Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My dudes finally came through this week and I coasted to a convincing win over my brother and my dad despite Brady's four touchdowns and Welker's big day.  Darren McFadden is running hard and is proving to be one of the better backs in the league so it was smart of me to draft him.  I also have Brees and Fitzpatrick at quarterback.  I have Finley for GB and he scored three times.

Unfortunately, Atlanta and Matt Ryan are stinkin' it up so I need to find a backup QB.


I put my new ball to good use tonight by bowling a 163 my first game.  The ball is heavy (16 lbs), but doesn't feel too bad since the holes were drilled to fit my hand.  My footwork was off the second game and I bowled a pukey 104.  I picked it back up the third game and bowled a 139.

My average for the night was 135 which brings my seasonal average up to 118.

We scored four points tonight with three wins and total pins so I think we're in decent shape.

Some dude bowled a 300 a few lanes over.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fitness update

I started P90X on the 12th and I've lost a pound each week I've done it.  Not too shabby.  I'm definitely getting stronger and leaner though there is still a lot of chunk around the middle.  That chunk will be the last to go, but I'm pretty sure I can get rid of it if I stick with the program and eat a little better.

I'm going to go off wheat for a bit to see if I feel better.  I didn't do a very good job of staying off the sugar this week so there is another area I can work on.

I now know what maggots look like

I saw a metric assload of them in the compost bin.  Pretty nasty as they were squirming around.

Even worse, I got swarmed by mosquitoes when I went outside to dump the compost.  I guess it's fault for going shirtless.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kindle books through my library

I just read on Fark that OverDrive now supports Kindle which means I can get selected ebooks from my library.  Sweet.  They even have GRRM's latest book though seven people are waiting for it.  I guess the library is only allowed to "loan out" two copies at a time.  I guess that's fair.  I should bring my Kindle home from work so I can download some more books.

Yoga X

I gave Yoga X another shot this morning and the yoga blocks made all the difference.  I was able to "do" more of the poses without falling over as much.  I didn't finish the DVD because the last 15 minutes are ab exercises and I do plenty of those with Ab Ripper X three times a week so I don't want to overdo it.

I think I'm grumpy afterwards because the yoga is releasing toxins from my body.  It's good to flush them out, but it's an unpleasant feeling.  Heh.  Maybe that's just new age bull spit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I grabbed a 15lb ball for tonight.  I bought a 16lb ball, but it won't show up for a few more days.  I think this ball is closer to the ideal weight because I had much better control.  I bowled a 123, a 104 and a 125 for a 117 average.  My cumulative average for the season is 113 which is not great.

I'm hoping holes drilled to fit my hand will boost my score by another 10-20 pins.  I had a couple of gutterballs tonight and some other bad balls due to poor grip.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Capitalism at work

I'm going to visit my cousin in DC in the middle of October and decided to get some tickets to see the Eagles play the Redskins.  I got on StubHub since they have a great selection and a convenient process.  I found some seats just a few rows up the field and bought them.  They're expensive, but that's too be expected.  The tickets came this afternoon and see that they were marked up 152%!  Crikey.  I'm definitely in the wrong racket.

However, it doesn't really bother me because I had the opportunity to pay less to sit further away.  I only make it to a few sporting events per year so I don't mind shellin' out.  It just sucks to see by how much you got gouged.  At least I got a parking pass.


I had my annual physical this afternoon and it went pretty well.  I clocked in about ten pounds heavier than at my last one, but I launched a preemptive strike by telling my doctor that I know I need to lose some and that I started P90X last week.

He's having me get blood drawn tomorrow, but they don't test for vitamin D because the insurance companies won't pay for it.  I guess I'll get tested through the mail when I next visit Portland since New York is one of the few states to not allow blood work via the mail.  Weak sauce.  I'd like to baseline my vitamin D before it gets gloomy and then I can check again later.

My finger checked out ok.  He said I jammed it pretty good and may have even fractured it since he found a bone callous, but the recommended treatment is the same in either case - ice, anti-inflammatories and rest.  I asked if it would be ok to box and he wasn't sure.  I need to find out if my finger will be under any stress.

He also recommended I visit a dermatologist to get a skin cancer screening.

