Those who read my blog know that this year has been a bit roughly personally, but I still have quite a bit to be thankful for. I still have my health, I haven't lost anyone to the great beyond and I'm still employed. I've got great friends and family and think that maybe the US is finally headed back in the right direction.
I hope everyone out there is having a good Thanksgiving spent with friends and/or family.
I definitely need to exercise more. There was an article in the paper saying that it's good to get at least 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 180 minutes of vigorous exercise in a week. That sounds like a lot, but seems like a good goal. They defined vigorous exercise as anything that prevents you from holding a normal conversation. I think jumping on my trampoline is moderate exercise and so is walking to work. My track work most definitely qualifies as vigorous because anyone who can hold a conversation while sprinting isn't running hard enough.
I'll keep track of my exercise more carefully just like I did with my food when I started Phase I of the South Beach Diet. I need to be more disciplined about getting into shape. The endorphins will definitely help my mood.
I can take a walk after lunch at work, a walk at night after dinner, can walk to work more often and can use the stair climber at my apartment complex. It's too bad I don't have my own place yet because then I could jump rope. That's great exercise.
Yes, all five of you. I am in Portland for the holidays so updates will be few and far between. I have been taking a lot of pictures already of my parents' new kitchen and their dog, Toby. He's as funny and as greedy as ever.
The Blazers came in town on Tuesday and I had scored some good tickets from Stub-Hub: 16th row off the court, 11 seats in from center court. Portland lost in mildly controversial fashion, but I still had a good time. I took a few pictures though most suck. Here they are anyhow.
There were a decent amount of Blazers' fans in the crowd, but not enough to turn the tide of homerism.
Well, it seems like no house for me at the beginning of the year. My mortgage broker neglected to mention that there are several fees that I would need to pay and that I do not qualify for down payment assistance so I would need to pony up property taxes in advance. Weak. Right now I'm about $10k short and there isn't any way I can raise that money any time soon. I'm pretty disappointed because I was looking forward to pimpin' out my own place. Housing prices are still dropping and I don't see the US coming out of this recession any time soon so they should continue to fall. Maybe they'll fall enough for me to get back into the game. I could probably afford a place in the ghetto or with a long commute, but I don't really feel like spending two hours in the car every day.
I thought I had properly explained my situation to the mortgage broker earlier this year, but I guess not. Or maybe he wasn't paying attention since it was way in advance of when I'd buy a place.
I also need to be careful because my job is most definitely not secure and it might take a few months to find a new one in this environment.
The place where I work has decided enough is enough and is suing Samsung for billions and billions of dollars in lost royalties. I guess when the economy is tough and your outlook is bleak you should find a company with deep pockets and then try to sue them.
Hopefully the patent suit actually has merit because it would be nice for the company to get an infusion of cash during this downtime.
Day 320: Weight = 190.6 lbs (-2.6 lbs) Body fat = 27.3 % (+0.1 %) Visceral fat = 9 (no change) Resting metabolism = 1839 kCal (-17 kCal)
The weight-loss probably is just water loss since I was hiking yesterday in the sun. I'm not sure why my resting metabolism dropped that much, but I need to be more active during the week. I've been doing a good job of hitting the track on Sundays, but once a week isn't enough. I need to start playing basketball again on Thursdays.
I definitely think I'm making progress though. I'm not sure I'll be "ripped" by the end of the year, but I think I can drop another five pounds. When I'm in Portland next week I plan on jumping rope every day. That should help for sure.
To take advantage of the unseasonably warm (~80 F) weather, I drove up to Oakland to go hiking in the Redwoods Regional Park. It's right behind Berkeley and parking was free because it's out of season. I didn't hike for too long, but long enough to get a good workout and to work up a sweat.
As you can see I've got my socks pulled up big dork style. It kept my ankles from getting scratched and that's always appreciated. I'm not sure why I'm posing like a dork, but there you go.
