Saturday, June 02, 2012
So I freely admit, I sometimes get a notion in my head, and when I do, I pretty much ride that shark non-stop all the way to shore.
Longtime SP friends will know of my fascination with a Vietnamese dish called Pho, specifically, Pho Ga, or Chicken Noodle Soup
Well this trip, since I was hitting 3 cities in 5 days, I decided to sample as many Vietnamese joints as I could, eating the same dish (Chicken Pho and fresh spring rolls) at each
Midway through the meal, I'd started writing a review in Traveladvisor (my most trusted travel website & restaurant app) on my iPhone.
Well other than feeling slightly "Rainman-ish" (as SWMBO describes my obsession) it was quite fun....and it was a sure fire way to keep calories down on the road.....one of the main reasons I like Pho so much (other than the myriad of ways it can be prepared....more below) is because it basically clocks in at less than 500 calories for a whopping big bowl.
So in Utah, I noticed that they grilled the chicken before putting in the liquid. In Colorado, they served the spring rolls on big fat Mint leaves.....what a great burst of flavor! In Vegas I got to try out 2 different places on the north side of Highway 15, where there's a community called "Little Saigon".....I was the only Anglo in both places, and walked in to one where they had a satellite feed piping in some matronly woman singing swan songs of lost love and broken hearts direct from Asia.....my thoughts; "Alright, this is where I get the real deal!"
Well one place was great, the other, only so-so. In any case, I felt pretty darn good just soaking up the atmosphere and staying under calories for six days straight.
The only other adventure I had was to go hit the Premium Outlet mall off the strip and stock up on a bunch of discounted Nike technical shirts and a pair of neato minimalist workout shoes.
Yeah, I know, I'm in Vegas, I should be gambling & carousing, but I come out here all the time and I had a long, long day of meetings starting at 7:30 and by the time I got done and had hit the gym, all I wanted to do was to grab a bite to eat and get back to my room & relax....especially since I have to get up at 4:30 to make a 7:00 AM flight out tomorrow morning.
That's all for now.....have a great night Spark friends!
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Well once again, I'm way out west....and up in the mountains.
I actually got done with my meetings fairly early and was able to enjoy the great DRY weather here in Colorado. After leaving the muggy 94 degree Florida heat, it felt perfectly wonderful to feel some cool mountain breezes today.
Of course the downside snuck up on me in the gym.
I hit the elliptical for a hard 15 minute warm-up before going in to the weight room. It was a much harder warmup than it should have been. Why? Because my trusty Theodolite app told me I was 6100 feet above the seaside wonderland I left yesterday! Good to know!
So to not make a total fool of myself in the weight room, I took about 20lbs off most everything I did....good thing too, because it still felt like a whole lot of extra work pushing against gravity in what seemed like an ever-thinning atmosphere.
But I persevered...and I have to admit, while I don't put a lot of credence on the actual amount of weight on the bar, as I relaxed on the bench between sets, I felt pretty good that at 6100 feet above sea level, a 52-year old me still had a bunch more weight on there than a good number of the huffing and puffing 20 & 30 somethings.
Lunch & dinner were oriental themes. Traveladvisor app led me to a nice Vietnamese joint near work for a bowl of chicken Pho, and, at dinner, I found a nice little mom & pop Thai place where they sizzled me up a wonderfully spicy plate of Chicken Pad Thai.
Last month I read a great article in The Atlantic called "Six Rules for Dining Out"
In it, he gives some great pointers to find local gems....things like, "go to the strip malls", or "find a Thai restaurant attached to a hotel"
So I compromised and found a Thai restaurant in a strip mall, but it looked like the family owned the nail salon next door.....anyway, read the article....the Pad Thai was spicy and scrumptious!
Off to Salt Lake City tomorrow.....have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Well just as a follow up to yesterday's blog, today I felt my usual self, quite nicely motivated to hit the gym for a nice cardio session and a little bit of ST
Truth is, I had to spend about 4 hours in the office cleaning up some reports I had to get done before hitting the road tomorrow, so I was ultra-motivated to get my blood pumping.
