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Hello. I am Stronkey Kong. Umm... Been on NF over seven years. I'm still fat and making the best of it. :D

 

Which means I'm tempering my goals, accepting what is and what is not (feasibly and sustainably) possible. I eat as healthy as I can while enjoying my food. I move as often as I can while enjoying movement. I think. I create. I devise elaborate plans for challenges and eschew all rules as soon as convenience dictates. <sigh>

 

This challenge is inspired by a recent dream I had.

 

Spoiler

Vaguely I remember working in a yard, doing spring landscaping/garden prep type of work. I/we ( I got the sense I was part of some team effort, though I saw no one else in the dream) and someone had dug up and moved a stone or a paver. In the indentation from the stone was a pile of murder hornets, hibernating or sleeping, but otherwise dormant.  We immediately recognized this as an impending disaster and figured we had to kill them as quickly as possible. Somehow the solution wasn't cover them with the stone that was gone, so how do you kill pile of sleeping, stinging insects in one go? ... Lighter fluid and a match. So we lit them on fire expecting them to be killed and gone forever... Nope. They just woke up, and you could hear their wings buzzing heavily as they, on fire, started flying upward and in every direction.

 

From then on I remember doing other household tasks, constantly worried about running into a fiery murder hornet in a dark corner or under a box or wherever.

 

The window was open. I'll bet someone was doing some late morning lawn mowing down the block...

 

The good news about the dream is that they weren't stinging me in the face the way they usually do. So maybe I'm just on the verge of stress and need to find a good way to manage it ahead of time before I'm living like I have flaming murder hornets flying around.

 

This is one of my stress dreams. It came after spending a week switching to day shift, rather abruptly, after having been on night shift for over a year, going to a training course across town, then coming back to work to find out that someone more senior than me, and training/guiding me at work is leaving in another week and then I'm pretty much on my own kinda. Idk. This is gonna get tough.

 

I suppose the point/meaning of this dream, if they do have meanings, is that I need to avoid quick fixes and work on my coping mechanisms ahead of stressors.

 

Then there's the fact that I'm turning my attention back to mindfulness and my Buddhist practice. I have dabbled and practiced with varying degrees of seriousness in Zen. I'm currently learning about Tibetan Buddhism and reading and meditating on Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva, and am planning to get back into my meditation routine.

 

If you've never heard the term, Bodhisattvas are beings who have attained enlightenment, but rather than pursuing full Buddhahood (where you get to just chill out in Nirvana for eternity, free from suffering) they choose to return to Samsara (the eternal cycle of life, suffering, death, and rebirth) to guide other beings on the path to enlightenment. Hence, they are good examples to follow for freeing oneself from suffering and helping others.

 

I could go on on this topic, but I'll leave it there for now. I just thought I'd let you know why I named my challenge as I did.

 

And then there's the Big List... which I made during the Holiday challenge as a set of goals to pursue long term.

 

 

Spoiler
  • Become an Intuitive eater
    • I should start keeping a food journal -- Ongoing!
    • Shop and prep food for a wider variety of healthy options
    • Hide the scales for a while
  • Become an Intuitive exerciser
    • Add exercise to food journal
    • Daily movement
    • Hike more
      • visit parks (and backpack camp/hike a trail this summer)
      • start a rucking regimen
      • take up birding, herping, and wilderness photography
    • Become a master swordsman
      • HEMA
    • Start playing the drums
  • Be more creative
    • Make hyperrealistic drawings and paintings
    • Finish my novel
  • Live in a space that is comfortable, pleasant, and supportive of my health and fitness
    • As for what I can do immediately, just get better at keeping up with cleaning and reorganize my current apartment
    • Follow up/through with INHP (local housing program)
  • Become a zen master
    • get back to a daily meditation routine
  • Look good and feel confident in my clothes
    • Enjoy wearing bigger pants
  • Have a better social and community life
    • meetups, explore the town
    • volunteer

 

From this list I usually create a goal or two from something on the list to work toward, and lately I usually focus on Intuitive Eating, Exercise, Creativity, and buying a home.

 

My goals are listed in order of general priority.

 

I'm putting the TL;DR up front and spoilering the details to tidy things up here:

TL;DR

Mindfulness: daily meditation with increasing session times

Lotus Position: stretch to improve lotus posture during meditation

Nourishment: Eat mindfully and watch out for GERD symptoms

Movement: Qigong

Abode: spring cleaning

Creativity: Knit a Beanie or Finish part one of my fantasy novel

Wisdom: Study The Way of the Bodhisattva

Knowledge: study Tibetan language

Spoiler

 

Mindfulness: Meditate daily.

