Category Archives: Lifestyle

Trifecta 2021: SE Loop 10

The Run

Up at 0400…like I used to.

1 tub of Chobani vanilla yogurt with a teaspoon of honey, some granola, and some microwave-thawed berries. Breakfast washed down with Sparkling Ice + Caffiene, with a packet of UCAN Hydrate Plus added…the first packet of the year.

Dressed, stretched, one quick sit on the toilet…out the door ten after five.

Starting at the telephone pole across from the entrance to Meadow Lane. Moonless pre-dawn, no big deal. Hit start on the Strava app, and off I go.

I am still carrying more weight that I should, and yet, this morning I feel better. Climb up to Ranieri Run, head down Willows Road to MD-5 South, then left and up the hill. I go easy on the climb, then I push the pace as I near the top of the hill. The turn onto Point Lookout Road at mile three, then a quick pee stop. Down The road and then the turn left onto Three Notch Road/MD-234 going northward and steadily upward.

As I make the run up MD-234, I think about the Indian Hills Rail Trail, which is a perfect 13.1 mile length running end-to-end, one way. It is an hour drive north from where I live, with a Super-8 motel down the road and hopefully at least one BBQ rib shack further down the street running just outside the Navy installation. The current run up Three Notch reminds me of the last 4.5 miles…a constant gradual climb on the way back. The last time I attempted running IHRT, I saw the never-ending climb; not very steep, but a perpetual steady incline that never seemed to end.

Now, this climb I was going on wasn’t completely an incline, but running this four mile stretch gave me the idea to run the virtual Marine Corps Marathon at the IHRT this year. I believe that I will do a little better, since I am running the course in late October than late July. However, I don’t really have the mileage that I did when I made the attempt four years ago.

Since I had breakfast in my stomach and UCAN-reinforced water lubricating my systems, I focused more on the war going on inside my head, and less about the fact that I took a two months-plus vacay from running this summer. The four mile stretch of Three Notch Road came and went; the familiar buildings that were the signposts of the run came and went. At 6:58 a.m., the familiar traffic lights leading to NAS Patuxent River Gate 2 came into view. A left turn onto Great Mills Road, a short stretch going to the Willows Road/Great Mills intersection. The last mile plus on the road back home, with the familiar uphill to Aberly Crest Road to end the run.

10.25 miles in 2:06.45. 12:22 pace.

Lost ONE POUND between Sunday and Saturday?

The Gear and the Diet

More bulletproof coffee (swapping in the heavy cream, pat of butter and the two packets of Truvia). Veggies during lunch. Mio water enhancer instead of Red Bull to add flavor to the Aha Sparkling Water + Caffiene I’ve been drinking with lunch. No more grits and bacon for late supper.

Stravia is a good run app, but I need to figure out the voice settings for my phone. I have heard mile splits once in the three weeks I have been running.

Probably time to make a trip to Dick’s Sporting Goods for some new shoes, my Brooks Ravennas have been going on a year and probably more than 400 miles.

Song of the Day

“It’s in the Way That You Use It”/Eric Clapton: 80s Eric Clapton hasn’t lost a step from his days with the Yardbirds, Cream or Derek and the Dominos. Good track from the 28-years later sequel to…oh, man I can’t think of that movie. Back in the 60s, it was Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats. Paul reprises his role and mentors a young Tom Cruise.

“Cinnamon Girl”/Neil Young: I love the guitar work and the hand-clapping in time with the drums. When neil Young does his guitar work, he never tries to be Clapton or hendrix or any other guitar legend, he just does Neil and lets himself go. From the liner notes of his Decade greatest hits album: “Wrote this for a city girl on peeling pavement coming at me thru Phil Ochs eyes playing finger cymbals. It was hard to explain to my wife.”

Trifecta 2021: Okay, THIS Time I’m Back…For reals…

Triple E 5

So, back to the usual starting point at Meadow Hill Lane, heading south on Willows Road toward the MD-5 intersection. I got off to a little bit faster start than I have been since I resumed running about two-plus weeks ago.

After climbing the first uphill at Ranieri Run Road, I pushed the pace a little bit, all the way downhill towards the MD-5 tee. Took the south road, going left, and made the steep climb up until the road leveled up midway past Nach-T Farms. I didn’t really need a second wind tonight, because my first wind was a good one, probably the best I’ve felt in a long time.

