Archive for the ‘Wegman’s’ Category

I’m pleased to report that the six day period of hell has come to a close.

This started last Saturday when we buried my cousin Bill, who had passed away a few weeks beforehand. I had written about the sense of loss I felt at that time, but we finally got his ashes to their final resting place. We followed up with a family brunch at the Exeter Family Restaurant , which was underwhelming to say the least, then Supportive Partner Woman and I made tracks back to cow country. The following day, my mom came up so I could do her taxes. We then took her for her first ever visit to Wegman’s.

She was a bit overwhelmed.

She called when she got home to let us know she was safe, then a few minutes later, the phone rang again to let us know that Aunt Marie had passed away on Saturday night.

(thump)

The other shoe had dropped.

That funeral was this past Friday… bookending a six day stretch that was crappy, to say the least. This week was also filled with too many work obligations, not enough sleep, and not enough fresh air.

All it proves is that life is too damn short.

In the good news department, though, I did manage to construct a solidly-built ramp for my in-law’s home so my mother-in-law can get out to the family room. It was a chance to use power tools (which I’m always in favor of), and a chance to bitch about cheap Chinese-made wood screws. I might have something there… there’s NO reason an 18v cordless drill should be able to torque the head right off the screw. This happened twice. Not happy, but what can you do? I also opted to build a computer stand for the iMac, freeing up space underneath for the external hard drive and the Time Machine.

I also got some good exercise in. My group meeting took place with the exercise physiologist and he had us doing circuits. I was doing OK, but the mountain climbers really hurt on Saturday. The part that made me feel pretty good was the running in place… I was able to go 45 seconds without too much effort. This leads me to believe that I can do some intervals during the Troegtoberfest race and not be dead last. Woot!

I’ve also come to a conclusion that I’m going to go see a wound care specialist about Stubby and Wayne. These things are healing, but it seems the podiatrist doesn’t have a clue on how to make it more permanent (and faster). If I have to go back in the boot for awhile, so be it… if it really helps, I’m all for it.

So, I’m calling it a night. Hope that you all have a very happy Easter (Passover, etc.) and I’ll catch you in a few days.

I’ve posted a few times about participating in the Nerd Herd Racing Series. It’s a series of virtual 5 and/or 10K and half-marathon events based on pop culture themes sacred to nerds everywhere.

I was late to the party, but I managed to register for the entire series, which means I have three races to do by September 28. The first one was themed after Star Wars and Star Wars Day. It was originally intended to be completed by May 4, but I’m slow. 🙂

My first race bib

My first race bib

It’s a pretty warm day here in cow country. Sun beating down, humid as the dickens, still air. But I knew I had to get my work done. I figured I’d knock the 5K out since it needed to be done and, well, doing it on the treadmill at the air conditioned gym would be sort of like cheating. We have a nice loop in the neighborhood that’s a tad over a half mile. I figured six laps would do it and I could cross that 5K off my list.

Started out swimmingly. The sun felt good, just being outside felt good. Started up my pedometer app and walked. The iPhone served up a nice selection of tunes to keep me moving (Ozzy, Cake, Chic, Iron Maiden, Eminem, and NWA, to name a few). All good.

Made the first and second laps and I could feel the pace start to slow a bit. I wasn’t killing it, coming back from Wayne‘s missing toenail, but I was working up a sweat. That’s when I realized how much of the marathon game is mental. You feel the sun beating on your head. The head and humidity surrounding you, and while your body can take it, it’s your mind saying, “Screw this, let’s go back, grab a shower and watch The Price is Right.”

My respect for the folks who run marathons soared because I was feeling that at one mile and they actually run for 26 miles.

I buried those doubting feelings and gave the voice in my head a smack down. Because it had to be done. If I couldn’t walk a 5K without giving up, well, that would mean all that I’ve been through was worthless.

I wasn’t going to let that happen. I’ve taken the easy way out waaaaaaaaay too many times.

