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    Guess who has Pneumonia?

    2011 - 11.25

    That’s right I do.  Karin’s had it before, so I guess it’s my turn.  Just back from ~4 hours in emergency, will provide more details later, but basically it’s 10 days of antibiotics to kick this thing…

    Good and Bad

    2011 - 11.08

    Unfortunately Karin’s plan from last week of taking a day off when she felt the beginnings of a cold did not quite succeed.  I still think the idea is sound in principle, but this particular time it was not successful.  Friday she felt good so went back to work, but it caught up to her when she got home.  She spent the weekend being home sick, and then went in on Monday, with a similar result to Friday.  She’s home today, and tomorrow at least.

    It’s nice to get to spend time with her, just too bad it’s not under better circumstances.

    That said, it has led to us watching a large amount of TV together.  There’s a handful of shows that we don’t watch together, and then there’s a bunch that we do watch together, but given the aggressive time lines that she had been working with for her writing we’d fallen behind.

    So a few of the things we’ve watched while she’s been ill (and enjoyed):

    • Grimm
    • Terra Nova
    • Once Upon a Time

    We still have a lot of stuff on the PVR, but at the moment we’re watching faster than we’re adding, and it’s times like this when it’s nice to have a backlog of stuff that you want to watch rather than being stuck watching bad daytime TV while you’re sick.

    Pedometer Check

    2011 - 09.20

    Last time that I uploaded my pedometer data to the tracking program I was disappointed to see that my average daily steps had fallen from 4,509 to 4,371.  This bothered me, and I’ve been working on reversing the trend.  Today after the upload my daily average steps for the year are now up to 4,521 (3.39km).  I’m pretty pleased with that.  Keep in mind that’s the average of everyday over all of 2011 so far, and includes all those lazy weekends when you don’t leave the house or the couch.

    The big change that has made this happen is the reintroduction of Disc Golf into my weekly activity calendar.  I like Disc Golf, and enjoy it.  Fundamentally it gives you a reason to walk around (potentially a lot).

    For the record my actual long term daily target is 4,200 steps/day, so I’m happy to still be above that and to still be able to increase it.  I know that they recommend that you do 10,000 steps/day but with these more accurate pedometers it’s difficult to do.  So I picked a goal that seemed achievable but not necessarily easy.  If I keep the golfing up, I might make it to 5,000 steps/day, we’ll see.

    Getting back on track…

    2011 - 08.11

    Definitely in the getting better portion of the cold, which has allowed me to get working on the list of things I’ve been trying to do while Karin’s been away.  She’s expected back tomorrow (currently in Kamloops), so it’s unlikely that it’s all going to get done before she gets back, but I expect that she’ll appreciate what has been done regardless.

    Unfortunately with the cold the list has gotten a lot longer, mostly because I’d like to try to get all traces of the cold out of the apartment before she gets home, which means a bunch of laundry and emptying of non-full garbage containers and such.  But if the work can help prevent her from catching the cold it’s worth it.

    Slowing to a Crawl…

    2011 - 08.09

    Progress in the tidying has slowed to a crawl.  Yesterday, there was the unexpected visitor, then I went to Brentwood for lunch and met with my mom and aunt, then shortly thereafter with grandma.  While wondering with them I got a call looking for some help moving a couch.  So I left Brentwood and headed to Walter’s place.  It was a heavy leather Ektorp 3 seater.  We carried it around the back way, but had to stop 3-4 times because of the uneven weight distribution while carrying (we carried it on it’s back most of the way, which mean that one side was way heavier than the other).  While we were resting in the apartment Jeff called and Walter convinced us that we should go for Happy Hour.  So I returned home and showered, and then walked to Browns Social House to meet them for happy hour.

    I was a little surprised to find them sitting with two ladies when I arrived, but it turns out that they were co-workers of Walter, and it wasn’t that they had managed to both bring/find dates before I got there (which would have been bad form since my date is current out of province).  Sitting around on the patio getting a little too much sun and chatting for a few hours.  We then picked up some Panago pizza and some drinks from Save-On and returned to Walter’s place.  We got a meatball pizza on multigrain thin crust, it was interesting, not bad, but I wouldn’t order it again.

