Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Month In Review(s)

Well that went pretty quickly, I didn't realize it had been a full month since my last post. Work has been insanely busy lately, and I've found myself with little time or inclination to write anything here: all my resurces have been used up. Not much worth noting has gone down either, not that that has ever stopped me before, when I'm in the mood to write, or had the strength.

Right now I'm on vacation. We drove down to Asheville, North Carolina on Monday, and we're here until Friday, when we go to visit Emmi in Knoxville.Monday night was a bit of night life, yesterday was a 40 mile road ride (20 miles uphill, then turn around and coast back) on the Blue Ridge Parkway, followed by more nightlife, and today is a sort of rest day / weather break so we've been checking out the local downtown scene in the daylight, brunch and bakery and coffee shop, and my batteries have recharged enough to check  in here...

Listening: I got that SqueezeBox I was talking about. It was kind of a compromise between what I wanted and what's readily available, but it seems to do the job as advertised. The biggest -- and really, the only -- disappointment is that I can't seem to just transparently stream sounds through it from my computer: it has a special server I had to install on my laptop, which reads music files (from the same music collection my "real" music program uses) or internet radio, and sends the results to the Squeezebox. The server has a browser interface which actually works very well, and as time goes by it's pretty much become my "real" music program.

We've been listening to a lot of music lately, including some radio stations Anne likes that we can't ordinarily get, as well as internet-only stuff like Radio Paradise (Strangely enough, we're listening to Radio Paradise right now, in an Asheville bakery/coffeeshop.) The next step is to get Anne's music available through the Squeezebox, which should be pretty easy once we get the server installed on her laptop.

Doing: We've got about a month of P90X under our belts now, Anne and I; we've been doing it together most weeknights after I get home from work. We are basically through the first of three phases, each lasting three weeks with a "rest week" in between. It's pretty hard, but I've done harder workouts (back when I was younger).

The biggest positives so far have been that the workouts, especially the "cardio" ones like Plyometrics and Kenpo, are really fun, especially when we're working out together, and that I am starting to see some difference in my arms, which had been suffering a bit of neglect over the past year or so.

Negatives? There are two: one is that the program is extremely rigid, so there's no real "wiggle room" in case I want to, say, do a ride, or maybe just take a rest day, instead of that day's scheduled workout. (We tried doing them in the morning to leave the evenings free for other things, but that has its own downsides.) The other big negative is the trainer himself, Tony Horton. He seems to know his stuff, and keeps the workout moving along, but he's an old stand-up comic and it shows -- his constant stream of banter, workout slogans and bad jokes becomes wearing after a while. Anne and I have taken to repeating his expressions as inside jokes...

New Bike: The new trails at Lake Nockamixon finally had their Grand Opening complete with food, music, guided trail tours, and a raffle -- and I won the Grand Prize, a Specialized Hardrock Disc 29er. So far I've only played with it by riding around town, but as soon as I have it dialed in, and install some clipless pedals, I'll be hitting the local trails so stay tuned for a full report.