Today is Iophase Internal Administration day, which means between crises between clients, I spent virtually the entire day in this tiny office driving myself crazy working on IT, mainly for my own stuff. For me this is a special form of Hell, and today is no less a nightmare than any other. At this very moment, one laptop is 20% "upgraded", and there are hundreds of GB of data being copied here and there using another laptop, and this machine -- my Ubuntu desktop that I just love, or at least I love the idea of it, is available. The day started out with an important backup routine completely failing for a client, with important data lost, followed by failing USB external enclosures for another client and for myself, reesulting in more lost data, and now hours of moving data around here and there in a panic to preserve what I can. The office is a shambles, but I don't have it in me to lift a finger to even try to organize it, so, it's time to write something.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention in these pages this incredible thing I have been doing lately. I would venture to say that it's the best thing I have done for myself in about 10 years or more. It's Bikram Yoga (note, this link may die because the High Priests at Wikipedia think it's an ad - reminds me of the DMOZ in the olden days ...), which is a relatively new type of Yoga that is performed in a room heated to 105 degrees. My wife suggested it, probably because she was tired of hearing me complain about losing my flexibility , and generally kvetching about growing old. Well, If I can do this two or three times a week consistently, there won't be much more of that. The classes last 90 minutes, and every class features the same relatively simple 26 exercises, each repeated twice. The first half is standing, the second is mainly lying down or kneeling. The heat, which at first seems completely insane, adds a sort of endurance element to it, so if you are the type that won't do yoga because it's not "challenging" enough -- this will kick your ass. I don't care if you are a Triathlete, this will kick your ass. At least the first few times, anyway.
But it's not about kicking ass, really, it's about putting your body through a very nice set of deep stretches and balanced poses that will make you feel better in lots of ways. It happens to be perfect for me because of where I am in my life -- 48 years old with four little kids, and so I am in desperate need of flexibility, the ability to stay lean, and complete silence for 90 minutes a few times a week. This affords all of those benefits and more.
Coming from a Pilates background, I guess my body was somewhat prepared for some of the exercises, but it's quite different in many ways. The objectives are different, while many of the benefits are similar. Pilates is designed for core strength first, and flexibility second, whereas it seems to me that Bikram is designed first for flexibility, with some core strength required, especially for the balacing poses. I would say that if you really care about your health you should do both. (Not that I do ... but if I can figure out how to adjust my professional life to provide more time, I sure will!)
The place I go is just across the street from my office, and like everything else in Irvine, its success has a lot to do with clever marketing ("Stay Hot") and a strong sense of professionalism. Because Irvine is full of professionals, they demand complete and utter professionalism, and this place delivers. They have it down -- you walk in, wave your card, grab a towel, a mat, and some water if you need it, change if you need to, drop your shoes on a rack before going into the room, do the class, exit out the back door, drop your towel in a bin, grab your shoes off the rack that they have pushed to the back of the studio, shower, grab another towel, change, and leave. Everything is simple, efficient, and all taken care of.
I'm told that this method of Yoga is polarizting - you either hate it, and run screaming from the room, or you love it. Judging from the attending which seems to keep growing each time I go, I guess the latter reaction is winning out.
UPDATE ... OK, just had to add what happened with the laptop upgrade -- just trying to go from Vista Home Premium to Ultimate. It sits there for three hours, basically spinning, reboots a couple of times, and then the last thing says "Windows failed to configure a component". Please reboot and restart the installation. Great. So I'm ready to call MS and give them a piece of my mind, so to speak, and on the box I see it says, "Upgrade Vista -- may require clean install." My wife had a good analogy -- they are like the employee who sits in a room for 8 hours, lost on a difficult project, and at the end of the day says, "Uh ... I can't figure it out..." and you just want to say "You could have told me you were having trouble six hours ago!!!" Compare that with compiling software on Linux, which tells you every step of the way how (and what!) it's doing. Or, compare it with Mac .. which just works.