Three plus two equals five

As my exercise routine evolves I adapt what I’m doing so that I don’t over do it and can maintain some consistency.   Recently I have added jogging into my walking track around my backyard.   Initially I started adding a lap of jogging, in a way similar to how I started walking.   After a few weeks I found I had hit a ceiling with what I’m capable of with respect to outright jogging and so I varied that routine.   Now I walk three laps, then jog two laps.    Using this approach I can complete several sets of five fairly comfortably.    I can do more, for a longer period of time.   

I continue to do this my way and in my own time frame.   This seems to be one of the primary key aspects.   You have to decide to do it and you decide how. 

Smartphone epithany

I haven’t blogged in a while, real life got busy with various things and I just didn’t get the time. However, events of the past weeks gave me incentive to write about some things I have learned about my smart phone, specifically the Samsung Galaxy S3.

So, the S3 is a really nice piece of hardware and it comes with the Android OS and Samsung Touchwiz.
Lesson 1) Android OS, really cool OS for smartphones.
Lesson 2) Touchwiz, a fancy looking piece of junk, actually several pieces all placed onto the phone by Samsung with no way to remove the stuff if you don’t use it.
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Good bye Chrome, Hello again Firefox

When it comes down to choosing and using a web browser I have fairly simple needs.
1) it has to work, all the time
2) it needs to sync my stuff, bookmarks, passwords, form data
3) it needs to be fast

For a really long time I’ve been an avid Chrome user. It did those three things and did it well. Even having Chrome on my smart phone was a bonus.

I use Internet Explorer very occasionally, the most often use case for me, is to download Chrome and then dump Internet Explorer completely. It has always been and will always be a complete fail in the browser war. Microsoft honestly should just give up on that product.

Prior to Chrome, and I mean prior to it existing, I was a die-hard Firefox user. It was great. The thing I always liked about it was the extension most especially Adblock Plus and Youtube Downloader. Firefox was the mainstay browser for me. When Chrome came out with all the new features that made it super fast I was hooked. I got so used to the pure speed that the other considerations, I was willing to compromise on. Silly me lol.

I’ve had enough finally. For the past several weeks, Chrome has started to really piss me off. At one point it became completely inoperable on my home PC. I spent about 10 minutes trying some solutions and ended up recovering from my Arconis TrueImage backup. Each day, more and more little things just don’t work the way they did. I’m not sure what the motivation is inside the developer camp at google, but if your aim is to piss me off you have certainly succeeded.

Today I visited Mozilla, downloaded Firefox and went back to where I started, with Firefox. The trusty extension from all those years ago were still around. I also discovered Firefox now has syncing, and a quick search of the google store, and now have Firefox for Android running. When I get home tonight there will be uninstalls of Chrome across all the PCs and Firefox going back in, in its right place as the best web browser.

Good bye Chrome, Hello again Firefox.

Four months down the track

About four months ago I made a decision to change my lifestyle habits and eating habits. Progress is slow and steady. I’m going well.

I’ve incorporated exercise into my daily routine, something I thought I could never fit in. The most noted change is in eating habits.

I’ve said goodbye to lots of foods that I always ate without giving much thought to the ramifications.

Soft drink
Chocolate
Biscuits

all gone, to name a few. Along with fast food, although I never had a lot of it; now I have none.

I gave up coffee too. Withdrawal from caffeine hits quite hard. I’ve been a coffee drinker for 20+ years with 2-3 cups, sometimes more, per day. I’ve been reducing my intake for several weeks but the 3-4 days after stopping altogether were horrible. Constantly tired and cranky. Fitful sleep patterns. Now I have herbals teas and lots more water each day.

I really thought as I came off these “bad” foods that I would have a craving for them. I don’t though. I don’t miss them at all.

The change is hard. While I haven’t noticeably lost any weight yet, I do feel better.

Spicy Winter Warmer

Here is a lovely spicy winter warmer comfort food. I saw part of this on a cooking show, I don’t recall which, but I caught enough of it to form the basis of this recipe.

Now I don’t get to cook often and as such there is no precise measurements for ingredients. Its all just look ‘n’ feel. If it looks about right, all good.

This is what I used.
1 Chorizo sausage
3 small single chicken thighs, trimmed of all fat
portugese spice mix – mine has chilli, paprika, salt, lemon
cumin spice
1 tin of diced tomatoes.
fettucini egg pasta – I used half a packet.
1 cup of chicken stock

Cooking
Broadly chop the Chorizo and put into a hot fry pan and brown it off.
In a separate large pot start boiling water for the pasta.

While the sausage is browning, chop up the chicken thigh into similarly sized chunks.
Rub with your cumin and Portuguese spice.

Take the Chorizo out of the fry pan and add the chicken pieces straight in.
Brown off the chicken in the oils from the sausage.

Add the Chorizo back into the pan, add the 1 cup chicken stock and the tin of diced tomatoes. Once it reaches a nice bubble, reduce heat and allow to simmer.

By this time you’ll have a nice rolling boil in the pot.
Add the pasta in. The fettucini egg pasta I use takes 6-8mins to cook.

Once the pasta is done, basically its all done.
If your chicken chunks are a bit larger, then allow some extra time here.

Serve up the pasta with a generous scoop of the chorizo/chicken mix on top.

This took me about 20mins all up to make including prep time and made two serves.

What happened

After a night of sleep, summarily destroyed by low air pressure ( onset of barometric migraine ), I mustered the stamina to have some breakfast.

