Saturday, January 30, 2010

Obviously, I failed that test...

I ran across town to get a couple of cases of Dr Pepper this afternoon. I was totally out and Saturday is the day that the little grocery store gets it's shipment of "The Good Stuff" - Dr Pepper made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar.

Anyways, I have only hit one or two all afternoon but I noticed The Boss Lady working on her third. The following conversation went bad for me REAL quick...

Me - "Hey, take it easy. I just bought those and they cost 75 cents a piece.
She Who Must not be Ignored - Are you saying I am not worth 75 cents?
Me - Uh, is that a trick question?"

Maybe I'll drink another Dr Pepper. When my jaw stops hurting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Walking update

I have been blogging about my walking progress over on another site, AtHomeDaddyGPS, a blog I use to keep up with my geocaching adventures. But I figured I should post up over here once in a while, too.

As of today I have walked more than 60 miles since starting up on Jan 11. Also today I crossed a new thresh hold and I was able to jog half of my 5 mile route. When I started out I wasn't going to jog, I was trying to take it easy on my knees. This week I started jogging as I feel able to and so far I have not been any more sore than after a hard walk.

I still haven't seen much difference on the scale, maybe 5 pounds lost, but I am certainly noticing a difference in my endurance and distance. The first week I struggled to walk 20 miles total. Today I have traveled more than 5 miles and may go out again and knock out an easy mile or two before the kids get home.

When I set out this morning I did not have a specific goal in mind, but after a couple of miles on the trail I realized that if I kept up the effort, I could finish up a 5 mile trip in under an hour. A trip that originally took me more than 90 minutes.

Town Lake Hike and Bike

Map your trip with EveryTrail

Friday, January 15, 2010


On Monday I mentioned that I was going to renew my efforts to get off of the couch while the kids are at school. I walked a little over 5 miles on Monday and I did 5 miles again on Tuesday. I walked for a while with one of our older neighbors which slowed me down a little bit but also made the last couple of miles a lot more enjoyable. By dinner time that evening I was rethinking my new efforts at getting fit. My legs were feeling every step of the previous two days.

On Wednesday I was almost done with mile 4. I was out on the hiking trail and heading home. I heard my phone chirp that a new email was waiting, so I did a quick check while I was walking down the trail. My web enabled phone is a new toy and I haven't yet started ignoring it each time it alerts me to a new message. It was lucky that I did not ignore the message this time. A neighbor's dog had run off and had been spotted heading for the trail I was currently walking on.

I started calling the puppy, but I made it to the trail with no sign of the dog. As I was getting to the house I saw the neighbor who was headed out to search for the puppy again. I grabbed my car and a leash and headed to the opposite end of the park, The neighbor headed to the trail I had just hiked.

We each hiked into the park and met up in the middle of the trail but neither of us had found the puppy. I was ready to sit for a while, so I decided to drive the neighborhood streets, and search for the puppy who now had a couple of hour head start. As I was driving down a dead end street a car came up behind me, flashing it's lights. I was moving slow but I was on a mission, so I kept my pace and just figured some jerk wanted to pass me.

Better sense took hold of me and I did not yell at the alleged jerk. Good thing too, because the driver was out driving around, trying to see if she could find anyone out driving around looking for a lost puppy. She had found the puppy and taken it home to her house.

I followed her over there, picked up the puppy and called the neighbor. We had completed a successful puppy search!

For the record, I finished up my 5 miles while I was walking back to get my car after searching the trail the second time. But my sore legs combined with stopping to listen for the puppy every few steps slowed my average speed down a little bit that day.

I skipped out on walking on Thursday. No need to over do this whole walking-the-neighborhood-hero thing. Plus it was raining and I had a headache. But mainly I just didn't wanna. My legs were tired.

I hit the neighborhood streets in a light rain this morning, 5 miles in the 'hood is a lot more boring than 5 miles on the trails, but I didn't want to end up a muddy mess, so I cruised the sidewalks today. I did my 5 miles, plus some extra, in 1 hour and 25 minutes. The fastest I have gone this far.

On Monday I set a goal to walk 20 miles before Friday night. In the end I managed a little extra, 20.8 miles total. Next week I want to try to walk 30 miles over 6 days (Full disclosure, I am counting tomorrow's walk towards that goal.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The boy is 8!

The Talker is now 8 years old. And he says it has been a great birthday, maybe even "the best ever"!

We are bypassing the big birthday party extravaganzas for the kids this year, in favor of smaller, more family focused (meaning cheaper!) events. Besides that, I turn 40 this year and I want to have the cool party!

Last night The Talker picked the dinner venue and he got to take one of his best buddies. The Talker chose to have his birthday dinner at our favorite steakhouse. That's my boy! We celebrated a day early since the boy's basketball team practices on Wednesday evenings and The Talker could not be dissuaded from attending practice.

This morning, before school, he got to open one gift. The Boss Lady, little sister and I picked out a Dallas Cowboys football set for his gift from the family. The Talker loves to play pretend football games in the backyard. He dresses in all of his gear, runs plays, scream and yells and even keeps score.

The Talker has several team jerseys and t-shirts, but so far his only football helmet has been from a Houston Texans play set that he has had for a couple of years. Now he can dress like a real winner! Ironically, I ordered the set from Meijer, who does not even have a store in Texas as far as I know, for $20 less than I could pick the same gear up locally.

Today at lunchtime I visited the kids at school, celebratory chocolate covered donuts in hand. Then for dinner I whipped up one of the kid's favorite meals, pork chops, mashed taters and green beans. OK, the kids could do without the green beans. The Boss Lady made an awesome birthday cake and we chowed down after basketball practice.

