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.


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


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.


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.


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

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

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

Supportive  Partner Woman (crafter of fine mershed perderders!) and I had some company last night. It’s been awhile since we had the chance to entertain together, so it was a lot of fun. Prep work started Friday night. I whipped together a beef marinade, consisting of olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce (reduced sodium), mustard and Worcestershire sauce. SPW and I found some lovely sirloin cubes at Wegman’s during our last visit, so I threw those in the bag with the marinade and let them soak. I like marinades… not always the healthiest thing to add to the diet, but it’s a way to add a LOT of flavor and still have that stuff cook away.

We paid a visit to the Corn Wagon, which, sadly, sold out. That happens if you don’t get there early enough. What else can you do? We also stopped for beer. See, SPW is a beer snob and this can be a long drawn-out process. We came back with a variety pack from Fort Collins Brewery. We tend to like the variety packs… adds a range of selections to your beer fridge and allows you to try a bunch of stuff without dropping $40 on a full case of something you hate. Plus, Pennsylvania makes it difficult to buy just a six-pack, unless you want to go to a place that’s licensed for six packs, then you pay through the nose.

Post beer distributor, it was off to the grocery store.  We had to pick up some produce and a few other sundry items. Then it was back home to cook. SPW has been living the Julia Child dream the past week or so, so she decided to use one of Julia’s recipes to create a beef brisket dish. It looked pretty, had wonderful texture, but I found the flavor to be a little muted. That was rectified, however, when you added some au jus to it. I grilled chicken and steak skewers that turned out tasting pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

The skewers of yumminess!

Other than the aforementioned steak marinade, I made a chicken one with oil, vinegar, and a load of spices. Couldn’t find any “poultry seasoning” so I just threw a few extra pinches of this and that in the bowl. My secret ingredient was bacon salt. It gave the chicken the slightest hint of bacon-y goodness. Granted, it was easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there. Threw the skewers on the grill and let them broil away happily. Also to the skewers I added some green pepper, some Mayan sweet onion, mushrooms and finished them with grape tomato. Adding the tomato to the end of the skewer had a two-fold purpose. First of all, grilling them really makes the sweetness come out, and secondly, the tomato sticks nicely to the skewer, keeping everything where it needs to be.

Cooked them around 15 minutes. Started the temperatures pretty high to get a nice sear on the meat, then backed the heat off to finish. No complaints… and only two of them left. I did have a whoopsie, though… when putting the skewers on the serving dish, one of them went *plop* on the deck. Since my deck surface is not the cleanest place on the planet (read: pollen and whatever dust is drifting over from the new school construction site) I disregarded the five second rule and opted to pitch it.

Most of the bounty on the table… still waiting on the broccoli. Thanks, Jed, for the picture!

Dinner was a decent success. It’s always nice to cook for more than one or two, and we had enough food that no one went away hungry. It’s funny that both SPW and I like to cook, are good cooks, and don’t cook enough. This is why we’ve taken to a Sunday meal at home when she has to work and I have off (like today). Thinking I might make some of the marinated steak and pair it with a lovely piece of sockeye that we scored yesterday. Such beautiful color to that fish.

So, post dinner and business, we adjourned to the Nerd Lair. I call it the Man Cave when SPW (The Management!) isn’t around, but when it’s coed, it’s the Nerd Lair. This is where I set up our home theater, as well as our bar. It’s basically the refuge from the everyday world. We’ve put a comfy couch down there, a couple of other chairs… bar stools (there are some things that you can’t do without) and a selection of adult beverages. I can’t really drink anymore, but that doesn’t mean drinking does not occur in the Nerd Lair. I’ve created a few twists on old classic drinks… one of SPW’s favorites is what I call my left-handed Philips head screwdriver. Take your basic vodka/orange juice combo, add triple sec for even more citrus flavor and for color, add a splash of pomegranate grenadine. It helps to use a decent vodka, and the official vodka of the Nerd Lair bar is Tito’s. I know… it sounds funny, a vodka called Tito’s, but this is one of the best vodkas I ever tasted and it’s half the price of Gray Goose.

