Friday, October 08, 2004


Morning weigh-in: 177#, 13.5% BF

Hit the gym last night, and towards the end I got a real craving for pork lo mein, so when I got home I found a local Chinese restaurant in the phone book (not the one I usually go to, couldn't find their number), and phoned in a take-out order. I have a serious peanut allergy, so I made a point of asking "do you use peanut oil or vegetable oil?" and received assurances that the food was safe -- at least, I think that's what the guy said -- but one bite (after eating the eggroll and the wontons from my soup) told me that there was something wrong.

I was so hungry and frustrated (I really wanted pork lo mein), I was tempted to think it was my imagination, but after a few seconds there was no mistaking the fact that I'd eaten something I shouldn't: my mouth and throat were burning/itching like crazy. I tossed the rest of the lo mein (doh!) but didn't try to vomit anything I already ate, figured part of a mouthful would do less harm in my stomach than re-irritating things on the way back out. Lotsa water, some Taco Bell to dilute it, and I settled in for an evening of suffering. I started to feel better around midnight & went to bed, but this morning came waaay too early...

Welcome to my shit list, unnamed Chinese restaurant!

Riding the towpath tonight, maybe eat some safe food somewhere afterward.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Heritage Chase

Morning weigh-in: 175.5#, 13.5% BF

Not sure if the BF is correct, since I weighed in after my morning shower, probably a little wet and the measurement is uh, electrical or something...

Didn't do any exercise last night, instead opting to go through the living room and toss out all the old mail/etc lying around, put all the books back on shelves, do some laundry and dishes, etc, etc. Four bags of trash, mostly old junk mail, plus a bunch of newspapers for recycling, and I threw out a lot of boxes I'd been "saving." The room is still not livable by the standard of having guests, but it's getting close. I think I'll move the bed into the spare room, and make my bedroom a den/office/2nd living room. Hitting the gym tonight first though.

I saw an article on Wikipedia today about George IV's trip to Scotland and the subsequent revival of Highland culture as a source of Scottish national identity -- except that it mostly wasn't Highlanders (they'd all been driven off their land and deported) , and it was mostly just the trappings of the culture (kilts, tartans)... kind of reminds me of growing up in Englishtown, where a development -- actually in Marlboro, the next town over -- called itself "Heritage Chase."

I remember their oleagenous billboard: "distinctive homes in a distinguished community" -- don't make me retch! This "Heritage Chase" was one of the later developments, after all possible living heritage (as opposed to a few Historical Society museum-pieces) had been paved over or homogenized. The new development surround Old Scots Graveyard, which was the original location of Old Tennent Church (called "the new church" at the battle of Monmouth), and which contains sandstone grave markers carved from the ballast of the ship in which they immigrated, fleeing persecution in Scotland. Some of those graves dated from 1702, I wonder how many of them have survived the past twenty years?

By the way, Manalapan is Lenape for "bread and water" (as in "this is good agricultural land"), and the high school teams are the Braves. How long until the Cub Scouts host a Pow-Wow at the Raceway Mall?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Nice Day

Morning weigh-in: 176#, 12% BF

Pleasant evening last night. Got some things done, then went to the gym: run wasn't hard & wasn't meant to be, but the numbers looked pretty fast (8:54 & 8:57 miles) for a conversational-pace warmup... the rest of the workout went well too, I was pretty happy. I came home & played with computer (natch), made minor change to my web page stylesheet, delved a little more into Java, yadda yadda, had dinner (tortellini w/ Louisiana hot sauce), and then read some more Infinite Jest. Bedtime was a very reasonable 11:00.

It looks pretty nice out, and I'll probably go for a towpath ride tonight but my lights aren't charged, so we'll see what happens out on the trail. Sunset is at 6:30 or so; if I leave at 5:30 and ration the lights (and bring an extra -- but also semi-discharged -- battery) I should be fine.

Richard Ellsworth Savage: I see that Leonardo DiCaprio is starring in a new movie about Howard Hughes, which made me think of Stan Ridgway:

Now if I find a product I like
I'll buy up the whole company
Then I'll shave my face and grin
And smile and sell it on TV
And everyone will know me
I'll be more famous that Howard Hughes
I'll grow a long beard
And watch "Ice Station Zebra" in the nude
And grow my nails like Fu Man Chu
And keep a row of specimen jars
Get other people to work for me
Well no...maybe I'll buy
The planet Mars
And build an amusement park up there
Better than old Walt's place
You'll have to be a millionaire to go
And we'll smoke cigars
And lounge in lace
And talk the talk of businessmen
And bosses that we are
So here's to me
The drinks are free
'Cause I just bought this bar...

