Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a commitment contract

i am not referring to a form of marriage... i am referring to a concept that the folks behind stickK used to bring together a group of folks (ie: user community) that are trying to stick to a commitment (usually to quit smoking, start exercising, loose weight – those annoying things that the majority of adults commit to – why not commit to getting smarter & this doesn’t simply mean committing the normal yearly goal of “to read more”) & by publicly vocalizing/socializing this commitment they are more likely to actually stick to that commitment.

as an added incentive for someone to stick to his/her commitment he/she can put a dollar wager against their commitment. if they stick to their commitment then the person gets their money back & if not the money is donated to a person or charity of their choosing.

so it’s the sharing of the commitment & possibly the wager of money that help (force) people to actually do something – heck their reputation is on the line.

this concept is so true & follows us ever where we go. need a meeting set up with someone at work? you don’t play the fools game & say we’ll just synch up when we can because you know that will never happen. instead, you agree on a time/date with that person & even allocate an amount of time with that person so you & he/she are committed to having that discussion.

a co-worker, jeremy, is doing this very thing of vocalizing his commitment (weight-loss) on his blog 80-in-08. his goal is to loose 80 pounds in 2008. by publicly announcing this goal & sharing both his good days & bad days with all of us he’s putting extra pressure on himself that wouldn’t normally be there if he weren’t telling so many people about what he’s doing. while i don’t think i can get jeremy to abandon the bog site he developed for himself & switch to stickK, i wonder if i can get him to ante up with a dollar wager to better entice him to continue shedding the pounds as we progress further into ’08 :)

if you don’t want to develop or keep up with a blog like jeremy is doing, yet you want to publicize a commitment, then i recommend that you sign a commitment contract using stickK.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

frozen foods have gone too far

frozen foods are certainly a staple for a many people. i was lucky when growing up & i was never introduced to frozen food. frozen food at my house included things like leftover homemade pasta sauce, italian sausages that we couldn’t get in texas & that my papa would pick up a bunch of them from this little grocery store in louisiana, & leftover chili that again was homemade. while i did enjoy lots of cereal & little debbie treats as a kid that was about the extent of the prepackaged food in our house. my mom, even prior to marrying my stepfather tom, made it a point to cook & ensure we sat down for dinner together all after working a typical 8 – 9 hour workday.

even when i first left home & was on my own i rarely purchased frozen meals/foods. even the “best” of frozen meals don’t taste all that great to me & rarely are any frozen meals enough to satisfy my hunger. now i understand that many folks depend on frozen foods daily. most common are the ones that are really bad for you like pizza, burritos, hot pockets, etc. at the same time i know it is possible to find healthy frozen meals. in fact, kristin enjoys amy’s rice bowls (tofu, vegetables, & brown rice) for lunch often & a couple other of amy’s organic frozen dishes. i too have more recently have taken a liking to some frozen foods to include boca burgers & a handful of frozen vegetables/fruits (edamame, peas, & various berries that are good for blending in a protein shake).

i use frozen meals as a means of eating healthy foods that are super convenient while the majority of our population simply rely on frozen foods for the convenient factor & the healthy part is secondary if thought about at all. my problem with frozen meals though is when frozen meals are taken too far. like today when i saw frozen hot cereals (rolled oats, cream of rice, mult-grain, & steel-cut oats). the *worst* part about it is that this wasn’t at HEB & the brand wasn’t some off brand or lean cuisine type of meal. this was at whole foods & the brand was amy’s!

come on people – are quick oats/1-minute oats not easy & convenient enough for you? you don’t even have to use a microwave with a good number of hot cereals today – just add hot water! i was shocked to see amy’s producing these meals & whole foods selling them for a hefty $2.39 might i add. not only do i think the concept is bad, let’s not forget the amount of waste (cardboard packaging, plastic container, & plastic saran wrap lid) that is produced from one of these meals. was it not whole foods that just said NO to plastic bags & has been encouraging all of their shoppers to re-use their bags? if whole foods really took going green serious they would not allow such a product to be sold just because of the volume of waste that is produced from one of these meals compared to the simple & almost non-existent waste that comes from selling more traditional hot cereals.

doesn’t this seem like a bit much? tell me that i am not alone on this topic? any of you know about the individually wrapped peanut butter slices? – don’t get me started :)

our right to vote

today fidel castro’s brother raul castro was annoucned as the new president of cuba following fidel’s recent resignation. while there were “elections” surrounding raul’s nomination they don’t come close to the liberties we have in the U.S. when it comes to electing our leaders.

many say that even if raul would not have won the election today, he would still be in charge behind the scenes & running the communist country. raul has controlled cuba’s communist army for the past 50-years & has been at his brother’s side (& in his shadow) since fidel took control in ’59. it was quite unlikely that he would lose...

while i firmly believe that the dollars that go into running a presidential campaign in the U.S. are absurd & should be more tightly controlled, the simple beauty that we all have the freedom to speak out & talk however we want to talk about the candidates is truly a marvel & highlights the types of freedom we are so lucky to enjoy. just this past week obama & clinton were debating here at the university of texas & while they weren’t the most “exciting” debates as so many were expected they did give the public (in austin) an opportunity to voice their questions & concerns.

we are lucky people & we must not forget that this freedom that we all enjoy today didn’t come for free & many before us gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

choke chains for shoppers

kristin & i finally viewed the infamous cesar millan (the dog whisperer) in action today. by this evening we had applied many of the techniques that cesar suggests in his program. we both admit everything we’ve tried thus far has been quite effective. it’s pretty simple & that’s the beauty of it – show the animal who is control, remain calm, don’t reinforce bad behavior, & most importantly use that choke chain :)

speaking of choke chains; kristin & i could have used some constraint this evening when visiting costco for the first time in over a year. we started to shop at costco when the first one opened in austin over 5 years ago. our once weekly visit for 3 years straight almost always resulted in a bill greater than a $100 bucks. given the size/quantity a purchase resulted in it really is tough to get out of there for less than a $100 bucks.

when our membership expired over a year ago we decided it wasn’t worth renewing. while we rarely let anything we purchased there go to waste we simply decided that shopping there was almost always hectic, we purchased way too many things that weren’t grocery related & that we often didn’t need, & in an effort to not let things go to waste we would sometimes find ourselves consuming more of something just to get rid of it or prevent it to going to waste.