Main part of the bar

Straight on view of bar and back part.

The Nerd Lair bar is actually something of my creation. The main part started life as a cabinet I found at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. It was in some bad shape, but I stripped the old paint and refinished it. I also hand-built the tile tops for both pieces. That wasn’t fun… I’m not a great tiler, but I think they turned out looking pretty good. The back part was a custom build that I threw together last summer. We didn’t have enough space and I thought this would be a fun project. Wound up taking longer than I had hoped, but I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

The nerd Lair also has a theme… Penn State. I know it’s unfashionable to be pro-PSU in this day and age, but both SPW and I are proud alumni and regardless of the Sandusky scandal, we still got a good education and made life-long friends.

As we are wont to do with these particular friends, the Xbox got fired up, the controllers connected and we played some Lego Rock Band. It reminds me of karaoke in college. No one is a particularly good singer, but we have fun just the same. The highlight of Lego Rock Band is how it crafts some of the artists as Lego mini figures. To see a Lego Freddie Mercury is amazing, but when you add a Lego Brian May, well, that’s just awesome. There’s a Lego Bowie as well as a Lego Iggy Pop.To me, the Lego Iggy looks a lot like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, but what do I know? We switched to Beatles Rock Band before we adjorned for the evening (morning?)

I think that’s going to do it for today. Have a bunch of stuff to accomplish and limited time to do it. Today also would’ve been my dad’s 77th birthday. Not a day goes by I don’t miss him, but some days are harder than others.

Have a great day, everyone!


First of all, apologies for not posting anything these last couple of days. I wound up being busy trying to write a piece for another blog I write for and, well, time just got away.

Had a very nice weekend… I didn’t have to work, which is always a nice thing. I spent yesterday with Supportive Partner Woman. We did a Wegman’s run (surprise!) and went out for dinner (and lunch, sorry to say). I was really jonesing for a burger, so we grabbed lunch at Red Robin. I haven’t had fries in I have no idea how long, and they were VERY good. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger on ciabatta =bread, hold the mayo. Burger arrived and was done perfectly. I didn’t even feel too much guilt. It didn’t totally bork my sugars, either.

After that, we detoured through Best Buy, gaped at a lot of stuff we didn’t buy, and headed to Wegman’s (insert choir of angels!).

Got a cart full of groceries, found some lovely sirloin cubes for making kebabs next weekend, and took advantage of some coupons. For anyone who cares, the truffles were down to $499.00/lb. Must be a down market in fungus.

We headed home with a stop at our favorite local store, Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill. It’s a nice market, decent selection of produce and a bangin’ deli. It’s almost like a mini-Wegman’s, minus the choir of angels. The real secret to the deli, however, is the people. If you go, be sure and ask for Shirley. She’s spot on with her measurements, very friendly and always makes sure you get the best service.

Headed home, put the stuff away, and chilled out. I priced a new surround sound amp (didn’t buy) and we eventually decided to go grab some dinner. Keeping with both the red theme and the coupon theme, we went to Red Lobster. Now, the “Eat This, Not That” book series says this is one of the healthiest sit down chains in America, and I can believe it if you order right. SPW (eater of seafood!) ordered snow crab legs with a baked potato. I went with the wood-grilled scallops, shrimp and chicken with a side of broccoli. Nutrition-wise, not too bad. 590 calories, 14g fat, but the killer is the sodium… 3060 grams. Yikes! Now I’ll remember that and order the crab legs next time… half the salt and less than half the calories.

We added some new (to us) tech to the arsenal this week, too. Our friend Trevor purchased a new retina-display MacBook Pro and sold us his used one. This makes SPW (Apple fangirl!) very happy and, well, I’m always in favor of tech. Looking forward to seeing what it can do. So far, like it a lot. Going to have to provide bunches of home cooking to make sure our tech support is well-fed.

