is not a lake and it is not clear. But the boat went tooling around it for awhile and practically went back to our hotel. We had a very nice lunch too. I probably ate too much, but I tend to go overboard (no pun intended) when there isn’t a limit to how much food you can eat.

But I enjoy hanging out with friends and catching up. That was the best part. And it is warm compared to Edmonton.

Tonight I will be partying until late. I cannot guarantee I will actually sleep tonight. But that is a problem for Sunday me.

2015-3-7 18:55

NASA Level 9 Tour

It was awesome.

It was a great tour. You pay more but you get to see things most people don’t.

It started off at the Neutral Boyancy Center. There you see actual astronauts practicing with a full-scale mockup of the ISS underwater. It’s hard to see much of anything because it is underwater, but they provided lots of video cameras so you could see what was going on. Biggest pool I’ve ever seen.

After that we went to lunch at an actual NASA cafeteria. We got a meal ticket so I could eat as much as I wanted. No astronaut food, but a lot of options. There was also the internal NASA gift shop where you could get the stuff only the employees can get. Which really isn’t that different, but it is cheaper and no tax. I got a mug. A Brazilian girl was squealing a lot over all the options. She was a big Chris Hadfield fan. Go Canada.

From there we went to mission control. We could see them operating the ISS and seeing views from the station. Then we saw the old Apollo mission control, which is treated like a museum. At that point an actual mission control person came and answered questions. Very informative. NASA did have a reaction to Leonard Nimoy’s death. I’ll need to check the videos they posted.

Then off to the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. There they had copies of everything on the ISS and then some. You turn a corner and suddenly you bump into the nose of a space shuttle. There was a Canadarm over there. (They all call it the Canadarm. Not jus the arm.) Then there was the experimental stuff that they might use on Mars. 

Finally, they had the Oh-Wow moment when they take you into the Saturn V building. You go in and you are staring at the thrusters that got us to the moon. Even lying on their side, they are bigger than a house. I never realized just how huge they were.

That was the entire day. Because they filled it so much, we get to go back tomorrow complimentary. So we are going to go back and see the exhibits the mere mortals get to see.

2015-3-5 20:15

In Houston

I really only had four hours of sleep last night. I pretended to sleep on the plane, but I have doubts as to whether that actually happened.

I had booked my flight with Air Canada. Unfortunately, they deked out. I was actually booked with United. I generally don’t like United; they break guitars. A couple were playing with fate as they had two guitars taped together with them. I hope they survived.

My first day in Houston went well. My friend picked my up at the airport. She had a plan to go to the zoo, but she changed her mind when we got there. It was beautiful weather, so she thought a walk outside would be better than seeing “incarcerated animals”. She was right. There was a lovely park system. Edmonton has a nice park system, but it is all natural. This was a… civilized(?) park. There was interesting art sculptures. A lovely Japanese garden with carps and turtles. Numerous fountains. My friend is also a good photographer, so I finally have pictures with me in them. I only wish I didn’t look so tired.

The weather should turn into Edmonton comparable temperatures by tomorrow.

Houston seems to be a victim of urban sprawl. The place is very spread out, and traffic does not move at an appreciable clip. So we need to get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow so that we can get to NASA which is 47 miles away. I think I have been successful in convincing he to eat at Denny’s for breakfast. But I also want to try an IHOP.

She is of Chinese background, so my souvenir gift of maple syrup was interesting. She never has pancakes, so she was trying it on ribs (good) and vegetables (better without).

2015-3-4 21:02

To Houston

I’m at the airport about to go to Houston. I’m looking forward to this. Especially since I’m going on the Level 9 tour at NASA. That should be awesome. I’ll also be hanging out with friends and catching up. 

The weather isn’t going to be good. It looks like Edmonton will be about the same temperature. But I am not really there for the outdoors. If you are with friends, you can have a good time anywhere.