I like my doctor since he's not fat and he's a cool dude.

Fantasy football update

My team score 140 points this week, but I lost by 23 points to my dad.  I handily beat my brother, but second is really just the first loser in our three man league.  Brees and Fitzpatrick got it done, but Charles got hurt early and Gates had a goose egg.

My dad has Brady and Stafford and his other homies did enough to build a commanding yield.  He's won twice in a row now so he must be stopped.

Dual flush toilet

Today I worked from home so the plumber could install my new Toto Aquia III dual flush (ADA-compliant).  One flush is 0.9gal while the other is 1.6gal.  The toilet is pretty cool looking and was a little more complicated to install than my Toto Drake since the plumber had to drill into the floor tiles.  He got it set up and I... uh... tested it out a few minutes ago.  I was able to flush down some dooker with the 0.9gal, but that flush setting is nominally for piss.

I highly recommend Toto toilets.  They are a Japanese company with the toilets made in China and Vietnam, but they outperform anything else on the market.  You can order them up from online places like

A picture of my new toilet post-install and pre-dooker:
You can see the two flush buttons on top.  You can also see my rockin' woodsy wallpaper which transports you from inside to crappin' outside in the woods.

I'll hold off on home improvement projects until I posse up some money to get LED tube bulbs for the basement to replace the flickering and noisy fluorescent bulbs.  The bulbs are $75 each and I also need to remove the ballast.  I expect to save a few bucks a year in electricity and they won't flicker or hum.


I'm sure most of you have heard that Netflix is splitting off its DVD by mail service into some lame-ass Qwikster (what is it 1999 again?).  I've been a member of Netflix since 1999 and it's gone from awesome to pretty cool to hmmm... I have a pretty decent home theater setup with my big ass screen so I prefer to watch stuff on DVD or BluRay since I get the nice picture with lossless audio.  Streaming is convenient, but the video is compressed, the sound is two channel stereo only and the selection is pretty poor and, apparently, random.

I'm not quite sure what to do going forward.  I think I'll keep the DVD by mail plan going forward since I like having something to watch 1-2 times a week and I think I'll cancel the streaming part.  It's only $8, but it's something I can do without.  I'm not happy that two services --> two companies with two different queues.  I read it has something to do with studio prices, but that's Netflix's problem; I'm looking for maximal convenience.

I canceled cable a couple of months ago and I don't really miss it.  I can still watch football via over the air channels and I can get League Pass when/if the NBA starts up.  I have Amazon Prime, but their free selection is pretty lame and the rentals are kind of expensive.  Yeah, $2 doesn't sound like much, but it's over the internet so it's not going to be HD and it's not going to have the rockin' sound.  I didn't get a 10' screen for the basement to stream compressed video with tin can sound.

What I don't understand is that, while technology advances, media offerings shrink.  You've got restrictive cell phone plans with data caps.  Sure, let me buy a 4G phone that lets me download video at 14Mbs (what my colleague got at work with his Bionic), but... uh oh.  Hit the 2GB data cap (I'm actually grandfathered in to unlimited).  Not cool.  I know these companies have to make money, but why did they lay thousands of miles of optical fiber?  Are we really bandwidth limited at this point?  Why is 3Mbs considered high speed internet in the US when other countries are over 100Mbs?

Maybe I'll go up to two movies out at once with Qwikster and have my housemate get the streaming plan.  Hmmm... In any case, Netflix has really crapped the bed this year and are likely to run themselves out of business with a year or two.  They had a great idea, but in a market with next to no barriers to entry.  Can they really compete with Amazon or iTunes for streaming when Amazon and Apple have billions in cash?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

X stretch

Every seventh day of P90X offers a choice between resting and doing X stretch.  I highly recommend you do the stretching.  I did this morning and I feel loose and relaxed.  A lot of the moves come from Yoga X, but they're a bit easier in this workout so you can practice your form which should make Yoga X easier.

This workout also reminds me of how inflexible I am.  I can't touch my toes under any situation which  means my quads and hamstrings are tight which means I'm not going to have an optimal stride length.

Yoga blocks would've helped out here, but they haven't shown up yet.

