bjarvis: (Default)
I'm 5'9", 180lbs currently. According to the Body Mass Index (BMI), I'm overweight. Indeed, I need to lose about 12lbs to fit their definition of a healthy weight.

I am working towards a better body --just as soon as I finish off these boxes of girl scout thin mint cookies-- but cutting back by 12lbs is a bit extreme.
bjarvis: (leather2)
Since the weather was unseasonably warm for Mid-Atlantic Leather this year, I was able to dress lighter than usual, thus leaving my leather shirt in the closet. On a whim this morning however, I tried it on again to see how it fits.

Thanks to a few months of work-outs, the shirt's chest is now pretty tight. I could close the second upper snap but it popped again when I resumed breathing. The arms are very tight too: the shirt fits but only if I don't try lifting anything over 5 lbs or raising my hands above shoulder height.

I'll probably buy a replacement at some point, but only when I've decided I'm closer to my weight/size goals, perhaps MAL 2014.

New Hat!

Oct. 20th, 2012 05:59 pm
bjarvis: (Default)
I finally found a hat which fit well in the style I wanted with a pattern/colour which was somewhat complementary without being visible from orbit. And which I could afford ($14).
hat 2012-10-20
I'm still looking at similar styles but it's going to be a long while before I'm near a proper haberdasher so this one will do in the interim.
bjarvis: (Roseland Sign)
I've been at our trailer at Roseland Resort since the Friday before Labor Day, enjoying a full week away from work. Both [livejournal.com profile] kent4str and [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr were here for the long weekend, but [livejournal.com profile] kent4str had to return to DC for work this week; he'll be back this coming Friday.

We have a hummingbird feeder hanging on our trailer deck, a gift a friend. I didn't think the birds were all that interested but within hours of it appearing, one hummingbird staked its claim and a second one keeps trying to invade. Here are some pics from dusk on Saturday. )

I know hummingbirds are territorial but I have no idea how large the territory for such a tiny bird might be. I'd like to put a second feeder at the other end of our deck (about 35' away) but I have no idea if that would be too close.

Last Sunday, a number of campers joined up at the campground observatory to send chinese lanterns into the sky. It's just a large paper bag with a small paraffin flame below, but if the wind isn't too strong, these things can travel quite a distance. Normally I would be concerned about accidentally starting a forest fire or burning down New Martinsville, but we had a good soaking rain thanks to Hurricane Tropical Storm Thunderstorm Atmospheric Disturbance Isaac just prior so we were probably safe. Pics behind the cut... )

Sadly, we've had a dense cloud cover until today so star-gazing and satellite-watching has been sharply curtailed. The rain has made most of the hiking trails a muddy mess but we hope to go for an extended hike Friday morning, provided we have a couple of days to thoroughly dry out. In the interim, our walks around the campground have had their own particular charms...Read more... )
bjarvis: (standing)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tdjohnsn, my square dance business card has been updated. I used a different photo --I'm much greyer than I was for the first one-- and I've now added C2 to my square dance offerings. I also decided to lose the cowboy hat: to non-square dancers, there's already too many country overtones of dancing in barns with bales of hay and I don't want to make that misconception any worse.

Before:


After:
bjarvis: (Olympus SP-500 UZ)
I was being touristy around San Francisco yesterday and had a great time. Alas, when I left DC last week, I forgot two things: my camera and a hat. While my phone takes pretty good outdoor pictures in good light, it's a lousy hat.

Per habit, I droppped by Worn Out West in my travels through the Castro and I found a hat with which I fell instantly in love. It was the only one of its style and to my shock it fit perfectly so I'm taking this as a very good omen. And it was only $16.

After I purchased it, I immediately put it on as I was stuffing my change into my wallet. The salescritter looked up, appeared startled and said, "That really looks great on you!" I'd expect that sort of thing from salesfolks before the sale, but not afterwards so I feeling quite pleased that my initial impression of the hat was shared by at least one other.

Later that same day, I ran into another couple of guys I know. Each one commented spontaneously how much the loved the hat. Great!

Here's a crappy self-photo with my mobile phone this morning in my hotel room. Trust me, it looks better in person. )

This morning, however, I noticed some odd behaviors by other people.

Few people have ever held a door open for me; certainly, I've never had anyone spontaneously jump up to get the door for me. At a crosswalk, all traffic stopped dead in three lanes and waved for me to cross at my leisure, even though I didn't have a walk signal. At the restaurant where I stopped for lunch, a mother admonished her two kids to make space for the gentleman approaching behind them. Curious.

When I figured it out, I almost spit Coke Classic across the table. With the white beard and the style of the hat, I suddenly look 65+ years old instead of 45. I'm suddenly getting the senior's courtesy benefit. Crap! (I wish I had noted the looks on the drivers' faces when I sprinted across the road instead of edging across slowly.)

So do I want to be seen as a spritely 70 year hold or a slovenly 45 year old?

Tough call.
bjarvis: (Zorak)
When I work from home, my regular morning commute is the long slog from the bedroom downstairs to the computer cave. If I'm in a hurry, I can cover that distance in five seconds; if I'm still half asleep, it can take as long as a full minute.

