Try to guess what I ate for breakfast each day this weekend. Man, do I love pancakes.
Today’s Personal Project
Start my push to weigh fewer than two hundred pounds by year’s end.
Today’s Daily Challenge
Do a mini-meditation: Find a quiet spot, close your eyes, and focus on your breath for five minutes.
Meditation can give you a sense of calm when you’re feeling overwhelmed by demands at work, dealing with stressful situations at home, or juggling a long to-do list. Just taking a few moments to yourself and focusing on something as simple as your breathing can put you in a more relaxed frame of mind. Neuroscientists have even seen the brain waves change in people who are meditating – there is less activity in the stress-prone parts of the brain and more activity in the calmer areas!
I need to do this. I’m really high-strung right now and could use some meditation in my life.
Pancake breakfast Number One occurred Friday morning as I took off for Brevard, North Carolina. After stopping at QT for cash and gas I stopped into The Original Pancake House for breakfast. I consumed the better part of four pancakes with whipped cream and peach slices (I gave myself credit for three pancakes eaten because I didn’t come close to finishing the fourth.) It was a great day to start the morning.
With the exception of seeing a handful of people get pulled over by the police the drive from Atlanta to Brevard was fairly uneventful. I stopped at the Nike outlet up on I-85 looking for cycling tights (Did you know that Nike makes no cycling clothes, nor does any of the other sporting good brands which have retail presence in that “outlet” mall?) and walked out of the store with some running tights (which I didn’t even wear since the weather wasn’t as cold as I feared it would be). I also stopped at two different grocery stores in northern South Carolina for essentials (read “beer, water, ice, snacks”) and failed to pick up coffee.
I was the first to arrive at the Black Forest Family Campground (somebody needs a website update!) and waited around for the rest of the campers — ITP-Readers Lisa and Randy with their two sons, and ITP-Readers Laura and Bob with their son — to arrive. There was a near-complete lack of cell phone service there but the place has wifi, thus I was able to communicate the lack of pizza ordering we expected to be available for Friday night to Lisa via Skype and they picked up some pizzas for the group’s consumption. It was a much-welcome sight as I’d eaten nothing more than a snack bar since breakfast.
After trying mightily we (read “I” because I’ll be assigning fault) finally got a fire started and the group relaxed as much as three sub-seven-year-old boys would allow us. After putting the boys to bed the adults sat around the campfire and recounted our wilder, hashing, days. The night came to an end shortly after we were “shhh”ed after “Quiet Time” began. I guess we were having too much fun. 😉
Pancake breakfast Number Two occurred at the home of Bob’s mother. Bob and I woke fairly early and took off on a chilly and challenging (at least for me) roughly forty-two mile ride from the campground to his mother’s house and back.
At her house we were served eggs, pancakes, and bacon (no entirely-vegetarian weekend for me because I couldn’t resist the lure of bacon.)
The ride was long (read “slow”, at least the uphill parts), and while it was not nearly as long as ITP-Reader Barb’s adventure this weekend the climb up to Caesar’s Head State Park was challenge enough for me. I believe that I used up one of my nine lives early on the initial descent as I took a bad line going around a very sharp turn and was on the wrong side of the road as a van approached. Luckily for me I was able to pull it around and the van was able to slow down, and another serious bike-car altercation was avoided. Needless to say I was “Paulie Pump The Brakes” and made sure to hold my line as I made the rest of the descent.
In addition to my failure my technology also let me down. A lack of cell service made the MapMyRide app useless, and the battery in my Garmin Forerunner 305 gave up about sixteen miles into the ride.
Oh, and I suffered another flat. DANGEN! Shortly before my watch battery died we were riding along SC11 and I heard a rhythmic sound. Clink. Clink. Clink… I didn’t know whether the noise was coming from my bike or Bob’s (who did yeoman’s work leading the way the entire ride — I just didn’t have the juice to lead.) so I started to slow down. As I slow the repetition of the noise also slowed. Conclusion, I was fucked at the drive-thru again! Soon the noise went away and soon after that I felt the literal sinking feeling of a back tire flatting. On the side of the South Carolina road Bob and I performed a NASCAR-style pit stop and changed out my tube after I found the piece of metal which was responsible for causing the noise and puncturing the tire and tube. I wonder, I’m riding 700×23 tires, should I be riding wider rubber?
The ride made me appreciate (read “envy”) the skill of professional riders. I suffered mightily on a six-mile Cat 1 climb, stopping briefly at the end of each mile to recover; the pros can do that climb multiple times, wake up, and do it all over again.
Bob and I (I know that’s correct!) returned to the campground about fifteen minutes too late at least according to the note left on the Jackmobile (more on “him” tomorrow) which told us that the rest of the gang headed out for a hike to Hooker’s waterfall. So Bob and I did what came naturally to us, we sat down and had a few beers while we waited for the hikers to return.