So, the moral is that it’s possible to have a burger and fries (at least until surgery) and not totally nuke the calorie limits. Now today’s dinner will be surf & turf… have some lovely steaks and some scallops that we scored at Wegman’s (on sale) that are big as SPW’s fist (or so it seems). Not quite sure what I’ll be making with them, but that’s OK. I figure I’ll grill the steak and maybe grill the scallops? I don’t know. I’ll think of something.

Hope it won’t be three days until the next post… but I hope you had a great weekend and I’ll see you real soon!


Supportive Partner Woman (builder of Lego sets!) and I decided to beat the heat yesterday and take a drive to the King of Prussia mall. See, we have many pseudo-nieces and nephews and one of them, Ian, recently had a birthday. Ian has a bit of a Lego problem, too, but whereas I’m particular about which sets I buy, he will build darn near anything. So, since we needed to get him a birthday gift (late, but that’s how we roll), we felt a visit to the closest Lego store was in order.

Sopwith Camel

The Lego store at K of P is pretty sizeable. It should be, seeing as it pretty much serves most of eastern Pennsylvania and south Jersey. There’s also one at Christiana Mall in Newark, DE that is about the same distance away, but takes about 30 minutes longer to get to. Beside the point. We wound up buying a Lego Werewolf set and a couple of minifigs for the boy, and a Sopwith Camel set for us. Yes, for us. This will actually be the first non-architecture set that The Management will be building. She acquitted herself well building the top wing assembly all by herself. It’s a big achievement when you realize that she never built a Lego set as a child.


Save the Clock Tower!

So, after leaving the store we decided to pay a visit to the new Wegman’s, also in King of Prussia. They were having plenty of in store tastings, they even had a guy shilling the VitaMix blender. Our last visit to the K of P Wegman’s was a bit of a letdown… but I think it was because of the time of day… see, we stopped after the Neil Diamond concert. They really did redeem themselves. We managed to score a nice piece of sockeye salmon. It’s not Copper River, but the color is still a vibrant red and it should roast up beautifully.

Every time I’m in one of these stores, I can’t help but compare it to the big national grocery chains, like Giant. The selection, the cleanliness, the friendliness really make me want to never set foot in a Giant again. So, until such a point as they put a Wegman’s in cow country, I will be forced to shop at the same old boring stores, because it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to driver 45 minutes to grab a gallon of milk. I have hopes, though, of someday soon seeing a clock tower rising above the farm fields and retail power centers of Cow Country.

Other than the lovely salmon, we departed with some cherries, strawberries and bananas, a few other items, and some poultry sausage. That was recommended to me as a healthier alternative to boring old pork sausage. I look forward to trying it.

After leaving Wegman’s, we went in search of sustenance. My sugar had started to fall off and, well, we were hungry. We headed up the Turnpike and decided to make a return visit to The Drafting Room in Exton, PA. This is a lovely taproom and grill that SPW (drinker of many beers!) and I had last been to on my birthday. Perhaps not the healthiest choice, but considering the time, we were able to get seated right away and have food in belly soon after. SPW (avowed carnivore!) went with their hot roast beef sandwich while I decided to go with a burger topped with some Vermont cheddar. We both opted for a crab and corn chowder as an appetizer. The soup came, topped with a spicy, smoky jalapeno bacon, and it was delicious. If we would’ve been there alone, I might’ve licked the bowl. It was that good.

Sorry Mom, not a clean plate

The burger came and after a few bites, I was starting to run out of gas. Then it’s decision time. Ask yourself how many times you got the starving children speech when you were growing up. Or, as my very Catholic mother would tell us, it’s a sin to waste food. According to the psychologist I saw, that actually contributes to weight gain. We’re taught to clean our plates, but the portion sizes are insane these days, as a result, we wind up consuming way more calories than we should. A good idea when confronted with a huge portion would be to ask for a box first, and pack up half of your meal for later. That’s not really an option with a burger… they usually don’t reheat well, so I did the next best thing. I ate the rest of the meat and the garnishes while leaving the vast majority of the fries (I think I had two or three) and half the roll.

So today’s lesson… just because it’s in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to eat all of it. You can save some for another day or eat the portions that are better for you (protein and veggies, for example)