Saturday, November 28, 2009

Don't read unless you want to be depressed

The end of The Worst Decade?

A picture's worth a thousand words


Or sometimes just one - YUM.

(Clockwise from top - brown sugar-glazed sweet potatoes, cranberry-orange relish (small dish), turkey with giblet gravy, sausage stuffing, garlic chive mashed potatoes, green beans and almonds, crescent roll and Sister Schubert yeast roll (small plate).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving dinner

Totally yum. I realized today that I hadn't been here for Thanksgiving dinner since 2006 - so I was very excited for the BEST dinner ever. We had turkey, stuffing and giblet gravy, candied sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, corn, homemade cranberry sauce, and two kinds of rolls. In addition to the cranberry sauce, I made a chocolate ganache-drizzled pumpkin pie, a blueberry ginger pear pie, and a cranberry orange olive oil cake. And a little homemade whipped cream. Yum.

We're heading back to Maryland tomorrow night. Until then, food coma!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hanumanasana

I've dreamed twice in the past couple weeks about being able to do the yoga pose hanumanasana, aka "the monkey" - which is basically just a full split. A premonition? Ha :-) Someday perhaps, but not anytime soon!

Making another batch of yogurt - I'm using 1% milk, since that's what was in the fridge. I added a full cup of powdered milk too. It's currently in the three-hour cool down. (I thought I had posted the link before, but I didn't see it anywhere).

I swam before work this morning. I was thinking about biking after work, but I was just too lazy. I still need to go to the grocery store...and finish the laundry...

I kind of like this shirt - evolution of the lolcat.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I missed it!

I realized today that my 5-year "blogiversary" was this past Saturday (the 20th). I started this blog in 2004...wow.

I told M, and he said "Awww. Happy Blogiversary! Also, I hate the word blogiversary."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's your vice?

Internet vices explained.

Also, Slow-motion lightning. Very cool.

----------

Blacksburg was a fun weekend. There were us, another couple, and Matt McHugh's parents staying at their house and going to the game. We played Trivial Pursuit and Facts in Five (Team Silverthorn came in second in both games). I made another batch of yogurt and it turned out well (whew!). We walked around campus on Saturday before the game - tried to go to West End, but apparently everything was closed for Thanksgiving break. We ended up at a yummy calzone place instead.

The game was fun! We were way up in the nosebleed section of the south end, but it was good. Cold though, by the end. This is from earlier on in the afternoon:

Went to church and lunch on Sunday, and then drove back. We'll have to start going to games together more often than every 8 years!

Friday, November 20, 2009

20K

Wow, I just noticed at the bottom that I'm getting very close to my 20,000th visitor. I tried to do a search for when I had gotten the 10,000th visitor (who I think technically was Matt anyways) but the search function on blogger is pretty crappy and nothing immediately came up. I'll try to find it eventually.

Blacksburg tonight!

Update: Haha, it turns out I never blogged about the 10,000th visitor. I blogged about the 1000th visitor back in 2006. Oh well :-)

(I always feel like the "new" Unsolved Mysteries whenever I type an update...)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ticket update

I sent two e-mails to expedia.com customer service, trying to get the passenger name issue resolved - or at least an assurance that it wouldn't cause any problems. If the TSA had an ounce of sense* they'd clearly see that part of my middle name had gotten tacked on to the end of my first name. But with my luck, I'd get some drooling lugnut without a high school education who says "The name on your drivers license doesn't match the name on your boarding pass."

Expedia finally said I'd have to contact AirTran to confirm that it was showing correctly in the airline computers. I figured I had the luxury of time and didn't need to pick up the phone that day. So I popped an e-mail to AirTran customer service. Within 6 hours, I had gotten a response saying that they had corrected it in their computers. No questions asked. I also appreciated that they addressed me as "Ms. Silverthorn" instead of "customer." Thanks Suzie B.!

I'm out of yogurt! I did bring some into work to share; otherwise I think I would have made it to the weekend. My office was interested in a taste test after I demonstrated that it had caused me no ill effects. Luckily for me, Sarah is interested in the recipe and we're going to make a batch when I get to Blacksburg tomorrow night.

Giant sells Pirate's Booty now! I may or may not have just eaten an entire bag.

