Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Am Iron Man

Snow is on the way for tonight I guess.  At least that's what the reports are saying.  Here we go!

Been in the house all day today, no regrets.  It's Thursday, my day off before I work the weekend.  I do that every three weeks.  I like where I work, so no problem.  I've been there for a year now.

We took an offer from Bell and got the movie channels free for the next 2 months.  We want Dexter on TV instead of the little computer screen.  That was our main motivation.  And pardon the pun, but it's a killer season.

Interesting how the deficit is ballooning in this province and they're talking about job cuts and tax hikes, when Premier Awkward expressly said none of that was going to be happening when he was campaigning.  I hate to say I told you so, folks, but.... well.... and it's only gonna get worse and worse.

One more workout and I'll be done week 2 of my new training routine.  It's going good.  I'll be 46 in a little over a month, and I'm in the best shape of my whole life.  Janice is a powerhouse.  She pumps more iron than any woman I've ever personally known.

But, it's November 17 and in 13 more days, I'll have proven my point!  ;)

As the years go by and the worse things seem to get, I've become more and more disgusted with combat sports, like boxing, 'mixed martial arts', hockey... yes I said it, hockey is a combat sport.  Too much fighting.  I can't endorse kids watching grown men on the ice fighting over such minor things or nearly beheading each other with their sticks.  Human beings need to evolve faster.

Adele is overrated.  Yes, I said it.  She drinks, she smokes, which is all well and good, but if you're seriously going to sing for a living, smarten the hell up.  Hey, Whitney Houston had that same height of success.  Even more.  Will this Adele be any different than that career path?  I hear 'Someone Like You' and it reminds me of Rizzo from 'Grease'.

Will somebody please tell me why higher oil stock prices are 'good news'?  The 1% fat cats might think it is. But for us paycheck to paycheck people, heating our houses and filling our gas tanks is getting harder and harder to do.  THAT is why there is the Wall Street occupation.

Speaking of... Canadian cities really needn't bother with doing that stuff.  Sure, our financial system is broken, but not more than the U.S. one is.  If you aren't looking to get a job, you will look that part.  And I see a whole lot of people like that on the news every night at these protests.  But, police and governments aren't doing anyone any favors with their middle east style reactions.

We've been cooking on the stove with cast iron skillets for a while now, but only recently have we discovered how to season the pans.  And it's simple!  Cast iron skillets are pretty cheap, really, and far healthier for you than teflon, not to mention are far easier to cook with because they conduct heat so well.  Next time you're in Canadian Tire or somewhere where they have them, pick one up, and us this link to season it.  Be careful though, it's tricky because it's hot and heavy.

Something else we've done around here is try to keep the house as least toxic as we can.  I'm sure my first cat, Rocky, died because of too much exposure to solvents and stuff.  If you wax your floors or use that Swiffer Wet Jet crap, or use Fantastik or something like it to clean up, you're leaving potentially harmful residue behind not just for your pets, but for you and your loved ones.  We use spray bottles filled with half/half vinegar and water.  That takes care of most of everything.  Remember if you have pets, they lick their paws countless times a day.  If your floors are coated with solvents, you're asking for trouble.

This is just a short entry, perhaps most of them will be if I wind up posting more often.  If you dropped by, thanks for doing so!  You know by now how much I appreciate it.  But I'll continue to express my gratitude. Please let me know you've been here if you have a moment, below or facebook or e-mail or whatever.

Fire up the colortinis now and watch the pictures fly through the air.

Good night.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November rain

The sun sets very early now at this time of year.  The rain has slowed, after a fierce bucketstorm that ensued through most of the day, and here we are Friday night on November 11, 2011 after having dinner that our daughter made.  We're going to take a break to Tim Horton's soon for a treat.

The original plan today was to take off to Houlton, Maine for a brief day trip, but we scotched that when we heard of the very stormy weather forecast in favor of tomorrow instead.  The trick there is I have to get up tomorrow morning around 4 for work at 5am for a few hours, then I'll go home and we'll head out.  Needless to say, Janice will be doing some of the driving.  We've been looking forward to this for a little while now.  These little getaways that we do are a little something to look forward to during the days when there doesn't appear to be a lot.

Our little girl is having a banner year at school so far, with Janice going to parent-teacher interviews and getting nothing but glowing reports and marks for Alexandra's efforts.  We couldn't ask for more than that.  Lex has also changed workplaces once again, moving from my store in Riverview to Janice's just up the street, which makes a whole lot more sense.  That brings her closer to her up-to-this-point dream job of working in the cosmetics department.  I don't know that our child aspires to be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever, and honestly I don't care; what I want is for her to earn an independent living doing what she loves to do.  Happiness does not come with a dollar figure.  There are lots of rich miserable people in this world.  Respect and caring for others and being responsible while making a living are all we ask for.

