Saturday, June 2, 2012

redirect focus for higher productivity

Today's result is a late rising, and this may be due to the nights prior not being full of rest. Last night wasn't full of rest either due to having to break up two raccoons that were brawling and screaming in my backyard at 1. When one of them took off as I approached, the other charged me, forcing me to run back to the patio in my bathrobe fearing a rabid bite.
The rest of the night after calming down was full of vivid dreams and mostly restful sleep, but I certainly did not bounce out of bed.

This may have been because I decided not to suck down an entire french press of coffee and therefore had not the drug of choice to pull me out of bed.  Upon reaching the kitchen however, THAT addiction got the best of me and I decided upon brewing just one cup, which i am enjoying at the moment.

We jogged yesterday morning, and did a small workout at the studio on the boxes and bars and bags.  We also did some walking with the dog, and tried to stay moderately active.  Real results will come with more activity, but there is one other thing I need to put more attention towards:  Stress.  Perhaps even larger than alcohol, and most certainly a root of it, my stress levels have always been high, which results in an increased production of Cortisol, the stress hormone, and it likes to deposit fat around the midsection primarily.   Reducing Cortisol production is a large step towards my goals, as well as increasing Testosterone levels, which are said to begin decreasing at my age.

The reduction of coffee and alcohol are huge steps toward hormonal balancing.  With coffee a major stress-or,  and alcohol a testosterone killer, they both act counter-productively and increase the slope of the climb.

Friday, June 1, 2012

quick update

Having my old work space under the garage of my home has made it easy to take my time getting everything over to the new studio, and while taking the final truck load over yesterday, I ran into my friend Charlotte.

She has put on some weight since the last time, so I was taken back upon realizing she was right beside where i put my hand under the bench we were moving.  Not particularly poisonous, this Wood Spider is too far North for its typical habitat, and I might have to take her in for the winter if she sticks around, which I hope she will.  We have several months before I will need to think about that.  

For dinner last night I roasted some cabbage, carrots, and as a cheat some potatoes, because I thought the extra carbs would come in handy for the big day of work I have planned.  On the side I served avocado and kimchi, with the protein being some farm fresh hot Italian brats that for my now more sensitive palette were over seasoned. They might have worked in a starchy white flour bun, with sweet ketchup and mustard, but not alone.  Tonight I am considering the local tenderloins we picked up. We got our charcoal grill back, which I prefer to our stone and gas grills, so I might wrap the medallions with some bacon and do up a fat log of veggie medley to toss on with them.  Maybe if I am feeling extra ambitious I will mix up some fresh pico de guyo sans corn chips, or better yet, some guacamole.  

Thursday, May 31, 2012

plyometrics and pyrotechnics

 Aynsley had a positive job interview an hour north in the Twin cities, so it is possible the work I have been doing to make the studio down here functional and clean could amount to a great yet expensive storage unit for the next nine months until the lease runs out. Considering I would like to live up there, rather than this less than optimal town if given a choice of the two, this will not be a big issue. It will serve well as a transfer station allowing us out of the house obligations while not committing fully to the new location should it work out.

The plyometric boxes have finally been completed.  Due to the weather being wet, and the application of two coats primer, two coats paint, and four coats polyurethane, this took longer than expected, but the results are favorable to keeping them un-sanded and unprotected.

These boxes will be the foundation of body weight excersize routines.  They can be stepped or jumped up on, pushed off from, and raised in all sorts of ways to focus different muscle groups.  A video would perhaps show the use of these better.  One day... we will graduate up to vlogdom.

just a few feet above this blaze were the
power and phone lines servicing my
building which is behind me.
For now, here is the first real burn of garbage scrap consisting largely of some of the poorly constructed benches that existed in the studio before my occupation of it.  What I failed to observe before allowing it to escalate to the height you see in the photo, was the power lines fifteen feet above the barrel.  As the hot air caused them to sway to and fro, I knew the barrel was too hot to safely move, and I kept the stereo and lights on so I would know if it got too hot for the wires above and melted them by the blackout.  A foolish mistake, for it would have been expensive and on me to have an electrician come out and install an new trunk to my building. Thankfully there was no issue.

As a survivalist, I enjoy and employ any tool that
functions with multiple purposes in life.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today I am going to discuss failing again.  It is a suitable topic considering what transpired yesterday.

Now I love to get up with the sun and the birds in the late spring, summer, even into autumn, but I do not like to do it with a dry mouth, headache, and general sense of disease.  For the second day in a row this is the case however. It is going to take more than I have been willing to sacrifice to end this dependency. There has been enough talk.

I did get a few things done; there is now a dog run from end to end in the facility, which allows Aegis to cover the entire floor without much chance of getting a rope wrapped around one of the posts or table.  The plyro boxes will be ready for the final touch after applying four coats of polyurethane, which is application of the grip tape on top.  Those strips have been measured and cut already.

Other than those two minor things, yesterday was a bust. Even dinner sucked, in my opinion.   I put the brisket and mixed vegetables in the crock pot at around noon, and come seven they were barely started.  The pot was set on Auto shift, which usually makes a  decent roast in that time.  Pulling it out of that and placing it into a stock pot to finish it off, I had about an hour before Aynsley was expected home.

