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Severine respawns in Vancouver


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Quick update because I'm not done work yet. The downside of setting my own hours is that sometimes I end up working really stupidly late.

 

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The asterisk is because I drank a few sips of Coke before realizing it wasn't Coke Zero, which is what I usually drink if I have any kind of pop/soda. It definitely counts as added sugar, but it was a legit mistake as opposed to a decision or surrender to cravings, so I'm making it an asterisked success rather than a failure.

 

Also, the challenge is the reason I remembered to take my iron supplement today (I almost forgot but then when I saw the chart I remembered) so woooo for this thing working.

 

Exercise was minimal, but it was still a victory because if me of 10 days ago had lived this day there would have been none. I had a lot of editing to do today and didn't have a tonne of extra time. Last week, that would have meant skipping my walk. Today I planned around it and took an intentional trip to the grocery store (normally my partner D does this) and made sure to park at the far end of the lot and walk up and down all the aisles. Not a tonne of walking (I'll only end up with ~5000 steps today) but more than I would have had without the challenge. Baby steps.

 

Didn't eat that well overall but I had some freggies with both breakfast and dinner so I'll take it.

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On 6/20/2022 at 10:39 PM, Severine said:

but honestly, I loathe the idea of having to tell someone I am looking elsewhere after just a couple visits!

I kept a piano teacher for much longer than I should have due to this issue. 

 

I think, in the end, I was like (1) this is a business and sometimes that's how business goes and (2) by keeping her around despite not getting any value from the experience, I was wasting one of her timeslots that could be put to better use. So, in a way, I was doing her a favor!

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18 hours ago, KeysMcGee said:

I kept a piano teacher for much longer than I should have due to this issue. 

 

I think, in the end, I was like (1) this is a business and sometimes that's how business goes and (2) by keeping her around despite not getting any value from the experience, I was wasting one of her timeslots that could be put to better use. So, in a way, I was doing her a favor!

 

Oh yeah, I recognize that it's entirely illogical, it just gives me the shudders. Your reasons are good ones to add to my list if/when I need to talk myself into doing it, though. I hope you found a piano teacher you like better!

 

1 hour ago, Marauder said:

I’d call that a success with no asterisk needed.  

 

I have always had this fear that if I'm too indulgent or lenient on myself, I'll slip up. But then, when I went through eating disorder therapy with an intuitive eating counsellor, she (rightly) pointed out that years and years of that attitude had not served me well, and she emphasized building trust in my judgement and not thinking of myself as an enemy who needs to be watched and policed. I want to get to that state of mind where I can really trust myself to make the right choices, but I'm not there yet, so at the moment I'm in between the two mindsets. I try not to be as super harsh on myself as I used to be...but I still have this idea that I need to be objective and not too willing to make excuses for unhealthy habits. I apologize for resulting amount of navel-gazing rules-lawyering about whether or not something "counts" as this or that.

 

Today was pretty good. I was up until 5:00 am last night (this morning?) thanks to both work and insomnia, so I slept late. I'd say the day's rhythm was thrown off, but it's been a long time since my sleep schedule has been regular enough to give my days a proper rhythm. That's one of the things I would like to tackle next challenge, but one hedgehog at a time, as they say.

 

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Walked with company today, but we were a little quicker than Sunday. I still find that route non-trivial despite it being pretty short and having no real hills. I was remembering today what it was like to be able to walk 10+ km in a normal day without it being a thing, and I will be really excited to get back to that. I'll appreciate it a lot more this time.

 

I was feeling a little snacky this evening but had some savoury crackers instead of giving in to sugary temptation. In the evening, we watched an episode of a Québécois cooking show (creatively titled "Les Chefs!"). I don't like cooking, but L does, and I promised to help them learn French, so we're making our way through the series. Their listening skills are still pretty basic, but they put on the French subtitles and pause every few seconds to read them and try to figure out what people are saying, and I translate the parts they don't understand. I have a bit more work to do before bed, but I'm glad I took the time to do something social, especially because L just got their new hearing aid today and they really needed a distraction from the emotional toll of dealing with hearing loss at 41.

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That last paragraph. I was like “that’s adorable” and then went right to “ohhhh that’s a bummer.” :(

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On 6/22/2022 at 11:32 PM, fleaball said:

That last paragraph. I was like “that’s adorable” and then went right to “ohhhh that’s a bummer.” :(

 

Yeah, they've really been struggling with their feelings about it it, but the hearing aid seems really effective, so I'm hoping that when they get used to it, they'll stop feeling so crappy about needing it in the first place. Personally, I am super glad they finally got one because they were always pretty grumpy when they needed to ask someone to repeat something (which was a lot). Also the hearing aid seems to help with their tinnitus, which is an unexpected bonus.

