Tuesday, May 31, 2016

upgrades for refinery #1

Ebay/USPS and Amazon/UPS are hooking me up on the same day, today.  Some fortuitous synchronicity for me today, wooT!  :)

In the vein of utility, form and function, I'm finally upgrading my mouse.  Sort of.  I had a Logitech MX 518 for many years, and I was very happy with it, cord and all.  But it started having issues some months back.  It would just randomly go dead on my PC (all input stopped).  Different USB ports wouldn't help, and the only solution was rebooting my PC.  It took some time before I decided it may be the mouse malfunctioning, and tried a spare/backup Logitech corded mouse I had on hand.  Problem solved, so I'm thinking it was some sort of short with the USB connection, dunno more than that.  But this spare mouse I've been using has been a bit frustrating, namely with no back/forward buttons.  I've had my eye on this particular mouse I chose for a good while.  So I finally took the plunge for an upgrade (via ebay.com).  I also ordered an actual mouse pad for my proper upgrade, and went with this one from SteelSeries.  I haven't had an actual mouse pad in so many years, so these two upgrades ought to refine my PC experience quite well, indeed.  So I'll share some pictures, because I have to justify this neglected Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera some time before I die  :P.

I was contemplating a 'gaming mouse' for this upgrade, but really, my needs are very much more just computer operation and functions for that, with gaming as an aside.  Sure my PC is up to task for any gaming, but I primarily get my enjoyment out of creating, I am starting to realize.  (blog, art, random suchnesses  :) ).  I'm quite sure there will be genuine enjoyment at times in my life to come, of the gaming inclinations, but priorities/reality led to me going with this Logitech MX Master.  Huh, magnetic closure for the front cover in packaging, nice touch!  I'll prolly trash the packaging, but, its cooler than velcro, hehe.

And pad has arrived, now!  Not much to say, a large flattish mouse pad, and my day is good!

And here's my upgrade in its new home/duties:

thx 4 visiting  :)
and as I say, ~peace

Monday, May 30, 2016

challenges #1

There is a looming challenge coming up that I want to approach with focus and clarity.  It does not really require much from me, in a sense, but it's the beginning of a new life chapter, that I would like to approach with proper mindful awareness.

I am losing a close friend.  In a way, at least.  I've mentioned doing the divorce thing w/my ex-wife.  We did get a divorce.  However, we have remained good friends.  Actually, I think our relationship has grown more so as platonic friends over the past ~6 years or so, than even when we were dating and married.  We have both offered support to each other when needed, emotional, financial, and as constructive advice and such.   I love her and she is a wonderful person, as she has said the same to me, and I hope this next chapter in our lives will see growth and success for each of us.

She is moving cross country from here (east coast) to California, out west.  She is making the trip June 17, which is so close.  She will be moving in with her eldest daughter initially.  She tried making me promise to visit her sometime out there.  I didn't exactly agree/promise, but did say I may visit her after she gets on her feet and has her own place.  She also intends to visit here, during our upcoming new chapters of our lives.

But in a real way, I am losing a dear friend who I spend many a weekend time hanging out with, movie, book store, netflix, restaurants, just ya know, enjoying life with.  I don't have many friends, actually, none other in near vicinity to hang out with on a semi-regular basis, that I have kept up with.  But, its a new chapter after all.  Time for growth and positive change, I hope.

I think what I need to be aware of and keep in mind, is to do things I enjoy, and be open to new experiences, perhaps hanging out with someone new, maybe even a date with someone new, here and/or there.

I don't fear this very near life-change, and I venture to say, I am near to excited to try out this new freedom of time, I will soon gain.

