Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year

Yes, it's that time. Some ball drops, most people drink too much and then wake up and it's just like the day before. Well that hangover might not be a daily thing.

I spent an hour talking to the in-laws about how they should go about putting some things away, food and water. They actually initiated the meeting and even had some appetizers and wine for us. Brother in-law wants some information as well, and now I'm wondering if I missed some big event or news story.

Perhaps some people just 'wake up'. It's actually humbling, considering I think I don't know much and sort of stumble around and get lucky. A years worth of food for 2 people can be very inexpensive but variety is what costs a lot of money. Sustain life or sustain and enjoy it a little more. Oatmeal for a year once a day would make me vomit, but it will keep me alive along with other things. The biggest concern I have for them is an adequate supply of medicine, lucky nothing that needs to be stored in a fridge. We were having a good discussion until the budget came up, and suddenly everything got derailed about how the spreadsheet doesn't make sense to me. The expenses they have each month are mind boggling and if they want to save so the money lasts then they have to make changes right away. I'm talking about little things like grocery store shopping once every 2 weeks, not each day. Shopping each day for food can easily add up to $1200 or more a month.

We are overrun at work with business, not complaining, but our employees need to get off their asses and work. Shift workers bother me, it's like giving away free money when you have customers waiting 10 minutes to get helped... and all the employees who are working are already with customers. I'm charming and can distract some people for a few minutes, I just want everyone to work all day like I am so we can all have bigger paychecks.

This is a short post, I have to order lunch for the management staff, we can't leave our desks. Have a safe weekend, make some 2012 goals and most of all have a great time living.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to normal

Well I suppose I'm not normal so getting back to normal isn't really a good statement. The normal people scare me.

My weekend without using the computer was a success, I didn't even watch the news. Spending time with family and friends is always nice, the holidays just make it a little more festive. We had a traditional Christmas dinner that ended up being later than planned, somehow 4 bottles of wine got emptied and then no one really cared about dinner so much. I don't really drink so I was just relaxing and cooking the turkey when I realized everything was done and I had to herd everyone to the plates. Fun.

I'm looking forward to the new year, time to make some goals and slowly check them off my list. Planning a trip to Mexico later in 2012, planning a trip to Moab in the spring. I have a lot of weekends booked up with work events so I have to plan everything very carefully, nobody can take my place and do things the way I like. Lot's of running to do, my training is going well, getting back on track after all the snow (hard to run for a few hours when it's so deep).

All the food laying about this weekend got me thinking and I spent a couple hours in my food storage checking supplies. After reading an article by another blogger ( about food, I was wondering how much I really have. Inventories and such are fine but when you actually put pen to paper and calculate, things can change. I was very confident that I have a lot of food, about 2+ years worth. After figuring a lot of things out, and some guessing, I'm pretty accurate in that figure but I do need a few more things in the basics category (pasta and flour). Huge variety and the ability to cook, drink and clean made me very comfortable.

I also realized when SHTF that I will have a lot of company, but that's a post for tomorrow perhaps.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas, a little early

I'm going to be busy the next few days so I figured I would get a post up while I had time. 2 feet of snow this morning and it's still coming down hard. I'm not concerned at all, I enjoy when it snows like this. It's better then 3 inches that turns to slush, at least this is a workout when I shovel. The dogs were having a blast tearing around and leaping over the snowbanks I made shoveling, even a squirrel braved the snow to wave it's tail around and get Rock barking.
What a great morning in the canyon.

I'm looking forward to a nice run tonight too, it's a fantastic workout, sort of like doing slow squats up and down. My neighbor was shoveling this morning and had just gotten done running and told me I should call in and go for a few miles. Tempting. It's going to be negative temp's tonight so I'm really looking forward to grocery shopping and pulling people out of the ditches and sidewalks.

Whatever your plans for this weekend, if any, Merry Christmas. Have a safe and joyous weekend.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It feels like Christmas!

