Archive for April, 2016

Diet and Exercise

Right, Then…

Nothing really exciting, today…

I’ve been following a couple of different eating plans – for lack of a better phrase – since the start of 2015.  At the beginning, I was off of all foods that knowingly had added sugar.  I say knowingly as it seems every goddamn thing has high fructose corn syrup in it – even stuff that isn’t sweet – and I’m intermittently good at reading labels.  So candy was out, but tomato sauce makes it past the censor.  The only sweets I ate were fruit and carrots; everything else – pasta, bread, meat, corn chips, etc… – were fair game.

That sort of worked for the first 6 months of 2015 – I lost about 20 lbs.  Then what happened was life stresses and a job change.  So while I was still avoiding added sugars, the stuff that I was allowing myself to eat was increasing in volume.  Eating in volume is something I’m really really good at.  If I’m lucky these periods coincide with compulsive exercising so – at worst – I maintain my weight.  In this case, 10 lbs came back on.

At the start of this year, I went low carb.  Pasta, bread and chips are now exiled and eggs, bacon, cheese and meat meat – in their various luxurious forms – are in, as is low-carb candy (no sugar, but artificial sweeteners…which is probably going to give me cancer of the spleen, or something, but you gotta go sometime).  This came about due to two things:  Some friends did low carb and lost weight, and I read Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog, by Grant Petersen.  The low carb/weight loss correlation does not surprise me as I did the Atkins diet in the early 2000’s, and it worked.  So, I initially dropped about 15 lbs, I think (I didn’t weigh myself exactly on January 1, so I had a few days to lose water weight).  Anyway, the last few weeks, I haven’t been so good – at least on the weekends.  The first weekend was Easter which there was a thing at the Girlfriends brother and sister-in-laws…I had some chips.  Then we went to a big wheel race party in SF…and I had everything else.  But I got back on the plan on Monday (if not Sunday night).  Then last weekend was Carmel and this weekend was…this weekend.  No real occasion to speak of.  OK, to be fair, we went to a child’s birthday party – a friend of my GF’s daughter; they had cake.  And chips…and therein lies the rub.

Like the last time I did a low-carb diet, I certainly was not hungry.  But then, I don’t normally eat for hunger.  I mean, I do, but stay with me here:  I eat for most other reasons in addition to hunger:  I’m happy, sad, tired, well-rested, stressed, relaxed, etc…  But the thing that low-carb lacks – the thing that I start to crave – is crunchy food.

Don’t start in about almonds and celery and such, either; you know what I mean.  I want chips.  Corn chips, tortilla chips, potato chips, you name it.

Also – as I’ve intimated above as well as probably in earlier posts – I don’t stick with any one thing over the long term.  I can be great for 8 months and then BANG!  It’s over.

So, that’s how I’ve been doing with that.

As for riding, the past two weeks have been low on mileage.  Naturally with Easter and being out of town, I did not get my normal weekend ride in.  Also as I was on call last week, I could not realistically cycle commute.  But today, we did a 34 mile training ride and I noted that I can spend a lot more time in the big ring…something that I rarely ever spent time on.  This tells me that – despite having slacked off the past two weeks – my fitness is increasing.  So I’m thinking that my commuting on the fixed gear might be paying off.

It might be time to do more weekend rides on the fixed gear to see how well I do.

Enough of this.


Categories: Uncategorized

Bikes, Cameras, Carmel

Right, then…

Just some random stuff going on since the last posting.  Been trying to get out on the bike more for training, but the past couple of weeks, that’s been limited to commuting on the fixed gear; I’ve missed my weekend rides due to scheduling conflicts (last weekend was Easter and this weekend I took the GF to Carmel as a sort of late birthday trip/end of holiday getaway).


The commuting itself has been good, but I’m trying to get into consecutive days of riding in order to get my legs used to it.  The rains have stopped for now, so they’ve been fairly dry rides.  The only irritating thing was that I’ve developed a creak on the non-drive side crank, so part of today’s thing was to throw some more torque on the bolt, which seemed to do the trick.  Also, I lowered the basket a bit, which allows a better hand position in the drops (the handlebars are too narrow for the basket, so it’s right up against the drops).

