Archive for the 'kids' Category

Monday… something… something…

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Monday – 15 June 2015
The new work week is under way. Where did the weekend go?! Oh, yeah… it was devoured by doing things. But, there was a fair measure of productivity involved.

Friday night we went to Noodles & Company, at Team DiVa’s behest. (Remember that point, it comes up later.) We haven’t been to N&C for a while, mostly because Diana decided a while back that she no longer likes macaroni and cheese. This was unfortunate, as we had long been able to get a regular-size bowl of mac and cheese and split it between them. They’d eat and life was good. So, we were a little surprised when they both said that they wanted to go. As much as I enjoy the food at Cafe Zupa’s, I was glad for the change of pace. So, we were off…

Vanessa boldly asserted that she wanted mac and cheese and Diana agreed to spaghetti with alfredo sauce and broccoli. Done and Done. There was a bit of… consternation on the girls’ part, when we got them water, rather than root beer.

*sigh*

We averted total drama meltdown by sacrificing my root beer to the girls. Shortly thereafter, the food arrived: Mac and cheese and spaghetti. Vanessa looked at hers and decided that she “…[didn’t] like that macaroni and cheese!” At the same time, Diana complained that she didn’t like her spaghetti, either. (It’s spaghetti. What’s not to like?!) Turned out that she didn’t like the alfredo sauce because it didn’t look the same as the sauce we used at home. Both girls resolved not to eat dinner.

::: braincramp :::

We got past macaroni disaster after Sara! stirred the shredded cheese in with the hot noodles. All of a sudden, it was the “right” macaroni and cheese! Hallelujah! One kid down, one to go. Diana still wouldn’t eat the noodles, but she was picking some of the broccoli out and eating it… as long as it didn’t have any of the alfredo on it. In an effort to both save our sanity and avoid sitting in the restaurant for hours, watching a child not-eat, I went and ordered a small bowl of spaghetti and broccoli. A couple minutes later it appeared, Diana was appeased and dinner was eaten. And I had a lovely serving of spaghetti and broccoli (with alfredo) to go.

The rest of the evening was relatively uneventful. Mercifully. A little after 8 PM, I received a message from my friend, Andrew:

Do you want to be in a movie, playing a well-dressed asshole at the bank?

With a line like that, how could I say “no?” So, I didn’t say “no.” And that’s how I wound up going to bed at 10:00 on a Friday night, so that I could get up at 3 AM to make a 4 AM call. About an hour later, I got another message, noting a change in venue. Still a 4 AM call, though.

Going to bed so early on a Friday seemed “wrong,” on many levels. But, I did it. Or, I tried to. I had the worst time getting to sleep. By the time the alarm went off, it felt more like a resignation to just get out of bed than having gotten a decent night’s sleep. Up. Shave. Dress. Go.

I got to the location with time to spare… and kill. The next five hours were spent learning lines, prepping, and shooting the movie – a short film for the 48 Hour Film Project. The cast and crew were great to work with and made it a very pleasant experience. “Pleasant” is an understatement, actually. It was a lot fun. I’ll post more about it when I can.

At 9 AM, I was done and headed home for Adventure #2: Going with Sara! to take Team DiVa to their first swimming lesson.

Poolside!

Poolside!

Things started off well enough. Then things went a little skewampus:

  • The girls were listed as being in the wrong class – not the beginner class. (Quickly resolved)
  • After a few minutes of dangling their feet in the water, Diana decided that “swimming” wasn’t for her. The reason: “I don’t know how to do that…!” The “that” in question was blowing bubbles in the water, which their instructor was showing the kids how to do.
  • A minute or two later, Vanessa was out of the water, too. Same reason. No amount of reasoning could persuade them to go back in the water. Sara finally told them that we couldn’t go to Redfish Lake this summer if they didn’t at least try. Voila! Success! Children in water!

Not too surprisingly, by the time it was over, they said had a great time and wanted to do it again.

The rest of Saturday was a little blurry – mostly because I was horribly tired and undercaffeinated. But, nothing of great import happened. Sara! and I did cap off the evening with cocktails and a movie: The Sorcerer and the White Snake, a Korean film, starring Jet Li. It was a little disjointed – a good bad movie, possibly a bad good movie. The jury is still out. It wasn’t great, but I’m still not sure if it deserves LEGO bricks or lawn darts.