I love nice weather, it doesn't matter if it's snowing or sunny, all the weather is nice. If you can't control it, try to enjoy it. Crisp air that makes your nostrils stick a little, crunchy snow under your feet. Wearing a stocking cap even if your hair looks like you are a teenager who hasn't showered in a week, once you take it off. Passing people on the road who made 2 eye holes in the snow and ice on the windshield; it's not Halloween folks. I think it's like texting and driving, it's not worth my life and a couple minutes won't hurt especially if you plan ahead.

and that damn kettle bell ringing drives me to the brink of insanity.

Yes, the holidays are almost here.

Then of course it's fun to run at night and look at all the holiday lights up around the area. The Broadmoor hotel is real close to the house and they do a lot of lights each year. It causes some major traffic issues this week until new years, but as long as they stay off the sidewalks and I pay attention, it's just traffic. Around the neighborhood there are a lot of million dollar homes that try and outdo each other with lights, but still remain pretty classy in tradition and nothing too gaudy. People with 30 yard spot lights just blind the crap out of me, perhaps they are doing it for security but each one of those houses has a 10+ foot shadow around the house... so much for security, maybe they like a big light bill.

My Christmas cards finally showed up just in time to get them out to a few people who will be surprised I actually did cards for the first time in 15 years. I will get them out in the mail tomorrow so they shouldn't be late, but it's the message not the time. With so much negative and bad stuff I decided to try and put a smile on faces of my best friends and family, I hope it works. My Brother will be surprised to get a gift card for Lowes, something I debated doing, he doesn't like to talk about me and my life. I don't do it to compare but when he asks me what I've been doing, I tell him, and that's the end of that conversation.

Look, more cookies arrived! really.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mountain house lasagna

I always wonder if people who have a lot of food in the house can never find anything to eat. I swear I am going to wear out the hinges on the cupboards sometime soon. I was done running, didn't have a lot to eat for the day and was scouring the house thinking I don't have anything to eat and there isn't any food in the house.

Seriously, what was I thinking. My creative process was shut down by my hunger, but I've dropped from 4500 calories a day to 2000 so it's a real struggle. I'm working my way back up slowly, in conjunction with my running plan. I really don't need 4k calories a day when I am only running 2-3 miles a day for the next few weeks. This really works great with my holiday schedule, I seem to be split between all kinds of things and places but I can always break time out for a 30 minute run.

Oh ya...

You may be wondering why this picture is sideways... well so am I. It's vertical on my desktop, online, etc. But blogger wants it to be horizontal and I can't seem to change it. Choose your battles.

I had a mountain house lasagna 2 serving pouch sitting around from a camping trip so I decided that would be dinner. Tea kettle whistles, pour in 2 cups of water and stir (then cuss at yourself as you pull out the oxygen absorber covered in melted cheese) and let sit for 10 minutes. I can eat anything, especially being from a poor family growing up and almost 10 years in the Army. The lasagna with meat sauce was actually really good and while I ate the whole 2.5 serving pouch instead of sharing, I wasn't hungry! I give this a good review!
In a real emergency or even a backpacking situation, it's not a lot of calories but it will keep you from starving and get you somewhat fueled up. I think making a side of elbow noodles and mixing it all in would be the perfect combination.

I've done 3 runs with my heart rate monitor and it's pretty interesting. I used to think I was working hard but it turns out I was backing off a lot on the hard stuff. Running up a steep hill seems like I am working hard but in reality my heart rate is LOWER than if I was running on a flat surface. Mentally I think that breathing hard and heavy legs means I am really trying. Now my effort is based on heart rate and I am literally taking minutes off my old record times. My old limits on effort are going away, it's good to get in better shape even though I thought I was cardio fit.

Speaking of running, new dog Rock was very calm last night downstairs while I was in my office, I was very proud of him. Then I noticed it's cause he was busy eating my running shoe. By the time I discovered it, he was doing other dog things so I couldn't really scold him, he wouldn't understand why. My fault for leaving them on the floor where they belong.... I think I can salvage it, will find out tonight if it will cut into my ankle at all. I will bring a blister pad just in case.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What do I pay these people for?

