I might be a bastard sometimes–maybe most of the time–but I try to use it for the greater good.

  • Planning on upgrading the hard drive on my Playstation 4.  I’ve heard its a relatively simple process.  Just need to get the gear for it.
  • Getting closer to an hour of gameplay for each character in Overwatch.  At least until the new one becomes available.  As for this posting, I’ve got one character at an hour and the others are all at fifty minutes or more.  It has been a lot of fun although there are characters I’d just as soon not play after this experiment is done.  Not going to get all “These characters suck, these characters don’t…” but I just have some preferences.
  • I tend to leave the microphone plugged in and ignore it when I play Overwatch.  Usually I’m playing with random people, so I don’t talk to them too much.  The bigger thing is people don’t realize they’re on mic and I get to hear discussions about feeding their kid a PB&J sandwich.  It’s almost better when its in a language I don’t speak.
  • Annoyed that I lost track of my compass and French curves.   Couple of pages I could really use them for.  Found the French curves at least.  Will have to keep looking for the compass.
  • Had a close call with my Macbook laptop the other day.  Screen was lighting up, but did not seem to be getting a signal.  Was convinced there was bad connection–apocalypse scenario was the motherboard was fucked, but I felt pretty safe ruling that out–and was planning to bring it to one of the nearby people who work on Macs.  More on a lark than anything–to clean it up before it went into the shop–I got an airblaster and hit up around the keys and the vents.  Working fine as of this writing.  A little luck with my ridiculously expensive computer.  I eventually want to set up a desktop, but that’s an “own place” kind of thing.
  • Rearranging my workout rotation.  Given that I need to up the cardio, I’m only going to the gym five days a week.  Saturday and Sunday will be days for Cardio–kayaking when it warms up enough.  Basically the workout are going to concentrate more on back and shoulders, basically the stuff I need to improve on.
  • Had a breakfast burrito the other day with black beans in it.  Still find the taste of beans to be annoying, but I ate it just fine.  Making progress on that goal.  Eating healthier, I think it does change my tastes a bit.  Going to look into some recipes and see what I can find for recipes involving beans.

I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to do “I go back to work tonight and can’t sleep” post–by the way, I cut my finger on the lid of a yogurt container this morning and it is just enough to be a pain in the ass while typing–but I can’t sleep and I go back to work tonight.  Which is really how most of the posts get written, to be honest.  I can’t sleep before I go to work, so I try to wear my brain down enough by writing to sleep.  Which might answer a number of other questions about what gets written as well.

Lesson for the kids at home:  SLEEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.  TAKE IT FROM SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T GET NEARLY ENOUGH.  (My bosses don’t seem to mind me falling asleep while cooking cheese, but that will eventually catch up to everyone)

  • Been experimenting with cooking rice lately.  Cooking it in a frying pan has been a bit more of a pain in the ass, so I’m likely going to be looking into a rice cooker.  Basically I’ve been simmering the rice on a low heat in Chicken Broth.  Today I tried adding a couple tablespoons of Liquid Aminos–essentially soy souce, just in a much purer form–for a bit of flavor.  Added some carrots and celery.  Took awhile and the rice didn’t really cook as thoroughly as I had hoped, so a rice cooker might be an investment in the near future.  Cooked up some chicken to serve on top of it the first time, some stew meat the second time around.
  • Might look around for slow cookers/crockpots as well.  I never to experiment as much with that as I would have liked, but that might be something to get into next winter.  Slow cookers aren’t a big summer thing and the way the weather is acting, that might be sooner than ever.
  • I live with my parents, which isn’t something that unusual these days or bothers me that much.  My mother was talking to somebody about it and she mentioned how I buy my own food, which is true.  I probably buy and/or cook/prepare probably about 90% of what I eat.  I also have a number of kitchen implements–knives, colander, garlic press, leftover containers, etc.–of my own that I use.  I would have a set of frying pans, but my ex kept those.  Anyway.  The person my mother was speaking with was completely stunned by the idea that I buy my own food and cook for myself.  Nothing that extraordinary really.  My father is picky and I prefer a wider selection of options, usually geared a bit more healthy than he prefers.  As I’ve said before, being able to cook is a basic survival skill.

