Slice of Chaotic Life

The daily life of a celibate middle-aged man.

Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

A little exercise again

Posted by Itlandm on January 6, 2013

I have been rather inactive for the last two months or more. It rained almost all November, so there wasn’t much opportunity for my usual long walks and jogs. (Before that was the Mysterious Illness.) December came and with it icy cold and howling wind. Roads and pavements were covered with ice. Then the last week it has been raining almost continually. But yesterday and today have been mild and sunny. (This combination is highly unusual, not to say unnatural, in Norway at this time of the year. It has happened before, but it doesn’t happen every year and it doesn’t last long.) So naturally I took a walk. Yesterday I didn’t realize that the weather was mild until I was on my way to the grocers, so I just took a longer walk home. Today, however, I put on my pulse watch and my jogging shoes.

It is not like I have stayed in bed for the past two months: I go to work five days a week and the commute includes approximately half an hour of walking each day, in four parts. That’s generally considered enough to keep the body aware that this is still inhabited, to put the that way. In other words, half an hour a day is enough for maintenance. Less than that, and the risk of “lifestyle diseases” starts to increase quickly.

My pulse while walking is pretty much the same as it was in fall, but jogging is a different matter. Today I could only jog for a few seconds before my pulse rose above the target rate. So the round-trip that usually takes me 29 minutes actually took 33 today. I also felt stiffer than usual and even got a small blister.

It was okay, I guess. I record this for science. ^_^

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Head cold

Posted by Itlandm on December 12, 2012

I have to admit, I had to check my temperature to be sure this was a common cold and not a flu. It started pretty slowly yesterday evening, and grew over time. By morning I was reluctant to go to work mainly because I did not want to infect everyone on the bus and at work by sneezing, but I felt fully able to work, so I decided to go. At least I would fetch my laptop so I could work from home for the next day or two. By evening I was completely pickled, and even if I don’t get worse, it will be hard to concentrate on work for long. I am also already getting a hint of chest cold. That was early, but my temperature is still close to normal range, so I doubt it is a flu.


The weather has approached freezer temperatures again but today go only a few degrees below zero. Despite the name, scientists assure us that the cold is not the cause of a “head cold” or “common cold”. Or not directly. Spending more time indoors with other people causes us to exchange viruses and this is the cause. But I think we should also factor in the stress on the body from adapting quickly to high and low temperatures every time we leave home and return.  After all, the difference between my living room and outdoors earlier this week was as large as the difference between a nice warm bath and freezing water. If you were immersed in one of them and went into the other repeatedly, I am pretty sure your body would have to do some fancy footwork to adapt.

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Posted by Itlandm on December 5, 2012

This past Saturday, winter came, with snow and freezing cold. I am glad it snowed on the night to Saturday, this let people change tires during the weekend. Probably because of this, there were fewer crashes during the Monday rush hours. The first day of snow is usually filled with small crashes and long lines on the roads, but this year it was less than usual.

Before my vacation (the week November started) it was still a bit of sun when I went to work and when I came home. Now it is dark when I come home, and long before sunrise in the morning. The deep of winter is coming. It is too cold to take long trips outdoors, or at least it is no longer good for my health. I even turned down an opportunity to play Ingress, the virtual reality game by Google which is played in the real world using Android cell phones. It maps an imaginary world on the real world, with strange portals and mysterious objects that you have to visit in the flesh in order to complete the game goals. I approve if it can get people up from the couch. But for me now, the couch would probably be safer for my health. In addition to arctic cold, there was also fairly strong wind. (Actually it is cold indoors too, but I manage to keep the home office warm.)



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Posted by Itlandm on November 21, 2012

As unlikely as it may seem, it has rained most of the month. Usually it is rare on the south coast of Norway for it to rain two days in a row, but it is common for there to be sun two days in a row. This month it has been the other way around. I am as baffled as anyone. Of course, my internal representation of reality may be wrong. Perhaps it is common with such rain and I have just not noticed. But probably not, given that I have traditionally used rain as a way to give myself a break from the daily exercise. This month I think it has been two sunny days, the days when I had diarrhea.  Even overcast days without rain have been few. So there hasn’t been much exercise this month, just half an hour now and then.