At the halfway point just past Triple E Farm Way, made the turnaround. Just kept pumping my arms and legs all the way back down MD-5 towards the tee and back up Willows Rd. The climb back home was the steepest of the run, but I didn’t let up off the gas that much. Finally to the realtor’s sign at the top of the hill, then the final down-up-down sequence before crossing meadow Hill Rd and the climb past the Three Hydrants to the finish at the Abberly Crest Road sign.

Final distance: 5.12 mi. @ 12:17 pace

The Rules:

  1. Running every other day from now until November 8.
  2. Diet will be as much keto as I can stand, and cutting out as much “processed” sugar as possible. No junk food or desserts.
  3. Substituting soft drinks for sparkling water (with caffeine, if possible).
  4. Long runs alternating on Saturdays and Sundays.
  5. No more missing runs…summer vacation is over.
  6. Maybe one of these days, start alternating run days with circuit courses at the gym (good luck on this one)
  7. Weigh-ins after every long Saturday/Sunday run.

Daf**isdiss**t?

Okay…excuses time.

Between the National Mall run on July 4th and August 29th, I simply stopped running.

Too tired to run after work.

Couldn’t get out of bed to run before work.

Needed a week to “take care of business.”

Too much stuff going on in my head/not motivated.

Yadda yadda yadda.

Why I’m Back:

Two weeks ago, a Marine friend from my Yuma, Az days, Trish Burke, committed suicide. I found out on Facebook messenger from another Marine friend, Dennis Rosales; he attended her funeral that Saturday.

Late Tuesday night, I got a text from Dennis. I didn’t get the text until Tuesday morning, before I went to work. I texted him back, and we face-timed me. he told me that a Sergeant from my work center in Yuma, Jason was in some bad times.

I gave Jason a call, and let him speak for a half an hour. One of the best phone calls I’ve had all year. Without going too much into his personal business, he told me that he was on the mend and he was going to get back with his family the next day, and put himself and his life back together.

What I can tell you about Jason, besides being a happily married with two grown children and a retired Marine (commissioned officer as a Sergeant, naturally) is that he is a WAAAAY more experienced runner and blogger than I am. This year will be my seventh Marine Corps Marathon; Jason has finished 36 MCMs, in addition to many other marathons, half-marathons, several ultra-marathons, and had the bravery to attempt a hundred-mile marathon…which he said he will make the attempt again, one day.

As awesome and extensive as his blog is, he told me last night that he really did enjoy reading mine. He did enjoy reading about my roads to the previous six marathons, from the most mundane and workaday, to the days where I really got into the spirit of running, as well as the MCM itself. Talking to Jason, and him telling me that he was alive, healing, and thankful that I reached out to him…I was truly glad that I could reach out and touch him that way. And that he ready MY blog…and liked it?

Yeah, I was wondering how I ran a little faster today.

In reality, I’m supposed to be writing these blogs as a way of keeping me honest about my progress in training. In fact, I used to post these blogs on an MCM runners’ website before the admins asked me to stop; my goal was to inspire other runners, but their stance was that I was promoting myself too much.

Fair point.

I have noticed, mostly in my email folder, that I get notices from WordPress about people who have read entries in my blog and enjoyed reading them…especially when I actually TRY to write something worthwhile.

So, Jason, if you do get a chance to read this, thank you for being alive…thank you for letting me listen to you talk…and thank you for re-lighting the spark for me to re-start this blog, as well as get back on the road.

And yes…you and I SHALL run the Marine Corps Marathon next year…live and in person, God willing.

Song of the Day:

Jason also enjoyed my Song of the Day selections. To be honest, 99% of my running is on public roads during the pre-dawn through morning hours. Headphones are not a good idea with the early-morning NASCAR Craftsman Series wannabes burning through the local roads…at twenty-plus miles over the posted speed limit.

To be even more honest, many of my selections over the past year or so have not necessarily been running or even workout tunes. But I persist.

