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WhiteGhost

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  1. I ran into some snags with the university because they wanted me to change my work work permit over to them for the semester, but that would create a lot of problems because Ghostlet's school registration is based on my current work status and changing that would mean we would have to reregister Ghostlet for school. Then when the semester ends we would have to change it back and the reregister Ghostlet yet again. That was just more hassle than it was worth so I had written off the whole teaching things for this semester. Then, just 2 hours ago, the university comes back and says they have a workaround and I can still teach without having to register my whole life to accommodate it. So yay! The bad news is, classes start next week, so I have just a few days to get my syllabus and class outline prepared 😮 On top of that they gave me different classes than I was expecting. I thought I would be teaching 1st year basic English conversation but instead I am teaching 4th year English for International Law. To be honest, I am actually really excited to be teaching the Law classes instead and already have a good rough outline for my curriculum The drama in the Ghost household doesn't end there, though. On Monday Ghostess and her partner got subpoenaed to a deposition before a grand jury for a big fraud trial going on, She is just there as a witness, but it is still very stressful having to go through that. Exercise has been poor and I only had 1 workout this week. Nutrition has been solid, though, and I am already getting so that I can fit in pants again and I don't have to run around in sweats
  2. I just noticed that we all have our titles back. Is this something recent or did a miss it when I wasn't paying attention?
  3. Yay! They are adorable, but poor Lich is just not as good looking as his parents. He makes up for it by being far more affectionate and interactive It's been a long time coming. There was a while there where we seriously discussed the option of finding a new family for one of them because it was bad. So very happy that we stuck it out. The reworked meal plan is going extremely well Hopefully it lasts longer than the what happened following the most famous utterance of that phrase --------------------------------------------- Well, I certainly have not been posting here regularly, but I have been sticking to my goals. The most important one, at any rate. Food has been tightly reigned in and I have been successful in avoiding any unhealthy snacks. The only things I have snacked on are fresh fruit and protein bars, and those in moderation. Exercise has been very modest, with only one full workout last week. Piano practice has also been spotty, with only a few practice sessions last week, The primary reason I haven't been working out is the temperature, I find it really hard to get motivated when it is literally freezing outside. I don't have a great excuse for the piano, but I do have bad ones. Namely, I have been using up what is likely my last week of freedom to play video games. Bought all of the DLC for AC Valhalla and have been playing through that. Unfortunately I encountered a game breaking bug and so I have abandoned that, Instead I have been binging the Stormlight Chronicles and am now halfway through the 3rd book. My teaching gig is still up in the air even though the classes are supposed to start a week from today. The school wants me to switch my work permit over to them for the semester, but that would create a lot of problems for me and and could potentially also affect Ghostlet's school registration. The risk is not worth it so unless they can figure out a way to bring me on as a contractor I am going to have to turn it down. Ghostess knows the labor laws inside out and has been trying to help them, but they are a bureaucratic institution and flexibility is a foreign concept to them. I am ok either way, so we will see how things progress over this week. As an interesting tidbit, we went and watched a movie last night called Article 20. The movie is a very hot topic in China right now as it touches on a lot of serious social issues, particularly about bullying and self defense. On the way to the theatre, Ghostess and Ghostlet explained the Chinese legal system to me in detail so I would understand the movie better. I have to say, I learned a lot yesterday. More than anything, I was impressed with how much Ghostlet knew about the legal system and think that students in the US would be well served to have social studies classes that cover civics, basic rights, and details of the legal system for individuals and families. I know far less about these topics than the average school kid here does.
  4. I finally got around to entering my data into the spreadsheet. It hasn't been pretty, but things are getting better 01/01/2024 - 79.2 08/01/2024 - 80.5 15/01/2024 - 81.0 22/01/2024 - 81.6 29/01/2024 - 82.4 05/02/2024 - 82.5 12/02/2024 - 82.5 19/02/2024 - 83.4 26/02/2024 - 81.4 It seems that my current eating and exercise regime is working, now I just need to stick to it.
