I should be asleep.

I should be asleep, but it’s Monday and the Food Network is taunting me with, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” I’m a big fan of greasy diner food and am haunted by cheeseburgers. And fried chicken. Basically, anything that’s bad for me and is at odds with all the work I do at the gym. I know Mark the Yoot is able to practice culinary self-denial, but I just know that anything with flavor is bad for me and I like to eat bad things. Really, that’s about the worst thing I do. Fortunately, the best bad food appears to be in the South, and I don’t get down there all that often.

I should also be in bed because I’m as tired as everyone else I saw at the gym. It was hot, humid, and still last night and a lot of people didn’t get much sleep. Plus, that hike yesterday took a lot out of a lot of most of us. At least I’m still standing. Here’s another stolen picture of me from the hike where I’m holding my magic Skittles.

See the Skittles?

Dog (Tick) Mountain.

I went on a hike with people from the gym today to Dog Mountain on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. It was rough. For one thing, it’s a bazillion degrees today (less than yesterday, but 90°F+ is still hot for me) and the trail is straight up. It was only 3.1 miles but 2800 feet of climb, or so the intarweb says. It took us two hours to get up the hill and it was STRAIGHT UP. No switchbacks, just straight up. Very much like the other fire trail I’ve been up before. We went up the “harder” trail because the guide book said it was more scenic. When we came back the “easier” trail, it seemed way more scenic and also had flat spots instead of being a straight up slog.

The way back down was a lot more pleasant, though once I got close to the edge of the trail and I met a rattlesnake who was making noises at me, but the noises didn’t bother me. A couple of venomous fangs in my leg would have bothered me. Oh, and my sister also told me the other nickname for Dog Mountain is Tick Mountain and that I should make sure I don’t have any hitchhikers.

In any case, my brain was once again fried and all I can do is tell you to watch this.

Time to move to Antarctica.

I’m an Oregonian, so 65°F and overcast is fine weather. Today it officially hit 99°F so that usually means it was a couple of degrees warmer in the city. It’s only in the 60’s in San Francisco and I’m fantasizing that I’m there. I went to the gym in the morning and by the end of the day I as feeling a little sick. I don’t tolerate the heat too well.

I’m going to get up early tomorrow for a hike. Unfortunately for me, it’s a bazillion degrees in my bedroom and it’s so close to the 4th of July that kids are setting off fireworks in the field across the street. Hooray.

Another winner Friday.

I left work early after being in meetings from 8AM until 3PM. On the way out, I heard a guy talking about chemotherapy and I thought, “That’s a club I don’t want anyone else to join.” Tonight my friend told me that her boss was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer today. I’m not sure what I can do but hope for the best. I suppose that’s an advantage of being religious, always having something you can do.

Other than that, nothing spectacular is happening in my life. Work continues to humiliate me, I’m still going to the gym and posting weak times, and the most exciting thing I did this afternoon is take a nap. That’s what I need. More sleep.

A horrible use of a web cam.

I’m trying to improve my performance at the gym. In the past my kettlebell swings were kind of awful so I had to work on those. Now my squats are a weak point and I have to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’m thinking of setting up a web cam so I can watch myself. When I was down at San Francisco Crossfit doing back squats, I could see what the other people were doing but I couldn’t really tell what I was doing just by feel. I have gizmos and I may as well use them.

I got a call from our friend the contractor and his plumber is all set to start work in a couple of weeks. The biggest problem is that we have to move all our crap out of his way. The plumbing shouldn’t be so bad, but the next step is probably the electrical system and that’s going to be a mess. We’re going to have to empty out most of the first floor somehow. I suppose there’s no sense in worrying about it until an electrician comes in and looks at things.

In the mean time I can worry about other things like why I keep crashing my computers (it’s because I’m screwing with them) and why I was so crabby at work this morning. I think I was tired and my blood sugar was low. Probably more on the tired than the blood sugar, but at least it gave me an excuse to eat an English muffin with peanut butter.


