Showing posts from 2009

Breville 800esxl Foaming Attachment

I have read many reviews of the Breville 800esxl that say "the first thing I did was throw away the milk foaming attachment". And initially I didn't use it either. But the other day after being unsatisfied with the foam I was getting with the bare steam wand and decided to try it. I just jammed it down into the bottom of the steaming cup and waited, according to the Breville instructions. The result: wonderful, tiny bubbled foam. Cleaning the steam wand with the attachment is a bit of extra hassle but worth it for the excellent, easy foam.

Gym Frequency WAY Up

Hi everyone: If you've been following this blog you are both patient and bored. Nevertheless, I thought I would let everyone know that I've been hitting the gym four or five days a week with some people I work with (I go before work). It's been great. I have seen large improvements in my health (been doing this for a month now) and have been sleeping better, eating better, and feeling better. I intend to keep this up and am enjoying it (as opposed to finding it a chore).

How to live well. Help?

I have always struggled with this: there is the person I want to be (say Jason Bourne but living my current safe, productive life and still looking like me because you don't mess with perfection) and the person I am (I look like me but I don't always eat well, exercise enough, get things done enough, etc.). Now, this isn't a "poor me" story or a perfectionist self-hatred rant (I like neither); it is about re-deciding to do a little better today than yesterday. To be more friendly, to get a little more done (even if that means making the most of couch time), to eat a healthy breakfast, etc. That's where I am at.

Espresso report

So this morning I tested my roast from yesterday. I burned out my initial popcorn maker (about a year of use outdoors in a shed, so I got my $12 worth from it) just after the first crack started so I had to cool the beans and go to Superstore for a new, cheap popcorn maker. This one is better: seems hotter, more powerful fan, and has an on/off switch which is nice. No more reaching past the hot popcorn popper to pull the plug (or using a power bar). Anyway, I was fascinated with the roasting power of the new popper and let the beans go well into dark roast territory. Much darker than I could get with the old popper. This, combined with my lack of a decent grinder, led to a bitter espresso. I currently grind with a blender, screwing a mason jar full of coffee beans onto the blender base instead of the blender jug. Works great for anything bigger than espresso. At some point I'll get a decent burr grinder and for now I'll use my home-roasted beans for regular coffee (made in o


My desk is finally converted over to the dining room table I got on super discount. Left to right there's my aging desktop, 32" LCD hooked into the desktop, then a 21" monitor that displays either the desktop or laptop, then my work laptop. I share the wireless keyboard and mouse from the desktop to the laptop with free software called Synergy. Everthing is messy now and my inbox tray isn't in place yet but you get the idea. Sorry the pic is so dark.


Been setting my alarm for 5:30am (using an alarm that is quiet enough for me wake up but not wake my spouse). I am trying to get in a half hour of any type of exercise. Today I did push-ups, planks, and stretching. Other things I plan to do include rowing machine, dog walk/jog, weights, etc.


Finally got 1000' spool of paracord I ordered a couple months back. Now I just need to learn to wrap stuff properly: I can't wait to use this to hang my hammock instead of the bulky rope I have been using.


I am getting back into exercising and eating better slowly but surely. I got a good walk in with the dogs after work and pushups and planks before work.

Another nice Fall Morning

Just sitting on the couch enjoying the morning before I have breakfast.

Running makes you smart

Highlights of visit to NYC so far

We've been in NYC 3 days and there've been several highlights: - seeing an on-foot police chase that led into a subway - watching the sun go down from The Top of the Rock - saw Sex and The City 2 filming in progress - stood about 15' from Obama's motorcade as he drove down 6th and Broadway (or there-a-about) Currently googling for a good sushi place. We've walked about 15 miles in the last couples days!

Hotel Room Blog

We spent some time driving around the outskirts of Boston tonight. I have to say the GPS is making this trip much easier for me as navigator and laminated maps with dry-erase markers are the best thing ever. I accidentaly broke the suction cup gps mount (long story) so I picked up one that mounts on the air vent cover and clamps the device in. So far I've been very happy with it after initially being concerned it was too flimsy.

Wedding done

Well, I am now married. Honeymoon beginning tomorrow. Very, very tired. Lots of work but it all paid off. Everyone seemed to have a great time and the catering was excellent. That is really all I wanted. Looking forward to a few days/weeks of not having to make decisions, spend tons of money, or be anywhere at a particular time.