Not this time. No way, no how.

Not the greatest pace, but it's the distance that really matters.

Not the greatest pace, but it’s the distance that really matters.

So, I finished. Hot, sweaty, but I completed what I started. And I feel good about it.

As you can see, it was a pace slightly over an hour. That’s not optimal, but it’s a start. When I do the second leg (the Happy Birthday Harry Potter 5K/10K), that 5K number will be under an hour. And I’ll have a photo to prove it.

In other news, Supportive Partner Woman and I got to pay a visit to the holy temple of Wegman’s over the weekend. Got a lovely piece of swordfish that I just simply baked with some olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Very flavorful. I also picked up some 7.66 pounds of ground beef. SPW has been asking for meatballs, so I thought I’d make them for her. I’m always amazed by the selection and quality of meat at Wegman’s. And the price… that 90% lean beef clocked in at $2.99 a pound. Can’t beat it unless you want to butcher your own cows and I’m pretty sure Wanda would take issue with that.

Oh, almost forgot that SPW and I appeared on the most recent episode of the Mickey Miles Podcast. Click here and choose Episode 96 if you want to give it a listen. I’d like to thank Mike & Michelle for having us on and letting us share our story. They do a great job and I’d encourage you to give them a listen.

That’s all I have for today. Hope you have a great day and remember to stay active. Keeps you young.

It’s been a good weekend so far, for the most part. The blister appears to be pretty much healed, I got to do the sanding on my project, and the British Grand Prix was a helluva race.

In the other good news, Supportive Partner Woman (Getting her work in!) has been hitting the gym with regularity. This makes me very happy that she’s been doing this. I know how much of a difference it has mad in my general health and well-being and I hope it has the same effect on her as well.

Yesterday was also a chicken BBQ day at the little Mennonite church on the corner. Pretty tasty stuff and, for me, two meals. 🙂 I ate the leg and thigh yesterday, I still have the breast and wing, so it might actually become a three-meal chicken dinner. I knew there was a plus to this surgery thing.

As for the blister, well, I protected it with moleskin when we went to the gym yesterday and stayed on the arc trainer and lifted weights. That was more for some protection, just in case. After I got home and took a shower, I figured I’d go without, since things seem to be really well-healed. After a few hours running errands and the like, I found that my sock was bone dry and the foot seemed in great shape. It’s a far cry from the last blister. I’m taking that as a positive sign. As for today, I’ll probably put moleskin on for the gym visit, just to be cautious, then I’m going without for the rest of the day. See what happens. I’m hopeful that there will be a Wegman’s trip today, which will be a nice change for the foot.

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen

I’d also like to give a shoutout to Nico Rosberg on his win at Silverstone today. Looked like it would be another Vettel runaway, but Nico was there when Vettel’s gearbox went and managed to hold off a charging Mark Webber for the win. Also, mad props to my boy Kimi Raikkonen for scoring his 25th consecutive points finish, setting a new record for consistency in Formula 1.

That about covers it for the day. Hope to post more frequently this week and maybe give a fundraising update. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Check out my Avon Walk fundraising page here!

Song of the Day: Slit Skirts – Pete Townshend

The lowlight of the weekend was getting the inevitable e-mail from AirTran saying that our flights had changed. I booked out of Reagan National in order to save a few bucks and because the times were perfect. Flights were nonstop and avoided the ninth circle of Hell that is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Nothing against Atlanta, it’s probably a great city. I’d just never want to fly there because I’m sure my luggage would take a nice, scenic detour through the Kamchatka Peninsula on its way to Hotlanta.

So, the email stated that our new departing flight left DCA at 6:01 AM, then we had to change planes AND airlines in Atlanta on the way to MCO, getting in around 11:30 AM. That doubled the length of travel time, which was less than optimal. Same deal on the return flight… obligatory stop in Atlanta, leaving two hours earlier than desired, etc.