This workout is close to an hour, but goes by fairly quickly and it seems like a good way to start a lazy Sunday.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kenpo X

This morning was Kenpo X and let's just say that it's good that I don't get into physical fights because I don't really know how to punch or kick.  At least I don't know how to do it Tony Horton's way.  I was kind of surprised that he just jumped right into stretching in the beginning without warming up.  I've always been told that it's a bad idea to stretch cold muscles so I'll do my own warm up before I do this routine again.

It was a lot of punching and kicking as you might expect.  Will I be a pugilist after 90 days?  Heck no, but I plan on taking some boxing classes as soon as I get my finger looked at.  I also want to take some martial arts classes, but I need to find the right one.  I'm not sure what that is, but I'll know it when I see it.

I did get a good workout this morning and worked up a decent sweat.  I tried out my Lightload Towel for the first time.  It's pretty absorbent, but the ones I got are too small so I ordered up some of the larger sized ones.  They're pretty cool so you should check them out.  I was looking at another microfiber towel when Amazon recommended these instead.  They're pretty cheap and definitely effective.  Why do I need more than one absorbent towel?  Well, I sweat a lot and I work out every day so one towel would probably not fully dry out in time for the next workout despite my dry basement.  Yeah, I sweat buckets.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yoga X

This morning I got up at 5 to do Yoga X.  I wasn't pleased to see it's a 90 minute work out and I was even more cheesed off that he just jumps right into it.  I guess that's why it's X for eXtreme and not B for beginner.  I did about 45 minutes' worth and then gave up.  Why?  Not because I'm a little baby, but because I fell over so much I wasn't really stretching or relaxing.  I'm about ten times grumpier now than when I woke up and that's not cool.

I'm not sure what to do.  I poked around on the internet and a lot of folks, dudes especially, struggle mightily with Yoga X.  Some replace it with cardio or stretching or just go for a run while most say to tough it out since yoga is really good for you.  I once read that most injuries occur within range of motion, but strengthening your stabilizer muscles is always good and will improve your performance.  There is also a shorter Tony Horton yoga DVD called Fountain of Youth, but it seems to be out of stock.

I gave up after the vinayasa (?) part with the movements and the warrior and the dogs so maybe next week I'll skip ahead to the static stretches so that I can improve my balance.  I probably should get some yoga blocks as well.

I know that it's good to challenge myself with new things, but I also want to use my time effectively and don't want to spend 90 minutes falling over.

Heh.  Most of this post has been rationalization, so I guess I should get some yoga blocks and give it a shot again next week.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Tonight, at league night, I tried out my new shoes.  They saved my $3, but didn't really help my game since I bowled a 99, a 129 and a 77.  Yeah, the last one was pretty pukey.  I think I'll need to get my own ball just for consistency.  The one I had this week didn't feel quite right and was definitely on the light side.

Running average = 111 if I round up.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

P90X - Initial measurements and fitness test

On Monday, I'll start up P90X so today I took some measurements and did the fitness test though I didn't rest after each test since I didn't want to spend 40 minutes.

  • Weight = 195.2 lbs
  • Body fat = 28.1%
  • Chest = 38.75"
  • Waist = 36.5"
  • Hips = 40.0"
  • Right thigh = 22.0"
  • Left thigh = 23.0"
  • Right arm = 14.5"
  • Left arm = 14.5"
  • Resting heart rate = 62 bpm
Fitness test:
  • Pullups = 1.75
  • Vertical leap = 10"
  • Pushups = 20
  • Toe touch = -2"
  • Wall squat = 70s
  • Bicep curls = 11 with black resistance band
  • In and outs = 27
  • Heart maximizer = 0min - 146 bpm, 1min - 100 bpm, 2 min - 94 bpm, 3 min - 84 bpm, 4 min - 87 bpm

Trip to St John, USVI over Labor Day weekend 2011

This past weekend I drove over to Boston to catch a flight down to Miami to catch another flight to St Thomas, USVI.  I took a cab across the island to the Red Hook ferry dock and then I caught the passenger ferry to St John where I spent three nights at the Westin.

I met some people on the ferry so I had company for meals which was cool because I traveled down there myself.  The Westin was pretty nice, but I would definitely stay in the villas rather than the hotel portion.  I would also not recommend going to St John in September because it's the down season and a lot of restaurants close then.