  5. True on both accounts Thanks. We do have a plan. I am on call this week if someone needs to stop by the hospital (the hospital doesn't let us just hang out there), and there are two families that live close by that are making sure things are running smoothly for the family at home. I am doing better, thanks --------------------------------------- Well, this week I am on to phase 3 of this 4 phase challenge. I have sworn off all snacks and have been trying to keep my original plan of 1 meal and one healthy snack per day, along with a workout session. It has become apparent after a couple of days that this is not workable for me so I am going to up to 1 full meal, 1 small meal and a healthy snack from today. Hopefully this will give me the energy I need to get those workouts in. I need to get my nutrition dialed in over the next week or so before I start work the first week of March. Weather this year has been a bit strange. For the first time in more than a decade we have gone the entire winter with some snow on the ground. We got a really heavy snowfall just before Christmas and it has stayed cold enough that there were still a few patches hanging around. Yesterday we got another heavy snowfall so it looks like we will have snow on the ground for a little while longer. In some good news, Wraith has finally accepted Phantom and will allow him to come near her. I got a picture of all three cats sleeping in close proximity for the first time ever
  6. Yeah, it is very heartening to know that the book will definitely be coming. I wish I could say the same about Winds of Winter... It must have been for me to catch on Great to have you! Awesome, I love that ------------------------------------------- Well, the worst of the holiday is over, or should I say the most damaging part. The part where we usually spend a week doing nothing but playing mahjong and stuffing our faces. This year had very little of that, and we ended up spending only 1 day doing that. The other days were all out and about averaging 15,000 steps per day. I actually came back marginally better off than I went in terms of weight and BF%. That is an encouraging way to start things off. We did get some terrible news, though. Spoilered for discussion of tragic death. The holiday officially ends this Saturday, so I still have a few days to enjoy before Ghostess and I begin our eating and exercise plans in earnest.
  7. Yes, that is a good reminder but I am at a point where maintenance is insufficient. I need some progress. That said, I maintain a very liberal forgiveness policy That sounds suspiciously like what people say about living in interesting times... Excellent. When I get back home I will share some live cats pics. I am in arrears for my cat tax Great questions, and like all great questions the answers are unknowable. But because of the splendid pun at the end, I will leave you with a conundrum: If you add an S to the word cat, why does it make such a big difference if the letter comes at the beginning or the end? ----------------------- The first day of holiday started off well, getting in 15,000 steps. more than 5,000 of those were taken just getting to the airplane because Beijing has a very, very large airport. The next couple of days have been much more subdued. Last night was New Year's Eve and although the government announced that fireworks were forbidden, it seems everyone took that as little more than a suggestion and the night sky was brighter than Odessa at the end of the grain deal. I have started something that I swore I would never do again. I started reading Wheel of Time when it only had 5 books and was very frustrated waiting for future volumes to appear. Later I read Song of Ice and Fire well before Winds of Winter had been published. There are legitimate questions if that will ever happen, which is extremely frustrating. I swore I would never do anything like that again but somehow I ended up starting the Way of Kings knowing full well that there are still at least 6 books still to be written in the series. Will I ever learn?
  8. In Schroedinger's famous thought experiment, the cat in the box is both alive and dead but neither state would exist until it was observed. I am at what I hope will be an inflection point in my health and by the end of this challenge I expect I will either be in a good place, exercising again regularly and losing weight. Alternatively I could be continuing on my downward spiral. We won't know until it is observed This challenge will be off to a slow start because I will be on holiday for Chinese New Year and healthy habits will not happen. However, I will be back to real life the end of next week. However, the first week of March I will be starting a new job and I still do not know what the hours will be. It should be 10-15 hours per week excluding travel time, which will probably be an additional 10 hours per week. Because of this it is hard to predict what kind of structures and routines I will need to start creating new healthy habits but something needs to happen. Broad challenge items will be: Food - I really need to get my food intake under control. Baseline will be no sugary snacks once the vacation ends. If I can only maintain this bare minimum the cat in the box will be dead. If I can maintain my old eating regime (one large meal per day, one healthy snack, lots of water) the cat will be alive. Exercise - This one is tricky to predict. At a minimum I need to get more steps in. For the last 10 years I