The phone call early Sunday morning from a work related number is never good, especially when you stay up really late Saturday night. The alarm at work is going off, and unlike a normal door sensor, this code is for glass break. The police have been dispatched and there are 2 command centers within 2 miles so I'm expecting someone would meet me there.
The owner and I show up a few minutes apart but the vandals are long gone, riding 2 bicycles they apparently needed more than we did. It could have been a lot worse, there is a lot to steal here, but we keep the building locked up internally as well dividing it into 3 sections. Customer information getting stolen is of course a nightmare but they were after the 7 year old cheap bicycles they must have seen when walking by the building.

When the police finally show up 30 minutes later they take us on our word we should be here at 5am, and there are no fingerprints to be done of the door, on the rock tossed in the window, etc. Lame, really. We pay to have police dispatching when the alarm goes off, I wonder if I can get my money back.
Had we shown up and needed the police, we would have had to handle the situation without them. It's another reminder to not count on anyone and to be prepared for as many situations as you can be. Having a no weapons at work policy really bothers me on a daily basis, but we had a good laugh that we both were armed. Perhaps now I can get an exemption to the policy.

The other bad part is the alarm company failed to inform us that the digital recorder for half of the 16 cameras had failed a week prior and was no longer recording or storing data for 7 days like it should have. If they know the system isn't working correctly, they should have told me and I would have made some changes to record only the important areas. The cameras look fine on the display, they just didn't record... It's not like it would have done any good, I just wanted to see the bastards in case they had worked here before (that's usually the case in business robberies not bank or medicinal related).  I wonder if I can get my money back.

On a positive note I got a heart rate monitor for my training runs and so far it's pretty neat. If I'm feeling like crap I can still have a good workout and I can really train the right way instead of guessing. The 50 mile training program I started is going to be hard but I'm determined to give it my best and hopefully see some huge improvements in my health and my running.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cookie coma

Seriously people, stop letting your wife cook. I have great willpower, but when they are standing there asking me if I like it, what can I do. Everyone knows I can cook so I am like the taste test guy.
Seriously, stop it. Can't live on cookies alone but today I think I'm going to try. STOP!

I'm fighting a cold, something else everyone likes to bring to work, so I took a night off from running and feel really good today. I slept really well for once, very not normal for me, nice to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the weekend. I'm going to hit a nice long run tomorrow morning, hopefully 2.5+ hours to restore my sanity. Keeping up with all the blogs and news can make for a weary mind, especially when it's powered by cookies.

I cranked up the propane heaters to make sure they worked and checked my propane supplies. I rotated 10 gallons of fuel storage that had been sitting for almost a year. I cleaned all my stuff out of the Discovery so I can tow it to the shop on Tuesday, I don't want to drive it and damage it anymore just in case. Having a dual axle flatbed trailer proves worth every penny a few times a year when I'm not hauling my toys around to off road. Always something to do to try and stay prepared, since you never know what or when.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

40 degree heat wave?

I woke up this morning sweating my ass off, forgot to take the extra blankets off the bed and the dogs were laying on me. Sometimes the middle of the week really slaps me hard in the face and I don't appreciate it so much. I wasn't late getting up but I forgot to get everything ready the night before and it was trash day as well. I had a bunch of cardboard boxes I had to set out, but I had to remove labels and stuff so it couldn't be identified as to what I had in the boxes. Anything that's a pain in the rear went in the car to the recycle dumpster at work. I'm not worried about people seeing I got a new cast iron pot, but I don't want people to know I got a new dewalt tool set (for example).

Of course my new dog would deter most people from venturing into the house if they broke into the fence or cut a gate lock. Rock's disposition is really sweet, but he has a huge bark and still makes me nervous when he is charging at me like a mack truck.
In fact he jumped up on my leg today while I was turning the power strip off for the TV and it threw me into the cabinet and the TV almost had an abrupt end... luckily the TV rotates on the stand. I let him know I wasn't pleased, but I also don't mind him jumping when I am ready for it. The last thing I want is either dog so obedient that they wont jump to protect, 2 large 85 pound dogs will buy me enough time to get a weapon when it's needed.

