Archive for the 'health' Category

New Friday Thing

Friday, March 10th, 2017
New Friday Thing

Friday – 10 March 2017
Another work week comes to an end.

 

It was a pretty good week, in all. Things happened. Stuff, too.

I neglected to post – or, rather, elaborate on – something from last week: Sara! and I went to dinner at Table X, as a belated Valentine’s Day outing without Team DiVa.

Table X describes itself as:

We’re a restaurant run by three chefs. We’re going to prepare you thoughtful, honest food without the fussiness of fine dining. In fact, we’re going to give you a new casual dining experience, altogether. Again and again.

We had encountered these chefs’ cuisine last year, at a pop-up dinner done in conjunction with Utah Opera’s production of Tosca. That – along with the idea of there being a new casual dining restaurant both outside of downtown Salt Lake City and not too far from our home – informed Sara’s choice on places to try. The restaurant seats about 230 people, has an open design, and has an air that combines a modern look with a touch of industrial design.

For dinner, we selected the Chef’s Tasting Menu, comprised of five (5) courses:

  • Red Beet Curry
  • Cabbage Toast
  • Scallops,
  • Christiansen Farm Berkshire Pork, and
  • Pecan Tart with homemade Pecan Ice Cream

Let me start by saying that I was leery of a couple items on the menu: the Beet Curry and the “Cabbage Toast.” I am not a fan of beets, nor have I been since I was very young. And the idea of a “cabbage toast” was… intriguing, but set me a little on edge. However, as the Prince song said:

…but it was Saturday night,
I guess that makes it alright.
I said, ‘What have I got to lose?’

The curry was served with cauliflower florets. It was flavorful and not at all what I expected. Sara! commented that it as most likely because they were not pickled beets (like from a can), which I abhor. I happily ate the entire course.

Next up: Cabbage Toast. This was a house-made sourdough, topped with a kelp cream/butter and a red cabbage jam. My first thought, upon hearing “jam” was of a pulped, processed spread. I was wrong. This was… simply… cabbage. And it was excellently prepared; I ate almost all of it.

The next course was scallops. I was all-in for this one, as I love scallops, yet never seem to order them when we’re out. (That, and the fact that I have some issues with getting seafood in a landlocked state.) The scallop – singular – was topped with a small portion of ham. Added bonus: Sara! isn’t a huge fan of scallops, so she gave me at least half of hers. (WIN!)

Course Four was the pork loin. Again, I was happy to try this. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was served with celeriac and red cabbage. It was tender and juicy and just seasoned enough to extract and enhance the flavor of the meat. NOTE: At the beginning of dinner, Sara! asked if she could make a couple of substitutions, because she doesn’t eat pork. For this course, they brought her the Winter Vegetable Stew. It was presented with the vegetables in a bowl and the broth in a separate ramekin, poured at the table.

For the final course: Dessert! This was a slice of pecan tart, presented with house-made pecan ice cream. It was the perfect finish to the meal. Sweet. Sticky, yet somehow slightly crumbly. Just right.

In all, I was quite happy with the meal, the atmosphere, and the service. Our waitresses, Rikki and Haleigh (“HAY-lee”), were attentive and responsive to our requests. While not on the “let’s do this every week” I would gladly recommend dining there.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Wednesday – 07 December 2016
Today is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

pearlharbor

Take a few moments to remember those who died and those who fought.

Friday’s interminable ramble…

Friday, June 12th, 2015
Friday's interminable ramble...

Friday – 12 June 2015
It’s the end of the (work) week. Amen.

It’s been a good, though tiring week, as Sara! spent Tuesday through Thursday at Altitude Summit… including being a panelist on Wednesday. This means that Team DiVa and I had to fend for ourselves on those days. We all survived the experience. And, we even managed to do an art project and make s’mores in the process. I’d call it an all-around “Win.”

Photo Jun 11, 7 47 58 PM

Photo Jun 10, 8 01 11 PM

I even made it to the gym five days this week; I haven’t done that in a few years.

