Jan 29, 2008

Just me and the whirl of the machine...

....5:15 a.m. inside the North Seattle Gold's Gym.

Just me and the row machine.
Staring down the clock, doing a PR (personal record) test for time.
2,000 meters.
That's about 1.24 miles.
Time? 9 minutes, 46 seconds.

Jan 28, 2008

I May Have Spoken Prematurely

When I woke up this morning there was three inches of snow on my front lawn. Spring is on its way... just not as soon as I may have thought!

Jan 25, 2008

Finally, a shift

On my way into work, I realized the continuum is shifting... it is no longer pitch black outside during my drive both to and from work! Temps were chilly all week, average was 24 degrees each morning! However, I'll trade a bitterly cold, yet clear, day over a mid-50 degree gloomy sky anytime. Can't wait for spring, it'll be here soon!

Happy Friday everyone!

Jan 24, 2008

Migration: Complete

As of 4:18 p.m. PST today, my team's Web site migration project was complete. Hoorah! This is a task originally started in August 2007 and involved moving all user interface layouts, document storage structures and security groups to a new server and site. Big smiles!

Jan 21, 2008

A Weekend w/ my Corvallis Family

Scoop & Karen visited this weekend, what an amazing time we had!
We started Friday with an unwinder at Boka, inside Hotel 1000, where they stayed this weekend. After a Ginger Thai martini we cabbed it to Post Alley's Campagne Restaurant.

  • Began dinner with a petit profiterole and a Grey Goose and tonic.
  • Starter course was Butter lettuce, watercress and herbs in verjus (lemon) vinaigrette with salt-cured mackerel
  • The margret de canard (pan-roasted brined Moulard duck breast with glazed carrots and orange gastrique) was delicious, a thin layer of duck fat domed the slices of duck breast, which were cooked more toward the rare side to keep it tender and juicy.
  • Dessert was the gateau au choclate... good but not so much as the fig cake Scoop chose.
After a breakfast at Boka Saturday morning, Karen and I indulged in the best form of therapy available: retail! I found my interview top at Cache' and we both found new workout shoes at Niketown. Scoop had work to do so met up with us for lunch at P.F. Changs, where I ran into a friend from my GRCC leadership program I hadnt seen in years. What a fun suprise! Afterwards we were off again, this time in search of luggage and suits. We dropped off many bags and went to Pike Place for a quick trip around the loop.
Sightseeing had us a bit tired so we stopped by Boka and did happy hour while attempting to overcome our indecisiveness. My Frasier cocktail (b & b, hangar 1 frasier river raspberry vodka, lemon juice, bitters) was great and helped grease the wheels of creativity to decide on Il Bistro. Our concierge called for reservations and we were off!
  • To begin: Antipasto Misto
  • Starter: A very enjoyable Spinachi – Organic Baby Spinach, Pancetta, Pears & Cambozola with Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Main pasta: Buccatini – Pancetta with Cream Sauce, topped with a fresh egg yolk
  • Finish – We shared the: Torta Cioccolato Flourless Chocolate (Espresso Tort with Raspberry Coulis & Fresh Cream), Panna Cotta (Frangelico-Vanilla Bean Crème Caramel with Burnt Sugar and Seasonal Fresh Fruit) and Torta Mascarpone )Italian cheesecake with an almond biscotti crust & a Lemon)

Sunday we drove to Kent and had brunch with my mom and dad. Scoop took a great picture, which is below.

Jan 15, 2008

Stay energetic + driven + happy

I'm in the process of pursuing my 2008 thing-of-the-year-that-scares-me (see previous blog.) Plans are still in the works but I am on-track for a very big life change in the next few months. Work/life balance is important, and when you can find your ideal situation all in one package... how can life be any more complete ;)?