Under Doodiehead’s law, section 27A of the Crossfit Act of 1933, as amended, and section 21E of the Exercise Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, this blog must comply to standards of communication that limit risk factors. The Private Useless Blog Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for certain forward-looking statements. This blog must now include a form of a disclaimer that states that any instance of a forward-looking statement found in this material is only true at the time it was written, and further claim that I am under no obligation to update such written statements if conditions change or that unexpected occurrences happen to affect the statement afterwords. Such forward-looking statements, however, must be identifiable by the use of certain prescribed words.

Sentences and phrases are forward-looking statements when they include any tense from present to future or similar inflection. Words, such as “believe,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “predict,” “may,” “hope,” “can,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “is designed to,” “with the intent,” “potential,” “Eggamuffin,” “bacon,” “boobies,” the negative of these words or such other variations thereon or comparable terminology, may indicate forward-looking statements, but their absence does not mean that a statement is not forward looking.

Basically, the Head Honcho told me I scared off some of his customers by pre-annoucing that we were doing the “Fight Gone Bad” workout, something he’s been telling us all week long. I am now prohibited from making such forward-looking statements. From a totally selfish point of view, I think I did myself a service if I did scare some people off. The gym was packed again.

I’m afraid I did a bit poorly tonight and I’m acting to improve my performance by practicing my squats. Really, that’s the only thing that’s going to help. Kneecapping everyone else to make myself look better without improving my own score is out of the question: there are too many others and they’re all younger and quicker than me and there’s no way I’d catch them if I was carrying a tire iron or whatever it is that Tonya Harding’s crew used in her infamous attack on Nancy Kerrigan.

I bet I’d do better if I just got some more sleep, but that isn’t about to happen soon. That would require common sense.

Tomorrow is another thing at the place.

I’ve been falling asleep all day, even at work where I was running around trying to answer customer questions all day. But here I am up late again and I don’t even think I have a good reason for it. Perhaps I can blame it on the stress of work but mostly it’s poor time management. Plus, I can’t seem to get to sleep very soon after working out.

Tomorrow is another “benchmark workout” at the gym. In fact, it’s called “Fight gone bad.” Just thinking about it makes me want to hide in bed all day, so I better just quit the typing and hit the hay. That would actually make way more sense than anything I usually do.

No sense.

It must be obvious that I have very little common sense when it comes to certain things. Like repeatedly sniffing the wristband of my old Timex watch because it smelled funny. It’s not like it’s going to smell any better if I keep up that sort of odd behavior. I’m also weird about cherries. I’m a little allergic but I really like them so I used to eat them until my lips went numb. I’m probably getting a little smarter because I was given some today by Cristina at the gym and only ate a half-dozen of them and it usually take more like a dozen for the numbness to set in.

However, it probably isn’t smart to watch the Food Network on Monday nights. Monday seems to be comfort food night and today was southern food. I had dinner, but now I’m starving. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d probably get in my car and drive to Popeye’s Fried Chicken. Good thing I am also too lazy to keep ice cream in the freezer.

I should probably cancel my cable TV, but then what would I do with my time? Probably read more books. I stayed up very late reading another mystery last night. I knocked off two this weekend, which just means I have to figure out how to replenish my queue. Or maybe I should just not have any books and then I might get some sleep. I seem to have a lot of work to do so that may actually make more sense. Hmmm.

Wandering aimlessly.

My mom got this pedometer in Japan that tracks your mileage as a trip around Japan. So there’s this pixellated little map and it tells you when you’re getting near major cities. Ever since she got it, she’s walking everywhere and today she decided we were going to walk to Peets Coffee and back. It’s only about two miles each way, but she was excited to make it to another town on the map that she’d never heard of. It’s on the way from Tokyo to Nagoya, though.