 We must face our demons, and make conscientiousness decisions that promote success in our endeavors.
Trying on funky items at the toy store.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An enjoyable Memorial Day

Today I open up with an apology for the poor quality of pictures so far in this blog. Turns out, I have been shooting in the smallest size with my phone.  Instead of posting low pixel images today, I have retained their small size, and from this point forward, there will be large, clear images displayed.

Fresh squeezed fruits and organic
Lets start with drinking, there was too much of it last night.  To recap, we had: A primer minibar Jim Beam, some Organic Vodka and fresh juiced pineapple, mango and orange juice, and a bum beer later in the evening while in the studio.  I had the majority of the vodka, but Aynsley had a couple, and I offered one to our room mate.

This was pretty average for the days of the past, before starting the program, but it had been a month since the last time and assuming my metabolism is different now, it got me good.  Next thing I knew, I was making embarrassing remarks on Facebook.  That happens to be one of my main reasons for cutting back.

Today I feel groggy, but not so much hungover.  While considering this earlier today, at around 4:30, I decided to say "so what?" So I miss a day of productivity. It is true every day must count while achieving goals, but I also could use a rest day considering I am active every other day in my life. Today will likely be active as well, just not five a.m. active. At that hour, the sky is just beginning to get a hint of blue towards the east, and only the most diligent birds are shouting out their merit. I went back to sleep.

Just one of the beautifully carved
figures in the carousel.

We went to Lark Toys, and it had what seemed to be only the cleverest, higher quality toys in it, as well as a full sized custom carved Merry-Go-Round.  Our original intent was to meet up with some friends but something came up for them, so we returned home and I began stuffing a roast of bison with local Gouda and kielbasa.

One third of this meal was a failure.
Supposedly this turned out well, but I do not remember eating it. No photos either of it, which is a fault. Instead of that, I will go with a shot of the BBQ meal from the night before, which didn't have much of a place in yesterdays update. This was local garlic brats, with spring onions and bacon woven through them, all skewered  together.  Also on the grill was some halved Fennel, which was a bomb. It was mostly inedible, and what was soft enough to eat was terrible.  You take the good with the bad.  On the side was a bok choy slaw, thrown together with pickles, raisins, carrots, and some other bizarre ingredients that actually came together rather well.  Aynsley liked it, and that says a lot.

In studio news: It took almost 24 hours for the first coat of poly to be dry enough for a light sanding and second coat, which I applied to the plyrometric boxes last night.  I will examine my work today  to find as many faults as possible I can contribute to having been drinking.  It is assumed it will be ready for the third coat today, which will be a satin finish, as opposed to the glossy I have been applying as base coats.

There is a reason for this; the flatter the poly blend, the less strength it has as a protective sealant.  This is due to the flattening additive slightly diluting the mixture, they actually add flatness with an extra ingredient which is the only difference in the blends.  I want the surface to be flat, so the top coat will be satin.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Well, that was quick

Yesterday I spoke of the "plan". A program with strict guidelines regarding excersize and dietary requirements in order to follow it. I even made a spreadsheet, it took all of about a half hour to make it. It took one statement from a friend to break it.

My friend Marcus, former triathlete competitor, stopped by the studio yesterday and after I told him about the plan, he said something along the lines of this: A warrior does not have plan, and being a warrior requires adaptability. Therefore, training like a warrior, to be a warrior, one should not use a set curriculum, and just do what feels right.

A warrior does not look at the reasons, and does not attempt to change them. A warrior looks at the reality, and then deals with it inside his or her circle of influence. They know they are doing what it takes so if the fight ever came to them, they would swiftly deal with it and that would be that. A warrior allows the tragedy knowing it is human nature, and abiding by that, they know nature is survival of the fittest, no matter what contraptions are invented and pushed upon the complacent society. By minimizing the amount of influence from those in search of upgrading their power with money, legislation, or force, one maintains the ability to fight.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tomorrow starts the plan

The "plan" is just a spreadsheet I made to keep me in line with goals and focused.  As an amateur blogger, I have no idea how to upload an excel file to this, but here is the lowdown: It covers a two week interval, because an even number of days allows the routine to repeat in a projected manner, I will eventually know what I am doing in advance without having to check the chart.

Labeled as 1st Monday, 1st Tuesday, etc, and then 2nd Monday, 2nd Tuesday, etc., it follows a repeating two week time frame where some days diet and excersize are focused on cardio, other days strength training, and there is one day, specifically the 1st Thursday, where I have endurance activities scheduled. That would be a long bike ride or hike.  Once every two weeks should be enough of that, with 10-20 mile rides or 5 mile jogs on the other cardio days in the plan.

There was so much dust in the air it looks
like I am standing in fog. Not sure what
the pose is about, I was feeling like a badass.
The meals are calculated to provide carbs when needed for heavy lifting, protein rich meals for building, fasting and light meals when less active or fat burning, I am hoping I have it right.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

plyometric boxes

What is a plyometric box?

They are boxes, usually wider at the base for stability, that are used in workout routines. I made three sizes yesterday, had to break apart my work table to make them, salvaging the 3/4" material I had sandwiched as the top.  The table was crap, and needed to be rebuilt anyway.

Like most of what I do, these may have been overbuilt, notice all the screws.  Unfortunately, with my haste in drilling all those countersink holes, a lot of them did not grab good wood, and I was forced to use wood glue due to lack of nothing else, such as construction adhesive.

  I could drive a tractor over these boxes without fail.

