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The Most Loathed

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Posts posted by The Most Loathed

  1. 1 hour ago, RisenPhoenix said:


    I have this feeling right now, too.  Then again, I'm also wondering what I need to sacrifice and to whom so I can make sure it will be a good, quiet year.

    virgins. It's always virgins. No idea why.


    You bring up a good point. It seems like there is always something that must be given up to make any change as an adult. The days of just adding and adding are over. 


    I've gone through a couple versions of follow up sentences to to this but they all come back to me probably not thinking this entirely through. It will take some kind of work to keep it calm. 


    • Like 1
  2. It doesn't look like I got much logged last week. It was a good week though. Quick recap then off we go.

    • Monday - Guitar - teacher is trying to get me to improvise. I find it very tough. I'm probably too much in my own head but I think of it as being unclear on how to improvise
    • Tuesday - trying to recall what we made for supper. Recall enjoying it but don't recall what it was
    • Wednesday - Didn't get guitar time in but did work on clearing out my old apartment
    • Thursday - ended up doing more apartment clean out
    • Friday - just had a really nice, lazy evening. I made sourdough pancakes and sausage for supper. we watched the most recent Great British Bake-off, which I hadn't seen since a first couple early episodes.
    • Saturday - Say Jay and Silent Bob Rebooted with intro and Q&A by Kevin Smith. If you like other media featuring Jay & Silent Bob, you'll like it. If you don't like that media, you won't like this. Had Southern Fried, hot chicken at a popular local restaurant for supper. 
    • Sunday - Went to a friend's house for about 6 hours to play boardgames. Made a new recipe, Ginger Chicken. I can think of some good enhancements but will do again.

    Things that didn't happen last week:

    • Gym - chose to just focus on getting through the week and deal with move stuff
    • Diet - same as above. Also gave myself the excuse that it was my last week in the office
    • Daily tracking - I didn't log here or in my notebook. Not totally sure which box my notebook is in at the moment

    This week

    • Monday - Guitar
    • Tuesday - professional training during the day, nothing in the evening. Laura's night to cook
    • Wednesday - professional training during the day. probably meeting up with a friend in the evening
    • Thursday - My night to cook
    • Friday - probably going out to eat
    • Saturday - hosting games
    • Sunday - nothing

    This week begins my full time work-from-home life, again. Probably the single biggest goal for the week is to start building habits and patterns to being productive and happy doing that. I began today by going to the gym but taking it pretty easy there. I lifted, lightly, for about 30 minutes then walked on the treadmill, at an incline, for 30 minutes. The goal was to get there, start the habit, and keep myself from getting particularly sore this week.

    Today I plan to have hot lunch. I've gone back and forth on exactly what but probably chicken breasts that are left over from my garlic chicken recipe. I will probably also head down to the apartment gym, around midday and walk a bit more. 


    Broad notes/goals on the week

    • move daily - walk a couple miles outside or on the treadmill everyday that I'm working from home (the two training days to give me much freedom on this)
    • guitar - 5+ hours
    • gym - 5+ hours
    • eating - baring the couple of social food outings, stick to home made, hot foods. Don't eat convenience foods

    Near future

    • As mentioned above, I'm start full time work-from-home today. That will probably be my top priority to get dialed in the next couple weeks.
    • In two weeks I have to leave home for two weeks of conferences. That will be top of mind for me (right after the WFH shift) for the near future
    • I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving week as the beginning of "stability". The holiday season is always a hot mess in terms of stability but considering I'll finally be moved in and home, it's the beginning for me
    • I already have my eye on the new year and thinking about 2020. It's going to be a good, quieter year. 
    • Like 4
  3. Have your feels and don't punish yourself for it. It is the little things that you notice the most. There are songs, restaurants, recipes, and so on that I just had to avoid. 


    I fully support the hobby idea. I started to learn guitar. For me, sometimes that really helped. Sometimes I felt like more of a failure for having one more thing I was bad at. Commonly, despite having more free time, I just found that I didn't have it in me to put out the extra energy. That said, I'm glad I've spent the time, and I have gotten better, and it probably was a good distraction.

    • Like 3
  4. Last week's attempts to get back on fitness track were kind of a bust. Ah well. Ever forward.


    This weekend I moved. I moved from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom apartment in the same building. I have a roommate again, an old character in this little drama, Laura. you know, my ex-wife. 


    Friday night we each packed in our respective spaces. Saturday we got breakfast together then more packing. Sunday was move day. I left her to handle organizing the friends. 

    We got the keys to the new place at 11 am (11:30 by the time the leasing office got their act together). We did a few small trips from our respective units to the new one from 11 to 1. At 1 we got the freight elevator and our peeps showed up. We started hauling. By 3, the end of the planned move time. We had moved all we had planned on. We fed people and dismissed them.

    We, of course, had a lot small finishing work to do so that's how we spent our evening. I have my apartment for a week still so I left all my little tasks for this week. I'll be spending some time there tonight and Wednesday night to get it wrapped up.