Well, that's my challenge #1.  I'll post again with who knows what.  (Well, I do have a general idea for the next post, but you're just gonna have to wait and read it then!  :) )

~peace be with you friends  :)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

weekly health update #4

I think this will be a shorter 'update' post.  I haven't weighed myself (or tried yet), as dad just told me the scale was broken.  I went over my calories yesterday, piece of a birthday cake, and too many carbs besides essentially.  I've been fearing reaching a plateau (wow, spelled that right on second try  :P), but I don't really know how 'real' weight loss progresses, so it's just self-doubt I guess.  I am taking today off and being as lazy as I can.  My goal:  finish and enjoy my last cigarette at some point today.  [try try again right].  (I believe I returned to the 'fold' on day 10 of my latest decent attempt, by bumming and smoking one cigarette - following that with a pack on day 11).  I did make it roughly something like 4-6 months, with no cigs/vaping/nicotine replacement implements, before picking them back up for ~1 month'ish.  In the scheme of quitting, I still think I am making progress, and I offered to myself in my journal the other day, that quitting forever and for good is a very real possibility.  That was interesting.

Today looked to be another beautiful day, I made it almost 20 minutes in my zazen, before bringing it to a close, which is healthy and respectable, imo.  And I followed that with finishing the grass cutting, and the last smoke before starting this post, it starting raining.  This new 'morning person' role is treating me right nice.

So, lazy lazy lazy day of rest and relaxation is on my schedule.  I've changed into my workout attire, solely for a consistent weigh in, if it works.  So lemme go snap that picture with my eager Canon DSLR...

Well, lost less than previous two weigh-ins if I recall, but I am completely happy with another 2.5 lbs lost for the past week.  I don't know how my friend will do on his weigh-in today, but I don't mind waiting another week to kick his butt.  haha.  what else.  oh that's right, I almost forgot, i have to...

be lazy
and ~peaceful to you too

Saturday, May 28, 2016

a main stay

now framed on my wall, if I had only one piece of art, it'd be this.  self?  i always return to this, at some point.  had it on my desk in a few call center jobs, to help see me through days, in same frame.  oil pastels have their place my friends  :)

its a wonderful meditation tool too, you can 'sit' in front of the tree, for example.  i've also danced there [at times] and found solace when needed.  thanks for viewing  :)

~peaceful saturday to you

Thursday, May 26, 2016

reflections and observations #1

A new type/post I am adding, because it occurred to me as fitting.

when small becomes phenomenal,
big can become small...
and slow can happen at the speed of thought

This morning during meditation, I had a thought/reflection (yes, i try to keep thinking to a minimal, and when it happens, I focus on letting it dissolve and settle) about hooking my brother up with a display case for surge, an old soda/pop that has a fanbase type resurgence, of which he is a fan.  He is thrilled about it, as I couldn't keep it a secret until he visits this Memorial Day weekend.  I'll include a pic.  Anyway, this thought, during meditation was very positive, and I found my inner smile.  Back in my first round [during/shortly after] college of the meditation/chi practice, I had come across an Inner Smile meditation, as a way of opening up the energy channels inside the body, allowing chi better circulation.  But this morning, it occurred spontaneously and naturally, which is new.  (I'll include a picture of the book I learned this Inner Smile within).  So this is incredibly kewl in my opinion.  I think I had another reflection this morning, but now I can't recall, so we'll save it for 'reflections #3' maybe  :).

So lemme get those pictures!  :)

^The display^...  And the book...

Sorry, I cleverly included a snapshot of items too  :P.  This is the second copy of this book I have owned, as its one of those I intend to utilize again, with intentional certainty  :).

Ok, hope u enjoyed this post!

have a ~peaceful day

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

... of champions, i hope

mmm, worth 170 calories this morning in my estimation.

have a ~peaceful day

Sunday, May 22, 2016

weekly health update #3

It's that time.  Kinda tough waiting till Sunday for a weigh-in, but its building character  :P.  I weighed myself twice today.  Once, in the same attire as the previous 2 weigh-ins, and again in workout attire, which I think I wanna start using.  (to be more accurate I think).  So first in 'grass cutting' attire, so we can compare this week with last's.  :)

So last week was 229.5 lbs, which is 5 friggin pounds in a week y'allz!  Oh hell yesh, hehe, lemme calm down.  The more accurate weigh-in without all the clothes/boots/EDC items is as follows:

