Thursday, June 30, 2011

Never Gymless Day 4

Morning: explosive strength workout
  • (plyometric pushups x 8, squat jump x 12) x 4
  • (one armed band pull (green) x 6 per arm, ankle hop x 20) x 4
The workout was shorter than anticipated because I don't have a lot of the equipment required. I probably don't have the strength either, but it'll come. The workout was still effective, especially on the heels of yesterday's.

Evening: core
  • (V-ups x 15, superman x 20, chinnies x burn) x 4
I wasn't able to maintain great form and it didn't take many chinnies to hit burn, but I'm still working my way into shape. I can tell my metabolism is shifting because I've been really hungry today. I'm proud of myself because I refrained from eating candy even though my coworker put out some York peppermint patties and I'm a sucker for mint and chocolate.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New haircut

It's too hot to have thick hair.

Never Gymless Day 3

Morning: EIT workout 1
  • (12 burpees, 24 pushups, 36 squats, 90s rope jump) x 4 - 39min
I can't remember the last time I had an exercise session this tough. I wasn't quite able to maintain great form for all the pushups, but I'm pretty stoked I completed the four cycles in less than 40min. I was supposed to run 400m, but chose to jump rope for 90s instead since I wanted to do this workout at home in the morning.

Evening: isometrics
  • (Wall press (3 angles) for 5 breaths, overhead press (3 angles) for 5 breaths, bent over row (2 angles) for 5 breaths) x 4

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Never Gymless Day 2

Morning: maximal strength workout
  • (Body rows x 10, hamstring curls x 10) x 4 with 60s rest in between exercises
  • Pushups x 8 + 60s rest
  • Assisted one legged squats x 5 + 60s rest
  • Pushups x 10 + 60s rest
  • Assisted one legged squats x 5 + 60s rest
  • Pushups x 8 + 60s rest
  • Assisted one legged squats x 5 + 60s rest
  • Pushups x 6 + 60s rest
  • Assisted one legged squats x 5 + 60s rest
  • (Pike press x 10, good morning x 15) x 3 with 60s rest in between exercises
  • One legged calf raises x 6, 7, 8 with 60s rest between sets
I struggled to maintain good form for the body rows, had poor form for the squats and wasn't able to bang out a fourth set of pike presses. My calf raises were limited by my balance.

Evening: core
  • Crunches x 10
  • Lying hip swing x 20
  • 30s plank
  • Crunches x 10
  • Lying hip swing x 20
  • 26s plank
  • Crunches x 10
  • Lying hip swing x 20
  • 33s plank
I tried to do an L-sit instead of the plank, but couldn't do it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Never Gymless Day 1

Morning: ICT workout 1
  • Burpees for 60s, pullups for 60s, squats for 60s, pushups for 60s
  • Burpees for 45s, pullups for 45s, squats for 45s, pushups for 45s
  • Burpees for 30s, pullups for 30s, squats for 30s, pushups for 30s
  • Burpees for 15s, pullups for 15s, squats for 15s, pushups for 15s
I was pretty wiped and couldn't actually do a single pullup.

Evening: isometrics
  • (Wall press (3 angles) for 5 breaths, overhead press (3 angles) for 5 breaths, bent over row (2 angles) for 5 breaths) x 4
I was actually a little sore.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yard work

Yesterday I saw a family of turkeys eating stuff off my deck:

While it's cool to see wildlife in my yard, it's not a good sign that they found stuff to eat on my deck.  I spent 1.5 hours this morning raking and sweeping the deck.  I had another 30 minutes before it was time to fire up the slow cooker so I mowed about half the front lawn.  My electric mower has a mess of torque so I was able to mow back a lot of the plants which have been creeping.

I also saw some of these turkeys fly a little bit which surprised me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fitness update

Unfortunately, I didn't exercise much while I was out on vacation and I haven't been eating all that well since I got back.  This month's measurements indicate I'm sliding back into some bad and lazy habits so I need to get back to basics as I mentioned earlier this week.

I'm going to start my Never Gymless program on Monday and I'm going to start cooking for myself again.  I'm confident the next update will show a trend reversal.  I don't feel as chunky as the numbers indicate, but I'm not going to argue.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'm not thrilled with the Blazers' draft.

The Blazers went into last night's draft with a few holes to fill: backup PG, backup PF/C, outside shooting and rebounding in general. The Blazers had the 21nd and 51st picks and some tradeable assets.

I followed the draft online while chatting on the Blazersedge message board. Most people were hoping Kenneth Faried would fall to 21 so Portland could nab him. There were some tense moments, but he was available and... Portland grabbed Nolan Smith. He's alright, but he's a combo guard and Portland has plenty of those. I figured Portland must be picking for someone else and that a trade would be announced.

Sure enough, there was a trade with Denver, but it didn't involve Smith or Faried (who Denver picked at 22). Instead, Portland traded Rudy Fernandez and the rights to Petteri Koponen to Dallas for the 26th pick (Jordan Hamilton) and the 57th pick (Tanguy Ngombo). Portland then traded the 26th pick and Andre Miller to Denver for Raymond Felton. says Denver also gets a future second round pick, but that's not that important. Portland used the 51st pick to take Jon Diebler.

