StandStand (today’s Free advertising)

Just ’cause.

Much ago, Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) was involved in the original Kickstart for the StandStand. (seriously: It is a lovely contraption that you assemble and put on a table or desk so you can put your laptop up at a level to type while standing up.

She ended up with two of them, at different heights for different desks. Each one has two leg pieces that you assemble, and then put a top on. Total thickness, under two inches. Made from birch, so incredibly lightweight. Folds up and travels with you in a backpack.

At CampCon, last month, I borrowed hers, because my back was still out of sorts and I needed to stand while writing. It was a wonderful thing, with one minor (but significant) drawback. I prefer a 17″ laptop, and the fine folks that invented the device obviously all use teeny, little Mac Airs that are about the size of my tablet computer.

But they have come out with a new invention, called a StandStand Mouse. Three legs in a W shape.  In their world, they can rest their little computers on the left side of the top and have space for a mouse.

Mine arrived yesterday, and I just finally got around to unpacking and assembling it. My laptop has about a centimeter of clearance on each side, all by itself. That’s fine for me except when I need to edit and am mousing a lot. (I have considered red-necking an extension that would clamp on and provide another six inches of flat top, so I can actually mouse, but I’ll live for now.)

The purpose behind today’s free advertising is to remind all you creative types that sitting hunched over a computer all day, all night, and all weekend ruins your back. You will become one of those little old ladies, one of these days, who is so hunchbacked that she stares at the ground and has to tilt her head back to look ahead.

Don’t be that person.

I screwed up my back playing football in high school, a very long time ago now. It flares up every year or so (too often, but I’m too squeamish for surgery that might or might not fix it).  She and I have uncovered a regimen that reduces the primary healing time from weeks to days. I have used a kneeling chair at work for nearly twenty years. I started doing morning pushups after this latest back flareup to strengthen my core muscles.

I want to be able to walk twenty miles a day when I’m ninety.

You (YES, YOU!!) need to pay attention to your physical health. That probably means exercising more than you currently do. I got a fitbit this spring, and went from 3500-4500 steps/day, to around 8500-9500/day, just because I could measure it.

We get half a pig and a quarter cow every year from some lovely folks in Ellensburg, WA ( That means dead critter than has not been raised with growth hormones, or adulterated with other crap. Plus, they let us choose whether or not we want spices mixed in with the ground pork, so I can make sausage for me and her that we both can actually eat.

I stopped drinking soda pop entirely over three years ago. Mostly, that meant a serious reduction in corn syrup in my diet, but I also skipped out on cane sugar flavored sodas as well, just to do it. (Two Root Beer Floats notwithstanding, in three years. Not bad.)

Starting to stand more while I write is another step on being healthy. It keeps the back muscles strong. It keeps you moving around and works your whole body in ways that sitting in a chair for 8-12 hours just will not do.

In the last four years, I have dropped from 225lb to 200lbs (that’s 16 stone down to 14, for you English weirdos). She and I got new life insurance this spring (from a fantastically White Picket Fence salesman). We both qualified in the top 3% of all people for health rating, so we got a significant discount on our rates (or rather, the same amount of money from me each month turns into a greater return twenty years down the line).

I’m a dorky, middle-aged, white guy. All of my grandparents made it into their seventies, despite smoking like chimneys their whole lives and drinking hard alcohol like it was going out of style. Both my parents are still going like hell in their mid-seventies now.

According to the government, I can consider retirements options of various flavors over the next fifteen to twenty years. On the one hand, yay, less day job. On the other hand, I’m already planning to quit the day job as soon as I can afford my lifestyle from the books I write.

And I will write lots more books:

Siren came out end of May.

White Crane at the end of June.

Demigod at the end of July.

The fourth Jessica Keller novel (Goddess of War) is set for October.

I just finished the third Hive story this morning. It will go for rejection at The New Yorker in a few weeks, and then get published sometime in the fall.

I’m working on a coffee table books tentatively titled “Uniforms Of The Fleet: Republic of Aquitaine” to come out with Goddess. Met with the artist this week and she’s got most of what she needs to do the last set of sketches.

I have another novel I’m 20,000 words along and will pick up this week. The fifth Jessica Keller novel keeps poking at me. Etc.

The point is this: are you healthy enough that you’ll still be alive when “someday” gets here? Are you doing the little things, every day, to ensure you survive and enjoy life? Are you eating healthy? Are you walking enough? Are you maintaining a positive attitude by using these two phases? “Not my circus. Not my monkeys.” “That’s right. And the horse you rode in on.”

Are you making the right decisions, every day? The little ones, like cutting back on sweets? Like eating dead critter and fresh veggies, as opposed to a packaged something with an ingredient list fifty items long? (When was the last time you read the whole ingredient list and knew what every single thing on it was?)

So StandStand, for me, represents another positive choice. It represents me being in better shape than I’ve probably been in for at least twenty years. I represents me walking you into the ground, because I’m going to be here long after you’ve died of bad choices.

There’s a t-shirt I’m going to get printed one of these days, that sums up how I approach life, and the little things.

“You made those choices…”

Were they good ones?

3 thoughts on “StandStand (today’s Free advertising)

  1. Barry Melius

    Started using a kneeling chair a few months ago,but you’re right sitting in any form seems to be a back killer. Working up to standing more-you’re a good example. Used to get serious back aches way back when-started doing a few sit ups every day. Just seven sit ups,but every day and after 25 years I still get an occasional mildly stiff lower back that usually goes away within two to four days but not the horror show it used to be.

  2. J. D. Brink

    I like that: “Not my circus. Not my monkeys.”
    I was just telling someone this morning that I have no desire to be a ring master, because even if you are in charge, you’re still in circus.
    Unfortunately I have another year left in this circus, during which time I am required to take responsibility for the monkeys. But one more year… If all goes according to plan, this will be my last July in the Far From the Greatest Show on Earth.

    1. Blaze Post author

      yeah, but then she’s gonna make you go get a real job or something… 🙂

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