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It's been a while, hasn't it? [May. 17th, 2011|10:11 pm]
Wow. So, I'm working a new job, and it's been stressful. It hasn't been *bad*, but I'm learning new things, processes, procedures, and, they're having some perf issues, and for good or ill, I'm the top perf guy they have.

So I've been busy.

And, there are (so far) too many days like today where I figured I was okay staying until 7, and ended up having to stay until 9.

But now it's time for me to start trying to make things get better... remembering that the purpose of having a job is so that one can enjoy one's life, not to have one that becomes one's life.

Anyway: news in my life.

I think I've finally got kneading, and bread dough texture, figured out...thank goodness.

One warning to those of you who'd like to learn to make bread: it can be a long-ish, frustrating process if you don't have anyone to demonstrate stuff for you. But it can be gotten through. I hope to write a bit more about that later.

Sciatica is finally at the low-ish level where I can think it might go away. I think I've found what was causing it, and I think it's slowly being eliminated. I think it might be gone already if I hadn't been overworking myself (as in: spending too much time at work, and *not* exercising as much as I might).

And, for those who heard about this earlier, I *do* have a crazy shift schedule. I'm going to be working 2-11 for a week, getting some days off, working a week that includes two 12 hour weekend days, getting some days off, and then working a normal Thursday, Friday, and then a normal week... and then, maybe starting over again. Or, maybe I'll have another normal week on top of that.

So, my schedule's going to be funny, and I'll have to start planning things out a lot further in the future. because my days off won't all be normal. But the plus side is that, after the week of 2-11, I get five days off in a row. The only negative side to that is that the most obvious use of those 5-in-a-row (road trips to Oregon) would probably have to start on Saturday. This isn't *awful* but it's hardly ideal, either.

But the money is good, and I need to get some house repairs and furniture and need to think about how my car is 15 years old, so I'll live with the schedule, for a while at least, and then decide if I need to see if I can find something better. I mean, it's silly to worry too much about the schedule before I find out if I like it :-).

[User Picture]From: ljgeoff
2011-05-18 01:59 pm (UTC)
I really don't like starting new jobs -- I'm right there with you on the stress stuff. Yay for getting in to the grove and finding room to breathe!

It's hard to explain the feel of bread dough when it's been kneaded right. And it depends on what flour you're using, so there's all different kinds of right -- wheat is damp but not sticky, but rye stays pretty sticky and isn't as elastic. What kind of bread is your favorite? Have you tried any of the specialty breads?

I used to be okay with funny schedules, but I don't have the same levels of cope that I did ten years ago. If I work too much, I tend to get migraines, even if it's easy, unstressful work.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-05-23 01:57 am (UTC)
Well, you have to keep in mind that the way I try to learn things is to try to get them "right". I've been making and re-making the first two recipes in Beard on Bread, trying to figure out what things are supposed to be like.

I finally have a kneading motion that works. It took me a long time to figure out what, exactly, I was *doing* to the dough, and now I kinda-sorta have that. And I've now made two decent loaves in a row, but, more important than making the two good loaves in a row is, I knew that they were going to be good before the first rising. And I knew *how* they were going to be, before the first rising. And they turned out that way.

So... I don't yet have a favorite kind of bread and definitely haven't tried any specialty breads, yet :-).

But I feel like I'm now ready to try other stuff... like, if I try subbing a cup of rye for a cup of white bread flour, I'll recognize a difference, and have an idea why the difference is occurring (i.e.: because I have a cup of rye flour in, *not* because I'm a klutz at kneading).
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[User Picture]From: erin_c_1978
2011-05-18 03:12 pm (UTC)
Whew -- rough schedule. That's got to take some getting used to.
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From: kightp
2011-05-20 02:00 pm (UTC)
Don't worry about my part of the Oregon road trips - with summer coming on, a Saturday-Monday (or Tuesday!) visit could actually be an advantage if, say, we wanted to spend a couple of days at the coast. I still have plenty of vacation time. (-:
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2011-05-20 05:23 pm (UTC)
What do you think caused the sciatica?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-05-20 05:55 pm (UTC)
I've been favoring my left leg in an unconscious manner for a long time - years, at an absolute minimum. For example, if I have to bend over to pick up something on my right, I do so. If I have to bend over to pick up something on my left, I grab/lean on something. I also step differently with my right and left legs. And, if I lay on my back, my right toes naturally point up - my left leg tends to flop to the side.

I think that I'm finally forcing myself to use my left leg the way my right leg is working, and strengthening different muscles, and causing stress in the region of my lower back/upper left-hip region.

It's now been a month or so without spasms, but I'm still having soreness. But, there are longer and longer times when I can temporarily forget that I have any problems.

("he said, as if he hadn't taken Vicodin for the first time in over a month this morning..." - but I think this is just temporary.)
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2011-05-20 05:58 pm (UTC)
I have the same issue with my right leg, because it's shorter. Not sciatica, but the favoring issue, and the stepping differently issue.

Both sets of toes, however, FINALLY point up! (It used to be that the right leg flopped.)

It's a complex issue that I don't claim to fully understand.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2011-05-20 06:09 pm (UTC)
Nod. My one leg (I can't remember which) was shorter, and it had something to do with the sacroiliac and something else that a PT knows, but I don't. And it's been changing, I think. But the difference was never very large.

What's very weird for me is that it's not really the leg, so much as it is the pelvis and the lower back, and a whole bunch of stuff, and, most importantly, I realized I have *no idea* what is "right". One day, I tried to find the right, neutral standing posture, and realized something was wrong (and I can't even remember quite what) but I was holding something out of place - once I deliberately relaxed as best as I could, I realized I was very carefully doing something wrong with that area.

It reminds me of people who counsel others not to try to sit or stand with good posture, but to exercise, so as to strengthen the right muscles. That's what I'm trying to do now, but it's sometimes scary-hard.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2011-05-20 06:12 pm (UTC)
Seriously, that is why I have a trainer. Sometimes he works with the fascia to allow my leg muscles to reposition themselves, and it works for a few days. I don't think I could do this by myself, just because my sense of what's right is so skewed.
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