The little things in life

For a week, I experienced an epiphany of sorts. I was happier than I had ever been and I felt freer than I’d ever been. Slowly, the harsher realities of life crept in and I slunk back (some) into the shell I’d once been in. Well, I feel the funk lifting off me today. It helps that I ‘discovered’ SH, a friend of M’s blog which is as funny as I imagined it to be  because he is one of the most down-to-earth persons I have had the good fortune of meeting. His positive attitude strikes several chords in me and I’m going to co-opt one of his trademark phrases pretty soon. Yes, life sucks, but then you paste a big smile on your face and keep it moving. You remember the good things that have also happened to you and you essentially count your blessings.

The job search is going slowly, but surely. I’d gotten a couple of applications sent in so hopefully I will receive some responses soon. I’ve got an interview scheduled during this week so I’m looking forward to that. It’ll be more of a supervisory type position, but in a science department so I’m game for it. I am looking forward to the next adventure. I’m nearing (sic) the end of my job and it was a good gig while it lasted. I think know M & I will do fine and I am optimistic that I’ll get a job in my desired field. If not, I’ll make adjustments and adapt. Who knows where adapting will lead me to. M & I are planning on getting a used roof rack from SH so that the task of loading up our bikes when we need to head out will be less painful than it is right now. I still lack the proper biking attire so I’m actively saving in order to purchase, at the very least, bike shorts which will contain the blessed padding. My poor bum has toughened up from the rides, but I still need the padding because I’m getting to the point where I can withstand longer rides i.e. 1 – 2 hrs on my single speed bicycle on moderately easy trails. My nutrition needs a little tweaking, but I’ve got a great coach in M. I’ve taken to biking like a fish takes to water and my muscles are absolutely loving this sport. My quads have never looked sexier, if I may say so meself. πŸ™‚ Now, I just need a whole horde of protective gear to save me from myself and these darned pedals I current have.

My to-be-updated biking essentials list:

i) biking shoes
(ii) biking shorts
(iii) knee pads (which I may not need if when I transition to clip-less pedals.

I’m looking forward to the summer because this will be one of the first truly ‘free’ summers I’ve had without the stress of school or a job (if I don’t have one yet and interestingly, I’m not too bothered. Yet). My sis and sister-in-law are mother-to-be and mother respectively. I’ve got a family that constantly calls me to check on my wellbeing and my husband who calls just as frequently. lol. I’ll leave you with a subtly edited picture of M & little B.

An advancement in science and my home

Have you heard about the guy who got an infusion of his T cells and put his advanced melanoma into remission for 2 years? It’s funny that I’ve been getting lots of information about immunology the past 2 weeks. It coincides nicely with the aforementioned big fish. In any case, our power bill was actually lower than last month’s bill! Yes, we spent approximately $1.19 per day compared to $1.18 per day for the last bill which was ~ $35.42 for a 30-day cycle. This bill was for 29 days, but still I’m impressed. πŸ™‚ We still haven’t had to turn on the air because we keep our ceiling fan going and the windows shut during the day. At night, we open our windows and turn the air on also to keep things fresh at home. I’m happy because I know our low bills haven’t been some freak occurrence of nature.

In biking news, I think I have to make huge adjustments to the way I eat. Apparently, eating like a regular person while kicking ass on the trail = muscle/weight loss because that nutrition is not tailored to the “athlete” (I’m far from an athlete, but I am an amateur sports enthusiast). Seriously, you know something’s off when after eating like a horse during the day, you go for a ride and come back ravenous – You eat and go to bed only to wake up starving. I’ve been increasing the length and intensity of my rides and I am learning that the human body is simply resilient. I’m learning more about nutrition and how to nourish my body so that it has an appropriate response to challenges.

