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Get A Life

November 25, 2009

Geek dude and I have had endless conversations of how to stay active. We joined a gym for 3 months and then decided we’d save some money if we buy an elliptical instead. One year later, the cycle is more of a decorative piece than an exercise machine. We’ve pushed each other to run everyday, but you know with day light savings, running after coming home from work seems next to impossible – well, at least that’s how I make my case ( I know it’s lame!). How about the mornings, you’d say, but  I am living with a geek whose creative juices shoot up between 12pm to 4am; sometimes it goes up to 7am or was that 8? Most of the time, geek dude would hoard his sleep like some storage machine and save his sleep for the weekend.  At one point, I remember he was working for 36 hours in a stretch, with just bathroom breaks and food to keep him energized. He would then sleep for almost 24 hours.

I on the other hand, like most normal people,  love my 8 hours of  beauty sleep as I’d like to call it. Getting married to a geek has deprived me of my full 8 hours of sleep and I’ve been forced to accept  6 or 7 hours at the most.  You sleep before midnight in my place, and you will most likely be called lazy. So, I am usually up till midnight and by the time I am out of bed, I am always rushing to get to work.

Recently, we’ve been trying very hard to work out, go out for a walk, run or even just stretch whenever possible. But our concern for a need to have an active life became more serious when geek dude started to complain of chronic back aches. It was regularly accompanied by stiff neck and wrist pains. A typical symptom of a person who spends most of his day *and night* sitting in front of a computer. Even I spend most of my day working in a computer and our biggest challenge has been getting into a habit of taking regular breaks while we are at our desks.

Okay, here comes the geeky part. 2 weeks ago,  I was reading a book and suddenly the whole apartment seemed to shake with a cackle –  a chicken’s cackle. First of all, we don’t live in a farm, we live right in downtown; we are only interrupted by loud fire engines running around not chicken cackles. Secondly, it was already midnight, not something that would let me look forward to a good sleep, especially when I saw no signs of it stopping. Turns out my brilliant geek had just completed his “staying active” project. His brand new program would freeze your machine every 40 minutes, locking you out and reactivate only after 5 minutes.  You could reboot your computer, but think about the time it takes to reboot and the possibility of losing your work if you haven’t saved it. And what was that cackle? His choice of sound to alert you that your 5 minutes is over and you can now start working. He wanted to keep it loud and shrill so he could hear it from every corner of our home, what better than a chicken cackle huh? It’s been 2 weeks now, geek dude gets out of his chair every 40 minutes. He stretches, walks around the house,  freshens up and goes back to his desk.

He’s convinced me to install the program in my work computer as well without the chicken cackle of course. I was a little skeptical at first, what if I am in the middle of a time sensitive project, what if I need to send an email withing the next 2 minutes? But I think unless you are working for the FBI, you probably won’t have to worry about taking a 5 minute break. You could possibly choose to close the program through your task manager if you’d like but there’s no point of installing it if you want to cheat. I have been diligently taking breaks, doing my computer and desk stretches, walking around the building, running stairs, and seriously it feels good, I feel more productive. I just hope nobody at work sees my monitor for those 5 minutes. It has  a 300 second counter with big fat letters screaming “Get a life”. There have been times when I am just about to hit send or finish a project, and the ‘get a life’ screen pops up. I used to get annoyed at first, but nowadays I just try to get a life outside my cubicle for those whole 5 minutes. Did you know, it’s pretty out there?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. americanepali permalink
    November 25, 2009 4:01 pm

    Ah ha ha ha ha ha! I could totally SEE “geek dude” doing this!!! And the chicken cackle…. ha ha ha ha! It’s up there with “weather! stocks! news!” I love it… and will probably see it over the holiday! Does he disengage it when you are watching a movie?

    I might need something like this soon! I feel I am becoming lazier and lazier at my desk. I used to do a yoga class during lunch every m/w/f at work, but that ended, and now I usually sit and blog or watch Hulu while eating the leftover pasta casserole no one else in my house wants to eat. At least P is on some intermural sports teams!

  2. Dolly permalink
    April 16, 2010 3:27 am

    Hey !!!! Love the concept !!
    Will it be too terrible to ask for this program ???
    I have been trying to take these breaks but I always end up forgetting 😦

    • April 16, 2010 8:20 am

      Hi Dolly, I am planning to add an “application tab” to the blog so I could get Mr. Geek’s programs up for download etc. if people want it. I’ve been using it for quite some time now, and it gets me out of my chair regularly which is nice!

      Will have it up soon – hopefully sometime next week!

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