Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Anyone remember that time I was at the gym?

That time when I fell off the treadmill?

Didn’t think so, unless you were there this morning.

See, I was actually done with my workout. I had grabbed a cloth to wipe it down because that’s how I roll. I went to step off the treadmill (and you must know that I am always scared I’ll lose my balance, so I grab the rail to steady myself) and I managed to have my steadying hand slip and I collapsed in a heap. It wasn’t as “graceful” as in in the following video, but it was pretty embarrassing.


I’m going to have a pretty colorful bruise on my right hip, I should think… that’s pretty much the extent of my injury, other than the wounded pride.

So, yes… the word of the day is “whoops”.

In the good news, I managed to do my walk (before my tumble) at a 15:45 pace. Now if I could maintain that for 13.1 miles, I could do a Disney half-marathon, staying barely ahead of the sweep van. I’m not seeing that happen any time soon, though. I still have a long way to go yo just worry about the 5K.

I also managed to mix four batches of chocolate chip cookie dough. I’m now praying the weather holds out so the dreaded yard sale goes off as planned. I have cookies, brownies, water and Supportive Partner Woman (Excellent baker in her own right!) is planning on baking cupcakes. All we need is good weather and hungry customers. I would love to raise a nice chunk of change for Team All Ears, so keep your fingers crossed.

So, after a long holiday weekend, I’m back to the grind. However, it’s a Tuesday that feels like a Monday, it’s raining and I’d still rather be off.

Got to go to Wegman’s yesterday and I saw that the price of truffles was up to $999.99/pound. I commented to SPW that even with that price, it’s still hard out there for a pig. We picked up another piece of Copper River salmon which I roasted on a wood plank. It turned out very good. I added a spice mixture called “Mural of Flavor” which I had received as a gift. It’s a nice blend for fish… gives it a nice bit of flavor without drowning out the taste of the fish. Special thanks to Lori and Matt for providing the spice… and the best part is that it’s salt-free!

See? That's not good workmanship!

See? That’s not good workmanship!

So, after a weekend of living in the Beasts, I’m thinking that I now worship at the altar of Brooks. My feet feel so supported and comfortable that I don’t even really notice the extra space at the toe of the right shoe. I plan on consulting with my foot doctor to see if there’s anything that can be put in there as a spacer, just in case. Apparently, SPW is digging her new sneakers as well. I did send my New Balance trainers back to the company, though… there’s a plastic lace guard on the 856 that broke after only two months of wear and the lace is digging into the leather. I emailed the company and they said they would send me another pair. It will be nice to have the trainers available for sessions in the gym and leave the runners for the roadwork.

Grandeur of the Seas showing fire damage

Grandeur of the Seas showing fire damage

In sad news, though, Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas suffered a fire over the weekend that resulted in the passengers being flown back to Baltimore. It was a really nice ship and we had a great time aboard her. It was sad seeing that pristine white hull with fire damage. Hopefully she will be repaired and back in service before too long. The good news is that there were no injuries reported and the ship retained full power and was able to make port in the Bahamas without too much inconvenience.

That about does it for today. Hope that you all had a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Song of the Day: Round and Round – RATT

One of the pleasures of my new diet is that I can eat lots of protein, and in my mind, the best way to get protein is seafood. I just love fish, mollusks and crustaceans. I had mentioned in the last post that Supportive Partner Woman (owner of new running shoes!) had picked up a small piece of Copper River salmon. Well, we both had off today and after running around, it was time for dinner. We also had a few clusters of snow crab legs in the freezer, so I opted for surf n’ surf, because, well, you can’t go wrong with that.

Rocking my new apron and lovely piece of fish.

Rocking my new apron and lovely piece of fish.

So, after slapping the fish on a piece of cedar wood, I boiled up the crab legs with Old Bay and served them with melted butter (not for me, though), alongside the salmon. It’s just amazing how much more flavor the salmon has than the typical farm-raised stuff. I was also rocking my new apron that was part of my groomsman’s gift for yesterday’s extravaganza. It was a nice end to a very busy day.

SPW and I both went to the driving range. It was a great day for it, if a little windy. I really like my five iron… I was making some nice, straight shots that had a perfect arc on them. I don’t have my distance back, yet, but I am looking forward to a real round of golf with Lieutenant Graham one of these days.