Chew on This: Food for Thought
My news feeds have been full of articles about Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane Chapter of the NAACP and how it appears that she has lied about being Black. The story apparently came to the national spotlight after her mother outed her. It’s interesting to note that this story is not about someone adopting or borrowing from a culture, but rather has asserted, to no small degree, that she actually is a member of that culture.

What I find curious is that no one has talked about the historical precedent for the reverse of this: Light-skinned Blacks “passing” as White. For decades in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, people of mixed race and fair complexions lived among the general populace, identifying as White… or at least claiming to be, when it benefited them. For a fictional account of such “passing,” I highly recommend reading Mat Johnson‘s Incognegro (1, 2, 3).

incognegro_vertigo

I don’t know of any stipulation in the NAACP’s charter that requires members to be “of color.” Hint: There isn’t one. ANYONE is welcome to join.

From the items that I’ve read, no one is calling into question her right to be a member of – or to be president of – the Spokane chapter, which is good. The whole issue seems to stem from her racial identification.

I am most curious to see how this shakes out.

Workout
I should probably log these before I forget. Again.

Monday

  • Elliptical: 10 min/1.1 miles
  • Lat Pulldown (long bar): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Lat Pulldown (shortg grip): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Row: 3 x 8 x 80
  • Tricep Rope Pulldown: 3 x 8 x 70
  • Standing Tricep Press: 3 x 8 x 70

Tuesday

  • Squats: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs

Wednesday

  • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 115 lbs
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (fwd): 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (rev): 3 x 8 x 40 lbs

Thursday

  • Elliptical: 5 min/0.55 mi
  • Squats: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs

Friday

  • Lat Pulldown (long bar): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Lat Pulldown (shortg grip): 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Row: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extensions: 3 x 8 x 30 lbs
  • Tricep Rope Pulldown: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Standing Tricep Press: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs

Stray Toasters

I think that’s good for now.

Namaste.

“A long time ago…”

Thursday, June 4th, 2015
"A long time ago..."

Thursday – 04 June 2015
Hello and welcome back, #NBNThursday.

This morning, we had a little change to our routine: We took Vanessa to the dentist to look at what was causing her mouth to hurt. She has a little cut on her gum that the dentist said should heal in a week or two. The ladies go back in a few weeks for their first “real” visits. But, I think that seeing more or less what it is that the dentist does today should make going back for a check-up and cleaning much easier.

Last night, I actually made a reasonable dent in cleaning the Train Room. It’s amazing how much “out of sight, out of mind” factors in once you sit down at your desk, focus on your computer, and basically ignore the rest of the room. I’ve made a solid start and I just need to keep forging along that path.

Workout
I got up, out, and into the gym this morning.

  • Elliptical: 10 min/1.1 mi
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 70 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs

Many of you have most likely noticed that I tweet about going to the gym. Part of it is because of Swarm/Foursquare and the other part of it is for motivation. I guess that another part, at least for leg days and my #neverskipalegday hashtag, is an acknowledgement of two things:

  1. Leg days are not my favorite, and
  2. Thanking Jay Whittaker for the inspiration/incentive to go in and do leg work, like it or not.

I’ve also been using #carveawaythestone for workout tweets. That’s a throwback to a Rush song of the same name and a nod to not being lethargic and doing something that’s good for me and that I enjoy.

Stray Toasters

  • Sara introduced Team DiVa to Star Wars a couple nights ago, showing them the first few minutes of “A New Hope.” At this point, they can identify Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, R2D2, Chewbacca, and (most of the time) Han Solo.

    Picture (c) gameinformer magazine

    Picture (c) gameinformer magazine

    And, “Yes,” I plan to introduce them to the Disney Infinity version of the characters, when the games are released.

  • Why Haven’t You Canceled Your Cable?
  • These Dolls Get Sunburn to Teach Kids About Using Sunblock
  • I’ve never played Minecraft, but it seems to me that the new LEGO Worlds – which is being endlessly hyped as “basically Minecraft but with those little plastic bricks we love” – might be better served if people said that it was the next evolution of the now-defunct LEGO Universe, which was a game whose time was all too brief.

