Thursday, March 31, 2011

"When the darkness comes what will you see?"

Not much has been going on lately.  I'm planning on driving out to Western Mass for dinner tomorrow night, but we're supposed to get a mess of snow early tomorrow.  I'm hoping it all melts by the early afternoon, but who knows?  It's not even clear if I'll make it to work tomorrow.  I'm pretty sick of winter and I'm ready for some warmer weather.  I'm starting to get a little stir crazy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The Blazers beat the Spurs last night in San Antonio.  I don't care if the Spurs were injury depleted since a win's a win.  Portland has now beaten SA twice in the past week.  Sweet.  They need to build some momentum towards the playoffs.

I need to get my sorry ass out of debt since I need to get new garage doors and new openers.  I had my performance review and it went better than last year so hopefully I'll get some extra cash in a couple of weeks.  We'll see and I shouldn't count on it.

A local news station is running a campaign to get people healthier.  They have an Albany med school professor in the ad which is cool except she's pretty chunkified.  I don't like fat doctors since it's hypocritical.

My dad's out here for work and we met up last night for Mexican with a couple of his coworkers.  We went to El Mariachi and it was pretty good.  I recommend the place and would go back again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slow cooked Greek lamb

Tonight's dinner marks the making of the 100th new recipe since I started my recipe challenge.  Yes, quite a momentous occasion.  Unfortunately, it turned just alright.  I used the slow cooker cookbook my mom gave me and the recipes from there have been underwhelming for the most part, but they're fairly simple and I wasn't in the mood for anything overly complicated.

Here's a shot of the recipe:
 The lamb served over spinach with plenty of feta cheese:
I couldn't find a lamb roast at the store so I used some pre-chunked stew meat.

I declare this challenge to be finished.  It doesn't mean I won't post more food pictures.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Broiled chicken

Tonight's dinner was broiled chicken using a recipe I found in my chicken cookbook.  It's pretty tasty so I definitely recommend it and I will make it again.

Here's the recipe:
I forgot to add the garlic to the sauce, but it's all good.

The finished product:
It's a new recipe so just one more until I fulfill my challenge.  Sweet.

There goes my perfect driving record

I got pulled over today for the first time ever because I went out a parking lot the wrong way. There was a big tractor trailer moving truck blocking the regular exit and, instead of going all the way around the building, I took a shortcut. I saw a police officer nearby, but I didn't think he would mind since I thought he saw the big truck. Heh. I was wrong.

I can plead guilty or go to court on the twelfth to fight it. I'm a big believer in law and order so I'm not going to try to fight it. I think there were mitigating circumstances, but what I did is illegal. I'm upset with myself for taking the shortcut rather than doing what's right. What's funny is that I'm probably the only on the road around here actually obeying traffic laws. While he had me stopped, I counted about ten more serious traffic violations.

I think once he saw my squeaky clean driving record, he felt sorry for me, but what's done is done so I'll pay the consequences. I tried to look online to see how much this violation will cost me, but the fines aren't listed. Hopefully it won't ding my insurance either.


Edit: Ah. It seems like this 1110A is going to run me around $150. Fantastic.

Fitness update

It's that time again. I've been keeping up with my exercise regime using Lauren's book and I've been eating ok. The numbers suggest I've got more work to do so I need to eat smarter and be more active during the week. One sporadic night of basketball isn't going to cut it.

Once the weather improves, I can get out on my bike and also go hiking. I'm thinking of taking yoga once a week to improve my flexibility, but "my cash flow's low so I'll have to pull a job."

Looking at the top graph, it seems the past year was not kind to my fitness. I don't feel as chunky as the numbers suggest, but maybe I've just increased the muscle under the fat.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What the heck, Prosper?

I'm a member of Prosper, but have strictly been a microlender. I thought I might consolidate some credit card debt so I started the process of borrowing. Uh...yeah. I qualified for a "great" rate of 26%. Crikey. My credit is excellent and I make great money. Heh. Maybe I should check my credit report/score to see what's up because I was thinking I could get a rate much closer to 6%. I mean 26% is in loan shark or payday loan territory and is obviously a lot more than my credit cards are charging me.

Hmmm...I'll have to check out Lending Club.

Edit: Lending Club quoted me a great rate of 15%. Ugh.
Prosper sent me back a note saying my credit score is much less than what I expected. Much less. I guess I owe too much money or something.

Preparing for the zombie apocalypse

I got my REI dividend yesterday and I decided to spend it on a dual-fuel lantern.  I lost power about a month ago and my LED lantern wasn't quite bright enough to satisfy me.  It's also good to have an LED lantern for inside a tent, but a real fuel one for outside to light the way when you roast marshmallows or squirrel or whatever.  The light from my LED lantern is diffuse and doesn't go that far.