Over the last year or so, I try to provide a brief snippet of history about the song, and why I picked it. However, it is getting late, so my SOTD picks will be brief:

“True Faith”/New Order: The original 80s video was kind of stupid, so I think of the scene from the movie American Psycho, when this was played. This song depends more on the bass and rhythm guitars, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a “synth pop” song.”(“True Faith”) is about drug dependency. I don’t touch smack but when I wrote that song I tried to imagine what it’s like to be a smackhead and nothing else matters to you except that day’s hit: vocalist Bernard Summer.

“Visions of Gideon”/Sufjan Stevens: The version I’m playing here is a slowed down and melancholisized version of the original song, which was the closing song of a romantic drama movie named Call Me by Your Name. I found this version on a fan-made video for the Netflix foreign language teen-drama Exile.

This is more of a cool-down/yoga track than a running track.

“Promontory aka The Gael”/Last of the Mohicans soundtrack: I have never seen Last of the Mohicans, but I do enjoy Gaelic music such as this (similar track: “The Blood of Cu-Chulainn” from The Boondocks Saints); this does get my blood up for a run, I tell ya!

Thanksgiving Week 2020: The Circle Closes

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)

Breakfast: Eggs Benedict…sort of. My first poached egg came out perfect. #2 and #3 were both uncooked hot messes. #4 was a fried egg benedict.

My cooking multitasking did come out well, despite me stirring the Knorr hollandaise sauce for ten minutes without turning the front burner on. Still I did get the hollandaise sauce properly cooked; I even added some ground oregano and paprika to the mix. Ladles onto the first egg benedict, it did taste delicious. It even went well with the fried egg benedict. And my tactic of adding a slice of pancetta on top of the grilled prosciutto was a good choice, mixing the sweetness of pancetta with the salty Parma ham (as gordon Ramsay would call it).

Whole lot of extra hollandaise sauce leftover. Could have made eggs benedict for about eight servings with the one-packet batch that I made.

Desert prep: Tiramisu. Lesson learned here: electric mixer. I tried to hand-whisk the three egg whites, and I think I only got halfway. I also think I may not have really soaked the ladyfingers all the way through until the last four or five. From the first cracked egg to putting the finished product in the fridge took about an hour.

I had two helpings and it came out delicious. Only bad thing: all that leftover mascarpone filling. It’s chilling in the fridge now to prep for my Tuesday Marine Corps League potluck

Dinner: Bachelor’s Pad Seafood boil: Start to finish, the whole meal prep took about an hour and a half, and I sat down to dinner at the tail end of the Texans beating the Lions.

The one trick? The first thing that I had prepped was the pound of gulf jumbo shrimp, starting just after twelve thirty. However, by the time that I started putting things in the turkey fryer/boiler, the shrimp were a bright pink. IN theory I could have just chucked the crab in there, got some cocktail sauce for the shrimp and ate them as is. However, this was to be a seafood boil, so I made the command decision to shorten the cooking time from five minutes to two.

The shrimp made it…just barely. Went nice with drawn butter and white wine vinegar.

While waiting for Redskins-Cowboys, I chowed down on my boiled Thanksgiving feast and washed it down with a tall boy can of Miller Lite. I only made it through one plate.

Oh look…leftovers.

Sportball interlude:

Xavier 51, Bradley 50: Ya gotta make this free throws, Braves!

Washington Football Team 41, Dallas 16. It was 20-16 to start the fourth. I was full of dinner and finally finished my one tall boy by the time the rout ended.

Welcome back Alex Smith.

Hail to the Redskins.

Friday (Black Friday):

At 4: 45 p.m. I got ready to jump in the car and head to the Navy Lodge aboard NAS Patuxent River. It was there on the cold, dark morning after the Super Bowl that I started training for the Semper Fi Double, and I wanted to formally end the year there.

I saw the full moon.

One last full moon to run under.

COVID-19 restrictions had prohibited me from renting a room at the Navy Lodge, but never mind, I could still drive out to the base and do the run.

One last run. One last full moon.

Saturday (two hours later)

Got out of bed at 0550. Sunrise would be about 0630-ish. Out of bed, dressed for warmth. Oh, look I’m missing my gloves and knit cap. Going to be a recurring theme this winter…how many sets of gloves and caps can a man buy in a winter season?

At the Navy Lodge parking lot about 0610. Motorcyclist in the parking lot revving up his souped up motorcycle…nice one, idiot, you know there are people sleeping, right? If I were a Maryland state trooper, I would be making my ticket quota every month just on motorcyclists and pickup truck drivers.