Only Oprah would announce that she's ending her show TWO YEARS before she's actually ending it.

*I heard a bit on WTOP this morning talking about people wanting to fly home with Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. They said that the TSA considers cranberry sauce, gravy, and mashed potatoes (??) to be "liquids" and therefore they have to go into checked baggage. A few sentences later, they said "cakes and pies are okay to take through security screening."

(blink blink blink)

So......cranberry sauce is an evil terrorist liquid, but if I put it between two pie crusts it somehow magically becomes safe?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ouch

Another neck muscle spasm? WTH life?

It's on the other side from last time. Because I'm all symmetrical like that.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I hate flying

It's not the flying-in-the-air part. I'm fine once I actually sit down on the plane. It's the ticket purchasing, getting to the airport, getting a boarding pass, security, etc that I hate. I haven't flown since Summer 2007 and that was a disaster (in two acts even, thanks for nothing, United.)

So, I bought a ticket for Christmas today. Matt's planning on driving down the Sunday before Christmas; I'm planning on flying down Tuesday night. We had talked about it a few days ago and I had looked at flights out of Dulles - $99 nonstop one way. I didn't get it til today though, because M had to make sure he would be able to take a work laptop with him for the first part of the week.

I look at Expedia today, and a non-stop one way flight from Dulles to Charlotte is now over $300!! The cheapest flight listed is $160 and I have to stopover in Atlanta. What the heck?? I'm sure I had been looking at Dulles last week, because I typed in the airport codes instead of the cities.

I looked at BWI, and it's a little better - $117. After making sure someone would be able to take me to the airport (thanks Laura!) I purchase the ticket. Under Passenger Name it says "please make sure the name exactly matches what is shown on the passenger's travel documents" so I put in Courtney Faith Silverthorn (there are separate boxes for first, middle, and last name, btw - this will be important in a second) since that's what's on my drivers license.

I go through a couple more screens, enter the payment info, confirm that everything looks correct, and hit "purchase." I get to the itinerary confirmation screen, and it says "Thank you for your purchase! Passenger Name: COURTNEYFAIT SILVERTHORN"

So somehow, even though I entered my middle name in a separate box, their software managed to tack several letters of it onto the end of my first name. This is clearly *not* going to match the first name on my drivers license now. Nervously looking at the Changes & Cancellations list that includes "Tickets are nontransferable and name changes are not allowed," I send an e-mail to Expedia customer service asking if this was going to cause a problem. They sent me back a form e-mail that didn't answer the question. And in trying to reply to that email, which they said to do if your issue was not resolved, the e-mail address only comes up as "travel@customercare" - I tacked on .expedia.com to the end and hoped that my RE-explanation of the issue would get through to somebody in India or wherever.

I hate flying.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Better living through microbiology

It yogued!!

I haven't tasted it yet...it's currently in the fridge chilling. I'll probably try it this afternoon. But it was totally the consistency and smell of yogurt. That is pretty cool :-)

PM Update - was totally delicious! I ate a bowlful with a couple handfuls of blueberries, some of the homemade granola, and a tiny drizzle of honey...yum. I think it needs some vanilla though. Next time I think I'll try it with lower fat milk, and double the amount of milk powder. And maybe let it "cook" for a couple more hours to get a bit more tanginess to it. I decided to let it strain over a tea towel for a while also, to thicken up a bit.

GASP...the Redskins won???

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More yum

Had a couple of tablespoons of the granola sprinkled over half a chopped apple (honey crisp, yum!) and a little bit of milk for lunch. Quite tasty. But it would have been better with yogurt! My crockpot is wrapped up in a thick blanket and hopefully incubating some yummy bacteria. Better living through microbiology? We shall see in the morning...

The play was great, the chicken soup turned out good, and Kristen's oreo cheesecake was delicious. She let me keep two slices for later in the week.

I have GOT to get to bed now!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Surprised

How in the world is there 14g of fat in a package of ramen noodles? All it is is wheat noodles and enough salt to kill a small mammal.

