Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I know, once again, why it is that I hate shopping, and why I am so very thankful to live in the internet age where I can just go to Amazon or some other website and get just about anything I need in the world delivered to my door step.
So my boss and I gave our presentations today and they were spectacular! Everything went great, we answered every and all questions and were extremely happy with how it went.
We finished around noon. I checked to see if I could get a flight back to FL in the afternoon....no dice, so I hit the gym for an early afternoon spin class (instructor was a freaking maniac....he kept doing hill climbs, one after a friggin' other)
Then I found myself with a whole afternoon free in Las Vegas, NV....hmmmm what to do?!?!
I was going to go hit the tables, but I remembered that I was in sore need of a new sportcoat or 2, so I decided to hit a few of the various shops in town to see what I could find.
I started off at Nordstrom and found a few that looked and felt OK, mostly silk/wool blends. Then off to Saks, then Nieman Marcus, then over to Caesar's to a few of the specialty shops.
Now I freely admit, I'm a pain in the ass when it comes to finding something that I like. I critique the color, the drape, the tightness in the shoulders, because I know that if I end up not liking it, it'll just stay in my closet and not get worn (I have way too many like that), so I've learned to not buy anything I don't really, really like.
So I'm in Nieman-Marcus and I spy this very cool dark copper colored sport-coat, with black herringbone pattern. "This I can wear!" I tell myself.
It fits like a glove (as a matter of fact, most everything fit great....even the "sport cut" lines.....I'm digging my V-shape), it hangs just right, looks great up close and far away....and the cashmere feels like something SWMBO would just love to cozy up to.
And it's $5,000!!
God freaking dammit! Did virgin Mongolian maidens hand-pick every fiber off their herd of goats to make this jacket! It better damn well come with a free weekend stay at the Bellagio!
I refuse to take it off though.....I'm walking around the store getting the clerk to show me what else they've got, some matching pants and shirts.....and a few other jackets because I know I'm not getting this one. Man it felt good.
And that's the way the rest of my night went. I hit the Zegna store in Caesar's forums and found a real nice travel jacket in mostly wool, with just a hint of stretchy material in there that felt great when I moved my arms. The clerk starts selling it to me with ,"yes sir, you can fly all night long and this jacket will drape like it was new!" $2995!
I find a nice light navy thing at Saks with a few lines of deep royal Blue in there....fits like a glove....$3495!
What the hell! I gave up and went in to the Apple store and almost talked myself into buying a Macbook Air.....fully loaded it would have only cost me $1300!
Needless to say, I came back to my hotel empty handed....I hate being rushed and any jacket I bought would have needed alterations (oh they were all happy to measure me up right there and ship the jacket when it was done!)
I'll stay on the lookout....I've got a few more trips out here and other parts of the country, so I'll either tone down my tastes.....or check to see what Amazon has in their men's dept!
God....do I really have to go through this again! ARRGGHHHHHH!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Monday, August 06, 2012
Well it's pretty darn hot in Vegas! Go figure....it's August, it's the desert, and a few miles from all those dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio......it's dry & dusty!
Which is why I stay indoors a lot when I visit.
So my boss had a meeting I needed to be here for, and today we went over a bunch of details for a big presentation we're giving tomorrow. In the afternoon, I visited my guys that work out here to see how they're doing and to make the rounds. I like the new guy I hired to run this division.....way better than the last guy I had to fire back in April.
Got all that done with plenty of daylight left to go hit the gym (it doesn't get dark here till after 8:00PM), where I got in a great upper body routine in a magnificent gym, followed with 4x two-minute plank intervals (hold the plank for 2 minutes....take a 1 minute break). Some people call planks boring.....I don't know how the hell anything can be boring when your entire core is screaming for relief!
Then I went and had me some Memphis BBQ baby back ribs...no bun, no biscuit, no fries, no cole slaw, even picked the croutons out of the salad (I did order 2 side salads!)
It might get redundant hearing me say it so much, but I continue to be amazed at the differences I'm seeing by ditching the carbs. Yeah, my weight is decreasing slowly (that's the one thing that pisses me off about the low carb mafia.....there's a lot of hype about how fast you can lose weight), but I am doing enough ST to see and know that I'm adding lean muscle and losing body fat, so that does make a difference. But I almost have to puff out my belly to see a bulge these days!