The sky was overcast, covering the full moon. It wasn’t that cold, so the gloves and cap were not an issue. Didn’t do one last Japanese ham sandwich, or otherwise stretch. Just set up the MapMyRun, hit START WORKOUT, put the phone in my FlipBelt, on off I went.

Down Cuddihy, took a right on Buse, past the Moffat Building. Buse up and down to Cedar Point Road, ran it downhill all the way to the entrance road to the Drill Hall Gymnasium and down the road to the Marine Aviation Detachment HQ. Pulled even with, then past the HQ sign and turned around the way I came.

With my mind on other things besides the run, before I knew it, I was climbing up Buse Road towards the stoplight turning onto Cuddihy and the road back to the Navy Lodge. One last climb up Cuddihy, past the stop sign and past the Navy Lodge sign.

A couple of selfies in front of the Navy Lodge signage. Back in the car, and off to McDonald’s for breakfast (and for my third straight meal of the weekend).

The circle is closed. What I have written I have written.

Songs of the Day:

Triarii: The Final Legion

Q*Brick: Shot’em

Deep Purple: Highway Star

The Darkness: I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Leonard Cohen: The Future

Manfred Mann: Blinded by the Light

Thanksgiving Week 2020: Crab Boil

Tuesday:

Taco Tuesday was a bust.

First, my breakfast tacos took a dump when I didn’t heat up my corn tortillas. They were too soft and practically disintegrated with the first bite. I only got one chorizo con huevos taco down, out of a filling made for at least three.

My maiden attempt at tacos al pastor? First problem was either my wooden skewers were too thin, or I didn’t place my meat on them the right way. The skewers stuck in the pineapple were all crooked when I put them in the oven. Making matters worse, I kept the spit of pork shoulder and pineapples in the oven too long. The whole thing eventually fell over; when I pulled out the spit after 90 minutes, the meat was clearly overdone (read: burnt). I also overdid heating up the flour tortilla, so it was crunchier than a soft taco shell should have been. I did get some edible meat out of the remains, but not much of a spectacular meal.

So…all that happened.

Wednesday:

I am pretty much set for tomorrow’s meals, and maybe beyond.

This morning, I resurrected my two-year-old Faberware Indoor Turkey Fryer out of my walk-in pantry storage. Draining the old oil, then cleaning the heating element and the oil reservoir took all of a half and hour. The brief search for the power cord ended when I found it next to where I had stored the fryer.

The fryer is clean and in place. I have a fresh three quart jug of Deer Park water to boil my dinner in and the seafood should be thawed by now.

Bachelor’s Crab Boil

Boil water (1/2 hour)

Red potatoes: boil 12 min.

Corn cobbettes: Boil 9 min.

Half-smokes, two links: Boil 9 min.

1 lb. Dungeness crab and 1/2 lb. jumbo shrimp: Boil 5 min.

The broth: Deer Creek water to fill line, followed by crab boil seasoning, a generous amount of Old Bay seasoning, and one tall boy can of Miller Lite.

Accompanied by drawn/melted butter and white wine vinegar. Served with another Miller Lite tall boy.

For lunch, I practiced actually poaching two eggs for my Thanksgiving morning breakfast of Eggs Benedict. One was alright, the other egg could have used about thirty more seconds. The Hollandaise sauce will be a sauce mix made by Knorr, an English seasoning company. According to master chef Marco Pierre White, Knorr makes pretty good beef and chicken stockpots, so I’ll give their sauce a shot.

Provided I don’t take too early of a bedtime, I plan on having homemade tiramisu for dessert. I wanted to have a bed of graham crackers under the bottom layer of the ladyfingers, but I kept forgetting to get them. Oh, well. Right after breakfast, I’m going to make the dessert and stick it in the fridge.

Song of the Day:

I was going to hotlink a video from Chef Marco, but I couldn’t pull up any… sooo:

Piano cover of Rammstein/”Sonne”

Piano cover of Guns N’ Roses/”Don’t Cry”

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving 2020: Run/Eat/Drink/(try to)Be Merry

Sunday:

Originally, the St. Mary’s City Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K is supposed to be my final run of the year. It is supposed to”close the circle.” However, I started my 2020 season in the parking lot of the Navy Lodge at NAS Patuxent River, and for some reason, I want it to end there.

