Saturday, December 27, 2008

Green Eggs & Ham

Green Eggs & Ham
Originally uploaded by GnomeCrossing
Sadly, what you see in this photo is the normal state of my kitchen. I'm the worst housekeeper ever, but somehow Uber Hubby seems to love me anyway, as evidenced by the snazzy (& I'm sure WAY too expensive) diamond stud earrings he snuck around and got me for Christmas. Never mind that we had agreed that our October Wii acquisition was our present to each other...thankfully some guys just don't listen. :-)

Anyway, Gelsey was here for Christmas this year, and one of her gifts was the Paula Deen Kid's Cookbook. It's great because it's got pictures and words in the ingredient list for each recipe, plus there are sections to explain what all the cooking words mean (fold, dice, saute, etc) as well as basic etiquette and table setting. Naturally, she picked the Green Eggs & Ham recipe as her first effort. It helped that it was probably the only one that I actually had all the ingredients for, thanks to the leftover Christmas ham we brought home from dinner at UH's boss' house.

In other news (since I haven't bothered to post in ages)...
I got sick during Thanksgiving week and though I've felt better for quite some time now, shaking the residual cough was hard and I haven't been to the gym since. I knew I needed to get back to it, but my follow up visit with good old Dr. Rath of Mankato Clinic stiffened my resolve. I had been on the verge of being put on Synthroid because of my hypothyroidism, which if left untreated can make weight loss and other things in my life difficult. I thought that's what was making me not lose all that much this past summer despite all the bike riding, but we just redid the bloodwork after waiting a month and now my cholesterol has shot WAY back up and my thyroid is supposedly back within normal limits.

WELL, DAMN... I was thinking the Synthroid would be the answer to a lot of my weight loss problems, but such is not the case for me right now. I have to wait another 6 months before being retested, so in the meantime I have to really get back on the wagon with Seattle Sutton's and I need to get back in the gym. If I don't get this under control, I'll be on cholesterol meds instead of thyroid meds, and to be honest it would be nice to get the weight off without any chemical assistance. I just wish it would happen faster. I also wish the city would plow out the six inches of snow/ice that is blocking the sidewalk across the street so I could more safely run outside, but that's another issue.

Suffice it to say that I really need to get off my behind, and I need to do it SOON. This is NOT some stupid New Year's Resolution that I'm going to break within a month of starting. At this point I'm down about 13 pounds from where I started earlier this year, and while that's a lot less than what I had planned on, at least I haven't slid back all the way to the beginning. I'm also looking forward to Spring, because UH agrees that I can finally get my cargo bike once all the snow is gone!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

First ever Hoover Family Christmas Tree

Tree 007
Originally uploaded by GnomeCrossing
I resisted many people's efforts to draw me into the Christmas spirit for quite awhile. First, I simply REFUSE to have anything to do with it until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time, people. I will occasionally do a little advance Christmas gift shopping if time, opportunity, and inspiration strike simultaneously (I once did it all at a craft festival one September), but that's as far as it goes.

We're staying in Mankato this year, marking the first time since I was a little kid that I haven't traveled to see family at Christmas time. It was Uber Hubby's mother's turn to have us this year, but budgetary constraints prevailed. It's just too expensive to spend Christmas in New York City this year, between air fares for multiple people, hotels, etc. I refuse to go someplace like that and worry over every dime I'm spending, so we're going to wait until we're in a better place financially, then do it up right. So...UH's daughter arrives from Tacoma on the 20th, at which point we will pick out the personalized family ornament for this year. She isn't always around to help out with that, so we're also waiting to hang the rest of them until she arrives.

As you can see by the photo though, the rest of the tree is all done. Mitzi, you can show this to Mom to prove that her Christmas box arrived intact and that nothing has been unwrapped in appropriately. We've never had our own tree before, because we've always been traveling and thus never felt like bothering. It took some engineering creativity to get the topper to stay up without flopping over, but on the whole I think it looks very nice, don't you?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My husband almost had to fight a chick.

Wow...I've never gone 2 whole weeks without posting. Oh well. Anyway...

So UberHubby went up to St Michael with me for last night's Hot Flash hockey game. We won 2-1 by the way, thanks to ME scoring the game winning goal by simply being in the right place at the right time. There was the usual scrum in front of the net, somehow one of their defensemen ended up laying there next to the goalie trying to freeze the puck, which only the goalie is allowed to do. If she'd been smart, she would have knocked the puck as far away as possible when she had to move her hand off of it, but thankfully for me she didn't. I was standing there next to her, positive that the ref was going to blow the whistle at any second, but instead I noticed that he was just staring down at the ice. I looked down, & lo and behold there was the puck, just laying next to the goalie's foot, nobody being the wiser because they all thought it was underneath her somewhere. Since the ref seemed to be waiting for something to happen, I decided to oblige him by poking my stick in there and shoving the puck into the net.

Photobucket GAME WINNING GOAL FOR ME! It wasn't pretty, but I'll take it.

Mass drama ensued...As the ref skated over to report my number to the scorekeeper, the opposing team's coach started an argument with him and ended up getting ejected. I didn't hear all of it, but according to UH (who had graciously agreed to be our volunteer time clock dude) he was screaming at the ref for not blowing the whistle and stopping play (which he would only have had to do if the goalie had actually had control of the puck). At one point I believe their coach actually threatened to meet the ref out in the parking lot, presumably to settle the matter with a 5th grade style fistfight.

This is the bargain basement C3 division of an all women's recreational hockey league, people. Many (if not most) of our players are well over 30 and none of us are headed for the Olympics anytime soon. We're out there for some good fun and exercise. USA Hockey hands out stickers that say "Relax, it's just a game" for a reason, but apparently this guy didn't get the memo.

The drama didn't end there, however. In the locker room, I found out that their goalie had also threatened to meet one of our players out in the parking lot. See a pattern here? I'm headed up the hallway to meet UH, come across their coaches and goalie discussing the play, and the goalie says she had no idea where the puck was. I stopped and told her exactly what had happened, and when confronted with the facts they acted all innocent and nice and then lied to my face about what the argument with the ref was all about. Whatever, people. I moved on up the hallway, found UH, and left the building. THEN he tells me that while he was waiting, he witnessed one of their angry players dropping F-bombs left and right within earshot of small children. He spoke up and said it was unacceptable to speak that way when kids were around, and she turned on him and said "What? You wanna take this outside?" The kids' mom was also a member of their team, and clearly jumped into contention for Mother of the Year by saying "They're my kids, I think it's ok." Excuse me? You think it's cool to drop F-bombs in front of your small ones? Really?

So...Grand total of at least 3 people from this team threatened various people with parking lot ass beatings. Clearly the attitude flows downhill from the coach, who was also overheard berating his players on the bench for making mistakes out on the ice. This is not the NHL, dude...Get a grip. I like my coach's style much better. When we make mistakes (not if...This IS C3, after all), he finds a way to tell us how to think and do better on the ice without cutting us down. Thanks, Doug.

Still, I think UH is contemplating whether or not he should have let Angry F-Bomb Chick punch him, so then he could have sued her for enough money to wipe out our credit card debt and pay for another European cycling trip. Tough choice, I know.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

She shoots, she SCORES!


Woo Hoo! Game 3 of the Hot Flash season tonight, and we won 11-0. I scored once and had two assists, so it was a red letter day for me. Honestly, I'm happy as long as I get at least one goal each season, and then the rest (if there is any) is just gravy. I'm trying not to dwell on the other 3 really good shots that just barely missed.

Hockey is such fun.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Cold Weather Run of the Season

It had to be done sometime, right? Believe it or not, I actually PREFER for it to be cold outside when I run. I just get soooo hot otherwise, and that just sucks. Today was a bit on the windy side (22 mph winds made a wind chill of 19), but once I got out there and got going it really wasn't that bad. On the upside, I was able to warm up indoors using our new Wii system. Nothing like a little Wii Tennis to get the juices flowing, right? On the downside, as I was running down Monks Blvd (which has a nice, wide shoulder once the sidewalk runs out), some jerk purposely swerved his car towards me in a deliberate effort to scare the crap out of me, coming within just a few inches of snuffing me out for good. Good news, my friend....Karma is a bitch, and now she knows your name. I hope you get what's coming to you.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My bathroom scale is confused


The bathroom scale that Uber Hubby & I use is one of those digital jobbies that remembers the data for 2 people and helps you track your body fat, weight, etc. When we met, I weighed a lot less than he did, so it was kind of a joke that it was "in our marriage contract" that he wasn't allowed to weigh less than me. We all know how that went, because I'm the one that porked out starting in 2005. I remember when the scale first started getting confused between us because I had gained so much that our weights were so close together that the poor scale couldn't tell who was who. That was a sad day for me. It wasn't too long before there was no more confusion, because I kept on gaining.