Sunday was “cleaning up” and “room rearranging” day, after breakfast and a trip to Wheeler Farm.

Playing at Wheeler Farm

Playing at Wheeler Farm

Back home for lunch, a movie for the girls/nap for me, and then cleaning! We also rearranged the girls’ room for the first time since their beds went in. They seem to like the new layout, which is good, since they can’t really move the furniture by themselves and I don’t plan on moving it again for a few months, at least.

Workout
I made it to the gym this morning for a slightly abbreviated workout (skipped elliptical):

  • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 125 lbs
  • Standing Shoulder Dumbbell Press: 3 x 8 x 30 lbs
  • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Barbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (fwd): 3 x 15 x 40 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (rev): 3 x 15 x 40 lbs

Stray Toasters

And, we’ll call that good for now.

Namaste.

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.

“It’s lonely out in space…”

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Wednesday – 03 June 2015
It’s a sunny #NBNThursdayEve in the Land Behind the Zion Curtain.

Last night, I was putting Team DiVa to bed and, as they were getting into bed, they reminded me that “…we didn’t do a special story,” which is how I referred to Monday night’s D&D-style story. We spent the next ten minutes spinning a tale of their new adventure. (Yes, this made my inner #geekdad grin like a fiend.) They went to bed; I went to pick up this week’s comics. Win-Win.

I managed to make it to the gym this morning… after oversleeping. But, I went. I had a decent workout. Back home to help get Team DiVa ready for the day and out the door. And to get me ready and out the door, too.

Work’s been good and there haven’t been any major monkey wrenches thrown into my day, so I consider those all positive things.

Workout

  • Elliptical: 5 minutes/ 0.55 miles
  • Lat pulldown (wide grip): 3 x 8 x 70
  • Lat pulldown (short grip): 3 x 8 x 70
  • Dorsi Flexor row: 3 x 8 x 75
  • Row: 3 x 8 x 70
  • Standing tricep pulldown (rope): 3 x 8 x 70
  • Standing tricep press: 3 x 8 x 70

Stray Toasters

Quote of the Day
I found this quote as part of an interview with Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars:

Moving on doesn’t mean neglecting my past.

I like it. It strikes me as an interesting corollary to a couple lines from Time Stand Still by Rush:

I’m not looking back
But I want to look around me now

Namaste.

The Tale of the Gumdrop Pirates

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
The Tale of the Gumdrop Pirates

Tuesday – 02 June 2015
Today hasn’t been bad, on the whole. Sure, there was that whole “getting a ‘Can you look at this…?’ call at 5:30 this morning” thing. A problem that rectified itself while I was still hearing about what was broken.

*sigh*

Of course, that was after I’d been in bed for about four hours, because I’d forgotten to do some laundry that I needed for this morning – gym stuff, not skivvies – and had to stay up long enough to wash things and put them in the dryer.

*braincramp*

So, this morning’s trip to the gym was lost to the need for more sleep. I could have gone to the gym on four hours’ sleep, but I did that yesterday and I don’t relish getting that little sleep on back-to-back days.

Last night, I tried something new with Team DiVa. Rather than doing  Blue’s Clues or Wonder Pets before bed, I decided to go with a bedtime story for the girls. So… I went downstairs, got a few D&D supplements  (like you do), and proceeded to spin a tale about The Gumdrop Pirates – Captain Diana and First Mate Vanessa – “continuing” a story that my father-in-law made up for them a few weeks ago and that Sara spun a tale about, a few nights ago.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why the D&D books?” Easy answer: They gave me picture references for easy associations on the girls’ parts.

Examples: I told them that pirates had to have a sword, so they picked out the types of swords they wanted to “have” from one of the books. I was also able show pictures of a dragon (one showed up) and townspeople (because they started in a port town).

The other reason was: While I wasn’t exactly teaching them to play D&D, I did tell the story in an interactive manner, much like the way a DM sets the scene for a player group: I gave them a very broad situation – going to a store or talking to travelers – and let them tell me what they wanted to do. The basic story had them setting out on their ship, getting to port, getting supplies, traveling to a cave to find treasure (candy and gold coins – hey, it’s what they said they wanted to find), and returning home.

