Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"More time to creep behind aisle three."

  • I broke down this afternoon and ate some candy for no goddamned reason other than I was starving.  I need to start bringing more snacks to work because my metabolism is super charged these days.
  • I like the direction season 2 of Breaking Bad is taking with the lawyer.  I think it's going to introduce some cool stuff though they should've just shanked Badger.
  • Damn.  It's supposed to be 68 here tomorrow.  Sweet.  Hopefully the pond in my front yard will dry out a bit.  The warm weather will give my roof a rest as well.
  • I've got volleyball tonight, but I don't really feel like going.  I'll tough it out though because I need the exercise.
  • I'm thinking of visiting the Bay Area this summer.  I think it all depends on whether I get some money from a settlement with my former employer.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"I'm not a mind reader."

  • Today was better than yesterday. The electrician and his brother came over this morning and we figured out the problem. For some reason, the deck and patio outlets are on the same circuit as the finished basement. It's been raining recently and the critters are active as well so I'm not surprised there is a short outside. He disconnected the deck and patio from the finished basement. When I get some money, I'll have him hook them up to their own breaker and put the lines in conduit to keep the critters away.
  • I'm still bummed about the cost of my new roof, but it needs to get done. Hopefully I'll get a bonus a week from Thursday.
  • I've been really hungry lately so I guess I'm detoxing from sugar and/or my metabolism is ramping up because I'm more active.
  • It's supposed to be 80 on Saturday so I need to figure out some outdoor activities. I guess I can prepare the ground for my herb garden.
  • I'm going to see if I can save enough money to visit California this summer. Maybe I can pare down my road trip to a few less cities.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"When I die, fuck it I wanna go to hell."

  • I'm pretty fuckin' far from ok today. I woke up tired and slept in by an hour, but didn't really have much get-up this morning. Work dragged and then I got a call from my roofer. My roof is twice as big as I thought so I need to spend twice as much money which is 33% more money than I have right now. It means I'll need to use all my 401k loan money plus my tax return plus any bonus I get on a new roof which does fuck-all for me now other than save me more money and hassle down the line. Maybe it adds to the value of the house, but maybe not. Gah. No more spending on anything other than food or gas.
  • I haven't been sticking very well to my no expectations philosophy. I need to give less of a shit.
  • I'm still detoxing from sugar which means I'm hungry all the time for now reason. I just ate a big ass dinner and my stomach feels empty. I know better than to eat more because it's just the craving talking.
  • I was going to drive down to EFK on Wednesday, but I've got too much work to do. Oh well. I'll go down next week.
  • seems like any money from Spansion could come in June. I could definitely use it given the first item.

101 items in 1001 days update

Another day, another couple of new recipes. Tonight I made cold eggplant with sesame dressing and shrimp in tamarind sauce over rice. The eggplant turned out well, but the shrimp dish had too much of a lime taste and I couldn't taste the tamarind. I couldn't find tamarind paste so I made my own from water and tamarind pulp.

Here's the eggplant:

Here's the shrimp:

Both recipes came from Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World. I think I'll take a break from that cookbook for a week or two.

I'm now up to 21 recipes in my recipe task for my challenge. I don't know if I can do five every weekend, but I feel like I can finish this challenge within a year or so.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Fuck a medic, we gonna call yo ass a taxi cab."

  • I've been pretty productive today. I did laundry, cleaned my house thoroughly, went to work and cooked a pretty tasty meal. I also found time to play some computer games and to watch some of the tournament.
  • I've realized I'm a pretty weird dude, but people seem ok and are able to get along with me. I need to realize that my sense of humor is pretty unique though.
  • Portland beat Oklahoma tonight. I didn't catch the game, but I'm stoked just the same.
  • My sugar cravings are starting to dissipate. I'll have to see what happens when I'm tempted tomorrow at work.
  • Taking it slowly is definitely a new experience for me. I'm doing ok so far though.

101 items in 1001 days update

I cooked more tasty food tonight.  I made stir fried spicy shredded pork from Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World and served it over rice and with gai lan with oyster sauce from the same cookbook.  Gai lan is Chinese mustard greens, but I used regular good ol' American mustard greens.  I did use authentic Sichuan peppercorns for the stir fry dish though.

Both turned out pretty well and made a healthy amount of leftovers.

Here I am with the stir fry:

Here are the mustard greens:

I'm counting each one as a separate recipe so I've now complete 19% of my recipe task in my challenge.  Sweet.  Makin' good progress.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

101 items in 1001 days update

I tried another recipe tonight, chicken and sausage in vinegar, from Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World.  It's simple, healthy and tasty.  I would definitely make it again and recommend using chicken thigh.

I've now completely 17% of my recipe task in my challenge.  Sweet.

"Cause I'm a piece of shit, it ain't hard to fuckin' tell."