Tonight was pool night at the pool hall I like the best - California Billiards in Mountain View. There were a lot of people and it wasn't too much of a sausage fest so that's always good. There were more cougars than usual so it was funny to watch older women hit on the younger dudes. I played much better this time than last. One game I played really well and hit some tough shots. I'm going to ask for a pool cue for Xmas though since I'm tired of playing with the knotted tree branches these pool halls have. Normally a stick means you're a good player, but I'll get one without any adornment so maybe no one will notice. It would be nice to have some consistency in my shots and I think you can get a pretty good stick for around $100.
I walked to and from work today so that means I had some time to think. I was thinking mostly about houses this morning. I'll probably need to widen my house search to get into a better neighborhood. It's more important that I live in a quiet place than somewhere right near work. I'll look at Santa Clara and maybe some parts of San Jose. The problem is that I don't know Silicon Valley all that well so I'm not sure where the good neighborhoods are. Sure, Palo Alto, Atherton and Los Altos are nice, but I can't afford a garbage can there. I'll see what my realtor has to say. I've got friends here that know the area pretty well too.
I was also thinking about how even though it's been nine months, I'm still "not ready." I'm not even sure how to describe what I'm feeling, but that's the best I came up with. I feel unsettled and adrift for sure. Getting dumped is an uprooting experience for sure, but I probably should just drink a can of Tough the Fuck up and focus on what I like to do - exercise, pool and sports.
Today at work I found out my work friend got a promotion and I feel a little weird about that. I'm happy for her, but I've worked there just a month or so less, but probably won't even be considered for a promotion for another year at least and who knows what'll happen between now and then? I don't think a promotion these days comes with a salary bump, but to me it's a recognition that your hard work is appreciated and that's nice. It sort of sucks being the lowest dude on the ladder even though you work your ass off. Heh. It sounds like I need another shot of Tough the Fuck up.
I've got a nice deep fryer so I thought I would put it to use tonight. I've got a fryer cookbook and it has a recipe for Greek pastries. You take 9 oz of feta cheese and mash it up with black pepper, chopped mint, oregano, thyme and an egg. You get some phyllo dough, slice it into long thin strips, put a spoonful of cheese stuff and then fold it up like a triangle. You're supposed to be able to seal the edges, but that didn't happen for me. Maybe I should've coated the edges with egg instead of oil.
The recipe says it should make 24 pastries, but I only got 12. I guess I put too much stuff into each one. Oh well.
I fried them up at 370 F for about 10 minutes, flipping them over in the fryer because they wouldn't stay submerged. They don't look like much, but they actually taste pretty good. The pastry absorbed a lot of oil though. Maybe that's why they taste good.
Not really, but I'm not sure it's a good idea to listen to mournful Johnny Cash on the way to work on a gloomy day when you don't feel right in the head. I've been mainlining the Oreo ice cream I made last Friday and y'all know how dairy messes with my moods.
Work has been pretty hectic as well, but there's nothing new there.
I walked to work yesterday and that usually provides me with ample time to think about whatever pops in my head. Yesterday was the exception because I didn't really think about anything. I usually think about houses because I check them out as I walk through neighborhoods. I'm still planning on buying one, but I'm $1600 short for my 3.5% down payment. I might not buy until February or March so I've got some time to save up, but money is definitely tight these days and usually gets tighter around the holidays because of plane tickets and presents. Maybe I should start playing the lottery.
Day 313: Weight = 193.2 lbs (+1.0 lbs) Body fat = 27.2 % (+0.5 %) Visceral fat = 9 (no change) Resting metabolism = 1856 kCal (+4 kCal)
Hmmm... I've still got the spare tire and I think it's been inflating the past month or so because I've been eating too much sugar and not getting enough exercise. Bouncing on the trampoline is a good start to the day, but is no substitute for cardiovascular exercise. I need to hit the track once a week and then play basketball and ride my bike(s). I'd like to start training at a boxing or martial arts gym, but I've got cash flow problems since I'm saving up for a down payment.