I sat and watched TV without bothering to change channels.   It was a music hits/chart channel and my ears were assaulted by a cacophony of noise.   I mean, I grew up in the 80s’.   That was the prime for music, the peak.   Nearly every song was great.   They had lyrics you could hear and understand.   This top five that I was subjected too, was terrible.  What I wonder, this was the top five of 50.   How bad was the rest.

What happened to the good music.  Music that made your skin tingle, that made you cry, that made your soul leap into the air.      Hopefully its just a phase, like what teenagers go through, then the good stuff will come back.   In the meantime I have my library of music from the 80s to keep me going.

Squelch

When I was young and living at home, mum always always used old towels as mats in the bathroom. Wet tiled floors are seriously dangerous. Old towels fit the bill perfectly. They were large, absorbed water and easily cleaned and when the day finally came that they were just too old, mum tossed them. It worked.

After I got married, the missus and I moved into the house we bought; the first night there I placed an old towel on the floor. It was just what I knew, had always done and grew up with. That didn’t sit well. “You don’t uses towels for that, we will buy proper bathroom mats”. Sigh. I guess its one of those compromise things where two people start to adjust to each other.

Moving forward 10 plus years, the never-ending quest for the perfect bathroom mat continues. Now again I would raise the topic of just using an old towel, to which my wife would give me the look. Its hard to describe but everyone sees it in their significant other.

The mats we have at the moment might be in the running for the perfect mat, only because they have managed to stay in the house for more than six months. They do have one unfortunate side effect. Our cats like them too.

So this morning, all dressed for work, just needed to brush my teeth and put on my shoes and go. I walked into the bathroom, stepped on the mat and my sock was wet. ewwww. Stepping into a puddle of water is bad enough. This wasn’t water. One of the cats left a little liquid gift on the mat, which it dutifully soaked up and then transferred into my sock. sigh. What a way to start the day.

Off came both socks, into the wash along with the bathroom mat with the yellow cat pee stain. Washed my feet, dried and new socks. Now running a tad late. Why oh why can’t we just use an old towel I will never understand but for now, the quest continues.

Big

For literally as long as I can remember, I’ve been a big person.

When I was young the other school kids were at the top of their game in terms of being brutally cruel with harsh terms. In the beginning you try to ignore it. It doesn’t help. The verbal tirade continues day in and day out although out primary school.

The bar gets raised a notch when you enter high school. The kids are smarter, the language more abusive. Unfortunately for me I had a tormentor whom inflicted physically pain on top of all the verbal pain. That went on throughout high school.

Throughout all that time, I grew, and I don’t mean physically. Sure, I got older but I also got smarter and more mature. It wasn’t a case of ignoring what was happening to me but more of building up a resistance to it. The words ceased bringing on a torrent of tears, the beatings stopped hurting.

When school ended, I quietly hoped that all the excess attention from being big would stop too. Not the case. Getting “the look” from people when you go somewhere. You know exactly what they are thinking. For a really long time what others thought of my physically appearance was the controlling aspect of my life. I was intelligent enough to know that fad diets and the like just don’t work. So I didn’t pursue them. I knew deep down that what it needed was a life style change but I couldn’t work out a way to achieve that.

So for the better part of the last twenty years, what others; even complete strangers whom I will likely never encounter again; was the dominant control factor. I go to great lengths to dress well and have a good appearance even though my stature is by no means concealable. The advent of the iPod has been one of my saving graces though. People now are often so self-absorbed they don’t notice me, or anyone else.

Being big has its challenges though. There may only be one or two bricks’n’mortar stores per state in this country where I can buy clothes and try it on first. More often its order online, hope it fits and if not go through the hassle of returning it. In my college days I would decline trips to the mall, as it was invariably shopping for clothes and nothing to fit me, so why bother. Sleeping has its own problems and living will continual back and neck pain isn’t a walk in the park. Some nights I sleep in my chair, and while not the most restful of sleeps, at least the pains subsides. I take care in what I eat, and try hard to eat well. Short of starving myself, which is no solution, some weight gain does take place.

Now and again people will say “why don’t you just do some exercise”. Really, I’d never have thought of that on my own. I have several times attempted a life style change to include exercise and all have failed. I have a defect in my ankle, same as my mum, whereby it can give way and I fall over without warning. This has happened several times, a sign that this change was not the right one.

It’s easy to put weight on, seemingly without any effort at all. Getting it off, proving somewhat more difficult. Slowly though the pieces of the puzzle slowly fit into place. Having a few friends that accept me as I am was a very important aspect of this. For one such friend, her friendship has been be invaluable to me. I would hug her if she lived here. One day though I may visit and give her that hug. A supportive family to be there when you start to waiver and lose the will to continue helps too. Its so easy to find an excuse to not do something, but persisting and doing it even when I fell crap, and its raining outside is really hard.

I eventually made my life style change, some 20 years after I acknowledged that it was what was needed. A very long time coming. Every night now I exercise for 15 mins. I’m slowly trying to work that duration up but its hard going. I’ve been doing this now for two months. While I appear to be the same, I do feel better about myself and I know that at least I have started down the path. I honestly don’t know if I will ever be more normal sized and in that there is some fear, as I’ve only ever know what its like to be big.

This was hard for me to write, its deeply personal and has brought back memories, both good and bad. Maybe someone, somewhere who struggles with weight will find this helpful.