so why did we go back to costco today? for 2 items: paper towels & toilet paper. while we can obviously purchase & do purchase these items at central market & whole foods they are priced sky high in comparison to costco. so i borrowed a co-workers costco card before leaving the office on friday & this evening we made the journey. when we arrived we should have skipped even grabbing a basket/cart. to note, the costco basket/cart can haul more than most full-size trucks. it’s designed to hold more than any of us actually need to purchase.

as soon as we walked through those giant front doors (both the entrance & exit are garage size openings – they actually close like garage doors) the “deals” attacked us. after an hour of shopping we left with a full basket/cart & the goods inside consumed every inch of space in the 4runner. luckily we did get out with our paper towels & toilet paper - $200+ dollars worth :)

in all honesty we weren’t that bad. we bought a lot of fish & chicken, fruits, olive oil, oatmeal, protein shakes, & tortillas so our normal grocery shopping bill should be way less for the next few weeks. we also needed a new dog bed for payton as he’s just went over the 70 pound mark! the *only* thing that we splurged on was a new shirt & pair of jeans for me & kristin bought a couple of tank tops for her.

the moral of the story: as long as cesar millan isn’t brought in to do something about it consumerism will remain alive & well in the USA.

perfect outdoor weather

saturday, february 23, 2008 - austin, texas

what a wonderful day in austin, texas. if you live here & you own a bike, a dog, or a pair of running shoes shame on you if you didn’t get outside & enjoy it. weather like this is what we all dream of. both kristin & i made the most of it. kristin took payton for a run & worked in the front yard for a bit & i swam at barton springs this morning & then rode the mansfield dam loop with ed. when ed hit bee caves it was evident that we weren’t the only ones enjoying the weather – there were as many bikers on the road as there were cars! by the time we made our way back & were heading south on 360 you would have thought that everyone in austin owned a road bike – it really was awesome!

6am: 57°F, feels like56°F
9am: 62°F, feels like62°F
12pm: 73°F, feels like73°F
3pm: 78°F, feels like77°F

after returning to barton springs & packing up the car & heading home i slowed down when driving over town lake just to take a glimpse at all the runners, dog walkers, & folks out flying kites. austin is by far one of the greatest outdoors cities in the united states & by far the best in texas!

if you missed an outdoor adventure today, don’t make the same mistake again tomorrow!


i am not referring to bull sh*t, i'm referring to beautiful barton springs in austin, TX! i should have started my open water swimming in barton springs a couple of weeks ago. with the cold weather & knowing that the water at barton springs is cold to begin with i've stayed clear of those training sessions - that isn't the right ironman attitude & i know that.

at some point i knew that i would have to "jump in" to barton springs - heck i've got a half ironman that is just 5 weeks away. anyhow, this is the weekend of bricks! swim & bike today & bike & run tomorrow.

ed, noah, & i agreed to meet at barton springs at 8:30 (nice late start) this morning for a 2000 meter swim & afterwards we would ride the dam loop (40+ miles). i was up early, ate well, chatted it up with kristin, & then hopped in the shower to warm-up. after my warm shower & knowing that it was 50 degrees outside i put my wetsuit on at home before leaving the house. not only would having the wetsuit on now keep me warm, it was just easier to pull that puppy on at home rather than outside in the cold by the water. if you've ever worn a wetsuit you know what i'm talking about.

i made it to barton springs on time (noah who bailed on us due to having one to many beers last night) & waited by the water for ed to arrive. after ed arrived i put on my swim cap & stepped into the water expecting it to be freezing & miserable. to my surprise the water felt great! the sun was up, there were a good number of triathletes already in the water, & the view of the austin skyline from the springs was just rockin!

it took me 15 - 20 minutes to get used to swimming in the wetsuit & open water again. sighting (popping head up every 5 - 10 strokes to see where you are going) was the most difficult part to get used to, but after the first 1000 meters i was really feeling comfortable. the springs continued to fill up with texas iron folks who showed up around 9am & other than having to work hard to avoid a head on collision with another swimmer it was a relaxing swim & it felt good.

*** the workout: 1x 1200 & then 2x 400s = 2000 meters ***

i feel more confident about the open water swim now & i am actually looking forward to my next open water training. tomorrow i'll have to settle for a bike & run though - a training schedule exists for a reason!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


i received an e-mail ad from apple this morning that was promoting the new $49 price tag for the 1GB iPod (what we use to call the shuffle). upon first glance at the ad i was a bit frustrated that the first shuffle i purchased cost a $100 (this was the 512MB version that was first released) & less than 6-months ago kristin & i each bought ourselves new shuffles for $79 bucks. in the past two years kristin & i have spent $258 for 3 shuffles & today that same amount of cash would buy 5 shuffles. of course i understand that to be an early adopter you end up paying more & getting less – you of course are also the “cool kid” on the street for those first 6-months too. obviously as we move further into the future the price of technology items will drop. hell, you can buy a DVD player (don’t get me started on the whole HD DVD/Blu-ray thing) at grocery store for less than a $100 bucks.

you know what i really want apple to come out with & what i’d be happy to spend $49 bucks on is something to wrap my damn ear phones for my shuffle, my iPod, or my iPhone around. i spend more time trying to untangle those damn things than i do using them for listening to music. this has been a BIG frustration of mine for sometime. now that i’m on the spin bike quite a bit & i am relying on my iPod to keep me company through these workouts the need for an iWrapper is more immediate than ever.

any of you inventors have an idea or know of a good substitute to keep my headphones from getting all wrapped up? oh, & i’m talking about something for the headphones that come with the apple products – i still want those cool white buds hanging from my ears :)

my never ending battle with mayo

i have a constant battle avoiding mayonnaise when visiting sandwich joints. i just can't stand mayo & yes i know i'm a bit over the top about my resistance to mayo - that's just me... below is a comment that i sent to panera bread after i ate & made good use of their free Wi-Fi at their location in waco tonight. & no, i'm not really allergic to mayo.

i drive between austin & dallas quite often for business. it's been a nice relief from the usual road-side stops to now have a panera bread available for coffee, sandwiches, etc. on my way back to austin tonight i stopped for a cup of coffee & sandwich. i ordered a turkey on whole wheat with avocado, tomatoes, roasted peppers, spinach, onions, & spicy mustard with an apple on the side (again it's nice to have a healthy alternative even if i've got to build my own sandwich). anyhow, my sandwich came with a bit of mayo on it where the sandwich was sliced in half. i returned the sandwich to the window explaining that i'm severely allergic to mayo & while the sandwich looked great i can't touch it with the mayo on it. the girl, natalie, behind the counter was an absolute doll & was happy to remake the sandwich & take extra care to ensure it was sliced with a clean knife this time around.

the point of this comment is to highlight two things. first to note the excellent customer service by natalie - so nice for her to politely & understandably take the sandwich back & then personally bring it to me at my table & tell me they she made it a point to ensure that there wasn't a drop of mayo on this new sandwich. the new sandwich she brought me was amazing by the way! the second reason for this comment is to suggest using clean knives for cutting sandwiches. maybe you've got a vegan who doesn't want their sandwich cut with a knife that touched meat or you've got someone like me that is allergic to an ingredient & i don’t want that knife that just cut that ingredient then used to cut my sandwich.

great customer service, i enjoyed the food, & please consider cleaning your knives (or any other cooking utensils used to make your dishes) between sandwiches.