Today I will head in and go over the primer with a color, and I will pick up some tread grip to put on top.  Maybe fill the screw holes too and do some sanding.  Now why would I go through all the trouble, and not just start implementing them? The reason is subliminal, and psychological;  The better I feel about these boxes, the more I will want to use them, presumably.

I will be hopping up onto these boxes, either in line, or one at a time.  They also serve well for dips, inverted push-ups, as platform to adjust body weight while I get my pull-up reps into higher numbers, and being in the studio they will serve as a quick means of doing taller work, or tending to issues that are above my reach without having to pull out the big and bulky steel adjustable ladder.  All in all, they will serve several purposes.

Last night after returning from the studio I had a wonderful dinner waiting for me.  Aynsley had prepared the salmon in the fridge, with a beautiful sugar free glaze, perfectly prepared vegetables, and a fruit salad.  It was picture perfect but alas... I regrettably failed to grab one for this blog...   This will irk me today.  The answer is not to regret, but to replace.  Dinner tonight will be spectacular, I think.

Friday, May 25, 2012

And now...

And now, the process for obtaining juicy and tasty chicken from the oven: I used thighs, because I like the flavor and the fat content of the dark meat, and also because that is what Aynsley bought.  Using a large sheet pan with a rim, and one of those racks that fits inside it, I laid the seasoned chicken (olive oil, balsamic, salt free chicken rub, cayenne, dash of salt) on the rack evenly and flat as possible.  Then I put water in the pan,  just a layer about a quarter inch deep.  I made a tent with foil and creased it around the edges, being careful not to let it rest on any of the meat, blousing it out.  The pan goes into a pre-heated 360 degree oven on the middle rack, and 35 minutes later, the chicken is done.  Thighs have a lot of fat, and you will notice this in the pan with the water, where most of it ends up.  Letting the chicken cool, I sliced it into quarter inch strips across the "grain" and put it into a container to be stored in the fridge for salads.  Whereas baked chicken can tend to be dry, especially the white meat, this is sure to remain juicy and tender.  And this is the moment I kick myself for not documenting this with a picture.  Remind me next time!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

something new, same old ish

OK, so it was actually the second time doing it, but definitely still new to me.   Running.  More specifically at the moment, I will call it sprinting, then walking in pulses, because with the lack of fitness in my lungs, and possibly the heart issues, running at a nominal pace wears me out within a eighth of a mile or so, and I have to slow down to catch my breath, so in all respects that is sprinting to me. This I am hoping will change and by the end of the summer, the plan is to circle Silver Lake without breaking the stride, a distance of 1.8 miles.

I seek alternate forms of heightened awareness and joy, and am doing so by exploring clean methods that I have heard work, like the "runners high" I have heard about.  Also I will be resuming my efforts on the yoga mat. "Highs" from food are options as well, as chemical reactions with food consumption may be slight but they can be noticeable in an otherwise clear mind.

But that is an issue with me, staying clear-headed.  Call it what you will, but the half pint of whiskey I cheated with yesterday was a form of escape from something...

In artistic news, I met with a gallery owner who opened their facility just three weeks ago.  He showed little interest in my less than fine style, and I wish him the best in his endeavors at that location. Even in the center of town, one can apparently lease a decent sized place to show art, but the market is transient in this town due to the main industry being a medical facility which is meant to only be visited for a hopefully short, yet undetermined period of time, and those visitors, are likely not shopping for art. The results of this meeting sent me to my studio to mull over the direction I would like to head with my work.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a possible opportunity and a rant

I'll start with the optimist part. After filming Aynsley and a friend she shows horses with working on their jumping, we were standing in the barn and her friend, Nancy mentioned I should contact her associate who just opened a new gallery smack in the center of town.  She provided me with the information she had on him, and I began to paint pictures in my head.

I have been down the road of gallery exhibition before, and a lot of times they require more than a cocky artist whats to relinquish for their services.  I am usually met with a time commitment where I would need to work in the gallery for a few days a month, as well as pay for the space, and sometimes a commission on top of that.  Back in the day I was having none of that.  These days I might consider it.

I am up very early, like it wasn't even five a.m. when I was wide a awake buzzing in bed, and decided to get up and put on some coffee.  I'll get the higher intensity walk/jog/sprint cycle out of the way early, and head into this guys place this morning for a chat.

The other reason I was up early:  Carbs.  Last night after leaving the stable we were hungry. I had spent about 1300 calories in excersize, plus my typical expenditure just living, and only ate what is seen in the picture.  

We have: leftover pork roast, avocado, eggs, sardines, kimchi and fresh cherries.  After a good ride it was a wonderful meal.  It was not enough though.  This meal might be 5-6 hundred calories, and I require about 4000.  So needless to say I felt the hunger come 8 p.m. when we were heading home.  Our options were limited.

We wanted a buffet, where we could pick and choose only what we wanted to eat, and not have to pay for buns and side dishes we could not, only getting half a meal.  Problem is, there are no buffets in town, open that late and not being nationwide chains of garbage laden junk food disguised as real food and sitting out collecting bacteria.

We decided to cheat a bit and go for Chipotle.  They like to write quirky shit on their packaging indicating their ingredients are somehow more nutritious than other fast food joints, which is no large feat.  We used to enjoy their food before the diet change so we figured why not.  I needed calories, and the glycogen was good for my tired muscles.  My stores of glucose were no doubt running on empty, so I doubt any of the carbs were converted to fat for storage.