I spent all of my time relaxing in one way or another - eating, drinking, swimming, snorkeling and hiking.  The island is fairly mountainous so it wasn't advised to walk into town, but you can catch a cab for $5-6.  Sure, it'll add up, but renting a car is a pain the ass for sure.

I drank more than my fair share of rum, but wasn't hungover at all since I have a high tolerance for rum.  People drink beer, but most people ordered up mixed drinks.

The food was good, but expensive.  There didn't seem to be a local cuisine and I was told there isn't much of a native fishing industry.  Everyone there speaks some form of English and the USVI are part of the US so you don't need to change money.  I would recommend bringing your passport because you need to go through customs on your way home.

It was hot and humid there so be prepared for it.  It rained for maybe a total of five minutes, but I imagine it could get pretty hairy during hurricane season.  A friend of mine recommended a hat so I got a boonie hat from Columbia.  I question my choice of a black one since it's a sun hat, but it did the job.  I got a tan without being in any danger of burning.  I recommend bringing two or three bottles/cans of sunblock since prices are much higher on the island.

Most places prefer cash so bring roughly $100 per person per day unless you're going to eat at your hotel for every meal.

I went snorkeling Labor Day morning near Little St James which is a private island and then over at Mingo Key through Low Key Diving.  I wanted to go SCUBA diving, but my allergist wouldn't sign off due to my history of sinusitis.  It was a good call since my ears plugged up pretty quickly in the water.  I didn't see as much sea life as I did in Hawai'i, but it was still fun.  The water was a little choppy, but the captain loaned me a dive vest to help keep me afloat.  If you think you'll go snorkeling more than two times in your life, I would recommend getting your own gear.  The rental gear I used was just ok.

After snorkeling, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and then went hiking around the island on the Lind Point Trail.  I hiked to two different beaches, Solomon and Honeymoon, but didn't stay since I had enough of the water from that morning.  Hiking when it's hot and humid requires a ton of water and I actually ran out on the way back so make sure to bring more than what you think you need.  There are also a lot of bugs so bring bug spray.

The views were great, but I was happy to get back to take a nap.

All in all, I had a great trip and I highly recommend St John.  If I were to do it again, I'd make sure to have at least three full days so I could take a day trip to the British Virgin Islands.

After a lot of work this morning trying to copy code from the internet, I've got the slideshow finished.  Check it out.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Last night was the first night of my bowling league.  A dude at work had an opening on his team so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Bowling is fun and it's something to do in the winter that's out and about.

The league isn't cheap, $15/week, but you get to bowl three games.  I'm going to buy some shoes this weekend since you can get them for $25-50 and the lanes rent them for $3 a pop.  The league will go at least twelve weeks so I'll come out ahead very shortly.  I'm tempted to get my own ball, but I don't know.  That might actually imply some skill.

I bowled a 127, a 131 and a 100 for a 119 average which is pretty pukey, but it is what it is.  I definitely need to get my finger fixed since it's on my bowling hand.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Never Gymless Day 50

Morning: core
  • (15 V-ups, 15 blue band slams, 10 blue band rotational twists, chinnies to burn) x 3
I'm not sure I ever did a proper V-up.

Today is the last day of the Never Gymless program.  I think that it has been successful because I feel much stronger.  I weighed myself this morning and I lost 2.8lbs of bodyweight (1.2lbs of fat) and 0.5" of chunk from around my waist.  I think I've lost more fat, but I'm not going to argue with the scale.

I'm no longer convinced that strength training alone can lead to significant weight loss so I recommend adding in a lot of cardio activity.  I kept meaning to, but never got around to it.  My fundamental problem is that I'm lazy and that I like to eat.

I'll take about a week break and then start up P90X. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Never Gymless Day 49

Evening: explosive strength
  • (8 front-clap plyometric pushups, 12 squat jumps) x 4
  • (10 blue band one-arm pulls, 20 medicine ball ankle hops) x 4
The pushups weren't too bad.  I think I could've tried a back clap on a couple of them, but I don't want to risk breaking my nose if I face plant.