As you can see I don’t actually update this site too much anymore. Been so very busy the last couple of years. In fact you might have noticed I just published a post I wrote last year, making it about two years since I updated anything here. (I decided to publish that post without really proofreading/fixing it.)
This last year I lost and regained about 10 more lbs, dropping down to a low of 208.9 in August just before running another San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon (2:11:44 slightly faster than last year). Post Marathon I put all the weight back on and I’m back up to 220ish. This year I’m planning to run the San Francisco Rock and Roll Half Marathon in April and I need to get back on track with my training. I injured myself in December and had to take a month off running, so I only have a couple of months to get myself back up to 13.1 miles.
Probably the biggest factor in my slip was that rather than doing long runs or bike rides on the weekend I’ve been looking to buy a house here in the Bay Area. To that end I’ve spent several hours each weekend looking at houses in my price range trying to find one I like. So far I haven’t had any luck, and the prices are just going up, up, up here. Coming from the midwest it’s so painful to find out that if I want a home with a reasonable commute I’m looking at spending $600-800k for a 1,300 sq ft house.
Besides looking at housing I started “hoarding” beer this last year and have quite a collection of craft beers. I probably should start reviewing them here so I have an excuse for the collection. I sadly need to start actually drinking some of these beers before they get bad, which sort of goes against my goal to lose weight.
My goal for the next couple of months is to get on track with my health again and should start sharing my weight log/graph on this site and logging what I’ve been up to to keep myself honest. I just have to figure out how to link this from Google Docs.
In addition to all the extra curricular activities I’ve been a lot busier at work this last year. I got a “promotion” to a lead position which basically means I’m now doing everything I used to do plus another person worth of work. This plus the house hunting has left me with no time to play any games or see many movies this last year.
Well I can’t believe it’s been almost an entire year since I last posted to this thing. Originally I had hoped to be making a post within a month or so of my last one with the news my weight loss had continued and that I had moved out of the “obese” category and become only “overweight”. Sadly that was not to be as I’ve had a busy year and haven’t been able to keep up with my diet.
So what has happened with me over the last year? So much I’m not even sure where to start. Probably the biggest news is that in late February of last year I met a wonderful girl who’s company I enjoy greatly. This turn of events has taken up quite of bit of my time over the last year so I haven’t done too many long bike rides over the last year. Just not enough time on the weekends to spend 2-4 hours pedaling around the bay. I think this year I need to try and make some more time for biking since I still want to try to bike to San Francisco from San Jose. Though I also have to balance this with finding time to hang out with my Girlfriend, since she’s not the biggest fan of two wheeled vehicles (though she does like that whole running thing).
I did continue with my plan to go running and have managed to go from not being able to run for more than 10 seconds in Nov of 2010 to finishing all 13.1 miles of the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon with a time of 2:12:58 in October 2011. That’s a about a 10 min/mile pace. The 10k I mentioned in my last post was my first run (and was really the Bay to Breakers 12k), and there I managed 7.46 miles in 01:23:25 (11:12 per mile).
In addition to running I did a couple other outdoor activities this year. I went skiing a couple of times last winter. I also took a couple lessons and actually learned how to “parallel” ski instead of just do a wedge down the hill. With a couple lessons I went from being afraid of the “blue” hills in Tahoe to managing a trip down a Black Diamond rated hill.
Once it warmed up a bit I went backpacking with my Girlfriend and a few friends and we did the Skyline to the Sea Trail through Big Basin State park. This was a lot of fun and I’d love to do another backpacking trip this year. I just need to go find myself a pack.
I bought a Motorcycle which has been fun to drive for those occasions where my bike is a bit far/slow for where I want to go and I don’t need the extra space of my car.
I did manage to lose another 10-20lbs but I’ve been stuck around 225 for the last year. Hopefully next year I’ll make some more forward progress.