----------

Also, made the granola. Verdict = tasty. Maple, cinnamon, vanilla, nutty, crunchy, sweet. But definitely a "small dose" kind of thing. I ate a tiny bowl (about a third of a cup) with some milk, while it was still warm. Yum. It didn't stay as crunchy in milk as store-bought cereal, but I guess that's probably because it's not shellacked with high-fructose corn syrup and preservatives. I could totally see it as being a great addition to yogurt. More on that later this weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Da numberz

I *finally* got my lab results back - the cholesterol wasn't as bad as I had feared. Total cholesterol was 233; LDL was 150. I remember them being 239 and 169, respectively, two years ago. And this was all done pre-oatmeal too!

My vitamin D level was way low...normal is 32-100 (arbitrary units) and mine was 22.3. Yay vitamin supplements.

Finally

So that condo in the building next to us DID finally sell - at nearly $20K below the estimated value. I'm just glad it's finally done, locked in the price and can do whatever it's going to do to hit our condo's value so we can move past it now instead of later so that we have more time to eventually recover from it.

That was a long and confusing sentence...I hope people got it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day off and other stuff

Yay government holiday! I got to sleep in until about 9:15 today, although I did have a brief moment of waking up at my usual time and thinking I was going to hit the snooze button. I went to the eye doctor, and he confirmed my google diagnosis - it's essentially a "callus" on the white of your eye. He gave me a prescription for steroid eye drops to help with the inflammation, and said that flax seed oil capsules help improve the quality of your natural tears (dry eye = irritation = more redness).

I also got new prescriptions for my contacts (had to go up in strength this time) and an updated eyeglasses prescription. While I was getting that processed, the technician said "If we have the lenses in stock we can put them in your frames in an hour." I replied "I have never been to an eyeglasses place that had my lenses in stock." He said "Well, we do carry a lot of hi-index lenses...I'll check in the back." Turns out they had one lens, but not the other - which doesn't get me glasses any faster. They ordered the other lens and it should be here around Monday.

We grabbed some lunch at Chick-fil-a when I got home. I got the grilled chicken sandwich instead of nuggets, but nothing can keep me from my waffle fries! I also had a side of fruit though. Afterward, we took the cats to the vet for their checkups. Roxie has lost over a pound and is now no longer obese, hooray!

The past few days have been fairly good - did the usual Saturday morning run-around of core + yoga and volunteering, and then we went to Sterling to have dinner with Carly and Eric at Sweetwater and hang out. Did a little shopping, played some trivial pursuit. Sunday we went to a cornfield maze with some of Matt's family (which was actually pretty fun) and then had dinner with them.

I swam yesterday, and finally got to 200m sets! I ended up doing 3 pool lengths freestroke, 1 breaststroke, 2 FS, 1 BS, 1 FS for 200m total x2. With about a 90-second rest in between, that put me at nearly 14 minutes exactly for the 400m. I did my usual extra 400m mix of free, backstroke, and kickboard as well at the end.

I have some coupons etc for CVS and I've been trying to decide which Almay eye makeup set I want to get - the Bright Eyes line or the Play Up the Blues line. (I already have the Bring Out the Blues.) I really like the look of the intense i-color set but I feel like I would get more use out of a more natural look. Choices, choices.

I got ingredients to make yogurt (those being whole milk, and plain yogurt...) I'm excited about this little experiment. And since you can't have yogurt without granola, I also got the ingredients to make Alton Brown's granola recipe. With a few changes - no raisins, and pecans instead of the almond/cashew blend. And adding a little vanilla and cinnamon, because, yum. I think that ought to get it pretty close to the maple pecan granola that Panera Bread uses in their yummy (but expensive) yogurt parfaits.

Looking forward to Saturday - my usual core + yoga and volunteering, and then making my semi-homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner. Kristen's bringing cheesecake, yum. And then the play! I also need to go to K-Mart at some point on Saturday to get stuff for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes...those have to be in by Sunday. Ack, Christmas is only 44 days away and I've done NOTHING. Time to get a cookie list together...I have a whole new office to impress with my baking madness!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Evening update 3

Okay, I'm calling it:


Over 128K runners - which puts me well in the top 15%.

NOW I'm going to bed.