To me, Felton is just a much younger Miller. He might be a better outside shooter, but I'm not sure he's that much better in any one thing than Miller. Though he's younger, he has just one year left on his deal and may walk. He's on his fourth team in a year or so and hasn't put up great numbers. I consider this swap to be mostly sideways. Even if it's a net win, it's not such a win that I feel good about it since it disrupts chemistry.

Fernandez had to go because he lost confidence in his shot, but he could distribute and is a decent all-around basketball player. I think he'll thrive in Dallas and he may even start.

Diebler can shoot, but does nothing else and may not even make the team. I don't know anything about Ngombo, but he doesn't seem like the answer to any questions. Of the holes Portland needed to fill...they filled none. Smith may become a good player, but the NBA is not a great league for combo guards - be tall, be fast, but don't be short and slow. Portland is really thin in the frontcourt and to lose out on a rebound machine like Faried is tough to take because rebounding is one skill which translates well from college to the pros. Portland also passed on rebounding machine Dejuan Blair last year three times so it felt like deja vu all over again.

All in all, it was a pretty disappointing draft since Portland got slightly worse while improving not one, but two rivals in the conference. Not cool. Some have said that Miller wore out his welcome, but I thought Portland could start the season with him and trade him at the deadline if necessary.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back to basics

Yesterday I decided to rededicate myself to getting back to basics.  I need to get my life straightened out and I think I know how.

I'm going to take better care of myself by eating more healthful foods and by getting into shape.  I'll start my Never Gymless program on Monday and I'm confident it will work.

I'll get my finances straightened out by not buying anything I don't need and by only buying things with "cash."  I'll use my credit cards to get the points, but will only buy something if I have cash to cover the costs.  I spend too much money on stuff which is nice, but not really necessary.

I'm also going to be less lazy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm going to cancel cable.

I've been doing some thinking over the past day or so and I realized that I hardly ever watch TV now that most sports are finished up so I'm going to cancel cable.  I have a Netflix subscription and qualify for Amazon's streaming because I'm a Prime member.  There's no reason for me to "waste" about $80/month on something I don't need.

I ordered up a Roku box so I can stream Netflix and Amazon to my TV upstairs.  I can use the PS3 in the basement to stream Netflix to the big screen and I can always bring the Roku box down as well.

I'll watch football in the fall (if they have a season) on the broadcast networks which I can decently receive over the air.  I'll order up NBA League Pass (if they have a season) and can watch online or through the Roku box.  The quality won't be as good, but LP games were mostly in SD anyhow.

I know of a lot of people who have dumped cable.  I think it's passed its time and the costs have risen nearly exponentially.  I'm not happy with US telecoms in general.  Our broadband is more expensive and slower than other countries' and those greedy bastards want to put up data limits and prioritize traffic.  I know they want to get paid, but enough is enough.  Cell phone companies are also setting up tiers with outrageously low data caps.  If you're on 4G, you'll blow through your 2.5GB limit with just one streamed movie.  Woo hoo.  Enjoy that movie, sucka.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Attack of the yard jerks

I noticed yesterday that some of my yard jerks ate all, but one of the apricots on my apricot tree.  I'm not sure which type of jerk ate them, but it stinks because I was hoping to have some apricots this summer.  They were still green, but I guess ripe enough for the jerks.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hiking Balsam Mountain

Yesterday I did my first hike of the year with the Hiking Mates Meetup group.  The loop is about 5.3 miles and is pretty easy.  There are a couple of steep sections, but rocks and roots were slippery so it was slow going in parts.  There were also a lot of black flies on top at the view point.

This mountain doesn't have a nice summit and we couldn't find a marker, but the GPS said we passed the summit so it counts.

Here is the loop recorded by my GPS as seen in Google Earth.  I think the closest town is Margaretville.
Here is the elevation profile:
I think the summit is officially 3602 feet or something like that.  It's definitely over 3500 so it counts towards the Catskill 3500.

No hiking update would be complete without some picture vomit:

I had a good time and it was great being outside, but the pace was a little slower than I like.  It's all good though.  More importantly, my knees feel just fine.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday ramblings

I wonder why people in Albany feel the need to tailgate, especially on local roads.  You know there are about six lights between you and your destination so are you really in a hurry to beat me to the light?  Just relax and you'll get there.  In fact, when you're riding my bumper, I slow down by 1-2mph because that's just how I roll.

It's a really nice day out, but I'm stuck in work.  I got to enjoy some sun this morning since I'm having trouble getting back on East Coast time.  I went to bed at 21:30 last night, but woke up wide awake at 1:30 and then tossed and turned until about 7:45.  Not cool.  I had some pretty messed up dreams as well.  I dreamt that someone broke into my apartment and emptied out my wallet.  They were coming to get me and I started slicing some throats.  Yeah, I know that's messed up, but my dreams always are.