  • I haven't made it into work yet and I'm not sure I'm going in today.  Maybe I'll just go in tomorrow.  I need to get my work computer fixed so I can use it from home.
  • It was sunny out today, but not particularly warm.  Hopefully spring is on its way.
  • I hit a Chinese grocery store this afternoon to get Sichuan peppercorns and stuff for tamarind paste.  It reminded me of the Chinese grocery store I used to hit up in Ithaca.  I even ran into one of my Japanese coworkers there.  Strange.
  • Day one of my sugar detox isn't going smoothly.  I've been a little irritable and I'm definitely hungry, but it's more like a craving than real hunger.
  • My friend went with me to Lowe's and I got a majesty palm.  It's not the butterfly palm I was looking for, but it'll be good enough and it was only $10.
 Yeah, it looks pretty stupid sticking out of the pot like that, but it's alright.

Fitness update

I gained nearly 3 lbs of fat this week, but I know why.  Thanks to some sinus trouble, I didn't make it to any of my athletic activities.  Thanks to my weak will, I ate too much sugar.  I'm back on the wagon now so I'm pretty sure I can drop this extra chunk off.  It'll slow down my progress, but I'll be alright.

I need to stop medicating with sugar though.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Your reign at the top was short like leprechauns..."

  • Sweet.  I didn't watch it, but Portland jacked Dallas at home.  I think Portland can make the playoffs as a low seed, but I'm not sure they're going far.
  • Cornell's tournament run is over, but Kentucky is a good team.  Syracuse got jacked as well so it hasn't been a good tournament for the Big (L)East.
  • I can now consistently do two consecutive pull-ups.  Two doesn't sound like much, but I've got thick legs which act as dead weight during this exercise.  I can do a third every now and then.
  • I slept in again this morning for no good reason.  I need to get out of my lazy habit.
  • I'm starting my sugar detox today and it's going to be ugly for sure.
  • I know I'm hard up when my project leader is starting to look good.
  • It seems I've got a loose wire in my basement which is why the breaker immediately resets when I flip it.  Bum deal.  Hopefully the electrician can find the loose wire because I want to use my home theater again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"The diver is down."

  • A lot of people are getting pretty butthurt by this health care debate. It does seem to get at the fundamental issue of how much should our government do for its citizens. A strict interpretation of the Constitution would find most government programs to be in violation. As a Libertarian, I would like to see the government shrink rather than grow. I support some basic health care for all so people don't die for lack of money, but I'm not sure the federal government should administer the program. I also don't like the provision requiring people to have health insurance. A friend sent me the text of the bill so I'll read it during some free time. Heh.
  • I'm starting to feel better, but I think I'll skip basketball tonight to give myself more of a break. I think I need a couple more nights of going to bed early. I slept in by an hour this morning, but it's all good. It just means I won't get as good of a parking space.
  • It looks like my plumber can also fix my busted fuse so I can use my home theater again. I'll have to find out when though. At least I know I've got the scratch to pay for his work.
  • It looks like it'll be sunny, but cold out today so the spring weather isn't quite here yet. I bet it'll snow another time just for good measure.
  • Slow it is.
  • IRS' refund tracker tells me I should get my refund by April 27. Weak sauce since I mailed it in during February. Better late than never.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"...when I set my path."

  • I felt like throwing up for most of yesterday so I left work early and didn't go to badminton.  I slept for a couple of hours after I got home and felt a little better.  I feel just ok physically this morning, but not great mentally.
  • It looks like I need to find an electrician to replace a blown fuse in my finished basement.  I watched a DVD on my old TV instead of in my home theater.  Boo hoo hoo.  Life is so unfair.  Heh.
  • I've been feeling lost this week and haven't been sleeping well either.  One of my CA friends asked when I was going to move back and those kinds of questions always bring up a sore subject.  I think I have a "good" job out here considering the economy, but I didn't like leaving CA on someone else's terms.  Yeah, I could've stayed, but I would've run out of money before I found a new job.
  • My aunt's tumor is benign which is great news because she's already had cancer somewhere else a few years ago.  They'll try to remove the tumor from her thyroid.
  • Hmmm...I'm not sure if I'm a take-it-slowly kind of guy.  Maybe it's something for me to work on, but we can't change who we are at the core.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


  • Got denied last night. I'm worried I'm running out of options.
  • For some reason, the breaker for the finished part of my basement keeps tripping. I'll leave it off for now until I have time to deal with it. Heh. Deal with it? Like I have the skill to diagnose the problem. Hopefully it's weather related and not because some critter chewed through some lines.
  • It has been raining steady since last night and the roofer is going to take a look today or tomorrow. He seemed a little defensive when I called him yesterday. I'm not in a huge rush, but it had been ten days since I heard from him and he said he was going to look two Mondays ago. Your word is your bond.
  • I woke up three or four times this morning before my alarm went off. I haven't had a good night of sleep in about a week. I'll try to hit the hay early tonight.
  • Time to motivate myself to get a move on.