Waking up at a quarter to four in the morning and buzzing made me sure of that fact, that my body was roasting those calories like a wad of newspaper in a bonfire and there I lay feeling like I do when I drink a lot of alcohol before bed, freaking vibrating man...   Sure, why not add a couple cups of coffee?

This would be fine with me, but here is the rant:  I tried a new meat in the burrito bowl I ordered.  Some shredded beef or pork with a bizarre name, instead of the typical chicken I used to get.  This stuff was overloaded with salt, it was almost inedible, but I was starving remember.  I ate it anyway, even though I am attempting to limit my salt intake. I think the lid of the shaker fell off when they were seasoning this stuff, it was that bad...   Down the hatch.

My mouth felt like it had been turned inside out.

So either they had over-seasoned it or my palate was more sensitive due to the diet changes, either way, it was far from enjoyable, I ate every little bit, scraping the bowl, and these two bowls in the bag literally felt like five pounds. It was a lot of density. The white rice and beans is what got me going spaz.

Speaking of salty foods, on my walk yesterday I noticed Grimace was hiding in the railroad trestle over by Quarry Hill Park.  As I walked by, he just looked at me with that goofy expression.  Gone are the days where McDonalds will advertise with a big fat saggy tub of purple lard, I have even heard rumors of them offering a veggie or even vegan burger, and gluten free buns.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

new piece, dinner shot, confession, almost died

 This piece is two inches tall. Whatever variety it is, Rosewood or some exotic cherry, it carves better than anything I've found.

 I roasted some pork yesterday and while chopping up whatever veg I had to throw in the pan with it, it dawned on me to cut up some apples too and throw them in.  We had these tiny yellow beets, past their prime, some onion, carrots, and the apples, and the sweetness of them paired well with the pork.  Again, here is a grainy and poorly shot pic, I really need to get on this ball and set up.  The pork actually came out dry, but there was enough juice on the plate that a piece could suck up some and it all went down okay.

I paired a bottle of "Three Buck Chuck" Merlot with this, as it was purchased at Trader Joe's who are famous for this particular inexpensive yet drinkable wine, which used to be called "Two Buck Chuck".  I feel fine, slept deeply, did not wake up anxious as with too much beer or whiskey, and though red has brought on headaches and misery in the past, this morning I am ready to bounce off the walls. There is a fantastic vision I get on occasion of sipping dry reds out of the bottle whilst creating art in my studio late at night, but these fantasies need to be replaced with more productive realities.  Certainly not a good idea to glamorize drinking anything at this point.  My confession for the day...

And now my almost dying:  Walking back from the studio I was in the crosswalk, with a walk signal, and suddenly this older guy in a silver dodge Dakota comes flying around the corner making a left onto the road I was crossing. He was going fast, and apparently not even looking at the road in front of him, for if I had not jumped aside, that would have been it for me.  At last he saw me, and stopped long enough to show me a started expression, and without apology drove off leaving me there with a solid heartbeat and a shake to my nervous system.

About a half hour later, after getting home and ranting to Aynsley, changing clothes and grabbing our car, I passed through the same intersection going the route the old guy was travelling, and I was thinking to myself how much it would suck if up over the hill I saw flashing lights and low and behold...  One block from my incident at the next intersection there were police cars, ambulance, and fire truck, along with a crowd of people standing around.  I saw a lump of something on the ground.

Passing through, I came to a light and dialed Aynsley, telling her the news and she said I should go back and mentioned what just happened to me.  One minute later I was back at the scene but all that remained was a guy about my age standing there.  The last two cops were pulling away.  I got out and walked up to the guy asking what happened and he mentioned he got hit. I asked if it was an older guy in a silver truck and he said no, it was a girl in a car, then he reenacted the event, I did the same for mine, we shook hands and stood in solidarity for the pedestrians of the world.  In his case, he was actually hit, and she took off.  Thankfully he got her plate!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shifting Gears

After a few weeks monitoring my dietary intake on FitDay, I have grasped enough information on my daily foods to forego without entering EVERY food of EVERY meal several times a day. This is tiresome and boring, but was useful in getting an idea. It is still available to check on exotic foods, or less consumed in the event I were curious.

Now that the first few weeks have elapsed, and my body has transformed its metabolism, presumably, it is time to up-shift into a higher gear. It should feel natural, like shifting in a car. First gear is useful to get started, but not efficient, and though powerful, it will not achieve the speed desired. It gets the car rolling though, which would have been impossible in a higher gear without stalling. If one were to stay in first, eventually the engine would blow up.  Likewise, if I were to continue to count calories and micro-monitor the consumption, I would likely get bored and quit the whole thing.

How many gears does this process have? No clue.  At least three stages I would say.  This one demands longer and harsher energy expending, and also more caloric intake, as I have been holding back to near starvation levels for a while.  With the increase of energy use, there will need to be the addition of a small amount more carbohydrates.  Fruits, and more vegetables, which I have been voraciously consuming with a couple large salads per day, such as the one shown in a recent post.

Tonight might be a nice night for some lean fish. Perhaps throwing a big filet of salmon on the grill with some lemon and fresh fennel. Then couple it with one of my signature veggie logs; a tightly packed roll of foil housing green beans and other veggies with butter. Last night while taking Aegis for a walk I smelled a BBQ, and  felt guilty for not doing the same for dinner.

This is a candle holder design for three inch
pillars, we make our own candles as well.