So I’ve been a large person for many years, one year ago today I decided to start recording my weight and do something about it. My original goal was to lose about 100lbs in a year. To attain that goal I made some changes to my diet, and added a lot more physical activity to my life. I now eat a lot more Â vegetables and I’ve cut a lot of unhealthy food out of my diet. Â I also bike 3 miles to work everyday, fit in a 20-40 mile ride on the weekends, jog a couple times a week (hoping I can run a 10k in May), and lift weights 3 times a week.
Despite all that it turns out losing weight is hard and one year later I didn’t hit my original goal, though I do feel a lot better than I have in years. In the last year I went from 289lbs down to 234lbs, a net loss of 55lbs over the course of a year. I’ve also shaved 6-8 inches off my waistline since I started last January.
Not my original goal, but still within the “healthy” weight loss rate of 1-2lbs a week. Looks like I have another year or so to go to hit my final goal, though perhaps I can do a bit better in this new year.
Starting early tomorrow I’m taking off for the land of the rising sun for my second time. This time around I’ll be spending two weeks in Japan though I’ll only be visiting Nikko, Kyoto, Nara, and Tokyo this time. I sort of wish that we could travel a bit more, but I’m meeting my brother who’s studying abroad and he doesn’t qualify for a Japanrails pass. Without the pass a lot of train travel would be prohibitively expensive, especially since he’s on a college budget.
But it should be fun in any case, I’m excited to see more of the Temples in Kyoto, actually make it to Nara, and see the National World Heritage site in Nikko. I’m also looking forward to some shopping in Akihabara, seeing the Tokyo National Museum, and the Studio Ghibli Museum.
Everything is booked/lined up for us except train tickets, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get a ticket to Nikko from Narita with little hassle. My biggest concern is that the Hotel I’m staying at says the front desk closes at 10pm and the earliest I’ll be able to make it to Nikko is 9:42pm.Â Hopefully everything goes well and I can catch the right train connections.
Anyways I plan to take a few notes of my adventures and take lots of pictures. Maybe I’ll post a summary of the trip here when I get done.
Tomorrow morning at 9:05am I fly out of SFO on my way to a 10 days in Rome and Venice, Italy. If you couldn’t tell from my lack of blog updates I’ve been pretty much just working long hours, sleeping, and occasionally studying Japanese since my last post. I’ve also taken up playing Dungeon’s and Dragons every other weekend which is suprisingly fun, and not too nerdy (I hope).
So right now I’m looking forward to the trip and spending time away from computers and work! (Sorry I doubt I’ll blog while there, but I might bring a notebook!) Even so I’m not going totally tech free on this trip, while the laptop will stay at home, I picked up 32GB of CF cards for my dSLRÂ and 4GB of cards for my point and shoot camera so I should be taking lots of pictures. I’m also bringing my PSP for some entertainment while on the airplane. Hopefully, I’ll have some fun photos or stories to share about my trip when I get back. I also might actually beat more than 2 mission in Final Fantasy: Tactics.
Also besides this big trip to Italy tomorrow I have a few other exciting trips planned. I’m going to a friend’s wedding back in WI in the middle of July, and in August I’m taking a couple days off to go to Blizzcon!
For Christmas this year my Mom and Dad got me a KitchenAid Pro mixer. I had been planning to get one of these for awhile since all I have for mixing is a wooden spoon. While a spoon works for many things, it makes baking more work than it’s worth.
Today IÂ cleaned up my kitchen a bit and made some room for the mixer. This thing is huge and takes up a large chunk of my counter. Honestly, I don’t really have enough room for this beast. Especially as I still have a deep fryer from my last cooking “experiment” sitting around.
Anyhow, after rearranging and wiping off my counter I whipped up a batch of pizza dough (recipe courtesy of my graduate advisor’s husband). Making the dough was a cinch with the new mixer. Just add water, yeast, flour, oil, salt, and sugar. Turn on the dough hook and wait 10 minutes. Of course I had to wait an hour for the dough to rise but at least I didn’t make a huge mess kneading it.
So once I got some finished risen dough I put it to use,Â sadly I couldn’t make a pizza since I had no cheese. Instead I decided to make a few small balls of dough, and bake it up as a pizza dough twists to go with the pasta I was making.