Monday, February 18, 2008

your remaining 2008 presidential candidates

week6 - CDA training in 2008

the weather & my wanting to run the AT&T austin marathon this weekend put a dent into the riding miles i should have obtained this weekend. the "plan" suggested a 3.5 - 4 hour ride or 70 miles. i ended on the road for only 1.25 hours & on the trainer at home for 1.5 hours. i did finally get to test ride the B12 & i love it & the AT&T marathon (well, the 1st 14-miles of it) rocked! this was also the week that i got bumped up to t-two swimming.

week6 CDA ‘08
feb11 – feb17

- light weights at home (15-minutes)
- spin bike at pure austin (30-minutes)
- elliptical at pure austin (15-minutes)
- total: 1-hour
- 3200 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 30-minutes)
- spin bike at pure (1-hour & 45-minutes)
- treadmill (3+ miles) at pure (30-minutes)
- total: 3-hours & 45-minutes
- total body weight workout at pure (1-hour)
- treadmill (7+ miles) at pure (1-hour)
- total: 2-hours
- 2500 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-minutes)
- spin bike at pure austin (1-hour & 30-minutes)
- treadmill (2+ miles) at pure (20-minutes)
- total: 3-hours & 5-minutes
- run (6-miles) at townlake (55-minutes)
- yoga/pilates at pure (1-hour)
- total: 1-hour & 55-minutes
- 2700 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-minutes)
- trainer at home (1-hour & 30-minutes)
- total: 2-hours & 45-minutes
- run (15-miles) as part of AT&T marathon (2-hours)
- road bike (19-miles) veloway & south mopac (1-hour & 15-minutes)
- total: 3-hours & 15-minutes

total training time: 17-hours & 45-minutes

total run: 33 miles
total bike: 19 miles road & 5-hours & 45-minutes spin bike/in-door trainer
total swim: 5.25 miles or 8400 meters

Sunday, February 17, 2008

possible new wheels

i recall the year beginning & talking about selling some things. we did sell the audi, which was by far the most important & significant of items we need to sell. at the same time, kristin & i are both looking for new wheels.

actually, i’ve been looking for a new tri bike & the B12 finally came in so i picked it up yesterday from J&As after breakfast at casa with kristin. then we headed out to the toyota dealership to turn my 4runner in for any maintenance it may need (1st shop visit since we bought it – turned out it just needed a tire rotation & the brake fluid flushed – so much cheaper than maintaining an audi!). while, there we decided to do an oil change on kristin’s 4runner & sit down for cup of free starbucks joe. our sitting didn’t last long – intrigued by the new “smart” cars kristin & i started looking at the matrix, the yaris (very cool story about how this car got its name), & the prius. given the price tag & economic sense of owning a yaris ($14K - $16K w/ options, 30+ MPG, & super toyota quality) we hopped in one for a test drive. knowing that kristin set out this year to reduce her carbon footprint, i told her that if she wanted it we’d get it today.

we ended up taking a real liking to our salesman (this guy & his/our story deserve it’s own blog post) & it didn’t even fill like we were shopping & that he was selling us a vehicle. 3-hours later & kristin made a smart move & said let me take it home for a couple of days (an extended test drive) to ensure she was ready for such a smart, simple, & economical vehicle. we are less than 24-hours into & i think she may be sold on it.

after getting home with the yaris yesterday we took it by J&As to pick up my tri-bike shoes (i left them there earlier that morning & would need them to in order to test ride the B12). we even took payton in the back & he fit just fine & better yet he could actually jump in/out by himself whereas with either 4runner we still have to pick him up – we hope as he get’s older/stronger he’ll be able to manage by himself. anyhow, kristin took the yaris back out last night to meet some girlfriends for drinks, she drove me downtown this morning for the start of the AT&T austin marathon, & now she’s swinging by central market for groceries. i can only assume that if the grocery shopping goes well today then she’ll be exchanging her SUV (4runner) for the yaris.

while we are shopping for new toys, the best part is that our expenses will actually reduce – well the bike doesn’t actually count :) but the yaris car payment, gas, up-keep, etc. will be significantly less than her 4runner. i’m loving ’08! kristin & i are rocking, we both have our health, our families are well, we got a awesome dog, we are both getting new toys while reducing our expenses, we are expanding our education (kristin’s getting her real estate license & i am getting my business analyst certificate), i’ve got some new rocking friends & getting closer to some friends from my past, work is exciting, we are both for the 1st time ever looking to vote for a democrat (go obama), & we are doing it all in austin, TX!

long run with 13,000 runners

the weather yesterday was cold & wet in austin. i had conceded to sticking to my schedule of riding long on saturday & running long on sunday. however, my long ride was going to be in-doors on a spin bike at the gym or the trainer at home.

i was set on confining myself to the in-door trainer because today austin was hosting the AT&T marathon & while i decide a couple of months ago that i wasn’t going to run this race, i still wanted to get the “high” you can get from a race that is promoted as well as this one. last year, the course was re-routed to take runners through more of “austin” & the first ½ of the run consisted of some good hills & sights so i decided i’d crash the race this morning & get my long run in with 13,000 runners.

it worked perfectly because mile 14 was just a mile or less from our home. so kristin dropped me off at the race start right at 7am this morning & i cruised through the heartland of this great city feeling very strong. an hour into the run the sun was shining bright & the temp was warming up. i was feeling so good & getting so hot that i had to pull my shirt off – i love this city!

some really cool sites along the route: south congress (full of cool shops & local restaurants), north on 1st street (more cool shops & local restaurants), across our beautiful town lake, along cesar chavez (borders the lake), up enfield (tarrytown neighborhood), over mopac (main highyway that cuts through austin – no billboards allowed), up bull creek (through lovely rosedale – that’s where we live), & then i bailed out & headed home where kristin & payton (most beautiful girl in austin & coolest dog in austin) were headed too (they were cheering us runners on just past the ½ marathon mark).