It went over well, the ladies did a great job explaining what it was “they” were doing and how they did it. My inner geek was pleased. After I finished the story, they wanted to tell stories, as well. They each told a variation of the story I’d just told, but with embellishments. I was quite proud of how they each put their own spin on the story.

After the ladies went to bed, I went downstairs to spend some time playing Disney Infinity… which is how I lost track of time and forgot about doing laundry, until far too late into the night.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Carve Away The Stone

Monday, June 1st, 2015
Carve Away The Stone

Monday – 01 June 2015
It’s Monday. It’s the first of June. And… something something something-or-other.

There’s far too much blood in my caffeinestream for me to be writing a post this early. And it’s already been far too long of a day – I received a lovely wake up call from room service our after-hours monitoring company at 4:15. One issue was a non-issue, according to my manager, the other was… relatively minor in my book, but still needed some attention.

An hour and change later, after getting confirmation that the alerts had cleared, I headed back to bed. In the back of my head was a notion to go to the gym. I pushed it way back. As I laid in bed, I realized a couple of distinct possibilities:

  1. I could fall asleep, just in time for my alarm to go off, or
  2. I might not fall asleep and just get steadily more irritable at not being able to sleep.

I got up and went to the gym. I have to say that it was more crowded at 6 AM than I expected – the ellipticals were almost all in use and the treadmills appeared to be equally employed. So, I skipped cardio today.

But, I didn’t skip doing my leg workout. One of these days, when I’m a bit more coherent – or, Heaven forbid, I actually plan it out the night before – I’ll add a couple of things to my leg routine. Since I was early (and also because I missed a few days last week with st00pid work issues and/or a sick kid), I went ahead and did my chest and biceps routine.

Back home, started waking up Team DiVa – Vanessa requested We Will Rock You (so she could sing to it) and Diana, much to my surprise, requested Because the Night, by Patti Smith… and to my greater surprise: started singing it! Yep, that’s my kid. After that, it was shower time and I just want to go back to bed getting dressed and ready for the day time.

Let’s see what the day brings.

Workout
Today was a double-workout day:

  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs (because I didn’t think to go do squats on the Smith rack)
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 60 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 65 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 115 lbs
  • Decline Press: 3 x 8 x 95 lbs
  • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 20 lbs
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Barbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
  • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Wrist Curls (fwd): 3 x 8 x 40
  • Wrist Curls (rev): 3 x 8 x 40

And it was good.

Stray Toasters

I should probably figure out what I want to do for lunch…

Namaste.

::: thunk :::

Friday, May 29th, 2015
::: thunk :::

Friday – 29 May 2015
“The best laid plans of mice and men…”

That is an excellent quote for the past 36 hours. Wednesday night, thanks to a couple of adorable children, I had a less-then-stellar night of sleep. As I noted yesterday, I figured that I might hit the gym after they went to bed last night.

No go, Flight.

I didn’t get out of the office until nearly 8:30 last night, chasing down what appeared to be a mail server issue. (More on this later.) By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was eat dinner and then do a lot of nothing. I was  highly successful at accomplishing both tasks. Before going to bed, I resolved to hit the gym this morning.

Strike Two!

Last night, Diana started getting a little sick and was up many times in the night. Mostly moaning “Mo-o-o-o-mmy…..” or “Da-a-a-a-a-ddy…..” or both. A couple of times, she came into our room for cuddles and/or to sleep. According to our Sense, either Sara or I (or both of us) were up about seven times last night. That made getting out of bed damn near impossible. I finally dragged my carcass out from the sheets around 7:45… and I felt like a zombie. (But nowhere as perky as Gwen Dylan/Liv Moore from iZombie (1, 2).)

Back in the office a little early – and a couple of cups of coffee later – I was informed that last night’s high-profile, high-priority email emergency was not only non-existent, but also a complete misunderstanding/miscommunication between two parties.

*grblsnrkx*

#ajobaintnuthinbutwork #LifeInIT

Aside from that, it’s been a decent day. It’s been relatively quiet.