The game is afoot.

  • I collect Magic Cards, but I haven’t really played since college.  Mostly I just put decks together.  I’ll buy a booster pack or holiday box or whatever and start seeing what cards go together.  I’m not even really up to speed on a lot of the new abilities–energy counters, etc.–that have been added in recent years.  I might try to sell a few decks at some point.  I really don’t need the two dozen or so decks I’m working on.  I mean, I might like to play a few of them (the Chandra one, the Elf Deck, the Vampire Deck, Red/White Angel Deck) but most of them are ones I don’t really need.
  • Going to start working on a series of Magic the Gathering drawings soon.  Already did a Chandra sketch card, planning to do some some of those.  Maybe something more complex.  Going to try to get back to page work in the near future.  Problem is I always want to do ten pages when I should do one.  And burn myself out.  I have no pacing whatsoever.  Working on that.
  • Officially done bulking.  Got up to 180 pounds.  Pretty pleased about that, although I did briefly hope to get up to 200 pounds.  Combination of factors got in the way, but 180 was the goal along.  My general plan is to cut down to 170 or so.  The biggest thing has just been trying to learn to work with my body, not against it.  The big issue is still sleep, but not much to be done about that for now.  Kind of a body and mind thing.
  • Tried a new pre-workout that somebody gave me a sample of.  Stuff called 5150.  I think I read that it has 8 different types of caffeine.  Very powerful stuff.  If anybody wants to try it, be warned: it is very intense.
  • Thinking about trying to make Meatballs or something different than I’ve been making.
  • I wrote the other day about my experiences growing up on the family farm and been pondering that a bit more.  Basically I’ve gained more insight into a lot of what unfolded regarded my family’s history in farming and it has given me some new avenues of thought.  I don’t deny those experiences did give me a more pessimistic view of farming–and also of opportunities I was presented with, but that’s a story for another year.  Trying not to get into what ifs, but I do believe there were opportunities I could have done a lot with.  And maybe new options will present themselves.  I’m always keeping an eye open.
  • I find myself pondering options and opportunities.  The average person will change careers seven times.  I have to wonder if in trying to create a stable workplace, do employers limit the ability of workers to find better options and opportunities.  I get paid $22 and some change an hour with good benefits where I work, but does that pay rate keep me from seriously considering a job where I might be happier?  Where I might have better opportunities for advancement and more flexibility to pursue other endeavors?  And does the effort to maintain a stable workplace keep employers from finding people who are potentially better fits?  Stability and comfort can be as much a hindrance as a help.

So random…

  • Started working on a new comic.  Kind of a western type of thing.  Only really got rolling on one page so far.  I’m just glad I’ve been able to keep drawing and writing.
  • Been listening to a lot of Hamilton lately.  My biggest disappointment about NYC was that I didn’t manage to get tickets to see the show.  Unfortunately, they are ridiculously expensive and sold out.  Then the whole thing with Mike Pence happened and I started listening to it again.  The song “Non-stop” sticks with me.  Primarily the line “Why do you write like you’re running out of time?”  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the idea that time has already run out.  In a couple of situations, I think that might be the case.  I try to think of it as meaning there’s nothing left to lose, which can be nice in its own way.
  • Made Shepherd’s Pie a couple of weeks ago, that was really good.  Put some bacon cheddar cheese on top.  I’ve missed being able to cook on a regular basis.  Threw together some Ranch Chicken and baked french fries the other day, planning on some more cooking too.  I got a couple of ideas I want to try at some point.  Something involving seafood.  Hopefully I’ll be able to prioritize more time for that in the future.
  • Trying to hit 200 pounds for my body weight before I really start cutting and toning up.  It was kind of exhilarating to actually 180 pounds on my driver’s license when I renewed it last week.  Kind of a weird thing.
  • The other day, a supervisor told me he’s been hearing complaints about me, apparently thinking I’ve been slacking off.  Regardless of my opinion of that assertion–*cough* bullshit *cough*–I never take complaints like that seriously.  The big reason being that my dad works at the plant.  Basically, I acknowledge that there’s a lot of back-stabbing politics in any work place and having a parent there makes me a big target.  So I’ve come to expect such if only because it is human nature and I choose not to really care.  I put in my 40 hours a week and do my best for those hours.  That’s it.  I’m already in a situation I’m not really that keen on and I have no interest in getting into pissing matches over delegitimized nonsense.

