Post-Thanksgiving, Post-London, but Pre-Vacation

I have four more work days this year, including today, and then I’m on holiday until January. That’s pretty exciting.

Staying on my diet through Thanksgiving was pretty easy. I just ate turkey, ham, and green beans, and saw my siblings and some extended family at my mom’s house. It had been almost 10 years since I had seen my brothers. One of my nieces was there and I hadn’t seen her in 24 years.

Then, the Monday after Thanksgiving, I went to London. I was able to stay on keto through the first week without too much trouble. Salads with chicken, a McDonald’s salad with a couple of hamburger patties on top, roast chicken and squash and other veggies. Not too bad.

The second week was a loss, though. It’s hard to avoid rice when you’re having Thai food every other meal. I didn’t drink a single beer, but I did drink two bottles of wine one night. There was a pot pie for dinner one day, and pizza another, and I lacked for choices. So not ideal, but I tried to manage my portion size at least, and I think avoiding beer helped.

I was back on keto as soon as I got home last Friday, and the re-adjustment has been a bit tough. I’m hungrier than I was, so I made a fat bomb yesterday comprised of almond butter, cocoa, cream cheese, and heavy whipping cream. Then I made hot chocolate last night with almond milk, cocoa, some vanilla powder, cinnamon, a bit of xanthan gum, some swerve, and a bit of heavy whipping cream. I didn’t have much sugar while in London, but it was enough to have me craving sweets again.

All’s well that end’s well:

  • Starting weight: 240
  • Goal weight: 190
  • Current weight: 223

It’s neat to see these numbers, because I forget between blog posts what I weighed. I’m weighing myself every 1-3 days and logging it into MyFitnessPal so it’s pretty incremental, then I blog and see I’ve dropped 5 pounds since my last weigh-in.

This week, I’m finally adding in the exercise that I was supposed to do in week 2. I have a new battery for my heart rate monitor, so I got that working this morning, then rowed for 20 minutes and stayed in the target range for 7, per Mark Sisson’s book. He recommends 2 hours of exercise every week, so I figure if I do this 20 minute routine every morning, 6 days a week, that should set me right. We’ll see if I can keep that up, though. It was nice to listen to NPR while rowing this morning.

I have an 8 a.m. meeting, so I better get going. Heading into the office this week since I haven’t been there in almost 3 weeks.

Family Vacation to Mt. Zion National Park in Utah

April and I have just returned from a vacation with her brothers, sister-in-law, and parents to Utah. We were there five nights, and it was the best vacation I’ve ever had. April’s family is wonderful, the scenery was beautiful, and despite some delays getting home, it was overall a relaxing and enjoyable trip.

I have a lot of photos in a Google+ gallery, but I wanted to write about the trip as well.

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Let’s get this out of the way::

I’m not entirely sure I want to blog, a word I’m using as a verb rather than a noun at the moment, and it’s mostly because I’m feeling content and happy and no particular pressure or impetus to reach beyond my immediate surroundings and speak. Except… except that there is something that needs said, and this is likely the best platform to say it from, which leaves me in a bit of a quandary.

And then, when I think about saying those things, I remember all the other things I haven’t said, and I feel like I must say those things first. So, this isn’t a rant about not blogging enough, nor is it a promise to blog more. I may blog exactly twice in the next month, including this current post. But the next post is important. This post just needs to be written so I can get it out of the way.

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PAX Plans

As many have noticed, I’m not at PAX. It’s a sad state of affairs, but our finances just didn’t make it this year and we’ll have to pay higher taxes next year, so a big trip right before tax-time seemed unwise.

Despite that, I’m already making plans for next year. April and I are charting a vacation in March over Spring Break that will take us to Oostberg, Wisconsin. From there, we’ll hit Chicago, and then we’ll hop over to Boston for PAX East.

Some friends of ours just moved to Oostberg so the husband of the duo could become the pastor of a church there, so we’re going to fly to Milwaukee, take a bus to Sheboygan, and see if they’ll pick us up there. On the return trip, after they get us to Sheboygan, we’ll take a train to Chicago where we’ll spend a couple of days. Flying from Chicago to Boston is only $100 a ticket, so we’ll hop on over a few days before PAX to explore the city.

