Sunday, January 29, 2012
Well surprisingly enough, I had a pretty relaxing Sunday, even considering I spent about 3 hours in the office this afternoon.
This morning I solved a funky computer challenge I've had for a long time. I've been collecting and digitizing DVDs for years from this place called the Teaching Company ( www.thegreatcourses.com/greatcourses
.aspx ) and had them stored on a USB hard drive. Well I want to watch these bad boys on the big 50 inch plasma, but don't want to go through the hassle of plugging & unplugging etc.
Well this Blu Ray player I bought at XMAS is frikkin' awesome!! It connected itself to the home wi-fi, scanned every computer in the house (to include removable drives), and can play ANY type of video or audio file from anywhere direct to the TV
Anyway, short story long, I skipped the Sunday news shows and got caught up on proto-Mesopotamian civilizations for the morning. And I got a head start on my packing.
Tomorrow, I travel to Kansas City and return Saturday, so I had to go in to the office to finish up some reports and punch out a few e-mails to keep things moving at work while I'm away. Then I hit the gym to get in some cardio and abs.
Faithful readers will know about my recent struggles with the Nike Training Club abs app. Well it's getting easier because I finally realized something....I can slow things down.
5 years ago, my mid-life ennui expressed itself in a desire to run....after a lifetime of avoiding it. So with my mind set to conquer this aversion, I read everything I could get my hands on about running. I learned that running should be enjoyable, that one should run at a comfortable pace where you can conduct a conversation, that you should finish feeling strong and acclimatize yourself to running longer and/or faster only after you build a solid base.
It was like the heavens parted and the angels sang to me of God's truth! No wonder I hated running...I always bolted out of the chocks at such a high speed, I couldn't sustain it, forget about enjoying it. Slow it down, chum, ease into it....run at a pace that makes you feel like you can go on and on. Don't worry about the time, just keep moving.
So it only took me about about 10 days to figure out the same thing about this simple 15 minute abs routine. It was kicking my ass because I was going in afterburner, doing every sit-up, every twist, every "Crazy Ivan" at the speed of heat.
Today I paced myself, doing them slow and steady, keeping enough gas in the tank to get through the whole routine fairly gracefully. And it worked! When Nike's audiatrix chimed in to keep my back straight, I spat back "Keep your own back straight biyatch, mine is just fine!" and kept going through all 3 sets.
So that went well....felt so good that I came home and when #2 son challenged me to a round of Halo, I was all in....and so went the rest of my afternoon.
That's all for tonight Spark friends....tomorrow, Kansas City, here I come!
Friday, January 27, 2012
So somehow I totally forgot about this dinner we had signed up for. SWMBO reminded me last night that we had signed up to attend this United Way fundraising dinner and we were sitting with some friends who were also doing a local "Dancing with the Stars" routine at this hoopla, "so no backing out!".....Kitschy, but cute & fun.
I moved up my gym time to 4:30, got in a great ST session, came home, showered up and changed for this "Denim & Diamonds" event....ladies wore jeans and bling, guys....whatever.
Dinner was a big buffet of not so bad stuff....steaks in some weird cream sauce with noodles, some breaded chicken breasts (surprisingly tender), tons of veggies (loaded up half my plate with these), and a ridiculously huge dessert table with a 5 ft chocolate fountain surrounded by cookies, cakes, and fruit.
All told I think I got out of dinner for about 800 calories, even with a pecan bar and half a brownie.
The rest of the night was pretty good, but I was itching to leave by 9:30. They had a bunch of silent auctions going. SWMBO and I bid on a few of them and she was all set to win this spa day package (she was the winning bidder until after 9:00 when I told her, "No more bidding! They're not announcing the winners till 1100....I'll buy you a spa day just to get out of here!".....It's been a long week....I felt pretty tired and was getting cranky.....obviously!
But our friends won the dance competition so we had to stick around a little longer anyway. SWMBO is a social butterfly and once they started playing "Mambo #5" there was no holding her back. She was on the floor with a bunch of gal pals swaying and jiving to Lou Bega....which got me thinking.....
Our couple friends that won the dance gig are about our age....they guy is about 6 ft, bit of a belly, not a specimen of peak physical conditioning.....yet somehow, he had the moves and didn't look half bad out there. Me, I'm not a dancer
"So brother, tell me how you and your child bride prepared for this thing" I asked him as I watched SWMBO raise the roof on the dance floor
"Oh, we took about 5 lessons and practiced on our own for a few hours at home each week" Then he grabbed me around the shoulders and walked me to the table where his instructor sat with her whole troop of professional dancers.....they had donated their time and volunteered to get all these couples ready for this event.
Gab, gab, yak, yak.....next thing you know I'm walking away with their card, half-signed up for some "complimentary lessons"
So we'll see....I've toyed with this idea for a while now....more to follow....right now, I'm beat!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Thursday, January 26, 2012
So I had to drive over to Panama City Beach (FL) today for a ribbon cutting ceremony on a bldg that just got finished (it was a project I helped start almost 4 years ago!). It was a nice day out of the office and I got to see some friends and colleagues I haven't seen in years.
All the hoopla got over around 1200, and I was getting ready to drive back when I decided to duck into a local gym to get in a quick workout before the 90 minute drive back.
That worked out just fine (I continue to kick back at the Nike Training Club abs burner workout.....I haven't yet wiped the smirk off the face of the audio instructor yet, but soon...very soon!) As I hit the rode, all of a sudden all weather hell broke loose around the coast with torrential downpours that slowed everybody down to less than 40 MPH.