This is basically, sneaks, socks, light shorts, t-shirt, no other items, except like glasses and wristwatch.  So I am now at 220 lbs.  I haven't even shared any goals for my weightloss with you here, but I did make and write down goals for this.  The overall goal at this point, is to get myself down to 180 lbs by this year's end.  A couple closer goals are first passing a friend who's at 217, last he checked, and shortly thereafter, passing my dad who is at 210.  I am total confidence  ;).  After those goals, the ideal weight/goal I entered into myfitnesspal(.com) that I use to track calories is 150 lbs.  I dunno if I'll reach that, namely because I plan to build my muscle mass up some so 150 may evolve into a generally more ideal and healthy goal.  Ok, what else.

I'll see about a recap.  For food/diet, I had a little junk food on Monday evening, because someone from my group gave me a cup cake.  I had two servings (1 cup each) of macaroni salad (mention this, because I'm working at cutting down on carbs).  As well, I had 2 slices of whole grain bread last night as part of my dinner.  Overall tho, I am doing pretty good at keeping track of what calories I consume each day.  More healthy food too, like salad and soup and such.

For working out, I failed (see: skipped) 2 days, one day each of dynamic strength and aerobic exercise.  For the rest, I've been progressing steadily.  I've added a pushup variation (see: easy/knees) to my strength days as well as concentrated sit-ups.  Well, to be accurate, I've also added a shoulder roll I am unsure if I mentioned.  So its 7 core warmup exercises, as well as 3 supplemental exercises now.  For the aerobic, I've been able to push myself 20 minutes on the bike on 2 of the days, but this morning I cut it short to 15 minutes, because my right foot started going numb, and I was slightly worried about 'pushing through it'.

I've upgraded the living environment a bit, which is the saving grace to my missing 2 workouts.  Parents went out of town for the weekend, so I took the opportunity to clean the family room (w/tv in it) and the front room (formal living room).  I moved the exercise bike into the front room, which will be primarily for workout out now, as well as a small stereo system (with cd / tuner / cassette capability).  Mom and dad both agreed to the changes, so I jumped on it, as soon as mom got on board with the idea.  Mom 'says' she will use the bike too (Lord, I hope so), but she wants to use it in the family room to watch tv when she rides it.  And I'm quite sure dad will use it now too, as its in a very ideal location now (vs hot sticky messy garage hehe).  And when mom is ready, there's space to easily roll the bike from front room to family room and back, for her.  (it even has wheels for that, hehe).

Aaaaaand, meditation I guess.  I am doing it.  I recently purchased a 2 lb bag of buckwheat hulls to plump up my zafu (the cushion u sit ur rump on, hehe).  It went a bit flat a long time ago, when I removed the filling, so I could wash the zafu, and lost a lot of the filling, in the process of removing it and trying to put it back in.  So I finally got that issue straightened out, which is just superb.  I'm also starting to add the zazen to my morning routine before work.  So ideally, I'll reach a point, perhaps soon, where I am consistently meditating twice a day, morning and evening.  That's a reasonable goal I think  :).

Anything else?  hmmm.  Well, life is going well.  So ima gun' keep on living, I think.  hehe

Till next time,

~peace y'all

Thursday, May 19, 2016

old school and new ?

Finally, I got around to getting me this:

I started digging this chick when I found her Visions album.  And she released this Art Angels on cassette, so it just fit, having added a decent cassette deck to my system.  I haven't even broken through the 'shrink wrap' yet, but I'll be giving it a play through this evening.  Excited  :)

As well, I happened into a local thrift store and picked up two cd's, shelling out $2.10.  I've enjoyed both artists before, so I hope they don't skip or anything.  Here's 'da pics':

Sheryl Crow and Jewel, from my earlier life, hehe, and Grimes since latish 2015 I believe.  Woot.