Not this time, people! I've been headed consistently back in the right direction for a while now, and as of this morning's weigh in I have officially surpassed the -20 mark and the scale is confused again!

That's even with the big Halloween Bash last weekend & lunch at Old Chicago the following day. We have another party tonight, but after this I'm not worried. While UH is in line to get his hair cut at his fave place in Minneapolis today, I'll be passing the time by doing my Saturday long run, then we'll go off and have a good time tonight.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The WINNING Halloween Costumes

Our costumes
Originally uploaded by deplaqer
That's right, folks. Uber Hubby and I won for Best Male and Best Female costume at last night's party with our friends in Eagan, MN. This is the party we've gone to for the last 4 years, it's always a HUGE bash, and we've now taken at least one costume prize for 3 out of the 4 years, though this is the first time we've won at the same time. If you don't understand UH's outfit, watch the video embedded below, but please be forewarned that it is the UNcensored version.

I was dressed as Amy Winehouse. If rebus puzzles typically frustrate you, don't worry if you don't get it.

SNL A Special Christmas Box - Watch more free videos

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ticker Update

Well, I certainly won't be winning the competition for fastest weight loss, but at least it's in the right direction. My size 14 stuff is starting to feel baggy AT LAST, and Uber Hubby seems to think that his arms go a bit further around me than they did previously. I'll take that any day of the week.

We're off to the first of 2 Halloween costume parties this evening. Photographic evidence will be posted ASAP.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In Other News...

Ok, so the Tony the Tiger post (below) is the real highlight of the day, but here's what else is going on since I've been too lazy to post lately...

1) Started a new job this past week. It's part time during the day, which is exactly what I had been hoping for, because it leaves me open for the eventual opening of my Mankato distributorship of SSHE (if they ever decide to let me do it), plus I can still do all my workouts and stuff. I'm now what's called a Title I Paraprofessional at the elementary school near my house. I go in for a couple of hours each morning and work with kindergarten kids who need extra help with reading and math. So far, so good.

2) Went to my 20 year high school reunion last weekend. It was mainly an excuse to see my mom, sister, and the one guy I actually keep in touch with from that time, but it turned out to be pretty fun. Oddly, the person I felt like I connected with the most was the wife of a guy that I went to school with from 4th grade on. She was a hoot, and at her direction I came home and got signed up on Facebook. For anyone who cares to send a friend request, just go on there and look for Amy Coxe Hoover in the Minneapolis area, then include a note saying you found me from the blog.

3) I may have talked about this one in an earlier post (too lazy to go back and check), but I got involved with an online group called the Biggest Loser League. It's part of the official show stuff from NBC, but it's a free version that's basically online chat support. The one you pay for is called Biggest Loser Club and supposedly includes more, but this is all I really want for now. There's a Fall 500 Mile Challenge going on, which of course I'm in because you know how I love to track mileage. This is one isn't just bike miles, though...It's whatever combo you want between running, walking, riding, elliptical, etc. You have to get 500 miles in 10 weeks, kind of on the model of that Fat March show where people lost weight by walking 500 miles during the show's season. So here's my new ticker:

Edit...This ticker gets updated whenever I change the data, so whatever you see here is the CURRENT total, not what it was when I originally posted. It's not the same as my weight loss ticker, which is a new one each time.

Amy and Tony the Tiger

Amy and Tony the Tiger
Originally uploaded by deplaqer
This photo was taken by Uber Hubby this morning. Once I arrived at our local coffee shop for the post hockey coffee klatch with the team, I noticed that the new Cereality was having its grand opening. I called UH & insisted that he drag himself down there to take my pic with Tony the Tiger himself. Never mind that they had half price on all their nifty cereal stuff. I had Lucky Charms with walnuts and chocolate chips. Most of their stuff is WAY too sugary so really feels like more of a dessert thing, but they also have hot oatmeal with fruit & nut toppings. Well worth it at least once.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Great Bike Related YouTube Video

This is the coolest YouTube video I've seen in a long time:

Partway through, you can catch a glimpse of LFOAB himself, as well as his lovely wife and adorable daughter. If you watch the entire clip, you'll catch her at the end doing a groovy little dance. Kudos to LFOAB for the post that alerted me to this little gem.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI: World is too materialistic

Found this article this morning on how the Pope thinks we've all become too attached to money and material things. The odd thing is that I tend to agree with him, but it also strikes me a uber-hypocritical when it comes from a guy who wears bespoke clothing, Prada shoes, carries a solid gold scepter, and whose everyday life in general is surrounded by priceless gems and other treasures. I mean, isn't it The Church who has spent hundreds of years gathering as much material wealth as it possibly could under the supposition that you're giving all the glory to God, but the officials left on earth are the ones who get to use the stuff? Plan on giving any of that up any time soon to set a good example there, Your Holiness? I think not.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Prague Half Marathon, here I come!

Yeah, I know it's months away (May 2009), but I'm still excited. I've been keeping true to my training plan for almost 2 weeks now, and it feels good. I designed it with more flexibility than I've given myself in the past, so it was okay that my first "long" run got moved from yesterday to today since I was up in the Twin Cities longer than I thought I would be. Today's run wasn't really that long in the grand scheme of things, but it was the first time I've done 5 miles in way longer than I care to remember, and I was just happy that my knees seem to be holding up so far. That's another reason I'm spreading this training out over a longer period than I've done in the past...I'm scared my knees are going to finally crap out on me if I push too hard too fast, so I've actually got several weeks here in the beginning where my Saturday long run is only 5 miles. If this one goes well, I'll probably do the Battleship North Carolina Half Marathon in November 2009. I could stay with family that I don't get to see very often, which would be a definite plus in the financial responsibility department...Not a good idea right now to try and do a bunch of destination races where I'll end up wasting hundreds on a hotel.

Biggest Loser League is going well also. I joined a team called The Chubby Network whose motto is "Infancy is the last time in your life where chubby is cute!" They are a good group, and we've started a 10 week 500 mile challenge modeled after that other weight loss show last year where the people walked 500 miles in 10 weeks while being filmed for TV. Can't remember the name of it because I watched Biggest Loser instead, but this challenge is a good way to keep me moving during the coming cold weather. We officially start tomorrow.

What are YOU doing to get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ticker Update

Woo Hoo! Hopefully this time I'm firmly in the 170s and headed south, NEVER to return to the 180s. I was a tad worried because I got a call yesterday to come to lunch with Uber-Hubby, his boss, & the boss man's wife. Luckily, we went to Applebee's (not much else around here in Mankato), and they have a Weight Watchers section in their menu. I had a delicious Cajun Lime Tilapia with a side of veggies for only 310 calories!!! Ok, so I added a cup of Tomato Basil soup, but that had to be one of the healthiest restaurant lunches I've had in months, and it was GOOD.

In other weight loss news...
I just joined a group called The Biggest Loser League. The difference between that & the more well known Biggest Loser Club is that you PAY for the club & get all kinds of diet plan advice, etc while you DON'T pay for the league and it's just an online community where you follow whatever plan you're on and compete for points. You have a profile kind of like a MySpace page where you can blog & post photos, plus they have chat boards where you can meet up with other like minded chubsters. I missed having the chit-chatty stuff from when I was on eDiets, so this seems like a good fit for me.

I'm excited about tonight because I get to go to hockey practice with my old team, the Hot Flash. Though I'm technically still on the roster, it's tough to get back up there since we moved to Mankato, but this weekend I'm combining that with my regular trip back to the Cities for my hair appointment. I'll be staying at a team mate's house, so thankfully no hotel bill this time. I've missed this group of ladies, so I'm really looking forward to this.

So...What are YOU doing today to get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3500 miles right on the nose, baby!

That's right, people! As of this evening, I completed the mileage goal of hitting 3500 miles for the year before the end of September! All y'all down south will understand this: Wooooooo!