Movie review: Once Upon a Time in the West

Excellent Western. This is a must- watch classic if you are a fan of the genre. It's long but I enjoyed every minute.



Hurricaine Bill

The storm isn't that bad although I guess power is out in big areas. We are one week out from the wedding so I hope the venue isn't damaged by the storm.

Kitchen Renovations

Someone just commented on the blog and I realized I hadn't posted in a long time. Exercising has taken a back seat to our complete kitchen overhaul. Getting up at 6, working at my job until 5, then working on the kitchen till 11pm definitely has left me feeling like I've had a good workout. I'll get back into jogging soon, when there's time. Kitchen is going together well, btw. Looks great. There's been a few bumps in the road and there will likely be more before we finish but that is normal. :)


Didn’t really make it out jogging this week at all. In fact I barely got out for walks or did any other type of exercise. I don’t really have an excuse other than I haven’t been feeling well. Anyway, I guess I just need a kick in the behind to get back at it. I am going to be at my uncle’s cottage this weekend. I’ll get some R&R there and try to start fresh next week. There’s lots of good walking/jogging possibilities up there too, so I’ll try to get some exercise in (there’s always manual labour to be done there too). re: eating – doing way better… except for a couple of not so healthy dinners. Soy cereals, Bolthouse farm drinks, lots of veggies and fruits, and so on.

Plodt *post 1*

Trying out to make twitter do double duty. So twitter gets updated when I post to my blog with Windows Live Writer (the blog title is posted to twitter with a link) so if I put the plodt data point into my blog entry title it should get plodt’d . This could work nicely!

More jogging today

Got back into jogging after taking a week and a bit off. Did a little under 2km and jogged a fair bit of it (about 1/4 – 1/3 walking still). I know this isn’t much for most runners but for me it is better than nothing. I had taken a bit of time off from it because of upper shin pain. Probably due to my being overweight and not having great sneakers. I got some inserts for my running shoes that I will put in soon (forgot to do it this morning). Although I haven’t been jogging I’ve been finding other ways to exercise (helping people move, yard work, walking at work at lunch time with coworkers, etc). I will continue my daily walks at lunch with coworkers as every bit helps (it is also about a 1.7km route). Anyway, lets see if the shin pain returns. One massive benefit of jogging is the dog still loves it and now WAY better behaved on the leash than ever.

Weekend Activity Update

Did a goodly amount of gardening yesterday (shrub planting, yard clean up, etc.); enough to leave me feeling like I got some exercise (a couple of hours, anyway). Going to try to go for a jog later today even if it rains and will be helping to unload a large trailer full of house contents as well.

Jogging again, wow

OK, I did my basic little jog again. According to Google Maps, it is just about 1.2 km or so… NOT exactly a killer run but I am not exactly jogging the entire distance. I am probably jogging 50% or maybe a little more now. Once I can jog 100% I’ll extend the route or just extend it naturally as I feel like it. My usual walk is about 1.6 km which I do in about 20+ minutes at a walk. I hope to be jogging that without stopping fairly soon and extending it using the “loop through paths” method I mentioned in an earlier post. Lukie, my dog, is really enjoying this and is currently lying at my feet as I type this. :) I have never seen him as well behaved on the leash as when we are walking during the cool down at the end of the jog. He is a very energetic dog so this is a real treat. If you want to see how far you have walked or jogged, check this site out: The only thing is it doesn’t seem to do "off road” (e.g. paths in parks). If anyone knows

Jogged again!

Actually went for a second jog. This one went a little better than the day before but I am obviously not in shape. :) In my neighborhood there is a series of “blocks” (but residential) and each block has a path in the middle, between streets. You can use these paths to kind of loop around and really extend the distance you walk/run without leaving the area too much (great for getting back into running since you can just keep going but still get home fast when you’ve had enough).

Jogging – who knew?

WOW! I just went for a JOG! See I used to love running and at several points in my life have run regularly (daily or so) for months at a time. Every time I got into it, though, I would get injured or move or change jobs and it would get me off my routine. Then I started having health problems that made running uncomfortable to painful (back, hips, etc… I won’t go into details). Anyway, the other day I jogged between the two buildings and noticed there was NO pain. I mean, yes, I am out of shape but there was no joint pain. So today I took my dog jogging… Run for a minute, walk for a minute (or until I caught my breath), etc. Sweet. I am really looking forward to getting back into running. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Doodling – had coffee, can’t sleep

Tonight I wanted to spend some time with old friends who I don’t see much but I was tired. So I had a coffee around 9:30pm. A large coffee. I don’t really drink coffee much these days so I can’t seem to sleep. Doodling instead. Please note I am not “on something”, I just can’t draw very well, especially with a mouse in OneNote.