Evening update 2

Oh yeah - our house down-payment account is now open!! I told M a few days ago "The stock symbol has WIN in it - how can we go wrong??" 4.2% of the way to the goal :-)

Evening update

FLDI course (day 1) was great - and I ran into a guy that was in my class year at Hopkins to boot! I had to spend about 45 minutes answering e-mails when I got home though, because I forgot to put my out-of-office message up before I left work yesterday, and I didn't think about it until I was on the metro this morning. And of course there's no free wi-fi at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel. I did get there at like 7:50am though (and the class itself didn't start until 8:30am; the first 30 minutes were continental breakfast) so I'm definitely sleeping an extra 15 minutes tomorrow and waking up at 6am.

I didn't go to the CakeWrecks event...one issue was timing. I would have gotten into Bethesda at 5:45pm, and it didn't start til 7pm. The other issue was that I had eaten dessert (a delicious chocolate mousse) at lunch and didn't want to be tempted by more sweets (the event had free cake).

I just conducted a banking transaction by chat. We finally have a full 6-month CD ladder at Ally Bank, and our first CD is going to mature in a couple days. I wanted to roll it over and add more money to it, but I couldn't find the CD account number in the "transfer money to account" list. I clicked on the website's "Contact us" button, and one of the options was "Chat with a customer service representative." So I decided to try it, and 'Joshua' set up the transfer for me in about three minutes. Great experience! I'd highly recommend them - they have great rates too.

Getting Chinese food in a bit (M's on his way home now).

Going to see "Arsenic and Old Lace" with Adam and Kristen next Saturday :-D

I guess I need to restart my computer so that the little box will stop popping up at me.

Not early enough

I had thought about going to bed at 10 last night, but we started watching the special on PBS of Bill Cosby getting the Mark Twain Award. It was really good, but I had been led to believe there was more Bill Cosby in it. I ended up going to bed at 11:10. And I've been up for nearly half an hour now.

I'll definitely have to go to bed before 11 tonight.

Still undecided about the CakeWrecks event in Bethesda tonight. I RSVP'd for it, but we'll see.

Off to get dressed and head out to DC!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

So tie-tie

I didn't quite realize it at the time, but I had to compress a week's worth of workouts into four consecutive days because of my crazy calendar. So, I went to core/yoga on Saturday, ran on Sunday, swam 400m Monday morning before work (125m total breaststroke and two rests), and biked after work today (17 miles in 55:50 plus a 1K run in 6:57). I'm really feeling physically fatigued now!

And now I get to get up early for the next three days. I have my last Bioethics class tomorrow morning in Bethesda at 8:30am - which requires getting up at 6:30am. And then I have the two-day FDA class in DC Thursday and Friday...and I'll have to LEAVE the house at 6:45am to catch the metro (thus requiring me to get up at 5:45am).

I'm going to need to go to bed early the next couple days. Soooo...gonna go take a shower and get to bed!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Low fat

According to dietary guidelines for my age and weight, I should be eating about 35 grams of fat a day (and only about 10 grams of saturated fat). Maybe I'll just try keeping track of that instead of calories and see how I do. I'm supposed to have my cholesterol rechecked in three months. I was also told that I should be exercising 40 minutes a day, but over the course of a week I already do that:
  • S = 40 minute run + 15 minute lifting
  • T = 60 minute bike + 10 minute run
  • R = 30 minute swim
  • F = 60 minute yoga
  • S = 90 minute core + yoga
I guess I could add another swim maybe. If I get a permanent position in Frederick, I'll probably also get a membership to the yoga studio because then I can go as much as I want.

What is the difference between the "fat burn" and "cardio" heart rate ranges on the exercise machines at the gym? If I'm in the cardio range (which I always am) does that mean I'm not burning much fat? That doesn't seem logical to me.

I had a headache for most of the day yesterday (started around 1pm). I went to core and yoga in the AM (and did NOT hurt my neck this time) and then to volunteering. Matt took care of my car while I was gone. I had to go over to church to set up for communion service, and by the time I got back I had to lie down for a couple hours. It didn't really go away until sometime during the night while I was asleep. Thank goodness for the extra hour of sleep, which was much enjoyed.

Core was good - but my abs don't hurt. My back was a little stiff this morning though.

Going to run at the gym, and then I need to go grocery shopping and do some cleaning and finish bible study for the week and make dinner.

UPDATE: Got to goal maintenance distance (3.75 miles) in 38:10!