29 December, 2022

Cleaning up

Category: Baking,Books,Cooking,Food,Home,Knitting,Stuff,Work — Moose @ 1:11 pm

I’m supposed to be working, but mostly I’m cleaning out my home office. I have taken care of a few things, so your (US) tax dollars aren’t a complete waste today, but I really felt the need to change up my home office space, get rid of trash and generally declutter it. And hey, I’ve already found an old gift card that still has a balance on it, so go me.

Xmas was a low-key affair, just the two of us. He made a delightful ‘bold and spicy gingerbread cake’, a bundt cake that used three different forms of ginger (dried ground ginger, fresh ground ginger, and ginger ale in the glaze). It turned out really well, and it’s been a nice breakfast most mornings since. I made melting potatoes (potato rounds cooked at high temperatures, and flipped twice to get them browned on both sides), and some other odds and ends. We both made out like bandits from each other, and had some interesting choices from our families (bags of rubber duckies, anyone?).

Most of the gifts have now been moved away from the tree and to their current homes in the house, which is also part of what’s instigating the home office cleaning. Books needed to be rearranged to make room for more.

I finished 99% of the endless scarf I’ve been knitting for the husband. Just need to weave in the ends and block the sucker. I’m not normally one to do a lot of blocking, but this one needs it – it has a tendency to roll inward toward the wrong side, and I’d like it to be able to sit flat when he wears it. So given the length I’ll be laying it out on the kitchen island once our house cleaner is done tomorrow. Next up is trying some brioche, specifically this pattern, once I get in some practice with the method, using the yarn I just finished playing with for the endless scarf.

18 October, 2011


Haven’t updated in forever (duh). Been dealing with a lot of messes at work, and not felt terribly motivated to deal with most of them. It’s exhausting when you’re working your butt off, and at the same time (it feels like) the entire country is complaining about what it is you do, and your bosses (Congress and POTUS) are talking about cutting your pay & benefits, on top of already constructively cutting them by freezing your pay, but still piling on additional costs for things like health care and pensions. So, yeah, hard to feel motivated. I suspect there will be a lot more of that going around when and if they implement the plan to increase our share of our pension contributions, since that’ll mean a 5-6% (minimum) cut in take home pay. Blah.

So, yeah, frustrated at work.

Other than that, I’m gearing up for next year’s season for my newbies, and seeing how much more I need to be doing. Trying to catch up on reading (the list of materials never gets smaller!). Trying to tweak/fix my eating habits – I gained way, way too much weight over this past year, between bad eating and lack of regular, sustained training. I wish it weren’t so damned easy to eat badly in this country (and frequently so expensive to eat well, though the salad bar by weight at work has been a cheaper option than the local sandwich shop when I fill the large part of the plate with greens).

Things continue to go well with the boy. Met his family last month, made a good impression. I still spend most nights with him and his beagle up at his apartment, though not every night (do have to do laundry on occasion, after all). It’ll be interesting to see how I’m going to work this with training and my coaching stuff with the newbies. An adventure, as life should be. Made him a scarf, so he’s been deemed knit-worthy. If you want more details past that you have to check my Facebook profile.

30 March, 2011


Category: Diet,Exercise,Food,Habits,Knitting,Running — Moose @ 9:24 pm

Didn’t run this morning, so I ran this evening after picking up the dry cleaning. Am reminded why I don’t run in the evenings on a normal basis – it makes me far, far too hungry for dinner/late night food (he said, as he began devouring a 2nd helping of steamed dumplings). At least I’m getting back to training, which is the important part. Now if it would just warm up enough to bike outside. Phhhbbbttt! Not where I thought I would be at this point in the season, but I’ll get through the first race.

Have a couple more inches to knit on the sweater, then I get to attach the two sides of the shoulders, then it’s cutting the steeks and knitting the trim. Sooooo close. Would have been good to have done this week as it’s been a trifle chilly, but I’m just happy that I’m close now.

Trying to readjust the sleep schedule to a consistent 5:30 wake up. I’m close, but not quite there. Another reason to just stay on “summer time” (as the Brits call it) all year round – none of this stupid adjusting things 2x a year. Hoping the adjustment to a consistent sleep schedule will aid with the workout schedule. It should. In theory.

In the meantime I’ve been reading Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes; it’s a slightly appalling, very well written, very dense account of the history of scientific research on diet and metabolism in this country. The politics and misinformation involved are more than a bit scary. Food politics just seem to be some of the worst, mostly because of the crazy lobbying by food lobbies.