101 items in 1001 days update

Last night I made plantains and meat casserole from Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World.  I couldn't find plantains at the store so I used bananas instead.  They aren't the same, but it's alright.  I also used ground turkey for the ground meat to be healthy.
The bananas added some sweetness, but I think the dish turned out pretty well.  It's definitely easy to make and pretty healthy because it's full of vegetables.

It's a new recipe so it counts.  I'm now 16% through my recipe task for my challenge.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Cash rules everything around me."

  • Well, I figured out why my alarm didn't seem to work last week.  The stupid bulb burned out.  It should've lasted longer than 20 days, but oh well, I've got a couple more.  I'm surprised I managed to wake up on time.
  • I wish I could have a couple of nights of dreamless sleep.  My dreams tend to be vivid (though in black and white) and disturbing.  I'm going to blame all the sugar I had yesterday.  I was self-medicating with it and overdosed.  I feel like throwing up this morning, but I'll try to make it into work.
  • I could've sworn I own a toilet plunger and I remember using one back in CA.  Either I'm going crazy or the moving dudes took it.  Since it's unlikely they'd risk their jobs over a $5 item...Weird.  I just had the strongest memory of using it in one of my bathrooms in CA and plunging up what looked to be a toy that the kid upstairs might've flushed.  Hmmm...I looked in both bathrooms here and in the basement, but didn't see anything.  Not a great start to today.
  • I wish I had more days off.  I checked my pay stub yesterday and I've got three days saved up, but I'm going to use them around Memorial Day for my road trip down south to visit a few people.  It's too bad there aren't any holidays for me between New Year's and Memorial Day.  Maybe I need to use one of the days before then anyhow.  I'm not sure I'll make be able to work full time over the next two months.
  • I'm eating breakfast now and feeling worse than when I woke up.  Not cool.  I think I am my own worst enemy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"The doctor cut me."

  • I'm addicted to Dinosaur Barbecue's Wango Tango barbecue sauce.  It's habanero hot and is hella tasty.  It's all natural as well which is always a good thing.  Dinosaur Barbecue is a restaurant in Syracuse, but you can find their barbecue sauces in Upstate NY.  I'm using the sauce to make barbecue chicken in the crockpot.  You slice up a red onion and put the slices at the bottom, put in a healthy amount of chicken and cover in sauce.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Enjoy.  I've made it before and it's awesome.  I'm using chicken thigh because it's tastier and healthy, but it shouldn't affect the cooking time nor the ease with which I can shred it.
  • It hasn't rained as much as predicted and is actually partly sunny now.  I'm hoping my front yard pond can dry out a bit more.  In the next month or so, I'm going to figure out how to reclaim the swamp.  I'm sure it's great for the frogs and mosquitoes, but I'm worried about all that water undercutting my foundation.
  • The Blazers are playing Phoenix tonight, but the game is on too late for me.  I'll try to watch some of the first quarter, but I need to be in bed by 11 or 11:30 if I want to be functional tomorrow.
  • I went in to work this morning and was fairly productive.  I feel accomplished and the day is still young.  I'll watch some college basketball this afternoon while I eat lunch.
  • It's a lot easier to cook when you have the right equipment.  My Cuisinart Food Processor is awesome.  I used it to chop up some cabbage for fish tacos and used it to slice the red onion for the barbecue.  It took about 60 s in total to do both and clean up isn't a big deal.  Pretty sweet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

101 items in 1001 days update

For dinner tonight, I made fish tacos using a recipe from Bittman's The Recipes in the World.  The recipe calls for white fish, chile powder, lime juice, garlic, corn meal, salt and pepper.  You fry the fish up in some oil and serve in a tortilla with shredded cabbage and salsa.  I also put on some guacamole because it's one of my favorite toppings.

Here's a shot of the fish in the frying pan:
It turned out really well and seems pretty healthy.  This recipe is a new one to me so it counts towards my challenge.  Sweet.  I've now completed 15% of the recipe task.

"And I hate my face."

  • It seems like a pretty nice day, but I've spent it inside so far doing laundry, playing a computer game and cleaning up the kitchen.  I should've gone hiking today, but I don't have snowshoes and don't want to trek through any snow.
  • I'm going to make three dishes today, tomorrow and on Monday.  I usually just make two during the weekend, but I want to add some more variety to my meals or I end up eating the same thing for lunch and dinner five days in a row.  Not cool.
  • I still feel pretty congested so it'll probably take another day or two to flush out the dairy.
  • The Blazers barely beat Washington last night - not a good sign of things to come.  They had five days off, but still came out pretty flat and nearly lost to a crummy team.
  • The neighbor across the street is giving away a couple of recliners.  They don't look that comfortable, but free is a very good price.  They look a little funky though and you have to wonder why he's giving them away.  I guess I could put them in my basement, but I'm not sure I'm that hard up for seating since it's usually just me.

Fitness update

I more or less kept pace this week with a 1.5 lb increase with 0.5 lb being fat.  It's not a big deal in the long run.  I went to badminton and basketball this week since volleyball was off.  I think I did the right amount of exercise, but I had a lot more sugar than planned.  I need to stop medicating with it for sure.