I got up at 0530 and drove to McDonald’s for a light breakfast of Egg McMuffin and medium coffee. The accompanying hash brown and apple fritter would be saved for later, so they didn’t count as part of the breakfast.

0650. As dan broke, I made the drive to Historic St. Mary’s City, a ten minute drive from Abberly Crest Apartments, where I live. On the drive there, I reflected on the Historic Half Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon that I ran on MD-5 South and Point Lookout Road. Both races were virtual, so I ran Point lookout into and out of St Mary’s city for the Half. Breyer Road was Mile 22, and the final turnaround for the virtual MCM.

0700. The parking lot, just 20 feet away from the start/finish line. This year’s Turkey Trot was virtual, but you had to run the actual course for it to count. No problem for me. I performed one last (sic) Japanese ham sandwich stretch, and remembered 2013, the first year I ran the Turkey Trot: getting passed on the course by a young mother wearing a full coat and a full-length denim skirt as she ran with her son on the course. I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 265~275 lbs. and 18 months from being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

In 2015, I stepped on the scale in a hotel gym, fresh off running my second MCM: 205 lbs.

I weighed 222 this year. Two steps forward…

0710…and I’m off. Full sunrise to my immediate left. Beautiful morning; cool enough to need my 2018 MCM mock turtleneck, but warm enough where I could get away with a short sleeve tech shirt underneath. There were four signs along the 3.1 mile course: start/finish, the right turn onto Rosecrans Road, the mile marker going out, and the 1.6 mile turnaround.

This being the last run of the year, I decided to push the pace a little faster than I had been going the last month. I had not run since the MCM (three weeks), but still, I wanted to push myself one last time.

The original title of this blog entry was supposed to be “Sunrise/Cycle.” I wanted to run this virtual Turkey Trot just after sunrise (ehh…I was close enough), and close the circle on the year. However, as I closed on the last mile, I got to thinking: “If I really want to close the circle on the year, I should make that run from the Navy Lodge to the MAD HQ (Marine Aviation Detachment Headquarter) one last time.”

Suddenly, the final turn onto the road back to the HSMC Center. One last incline, the start/finish line in sight…done, Sir, done.

MapMyRun, silent once again, had me at 2.99 miles. Whatever. I snapped a couple of pictures next to the start/finish line (OMG, so awkward!). Off to go home and change, and shop for my Thanksgiving week menu.

Listening to 90s rock on the drive home, I reminisced about this year’s MCM stretch run. Making the final turnaround towards the Route 489 sign. Getting the last selfie at Manor Road, aka Mile 24. Taking one last picture at the bottom of South Willows Road, my personal Hospital Hill ( the Hill at Mile 11 of the Historic Half, Fredricksburg Va.) Past Green Meadow Road and the last climb past the three fireplugs.

And then it was over.

Turned the SUV onto Abberly Crest Lane and made the final turn home.

Monday:

Some asshole stole the basket from my bike while I had it locked up outside Enterprise Car Rental. He/she/it couldn’t have the bike, so they decide to inconvenience me instead. Little kids not taught to respect other people’s property…a homeless person looking for scrap metal to sell…whatever.

About an hour ago, I just got prepping some pork shoulder for a batch of tacos al pastor. Since I can’t travel for Thanksgiving, I decided tomato an epic feast week.

Tomorrow will be an epic Taco Tuesday. Breakfast will be tacos with chorizo and scrambled eggs with whatever cheese I can get ahold of. Lunch and dinner, provided everything goes well: tacos al pastor. Brutally sliced pork shoulder-I’m not much of a butcher or meat carver. Traditional Mexican spices. Achiote spied instead of actual achiote paste. Over grilled on a spit of wooden skewers with slices of pineapple, top and bottom.

Meat. Cheese, or salsa con queso. Salsa. Corn and flour tortillas.

Dammit…forgot to get an avocado. Maybe I’ll get one for dinner tomorrow. I’ll probably be having al pastor all week.

Thanksgiving breakfast: Eggs benedict, provided I can actually poach eggs without making a mess.

