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20150105 - Exercise

1 min read

Exercise contraption

Well, I haven't worked out or watched what I ate since Don and Chris were here back in September.  I knew I wasn't doing too well, but then Thanksgiving came...then it was Christmas....well, you get the idea.  Well, the time has come to get back on the ball, exercise, and watch what I eat.  Here's today's info (yep, I'm going to start posting again):


FatSecret Journal for Jan 5, 2015
Wt: 114 kg
Waist: 49.25"
Neck: 17.25"

Image from zieak via flickr


Happy Christmas - 2014

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Срећан Божић / Happy Christmas / Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas 2014

Starbucks Caramel Drizzle

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Caramel Apple Spice

I like coffee.  I like to go have coffee.  My favorite place to go have coffee happens to be Starbucks...usually.  I like the fact that their coffee beans are nice and strong.  It makes the coffee flavor come through in a way that other places don't.  But, I'm confused.

My favorite drink is a Caramel Mocha.  Except for the time around Christmas when they have peppermint syrup, it is all I get.  Extra hot too...that way, I can sit and sip it.  But it gets made differently.  Just about all the time.  The part I really like is the caramel drizzle on top (like in the picture above).  I eat the whipped cream/caramel mixture and stir a bit into my drink.  But not everywhere puts it on.  And not every barista at my favorite cafe puts it on either.

Does anyone know why this is?  What do I need to do to make sure I get it?  Why the variance?

Image from David Moore via flickr

Peppa and The Queen

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For Christmas, we got Lydia Peppa Pig and the Queen on DVD.  We were watching it tonight.  Mrs. Rabbit gets an award as the most hard working person in all the kingdom and so Peppa and her classmates get to go see the queen.  One of the kids asks the Queen:

"Are you Queen of all the world"

The queen then replies:  "Not Quite"

Not quite....that is hilarious!

Shout Out -- Costa Coffee Redhill

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COSTA COFFEE Since 1971.. did you know?

In Serbia, Cyndi and I got in a habit of going to coffee.  Lydia and Isaac both like it too.  That habit has continued to England.  However, we don't have nearly the choice of coffee shops in Redhill that we had in Cacak.  One of our favorites (or favourites) is the Costa in Redhill.

I wanted to give them a special shout out.  I think they went above and beyond yesterday.  Cyndi bought me a insulated mug from Costa for Christmas.  Well, after using it twice (and only hand-washing) it had a bed condensation problem between the outer and iner mugs.  So bad that the paper inside was wet and wrinkled.  I took it in, spoke to the manager, and asked her if I could get another.  She said that usually I would need the receipt; however, since I was a regular, she would just exchange it even up.

Thank you Costa Redhill for fixing my cup even though you didn't HAVE to.

Image from Kiran Raja Bahadur SRK via flickr

The Biggest Loser xBox 360 Game

2 min read

Biggest Looser Workout

Last January (Jan 2012), I had to return to the US for a couple of weeks for my grandpa's funeral--I can't believe I didn't blog about that.  While I was there, I bought several things to bring back.  One of those things was The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout for xBox with Kinect.  I never opened it (and had forgotten about it until I was looking through where I had hidden the kid's and Cyndi's Christmas presents).  Today was my first time using it.

After some fiddly setup (be prepared for about 30 minutes of "stuff"), I was ready for my first workout.  However, before I could start, it did a short body analysis.  I entered my weight, the game had me face the Kinect, pause, then turn to the side, and pause.  I was ready to work out.

First off, I am way out of shape.  I knew I wasn't in the best shape; however, I didn't think I was this out of shape.  After all, I used to ride my bike thousands of miles a year (and had even done two centuries).  Wow.

On to the good:

  • The workouts are good.  My heart rate was up the entire 30 minutes
  • There's good customization.  I was able to tell it my weight goal, select a time-frame, enter how many times a week to work out, and choose my workout duration.
  • Having the kinect see the entire body allows the game to give you good feedback:  knees up, too wide, and that sort of thing
  • I liked the fact that it measured my waist, height, neck, etc... with nothing more than me removing my shirt.

Now for the bad:

  • When I laid on the ground, the kinect didn't track me so good.  Although, to be fair, I think this may be related to available space more and position more than anything
  • It didn't always track my movements right.  For example, in typical computer fashion, it told me to widen my lunge; however, when I widened it by more than an inch, it said too wide.  In some exercises, it is very "computer picky."

