My New TreadClimber

Well, I finally did it, and it finally came. What’s that? I bought a TreadClimber, that’s what. And it was delivered on Monday by UPS in four big honking boxes. OK, actually there were only three boxes that were actually honking, but the forth one was not all that small. I didn’t have time to assemble the thing Monday night, but even if I had had the time, there was no place to put it. So last night I spent a few hours rearranging things in the Office of Death™ to accommodate it. I now have stacks of books that I’m going to donate to the library, and piles of old computers that I’m going to donate to the local thrift store.

Anyway, so I got a space cleared out for it last night, but by the time I finished, it was too late to start putting it together. So tonight was the night. I man-handled the boxes up the stairs, throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the big letters on the boxes stating “Extremely Heavy. Two People Needed to Move!” My boy Thomas (6 years old) stood at the top of the stairs shouting encouraging things at me, such as “I’m just gonna stand right here, ok?” Once the boxes were on the proper floor, I found the one marked “1 of 3” and opened it. Once I found the instructions, I read them (yes, I do read instructions) and starting assembling. Four hours, three skinned knuckles and two-quarts-of-sweat later, I was done.

I’m sure you’re wondering to yourselves “Did he try it out or just bag it for the evening?” I’ll tell you, I tried it out. I calibrated it according to the directions, then fired it up. It has a very smooth motion, though I can really tell that one leg (mine) is shorter than the other… sigh… Anyway, I did it for a few minutes, whilst reading the instructions about other things, including the included heart-rate monitor. I got it out, strapped it on, and then got on the beast again to make sure it worked. It’s a Polar and is completely wireless, which is pretty cool. I could see my heart-rate moving on up as I walked, which means it’s working.

How long did I stay on? About five minutes, total. But I got a workout putting the darned thing together, so I don’t feel too bad about it. I’m going to go watch the video with the buff-and-busty models telling me how bloody easy the thing is to workout on, and then actually have a go on it tomorrow. Well, the TreadClimber, not the buff-and-busty model…

BTW, I got the TC5000, which has the most bells and/or whistles. I just can’t resist those bells and whistles.

And one more thing, beware of the “Payments as low as $45/month” and “nothing down” statements. It’s not a loan, but a revolving credit line. In other words, a BowFlex credit card. I went through most of the process of signing up and then they flashed the interest rate at me: 21.5%. Whoa, Nellie! That’s a heck of an interest rate. I stopped the process right there and went to check my existing credit cards for their interest rates. I discovered that I already had a card with a far, far better interest rate, so I just put it on that. Do yourself a favor and finance the thing yourself.

I’ll let you know in a couple of days how it’s going.

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Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

It’s 00:17 and I’m listening to the first Travelling Wilburys record, which came out in 1988. I bought it then and still have the CD. I listen to it occasionally, and I’m always struck by how good the music is on it. I’m struck because I never liked the music of any of the Wilburys individually. It’s just a really good collaboration where all the parts work together to, IMO, create something better than the parts themselves. That doesn’t happen all that often. Most “supergroups” that put out records pretty much suck.

An Odd Choice of Wedding Tunes

We went to a wedding last night not too far from where we live. It was supposed to be an outdoor wedding, but the weather being mighty blustery, it got moved indoors. It was held at the groom’s parents’ home, which was a fairly large house. Until you cram 150 people into it. We were told by the bride’s mother, our neighbor, that 150 people were expected to come, and I have to say, I believe they all showed up, bringing additional friends with them.

Anyway, so there we are, crammed in like sardines into this very lovely home when the wedding proper began. The only music they had was a lone fiddler who was quite good. He began playing and the wedding party starts processing to the lovely antique arbor they had setup in the living room for the vows. Just as the bride comes down the stairs, I realize what the fiddler is playing. It’s a gorgeous tune, but the name and sentiment are what make it an odd choice. The tune? “Neil Gow’s Lament for the Death of this Second Wife” (emphasis mine). Now, I absolutely love that tune. It’s a beautiful slow air that brings tears to your eyes. I can play it on the low whistle and mandolin (not at the same time, of course) and each imparts it’s own beauty. But where it is most at home is on the fiddle. This makes since because Gow was a fiddler. The only recording I’ve heard of this is by Dougie MacLean on his Tribute record. Dougie really knows how to coax the beauty out of that tune on the fiddle. I’m listening to him play it now. Ahh…