Archive for the 'style' Category

This is me, (more than) slightly annoyed.

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
This is me, (more than) slightly annoyed.

Tuesday – 21 March 2017
This entry can be filed under “Some People’s Children…”

While doing renovations last year, our company added a cafeteria to our facility. The company that ran it couldn’t always keep up with the demand, so they are no longer here. Yes, this means that we have a largely unused space, but that’s another story.

Our Facilities Manager has done an outstanding job of coordinating with a number of local food trucks to have them fill the void. Today, we had a new-to-our-location truck, Bandera Brisket. They had walk-ups not only from our company, but from some of the other firms in the building, as well.  They didn’t know what the turnout would be, so they didn’t come loaded for bear. And they got SLAMMED. They showed up a little before 11:00 AM and, by the time I went out (12:20 PM-ish), they were out of many meats and some sides; I was the 5th or 6th person in line when they announced this.

The guy in front of me turned to me started complaining about “I came out here for brisket, but if it’s all gone before I get there, I’m going to be upset.”

SIDEBAR:
I understand having your heart, mind and taste buds all set for “Food X.” Been there, done that. I also understand that if you wait too long to go and get something, you might find that it’s already gone.

After the people in front of us were gone, he went up to the window and asked whether there was brisket. There was about 1/3 lb, which he got…
AND THEN proceeded to go on a diatribe about “If there hadn’t been any left, and he’d wasted his lunch time waiting for nothing, that he’d be mad…” Blah. Blah. Blah.

Let’s set the record straight on a few things:

  1. There is no requirement for us to have food trucks here.
  2. There is no requirement stating that you have to eat at the food truck, if one is here.
  3. The vendors didn’t know what to expect and it would have been foolish for them to come out here – for their first time – with a truck full of meat that didn’t sell.
  4. Put on your big boy pants and be happy that you have SOMETHING/ANYTHING to eat. Find a meat, ask them to cook it, pay for it, move on.

To me, these things all seem like easy concepts to grasp.
Maybe it’s me.
Maybe it’s Maybelline.

Either way, this comes under #firstworldproblems and it annoyed annoys me.

 

And, in the interest of full disclosure: I wanted brisket. I wound up getting their ribs – with a savory dry rub – and they were delicious.

Okay, rant over. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled Tuesday.

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.

Catching up.

Monday, February 20th, 2017
Catching up.

Monday – 20 February 2017
Today is President’s Day in the U.S.

For my President’s Day #morningcoffee picture, I used Lex Luthor. Because I could.

Today was a slightly busier-than-planned day, but still very good. Team DiVa, after sleeping in until after 9:30 on Sunday morning, were up at 7:30 this morning – Diana decided to play with the Kindle, while Vanessa decided that crawling into our bed was her best option. (To be honest, I still appreciate getting kid cuddles when I can, as I know that they won’t last forever.)

After breakfast (cinnamon rolls!), it was a kind of lazy morning… until 10:30, when I got an email from work.

<sarcasm>
Yay.
</sarcasm>

So, I did what any diligent IT guy would do: I made like Kool Moe Dee and I went to work. I got there and looked at the system in question, only to find that there was nothing wrong. At. All.

*grblsnrkx*

Back home in time to surprise Team DiVa with a trip to the theatre to see The LEGO Batman Movie. It was a big hit. (Sara and I enjoyed it, too.) Back home again before heading up to Park City for…

…dinner with Liz, a high school classmate:

With Liz (photobomb by Maya)

We met at the Wasatch Brew Pub in Park City, where Liz and her family are staying this week. It’s the first time we’ve seen each other since high school graduation. We had a nice dinner and caught up a little bit on the last three decades. (Man, it really seems like a long time when you put it that way…)

Diana, Liz, and Vanessa

 

Liz, Maya, and Michael

 

Diana, Maya, and Vanessa

After dinner, said our goodbyes and headed back to Salt Lake City. We got little ladies ready for bed, took care of a couple of chores, I caught up on a couple episodes of The Flash, including one that I somehow missed about three weeks ago.

And that brings us to now.

Stray Toasters

Tomorrow comes soon, I should probably start considering hitting the rack.

Namaste.

“…’cause I’m the Tall Cool One and I’m built to please.”

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
"...'cause I'm the Tall Cool One and I'm built to please."