Other than that, part of my day was occupied with watching racing. Specifically, the Monaco Grand Prix. It was nice to see Nico Rosberg win what is basically his home Grand Prix and also to be the first son of a Monaco winner to win the race. Memorial Day weekend is really a good time for racing, between Monaco, Indianapolis and Charlotte.

So, we also paid a visit to Inside Track to get SPW a new pair of kicks. She wound up with a very shiny pair of New Balance 860’s that she said fit wonderfully. It’s simply amazing how getting shoes in the right size can help your feet. Turns out her old shoes were too narrow. Took Mark at Inside Track all of about three seconds to figure that out, and he went in the back and came out with these and it was love. Professionals are a good thing.

At any rate, that’s all I have to talk about at the moment. There’s going to be a big announcement the week after next, so stay tuned!

Song of the Day: 10538 Overture – Electric Light Orchestra


It’s been good to be wearing a regular shoe. The Toe. That. Will. Not. Heal. is now the Toe. That Would. Not. Heal. That’s right… the Boot of Shame has been put back in storage until the next time it’s needed.

My first stop after leaving the foot doctor on Tuesday was at Inside Track. This place is apparently THE running store for central PA and I can see why. The owner, Mark, took one look at me and knew I was dealing with overpronation and hammer toes and knew which shoe would work for me. I picked up my Brooks Beasts today and I can’t wait to start breaking them in. He was able to fit me up, knew exactly how these shoes ran in terms of sizing, and was able to get a pair of size 13 EEEE shoes in just two days.

Speaking of our upcoming 5K, I’ll be posting some information regarding fundraising in the coming weeks. I’ll be raising money for the Avon Walk through Team All Ears. Too many of us know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer, whether directly or indirectly, and it’s my hope that we will have a cure in my lifetime. Keep your eyes peeled.

My new Brooks Beasts

My new Brooks Beasts

I’ve always struggled with shoes… I think I kept trying to squeeze my feet into smaller shoes, not for any reason other than I hated trying them on. Plus, the last time I tried a size that was a little wider then what I was sued to, I could feel my ankle grinding. Not a good feeling. But, I figure if I’m going to do this 5K, I’d better have decent shoes for it. Mark assured me that while my trusty New Balance trainers were fine for general use and working out, these would be a far better option for any serious roadwork. I was sold the second I slipped them on and walked around outside (Could you see Foot Locker or Dick’s let you wear the shoes outside?). These have plenty of cushion and the motion control insoles really cradled my feet. I was concerned about the length difference in my feet, but they seem OK to start. If there’s a problem, Brooks will even create a mixed-pair order for me. Good to know.

So, speaking of shoes, I’m in a wedding on Saturday. I went to Men’s Wearhouse to get fitted and was presented with the dreaded rental shoe problem. Is there nothing worse than rental shoes? I mean, they don’t fit, they feel cheap, and they want to charge you $20 extra to torture your own feet. I was worried that I would have issues, so I went in search of my dress wingtips, which I might add I wore to my wedding almost nine years ago. They aren’t the greatest fit ever, but they should be enough to get me through the day, and Lord knows they are a better fit and quality than the rental shoes. I mean, seriously, bowling shoes are much more comfortable and don’t cost $20 to rent.

Other than that, I’ve been managing to keep food down today. My lunch was a crab burrito that we found at the store last night. It’s pretty spicy, not too much rice and loaded with beans, crab meat, and salsa. Oh, and Supportive Partner Woman (Still the bestest wife ever!) located some Copper River salmon and picked up a small piece. If you’ve never had this salmon, it’s easily the best you can find. It’s wonderfully red with no added dyes like the farm-raised stuff. (Also, I love seeing “Atlantic salmon – product of Chile… guess nobody ever looked at a map to see exactly where Chile is) I’m looking forward to plank roasting it and just having it melt in my mouth. The season only runs about a month, but,  well, damn.

We also attended the Friends of the Library book sale at Franklin & Marshall college. Gotta love when you can score three big bags of books for around $35. Plus, all the proceeds benefit the library. After we read the books, we wind up donating most of them back to the library, so they can be sold again. I would prefer to keep them, but storage space becomes a premium in a townhouse.