 

Right now, I have a daily practice consisting of about 15 min of sitting. I'd like to increase my meditation endurance back to where I can do 45 min,  probably not daily but regularly. So starting with challenge day one, I'll be adding +30s to my timer until the end of the challenge. That should get me well above 30 min total if I stick to it.

 

Nourishment: Eat mindfully and journal it...

... and manage GERD. Yeah. I'm having those problems. I need to pay more attention to how much I eat, how fast I eat, and how my stomach reacts to eating. If I eat too much, or eat something that is bad I'll usually have GERD symptoms within a half hour of eating. Whenever I notice GERD symptoms, I will take a TUMS and write down the last meal I had with the hopes of narrowing down what foods/amounts are causing issues.

 

Padmasana (lotus postition): Work on my lotus position seating posture for meditation. This is also my warmup stretch routine prior to meditation. I need to do it every time so I can maintain/improve my flexibility and endurance in seated meditation.

 

Movement: Qigong like Stronkey Kong!

Do qigong as often as possible... for points! I've got a list of like 20+ exercises in my repertoire. It doesn't matter which ones or how many, I just want to do them as often as possible. And any one requires little warmup or time to complete... so why not.

 

1 point for each qigong exercise I do (typically in sets of 8 ).

50 bonus points: create a new exercise named as the title of this challenge.

 

Abode: Spring cleaning the current abode, pursue my future abode.

 

I did a bunch of cleaning this weekend. I'd say my apartment was at about an 8, and I got most of it down to a 6, though one room is now at a 9 but that's okay for now.

 

Spoiler

 

0 -- Biosafety Level 4 containment center level of  Cleanliness

1 -- Severe OCD/Doctor's Office level of Cleanliness

2 -- Grandma who keeps plastic coverings on the couch cushions level of cleanliness

3 -- We can afford a maid level of cleanliness

4 -- A girl is coming over level of cleanliness

5 -- At least the clutter is out of the way

6 -- Not terribly cluttered.

7 -- I'd be embarrased to have friends over for a casual visit.

8 -- I'm a little stressed by this mess and daily activities are impaired.

9 -- I have to move this clutter pile on top of the of the clutter pile to get to the third clutter pile

10 -- Did the crew of "Horders" just park their van in my driveway?

 

 

I want to get to and maintain a routine where I cycle between levels 3 and 5.

 

... Well. Actually, I'm not sure what to do for the future place. I'm at the point where I should be looking at houses, but not sure I want to tie my personal success to the current housing market. However, the price range I'm looking in tends to make for interesting stories. I'll keep updating and posting my home search scorecard and share my horror stories as they come.

 

Wizard's Tower Search Scorecard

  • Houses viewed: 4
  • Offers made: 1
  • Offers declined: 1
  • WTFs: 3


 

 

As I said, the guy I'm training under has one week left, so week zero is going to be like drinking from a firehose. I will make a study plan for continuous learning for the remainder of the challenge once I get my bearings.

 

Creativity: Finish one of these two goals:

  • Knit a beanie. One. Whole. Beanie. I tried this recently, but I didn't cast on the right number of stitches. And I lost track of what I was doing at one point and puled when I should have knitted, and I think I was wrapping the yarn in the wrong direction... it had some issues so I killed that project and settled for a crappy looking, oversized headdband.
  • Wrap up Part 1 of my fantasy novel: It's near the end of New Year's day in the Astral Governance. I just need to get everyone home and into bed at this point in 5000 words or so.

 

Wisdom: Study The Way of the Bodhisattva and figure out more ways to integrate it into daily life. I am on my second readthrough of this on audiobook. I also have the text arriving this week. Unless I'm intent on actively listening to something else... listen to it in the car and on my bluetooth speaker. Read it. Study it. Meditate on it. Breath it. Eat it. Defacate it. Live it.

 

Knowledge: Learn some Tibetan

I figure since I'm so interested in Tibetan Buddhism and I tend to like starting to learn languages, let's throw Tibetan on the heap. There's a book coming on the way. We'll see if I can get anywhere with it.

 

  • Like 7
  • That's Metal 3

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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3 hours ago, Stronkey Kong said:

I'm still fat and making the best of it. :D

 

 

SAMESIES. 