have been walking with Ghostlet to school in the morning but now that he is in High School he either takes his bike or the subway. Instead of starting ach day with 5,000 steps I am usually ending each day with closer to 500. This needs to change so the bare minimum for this challenge will be to have a walk of at least 15 minutes at least 5 days a week. If I only reach this bare minimum, the cat in this box will be dead. Ideally I want to not only be walking but also getting in some longer walks, running, or some other form of cardio. Also, I need to get back into strength training but I do not know if I will have time to be going to the park regularly, I am going to focus on pullups and pushups at home, ideally at least 5 times per week, with a minimum of 5 pullups and 10 pushups per session. If I can hit at least these goals, this cat will be alive. Piano - I want to keep up my recent progress on the piano. If I can learn a new song by the end of the challenge, this cat will be alive. If I don't practice at least 4x per week, don't go looking for this cat Other - I might come up with some other goal. I might not. We won't know until we open that box
  9. It was a nice surprise --------------------------- Well, the challenge has come to an ignominious end. Let's see how I did Body - I actually did better on this than I anticipated. For the most part I was cooking around 3-4 meals each week with very little repeat. This last week I made Enchiladas and Pork & Cabbage stir fry Reflexes - This was pretty much a failure. I only made it to the park 3 or 4 times over the course of the whole challenge and I am now in the worst physical shape I have been in sine I joined NF Technical - This one went pretty well. I have learned the song and can play it from memory, but it is still not at all smooth. I anticipate that will come with time and practice Intelligence - I managed to keep my Duolingo streak alive and I am just negotiating the final details in my employment contract with the university Cool - I did not memorize all of the exception algorithms for the 4x4 and 5x5 but I have all the others down to the point where I can solve a cube as a background distraction while doing other things like watching TV Overall I would say the challenge was a success
  10. Teaching Freshman English at a university here ----------------------- And so another week has gone by without an update Cooking went well for the week, but I had a couple of repeats (teriyaki Chicken and Yakisoba). The only new dish I made during the week was meatloaf. One thing happened that made me smile, though. Ghostlet celebrated his birthday during the week and we told him that he could eat anything he wanted for his birthday. We would go to any restaurant or order any food of his choosing. In the end, he dcided what he wanted to eat more than anything else was my yakisoba. No exercise of any kind happened during the week I did get some piano practice in and have now learned the full song I was working on. I can't play it very smoothly yet, but that will come with practice The employment contract for the teaching job did in fact come through, but not until yesterday. I need to respond by the end of this week, but I didn't see any problems with it on a cursory read through last night. I didn't do any specific practice on the Rubik's cube, but I will sometimes just fiddle with them while doing other things like watching Youtube And that's about it for the week
  11. Progress update for the end of week 3: Body - 10 unique dinners cooked so far, exceeding my target of 3x average. Reflexes - No exercise or stretching done whatsoever. I have been surprisingly busy with stuff so for the most part it hasn't been because I just didn't feel like it. Although to be honest, if I wasn't so busy I probably would have skipped because I just didn't feel like it. Hard to get motivated to go work out in sub zero temperatures Technical - Decent progress on this, I am now 3/4 of the way through learning my target song Intelligence - Still have the Duolingo streak going, but only doing really the bare minimum. I heard back from the university and my employment contract should be coming through this week. Cool - Rubik's cubes have kind of fallen off in terms of trying to memorize algorithms for the 4x4 and 5x5 cubes. I am really comfortable now solving all of the others, though. As a side note. solving cubes at red lights instead of checking text messages is probably less safe and more distracting. Do not recommend.
  12. Not doing great so far 01/01 - 79.2 01/08 - 80.5 01/15 - 81.0 01/22 - 81.6 Still not up to my record high from last May, but far worse than I was when the holiday season started. I will get back on board the train after Chinese New Year
  13. It is going to feel very empty here without you. You have been a permanent fixture since I joined and you are the only person from the forums that I have met IRL. I totally get your reasoning, though, and wish you all the best
  14. Heya, I totally get it but I will for sure miss your enthusiasm and hype we have had from you over the years
  15. I felt the same. There is a lot of new content with the DLC and they also did a couple of huge updates along with it that changed loads of mechanics and gameplay
  16. I was really confused about this for a bit until I realized the banana was not not part of the sandwich (I hope...) That whole situation with your parents is rough, man. I can't even imagine trying to life with that kind of dynamic.