It was also coworker Adam’s last day. He got “an offer he couldn’t (and shouldn’t have) refuse.” Fortunately, we only live a couple of miles apart and our daughters like playing together, so I don’t consider this him riding off into the sunset.

Stray Toasters

Okay, there’s a little more work to be plowed through before the day is done.

Namaste.

Confession…

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Confession...

Thursday – 28 May 2015
Another #NBNThursday is here. This one even came complete with sun… which hasn’t been seen (to a large extent) in a couple of weeks. It’s been good to get rain, but it’s also nice to know that the sun still exists.

This morning, I skipped the gym (but, didn’t skip a leg day!). Last night was a … difficult… night for sleep: I had a troubled time falling asleep, and once I did, I woke up multiple times to deal with children who were not sleeping well. Yay. Something had to give and I decided that it was my getting up at 6:30 to go to the gym.

My current conundrum is: Do I go this evening or do I give myself a/another rest day and just go on Saturday morning?

I’ll figure something out. Eventually.

Namaste.

“Moving ahead so life won’t pass my by…”

Saturday, May 16th, 2015
"Moving ahead so life won't pass my by..."

Friday – 15 May 2015
I should get around to writing this before it is no longer Friday.

Things have been good during my extended radio silence. What’s kept me from posting? Basically: Laziness. I’ll freely cop to that. That said, I had planned to write something this afternoon, but wound up getting wrapped up in a project and the next thing I knew,  it was time to get Team DiVa from daycare. Oh, well, better late than never. On the other hand, I got to have dinner with these two cuties, so it was worth it.

Dinner with Team DiVa

One of the good things of the past two-ish weeks has been that Sara and I have rejoined a gym. More specifically we joined Vasa Fitness, a rebranded gym that we used to go to before Team DiVa was born. We’ve been trying to figure out schedules that would allow us to both work out 2-3 times a week.

Another good thing from this week, was in a training class for work (at home!) which had an east coast-based schedule. That meant that I was up each morning for a 7:00 AM class. That also meant that my “lunch” time was around 10:30 each day. I used that time to go to the gym, instead. I actually like the idea of getting up a bit early and starting my day with a workout. My plan is to keep getting up around 6:30 and putting in forty-five minutes to an hour at the gym before getting on to the so-called “friction of the day.”

Sidenote (since I just made a Rush reference): I’ve been tracking my visits to the gym on Swarm/Foursquare with the tags #carveawaythestone. Why? Because it’s less typing than #OhDearLordHowAndWhyDidILetMyselfGetSoOutOfShape and a bit less embarrassing than #WhyDoesThisHurtSoMuch.

And, being back in the gym means that I need to start tracking my workouts again. So, let’s get the past couple weeks out of the way:

  • Thursday- 23 April 2015
    • Elliptical: 15 minutes, 1.3 miles
    • Lower Back Extensions: 3 sets / 10 reps
    • Bench Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 90 lbs
    • Inclined Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 50 lbs
    • Fly: 3 sets/8 reps – 2 sets, 70 lbs; 1 set, 90 lbs
  • Monday – 27 April 2015
    • Elliptical: 10 minutes, ~1 mile
    • Leg Raises (Roman Chair): 3 sets/10 reps
    • Rotary Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets/10 reps, 60 lbs
    • T-Bar Pulls: 3 sets/8 reps, 45 lbs
    • Standing Tricep Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 50 lbs
    • Seated Tricep Press: 3 sets/8 reps, 45 lbs
  • Wednesday – 29 April 2015
    • Elliptical: 10 minutes, ~1 mile
    • Leg Press: 3 x 10 x 60 lbs
    • Leg Extensions: 3 x 10 x 50 lbs
    • Leg Curl: 3 x 10 x 50 lbs
    • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 10 x 60
    • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 40
    • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 95 lbs
    • Reverse Punches: 3 x 10 x 10 lbs
    • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 20 lbs
    • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 20 lbs
    • Wrist Curls: 3 x 15 X 30 lbs (forward)
    • Wrist Curls: 3 x 15 x 30 lbs (reverse)
  • Tuesday – 05 May 2015
    • Elliptical: 10 minutes, 1 mile
    • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 95 lbs
    • Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 50 lbs
    • Fly: 3 x 8 x 60
    • Vertical Press: 3 x 8 x 50 lbs
    • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 20 lbs
    • Barbell Curl: 3 x 8 x 30 lbs
    • Dumbbell Curl: 3 x 8 x 20 lbs
    • Plank: 3 x 30 seconds
  • Saturday – 09 May 2015
    • Fitness Assessment
      • Walking High Kicks: 2 x 10 steps
      • Walking Quad Stretches: 2 x 10 steps (each leg)
      • Walking Butt Kicks: 2 x 10 steps (each leg)
      • Kettlebell Overhead Tricep Extensions: 3 x 10 x 15 lbs
      • Kettlebell Squats: 3 x 10 x 25 lbs
      • Lunges: 3 x 10 steps x 15 lbs (each hand)
      • Hollow-Body Hold: 3 x 30 seconds
      • Russian Twists: 3 x 10 x 20 lbs
  • Tuesday – 12 May 2015
    • Elliptical: 10 min, 1 mile
    • Smith Squats: 3 x 8 x 50 lbs
    • Leg Press: 3 x 10 x 60 lbs
    • Leg Extensions: 3 x 10 x 50 lbs
    • Leg Curls: 3 x 10 x 50 lbs
    • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 10 x 60 lbs
    • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
    • Seated Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
  • Wednesday – 13 May 2015
    • Elliptical: 10 min, 1 mile
    • Lat Pulldown: 3 x 8 x 60 lbs
    • Short Grip Pulldowns: 3 x 8 x 60 lbs
    • T-Bar Pulls: 3 x 8 x 25 lbs
    • Row: 3 x 8 x 60 lbs
    • Standing Rope Pulldown: 3 x 8 x 50 lbs
    • Standing Tricep Press: 3 x 8 x 40 lbs
  • Thursday – 14 May 2015
    • Treadmill: 10 minutes, ~0.7 mile (betw. 0 and 2% incline)
    • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
    • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 60 lbs
    • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 50 lbs
    • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 50 lbs
    • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 10 x 60
    • Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 40
    • Seated Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 25
  • Friday – 15 May 2015
    • Elliptical: 7 minutes, 0.75 mile
    • Bench Press: 3 x 8 x 115 lbs
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 1 @ 20 lbs/2 @ 25 lbs
    • Dumbbell Fly: 3 x 8 x 20 lbs
    • Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8 x 2 @ 20 lbs/1 @ 25 lbs
    • Wrist Curls: 3 x 15 x 2 @ 30 lbs/1 @ 40 lbs

And that was that. It’s going to take a while to get back to where I was when I stopped going to the gym, but I’m enjoying the journey so far.

Stray Toasters

  • Since cutting the cord, nearly two months ago now, I haven’t missed cable.
  • I’ve been quite pleased with and a occasionally surprised by my Comics-On-TV shows of late: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash, and iZombie.
  • By way of Mike B.: Space X gets certified to launch NASA science missions
  • I’ve seen Avengers: Age of Ultron twice now. I’ll see if I can’t type up a two-part review in the next day or two.
  • Team DiVa asked me to play Candy Land with them last weekend. It was, not surprisingly, the first time I’d played the game in many, many years. And, it was fun, too.
  • Check out this Flash Gordon animated short, by Rob Pratt
  • Confederates in the Jungle
  • I don’t recall how I stumbled across this item, On Being a Cripple, by Nancy Mairs, but it is a fantastic and fascinating read. It is long and, for some, might not be necessarily “easy” to read, but I think that it’s very much worth the time to read.

And, it’s well into Saturday morning, now. I guess I’ll just schedule this to post sometime after the sun is up.

Namaste.

Coffee and Other Things That Made Me Smile This Morning

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Coffee and Other Things That Made Me Smile This Morning

Thursday – 05 March 2015
It’s just another Manic Monday No Bad News Thursday.

My day started a little earlier than usual, as I had to be on-site about an hour-and-a-half early to follow up on a [EXPLETIVES DELETED] [REDACTED] project. As I was getting ready, I heard Vanessa milling about in her room. I went in and told her that it was still “sleeping time” and that she should go back to sleep. She didn’t, but she did lie quietly in bed.