 

I really really really love your scale for messiness and I am almost certainly going to borrow it if that's ok?

  • Like 1

If it's not siesta or fiesta, I'm not interested. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

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5 hours ago, Stronkey Kong said:

Movement: Qigong like Stronkey Kong!

 

Happy to hear more about this when you've got a moment... Qigong is something that's piqued my curiosity the past year, but most of the freebie offerings I've come across are, well, frankly complete shit.  🤷‍♂️

  • Like 1

[Level ??] Rurik, the Hexbane 

Class: Witcher (Blood Hunter/Ranger)

BRUTALITY 11 | FINESSE 10 | VIGOR 11 | INSIGHT 14 | WILL 13

Equipment: School of the Wolf armor, Wolven steel sword & Deargdaith silver blade, adventurer's pack with alchemist's kit.

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wild Wolf

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager

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3 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Following along.

GIF by SVT

2 hours ago, Teros said:

Firebats - Diablo Wiki

Sounds like a horrible nightmare, but all flying insects waken a panic inside me.

 

I've had dreams where I'm pulling bees out from my eyes. So they get worse.

 

37 minutes ago, deftona said:

 

I really really really love your scale for messiness and I am almost certainly going to borrow it if that's ok?

 

Feel free. I forgot to mention I copy/pasted from the Systeme Internationale website, so technically it's for everybody.

 

34 minutes ago, Rurik Harrgath said:

 

Happy to hear more about this when you've got a moment... Qigong is something that's piqued my curiosity the past year, but most of the freebie offerings I've come across are, well, frankly complete shit.  🤷‍♂️

 

If I hadn't been through Kung Fu martial arts training I'd be lost... and there are a lot of hippies and loopy people who do qigong and don't even have a clue.

 

I've read some decent books about it... that you'll have to take other claims about health with a grain of salt... but provide good instructions. That said, without martial arts training, and meditation training and practice... lost.

 

A good place to start is Ba Duan Jin -- a very common set of exercises. These guys are not phoning it in, though there movements are more extreme, they accentuate what's going on beneath the surface.

 

 

Compare that with

 

 

She is putting in all the same effort as the (wannabe) monks, but it doesn't show as easily on the surface. You can see it, but only if you know where to look.

 

If you want instruction I'd seek out a good Tai Chi instructor who teaches it. Usually, good Tai Chi teachers know both.

 

Learn a movement or two, or 8.

It's a meditation first, a workout second. Making movements mindful and intentional is key.

Breath is just as important, maybe more important, than correct movement. It is better to maintain good posture and balance and movements can be easily modified and achieve the same effect.

You can make any movement a qigong movement, just slow it down and add in breathing.

If a movement is easy, go slower.

If you want to get into real Chi work, that'll come with time and effort and good instruction. Again, grain of salt with the health claims, but it is something that can be experienced when qigong or other meditation are done correctly with the right mindset.

 

  • Like 4

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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Food pr0n

 

29f390b3f7299d421efa3fa28d3c58b35c03a7fe

 

Grilled cheese: Limburger and mozzarella, topped with carmelized onions, sauerkraut, and a touch of garlic paste on my homemade tartine bread served with horseradish mustard and salad greens and sauerkraut.

 

Yes. That's right, Limburger the cheese that smells like the foot of someone who just ran a maration barefoot in an old growth forest. And those toppings... I name this sandwich "The Date Wrecker" or possibly "The Troll's Delight"

 

I think this one will make it into the food lore in my fantasy novel somewhere.

 

 

 

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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6 hours ago, Stronkey Kong said:

If I hadn't been through Kung Fu martial arts training I'd be lost... and there are a lot of hippies and loopy people who do qigong and don't even have a clue.

 

That is an excellent jumping off point, thank you sir!  I want something that is more mindful and physically powerful than yoga.  Visceral instead of bendy.  I love yoga for improving my general flow, mobility, and overall wellness, but I feel Qigong has a stronger basis in strength and balance, plus something deeper to offer to the soul.  Since it's Week Zero anyway, maybe I'll devote some time to pursuing this rabbit hole a little deeper.  Thanks!

  • Like 1

[Level ??] Rurik, the Hexbane 

Class: Witcher (Blood Hunter/Ranger)

BRUTALITY 11 | FINESSE 10 | VIGOR 11 | INSIGHT 14 | WILL 13

Equipment: School of the Wolf armor, Wolven steel sword & Deargdaith silver blade, adventurer's pack with alchemist's kit.