To top the rolls I made an olive oil, garlic, basil, and oregano pesto like mix to coat the buns. Since I had no recipe I pretty much threw these ingredients in randomly. Sadly I put way too much garlic powder in. In fact I had enough the rolls had a bit of a garlic “bite” to them.
While the rolls were still good this is one case were I’d say I used too much garlic. Despite the overabundance of garlic I think my first mixer experiment was a success. I’m now considering starting to bake my own fresh bread since it was so easy.
On the recommendation of a friend I checked out the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time. I started by watching Season 1 via Netflix. While this is a great service it can be painfully slow while watching a TV show. So I did what anyone who has become hooked on a show does, I went out and bought all 7 seasons on DVD. What I discovered was that I missed a damn good show on TV from 1997-2003.
If you’re like me and somehow managed to miss this show the first time around I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Especially if you like Joss Whedon’s other shows like Firefly. The only downside to all this is that I ended up going through all 7 seasons in < 3 weeks.
It looks like Blizzard has decided to host a Blizzcon convention for the year 2008 down in Anaheim Oct 10th-11th. As I’m currently fairly active playing WoW at the moment I’m tempted to go to learn about their upcoming games, try out Starcraft II, and maybe meet some WoW guildies in real life.
I’ve never been to a convention like this and I’m not sure I want to go by myself. My “real life” friends who play WoW are all still at school and hitting up a convention is probably out for them. Anyone out there ever been to something like Blizzcon (Comic Con, GenCon or some other ConCon)? Is this something that’s worth going to by oneself or does it need to be experienced with friends. Something tells me it’s not worth going unless I can drag convince someone to come with.
Well the bay area has deceived me, it’s weather is not as perfect as one is lead to believe. It appears that the highs for the next few days are going to be record setting. That’s right the forecast calls for Sunny (Duh), a super high UV index, and highs of 97, 106, 97 for Wed, Thurs, Fri. Turning on that Intel Quadcore is going to be a bad idea.
I would worry about an expensive power bill if I my apartment had an AC unit, but it doesn’t. What I do have is a box fan and a small window room ac unit from a previous trip to CA. Too bad the AC doesn’t fit in the window and I fear dropping it 2 stories onto someone in the parking lot. Last time I was at the store they really didn’t have any other AC units in stock since it’s still fairly early in the summer.
Given these crazy highs I might have to hang at work or something until it cools off at night. The saddest part is the AC at work is probably cranked so high I need to wear long sleeves and a jacket, so much for shorts.
Been awhile since I’ve posted but I do have a few things in the queue.
I did manage to find more cheese out here in CA. In fact I did find cheese curds at the farmer’s market in Campbell.
With curds in hand I decided I needed to improve them by turning them properly molten. To that end I ordered a Deep Fryer off Amazon.com. In just under a weeks time I had everything I needed to transform the curds into molten goodness.
Deepfryer in hand I was now able to fry some curds. Just in case the curds didn’t turn out I also decided to make some french fries.
While the fries were frying I whipped up some batter for the curds.
Battering time! As you can see I froze the curds prior to this step so they’re all stuck together.
While preparing the curds the fries got done. Golden and delicious!
Time for the newly battered curds to take a plunge. At this point the batter is still pretty damp and dripping off the curds.
Fried curds all molten and golden. That light stuff floating around them are bits of batter that became detached during the frying. It seems my homemade batter was a bit thick and some of it floated off in the fryer.
Oops I tried to dump them out but I made the mistake of having runny batter on the curds when they went in. The batter has cooked itself around the fry basket and so the curds won’t come out. I did manage to eat the curds by hacking them out of the basket.
I also made some brats for a full WI meal.
Due to the batter melding to the basket I wasn’t able to actually fry all the curds. I ended up freezing a bunch of them for later. Using frozen curds with frozen batter works a lot better when frying. They still ended up as a giant lump since I cooked them to long but at least they came out of the basket.