Tuesday – 28 June 2016
Over the past few years, Sara and I have talked – mostly idly – about replacing some of the appliances in our home. One that we knew was on the long-range forecast was the refrigerator. It has, in the last three weeks, vaulted to the lead – something about having to defrost the bloody thing three times in less than two months kind of gets your attention. We hadn’t really discussed the type of replacement fridge we wanted; we just knew that we needed something “not as old” as our current fridge. Last night, we packed up Team DiVa and headed to the local Home-Away-from-Home Depot to check out the options.

Not surprisingly, they had many options.

One of the first ones we saw was a petite – no, really, we’re talking 9 cubic feet – fridge. I commented that we had found our fridge and that we could call it a night. I even suggested that we could get two for less than the price of one full-sized refrigerator – at almost the same storage capacity. I don’t think that Sara actually vocalized her thoughts, but the eye roll spoke volumes.

We looked up and down the aisles at the various models and prices: top-freezer, bottom-freezer, french door, four-door, ranging from $300 – $4500 (I’ll come back to this one in a minute). Team DiVa took advantage of this opportunity to open the doors that they could… and were shocked that some of them were “brr-coldy inside!” Shocked, I tell you!

I’d mentioned before that we weren’t sure what model we wanted. While walking around, we decided that a side-by-side model would be best, as it would allow the little ladies better access to both fridge and freezer – a prospect that excited both of them.

Fridge

And, although they didn’t say anything, I’m pretty sure that the built-in ice and water dispenser will be a hit as well, given how fond they are of the one on their grandparents’ refrigerator.

About that $4500 refrigerator that I mentioned earlier: It’s a four-door, 27.9 cubic foot appliance. With a touchscreen. And cameras. Just let that sink in. Ladies and gentlemen, say “Hello” to a fridge that costs many times more than a mortgage payment: The Samsung Family Hub 4-Door Flex French Door Refrigerator

samsung_fridge

 

The lower-right door? It can be either a fridge or a freezer. It has three (3) cooling zones – top, bottom-left, and bottom-right. The touchscreen? It’s wifi-enabled AND you can stream music to it or mirror your TV output to it (as long as it’s a qualifying model). Don’t want to open the door to look in? It has cameras to look at what’s inside. Yeah. Someone needs to drop a mic and walk off-stage…

…but for that kind of money, we could get a new air conditioner and keep the whole house cool. Granted, probably not “ice cream and frozen meat” cool, but you get the idea.

The new addition to the kitchen family will be delivered next week.

I’m (a) super… thanks for asking! (Part III)

Sunday, March 13th, 2016
I'm (a) super… thanks for asking! (Part III)

Saturday – 12 March 2016
(Some of this was written during my group’s break in the opera, some was written after.)

To liberate (in the name of the people!) a few words from The Muppet Show…

It’s time to put on makeup!
It’s time to light the lights!
It’s time to get things started
At [Utah Opera] tonight!

It is opening night for Utah Opera‘s Aida. I found out – as I was getting my costume on –  that I’m going to be filling in for another role for a couple of nights. No pressure. (LIES!) We did a rough walkthrough of my changes partway through my getting dressed. Different cues, entrances and exits. Yeah, no pressure. We did, however, head down to the stage, so that I could find my marks… five minutes before curtain.

Captain

Captain

 

Captains: Thomas, Richard, David, me, and Cayman

Captains: Thomas, Richard, David, me, and Cayman

They just called us for our first walk-on. I’ll finish writing this after I’ve either rocked it or embarrassed my ancestors, family, progeny, and myself.

::: heading up to stage :::

::: back from stage :::

Nailed it.

For my second and third walk-ons, I rejoined the other Captains for our regularly-scheduled roles. (Nailed those.) Then, there was a lot of waiting in the Green Room for Act III, in which we had no part. Fortunately, the others waiting for their calls helped keep the mood light and fun. Then came the curtain call. And then, my first opera as a supernumerary was over.

After the show, was the cast party at Squatter’s Pub. It was a nice – if a bit cozy – gathering. It was nice getting to have a more relaxed social interaction with members of the cast and crew.

me, with Garnett Bruce (director)

With Garnett Bruce (director)

 

Roy Dawson (Guard), Derrick Parker (Ramfis), and me

With Roy Dawson (Guard) and  Derrick Parker (Ramfis)

 

With Jennifer Cheek (Aida) and Roy Dawson (Guard)

With Jennifer Check (Aida) and Roy Dawson (Guard)

 

With Jonathan (Guard/Carrier) - no, we really didn't coordinate outfits intentionally.