Got in a good HIIT session on the elliptical. If I haven't mentioned it in a while, the BeatBurn Elliptical app creates a great friggin' High Intensity workout. Since I also wanted to get in some abs and back extensions, I set it for an Advanced 30 minute workout and it kicked my ass! The cool thing about the app is that it adjusts the BPM of your songs without messing up the pitch. Voila, the beat of all your favorite tunes adjusted to whatever pace you're supposed to be at.
Came home and read some more of Mark Rippetoe's book "Starting Strength" on the Kindle
I'm really digging it and have made tons of major & minor adjustments to my ST form to great effect. Kind of geeky I know, but what's great is that after almost 3 years of lifting, I feel "strong enough" to actually have it make sense and say "Aha" every now and then when he points out a visualization or explains why your anatomy makes a particular adjustment so much better.
Anyway, I'm off to pack for my road trip this week. Tomorrow at 11:00, SWMBO, #2 son and I are helping out the local DAV chapter with a Memorial Day service (#2 son is leading the Pledge of Allegiance!)
In lieu of a BBQ, we're going to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch where I fully plan on devouring one of their most excellent Triple Prime Cheddar Burgers!! Nutrition tracker be warned....we're going to be cutting it pretty close tomorrow!
Then I catch a flight to Colorado Springs at 3:30. Meetings there all day Tuesday, flight out to Salt Lake City in the evening, two days there, then to Vegas to install my new division chief on Friday, and back home Saturday AM.
In case I don't get a chance to say it tomorrow, thanks to all Warriors and their families, past, present, and future--your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers and all your fellow citizens appreciate all you have done!
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." – Winston Churchill
Have a great night Spark friends!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Well I finally got my laptop back....I perused AngiesList and found a small mom & pop place down the road that had a pretty good reputation....the guy (pop) diagnosed it pretty quick, ordered up a replacement screen, which finally came in yesterday, and now I have my laptop back.
I'm still likely to get me a new one in the next 4-6 months, but I wanted to do it at my pace, retiring this one gracefully. Besides, if I didn't get this one fixed I'd have never recovered all my stuff off the hard drive!
Well Sparkfriends this last week was one of those ridiculously busy weeks that almost deterred me from working out. I got in my ST on Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday were over in a blur. I'm traveling next week (more on that below), so my guys loaded me up with meetings, pretty much from 7:30 to 5:00 every day....which meant I was at work for another 3-4 hours to actually DO some work after all the meetings!
We had some words about that....
Anyway, I ended up not even getting close to a gym on Tuesday and Wednesday, but did get in some HIIT on Thursday, ST on Friday, and just got back from another cardio and abs session.
So here's the deal.....I was really pissed that I missed 2 days in a row, and started getting major-league antsy that I might miss a third on Thursday, so I told my secretary to not schedule ANYTHING after 3:00, finished up a stack load of paperwork, and made it to the gym before dinner.
What's interesting is that I've felt like it had a ripple effect on the last few days. Cardio felt hard on Thursday, and even though my ST session went real well, it left me exhausted. And maybe I was just lazy today (I did take a mid-afternoon nap) but I was looking for a reason to NOT get in some cardio
Yeah "looking for a reason".....to NOT workout.
Is that all it takes.....2 to 3 weird days of full and changing schedules?
I think not....I'll chalk it up to the extra heaping of tzaziki and hummus appetizer at the Greek joint we went out to for lunch....I think that's what knocked me out into sleep-land this afternoon.
So onward and upward....it's getting pretty darn hot here in the Florida panhandle (94 this afternoon) so I'm looking to get in an early morning bike ride tomorrow.
Monday, SWMBO, #2 son and I are helping out with a Memorial Day observance in the morning, then I'm flying out to Colorado in the afternoon. Spend Tuesday there, off to Salt Lake City Wednesday, Las Vegas Thursday and back home Saturday.
I'm looking to get in a workout every day!
Have a great night Sparkfriends!
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!!
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