    This week

    • Homemaking - This week is all about getting settled into my new home. That means packing the last bit of my old home, moving them to my new one and unpacking them
    • Habitmaking - Moving to a new place, a new situation requires that I build up a new set of habits and routines
    • Habitmaking 2 - This week is my last week heading to the office reliable for a while. I'm going back to working remotely for a while. I don't know how long "a while" but I would assume a minimum of 2 years. So I will be trying to preplan habits to help make me more effective going forward.
    • Self Care - Moving beats up the body. I need to make sure some mobility happens this week. Once I get two mobility workouts in, I authorize myself to do a strength workout but not before


    • Monday - guitar. Was planning to go catch a concert but I'm going to focus on moving
    • Tuesday - Night in. Laura and I both have this night free so we're just going to have a nice night in and forget about moving for a little bit.
    • Wednesday - wrap up my old apartment. Play guitar
    • Thursday - unpacking. Play guitar. Mobility
    • Friday - unpacking, kitchen focused.
    • Saturday - Jay and Silent Bob rebooted, dinner out, probably sushi
    • Sunday - option late concert. Mostly enjoy down time. Prepare for first remote week.

    I see that it's time for new challenge threads. I thought about doing one but got shy and opted not to. May still be a thing. My month is going to be more focused on realigning my life in my new living space, working remotely, and so on. I'm going to be less concerned with hitting any particular numbers. 

    • Like 5
  5. On 10/16/2019 at 11:17 PM, Mad Hatter said:

    Do you know where this whole thing comes from? It's always been baffling to me, it's like whoever came up with this had never seen anyone squat, in power lifting/olympic lifting or you know, human beings with different proportions, or why would it be ok to do it when say sprinting, but if you load the knee with weights instead of the dynamic load your knees will explode?

    In the US they used to teach this in medicine school. I have read one of the studies it is based on. Basically the used some early sensors and math the measure the sheering force of the knee when bent past 90 degrees and it was (digging into the mists of my memory here so check this before quoting) 150x or so what it is when a person stands. It was determined, seemingly arbitrarily to me, to be a dangerous amount of change. 

    It was an old study and pretty BS.

  6. On 10/18/2019 at 8:27 AM, Sloth the Enduring said:

    I stopped assigning homework [sic].  Once I realized that I was grading parent participation it didn’t seem fair.


    This is an interesting statement to me. I realize that with younger students, it's probably true, I've just never seen it so plainly. At some point, self driven work is its own skill though. Not sure if homework teaches this at all or not. 

  7. Good week so far. Tuesday's dinner was good. Went out to Laura's and my favorite restaurant from the good old days. It's interesting going places with her again. While we were apart I did more of the things we had done together alone or with others but we both, or more accurately each, didn't tread certain grounds. 


    My legs are a wreck from Monday. I'm not surprised by this. When I don't squat in the gym, I pretty much never move through the full range of motion. Today I'm swapping out lifting for ROM work.


    Guitar has been good to me this week. My teacher is trying to get me to start improvising melodies. I'm terrible at it but it is fun to sit and noodle around on the guitar and try. 


    Today is housekeeping and starting packing.

    • Like 4
  8. 1 hour ago, Sylvaa said:

    So guess who was super excited to jump into working out, then forgot a sports bra for the week?


    1 hour ago, Sylvaa said:

    I could have probably run out and purchased one, other than the fact that I've already had to purchase an extra recently (like in September) for the same reason.



    Forgetting gear is always frustrating.

    • Haha 2
  9. Friday was fine. No one wanted to be at work anywhere. Had dinner with Laura, I don't recall what we had.


    Saturday I had given up on the gym for the week which was actually probably for the best. It meant I slept in on Saturday, went back to my place to get stuff ready for CabinCon, went to the game shop then drove hours north to CabinCon. I got there around 1. I spent a little time just catching up with a few people that I only ever see at these things. Then it was time to play Arkham. I basically gamed with the same folks I game with the time. I wasn't trying to exclude others but I wasn't feeling a Eurogame and those guys like that I understand the rules and metagame of Arkham. I probably could have been a better citizen and branched out but I have no regrets.

    My one story from this event is that I knew that bed space gets tight. The house holds up to 15 people according to the rental listing but it have like 8 or 9 beds. Obviously they are expecting couples not a bunch of dudes who don't want to share a bed. As it was getting to midnight I asked the organizer what was available. He said he thought that there was some floor space downstairs. I couldn't find any. The only space I could see that might be available was the living room, where we were hanging out and some people might be doing so for hours. I wanted to go to bed.
    I made the executive decision to go sleep in my car. It was around freezing but I had brought a sleeping bag. I crawled into the back seat, took my shoes off and threw the bag over me. Tempwise I was comfortable but I had to sleep with my legs folded up. I think I slept about 45 minutes for a couple different stints but would wake up and try and find a new position between. Sometime about 2 or 3, I think, I moved up to the passenger's seat which actually reclined very nicely so I slept pretty well until my alarm went off at 7.

    I told the organizer that I'm bringing a tent next time. He inquired as to why and I explained where I slept. He felt I had overlooked the opportunity to sleep in the living room in haste. I don't I'm ok with my choice here.


    Sunday I made breakfast for cabincon then helped clean up the cabin so we could check out then drove home. Laura made an amazing supper using meat from a subscription box I get from a local butcher and a curry I made a few weeks back and she saved. Truly one of the best meals in memory. 