this has been my best “long run” yet! next year, i’ll be racing the AT&T marathon – you can count on it!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

lover's day

over the past few week’s my e-mail account has been flooded with advertisements from various vendors from whom i subscribe & many that i do not subscribe with ads promoting valentine’s day “deals.” restaurants in the area, flemings, vespaio, asti, fino, & roy’s for example, have sent me their menus & prices for Vday, 800flowers & proflowers have both sent me at least 10 e-mails saying order now, last chance to get flowers there on time, special savings, etc., grapevine market e-mailed me on special “savings” on wines, even apple e-mailed me with an ad for a Vday iPod (color red) or iPhone gift idea, & to top things off good old hugh hefner sent me ad titled “make any of these playmates your valentine.”

so you tell me, is this the day of love or just another BID day for business to take advantage of folks by bullying them into making purchases & spending cash on dinners/flowers/etc to show their “love” for one another? kristin & i have always joked that Vday is the day for “lovers” who have yet to have or will never have an anniversary to go out & celebrate their “love.” as if it wasn’t difficult enough to get good dinner reservations on a friday & saturday night… do you really think i want to head out tonight when all the other “lovers” who never go out & tonight who will be out – most of whom will be playing it up big in comparison to their normal dinner for two at olive garden or chili’s?

anyone who is in love knows that love is not made of money, it is not wrapped in a box, nor does it appear in a vase. love has no face – it’s an emotion that lives deep within us & is expressed in so many different ways. love isn’t a material, it’s expressed with actions.

do as you will today/tonight – but do it because you truly want to do it – not because of what the ads in your e-mail tells you to do or what the commercials on TV suggest you do. when you are in love, you’ll know what the right thing to do is – trust me, because i am in love.

a real sweet treat

i've been watching a lot of the food network while at the gym recently. given that today is thursday a number of the chef’s have focused on decadent deserts & treats. you know, chocolate fudge this, caramel that, ice cream & whip cream on top sort of thing. the audience (especially the emeril lagasse audience) always oohs & ahhs as more chocolate or more whip cream is added to an already overwhelming sweet dish.

my mom didn’t fix many treats growing up. pies, excluding the cheery cream cheese pie with graham cracker crust she would make about twice a year, were never seen, cookies included oatmeal & peanut butter during the year & sugar cookies around christmas, & cakes here & there. even as a kid i didn’t like the sweet frostings on cakes & by the time i was in middle-school i’d always ask for just ice cream when it came to bday celebrations. so as a kid, i never did have the sweet tooth. although i had plenty of cavities growing up so go figure.

today, sweets are the further thing from an appetizing meal. not only do they do zero for my body, they in-fact have a negative effect on not only how i look but on how i feel. sleepy, sluggish, & just “fat.” so when it comes to a treat i like something that is good for me & tastes good to. for example, for today’s treat (i’m off today) i chopped up a red silk pear, threw in some pitted prunes, & topped it off with dry roasted no-salt almonds. for a kick, as emeril would say, i enjoyed it with a cup of black joe! beat that food network :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

obama is on a roll!

obama has taken 8 straight primaries now & for the first time he has taken a lead over clinton with the number of delegate votes. a lot of folks remarked about mitt romney's exit speech from the race & how he really let it all hang out there & show his true feelings. if you think romney's exit speech was charismatic i hope you got to listen to obama last night in virginia.

images of our early founders, lincoln, & dr. king flashed through my head. he's steadfast on addressing change & hope. as a man, he exemplifies what we refer to as the american dream & the opportunities this land & our government provide for us all. remember he was born to two very young college students. his biological father split when he was two years old. there was never a lot of money - they weren't rich. he worked very hard in school from the beginning - he graduated from columbia & harvard. my point is, the guy worked very hard to get where he is - he earned it!

in last night's speech in virginia he began to say "when i am president" versus "if i am president." it's just a matter of time folks! he won me over again last night when he addressed pumping more cash into education reform (grants to college students). he said he would do it, but these kids would have to work for it - volunteer at VA hospitals, volunteer for community service, join the peace corps, etc. this is what i'm all about. our government should provide assuming we give back too! this isn't what i'm used to hearing from the democrats.

obama & clint are coming to austin next thursday – i can’t wait to see him in person.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


i was pretty tired this morning when i got to the pool at 5:45am. i was hoping to get to bed early last night before i got to far behind on sleep this week. i didn’t “hit the hay” so to speak until 11:15 so waking up was a bit rough this morning.

when i walked on the pool deck i just headed to the lane coach mo pointed at. he yelled out to do a 200-meter warm-up & so i was off. 75-meters into it & i was feeling so tired – it didn’t help that i did a good number of bench presses at home yesterday morning… after i finished the warm-up i went to “the board” to see what my first drill was going to be. 4x 300-meter swims! what the heck i thought to myself… i glanced to the top of this morning’s workout when i noticed i was doing a t-two & not a t-one workout. coach mo had bumped me up at a lane! (t-one = beginner, t-two = intermediate, & t-three = rock star swimmers!) i then scanned to the bottom of the workout to see how many meters this workout was going to total – 3,200-meters! that’s 2-miles folks.

i quickly wrapped my head around this workout & thought to myself that if coach mo put me here then he thought i was ready so i would just hit it & hit it hard! by the end of those first 4x 300-meter drills my upper body was toast but i kept on moving with a positive attitude throughout the workout & was excited to be in the t-two lane & be adding this type of mileage to my weekly routine.

when i finished, i felt really good. i was tired for sure, but happy that i did it! coach told me that i looked good in the water too so the extra reinforcement of my performance helped a lot & i hope when i return for my 2nd swim workout this week i’ll get to continue swimming with the “big boys.”

Monday, February 11, 2008

finally, free Wi-Fi at starbucks!

looks like howard shultz really is cleaning things up at starbucks. any day now & i'll be able to pick up my $1 cup of coffee! for now, i'll enjoy the free Wi-Fi access to come.

SEATTLE -- Starbucks Corp. is teaming up with AT&T Inc. and will start offering a mix of free and paid wireless Internet service in many of its U.S. coffee shops, beginning this spring.

The world's largest specialty coffee retailer's move ends a six-year partnership T-Mobile, which did not include free Wi-Fi and charged more than the new AT&T service will cost.

Starbucks said Monday it will give customers that use its Starbucks purchase card two hours of free wireless access per day. After that, it will cost $3.99 for a two-hour session. Monthly memberships will cost $19.99 and include access to any of AT&T's 70,000 hot spots worldwide.