    Due to all of these compounding circumstances I didn’t get home again until after 9pm… which is a long way of saying that I didn’t get much of anything done in relation to the tidying.

    For the past few days I’ve been dealing with a sore throat, and unfortunately when I woke up this morning my nose was also stuffed up.  I had been pretending up until that point that it might have been dust, or cleaning supplies which had been causing the sore throat, but no such luck.  So today also has seen less than amazing progress.

    Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day, we’ll see.

    “I don’t feel well…”

    2011 - 07.26

    Unfortunately Karin hasn’t been feeling well lately.  Fortunately she hasn’t really needed to do anything the last little while, so it’s more annoying than a true hindrance, but no doubt frustrating to her.  We’re assuming that it’s just Ménière’s, but I suppose technically speaking we don’t know that.  We’re doing our best to keep her away from the various triggers, or things which make it worse, but so far either we haven’t done enough, or they just aren’t working.

    What might be the most scary is how many more stories she would have posted for her beta readers if she’d been feeling better, as she’s still managed to be reasonably prolific despite it all.  I know that personally I’m at least two stories (and possibly three) behind at the moment.  In fairness to me, they are getting longer, and I do provide really detailed feedback, but still I really need to take this opportunity to catch up while I can.  I don’t know if she’s looking for more beta readers or not, but if you’re interested you should get in touch with her, for now most of that interaction is taking place on Facebook, so if you’re not a frequent user that might be why you’re out of the loop.

    Speaking of Karin’s writing, she had a tangential scare today, and I think I’ll not try to make the long story short.  In our building today, due to some maintenance which I don’t really understand we have no hot water from 8-5.  I believe the sign in the elevator called it “Emergency” maintenance, although I must admit I disagree, as the notice has been in the elevator for at least a week.  In my book that makes it at most “urgent”, but definitely not “emergency”.  If it were emergency the notice I’d read in the elevator would be:

    “We apologize for the hot water outage yesterday, it was unavoidable due to some emergency maintenance.  Everything is now working normally and we don’t expect any further outages.”

    Regardless, the end result was a false fire alarm this morning, so we got to wander down the stairs and out of the building for a few minutes.  Thankfully it was a false alarm, caused by the maintenance.  Having been through a few of these fire alarms before we’ve learned a few things:

    1. bring a book or some other form of entertainment, you might be a while
    2. make sure to dress appropriately, you might be there a while
    3. don’t expect to get back in quickly
    4. go to the washroom before leaving

    Today, we thought we might go for a walk while we waited for the building to be cleared, but Karin wasn’t feeling so well, so we only did a lap around the building.  Turns out that Karin had a few concerns relating to today’s fire alarm:

    • she was particularly glad that the Geckos were elsewhere and in no danger as a result potential fire
    • she was also very pleased that she’s been distributing some of here writing around to reviewers, so that her only copies were not on a computer which would have been subject to melting or water damage had it been an actual fire

    As a result of the last one, I’m doing some experiments with Google Docs to see if it might be an appropriate alternate method to help ensure that the single point of failure is not sitting in our condo.  If anyone has experiences, good or bad that they’d like to share, or alternate suggestions for “fireproofing” her writing do let us know.

    In talking to Karin last night, she is planning to post something about the Geckos, but given how she’s been feeling it might be a little while before it appears.  I think that’s all I’ve got.

    CHOW-DAH! (photos)

    2011 - 07.20

    Clam Chowder, a set on Flickr.

    So since Karin was cooking I got to take the pictures, except for the final couple after the chow-dah had been plated.

    Check out the earlier posts for more details.

    Chowder Update

    2011 - 07.19

    I finally got into the clams that we had in our freezer from our trip to Sooke.  I was a little nervous about making chowder *, as I don’t think I’ve really made any cream soups before.  Overall, it was pretty easy, thanks to my prep cook, The Dave.  I had everything measured out for me and put into little bowls…I felt like a TV chef! :) I was surprised at how easy it actually was.