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Summer in March

Posted by Itlandm on March 25, 2012

I walked for about 40 minutes today again. No symptoms. So that is good. But my weight is still between 86 and 87 kg so theoretically I am still in the palpitation zone. It is probably not quite that simple. I wish I knew what triggered those episodes and what they were really doing. But as long as I have an excuse to be lazy and eat like a pig, I should not complain… ^_^

It was so warm, I had to take off my pullover. Even a mid-thickness shirt was warm enough. There are days in summer that don’t feel this warm, although I am sure some of it comes from being used to winter. We who live this far north do get used to the winter after some months, and of course we also get used to summer. So a temperature that feels hot in spring might feel quite chilly in autumn.

Of course, it is still March. In less than a week there may be a snowstorm. You never know. I notice that April and May are both common names for girls. Perhaps with continued climate change, March will be included too? I mean, if the requirement is being unpredictable… ^_^

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Marching on

Posted by Itlandm on March 24, 2012

As I said in my previous entry, I decided to not exercise unnecessarily, but continue to eat as much as I could. There seems to be a clear connection between my weight and the disturbances of the heart rate. Above approximately 87 kg, there are no disturbances at all. Between 86 and 87 there are palpitations. Once I start to see 85, there is a seemingly random risk of tachycardia (racing heart). So my plan is to stay above 87 kg until just before I’m seeing the doctor again.

Today, however, the weather was so nice that I decided to take a walk. Besides, it is Saturday. That means I am not going to work. My commute includes nearly a quarter of an hour walk each way, and every couple days I also take a walk in the lunch break to shop groceries. So half an hour of walking, I decided, would be just business as usual.

As it happens, I ended up walking for approximately 50 minutes, as I decided to take the long way back home. My pulse was ridiculously low when I started. It was as if I was just ambling around the kitchen rather than walking at a fairly good pace. This is typical when I have not taken any long walks for several days, unless I happen to have an infection. This is where it is tempting to start speeding up. That’s what I did last summer when I triggered a tachycardia so bad I had to be fetched in an ambulance. I ignored my low pulse this time, walking quickly but not pressing myself. The pulse increased to a more believable level after 35 minutes as usual. There was only little palpitation, and they did not appear in the evening either. So this was a triumph. I’m making a note here: Huge success! It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction. ^_^

The sun was shining, the weather was so  warm it could have been May instead of March, except the trees were still black. Or that is what I told myself as I was walking. When I came home, I looked at the outdoors thermometer, and it showed 11 degrees C (52 Fahrenheit). I guess I am still used to the winter!


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Posted by Itlandm on December 8, 2011

We had a couple days below freezing, with even a dusting of snow, but mostly the snow melted and then froze again to ice. After a couple days, the rain returned. It’s been “green winter” for some weeks now, with temperatures hovering just above the freezing point, except for those couple days of cold. This has been the most common winter weather for the last 10-15 years, at least. Last year and the year before were exceptional: The temperature was like in a deep freezer, and it stayed like that for weeks or even months. All this began within a handful of days after the Copenhagen Climate Summit, by the way. Think of that what you will. It affected Denmark (where the summit was) and all the countries that border on it, including my native Norway (which lies across a stretch of sea, but not exactly an ocean).

I am a bit curious as to whether the Copenhagen Summit weather will return for the third winter in a row, or whether we will return to the green winters with a few weeks of deep snow in late January, through February and a bit into March. But at least this time the water magazines are much fuller, so the electricity should be less expensive.

Also, this time I don’t live in a 200 year old house where I had to stuff rags in the gap between the floor and the wall and under one of the doors.

The house I live in now is not nearly as old, but it is clearly lacking in insulation. The windows have only a single layer of glass pane, something that is almost unheard of in houses where people actually live in the winter. Most older homes replaced these with double or triple glass, because it quickly pays itself over the utility bill. I believe the state also gave loans for this a few decades ago, as well as insulating walls. Well, this just confirms my suspicion that this house too is one that will be torn down and replaced with a new as soon as the landlord finds a rich enough buyer. It is very centrally located in Mandal, so the price will likely be decided 100% by its location. Even so, I try to not leave it any worse than I found it, just in case. Plus it is a good habit.

I am not going to replace the windows though. Hopefully we’ll continue to get green winter. Although my walking routine is severely disrupted since it rains cats and dogs most days. My jogging shoes are quickly degraded by wading, and the weather has been such that I could not keep them even slightly dry. So I have taken up the exercise bike again. It is showing its age, and so am I: I cannot use it for an hour or more like I do walking, or my knees are shot. (Or as they say in Skyrim: “I used to be and adventurer like you; then I took an arrow in the knee.” It is not quite that bad, but the effect is somewhat similar if I don’t restrain myself.)

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