Friday, February 25, 2011

nearly wordless funny friday

Seems as though the lunatics are running the asylum. We received a wake-up call at 0530 this morning from the school, announcing that schools would be closed today. My first thought was, "crap, i didn't get up early enough to shovel the driveway before the first daycare parents arrive!"
So i went to the window and looked out.
Here's a picture looking down our driveway at 0630 this morning. No school today? Seriously?

Hey, ATX....this is how we do snow days in VERMONT.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

too far, too few....

i really need to get back to blogging. i like to do it, i enjoy the feedback and interaction (albeit virtual) with others.
although, i wonder....
sometimes we social media types get flack from non-social media types about having 'virtual' friends or forming 'relationships' with people whom (who?) we have never met, and most likely never will meet. (although SOMEDAY i hope to get to a Juneathon lunch in Hyde Park....!!)
I wonder if people who 'met' via pony express got the same ribbings from those who didn't. Or telegraph users. What about pen-pals when you were a kid? Some random kid your age-ish in some far away land (Cleveland, Bismark, or Clear Lake), who you never met, who you wrote back and forth with for a summer or two:

Dear Pen Pal,
Today my little sister drove me nuts. All she wanted to do was chase me around with her Betsy-Wetsy doll, and all I wanted to do was tear that doll from limb to limb...
Things here in (insert town) are just great. We went to get ice cream last night, and i got my favorite kind: vanilla! You should try it. Do you have ice cream where you live?
Your Pen Pal,

(the above never actually happened. i don't think. at least not the part about the doll; my sister didn't have store-bought dolls. no, we weren't dirt poor. our Mom is a seamstress.......)
Did we get flack from that? Ok, maybe a little flack, but hey, we were kids, etc. etc.
Alls i'm sayin' is that I enjoy my virtual friends. Do i spend too much time conversing with them and not my family? Sometimes, sure. I have commalities with my VFs that i don't have with my RFs. I can communicate about blog hits, posting, writer's block, hosting options, diet struggles, motivation, etc with VFs. My RFs aren't into these things. For the most part. Most of the people who i consider RF's are actually family members; my social circle is small. But distinguished. (go ahead, Adam, say it. I'll wait.)
Gotta work on that......
Anyone in the Upper Valley wanna hang out? Mebbe go for a trail run sometime? TRX? Take kiddos to the park/museum/TipTopPottery????

Friday, February 18, 2011

what a week....

you, too? let's recap, shall we?
Saturday: 6th Anniversary to my High School Sweetheart. No, we are not 24, but she makes me feel like I am still 17 somethimes. I love her so much. Ok, i think I just heard the 'schmoop alert', so enough of that.
Sunday: final family Christmas of the season. tough to find candy canes that close to Valentine's day, so the kids had to 'suffer' with 2 month old Christmas candies. ha. just kidding. It was a good time, a relatively calm but still interesting 'Yankee Swap' for the >13 year old crowd, and the little ones had a good time, too.
Monday: Ah. Halmark Day. Bryce painted a coffee mug for Mom, but we didn't get to give it to her until Tues, as the pottery place is closed on mondays.
Tuesday: Not much went on. I shoveled snow off of 80% of the front of our house, then lost the shovel over the edge with just that little bit to go. It is still there.....
Wednesday: Stir-fry dinner with the in-laws at my BIL's new pad. Was actually fun~! I 'branched out' and started some conversations and contributed to some. Also made plans to be their IT support on Monday.
Thursday....yea, Thursday. Got to work early, then got a call around 725 that our oldest had rolled his mom's car on the highway. flew down to the accident scene (nearly 30 miles away), got there while kids were still being interviewed in ambulance. after a buncha ado, got the kids home. hugs all around, as they are ok, albeit sore from the seatbelts. car is a wreck, most likely will be totaled. I highly recommend Toyotas. I rolled my Tacoma a few years back, and walked away. Mom's corolla rolled 2-3 times yesterday, and the kids walked away. Damned fine cars.

Friday: we're almost half way through it, and nothing bad has happened yet. I finished a contingency plan at work for some new software that i am lead on (implementation, not development. crikey. let's get THAT clear), family is doing well at home, weather should allow for an afternoon run, then curl up and watch a movie tonight or some such.