    Today I made it to the gym. I underperformed a bit but I'm counting gym attendance as a win. 

    • Front Squat 155 5 x 5
    • Push Press 155 3 x 3
    • Strict Press 115 3 x 5

    I had more planned but had a short time window and felt the need to use the rest room so I had to truncate the dumbbell presses and dips. My legs told me that I hadn't done a full squat in far too long but otherwise, things went well.


    This week:

    • Monday - Guitar lesson
    • Tuesday - dinner with Laura
    • Wednesday - good odds a friend will try to claim my time, probably going to say no. need to pack
    • Thursday - Arkham
    • Friday - dinner with Laura
    • Saturday - Friends' annual horror movie party, gonna go for a couple hours
    • Sunday - Move day 

    Sunday Laura and I are moving in together. We have both had single apartments for a little over a year now. We've decided to give cohabitation another go. We're both optimistic. So, we've picked out a two bedroom in the same building that we live in and we're shifting there. That will consume a lot of my weekend but I think it will be worth it. 


    That's all I have for now. I'll share a music video or 8 later. 

    • Like 4
  10. 19 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    Mrs. Sloth: Oh, you’re wearing your ring again. Haha, is the new staff hitting on you at work?

    Me: Ummm, yeah, no, I don’t know. 

    Mrs. Sloth: Wait, what? Who was it? Was she playing with her hair and giggling?

    Me: Ummm, yeah, I don’t know. 

    Mrs. Sloth: It must have been super obvious if you noticed it.  

    Ha. You've been seen through.


    4 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

    I have a silicone one, it does not rub nor become sweaty. 

    This line is the only excerpt that NF showed in my feed. I really questioned if this thread had go NC17.

    • Like 1
    • Haha 3
  11. Sorry to hear about struggles but also celebrating the successes . W00t for 168 and for not feeling crappy after eating!


    I have some recent experiences with relationship stuff and found The Seven Principles of Making a Marriage with by Gottman to be very true for me if a bit dated. The fact that you guys are aware and talking is probably the single most important thing. I believe in yo.

    • Thanks 1
  12. 1 hour ago, Jittersthe.Clown said:


    Alright, I'm a bit mad at myself for not checking in yesterday, because that sounds like an awesome place. Where is this magical BBQ joint and when do we go? 

    Secondly, when you do get an intelligent date to jam, I want to be there. 

    I get a date when I set one. I'll advertise here. It'll be a while. The jammers last night were super legit. A guy who builds drum kits for a living, a guy who played for The Time and an assortment of other musicians all of whom were super legit.


    The place is Beast Barbeque. Honestly, I was a little grumpy about how crap the food was. The bartender was little irritated when I asked if the ribs were smoked. You could have fooled me. I'll go again for the music, I'll even buy a drink to show my appreciation but I'll have supper at home.

    The house band goes on at 8:30. They're good and worth hearing but the jam didn't get underway unto 10. I would guess they were there until at least midnight if the joint didn't kick them out. I took off at 11 just because I like my sleep. Really good music though. Some real characters too. 

  13. Getting started on training this week has been a bust. Tuesday I honestly just fell back asleep for 2 more hours. I decided I must have really needed it and decided to forgive myself. Wednesday it wasn't on the schedule and wasn't possible given my calendar. Today I got up and was committed to going....until I couldn't find my ID card. I still can't find it. I'm going to keep looking but if I can't find it, I'll need to get another. 


    The week so far:

    • Monday - Work from home. Breakfast was a burrito I made. It was good. Lunch was chicken salad, also good.  Ate candy during the day so I wasn't very hungry for supper. Had some Palak Paneer. Good sleep time. Bad work productivity
    • Tuesday - slept in, a lot. breakfast was skipped. Lunch was caprese salad and chicken salad, the latter on homemade bread. Note, this latest round of bread does not work well for sandwiches. It tastes and feels could but comes apart in the hand. For supper I made some experimental sourdough pancakes. I really dig those now but they are very unexpected. Good Sleep. Still slacking at work
    • Wednesday - I don't recall what, if anything I had for supper. Lunch was chicken salad sandwich again. No supper. Went to a local distillery and drank my dinner.
    • Thursday - gym fail. Breakfast was a breakfast burrito again. I only ate half, threw the rest out, wasn't super hungry. Then did end up eating a little bag of chips. Lunch was caprese salad with avocado

    Wednesday's out was interesting. I reached out to the one person from my CrossFit box who I always thought, I'd hang out with this guy. He was amenable but wary. He's a life long Minnesotan and here, natives mostly know people their whole lives or not at all. Overtly starting a friendship is very non-Minnesotan.

    However, he took the leap and so did I. We ended up having a really good time. We talked for about 2.5 hours. I was unsurprised to see that we had some common threads in our lives. I was surprised how much he opened up during drink 3 and told me some things I would count as very personal. 

    Regardless, we made plans to meet again next month which is about perfect. Not best friends forever but another person to go get dinner or a drink with once ever month or two.