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wild Wolf

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager

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9 hours ago, Stronkey Kong said:

Creativity: Knit a beanie. One. Whole. Beanie. I tried this recently, but I didn't cast on the right number of stitches. And I lost track of what I was doing at one point and puled when I should have knitted, and I think I was wrapping the yarn in the wrong direction... it had some issues so I killed that project and settled for a crappy looking, oversized headdband.

 

You can do it, for sure. I advise: Knit a swatch. Wash, allow to dry completely, and measure your gauge (stitches per inch & rows per inch). Pick a free pattern on ravelry that matches your gauge (filter search by yarn weight first), select the size appropriate to your head. And follow the instructions. Tag me for knitting dilemmas you can't figure out.

Also I wish you luck with the wizard's tower, and joy in your buddhist studies.

  • Like 2

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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It's cool to see a fellow adventurer being guided by a dream. It reminds me that I'm not crazy. 😁

 

I'm looking forward to seeing your progress this challenge, my friend. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  • Like 3

Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer Resets

Past Challenges: 

Spoiler

Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes SupernaturalWolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes SuperhumanWolfDreamer ElevatesWolfDreamer Becomes IronBornWolfDreamer Wakes the White WolfThe Mad Poet Recovers by Keeping it SimpleWolfDreamer Clears His Mind to Find His Wild Heart

I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.” -- Jack London

“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love.” -- Leo Tolstoy

"I feel love rising in my chest again
Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

"...wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17b

 

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17 hours ago, Rurik Harrgath said:

 

That is an excellent jumping off point, thank you sir!  I want something that is more mindful and physically powerful than yoga.  Visceral instead of bendy.  I love yoga for improving my general flow, mobility, and overall wellness, but I feel Qigong has a stronger basis in strength and balance, plus something deeper to offer to the soul.  Since it's Week Zero anyway, maybe I'll devote some time to pursuing this rabbit hole a little deeper.  Thanks!

 

What is your current yoga practice like? What style/school? Do you go to classes/have a teacher? Do you meditate and/or do prana work? Can you define flow?

 

Frankly, you could get all that you're asking for from yoga with the right instruction, intention, and focus. And honestly, I think yoga does more for strength and balance than qigong does. Yoga isn't supposed to be about being bendy, it's really all about maintaining your breath and focus while in an uncomfortable position. It really should/can be as visceral as qigong or any martial art.

 

16 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

You can do it, for sure. I advise: Knit a swatch. Wash, allow to dry completely, and measure your gauge (stitches per inch & rows per inch). Pick a free pattern on ravelry that matches your gauge (filter search by yarn weight first), select the size appropriate to your head. And follow the instructions. Tag me for knitting dilemmas you can't figure out.

Also I wish you luck with the wizard's tower, and joy in your buddhist studies.

 

That is way too much planning and thus defeats what I'm currently enjoying about knitting. But thank you for the advice... and the wishes of luck and joy.

 

9 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

It's cool to see a fellow adventurer being guided by a dream. It reminds me that I'm not crazy. 😁

 

I'm looking forward to seeing your progress this challenge, my friend. Let me know if I can help in any way.

 

Dreams, or at least the narrative and interpretations we build on top of them are useful for understanding ourselves. Glad to have you along.

 

3 hours ago, fearless 2.0 said:

Hi , I was attracted check your thread by your buddhist references. Fellow buddhist here. Im stupid when it comes to ancient texts, but have been practicing and meditating with a teacher fro over 20 years. Following for more bodhisattva stuff and of course the food pr0n. :) 

 

That's by far the most important part.

 

What type of Buddhism do you practice?

 

I started getting curious about meditation and Buddhism in high school, encountered more of it (and Daoism and TCM/qigong type stuff) in college when I was studying Kung Fu. After college I started getting into Zen, and have had an off and on practice since. I've also always had an interest in the Tibetan lineages,,, cuz on the one hand it's very flowery and beautiful, but it also has a badass side that's totally metal... i.e. in the Tibetan Book of the Dead* where there are wrathful deities appearing and dancing with skulls and drinking bowls of blood.

 

Now am back in one of those mindsets where I want to start doing it seriously and making a commitment to it. And there seem to be more Lamas in my town than Zen teachers so Tibetan Buddhism is back on my radar.

 

 

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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Week zero day 2 update....