At any rate, I have an appointment with the boys tomorrow. I think I’ll be breaking out the Beasts and seeing if they get Ryan approval. I’m also going to invest in some decent socks that should help the blister conditions. The guys at Inside Track said that cotton socks are a bad choice because of how much moisture they hold. We will see what happens.

Hope that you all have a great day!

Song of the Day: Nineteen Forever – Joe Jackson

The title pretty much describes how I feel. I left out frustrated, though.

I think the combination of the post operative blues, third shift and the Toe That Will Not. Freakin. Heal. has really been weighing on me. I’m kind of fed up, to the point that weight loss or not, I have times where I regret the surgery. I know, it’s not like I can return it, but I just really want to feel good and instead I feel meh.

That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the fact that I fit in my clothes that much easier and I can bend over and tie my shoes. Hell, I can actually SEE my feet for a change. Better than having to just catch a glimpse over the Buddha. It’s just that while I don’t miss the general lethargy of being a fat tie, I miss the days when I just felt good in general. I haven’t had one of those days since before the operation.

The thing that really bothers me is that I have this scent in my mind. It’s at the edge of my consciousness, I can’t even tell you what it is, but I smell it everywhere. It’s a sickly sweet odor and it can have me on the verge of nausea. I’m not sure why it’s happening, but I think it’s related to surgery. It goes well with my phantom pain from my toe. I’m normal, though… I’ve seen a lot of people post about the phantom scents and that it will usually go away in about two months.

In the good news, the toe has actually started to show some healing. Dr. Miller also fashioned a spacer that I can use to keep the toe off the shoe and I can probably go back to a regular shoe rather than the Boot of Shame. Once it heals up, he wants to do a tendon release, which is a minor surgical procedure that will take about a week to heal. Otherwise, I will be at a higher risk of similar problems in the future. I’m just glad that I might finally be out of the boot. The latex appliance is still curing, but if it gives me a chance to be out of the dreaded boot and getting back to living, well, I’m all for it.

Did some kitchen stuff yesterday. I mixed up a batch of tuna salad and also made my first-ever oven roasted chicken. I rubbed the bird down with olive oil, rubbed spices up under the skin, stuffed the cavity full of onions and celery and garlic. It turned out pretty good and yes, I did manage to eat a small piece of it. It was very juicy and flavorful, which is what you hope for.

At any rate, I think I’m going to head to bed. Just a few more days of dreaded third shift to go.Then, maybe back to living like a normal person?

Who knows.

Good afternoon!

Neil at Fenway

Neil at Fenway

It’s been a few days since I’ve written. A lot has gone down. First of all, they took care of those two jokers in Boston. That’s a good thing. Granted, it’s not much solace to the folks who lost their lives or were permanently maimed, but it means they won’t be hurting anyone else. Secondly, Neil Diamond showed at Fenway Park to lead the crowd in Sweet Caroline. Granted, he was singing along with himself, which has to be a little awkward, unless you’re Bieber or any other of those modern-day hacks who can’t perform live to save their souls. At least he wasn’t lip-syncing.

We had Marvin the glass man in yesterday to replace the first two of four windows. He did a really nice job. It’s so nice to be able to look at the window and see more than just moisture between the panes. There’s one tiny hole where the gasket doesn’t fit the frame perfectly, so I went downstairs to find some caulk. What I found instead was a big puddle under the water heater. The water heater is not fast, though, however, the feed pipe has a pinhole in it. So, I’m waiting for Rob the handyman to show up and fix it. I always say that it’s important to have a stable of people who can do this sort of stuff, so you can get it fixed promptly by people you trust.

Other than that, the food intake has been improving, even if the toe isn’t improving that much. I’m still pretty bummed about that, but what can I do? No matter what I do, the tip of the tow rubs against the sock, the floor, or the Boot of Shame. I think I might have to have the podiatrist release the tendon that’s causing the toe to curl. Better than losing another toe. Back onto food, I managed to eat more scallops yesterday. They go down well and, more importantly, stay down. This is good. I’ve not had anything come up for two days, and I’ve had scallops and pulled turkey BBQ. Pretty yummy stuff. I can’t consume a lot of it, but that’s a good thing.