Considering we started this party at dinnertime yesterday and things are just now winding down, 28 hours later, I think The Talker's 8th birthday will be one for his memory book!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting out

To be real honest, I don't do much when the kids and wife are gone during the day. I know that surprises you.

Oh, I think I do an OK job of keeping the house in a reasonable condition and I am pretty sure The Boss Lady has forgotten where we keep the laundry machines, but I just end up hanging around the house most of the time. There are a few reasons for this. The main reasons I hang out at home are guilt and cash.

I don't want to be out spending cash, so I stay home. And I feel bad that I have free time to do stuff that the wife and kids don't, so I stay home.

Cubicle Dad has been blogging about his efforts to prepare for the October 2010 Chicago Marathon. I have kept up with his posts via Twitter, Facebook and his blog, but still I have stayed home. And as I watch the progress in Chicago, I sit here, weighing more than I have in my entire life and feeling a lot worse. It took me a while, but I have finally realized that sitting on the couch, watching TV is not doing me any favors.

Today I tried something new. I got out and got moving. I went for a hike in the park. The trails are nice and the place is quiet and serene on weekday mornings. I was hoping to walk 5 miles this morning. Turns out when you sit on the couch for half a year, 5 miles is a lot to try on the first outing but I did manage almost 3 miles this morning and I scored a new geocache find along the way. I hauled my hand held GPS with me to hunt the geocache, but I think I'll take it with me for the rest of the week to see how far I can go.

The kids won't be getting off of the bus for 90 minutes, so I am going to see if I can finish my 5 miles before then. I am taking the GPS with me, to keep myself honest.

It is only Monday and I have exercised more this week than I have in a year. My goal for the rest of the week - walking a total of 20 miles by Friday night. We will see if I can haul my fat butt off of the couch tomorrow.

Photographic Addendum - 2:45pm

A photo of the screen on my hand held GPS unit.

I walked the last mile with a 65+ year old neighbor.
That slowed my Moving Average down a little, but made the
earlier, quicker 4 miles seem a little boring, too.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Recent wrap-up

The family is doing great and life is good, if not a little too cold. It hasn't gotten above 45 in a few days. (No offense, FoF.)

The Talker started a new basketball season at our local YMCA this morning. He knew several of his teammates from previous basketball and soccer seasons. Even though the basketball may not be pro quality, the boy plays hard and wears himself out during the game. I would have some pictures and videos to post, but I forgot my new cell phone (more about that later) at the house, so there is no photographic evidence that any basketball actually occurred today.

The Princess is turning into a jewelry diva. The Mother of the Bride bought her a gift card to Claire's and The Boss Lady went with her to buy a dozen pair of new earrings today. Now that the girl can change them herself, we seem to be losing a few more earrings than in the past. While the girls shopped for jewelry and clothes, The Talker and I hit up all of the sports, video game and toy stores. Made for a good outing for us all.

The Boss Lady still ♥'s her new job. And we all love the 8AM-4:30PM hours. I don't think we have ever eaten dinner at home as frequently as we now do.

This week the wife and I upgraded our cell phones. I am finally moving away from the 1990's style flip phones (No offense, FoF.) that I have carried for about 6 years. But it has come at a cost.

When I bought my new phone online I thought (are there two more dangerous words?) that I had activated a web access data plan. Turns out I hadn't - AND the charges for data access add up rather quickly. Luckily, I realized my error after only a few days. Sprint customer service was super cool and let me add the unlimited data access plan retroactively, which erased about $50 worth of data charges and kept my wife from kicking me right in the phone holder. The end result, I am a mobile, twittering, facebooking, texting, Googling, paperless geocaching fool.

And because I want to give my public what it wants, I bring you a chicken update: The girls are cooooooold at night, even with a heat lap glowing in the coop. But they are still laying very well. In fact, today we got 4 eggs from the 3 hens! Gold Diamond, The Princess' hen laid an egg in the shed today and another in the outdoor coop. It is a rare occurrence, sort of like laying a double yolk egg, but young hens can sometimes lay twice in one day. And for the record, we got a double yolk egg from Roadrunner, The Talker's hen about a week ago. I thought I had blogged about it, but must have only posted the pics on Facebook.

You can see the size difference between the double yolk egg (on the right) and a normal sized (and muddy) egg that we get from Roadrunner.

The double yolk was the guest of honor at breakfast.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Here comes another year

I was just taking a glance back at the blog. I realize that I haven't posted as much lately, but sometimes I just gots nothing to say. Anyone who knows me will tell you that is never true. But I seem to know a lot of liars :)

Anyways, on to the Christmas update:

The Princess has been begging me to build a dollhouse for two years.
I didn't build it, but I did assemble the "Barbie Mansion."

The Talker wasn't too sure that there really was an iPod hidden in the bag of M&Ms.
And he wanted to know where the rest to the displaced M&Ms had gone.

Santa's belly, where else?

And because you knew I could not do a post without it,
a gratuitous egg picture. My hens are laying like crazy, making up for lost time I guess.

This is only 3 days worth of their eggs.

Other than all of this fun and egg-citement, we had a low key Christmas break. A couple of quick trips to Dallas and Ft Worth kept us on the road a little bit, but mainly the kids have played at home as much as they like.

A side note and some foreshadowing of the next topic to be beaten like an egg salad: You see what I did there? Planning is now underway for the Spring Break Backpacking trip 2.0. I am starting to decide where The Talker and I will venture next. Since last year's trip was a wet mess, we might venture back to the Sam Houston National Forest.