French fries

Pam and I decided to drive up to Weeki Wachee today, home of the live mermaids, and the Hernando Beach area. We cruised on up in Pam’s Miata, top down and radio blaring, enjoying the bit of cloud cover that helped keep the temperature down to a reasonable level. Once we got out of Tampa traffic and hit the Suncoast Parkway, life was very good.

ww1  ww2

Driving around Weeki Wachee is like driving back in time to a slower and simpler Florida. The moss covered trees hanging over Weeki Wachee Springs and River, the kayaks and canoes on the water, the kids swimming in the 72 degree water. . . It seemed like we had stepped back to Florida of the mid-1960s.

ww3  ww4

About mid afternoon we found a cool bar right on the river. I grabbed my baseball cap and we went inside. Good beer, decent hamburgers, great music, and perfect French fries. As we were eating I could start to feel my forehead. As in that toasty, sunburned kind of feeling. Dang. It’s still summertime, and even with the cloud cover, the rays were still beating down. Without any sunscreen, my forehead, cheeks and nose turned into French fries. I left my hat on when we got back to the car, but the damage had been done.


Ah well, live and never learn.

The drive back this evening was spectacular, thanks to a huge thunderstorm off in the distance. Lightning lit up the sky with brilliant streaks, and the thunder rolled. Awesome.

When we got back home we were completely pooped. I grabbed a nice cool shower then put some sunscreen on my face (like that’s going to do anything at this point). Right now? Just chillin and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Week 5, day 1: doubles

I’m going to give doubles a try. Cardio in the morning 3-4 times a week; the hard-core workout in the evenings. So, 45 minutes of cardio this morning, which was a subset of the yoga and kenpo routines that I’ve already been doing – not too terribly bad. This evening? Oof! A bit different. Since last week was a recovery week I didn’t have to do many pushups or sit ups. This evening: shoulders, triceps, chest, and abs. Translated: lots of pushups. Wow. Very hard core. After going until I almost couldn’t move any more, I forgot about abs until I had showered and dried off. Doh! I threw on my wet clothes and went back for 15 minutes of ab “heaven,” followed by another shower. Whew.

Notes to self after day 1:

  1. Always complete the entire workout routine before showering
  2. Buy a bunch of cheap work-out shorts. I’m going to burn through them pretty quickly if I continue with two-a-days
  3. Go to bed earlier and get plenty of sleep. 6 hours isn’t going to cut it

Tomorrow morning: plyometrics. Then Pam and I are heading out for some peace and quiet on the water with our pedal kayaks.


I took a lunch break this afternoon after finishing a 2-hour webcast for a customer.

Zach and I took a look at the pictures I’d snapped during the Jack Johnson concert last night. Got some pretty good ones, especially when he did a surprise jam session before the concert at the little open air stage beside the amphitheater itself. We happened to get real close to the front for that.

jj1  jj2  jj3

After we looked at the pictures I made myself a sandwich, then started looking at the P90X book for week #5, which starts tomorrow. Zach started surfing the web at the kitchen computer as I debated whether I wanted to do the “classic” week 5, or go to the “doubles” week 5. Doubles adds an hour of cardio each morning four days of the week, in addition to all the other strength conditioning that’s part of “classic.”

I was reading him some of the extra exercises when he stopped me, saying, “I’m trying to read something here.”

I went on, looking at the book for another minute or so, then walked over to the computer.

He was looking at an article on about a Marine who had been killed a few days ago in Afghanistan. The guy looked like a kid. Looked about Zach’s age. He died while in combat operations.

Turns out that Zach knew him.

While we’re here, enjoying concerts, talking about which exercise routines to do next, going about our normal lives, soldiers are still dying. Even those who are my son’s age.

Pretty sobering.

Pulp Fiction

I was flipping through the channels this evening and ran across Pulp Fiction. It was about halfway through. Usually I’ll just keep on surfing when that happens. But with Pulp Fiction, the rules are different. I had to stop what I was doing and watch the rest. What a movie.

I caught it just as John Travolta and Uma Thurman were eating a late dinner at the Hollywood diner, right before they got up to dance. One of my favorite dance scenes of all time. (Close behind that is JT in the movie Michael, when he’s dancing with all the women at the bar.)

The twists and timing of the scenes in Pulp Fiction are crazy: Bruce Willis discovering John Travolta as he’s coming out of the john. Then JT, still alive and in the apartment with Samuel L. Jackson, who is delivering his Ezekiel speech. The start of the movie is the end of the movie. Or is it the other way around?


End of P90x week 2

Whew. What a couple of weeks!

(Actually, it’s been about 3 calendar weeks in total, but I’ve had to do a lot of traveling, which made for some delays in training. I’d do some of the exercises in my hotel rooms, but it didn’t feel right to consider it a full X-day. So when I would get back from a trip I’d pick up with the next day in the sequence.)

So what’s happened during that time?

Lots of push ups, tons of sit ups, core work, ab work, chin ups, stretching, cardio, yoga (who knew yoga was so intense?), jumping, wall sits, lunges, and on and on. Each time the same routine has come around in the cycle I’ve been able to do more. I was floored the other day when I completed 40 Mason Twists at the end of Ab Ripper X.

I’ve lost 10 pounds – most of them during the first 1.5 weeks. From there I’ve held steady weight-wise, but have continued to shape up and slim down.

This evening I walked in from the pool and ran into Alix, my daughter.

Alix: Hey, you have pecs now. They used to just kinda hang there.

Me: (thinking) Coolness. It’s working!

Tomorrow starts week #3. Can’t wait to see what kind of changes will happen over the next 2 weeks.

Bring it!

— bliz

Meteor shower tonight

The Perseid meteor shower is tonight.

We’re fortunate where we live to have some pretty dark skies at night. And it looks like tonight is going to be nice and clear, perfect for viewing the shower. (Last night the Milky Way stood out in all its regal haziness.)

We sat out and watched the Perseid shower last year and it was pretty spectacular. Hope tonight is just as good.

Here’s an article on (I love that domain name) about tonight’s show, including some observation tips:


— bliz

Experimental Instance of Visual Studio

I was just reading through one of Cameron Skinner’s blog posts, and ran across a reference to the “experimental instance” of Visual Studio. Hm. Never heard of that before. It’s a way to “safeguard your Visual Studio development environment from untested applications that might change it.” As in, if you’re going to install a new power tool that you’re not quite sure of, or you’re going to try to create an ultra-cool Visual Studio extension and you don’t want to completely hose your environment if something screws up….. use the experimental instance of Visual Studio. From the command prompt run the following command

<visual studio installation path>\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe” /RootSuffix Exp

Details here.


About time: RSS feed for my blog on WordPress

I’ve finally added an RSS widget to my WordPress blog. Just click on the Orange icon over there in the right column to get to the feed.


Why the delay? I never took a look before now . . . just assumed there would be an RSS button already there. And now there is with a simple drag and drop onto the template.  🙂


P.S. Yes, the work is progressing on getting my home-rolled blog engine up to speed over at Thanks for asking.