The candle stand in the pic is my design for the palm wax candles we make, as shown a  unique trait to palm wax is it melts inwardly, with the sides collapsing inward after the flame has burnt down enough to form a chasm with a slim shell which radiates the light through palm wax' unique mottled surface, very elegant.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

difficult to document

All that I ate yesterday would be so difficult to document into the calorie counter I use online that I have decided to skip it for the day. As for as solid food, there were no bad items, in fact with all the vegetables, two huge salads, near raw Tuna, and lean chicken, it was a rather good day in a nutritional sense.  Then there was the cheat...

Were heading into the salad days.

Reminiscent of the old days, (those prior to the start of this month of May) I went ahead and chugged down four tall boys of beer.  And not good beer either.  The stuff I imagine they scrape out of the barrel before cleaning it.

True story: While working as a cook for a winter down in Florida one year, one of the bartenders husband came in and got plowed. We had no business so I was out of the kitchen and conversing with the man, who happened to work at one of these factory brewers.  After getting blasted, he began telling us about the "added ingredients" that are specifically placed in the beer to keep working men seeking it.  I don't know what they are, or if it is true, but he said if they caught him disclosing this he would basically be dragged behind a truck as punishment.

Later on today, I plan on perhaps a bike ride before coming home and gorging on salad or eggs, or both, and then heading out to support some friends of mine whose Mother recently passed after a tremendous battle with illness. We will be walking in a fundraising event that is focused on finding a cure for what she battled with. Type 1 diabetes. The event should be a pleasure because of the weather forecasted, and because of the energy of doing something, anything to help end this terrible affliction.

After all that, it would be nice to get some studio time.  I would like to get started on another carving, perhaps one that resembles what you see in the pic, which was the last item sold in my Etsy Shop, which happens to be empty at the moment.  No reason to click the link right now...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lovely morning

As are so many this time of year in this little corner of Minnesota.

Just spent a half hour browsing the member photos at a Paleo community of Facebook I joined. They love the high fat food, and being like minded, I quit before salivating all over the keyboard.  Admittedly it is difficult at times to dream up full meals without the use of starchy components like rice to set proteins and vegetables upon. Going there will help with the ideas, presumably.  For instance, on the counter upstairs is a frozen beef brisket, grass fed and local of course, but aside from a couple recipes found on Mark Sissons page, it was going to be a crap shoot.  Now I am just waiting for the full defrost so I can whip out the slow cooker and fill this house with the smell of love.

In studio news, the project of the day was another pendant piece.  I used a blank I had glued up out of leftover flooring I found on the second floor.  Three strips of wood, Two parts were Teak, as noted on the box I found them in, but the sandwiched part was something else. It was purple and more dense than the Teak, but I believe when I read the box containing it a while back it was something other than Purple Heart. The contrast was not visible enough to waste time gluing up more blanks that way once the oil was applied.  Amazingly strong though, after applying the finish I gave it the drop test on the concrete floor and the piece survived, though I doubt it hit on the more fragile loop on top, where the grain gives it a fracture point as seen in the pic, the break would occur in the hook on top, like peeling apart a sandwich.  The way I see it, and I have never been determined enough to accomplish this, but if I create one thing every day as a rule, small or large, It would be difficult to fail at the dream.  It is the philosophy used by the most prolific and sought after artists, including one of my favorites, Picasso.

The bald look.  The man to the right of me is my Father,
and until this was taken, at my cousins wedding
last October, I had not seen or spoken with him in
ten years.  My brother is to the left showing distraction.
 When the feelings of determination reach a certain apex, I reach for the hair clippers, and then the razor.  For me, there is nothing that gets me revved up like a clean, smooth dome.  It is like shedding a winter coat, or better yet, it is like summoning the inner warrior, a call to arms, a switch.  This look has nothing to do with the tired old conventional view of a white man with a bald head, but rather if I am not going to have hair from my forehead back on top, might as well get the sides too.

Tomorrow is Aynsleys' first show of the season, and first upon the pony she has been working the past few months.  We will be heading out early down to Lacrosse.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

 I traveled up to finally get a replacement part for my Power carving device at Woodcraft and went ahead an installed it, (this time with lubrication, sheesh), an hour or so later this Ankh was ready to be oiled up.  The material is Brazilian Rosewood, near as I can tell. It was left behind by the former tenant of my workshop.  Strong stuff. Perfect for carving the things I do, this little frail appearing object would take significant pressure to break.

I transferred the title I held of "Team Captain" for the Etsy team to another member who has more ambition, with myself remaining as a "leader" of the team.  There are currently 75 of us, but very little activity, and I wasn't sure if I should assume some of the blame for that, or not. This will provide an idea of that. I barely visited the team page, to be honest, and my shop was empty (and still is) for a long time. With some work, and gathering of pieces displayed throughout my home, I plan to have it up and running soon.  The time has come to stop being a lazy schmuck and start being a professional, self made, in debt to nobody (except Aynsley, who I will forever be), artist.

 Last night after getting home I roasted some bison, and steamed a boatload of veggies.  The bison was perfectly cooked for me, but Aynsley needed to pan fry it a bit to take the pink out... broke my heart. This animal was grass fed of course, and the meat was purchased from the farmers market from a local rancher.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Primitive Weaponry Wielding

Yesterday dinner consisted of some salted cashews and pumpkin seeds.  I found them while tracking a water Buffalo.  They were salty.