Not that I'm going to stop riding or anything, particularly not since I finally got some winter cycling boots, but feeling obligated to ride EVERY DAY for the last several weeks to make up for the miles missed on our trip to Seattle was really crimping my style...though in reality I really probably needed that kind of kick in the tuckus, if I'm really being honest with myself. No, cycling is definitely NOT over for the year, but up here in MN September is typically the end of comfortably warm cycling weather, so Uber-Hubby & I figure that anything we get after that is gravy.

In other fun cycling news, apparently my step daughter, age 10.5, has FINALLY learned to ride a bike. U-H and I tried repeatedly to teach her in years past, even going to the point of bribery, taking her to our fave bike shop and telling her we'd buy her whatever cool bike she wanted, all to no avail. She just wasn't interested, and our dreams of taking her on some cool family cycling vacation seemed dashed forever. Seriously...We wanted to take her cycling in France for some big occasion (16th birthday, high school graduation, whatever), but we knew it was a real long shot the day she managed to crash (badly) on training wheels and screamed bloody murder at the mere mention of the slightest of downhills. She lives with her mom & stepdad out near Seattle now though, and we got a call tonight saying that she borrowed her friend's bike and blew her mom's mind by riding up and down the street, down a hill, over speed bumps, etc.

We don't have her with us here in Mankato very often, but thankfully we are friends with the guys down at ReBike, so we should always be able to borrow something suitable for her to ride. Hope springs eternal, right?

In the meantime, what are YOU doing to get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin Will Bill You For Your Rape Kit

She did it as Mayor of Wasilla, AK, saving the city's taxpayers an estimated $5,000 to $14,000 per year, according to this article. Imagine the savings if she were able to orchestrate something similar on a national scale?


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Large Fella on a Bike: the man, the myth, the legend

Amy and LFOAB
Originally uploaded by deplaqer
So...Uber-Hubby and I made it up to Minneapolis for the Babes in Bikeland alleycat race, in which I'm proud to say I did NOT finish last. U-H's job was to photographically document the event, the results of which you can see by clicking over to his Flickr page.

This particular photo was taken at the after party, where I'm posing with none other than Large Fella On A Bike HIMSELF, Scott Cutshall. After reading his blog on a regular basis for months now and being so amazed and pleased about his weight loss and healthy living success, it was a real pleasure to finally get to meet the actual person. We had a very nice chat, and he's got exactly the kind of warm personality I thought he would have. Too bad it was too late at night to meet his adorable daughter.

Here are more of U-H's pix of me at the event. In the first, I'm just finishing with the Peavy Plaza stop on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. I had to run down those stairs and do a chicken pose/dance to earn the stamp for this stop. In the second, I'm riding down the alley behind One On One bike shop, ready for the after party and seriously happy to not be last. In the third photo, I'm posing there in the alley with my bag of goodies provided by one of the event's many generous sponsors.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ticker Update: Babes in Bikeland

Technically, no change in the weight department, if you only look at "official Saturday weigh in" data. That doesn't show the +4 then -4 swing I went through this week. I feel good about my food and exercise, and in fact I had a 1500+ calorie deficit for about 5 out of 7 days, so you would think that I would have lost SOMETHING. Water retention is SUCH a bitch. Also, given recent issues with occasional insomnia, erratic body temperature (not what I would call a true hot flash, but definitely too cold one minute and too hot to sleep the next), and newly onset irregularity of my monthly cycle (used to be like clockwork), there is the distinct possibility that I am pre-menopausal.

EAR MUFFS for the little ones....

That just f-ing SUCKS. I'm only 38 years old, and I'm not quite ready for the Old Sailor Chicks' Home (still planning that, Christina?), but according to my mother (the 11th of 12 kids, half of which are female), some of the women on her side of the family have entered this phase of their lives relatively early. Sigh.

On a more positive note...

Nearly there! I will add more mileage tonight by riding in my first ever Alley Cat race up in Minneapolis. Babes in Bikeland is an all female race in it's second year. An Alley Cat is where you get a manifest at the beginning that lists a bunch of stops you have to make and stamps or tidbits of info you have to gather. You get an hour or so to map your own route through the city, and whoever makes it to the end first gets a sweet custom messenger bag. There's usually all kinds of free stuff given out by sponsors, so lots of people stand a decent chance of getting something. Uber Hubby was specifically requested to come up and take event pix, hence our attendance and my decision to participate. Apparently he's gained a reputation for quality bike photography, not to mention the fact that HIS photo actually determined the official result of last year's Stupor Bowl. You won't catch me riding in that one...It's held on the same weekend as the real Super Bowl, only it goes from bar to bar and there's a category for the drunkest rider to make it to the finish. No, tonight's event is much more my speed. If all goes well, maybe I'll even bring the Pink Taco bike next year. For my first one however, I'm sticking with the tried and true Blue Giant.

While I'm doing that, why don't YOU get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Friday, September 26, 2008

Campbell Brown...Tell It, Sister!

You just have to love someone who lays it out like this. Spot on commentary re: the current financial crisis and proposed bailout.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Baby steps

It's been a long time coming, but I'm in the process of designing a training plan for the New Prague Half Marathon, which is set for May 9, 2009. I haven't actually signed up and paid for the race yet, partly because they haven't got that part of their website changed over from the 2008 race, but also because I want to see how my training progresses first. I'm not too worried about the shin splints and/or stress fracture I had last year, but my knees seem WAY weaker than they ever used to be, and I'm a little concerned about that. I did one little 30 minute jog yesterday and felt fine, but this morning I can definitely feel it. How do you get from a 30 minute walk/jog around the block to successful completion of a 13.1 mile half marathon? Baby steps, steps.

Why would I commit myself to something like this, you ask? Well, variety is the spice of life, right? I've spent the last two summers doing almost nothing for cardio except riding my bike, and I think I need to mix things up a little. These days, I've got ice hockey at least once a week, body conditioning classes at the YMCA, cycling, and now my training for this race. I do NOT plan to repeat the same mistake that I made last year when trying to get ready for the Breast Cancer Half Marathon. I had that pain in my lower right leg for months before finally asking my doctor about it, and by the time I was told that I needed to lay off running for 6 weeks, my training for the race was totally derailed and there went my nice little break from the Minnesota winter. That race was in February in beautiful, sunny Florida. Uber-Hubby was even going to do it with me. Sigh.

Now that we're on different insurance down here in Mankato, they have no idea that I'm really not due for my annual stuff until the end of November. I think I need to go ahead and do it now so that I can address any potential knee issues ASAP...Also before I actually pay for the race. At least my money for the last one went to Breast Cancer research.

Speaking of which, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please also make sure to celebrate Feel Your Boobies Week during 10-17 October.

R.I.P. Karin Harrell
My friend Karin was only 34 when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and fought it for 5 long years before it finally took her life in July 2008. She left behind two small children and a husband ill-prepared to care for them and get through his own grieving process. Her friends and family miss her dearly.

Get a mammogram and learn how to Feel Your Boobies properly.

After that, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Saturday, September 20, 2008

MS Challenge Walk 2008 photos available on Flickr

Cow Flag
Originally uploaded by GnomeCrossing
Finally got all the pix from this year's event loaded onto my Flickr account, complete with descriptions. Please click over and take a look, and feel free to add any comments you may have.

Friday, September 19, 2008

America On The Move

So I was down at the Mankato YMCA the other day, and I heard about a program that is the new favorite thing in the PYFAO family. Check this out: America On The Move is a program that encourages people to simply DO SOMETHING...ANYTHING to get moving and become more active. They break it down into small pieces to make it less intimidating, which is nice for those who are just barely able to get off the couch in the first place. Baby steps, people. Cut 100 calories here and there, use a step counter and work on adding 2,000 steps to your daily average, etc. You can pick which "trail" you want to try and complete during your 6 week challenge period, and they give you a chart to convert all kinds of physical activity into steps per minute, which encourages people to try different things and see how easy it can be to fit exercise into their everyday lives. You pick your own start date and they track you for 6 weeks. When you're done, you can start over and pick another trail if you want. You can even get a free step counter, especially if you sign up through your local YMCA, which is a major national partner.

I'm walking the Pacific Crest Trail as we speak. Today is my first day, and I already earned the equivalent of 9,000 steps by going to hockey practice this morning. Once I go for a ride today, that's another 212 spm according to the conversion chart.

