2011.07.20 I'm still on my feet

Written by David Green.


EVERYTHING is pointing to feet these days. Mine and others.

Colleen walked in Friday night from work and asked, “Who do those sandals belong to?”

It was a pair of flip-flops that she spotted just inside the front door. There are tiny moose on the straps.

They aren’t mine and they looked like a woman’s sandal to me. Maddie is in Wyoming working at the geology camp where she was a student a couple of summers ago. This time she’s washing the dishes dirtied by students—with Teton National Forest all around for her spare time. Someone has to do it.

Rosanna is in Toronto doing one of her every-other-weekend visits with her husband who will soon complete a graduate school project.

It wasn’t long before Colleen had moved to the bathroom asking who the bath towel on the floor belonged to. No, not that one. This one here. She didn’t recall it being there when she left for work in the morning.

I’d only been home from work for a half hour or so. Did she think perhaps I had a secret tryst that wasn’t well covered up? Or was there a Goldilocks sort of person in our house?

I went into the kitchen looking for a bowl of oatmeal. I thought of heading upstairs to find out which bed she settled into, but instead I just ignored it and attributed the entire incident to the excessive fatigue of a library director during library renovation. In other words, she’s nuts.

SEVERAL people have entered the office recently and discovered me standing behind my desk. “Back problems?” they ask.

Several weeks have passed since I wrote about trying out a standing desk at work. I’d read that sitting all day in a chair isn’t as good for a body as standing or at least moving around a lot. I had the strongest urge to give it a try and I’ve been on my feet ever since.

I wasn’t about to spend hundreds of dollars for a real standing desk. Mine is very homemade and in need of improvement.

My computer monitor is placed on top of two envelope boxes plus one county telephone book and a package of Royal Fiber paper. My keyboard rests on two other envelope boxes. I’m using envelopes that the school ordered back in the 1990s. They stopped ordering them before my stock was depleted. I have matching letterhead somewhere.

The computer mouse continues to be the problem. At first it was on my desk, which was at least two envelope boxes too low. I found the perfect solution for a while. I turned the lower envelope box perpendicular to the top one and created a small surface one box down.

The standing part has gone just fine. My feet don’t hurt but my right hand started to ache and it’s still not back to normal. The angle of my hand on the mouse at one box high caused internal problems. Now the mouse is up on top sharing limited space with the keyboard. It falls off and bangs the desk about once a day and that tends to frighten Kim across the room.

The easy solution would probably be two more envelope boxes to the right of the existing ones. I hesitate to do this. It looks weird enough as it is.

For me, the standing desk adventure is a great success. I don’t intend to sit down again, at least not all the time. In the previous column I mentioned learning that movement is the key. You don’t want to just stand there all day. 

I have a bar stool type of chair that I sometimes lean against and sometimes sit on. I favor one foot and then the other. Movement.

For me, it’s a success; for one guy, it’s the oddest thing he’s ever seen. Jacob Clark just shakes his head every time he walks in and sees me standing. Standing when there’s a chair? It just doesn’t make sense.

THIS was to be a foot column, but I’m running short of space. No room for details on how Colleen has started to push me when I’m off balance. No space to mention our desire to learn how to sashay like on the introduction to the excellent post-Katrina television show “Treme.”

But I will squeeze this in: I contacted my daughters. The flip-flops belong to Rosie. They’ve been there for weeks.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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