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2 Days of Nuthin
2006-02-09, 11:07 a.m.

Day 535 I got nuthin’

Whoop-tee-do. Maybe 4 inches of light fluffy snow. Still whipped out the snow blower. Had the driveway done in about 5 minutes. Almost felt bad about the new neighbor across the street shoveling, but he was finishing up just as I was starting. Plus he’s much younger than I. If we get a real whopper before the end of the season I’ll go over and help him out, but for this piddling amount? He can shovel just fine. Serves him right for leaving all those damn leaves in his yard.

What was it – 2 weeks ago I completely raked the front yard? The wind we had the last few days (before out huge snowstorm!!) has deposited even more leaves in my front yard. Now they’re all buried in snow. Damnit.

Lisa was back at aerobics last night. Finally got in a nice hard work out. Felt really good too. A few of us stayed a little late after class and made sure she knew how much we appreciated the harder workout. Even went so far as to tell her that the 2 weeks she missed felt like a vacation.

Fun news. I’m going to be a bachelor for a few days. Cindy is headed down to Florida to help her dad start the process of selling his house. She’s flying out the evening of the 18th and will be back the evening of the 22nd. That leaves me 4 solid days all to myself. I think Zach & Jill are breezing through for a visit that weekend, but will spend some time down with Jill’s parents too. Outside of that, I’m going to have to work at lining up some entertainment and a meal plan. It also gives me two extra days to sneak in some light workouts. Don’t want to over do it, because Sundays & Wednesdays are normally off days – but a little extra cardio never hurt.

Wrapped up income taxes already this year. Finally knuckled under and bought Turbo Tax, which also enables electronic filing. Last year, due to some education credits changing (decreasing) and Cindy’s new (higher) pay level, we got rather pounded on the federal taxes. Actually owed nearly $1000. I promptly filed a W4 to change exemptions so this year wouldn’t be a repeat. Well, it worked. Almost too well. Big return this year. 4 figures (to the left of the decimal point). With the magic of electronic filing, it’s due to hit my bank account in about another 10 days. Also happy to report that New York state is feeling similarly generous (rare indeed!) and is also refunding us a comfy chunk of change this year. Due again, no doubt, to the changed exemption status because of last years tax disaster.

Day 536 Still got Nuthin’

OK – after that little break (is it a break if it was for work related schtuph?) we can get back to it. What ever “it” is. Oh yeah – taxes and the refunds of same.

So. We got some dental work to pay for. Specifically a crown. Ouch. Also have a spankin’ new fridge to pay for. The fridge we got on a 1 year same as cash deal and have whittled down the balance. Have until July to pay it off and there’s maybe 2/3 of the original balance left. Heck, that includes buying all our house painting materials for last year too. Those two items will take care of the federal refund.

Cindy’s dad actually gave us some money to buy 3 new windows for the living room to match what we’ve done in the family room. Somehow, those funds got caught up in paying Christmas related bills, so we have to make up that cash from somewhere. Hello state refund.

We also have to plunk down $1500 to pay for Eric’s apartment rent for his fall semester. In June. Rat bastards have a nice system working there. Collect the entire semesters rent up front, 2 months early no less, and suck up all the extra interest. Landlord is netting $12K a year minimum on that apartment alone (2 semesters/4 kids each semester). Wonder what the mortgage and utilities run for a place like that?

Anyhow – the fall rent money is also accounted for. What I’m really itching for is getting a new computer at home (we currently have a 5 year old, 500MHz beastie with a 6G hard drive and no CD burner) and a real live digital camera, not the cheap one that came with my phone. Have to see if there’s going to be any possibility of talking Cindy into either of those. The camera shouldn’t be a very hard sell, but the computer might not go over so easy. Wouldn’t mind having something with an OS that’s iPod friendly, can burn CD’s and has a large enough hard drive to store a few hundred songs. Is that so much to ask? Hope not.

Hit up a new & different elliptical machine this morning. Number 59 to be exact. That little blip I had last week with the unusually high calorie burn rate? Definitely a miscalibrated machine. #59 responded pretty much like all the rest. #10 on the other hand seems to shave maybe 5bpm off your heart rate, which really changes the resistance levels at which it thinks you should be running. Unfortunately, #10 was occupied again this morning, and the girl that was using it normally gets in a pretty good work out herself, so I didn’t have much hope of waiting her out by hitting the weight room first. Plus, I really don’t like doing cardio after weights. Seem so sluggish, especially if it’s a leg day.

Had a fun little scare Tuesday. Our mail servers at work had been acting kind of cranky of late – seemingly holding up emails and delivering them in batches. Hours & hours after they were originally posted. Tuesday was no exception. I have a little bell dingy that goes off when new emails arrive. Very subtle – and is limited to checking my in-box on the half hour. Finally, about 4:30 pm it dings for the first time since early morning. In my in-box is an email from Cindy with the subject line “tonight”. This is usually something to do with her heading to the gym and what’s planned for dinner. Well, this particular email was posted at 11:30 am and here I am reading it at 4:30 pm. Email said something to the effect of “I’m heading to the gym after work, what are you cooking for dinner?”

Now, I don’t mind cooking dinner at all. Even look forward to it. But Tuesday is aerobics night and I typically don’t eat till after aerobics. Cindy knows that. Plus, we already established that I was to cook dinner Wednesday. Even had the menu planned. Unfortunately, at 4:30, Cindy is already at or headed for the gym. I had no option but to head to Wegmans.com and check out their menu suggestions and look for something quick to cook that I either knew we had the ingredients for or I could pick up on my way home. Oy. Settled for a poached salmon in a thin marinara sauce with pasta and steamed asparagus. All I had to get was the salmon, asparagus, fish stock and a bit of fresh rosemary. Everything else we had (kalamata olives, garlic, shallots, a little white wine, marinara sauce) Easy. So I swing by Wegmans on my way home (I only pass 2 of them during my 7 mile trip) and get all the goodies. Get home, start setting up the kitchen to do a quick poaching & steaming job. Happen to notice a big Tupperware (Rubbermaid – what ever) container in the sink. It is holding a frozen batch of Chipotle Chicken Chowder, apparently out to thaw. Grrrrrrrrrr. I just put all the crap I got out away and waited for Cindy.

She finally gets home from the gym and is looking at me kinda funny. Cuz I was looking at her like I was a little upset. I asked her about the email she sent. She said she was kidding, only asking “what was for dinner” (a running joke with us) and never mentioned anything about me cooking. That’s when I called a bullshit. Made her go retrieve the email from her “sent” folder.

That’s when she noticed she had asked “So what are you cooking for dinner?” Oopsie. So she got her yuks and a little more. We put the chowder on to heat through and decided to do up the salmon the next day. Also made her promise to at least add an (lol) next time she’s pulling a funny in an email. Subtle humor is not always so obvious in printed form.

Anyhow – the salmon dish was really good. Had it last night after all. We’ll have it again, but will probably change the sauce some so that it sticks to the pasta better. If’n you want to try it, the recipe can be found here: Wegmans
Look around a little too. Wegmans has some great recipes on that site. We’ve tried a bunch of them and have added quite a few to our regular rotation.

That’s about enough for now. Got to go to some swanky work celebration at “The Artisan Works”. Something about having had a good 2005 financially. Guess that’s good.


Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 202.75 on 2/4/06 (Told you it was going to be a good one)
Target: 180 by 7/1/06
Next weigh in: 2/11/06

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 2/9/06: 107.25
Miles with cooldown: 118.17
Target for 2006: 1000 miles


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