24 March, 2011

On da brain

Category: Club,Knitting,Work — Moose @ 1:23 am

Lots of things on the brain of late, but no time to put things down to writing. Work’s swamped, GAO inquiries, field offices using new institutional avenues to try to drive advice (which will backfire – annoy me and I’m not willing to bend over to find ways to be helpful, wretches), the possibility of a lapse in appropriations, the Office of Minutiae and Backlogs (OMB) driving us nuts with data calls, drafting assistance for the Hill, etc. Too busy, not enough time. And I have homework for next month’s coaching class. Not to mention the sweater knitting class which is formally done, but none of us have finished our sweaters. I think I’m going to recommend that she make it every other week for 4 sessions. It is, after all, a lot more knitting than most of us are used to.

But, yeah, overstuffed. And that’s part of what I want to write about, but only once I have time. Maybe soon. Maybe not.

8 March, 2011

Slowly, slowly

Category: Exercise,Knitting,Work — Moose @ 10:48 pm

Work has calmed down slightly, but is still a bit crazy. Did go down enough to allow the ulcer to finally heal up. Other than that I’ve been knitting like mad. Tonight was class #2 of the sweater knitting class I’m taking over at Stitch. So far so good. Was a little behind this week, but no worries, will be caught up enough to make the “steeks” next week (the spaces for the arm holes and the neck hole, so the stripes can continue across evenly). Carrying the yarn turned out to be surprisingly easy, which was nice to find out. So, new skill #1 learned successfully.

Still not back to an exercise routine, and I’m 2 months out from Columbia. Eeck! Just trying to get up in the morning right now is the struggle. Once I get it started it shouldn’t be hard to stick back with, but it’s the whole push into it that’s been difficult. And I’m sure the time change will help with that. Not. Diet hasn’t been bad, so I just need to push myself to get up and just start already.

13 February, 2011

Lots Going On

So, ran Cupid’s Undies Run this afternoon. Fun event, saw lots of friends in the club, had a good time. But man, after the head cold from hell and just generally not training well of late (still haven’t started regular training again), it kicked my ass. Now, there were environmental factors (mid-40s, no clothing to speak of, etc.), but still, I’m just not at any sort of level of fitness now, which irks the hell out of me. Hoping this was the wake-up call I needed to get back to it.

CPR class tomorrow, last thing I need to do before the training class to get the coaching certification. Watched the little videos, read the book, I think I’m ready.

Finished the sock on Monday and wore ’em to work on Tuesday:

Dreidel Sock

Very comfy – tiny stitches seem to be much better for comfort over long time periods/distances than the bigger ones. Go fig. I’ve cast on a cowl I got from one of my Unique Sheep sock clubs, finally (a men’s accessories club I got last year – this’ll be the first project I’m doing from it!). Finally re-read the pattern and seem to make sense of it, so I’m going for it. Unfortunately it’s not a travel or transit friendly project (very involved pattern), so I hauled out the sock yarn last night and am trying to decide on some patterning to do this time around on the top of the sock & the leg. Plus I am signed up for a men’s sweater class at Stitch DC next month, and of the three choices for patterns chose the Alberta striped vest. Figure it was worth the investment to learn at least two new skills – two yarn knitting and sweater shaping.

Housekeeper came Wednesday. Pleased with the cleaning job, amused at playing “where did this get put in the kitchen”. She moved everything, of course, to clean under and around, and didn’t seem to note where things had been. Similarly on the dining room table where I had far too much junk out to begin with. So, my take away is to reduce the amount of stuff out on surfaces so she doesn’t have to move as much. The cleaner look will be more pleasant anyway, and having the discipline of her coming in every other week should help with that.

Saw another play at Arena Stage this evening. It’s the local theater here in my neighborhood, about 3 blocks from my apartment, and they specialize in American theater. They completely redid the space, gutting the buildings and building a large shell over the whole of it, even adding a third theater. Took ’em a couple of years and this year is the first season back in the new/old space. The renovation also seems to have influenced the quality of the work at the theater, which is much better than it used to be. Previously things were hit or miss (I walked out of one at intermission when the “crimson carpet” they rolled out was day-glo pink; seriously, high school productions do better than that), but I’ve enjoyed each of the productions they’ve done so far this season. I’m glad I bought season tickets, and bought two of them so I can take a guest, it’s been a good investment, and one I’ll repeat next season.

I’m debating a Body Electric retreat in August at Wildwood. They have a price break on the class price through the end of the month, just need to check the budget and the leave situation. Been feeling a craving for some BE work, and it would be nice to get back out to SF for a bit before and after again.

