September 22nd, 2007

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Exercise and real life

For a while now, I've been wondering about whether my daily workout *really* is helping. Yeah, it's burning some calories and raising a sweat, but I wasn't quite sure whether it was genuinely helping my cardio condition. Today seems to demonstrate that it has, to at least some degree.

Today was ladysprite and umbran's moving party to their new house. (Which is, BTW, beautiful -- warm and homey, with lovely woodwork all over.) msmemory and I wound up staying behind and dealing with the kitchen and upstairs office while the rest of the party went over to unload the first truckload, so I got to test myself, and I'm pleased with the results. I managed to bring the bulk of the upstairs load down by myself: probably 40-50 loads down the stairs. More significantly, I was still able to run up the stairs each time. (Indeed, once I was in the rhythm, running the stairs seemed to be easier than walking them.)

On the downside, my upper-body strength is still quite limited: I could handle up to about 40 lbs per load, but that was pretty much the cap. And while my stamina is getting quite good, it has its limits -- I started to slow down noticeably after about four hours, and while I was still productive on the moving-in end, I was moving a lot more slowly.

Still and all, a real improvement. I'm tired now, but it was well-earned, and it's good to know that the 45 minutes each morning is paying some dividends...
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Octiles

For some years now, I've been talking up the abstract game Octiles. It's a particular favorite of mine, a game that involves putting octagonal pieces on the board to form paths, and then manipulating those tiles to allow your men to get across the board while impeding your opponents. It was a Games 100 pick, and a lot of fun. The only problem is, the edition sold by Kadon Enterprises has a leather board that doesn't love sitting flat if you leave it rolled too much, and it's expensive -- $95. So others have tended not to pick it up.

Well, last night I was wandering though Danger Planet, and stumbled across a new edition of the game, from Pin Games, a small imprint of Out of the Box games dedicated to lovely wooden sets. *Their* version of Octiles is a smaller board, but it's solid and seems well built. And it's only $30!

So now I can unreservedly recommend it. Octiles is a fine game for 2-4 players, and well worth getting. Check it out...