 

Nourishment: I'm going to track food portions, but I'm not setting up the BuJo until this weekend. I'm going to coast through the week for now and try not to eat like an asshole. Like today, I had pop tarts for breakfast, then peanut butter M&Ms and two big ass Peace Teas cuz I stopped at a gas station for breakfast. FML. I did bring a lunch of Bean and Veggie soup with homemade Queso Blanco and my homemade Tartine Bread. Dinner was yogurt with raspberries and walnuts. I think I'm eat a small salad before bed too.

 

So yeah, other cooking adventures. This weekend I made more bread, and I finally screwed up a loaf really bad. I didn't preheat the bottom pan of my Dutch oven, dual cooker (cast iron pot that sits on top of a cast iron pan and vice versa) and the first loaf stuck to it. I was trying to make it so that the bottom crust isn't so burned and hard, but my guess is that having it hot before the dough hits it ensures that the dough cooks immediately before it has a chance to ooze into all the nooks and crannies on the surface of the pan and weld itself to the pan during baking.

 

And yes, I made homemade queso blanco and it. is. so. good. I also took some of the yogurt I made last weekend, mixed it with salt and mint and let it hand to strain in a cheesecloth for 24ish hours to make Labneh. Then I roled it into balls and dropped it into olive oil. It's a pretty good and interesting spread and goes well with the bread I made. Tho, next time I make this, I'm going to use other herbs/spices or at least cut back on the mint.

 

Movement: I did a qigong workout consisting of 11 movements.

Abode: I had meant to do some laundry when I got home, but forgot, and frankly it's more economical if I wait till the weekend for a fuller load anyway.

Knowledge: Right now I'm learning from the old master. He gave me a new part to program which is going to have me scratching my head all through tomorrow morning.

Mindfulness: Meditation after this post.

Creativity: No knitting today.

Wisdom: I listened to WotB while doing qigong and while eating dinner. The printed book arrives tomorrow.

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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56 minutes ago, Stronkey Kong said:

So yeah, other cooking adventures. This weekend I made more bread, and I finally screwed up a loaf really bad. I didn't preheat the bottom pan of my Dutch oven, dual cooker (cast iron pot that sits on top of a cast iron pan and vice versa) and the first loaf stuck to it. I was trying to make it so that the bottom crust isn't so burned and hard, but my guess is that having it hot before the dough hits it ensures that the dough cooks immediately before it has a chance to ooze into all the nooks and crannies on the surface of the pan and weld itself to the pan during baking.

 

And yes, I made homemade queso blanco and it. is. so. good. I also took some of the yogurt I made last weekend, mixed it with salt and mint and let it hand to strain in a cheesecloth for 24ish hours to make Labneh. Then I roled it into balls and dropped it into olive oil. It's a pretty good and interesting spread and goes well with the bread I made. Tho, next time I make this, I'm going to use other herbs/spices or at least cut back on the mint.

 

Hah, I've done this.  Had to soak the crust off the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Wet bread is disgusting.  Never again.

 

I love making labneh and yogurt cheese.  I do like lots of mint though.  Have you tried it with spring onions and cucumber?

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38 minutes ago, epitedeioterov said:

I love making labneh and yogurt cheese.

 

Same. Thyme is excellent. I've got some in the freezer with thyme and dill and a little basil. (I was trimming herb cuttings, and just tossed it all in. But thyme is great with Mediterranean flavors.)

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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20 hours ago, epitedeioterov said:

 

Hah, I've done this.  Had to soak the crust off the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Wet bread is disgusting.  Never again.

 

I love making labneh and yogurt cheese.  I do like lots of mint though.  Have you tried it with spring onions and cucumber?

 

19 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

Same. Thyme is excellent. I've got some in the freezer with thyme and dill and a little basil. (I was trimming herb cuttings, and just tossed it all in. But thyme is great with Mediterranean flavors.)

 

This was a huge step forward for my labneh game:

 

20401f4ae69e66171149b338dc66b3a00e0bb61b

 

Labneh balls on cucumber boats topped with raspberry preserves and sliced almonds.

 

 

  • Like 6

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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On 3/21/2021 at 8:52 PM, Stronkey Kong said:

I've had dreams where I'm pulling bees out from my eyes. So they get worse.

via GIPHY | Mind blown, Giphy, Unusual facts

 

I've had some fucked up nightmares that have stuck with me for decades.  Debated turning them into short stories because I can vividly remember them.  Worst one involved babies and eyeballs and I was shakey when I woke up.