-- from "I Wanna Be A Boss"

By the way, my mug number at Which Brew is 1919.

UPDATE: Heard two colleagues talking in the men's room, about how we may actually be lucky our FORTRAN compilers are out of date. That got me thinking about a new product: Object-oriented FORTRAN, ("OOF"). I slay me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bouncing Back

Morning weigh-in: 177#, 13% BF

Well, those low weights didn't last too long at all, did they? "Active rest" day yesterday, did about 45 minutes of walking over at Merril Creek, basically was the only one there. After that I went home, tried out the first two Java examples, then went to WB for the Mug Club dinner. I made it an early night there, but I came home & read for a while so bedtime was after 11:00 anyway, oh well.

I realized something about that Java book: the first chapter, which I thought was the start of an impossibly steep learning curve, was really just "here are some examples showing the main ideas, don't worry if you don't understand because we'll explain it all later." Lucky me! Thought I was doomed...

My cousin's husband is pretty sick right now. He woke up in incredible pain the other day, rushed to the hospital where they said he had a growth near his aorta, had to go to Miami for surgical team that could handle it. Very scary situation, but he's at the special hospital now and they've got a good handle on the situation, which looks a little (but only a little) less dire than originally. He should be undergoing surgery as soon as all tests are completed, probably in the next few days.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Java Can Wait

Morning weigh-in: 173.5#, 13% BF

The weekend:

Friday was a night ride down the towpath, where I ran into Joe & Cindy, and then also Doug & Lori. Pretty amazing when you think about it, though maybe I shouldn't be too surprised. Afterwards J&C, also Brian, met me at Which Brew for dinner. Mellow night, but there was an after-dinner shot of high quality tequila involved... The band there was really good, sort of reggae/ska, tight and really talented playing; Unfortunately the rest of the audience (other than our table) didn't seem very appreciative. Brian bought the CD, and I signed up for their mailing list.

Saturday I went to the gym -- almost was late because I was playing with the computer -- where I rode a stationary bike rather than run, and skipped the pushups because my toe (better in almost all respects) still hurts at the tip, and I skipped everything that involved lying on my back because my head was stuffed and I was worried about vertigo. Why did I bother going? Actually, it was a good workout despite everything; Dawn was super resourceful and came up with a lot of exercises to substitute for my normal ones. I also did the first leg exercise of the year, leg raises for the ol quads.

The afternoon was mostly taken with minor chores, especially getting ready for the Gap Gallop century ride. Later in the day I decided to start messing with Java, so broke out that "Learning Java" book and got ready to install from the accompanying CD, then decided to download the next-to-latest version directly from Sun.

Digression #1: I installed the latest "Java Runtime Environment" last week, which allows for Java plugins to run. The very next day, Sun announced the release of a major new upgrade -- doh!

Digression #2: Sun's Java product nomenclature is very confusing.
Anyway, I got the download going, grabbed the laundry & took it to be dried at the laundromat, and went back down to Which Brew, thought I'd grab some dinner, see this weekend's other reggae band (even better thant the other one). That's where I ran into Theresa, hmmmm...

Sunday was the Gap Gallop, a century road ride around parts of Northampton County, the Slate Belt and the Poconos; it climbs over Blue Mountain at Little Gap, and returns via the Water Gap (hence the name). A perfect Indian summer day, on the very cusp of autumn color (my favorite time of year), and the ride was awesome. I rode with Joe & Cindy (also her dad for a while, but he was with a bunch of his friends who branched off the official ride after near the end), Rob G, and Janna's boyfriend Eric; I also saw a whole bunch of other people I know. All in all it was a great ride, though towards the end I started thinking that maybe working legs wasn't such a good idea on Saturday. Afterward, I went to Jack Creek for dinner with Joe & Cindy, then went home and crashed.

My plan was to take a quick nap, then maybe run through some finger exercises from the Java book, but I ended up sleeping throught to this morning. Maybe tonight I'll get to it.