I cooled off for a day (otherwise Ensign Furious might’ve sailed up aboard his garbage scow and that’s never pretty) and opted to call them this morning. What a circus.

First of all, the menu. The Voice gives you precious few options, one of which is NOT “Speak to a live actual person”. God help you if you opt to press 0, because the Voice gets a bit testy almost snarling “Invalid Command!” and then restarting the menu as if to say, “Now, where was I before you interrupted me, you ignorant jackass?”

Eventually, if you say or press nothing, you get a real, live person. Maybe The Voice does not like to be ignored. Whatever the reason, I got a guy who was reasonably helpful. After a few minutes of phone wrangling, he was able to get us on a flight out of BWI (much closer to home) that is non-stop and while it leaves a little later than preferred, it beats the trip through Il Purgatorio.

The fun part was when he was surprised when I wanted to change both trips. Why wouldn’t I want to fly out of BWI and into DCA? I could have a car stashed in both places. Seriously? To make a long story short, they changed the flights and didn’t require a change fee. Gotta like that. See, it’s been my experience that when you actually get a live person, they are pretty eager to help.

In the good news department, I didn’t fall off the treadmill today. That’s always a plus. No real damage from Friday’s misadventures other than a sizable bruise. Could’ve been a lot worse.

The Ultimate Collector's Series X-Wing

The Ultimate Collector’s Series X-Wing

Other things accomplished this weekend was replacing the shocks on Mario the Honda. They were pretty well gone and once Jim and I got the new shocks on, well, it rode and handled like a new car. Had to road test it, so we headed off to King of Prussia and the Lego Store. Through a combination of VIP points, a timely 10% coupon and a few other discounts/credits we came home with the new Ultimate Collectors Series X-Wing. It’s shaping up to be a most excellent build. This was followed by a trip to Wegman’s. Saturday night, Supportive Partner Woman and I went to El Serrano for a charity margarita competition in which our favorite bartender, Frank, was a contestant. All told, I had about an ounce or two of real, actual booze for the first time since last year. I’m happy to report that it stayed down. Frank wound up winning and gets to go to Mexico, so kudos to Frank! After that, our friends came over to the Nerd Lair and a good time was had by all.

So, all in all, it’s a positive start to the week. Let’s hope it continues.

Song of the Day: Not the Same – Ben Folds Five

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

Greetings!

Sorry I never got to write yesterday. We got busy with doctors appointments and errands and whatnot. It happens.

I did manage to spend most of the day out yesterday. First off, I had a foot doctor appointment. I managed to keep Stubby in check, but Wayne’s next door neighbor is a little ulcerated. Dr. Miller unroofed it and we’re doing the Betadyne and bandaid treatment until it dries up. This was a regular appointment, so I also got the toenails trimmed and all that.

Afterward, we went to visit Supportive Partner Woman (Practiced good eating habits!)’s mother. Had a nice visit over lunch, well, Mom ate, SPW and I kind of watched and chatted. Afterward, we took the car to the Three Minute Car Wash. This is a Reading, PA institution. You drop your car at the entrance and they clean it inside and outside, and clean it well, all for around $12 without any extras. It”s in a sketchy part of town, but the quality of the cleaning is far superior to some of the other full-service car washes in the area (cough, Cloister, cough) AND it’s less expensive.

Then it was off to the Lego Store at King of Prussia. It’s like Mecca for Lego geeks. We looked around and considered the new Architecture series release, the Imperial Hotel, but opted instead for the Palace Cinema. It’s pretty cool and bears a resemblance to The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I think that’s the real reason we went with it. It was a double points period, which means more VIP points for later. It’s like free money, so you can’t turn it down.