It seems like my gutter guards aren't guarding my gutters very well so I'll have to get up on my roof to try to hose them out.  The guards do make it difficult to scoop crap out so I guess they serve some purpose.  I asked people about them before having them installed last year, but I guess they don't have as many oak trees as I do.  Those guys crap whirligigs constantly.  My roof is a little steep though so I'll have to find a safety buddy to call 911 when I fall off. 

My yard is a mess so I need to take care of it, but I'm going hiking on Saturday unless I oversleep.  I'll try to get up early tomorrow morning to get on to a good schedule since a hike would be good for me.  I didn't exercise at all when I was on vacation and it shows.  I'll start my 50 day Never Gymless workout on Monday and that should get me beefcake in no time.

Last night's South Park was pretty darn funny.  I like the episodes this season.

I had some plans to eat mostly vegetarian, but they fell through this week.  Hopefully I can get started next week.  I think it'll be good for me to eat meat just once or twice a week instead of every day. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Grass work

The Thursday before I left for vacation, I hit the high school for some grass work.  I did my usual 8 iterations of 10 jumping jacks, a 120 yard sprint and a walk back.  However, I was able to get my top speed to 18 mph and my average speed to 4.5 mph.  Sweet.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

West Coast vacation - June 2011

In early June, I flew back to the West Coast for a vacation.  The first weekend I went down to Black Butte with my brother and three of his friends.  My brother and I used to go there at least once a year when we were growing up, but I hadn't been back in years.  We ended up staying at a cabin one over from where we stayed the most as a kid so nostalgia kicked in pretty hard.

We spent the weekend eating, drinking, playing cards, watching TV, hitting golf and tennis balls.  It was straight up awesome and the weather cooperated.  I didn't have a bad meal there and unwound pretty well.

The following Monday I flew to Honolulu to stay with two friends of mine from college who married each other. They have two little kids so I got to get up early every morning, but it wasn't a big deal.  I hit the beach twice, saw Thor, watched hockey and basketball, hit up a museum, went hiking twice, ate good food and played some cards.  I also saw my friend's kid's aloha program at his pre-school.  Honolulu is like NYC in that every parent is worried their kids won't get into the right schools.  It's pretty crazy, but I guess I understand the logic.

Hawai'i was hot and humid, but I was able to survive and it was good to see my friends.

I came back on Friday and then was in Portland for my brother's wedding.  They are already legally married, but they had another ceremony so her family could come from Australia.  Her family is cool and I had a good time hanging out with them.  People really liked the toast I gave so I definitely contributed to the wedding in a positive way.

I flew back to Albany yesterday and got to spend an extra three hours in the Atlanta airport thanks to Delta's incompetence.  I'm not sure why anyone would want to fly these days.

Anyhow, I had an awesome vacation and I'm sorry it's over, but maybe that's just the jetlag talking.

The usual picture vomit:

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Vacation ramblings

I have no idea what time zone I'm in right now so I figured it would be a good opportunity to ramble.

I've flown more than 7500 miles the past week with another 3000 miles to go. On my return flight from Hawai'i, I rented a digE player from Alaska for $14 which kind sucks so I'm thinking about getting something that I could use to entertain myself while I fly. I'll be on the East Coast for the foreseeable future and will fly back to the West Coast at least once a year. I'm also close to Europe so I can hop over there as well.

I have trouble sleeping on the plane so I figured I'd like to watch movies. Some flights will have internet access so it would be good to be able to surf the web. I guess my choices are then some sort of tablet or a laptop. I've had my eye on a Macbook Air because they're wicked light and have a real keyboard, but they're more than $1k and don't have a DVD player. Even though I'm in a high tech field, I'm behind the times when it comes to this kind of stuff. How do people get movies on to their laptops or tablets? Do they buy them from iTunes or some other program? I just checked the iTunes site and it seems like you can rent movies there for roughly $4. Hmmm... I'd probably watch a couple of movies per trip so that would be $10. Worth it? Hard to say. I'll have to think about it some more.

It's really weird to be at my parents' house without Toby. I'm used to hearing his claws clicking on the wood floors as he investigates the activity. They're going to get another bichon later this month, but it won't be quite the same.

On vacation

I'm still on vacation, but will start updating again next week.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I've mentioned it before, but one of the managers at work has an office near my cube and he keeps a big bowl of candy on his desk. He encourages people to have some and I walk by his office maybe 20 times a day. Every time, I look in and think about having some candy. It's nothing special, but I love me some sugar. The past couple of weeks, I've given in, but I'm exercising some willpower today since I'm trying to get ripped. Every piece of candy will move me a little further away from my goal.

Edit: I have no willpower and ended up eating some. Damnit.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Still having trouble letting go

I need to realize that some things just aren't going to work so I need to let go.  Not everything is going to go my way and that's cool.  I've been told that I put too much of myself out there so I'm going to hold off.  I also need to work on my patience.