It seems like the weather has turned for the better so I should be able to start riding my bike again.  I think I'll start riding it over to the park where I can shoot some hoops since I need to practice big time.  I'm tired of being the worst dude on the court so I'm going to do something about it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"She's a brick..."

  • I was in a pretty wretched mood this morning, but it sort of disappointed by the end of the work day since it's Friday and I've got the weekend in front of me. I'm going to make sure to relax as much as I can. I'll watch some of the tournament, play some computer games, read and clean up my place.
  • I took a survey of my yard and it turns out some jerk animal has been gnawing on my apple trees. I sprayed some Repels-All on them so hopefully there'll be no more snackin'. I'm not sure my red delicious tree is going to survive though.
  • It seems like the warm weather is here to stay, but I haven't heard back from the roofer. I'll give him a call on Monday to find out what's going on. I don't think my wet spots are getting worse, but I'd like to get things done before the heavy spring rains.
  • I've been feeling pretty lost this week, but I think it's due to the dairy. I've got to remind myself there is no destination: "How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?" - Metallica
  • Work has actually gone well this week which is good. I think I still want to move back West, but I need to save up some scratch. I need to see if there are any jobs for me out there as well.

"Sure don't mind the change."

  • My light alarm failed to wake me up this morning, but it's ok.  Friday has turned into a light day for me so I don't need to really be at work at any specific time.  I shouldn't lollygag too much though or I'll have to fight a lot of traffic.
  • I played poorly at basketball last night.  I need to practice shooting because the defense can leave me open without any worries.
  • I need to figure out how to recapture the good mood from last weekend.  Maybe I'll go for a bike ride later.
  • My patent got filed yesterday so I should except a little more money in a future paycheck.  It also means I can disclose the idea to my knucklehead colleagues so we can start working on it.
  • In addition to collecting the neighborhood's runoff, my front yard also seems to collect all its trash.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Feel the darkness."

  • I really need to cut back or cut out dairy.  I ate a big ass bowl of ice cream last night and I'm paying the price today.  It was tasty, but not worth the congestion.
  • My new "no expectations" policy has been tough to implement.  It's not apathy, but rather, investing less of myself.  If people don't want to hang out with me, no big deal and no big loss.
  • The tournament has started, but a lot of the games are on during the work day.  I've got sports three nights a week, but I figure I'll be able to watch enough of the games to enjoy the tournament.
  • I've been pretty busy at work this week because I've attached myself to a lot of projects.  Some might say too many, but I don't think so.  I need to become indispensable since the economy is tough.
  • Any suggestions for food I should cook this weekend?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Beat to death with a shovel..."

  • I'm down at another site for the day and haven't yet met with the person I came down to meet.  Pretty weak, but it's not my fault so I can't worry too much.
  • I think I'm going to convert my high expectations towards life into no expectations which is different than low expectations.  I'm sick of being disappointed.
  • It's a really nice day out so it's too bad I'm at work.  Today would be a great day to take a vacation day.
  • This other site has a really confusing layout.  The buildings are laid out such that you can't park near any particular one and inside, they are rabbit warrens.  I got lost both outside and inside this morning, but managed to find my way to the video conference room.  I won't say by myself, but no one led me there.
  • The first disc of the second season of Breaking Bad should show up tonight.  That show is pure awesome.  South Park also starts a new season tonight as well.  I'll have to make sure to watch the episode online later this week.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Don't trouble no policeman..."

  • It was wicked warm out today - probably above 60 F. Pretty sweet.
  • Hard cheese is not good for my mood. I've been eating some Swiss gruyere and I think I've got a sinus headache. It might've contributed to the craptacular day at work, but it's hard to say.
  • I'm still not adjusted to the time change, but tomorrow's another day.
  • I've got badminton tonight, but I'm not that stoked. It'll be good to get some exercise, but I'd rather stay at home and take it easy. I guess that whining is just the sinus headache talking.
  • I need to think of something tasty to make this weekend.

Project 365: Day 166

My Charlie Brown hemlock seems poised to look pretty good this summer:
The branches should unfurl as the weather continues to improve.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Project 365: Day 165 and 101 in 1001 update

Tonight I made pollo con salsa verde from Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World.  I wouldn't list out the recipe because I'm feeling lazy, but it uses the tomatillos photographed a couple of days ago along with pumpkin seeds (pepitas), cilantro, jalapeno, water, green onion and chicken.  I used natural chicken thigh and it tasted pretty good.  It's not an amazing dish, but hit the spot with some yellow rice and red beans out of a box.

I now have completed 14 recipes so I just have 86 new recipes to go before completing the new recipe task.  View my 101 list here.

"Everyday life..."