Nearly all of AT&T's broadband Internet customers will automatically have unlimited free Wi-Fi access at Starbucks.

never before have i been that stuffed

i've kicked back a many of plates of food before. my buddy jason (who i lived with for 4 years) & i used to always taunt one another to eat more whenever we were out for food. he was my weight lifting partner throughout my tenure in the marines & when we would go to eat the question, "is that all you got?" would come up often. i can remember a many nights eating 3 or 4 plates of pasta with this dude as well as overindulging (see unabridged dictionary - it is a word) on the weekend brunches at hickam air force base. as for my weight, while i may be more fit today - back then i weighed a solid 175 pounds with just over 5% body fat. i was also 19/20/21 years old :)

of course when we moved to austin to wrap our degrees at UT we both put on some weight. i remember the day that we moved to austin & our apartment wasn't ready so the complex put us up in a hotel for the night. jason was a real stickler with his cash (especially while in school) & that first night he was looking for the cheapest place to eat where he could get the most food for our buck. we ended up at a
mr. gattis pizza (i've only been back to gatti's once since this horrific event & refuse to ever go back into one). if you don't know anything about mr. gatti's it's a *super* cheap (price & quality) all you can eat pizza place. between the two of us that night we kicked back some 70+ pieces of pizza. that's 35+ pieces for each of us. i think the final count was me 37 & him 34 or 35. granted, some of their slices aren't all the normal pizza slices (some squared). regardless those 35+ pieces easily equaled 3+ large pizzas for each of us. i had never felt worse. well, up until last night.

kristin & i visited
casa de luz for dinner last night. they had sweet potatoes & walnuts on the menu & that's all that really mattered to me. if you have ever had their sweet potatoes, then you would understand why i was so excited to eat there. casa’s full menu last night was:

- soup: creamy kabocha squash
- salad:garden salad with citrus thyme vinaigrette
- grain: basmati brown rice & tempe sticks
- bean: “hoppin’ john” (black eyed peas)
- greens: southern style cabbage
- vegetable: baked sweet potatoes with walnuts
- pickle: garlic ume daikon and beets

obviously very healthy! but just as the saying goes, “too much of anything is a bad thing.” i started with a full bowl of soup as usual – it was awesome! then onto the salad – again, the vinaigrette was super tasty & the sliced apples on top were so good! then onto the main course – i always take the first plate "as is" & then i pick & choose what i really like when i go back for more. after that 1st plate i was feeling pretty full. the brown rice, the sweet potatoes, & the black eyed peas were doing the trick – a lot of sticky carbs. i went back for my 2nd plate & asked for a normal plate minus the rice & please double up on the sweet potatoes. after another glass of tea & i went back for my 3rd plate – same as the 2nd. kristin had eaten like ½ of her 1st plate but did get a 2nd helping of sweet potatoes that she couldn’t finish. so when i went back for my 4th plate (i know – very sick!) i went without the sweet potatoes because i could just finish off kristin’s :). after finishing my 4th plate, like an idiot i went back for one last helping of the blacked eyed peas. see, there was this hot sauce that they made that i’d never had before & you drizzle it over the blacked eyed peas – it was so amazing.

after that serving of black eyed peas i felt like i was going to explode. i of course was eating so quickly that the full effect of how much food i put into my body hadn’t hit me until the end. when things began to expand i was scared my stomach was going to burst – jason would be so proud…

i had a cup of hot tea before we left & when we got home i could barely stand up straight – i looked like i was pregnant & worse off felt like i was having contractions. have you ever seen the movie or read the book “
cool hand luke?” if you haven’t, you should – best paul newman movie ever in my opinion. anyhow, in the movie he took a bet to eat 50 boiled eggs. well his belly & mine looked very similar last night & i was walking & feeling about as bad as he looked in the movie. lucky for him he was just acting; i was actually living through this horrible feeling that i brought onto myself

it’s now morning, almost 12 hours since dinner & i’m still full. i usually love this part of my morning - waking up to coffee & a big bowl of oatmeal with fruit. i can’t bear to think about eating right now though. of all days too, i scheduled lunch with my friend/real-estate broker today for lunch at manuels & all i really think i can bear to eat are veggies – no carbs or meats please!

seeing how much you can stuff in your belly really is a “guy thing” isn’t it? i suppose i really don’t want to know any women that taunt each other to eat more :)

i think last night makes up for any missed calories on the bike this weekend. let this blog post be a reminder to me to *never* eat that much again.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

week5 - CDA training in 2008

and to think that this upcoming week is the looooonnnnnggggggg week! luckily the following week (lucky week #7) is going to be a rest week which means only 11+ hours of training.

week5 CDA '08
feb4 – feb10

- recovery ride at pure (45-mins)
- pilates at home (20-mins)
- light weights at home (15-mins)
- total: 1-hour & 20-mins
- 3000 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 30-mins)
- spin bike at pure (1-hour & 45-mins)
- treadmill (3.2-miles – 380cals) at pure (30-mins)
- total: 3-hours & 45-mins
- light hill run in rosedale with pup (3.5-miles) (30-mins)
- total body workout at pure (50-mins)
- total: 1-hour & 20-mins
- spin bike at pure (1-hour & 45-mins)
- treadmill (3.1-miles – 400cals) at pure (30-mins)
- 2500+ meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-mins)
- total: 3-hours & 30-mins
- town lake run (7-miles) with ed (1-hour)
- yoga & pilates at pure (1-hour)
- total: 2-hours
- 2000+ meter swim with t3 (50-minutes)
- 70+ mile ride with t3 (3-hours & 30-minutes)
- town lake jog (3-miles) with payton (40-minutes)
- total: 5-hours
- long run (14-miles) at town lake (2-hours)
- total: 2-hours

total training time: 18-hours & 55-minutes
total run: 33.8 miles
total bike: 70+ road & 3-hours & 45-minutes spin bike
total swim: 4.7 miles or 7500 meters

an ironman's diet

in the past week i’ve been told by at least 10 people to include my own girlfriend, my tri coach, a few friends, & an absolute stranger that i’ve lost a lot of weight. my 2nd girlfriend, otherwise known as ed my ironman training buddy has been on my case for at least three weeks now about my calorie consumption.

funny, my co-workers & kristin say that all i do is eat. it’s no lie that i’m eating a lot of food these days; close to 3,500 – 4,000 calories a day in fact. so how have i lost 11 pounds in a month (down from 168 to 157)?

