Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fitness update

I decided to take a measurement mid-week to see how I'm doing.  As you can see from the last point, I gained 1.6lbs overall, but lost 3lbs of fat.  I'm not sure I believe the numbers, but I think last week's measurement was too high.

I did do a strenuous (for me) hike on Saturday and have been eating well since so maybe the trend is right.

I have now lost nearly 3.5lbs of fat since I got back from my vacation.  My goal is to lose 10lbs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wild turkeys

A family of turkeys ran through my yard this afternoon.  I've never seen a baby turkey before.

Grilled shrimp

After hiking yesterday I grilled up some shrimp which was marinated using this recipe from Epicurious. I was lazy so I got cooked shrimp instead of raw. Big mistake since I ended up overcooking the shrimp a little. Fortunately my dinner companion brought a tasty quinoa salad. She and I have been eating a lot of quinoa lately for some reason, but I guess it's gaining in popularity.

The overcooked shrimp:
The marinade is really tasty though so I recommend this recipe using raw shrimp.

I've now polished off 42 recipes.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Yesterday I went hiking with a couple of my friends in the Catskills.  We hiked up and down Sugarloaf Mountain.  I was thoroughly beat up and down which is a first for me out here.  I guess my cardio fitness is pretty poor and I was dehydrated going up.  I need to be more active during the week.

Anyhow, it was a great hike with lots of steep sections and some nice views.  It rained lightly on the way down, but we were under tree cover for most of the hike.

Picture vomit:

I took my GPS unit with me so here is our track:
The relevant statistics:
Mileage: 6.46mi
Moving avg: 2.3mph
Moving time: 2:47
Overall avg: 1.6mph
Total ascent: 2279ft
Max elevation: 3780ft

This hike is the third I've done for my challenge.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fitness update

Son of a gun.  I actually gained half a pound of chunk this week.  I'm still four-tenths towards my target of ten pounds of fat loss, but I thought I was pretty good this week about exercising and eating right.  I guess I was wrong.

The graph shows my weight has been headed in the desired direction, but I plateaued on body fat and now it's creeping up.  No good.  Hiking today will help, but I need to find some other activities during the week that can help build a sweat.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First impression of Black and Decker CM1936 cordless electric mower

It didn't rain today so I tried out my new cordless electric mower after work. I mowed as much of my lawn as I could before the charge died. I figured I mowed about half my lawn, but I have a big yard and the grass was a couple of feet high since I've been derelict. In fact, I only bought a new mower because the grass was too tall for my reel mower to handle. I think I'd could mow the whole lawn on a single charge if I mow regularly.

I like my new mower quite a bit. It's much quieter than a gas-powered mower, but not quiet enough to mow at all hours. It produces no fumes which is always appreciated and it's safe because it only starts up if you have a secure grip on it. You'd have to be a contortionist to keep the mower running and get your hand near the blade.

I used the mulching mode and it did a great job and chopping up the grass and plants finely. The mower was fairly easy to handle though the turn radius is not quite as sharp as I anticipated.

I'm impressed overall and would definitely recommend this mower. It is a little pricey, but I think it's worth it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New toys

I figured I wasn't close enough to poverty so I ordered up a set of beginner's golf clubs
and a cordless electric mower.
I got an electric mower because this one produces zero emissions and electricity could, in theory, come from a renewable resource. I have been rockin' the old school reel mower, but I left the grass get too tall to cut. I'll give this new mower a try later this week.

I decided to pick up golf because I need to learn some patience and I've heard knockin' balls at the driving range is pretty relaxing. We'll see.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grilled cheese and cold tomato soup

Tonight's dinner was a grilled cheese sandwich and cold tomato soup.  The grilled cheese was tasty, but the soup was just ok.  I've made a couple of tomato soups now and haven't found one I like better than the stuff you get at the store.

I knocked off another recipe.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Curried quinoa and grilled chicken pitas

Tonight's dinner was pretty healthy.  I made curried quinoa based off an Epicurious recipe.  I didn't use real mango nor cucumber, but it still turned out well.  I put plenty of curry powder in because of some comments in the reviews.

My main course was grilled chicken pitas.  I marinated the chicken in lime juice for about 20 minutes while I made other stuff.  I grilled it, sliced it and served it with lettuce, tomatoes and herbed mayonnaise in whole wheat pita bread.  I based it off a recipe from my Weber grill book.

Two more new recipes knocked off and a tasty meal.  Sweet.

Fitness update

I was able to drop three pounds since Wednesday, but my scale tells me I only lost one pound of fat.  I disagree and think the humidity this morning is impacting the measurement.  However, the scale does get the relative trends right over time and I know I need to be more disciplined about my exercise.