Weight has continued to decrease. Am down to 321.0 this morning. That makes 59 pounds lost, which is a good thing. I can’t help but think how much I’d be losing if I could actually work out. I know… nothing I can do about it, but I really REALLY want to get back to it.

Speaking of going back, I go back to work tomorrow night. I’m looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. I’ll be glad for the work and the paycheck, but it’s the busiest two weeks of the year, so it will be a little crazy. Plus, I have to hope that my food continues to stay down. That would be awfully embarrassing. I’ll keep you posted.

I did manage to get up this morning to watch the Bahrain Grand Prix. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel ran away with the race, but the two other podium spots belonged to Lotus, which made me happy, especially since Kimi Raikkonen finished second. He’s become my favorite driver, mainly because he spends more time drinking the giant magnum of champagne rather than spraying it. Gotta love it.

Have a great Sunday!

Song of the Day: Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (It really couldn’t be anything else)

Since I need something to keep me busy, I thought I’d share the saga of the living room windows.

I might have previously mentioned that our development is the reason they instituted building codes in our township. To say that the contractors took some liberties would be putting it mildly. They used a lot of cheap materials (mainly the roof) and apparently the windows. Don’t get me wrong… the specs are fine. They are double-paned, low-e glass. That’s about where the good points stop. See, they have an alarming tendency to break the seals between the panes causing condensation. This has been the case with our living room windows since we moved in.

It’s not always been super high on our priority list. The truth is, we have sheer curtains that block the view of the window panes and, well, out of sight, out of mind.

This changed in the previous weeks… out of nowhere, one of the panes cracked. The inside pane. Just a big crack, nasty as you please. This has required us to engage the services of Marvin the Glass Man. Marvin came out, took measurements and will be installing new glass next week. I mentioned to SPW that it would certainly be nice to be able to open the windows. She concurred, then we realized that the skeevy previous occupant’s giant dogs did a number on the screens for those windows. I decided to give rescreening a try.

Now, know that I have never done this. I did not have tools or even know what was involved. I talked to me neighbor, who said it wasn’t too difficult. So, I went to Lowe’s, bought the materials and came home to give it a try.

The first attempt was not good. In an attempt to stretch the screen to make it nice and taut, I managed to rip it. Just tore like nobody’s business. I was not particularly happy about this… after all, that was good money I just wasted. So, I said, “I’ll try it again later.”

The second time was the charm.

So, I have one screen mostly done, and three more to go. As for Marvin, he’s coming next week.

In other news, I weighed in at 330.8 yesterday. That means I’m down 49.2 pounds since I started the program. I’m pretty pleased about that. I also ate my first real food. I had a scallop that tasted awesome. Paired with a scrambled egg, because, well, at this point, the variation in my menu is really limited. It was nice to actually chew something with substance, and it went down well. It stayed down, too, which is always a huge help. I’m actually really glad that fish and seafood are considered to be soft foods… some of my favorite foods are in that category.

So, I’m up early today because I need to go to a funeral. My dad’s cousin passed away a few days ago and I need to go to pay respects to the family. We kind of lost touch over the years, as often happens, but it’s what needs to be done. I also have to stop and pick up my mother, because the funeral home is located in Reading, and she’s scared to drive in the city. I tried to tell her that most of the drug dealers and gangbangers are not awake at 10 AM on a Saturday morning, but she wasn’t having any of that. I’m not disputing that Reading is pretty much a shithole , but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get jacked just going to a funeral. The plus side is that I actually have clothes to wear that fit. I’m not going for a suit, mainly because my dress shoes no longer fit me (foot pronation has made them impossible to wear), but I’m sure my suit would actually fit again. Instead, khakis, dress shirt, necktie and a tweed jacket. Not exactly cutting edge, but presentable enough. It was funny, though… the last time I wore a dress shirt was for our niece’s college graduation and I was stuffed into it like a sausage. This time, it feels like a tent. I guess that’s better.

At any rate, hope you all have a great day!

Song of the Day: King of Anything – Sara Bareilles