Now, this was only my first workout.  Overall, I think it went well.  I told it I wanted to do 4 per week.  I'll use it for this week then post a follow-up.

Isaac and his pushbike

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Isaac on his bike

For Christmas, we Isaac's grandpa and grandma got Isaac a pushbike.  2 reasons:  1) he outgrew his kid plastic push scooter thing and 2) we thought it would make an easier transition to a real bike.  He loves it, and he's getting good at it.  This picture is him coming down the "big hill" by our place.


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Scale-A-Week: 7 March 2010

While Cyndi and I were in the states 1.5 years ago, I gained a ton of weight.  Over the past year, I lossed that.  Before Christmas, I weighed 110 kg.  That is about 242lbs.  I want to be about 190-195 (call it 90-95kg).  The least I ever weighed while cycling was right around 205lbs.  Cyndi and I have a trip planned to Prague in April.  My goal is to be 10kg down by then...about 100kg.  I'll be keeping my fatsecret profile up to date with my weight.

Image from puuikibeach via flickr

Dance on the Wind by Terry C. Johnston (Scratch book 1)

2 min read

Dance On The Wind Terry C JohnstonCover

I just finished--well, before the Christmas break I finished--Dance on the Wind by Terry C. Johnson.  This is the first book in the nine book series following Titus "Scratch" Bass as he leaves home, heads west, and becomes a mountain man.

Dance begins with Bass at home working on the family farm.  He's got a girlfriend who he "courtin'."  But he is unsettled and yearns for more.  His thoughts often turn to his grandpa who came to Kentucky when it was still the frontier.  One day, after a shootin' match, he meets a man headed out west.  With freedom calling, Bass runs away from home one evening when he's 16.  He then meets up with a group of riverboatmen who take him to the other side of the "falls."  After they get through them, Bass asks to stay on and go to New Orleans with them.  This first book gets him to New Orleans and started back on the Nachez Trace.  Near St. Louis, he decides to go there.

In St. Louis, Bass gets a job as a blacksmith.  Towards the end of the book, he meets up with a real life mountain man.  After wasting all of Bass' savings, the mountain man dies.  Bass mopes until he finally decides to head west.  This book ends with him setting out to the mountains.

Yes, this book is fiction.  I doubt Bass was a real person.  However, Johnston's research of the time, area, and the "mountain man era" make "the Scratch books" a favorite with my family.  if you are at all interested in that time or the mountain men, start reading this series.

[Update 2013-02-02 15:18:01] Earlier this week, I started reading Buffalo Palace:  The Plainsman / Scratch book 2.  Once I'm done, I'll post my review of it.

[Update 2013-02-06 08:26:04] I've finished Buffalo Palace.  My review is here.

Dec 2012 -- Midlands Trip (Birmingham and Kenilworth Castle)

2 min read

2 days ago, Cyndi and I decided that we were tired of sitting home during the Christmas break.  We took a look at English Heritage places--as members, we don't have to pay an admission fee--and checked out Traveloge for cheap hotels.  We decided we'd visit Kenilworth Castle near Birmingham, England.

Here's one picture, click the read more link below to see more pictures and read more about our trip.



The weather hasn't been great.  In fact, after starting off the summer under water restrictions, we recovered and this year is on track to be one of the wettest ever.  It started raining shortly before Christmas and has done nothing else since.

Yesterday, Friday, we left our home.  We ended up and sat in traffic for a good 1.5 hours on the M25 around London.  We went to Birmingham, England where we walked around.  Here's a few pictures of the lights in the central shopping area of the city:

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This morning, we woke up and went to the castle.  At one time, this castle was occupied by King John--the King John who signed the Magna Carta. Back in the day, he spent £1,100 (they said that was over £5 million today) to increase the security of the castle.  Later on, after the English Civil War, castles were slighted (partially destroyed) and Kenilworth was no exception.  That means this castle has set in ruins longer than the USA has existed.  Wow.  Here's a picture of a model of the grounds:


 If you want to see more pictures of the castle, check out our Kenilworth Castle set on Flickr.

As we were leaving, we saw this really small el camino type car/truck in the car pack.  How small was it?  For scale, check out Isaac standing beside it!

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