Utmost Savagery by Col. Joseph H. Alexander

Last night I polished off my second book on WWII in the Pacific when I finished Utmost Savagery by Col. Joseph H. Alexander. I got a bit lost in some of the military nomenclature, but I really enjoyed this book which described the 3-4 day battle between the US and Japan on Betio, an island in the Tarawa atoll.

The fighting was pretty bloody since the US had to wade through 1000 yards of shallow water to get to the island. The Japanese could use their anti-aircraft guns to mow down the incoming Marines. The US eventually figured out a good strategy for bringing troops to shore which helped in later battles on Saipan and Iwo Jima. The US also realized it needed waterproof radios and tanks with fording kits.

I highly recommend this book.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sausage and chile cornbread

I felt like something spicy so I made sausage and chile cornbread for dinner tonight.  Hot damn it turned out well and I knocked off another recipe.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fitness update

I hopped on the scale this morning to see what damage my vacation did.  It looks like I gained about 3lbs of fat while driving around the country.  I'm not too surprised, but a bit disappointed since it's much easier to put the chunk on than to take it off.

The optimist buried inside me will say the measurements aren't real.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Road trip: Day 13

I left around 9:30 because my cousin said to wait out traffic. I still caught some 395-N traffic, but nothing major. I made it back to NY at a reasonable time. Over the 13 days of my road trip, I drove 3105 miles. Crikey. I had a great time and saw a lot of people and ate great food, but I'm sick of driving.

I polished off my new restaurant task, went hiking once and added six more states. I didn't get a museum because it's called the Civil Rights Institute. Close though.

Road trip: Day 12

I hit the road and made it up to the DC area around 3:30.  I hit Cracker Barrel for lunch since I needed to see what the fuss was about.  The store is cool with retro candy and drinks, but the food is just ok.  When I got to Arlington,  I caught up with my cousin and his family and his parents (my aunt and uncle) for a bit and then we headed out to my cousin's son's playoff baseball game.  I was bad luck because they only got one half inning in before a thunderstorm hit.  Our other cousin drove up from Quantico, but only caught the rain delay.

We waited under shelter for the rain to stop, but the coaches called the game because the field was wet.  We headed out to the Dogfish Head Ale House for dinner.  I had some nachos, a beer and pizza.  The food was great, but they had a dude playing the sax which was a little loud.  After dinner, we hung out and talked and then my uncle and I watched an episode of The Pacific.

It was great seeing my cousin since it's been more than 10 years.

Picture vomit:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Road trip: Day 11

I slept in a bit yesterday, but managed to get up at a decent time.  We drove over to Bogue's for breakfast where I got biscuits and gravy and some bacon.  I thought it was pretty good and hit the spot. 

After breakfast, I packed up my stuff and hit the road.  It was in the high 90's, according to my car's calculations, from Atlanta to just outside of Charlotte.  Holy moly.  My a/c was working hard, but you could still tell it was hot and I was pretty sleepy most of the way.

I stopped for lunch at a Publix grocery store since I just wanted a deli sandwich.  I got gas and then drove straight to Charlotte.  The Motel 6 that I reserved didn't have wireless as advertised so I checked in at the Billy Graham Holiday Inn instead.  It's three times as much, but at least five times nicer. 
For dinner, I drove into Charlotte to go to Mert's, a barbecue place my friend recommended.  The service was a little spotty, but the food was pretty good.  I got chopped pork with a couple of sides and banana pudding for dessert.

After dinner, I came back to the hotel to do some work, watch some of the Lakers-Celtics game and to do some reading.  I didn't sleep all that well because they over-starched the sheets, but I'm up and at 'em this morning.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Road trip: Day 10

Yesterday was pretty chill. We had some breakfast here and then went to the grocery store to pick up stuff to bring to the World Cup potluck my friend's colleague threw. On the way, we stopped at a yard sale where she got some glasses.

We watched the US draw against England which was a great result for the US, but terrible for England. The US goal was "cheap," but still counts and the US nearly punched another in at the end. England has better players on paper, but they didn't play all that well as a team. The food at the potluck was great, but three separate people told me they had met me before which was really weird since I've never been to Alabama before.

After the potluck, we went to Sloss Furnaces and walked around a bit.  It was wicked hot out so we hit a Piggly Wiggly for some drinks.  We came back to her place with the intention of just taking it easy for thirty minutes, but we both fell asleep for more than two hours.  I guess due to a combination of excessive sun and food.  We woke up late enough to have missed some things we planned, but it was ok.  We walked down to a parade and then came back for dinner and Ricochet Robots.

It's still wicked hot here, but I'm going to drive to Charlotte so I'll get to enjoy some a/c in my car.

Picture vomit: