Monday, May 21, 2012
Yeah, so I've been a slacker about blogging lately....don't worry, it's not you, it's me!
Work has been as busy as always.....I decided to fire that guy I blogged about a few days ago:
That alone took endless of hours of coordination with the legal folks (to make sure it wouldn't come back to bite us), the personnel folks, etc, etc, etc......it's never easy!
Then my laptop died when I was on the road last week. Turns out the screen gave up the ghost, so I found a guy down the road that can order up and put in a new one for about $180. I might still take the Apple plunge for a MacBook Air....but you know, rumors abound that it's at the end of its product cycle and the next gen will have a Retina display.....
Anyways, till the laptop comes back, I blog from the big, clunky desktop in #2 son's playroom....
The good news is that I feel great. We hit a going away party for one of our neighbors Saturday night....the hostess picked an Italian soiree theme.....needless to say, there was tons of lasagna, garlic bread, etc.
SWMBO had a great idea for us to bring a batch of Caprese salad....some nice ripe cherry tomatoes mixed up with fresh mozzarella balls, generously adorned with hand-torn basil leaves, all tossed and mixed with extra virgin olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and freshly cracked pepper and sea salt....triple yum!!
It was the only dish that was left completely clean at the end of the night! And we did pretty good walking out of there for under 800 calories for the night.....it's nice going to these things and loading up on all the fresh goodies first and metering out all the cheesy, gooey things in smaller portions.
Still on a good routine with the workouts....finding/making time is the key....it's really helped to keep me on track with all the other goings on (did I mention SWMBO quit smoking.....2 weeks without a cigi-butt....life goes on....but every now and then, we have our moments)
That's all for now Spark friends.....have a great night.....maybe tomorrow I blog from my favorite laptop!!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Oh no, I think the screen on my laptop bit the dust!!!
I've only got a few more tricks up my sleeve before I start using it for skeet practice.
Well I've been coveting a Macbook Air for a while now, secretly fondling them at Best Buy and pricing them at the Apple store.....could it be time? I wish they had a bigger hard drive.....but it barely weighs a pound and a half and I love that!
I'm not an iPad fan, and I've never really been a Mac guy at all till I got an iPhone last year....so do I have to start dressing like a self-satisfied hipster sporting distressed jeans, un-tucked flannel shirts, and a perrenial 3-day growth of beard??
Do I have to go vegetarian (I admit, I have a weak spot for good hummus) but does that qualify me as a faux-elitist snob? Does this mean I have to order me up a Segway for my morning commute?
Do I have to re-format my Kindle (can I even be seen with a Kindle?) getting rid of all my classics, my Scandinavian detective novels, my poli-sci and world history tomes to be seen reading only the latest post-modern, post-post modern, post-structuralist and post-apocalyptic crap?
Does this mean I have to up my cardio, cut down on all non-essential eating so I can sport a pair of "skinny jeans".....Oh my God, I just bought a new pair of reading glasses, but they're tiny.....I need me a pair of Buddy Holly spectacles!!
What do I do about the cool? I can start saying things like, "Yeah, I joined Sparkpeople BEFORE they were cool" or "Yeah, I donated to Haiti BEFORE the disaster" or "I liked Sparkguy's first app, but pretty much after that I never got into them."
Maybe I just need to see if I can get my old Dell working.....I'm not sure I can handle this massive a lifestyle change in just a few days!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Monday, May 14, 2012
So I ended my day pretty pissed off....twice!!
It was a real good thing I worked out before I got home!
I had to chew out one of my division chiefs and his boss late in the day. The div chief was a real ass, bordering on unprofessional, during a VTC and I couldn't let it stand, I had to cut him off in mid-sentence and tell him to cool it.
The trouble is he's in Las Vegas. So I had him and his immediate boss on the phone 10 minutes after the VTC was done and ripped him a new one.....now I'm debating if I need to fly out to Vegas next week and fire him!
Then I find out when I got home that FTD never delivered my mom's flowers this weekend!!
So I had me a piece of FTD customer service (didn't even bother with the phone rep. I just told her, "give me a Supervisor, they need to hear it direct from me". Result: Mom's getting a super-sized bouquet and I'm getting a refund on all FOUR flower orders I placed with those clowns for Mother's day weekend. They're off the speed dial!)
All this after I had calmed down some during my workout!
I had some good "angry" energy from the VTC fiasco to channel into my ST session. Trainer guy is still out of town, so I worked out on my own. I just asked some 20 something kid to spot me on the bench and visualized smashing the barbell into the face of my div chief......I set a PR!
About the only time I was able to get that totally off my mind was during the plank intervals.....by the third set, all I could think of was to pray for the timer to go off!
Luckily by the time I got back home I was pretty much off the ledge and SWMBO talked me down the rest of the way.
Tomorrow I'm off to Dayton, OH for a couple of days....if you hear me blogging from Las Vegas next week, you'll know it didn't go down so well for this guy!
BASTA!! I need to go cruise other people's blogs and get my mind off this!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, May 13, 2012
First off, I hope everyone had an enjoyable Mother's Day in one capacity or another.
Last week, when I asked SWMBO if she wanted to do anything special for Mother's day, she said, "Yeah, let's go to Sunday Brunch!"
There's this seaside place down the road that we really like and they do a mean Sunday Brunch and it's right on the Santa Rosa Sound.
OK, I asked her, so I couldn't back out, the best I could possibly do was prepare for it, which I did....starting Saturday.
I basically reversed my eating schedule yesterday, having the bulk of my food at breakfast and lunch, then made a green smoothie for dinner.