The one I got burns either unleaded gasoline or white gas rather than propane.  If the zombie apocalypse hits us, I'll have light fueled by gas scavenged from abandoned cars.

I should get Zombieland from Netflix again to remind myself of other skills I'll need to survive the end of the world.  I probably should get a crossbow and some survival knives.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not much of a snow storm

The media was hyping up some snow for last night and this morning, but I only saw a light dusting on the ground this morning which quickly melted.  Perhaps the media should actually focus on real investigative reporting rather than stirring up trouble.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Messed up sleep schedule

Last night I went to bed at 21:20 because I was exhausted.  I slept pretty well for about an hour or so and then woke up all of a sudden, bright eyed.  I tried to go back to sleep, but I ended up tossing and turning until about 5:15 when I got up.  I'm not sure I've had a good night's sleep in a long ass time and one's overdue for sure.

I guess I should get some Benadryl or something to knock me out, but I'm not a believer in better living through chemistry.  Maybe I'll take some melatonin tonight since that's more natural.  I guess I could also try to stay up until I pass out, but I'm not sure that's going to work.

Any suggestions?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Serious BS at work

The dumbasses on the fourth floor decided to restrict another parking lot at work so now we have no choice, but to park in the far lot.  The main dude is this French guy who has a Napoleon complex.  He drives a Ferrari and has surrounded himself with a harem of bimbos and a cadre of yes-men who tell him what he wants to hear. He definitely believes his own press and is much more interested in image than substance.

I don't think he understands that the little stuff start to pile up pretty quickly and that there could be alternatives so he needs his tenants much more than they need him.

Holy moly

Wow.  I just got angry enough that I'm having trouble seeing straight.  It's a pretty messed up feeling really.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good news, bad news

The good news is the sun is out and the sky is nearly cloudless.  The bad news is it's pretty cold out.  I had hoped to get my bike out and go for a ride, but it isn't that much warmer than freezing.  I definitely think spring is on its way, but I wouldn't mind if it got here a little faster.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A dimly lit bar shot

Just for spits and giggles.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This and that

I haven't been posting much lately because I really don't have much to say.  The weather has improved which is good, but I still feel like I'm stuck in a rut.

I had to give a presentation at our quarterly meeting this afternoon.  It went alright, but I was really nervous beforehand.  It's kind of strange.  No matter how old you get or how much experience you have giving talks, they're still nerve-wracking.  The good news is I survived without any trouble and it's done.

The NCAA tournament started today, but I haven't watched many games.  I figure I'll watch some tonight and tomorrow night and this weekend.  I didn't go to a school with a DI basketball program so I'm a free agent.  I don't think there are any local teams in it as well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

German sausages with sauerkraut and beer

Sunday means slow cooking so I used a recipe my brother recommended for German sausages with sauerkraut and beer.  I also cooked up some spaetzle since I was surprisingly able to find it at the grocery store.

I thought it turned out alright, but I thought it would have more oomph.  I'm not sure if I would make it again.

Here's the recipe:
The spaetzle I used:
The finished dish in the slow cooker:
Another new recipe means just two more to go towards my challenge.  Sweet.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Curried beef with fruit

Tonight's dinner was courtesy of a recipe from my white trash cookbook since I was looking for something quick and easy.  Well, it was certainly both, but just ok tasting and I probably wouldn't make it again.

Here's the recipe:
I used prunes, dried mangoes and dried apricots for the dried fruit so I'll probably be in the bathroom a lot tomorrow dropping kids off at the pool.

I'm not sure what it is with me and curry powder, but my dishes always smell much better than they taste.  I asked my Indian colleagues and they thought maybe my spices are old and inactive, but I've used fresh ones and still had trouble.
This recipe is new to me and I have just three left in my 100 recipe challenge.  Sweet.  I haven't made as much progress towards my list as I would've liked or thought.

Feeling unmotivated

I had a decent amount of energy when I woke up, but it's gone now.  I guess I burned off some of it doing my tough exercises this morning, but I'm hoping I can rally for the rest of the day to take advantage of this warmer weather.  It's warm enough to go hiking, but there's still quite a bit of snow on the ground so I'm sure the trails are waterlogged.