Sounds like my sister is going to bail on the fall trip to Japan, opting instead to run a marathon. I’ve already offered to pay her plane fare, and so has my mother. We were hoping our friend Megan would be along for the trip as well, but she’s unavailable in the fall. Maybe we’ll all go in the spring.

I mean, seriously, Japan vs. running for 26.2 miles with nothing chasing you? I suppose she has her own personal demons chasing her, or she wouldn’t be running several marathons a year.

Stuck at home.

My brother-in-law is off to England to study Chaucer and my sister is off shopping with my mom, so I’m stuck at home with my sister’s weird dog. I know the dog is cute and all, but she’s weird. Which is good because she fits in with the rest of the family. They didn’t want to leave her alone because, I guess, basenjis come with pre-existing abandonment issues. So now I’m stuck reading a book which is what I’d be doing anyway.

In any case, I’m sitting here hungry because I didn’t eat enough dinner last night. I had some nachos and a Cosmopolitan in a gay wine bar in SE Portland. My friend Sylvia’s idea and she got several old co-workers from a defunct startup together. She went off to a club for some dancing and the other co-worker who showed up and I both decided we were old men and left for home.

I can tell you that going to Crush, eating a fraction of a nacho plate, and drinking a fruity cocktail isn’t quite what you need after working out. So much for that theory. I almost fell asleep, but read half of a Lee Child book instead.

I’m going to have to do something about this reading affliction. It’s costing me time and money.

I survived Fran!

You may be saying, “Geez. Mariko’s brother is talking all random again. What the hell is this Fran thing? Wasn’t one of Mariko’s friend’s cats named Fran?” Fran is a Crossfit thing where they time you doing 21 then 15 then 9 sets of thrusters and pullups. The standard male weight for the thrusters is 95 pounds but I only did 75 pounds and, surprisingly, I wasn’t DFL. Well, surprising and not surprising. Not surprising because I was using 20 pounds less than the rest of the guys (and Mark the yoot beat me by three or four minutes!) Surprising because I’ve been away from the gym so long.

I have several limited measures of how well I’m doing at the gym. One of them is pullups. After going to this gym for four months, I could do ten pullups without thinking about it. Before or after a workout, I could do ten. I couldn’t do a whole lot more, but ten was easy. But now, after being gone four of the last five weeks, I’m struggling to do six pullups. Time to get back to it.

I was a little off my feed this week as well. I think it all started when I ate way too much last Thursday night. Megan and I went to a soul food restaurant, the Hard Knox Cafe, on Clement St. It was weird going to a soul food restaurant in a Chinese neighborhood; there were two young African-American men working out front, but everyone else working there was Asian. The food was great and Megan told me to calm down, my chicken wasn’t going anywhere. I think I was over-enthusiastically wolfing it down.

I got the macaroni and cheese (which had some garlic in it) and the red beans and rice as sides. Spectacular.

My Hard Knox Cafe chicken.

Megan had the fried chicken as well, but with greens and yams.

Megan's Hard Knox Cafe chicken.

I was so full I thought I’d burst, but I still had to ask for sweet potato pie. I really overate. When I make it back to San Francisco, I’ll probably overeat again!

Back to Team DFL

I was DFL at the gym today and tired and sneezing. It’s finally time for phase 2 of my yearly hay fever fun! I’m hoping it doesn’t get too bad, but with all the rain making everything grow.

But I can’t really blame my performance on my hay fever. I took 3 weeks off because of my back, went back for a week, and last week I only made it to San Francisco Crossfit once and never saw the inside of the hotel’s gym. So basically, I’m a big load.

Not only that, but I realized I’ve been at some sort of conference for a week and a half — five days last week at the Apple WWDC and three this week at a work conference where I gave a presentation. Being stuck in a room all day long is quite tiring.

A bunch of clowns people avoided the gym today because tomorrow is Fran and they’re resting up before that workout. I’m probably going to be DFL again, but whatever. I’m still trying to get back from my injury. Besides, I’m old, and I have insurance.