Dinner: Instead of deep-fried turkey and leftovers until Christmas, I will be making a Bacehlor’s crab boil. Dungeness crab legs. Jumbo shrimp. Half smoke sausages. Red potatoes and corn cobbettes. All boiled in water, crab boil spices, Old Bay seasoning, and a tall boy can of Miller Lite.

Desert: Tiramisu. I have all the ingredients except for cocoa powder. Weis Markets has some, but none at Harris Teeter or Target? Lame.

Black Friday: Al pastor con huevos, and some of the best leftovers ever (although I don’t think the seafood will keep after Thursday night).

Song of the Day:

Chris Cornell/”Patience:” Great cover of the Guns n’ Roses classic. He also covered “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Prince. “Billie Jean?” Yes, that too!

Pearl Jam/”Black:” Last song before I park at Historic St. Mary’s City.

Local H/”Bound for the Floor:” So THAT’s who did that song! Thank you, Sirius XM alternative channel Lithium!

Stone Temple Pilots/”Crackerman”

Foo Fighters/”Shame Shame:” A little ditty about a nightmare that Dave Grohl (guitarist/lead singer/former Nirvana drummer) had at fourteen years old. At least three Sirius XM channels were rocking this song on Sunday, since the Foos dropped the single this weekend.

MCM 2020: Popeye’s

Lunchtime yesterday: “Hey let’s go to Popeye’s for lunch.”

Me: “Okay.”

Four of us drive to the Popeye’s on Three Notch Road, across from Hobby Lobby, not the one in San Souci Plaza on Great Mills Road.

I am the first of four to order. Two-piece spicy dark (leg and thigh), corn on the cob, medium drink, apple pie.

Zero apple pies available. At 11:00 a.m. on a Monday (just before lunch).

Also, no corn on the cob ready. At 11:00 a.m. on a Monday (just before lunch).

Everybody else has ordered, paid for, and received their orders. Still no corn on the cob. I take Cajun rice instead.

My chicken looks like it was raised on growth hormones and tastes awful. Dirty rice may as well be dirt. No dessert to comfort my straight-up ghetto meal.

Twelve years I’ve lived here. Most of the time I get my Popeye’s at the San Souci location, and I have never had a bad meal from that location. First time in twelve years that I’ve had to throw away a Popeye’s meal.

 

4:00 yesterday: home from work.

5:00-6:00. Postpone, then ultimately blow off P90X (Cardio X).

6:15: Screw it, I’ll ride my bike to Weis Market in St. Mary’s Plaza for PT; I need to get some coffee and stuff.

6:30: Rain clouds moving in; call Uber instead.

7:00, coming out of Weis…the sun is out.

The weather: God’s favorite practical joke on Man for over two thousand years.

 

International House of Pancakes on Three Notch Road closed it’s doors today. Riding home from work, I saw a big FOR LEASE sign where the IHOP used to advertise their specials. All of the IHOP signage stripped from the building.

Didn’t stop to see if the proprietors left a sign saying “We’re closing for good tonight, thanks for your patronage all these years.”

IHOP is the third restaurant to close in my area since COVID-19 put Maryland on lockdown. One was Nick’s, which made awesome Greek gyros. The other was Captain Pat’s Seafood, which burned down a few months ago.

 

Raineri run 4 miler sucked this evening. I doubt if I made a twelve minute pace.

MCM 2020is an issue in doubt. That is all.

 

Song of the Day: Ningen Isu/”Namahage.”

I have been on a death metal kick on YouTube lately, and this sounded pretty good.

The band performs in Japanese, so forget Genius. Here’s a link to an article on the band in Japan Times.

MCM2020/T-Minus 97: Vision

Twenty-four hours from now, I hope to be walking out of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital taking my first steps towards improved vision in my cataracts-infected eyes.

Tomorrow morning, I am scheduled for the first of two cataracts laser surgeries. My right eye will be done tomorrow, and my left one will be done two weeks from tomorrow.

Wednesday, I was tested for COVID-19, a prerequisite for my surgery. Unless I get a phone call or get the bad news upon reaching the hospital, I will presume I have tested negative. The testing required that I immediately depart the testing area and go straight home into lockdown: no trips to the store, to work, to anywhere. Also, I assumed no running.

My lockdown meant that I have not run since last Sunday, and I have not done any P90X, or any other cross-training, in two weeks. Getting back on schedule is going to be quite the long climb.