With Jonathan (Guard/Carrier) – no, we didn’t intentionally coordinate outfits.

On the whole, this process has been amazing. As I’ve mentioned many times before, it’s been great to be part of the production. Thank you to SaraRules!, Michelle Peterson, and Christopher McBeth for suggesting that I jump into it! Thank you also to Garnett Bruce, our director, for making my – and many others’ – first supernumerary role a fun and inviting experience. Thanks also stage management, cast and crew for providing an opportunity to check something off my bucket list that I never even knew was on it! (Two things, actually, but let’s not quibble over minutiae.)

One show down, four to go…

…but for now, bed.

Namaste.

Friday!

Friday, March 11th, 2016
Friday!

Friday – 11 March 2016
It’s the end of the week! Of course, I thought that last week and wound up back in the office at 11:30 PM…

Tomorrow is opening night for Aida. If you:

  • are in the Salt Lake City metropolitan opera,
  • are looking for something different to do on a Saturday evening, and
  • like opera,

you should come check it out – ticket information can be found here. It’s pretty amazing. (Personally, it’s even more amazing, having seen what’s been going on behind-the-scenes.) Added bonus, you get to see about 100 more people1 (other than just Roy and me) dressed up as – and walking like – Egyptians:

AIDA: Captain (me) and Guard (Roy)

AIDA: Captain (me) and Guard (Roy)

sdfklj

Stray Toasters

  • Conversations like this are among the many reasons I love Sara:
    • 1:25pm
      Sara
      I apologize, in advance, if I come home with a windmill tonight.1:34pm

      Robert
      I’m sorry…. WHAT!?
      Like garden-sized windmill?1:36pm

      Sara
      Well, I’m going to a vintage market… there’s no telling what I might come home with this time.1:37pm
      Robert
      You bring home a windmill, I’m making a miniature golf course hole in the backyard.
      Just putting that out there.

      1:38pm
      Sara Kelly Neal
      Okay, I accept that gauntlet.

    • Minister Golf
  • Does anyone have a recommendation for a good OBD-II diagnostic scanner?
  • What is the order of the Gorillaz videos in terms of plot line?
  • It seems as though Shohreh Aghdashloo has joined the cast of Star Trek Beyond. That’s just a bonus, right there.

Namaste.

1 – DISCLAIMER: Not all 100 will be Egyptian; some will be dressed as Ethiopians.

I’m (a) super… (Part II)

Monday, March 7th, 2016
I'm (a) super... (Part II)

Monday – 07 March 2016
When I signed up for a part in Aida, I knew that there would be a couple of proverbial hoops to jump through. Rehearsals. Props. Costuming. All of which is to be expected when you’re in a production, be it stage or screen.

One of the things that came later – in the details of what it meant to be cast as a male super (a.k.a. “the fine print”) – was that I would have to be clean-shaven for the part. Finding out that I had to shave wasn’t a deal-breaker, but that’s not to say that I didn’t inquire as to whether it was an absolute for the role. I did, it was.

I’ve worn a goatee since… 1991 or 92, if memory serves correctly. Since then I have been clean-shaven exactly twice: Once for a friend’s wedding (September 1993)

1993

1993

and once for a Hallowe’en costume (October 2005).

2005

2005

 

As the pictures show, there is precedent for me having a naked chin. That said, Sara had never seen me without a goatee, nor (obviously) had Team DiVa. So as to not have an encore presentation of their reaction to Sara’s cutting her hair a few months ago – let’s just say that “less than pleased” is a gross understatement – I told them a few days ago that I was planning on shaving my goatee. That hurdle passed fairly easily. This morning, I asked them if they wanted to watch as I shaved it off, since I won’t see them until tomorrow morning – tonight’s rehearsal runs until well after their bedtime. They were both enthusiastic in saying “Yes!”

I went about my usual morning shaving routine, but also pulled out the clippers, to thin the goatee before using the razor. The girls kept asking “When are you going to shave it off?!” I had to inform them that it had to be done in steps. They were okay with that… but still impatient, as the hair apparently wasn’t coming off quickly enough for them.