 

Little cucumber boats look good :)

 

 

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On 3/22/2021 at 6:32 PM, Stronkey Kong said:

That is way too much planning and thus defeats what I'm currently enjoying about knitting. But thank you for the advice... and the wishes of luck and joy.

You could always make a washcloth/dishcloth. They're tiny little canvasses that you can improvise on with a similarly small time and yarn commitment. Just make sure you use cotton (not wool or acrylic) and you're pretty much guaranteed a useable end product.

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Nourishment: I had nothing(...? I think I ate some small snacky thing, but can't remember what.) for breakfast, then had three tacos for lunch... barbacoa, steak, and chorizo... and an hour later, no GERD. If anything should give one GERD it should be stuffing oneself with spicy foods, but no. Not this time at least.

 

This has alerted me to two of my biggest worries about this. That it's related to all my bread and dairy consumption as of late, because I really enjoy eating as well as making these foods. Dairy is a common GERD trigger, but I think it might be the bread in particular. I'm gonna have to watch this. I'm going to refrain from eating any of my bread until tomorrow.

 

It could also be an evening thing, I usually get it in the evening after dinner.

 

I also got a tinge of it this afternoon... like 3 hours post tacos... but after 2 or 3 l Diet Mt. Dews.... that could definitely be a cause. I also haven't had any coffee today, just tea. Caffeine is definite trigger to watch for.

 

I was also a little bit stressed due to interactions with co-workers today. I'll discuss below.

 

Dinner was cucumber/labneh boats, a salad with the rest of the cucumber, raisins, and almonds on mixed greens with strawberry vinaigrette, and for protein two whole Whitefish. That was a lot of food and no heartburn yet.

 

Movement: I did 5 qigong exercises after work. I stuck with some of the easier ones just cuz, but I got into a pretty deep meditative state with good flow in my movements and balance.

 

Abode: No news.

Knowledge: I am going to change this goal before the challenge starts. Why, see ramblings about work below.

Mindfulness: I meditated for a while after qigong. I will do more before bedtime.

Creativity: Number of rows for beanie = 2 :: For simplicity, this is how I'll track it I haven't decided yet whether I'll knit more tonight.

Wisdom: My print copy of TWotB arrived today so I'm going to read that a bit tonight. I've also decided to keep a prayer/mantra notebook to carry in my pocket just in case I need some inspiration on the go.

 

Wisdom discussion -- feel free to skip <spoilered for religious content and this may get preachy and rambly>

Spoiler

 

Disclaimer: In this discussion, good and bad or right and wrong or similar judgy words are just shorthand for "In accord with the dharma and to the benefit of beings" and "not in accord with the dharma and to the detriment beings" respectively. I am at no point passing judgement on others, merely indicating what is conducive or hindering to the Buddhist path to enlightenment and nirvana.

 

I have spent some time reviewing the core Buddhist ethical practices, i.e. the four noble truths, the noble eightfold path, the five (or more) precepts, and various vows of devotion.

 

Often, in previous stints with Buddhism, my practice is hindered by a couple of things. There was always

 

The fifth precept: to abstain from intoxicating substances. You all know about my drinking shenanigans. At the moment, this one is not a hindrance because I'm staying sober for now.

 

There is also the first precept: To abstain from killing, this one usually refers to the direct act of killing like don't commit homicide or slaughter animals, and some Buddhists say it's still okay to eat meat as long as you don't kill it yourself, or others might even relax that to humane methods. But the more serious Buddhists would say one should not do anything to promote the killing of any sentient being. Then others argue that to refuse meat when offered as a meal is twice killing the animal because first the animal was slaughtered, and now you've refused it and may be letting it go to waste. And stories about Gautama Buddha say he ate meat, but it is said that it was food poisoning from eating meat that ultimately killed him.

 

All this to say that I'm seriously considering giving up meat for this. I do well with and even enjoy a lot of vegetarian foods. There is enough evidence that plant based diets are actually healthier on the whole.

 

And ultimately, what is my fleeting enjoyment of meat versus the life of a cow, chicken, or a fish?