Ten or fifteen minutes later, I heard her making (mostly) quiet noises; I went back in to check on her. She asked “Is the sun up?” I told her that it was, but that it wasn’t time to wake up yet; I asked if she wanted to go into the other bedroom and hang out with Sara! until it was time to get up. She said “no,” and that she wanted to read in bed. I told her that would be fine. She got one of her My Little Pony comics, crawled under her covers, and proceeded to “read” it.

Shortly, I was packed up and out the door. I didn’t set the coffee maker last night, therefore, I had no to-go cup of caffeinated goodness this morning. I rectified that with a trip to Pin-up Girl Espresso.

i-need-about-a-kiddie-pool-of-coffee-straight-to-my-dome-every-morning

I paid with a card, but didn’t have anything smaller than a $5 bill with me for a tip. So, I gave Mia the five, told her to take her tip out of it and to apply the rest to the next person’s drink order. Why not make someone else’s day a little better, if you can, after all?

On to work.

And that’s where I am. Time to chase down info for this project, put out some fires, and just be awesome. Possibly even in that order.

Quote of the Day
I messaged Sara! a little while ago, to see how morning prep with Team DiVa went. This was how that conversation went:

Robert:
Good morning!
I hope that getting under way wasn’t too bad…

Sara:
Good morning!
The only big meltdown was when the girls realized that you were already gone for the day and they couldn’t give you a hug and a kiss. It was meltdown city.

Robert:
Well, damn. I’m sorry.

Sara:
It was very sweet that they were so upset. It was okay. we sorted it out.

Robert:
Okay.

Sara:
And, we took a rocket ship ride to the moon this morning. Then the rocket ship took me to work. So the astronauts are going to stay on the moon all day, and the rocket ship will pick them up and bring them back to earth tonight.

Robert:
HAHAHAhA that’s awesome.

Sara:
Yeah, it was pretty good. DIana wasn’t into it this morning (contrast to yesterday) but by the time we were almost to learning tree she was on board looking for planets and aliens. So it turned out okay.

I love those kids and their imaginations.

As I noted above: It’s No Bad News Thursday… get out there and attack the day!

Namaste.

Day Four

Sunday, January 4th, 2015
Day Four

Sunday – 04 January 2015
Day 4: Via negativia; today, pick a habit that you’d like to eliminate from your life. Bad habits are like armpits, we all have ‘em and they all stink. Whether cutting soda out of your life, or putting a stop to your porn addiction; either way, as with yesterday, think about the steps you’ll take in order to put the kibosh on that negative habit. And again, also think about how you’ll keep yourself accountable to that goal.

This one is easy: I’d like to eliminate my occasional lack of patience with Team DiVa.

They’re three and despite their precocious natures, they sometimes – not surprisingly – act like… three-year-olds. There are times when they do things that are 180 degress opposite of what I’ve asked or told them to do.

At these times, my patience is tested… irritation peaks… and temper flares.

The main thing that I need to do is: Remember that they are three and respond to them calmly… even – or especially – when I want to explode inside. Take a deep breath. Walk away. You know: Be (or at least act like) a mature adult.

Fortunately, Sara! is good about pointing out when my response to the girls is disproportionate to their behavior. I’m becoming more aware of my reactions and and trying to be better about being more even-tempered in dealing with the girls when they’re pushing the envelope.

As the saying goes: The longest journey beings with a single step.

Namaste.

It’s like this was written about my day…

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
It's like this was written about my day...

Sara and I are in the middle of watching last night’s episode of The Walking Dead:. I was fast-forwarding through commericials, but missed my count and wound up going back to normal play speed just as this came up:

After spending the day with Team DiVa – and after the horrible night’s sleep, due to sick kids – I couldn’t stop laughing.

Well played, Vick’s. Well. Played.

Namaste.

Thoughts for a Monday Morning…

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Thoughts for a Monday Morning...

Monday – 03 November 2014
A new week (and a new month, give or take a couple of days) is upon us.

