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Welcome to December
2006-12-04, 1:40 p.m.

Day 834 Welcome to December?

For what its worth, this weeks free association list from Unconscious Mutterings
I say ... and you think ... ?
1. Hello :: Good-bye
2. Flinstone :: Chewables
3. Corn :: bread
4. Interview :: job
5. Deviant :: septual
6. Concept :: idea
7. Bridge :: gap
8. Karen :: aunt
9. Encounter :: meet
10. Biological :: natural

Have no idea what to read into these. Kinda all over the map. Picking opposites, finishing phrases, opting for synonyms. Given the current (unknown) status of our divisions funding for next year, picking job for interview is enlightening. I do, in fact, have an Aunt Karen, I do enjoy a slice of good corn bread, but I am not a septual deviant (i.e. possess a deviated septum).

So what have we been up to around these parts? Nuthin. Big nasty storm missed us for the most part. We got wind, we got cold, we got zippo for snow. Might have a few branches out in the yard to pick up. West of us, in Buffalo, I think they got some snow, and maybe the folks at the east end of Lake Ontario got some, but so far, we got bupkus. Which is good, because my snow blower is still out in the shed, in need of an oil change and a little pre-season lubing. Weather forecast for the week doesnt look too dire, maybe Ill get to it this weekend.

Made some real headway towards wrapping up Christmas shopping Friday. That was the day Cindy & I traditionally have taken off from work and attacked the bulk of the Christmas shopping. Crowds are nothing like Black Friday. We hit the stores at a leisurely pace mid morning, shop a bit, wander off for lunch, then pound the pavement for a few more hours in the afternoon.

Anymore, we hit up a few favorite shops, pick up some specific items on sale in stores only, and generally try to have a stress free day. With the advent of on-line shopping (Cindy loves her click-n-ship), we can really pick & choose our times to be at the malls. May as well make it as painless as possible.

Due to the shopping frenzy on Friday, I skipped the usual morning workout. Didnt need to, I knew Cindy would be hung over enough that there was no way wed start early, but it felt nice to sleep in. There was some question as to whether wed start at all. Thursday night Cindy was having trouble making a decision and committing to it, more due to possibly not remembering what decision she had just made 10 minutes prior. THAT would be attributable to her choice of beverage for the evening and not her hair color. (Blond, but no one believes the bubble-headed blond myth, right?) Also seems that my bowling for the evening contributed to the lack of commitment. Seems that with me out of the house, its easier for her to drink at will no sneaking them in behind my back.

Now, Saturday I also eschewed the usual morning workout I though at the request of my darling wife, who had plans on finishing off the annual Christmas make over of our domestic decorating. Apparently there was a little lack of communication happening Friday night. Cindy mentioned how it would be nice if I actually skipped my morning workout so we could get an early start. I thought I said ok fine, I can do that, as long as theres an opportunity to hit the gym later in the day. Saturday morning comes around and Cindy is surprised to see me at home drinking coffee at 8am. WTF?!? Im now thinking that whole ok fine . . . musta happened only in my head (entirely possible). Ah well. I did my domestic decorating duties, interior version, played nicely, helped a little in other areas and was allowed to go play at the gym in the afternoon.

Might be something to that afternoon workout stuff too. Instead of doing the ellipticals, I opted for the treadmill. Ran a 5K with a 0.5 slope (to better simulate outdoors I guess). Had my best time yet, by 45+ seconds. Could have been better too. Once I was done, I realized there was some gas left in the tank and I could have stepped up the pace a little sooner. May have been a little hesitant to speed up because I knew there was a full circuit of Nautilus coming and running is normally a little tougher on my quads than the elliptical.

Really sad part? Ran right around an 8:00 mile pace. Had my best time in 30 years for a 5K. Sucky part is I used to run a 6:30 pace in high school, all those years and all those cigarettes ago. Wonder if I can ever get back to that kind of pace? That would usually place in the top 3 for my age bracket (28 29 year olds with serious delusional problems), and even cash in some races. Cash as in what, $25? Most of these runs are for a charity of some sort, so I believe turning the winnings over to the charity would be, I dont know, charitable?

Bottom line is I see more 5 & 10 K runs on the treadmills this winter. I saved all my times from the 5 races I did last summer (anal, geek, engineer much?), so I have target times to shoot for. Training indoors, Ill just keep the slope upward and start doing longer runs 10, 15 even 20K. If I can get to banging out a 10K in 50 minutes or so I think Ill be in fine shape for the summers 5K racing season.

Continuing on with the running nah. This mornings jaunt on the ellipticals was pretty good, but now my quads are a little tender. Have to beat them back into shape tomorrow morning. Again.

What I really need to work on is making sure things get communicated clearly between Cindy & I. Weve had some mix-ups in the last handful of days, and I gotta admit some of the fault could have been mine. Ive gotten so into the habit of censoring everything I say more to curb my oft-times acerbic, sarcastic tongue, that maybe Ive gotten used to having unspoken thoughts lying about in my head. That whole deal about skipping my Saturday morning workout? Entirely possible I thought my response but never actually said it out loud. So. While cutting down on the sarcasm is good, I have to do a better job of filtering things and let the good stuff get by. Kinda like having an over aggressive spam filter and missing out on email from friends. Now I just have to avoid going overboard the other way and letting all the vi@gr@ and Ci@lis ads get through.

Bowling last Thursday. What a tough night. Very difficult night for getting strikes. Ended up bowling 4 whole pins over my average for the night. Games ranged from 191 215. 1st game, had 1 open frame, managed to string a few strikes, got the 215. Second game, no open frames, no doubles, got the 191. Third game, 2 opens, short string of strikes, got a whopping 195. Very difficult to get the ball to hook when and where you wanted. Speed was critical. Unfortunately it is soooo easy to throw the ball just a little too fast. It was a struggle. Glad to make average, but youd think that with only 3 opens all night long you could shoot more than a 601. Sheesh.

Better pretend to go do some work. Oh wait, thats what Ive been doing. I have a design spec I should be writing. Good thing all typing kinda sounds the same, eh?

Updated weight stats:

Start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current: 188 on 11/25/06 (Out of the rut, but wrong direction, durn stuffing)
Next: 12/2/06 (I didnt dare)

New target Aim is 180, by Christmas. Better get the rear in gear.

The Keep on Truckin goal: (miles piled up on elliptical trainers and/or running)
Miles at speed 11/29/06: 969.78
Miles with cool down: 1067.77
Target for 2006: 1000 miles at speed (cool down miles dont really count)

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old habits - new tricks