We went grocery shopping and got a bunch of awesomely healthy items! For the longest time, M & I haven’t had bagels so I decided to get Thomas’ 100% whole wheat bagels. At 240 calories a bagel, they definitely beat my favorite snack (99 cent Baked Lay’s chips) which is a hefty 210 calories when you consider that the bagel has more “bang” (nutritionally speaking) for the buck. Pairing that with whipped cream cheese, 2 boiled eggs and a banana, you have my delicious breakfast for this morning. What do you do when you don’t have a toaster? You use your oven so I flipped the nozzle to 300F and toasted my hearty whole grain bagel. That same temperature will nicely toast bread too. Then, M & I are going to head for the trails when he wakes up. I’ve been getting up at 5am the past 3 days (for no good reason!) so I’m really looking forward to sleeping in someday. The simple pleasures. πŸ˜€ Another of my favorite breakfast combos before going into work is oatmeal mixed with a serving of Soy Powder and a fruit. On days I’m pressed, I only have time for the oatmeal and the soy powder combo. The fruit is a to-go item usually. Among our purchases was balsamic vinegar and some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) which we will use to roll our homemade salad vinaigrette dressing. I’ve got the spices and I’ve got the dressing maker courtesy of Mrs. J so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. M’s always less than thrilled with my salad dressing choices so this should cool his tongue for the moment. lol. Love you still, M. πŸ™‚

Here’s our haul: Continue reading An advancement in science and my home

Software rant

I love Firefox so when version 3.0 was released, I upgraded instantement. As anyone will tell you, newly released software will contain bugs and Firefox 3.0 is not different. In fact, 5 hrs after its release, a zero day bug (zero day means one that can bring hell & damnation to your computer. πŸ˜€ Not really, but this Wikipedia article breaks it down) With this bug, you have to click on a maliciously crafted link or visit a bad site according to the Tipping Point blog so I’ll be super-paranoid till Mozilla releases a fix for this vulnerability. Nevertheless, I am really pleased with Firefox 3.0. The biggest improvement for me is the ability to search through my bookmarks as I manually type in any url into the address bar. I love the pretty green back button and the improved management of bookmarks. There are so many improvements, but I’m just touching on those that actually will improve my browsing experience. Check out the release notes for Firefox 3.0 on Mozilla’s website.

Speaking of software upgrades, Snag It 9.0 is out. For the sum of $20, I can upgrade to this newer version. Sometimes it feels like a never-ending Ferris wheel. When are software makers going to reward users by truly giving discounts? I paid $50 for this wonderful piece of software. However, whenever a new version comes out that’s a major jump i.e. from 7 to 8 or 9 to 10, I have to shell out at least $20 to “upgrade”. Right now, I don’t see any improvements that I care for. I really could have gone with a free screen capture utility, but I bought into the SnagIt hype and I think it has paid for itself several times over. Based on my usage, is it worth me upgrading yet? I will hold off till version 10.0 comes out. To be clear, this will be my first upgrade with the SnagIt software so I’m sure I’ll end up upgrading, but I’m just being grumpy right now. My license for Ad-Aware Pro ran out, but I didn’t even bother to renew it. Heck, I even uninstalled the entire Ad-Aware utility. Right now, all I’ve got running is F Secure 7.11 which seems to do a pretty damn good job. Again, to be fair, the free Ad-Aware 2008 is pretty darn good at catching spyware so if you don’t have a dedicated spyware utility on your computer, give this a try. It served me well, but I’ve ‘outgrown’ it.

Right now, I’m blasting my favorite Tu Face CD “Grass 2 Grace“. He’s awesome and I can’t wait to get a hold of his new stuff. Hopefully, it’ll continue in this vein. FYI, Tu Face is a Nigerian musician. I can’t wait for M to get home to tell him about my exploits on the trail. πŸ˜€ I kicked my ass, but I didn’t back down. I’m looking forward to some longer rides with him. I’ve got to tweak my nutritional habits to ensure that I’m not constantly in a catabolic state. My intake is increasing, but I suspect some minor inadvertent weight loss has occurred. Not good!