  • The good mood from this weekend evaporated this morning when I woke up.  I guess it left primarily because of the time change.  It was still pretty dark out when I got up and I had a hard time gettin' a move on.
  • People are overly complicated, but perhaps the problem is I'm too primitive and am motivated by only base emotions.
  • I need to hunt down a notary today to get my patent application notarized.  Hopefully I'll get a fat check for the submission.  Heh.  I think it's more like $500, but it's more than nothing.
  • I'm starting to think about getting cable again since I wasn't able to get any channels clearly yesterday.  I could ask my roofer to put an antenna up, but it would be nice to have more TV options.  Hmmm...something to think about for sure.
  • Beware the Ides of March!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

101 in 1001 days update

I tried a new recipe tonight from my friend Zorana's blog for Serbian stuffed peppers.  I don't have a baking dish with a cover so I used my crock pot.  The recipe calls for you to cook at 450 F, but I think even the high setting on the crock pot is only 300 F or so.  I did increase the time, but I don't think it was enough because it came out pretty watery.

The dish is healthy and pretty easy, but didn't seem to have too much flavor.  I'm not sure if I would try it again or not.  If I were to try it again, I'd add a lot more spices for sure.

It does count as the thirteenth new recipe so I only have 87 more to go in my challenge.

"Unlike the wolf, who made a widower of Grandpa."

  • Song from which the title lyrics are taken.
  • The good mood from yesterday morning has carried over today.  I feel great and pretty accomplished.  I woke up and hit work for a little less than an hour to check on stuff.  I hit up Sears afterwards and got some cool stuff.  I'm doing laundry now and stuffed peppers are in the crockpot cooking.  I still had time to play some computer games and to watch some college basketball.  It's only 3 now so I've got about 8 hours before it's time to hit the hay.  Life is good sometimes.
  • I don't mind going to work for a little bit on the weekend because it's nice and quiet there.  It was also on the way to Sears so it didn't add any extra mileage.
  • The rain has stopped for now so maybe my front yard pond can dry out.  I need to start thinking about where I can get some winter holly to help suck up the excess.  Maybe I could just ask your mom.  Oh!  Burn.  Heh.
  • I hope my tax refund shows up soon since I'm still in precarious waters financially.  I'll get a quote from the roofer this week so I'll have a better idea of how much money I need to have available.  Hopefully there will be some leftover from my 401k loan, but I'm not going to count on it.
  • I'm actually not hungry for sugar right now.  Sweet.

Project 365: Day 164

I went to Sears after work this morning to use my gift card.  It wasn't free money since it was how I got the rebate for delivery and installation of my oven.  Anyhow, I had a couple of things in mind and got some other stuff for camping.  I spent more than what was on the card, but it's not a big deal.

I got a rake, a hatchet for hiking/camping, a padlock for my garden shed, a small level, an LED flashlight for a friend, a cooler which can hold more stuff for lunch/camping and a camp chair which I can use during the summer so I can read outside.

I'd say it was a successful trip and that these purchases have utility.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Project 365: Day 163

I got some tomatillos at the store today to use in my salsa verde on Monday.  I didn't know what the heck one was until I looked it up on Wikipedia.

"I want to know this can be my fate."

  • I'm still in a great mood because of my fitness update and the three pullups I did this morning.  I know three doesn't sound like much, but I wasn't able to do any at the beginning of the year.  I've got pretty heavy legs so my arms need to be that much stronger to lift the dead weight.
  • I've cut back quite a bit on cheese, but I'm not sure it's the reason for the fat loss.  I'm pretty sure it's the sugar I've cut out.  I got pretty sugar greedy after the Super Bowl.
  • I'm feeling motivated this morning so I think I'll go into work after lunch for a little bit, then hit Sears to use my gift card and then hit the store.  If I'm not feeling up to it, I'll hit the store tomorrow, but I should try to go tonight.  
  • I have $83 to spend at Sears.  I'm thinking of getting a rake, a lock for my garden shed, some needles for my ball pump and maybe some sort of wheelbarrow/wagon if I think it'll fit in my car.
  • I'll watch The Hangover tonight.  It's supposed to be pretty funny.
  • It's raining now and the pond in my front yard is growing.  I'm going to need to do something about it this spring or I'll have my very own mosquito farm.
  • I'm going to make Zorana's stuffed peppers tomorrow, but I'll make them in my crockpot since I don't have a good baking dish with a lid.  I probably should get a nice cast iron one, but I need to stop spending money on stuff I don't need.  I need to stop trying to satisfy my wants since it's not possible.
  • I'll make pollo con salsa verde on Monday from a recipe in Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World.  I'm not sure if I can get pumpkin seeds or tomatillos, but I'll try.
  • I wonder when I should start my vegetarian week.

Fitness update

Super sweet. I lost 2.4 lbs of fat this week. I'm not sure how, but I went to all three Bethlehem activities, stayed away from sugar as much as I could and did my rope jumping, pullups and trampoline bouncing. This week sets a new record low for weight and body fat percentage and represents nearly 24 lbs of fat lost from my peak chunkiness in early 2008.

I was able to do three consecutive pullups this morning so this new fitness is legitimate. I get pretty stoked thinking about how strong I'll get after P90X.