Namaste.

Time in a bottle…

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Time in a bottle...

Thursday – 19 February 2015
Last night, Sara, #Team DiVa and I went out for dinner – the girls’ choice. While out, I ran into this little lady, my “cousin,” Kylie:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kylie: Disneyland – Electric Light Parade

The only thing: She wasn’t so little anymore. This picture was taken in 2001, so you can imagine what adding 13.5 years would do. And, it’s been at least 4-5 years since I last saw her. She has grown into a lovely young lady. (Her mom has every reason to be proud.)

It was a very pleasant surprise to my evening.

Stray Toasters

  • Your Coffee Addiction Is Officially Good for You (not that I needed validation)
  • Someone posted the following picture into an H.P. Lovecraft group yesterday:
    spider-cat
    It… inspired me to come up with this:

    Spider-Cat! Spider-Cat!
    More evil than a Devil-Bat!
    Claws your arm or your thigh
    Makes you sleep with one eye…
    OPEN!
    Here comes the Spider-Cat!

  • Adult Wednesday Addams
    “Adult” as in “not a child,” not as in “risque.”
  • DC Comics has made some… curious… decisions in the past few years. One decision that has been “good” is the one to start a new, out-of-continuity Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman book. If you’re a Wonder Woman fan and are not reading this book, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
  • From Javier Grillo-Marxuach: The Audacity of Being Jaded

Namaste.

World Cancer Day 2015

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Wednesday – 04 February 2015
Today is No Bad News Thursday Eve. It is also World Cancer Day.

world_cancer_day_11

From the United Nations’ World Cancer Day page:

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant sites. Many cancers can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke. In addition, a significant proportion of cancers can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially if they are detected early.

Two of my friends, Mary and Jake, are cancer survivors. Their cancers were caught and treated early. I am able to enjoy their company today because cancer awareness and treatment methods have progressed to their current points. That, however, doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for more people to learn more about the awareness and for treatments to improve.

But, I’m glad for the strides that have been made.

Namaste.

Day Thirteen

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
Day Thirteen

Tuesday (with a little Wednesday thrown in…) – 13 January 2014
Day 13: Perform a mind dump of everything you’re worried about. From the leaky dishwasher to your family member’s poor health — get it all out. Dwight D. Eisenhower did it, and it significantly helped him manage his stress. Just as your body needs to…cleanse itself of waste, so does your mind every once in a while. Getting all your stressors on paper may alleviate some of that pressure. Use David Allen’s GTD trigger list to help you out.

With apologies to Monty Python, “I’m so worried about…”

  • Being a good husband and dad.
  • Keeping in touch with my family – here and “back home.”
  • Making time for friends.
  • Making time for me.
  • Staying on top of my health.
  • Whether or not I’ll be able to fit some travel in this year.
  • Projects around the house, now that I don’t have the Train Room as an excuse.
  • Becoming more aware of and informed about issues in the community.
  • What the Hell is still “not as right as it could be” with my car?!
  • Keeping all of the balls that I’m juggling for work in the air.
    • This one isn’t horrible, but there’s just been a lot going on over the past two weeks.
  • A proposed project (that’s actually kind of up my alley) – I just want it to go well.
  • Cleaning up my queue of work requests.
  • Managing to get – and do well in – upcoming training.
  • “…the baggage retrieval system they’ve got at Heathrow.”

Namaste.

Day Three

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
Day Three

Saturday – 03 January 2015
Keeping up with the challenge…

Day 3: Decide on one positive habit you’d like to implement in your life. Whether seemingly mundane (like flossing) or perhaps life-altering (exercising every day), think of something you’d like to add to your life that will be beneficial. Then, think about the steps you’ll take to get there, and how you’ll keep yourself accountable.

The habit I want to implement – actually re-implement – is working out again. Sara and I have bandied this about for a while and we think that we’re at a point where our schedules should allow for us to get back to the gym.