I plan on running again Wednesday morning, barring any prolonged medical problems after the eye surgery. From there it will be running every other day until next Sunday, then another two day hiatus, then back on the road the Wednesday after the second surgery. Running distance will be progressive distances, with longer runs on Saturdays and Sundays.

I will also ease back into P90X again, doing workouts on every other day. When I get back into shape (and lose my “fear” of doing P90X) I will start P90X Classic in August. P90X will be may preferred cross training routine throughout the rest of my Marine Corps Marathon training schedule.

To this point, July has been mostly shot, and hopefully I can rebound quickly, now that I am under the hundred-day mark.

Meanwhile, I do have a few “projects” I would like to complete today:

  1. Update MCM Training Schedule
  2. Work project, because I may be out of pocket until Wednesday morning
  3. Firmware/game mods load for my Atari Flashback 9 Gold

In between all that, there is the matter of getting enough food and hydration, because I am not allowed any food or beverage after midnight tonight…that includes water and any medication. I will be on a twelve hour fast until after the surgery.

And…that’s it until Tuesday. Just thought I’d post this here to let everybody know I’m still alive and relatively healthy. Alas, no Song of the Day either.

Talk to you Tuesday!

MCM2020/Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey

We’re so sorry/Uncle Albert/

“But we haven’t done a bloody thing all day/

“Were so sorry/Uncle Albert/

“But when the kettles on the boil/we’re so easily called away”

Paul McCartney and Wings/”Uncle Albert-Admiral Halsey”

Blew off the three miler to MD-5 this morning, and I just waved off Core Synergistics for P90X.

It is currently 94 degrees outside and humid. Those morning runs are gonna be a killer.

So, this is my Independence Day Weekend:

Saturday: NAS Gate 1 5 (0500) and Core Synergistics (1700)

Sunday: Kenpo X (0500) and X Stretch (1700)

Monday MD-5 3 (0500) and Yoga X (1700)

I am back teleworking on Monday, so I should be up at 0500 hitting the last week of P90X Lean.

Paul Mc Cartney and Wings:”Let ‘Em In”

Okay, no training today…but you got a couple of Songs of the Day out of it.

Gotta take ’em where you can get ’em.

Lifestyle 2020: Mexican Eggs and SD Cards

Arepas con Huevos:

So, the recipe I used for this Mexican egg-filled cornmeal sandwich called for frying the arepa dough in a skillet with oil until golden brown, and then, “When the arepas are cool enough to handle, slice into the side of the arepa with a thin sharp knife in the same way you would split open an English muffin. Hollow out a space in the arepa without slicing all the way through.”

“Crack an egg into a small ramekin. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper lightly if desired. Pour the egg into the hollowed out arepa. Seal the opening with some of the reserved dough.”

The first time I tried making arepas, the fried dough was either too thin or fried too long to make the cut in the roll. Anyway that whole thing where you’re supposed to put an egg inside the roll? Didn’t happen, and it was a waste of two eggs and half my batter the first time through. I couldn’t make a hole big enough to fill the egg without having it poured eevryhwre but inside the roll.

So, I got the bright idea to try preparing the dough for the egg before frying it. After making the batter, I took on rolled up ball of dough and tried to flatten it out inside a small paper bowl. The egg, sat inside the well I made in the dough, so I put some salt and pepper on the egg and a few pieces of fried chorizo. I then made another ball of dough and made a “cover” for the dough and the egg. I covered the arepa just barely, but some of the egg started to drip out. having made my cornmeal “sandwich,” I put the arepa con hue in the oil-filled skillet. I did the same thing with a second egg and dough.

The verdict? I didn’t cook them long enough, and when I bit into each one I got a mouthful of very runny and uncooked egg…that is, the egg that didn’t pose out of the arepa and onto my lap. Two attempts at arepas con huevos…two wasted eggs and cornmeal batter.

Helluva breakfast, Brownie!

Since I had torpedoed the keto diet for the day with two-day old sushi, I decided to take the remaining arepa batter and make at least one more attempt. Without the use of a bowl, I fashioned the dough into a crude bowl and laid in my egg with seasoning and chorizo. Unfortunately, I made hash out of putting on the cover. On top of that, I had made the indentation too deep for the gg, and the batter thinned out at the bottom. The egg was already leaking out. I barely managed to put the arepa together and put it in the skillet.