Also to note, for the past two days, I've burned an audio cd in the morning, for a listen to/from work/around.  Interesting interests regaining engagement of late.  I love it.  Ok, that's my post.  :)


Sunday, May 15, 2016

weekly health update, post #2

It's that time.  I've used enough restraint to not weigh myself at all until today, just a few minutes ago.  So I'll start with that!  :)

Again, in grass cutting attire, it looks like I've lost 3lbs in the past week.  Not so shabby.  I need to work a bit more on sticking to my diet (counting calories).  Twice last week, I ate some junk food (chili cheese fritos, I do believe).  And a mexican restaurant last night, incurring the decision, "I'm just not gonna count any calories for this dinner".  :x  So fritos and a nachos supreme later, still able to reach 3lbs off.  Ok, next up:

The exercise is progressing well enough.  I missed exercise friday (dynamic strength stuff), but did it along with exercise bike yesterday, on Saturday.  I have added one of the supplemental warmups to my routine (shoulder rotations), thinking it'll help my shoulders relax during my sitting meditation.  (I've noticed tension there, while attaining the sitting posture)  I'd like to incorporate pushups and an abs focus into my 'strength' days (M-W-F), starting this week.  But for the dynamic stuff, I've noticed my balance is improving more than I had hoped, with one of the warmups that has you standing on one leg at a time.  Awesome.  As for the aerobic days, I didn't have much trouble going 15 mins today, which was an improvement from this time last week.  And I felt I had at least another 5 minutes in me, so maybe I'll work on getting the aerobic workouts up to 20 minutes, for this new week.  YAR  :)

What else.  I got feedback from my last doc visit/ blood test.  Everything is as it should be, except my cholesterol.  So they want me to try to fix it on my own within the next 2-3 months, by cutting back on my carbs intake.  So I've been working at keeping that in mind.  We'll see if I can do it, otherwise, looks like I'll get another medicine for that.  :/

Um, I guess I can mention meditation in this weekly update post.  Its going, tho, I try not to think in terms of progression in zazen (sitting meditation).  I guess just a simple overview/recap:  I missed yesterday's zazen, but that's the only day.  But I've been becoming a morning person recently, so I've started, and still working, at incorporating zazen into my morning routine, ideally, in the morning and the evening both.  So, that's that.

And smoking, well...  My last cigarette was in the carride home after work, on Friday.  So, today is looking to be the second full day with no tobacco/smoking.  I am using the nicotine lozenges, and it's just time to cut this nonsense out of my life again, so that's what I'm doing.  ;)

So here goes another week!  Maybe i'll have something more to share this week, before next Sunday's health update.  We shall see.  :)

Till next time y'all:


Sunday, May 8, 2016

weekly health update, post #1

I came up with the idea of a health related post for Sundays.  I think its a good idea, help me keep up the steam, even if [only] accountable to myself.  Maybe help breath life into this blog again, like, some sort of regularity.  :)

I'll start with a weigh-in:

I'm in my grass cutting attire, ya know, help this first weigh-in remain humble  :P.

I'm not exactly sure how I want to present this weekly health update sorta post, so I'm just gonna blab a bit and hope I cover everything.  :)

I've been doing good for my first week of working out.  I did dynamic strength last Sunday, as I mentioned in last post.  For my weekly dynamic strength, I succeeded in doing it M-W-F.  For my aerobic exercises, I [accidentally] napped a long time after work on Tuesday, and I didn't do the exercise bike, but I've already forgiven myself for that.  :)  But the other days, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (today), I DID do the exercise bike.  And its been wonderfully brutal this first week.  :)  So for workout, one day missed, but overall, I think it's off to a great start!

I'm using MyFitnessPal to track calories, but I don't every day track every single thing I put in my mouth.  But I have at least been pretty good about keeping my calories in mind, like [roughly] how many I have left in a day, and eat accordingly.  I think the biggest success, tho, here in this regards, is I haven't eaten any junkfood this past week.  (Starting Monday, as I honestly don't recall if I had any junk last weekend)  I think the worst thing I consumed was Pizza yesterday/night.  It was mighty tasty pizza tho, lemme tell ya!  ;)

I guess that about sums up what I want this Sunday 'health' update post to consist of.