 

I daresay Week 1  is going pretty well:

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Walk felt a bit easier today. I was going to speculate on whether it was the exercise or the iron or whatever else that helped, but honestly, who even cares why? 😄 I'll take it, no matter the reason.

 

Boring adult excitement (not the fun kind) today: the asphalt contractor finally came and redid the driveway at our house back in Boston! I have been working on making that happen since September 2021, so I am delighted to have it off my plate. And our friends who are renting the house from us while we're here seem to think it looks great. I was honestly surprised by their reaction (how exciting can a driveway be??), but since they're thinking of maybe buying the house from us if we decide to stay here permanently,  I guess they just like the idea of another upgrade to the property. Either way, I love checking stuff off my list.

 

We're going to Grouse Mountain on Saturday and I am getting legit excited about it. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, too. Don't betray me, Vancouver.

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Oh wow, that's a long time to wait! Glad it finally got done. If you decide to sell it might be one less thing the inspector 'dings' you on as well 

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Obviously, today did not start out great, and I was walking around with a heavy heart worrying about a lot of things beyond my direct control. It was a relief to get some good news, even if it was a bit surreal to be celebrating something when such devastating shit is going on in the States.

 

Funny side note: remember the receptionist who initially didn't want to help me with my DVD of prior scan images, until I complimented her on being the sort of compassionate person who goes out of her way to help people doing their cancer follow-ups? The whole reason I have the scan results today as opposed to next week (I have an appointment with my doctor Wednesday) is that when I went today to collect the DVD, she remembered me and asked if I wanted a sneak peek at the report. I said sure and she printed me a copy, which she is TOTALLY not supposed to do. She said that even she could tell it was good news, and she thought it'd be nice for me to enjoy the weekend without worrying about the results. I promised to keep it between us and thanked her profusely. It's amazing how (some) people can change their behaviour toward you if you just give them a taste of what it feels like to be respected and appreciated.

 

L. has a weird infection in their belly button of all places, so they had to go to urgent care this morning and get a prescription for a topical antibiotic. We're wondering if it's related to a laparoscopic surgery they had last year, although that seems awfully delayed. Bodies are weird.

 

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Another victory for the challenge today: I remembered my iron supplement thanks to the tracking spreadsheet. Also, the walk is definitely getting a little easier.

 

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I'm still awake (it's 2:48 am here) because I'm a giant moron. I need to get up at 7:30 to get ready for Grouse Mountain. I finished work like two hours ago and I could have gone to bed then but I just...didn't? And now, instead of sleeping, I'm writing this post about how I should be sleeping. Move over logic, there's a new game in town.

 

I really, really need to focus on sleep for the next challenge. I am aware of an irritatingly large and compelling body of evidence that inferior duration and quality of sleep impact literally every aspect of human function in a negative way. I could improve literally everything about my health, focus, mood, etc. by just going the fuck to sleep at a reasonable time. This has been a problem since...fuck, since I was in law school? In like 2006-2009? A problem which I have repeatedly, rebelliously, at times almost enthusiastically refused to solve. Is sleep deprivation a form of self harm? 🤔

 

A large part of it, for me, is revenge bedtime procrastination. I stay awake in part because there are things I want to do that I either can't or don't do during the day. Also, I need time alone (to work, to focus, to relax) and it is impossible to overstate how essential that need is for me. I love the people I live with and I love living with them, but there's something about everyone else being asleep that makes it feel like I can actually take the time to do certain things I want to do (read, write, study my languages, etc.) without fear of being interrupted. During the day, even when other people are off doing their own thing, just the knowledge that they might walk by and talk to me or need something or whatever feels like it means I can't do the thing I want to do. Does that make sense? I remember reading a study about how people performed worse on concentration tasks when their phone was visible on the desk beside them than when it was hidden in their bag; even when they weren't using it, its presence (and presumably the resulting thoughts about potential messages or whatever) was a drain on focus. I feel like that's true for me except that instead of a phone it's the existence of other human beings.

 

There's a lot more to unpack about sleep stuff, but I'm going to wait to formally tackle it until the next challenge, because adding more goals to this one would be a great way to implode it. And I really need to get at least a few hours of sleep before I go spend all day out at Grouse Mountain.