Working from California, however, my commute has grown enormously.


This photo is taken from the couch in my hotel room where I'm sipping a chilled glass of ginger ale. The red arrow indicates my office. The unfeeling bastards make me get dressed every day, walk out of the hotel, across the alley to the front of the building and press an eleveator button to take me to the 6th floor where I then have to walk unaided to my workstation.

The horror of it all is worthy of a Stephen King novel. In fact, it might be the only plot he hasn't used yet in some novel or another. Hey, Stephen! Call me!
bjarvis: (Default)
Some translations:
1. A rupee is about $0.02.
2. "Timings" means "office hours" or "business hours"
3. The ground floor is "0" in most elevators. What the locals call the first floor would be the level above ground level.
4. Car horns are used as turn signals. And Bangalore drivers do love their "turn signals."
5. Traffic moves on the left side of the road. It also means that pedestrians tend to also pass each other on the left, which conflicts severely with my deeply in-grained habit of automatically passing on the right.


A friend had arned that Bangalore has periodic & frequent power outages. For the first few days, I think we were outage-free. Friday and Saturday however were not good days for the local utility: the power blanked out for about 30 seconds several times on each day. I'm not sure however if the restored power was from each building's own backup generator or from the utility; when/if the utility power did come back on while the generators were in use, it was entirely transparent to me.

The office where I work is entirely populated by laptops so everyone's battery carries them through the brief outage. Uninterruptible power supplies provide bridge time for the network devices and storage. I'm glad however to have never been trapped in an elevator during one of these brief outage. I was trapped behind an escalator in one shopping mall Saturday: the attendants were refusing shoppers access while the techies manually restarted the escalators.

I wonder what happens to the traffic lights --like anyone looks at those things anyway.


Hey, let's have a few pictures! Here's a little something I recorded this evening on my walk from the office to the hotel: I have to walk through this mess twice per day.


Here's a shot of the office where I'm working, "Prestige Obelisk," 8th floor:


A familiar scene in nearly any country these days --great wealth next to great poverty.


Next to crows, dogs are the most common critters. I've only seen two dogs who were clearly household pets: the rest are simply very sociable strays who nap anywhere they like, including in the street.


The gov't is attempting in small ways to reduce the noise pollution but frankly, I think this little digital wonder surrendered & died on its first day.
bjarvis: (Default)
Some translations:
1. A rupee is about $0.02.
2. "Timings" means "office hours" or "business hours"
3. The ground floor is "0" in most elevators. What the locals call the first floor would be the level above ground level.
4. Car horns are used as turn signals. And Bangalore drivers do love their "turn signals."
5. Traffic moves on the left side of the road. It also means that pedestrians tend to also pass each other on the left, which conflicts severely with my deeply in-grained habit of automatically passing on the right.


A friend had arned that Bangalore has periodic & frequent power outages. For the first few days, I think we were outage-free. Friday and Saturday however were not good days for the local utility: the power blanked out for about 30 seconds several times on each day. I'm not sure however if the restored power was from each building's own backup generator or from the utility; when/if the utility power did come back on while the generators were in use, it was entirely transparent to me.

The office where I work is entirely populated by laptops so everyone's battery carries them through the brief outage. Uninterruptible power supplies provide bridge time for the network devices and storage. I'm glad however to have never been trapped in an elevator during one of these brief outage. I was trapped behind an escalator in one shopping mall Saturday: the attendants were refusing shoppers access while the techies manually restarted the escalators.

I wonder what happens to the traffic lights --like anyone looks at those things anyway.


Hey, let's have a few pictures! Here's a little something I recorded this evening on my walk from the office to the hotel: I have to walk through this mess twice per day.


Here's a shot of the office where I'm working, "Prestige Obelisk," 8th floor:


A familiar scene in nearly any country these days --great wealth next to great poverty.


Next to crows, dogs are the most common critters. I've only seen two dogs who were clearly household pets: the rest are simply very sociable strays who nap anywhere they like, including in the street.


The gov't is attempting in small ways to reduce the noise pollution but frankly, I think this little digital wonder surrendered & died on its first day.

Shopping!

Jan. 23rd, 2012 06:00 pm
bjarvis: (Olympus SP-500 UZ)
Today, I went clothes shopping, aided by [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr. The mission was simple: I wanted a light sports coat I could wear if I needed to get a little dressy for my business trip to Bangalore next week. It would also be very nice for the occasional square dance special event if I'm going to be on stage either in an emceeing or calling capacity.

Shopping for a jacket was initially trickier than I had thought. I typically wear a 42R jacket size but I was astounded by the variations in sizing between clothing manufacturers. For some brands, I had to look to a 44L; the coats I bought are actually marked as 40S.

I was happy to find Kohl's had a sale: one coat at the regular price, the second half off. I was happier yet to find two coats of the style & color I wanted and, despite the size labels, would fit me comfortably.