We’re starting next month and, from there, getting back in to the routine of getting into shape. We’ve been out of the game for too long. Aside from that, it will be good for our overall health and well-being. As to accountability? I can’t speak for Sara, but I’m trying to get into shape to hopefully pull off a new Luke Cage cosplay by the time Comic Con rolls around. That’s going to take some work.

Here’s to a fitter us in 2015!

May your life be full of surprises. (Or, “Follow-up to the video I posted earlier.”)

Sunday, August 24th, 2014
May your life be full of surprises. (Or, "Follow-up to the video I posted earlier.")

Sunday – 24 August 2014
There’s an adage about being careful what you wish for.

Saturday morning, I was watching cartoons with the girls and decided to check out what was new and exciting on the Internet. One of my stops was, of course, Facebook. I saw that a friend from college, Mark, was taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. (I’d watched this video a few days ago and it put me over the edge about wanting to make a donation to the campaign.) If nothing else, I figured that Mark’s challenge would be entertaining.

As I got ready to watch it, I remember thinking: I know a lot of people who have done this but none of them have put me up for the challenge…

A few seconds in, I heard him challenge me. Well, then. That’s that.

Not being one to back down from a challenge – at least not a worthy one – I decided to “suit up” as Tony Stark said [indirectly] to Bruce Banner. It was just a matter of deciding what to do.

It went something like this:

Challenge: Accepted
[KGVID width=”640″ height=”360″]http://echopulse.net/misc/Ice%20Bucket%20Challenge.m4v[/KGVID]

.

Namaste.

Thanks to Sara!, Team DiVa, and Steve & Bonne Kelly for helping to have a bit of fun in the name of a good cause.

At week’s end…

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Friday – 12 April 2013
It’s the end of the week. Hallelujah.

Earlier this week, I noted that my father had a heart attack. I am happy to report that he is doing much better. He was moved from ICU to a standard room Thursday evening; also, the overall prognosis for his recovery is positive. Thank you to all who offered their well wishes and prayers.

Wednesday, Sara and I didn’t do our usual Movie Date Night. Instead, we had Dinner Date Night with Dave and Angy. Sara prepared Moroccan chicken and rice. And for dessert: Chocolate pie. And we may (or may not) have polished off a couple of bottles of wine. It was a lovely evening.

Thursday, we did have Movie Date Night. We watched Hitchcock.

Hitchcock-2013-Movie-Poster1

It was surprisingly good. And fun. And witty. Anthony Hopkins made an oddly… delightful… Alfred Hitchcock. Helen Mirren, as his wife Alma, was every bit his match. (Not a big surprise there.) I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that I knew a number of other actors in the film, but didn’t recognize them at all. (Key on this list: Scarlett Johannson.) The movie was set around the filming of Psycho and showed Hitchcock’s interactions, relations and frustrations in accomplishing it. On the whole, it was a good and enjoyable selection.

red_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_lego

Stray Toasters

There was going to be more.  But I don’t remember “what” it was. So…

Namaste.

Nope, *still* not Belgium.

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Nope, *still* not Belgium.

Tuesday – 26 June 2012
I want to go on the record as saying that having twins who are crawling and cruising is:

  • Fun,
  • Entertaining, and
  •  A little tiring

Often, they both head in the same vector. However, those times when they don’t…? Let’s just say that I’m getting an inkling of what it’s like to be an NHL goaltender.

Over the weekend, we made a day trip to Cedar City to see my brother-in-law, John, who spent a week in Las Vegas. Being so relatively close, we decided to meet for lunch before he headed back to Baltimore and give him a chance to meet his nieces:

Diana, hanging out with Uncle John

Vanessa and Uncle John

Diana and John hit it off almost immediately; Vanessa decided to scope him out a bit before deciding that he was alright.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

“Style, it’s like a second cousin to class…”

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
"Style, it's like a second cousin to class..."

Wednesday – 20 June 2012
The summer solstice has arrived.
And it’s new comics Wednesday.
And it’s Pasta and Movie Date Night.