    Tonight, I'm taking an interesting step for myself. I'm going out to dinner late and alone. There is, of course, and ulterior motive. There's a new BBQ joint in town and they do a blues jam on Thursdays, at 8:30. I've recently started to learn how to play the blues and I'm trying to immerse myself in it. I've listened to the blues since high school, off and on. So learning it excites me, even more than learning rock.

    I've also gone on record with a couple people and will do the same here, I'm making it a go to sit in on this jam sometime. By sit in, I mean, bring my guitar, be on stage, and play. There's no date on this as I don't know enough about learning music to put an intelligent date on it. But it's a statement of intent.

    • Like 5
  14. On 10/7/2019 at 11:58 AM, Elastigirl said:

    What made the  first part of the hike so unfun?

    What were your favorite sites that you got to see?

    Also, interested in your not having a desire to go back. Is that how you normally are? As in, you want to try new places rather than  more of someplace you've already seen? I like new places, but I when I visit someplace that I really enjoy, I want to go back to it.

    The first hike was unfun because it was super aggressive and my guide wouldn't listen to me. 

    I had asked for a tune-up hike. I knew that living in Minnesota, jumping into an aggressive hiking schedule 10,000' higher than where I live, my body would suffer. Somewhere in the literal and figurative game of telephone from me to one travel agent, to another, to a trekking group, to my guide, tune-up hike went to "I want to do a 4-5 day trek in 3 days". So long mileage paired with the roughest terrain I have ever experienced is a tough recipe at the best of times.

    That was frustrating but I realized early on that the experience he was trying to give is not what I asked for and I told him as much. I don't recall the exact quote but the spirit was something like "Look, this is a tune up hike. I would rather not go all the way to the city we're trying to get to but be a little more comfortable". He continued to push to get to Chocoqueira. We did make it but I deliberately truncated our time there because I knew we needed to start back and didn't look forward hiking in the dark again. 


    The best things I saw were my last day. I had one more day in country after the main trek. I had heard one of the guides talking about this place where the Incans had turned some natural sinkholes into a "plant lab". They had terraced the sinkholes and used the different climates they could create in them to try plants in different environments, to see what would survive and possibly even doing some crossbreeding to try and get heartier crops. This really captured my imagination. I asked my main guide if she could arrange something for me to see these. She got her friend's husband to drive, interpret, and guide me that day. 

    He took me to Marais, the plant lab I described. It's a small site, maybe the size of a football stadium. It's less visually impressive that Macchu Pichu and other city sites but the curiosity it shows really captured my imagination. To me, the photo below looks faked or filtered but that is just how it looked that day. I took the photo myself on my iPhone.



    He also took me to the "Salt Pans". They are geographically close. I will admit that I was initially disinterested. I knew it was a salt water spring that was being used to evaporate out the water and generate salt. I loved this site.

    First, the scale was much greater than I would have imagined. Second, this site is actually pre-Incan. It's still active today. The is a person at the top left and, if you look really hard, middle right of the photo. Those aren't tourists, those are citizens of the town down in the valley, the same town that has been there for at least 2,000 years, many of the same family lines. These people are using the Salt Pans in almost the exact same way their ancestors have. That really blew my mind. 



    Add to this that is was just and amazing day. Zachary was a lot of fun to spend time with and his wife made us the most amazing "boxed" lunches to enjoy. It was just a great, very special day.



    I think I tend to be someone who likes to try different places. A place has to really woo me for me to think about coming back again immediately. That said, there are places, New Orleans and Breckenridge for example, that a visit makes me immediately think about returning. More often though, I'll go somewhere, Seattle and Portland for example, and feel like I got the vibe, I saw the primary sites and don't need to go back soon. I don't dislike those places, I'd happily go for work or to see a friend but at tourist, they're off my list. But my examples of New Orleans and Breckenridge, I felt like I barely scratched the surface. I think one more trip to New Orleans will move it into the "I'm done touristing" bucket.

    Regarding returning to Peru, especially Cusco, it's built on tourism and has very little spirit of its own. Peruvians to go there if they don't have to, seemingly. If I went to South America I would consider Lima a viable option but there's no real drive for me to get there. It's a long way to go see a city I might like. What I felt I saw of Peruvian culture, for the most part, didn't spark my imagination. The Peruvians seem to be a very practical people. That's not an insult, you'd have to be to live a life in the Andes, but it's not interesting to see. 

    I was a little put off, too, by their relationship with their own history. I tried to talk to a couple of my guides about this but I never seemed to be able to communicate it in a way that really hit home for them. They revere the Incanas as their ancestors. Their lives are often right on top of that civilization, literally. Cusco was the Incan capital. People live in homes where the first few layers of the stone walls were set down 800 years ago or more. In between the Spanish rolled up and knocked the tops off of all of the tallest building and dropped their churches on top and made everyone a Catholic, which they overwhelmingly are today. There's an undercurrent of distaste towards the Spanish, for some really legitimate reasons. 

    But it leaves a weird cognitive dissonance in which the modern people don't seem to feel any responsibility to the past or, really, the future for where they live and what they do today. They emotionally tether themselves to the indigenous people from 500+ years ago and thumb their noses at everything in between. It leaves the resulting culture feeling a little malformed and incomplete to me. 