Without some food porn to put up here, I'll provide a glimpse at some other Primal interest such as methods to take down other bodies in motion to OBTAIN such food. I have never been much of a hunter, tried it a few times, was never successful, plus, back in the day I may have cried at the site of a dead beast fallen by my hand.

First, yesterday consisted of several miles of walking or jogging over the course of the day, and my afternoon jog was pocked with efforts like bounding from boulders over streams and balancing acts.  Lets be clear, it was more like five hundred feet of jogging followed by at least five hundred feet of walking for about 3 miles.  Arthritis  in my knee coupled with the fact I have never jogged in 35 years, made that the only way, but I persisted through the routine.  This type of activity would be essential for chasing down game, but once in range, one must be able to take that animal down.

I build bows.  I make them out of PVC pipe and fiberglass driveway markers.  Unfortunately for the update today, I have no good pics of the most recent version, which tested at a 65 pound draw strength when I brought it into the primitive bow shop in town.  They were respectful, and didn't laugh too hard. Perhaps I will get some footage of the shooting of that, plus the practice of these knives in the picture which were lent to me by a friend last night after a little introduction on them.

Future projects will include an "atlatl" and a spear chucker.  The atlatl is a device that enables one to throw a rock very far, very fast, and if good enough, quite accurately.  The spear chucker does what the name implies.  It offers leverage to throw a spear a great distance.  Neither of these have I ever attempted to use, and my first try will be with my home made version.

If anybody reading this has ever used any of above said devices, please feel free to share in comments the experience.

Monday, May 14, 2012

small update today

The dog and I found the head of a spring, and she proceeded to jump right in not realizing it was a hole in the ground...

Safe and sound on the bank, we finished up the hike and came home to toss together a decent breakfast. With this new routine, I do not eat until some calories have been burnt. My body burns fat from fasting all night, and is rewarded afterwards.  Today the reward was eggs, bacon, leftover liver, some onions and peppers, and a good deal of my home made kimchi.  I topped the meal with several splashes of my home made hot pepper sauce.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yesterday was extreeeeeeeme!

Never mind the reference to a certain movie, it truly was on the level of extreme for these reasons:

In the morning, on an empty stomach I rode up to Pine Island and back, 35 miles almost exactly from my house.  Normally this would be a casual ride, though I have not attempted it this year yet.  It was more of a task yesterday on account of not having any carbs to help me along.  Also, and I believe it is because I lowered my seat to take pressure off of my carpal tunnel suffering hands, my ass was hurting. It should be a simple ride, and the fact it seemed arduous makes me believe it was effectively crushing fat.

I'm going to EAT this?

Later in the day, I joined Aynsley and our dog Aegis on a walk up to my studio and back.  Just a few more miles, but then we came back and I began another extreme activity, cooking liver.  I knew it could be screwed up pretty easy, so I was very careful to pull it out of the pan with just a hint of pink in the middle.  For me, it was lovely, Aynsley made the excuse she was not hungry and simply nibbled an end of one of the pieces.  The kale I accompanied it with was steamed and mixed with bacon and bacon fat, and it was highly gobblable.

And the final extreme of yesterday was my lack of control... After having burned almost 5000 calories with general body functions plus the extra excersize, and consuming only around 1300 calories of food, silly me had the idea I deserved a half pint of whiskey, and had Aynsley pick one up while out running an errand.
Liver, onions, and steamed kale with bacon.  

Bad idea.  It added five hundred empty calories which have zero nutrition.  I barely felt the effects, had nobody around enjoying similar effects, and went to bed  shortly after the last sip, making the entire episode a waste of time.  And that wasn't the worst of it either, because come 3 a.m. my body was using those empty alcohol calories for fuel and I was wired and nervous, as well as flooded with feelings of guilt.

In a few we are going to head over to Aynsleys' parents house for Mothers' Day activities, and part of that is a meal.  I am not looking forward to refusing food and possibly insulting these folks, but I am also not going to destroy the routine in favor of avoiding a debate over nutrition.

Poor thing was shaking from fear when I approached,
but eventually calmed down and I sat with it
for a few minutes.
Later this afternoon I will hopefully have my buddy Marcus out at my studio with his throwing knives and I will attempt to learn how to throw accurately whilst putting as few holes in my wall as possible, hopefully hitting the target instead more times than not.  I will grab some action photos if I think of it. For now, here is a baby bat I found on a walk the other day under a bridge where the trail passes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The first week of this new routine went quite well.  The energy levels were likened to the juice fasts of days past.  That is to say, very high. In public, there was a confidence and strength in my gait, and I looked everybody in their eyes in passing.  Heading out for some excersize was effortless.  But we have sunk deeper into the effort.

The ketone strips indicate I have gone from a moderate to low level of ketosis, to a position higher on the scale located on the bottle of strips, indicating a much higher level of ketones being passed, as the scale increases almost doubling with each level up.  With this increase, there has been some drowsiness and lethargy, as expected, though still no real symptoms of the supposed "carb flu" that many speak of.

If I were to recommend a method of getting into this, it would be the way I did.  Eat some carbs from vegetables and a few pieces of fruit, so as to not be shocked by a sudden lack of what the body has been trained to burn for fuel for the entire life.  This lethargy however, is not cool.

A sculpture carved using Bubinga, Mahogany, and Lyptus.
I entered it into a woodworking show and it was on display
for a while in a public venue.