The entire troop headed into town to eat dinner at a local Mexican restaurant called Tres Cabelleros. I was ready to switch from beer to have a margarita, and to return to eating vegetarian meals, by eating a large order of vegetarian fajitas since I “earned” it. The food was delicious, but we found out the hard way that the restaurant is situated in a dry county.
ITP Flickr Pic
I took no photos.
That area of the world is actually quite picturesque (during the “Golden Hours”).
Shame on me.
Pancake breakfast Number 3 was the pancake breakfast sold at the campground. After breakfast the gang let the kids run themselves tired and then we went back an packed up camp.
After camp was packed up we all went our separate ways again. I wound up stopping at a Chinese buffet (I have a problem) somewhere near Seneca, South Carolina (in my defense it was 1:00pm and this was one of the first restaurant that I saw along SC11 since I hopped on it near Caeser’s Head). The journey ended shortly after 4:00pm. After unpacking the car (but unfortunately not also putting everything into its proper storage place) I sat my butt on the couch and watched the Falcons game.
The Part Not About Pancakes
Overall the weekend was a smashing success, without any literal smashing. The weather was perfect, no rain, warm in the daytime, cool-but-not-cold at night, and cool enough to warrant a campfire. It was great to see good friends again, sit around, and catch up.
Many thanks to Bob for being patient along the ride and helping me with the flat. I won’t go as far to say that I couldn’t have done the ride without him (I am very stubborn, you know) but his support and willingness to stop along the steep ascent helped immeasurably.
It was good to “get away” (as much as having wifi access allows). I thought of work sparingly and will be diving headlong back into the project today.
And How Was Your Weekend?
Barb, from Bob’s Facebook feed I heard you made it to Anniston (and a wedding? ;)). How was the second half of your ride?
Anyone hear anything from the Hartwell campout? There’s usually some drama up there…
What else went on? Any Music Midtown attendees?
Stats & Goals
Current Mood – Nervous, hoping that something will work out. Also, feeling a little sniffly this morning probably due to being ill-prepared for cooler nights.
Current Music – listening to last week’s “Systematic” podcast
Website Of The Day – On my ride Saturday morning I sported my Schaefer Beer jersey. I was unaware that Schaefer is now a Pabst Brewing beer since Pabst bought Stroh’s (who bought Schaefer).
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – Saturday = cycling, ~42 miles
Morning Weigh-In – 204.8 pounds. Looks as if I overcompensated for my calorie burn on Saturday.
Foot Mileage – ~70.2 miles
Wheel Mileage – ~92.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 0 flights
Days Of Bed-Making – 1 (!)
Vegetarian Meals – 36
Carnivorous Meals – 26
Pancakes Eaten – 12
Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0
– Wear “nice” clothes to work at least twice a week, if for no other reason than to have people wonder why I am dressing up. New!
– Eat no fewer than forty-five vegetarian meals
– Take at least one load of stuff from my house to Goodwill
– Take unused electronics to recycling center
– Post at least ten new photos during the month
– Lose at least two pounds (net weight loss)
– Finish two books (audio or otherwise, comic books do not qualify)
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Exercise for thirty minutes no fewer than twenty days
– Ride no fewer than 100 miles
– Walk (or run) no fewer than 100 miles
– Do no fewer than 750 sit-ups
– Do no fewer than 300 push-ups
– Read a non-techincal book
2012 Goals [will be a little less fluid than last year]
– Get my weight under 200 pounds, or at least whittle myself back down to where wearing a 36″ pant size is comfortable
– Completely read ten books, audio books permissible
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
– Run in no fewer than one one 10K
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store
– Restore the ITP Estate to a condition where it can be put up for sale at any time
– Buy a new iPhone (iPhone 5?),
a new iPad (iPad 3?), and MacBook Air [look, not all goals have to be altruistic]
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient and profitable programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions
– Start, and continue, to make my own bread using my bread machine as well as using the technique outlined in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
– Read and discard magazines during the month in which they arrive (even digitally)
– See more live concerts than I did in 2011
– Eat more pancakes
– Drive/Fly somewhere for a real vacation
Books I’ve Read/Heard In 2012
- Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me — Mindy Kahling
- Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How One Man’s Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science — Curtis Ebbesmeyer
- God, No! — Penn Jillette
- The Elephant to Hollywood — Michael Caine
- Here Comes Trouble — Michael Moore
- How We Decide — Jonah Lehrer
- Steve Jobs — Walter Isaacson
- Death of a Salesman (Penguin Plays) — Arthur Miller
- Fahrenheit 451 — Ray Bradbury