As for the wife, let me tell you something as Christmas is now on the fast track, and if you live around us:  If you need something sent via the post office, go see her.  She is the #1 person you can trust to have your stuff taken care of and being sent right.  Want proof?  Her post office outlet has far exceeded projections in clientele and earnings, and she continues to progress.  She's a staunch by-the-book manager who believes in doing the job right the first time.  Her workers that she trains herself are loyal and eager to please, as taught by their boss.  Some might even get offended, at first, by her stick-to-the-rules approach, but will appreciate it later.  If she asks you for I.D. even if she personally knows you, there's a reason.  I really do believe there's no one better than her at doing the job she does.

Moreover, I consider my wife to be a voice of reason.  She knows better about almost everything.  If you try to tell her something that has a hint of misrepresentation about it, she might not tell you (most often she will though); but she knows better than to follow the wrong path.  But she is also forgiving and well to do.

On my end?  Things are not bad.  I'm on this training program at the gym that I found in Men's Health magazine that was put together by a bunch of experts that caught my fancy, chiefly because I wanted to change things up at the gym as I feel I'm getting a bit bored.  I was skeptical, but willing to do something to jar me out of my complacency.  So this program gives me a set of four exercises to execute three days a week.  Looking at the exercises on paper, it didn't seem quite like they'd be for me, but I read the whole article and it insisted that it would make me work regardless of how it appears.  After day 1, I enjoyed the program, because it was much shorter than what I'm used to (I wound up being there for a little over an hour, whereas my gym routines tend to push the 2 hour mark), and I really did feel like I was working parts of me that I was neglecting, especially in the core area.  I was aware of this though.  So I'd go through my paces, and find that I'm working this group and that group, but one or two exercises left me wondering what I actually did work.  Well trust me, the next morning, I found out.  When I got up, the backs of my legs and butt and lower back felt like they needed a good dousing from an oil can.  But I believe in the no pain, no gain approach, so I was quite elated.  Every workout on this program offers the same kind of surprise, working mystery muscle groups that I'd only discover the next morning.  I got through week one of this and plan on doing this for some time.

Healthwise, I feel damn good really.  I've gained some weight, even though my belly hasn't really grown all that much, which I was suspicious of.  But upon looking at myself in the gym, I did gain some muscle mass here and there.  Janice likes to point that out.  Most times I don't believe her!  But I guess it's true to some degree.  With this new training program, that might make even more of it.  I got my flu shot last week.  I know there are people who are hard for it and hard against it.  All I can say is, in the last seven years, I've only missed getting my shot twice.  Those two years I missed it, including last year, are the sickest years of the seven.  I learned my lesson and will get my flu shots.  I don't recommend kids get them, though, just maybe the 30 and up crowd.  Otherwise... I take all my supplements and I think that keeps me feeling okay too.  I take a time released Omega 3 capsule, a multivitamin, a time released B12, 2000 IU's of vitamin D, vitamin D3, a prostate complex supplement with pumpkin seed oil, as well as something called Digestive Advantage Lactose Intolerance, which is a natural supplement that allows me to eat all the dairy in the run of a day I want.  Janice takes the same supplements I do, minus the prostate stuff obviously.  We're a healthy happy bunch here.

One thing worthy of note that we recently found out about is that the city may possibly be looking to buy our house, along with the house next door, to use the space to accomodate parking for the nearby Kiwanis Field ballpark.  A lot of cars park on the streets around here and residents are complaining, so this would be a way to rectify that.  If they made an offer, a reasonable one, I think you'd be seeing us relocating pretty quick.  This would be a massive, massive boost for us, on so many levels.  We're not counting on anything, but we're hopeful.

I reconnected with an old friend from my high school years this week.  I've known Patcy since we were 16.  Our life's paths have taken us in vastly different directions that caused us to lose touch a lot over the years, but thanks to her dropping in at Janice's post office and chatting a bit, I discovered she's now on facebook.  So we're chatting.  I'm extremely proud of her accomplishments over the years and happy to be in touch with her again.

Before I go, I want to extend a note of thanks for those who have tuned in to Ragnar.  Thank you for comments, Janice... my #1 fan always!  My super nephew Matt, who offered up his suggestions for a slow cooker rib recipe, though I still need further input because I'm quite green to the rib scene, as far as what to buy and how to prep, but I DO want to try that; Jean Guy Rubberboot (aka my steadfast buddy Tim Churchill) who I wish would just join facebook already!! ; md, aka Michelle Dormer, always offering encouraging words at times I could use them the most; Sue M aka Sue Matthews, who goes way back to high school days along with md, who made another slow cooker ribs suggestion which also I will try; and.... 'anonymous', who described my writing as 'very nice'.  I have brothers who also tune in, Pete gives me some very nice words about my entries.  And Rick chimes in from time to time and lets me know he's reading.  I think my pal Cindy reads sometimes too.  Sara and maybe her beau Jason might be tuning in.  I'm grateful for all of you.  And if you've read my page and I didn't mention you, don't think I don't appreciate you.  It's because you didn't comment or let me know you did!  (YES that's a hint!)   ;)  And Tim, for the love of God, just join facebook already, k??

Now boys and girls, fire up those colortinis and watch those pictures as they fly through the air.

Good night.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

RT 10

Wow... having a Tylenol 3 hangover.  Another major headache last night.  No big deal though.