Quite frankly, I think that sounds like “Win” all the way around.

Yesterday was a good day. With the able assistance of Dave and Steve, I was able to pick up some drywall – twelve sheets of it – get it home, bring it in (through a basement window that Steve removed) and put it in place for hanging. All told, it took a little over an hour-and-a-half, including the time it took to attach and detach Dave’s trailer to his Jeep. I offer up a huge “Thank you” to Steve and Dave for their time and effort.  And, I’m counting drywall-schlepping as yesterday’s workout, to boot!

Chew on This: Food for Thought
This is a series of blog posts from a local woman (with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is important to the story), who encountered less-than-stellar – and more importantly, less-than-decent – treatment when she attempted to go shopping with her guide dog this past week:

  1. Disappointed in Ann Taylor
  2. Sharing
  3. Finding Lemonade

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

The Green… Nightlight?

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
The Green... Nightlight?

Thursday – 14 June 2012
Not only is it another NBN Thursday in the valley, but today is also Flag Day.

In Team DiVa news: The girls apparently want to skip crawling and go straight to walking:

Vanessa (l) and Diana

They are “cruising,” where they’ll hold onto something and attempt to use it to toddle around. But, anything that makes a sound sometimes distracts them, which leads to a problem with that pesky “balance” thing that they haven’t managed to overcome yet… and most often winds up with a gravity-induced sitting down.

Diana will… pseudo-crawl… but that’s usually only under duress and/or to get closer to someone who will hopefully pick her up. Go figure.

Last night, Sara! (a.k.a. “She Who Still Rules”) and I watched John Carter (not to be confused with Coach Carter) for Movie Date Night.

I haven’t read Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars yet, so I don’t know how faithful or far afield the movie’s plot was from the source material. But, it was an enjoyable film. Yes, we did wind up MST3K-ing parts, but… *shrug*… what’re ya gonna do?

Stray Toasters

“Carve away the stone…”

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
"Carve away the stone..."

Wednesday – 13 June 2012
Middle of the week means new comics and Pasta and Movie Date Night. I’m good with both of those.

Last night, I went to the gym with special guest star, Dave. He wanted to check out one of my upper body workouts, so we went through my chest and biceps workout. The full one:

  • Elliptical: 10 minutes/1.05 miles
  • Bench Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 135 lbs
  • Incline Chest Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 120 lbs
  • Shoulder Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 60 lbs
  • Fly (machine): 3 sets/8 reps, 100 lbs
  • Fly (dumbbell): 3 sets/8 reps, 20 lbs
  • Curls (barbell): 3 sets/8 reps, 40 lbs
  • Curls (dumbbell): 3 sets/8 reps, 25 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (barbell): 40 lbs (approx)
    • Reverse: 3 sets/15 reps
    • Forward: 3 sets/15 reps
  • Plank: 3 sets, 30 seconds

It was a good – and tiring – workout. But, it was also nice to have company while working out.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

1 – The live-action parts of the first season of The Banana Splits Adventure Hour were directed by Richard Donner.  (Yes, that Richard Donner.)

Wednesday and all’s well…

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Wednesday and all's well...

Wednesday – 06 June 2012
Midweek.
New comics day.
Pasta and Movie Date Night… maybe.

Yesterday, the destruction of the grotto demolition of the gazebo was complete. There’s now just a slight depression (and a little debris) where the gazebo once stood. Pictures here. Now, we just need to decide what we want to do with the space.

Last night, Logan and Sanaz came over to watch the girls so that SaraRules! and I could have an actual, out-of-the-house date night. It was glorious. We went to see The Avengers – second time for me, first time for SaraRules… and it was just as much fun the second time around. While she enjoyed the movie, I had to ‘splain a few things about characters to SaraRules! after the movies. (Comics, go figure.) But, it was a great way to spend a Tuesday evening.

And, yesterday also saw a notable dip in temperatures around here.  It was in the upper 90s on Monday; yesterday barely made 60.  And last night, we actually had to turn on the furnace. Yeah. Welcome to June in Utah.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.