Monthly Archives: March 2017

A Stand Up Guy

After returning to work following each of my hip replacements, I found it difficult to sit while working (for obvious reasons), and seriously considered looking into a standing workstation for my home office. When we did a little home upgrading recently by swapping out some furniture, I pulled the trigger on a sit-stand workstation setup.

I spent quite a while researching the various models and brands available — if I’m going to spend money on this, I’m not going to want to end up with sore shoulders, neck, or arms after a day’s work, so I wanted one that would fit me (and Mo). The only one I found that was tall enough when I stood yet extended low enough when I sat was built by Ergoprise. I bought the dual monitor model, and picked up a VESA conversion needed for mounting one of my monitors, plus a wireless keyboard to cut back on the number of wires.

So far, I’m finding that I’m good for about 45 minutes at a time before my feet begin to hurt. I may get a mat to stand on sometime, but for now I’ll take breaks and sit a bit.


Ergoprise S2S Dual Sit-Stand Workstation

It will take some time to work into standing for more extended periods, and it may take even longer to clean off my desktop!
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The City Hall Talking Jigsaw Puzzle Solution

I finally found the last of the Talking Jigsaw Puzzle series at a reasonable price, and I’ve completed the collection with The City Hall “Talking Puzzle” by Buffalo Games.

The premise for this one is the same as past puzzles: you must first complete each of the 4×4 piece rooms, and then you use the “conversations” between the rooms as clues to the ordering of the rooms. This particular puzzle had a minor twist in that it had an east and west side to it, and brick between rooms.

The only real complaint I have is like with all of these puzzles — the edges don’t distinguish themselves well enough, and you’ll end up having to resort to using the pattern on the back to put some in their proper place. Still, it was as fun to put together as all the others in the set.


solution — click to embiggen

Tulum!

Last year, Mo decided we needed to blow the dust off of our passports, and she booked a vacation package through Apple Vacations to beautiful Tulum, Mexico. Our resort was Dreams Tulum, less than 1-1/2 hour drive south of Cancun. Our early morning flight put us at the resort in time for lunch (but too early to get our room). First impressions were the green everywhere we looked, the warm breeze, and the large iguana chillin’ on the main walk who was there to greet us.

entrance
main resort thoroughfare

We were very pleased with our room, barely 20 steps from the edge of the beach and in the quieter portion of the waterfront. We were also just a short walk from the pools and restaurants. The people we spoke with praised the Dreams resorts above the other Cancun and Riviera Maya locations for their smaller size and nice accommodations. The staff was very friendly; I used my time there to practice and build a little on my limited Spanish vocabulary. We had to keep “Hola!” and “Buenos dias!” on standby at all times.

room
early morning view of our room patio from the beach

We spent plenty of time lying at the beach during our stay. Mo reserved a cabana for a day, and we relaxed on the beach in style. We also became even better acquainted with our amigo Manuel, who kept us well hydrated. While at the resort I used the opportunity to try some new drinks — some were good, some were great.

cabana
morning view from our cabana

Our sole outing was a morning trip to the Mayan ruins along the coast just south of us. It was a very bright day, and we did a lot of walking, but thankfully we had a cool breeze off the water (which we had pretty much our entire stay). And we saw our first coatimundi.

ruins
Ruinas de Tulum

Several of the evenings featured a meal out in the open with any of a variety of entertainment. We used these opportunities to visit with other couples at our table, meeting folks from Ireland, Wales, Colorado, inland Mexico, Ohio, and a host of other places. There were several large screens set up for the Super Bowl broadcast, but we had no interest in it.

evening
moonrise over the water

Tulum was a very relaxing respite. We absolutely enjoyed the friendly people, the perfect weather, and the beautiful location.

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Postlude: One of my personal highlights of this trip was wandering out onto the beach at 4:30 in the morning on our second morning and seeing the Southern Cross for the first time, hanging in plain sight just above the Caribbean. I made good use of Star Tracker on my cellphone to help identify the several southern hemisphere constellations I had never seen before, or only the northern portion of them.

Being unable to take an actual photo of the stars, instead I swiped my cellphone to get a screenshot of the app to capture the moment:

southern-cross
the Southern Cross