Speed drawing on a tablet PC I wish they weren’t so pricey!

One Week (2008)

One Week (2008) was a heavy movie but exceptionally well made. A thought-provoking movie that asks questions people should ask of themselves and others while also being a Canadian road trip love fest. Amazing soundtrack, great acting, wonderful scenes.

The Red Baron

I just watched The Red Baron (2008) . I have to say this was a pretty excellent movie. I have always had a love of WWI aircraft and of course know the history of what a horrible war it was (really, is any war not horrible?). As a child and later as an adult I read the Biggles books so I had a pretty decent layman’s knowledge of what this movie was going to be like. Airmen have always seemed to do things their own way (at least in the movies) so I expected a lot of material in the movie about the plans, fighter tactics, and their activities beyond flying sorties. I was not disappointed. I am happy to say this was a suitably complex story about a persons evolving attitude toward war: from glorification to abhorrence. The love story, criticized by many as “unnecessary” provided the needed conflict that Richthofen’s family life did not --- conflict created by the desire to live a life beyond that of a fighter ace. To sum up: if you like historical action/war movies check this one

Testing Twitter Notify

Just testing twitter notify plugin for Windows Live Writer. Worked well!

Testing Windows Live Writer

I have been using OneNote a bit lately (really starting to like it) and thought I would look for some integrations between it and blogger. Google searches turned up Windows Live Writer… I just did a publish with this and it worked well! The photo got uploaded correctly, etc.


OK, the snow really gave me a run for my money tonight. I didn't get out early enough so the snow got wet. I shoveled for an hour or so and then came back in for a rest before going back out to finish. It's done now, but wasn't easy... That was my exercise tonight (got a good workout). Last night it was walking the dog and then doing the coin processing (not a heavy workout but at least I was moving around). Badminton was cancelled tonight on account of the insane snow storm.

Exercise: snow removal

Last night I played Badminton for about 90 minutes, tonight I moved 2 boxes and shoveled the driveway (5-10cm, I guess) for about 35 minutes.

Cool product - traveller's doorstop,104,53221&ap=6 Found this on Lee Valley's site while buying a nice metal compost bucket for our kitchen.

Shamwow - Vince as Lizard



I just realized that one of the reasons I like my job is that when I send out a document for consideration my co-workers don't respond with a list of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, instead they address the ideas in the document. This makes me happy. Grammar and spelling ARE important but so is cutting to the chase and getting some work done.


OK, I have been letting my physical condition drop a bit (ok, a LOT) in the last couple years because I have some problems with Rhuematoid Arthritis (at least that is the latest diagnosis) and some calcium deposits accumulating on my lumbar vertebrae and so on.  In general, I spend a lot of time feeling sore and uncomfortable. Moving around (esp. in the evenings) helps. Long walks, low impact cardio and strength training (esp. back and core) all help and I've tried to "do what I can" but I miss the high intensity of a Karate class and am not great at self-motivation. I stopped going to Karate a while ago for several reasons and my rheumatologist has advised me not to start again as impact causes more inflammation (I am not 100% convinced but she's the expert). Anyway, I am posting because I have once again (well, for the last week, anyway)  gotten back in to the daily exercise routine. I was doing really well for a couple months then I went away for a training cour

Eating poorly is easy

I have been slipping on my eating lately. This morning I actually went to McDonald's for breakfast (2nd time in two weeks). On both occasions (last week and this morning) I was in a hurry and so on and so forth. Still, no excuse. After I ate and got to the office I decided I needed to read the nutritional amounts of what I just stuffed into me (and is currently making me feel gross). I think I might start doing it before I go --- I'd like to stay I am never going again but realistically I'll probably go back. Because they screwed up my order again I got a basic egg mcmuffin and I actually only got ONE hashbrown intentionally (takes a LOT of self-control for me, alone in a car, starving, to just get one). Anyway, calories from JUST that 490, 23g of fat, 1110mg of SODIUM. Wow. OK, I think I am done with going there for a "quick breakfast". My "usual" of a sausage egg mcmuffin and two hasbrowns basically adds 280 calories, doubles the fat, and add