7 February, 2011

Little Phrases

Category: Body,Health,Home,Knitting — Moose @ 7:48 pm

Such a little phrase: “severely deviated septum”. Nice. Evidently that’s contributing to the sinus things I’ve had for, well, forever and a day, according to my ENT. So she recommended a septoplasty to straighten it up, open up the passages, and allow things to drain properly. As well as a change in allergy meds to take me to one pill a day rather than 2-3. It’s an outpatient thing, takes 60-90 minutes, general anesthesia, ~5 days recovery time, do it on a Thursday, back to work Monday.

I’m going to do it, as soon as I can, after I arrange things at work, and get a friend or two to help take me home & make sure I’m okay that afternoon/evening.

Not particularly thrilled about the idea of surgery, but if it means not waking up with a nose full of snot, I’m down with it.

In other news, I’m an inch or two short of the end of the second sock I’m working on. Signed up for a sweater class next month, which I’m looking forward to both for training in how to do color work (the pattern I picked alternates stripes) and in doing things like arm holes and the like. Should be fun to learn the new skills, and will be interesting doing something other than self-taught stuff.

Tired today – was a little wired last night because of the appointment, then was fairly miserable for the first half of the day because of the numbing agent the ENT used so she could run a camera up my nose. Stuff tasted awful, then took hours to wear off. Blech.

Ooh, and I finally met my neighbor’s housekeeper yesterday morning and agreed to a cleaning schedule. She starts Wednesday and I am so, so, so looking forward to that. Well worth the money to have a clean bathroom/kitchen again, I think. We’ll see Wednesday night, but I’m psyched.

3 February, 2011

Coming Down/Core

Category: Body,Club,Health,Knitting — Moose @ 9:24 pm

Coming down off stimulants is obnoxious. Last PA-provided pill was this morning, hoping the crap works out of my system quickly.

Been trying to dig up more stuff on stability training for my newbies. I’m late, thanks to the brain drain of the last month, but finding some good stuff to share with them now. Also starting to make more use of the USA Triathlon web site, which is actually pretty darned useful. I’d skimmed it before, but never really dug into the articles. And since I’m going to be partially signing my life away to them after April, I figured I should get more familiar with the site.

Half the fun of digging up exercises is trying them out myself. I predict I’m going to be somewhat sore in the morning, but it’s worth it.

In knitting news I finished the heel and started the leg on the 2nd dreidel sock. It’s knitting up nicely, and I look forward to finishing up the pair. On the sweater, I’m going to have to frog it. I thought the gauge would be close enough, but it’s not even remotely close (too tight/small). Crap. So I bought the next couple sized needles up last night and I’ll do a proper gauge swatch this time to get it matched up. Annoying, but a learning experience.

25 January, 2011

Loosening Up

Category: Government,Habits,Health,Knitting — Moose @ 10:05 pm

The drugs do seem to be helping. They’re opening up all the little inflamed passages and all sorts of fun snot is breaking loose. Which I’m sure you were just dying to know. Sleeping should be fun this week, too, since several of these are stimulants.

It was good to get back to work, get out of the apartment, see real people again, etc. I did spend most of the day with my door closed so as minimize the risk to co-workers, but it was still nice to get out of the house. A couple weeks delayed haircut and dinner out topped off the evening away from the apartment, and now I’m settling in with knitting and the boss’ speech. I’d ignore the thing, but I’m long past the point where I need to be attuned to what the big boss is saying, even in broad terms, about what my BGA is supposed to be doing for him, so I tune in and listen. A shame I can’t drink my way through the speech this year, but at least I have knitting to keep my hands busy. And the sweater has been neglected for over a month now, so it’s time to put in a few more rows.

23 September, 2010


Category: Club,Drinks,Knitting,Leisure,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:06 pm

So, after finishing the season last month I made the conscious decision to indulge in a lot of stuff I’d been putting off, either purposefully (drinking – yay for good bourbon) or out of a lack of time/energy (knitting, gaming, socializing). It’s been fun going back to some of these things, especially catching up on long- delayed knitting projects (I finished sock #1 of this pair, and I’m in the midst of the arch increases on #2), and getting back to seeing some of the folks I let slip along the way. I’ve by no means gone back to my previous social life, and it’s unlikely I ever will entirely, but I have caught up with a person or two in the last month.

It’s funny, they warn you that IM training will mean putting your social life on hold for a year, and you hear that, but it doesn’t quite take hold until you’ve done this. It really did retard any hope of a social life, though. Which is why I want to focus on shorter races next year, and more specifically to train for faster race times. It seems like the better course than trying to go for long again next year, rather to build up a better base for future years, and get back to what it feels like to train for the olympic distance along with my newbies next year.

But in the meantime, I’m enjoying the bourbon.