Month: July 2009

Crazy Day

So, we took Seth to the airport, and sent him back home. It was fun having him come hang out. Had soup dumplings before he left, which is always a nice plus. 😀

Weird to think that while he was here, we got a new car, and Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, and Karl Malden all died. Not that those are the big markers of time passing, but it was like a whole suite of recognizable characters from my childhood passed away in the last month.

After dropping him off, we headed down to Laguna Seca. A coworker/friend races his Honda S2000, and he’d offered to take people for rides around the track.

It was something I’ve always wanted to do – well, I suppose realistically, I’ve wanted to drive – but I’ve always wanted to go around a racetrack at the speeds one would actually go around it while racing (or as close as a street car will go). Sure, I’ve driven around Laguna Seca hundreds of times in videogames over the years, but it’s MUCH crazier in person, without question.

The Corkscrew? Bonkers. The speed going into the sharp corner at the end of the first straight? Craziness. Also spectacular.

Definitely awesome. I’d love to do that again, or get a chance to drive on the track myself. Went down to Cannery Row in Monterey – I don’t know why I hadn’t imagined it’d just be Pier 39, but it was. Bleh.

Drove back, and am exhausted. Big fun.


So, a handful of years ago, Klay & I had a bit of a competition, to see who could lose the weight we’d put on over the previous few years. While I won the competition, Klay kept up the habits, and achieved his actual goals. I didn’t.

I’d lay some of the blame at changing jobs, which radically shook up the habits I’d been developing before they had a chance to “set,” but realistically, it’s that I just let it fall apart.

The thing is, it was simple while I was doing it. Don’t eat to excess. Let yourself stay hungry – you’re not going to starve to death. Don’t eat garbage – soda, unrecognizable non-foods, etc.

The simple fact of competition was enough to keep me adhering to good behaviour, and the end result – looking and feeling better – was reward beyond anything the competition had set up.

Why didn’t it stick? Food’s delicious, and there’s definitely something pleasurable about eating whatever it is you enjoy, and however much of it you want.

I’d hit a plateau at 213 – I couldn’t get below that. Now, I’m at 218ish, and while that’s only 5 lbs, it’s a really critical and really difficult 5 lbs for me – makes the difference between being “chubby” and being “okay,” to me. Realistically, I’m still ~30 lbs more than I should be, but I’m willing to make this a long-term project.

The key, I think, is to develop simple, easy rules. If I put half a meal in a takeaway box up front, it takes a little “activation energy” to bother to eat it later. It’s also cold, having been in the fridge, so it’s a little less appealing. If I’m genuinely hungry, I’ll eat it, but I won’t eat it “because it’s there.”

No more soda. Work makes soda really accessible, and I end up drinking a Diet Coke almost every day. I don’t even *enjoy* it, it’s just a habit I’ve developed for some ridiculous reason.

So, those are the first two things. No soda, and eat less. If I focus on rebuilding those habits, they’ll build the foundation for the rest.

Truffle Burgers!

So, we had some left over Black Truffle Explosion centers from the Alinea dinner, and we were up for BBQ this week (we do BBQ every Wednesday at work). Given that we had a bit of short notice to put the lunch together, we had to do something interesting, but quick.

So, using the gelatinized truffle/butter “centers,” we stuffed ’em into the burgers.


I mean, the first bite was good, but the second bite got into the truffl-y center, where it was like the burger equivalent of the BTE. Amazing.

I don’t know that I’d ever want a non-truffle burger again!