Which is really amazing considering I feel like the protagonist in a Robert Ludlum or Dan Brown novel who has unearthed a worldwide underground conspiracy that is too wild to be true, something that if exposed would alter the course of history, something for which you'd be hunted down and shot if you go public. Yet the facts are undeniable; cutting down carbs has given me results that thousands of miles of running, thousands of miles of biking, thousands of lbs of weights lifted, and meticulous logging of thousands of calories hasn't....a slim me!
I've got a theory brewing on how this all works....at least from my personal experiment of N=1, so more to follow....till then....
Have a great night Spark friends!
Thursday, August 02, 2012
So I've got to admit, I really like my job!
I got a new boss the other day. My boss lives out in Las Vegas (which is nice...other than the obvious reason that he is 2000 miles away, I get lots of reasons to go out there....like next week for 3 days!)
But it's always dicey breaking in a new boss and we spent all day getting him up to speed on all the big muscle movements of the far flung empire I run.
It went great....he's going to be a good boss, which helps, because I demand that my bosses be good and get really pissed off when they're not!
However, the day went long and by the time I got him on an airplane back home and got caught up in the office on all the other goings on today, it was too late to get to the gym. I've got a dinner tomorrow night (a fish fry with a lot of local yahoos), so I'll need to duck out early to get in some ST, then drive the 45 minutes to this dude's dude ranch. So since getting back home from the cruise, I'll have eaten out 4 times in 3 days....sheesh!
But I'm getting the hang of low carb dining out and it certainly is much easier than I expected. No bread when they bring out a basket full of steaming loaves, ditch the croutons in the salads, leave the potatoes, rice & pastas alone (actually I've found that if you ask the wait staff nicely to give you a double serving of veggies instead of the starch dish, most of them can make that happen), and somehow, magically and mysteriously, by the time the meal is done, I really don't feel tempted in the least by dessert.
I guess what has impressed me the most about ditching the carbs is the stability it has bought to my appetite....I can go hours without eating and am OK.
Today we had a working lunch with my boss. I had ordered a salad with chicken, which somehow got translated into a heap of chicken salad.....a jumbled up mash of chicken in a weird and uninteresting sauce. My staff (already a little edgy about the visit) started doing the funky chicken dance and got all worried that they screwed me over on the lunch (which they did) and started coming up with these harebrained schemes to correct the situation ("Boss I'm going to personally strangle the guy who did this!")
I told them to relax, that I could forgo lunch and still survive.....and I really felt like it was no big deal to not eat anything for 4-5 hours.
They looked at me like I had just punched the Pope and yet I felt perfectly calm knowing that I haven't had strong cravings or hunger pangs in a few weeks.
Even at night, which has historically been my time of weakest resistance to snacking, I don't feel like I have to go eat something sweet mere hours after dinner.
For that reason alone, I feel better and better about this new lifestyle change
Have a great night Spark friends!
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Well, well, well Sparkfriends, hard to believe it has almost been 2 weeks since my last blog. But it has been an incredibly busy, incredibly relaxing, and incredibly surprising 2 weeks. I was all over the continental United States the first 2 weeks of the month, then this past week, we ventured out of the lower 48 for an Alaska cruise adventure.
It was just what we (I) needed, especially since the weather was freaking amazing (cool, dry, 60 degree temps, clear skies...icebergs in summer....WOW!)
(Day 2 morning view from our balcony)
(ice in the Tracy Arm fjord)
(woke up to this first thing in the morning in Skagway, AL)
And here's the amazing part....I ate like some medieval knight in a banquet hall....every single day....
....yet this morning, I weighed in 1.5 lbs less than when we embarked on the high seas!
Sheer madness I tell you....how can this be!?!?! Every morning I had 3 eggs, 8-10 slices of bacon, 3-4 sausage links, and smoked salmon with cream cheese. Lunches, dinners, snacks....I told myself I was on vacation dammit, no food logging, no worries, eat like the other 2000+ slobs on board. Eat everything, except....
No breads, no sugars, no pastries, no ice cream, no pizza, no desserts (well there was that one night I had a cup of chocolate, peanut butter pudding), but to everything else, a big YES!