it has a lot to do with the type of foods i’m consuming for sure. a lot of veggies & fruits, all whole grain carbohydrates (no white stuff!), very lean proteins, & various types of protein shakes & bars. i suppose what may be getting the best of me is the amount of, or lack thereof, calories i'm consuming during my training – specifically on the bike & run. until this morning’s 14-mile run i haven’t consumed a single calorie on any of my runs (to include the 3M 1/2 marathon) & often wasn’t eating much before i ran. more significant i’m sure is my calorie consumption while on the bike. given the intensity that i’m riding, (19 – 21 MPH) i’m burning close to 1,000 calories an hour. if i’m on the bike for three & half hours like i was yesterday (70+ mile ride) that's 3,500 calories that i'm burning! while i did better than usual eating yesterday while on the bike i still only consumed 850 calories (2 cliff bars (500cals), 1 hammer gel (100cals), & 1 bottle of perpetuem (250cals)). i think i’ll double, if not triple up on the perpetuem because that’s an easy way to sneak in a lot of calories (250+ per serving) without having to hold more in my pockets or really think about eating.

back to this morning… so i ran 14-miles. i was at the trail at 6:15am. myself & maybe 10 other runners owned the trail this morning – it was awesome! prior to my run i had my usual breakfast (a cup of coffee, 1.5 cups of oatmeal mixed with a cup of soy milk, a banana, & a serving of dried figs – 600+ calories). after my first 7-miles i slammed a hammer gel (100 calories). immediately after i finished my run i had a myoplex whey protein shake waiting for me in the car (170 calories & 30 grams of protein). i’ve been craving eggs since seeing this lovely picture of an omelet in this month’s issue of bon appetit (magazine subscription i got for kristin this year). kristin said if i’d stop at whole foods on my way home she would make us up some eggs for breakfast. within an hour of returning home we were eating homemade migas. my miga alone was made with 8-eggs, 1-burrito sized whole wheat tortilla, mushrooms & onions, & was covered in guacamole, light sour cream, & soy black beans (i dumped the beans on prior to taking the picture). i’m assuming this miga had 800 – 900 calories & bolstered 40+ grams of protein.

so before 10am this morning i consumed between 1,800 – 1,900 calories & over 100 grams of protein & probably 200 carbohydrates. while that may sound like a lot, here is the sick part – according to various health sites i burned 1,500 – 1,700 on my run this morning. so i’ve really only supplied my body 200 – 300 calories more than i ran & we all know it takes calories just to keep you sitting & i’m sure my body burns more calories right now sitting than the average person. & we can assume that the average peroson easily consumed 600+ calories this morning & has not done a damn thing associated with exercising.

to conclude, it’s hard to keep from loosing weight when training for an ironman :) can’t find a “weight loss plan” that works --- try training for an ironman!

too much wine?

when do you know that you’ve got to much wine? kristin & i both like wine – no doubt about it. kristin is far savvier about wine tasting than me – no doubt about that either. she also has a nasty habit of picking up a bottle, or two, or three, & sometimes more when she is out shopping. while we do drink a bottle or two a week, i’m afraid our surplus exceeds what we can drink & if not careful our wine is going to go bad before we can enjoy it.

just like the food in your refrigerator or canned goods in your pantry, wine can go bad. given that we don’t keep a very good inventory of what we’ve got & most often resort to drinking our favorite wines over & over if we aren’t careful we are going to find ourselves throwing away a lot of good wine. i wish there was a website that would allow you to type in information (year bottled, type, winery, etc.) pertaining to your bottle & be told when this wine peaks & when would be the best date (range of time) to uncork it. that would surely help us know which bottles we can continue to let “gather dust” & which wines we need to enjoy in the near future. if you know of such a website, please share!

to answer my original question about having too much wine… maybe you know that you have to much wine when you find yourself having to buy yet another wine rack because the 70+ bottles you have don’t have anywhere else to sit. that’s where kristin & i found our selves last weekend. as a result we had to venture out to buy an additional wine rack & i’m keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t need another until we are able to own a house that has a wine cellar :)

taking advantage of this sunday

i've got a lot of "to-dos" to do today. i woke up super early (5:00am) this morning to run on my own. i was going to run my 14-miles with t3 this morning but after training for 8+ hours yesterday & not getting a lot of time for the weekend "to-dos" i decided just to get up early (kinda hard since kristin & i were out with friends last night for dinner & we didn't get to bed until just after midnight) & get my run in.

so i've got the rest of the day to take advantage of & throughout the day i take time to include some healthy blogging - i've got a laundry list of blog posts queued up :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

the world’s first!

it is now 4:00 pm & it has been a long day (both at work & training) & i’m sitting on another event call & i’m starving. while my desk drawers are full of protein bars, cliff bars, even healthy trail mix i wanted something else. i dived into my office fridge in the corner to find that i’ve eaten my stock pile of chicken breasts for the week & i wasn’t in the mood for the beets, the pear, or the protein shake.

instead i reached for the hemp bread, the homemade hummus, the raw “like tuna” spread, & the home grilled tofu. i spread the raw “like tuna” on ½ a slice of the hemp bread & the homemade hummus on the other ½ slice of hemp bread. i put a piece of the grilled tofu in the middle & just like that i had the world’s first “hemp bread with hummus, raw “like tuna”, & tofu sandwich.

i know what you are thinking… brian you are gross! not at all, the flavors in the raw “like tuna” spread are amazing & the spice from both the hummus & grilled tofu (the tofu was grilled in spices – we all know tofu by itself has zero taste) was amazing. not to mention how healthy this puppy was! it is full of protein, good carbs, high fiber, & other healthy nutrients.

i hope you all try this new sandwich creation & if you do let me know what you think. anyone else out there got any good homemade sandwich ideas? eryn, i bet you’ve got a sandwich idea that would include nutella :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

rest & recovery

i should take some pointers from our pup payton.

i’ve got to stop being so hard-headed & i need to let my body recover. since january 1st of this year i’ve yet to take a full day off. granted, i’ve had probably 3 or 4 days where all i did was a yoga class or light weights at home. however, i think i may have to take a full day off & just relax & let my body rebuild.

yesterday's "recovery" ride on the spin bike (45-mins) & then light weights & pilates at home (35-mins) wiped me out. i felt horrible & for the first time during a workout i really noticed that i was doing myself more harm during my workout versus actually getting stronger/faster. while in the pool this morning (3000-meters beginning at 5:45am) i thought i was going to sink during the 500-meter warm-up. and now tonight i’m about to head to the gym for 1.75 hours on the spin bike & then follow that up with a 30-minute run on the treadmill.

while i know a good majority of how i feel is due to the cold i’ve been fighting for almost 5-days now & the fact that i’m sleeping only 6 to 7 hours each night i know that focusing on rest/recovery is going to be crucial for me to get through the next 5 months of training for CDA. so why am i so hard headed & still going at it like i am? i’ve got 2-hours & 15-minutes to answer this one tonight while at the gym.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

hats off to the underdogs

a job well done to the NY giants tonight. i did not see this one coming. i’m happy for the giants & eli manning. this game is a good reminder for all of us to never give up. no matter how high the odds are stacked against us we have to keep on fighting until the end.

the giants played this entire super bowl game with that attitude & it paid off BIG time! my hats off to the entire NY giants team.

super bowl XLII: giants 17, patriots 14

qualities of a winning personality

i forget where i read this... how can you disagree with any of these though? while not complicated stuff - how many of us actually hold true to each of these qualities?