  17. Did he give any timeline indication? Hopefully they can make it happen in the near future
  18. I grew up not too far from you (about 6 hours due south) but where I lived hash browns did not differentiate between cubed and grated potatoes In my house growing up, this is what homemade hashbrowns looked like, while the image from Scaly is what fast food joint hashbrowns looked like. Unfortunately, the timeframe I want and the timeframe I need do not exist in compatible realities -------------------------------- Not much to update recently except to say that I finished up my Cyberpunk playthrough. I tried one of the Phantom Liberty endings and was even more disappointed than I expected, and I was expecting disappointment. You just can't trust the NUSA. That makes me sad because if I was a gangoon in Night City, I would probably align with 6th Street I cooked some disappointing lemon chicken yesterday and some yakiniku the day before. The problem with the chicken was the chicken itself. The Internet tells me that free range chickens are better than ones kept in a cage their whole life, but after trying to cook free range chickens several different ways, I have to say they are definitely inferior. It may be healthier, and better for the chickens, but it sure doesn't lend to delicious food. At least the yakiniku was tasty.
  19. + So.... hash browns. I can see that working Nope In other news, I really need to visit the Minnesota State Fair some day --------------------------------- Had a mostly uneventful weekend. I made deli wraps for dinner Sunday evening and then some Beijing Noodles for lunch today. This weeks is Finals week for Ghostlet and he only had morning tests today so he was home for lunch. D&D last night was fun but very different as it was almost entirely role play trying to figure out the party's next steps, Starting from tomorrow the property management folk will be at my in-laws house fixing some plumbing but because they are out of town for the winter I will need to be over there for the next few days. Looks like this week is going to be a wash for getting to the park.
  20. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I am looking forward to making burritos again to try some of these out I appreciate the support. Unfortunately "No time" is probably more accurately stated as sometime in the spring, because I am not even putting in the effort to get back until after Chinese New Year which will be in February Oh, that sounds intriguing, and if I am being honest, very Minnesotan Really? That sounds worse than rice. Also, it seems like they would need to be precooked, otherwise you end up with a pile of raw potatoes which isn't something I usually like to eat. Maybe something was lost in translation and you meant hashbrowns or something like that? ------------------------------- OK, long time since I updated but not a lot has happened in the meantime. I have been doing well with cooking, making Yakisoba on Monday, Tacos on Tuesday, Burgers on Wednesday and Teriyaki Chicken on Thursday. I only made it to the park once, though Piano practice has been going ok, I have learned about half of the song so far. Russian is going ok and I still have my streak going. I think I am as good as I am going to get with the Rubik's cubes, meaning I can reliably solve all of them unless I come up with some of the exceptions for the 4x4 and 5x5. Work hasn't made any progress as I am still waiting for the official employment agreement to come over.
  21. It isn't, but aren't you Scandinavian. I thought -10 was swimming weather for you guys #stereotypes
  22. Honestly I am not a fan of Spanish rice in general. I can go for a good paella anytime, but normal Spanish rice basically tastes like somebody poured ketchup over rice. No idea why I thought this would be a good thing to stick in a burrito I will give you 10 points extra credit for the alliteration I figured as much, but after looking online for better burrito filler options pretty much everyone said rice. I need to find better sources There has to be a better filler. Guac and sour cream are good options, but what is a good solid that can be stuffed into a burrito besides meat, beans, and cheese? Good luck with it, I hope it helps The 4x4 is a lot more complicated than the 4x4 and , in my opinion is probably trickier than the 5x5. For both of them the real trick is getting the edge pieces matched up. Once you have that it is pretty much the same as a 3x3 And yes, Keanu is very cool ----------------------------------------------------------------- Been a while since I updated. I made it to the park twice last week, but didn't make it to the farther park. I will make sure I get over there some time this week. I have lost a lot of strength over the last few months so I feel like I have put myself back a long way, but hopefully it will come back more quickly than the first time Food has been pretty good. On Wednesday I made salmon steak with broccoli and then a chicken soup over the weekend as a bonus dish. I have picked a new song for the piano and have gotten a good start on it. Duolingo streak is still ongoing. I have the 2x2 cube down pat and can solve both the 4x4 and 5x5 unless I run into exceptions that need the special algorithms to complete. As for the job, I have finished my interview and the university is preparing my employment contract. At this point it is just a matter of getting the paperwork in order. Classes will start sometime in March
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