I need to make sure I maintain momentum by continually to eat well. I'm still hungry for sugar, but the cravings are slowly going away.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Project 365: Day 162 and 101 in 1001 update

Tonight I went to Blue Spice Thai in Delmar with a coworker.  I thought of it as a date, but I'm not exactly sure what she thought.  Heh.  I'm pretty stupid when it comes to that kind of stuff, but it doesn't matter since we had fun. 

I made reservations for 7, but the place was pretty busy when we showed up promptly so we had to wait a bit.  They tried to give us the crappy table near the door/waiting area, but we held out for a better table.  We split a crunchy crab appetizer (love me some fried food).  I had blue mango curry and she had some sort of duck dish.  Everything tasted great and I was able to polish off my plate.

The waitstaff is certainly attentive, but tried to take our plates away before we were done and also kept trying to pick up the check even though I hadn't put any money down.  I guess people were waiting, but we had a reservation so we're going to stay until we're done.

This restaurant is new to me so it qualifies for one of the twenty as part of task 43 on my 101 in 1001 list.  Sweet.  The picture is of the crappy strip mall where the restaurant is.  It turns out there was a chance my car would get towed parked there so I moved it around back.  I think they just wanted to give me something to do while we were waiting.

She seemed to have as good of a time as I did so it looks like we'll meet up again in the future.

"I fuck in my vest, drive an armored tank y'all."

  • No 365 picture last night because I couldn't think of anything to shoot.  I'm pretty much done with the project, but I've still got 200 more days.  Hopefully the warmer weather will lead to more opportunities.
  • Yep, I'm bloggin' from work since I've got a little bit of time to kill.
  • I finally got a hold of the roofer yesterday and it sounds like he and I are on the same page.  He's going to check out my roof early next week and generate an estimate.  I most likely will get new skylights, but I'm pretty sure they can qualify for some energy tax credits this year.
  • I've done alright detoxing from sugar, but there are still a lot of temptations here.  The coughing dude has a huge pile of York Peppermint Patties on his desk.  Man, those are good.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about them.
  • Basketball went alright last night.  I didn't play well, but at least no one got hurt.  I definitely got some exercise and getting exercise is job one.
  • I slept in a bit this morning because I felt like it.  I still got to work by 8 though since I'm a big dork.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Slowly drowning through my own abuse..."

  • My light-based alarm clock has worked really well this week.  I wake up gradually and feel a little more refreshed than when I wake up with sound.  I'm sleeping less than seven hours, but I my athletic activities end late and I like to get in to work early.
  • Even though they're good exercise, the athletic activities have become a bit less fun lately.  The Albany area is lacking in younger folk and Bethlehem is no exception.  I'm no volleyball expert, but it is more fun to play with people who can move more than three steps in any given direction without getting tired.
  • Today is payday.  I always like getting paid even when every cent is spoken for.
  • I wonder when I'll get my federal tax refund.  It's been a few weeks now.
  • I might get a decent bonus from work, but I won't know for sure until the first week of April.
  • I need to figure out what to get with my Sears gift-card.  I was refunded the delivery costs for my new stove so it's not really free money.  I should use it on practical stuff like a rake, but I wouldn't mind having a new indoor basketball.
  • The Hangover came yesterday from Netflix.  It's supposed to be pretty funny so I'm looking forward to watching it this weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Project 365: Day 161

Holy dog shit.  My neighbors still have their Xmas tree up:
You can see its outline in the middle window.

As a bonus shot, here's the tree that fell over during the last storm:
I took this picture so my neighbors wouldn't get suspicious when they saw the camera flash.

"Hey you. Don't tell me there's no hope at all."

  • I caught myself yesterday saying "there's [something plural]."  Goddamn it.
  • Blogger has been wiggin' out.  When I hit enter to go to the next bullet, it takes me to the beginning of the one I just typed.  Weak sauce.
  • My dentist appointment isn't for three hours, but I got up at the usual, early time anyhow.  I could probably use another hour of sleep.
  • Tool's version of Comfortably Numb is bad.
  • System of a Down's Goodbye, Blue Sky is bad as well.  Not a good morning for Pink Floyd cover songs.
  • Some people have an overly high opinion of themselves.  I'm not angry with her, but I do pity her.
  • I feel like moving back to California, but I'm not sure there are any jobs for me out there.  I need to work out here for another couple of years anyhow, but I think I'll start saving up in case I need a career change.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Project 365: Day 160

It seems like all the snow in the neighborhood melted and pooled in my front yard:
There is a drain pipe which connects a ravine across the street with my yard.  I'm hoping water is intended to flow from my yard rather than to my yard, but I may need to do some landscaping.  I plan on planting a mess of winter holly.

"I like big butts...and I cannot lie."