Meal Prep Experiments

August 21, 2016

As I said, I got a Protein Powder cookbook last week and I have tried my first recipe out of it.  Coffee and Cocoa Protein Breakfast Bars.  Not bad.  I substituted Honey for Stevia, might up the amount on that and use parchment paper in the pan next time, but overall a successful experiment.

So that leads me to figure out what to do next.  I’ve begun to compile a list of recipes I would like to try.  If anybody is wondering, the cookbook is the Ultimate Protein Pow(d)er Cookbook, by Anna Sward.

Saffron and Rosemary Organic Whey Protein Bread.  Big holdup with this one is that I’ve yet to find Chestnut Flour.  I don’t mind substituting–see the honey for stevia above–but on this first attempt that might get further away from the recipe than I’d like to.  Also, I have yet to find an acceptable and endorsed substitute for it.  I was hoping to avoid a special order, but it might come to that.

Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Protein Bars.  Just intrigued.

Sweet Potato Protein Bars.  Again, intrigued.  Also trying to do more with Sweet Potatoes.

Sweet Potato and Nutella Protein Brownies.  Again, intrigued.  Again, Sweet Potatoes.

Protein Powder Buns.  For Burgers.  This might be down the list if only because the summer is almost done and I’m not likely to be grilling much.

There’s a pizza recipe I’m tempted to toy with as well, a few others I’m giving thought to, but those are the big ones.

Pretty slow week, but I can fill up a post.

  • Finally going to finish reading the Harry Potter series.  I’m about halfway through Order of the Phoenix right now.  Bought a lovely looking box set of the series.  $100 at Barnes and Noble, probably a good deal.  Got all seven books in a nice little case and when all the books are in it, the design on the spine of the books forms a picture of Hogwarts.  It looks pretty spiffy.
  • Saw something about Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman at the Boston ComicCon and that got me thinking: The BBC has a long history of reusing actors.  Particularly with Doctor Who.  What if the Doctor regenerated into Gillan or Coleman?
  • Still trying not to talk too much politics.  Failing at times, succeeding at others.  Lot of eye-rolling going on.  This election has been such a cauterizing experience so far, and there’s still a few months to go.  I try not to get too excited about anything, if only because there haven’t been any debates yet and we’ve got two candidates who could very well end up behind bars before those even happen.  That might be some hyperbolic wishful thinking, but the options aren’t really that good.
  • Got a new Protein Powder cookbook the other day.  I’ve tried some recipes using protein powder over the years to varying results and I’ve been wanting to try some more.  There are a variety of recipes using various types of protein powders, I’ve had a hard time picking which ones to try first.  I’ll pick up ingredients and do some cooking this weekend.  There were a couple of types of breads I wanted to try, as well as a couple of dessert options.
  • Looking forward to the Vermont Comic Con.  I’m actually very proud that we’ve got that going on now.  It is good to have that option going on in our state so a trip to NYC or Boston or Chicago or San Diego does not become a necessity.  Still would be fun to visit any of those places, but it is good to have a comic con close to home.  I will be helping out there on both days.

Bit of randomness mostly.

