Thursday, March 10, 2011

Like In The Olden Days

Like way back when, my pre-yoga days... I took a yoga class last night, and I knew I would be out of shape, but I was surprised at how stiff I had become: really stiff, can't-touch-your-toes stiff -- one more wake-up call. The workout felt good though; I think it's what I need right now. (One thing I didn't need was the mirror on the wall, showing me how big my gut had become -- back in the fall of 2007, I got  a new mirror in my living room, and walking past that mirror every day, seeing myself, was one of several factors that drove me to lose weight that winter.)
Noted in passing: Besides being my brother's birthday (Happy Birthday, Kevin!), Saturday was the 5 year anniversary of the ankle incident. You bet I was thinking about it, every icy patch on my ride Saturday.
Meanwhile, today is my last day at work before Daylight Savings Time. It's pouring, today through tomorrow, so I'm hitting the gym tonight, and I'll probably get in some more gym/yoga/errands/chores before the nicer weather hits on Saturday. Green Blaze? Allamuchy?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Steppenwolf Christmas

Morning weigh-in: 184.5#, 16.5% BF
I suspect that I'm fully hydrated for a change, since that body fat number looks about right -- that is, it's not what I want, but at least the BF is accurate.
In case anyone was wondering: Kraftwerk Thanksgiving. I'm gonna miss Achewood, if I don't already...
Map Fun: One thing I've wanted to do with my Garmin is put a map of the Sals trail system on it, one that I could then follow on my rides. (Not that I need it, but it would be cool to follow along, and it might come in handy as something I could give to others.) The Garmin has one big drawback though: trails are added via GPX files, but there's no way to just take a file containing the entire trail system, and just copy it into the unit, and have that be all you need to work with -- each individual trail segment (and there may be over a hundred) must be loaded into the map one by one, turned on so it shows on the map, and color chosen for that segment, the whole process done over and over using that clunky 2-button-and-a-joystick interface.
Once loaded, the Garmin mapping info is stored in somewhere other than the original GPX file. (GPX doesn't normally store color but it can handle extensions; this shouldn't have been too hard.) Something like that -- having the Garmin's map info in the same file as the trail data -- would have been useful, because then the file, with all its hard-won map info, could be copied for someone else to use, or moved off the unit and reinstalled later -- but nope.
So OK, using a trail network, as produced by GRASS or TopoFusion, is impractical.
The next thing I tried was from a "How-To" I found online: trace over the trail network using Google Earth, doubling back or tracing over the same segments as required to make the trail system one huge single loop. Save and convert to GPX and plop it into the Garmin, and you can get the whole trail system onto the map with one iteration of the installation process.
This worked well, apart from the one-time tedium of re-tracing the trails, and had only one disadvantage: the entire trail system must all be the same color. This would usually be no big deal, except that the Sals trail system is composed of color-coded subsystems, and I wanted each trail on my map to have the same color as the trail blazes you'd find in the woods.
The compromise I came up with was to do the "retrace in Google Maps" thing for each subsystem, then load (and assign colors to) each individually. This worked out reasonably well -- it wasn't the one-shot setup I wanted, but it was a lot better than the alternatives I found so far. I tried these on Saturday's ride, and they looked and worked great.
Last night was the gym, and tonight is a towpath ride, to be followed by Taco Tuesday.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Pierogi Fest, The Kraftwerk Mardi Gras

There will be no morning weigh-in today: too many pierogis were consumed yesterday for any mens sana in corpus sano step-on-scale soul searching this AM...
We had a good time though. Anne and a few ladies from her knitting crowd decided they needed something to get through the last of the winter, and that something was -- pierogis! A five course meal, with pierogis in every recipe: Deb brought bacon-wrapped pierogi appetizers, Amy brought chicken-pierogi soup, Anne made pierogi lasagna, Liz had a bunch with various traditional and non-traditional stuffings, Donna had pierogis and string beans, and for dessert we had Anne's homemade pierogis with fruit filling, plus Donna's apple-pierogi pie. (The rest of us just brought our hungry but lazy asses.) That, and the last of our keg of "Hanseatic Doldrums" Baltic Porter, and it was a long fun dinner party -- and strangely enough, despite the heavy, filling qualities in every bite, there were almost no leftovers.
We tried to come up with a theme (Mardi Gras sort of came and went), with appropriate music and dress code for the party (the dress-up part was also DOA, thank goodness -- everyone wore what they always wear). The first musical iteration was polka, which was a disaster, then we tried "techno, like they listen to in Europe," but I didn't know any techno so I told Pandora I liked Kraftwerk, and let Pandora pick the music. It worked, pretty much.
(Speaking of music: I downloaded some songs from the Dum Dum Girls and listened to them on the way in to work this morning. Nice.)
Maybe it had something to do with what was in my belly when I went to bed, but I had the craziest and most fun post-Apocalyptic dream ever. Most of it faded when the alarm went off, but it was a sort of mix of Steve Austin / Mad Max kind of thing, in a world where the Federal Government had sort of merged the NBA and senior housing. I was a refugee, possibly via time capsule / escape pod (Polaroids of my previous life all around me in the dust, when they found me unconscious), and my tape-recorded debriefing, at a dusty outdoor basketball court, hoops mounted on palm trees etc, slowly morphed into a narrative of a visit to (and guitar jam with) a bunch of dolphins swimming in what looked like a brightly-lit, subterranean reactor core. I was saying the words "even unto the Gravity Well" when the alarm went off.
Saturday was pretty nice too: we went to Easton and hooked up with my HS buddy Mike and his family, in town to visit the Crayola Factory, and we had lunch together at Pearly Baker's, which gets a substantial clientele from Crayola, with kid's menu to accommodate. Mike's kids were adorable, but I think he was monitoring them very closely for signs of "long day meltdown," and took off before any anticipated crash. Shopping, home, a quick Sals ride -- remember them? -- and then we went to Spanky's "I'm tired of winter" party. Awesome, and warm enough that we could hang outside. Spring's coming.
Friday -- maybe by next week I'll say something about First Friday, if I remember. Tonight is the gym, and one week from yesterday is Daylight Savings Time.