  • I'm blurring the work-personal boundary by blogging after lunch, but I feel like it.  I always try to do what I want.
  • The dude who sits near me has been coughing up a storm.  I'm worried I'm in the germ path, but we'll see.  I'm trying to get and stay healthy.
  • It's tough working here because people are always bringing in crap to eat.  The coughing dude is the same guy with a big bowl of candy including many of my favorites.  I have a hard time not double fisting sugar into my mouth.
  • I just made reservations at a Thai restaurant for Friday night.  The woman on the phone spoke little English so I have high hopes for authenticity.
  • I really dig women with long, wavy hair.  Bubble butts are always appreciated as well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Project 365: Day 159 and 101 in 1001 update

Since I wasn't feeling motivated yesterday, I had my fish and chips tonight (along with some mustard greens to give the meal some color).

The fish came from this recipe from Wendy Sweetser's The Ultimate Fryer Cookbook:
1.5 lbs firm white fish like cod or haddock
Salt and pepper
All purpose flour for coating
Batter (see below)
Oil for deep frying

1. Skin the fish fillets and cut into four equal portions. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Dust the fillets with flour and then dip in the batter until well coated.
3. Heat oil for deep-frying to 375F. Fry the fish in the hot oil, two fillets at a time, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain and keep warm.

Beer Batter (from the same cookbook)
1 cup self-rising flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 oz light beer

Sift the dry ingredients together, make a well and pour in half the beer. Mix it up and then gradually add the rest of the beer, mixing until the batter is smooth. Let it rest for an hour.

Verdict: Just ok. I forgot the trick to prevent stuff with batter from sticking to the fry basket so I ended up with fish chunks rather than a big ol' fillet. The fish never really firmed up and the batter is too watery. It also didn't taste like much. It is doubtful I would make this recipe again.

French fries (from the same cookbook)
2 lbs Idaho potatoes
Oil for frying

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into roughly 0.25inx2.5in batons. Rinse, drain and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Heat oil to 325F, place half the fries in the frying basket and fry for 5 minutes until the fries are soft, but still pale-colored. Drain and do the other half the same way.
3. When you're hungry, reheat the oil to 375F and fry up all the fries for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Drain and eat.

Verdict: Not great. The fries had a decent taste, but wouldn't crisp up not matter how long I left them in there. Maybe the potatoes I used had too much moisture. I guess I could've let them dry out or something. I was hungry so I ate them a little mushy. It is also doubtful I would make this recipe again.

I've made many things out of this cookbook so I'm not sure why these two recipes bombed a bit. It could be I've lost the frying touch. I haven't had great luck with stuff with batter except for the chicken wings for the Super Bowl.

Still...two more recipes down for my 101 challenge.

"Avoiding all the people..."

  • "...afraid of saying the wrong things."
  • For some reason, charge from my solar charger does not last as long in my iPod as charge from the computer via USB. Electrons are electrons eh?
  • My Lite-Brite alarm clock worked perfectly this morning as I gradually came awake as it brightened. I need to have it start lighting up later though because I guess I'm more sensitive. I feel pretty good though.
  • Why is nearly every actor and actress on TV ripped?
  • I nearly did three consecutive pullups this morning. Pretty sweet.
  • Until my consumer and personal debt is paid off, I will not buy anything unless it has to do with my 101 list or is necessary.
  • The pond in my front yard has grown to the size of a small lake so I need to get some winter holly planted there STAT.
  • I think I'll ask the roofer dude to mount an antenna on the roof and run the cable down to the basement. I can't afford nor do I really want cable.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Servants in heaven, kings in hell..."

  • I can see now why people set limits on how many beers they'll have.  A valuable lesson going forward for sure.
  • I didn't end up making the fish and chips today.  I'll make them tomorrow.  The big question is whether I should count the fish and fries as separate recipes for my 101 challenge.  Hmmm...I guess so since they're on separate pages in the cookbook.
  • This weekend was really nice weather-wise, but I didn't take advantage of it.  Shame on me, but I expect the weather to improve going forward.
  • One of my cousins is a pilot for the Marines.  He may become associated with this detection system.
  • One of our mutual cousins just got accepted to the FBI late last week.  He definitely belongs.

Project 365: Day 158

This game is awesome.

Project 365: Day 157

Chicken barbecue pizza with plenty of vegetables to keep me healthy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fitness update

I lost three pounds this week, but little of it was fat.  Not cool.  The weather improved so I was able to go to badminton, volleyball and basketball.  I didn't do a good job of jumping rope and bouncing on my trampoline each morning so I need to get back into the habit.

I've sort of started a sugar detox, but we'll see for how long it lasts.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Project 365: Day 156

Marinating the chicken for the pizza.

"Grandma wishin' your soul's at rest..."