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It makes complete sense and I find myself with the same problems. Since I'm an early bird, part of the solution is waking up at around 4 am to have me time while everybody is asleep, which helps free my mind in the evening (by going to sleep, I actually make it shorter to this time where I'll be free to do what I want).

 

Setting off all electronic devices and keeping them out of sight helps too, as does having some sort of ritual before going to bed (I'm very bad at keeping the habit but the few times I've tried it, drinking herbal tea helped grounding me).

 

But mainly, I'm just bad at it and keep pushing further and further the time when I finally surrender and accept to give in to sleep.

 

Maybe we should try one of the magic postures. Cats seem to have a few xD:

 

 

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Looking forward to see your other insights on sleep, I didn't know of the bedtime revenge procrastination concept and it coins what I'm usually going through perfectly.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Severine said:

It's amazing how (some) people can change their behaviour toward you if you just give them a taste of what it feels like to be respected and appreciated.

 

Kindness is far more powerful than the forces of darkness would have us believe. 

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I am so tired. I have in fact blown through tired and passed to a deeper dimension of exhaustion where I dream of just being tired. I woke up at 7:30 am after only getting around ~3 hours of sleep, and it took a good hour and a half before my eyes stopped hurting from being open. I walked around outside in the sun all day, came home, did about three hours of work, and now I am ready to collapse into bed but haha, I can't even sleep in because I have to get up at 8:30 am (no, for me that is not sleeping in, plus it's already 2:00 am here) for a Skype call with a friend who had to cancel on me Friday morning due to an emergency (after I had already woken up early to talk to her). Having friends in distant time zones is hard.

 

However, today was fantastic. The weather was absolutely perfect (sunny, clear, around 24C/75F) and Grouse Mountain was gorgeous and really fun, despite a few brief moments of panic.

 

There were some really majestic and cute grizzly bears (in a fenced-off habitat but set up in such a way that you stood a decent chance of getting a good look at them) and we went to the most amazing falconry/bird show I've ever seen. We also took a ski lift up to the very peak of the mountain and saw some views that were absolutely awe-inspiring. It was also just really nice to walk around outside in gorgeous scenery and weather and take it all in.

 

Why was there panic? We went to their lumberjack show (DON'T LAUGH, timbersports are awesome and they can do badass shit like this) and it was kind of a combo of a skills display and a comedy show. Everything was pretty great, although there was this kind of rowdy guy in the audience who was a bit obnoxious and seemed to have no sense of boundaries and/or possible mental health issues, e.g., at one point when the MC asked for someone in the audience to time a part of the competition on their phone, he volunteered and then tried to cross the barrier onto the show floor and the MC had to run over and tell him to stay on the other side of the barrier for safety. Anyway, fine, there's one in every crowd, right? Show goes on. At one point, we notice that said guy has gone around the back of the barrier while a skills display was happening near the front, put on a pair of spiked boots that were lying there, and is trying to climb a 60-foot pole in the style in the video I linked above. A lot of people in the audience, 100% including me, start to panic and think this unstable guy is going to get himself killed. We try to get the attention of the MC, but the sound system is pretty loud and she's focused on the show. One guy (who I later found out was a paramedic) tried to run around the back to stop the guy. Turns out he was a plant and it was part of the show, but they had a whole ~5 minute bit where the MC continued to pretend he was just some rando while he did increasingly dangerous things. By that time, we'd caught on, but ugh. I had a really intense adrenaline reaction when I thought someone was in real danger and it completely ruined the rest of the show for me. Paramedic guy was downright angry, and I heard a couple of kids crying. Not cool, guys.

 

Some photos:

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The smaller of the two grizzly bears, named Grinder:

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Never thought I'd be three feet away from a bald eagle:

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Gorgeous views of the mountains:

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Vancouver far off in the distance, seen from the top of the mountain:

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As for my challenge:

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I was SO CLOSE to a perfect week with iron supplements. However, by the time I got home and remembered, it was a bit too late and I'm supposed to take them with food but I didn't feel like eating anything. Missing one day should be fine, but I probably need a better reminder system. I guess I could buy a separate pill box from the one I use in the morning, but that seems a bit annoying.

 

Not sure exactly how much exercise I got, but I walked around a bunch, including a lot of hills, so I just (probably under-) estimated. I certainly met my goal of doing something.

 

Avoiding sugar is getting harder because L. bought some reaaally good butter tarts and I want one. Having to exert willpower not to eat any, but so far succeeding.