    So, I felt like I got to do the tourist things. They were fine but most were, to me, looking at graveyards or listening to people fantasize about a people of which we have no reliable first hand accounts. I didn't see signs of the same spirit that created the Marais plant labs. I'd need something like that to make me curious to go back.


    • Like 4


    I returned from Peru on Thursday. I spent the last few days just getting settled and resetting. The biggest thing I haven't gotten to is getting my training plan worked up.

    I started typing up a narrative trip review but it quickly started to become a novel so I'm just parking that for now. Happy to answer an questions but whether or now I'll write the narrative, we'll see. 


    Short very, the first three days were tough, unfun even. Once I met the main crew (days 4-12) I had a great time. My last day was truly amazing. I got to see my favorite sites of the trip. All of that said, I've got 0 desire to return to Peru. It was fine, I wouldn't warn anyone off of it but for me, at least that aspect of Peru, I've seen all I care to see and there are new and other interesting things to go see.


    The day I got back, I got to go see Badflower in concert. I had forgotten that I signed up for the meet & greet. I don't normally do that but the tickets were cheap and I had fun. I think a gang of Wisconsin girls that hung out with me at the concert was considering locking me in a van and taking me back with them. I ducked out in the crowd so I didn't have to make excuses for not wanting to "hang out" after the show.





    So that's the recent past, on to the future. I have lots of things happening in my near future.

    I was just asked (while working on the first chunk of this post) if I'm interesting in working remotely, full time. I've done this before and it's fine for me. It means I can eat hot, nutritious meals everyday, for a fraction of the cost of buying lunch. It means I have extra flexibility in my schedule for gym time in the morning. It means a lot of good things for me. However, I also really like my coworkers and will be a little bummed to not see them as much. Still, I'll totally do it. 


    I'm planning to get back to this gym this week. I didn't do it today, not for any particular reason but just because. I may take a few spare minutes later and throw together a crude plan for the week. 


    This week will be very social in the evenings for me. I have a couple nights to see Laura, since it'll have been 3 weeks since we've seen each other. No huge plan, just staying in and spending time together. I have two happy hours this week, one with Target/US Bank friends and one with a guy I know from CrossFit. This weekend is CabinCon, the one I went to for the entire weekend last year and ended up kind of miserable. I'm only going for 24 hours this time, managing my own a emotions and energy a bit. 


    I'm still in clean up mode from the trip as well so that will require some time. I by no means have my feet under me in terms of my normal habits so establishing that will be a lot of it. 


    This week:

    • Monday - no gym, pick up Laura at the airport, guitar lessons
    • Tuesday - gym time, dinner in
    • Wednesday - no gym, happy hour
    • Thursday - gym, happy hour
    • Friday - no gym, dinner in
    • Saturday - early gym, drive to cabin con
    • Sunday - start at cabin con, no gym

    My other priority projects for this week are:

    • finish trip clean up
    • Write training plan for October
    • Start on ThemeSystemJournal
    • Finally start reading everyone else's NF threads


    Playing out on a song that was in my head as I hiked.



    • Like 2

    Image result for gif here's to you


    Well, I'd done a terrible job of getting the habit started. That's ok though. That was my limited run caveat. I did a couple workouts. I know because I keep moving the index cards that I wrote them down on, rather than log them here (sad trombone). I did get 40,000 steps in on Saturday and Sunday, with a pack on. I feel utterly confident in my equipment at this point, which is good because Peru is fast approaching.

    I fly on Monday. Today is Thursday. I need to finish pack and grab a couple disposable first aid items that I what to have but nothing super special. I need to finish packing and make sure my bag isn't more than 50 lbs.

    I won't have constant connectivity because I will be off in the wild for a lot of it but I'll throw some pictures out of Facebook, Instagram, and/or here. 

    I'm starting to work on planning some of the more frivolous things. For example, how much music do I want to pull down, if only for the flights. How about videos? Last time I flew I thought I had downloaded a bunch but I had just queued them and had none ready to go. Do I want to take my Nintendo Switch? 


    Let's see, a little check up on the week:

    Monday - Lifted, guitar lesson, starting to learn the basic 12 Bar blues pattern. Laura and I tag teamed on a a new chicken recipe that was awesome, more on that below

    Tuesday - Work From Home day. Made my last (I hope) trip to REI for a couple final things. Saw Massive Attack live. I won't see them live again.

    Wednesday - slept in after the concert. Hosted a fried for dinner: steaks, brussle sprouts, whisky. He brought tabouleh and a watermelon salad.

    Thursday - planning on hanging with Laura tonight and having BLTs for supper, although if no farmer's market vendors are out, we may need to job our plans around

    Friday - No plans. Going to play guitar, do laundry and see if I can finish packing for Monday


    This upcoming weekend also has no plans. That was kind of by design. I wanted to leave as much clear space as I could to get ready, have any necessary freak outs, etc. Things appear on track. I'm thinking of going to a sports bar to watch the Vikings vs Packers game.



    Over the past year I've gotten out of the habit of cooking. I often went for convenience meals. I still had some shiny cooking skills to show of to new friends I made but day to day I eat a lot of things out of the freezer or other convenience options. As Laura and I are progressing towards a return to cohabitation, I've asked that we get back to cooking a bit. It's not going to be the same but it will be better than what I'm doing. 

