Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peeling Onions

My latest project at work is like peeling onions. It's been going on for the whole quarter, and it's pretty much been a constant task of peeling one layer to reveal another one, peeling that and finding another one. And since I'm the first person to use this new technology, I'm the lucky one who gets to peel each layer back.

Just the other day I realized there's another reason the analogy fits so well.

Just like peeling onions, this project makes me cry.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Mary got a copy of Martha Stewart magazine last month. It was open on the table so I took a look (honestly, I was only there for the pictures). It was open to the page that had a photo of these:

They're not meringues, they're orange macaroons.

Make them, make them, make them.

(there are none left here)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Bring It!

Mary found out about this infomercial-style workout, P90X. Turns out, it's hugely popular - it got more searches than the hula-hoop, wii exercise, yoga, and other exercise searches last year. Some people Mary knew had gotten great results using this program to get/stay in shape.

I thought it sounded a little odd - the whole infomercial thing was kind of a turnoff. But, I like to think I'm a supportive husband, and I'm all for getting in better shape myself. So I said I'd be up for it.

Mary ordered the DVD's, and I got the power bands and pullup bar. The DVDs came along with a couple of brochures - one detailing the workouts and one with a meal plan. Turns out we're going to eat differently.

We sit down and watch one of the workouts (Chest and Back) before we embark on this... and it looked pretty good. Difficult to do, yes, but a real workout. And the main character, the dude behind the program, Tony Horton, seemed like a real guy. He told some corny jokes, was humorously self-deprecating - very watchable.

P90X is basically a workout 6 days a week, a different workout each day, and a change of the workouts every 4 weeks. Every 4th week is a "rest" week (which jives with all the reading I've done on training). The program pushes you, but does an ok job of showing you variants for
those who aren't as capable as the perfect specimens on the videos.

We decided to do the "lean" program, which differs from the "classic" in that there the lean program does one more aerobic day in place of a strength training day. Depending on how things go after the first 90 days, we might go back and do the "classic".

Mary and I took the pre-test, passing with nearly flying colors. I wasn't flexible enough (failing the toe touch).

That was over two weeks ago. We kept it up through Thanksgiving and all.

The workouts can be intense, but you can throttle it back if you want (you pansy).

What is really nice about the videos is that there's someone telling you what to do. It's kind of like watching TV, you plug in and turn off your mind. He tells you, do pushups, you do them - you don't have to think about it. Workouts on my own are usually laxidasical, I take longer and longer breaks or just decide it's time to hit the shower. Here he just lays it out, and no individual exercise is more than maybe 2 minutes, so you're always changing it up.

Plus, all the exercises are real and need minimal equipment. You're doing push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, jumps, stretches, punches, etc. etc.

Mary found a video on their web page where people told their stories. One of the ladies said that she often hears friends talk about celebrities, dismissing their fitness by saying, "well, if i had a
trainer telling me what to eat and what to do..." - this program does that for you. No more excuses.

We'll see if we keep it up for the 90 days, I think we can.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Rolls and "Dog Park"

The other morning, Simone and I hung out for a few hours alone. Simone decided she wanted to make something with flour, and she'd just found the packets of yeast, so I suggested we make rolls. Here are two pics of Simone kneading the dough. She can be quite the kitchen helper (she helped cut out and ice some gingerbread cookies just the other night).

After putting the rolls together, we chose to go to the "dog park" - which is a kids playground at the church down the street. They've got a fence around the park, so we go there and watch Hazel run around. Hazel still loves the slides, so we had a great time cheering her down them.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Everything seems to have two categories, regular and "kid-sized".

Simone and I were looking though a Christmas catalog at breakfast today (the cover had a 4 button trumpet, very silly). We got to the page that had the musical bells, looking like this:

What did dear Simone say? "Look Papa! Kid-sized plungers!"