And I felt great, certainly quite a bit fitter than 99% of my fellow passengers. As a matter of damn fact, I really enjoyed walking through the ship and seeing my rather flat belly and wide shoulders in those plentiful mirrors. When #2 son and I explored all the pools on the Lido deck, I felt wonderfully conscious of being a fairly fit 52-year old dad.....especially when I saw how so many of my younger (and older) peers lugged around some very uncomfortable looking bellies.
SWMBO was still recovering from her recent surgery, so we didn't take many adventurous treks (I wanted to fly a helicopter on to the glacier and go swimming in a glacial pool), so we made due with some canned tours and a whale watching boat ride (where we saw a dozen or so humpbacks doing what they called "bubble net feeding")
But mostly we just relaxed....my bodymedia fit armband tells me I slept a solid 8 hours a night, I read a bunch of books on the balcony as we cruised along the Tongass National Forest (I am surprisingly enjoying the "Game of Thrones" series), SWMBO & I went on a few dates to the campy shows and movies they had on board (we thought the "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was pretty funny though), and I hit their gym 5 days out of 7, even managing to get in 3 spin classes....which is pretty sporty when you're spinning a 30-lb flywheel as the floor beneath you lists 5-10 degrees in any given direction.
Today I'm off (we got home after midnight yesterday), tomorrow back to the office, where, from the e-mails on the berry, I can tell we've got a busy week coming up.
It did feel pretty good being totally unplugged from the net for a few days at a time.
Have a great night Spark friends!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Alright folks, it's GO TIME!
This is the week our family has been revving up towards for a while. Here's the plan;
- Monday I fly to Vegas for some early morning meetings on Tuesday
- Tuesday afternoon, I fly back to FL, getting back around midnight.
- Wednesday, full up workday (and hopefully some ST Wed night)
- Thursday, early morning meetings here in FL, fly back to Vegas in the PM
- Friday, full day of meeting in Vegas (meanwhile SWMBO and #2 son fly to Seattle...more below)
- Saturday, I fly to Seattle, hook-up with SWMBO and #2 son
- Sunday, depart Seattle for a 7-day Alaska cruise!
We were all set to start our vacation together on Friday, I had booked tickets months ago, then my boss called and said, "Yeah, sorry dude, but you really need to be here in Vegas on the 20th"
Curses! I broke the news to SWMBO, she said, "Just go, we can handle it. Just make sure to give me the name & address of our hotel, and we're good to go!"
I love her!
Luckily Delta was sympathetic and didn't gouge me on the airfare as I changed my flight (it helps being a Diamond member!)
So today we're doing a family packing session, laying out the major things we think we'll need for the cruise; I'm going to be too tight on time and won't have much time to mess around with this, plus I have to pack business clothes for Thurs/Fri and take these on the cruise with me....that's what pisses me off most!
But we persevere and conquer!
I'm hoping I can work out on this cruise too....it's the Star Princess, and what I can gauge from the website and some personal testimony (my secretary was on this same ship 2 months ago) they have a pretty decent gym layout, although as with most resorts, it's skimpy on the free weights and heavy on treadmills & cardio)
Nonetheless, we sail the high Alaska seas for enjoyment, so I give myself plenty of leeway (I think that's a nautical term too) to adjust my schedule. The only thing I'm torn about is the food!
Tom Naughton (of Fathead, the movie fame) blogged recently about doing a Low Carb cruise in the Caribbean.....he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it and didn't feel deprived at all (eg, eating double cheeseburgers at midnight), yet didn't gain a pound the whole time. Yes he did avoid the dessert bars & buffets, but sated himself quite nicely as a Low Carber (even enjoying a drunken karaoke session one night!)
So more to follow....I'll try to stay connected and post a couple of blogs from our trip as we gorge on King Salmon and Alaskan Crab every night!
Oh and I almost forgot the coolest part
SWMBO (though she will never admit that it was my influence) has expressed an interest in cutting down her sugar intake. She started reading this book called "Cut Sugar Addiction Now!' and began hinting that she may try to cut out at least this one offending variant of carbohydrate.
Of course, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME CUTTING DOWN MY CARBS (at least nothing she will admit to, the insolent wench!), but that's OK, at least we have a point of mutual and intersecting interest that will provide for many a leisurely conversation as we sit outside our stateroom balcony, admiring the glacier-filled landscapes of Canada and Alaska!
Have a great day Spark friends!
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