The sugar rush I can definitely fix by not buying crap. I need to be disciplined at the store and that should help my wallet as well. Making mint Oreos-and-creme ice cream Friday night doesn't help though. Damn that shit tastes good.
Today is pay day and I noticed that work had deposited two amounts in my bank account this morning, one for the regular amount and the other for a couple hundred bucks. I thought they effed up so I checked my paystub at work and I got money for a patent that we filed earlier this year. Sweet. A couple hundred bucks isn't much, but when you're poor, every bit helps.
Tonight I was compared to D.A.R.Y.L. Some of you might remember that he was the eponymous character of a cheesy 80's movie. He's a robot, but he doesn't realize it. My friend meant it as a sort of compliment because Daryl was pretty smart and pretty strong, but she also meant that I keep my feelings deep down inside. I guess I can't argue with that too much since I'm a private person for sure. I'm not sure I would go as far as saying I'm a robot though. I think I have more of a problem with expressing my feelings than having them. There are plenty boiling around in me, but they stay in there.
There are just a couple of days until the election and I'm feeling...apprehensive is probably the best word. I'm worried that Americans will fuck up and vote for McCain/Palin. I don't know that Obama is going to be even an adequate president, but I do know that McCain will be a terrible one. We need someone to get us the fuck out of Iraq, someone to restore the meritocracy instead of the good ol' boy network and someone to restore some sanity to the financial markets. I don't think more bailouts are necessary, but we do need to bring back the regulation that prevented banks from risking our money needlessly.
Despite fairly heavy rain, Tara and I made plans to get out and get some exercise. She lives in Los Altos so we decided to do the Los Altos-Palo Alto bike path. She ran while I rode my BMX bike (DK Fury, pictured in my dining area drying off).
The path winds through Los Altos behind people's backyards and ends at Hanover just south of Stanford. We continued on to the Stanford campus. I guess it was something like four miles in each direction so Tara got a good run in while I got a pretty easy bike ride. However my BMX bike is pretty effin' heavy and has just one gear so it wasn't as easy as eight miles on a road bike. I also got some strange looks at Stanford because I was rockin' a helmet and had my socks pulled up to keep my shins dry.
We then hit Stacks in Menlo Park for a late breakfast. There was a big ass crowd, but we name-dropped one of Tara's friends to score a big booth to ourselves. My omelet was just ok so I'm not sure what the fuss is, but I have bad luck with breakfast places so perhaps my opinion no longer counts.
Later that night I hit Shoreline Billiards for pool night with the Yahoo Group. It was my third event with the group and I had fun despite sucking. I mix in flashes of brilliance with utter crap. I think the unpredictability is worst part for me. However, each event has been held at a different pool hall so I haven't been on the same tables or used the same cues twice. I'm tempted to get my own, but I don't want to look like a poser. It would be nice to have one though. I'll get some when I get a table for my new place. I'm also going to see if I can check out some pool instructional books from the library. One dude at the event swore that's he got good. He also has his own table which makes it much easier to practice what you read. Once I get mine, I'll play every day for sure. I could definitely play while watching football.
In any case, the people at the group are nice and don't really care how much I or others suck so it's all good.
Day 306: Weight = 192.2 lbs (-0.8 lbs) Body fat = 26.7 % (+0.3 %) Visceral fat = 9 (no change) Resting metabolism = 1852 kCal (-5 kCal)
The numbers still look decent, but I think that I'm eating too much sugar. I've lost sugar discipline both at work and at home. I probably should go on Phase I for a week or so to "detox," but that doesn't sound like much fun.
Last week I didn't make it to the track and mainly just bounced on my trampoline and did some strength training. Yesterday I went for a long bike ride so that probably helped.
I'm slipping so I need a kick in the ass to eat/drink less sugar and to exercise more. I can see from the picture that I'm losing a bit of definition and that is the wrong direction.