    As a part of my cooking habit, I like to try new recipes periodically. I find that one or two a month is a good pace from "stretch" recipes and that I just end up doing something unexpectedly new at about the same frequency. This chicken was a deliberate stretch recipe. We picked it out of a cookbook with the intention of trying something new. It was labeled, if I recall, as curry roasted chicken.

    The recipe called for (I'm going from memory and it's been a few days so this won't be perfect) 2 cups of kale, 2 cups of arugula, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 tsp of coriander seeds, 3 Serrano pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic. You blend all of this (I did round up to a full head of garlic and I hand ground the seeds) with a 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of oil (I used avocado because I like it more than the olive oil that was called for). Then you rub this mix under the skin of the chicken and let it sit. In our case, I thought it would have a couple hours to marinade but for reasons I'll explain later, it sat overnight, which is a definitely plus.

    Then you roast it like you roast a chicken. 325-350 for however long to get it hot enough, usually 45-60 minutes in my experience. I did the prep, Laura actually did the roast while I was at guitar. It was delicious. The arugula and kale give it that "green" smell, not quite floral but botanical. The peppers, spices and garlic give it a nice, full mouthed experience. The only feedback I've had on it that wasn't perfect was someone who wanted me to add sweetness. 

    Image result for gif head shake


    Strong recommend on that recipe. If anyone specifically wants the exact recipe, message me and I'll take a picture and shoot it to you.



    I mentioned above that the chicken got to marinade a whole extra day and the reason for that is .... bread. Ok, story over :devilish:.

    Laura went to the Mill City Farmer's Market several weeks ago and saw a flour mill and vendor that offered sourdough bread making classes and asked if I would be interested. I would. 

    So, she booked it and we went on Sunday. It was at a farmhouse somewhere north of the city. Siri knows the way so we let her handle it. 

    Once there you get the spiel. Part of the purpose of the sourdough bread making class is to convince you to buy their flour and use their starter (which they give away) to make your own sourdough. That sounds more cynical than I think is fair. They both were having the kind of nonspecific health problems that lead many people to try a diet like Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free, or whatever. They went grain free. Everything got better. T

    hey are millers though so this wasn't great for them so they tried a couple other things. They experimented with gluten free grains and had similar benefits but hated the product. They started experimenting with Heritage Grains (like Heirloom veggies) and things were still really good but not quite a good. Also, their baked goods didn't back as well. Finally, they started using sourdoughs. This was a game changer for them. The baked goods were better than every, their health was awesome. Life was just good. It is this that they are evangelizing. Fell about that however you do, I think it's work knowing the agenda of the session.

    Darrold walked us through his bread making process. I've made bread before and it's a pretty standard process. I was genuinely surprised by how little he worked his dough. I would not describe anything he did as kneading the dough. He basically just mixes it and lets it sit for a day. The product, though, was genuinely delicious. The sourness was stronger than any sourdough I have had but delightful .

    The class wrapped with social hour and wood fired pizzas. The pizzas were great. Again I was shocked by how responsive but sturdy his dough was despite the fact that he hadn't worked it a bit. The toppings were CostCo quality but every pizza was delicious. I can't wait to try making a pizza when I get back that uses actually good ingredients. 

    All in all, $60 well spent for the class, pizzas, bag of flour, dough scraper, and starter. As I'm thinking about it, they should do a variation on it as an AirBnB experience. People would love that, I think. 


    Thinking Ahead

    Me being me, I can't not be thinking about the future. The future for me, right now, is when I get back from Peru. Peru will be whatever it is and the time for worry and planning is over. I'm effectively taking my hands off the wheel for the those two and a half weeks and trusting that someone more competent than me will take over.

    When I get back I will reassert myself using the Theme system I have discussed before. My very elegant theme starting in October is "Less". I can already hear the outcry, "Less of what"? Less of almost everything. Here are the pillars of Less-ness.

    • Me - I'm heavy and want to be less so. The mechanism of this is below but I'm calling this out to myself to put a stake in the ground and say that this is a greater priority than any other training goal or any other convenient excuse that will interfere here.
    • Spending - I did some budget rework this month but it was just a first pass. I'm going to make a couple more passes. The intention here is to build up my monthly surplus so I can blow it all on travel in the next few years. Yes, that is a zero sum game. Welcome to money, ironically, always, a zero sum game.
    • Plans - First, this bugs me because it's Fewer, not Less, but I'm trying to make a thing work here so bear with me. Over the past year I have done so much and been so busy. I'd like to bring that rolling boil back to a simmer. This does not mean a stop to concerts or gym or whatever. It means booking "me" nights and honoring that booking. It means fewer projects and more often giving myself a pass if I don't want to work on a project.
    • Convenience - This one will seem slightly odd in the presence of the Plans item above but this is about food and activities where I bail on doing the thing myself (make my own pizza or order in, read a book or just watch YouTube). I get great pleasure out of doing things. I get even more pleasure out of (the illusion of) competence. Doing things builds my sense of competence. This point is all about taking the time to make things myself, read instead of watch, make the time to (try to) make music, and so on. In a weird way, convenience is the thing in the world that makes me the least happy. Doing things makes me the most happy.