What are YOU doing to
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Ticker Update

Well...Not great, but not horrible either. I had two weeks totally away from my SSHE meal plan because of the Seattle trip and then the MS Challenge Walk, so I consider it an okay weigh in because the water weight from all of those off plan meals is pretty much gone now. I did the big Faribault ride on Thursday, so this is actually the weight from Friday morning because by Saturday morning the water retention from such a huge ride (nearly 83 miles) has set in. Have no fear, Tuesday I'll pee it all out and all will be right with the world once more...unless I decide to do the big ride on Monday, which has been my normal day to do it. I don't know, though...This last one was pretty bad on the way back. We'll see. Speaking of mileage issues...

Mileage is clicking along just fine. At this point I need 28 miles/day to make my goal of 3500 by the end of September. We've had decent luck with weather lately, so this is still totally doable.

In the meantime, what are YOU doing to
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Sarah Palin: Your Nation on White Privilege

I read a recent article by this guy named Tim Wise. Frankly, I think he's hit the nail on the head and calls it like it is regarding Sarah Palin. CLICK HERE for the full article, but one of my favorites was how he says that it's a "private family matter" when someone like Bristol Palin gets pregnant at 17, but when Black or Latino girls do the same thing, they're contributing to the downfall of society. It's not "all white" privilege, though...Just look at what's being said about Jamie Lynn Spears and her pregnancy situation, never mind her train wreck of an older sister. I think it's really more about "white upper class" privilege.

But oh....SNAP. Wait until you see what Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee did with RNC attendees! Bristol Palin had the CHOICE to keep her baby and compound her mistake by marrying the idiot who impregnated her (though personally I wonder if it wasn't really Mama's choice), but the good governor's political & religious beliefs mean that she doesn't want anyone else to have such a CHOICE. CLICK HERE to watch great video of Samantha at the RNC. It is almost pathetic watching these people trying to avoid use of the word CHOICE.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walk this way - MS Challenge Walk video

Well, I haven't been too successful in actually embedding video clips into my blog, so this time I'm just going with a clickable link again. CLICK HERE to check out the YouTube video from this past weekend's MS Challenge Walk. Yours truly makes an appearance, as do other members of Team COWs. Just look for the cow print hats & bandanas.

Edit...SWEET! Looks like the embedding code from YouTube works better than what I got from the Comedy Central site for the Sarah Palin post. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hilarious but OH SO TRUE Sarah Palin commentary

Ok...This is my first effort at embedding video in a blog entry. It's Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) pulling together some video clips that prove just how hypocritical and retarded the uber conservative right wingers are. I love it.

Looks like it might not work right, so just in case I've added a link to the page where I found it. CLICK HERE if video doesn't appear for you.

FYI...The long break between posts was because UH and I went to Seattle for a week and this afternoon I'm back up in the Twin Cities for the MS Challenge Walk.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ticker Update

Well, there isn't much to say because the damn scale hasn't changed hardly at all recently. Despite all the bike mileage recently, I've been up and down the same stupid pound all week long, and I'm a little irritated. In fact, I was supposed to do the weekly update yesterday, but I was too bummed out by being up an entire pound from the previous day or two, and I was seriously hoping that it was because I had eaten dinner so late Friday night. Turns out I was at least partially right, because that pound is now gone again. At any rate, I'm now back at 179, right where I was for most of August, but at least into the next "decade". I'm sure part of the issue is not watching closely enough how I supplement the SSHE plan, deluding myself into thinking I'm only going up to 1500 calories/day, when in reality there are some days where it's a lot more than that. Sigh...Back to using to track calories in/out.

Oh well. At least there's progress on the bike mileage front:

A week or two ago it occurred to me that when I was tracking this by how many miles I needed per week, I wasn't considering the number of days I would be out of town between now and then, most notably our trip to Seattle next week for the Perio convention. With that and the MS Challenge Walk the following weekend, I've only got 20 days available for cycling between now and the end of September. With the progress I made this past week, right now I need 29.4 miles per day to make the goal of 3500 miles by Sep 30th. If I'm able to rent a bike and get some extra miles while in Seattle, that number could fall dramatically. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, why don't you get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Minnesota State Fair - Surveying the Damage

There actually isn't any real damage, happily enough. Uber-Hubby & I were back up in the Twin Cities this past weekend so he could go to a friend's bachelor party (don't get me started on their shenanigans), so we decided to make Sunday our State Fair day. Our plan the last several years has been to ride our bikes to the fairgrounds & take advantage of the free bike parking sponsored by the Twin Cities Bicycling Club, and this year was no different. Our fave hotel (fridge & micro in room, only $20/day for the pooch) is up in Coon Rapids, so it was nearly 20 miles each way, and I'm happy to report that when I weighed in back at home I was only up a pound or two, and part of that is gone already this morning!

See? You CAN indulge now and then, but you have to plan for it and bump up your exercise to help counteract it. I did NOT restrict myself on food intake that day (Spam curds and mini donuts, anyone?), because really when you go to the State Fair you pretty much toss all dieting out the window for just that little while, but I was also sucking back tons of water all day long and got lots of exercise the whole weekend. As much fun as it was, I was happy to get back to the routine of eating my Seattle Sutton's food. Special thanks to Rita (I know she reads this) for letting me pick up Monday's stuff a few hours early as we drove back home through Faribault, saving me the gas and hassle of having to get home & come right back when she opened officially later that day.

I'm off to try and put in some bike mileage. I'm falling a bit behind on what I need to make the 3500 mile goal by the end of September. While I'm doing that, why don't you get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just another Kool Aid wino

CLICK HERE to read an awesome story about these two kids running a Kool Aid stand in Montana.
Apparently the Hell's Angels stopped in Missoula last month at the beginning of their annual cross country motorcycle ride. The two boys mentioned in the article are veteran Kool Aid and lemonade stand entrepreneurs, so last time the bikers were in town they figured out that it would be a smart thing to put up a sign saying "Welcome Hell's Angels". They had guys lined up like winos looking for their next fix, to the point that the local cops had to help with traffic control. I don't care how mean-looking and tattooed these biker dudes are, deep down they have hearts as soft as teddy bears.

I've always felt that way about bikers, especially since my family met up with the Concerned Bikers Association back during my little brother Jason's days as a regional poster child for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He was always being invited to participate in various photo ops, parades, and other appearances. One time he was on a parade float with these scary looking, tattooed biker guys where he sat in the sidecar of one of their motorcycles. Afterwards we were invited to their picnic and had a great time getting to know these people.

So next time you see a scary looking biker dude, don't turn the other way or cross the street. Offer him some Kool Aid...Maybe he's just thirsty.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Walking after midnight?

Well, no. More like walking after 6pm, and this time it was 8 miles. With the move to Mankato and all the great cycling that's been going on lately, I've been neglecting my training plan for the upcoming MS Challenge Walk. I made the mistake last year of thinking somehow that all my cycling would keep me in good enough shape to walk 50 miles in 3 days, but I found out the hard way that it just wasn't true. My knees were very stiff and my feet were really sore after just a few miles, so finishing in one piece was a real accomplishment. Though I had been getting plenty of exercise, I hadn't been doing much that was weight bearing, so my feet were baby's butt soft and tender. I'm in danger of repeating history this summer, hence this evening's jaunt about town. I'll try and get out a couple of times per week until the walk happens in mid-September, and that will hopefully be enough.

The good news is that I've reached the minimum fundraising requirement for the MS Challenge Walk, so now I can focus on what Uber-Hubby and I need to raise for each of us to participate in next spring's MS 150 Bike Ride. Together with some friends from Minneapolis Bike Love, we'll be riding 150 miles in 2 days to raise more money to fight Multiple Sclerosis.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION, please click here to visit my page or click here to visit U-H's page. Contributions are tax deductible and your privacy will be protected.

In the meantime, why not get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ticker Update

Well, finally. I can't tell you how many times the scale has dipped below 180 in the last several weeks, only to go back above it by the time official weigh in day rolls around. I don't plan to see 180 ever again. In fact, the scale is starting to confuse me with Uber-Hubby, so that means I'm getting closer to weighing less than he does again.

Today's ride was a total of 30 miles from riding out to meet U-H for the final portion of his century ride this afternoon. August weather has been very nice so far.

One thing I failed to consider when establishing the mileage goal was that we'll be in Seattle for a solid week in early September. U-H has his annual Perio meeting to attend, and I'm going along mainly because Seattle is a cool town & we've got friends & family that live in the area. I'll probably check out the bike rental options while I'm there, but it's a pretty hilly area so U-H is convinced that I'll be miserable trying to pedal around, which of course means I have to at least TRY. If I get no pedaling done at all during the Seattle trip, I have to get slightly more than 25 miles per day between now and the end of September. Seems totally doable to me.

