Turning the Page

Standing to work at the computer: my latest health strategy.
Standing to work at the computer: my latest health strategy. The dangly bits are all kitchen related.  The plaid bags hold plastic bags, large ones on the left, smaller ones on the right.  We seldom purchase plastic bags, recycling every bag that comes into the house.  There is also a little terrycloth towel that hangs to the left of the plaid bags, it is for quickly drying ones hands.

I have a few days off work right now. It goes without saying that every day I am off work, I am looking for a full-time job. My biggest concern is that in this short time away from work I will lose my hard gained physical stamina. I am not a big fan of pain, and the pain of adjusting to physical work is not forgotten.  And just to bring that point home, after sitting at the computer working on a project yesterday, I became bloated and stiff. This will never do!

So here is my current strategy to maintain my physical stamina and continue to regain my health after working at a miserable desk job for a whole year. I will stand to use my computer. What was needed was a “podium” on which to place the keyboard and mouse high enough for ergonomic use. I commandeered the wooden cart from the kitchen, which is on wheels, so that I can return it to its original function in the kitchen at the end of each day. It is early days, but so far so good. It is almost noon and I have been on my feet since breakfast at 6:30 a.m., but for a short ten minute break to drink a glass of water and eat a nectarine.

Additional benefits to standing to work on the computer are that it is very simple to walk away to attend to other tasks. I have a little program that freezes the screen every fifteen minutes, so that I will let my eyes wander and get the exercise they need. When the screen freezes and I am standing, it is only a few steps to involve myself with a domestic task. Also, when sitting I wear a pair of prescription glasses designed for computer use. These glasses were expensive and continually fall apart and need to be painstakingly repaired under a magnifying glass. I do not need them when I am standing at some distance from the screen, so that I can avoid changing my glasses when I am at the computer working.

While working my inner world retreats and becomes remote from my experienced life.  When I am away from work  the emotions that are buried emerge, an intense and sometimes painful process.  There is always the anger to deal with as well; the anger I feel at being forced to abandon myself to value systems I abhor in order to put food on the table.  But that is the world that humans have created for themselves, and I am a part of it, willing or no.

Today I took a refreshing break from the “sense of entitlement” crowd I deal with every working day.  I spent time viewing images on this site: aday.org.  My day to day world is visually filled with expensive SUVs, clothing, jewelry and all that accompanies the rich at play.   To see what people are, rather than what avarice would have us strive for, have us desire, is a balm to my soul.

Hogan has completed his radiation therapy.  When I talked to Harriet last week she said he is not completely back to where he was before the treatments.  We hope that he bounces back quickly and carries on for many decades to come.

The weather report says there is a 60% chance of precipitation today. The sun is shining hot and dry in the sky, not a cloud in site as the morning progresses. We need rain, badly.

Terra and Lares brought us a bag of new potatoes from Lares father’s farm. How delicious they are, how different from those we can afford to buy. Both Terra and Lares continue to work long hours, as do we, making visits short and precious.

On Sunday we cooked for the coming week, in our summer kitchen.  Attila uses the propane camp stove, placed on the upturned woodbox in the screened in porch.  He prepared split pea soup, refried beans and cooked the new potatoes that Terra and Lares gave us.  I used the Nesco portable oven to bake a double batch of oatcakes.  After being able to use a summer kitchen during heat waves, I never want to be without one!

Worldly Distractions


29 °C
Condition: Sunny
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 29.1°C
Dewpoint: 19.5°C
Humidity: 56 %
Wind: WSW 17 gust 32 km/h
Humidex: 36


“In great affairs men show themselves as they wish to be seen; in small things they show themselves as they are.”
Nicholas Chamfort
1741 – 1794


Nicholas Chamfort

“…a French writer, best known for his witty epigrams and aphorisms. He was secretary of Louis XVI’s sister, and of the Jacobin club.

For some time he subsisted by teaching and hack writing. His good looks and ready wit brought him attention…

his literary reputation was not established until 1769, when the Académie française awarded him a prize for his Eloge on Molière.
Until then, he lived from hand to mouth, mainly on the hospitality of people who gave him board and lodging in exchange for the pleasure of the conversation for which he was famous…

In 1784, through the influence of Calonne, he became secretary to the king’s sister, Madame Élisabeth, and in 1786 he received a pension of 2000 livres from the royal treasury….

The outbreak of the French Revolution profoundly changed Chamfort’s life. Theoretically a republican, he threw himself into the new movement with almost fanatical ardour, forgetting his old friends at court and devoting his entire small fortune to revolutionary propaganda…

With the reign of Marat and Robespierre, however, he became critical of uncompromising Jacobinism, and with the fall of the Girondins his political life came to an end. But he could not restrain the tongue that had made him famous; he no more spared the Convention than he had spared the court. His notorious republicanism failed to excuse the sarcasms he lavished on the new order of things. Fingered by an assistant in the Bibliothèque Nationale, to a share in the direction of which he had been appointed by Jean Marie Roland, he was taken to the prison des Madelonnettes. Soon after his release, he was threatened again with arrest, but he decided that death was preferable to a repetition of the moral and physical restraint to which he had been subjected…

Chamfort is the very exemplar of the botched suicide. Unable to tolerate the prospect of being imprisoned once more, in September 1793 he locked himself into his office and shot himself in the face. The pistol malfunctioned and he did not die even though he shot off his nose and part of his jaw. He then repeatedly stabbed his neck with a paper cutter, but failed to cut an artery. He finally used the paper cutter to stab himself in the chest. He dictated to those who came to arrest him the well-known declaration Moi, Sebastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort, déclare avoir voulu mourir en homme libre plutôt que d’être reconduit en esclave dans une maison d’arrêt (“I, Sebastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort, hereby declare my wish to die a free man rather than to continue to live as a slave in a prison”) which he signed in a firm hand and in his own blood. His butler found him unconscious in a pool of blood. From then until his death at Paris the following year, he suffered intensely and was attended to by a gendarme, whom he paid a crown a day.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Chamfort

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m glad you at least have a few days off. The standing computer station sounds like a good idea. If I can figure out how to rig such a thing here, I’ll have one too.


This is something I also have been wanting to do. Maybe you’ve inspired me to get my ass in gear and get off it!