This morning, I had a banana and an apple a couple of hours before our reservation slot and I was feeling pretty good by the time we got there.
We know the restaurant owner real well, chatted him up when we got there and he took us around to show us all the goodies (this helped a lot too.....I wanted to know exactly what was in everything they made!)
As good as the chicken cordon bleu looked, as much as the egg casserole, covered with burnt sharp cheddar & sausage called my name, as tempting as the trays filled with crab legs & melted butter drew the crowd, I had a plan!
While SWMBO and #2 son went their own way, I made a beeline for the baked whole salmon! He was a thing of beauty! Everyone was going for the big trays of cheesy, saucy, buttery things.....King Salmon appeared to be all mine!
Next, I made my way to the very colorful tray chock full of 3 types of string beans; green, yellow, and purple! Loaded up a third of my plate with those, then heaped on some peeled shrimps and asked the chef at the carving station to cut me a wafer-thin slice of juicy roast beast!
I thought about taking a picture of my plate, but another couple we knew came by our table to say hello, and by the time they left, I had forgotten....oh well, take my word for it, it was very colorful, looked scrumptious, and probably had barely 500 calories on it.
My indulgence though was the bread pudding!! Growing up in Boston, I never liked it much, but somehow, I've grown nostalgic for a good bread pudding.....and Thom makes some seriously awesome bread pudding.
As best I can tell, I got out of brunch for about 1000 calories....probably a third of which was due to the dessert....as well as a second helping of King Salmon. Not too bad for a buffet, especially when all three of us sat gawking as the family at the table next to ours made what appeared to be 4 trips, coming back with plates chock full of bacon, eggs & potatoes, cheese & sauce covered foods, tens of crab legs with accompanying butter cups, and desserts out the wazoo.
That could have been me pre-Spark! I thank God I changed my outlook. I used to feel compelled to "get my money's worth" out of buffets. Today I just want to survive them.
We came back home, made all our calls (SWMBO's mom, my mom, #1 son called SWMBO, my sister, my sister-in-law, yadda-yaddda-yadda). We gave SWMBO her gifts (loaded her up with her favorite perfumes and #2 son and I collaborated, giving her a collection of books commemorating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting.....she's a fanatic!)
Then we had a family afternoon of Wii bowling (I won!). When she tuckered out for a nap, I hit the gym to do some HIIT on the elliptical and knock out a serious abs routine.
I've added plank intervals to change things up. Feet elevated on a bench, I hold it for 90 seconds, rest for 60, repeat 3 times.
They were brutal!
I read about them in a book I got the other day (a real book, not a kindle book!), The New Rules of Lifting for Abs. The NROL series is pretty good, and this one delivers like the others
It recommends starting out to hold them for 30-60 seconds. So of course I went for 90.
Did I mention they were brutal?
Then I came home and got out my ab wheel, which I started using again after having this annoying twinge in my back these past 10 days that not even back extensions has helped. Three sets of 10 a few days in a row has worked wonders.
Dinner was light. SWMBO opted to make her own Mexican stir fry. I opted out and broke open a bag of salad, sliced up some chicken breast we had cooked up earlier in the week, and I might just end this day under my calorie limits, which makes for a Mother's day gift even I can enjoy!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Saturday, May 12, 2012
So I'm 2 weeks into wearing my Bodymedia Fit CORE armband.....and I'm pretty glad I got it! I've learned some very interesting things.....
First of all, I pretty much stole it from Amazon. It retails for $149, they were selling it for $116, then Jeff Bezos offered a $30 "virtual coupon" + free shipping, so it came to my house for $86!
I wear it for about 22-23 hours a day, including sleeping at night, and don't notice it at all. I plug it into the micro-USB dock in the morning while I shower & shave and it quickly downloads all my data & charges back up in no time (it's advertised to go up to 6 days without a charge).
So the coolest part is the minute-by-minute tracking it give you of your activity to include: steps taken, your sleep duration and "efficiency", physical activity (vigorous, moderate), and calories burned.
The calories burned is what I find the most interesting. The doofer has 2 sensors on the side against your skin (you're supposed to wear it on your left triceps) that measures galvanic skin response, temperature, heat flux, and motion via 3-accelerometers.
It gathers all your numbers throughout the day, runs them through the gonculator and gives you what it claims to be a pretty accurate picture of how many calories YOU burned in the day, not an approximation based on age, weight, height, etc. You can zoom in and see when you were most active, how the calorie burn tapered off as your body cooled down, etc.
The website allows you to track calories too. Since I use SP to track all my food, I just enter the total calories I ate for the day and it gives me the delta between calories in and calories out.
So what have I learned? Well, I burn a lot of calories. On my laziest days where I have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, I register about 2100 calories. On a single workout day, that number goes up to 2500-2700. On 2 workout day, up to 2900-3100.
I see that my body recovers pretty darn fast….not sure what the hubbub is about with the concept of EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) or “Afterburn”, where you keep burning more calories long after your workout…..I’m not quite seeing it. If it exists, it must be pretty small. I have seen similar results from my HRM….my heart rate gets back to resting levels about 15-20 minutes after a hard workout.
Maybe, as you get fitter, even with all the benefits of being in shape, it does get harder to feel the effects as your body gets acclimated…..I don’t know!
I also see that I only sleep about 4-5 hours every night, even though I might be lying down for 6-7. And I have long hours of sedentary time at work, then bursts of energy as I hit the gym…..maybe one of the things I need to do more of is to get up and walk around during the day….and get some more solid sleep as well
All in all, it’s a pretty interesting gizmo….it appeals to my inner geek and has given me a bunch to think about!
Have a great night Spark friends!
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