I’ve got some work stuff going on that might result in a raise, so I’m hoping to manage both PAX East and PAX Prime next year, though attending Prime will be just a quick jaunt to Seattle for a three day party. The last time I attended PAX Prime it was a two week vacation for me, but since we’ll be doing Boston in March I won’t be able to afford two long vacates. A lot of people I met at PAX only attend Prime, so I’d really like to go there, but the timing is more difficult. PAX Prime is right after our fall semester starts, and since I work at a University it’s hard to get away. Spring Break for PAX East is a bit more convenient.

For those of you at PAX this year, I hope you all have a blast. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there, but hopefully we’ll see each other next year in the holy land. Have fun and stay safe!

Sore in all the wrong places

I can’t say I didn’t know the muscles existed. I’ve studied enough of the human form to know the major muscle groups. I’ve just never been sore in some of these places before–it’s a new experience, and not entirely to my liking.

Yesterday didn’t afford much of an opportunity for blogging. I woke up late so my walk was shorter than usual, and then the work day was ridiculous and busy to the effect that I only took a 20 minute lunch and then worked an hour late to get everything fixed and done. After work, I picked my bicycle up from Sunshine Bike Shop (who fixed it for free!) and bought a new helmet (since my old one was damaged) before coming home. It was worth it.

I was even more sore and slower today than I was yesterday.

April and I are heading up to Omaha, Nebraska today to visit her brother Eric and his girlfriend. I’m excited to get away for a couple of days, and then I have big plans for Monday (we’ll be back on Sunday) that will include some home improvements and maybe a photo blog.

I’ve disabled my work email on my iPhone for the weekend, so if you need to reach me, use the GMail address or text. (Note: the contact form on this site goes to GMail). I’m not sure if I’ll fitness blog while I’m in Nebraska, but if you’re really curious, my Runkeeper activities go to Twitter automatically so you can cheer me on there.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Breaking Radio Silence

Oh, hello there.

Brief recap of what did and did not happen this wonderful, phenomenal Winter Break.

  • We hosted Christmas for April’s family. Eric got into town a few days early, with the rest here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The day after Christmas, we traveled to St. Louis, and then visited Piedmont the day after the day after Christmas.
  • I got some awesome gifts. Now, Christmas isn’t about gifts, and what we really loved was having the chance to spend lots of time with our family. But it cannot be denied that I also played Dragon Age: Origins for about 60 hours this week. It may be the best game I have played in the last 6-8 years.
  • I didn’t write a whole lot. I was stymied on the story I wanted to write, and didn’t feel like I could write anything else until I made progress on it. That was stupid of me. I should have dropped it and done other things, coming back to it once I had something to write, but I got stalled and played Dragon Age instead. For what it’s worth, I finally found the idea I needed to drive the story forward, but it’s a bit late now.
  • I have had the best week of vacation ever.
  • Finally finished our D&D campaign. Not that it has comprised too many game sessions, but between us we have so many scheduling conflicts that we end up only playing about once a month. Since I’d originally intended this campaign to be 15 games, I had to revamp it and cut it short–we’d already been playing it over six months and it was getting old. Really looking forward to the next (much, much shorter) story arc.
  • April and I celebrated our second anniversary, somewhat to our surprise. Not that we’re surprised we lasted two years, because it’s been a pretty blessed and easy two years. It just came up on us fast. Totally awesome. We stayed in Springfield and saw local touristy things, like Bass Pro and fancy restaurants and little shops we never visit. Good times.
  • Snow!
  • Seriously, such a good week.

I don’t even feel [too] bad about not writing. April made the excellent observation that I really oughtn’t put a ton of pressure on myself to get everything done and caught up in the one week I have off a year. I should enjoy the time instead, and work harder to build writing time into my daily schedule instead of forcing a lot of it into this week. I was gratified by this and went right on playing Dragon Age.

I’ve got nothing prepped for this week, so I don’t know what the publishing schedule will be like. Need to get my sea legs back under me, so to speak. For the first time in six months, though, I do not dread going to work tomorrow. I had an amazingly productive end-of-the-semester and got everything done that I wanted to get done. There’s nothing really hanging over my head tomorrow. I have lots of good stuff to report. All-in-all, things are looking up.