I decided to leave the leaky mess of an arepa con huevo in the fryer for a few minutes until both sides were well past golden brown…with a hint of black. After letting the “sandwich” cool, I prepared a single cup of coffee.

Technically, the egg did cook more thoroughly this time. However, because I used so much dough the “sandwich” was more bread than filling. The makeshift arepa con huevo tasted alright and made an okay dinner/late afternoon breakfast. However, it was not the  “breakfast comfort food” I was hoping for. Not sure I’ll be doing this again anytime soon.

 

Atari Flashback 9 w/Firmware and Games Mod

When I performed this on my birthday night two months ago, I gave up in frustration when I could not figure out how to rename all the files on the Game library on the 16GB SD card to eliminate the spaces.

On Memorial Day morning, just after breakfast, I spent an hour watching the video that I have hyperlinked. Once again, I ran into the showstopper of fixing the names on the SD card.

Tonight, I decided to make another stab at fixing the file naming. I found a second video that fully explained how to use the Advanced Renamer to fix all the files. I used the AR on the both my SD cards that I loaded the GAME_mod on, and managed to finally fix all the files.

Almost there…

So, about twenty minutes ago, I loaded the SD card into the slot in my Flashback 9. Fired it up, and when the title screen came up, the SD card entry in the options area was greyed out. I realized that I the FB didn’t do the firmware update.

When I pulled out the SD card and loaded it back on my Asus laptop, I realized that the firmware update wasn’t there. I did have the update on the original SD card, however. So I went to load the SD card and booted up the Flashback 9 one more time.

“Do you want to upgrade the firmware?” Why yes.

Went straight to the title screen, No SD card highlighted.

One more time.

Yes, I want to upgrade the firmware.

This time, I got the circle indicating the firmware upgrade was in progress. The computer program jargon filled the screen…

…and then it went black.

The Flashback title screen never came back on. Oh, there was power to the console, but no title screen, no “circle of life/death/whatever.”

Bye-bye, Flashback 9. Bye-bye, $50 impulse buy just before Christmas.

So, I cleaned up the SD card on my laptop one more time. Took apart the Flashback ( and put the box/controllers/power supply back in the box.

Back to Amazon to buy a Flashback 9 Gold. I bought two replacement Atari 2600 joysticks on Amazon two nights ago, so I’m going to figure this one out…one way or another.

 

Song of the Day: Blancemange/”Living on the Ceiling:” Yet another classically underrated one hit wonder from the Golden Age of MTV. I loved the use of Indian instruments and the belly-dancing vibe I got from this song. Genius got nothing but lyrics.

Dear Tony/P90X Day 51

Dear Tony,

I just had an epiphany about what this week is about.

Yoga X on Monday and Saturday. Core Synergistics on Tuesday and Friday. Kenpo X on Wednesday and Cardio X on Thursday.

Yoga X is core strengthening and energizing the body. Core Synergistics is about building the core while working the limbs as well. Kenpo X and Cardio X make you swear while engaging the core.

This week is not about being “easy” or about “taking a break.” It’s about preparing the body for the next cycle of workouts. It’s about building balance and reinforcing all of the muscles so a person becomes less prone to injury and more durable to perform the routines.

So…the alarm went off at 0430. At 0455: “Okay, I have to run the patches on my work computer and I’m making hues de asarepa so that might take a while and I have an 8 a.m. call…”

The patches never took, and my Outlook Web Access was held up by a server issue this morning.

The asarepas were a mess. I wasted two good eggs and a bunch of Mexican cornmeal batter trying to cook the eggs inside the asarepa batter. Dinner will be the third and final attempt at getting a fully cooked asarepa without getting a runny uncooked egg.

Lunch was two-day old salmon sushi.

How am I not huddled over the toilet or sitting on it, dealing with food poisoning is a miracle.

The day did get better, mostly because of work. I pooped in the Core DVD at 5:15 and got to work. It was just about getting the work done today…one of these days I’ll get around to printing some new workout sheets.

Tomorrow morning I’m running to MD-5 and back (three miles), so I’ll’ see you for Cardio  X right after work, Tony.