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Good news: my walking time is improving

Bad news: I'm getting credit for fewer minutes of exercise for walking the same route  😂

 

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Also, it's warm here, and I miss our old house and its central A/C. Of course, this time last year I was complaining about how cold I was with the A/C on. Where in the world is it ~22C/71F from May to October and then snows all winter?

 

I'm thinking of upping the ante on this challenge and requiring myself to finish the nutritionist task by the end of this week so that I can add extra bonus goals for the third and/or fourth week.

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On 6/25/2022 at 5:54 AM, Severine said:

A large part of it, for me, is revenge bedtime procrastination. I stay awake in part because there are things I want to do that I either can't or don't do during the day. Also, I need time alone (to work, to focus, to relax) and it is impossible to overstate how essential that need is for me.

This. I'm also one of those "I need 26 hours in my 24-hour day to get done with all of the things I need to do." 

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6 hours ago, Severine said:

Where in the world is it ~22C/71F from May to October and then snows all winter?

I was in Edmonton for work one summer and the local I was working with was complaining how hot it was when it was 72 :) I also went over and did a day trip/drive through the Rockies and needed a jacket when I stopped in a couple of spots because it was in the 50's. Of course, I swear the sun never went down....

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On 6/25/2022 at 6:54 AM, Severine said:

A large part of it, for me, is revenge bedtime procrastination. I stay awake in part because there are things I want to do that I either can't or don't do during the day. Also, I need time alone (to work, to focus, to relax) and it is impossible to overstate how essential that need is for me. I love the people I live with and I love living with them, but there's something about everyone else being asleep that makes it feel like I can actually take the time to do certain things I want to do (read, write, study my languages, etc.) without fear of being interrupted. During the day, even when other people are off doing their own thing, just the knowledge that they might walk by and talk to me or need something or whatever feels like it means I can't do the thing I want to do. Does that make sense?

 

That a b s o l u t e l y makes sense 😕  I do it all the time.

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Update for two days since I didn't post yesterday:

 

image.png.c00194f2e654df9754c98113ee18e359.png

 

Went to the dentist today, and holy crap are they free with the anesthetic. Almost the entire left side of my face was numb for 5-6 hours after I left the office. Weird feeling that made eating and drinking really surreal, but at least I got my cavity filled (and I sure as hell didn't feel anything). Had an interesting talk with the dentist about sparkling water and tooth enamel that I may or may not post about later.

 

I missed walking yesterday for the first time this challenge, but there was a bright side. Yesterday was super hot  for Vancouver (that's not the bright side, especially since almost nobody has A/C here), so I delayed my walk as late as possible and then by the time it was cool enough that I was willing to go, a magical thing happened: I WAS SLEEPY. Not tired (I am tired all the time) but sleepy, which is different. I pounced on this somniferously delightful opportunity and went the fuck to sleep at the shockingly reasonable time of 1:00am. I slept for seven hours! It was glorious. And now it's just after 1:00 am and I am *gasp* going to bed as soon as I finish this post and brush my teeth. Turning over a new leaf? I hope so.

 

Walked today (definitely noticing slight improvements). Thought about emailing some nutritionists and then I realized that I accidentally closed the browser window that had all the tabs open from the nutritionist research I did 🙄 so I had to re-do it slash try to remember the names of the people who looked promising. Annoying.

 

Also there is BIG NEWS about food/cooking/meal-planning that I will post about tomorrow when I have more time.

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3 hours ago, Severine said:

Had an interesting talk with the dentist about sparkling water and tooth enamel that I may or may not post about later.

?

3 hours ago, Severine said:

especially since almost nobody has A/C here

As someone living in the deep south, this seems odd to me. Then again, nobody down here has proper central heating, so maybe it balances out.

 

3 hours ago, Severine said:

and went the fuck to sleep at the shockingly reasonable time of 1:00am

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9 hours ago, Severine said:

Went to the dentist today, and holy crap are they free with the anesthetic.

My favorite kind of dentist! But there also has to be Nitrous involved to get near me with a needle....
 

 

5 hours ago, KeysMcGee said:

As someone living in the deep south, this seems odd to me. Then again, nobody down here has proper central heating, so maybe it balances out.

Same - but we actually have honest to goodness INSULATION AND a good heating system in the new digs. Even when it was < 20F it was warm in the house.
 

 

9 hours ago, Severine said:

I WAS SLEEPY. Not tired (I am tired all the time) but sleepy, which is different.