I've got my Las Vegas trip planned out and I'm just waiting for some money to transfer over before buying my tickets.  It should be fun for sure.  I'm not a big gambler, but I'll bring some money to play with.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What a difference a day makes

I went to bed at 21:30 and slept pretty well last night so I'm feeling much better this morning.  I was able to do my morning exercises with vigor and proper technique.  I read a bit of my new fitness book last night.  It's poorly written (in Special English for those who read Oracle Bones), but the information seems scientifically sound.  I'm going to check my finances to see if I can budget a power tower.  I have a Door Gym for pullups, but I'm not sure how much stress I want to put on my jamb.  I could get a bar and attach it to my basement rafters, but that solution is rather permanent and I'm not exactly sure where I want to do my exercises and I don't know where my drums will end up.

I made meatloaf with spinach last night and had some peas as well so I had a pretty decent meal.  I've got to think about what to cook this weekend since I want to get back on track making meals on the weekend to last throughout the week.  We'll see if my brother comes through with a sausage and sauerkraut slow cooker recipe.

I don't have any big weekend plans except for running some errands and watching the Blazers.  I'd like to get outside, but it's raining now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling low

I don't know if it's too much sugar yesterday, this craptastic weather or if I'm getting sick, but I'm feeling low today.  I was feeling much better earlier this week, but I haven't been sleeping well.  I wasn't able to exercise well this morning; I was sort of going through the motions and even skipped an exercise because I didn't feel like doing it.

I'll definitely try to go home early today to get my bearings and to maybe take some medicine.

I've got a sinus headache and I'm also feeling unanchored which happens from time to time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Addicted to exercise

Is it possible to be truly addicted to exercise?  Today was an off-day for me and I feel a little out of sorts.  I feel a little jazzed up for sure and I thought I was going to hulk out at a meeting.  I definitely wanted to Hulk smash a couple of my colleagues for running their mouths non-stop during this one meeting.  Some people have a fan in their head which just blows hot air.

Anyhow, I'll see if I feel any different tomorrow.  I guess I should sign up for some fitness classes like boxing which I can do on my off days.  I'd like to set up a heavy bag and maybe a speed bag in my basement.  I definitely have the room.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feeling stupid today

It snowed last night, but I thought I could just drive over it last night after work.  Uhhh...not a good idea as my car got stuck and got stuck good.  The snow is deep enough that my front wheels are trapped in a groove.  I thought I could dig them out this morning, but no such luck so I'm working from home hoping it warms up enough to melt enough snow for me to get my car out.

I like to think of myself as a pretty smart dude and I'm an engineer by trade, but I guess I had a brain fart last night.  I should've just left my car at the bottom of my driveway.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Trip to NYC

To celebrate my birthday, I went down to NYC last Saturday.  I drove down to Beacon to catch the Metro North train into Grand Central.  My friend met me there and we walked around a bit, got a slice at Slice, walked over to the water and then got some Japanese food at En.

The picture below was taken near the water:
I had a great time.  It didn't take too much effort to get down there and the weather cooperated on Saturday. It rained cats and dogs on Sunday, but that's ok.

I spent Saturday night at the Times Square Residence Inn which had a pretty comfortable bed and a free breakfast buffet.

I was surprised at how clean NYC was compared to when I was there a few years ago.  I didn't get hassled either, but maybe that's because of my imposing physique.

I definitely plan to go to the city at least once a month and would like to do twice, but it depends on how often I can impose on my friends.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Feeling unstoppable

For the past week or so I've felt nigh unstoppable.  I've been eating well - the only crap I've had is a small piece of cake and a vanilla cream on my birthday - and I've been keeping up with my exercises.  I weighed myself this morning and I'm down about five fat pounds since last week.  Now it's hard to say what the error bars are on that measurement, but I definitely feel lean and mean.

I plan on keeping up my regimen so we'll see if I can turn this peak into a plateau.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Surprisingly enough I had no trouble resisting opening my birthday presents early, I've had no problem not eating sugar this week and I've been disciplined with my other routines.

I got some pretty cool gifts: a nice indoor basketball from my brother, a pimpin' poker set from my folks, a fitness book from my folks and another latex pillow from my folks.  I guess a card is on its way.  I'll celebrate further in the city this weekend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The big 3-5

Today is my 35th birthday. I try not to make a big deal about it, but it provides a topic for my blog. I'm trying to create a new post every day, but I'm starting to run out of topics and my blog may be boring enough as it is.

I don't feel any older or any wiser and I may be hitting my peak. I hope to turn the peak into a plateau, but we'll see. I've been exercising and eating well this week and I think it's improving my energy level.

I'm in EFK today and will celebrate by making and eating some marionberry pie later tonight.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I got sick

I came down with something Sunday night and was out of it for most of yesterday though I dragged myself to work.  I took some NyQuil last night and slept for 9 hours which is a lot for me.  I felt much better this morning, but started to feel run down as the day went on.

I just took some more NyQuil and it's kicking in so I should hit the hay.