Last night dinner was a steak and sauteed vegetables.  Real simple and not very photogenic.  Tonight, I will attempt to make beef liver attractive enough to put here, I have all day to figure something out.  If you are on this road with me, or anywhere along it, or even standing at the crossroads and trying to make a decision, bear in mind there will be ups and downs.  The strength of your soul will determine your level of success or failure.

Today the goal is to force the issue.  Despite being lethargic and weak, it is imperative that I get out and burn some calories.  I am convinced my body has converted to burning mostly stored fat, and so the correct thing to do is step it up, and drop some pounds.

Pendant carved from a solid piece of Satinwood.
  This is about overall health, mental, physical, spiritual, and all the other 'als. It is Saturday night, of all nights one might feel obligated to have some liquor, this is it.  To ignore that feeling of it being apropos, is to be strong enough to avoid it. I suppose I will wait to see if we do anything which might merit such a deviation from the goal. Cheers to any readers on this path, may your day provide success and positive vibes.


Friday, May 11, 2012

fire it up

Yesterdays' fast went well, though I am no stranger to fasting What was unique about it was of course, the lack of carbs. I was energetic all day, and barely thought about food until it was too late in the evening to do anything about it. Morning came, and for another few hours still, I was not dying to eat.  Then came the most satisfying bacon laden omelette I've had in years.  On the side of that, a healthy serving of my home made kimchi, which began fermenting early yesterday, taunting me in my fasted state.

It was my first attempt at kimchi, and cut a corner or two, in that without knowledge of the Korean language I simply chose a packet at the Asian store that read "kimchi mix".  To that I added daikon, carrots, the cabbage, and an amount equal to the spice packets of some mash from my last batch of hot sauce.  the strained stuff mainly habaneros  and cooked down vegetables.

The title to this post may refer to the kimchi, which indeed was hot as hell, but it also refers to the alternate day fast being over, a full belly, and a beautiful day to get out and run around in my Vibram five fingers all over the woods.  Yesterday I went back and got a size larger due to some bizarre shaped toes I wield.

Afterward, it may be time to get into the studio and cut out some pendant blanks from some Brazilian Rosewood and teak that the last tenant mysteriously left behind.  There is also a painting that is arduous and boring to do, which I believe the end result, long overdue should be dramatic at least.  Without any examples yet in the early stages of this blog of my work, I will go ahead and wrap this up for now, and with tomorrows update, there should be a few pieces for viewing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today is a week

And today is a weak as well.  Meaning last Thursday was day one of this program, a week ago, and due to the excersion of the past couple days, today will be a weak day in terms of excersize, giving my legs a rest. Arms feel fine, and so does core, so while I may do something with them today, lightly, there where be no big walks or rides, hikes or runs. Later this evening, I will be out filming Aynsley work a pony for the upcoming show season she will be participating in.  We may sneak in a little light morel searching too in the woodlot behind her parents house.

Yesterday was active, with a three mile bluff hike in the morning, and a fourteen mile bike ride in the afternoon. Here I am on top of Chimney Rock out at Whitewater SP, and a photo of the morel my friend and I almost tripped over walking back to the car.

There has also been a caloric deficit of about 50% in my diet for a week now. The first few days, the bloating from alcohol and grain melted off and brought me down about five pounds.  The past few days however, there has been an increase in weight, surprisingly. The test strips say I am producing a fair amount of ketones in place of carbs, so thereby burning fat for fuel, for I am only consuming 50-100 grams of carbs a day.  This is not nearly enough for the effort being put forth in added energy use, so clearly my system converted at least partially to fat as a fuel.

Bacon has inundated many meals the past week... My analysis is that the extra fat I am consuming may be supplying my energy needs with hopefully not much left over, if any, causing my body to begin working on that which has engulfed my organs and subcutaneously spread itself underneath my skin as well. There is a chance that the protein I am consuming is synthesizing into muscle tissue at the same time as the fat is burning, which is why they recommend measuring arms, legs, and other areas as well as the waist in the beginning. Now I am a man of many tape measures... but I do not think I own a flaccid type measuring tape.  Perhaps Aynsley has one.  With the added Testosterone levels ad decreased Cortisol, as well as the all but dismissal of Alcohol, my libido is rising, which means there may be one other measurement I should be keeping track of.

Considering I have made it to ketosis now, and am switched over to fat, I am going to perform an un-directed change up today and fast.  An "alternate day" fast, as its called, where it started last night, and will end tomorrow morning with a big bacon omelette.  IF sever hunger develops, I'll eat. Simple as that.  Right now there is no urge to eat, and the end result might be a pound lost of pure body mass.

Which leads me to last nights meal...  There was a recipe for "Jalapeno Dijon" grilled chicken I browsed, but Aynsley is not too fond of the really spicy, despite me being a hot sauce maker by the gallon.  Indeed, her palette is quite sensitive to strong or unusual foods; she refused the pickled herring I brought home yesterday on account of the texture.  So at the market I grabbed Poblanos, and made a marinade with those and fresh ginger, as well as some perfectly primal Dijon mustard, and a variety of spices and vinegar.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the last 48 hours

This began last Thursday, it seems a little longer than that, like this is how I have always been, just enclosed in a shroud of influence; influence from advertisers, big Agra, big Pharma, and other Government lobbyist.  So far the test strips have been showing my ketones level at the center of the scale, which from what I hear is a comfortable place to be, and is why there has been no flu-like symptoms to report for myself or my partner Aynsley, who is also working on this new lifestyle with me.

