Sunday, April 8, 2018


Geeze, it's been almost two months since my last post. I've finally found a window of time that coincides with the energy and desire to write in this little corner of the internet. I apologize to my avid reader(s) if you missed me. Trust me, I missed your anonymous upticks on my stats page as well.  Much has happened during the vacuous void of my absence from the blogging universe. In short, I've been busy. Here's a rundown of what all went down:

1. Lent

Oddly, my absence correlates with the start of the lenten season. This is mostly coincidence as my original lenten sacrifice was going to be fountain soda when I eat at restaurants (gas station hot dogs count as restaurant food too, right?).  I'm not overly religious, but I do like the idea of periods of self-temperance and abstinance (get your mind(s) out of the gutter, I'm meaning in a general sense).

This first world "sacrifice" actually went quite well and actually I lost a big chunk of my soda craving for the moment. However, it ended up not being the thing I really decided to give up to alleviate my soul. That ended up being Facebook. 

Facebook gets me worked up. Yes, I post links to these blogs on Facebook, but I also read way too many political postings and beyond that way too many comments from people I don't know and end up finding I want to know them even less. I find myself going stark raving partisan (partisan to the left, if you must know).  That, in a sense is unfair and not inline with what I deem to be a need for personal stoicism. Having a clear heads, steady hands and the ability to empathize, even with those you disagree with, are important to me especially as I can really lose my proverbial $h!t when I get too worked up. 

Thus, when I decided to change phones on account of my Samsung becoming unworkable, I decided to be very slow to put apps on my phone. After a few days I found that not only had I not put the Facebook app on my phone, but I was resistant to the idea. Thus, I gave up the social media cesspool for the remainder of the season. 

The challenge is FB plays more and more prominently in people's personal lives.  I missed the initial family invite to Easter. I missed on wishing people happy birthdays and some of the more joyous benefits of the app. I'm finding that other apps such as Instagram make up some of that, but they do it in bits and pieces.

I still haven't added the Facebook app to my phone, but I have checked it out through a browser. I think this will help with some moderation. I still mean to share these postings, but I intend for Zuckerberg to have a bit less of my attention over-all. 

2. 40

As of March 30th, 2018 I am in my forties. Now that it's happened, I really don't care. The water is fine, life goes on, etc. etc. The week running up to it though was a little stressful though. I have no clue why. I think I got caught up in some imagery of family taking enough time to throw a larger than usual gala for me or something like that. Talk about gaming myself for disappointment. I knew nothing was going to happen beyond normal family dinner and such. I turned 40, not 18 (voting and military), not 21 (drinking without the sneakyness, not 30 ("real" adulthood), not 50 (half dead, sorry optimists it's just half dead, the half alive already happened and is gone).

I also, took some time off from work. Maybe it's another growth point, but I don't know what to do with myself outside of work sometimes. To complicate things, it was the last week of the quarter/fiscal year so we were trying to make deadlines that just weren't happening. My MTW half-days turned into quarter days and I spend a little of my birthday helping get a proposal out. The kids were on spring break so a good chunk of the rest of the time was coordinating their needs. They are tween-ish now so they don't need so much continual care. Still they need to be fed and at times disciplined or entertained.

In the end it was great once I finally got the expectations/perspective in check. Prime rib at my folks' Friday. My girlfriend and I went to dinner at Brit's pub followed by Tiramisu from Caffe Biaggio and a pint from Lake Monster Brewing on Saturday and we did Easter with both sides of the family on Sunday. It was a good weekend and now that I'm 40 I can give less of a care about may things supposedly.

3. My Car

My clutch on my car finally wore out beyond my tolerance. Thus, the great clutch job of 2018 began last week. It always takes longer than I expect. getting the car apart is the easy part. Now we're in the process of remembering "oh yeah, that bolt was rusted on and we had to cut it" along with taking care to get the right parts in the right places. My adjusted hope is to have the car back on the road by the end of next weekend.

I do need to give a "shout out" to my dad who has been helping me and to my folks in general for letting me use their old Honda Civic with 300K miles on it as a loaner.

The weather hasn't cooperated, it's been cold and we even got several inches of snow last week. It's frustrating, but it's also life in Minnesota.

4. The Gym 

Call me a flip/flopper, but I got tired of the YMCA. It was enough out of the way that the commute took long. It was crowded. Parking was frustrating. Ultimately, I feel it's no longer the place for me as I don't have little kids and don't really use their programs, etc.  I want convenience and to be able to build some consistency. I still don't want a discount place as I'd like to be able to swim, play raquetball, etc. Thus, I'm giving Lifetime fitness a try. It's about the same cost as the "Y" and I'm liking it so far aside from the free "training" session I got which was just a sales pitch for all the nutrition products they sell.

The trainer said he could have me looking like an NFL linebacker if I went all in with him as well. Well, note above, I'm 40, I have kids, a job, a girlfriend and plenty of things to do besides trying to eat 230g of protein and drink a gallon of fish oil a day while working a program that has me comatose the rest of the day. I said I'd be up for a few pointers, but that I just wanted to build some consistency.

Beyond that, the switch has been good. I have two gyms to pick from, one is exactly mid-way between work and home and close to the lake I like to jog around in the summer. The other has plenty of raquetball courts and things to do. I signed the kids up too and we've already gone a couple times. When it's just me, the crowd is a little more in line with the kind of lifting and cardio I do so it feels more natural.

I'm trying to put some lifting first followed by more varied intensity cardio, I'm trying to look at the scale less too for the moment. I'm feeling good so far.

5. Other

I've also had a few other things going on including:
And as Porkey Pig says,

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