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Some really yummy tomato soup at Wegman’s

After that, we went looking for a place for SPW to grab a bite. I had my trusty pudding and Jell-o in the car, so I was good, but she needed to forage. We swung by Gino’s, which was a big fast food joint in our youth, recently resurrected as an “upscale” burger joint. It smelled fantastic, but SPW was underwhelmed by the menu and we hit the road for Collegeville and Wegman’s (insert choir of angels singing). This is a rather new Wegman’s and it’s in a huge retail complex that features an Eastern Mountain Sports, Best Buy and a Movie Tavern location. This Wegman’s actually has a pub with a sit down menu, and a huge cafe area. SPW managed to located a few tasty items and we found an organic tomato soup that was right up my alley. It was spicy instead of salty and really sit well with the pouch, which I think we will call Joe. I also brought in my pudding cup. Shhh.

It was my first meal out since Red Robin a couple of weeks ago and while it was only soup, it really went down well. I couldn’t finish it all (no surprise) but that’s OK. I have some more of that yumminess for today.

On today’s agenda will be registering for the 5K in January.

Yup… I’m we’re really going to do it. And you’d better believe that when we get those finisher medals, we’re wearing them. Other than that, not sure what’s on the agenda. A walk, for sure.

OH… one other thing that I wanted to share. The last three days, my blood glucose has been at 88. It’s weird, but three days in a row, slightly different times, same number. I guess consistency is key.

Have a great day and get out for a walk!

 

Supportive Partner Woman (Mistress of the Twittergraph!) and I did some cooking this weekend, trying to jump-start back to our healthier lifestyle. With everything going on, healthy eating wasn’t quite at the forefront, convenience was.

We made an excursion to Wegman’s on Saturday. This was our regular Wegman’s… in Mechanicsburg, PA. It’s in the ideal retail complex. You have Wegman’s, Best Buy, Target, Office Max and Chick-Fil-A all in one complex. It’s like Christmas. We found a really nice beef roast and decided we’d throw that in the slow cooker and I’d make some other stuff, since SPW (Slave to the Voter’s Guide!) had to work. Sunday morning, we cooperated on getting the roast ready, although SPW (Eater of tasty beef!) did the lion’s share of the prep. I just measured out broth and chopped carrots and potatoes. Once it was cooking away, I made lunch… tomato soup and grilled ham & cheese sandwiches. Used a boxed Trader Joe’s soup that was pretty tasty, but it was in the pantry.

Dinner!

After SPW (Queen of the slow cooker!) left for work, I got down to business. I started by opting to make from-scratch risotto for the first time. I used mushrooms, garlic, shallots, white wine and chicken stock, along with arborio rice and, well, I thought it turned out to be pretty good. Had the right level of stickiness, and it was the right texture. I had been dreading it, but the actual making process wasn’t that bad. I was amazed with the quantity of risotto 1.5 cups of arborio rice actually makes. It sucked up around 6.5 cups of liquid! I’m going to add the recipe to this post… I will be using it again, although probably not until I manage to eat the rest of this batch 🙂

Brings me to the next topic… leftovers. This is one place where Supportive Partner Woman and I disagree. She detests leftovers… I think they are the greatest thing ever. I like variety in my meals, but if I can have a nice, balanced meal without spending a ton of time to make it, well, I’m all for it.

In other changes, I start a long period of day shift this week. It will seem strange, but it also gives me more time to cook a fresh meal. Hopefully, Supportive Partner Woman will be able to come home for dinner on a regular basis once her job situation settles down. We shall see.

Here’s the risotto recipe. All measurements are not exact 🙂

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients:
6 cups chicken broth – divided
3 tablespoons olive oil – divided
8 oz. white mushrooms thinly sliced
2 diced shallots (I had some in a jar, so I used those)
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Little Penguin pinot grigio)
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Parmesan
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (I omitted)
sea salt to taste
coarse ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
1) In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

2) Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

3) Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 20-30 minutes.

4) Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

There you have it. Just remember to be patient and keep stirring.

More tomorrow!

Song of the Day: The Forecast (Calls for Pain) – Robert Cray Band
Currently Reading: First Family – David Baldacci

Quote of the Day:

I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting. – Andy Rooney