I still haven’t put on the new stem and handlebars on the adventure bike.  I started to this afternoon, but didn’t feel like dicking with it…so I took it up and down the block a couple of times and put it back…maybe later…

This weekend, we’re doing a training ride in the Devils Slide area in Pacifica, so hopefully that will get me back into some hill work and maybe some longer distance (I need to start doing >24 mile rides).  Backroads just took the final payment for the trip, so I guess this is actually going to happen!

I’ve been thinking about what I’d do if I only had room for one bike.  Would I keep any of the bikes I have?  Or sell them all and buy something completely different.  Would it be geared or single speed?  Fixed or freewheel? Upright bars or drops?  I think if that ever came to pass, I’d have to have some deep conversations with Tahn to sort out those details.


A couple of weeks ago, I bought an Olympus XA-2 – a 35mm point and shoot camera, with a 35mm f/2.8 lens – to take on the trip to Glacier.  I did a test roll of random stuff from around the neighborhood and it came out perfect!  No light leaks, meter works great, lens is sharp.  I’m going to load this up and try to keep it on one of the bikes for impromptu shots while on rides.

I have a couple of old SLR’s – a Minolta XG-7 and a Pentax K-1000 – that were discovered to have light leaks.  Around Christmas, I ordered new foam seals for them and have been dragging my ass on actually replacing the seals.  The job is not hard, but a little tedious…it can get messy and you have to do a fairly good job of getting all of the old foam out of the camera body, or there won’t be a good seal. Also, you have to be careful to not get any schmutz inside of the camera or it will foul up the film and other mechanism. I did all of the seals on the K-1000, save for the mirror seal (which looked OK) and the hinge seal on the Minolta (I had it CLA’d and resealed around 2000, so I think they’re still in good shape.    Now, they’re sitting open to let the acetone vaporize off (needed that to remove the old seals) before I reload them with a test roll to see if I fixed the problem…or made it worse.  Side benefit:  While I was at the table working on this, I was chatting with a housemate who used to be a professional photographer – he offered me up his remain stash of Fujifilm Velvia 100 slide film…so that worked out nicely.

I’ve been shooting with the SRT-100, which is a great, manual camera.  However, I’m finding some limitations:  1)  It only goes up to 1/500th shutter speed (which can be a problem when shooting in bright light) and 2) it’s a little big and heavy to carry around all the time…you don’t notice it at first, but after a while, you feel your forearm straining.  Also, after handling the XG-7 this evening, I did not appreciate how small and light it was. So, if my light leak fix works, I might put the SRT up for sale and use the money to buy some lenses for the K-1000.


The girlfriend and I drove down to Carmel for the weekend.  It was sort of an impromptu trip – her daughter was going to spend part of the weekend with her aunt and her father, which gave us the idea to head down the coast for a day trip and she picked Carmel, which was fine by me.  This worked out well in that normally, for her birthday (which was last month) I take her up to Mendocino for the weekend, but due to scheduling issues, we weren’t able to make that happen, so I was glad we were able to do this all the same.  Also – as she’s a teacher – this was her last day of spring break before heading back, so she needed a final bout of relaxation before entering the back stretch of the school year.

I hadn’t been to Carmel in 20 years and it was…nice…but not thrilling.  The thing about Carmel – it’s a great place to eat and buy expensive, yet things (e.g. Artwork, tchotchkes, expensive clothes (which all are very flowing…for women, at least), but once you’ve done those things, there’s not much else to do – sort of like Monterey.  So after wandering through shops, we grabbed dinner, had a coffee and were back at the hotel by 8:30 watching TV.

So, we’re not the most exciting people.

To be fair, we’d probably be doing more if she were more of a drinker and if I drank at all, but even then, there’s a limit to that.

This morning, after lounging around and having a late breakfast we wandered down to the beach until the fog burned off, then headed back on home.

Not much of a finish for this, so there you go. Tomorrow, back to work for the next 5 days.




Categories: Uncategorized