  • The Brexit fallout continues to be fascinating to watch.  The leaders of the Leave Campaign have been admitting they probably can’t keep many of the promises they made while a petition has gathered 2.5 million signatures to have a second vote–the argument being that the first was so close–so many unknowns to it all.  I don’t know if they should or shouldn’t revote, who knows what would happen?  If anything, I think the Leave Campaign failed to understand the destabilization all this could bring about.  I can’t help but think they’ve set themselves up for bigger problems later on.
  • Thinking I’m going to replace a part of my workout rotation with a round of kayaking.  I inadvertently tried this last week, when I went out kayaking then did a lighter back and core workout at the gym.  Worked out pretty well.  Given that the majority of back machines/ exercises have “row” somewhere in their name, it only makes sense.  So yeah, I’m going to scale back the back/core days to accommodate a larger focus on the kayaking.  Something where I focus on the lower back and abs at the gym while I do most of the upper back work on the water.  Should be a good change of pace for the summer.  Also was benching 165 lbs on a decline bench with a tw0 inch diameter bar for four reps.  Doubt that will mean much to anyone, but I’m proud of myself for not dying.  Also started using Power Bands for Abduction work.  Those and foam rollers are amazing.
  • Weight Gainer seems to be doing its job, although I think it is dehydrating me a bit more than I would like.  Probably going to try a different one when I use up the Combat XL.  To be honest, I bought that stuff because it was cheaper.  I am a bit more trusting of Optimum Nutrition’s products to begin with, so I’m kinda kicking myself for going against my habits.
  • Reading about how Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron are encouraging China to consume less meat.  In part because of the environmental effects of production and processing.  I guess Schwarzenegger has recently gone vegetarian at the recommendation of his doctor.  Personally, I’ve never been convinced that going vegetarian is necessarily healthier.  Humans are in general omnivores and we evolved that way for a reason.  As I’ve said on supplements, I’m trying to maintain a certain level of balance and that applies to actual composition of meals as well.  A balance and a variety is vital in some many ways.  And one of my main concerns about going vegetarian has been that there are any number of fats and acids and nutrients that you get from meat that you would not necessarily get from plant based foods–at least not without consuming massive quantities.  I try to stick to quality, local products when it comes to meat.  It can be hard, but I try.  Just giving my two cents on that argument, still think balance is the key and meats do make that balance easier to achieve.
  • Hoping to start posting some pages again.  Probably will set up something for Order of the Dragon on Tumblr.  Or something.  Might even figure out a way to get the file sizes down to the requirement for The Duck.
  • I don’t watch Game of Thrones, although I do passively follow what happens on the show.  I tend to prefer the books, I think George R.R. Martin does have a certain level of nuance that the show lacks.  Or I might just be spouting some hipster nonsense.  Regardless, I do find some of the recent revelations to be interesting.
  • While I am not planning to put a lot of focus on getting books signed at NYCC this year–if I do indeed end up going–I have been eyeing a few to buy.  Mostly Star Wars Variant Covers.  The guy who has written a lot of those book will be at NYCC.
  • Saw a video about how cutting home ec classes has created a generation that can’t cook or sew or do basic finances.  Admittedly I might not be the most skilled in those areas–I would unskilled and out of practice, but not be completely lost sewing something, figuring out patterns, whatever–but it does paint a bit of a picture.  I would start changing my own oil on my Jeep but I still bring it to a shop to get a set of experienced eyes to catch potential problems–plus given all the computers in cars these days, I’m a bit scared to do it myself.  Learning new skill sets and filling in those gaps in my knowledge is always something I have enjoyed.  Creating more independence and self-sufficiency feels more like basic survival these days.  I have to wonder how many people I know–past, present or future–could sew a button back on or tell the different between a teaspoon and a tablespoon.  Makes me wonder.
  • Continuing from the last topic, I tended to think of myself as more evolved because I can do a fair number of things in the kitchen–I might not do it well, but I can separate eggs and regularly avoid overwhipping cream–and in a number of other areas.  I work out, I write, I draw… I do tend to think of myself as more evolved in a lot of ways.  Not trying to be egotistical when I say that, though it probably comes across that way.  I’m just trying to improve everyday.  I don’t claim to be superior to anyone–if I am, I’ll let other people decide that and I think a few have.  Point is, I’m just trying expand my skill sets in all areas and address any issues I might have–even feel like I’ve addressed a few that weren’t really mine.  Point is, I have an array of skills already, and I can be and am adding more everyday.  Not everybody does that.
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