1. exhibit integrity: one is said to have integrity to the extent that everything he does and believes is based on the same core set of values. while those values may change, it is their consistency with each other and with the person’s actions that determine his integrity.

2. do not speak badly of others: when you confide in a friend and speak badly of others, what’s to say that you won’t speak badly about the friend to someone else? when you establish yourself as someone that does not speak badly, you will find that more people confide in you.

3. stay optimistic: i don’t mean blindly optimistic where you think it’ll rain money tomorrow. i’m talking about putting aside what’s going wrong in order to focus on what’s important and stay on course.

4. help others when you can: they say you don’t know how much money you have until you give it away. i think the same goes for knowledge and all of our abilities in general. i think part of our purpose in developing ourselves, our skills and talents is to be able to share it.

5. high ambitions: this is one of the most contagious qualities. the reason is that your dreams or goals not only bring you hope, but hope to the people around you. you enroll (or recruit) them into this dream, and it inspires and motivates them to dream goals of their own.

6. kind and compassionate: the ability to feel the suffering of others, and to care and possibly do something about it. if you think it sucks to feel someone else’s pain in addition to your own, you can also consider the feeling of unlimited love and joy that others experience as well.

7. believe in and respect yourself: if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t honestly expect others to do it. when you make decisions, with love and respect of yourself in mind, you’ll be pleased to see yourself taking action on a higher level.

8. persist until you succeed: being ambitious is not enough. it’s when you fall down, realize that your set back is a lesson learned, and get up to persevere.

9. open mindedness: if you aren’t open minded, than your set in your ways, doomed to never discover a newer and better way.

10. take responsibility: blaming others doesn’t really solve problems. a person with a winning personality will take responsibility for what happened and take measures to prevent the situation from repeating itself.

week4 - CDA training in 2008

mileage & training time are really beginning to ramp up. i rode 56-miles yesterday & hopped off for a 20-minute run afterwards - the notorious brick workout! then this morning ran 11-miles. given that i've been fighting off a cold since thursday morning these past few days haven't been all that easy. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that i wake up tomorrow with no more symptoms. i've also got to work extra hard to keep some weight on. since jan. 7th i've lost almost 7 pounds!

week4 CDA '08

- trainer at pure (45-mins)
- 2600 – 2900 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 10-mins)
- total: 1-hour & 55-mins
- pure pump class at pure (50-mins)
- trainer at pure (1-hour)
- 1.8 miles on treadmill at pure (15-mins)
- total: 2-hours & 5-mins
- 2700 meter swim with t3 (1-hour & 15-mins)
- 5.5 mile run with ed around the lake (45-mins)
- total body workout with ed (1-hour)
- total: 3-hours
- spin class at pure (50-mins)
- 1.75 miles on treadmill at pure (15-mins)
- total: 1-hour & 5-mins
- yoga/pilates at pure (1-hour)
- 2300 meter swim at pure (1-hour)
- total: 2-hours
- 56 mile ride with t3 (3-hours & 15-mins)
- brick run after ride with t3 (20-mins)
- total: 3-hours & 35-mins
- 11 mile long run with t3 (1st 7 (53-mins) & remaining 4 (30-mins)
- total: 1-hour & 23-mins

total training time: 15-hours & 3-minutes (those additional 3 minutes were really special!)

getting back into biking

over the past few weeks i haven’t looked forward to a single bike ride. i attribute this lack of excitement to three particular things & the good thing is that i know i can overcome them all.

1: i rode a few weeks ago when it was 36-degrees out & basically froze my ass off! a few weeks prior i had a similar experience on the bike so i headed to
bicycle sport shop & jack & adam’s to pick up some full length riding gloves, a head warmer, & long tights. these three things worked very well, however, i forgot about my feet. if you didn’t know, bicycling shoes have open air vents on the top & bottom of them so that cold air stings your feet all over. when i got back to my car after that 45+ mile ride i was utterly miserable.

2: i’m riding an older (’01)
QR tri bike i bought off of craigslist about 9 months ago with the intention of using this as a training bike only prior to spending the big bucks on a tri bike for coeur d’ alene. near end of last year i went tri bike shopping & more importantly tri bike fitting. not knowing how a tri bike should feel/fit prior to this i was shocked to find out that the QR that i’m on right now is two sizes to big & the aero bars are about 4-inches longer than they should be. i’ve take a few new tri bikes on some test rides & now knowing how a tri bike should feel/fit i’m miserable when i get back on the roo.

3: there is just a lot of prep time involved in biking. pull the bike off the wall mount, load it on/in the car, air up the tires before you ride, make sure you got your tools, (extra tubes, air gun, hex tool, etc.) make sure you got your helmet, gloves, the right shoes (i’ve got one pair of biking shoes for my tri bike & another for the road bike), sunglasses, water bottles filled with some combination of
nuun, accelerade, or perpetuem , nutrition (hammer gels, cliff bars, builder bars, etc.), phone, ID, & some cash in a zip-lock bag, (in-case it rains) & finally the biking clothes (bib & tights) & when it’s cold add arm warmers, long tights, full-length gloves, head warmer, wind breaker, & finally booties – which i still need to buy.

so how to get rid of these biking blues?

1: the weather is getting better in austin. i was out in it yesterday & minus the wind it was awesome!

2: i’ve narrowed it down to 3 bikes & if J&A’s would have had one in some months ago i could have already made my choice (it isn’t J&A’s fault – the bike manufacturers don’t normally release their bikes until the new year & due to the cold weather this time of year you can’t bike in most states so rushing the bikes to the store isn’t a norm). the 3 bikes i’ve narrowed it down to are & in order the
felt b12, the cervelo p2c, & the kuota k-factor. i’ve ridden every bike except the b12 & lucky for me J&A’s just got one in & i’m set to pick it up this friday & i’ll take it on my long ride saturday morning.