So I'll leave at that.


I forgot to mention, although I don't want to, hehe, I started smoking cigs again, so now I have to quit that too.  So, we'll see how this week's attempts go...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

revisiting inspiration in a more serious tone

     I've recently found myself in [another] depressed mode.  I've been working with the [professionals] and have, as of last Thursday, returned to my job, still food service, in a hospital.  I've been good about keeping my doctors' and therapist's appointments, including group therapy, quite well, during the last month or 2'ish.  I couldn't see from my vantage point how group therapy would help, although I was quite aware that it was outside of my comfort zone, which deep down, I figure I knew that meant it was positive.
     Well, last Thursday and Friday consisted of pushing myself to return to work, although the "welcome back's" were nice.  But as of this recent Monday, I've actually noticed amazing progress in issues of social anxiety.  Monday and Wednesday were simply amazing, using people's names and being more open and friendly.  My one-on-one therapy session yesterday after work, was very positive, as my therapist said I have made a breakthrough.  He confided in me a tad more 'life information' that he said I wasn't ready for before, but am now.  And today, (Thursday), I further noticed myself stopping in hallways and making small talk.  OMG, me?  smalltalk?  I fear its a brave new world out there, full of potential possibilities.  :P

     Ok, I didn't mean to express myself in the above way, but I had an idea for a blog post I wanted to share, and I am starting back scheduling my activities in a daily planner, and a blog post was one of this evening's scheduled activities.

     Ok, on to what I had originally planned to share  :)

I have been pruning my humble book collection of late (upcoming neighborhood yardsale), and wanted to share the books that I am planning to invest a more serious approach to.  So first up, and in order of camera flashes:

I spent last weekend practicing the initial 7 core warm-ups in this book, to approach my workout routine with a "head start" on Monday.  The plan is to practice exercises in this book on M-W-F, adding additional exercises within gradually, as I want to reshape my physique (as I choose).  So Monday, success, I did it.  Along with that, I'm planning to use our very old and very effective exercise bike as aerobic workouts on Tuesday and Thursday and both weekend days (which I did do today :) ).  I actually owned this book in college, but was less serious (or too high  :/).  Garsh, it seems to be out of print, and I snagged a used copy from amazon, with some help from my freebie amazon gift cards (see perk.com or swagbucks.com)  (or use my referal links and get a smiley  :).  (http://perk.fm/4gn8o and/or http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/grjacks).

Ok, on to the next item:

I've read this book countless times and am currently reading it every few days (a passage at a time).  It is based on informal talks given by Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki to a small meditation group in Los Altos, California (via: inside flap information).  I've always had no problems acquiring a paper back whenever I was without a copy, and have often left them purposely in some suitably subtle (see: pseudo random) location for whatever stranger to happen to then acquire it.  I now own the ebook version, as well as this hardback edition.  This book was suggested by a psychology professor when I invested [time] in college, who mentored me, i guess about life, if nothing else.  He considered himself a Buddhist for ~30 years at the time.  Anyway, I plan to own this hardback edition for the foreseeable future, and read it until I die.

So yes, I've resumed my meditation practice, and I consider this essential for my success in life.  If you'd like to try out meditation practice for the first time or [yet again], I strongly recommend the aforementioned book as well as a quality zafu and zabuton.  My two cents  :)

I'd like to mention one more book, being the same as I had in college and a time afterwards but lost [ages?] ago.  It just arrived today from Barnes and Noble online store, and is also hardback.  (if you are inspired to look into it, its new online from B&N for ~15 whereas its like 25 bucks in a retail B&N. --heads up)  Anyway, it is the following book:

I don't really have much I want to say about it, but I am ecstatic to get into these rich pages yet again.

So.  There it is, my blog post for 5/5/2016  :)  [check]

And ~peace~ be with you.