To the right is dinner from two nights ago.  It is a buffalo roast, that I butterflied into a frickin sheet, then spread goat cheese on the sheet and laid out some fresh chives from the backyard.  After rolling it up tight, I webbed some bacon and draped it over, tucking it in underneath.

Some steamed dinosaur kale married with sauteed veggies made a decent side and kept the carbs low, we enjoyed the meal out on the patio.

Yesterday saw advancement as well, as we both picked up a pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes.  These or something like them are recommended (pitched) by Mark Sisson as Primal because it is like running barefoot.  Although for me they were a little tight at the end of a day of playing in them, I think they will stretch, and if not, they have a no questions exchange policy at the store in town.

The dog and I decided to try them out at the park up the street from the house, and I would have to agree, it was a stimulating experience.  While bounding throughout Quarry Hill I thought of what it was like, and arrived at the conclusion it was similar to dreaming of being able to run barefoot through a forest over rocks and roots without much concern; with only a dull sensation of what you imagine it ought to feel like under your foot.
After arriving home from that I began dinner. We had picked up some thick cut pork chops from the Butcher shop earlier in the day, and I wanted to simulate the Shake and Bake my Mom used to make when I was a child.  With that particular product not an option, I searched for an alternative. One example I found was an almond meal crust with parm cheese and herbs de province.  I had some leftover goat cheese and plenty of raw almonds, so brought out the Cuisinart.

After adding two full eggs and letting her buck for a bit, the result was a perfectly spreadable and 100% primal crust for the chops.  I mean it went on like a dream.  The lower side fell off and slipped through the baking rack, but the top and sides received this wonderful browned and crumbly crust. At the commercial kitchen supply store in town we picked up some school lunch trays, to make things less messy because we just don't like tables, so I filled the remaining compartments with roasted Brussels sprouts and onions with bacon, half a tomato, and some cucumber slices in olive oil and dill.

After Dinner Aynsley and I went out for a walk with the dog, and did a little gymnastics at the park.  Earlier in the day I returned some videos by bike, and did some excersize band work. It was an active day, with very few carbs, and I expected to see results on the scale. Not much changed, so I suppose some muscle may have been built and some fat burned.

Speaking of that, in a short while I will be picked up to go hike at Whitewater State Park on a fasted stomach.  Yeah!  And that was a sincere Yeah! because it will burn all fat. There are no carbs to burn,  so let's go!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Today is day four of my work on "The Primal Blueprint", developed by Mark Sisson.  So far, due to a 50 percent calorie deficit, and only between 50-100 grams of carbs a day, I dropped below 200 pounds for the first time in at least a year, or since I was in Florida and peddling or working off more than I ate or drank.

Before that, I had lost 25 pounds the previous summer on account of lengthy bike rides often, and cutting out alcohol altogether. That attempt had others concerned for me due to how fast it came off, they thought I was sick.

The properties of the primal method are simple enough, but extremely complicated when one gets into the details, but to summarize, it is about eating and behaving like our ancestors did before they were growing grain and processing foods, and although I have a ways to go before the heavy lifting, sprinting, and body weight excersize are concerned, just the diet part has shown a small decrease in fat, and I do not think I am in full ketosis yet.

  I have not tested for ketones in my system yet, but I believe it may be a little early yet.  Ketones are what is produced as energy in the absence of carbs or glucose, which is the faster burning sugars in grains we consume.

But this is not a science blog, but rather a journey documentation, and as such I will keep most of the science out until I am certain I am not bullshitting.

Basically have the same amount of energy as before starting, which was very little, unless I had drank a beer or eaten something to spike my insulin enough to spaz out.  My brain seems only slightly foggy in public.

On the other hand, my brain is also clarified some on other topics of life, mainly those that relate more directly to me.  The joy of believing I am doing something right for myself for once is helping to get past the occasional, though brief craving for something starchy.

The main thing holding back my fitness routine is the nerve damage in my wrist I
gained during a brief period on a landscaping crew three weeks ago.  I would really like to begin with body weight workouts but do not want more damage to occur, so the first step will be acupuncture treatments, which, if successful, will be praised highly on here, and if not, surely damned to the depths of hell.

As for running and playing, prescribed in the program, that I am easing into as well, for I have no health insurance, and do not want to hurt myself, which would kill this program instantly, as is what happened last December, when an unfortunate call took me off my self developed routine I was doing well on, despite its intricate documentation demands. Something will likely get in the way of this, but it is a lifestyle change, and must be considered as such, not a program that can be hopped on and off of.

I will  not be doing much promotion of this program until real results are determined, but along the way, positive signs will absolutely be mentioned, such as dropping below 200. As a man, weight loss is not the goal, but I want to fit into some clothes I miss, and also look better, with a narrow waist, and broad shoulders, ad all the rest.  What comes with this program supposedly, is much more than appearance, and we are willing to spread the word if it shows to be appropriate.

Right now, I am going to give the wrist a break, do some shopping, come home, break the fast from last night, then get out for some moderate excersize and play, and then go document the flooding that likely occurred during last nights storms in my art studio.  I will attempt to update this every day and thereby have a decent documentation of what to expect for anybody else I know who is simply sick and tired of being prey, grazing around until somebody sinks their teeth into them and ready to hunt for their livelihood, instead of awaiting it, which probably will not happen, and if so, would be much less rewarding.