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do.Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.-Ella Fitzgerald

Jan 9, 2008

Wednesday is about NYT's Dining & Wine Section

My lunch hour on Wednesday is dedicated to reading the general articles , blog, restaurant openings, and Food Stuff sections of the New York Times' Dining & Wine seciton. Yes, eating food while reading about food. It's just how much I enjoy learning about food and the culinary arts!

Jan 8, 2008

Define your Core + A Pea Soup Recipe

25-Minute Solid Ab Workout: http://health.msn.com/weight-loss/best-body-men/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100186504


Green Garlic & Pea Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper
10oz bag frozen peas
4 tsps plain nonfat yogurt, optional

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over moderately-low heat. Add the onion, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tarragon, salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook just until defrosted.

In a blender, puree the soup in 2 batches until very smooth. If serving hot, return the soup to the pot and bring just to a simmer. If serving cold, transfer to the refrigerator to chill. Ladle into bowls. Stir the yogurt so that it is smooth and top each serving with a swirl of yogurt.

Nutrition Information per Serving
Calories: 94 - Total Fat: 2.5g -Saturated Fat: 0 -Protein: 7g -Carbohydrates: 13g
Source: Food Network

Jan 7, 2008

"Dollar, Dollar Bill Y'all"

A mentor of mine asked me the following questions this week. Noteworthy to establish your own point of view, I believe:

Now that you have a job and are living on your own what is your greatest financial challenge?
My greatest challenge is sticking to the budget I institute! My paycheck is 2x a month (which already has my 401K contribution deducted.) and I have a dollar amount that is immediately deducted and I place in my "bills" account. From there I have a choice to save or spend on things like holidays, travel, social outings and other non-essentials things like clothes and etc.

I'm blessed I don't have a problem making end's meet, but rather wealth building. There is an element of long-term (1 year, 5-year, Decade, Retirement) vision scoping that recent grads need to differentiate. Too zoomed in and you wind up piddling your money away, too far out and you feel like you are never going to be able to retire. My demographic doesnt have a reliable resource (or education on where to find a free/trusted resource rather) to answer these questions or start those thoughts in our minds.

What are your general thoughts just about money.
Money is a gem of many facets, depending on the way the light hits it, you're painfully blinded, transfixed or uninterested by its shine.

Money is dangerous. It's easy to spend yet hard-earned. It can corrupt people's morals and compromise their integrity. I don't like it but I also realize I use it to enable me to live the life I want and experience new adventures. Too often young people are disillusioned into thinking "if I can only afford (insert item), my life will be (positive attribute)." The media does a lot to perpetuate the idea, as does our capitalist society. Too infrequently are we challenged to do something outlandish like backpack through Australia, Europe or Asia for a few months after graduation, to experience how other people live, and on just how little we need to survive ourselves.

The paradigm of the U.S. can be money-centric and fail to suggest that in the absence of money (or the abundant presence too), we need to be people of moral fiber who know what we want to accomplish in the community around us. To have goals, to set challenges for ouselves, to extend ourselves and work hard for something. These are things I wish wound up in a few college level lesson plans, in "higher" education if you will. If it's not in a book, if it's a feeling or a hard-learned life lesson that doesnt apply to the syllabus we're graded against, is it any less important once we are out there 'on our own?'

What does money mean to you?
-Money is what will help my dad retire early from the job he hates if I make enough.
-It's what it takes to save for my future childrens' educations.
-Without it I lose my new car.
-With it I worry I'll lose a bit of perspective on life priorities/what is 'expensive'
-With a lot of it I'm scared it will corrupt me.
-All in all it has absolutely nothing to do with the type of person I am, how well I can love and encourage another human being.
-I view it as an empty vessel given power because we believe in it, it is merely a symbol.

Jan 4, 2008

Vacation Pictures from CA

It's nice being back in Washington and on the grind at work. Whenever I see these pictures and remember the sun and laid back atmosphere it definitely makes me want to go back!

Jan 2, 2008

The Healthiest Low-Calorie, Non-artificially Sweetened Drink


Happy New Year. Start it right with a habit of a few bottles of water a day.