In the meantime, why don't you get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hey Sis...I'm a Grease Monkey, just like you.

Yes, that's right. I said Grease Monkey. Just like my sister was when she owned a '64 Ford Falcon Sprint and had to raise the hood on the side of the highway a time or two. While riding out to meet Uber-Hubby to help him finish his latest century ride (100 miles) the other day, I got a flat tire within minutes of leaving the house. I've never had to change one without him there. It took awhile and I got super greasy, but I got it done. Turns out my back tire was B A L D bald, so it's kind of a surprise it didn't happen before now.

Gorgeous weather today for the big Faribault ride. Low 70's all day, nice breeze, low humidity. Total mileage was 85.8 when all was said and done, and U-H made his usual trip out to meet me about 20 miles from home. It really helps to have someone else there on the last part of those super long rides, so we tend to do that for each other when the timing works out.

Didn't post the weekly ticker this past weekend. Not much to report in the scale department, since I was up and down all week and finished exactly where I started the week before. Bummer, but these things happen. I'll get there eventually...just a little slower than I would like.

FYI...If you haven't been watching the prime time Olympic coverage on NBC, you're an idiot. Say what you want about China's human rights record (it's abysmal), but the Olympics are ALWAYS an awesome spectacle.

I rode almost 86 miles today. Why don't you get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hearty Congrats to Large Fella On A Bike

For those who don't know the reference, CLICK HERE to become acquainted. If you check the entry dated today (6 Aug 08), down at the bottom of it you'll see that he hopped on the scale a bit early and discovered that he's now below 200 lbs, meaning that since he started in November of 2005, he's lost OVER 300 LBS!!!!! Dude....I don't know you, but I wish I did. That is seriously amazing. The Twin Cities' loss is Portland's gain. Good luck with the move. Congrats also for Chloe's recent cycling achievement. Great story.

In other news of the good tidings variety, today is Rocky the Uber-Pooch's 7th birthday. He's been with me since March of 2003, and I can barely remember what my life was like before he came along. Empty compared to now, that's for sure. I don't have any particularly recent pix, but this one is from 2004, at the "birthday party" Gelsey insisted we throw for him at the time...hats and all.
This one is also from that party...He basically looks the same now and has the same puppy-like energy and enthusiasm, but has a little bit of grayish white around his chin. Also, he only gets the birthday cake toy once a year. If you heard it play Happy Birthday incessantly as he chased it around the house, you'd understand.
So anyway...While I'm out walking the birthday boy, why don't you get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekly Ticker Update

Hmmm...Down 3 from the last weigh in, but still up from where I was on Tuesday or Wednesday of this past week. I keep dipping down into the high 170's mid-week, but then a little of it seems to creep back on by the time the official weigh in rolls around. We'll see how it goes this week...Hopefully spending the weekend in the Twin Cities hasn't caused too much damage. We ate at dear Old Chicago a couple of times, but I did my best to be good, plus we did a big charity bike ride on Saturday. Which reminds me...

Thanks to a 30 mile round trip to/from Nicollet South Bike Shop on Friday and a total of 68.3 miles on Saturday at the Tour de Tonka, I more than made up for not making the big Faribault ride earlier this week. I'm right on track with needing 150 miles/week to make my goal of 3500 miles by the end of September. In fact, if I keep the current pace, I'll make it a couple of days early.

Busy week coming up, socially speaking. In addition to all the classes I'm doing at the Y, there's a neighborhood picnic on Wednesday, Open House at Uber-Hubby's office on Thursday (command performance, must shave legs & look nice, etc), and then the summer party (also with office people) at the ball park. I'm actually looking forward to the Open House, because frankly it's the perfect opportunity to meet any number of local dentists who just might be looking for a collections/delinquent accounts & claims expert (ME) for some part time work. Here's how I see it going down (potentially):
I get introduced to Dr. X as Mrs. U-H. Dr X politely asks how I like Mankato so far, and inevitably follows up by asking what I do for a living...probably because my response to Question 1 will be that I like Mankato just fine, but it's time to make more of an effort to become gainfully employed, at least on a part time basis. In response to Question 2, I will explain that back in Minneapolis I worked for a group dental practice for several years, concentrating mainly on delinquent/denied insurance claims, accounts receivable, and collections. Acknowledging that most practices in this area probably aren't big enough to need someone like me full time (good, since I don't want to work full time), I will find a way to tactfully let Dr X know that I'm interested in some kind of part time arrangement whereby he gets expert assistance in significantly reducing the amount of money he's waiting to be paid by various entities, and I get out of the house and feel like I'm making more of a contribution to the Hoover family bottom line while still being able to travel and all that good stuff.

Would it be too presumptuous of me to have updated copies of my resume at the ready? Not right there in my hot little paws, mind you, but somewhere nearby in a nice, neat folder or something...Just in case Dr X is legitimately interested. This is all supposed to come off super casual, as the natural progression of polite conversation...Not like I'm shoving some kind of bible thumper pamhlet under his nose when he's just trying to cross the street. It's a thought.

While I'm working on that, why don't you get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weekly Ticker Update

Not too happy about that one. I backslid just a bit from the last weigh in, and I'm sure it's partly because of poor, stress related food choices after I escaped from the garage last Thursday, but as it turns out there may be a bit of Aunt Flo water retention going on. That's odd, considering that the last one was only 2 weeks ago and I've NEVER been irregular like that before, but after reading some stuff on the Mayo Clinic website about perimenopause, who knows? There ARE some women who start experiencing minor symptoms in their late 30's (some in my mom's family), so it's a possibility. Sigh...That just means things could get a little tougher, but it'll all work out.

Bike mileage is tracking along ok, though I do need to step it up a bit on the days I don't ride all the way to Faribault and back. I've fallen slightly behind the goal of 150 miles/week, but the weather's looking good over the next few days, so I should be able to bring that up.

I'm kind of at loose ends this weekend without U-H here to go exploring with, I have to admit. Made my boot camp class at the gym early Friday morning (what an ass kicker that class is), then just kind of puttered around the house the rest of the day. I COULD go to a movie by myself (U-H doesn't want to see Mamma Mia anyway), but though I used to do that sort of thing all the time I just don't feel like it right now. Hockey practice this morning was a good workout as usual, but during scrimmage I proved exactly WHY I'm not a defenseman...Grabbed the puck as it slid out to me at the point and promptly "broke away" and scored on the wrong goal. I'm so used to being a forward (left wing, specifically) that I totally forgot which end of the ice was mine. I felt like such a dork, but the odd thing was that nobody hollered to say that I was going the wrong way, even my own team. Oh well...Breakfast at the coffee shop with the girls was fun afterwards as well.

It was such a nice day that I decided to load Rocky into the bike trailer and ride over to the dog park this afternoon. It was his first time going to this particular park, but he loved it and met lots of other puppies. The shocker was that he let a little baby play take swats at his nose without flinching away, which is huge for him because he's always been so skittish around people he doesn't know, especially children.

So that was my exercise for the day. What are YOU doing to get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Trapped In My Garage

Warning....Rant soon to follow.

Ok, so before we moved in here the condo association decided that because a FEW shingles came loose on a COUPLE of buildings (there are more than a dozen in the whole complex, I think) during a recent storm, every building had to be totally re-roofed with these new heavy duty shingles. "Whatever" was my thought, because I'm not the owner of this place and will therefore not be responsible for paying the assessment of $2500 per condo unit. I knew the dog would be stressed out on the day they did our building, given his paralyzing fear of hammer sounds, but not much to be done about that.

I thought I was being proactive by confirming with the workmen which day they would be working on my building. Having done the building across the way on Monday and the building next to us on Wednesday, the workman's response of "We'll do yours on Friday" seemed totally logical. Most of the crew looked like college guys working a summer job, they descended like locusts to finish an entire building each day, and Uber-Hubby & I figured they were just working every other day since they were putting in such long hours under such hot, humid, and sweaty conditions.

{Side note to my sister (she's the only one who will get this)...To my knowledge, none of the roofers was named Kurt.}

I wasn't too concerned though, when they started pounding on my roof at 7:30 this morning, a full day earlier than what they had said. I hadn't had a chance to move our cars out of the garage yet, but I figured it wouldn't be a big deal because their semi-trailer sized trash dumpster was supposed to be parked in the middle driveway.