For your consideration, I submit two photos (and I apologize in advance for the poor focus):
bjarvis: (Olympus SP-500 UZ)
It's Mid-Atlantic Leather weekend in DC currently but I'm missing most of it. I'm not really keen on the beauty pageants and bar events but it's a great opportunity to catch up with friends buzzing into town from around the planet.

This year, however, my budget can't sustain the burden of the event and I have a schedule conflict which will take all of Sunday so a full weekend package would have been a waste. Still, I did attend brunch with friends today and caught up with some locals I haven't seen in a while.

FYFF

Jan. 6th, 2012 12:26 pm
bjarvis: (torso)
This week's contribution behind the cut. Completely work-safe. )
bjarvis: (Morbo)
I can't keep a straight face watching the occasional Dairy Queen commercial on television since I made the mental connection. Watching pr0n has taken on an additional cool chocolately flavour as well..


John Behlmann Dairy Queen TV commercial spokes-meat John Behlmann
Eric Stone Gay pr0n star Eric Stone

bjarvis: (Morbo)
I can't keep a straight face watching the occasional Dairy Queen commercial on television since I made the mental connection. Watching pr0n has taken on an additional cool chocolately flavour as well..


John Behlmann Dairy Queen TV commercial spokes-meat John Behlmann
Eric Stone Gay pr0n star Eric Stone

DC Pride

Jun. 12th, 2011 10:48 pm
bjarvis: (Default)
We have survived yet another DC Pride festival. Actually we got off light this year: for most years, the pride festival is an all-day affair for us as we have the sound equipment for the DC Lambda Squares. This time, DCLS didn't have a booth or marched in the parade so our only obligation was a 15 minute performance demo at the Arts Stage at 4:15pm.

Per usual, the day was blistering hot. Why do we have this in June? It rained lightly just before we left the festival area --and it was a glorious feeling.

Once we rested & refreshed at home, we hopped over to collect [livejournal.com profile] wescobear for dinner at Thai of Silver Spring, followed by ice cream. While I've been following [livejournal.com profile] wescobear online for a couple of years, this was the first time I had met him in person (and he's every bit as hot as expected).

Here's the crowd:

Me, Jordan, [livejournal.com profile] kent4str, [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr, [livejournal.com profile] wescobear & [livejournal.com profile] bootedintexas

DC Pride

Jun. 12th, 2011 10:48 pm
bjarvis: (Default)
We have survived yet another DC Pride festival. Actually we got off light this year: for most years, the pride festival is an all-day affair for us as we have the sound equipment for the DC Lambda Squares. This time, DCLS didn't have a booth or marched in the parade so our only obligation was a 15 minute performance demo at the Arts Stage at 4:15pm.

Per usual, the day was blistering hot. Why do we have this in June? It rained lightly just before we left the festival area --and it was a glorious feeling.

Once we rested & refreshed at home, we hopped over to collect [livejournal.com profile] wescobear for dinner at Thai of Silver Spring, followed by ice cream. While I've been following [livejournal.com profile] wescobear online for a couple of years, this was the first time I had met him in person (and he's every bit as hot as expected).

Here's the crowd:

Me, Jordan, [livejournal.com profile] kent4str, [livejournal.com profile] cuyahogarvr, [livejournal.com profile] wescobear & [livejournal.com profile] bootedintexas
bjarvis: (Default)
When we moved into our home in 1999, there was a large magnolia tree well-established in our front yard. I'm sure it's been there for nearly as long as our subdivision, about 45 years.

Magnolia trees have lovely huge white flowers in the spring. Not quite so lovely, they also drop large spiky seed pods the size & shape of hand grenades which makes walking barefoot in the yard a problem. And although the tree keeps its leaves all year round, they do drop on on occasion; the heavy, leather-like leaves however do not compost well and quickly layer up, blocking sunlight to the ground below and effectively killing huge swathes of the lawn unless they are raked regularly.

Our particular tree also presented a minor problem in that the electrical lines for both our house and our neighbor's run through its branches. We needed to trim back new growth annually, especially before the first snowfalls caused the branches to sag and weigh on the lines.

Despite all of these inconveniences, it was a beautiful tree and we were quite proud to have it on our front lawn. Here it is at its finest about five years ago:


Sadly, however, the tree did not fare well this past winter and died unexpectedly earlier this year. We waited for a while, hoping it was merely dormant but it was increasingly clear that it was now an un-tree, pining for the fjords dead. Our tree care service confirmed our worst suspicions.


Today, we had the tree sliced & diced and the bits carted away. It cost $800, about half of what I was initially expecting and the entire operation took only about two hours. I had multiple heart attacks watching falling branches hit the power lines, both ours and the neighbor's, but there were no breaks or outages. I should have guessed that a reputable service would have a good idea how much abuse the lines can take: the smaller branches were within stress limits and the crew took care to ensure the larger limbs didn't touch the lines.

Our front yard now is a bit barren. There is much more light in the picture window of the living room. The stump isn't especially attractive but removing it would take a great deal more effort and another $400; we'll investigate cheaper chemical and/or organic means to dispose of it over time.


Good news: with the tree gone, we can see our neighbors across the street.
Bad news: They're ugly. :-)

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