    1. Take clams out of freezer and put in fridge to defrost.
    2. Two days later, start chopping clams.
    3. Cook some bacon in a pot and reserve drippings (I didn’t do this first, so I did it after and added some drippings)
    4. Cook herbs, clam juice, onions ** and potatoes in pot.
    5. Add cream, milk and flour.  Let cook for a bit.
    6. Rinse off clams because of panic that they’re going to taste too strong.
    7. Add clams.
    8. Cook a little bit.
    9. Nom with sourdough rolls
    10. Realise I forgot to put bacon in.
    11. Decide it’s pretty delicious and doesn’t matter.
    12. Eat more the next day and forget bacon again.  Decide it’s ok because it tastes even better the next day.
    13. Give some to a friend and wait impatiently until he gets home and lets me know how it tasted. ;)
    14. Consider doing it again with the rest of the clams in the freezer.
    15. Write blog post and put up pictures on Flickr.

    * or, as Dave and I call it “CHOW-DAH!”

    ** I used onion powder…or as I say in my head “POW-DAH!”

    10,000 Step Challenge

    2011 - 04.13

    A few interesting things have been going on over here, and out of them, I’ve decided that this week I’m going to actually do the 10,000 steps a day thing.  Back in the good old days it didn’t seem like it was that difficult to do, but with these new fancier and smarter pedometers it’s much harder to actually get to that total.  We’ll see if I can keep it up for the whole week (with a possible pass for Friday, as we have other plans).  I started on Monday, and Karin decided to join on Tuesday!  I’ll let her post separately about how well she’s doing.

    Monday: 10,021 steps (4,993 aerobic ones over 44 mins), 460 cals and 7.51kms

    Tuesday: 8,632 steps (6,890 aerobic ones over 59 mins), 371 cals and 6.47 kms

    Wednesday: 13, 325 (7,597 aerobic ones over 71 mins), 596 cals and 9.99 kms (as of this writing anyway)

    I decided that since I didn’t meet my target on Tuesday that my punishment was to have to exceed my goal by twice the shortfall, so I needed to hit 12,736 to make up for Tuesday’s shortfall, and I’m pleased that I was able to do that.  I don’t know if I’ll keep doing this indefinitely but at the moment I’m enjoying the sense of satisfaction from the accomplishments!

    In order to hit the Monday goal, I did shopping at Costco, went to the gym and did almost 2,000 steps worth of pacing in the condo.  Tuesday, went for a good walk to the liquor store at Broadway and Lillouette, and carried Karin’s purchases back in a backpack, so it was probably a better workout, but fewer total steps.   I also played some Wii Fit Plus, but didn’t manage to register enough “steps” before midnight.  Today, I walked to my bank (essentially Brentwood) and did some shopping at Winner’s and Save-on, then walked home (with a whole bunch of cake mix which was on sale and creme de tartar for making buttercream icing).  That got me to about 6,000, and then some condo cleaning, vacuuming other general activities and a quick shopping trip to Brentwood  got me to the 8,500 level.  The rest is courtesy of 40 minutes in the gym.

    Hope I can keep up with it tomorrow, and hey if anyone else feels like jumping on the bandwagon for the rest of the week that’s cool.  Taunting messages (“tweets”) with your current step count are encouraged (but of course it’s not a competition ;-)

    Outstanding in the Field

    2011 - 03.29

    One of my cousins posted a link to this on Facebook and it sounds pretty cool.  You get to go to a farm, and probably sit in the fields and eat a presumably delicious dinner.  There’s even a couple of events in BC (July 9, Pemberton; July 10, Aldergrove).  It really sounds like something that Karin would totally love to do, and that it would be fun.  Unfortunately there’s a downside: the price.  The BC events are $190/person, which might be justifiable for the experience but is not something that I think I could justify in the near future.  If someone out there goes, let us know how it is/was.

    Outstanding in the Field

    Our mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.

    Outstanding in the Field is a roving culinary adventure – literally a restaurant without walls. Since 1999 we have set the long table at farms or gardens, on mountain tops or in sea caves, on islands or at ranches. Occasionally the table is set indoors: a beautiful refurbished barn, a cool greenhouse or a stately museum. Wherever the location, the consistent theme of each dinner is to honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table.

    Ingredients for the meal are almost all local (sometimes sourced within inches of your seat at the table!) and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region. After a tour of the site, we all settle in: farmers, producers, culinary artisans, and diners sharing the long table.