I had 4 large boxes waiting for me today from Fed-Ex, so now I can make holiday gift baskets with long term food storage. I'm so thoughtful, and since it was all on sale, I'm so cheap too! I'm going to send a nice box to my brother, who will hate the fact I'm sending food, but I'll toss in a Lowes gift card. I debated even sending him anything but I will do my part to keep good relations even if he doesn't want to really talk much to me or about my life.

It's 41 degrees out, feels like summer. I can't wait to run tonight, last night I was a minute per mile slower since I had to negotiate a few inches of snow and some icy areas. I'm going to get a 2 hour run done on Saturday, it's about all I can manage this month... kind of sad when 60 days ago my normal run was 2 hours. It's just my lack of motivation and BattleField 3 sucking me in. I'm starting to work my weekly mileage back up towards 50 but it's December so I will be happy with looking back and having an average of 30.

This movie is in town tonight, I might go see it for motivation: WS100

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sweet negative numbers batman!

Yes, brr! Something like -6 when the dogs went out at 2:30.
I turned the heat up last night when I got home, a toasty 66 in the house at bedtime and 61 when I got up. Old houses tend to have cold creep in, and it crept right in up next to the bed where the extra blanket kept it at bay.

I planned to run last night, but by the time I could get ready it was around 7pm and already negative numbers plus some wind. Good thing my running schedule doesn't really kick in until January, this month is maintenance miles. It's pretty difficult to go for a real long run in winter unless you make laps and I prefer out and back or a big loop, laps make me dizzy. My first big run is on Superbowl Sunday, followed by runs of 20+ miles each weekend with the first 13 of them gaining 3700 feet for a steady uphill grind followed by a quick downhill home if I have energy. I really want to drop an hour from my 25 mile run time at the end of April and get the good training for the 50 mile run later in the year. It's a lot of time invested not just in the running but stretching, travel, buying new shoes every 45 days, etc.

Broke into some supplies over the last few days so I wouldn't need to go to the store. The canned chicken from Costco is pretty good, I fried it up with some sesame oil and put it on some noodles. I have some real chicken breast in the fridge that I will make in the oven tonight with some freeze dried veggies and rice. I wish there were more options for meat for long term storage, freeze dried meat isn't cheap but it's about the only thing I've found that last a long time. I also got some #10 cans coming in for gifts to a few of my friends for the holidays, pancake mix and powdered milk can't be beat for a family of 6 for a hearty breakfast.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cold and windy?

I got up 3 times during the night to make sure my fence was still secure, it wasn't too windy but it was enough to concern me that the fence could come down somewhere. Most of the posts are metal, but a few of the wooden ones are scheduled for replacement in the spring.
I don't mind wind, I don't mind cold. I can't stand to run in a combination of both, it's just hard to keep your exposed skin warm like on your face for example. I have a full face mask I can wear when I run but anything more than a few miles it ices up on the face and I just can't stand it. I can't wear sunglasses with it since they fog up with every breath, so I shuffle my run-days off a little when it's windy and cold at the same time. I'm probably going to do a few miles tonight and then get up early for a good 10 or 12 miles tomorrow. I'm laying out my plans for 2012 running and I have some work to do starting in March... I'm even debating a 24 hour run but I'm not sure I'm insane enough for that yet. I see lot's of ultra runners this time of year, of all sizes, running from the car to the gym door. I still run outside but stick to more pavement late at night.

Our work employee appreciation party is tomorrow night. It's not a holiday party, nope... but you would think so. We have about 150 employees and those who bring kids will end up leaving with present for each of their children. The employees get raffle tickets (non managers anyhow) and can win stuff like digital cameras and kindle's, etc. This party costs over $15k, closer to $20k this year and I still can't convince anyone to just give each employee a hundred bucks. I don't understand why people I work with all day, all month, all year for 15 years want to see me for a few more hours on a Saturday. I sure don't want to see them, so it's only fair. I would much rather get $100 than go eat some shitty buffet food at a hotel with a bunch of people who want to come up and shake my hand or hug me and say Merry Christmas.
The $100 I can spend, the food I will crap out and the people will still be the same assholes on Monday that they are today.
Maybe I'm just a prick.