 

In addition, on the noble eightfold path, there are Right Action and Right Livelihood, do good things, and make sure what you do for a living is beneficial to all beings. This raises issues for me in my line of work. A good chunk of the parts we make in our shop are for defense projects. So I am an active participant in the military-industrial complex. Now, this is always something that concerned me ethically. I would always prefer that my work is doing something that neither causes harm, nor contributes to the means to cause harm. After much reflection, and seeing what we actually do I take it on faith that what we make is used for the best possible ends, that it defends good and is used against those who would do harm and is at least somewhat good. That their mere existence might be a deterrent to aggression. I also know that the military, despite its primary purpose, does humanitarian good. If things we make keep the engines running so that emergency rations and medicines can be delivered to zones of conflict and natural disasters, that's good. Further, though I often don't know what exactly most of the parts I see do, I see a lot of things that are labelled "Critical Safety Item" which if it helps make weapons safer to store and transport, that's good. I also understand that if they are to be used, if they are made properly, they will function better and be less likely to miss an intended target and cause collateral damage and civilian casualties, so it's better karma to do this job well than to do it badly. And is it fair to say that ultimately, the decision  and the karma to use or sell weapons ultimately falls on our political leaders... or is that just passing the karmic buck?

 

At the very least, I never celebrate the existence of these things. These things are not cool or impressive to me.

 

Of course, we also make medical equipment. I've seen a lot of surgical tools that can improve people's lives dramatically. And, I know for a fact that I made equipment that was used in labs for developing rapid covid testing. So there's that too. Is that enough to balance the bad karma?

 

All that is to say, I should be on the lookout to better align my livelihood with the dharma and be of better benefit to all beings. Which is something that I've always done, but I feel I can always improve upon this.

 

Going further, and deeper, it seems that in most instances of life, all our actions are so complexly intertwined with everything else that nothing we do is wholly good. I could say that almost all actions are connected with something bad, even as long as we are striving for actions that benefit all beings. I think that the only way to do good is to selflessly, do nothing. And so, the path to enlightenment is one that leads to successively doing less and less.

 

And isn't that the way of all life?

 

 

Oof. That was longer than I expected it to be.

 

Now, work stuff.

 

Bah! I'm spoilering this part too <locker room talk etc.>

Spoiler

 

The one female who works in the inspection lab on day shift was absent today, and I had to slog through a lot of "locker room talk." It was mostly instigated by the guy who is leaving. Now there are plenty of things I like about the guy, but there are a lot of issues (I have) with his behavior at work. As far as I can tell, the people that work with him are fine and see the humor in it, I often do too and sometimes groups of friends/co-workers get along well by teasing each other. There's also another side of it that is positive, because as much as they like to tease each other they'll equally as often just be like "You know who's awesome? You're awesome.", but today the male-bonding behavior escalated to one of those "Who would you rather bang?" conversations about female co-workers, at which point I just couldn't. I let them have their conversation, but declined each time my response was requested, and by the third or fourth time almost insisted.

 

I think at that point they understood where I stood, cuz things got a little tiny bit tense, and quiet and the conversation ended.

 

I work in a shop full of blue-collar men. Among the bros, they make jokes and comments. There's lots of good-natured ribbing. I usually just keep my skin thick, and don't participate in these things, and definitely don't encourage it. Most of the time it's just someone says something ignorant, and I just take a slightly deeper breath and it rolls off. Frankly, the teasing isn't it. I don't mind dirty jokes. I've never noticed any malice in it. But I can't tolerate when they're talking about co-workers, and when they're pressuring me to join in their bullshit.

 

Anyway, the main instigator is leaving, and will be another company's problem  liability soon. I'm grateful for the knowledge he's passed on to me regarding work and a few of the laughs we've shared, and the tacos, but his ideas about women and relationships I could do without.

 

To note, whenever the guy talks about why he's leaving, he usually mentions how he's not growing or advancing with the company. He hasn't done anything to directly harass or insult anyone so that it leads to an HR issue (that I know of), but frankly if I were a manager, and even a whiff of this type of behavior got under  my nose, I wouldn't be investing in him either.

 

That said, still, I see him as a whole person, not as a monster, and I wish him well, I just hope for his own and his coworkers' sale he grows up.

 

 

I just needed to get that off my chest. So that's why I got a little stressed at work today. Oh and another manager is leaving after less than a year. So that cast a pall over the day too.

 

But the good news is, they've already hired a guy to work in the lab who has 18 years of experience with CMM programming. I was looking forward to the opportunity to learn more, but now there won't be pressure to learn because if a job is beyond my ability, we have someone who can get it done on time. So that's a bit of weight off my chest.
 