I feel this SO MUCH. Congrats!

Can't wait to hear about the big news on cooking/food!

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Okay, first the daily update and then the big news. Today was pretty good. Did a lot of work, went for a slightly longer walk, avoided sugar. Sadly, I can't remember if I took my iron pill or not (system failure detected) and I suspect that I did not, but it's too late to take it now.

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Okay, big exciting news!

 

If you read @fleaball's thread (and who doesn't? fools and charlatans) you may have seen me recommend a meal basket service I previously used, and my familiarity with such services is because I detest cooking and mostly avoid it at all costs including health, nutrition, and financial prudence. When I was single I ate a lot of toast, canned soup, and raw fruits and vegetables I could eat whole. The reasons why I hate cooking are a long story, but the short version is I spent many years as a kid/teen being 100% responsible for feeding my younger siblings and I have a lot of complicated feelings that have calcified into barnacles of loathing around any activity involving pots and pans.

 

L. likes to cook and is good at it, and used to cook a lot of our meals, but their current job, especially with their recent promotion, means they don't have time and we've been eating like crap as a result. Bad for all of us, and the constant cycle of L. saying "No really I'm going to cook this week" -- buy lots of ingredients -- oh nope haha there wasn't time to cook -- ingredients go bad -- L. feels deep and abiding shame when we need to throw away spoiled, unused groceries is a really shitty cycle I would like to bail out of. Another recent development is that D. has been diagnosed with fatty liver disease and our doctor is really stressing to him that (1) diet and exercise are the only things that will help and (2) it's potentially serious and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, L. has high cholesterol and is trying to avoid going on meds, I'm anemic and trying to lose weight...basically we're all getting older and need to take better care of ourselves.

 

Okay so WTF with all this preamble, right? Well, here we go!

Spoiler

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We've signed up for a personal-chef-esque meal prep service that focuses on custom nutrition plans for people with dietary restrictions and health goals! They have nutritionists on staff who plan everything so I don't have to! People who are not me will cook me food and deliver it to our house! Healthy food custom-cooked based on our food preferences and health needs! We will stop wasting money on expensive compost from Safeway! We won't eat unhealthy takeout that costs a fortune!

 

It is expensive ($585 CAD a week including groceries for dinners every weeknight with enough for some lunch leftovers), but I did the math, and after you add up our current grocery expenses and takeout (including Doordash delivery fees and tips), we'll be breaking even compared to most weeks and actually saving money compared to other weeks (which is horrifying, but like...if we order sushi for the three of us it's $100 so I guess I'm not surprised). Also, at this point, I am willing to trade money for (1) easy mode for eating healthy and (2) free time not spent doing a thing I hate. All three of us work and have good jobs and if we're going to splurge, it should be on something that increases quality of life, right?

 

I spent the last couple of days going through their intake process, doing the initial interview with one of the nutritionists, etc. Should start within the next 2-3 weeks, and I'm suuuuper excited.

 

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Every time I did the "math" - and I use Mint so it's IN MY FACE what we spend on groceries, restaurants & fast food - on using a Meal Service of SOME sort and NOT using one - it comes out cheaper or a wash in the long run if I use one ESPECIALLY once I add in the fact that I'm eating healthier meals as a result. Even if I use one of the more expensive option - but once I found Every Plate - it's actually less expensive, there is less pre-prepped (which - pre-prepped stuff is nice, but it's more expensive that way and I don't know what's in it) and there is almost no food waste. Yes, I chucked the un-appetizing looking string beans the other night, but I subbed in roasting a $1 bag of frozen California veggies instead so really, not a "huge" waste. I also don't feel as.... exhausted..... cooking other meals - but I am getting PRETTY close to making it 4 meals a week from them rather than 3 as one less meal per week *I* have to worry about. I control the salt\butter going into my meals - you can now swap some of the proteins and veggies even (since Hello Fresh bought them). So it's like everything I liked about Hello Fresh, but at Every Plate prices :)

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"Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still." - Chinese Proverb

 My Recipe Thread

1st dozen-ish Challenges for the curious 12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,More attempts, #1 with Intro, Failed attempts

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Quick Bio: IT Consultant, Been in IT 25+ Years, Bounced around and landed as a traveling Consultant for a medium-sized Software Company. I love to cook & read, I travel for a living (although amount varies widely, sometimes I'm home for weeks, others I'm traveling for weeks on end), and trying to move out of Atlanta (plan in place, working to implement).

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