Archive for June, 2014

feeling contemplative

Monday, June 16th, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything here — there’s been some progress on those accountability points:

  • Lots done on the butcher block table top — I’m in the last phases, laying down poly on it before mounting. It’s very close to done, I think it will wrap up this week…
  • The herb garden has really come along, and has suggested a couple of new woodworking projects, including a picnic bench and a couple of larger planters. This past weekend, we did our first harvest of the basil, and it made a very awesome pesto:

basil!

  • I’m in the fourth week of UHLE Ultimate — it’s a very social, learning league, so I have to be careful how much of my competitive nature I engage. That, and my knees really aren’t competitive anymore, so it’s probably good for me that way. I remain, as always, terrified of the serious, debilitating long-term injury, so I’m trying to be careful but still enjoy myself. It’s fun getting out and throwing a disc around (even Sunshine has come out and thrown a couple rounds with me!), and the team is nicely social…
  • Haven’t done much in the way of poker, programming, reading, photography in any form really (some slight reading, lots of social poker, which isn’t really poker…).
  • I’ve got a new Fatbet going with the FB group, and work has a Biggest Loser contest going, which I signed up for and felt like I was a favorite going in. However, the diet hasn’t really worked out all that well over the last four weeks. We’ve been following the “Carb Night” protocol — basically, ultra-low carbs throughout the week ( <30 grams) with a single carb feed evening. I think we’ve been overdoing the calories in general, and haven’t really been seeing a whole lot of changes in our weight. However, the whole landscape has changed radically in the last couple of days, as Sunshine got back some test results regarding food sensitivities that will be changing our whole approach: we’re going to try and stick with the Carb Night protocol, but the focus of proteins will move fundamentally to chicken and seafood. I’m going to take the opportunity to try and reduce my caloric intake, and see if that has any impact–should be interesting.
  • In the same vein, I have recently started taking a tyrosine/5-HTP combination (1000mg tyrosine in the morning, 100mg 5-HTP in the evening) in an attempt to improve my sleep patterns. So far, I definitely am sleeping *differently* — vivid dreams from the 5-HTP (common effect), headaches from the tyrosine (common effect), and generally a sense that I am better rested when I wake up in the morning, but I have a lot of stiffness around my shoulders and neck, and I find that I’m close to cranky, like I haven’t been sleeping well. Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine. Similarly, 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin. The two neurotransmitters work in concert to manage lots of interesting things, including appetite, sleep regulation and mood management. Proponents of the tyrosine/5-HTP stack suggest mood improvements, better sleep patterns and reduces sugar cravings (all things I struggle with). Mostly, I’m just headachy, sore in the shoulders and neck, and somewhat prone to anger (but much more AWARE of being prone, which I’m not sure is an effect of the stack, or an indication of my own improved self-awareness in managing anger and my emotions in general). Right now, I’m at about 1/3 of the recommended limits for the stack — I might keep this up for a week or so, see if I have any improvements or changes (for example, today, the headaches haven’t kicked in yet, but it’s early yet)…if things don’t change, maybe I’ll up the dosage next week. Another thing is the possibility that I need to add in co-factors like C, B6 and others (half a dozen co-factors in all). But then it just starts to sound like really expensive pee…
  • With summer upon us, things will start to stretch out a little at the office, and we’re thinking Road Trip in late summer, into the deep Northeast (like Newfoundland and Nova Scotia deep). Possibly even renting a Jeep for the trip? We’ll see — but it definitely will be some form of extended drive through New England and Canada with a bunch of camping along the way and knocking down some state pins for the travel map. Otherwise, there hasn’t been any hiking or camping or backpacking or travel…
  • There’s tons of longer term things that are up in the air, about the career and schooling and choices that we have to make, and I find those things are distracting simply because we are in no position to act on anything yet: all in due time. And yet, and yet, and yet: I want to get ON WITH IT…

So, things have been rolling along — I wouldn’t say I’ve done great guns against my goals, but I have certainly moved down the road on several of them. It may be time to recalibrate focus — call it a mid-year review? Dunno, we’ll see…