    There are a lot of things that I thought of that aren't listed above and that's because there are not my top priorities. I wanted to keep the above foci limited. I can bring various tools to bear as needed but they aren't the goals/themes, they are the means. Likewise there are many things I will do because I want to: travel, lift, socialize but aren't really theme related. 


    Music: I'm at work so I can't access youTube but I'll try to make some time to come back tonight and post a couple music videos. I'm thinking Massive Attack, Bobaflex, and Red Light Kings

    • Like 5
  17. 15 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

    Welcome back! That Inca trail hike looks like a very cool adventure.

    Thank you. I'm excited for it. I realized this morning that in two weeks I will be flying out in the afternoon. 


    14 hours ago, Sloth the Enduring said:

    You can’t go wrong with beer and nachos.

    Where are you hiking? I can only think of a couple places with any elevation around here.

    I went really flat. I walked a circuitous route to lake of the isles, around Bde Maka Ska and back to Loring park via Hennepin. I made a map.

    I figure there is a limited return on investment here regarding climbs and I figure that I've probably already done more than half the people that go on these trips so I don't feel too bad. I'll have to deal with the hills in due time. 


    12 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

    That truffle sheep cheese looks intriguing.  Is it a soft cheese?  I can't imagine a hard cheese holding in the truffle sauce very well.

    It's a semi-firm cheese. It isn't spreadable but can easily be chewed. The truffle sauce is bound up in the cheese so there's a dark bit but it's not oozing or anything. It is delicious though. 



    Today is a day in. No training planned. I will likely do mobility. I made eggs benedict this morning. I used store bought english muffins because I love the multigrain muffins that Lund's and Byerly's does. I did the hollandaise from scratch. It was my second go at this dish and it went much smoother and I know what changes I'll make next time. Now it's time to go was pretty much every pot I own because I had to use them for this dish. 




    I'm going to watch Planet Hulk on Netflix while I do so.


    Side note: All three of your sigs are out of date regarding your current thread. 

    • Like 3
  18. As I type this, I'm sitting in the brewery on the ground floor of my building. I have ordered nachos from the restaurant next door and I have a tab open at the bar. It's a rough life.



    I decided to walk today. Specifically a training hike. The walk can be best summed up in this picture, I think:



    That's what my phone had recorded for my steps for the day as I returned home, twenty thousand steps over the course of three hours. To make it a valid training hike I wore the boots I intend to were for my trip. I took my daypack and loaded it with about 18 lbs of sandbags and I walked. The air here is much richer than it will be in the Andes and the ground so much flatter but I did what I could. I hadn't done any previous training hikes so this was me biting off a lot. There was a moment when I thought it was too much.

    I knew I need new hiking socks and I still do. The skin over my right achilles is beat up from a seam in my boots and socks that are down to nothing there. I'll probably work on ordering those right after I'm done typing this. I didn't take any spare socks or footwear, which was kind of stupid. As I go to about the 2/3 - 3/4 mark on what ended up being my full hike I could feel a blister starting on my left little toe. I ended up taking the straightest possible route home and kind of alternating between a clenched foot and splaying it as wide as I could to keep my pinkie toe from getting further beat up. All seems fine today. Some dry socks or changing to my trail shoes could have also helped. 


    I had and amazing dinner as well and thought I'd talk a bit about it. Don't care, skip on down. 

    On New Years Eve I was dating a woman and she learned I had never been to Surdyk's, a local place for fancy cheese, meat, olives, wine and so on. This shocked her because I like food, a lot. To her credit, she took me for my first trip. Further she said "I'm buying. I want you to build us a meat and cheese tray to have for dinner tonight". "Kid in a candy is the perfect way to describe me in that moment. I loved the experience and, frankly, she loved watching me do it. She paid a pretty penny for that meat and cheese tray but it was an amazing New Year's Eve that we both enjoyed.

    Fast forward to last weekend when I asked Laura if she had ever been to Surdyk's. She had not. I took her, kind of hoping to see some of that same enthusiasm. She enjoyed it but we had had a big lunch and she didn't go crazy getting anything she wanted. I think that I bought her a bottle of wine and me a bottle of local whiskey. I proposed it as dinner for last night. She loved the idea. We had been talking about watching Godzilla: King of the Monsters and were both really feeling it. 

    She didn't feel like totally taking the reins on the meat and cheese selection so we split the duties. We ended up with 4 cheeses, 2 meats, 2 kinds of olives, and sme crackers. I tried to encourage her to explore and took the positions and trying to balance the plate based on what she picked. We got some amazing options. I'll slap a picture of the label for my new favorite cheese right below. The tray ended up amazing and while it cost me $50, it would have been 2-3x to have it somewhere else and I have 0 regrets.



    On the topic of last night, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, I give it a B-. The monster stuff is great. I will suspend my disbelief for all of the monster stuff for days. This movie is what I wish either Pacific Rim would have been (but with robots). I didn't mind the occasionally clumsy environmental message because that's what Godzilla is about. I loved Ken Watanabe delivering many of the lines about Nuclear concerns. The thing sthat keeps it out of B+ and especially A territory are 1) a clumsy human story line that just fails on all level to make me give a shit and 2) the Super Plan that the good guys use. It has the same physics that I said I would forgive in the monster. That forgiveness doesn't extend to their super plane because they never gave me an excuse why it isn't just a plane. 