I was still making good time, checking the crackberry and making phone calls (hands free of course) then I decided screw it, why am I getting all antsy about getting back to the office on time. My #2 guy is perfectly capable of handling things and loves being in charge when I'm out anyway (must watch out for signs of coup d'etat), so I eased up on the throttles, pumped up the volume on the radio, then leisurely pulled into an off-road knick-knack stand and bought a 2 ft tall hand carved pelican I had spied on the drive over (I'll plant him in the front yard. SWMBO and I have a mutual fascination with pelicans and herons), and next thing you know, Bob's your uncle and I'm home....at 4:00!! I hardly ever do that!
#2 son was home, SWMBO was out getting a haircut (and color and other foo-foo things that apparently can only be done at salons), so I showered up and started digging around the fridge to see what I could whip up for dinner. Saw a couple of fresh tilapia fillets wrapped up in paper, a bag full of brussel sprouts and some fresh leeks...hell I could do something with that, a little olive oil and some garlic.....oh yeah, I can make this work!
I got #2 son to halving the brusell sprouts while I went to town on the leeks and garlic. Got some boiling water going, dumped in the sprouts, then super-heated up the olive oil and next thing you know the fragrant aromas of sauteed garlic & leeks are wafting through the house, quickly followed by the sizzling sound of tilapia browned up in the same pan. Drained out the brussel sprouts and give them a couple of quick flips in the pan for some color, plated the veggies on and around the fish, squeezed off a juicy lime over both, then cracked a whole bunch of black pepper on top, and I'm just in time to be a hero as SWMBO walks through the door shaking her newly cropped & colored mane all around the kitchen oohhing and aahhing as she saw that dinner was already prepared!
Hookie never felt so good!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
So I was shooting the breeze with a doc I know (we see each other at the gym and compare notes on our mutual recovery from hip surgery....sometimes it gets a little competitive...("Yeah I rode 20 miles on my bike this weekend"...."Good for you, I've been doing hi-intensity intervals on the elliptical"...."Those are good, have you been doing squats lately?"...."Oh of course and I added leg presses to help work on the quads".....it goes on like this for a while))
We finally declared a truce and I told him one of my near term goals is to do 10 pullups.
He nodded his head wisely and said, "Well you can get real good at those if you strengthen your triceps"
I try to look smart, half nodding my head, but not really getting it, at the same time not willing to admit I have no idea what he's talking about.....triceps for a pulling maneuver? I thought it was all back and shoulders. But he's a doc, right? Anatomy classes, dissecting cadavers, the whole med school thing, surely he must know some dark secret that I have no way to fathom.
"Yeah triceps, OK, so maybe concentrate on dips to get better at pull-ups? I hadn't thought of that. Has that worked for you?"
He gave me a Hindu God smile and said, "You bet! The first thing you need to do is to work your triceps hard and push away from the dinner table before you're full! Drop 5 lbs and they'll get a lot easier!"
"You quack, voodoo-hoodoo, medicine-man, why do I bother even being seen with you!"
But I liked it and will add it my repertoire....even try to remember it every now and then when there's a big spread in front of me and I feel like going for seconds.....or thirds!
Have a great night Spark friends! Work those triceps hard!!
Monday, January 23, 2012
So I survived yet another day of travel and another day of eating out....and surprisingly well to boot.
Yesterday (Sunday) I ate out every meal...while we were at home! It was a foggy day in the Florida Panhandle, so SWMBO and #2 son decided I, the designated driver in less than ideal weather conditions, should drive them out for Sunday Brunch.
We went to one of our favorite little haunts, where SWMBO ordered eggs benedict on superbly crisped crab cakes, #2 son had some Amaretto-infused French Toast drizzled with caramel and maple syrup.....and yours truly had a fillet of Tilapia over quinoa with a spoonful of balsamic vinegar for some tang.
All good so far....then SWMBO announced that we were going to go see "Iron Lady" for a Sunday matinee date. I could live with that. I'm a Meryl Streep fan, and any movie about Margaret Thatcher is no danger of turning into a chick flick.
But it was only so-so. Too much about Maggie dealing with dementia and not enough about her socking it to Argentina or going toe-to-toe with the Russkies.
Anyway, one tub of movie popcorn later and SWMBO also announced that we should just swing by Panera bread for sandwiches in lieu of a big dinner out. Bottom line, even with the tilapia at lunch, I blew through my calorie limits for the day (quinoa packs about as many calories as rice).
Fast forward to today. I blended up an exquisite green smoothie before leaving the house (a banana, an apple, and an orange with a few sprigs of mint, some parsley, and kale, with about a cup of coconut water - double yum!), SWMBO made me a "simple sandwich" to take on the road and I avoided the snacks on Delta pretty successfully (OK, I snuck in a twix bar....just one!)
Everything ran on time, even with the cruddy weather in Atlanta, so I had just enough time to check in to my room, change up and head over to the gym for a decent workout before meeting my boss and some pals for dinner at Outback (btw, I did the Nike Training Club abs workout again....still kicked my ass, but this time I kicked back a little)
Outback went pretty well. I ordered the salmon and veggies, being the only fish eater at a table of 5 serious carnivores, but I walked out of there without having to let out my belt like the rest of them.
Anyway, a full day of reports and meetings tomorrow, then a flight back home leaving here around 7:00 PM. If I can squeeze in a workout, I will, and if I can blog, even better.
Have a great night Spark Friends!
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