Hug your kids, hug your family members. you just never know....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"the world is black, the world is white...."

Alright. For those who don't know me, I live in a world of extremes. Black/White. That's it.
Scratch that. I live in a GRAY world. I do, i really do. We ALL do.
Please allow me to start again, then...

The world I live in is gray. The world IN MY HEAD is black and white.

And therein lies the rub; a rub that not even BODYGLIDE can help me with. What to do, what to do? My b/w mind gets me into trouble almost daily; either with myself, or (worse yet) with others. Here's an example of a recent conversation (edited for family viewing, as well as brevity)...
OP (other person): "i know that your virtual friends make you happy, but i wish that you would spend more time engaged with the real people in the house."
MID (my internal dialogue): "fine. i will post to twitter and the blog that I will be leaving cyberspace. sort of a "so long, and thanks for all the fish" post. done ,done, and done."
MED (my external dialogue): "ok. i shall try to be more engaged here, with the family." (which of course, is the ONLY smart thing to do......) more than that, though, it is what I TRUELY WANT TO DO.

I just don't know how. Or have forgotten how. So i go to the extreme in my 'solutions' for things i don't understand. Monday evening I was shopping with Bryce, and the idea to stop drinking coffee at work flew into my head. So Tuesday I made up my mind not to drink coffee at work, or at least not coffee FROM work. Then my office mate came in the room with a cuppa black coffee that smelled sooooo good that i just HAD to have one, too. So i did.
Why not compromise with myself and have just 1 cup at work, or one every other day, or...something other than NO coffee. See? my black/white thinking (cognitive distortion. read about them here and here, courtesy of my virtual pal over at gets me into trouble, or at the very least sets me up for failure, each and every time.
So why do i do it? Sometimes i think that i do it because it is 'comfortable'. the thought process is known, the outcome is known (although not preferred). Gre/ay thinking is unknown to me, and therefore uncomfortable and scary. It is LONG overdue that I move into the gra/ey. If I don't, my next move will likely be more complicated, and involve cardboard boxes...

What are some things that you know you should be doing but aren't, out of 'fear of the unknown'?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

In which i am no longer intimidated by cheese

Not a running post per se.....
This past New Year's weekend we were lucky enough to spent the time with my wife's brother, his wife, their darling daughter, and about 50 other people. We went to Baltimore-ish to be part of a Christening, and it was a wonderful time! I say this with an exclamation mark mostly because I truely had a good time, and i usually don't do well in groups larger than 4. Seriously. I get all anxious and blah blah blah.
This time, though, I went at it with a different attitude: i decided that i would branch out while i was there and do at least ONE thing that I don't normally do in these situations.
On NYE, the subject of wine came about. I used to enjoy wine quite a bit. I had been 'intimidated' by it, but went on some tasting tours and such while in Sonoma Valley, and grew to have a deeper appreciation for wine. I am not a wine snob, by any stretch, but i do like to play the part as the situation allows......
My SIL and I were talking about it, and I said something to the effect that I used to be intimidated by wine, but now I am intimidated by CHEESE.
Only a few readers know my SIL, and for those that don't, all you have to do is give her an opening like this, and BAM! she fills the void. Mention that you think jet-skis are cool? BAM! She'll take you out. She'll say things like, "ever thought about trying the trapeeze?" BOOYA! Happy Birthday. (not me, our middle dude.)
So when i made the comment about cheese, her eyes lit up and she said, "well, then, tomorrow i will give you a cheese flight!" (apparently that is what it is called when you start out with one type and move into other types, much like you would sample beers or wine.....)
In the afternoon of NYD, we set out some cheeses:

Click to make bigger and see names of cheeeeeeeeses.
I was instructed to try the cheeses working my way from left to right, or from milder flavors toward the stronger flavors. Makes sense to me! I tried each with a small piece of bread, and even tried some wine. (you may or may not recall that I get HIVES when i drink alcohol. more on that in a post next week!)
Each cheese was distinctly different from the next, and I enjoyed every one.
Thank you for stopping by!
HAHAHAHA....ok, ok. Here's what I thought about the cheeses. Had you going there for a sec, didn't I? Hello? (thump, thump. feedback) Is this thing on?
Brie: NOT AT ALL what I thought it would be. I expected it to run all over the place once we opened it. It did no such thing. It is soft, to be sure, but mildly flavored. As I kept coming back to it, I noticed that it produced an interesting taste AND sensation at the back of my mouth. Not unpleasant, but noticable. Three Stars awarded to Brie.
Chevre: Again, not what I expected. My only exposure to goat cheese has been Feta, and I never could get past the strong flavor and the odd textures. This, however, had a pleasant taste, and was smooth. It was stronger than the Brie (remember the order/reason for the flight), but didn't leave the aftertaste that I half expected. Two Stars to Chevre.
Gruyere: "Full of flavors!" according to my BIL's FIL (follow? that would be my SIL's Dad) It is firm, almost like Cheddar, but has a depth of flavor that Cheddar didn't. Almost smokey, almost fruity (but not sweet).
FOUR Stars to Gruyere.
Almost like a Chiraz when compared with a Merlot. Or French Vanilla when compared to Vanilla. Or not. It is CHEESE for Heaven's sake. You need to try Cheddar and Gruyere side by side. Now. Go. I'll wait.....In the mean time, here is an action photo from the testing....
Cheddar: I have grown up with cheddar, so it was like, well, cheddar. The interesting part was to compare it with the other cheeses (which, again, is the purpose of the flight). I only had a few pieces, and it was ok. I prefer mine EXTRA Sharp, or, as they say in the UK, "mature". (one of us should be....)
Three Stars to Cheddar.
Bleu Cheese: you know, the moldy kind. Lemme tell ya. This.was.GREAT! I had a buncha bleu cheese. It was nothing like the chunks in salad dressing. The flavor was strong, it carried well, and combined well with the crackers AND bread. And wine. I was on my second box of wine at this point (not really), and all i could taste were the tannins anyway. HAHAHAHA. Honestly, the bleu was my favourite.
FIVE Stars to Bleu.
Here's a cheese tasting tip: keep kids away from the table at all costs. As you can see here, if they get too close, they'll shoot laser beams at you. SEE?????
All in all, it was a GREAT opportunity to try something new and be taken through the steps and be given explanations by people who are really passionate about their cheese. SIL, her Dad, and his wife were great. Laughs were had, serious explanations were given, and bellies were filled. Fantastic way to start the year.

So far in 2011, have you stepped outside of your box and tried something that had seemed 'intimidating' to you? Hit me up in the comments!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

#fitblog answers

I didn't attend #fitblog chat on Twitter last night. Instead, i cuddled with my sweety and watched some tv. it was a chilly evening, and it was time very well spent!
Here, though, are my answers to the questions that were posed. Nothing earthshattering here, but I wanted to post it and try to get some feedback. The topic was "Food is Fuel - How do you Fill Up?"

Q1) Does when you exercise or how much you exercise impact what you eat? How?
On days that I plan to exercise, I try to plan my meals/snacks around the time i have set aside. I find that this helps with digestion, comfort, and energy levels. As for amounts of food, increasing the amount typically depends on how far i plan to run.
Q2) What do you eat before you work out?
 I typically eat some yogurt with granola about a half an hour before i work out. I used to eat a bagel with PB, but that just sat too heavily in my stomach, and it made me 'tired' of running too soon. For longer runs, or when i have eaten not so well, i'll pop a loperimide (Immodium) just for added 'insurance'. And i drink drink drink. Lately I have been triallling Generation UCAN's products, and will review them by the end of the week.
Q3) What do you eat after a work out?
After a workout I try to eat a buncha protein. Sometimes this is in the form of picking at meat leftovers in the fridge, or if i can't get home right away I will eat a Clif Builder's bar (20g of protein). If it was a short run, i might just eat half.
Q4) Do you eat more indulgently if you have exercised or plan to? What's your treat meal?
I don't usually eat indulgently. That said, last weekend I ate an entire large pizza by myself. It was a free one that we got because the pizza place goofed. YAY!..... My treat meal is usually something that involves seafood, but only while dining out. noone else in my family likes it, so i won't cook it at home. we only go out to places that offer real seafood once every other month or so, and that's when i'll eat those kinds of foods.

I am looking forward to tonight's #SFCFIT chat, where @mizfitonline will talk about Vision Boards. Interesting topic, to be sure. If you are on Twitter, follow the hashtag #SFCFIT at 730 CST this evening!

Be well,