    I'll almost certainly watch this again and just avert my eyes at times, not because of gore. Because of stupidity. I was also a little annoyed that no one called what was clearly Atlantis, Atlantis. I would wager $20 that there is a script that includes that and it got cut. It doesn't need to be a subplot or anything. Just say the word when it's appropriate. 


    oh, Speaking of movies. I rewatched Venom, like I said I would. My initial thoughts were, "ok, I get the complaints. The movie starts real fast and keeps running from there and it's just a dumb action movie." But the longer I reflected, the more I disagreed. That movie does a lot things that people always say they want to see and don't get to. There isn't a huge back story that is told for no contextual reason. We discover Venom's powers along with Eddie Brock. The human part of him seems just as surprised as we are to learn the powers he has gained and I think that the action and director convey that really well. The fight scenes aren't just there to pointlessly break monotony. They contain everything that carries the story forward. 

    While I get that the words "Superhero fatigue" were common at the time that this movie came out, I think this movie getting panned is a mistake. Further, I think it's hypocritical. Venom, while it is a super hero movie, gets a solid B+, almost A- from me. this is like 89.5% on the grading scale. I'm just going to round up and call it an A-. It's not important, it won't change the world, cure cancer, or even feed a staring child but on the scale of dumb-action-movies, it's well above par.


    So that's 2 movie obligations for 2020, Gozilla vs Kong and Venom 2. I'm in.


    09/01/2019 - that doesn't seem like it can be right. It's September already?

    This morning saw Laura and I hitting the farmer's market, walking to my favorite butcher, and the local coop. We got rained on a bunch which was a great test for me new rain jacket. It had one small area of leakage. I'm going to buy some seam sealer and hit the whole jacket with that. I bought ingredients for tomorrow's Eggs Benedict and BLTs on Wednesday or Thursday.  speaking of peasant sandwiches that I love, I recently saw a Binging with Babish episode on grilled cheese that may have changed my life. I can't wait to try it. 


    I got to the gym. I could feel some tightness in my hammies. This alway means I need to take some caution to not throw my back out. I kept things very manageable. 

    • Deadlift 315 5 x 3
    • Low Bar Back Squat 225 5 x 5
    • Standing Press 95 3 x 5 - felt easy despite noticing sore deltoids when I got to the gym
    • Barbell Row 95 x 3 5 - felt too easy, even though the lats were sore on every rep
    • Kipping Pull Up 5 x 2 - planned 5 x 3 but just didn't have the coordination today

    I took things really slow and this tol about 75 minutes.


    This week:

    My social life is pretty calm right now. That's new for me, it has been cah-razy for a while. A friend is coming back from a meditation retreat sometime this week. I'm sure we will go out for drink and, probably, wings this week, probably Wednesday. Beyond that, not much to speak of specifically

    • Monday - Eggs Benedict, second attempt ever. Mobility work. Guitar. Other projects. No work.
    • Tuesday - Work day. No plans. Go to the gym. Guitar
    • Wednesday - Probably dinner out. Do some mobility work. Probably no time for guitar
    • Thursday - Gym. BLTs. Night in
    • Friday - tempted to check out the Minneapolis Strings Project in a local Brew Pub but don't want to take anyone because I want to bail whenever I feel like it. Do mobility. Guitar
    • Saturday - Guitar. Gym.
    • Sunday - Sourdough class. Another training hike maybe. Guitar. Maybe mobility


    Going out on a music video of a band I discovered around New Years and got to see sometime around February. They are amazing and one of my favorite groups to listen to while I work. This type of music is known as Djent. I've never really been able to nail down a definition on what that means but it tends to be metal-ish with the guitars providing both rhythm and melody. The name is said to derive from that percussive guitar sound which some people believe sounds like "Djent". So the name is an onomatopoeia (google had to help me get that one right). I see it mostly as very jazz inspired, light metal but that's not a definitive definition. An interesting quirk of the sub-genre is that they feature a lot of guitars and basses with extra strings. Count the strings that the black guy, Tosin, is playing. The guy who is playing a six stringed instrument, Javier, is playing a bass, not a guitar. 


    I would imagine that the biggest surprise to some people as the listen to this is that there is never a vocalist. This particular band doesn't have a vocalist. Tosin is effectively the band leader. He leads the interviews, he talks on stage but they don't have a vocal line in their songs. 


    • Like 3
  19. 1 hour ago, RisenPhoenix said:

    Holy crap I'm happy to see you here.  I've been thinking about messaging you on the book of faces when things got slightly more settled in my life.


    But important information for you to know is I moved and have a guest room.  So at some point I expect you to visit the Boston area and run Harvard Stadium with me. :P

    The November Project in Minneapolis has moved over by me recently. They run the stairs by the sculpture garden. It seems like a pale comparison to the stadium. 


    I had thought I was going to be in Boston this fall but some things fell through. After my international travel this year, next year is my domestic year. The American SouthEast is on my short list but I'll definitely have to consider Boston. It's been, I think, 20 years since I've been there.

    • Like 1
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