BUT THEN...{insert dramatic pause}

I took Rocky out for a nice, long walk this morning, doing my best to help him relax despite all the hammering that was clearly scaring the poor pooch half to death. Much to my dismay, I see that the massive trash dumpster is parked in MY driveway, blocking MY car from getting out of the garage, on the ONE DAY I need to actually drive it somewhere instead of taking my bike. This is the day that I have to drive to Faribault to get my SSHE food, and U-H is supposed to leave this afternoon for his fishing trip up north. I am literally TRAPPED in my garage. Never mind that EITHER of the other two driveways would have been perfect, because one neighbor is out of town and the other one is in his 80's, has a broken hip, and isn't driving anywhere anytime soon. Sigh...Of course there is no one in sight that is in any position to know anything or be able to DO anything to fix the problem.

At that point, I still thought things would be okay, because they had like 5 hours to figure something out and call the dumpster company to come and move the bin. I walked the dog, spoke to the workers again, went to the gym, came back and spoke to them again (it's 30 minutes before I need to leave at this point), only to find out that they've called the dumpster people 3 times with no real result. Attempting to take matters into my own hands, I called the number on the side of the roofing company's truck. Turns out it's the owner's cell phone, and he actually called right back and was pretty nice...though he still didn't have a good answer. The dumpster people only have one truck running, and he went off on another job after coming here this morning. He arrived here the same time as a delivery was going on, so he just slid the dumpster wherever he felt like (though he and everyone else KNEW it was supposed to go in the middle driveway, NOT mine) and escaped without anyone from the roofing company doing anything about it. I called the dumpster company myself, but of course nobody from there ever called back.

The worker bees helped me clean up the clear side of the driveway so I could at least try and get U-H's car out so I could go get my food and have it back in time for him to leave on his trip, but then I couldn't find his spare set of car keys. GRRRRR. Calls & text messages to his cell didn't help since he was in surgery, so I tried calling the office itself and letting them know that I REALLY needed to speak with him ASAP after he got done. I hadn't yet taken a shower, thinking that I might actually have to ride my bike to his job to get his keys, but then I found them. Not in the bowl marked DAD'S KEYS that his daughter made for him at the pottery studio, mind you, but instead I found them in his bathroom. Don't ask me why I thought to look there. So I quickly jumped in the shower, got dressed, and opened the garage door, only to discover that there was now a big air compressor hose stretched across the doorway. UGH...more issues, but at least this one was a quick fix.

So I finally made it to get my SSHE food for the rest of the week, but because of all the delays by the time I got back it was too late to make it back to the gym for my yoga class (which I paid extra $$ for), but oh well. They STILL hadn't managed to move the stupid dumpster though, which was now making U-H late getting on the road for his trip because he really needed the cargo capacity of the Escape, which was the car that was blocked in. Sorry, but a Chevy Cavalier doesn't haul enough stuff and people. Just after I left another voice mail (this one not so nice) for the dumpster company (at 5:30 even though they close at 4pm), the guy FINALLY showed up and moved it to a better place. I figured it was better to leave well enough alone and NOT say anything to the driver.

I need a drink.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

William Hung - He doesn't bang, but she does

Ok...Don't normally post twice in one day, but I just have to share this photo of U-H & me with William Hung from American Idol Season 3:

He's pudged out a little, don't you think? For those who don't remember William, CLICK HERE to watch a fun YouTube clip. There was a stirring performance of his now infamous rendition of "She Bangs" at the top of the 8th inning. The old people in front of us had no idea what was going on, but that's the first time I've seen the stands totally full at one of these games. William and his dad watched the ball game from the "best seat in the house", a sofa provided by Earl Johnson Furniture that is placed next to the press box. Sadly, the Mankato MoonDogs lost pretty badly to the St Cloud RiverBats. Still, a good time was had by all.

Remember, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

First Bike Trip to the Grocery Store

Great weather for cycling today. Good thing, because I needed stuff from the grocery store and wanted to try out my new thermal lined, zip top, reusable grocery bags. True, I'm not thrilled about moving away from Super Target and having to pay full price at a regular store (12 years of military base commissary prices makes it tougher to swallow), but so far I'm liking the Hy-Vee. It's employee owned, the stores are clean and well lit (though the aisles COULD be a bit wider), and the staff are helpful and friendly. Grocery shopping has proved to be my single best source for the Savings to Invest game (just shy of $53 for the month as of today), and this store even gives you 5 cents off for each bag that you re-use. (Note to self: Take all 4 thermal bags even if you're not going to use them all. Hey...20 cents is 20 cents, right?)

So anyway...After I rode to and from the gym (Upper Limits class was super fun today), I came back home to hook up the Burley trailer and headed off to the store. Thankfully, the paved paths running parallel to Hwy 22 make it safer and more convenient to get there, so it only took a few minutes. There could certainly be better places to lock up bikes just about anywhere you go in this town, but there's usually at least a sign post or something similar that will do just as well. I got a couple of odd looks as I was loading up the trailer for the trip home, but maybe I also made a few people realize that it IS possible to run errands around town on your bike instead of polluting the air with your gas-sucking SUV.

I actually started thinking about the possibility of us becoming a one car family today. Uber-Hubby hasn't touched his car since we got to Mankato, and mine sits in the garage unless we're going up to the Twin Cities or it's a Monday and U-H is on one of his trips to visit fellow dentists in his referral base. So basically, where his car is concerned, we're paying hundreds of dollars a year to insure the drying rack for my hockey gear. Points to ponder, for sure.

Almost forgot...Tonight is William Hung Night at the Mankato MoonDogs baseball game. Remember him? He's that little Asian dude who got famous by being so totally horrible on American Idol a few seasons ago (She Bangs). U-H and I will, of course, be riding our bikes to the ballpark tonight. William Hung Night is simply NOT an occasion to miss.

While we're doing that, why don't YOU get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No "official" update this week....

but that's probably a good thing. We had to go back up to Minneapolis on Friday night because U-H had his annual IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve) thingy for the Navy early Saturday morning. Since we were going to be up there, we both got fresh hair cuts with our fave people. Isn't it SUCH a pain in the you-know-where to have to find a new hair person?

Wait a minute...Considering the name of this blog, I have to stop and consider why I was hesitant to write what I was really thinking there...that it's a pain in the ASS to find a new hair person. Wonder why I didn't want to come out and say ass? It's not like my mother, the quintessential analog woman in a digital world, is going to read this or anything. Well, maybe my sister will read it and tell her about it, but then it would just be another funny family story to recount at Christmas. As Arsenio would say, "Things that make you go Hmmmm..." But I digress.

So anyway, I was away from my regular bathroom scale on Saturday morning, so no official weekly weigh in update today. Just as well probably, because we had dinner at Old Chicago last night with some friends, then ended up back at their house to sit around the bonfire and make S'mores. Yummy. That, combined with the crap I ate for breakfast and lunch today, have no doubt combined for a round of water retention the likes of which haven't been seen in some time. I really need to try and stay at hotels that offer a fridge & microwave in the room so I can take my SSHE food along with me.

I did have a nice little NSV (non-scale victory) this afternoon, however. By happenstance, our trip up to the Twin Cities coincided with a picnic marking the 2nd birthday of Minneapolis Bike Love, the web chat group that U-H belongs to (and which has been the source of many good friendships). I don't post there, but because of U-H I've met several of the members and enjoy hanging out with them on occasion. Since I haven't seen them for awhile, my recent weight loss was noted and commented upon favorably. It's always nice to get noticed like that, because I see myself every day and don't necessarily see the changes. Hmmm...Maybe it's time to take an update photo, but after this water weight is gone, LOL.

Weather forecast for Monday looks good (so far) for the semi-weekly ride to Faribault, so I'm hopeful. What are YOUR plans to get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Update on the Savings Game

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said Uber-Hubby & I were going to keep track of how much money we saved on regular purchases? Well, so far it's just shy of $50, and we're only halfway through the month! Granted, the first few entries were for the tail end of June, but still...That's way more than I thought it would be.

What I know so far: The vast majority of entries come from the grocery store. You need to carry a pen & paper with you to track what you're saving as you complete your shopping list, because anything on the list that turns out to be on sale or has an in-store coupon gets to count, and that number doesn't necessarily match the "you saved this much" thingy on your receipt (and besides, my store doesn't have that anyway). The other place I'm counting alot is when I buy gas at Sam's Club, because it's consistently at least 5 cents/gallon cheaper than everywhere else in town.