Friday was Hallowe’en. After picking up Team DiVa from “school,” we got ready to take them trick-or-treating and prepared for visitors of our own.

Superhero Ballerinas!

Superhero Ballerinas: Batgirl (Vanessa) and Wonder Woman (Diana)

To check out more pictures of our resident superheroes, click here.

We took the girls out about 6:40 (after dinner and getting costumes in order); we didn’t run into other trick-or-treaters. Our neighborhood doesn’t have tons of kids, but there are a few around.  I had expected to see at least one or two costumed kids out there. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nada. Not only that, but we didn’t receive any trick-or-treaters, either — we left candy and comics in a bowl on the front steps while we were gone. No takers. Oh, well. Their loss and more candy for us… like we needed it.

Saturday morning, Sara! headed off to quilting and Team DiVa and I hung out for a while. After Sara returned, I headed out to play in the “War of Light” HeroClix tournament at Dr. Volt’s. I went 1-2, but still had fun. Back home, Diana was starting to feel not-so-good, so we had a low-key afternoon around the house. I decided to see if there were any “new” cartoons that might be alright for the girls to watch. I was hoping to find something with Wonder Woman, but didn’t feel like giving Amazon money to watch old Super Friends episodes. I did, however, find episodes of Justice League of America and Teen Titans from 1967. The girls were able to readily identify Superman, Green Lantern, and The Flash from the JLA toons; they also mistook Wonder Girl for Wonder Woman in Teen Titans, but that was an easy mistake to clear up. On the plus side, they were rapt by the cartoons. Parenting win!

Sunday morning started early: 3 AM, when Diana started feeling sick (fever). She crawled into bed with Sara and me. For the next couple of hours, sleep became… not as easy as we would have liked. She went back to her room around 5 AM and we stole back to The Dreaming for a few more hours. After everyone was up, we went to breakfast at Millcreek Cafe and then took a Team DiVa-requested stroll around Wheeler Historic Farm. The girls took long naps, which afforded me the chance to put a major dent in cleaning up the Train Room. After nap time, the girls asked to watch more Teen Titans; so we did. Then it was time for Sara’s pre-birthday dinner at her parents’ house. Lamb curry. Pakora. Samosas. All good. Diana was still a little feverish and tired, so we put the girls to bed a little early.

Today, I’m playing Mr. Mom to one sick kid and one semi-sick kid, while trying to keep an occasional eye on work-related items… and watching more My Little Pony in one afternoon than I have in a month, apparently. That’s fine, though, because the cuddle factor makes it all worthwhile.

Namaste.

 

Team DiVa Tuesday: Pumpkin Edition

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Team DiVa Tuesday: Pumpkin Edition

Tuesday – 21 October 2014
A couple weekends ago, we went to the Pumpkin Point Farms pumpkin patch to get… pumpkins. Because that’s what you do at a pumpkin patch. That and wander through the corn maze, if they have one. (For the record: They had two; we went through both.)

IMG_3110

Last night, we decided to carve the largest pumpkin.  Since the little ladies are a wee bit young for sharp knives, Sara! had the great idea of letting them draw the jack o’ lantern’s face and then carving it later. (You may have seen Sara’s picture of the final product; she posted it last night.) The drawing process went a little something like this…

As you can see, they had fun drawing on the pumpkin.

What you don’t see are their reactions after Sara hollowed out the pumpkin and carved the face.
Short answer: They loved it.

Namaste.

Firebug

Monday, October 6th, 2014
Firebug

Monday – 06 October 2014
Sara! picked up JD McPherson‘s Signs and Signifiers CD a couple years ago. It’s stayed in pretty much constant rotation in her car’s CD changer.

Team DiVa – being the information/media sponges that they are, coupled with having us for parents – have rather eclectic musical tastes from “The Valkyrie Song” (Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyrie) to Schoolhouse Rock! to Bob Marley to Sesame Street’s C Is For Cookie to The B-52s (Love Shack and Rock Lobster) to Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking.

Firebug thumbnail

That being said, it really doesn’t come as much as a surprise that they sing as much of the chorus of Firebug as they know when it comes up. This happened yesterday, on the way home from the zoo:

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For those who’d like to hear the full song, click below:

Namaste.