A few minutes later, the deed was done:

Going, going, gone...

Going, going, gone…

And this is how I’ll look for the next two-ish weeks.

Namaste.

“He’s not concerned with yesterday, he knows constant change is here to stay…”

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
"He's not concerned with yesterday, he knows constant change is here to stay..."

Thursday – 25 February 2016
Another fine day in the valley…

Long story, short version: Stuff. Things. Adventure.

The slightly less-abridged version is: I woke up a little early and did a short workout with dumbbells and a Swiss ball this morning. I went to work , dealt with the usual things, dealt with one not-so-usual-anymore thing, and even wound up having a coworker decide to have “Neal Day” and wear a suit in my honor.

Suited

Changing the work dress code, one coworker at a time…

Sara pinged me in the late afternoon to ask if I’d mind picking up Team DiVa, as she had to work late. That also put me in (nominal) charge of figuring out what to do for dinner. I delegated that responsibility to the little ladies. We wound up going to McDonald’s. It wasn’t a total loss, though, as they asked if we could eat there, so they could play in the PlaySpace. (An easy way to make my kids happy? Bet.)

After dinner, we arrived at home a couple minutes before Sara. Sometime between her getting a bite to eat and giving the girls a bath, I fell asleep. Quickly and rather deeply asleep. I missed bath time, but I was up for pre-bedtime prep.

The little ones are now asleep. I have read comics. And, I do believe that there is a nominal amount of gaming in the evening’s future. Selah.

Stray Toasters

And, with that, it’s time to figure out what game to play…

Namaste.

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday – 16 June 2015
Happy 36th Anniversary to my parents (well, one set of them, anyway…)!

175

They’ve been married for 36 years and are still going strong.

Otherwise, today’s been a pretty average Tuesday.

Workout
Made it to the gym for another #neverskipalegday workout… and even upped the weight on each exercise.

  • Squats: 3 x 8 x 90 lbs
  • Leg Press: 3 x 8 x 120 lbs
  • Leg Extensions: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Leg Curls: 3 x 8 x 80 lbs
  • Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 120 lbs
  • Calf Raises: 3 x 8 x 100 lbs

Stray Toasters

Back to it.

Namaste.

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.

Mittwoch

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Mittwoch

Wednesday – 20 May 2015
I didn’t get up this morning to go to the gym. No, that’s not entirely correct. Let’s try that again: I woke up this morning, in time to go to the gym, but decided not to do so, thanks to a not-happy stomach and a headache. I regret nothing.

At work, I called into a meeting, had a couple of impromptu business-related talks with people and apparently spaced off another meeting altogether. Go, me! The later meeting was for a software upgrade – one that I didn’t have to do – and got pushed back a bit until I got to the office. It was further delayed by some VM issues, along with a side helping of someone needing a cluster of servers rebooted. The shutdowns were easy; the reboots were not, mostly because the servers were on a VMware host whose existence I was only tangentially aware of.

::: braincramp :::
“Drat these computers…”

But, I managed to get things resolved.

For lunch, Adam, Brad, Kelsey (!), and I went to Lucky 13. There was a pretty major wait for food, but it was worth it. I went with the Hot Pastrami and Swiss Burger; I was not let down.

Now, I’m tackling an issue that popped up this morning… as a side-effect of the software upgrade. We’ll see if that takes me until the end of the day to rectify.

Stray Toasters

  • David Letterman steps down from the late night stage tonight. I’ve been a fan of his since… 1985, I think. Possibly ’84. Either way, it’s the end of an era. I wish him well on the next leg of his journey.
  • I quite liked this series of strips from Sinfest:

    sinfest2015-05-13
    sinfest2015-05-14
    sinfest2015-05-15
    sinfest2015-05-16
  • Princes of the Apocalypse is D&D’s Killer App

.eof

Tautology

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
Tautology

Wednesday – 18 February 2015
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is also NBN Thursday Eve.

I was going to post something last night, but I got too distracted by The Flash and Firestorm(!)1.

And a RubySnap cookie and a glass of milk.

And Titanfall.

So, I’m posting today.