Anyway...Time to go run errands & get to the gym. It's unfortunately WAY too windy to ride all the way to Faribault to do my food pickup. While I'm doing that, why don't you get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Weekly Ticker Update

I was actually a pound & a half less than that yesterday, but the "post big ride water retention" has apparently set in. It will be gone by Monday I know, but it's still a pain in the tuckus. This is another good reason to be glad that the big Faribault ride will normally be on a Monday, because any water retention associated with it will be long gone by the following Saturday. Oh well...It's still progress, right?

FYI...Figured out yesterday that if I keep up this pace, I'll be at goal weight by the end of this year, which means by the time I maintain for six months in order to get plastic surgery to correct what's left (lipo on the buddha belly & lifting the girls back where they should be), the surgery could be next year's birthday present. Woo hoo!

There's the mileage update. Looks like I'm right on track with the 150 miles/week necessary to reach the goal. Not bad for a chubby white chick.

I'm off to hockey practice. While I'm off skating and getting sweaty, why not get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rocky...Uber Pooch YES, but also a total FAKER

My dog is a milker. The little mama's boy totally had the fakeroo going with the injured paw thing, and now he's been completely caught red-handed (or red-pawed, as the case may be). True, he did cut himself walking in some unclean area of downtown Minneapolis, but a couple of days after we got back, he was still limping around with the injured paw in the air and getting lots of sympathy from yours truly. BUT THEN, one day this week I was in the bathroom with the door most of the way shut, so he apparently didn't know I was around. Uber-Hubby witnessed him walking almost completely normally, with just a bit of a limp. He starts playing with the dog and said "Rocky, where's Mommy?" Rocky starts looking around, I open the bathroom door, and THEN he held up his paw and resumed looking pitiful. Doggie drama in the house of Hoover.

Excellent news on the PYFAO front....I'm down 12 pounds since starting SSHE 3 months ago, and that includes a 2 week European vacation. Who knows what I will be when the official Saturday weigh in rolls around, because I just got back from another huge, 80+ mile ride to and from Faribault, MN to pick up my SSHE meals for the rest of this week. I may be doing the water retention thing by tomorrow night, but the good news is that it will all get peed out by Monday, so no biggie.

FYI...Beer is an excellent way to replace salt, potassium, and other essential nutrients. To quote Ben Franklin, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

Until next time, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Not the official weekly update, but still

Ok, so no weekly ticker update this time around because we were back up in Minneapolis for Saturday's official weigh in day. We like to go back for the 4th of July because of the Tour D'Amico ride. It's the main event of the year for the Hiawatha Cycling Club, and D'Amico & Sons Italian Cafe is the main sponsor. The rest stops are the actual D'Amico & Sons locations, and if you do the whole thing you've done 65 miles (metric century) by the end of it. They feed you cookies, fruit, and lemonade at the rest stops and a really nice buffet lunch when you're done. It was the 3rd year for Uber-Hubby and me, and the weather was perfect. We both did the 65 mile route and had a pretty good time this year. I felt stronger on that kind of distance than I ever have, which is good for me.

Needless to say, we were pretty tired that afternoon, so we abandoned our plan to walk down to see the local fireworks show and opted for the Boston Pops display on TV instead. We got to see U-H's friend Phil the first night and went back to our fave Old Chicago location for dinner the second night, allowing U-H to get started on the most recent mini-tour of the Old Chicago World Beer Tour. Some things never change, LOL.

The only downer was that Rocky cut his left front paw on a piece of glass or something as we were walking through City Center on our morning "business walk" on the 4th. He now limps around and looks generally pitiful, though he's probably milking it just a little.

Tonight we're expected over at the boss man's house for dinner. They said casual, so we're riding our bikes over. Guess they'll find out what casual really is, won't they?

In the meantime, why not get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Weekly Ticker Update, among other things

Well, there it is. I'm down 2 lbs from the last time I checked in here two weeks ago, but it's also the same as I was last week. I know from the experience gained by weighing daily that it's entirely because of temporary water retention from Thursday's gigantic ride, but it's still a tiny bit of a downer. It will be gone by Monday, so I'm not too twisted up about it, though.

And there's the mileage update. I'll be right on track with my goal deadline if I keep up a 150 miles per week pace from here on out. With one round trip to/from Faribault per week, I'll need to do 13 miles on 5 of the 6 remaining days to make that. Totally doable.

So...What else has happened recently...
I had my first practice with the local women's hockey program today, and so far all is well. They're a nice group of people, on par with my old team skill-wise, but they need more actual game play experience. Very well organized practice session, so I definitely got some good exercise. They also made sure I knew about the coffee house they go to afterwards, which made me feel nice and welcome. I'm doing what I can to make my own friends apart from the people I meet because of my husband.

Last bit of news for the day:
When you save money on some normal everyday purchase, do you use that as an excuse to go and spend the "saved" money on something else? If so, what have you really saved? Uber-Hubby and I have decided to track this kind of thing and see just how much it adds up to. I've started a spreadsheet to track our savings on purchases we would normally make anyway... groceries, things we went to a particular store to get and found that they were on sale/clearance, etc. It has to be something we would have bought at the full price, not just some impulse purchase. For example, I went to Office Max a few days ago to look for a Rolodex and found one on the clearance rack for $7.50, as opposed to the original price of $19.99, so there's a $12.49 entry in my spreadsheet. Sam's Club had gas cheaper than the prevailing price in town by 4 cents/gallon, so there's another 49 cents. At the end of each month, we're going to total it all up, put that amount of money in a Money Market Savings Account (better interest than a regular account) and see how far we get in a year's time. In the first 5 days alone it's over $26.00, so in a year that could be more than $1300, not including any interest! We're more than likely going to use the money to help pay for our next big cycling trip, but who knows?

Speaking of cycling, why not get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Biggest, Longest Ride Ever

So...What was that I was saying about it being tough to get bike miles in Mankato because everything is so close? Be careful what you ask for, I suppose...

Yesterday was pickup day for my SSHE meals over in Faribault. Turns out, the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail goes all the way there from Mankato, so naturally I thought it would be a fabulous idea to hook up the Burley trailer and tool on over. The trail itself is nice enough, though I do wish they would repave certain sections. I was loaded up with plenty of water and sunblock, but next time I'll include bug spray and the extra lenses for my sport glasses so I can change to the clear ones when it gets darker outside.

Total mileage for the round trip (drum roll, please).... 86.1! My longest ride EVER. I don't think I'd gone more than about 62 before this. It took a lot longer than I would have liked to complete the whole thing, so I'll definitely plan a little better and leave the house a little earlier next time. Uber-Hubby, sweet man that he is, went home after work to feed & walk the dog (he hates doing it but knew it would be too late by the time I got home), then headed down the trail in my direction to meet up with me and help me finish the ride.

I doubt that I'll be up to doing this twice a week, but it sure does save a lot of gas money and is in keeping with the title of this blog.

Speaking of which...Get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting Settled In

Getting bike mileage is going to be a bit tougher here in Mankato, because everything is so darned CLOSE. I mean, it's cool because I can easily ride to the gym, library, grocery store, etc but it's only a few miles to each thing, so in order to really build miles I'm going to have to plan more actual road rides.

So far, the daily routine has been to make sure I get 8-9 hours of sleep, which I've always needed but never felt I had the time for. The only issue there is that Uber-Hubby needs to go to bed at a decent hour since he has to be up for work, and I'm not always ready to go at that point. I think this will soon work it's way into me going to bed when he does and just sleeping a bit later. Anyway, after I take the pooch out for a morning stroll, I either unpack more stuff or head off to the gym, depending on what time my class of choice starts.

Side note: The folks down at the Mankato YMCA have been great. The staff have been friendly and helpful as I learn my way around the place, and the class instructors are good, too.

After riding back home from the Y (which includes a short but TOUGH ride back up the hill from the river), I take a little break, have my SSHE lunch, and then unpack more crap from the move. I swear, if I never see another cardboard box or sheet of packing paper, it will be too soon. Still, it was nice to be able to cook an actual dinner for U-H last night (instead of yet another sandwich), even if it was only Hamburger Helper.

