Monday, February 10, 2014

An ergonomically correct blog entry

Good morning, folks.  Another Monday, another blast of winter here in central Kentucky.  Got about two more inches of snow overnight last night.  It was 15 degrees when I ventured out to shovel our driveway and the neighbor's (a very good neighbor, who looks out for us and we do favors for one another periodically, plus he's in his mid 70's).  I swear, this is the winter that just keeps coming.  At least my friends in California finally got some much-needed rain, but their weather is just as much of an aberration as ours is this year.

And now for something completely different, as our Monty Python friends used to say for an abrupt segue into another topic.  In recent weeks I've been feeling a some stiffness and soreness in my shoulders and elsewhere in my upper body, and think I've traced it to my neck.  I have taken to stretching my neck by tilting my head as far as I can from one side to the other, and, wouldn't you know it, my shoulders and arms feel better, too.  So I then started to wonder what might be causing my neck problems, and what I finally concluded was that I may have created this with bad posture at my desk.

So some research indicated that I needed to raise the height of my desk chair a bit, which was an easy one, and yesterday I picked up a stand for my laptop, so that it is closer to eye level.  That's a bit tricky when you wear bifocals, as I do, but the stand I purchased (which is brushed aluminum, like my Macbook Pro, so it looks pretty spiffy) is height-adjustable.  So I'll no doubt be experimenting with all of this over the next few days.  I've tried to integrate a laptop stand into my office setting before, but gave up each time, probably much too quickly.  I'm going to be persistent with myself this time, as I need to get to where the muscles at the base of my neck aren't perpetually clenched!

Are you watching the Winter Olympics from Russia?  We are, but made the conscious decision to limit our viewing to the edited package that NBC shows in prime time each night.  Not that there isn't other interesting stuff going on during the day on NBC's various other viewing outlets, but I think they'll show us most of what we want to see (well, most of what my wife is willing to watch).  So far we've seen some pretty good figure skating, the men's downhill skiing race, something from the snowboarding world called slopestyle (men's and women's) and moguls skiing, where the object appears to be to ski over and around a set of strategically placed bumps, rendering the skier into a human shock absorber.

And NBC appears to have taken EVERYONE from their news division to Sochi for these Games, at least those who don't cover the President or Congress.  Makes you wonder what they'd do if a major story broke in this country, outside of Washington, of course.

We haven't been to the movies before Christmas, but I was kind of amused to see that "The Lego Movie" raked in over $60 million at the box office.  A lot to be said for a flick that you can take little kids to see....

I have one more little anecdote to share before I step away.....a while back we decided we wanted a second decorative item to match one (actually two items that kind of form a set) that we already had.  So I ordered these items from a national retailer whose store we had visited some time ago out of state (I won't name them here).  When the order finally arrived after nearly two weeks (not kidding) one of the items was defective and the other was an error on my part of what to order.  So I filled out the form to indicate why I was returning the items and requested replacement items, again using the enclosed form.  Cost me about $15 to send this stuff back.  Another two weeks passed and I called the merchant, who finally acknowledged that they had received my shipment but had not begun working on the replacement order.  So I waited about ten days and called again, and got the same story.  Only this time the gal with whom I spoke told me that this should have been handled much more quickly, and they'd get my merchandise out that day, and would not charge me for another round of shipping, etc.  Moral here--some merchants who operate stores do NOT operate a good Internet sales operation.  Reminds me of why I like Amazon.com so much---they may have become the Wal-Mart of the Internet, but they're awfully good at what they do!

That's all for now.

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