  • Like 4

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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On 3/22/2021 at 5:19 PM, Stronkey Kong said:

I didn't preheat the bottom pan of my Dutch oven, dual cooker (cast iron pot that sits on top of a cast iron pan and vice versa) and the first loaf stuck to it. I was trying to make it so that the bottom crust isn't so burned and hard, but my guess is that having it hot before the dough hits it ensures that the dough cooks immediately before it has a chance to ooze into all the nooks and crannies on the surface of the pan and weld itself to the pan during baking.


Sounds like a Lodge combo cooker, or something similar? I use the same thing for bread. My uneducated guess on the sticking is it has something to do with proteins in the flour — kind of like fish sticks to steel pans.

 

Yeah, in my experience both halves need to be preheated, both to ensure less stickage and to promote oven spring in the loaf. I was having problems with burned bottoms myself not long ago. Ultimately, I found it was happening because I was following recipes that told me to put the cooker on the oven’s bottom rack position. When I switched to lower-middle or middle, my bottoms got a lot better.

 

On 3/22/2021 at 5:19 PM, Stronkey Kong said:

I also took some of the yogurt I made last weekend, mixed it with salt and mint and let it hand to strain in a cheesecloth for 24ish hours to make Labneh. Then I roled it into balls and dropped it into olive oil. It's a pretty good and interesting spread and goes well with the bread I made. Tho, next time I make this, I'm going to use other herbs/spices or at least cut back on the mint.


LABNEH IS DELICIOUS. I’ve never had it with herbs already mixed in, although I’ve seen it sold that way in some stores. I’ve mainly had it with za’atar, and if you’re looking for other herbs to mix in, the stuff that goes into za’atar might be a decent place to look... stuff like thyme, sesame seeds, sumac (I think), fun stuff like that.

 

The work stuff sounds crappy, but good on you for not getting drawn in and participating. He doesn’t have to worry about dumb shit he says reflecting poorly on him in this particular workplace anymore, but you do. And ultimately, drawing some

clear boundaries around how you want to be interacted with at work will hopefully make things less stressful for you, as people who think that kind of thing is okay in the workplace stop trying to engage you on it.

  • Like 1

Cowardly Assassin
Training Log | Challenges: Current8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st

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I ate two apples for a snack on break and I got heartburn. 

 

Since bread (wheat) is a candidate,  and onions too, this points to fructans (google FODMAPS) as a potential cause. 

 

I think I'm going to design a FODMAP-GERD test panel to run over the weekend. 

 

It's time to science!

 

Addit:

 

I made a spreadsheet to track my experiments: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1srj9_-57tYoNbNITLulk6AUU55BMp_qJPHHF6_5Aka4/edit?usp=sharing

  • Like 2

=====================================================================================================

 

--Stronkey Kong--

 

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On 3/24/2021 at 4:51 PM, Stronkey Kong said:

I ate two apples for a snack on break and I got heartburn. 

 

Since bread (wheat) is a candidate,  and onions too, this points to fructans (google FODMAPS) as a potential cause. 

 

I think I'm going to design a FODMAP-GERD test panel to run over the weekend.

 

Can you do it that quickly? Do you just eat the fodmaps and see how you feel?

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the Viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the Artist

You can absorb me! - Harriet the Contextless Guru

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Labneh raspberry Buddhas in cucumber boats...

 

a52e77ded95812065d4e9d07ff1e7072b8ab1aa8

 

4 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Can you do it that quickly? Do you just eat the fodmaps and see how you feel?

 

I think you can when it's for the sake of heartburn/GERD since you're dealing with the first leg of the alimentary canal. Heartburn is pretty reactive and I feel it within an hour of eating, most times within minutes if the right thing triggers it. If I were worried about IBS or constipation, then I'd have to clean house for a while with an elimination diet then add some of these foods back in. For this, I think isolating FODMAPs and eating lots of them on an empty stomach is more that sufficient.

 

The foods I've chosen are all have high content of the FODMAP for their category, though some hit multiple categories. I've also included two variants in each FODMAP, and where possible, the second comes from a different food group so if my GERD reaction doesn't repeat, I can then look into food groups.

 

I'm also testing gluten by comparing seitan, bread, and rice. And rice is a general control, it is free of both gluten and FODMAPS. Then there's lactose along with the dairy proteins casein (in cheese) and whey... I'm going to have to check and see if what artificial sweeteners are in my "keto-freindly" whey protein I have on hand (probably sucralose, but if it's mannitol, or any other -ol, I'm going to have to categorize that with the polyols).

 

 

 

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--Stronkey Kong--

 

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