  • I still haven't gotten a good night's sleep since I've been using my new alarm clock. I guess I'm still paranoid it won't wake me up. It's also hard for me to fall asleep after late night exercise. I should sleep well tonight.
  • What do you do if you have a lot of money, but no common sense? You buy this monstrosity and call it a day. It doesn't look practical, but I guess practicality is well beyond the point. One Farker had this great comment: "Did you notice how it said sail back and forth across the Atlantic 4 times? 38 meters is too wide to fit through the Panama Canal. That 30 meter open deck will be useful as you search for the Northwest Passage." Heh. Funny shit.
  • It should be over 40F again today, but there is still quite a bit of stubborn snow hangin' out. As soon as my 401k loan check completely clears, I'll call up the roofer to get an estimate. It sucks I need to blow some money on a new roof, but I'll feel a lot better knowing it won't come crashing down on me in the middle of the night. Yeah, I actually do worry about crap falling on me while sleep. I guess I've got a number of reasons why I don't sleep well at night.
  • I did my taxes by hand and mailed them a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully that fat refund will make its way to my bank account soon. I think I'll get something for the patent filing as well. Sweet. I don't want any more black marks on my performance reviews. It would be a crying shame for me to be rated poorly since I'm actually a great employee. Ah...crap. I just threw my shoulder out pattin' myself on the back. Heh.
  • I need to start thinking of small gifts to get my family for their birthdays. I went all out for Xmas so I think it's ok if I don't now.
  • I was able to do two consecutive pullups this morning. Sweet.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Project 365: Day 155

"Stuck a pin in your backbone."

  • "All I ever wanted was to be your spine." Ah, the Archers of Loaf. Brings me back.
  • I've been in a pretty good mood today and I'm not sure if it's because of the boner pills or my sugar detox. Hopefully it'll continue because it's much better than being depressed.
  • Things have gone well at work this week and I've been able to keep busy. I was put in charge of a new project or two and my invention disclosure is going to get filed so it looks like I'll get patent number 2. Heh. Two is not many at all, but it's better than nothing.
  • I'm pretty stoked about making barbecued chicken pizza this weekend. It's a terrible food by paleo diet standards, but I haven't started that diet yet. I've still got a bunch of cheese and ice cream to polish off since I don't want it to go to waste.
  • I didn't see the bathroom dude today, but I did see him twice yesterday. I think he has to crap a lot. Maybe he drinks a lot of coffee. Someone once told me coffee can lead to the dookers for some people.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Project 365: Day 154

"I hung my head."

  • I didn't really get to test out my new alarm clock this morning. I was so worried I'd oversleep that I kept waking up every hour or so. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight.
  • I was a zombie at badminton last night and didn't really enjoy it. The facilities are pretty poor and it's always tough to see the birdie.
  • It's funny how most people can't relate with my dislike of celebrating my birthday. I had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and some soup for dinner. I did have a cupcake though. People asked how I was going to celebrate it. "Badminton." "And after?" "Uh...bedtime?" Heh.
  • I mailed my federal tax return last week and am now starting to wonder when I'll get my refund. I've mentally spent it which is stupid. I shouldn't spend any money I don't have, but I don't like to be denied.
  • A couple of friends of mine from hiking are doing P90X. They say it's effective and definitely kicks your ass. I don't want to wait to try it out, but I've still got badminton, volleyball and basketball for another few months.
  • Pacers at Blazers tonight, but it's on too late for me to watch more than just a little bit. Bummer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Project 365: Day 153

Happy Dr. Seuss Day

Heh.  Today also happens to be my 34th birthday.  I opened some gifts from my family this morning and am now fully strapped with regards to Sil-Pat.  I also got a more gentle alarm clock so hopefully I'll be more alert in the morning.  Over the weekend, I was given a bad ass lumbar massager.  I guess I got mostly relaxing gifts.  I had asked for a Rambo knife, but will need to get it myself along with P90X.  No worries and no complaints.

I'm not really big on celebrating my birthday which seems to bother some people.  It's just another day as far as I'm concerned, but I'm happy to eat sugar if it's given to me.  My friend got me some cupcakes on Friday and I was smart enough to save one for tonight.

I'll have leftovers for dinner tonight and then play badminton.  I haven't gone out to eat in a while, but I don't miss it since I think I'm a fairly decent cook and I even cooking.  I'm pretty careful about what goes in my body as well.

I don't usually blog from work, but I'm killing a little time before a meeting.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"If it's coming from my jaw, then it's pure anger."

  • I rocked my fat pants today. It's good to have some room for my boys.
  • Every time I hit the bathroom in the afternoon to take a leak, the same dude is in there backin' one out. He has distinctive shoes which are visible which is how I know it's him. He must be the most regular dude on the planet because he's always in there around the same time. Once or twice would be coincidence, but we're talking about fifteen to twenty times so far.
  • Plenty of single women at the grocery store tonight. Heh.
  • I deposited my fat 401k loan check. Sweet. Hopefully the roof repair/replacement will be reasonable.
  • Only two cupcakes are left. It's nearly time for my sugar detox.
  • Blazers at Memphis tonight. I'm worried Portland's frontline is too wimpy to slow down Gasol and Randolph.
  • I think I'll make a chicken barbecue pizza this weekend.

Project 365: Day 152