This past weekend, Sara!, Team DiVa and I took a trip to Promontory, UT to visit the Golden Spike National Historic Site (read: “TRAINS!!!”) and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. (For pictures, click here.) It was only a couple of hours to Golden Spike, which wasn’t as bad as I had thought. The site is way out in the middle of God’s own country, though. I commented to Sara! that for all the time – not really that much – that it took to get there at 65 MPH+, I could only imagine what it must have been like to try to cover that distance via horse, or wagon. Or, slower still, while trying to lay miles of railroad track. The site was nice, but I was a little disappointed that the locomotives weren’t on display. (That just means that I’ll have to head back up there to see the reenactment of the driving of the golden spike in May.)

From there, we headed out to the Spiral Jetty. While the two sites are only 15 miles apart, it took about 45 minutes to get from Golden Spike to the jetty. The water level on the Great Salt Lake was low. Very low. So low that we were able to walk out to the end of the jetty – 1500 feet – and we were still at least 300 feet from water!

Sunday, we decided to tackle a painting project: Our bedroom. Furniture out. Ladders in. Paint on. We moved our bed to the living room Sunday night, which threw Team DiVa for a bit of a loop Monday morning:

Diana: Why is your new bed in the living room?

Me: It’s not a “new” bed, we just moved it out here.

Diana: Oh.

We went on to explain that we did it since we were painting the bedroom; that answer appeased them.

Sara spent Monday morning/afternoon re-doing the baseboard and crown molding paint, while I vacuumed and shampooed the carpet, replaced four electrical outlets… and then tried to suss out why the overhead lights wouldn’t turn off.

*braincramp*

After a quick consultation with my father-in-law, he suggested that I check the old outlets and verify that they had broken metal connectors on the hot side. They did.  I broke the connectors on two of the new outlets and the lights worked in the manner to which we were accustomed once more!

We moved the furniture back in and slept in our newly-painted room on Monday night. Selah. It was a lot of ass-busting and elbow grease over two days, but it was worth it.

Stray Toasters

  • I stumbled across a picture of VP Biden holding/rubbing/whatever the shoulders of the newly-appointed Secretary of Defense’s wife last night and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add a caption:

    Creepy Vice-President is creepy...

    Creepy Vice-President is creepy.

  • Windows Updates. *sigh*
  • Despite the fact that Krispy Kreme UK unwittingly deemed today “KKK Wednesday,” I kind of still want a doughnut.
  • Today is apparently “National Drink Wine Day,” as well. I might have to imbibe a glass or two tonight.

And with that, I think I’m going to get “right on to the friction of the [rest of the] day.”

Namaste.

1Firestorm: The Nuclear Man debuted in 1978. I didn’t really become aware of the character until the second series, which started in 1982… but from then on, I was a fan. I haven’t been as invested in the New 52 version of the character, but I still like the character and the concept. So, when the news broke that he/they would be appearing on CW’s The Flash, my curiosity was piqued. The origin had been tweaked to fit the show, but it was close enough to the original for me. And, it featured all three of the main Firestorm characters – Ronnie Raymond, Martin Stein, and (in a nod to the updated, pre-New52 character) Jason Rusch.

Eighteen

Monday, January 19th, 2015
Eighteen

Sunday – 18 January 2015
Yes, it’s officially Monday, but I started on Sunday and I haven’t been to sleep yet, so there we go.

Day 18: Identify one project you’d like to complete with your hands. There’s something special about a man doing work with his bare hands, and most men today have lost that. Maybe you want to start a garden, or build a workbench in your garage. Maybe you’ve been meaning to upgrade your bathroom on your own volition. Once you identify that one project, write about what you have to do in order to complete it. Detail the steps, the resources, the help you’ll need, etc. Then, set about doing it. Come back to this entry as motivation when you see yourself wavering.

 

My first big thing was getting my Train Room completed. That was a great feeling. But there are still a few projects that I want to take care of, but top of the list would be:

  • Installing a new bathroom in the basement.

We’ve talked about this for a while and I think that this year is when we should hopefully be able to start tackling it.

To do so, we need to clear out the space (it’s become secondary storage), frame up the room and the utility room that will share the space, cut some concrete, put in a floor and the walls, and install a tub, sink, toilet and cabinets. You know… like you do. Of course, this means that I’ll be making more trips to Home-Away-From-Home Depot.

Help? I’m calling in my go-to construction guru: My father-in-law. As well as anyone else foolish enough to throw in with us.

It’s just a matter of time.

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.