So...After I get the house unpacked, I think I'll look into some kind of part time volunteer project. I'm enjoying the flexibility I have with my time these days and I LOVE IT that U-H is so supportive of my weight loss and healthy lifestyle efforts, but you can only exercise and straighten up the house for so many hours of the day. Besides, the extroverted half of me (seriously, I'm exactly half, tests proved it) will soon start to crave human interaction with people other than my husband and the occasional beer in the neighbor's garage. I also have a deep-seated need to feel purposeful in my life, so I think spending a couple of days per week doing something good for others will go a long way toward making Mankato a very happy place for us to live. I will NOT squander this free time opportunity like I did when I wasn't working the first few months we lived in Minnesota.

Until next time, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Friday, June 20, 2008

Like Locusts on a Crop

Well, the movers have come and gone. Uber-Hubby and I spent all week packing everything ourselves using boxes & materials supplied by our moving company, and then this morning they literally descended on our belongings like locusts and were in and out of here in about 4 hours. Our stuff will magically appear in Mankato tomorrow morning, at which point I will begin the unpacking fun just in time for U-H to start his new job on Monday. Mad props to the 3 dudes from Lovelette Transfer Company...There's a reason they are so highly rated on Twin Cities Angie's List. If you ever need to pack up your house and move anywhere around here, make sure you call these guys. Free use of their boxes (you give them back) and you get good quality, professional workers.

Turns out that getting fired this past Monday was the best possible thing. Looking back on how much we worked on packing everything this week, I can't imagine how crappy it would have been to leave U-H to handle it alone while I went off to work every day. We both would have ended up being super crabby to each other, so I'm glad it all worked out this way.

I got one good ride in this week. I had a hair appointment on Wednesday, and ever since Stephanie moved to her new location so close to my (former) job, I've been intending to ride there after work for my appointments. Unfortunately, for the two appointments prior to this one, I had been farmed out to clinic locations and got stuck driving to see her. Here I was, talking up a storm about how great it was to ride to work, and I never got to ride to my hair appointments like I kept telling her I was going to do. So anyway, I had a cycling jersey I had to return to a bike shop near there, so I just made an afternoon of it. It was about an hour & 45 minutes to get to the bike shop, then I backtracked slightly and got to the salon with just enough time to treat myself to a Northern Lites Pumpkin Cooler at Caribou Coffee before heading inside. To top it off, the weather couldn't have been better and U-H met up with me to ride home, having ridden partway down with me and then splitting off to run some errands of his own.

Could the day have been more perfect? I think not. 46.6 miles round trip. Yay me. This kind of errand running by bike is soon to be de rigueur once I'm settled in down in Mankato. I can't wait. All that exercise, exploring my new home town, AND no longer having to put up with the pathetic excuse for management at my old job. Skinny Bitch, here I come. Rest assured, results photos WILL be posted.

It is truly a blessed and charmed life that I lead. I will endeavor to find a suitable charitable organization with whom I can volunteer so that I can give something back. "To whom much is given, much is expected." I truly believe that and I've heard it a lot in my years here on Earth, but it just shows how I am so NOT a Bible scholar, because I Googled it to find out where the quote comes from, and it's Luke 12:48. Who knew?

Anyway...until next time, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Monday, June 16, 2008

In Today's Employment News

Well...I suppose I knew this might happen at some point, but after surviving the first week post resignation, I kind of thought they might not fire me after all.

How wrong I was.

I also thought that after doing substitute front desk stuff for a couple of days, I might be left alone to try and finish up my real work, so as not to leave my Billing Department coworkers so totally in the lurch.

Again, how wrong I was.

They pushed me a little too far today, I pushed back and asked how they could keep opening more and more clinics when clearly they couldn't properly staff and maintain the ones they have, and after that they decided I brought too much negativity to the scene and my resignation was made effective this afternoon.

Get this...They actually expressed confusion about why I had not shared my concerns with them earlier, instead of letting my frustrations get to the boiling point. Gee...Maybe it was because I couldn't afford to be FIRED at the time? Open door policy, my ass.

Oh well. Maybe I'll at least get to ride my bike if the weather is nice this week.
Speaking of which...Get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Weekly Ticker Update

Ok...Back to the weekly updates. GOOD NEWS, people! Going on vacation does NOT have to make you fatter!

I'm down 2 lbs from what I was the day before we left on the trip. I could have lost more if I hadn't indulged in ice cream cones all through the Czech Republic, but oh well. Now I'm back on Seattle Sutton's and life is getting back to normal...Well, as normal as it gets the week before you move to a new city. :-)

Here's where I stand on mileage:

I revised the mileage goal for the season based on what they've done with me at work in the last couple of weeks before the trip (farming me out to various clinics doesn't help me ride to work). Once I get down to Mankato and settled into life there, it may be revised upward again.

Until then, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Friday, June 13, 2008

Photo Updates Being Added to Bike Trip Posts

Ok...Uber-Hubby is nearly done labeling and uploading pix of the Vienna portion of our European cycling trip to his Flickr page. I've decided to snag a few of them to update the daily posts I was doing during the trip.

CLICK HERE to revisit my post from Vienna, now updated with a few choice photos, including one of YOURS TRULY conquering a cool rope course we found while tooling around the city on our rented bikes.

Enjoy...and, as long as you're at it, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Monday, June 9, 2008

Spilled the Beans at Work

Ok...Secret's out now. Gave my two week notice at work today, so I can finally openly discuss the impending move to Mankato. It appears that I am not fired (they need the help), so I'll be able to finish out my time in peace, hopefully with a minimum of drama. It's really good to have that monkey off my back at last.

Interesting note: There was a minor collision between two Northwest Airlines planes here at MSP last night. Apparently one of them was backing out as another one was pulling into a gate or something, and their wing tips clipped each other. Sounds to me like the ground crew screwed things up, but I'm sure the investigation is underway. The interesting bit is that one of the planes that was involved was the incoming flight from Amsterdam, which is exactly the same plane U-H and I were on the day before as we came home. Glad we didn't get caught up in that mess.

Still working on the trip photos. I promise, once they're all done, I'll go back and annotate my daily postings to make them more interesting. Oh...I weigh exactly the same as I did before I left on the trip, which is awesome news considering how much I ate and drank over there. :-)

Until next time, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Made it to Prague!

Ok...Got up this morning, loaded up the shuttle van after breakfast, and set off for Prague. We were supposed to be dropped off at the central train station and make our own way to our respective hotels, but other folks in the group asked if they could pay extra and be dropped off at their hotels directly. Turned out to be a horrible idea, because the driver did NOT know his way around the city at all. I swear, he was just driving around aimlessly, looking for ANY signs that had the word "hotel" on them. When he pulled over to ask directions for the third time, we all decided to just get out right there and either walk or get taxis. Tom (Uber-Hubby) had been keep track of where we were in the city using our Prague guidebook map and we knew the name of the street our hotel is on, so when we bailed on the driver we had an idea of where to go. In fact, I tried to get the driver to turn on our street when we would have only walked 4 blocks, but he wouldn't stop. So the beginning of our time in Prague entailed U-H and I schlepping our bags across what seemed like half the city. NEVER, and I mean never, travel without suitcases on wheels. Ours are getting a bit battered, but I can't imagine having done this without rollies.

This is the first hotel we've had the entire trip that had functioning air conditioning. We are thrilled, to say the least. There is also free wifi service, so feel free to click on over to U-H's Flickr page to see how far he's gotten with photo uploads. It will take some time to get it all done nicely, because as usual he's taken THOUSANDS of pictures and they're all pretty cool. I also like his captioning.

So far in Prague, we've been to see the Astronomical Clock and the Dancing Building, but other than that we just walked around a lot. First impression is that there are definitely a lot of neat things to see (Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle complex in the world), but the "tourist trap" feel of everything is kind of depressing after all the great little Czech towns we've been to in the last 2 weeks. Also, unlikely the smaller towns, many people here speak English, so you try going into a restaurant or shop and use what little Czech you know, only to have them respond in English. It certainly helps in a pinch, but we are really trying to absorb the local flavor and set a good example to try and dispel that whole "ugly American" image our countrymen so often have.

Tomorrow morning, we're going to Charles Bridge at sunrise...It's supposed to be truly spectacular, but you have to get there early to avoid all the tourists. That's the thing about this city...U-H and I have discovered that large crowds of other tourists really kind of annoy us. I think these bike trips with Experience Plus are going to be our chosen form of active travel for quite some time to come. We're already looking at where to go next year.

More later...Until then, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off