Baseball season is done now and my Bosox are looking for some new blood.  Hoping for the best.  I do wish that a salary cap happened in baseball though to make everything interesting.

Anyone see that vdeo of that judge beating the heck out of his 16 year old girl?  One of the most horrifying sights I've seen in a long time.  That poor kid.

Survivor is really good this season.  It's a classic nerd vs bully scenario playing out, only there's one nerd, several bullies and the nerd has good people backing him up now.  Those kind of people are called "heroes".

Not watching The Amazing Race anymore though.  Bor-ing.  Hard to get into the people involved with the hyper-editing.

It's just about time to dust off the drums and get playing again.   Got lots of songs in the attic to flesh out.  Even considering guitar lessons.  That'd be the new year though.

Speaking of new year, I'm gonna do the year of friends in review thing on facebook again.  My profile's WIDE open these days.  Come join me.

Hey and while you're there, if you have any slow cooker recipes for ribs, let me know.  Or post it here.

Got Coldplay's MX... going to take a few listens, but that's good.  Albums that take awhile to get into are always the best ones.

At this moment, watching Big Bang Theory.  This show's a classic in the making, one of those comfort food comedies.  I totally identify with these guys, minus being smart like that.  But that Raj guy who can't talk to girls unless he has a relay person?  That's ME!  I mean, I'm lucky I'm married.

I just love Gail Kim.  She's in TNA's Impact Wrestling, after leaving WWE because they were too stupid to figure out how to portray her.  She's a bad girl in TNA.... just how I like her.

Debating whether or not to get into stock options through my work.  Again, that'll be the new year if I do.  My boss thinks I should.  Work is great, by the way.  The people I work with are just fantastic.

I talk about it a lot, I think I even bug some people... but I can't wait for 'The Dark Knight Rises' next summer.  What a friggin' cast!  And arguably the best director out there.  I do say 'arguably', because James Cameron is a good argument for that title.  TDKR's director is Chris Nolan.  When the new Mission Impossible movie comes out in IMAX in December, the first 6 minutes of TDKR is going to play in front of it, as half that movie is shot in IMAX format.  Set a course for Halifax, where the only IMAX theatre exists east of Montreal.

I've had to part with a dear friend of mine for the greater good.  It's been hard... but, ice cream was just inflating my gut beyond recognition.  Between that and screwy schedules inhibiting my gym habits, I have to find a routine to get back into.  I love you, Peanut Butter Tracks, but this is for the best.  Chocolate... you're on notice.  But you're going to be harder to let go of.

Just about time to paint here at the house.  We're anxious to get going.  It'll be crack filling this weekend, paint next weekend, to get things shipshape for Christmas.  Plus we want pictures and stuff on the walls. The tree will go up shortly after Remembrance Day but not before for sure.

Speaking of, Remembrance Day lands on Friday November 11.  We all have that day off so it's looking like a short road trip to Houlton in the search for Diet Cherry Pepsi, Herr's Ketchup Chips and other delectable stuff.  We are big kids here and love these little jaunts.

This year I've decided to take part in the work staff Christmas party,  in large part because my daughter wants to go.  Actually that is THE reason.  I'm not one for eating amongst others besides my wife and kid.  Does that sound odd?  Ah, who knows how I'll behave.  Or if.

We've gone a long time now without take-out.  Maybe we've had it once in the past month, which is phenomenal for us.  We get lots of food at Costco and the farmers markets every two weeks and home cook lots of stuff now.  Between that and knocking off ice cream, hopefully gut shrinkage is in the cards.

Three days, only 27 to go!  I vowed to Janice that she can't get me for a whole month!  Like that'll be difficult.  As IF a woman's gonna kick my ass.  Haw haw haw.

It's just about time to haul out the video camera and get footage online of what we got of our vacation.  There wasn't a whole lot, but we got some.  Plus maybe a vlog or 2 or more is in order.

My wife is kickin' some serious ass at her post office at the SDM on Mountain Road.  Bringing in big numbers.  I expected no different.  She da BOMB, baby.  Alexandra will be working at her store very soon now instead of mine.  It just makes more sense geographically.

Could Madonna be coming to the Hill next summer?  Could I give a crap less?  If it's Coldplay, you might have a deal.  But after the great U2 show followed by the miserable exit afterward last summer, it'll take a lot to bring me back there.  But I will travel again to see KISS.  No band, NO band on earth puts on a show like they do.  And no other band ever will.

Anyway, I guess that'll be it for the time being.  I noticed the odd comment popping up here sometimes... please leave a name or a hint of who you are, k?  I do know Michelle D checks in here.  So does Sue.  Of course Janice does.  My bro Pete, even.  Rick and May too, maybe, from time to time, perhaps Roy.  Cindy E, you're a loyal friend.  Maybe Jess?  The odd cousin might be dropping in.  My wife is my #1 of course.  There's a fella named Roger that Janice knows that apparently checks in.  My old pal Darren is subscribed.  Not sure if Wendy and Cheryl still read, but maybe.  Whoever you may be... I appreciate your time and curiousity about my humble life.  Please accept my thanks.

Until next time, fire up those colortinis and watch the pictures fly through the air.

Good night.