3. i’ve just got to prepare better. make water bottles the night before, now that i’ve got the 4runner throwing the bike on the bike rack is easier because i don’t have to take off any wheels, keep all my gear in what i’ll call a tri tub that i can just carry from the house to the truck, lay clothes out & pack nutrition up the night before too.

i think just being on a bike that fits & feels good & is much lighter & faster than my current tri bike will make a significant difference & will be enough to really get me excited about getting out on the bike.

avocados & super bowl sunday

on friday, NPR ran a quick story about the number of avocados that will be consumed this super bowl sunday (patriots are going to beat up on the giants – 2008). while they said that some of these statistics were most likely exaggerated, one estimate was that americans will consume about 50 million pounds this weekend. holy guacamole!

so what does 50 million pounds of avocado look like? imagine a football field from end zone to end zone – 120 yards total long & 160 feet wide (each end zone is 10 yards deep) filled with avocados waist high on a 5’ 10’’ person.

avocados have become a staple around our house. it wasn’t until a few years ago that kristin fell in love with them. when she did, it seemed we couldn’t eat anything that didn’t have avocados on it – avocados still don’t compare to her fascination with mushrooms.

in the spirit of super bowl sunday i had my first fixing of avocados today after my long run. i had a big bowl of oatmeal with bananas & berries along with my coffee before heading out to run this morning at 8:00 am. when i returned home just after 10:00 am i was wiped & starving. to my surprise kristin was cooking up tilapia for me to enjoy as a post race lunch.

i heated up a couple of large wheat tortillas from whole foods, spread some spicy avocado sauce on them & dished out a fillet for each burrito. it was a perfect post workout meal – fish (protein), avocado (veggies with healthy fats), & wheat tortillas (good carbs & fiber). the best part of all – it was made with love & that’s one special ingredient! to my surprise the burritos went well with coffee too.

our friend carlos is having a super bowl party at his house later this afternoon & we plan on swinging by for a bit to see some of the “non-triathlon gang” that we haven’t seen since the new year & enjoy the game & various avocado dips that are sure to be on the table – carlos & his sister go overboard when it comes to preparing meals for dinner parties – they rock!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

japanese translation help

kristin & i frequent firebowl at least once a week & i usually go there once a week with co-workers or friends if i’m eating out for lunch during the work week. my normal dish is salmon soba noodle with broccoli. i ask them to hold the teriyaki sauce but to include the sesame seeds.

we’ve come to know both the store manager & her daughter (who works behind the counter) well enough to engage in small talk. during the football & basketball season we get along really well with one of the shift managers who is from cleveland – first cleveland browns fan i’ve ever known.

the salmon soba noodle is actually a pretty special dish. after eating at firebowl for the first time many years ago i wasn’t very impressed. i order some type of stir fry it your way & it didn’t come out very well. my boss & good friend trevor told me i should try the place again, but order the salmon soba noodle with broccoli. he knows how clean i like to eat & this meal is perfect – good carbs from the soba noodle, protein & omega-3 fats from the salmon, & good nutrients, fiber, & protein (didn’t know that broccoli had protein did you?) in the broccoli. after getting this dish a few times i dropped the teriyaki sauce because of all the sugars & from that point forward outside of adding edamame every so often that’s become my dish. kristin orders the vermicelli singapore & really does a number on it: tofu, no onions, add mushrooms, & replace the vermicelli noodles with soba noodles.

about 6-months ago firebowl took the salmon soba noodle of the menu. i talked to the manager & read some information about this change on firebowl’s website & they said it just wasn’t cost effective & not enough folks ordered it. lucky for me firebowl continued to stock the ingredients you just had to know to order it & they started charging an extra $1 due to their costs on the soba noodles. after 3-months of taking salmon soba noodle of their menu, firebowl was supposed to stop serving the dish altogether. the manager would kid with me every time i came in by counting down the days. i told her if they pulled it i’d stop coming in.

when the 3-months came up i noticed they hadn’t pulled it & in fact they had added it back to their menu. i talked with store manager & she said that there were a lot austinites like me & that firebowl gave them & only them the go ahead to keep the salmon soba noodle dish. go to any other firebowl not in austin & you won’t find the salmon soba noodle. check their website menu - it isn't even listed. good ole austinites & their healthy diets!

so about this translation… the other night kristin & i stopped at firebowl for dinner. i had a good idea of how much protein i was getting from the salmon & the nutrients i was getting from the broccoli, however, i’ve seen that soba noodles range in value of amount of carbs & fiber from one brand to the next. i was talking to the manager’s daughter about this (i need to remember her name) & she said she’d go pull a package of the noodles from the back & we could see. to our surprise, the ingredients were all in japanese. so, if you know japanese or know someone that does, could you have them translate the ingredients depicted in the picture please?

Friday, February 1, 2008

republican or democrat

walt, a buddy of mine, sent me a link to www.votechooser.com. i've been leaning towards obama since the beginning so i wasn't surprised to see obama at the top of my list. i was however surprised to see clinton in the 2nd position & edwards (prior to him dropping out) in the 3rd slot. my one, two, & three were all democrats!

i started to wonder, am i a democrat too? maybe i am. i know i grew up in a conservative household. i was in the military. i'm a hard worker & it grates my every nerve when i'm around someone that is not. i liked reagan. i'm not a fan of giving stuff to people that don't work for it. i even used to watch
rush limbaugh's TV broadcast with my dad when i lived at home & i own a couple of bill o'reilly & michael savage books!

so what happened?

i still think people should work hard & that we must maintain a strong military. that doesn't mean that i think that our approach to the war we are in was right. i think the topic of abortion & gay marriage are just distractions & that isn't what determines whether you are a republican or a democrat. i think our health care is better than any other country's, however, i think the costs are insane & too many people can't afford health care. i think global warming is a real thing & that we need to address many other environmental issues. i think we should allot more money to education because we as a nation are *not* getting smarter.

so is this how a democrat thinks?

i should have mentioned that giuliani was my least favorite according to
www.votechooser.com. when i first learned of him running i thought for sure he would win my vote. i've always liked the guy, i've read quite a bit about his tenure as mayor in NY, & i've seen him speak once in dallas & let me just tell you he's nothing like our current president - thank goodness!

in the end i think this year's ticket will look like obama/edwards & mccain/giuliani. if that's the case, i'll be voting for the smoker.