Goodnight!

Winter 2009 Newsletter

I’ve been keeping up with blogging and publishing better this fall, even better than I had expected, but maybe you want to see some pictures, or maybe (for some reason we won’t discuss) you don’t check in often. It is for you that I carefully, gently, and with great love craft this newsletter.

If you’d like to receive this newsletter regularly, I’d suggest you drop your email in the bucket to get a copy when it comes out. Of course, they’ll show up here in the regular RSS feed as well, or you can subscribe to an RSS feed designed especially for them.

Download and/or view SilverPen News – Winter 2009.

Long, relaxing weekend

I took a day of vacation today, so after a few morning errands and chores, I have spent most of the afternoon on the sofa reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. April and I have been renting some of the older movies (we have recently watched numbers two and three) and I was in the mood for a better quality of Harry Potter. April lay on the other sofa with a purple blanket and Ophelia upon her, and Viola was curled upon a beige blanket near my head. It was pouring down rain outside, we were warm with fresh bread baking in the kitchen, and all was right with the world.

Listening to the rain drum on the chimney cover, I realized the room we were lounging in was half the size of our old apartment. April asked if I’d like her to bake some cookies and I said no, I wanted for nothing, and I was cozy and enjoying that the two of us were sitting in the same room for such a long period of time. It’s not that we don’t have free time where we sit in the same room, but every moment is to be cherished. I will remember today.

A moment of guilt reared up for not writing as I poured my fourth cup of coffee, but I shrugged it off and returned to my book. We need these good times, and besides, what would be the fun of life without them? I know of writers whose passion drove them to write constantly, who felt a burning, pressing need to get all their words and ideas out and onto paper. They foreswore their families, friends, and health to get the ideas written.

I want to be happy and enjoy my life. Writing makes me happy, so I do it sometimes. Lying on the couch with April and our snoozing cats (for I enjoy them much more when they are snoozing) makes me happy. Playing World of Warcraft sometimes makes me happy, coffee almost always does, and being warm and dry while it is raining outside is simply blissful.

Today is a good memory. It is part of a life worth living.

Moving very little

While April and I are in Eureka Springs to celebrate her graduation, we thought we’d do some bicycle riding through the beautiful Ozarks. Unfortunately, when I thought I was going towards a trail, I was actually going down a steep hill that ended in a sharp decline. I ended up falling about 3-5 feet, faceplanted, and broke my collarbone. All I could think at the time was, “Thank God I’m wearing a helmet.”

We don’t have our camera cable or I’d post pictures. My head’s bruised some and I probably had a mild concussion (with which I am quite familiar from my youth). My clavix, as it is more scientifically known, is very broken and will likely need surgery. I have an appointment with my primary physician on Monday who will then refer me to an orthopedic specialist.

The “ER” we visited in Eureka Springs was almost worthless. Despite there being no other patients there, it took forever for the doctor to see me, and the X-ray people were all kinds of slow, unprofessional, and frustrating. When I asked the “doctor” for more details, he said he just didn’t know and I should go to Cox hospital in Springfield to see someone who actually knew what they were talking about. The nurse was similarly clueless and the person in charge of billing could not tell us how much everything cost.

A section of the bone in the middle of my left shoulder on the front broke on both sides, so we could see it floating, displaced, on the X-rays. It hurts like hell if I move that arm/shoulder much, but I’ve got a sling and if I’m relatively still then I’m fine. Going to try to avoid taking the demerol they gave me because demerol leaves me unable to think coherently. If given the choice between physical pain and pseudo-insanity, I’m going to opt for the former.

That being said, I’ll pop a pill before bed. :-p

We haven’t decided when we’re driving back to Springfield. April wanted to leave tonight but the doctor suggested waiting at least one night (just about the only helpful thing he did). I’m pushing to remain here through the weekend and try to do most of the stuff we were going to (though horseback riding is out, sadly).

If you’re the praying type, I’d appreciate your prayers for a swift recovery and no long-term damage. I’ll be having surgery in a week or two as well, and maybe some physical therapy down the line.

Praise God it wasn’t worse. And remember kids, always wear your helmet.