What a strange weekend. I didn’t go to Baltimore yesterday to pick up Leika. I’ve got to redo a solo on Delandria’s recording in Rockville so it wouldn’t have made much sense and would have used up a LOT of gas to work it all out. This place feels empty. Well, empty isn’t the right word because it’s super cluttered in here. I have a one bedroom apartment but I live in the living room.
My bedroom is a storage area. So in my living room right now there’s a mountain bike, instruments everywhere, MIDI controllers, effects boxes and pedals, amplifiers, cords, books, videos, DVDs, futon, exercise stuff, the computer and all its accessories. Driving me nuts. Can’t stand all this clutter and yet … I have the super human ability to ignore it. I don’t have much furniture. I think a few bookcases with doors would help things out a bit. Could alleviate some of the paper clutter.
Of course, recently I haven’t been spending much time at home. I’ve been working on a project at work and putting in too many hours. It’s actually less hours than it felt like but that’s because I may go for a walk during the day to clear my head and enjoy the outdoors. Unwind and breathe. Overworking and obsessing about code is how I broke my brain a few years ago and I’m not letting that happen again. That s— was scary. So I get in late, 10am or after but I leave at 8, 9, 10, 11pm or 12am or 3am (the latest).
I obsess when I’m coding and since I own this project entirely I’m doing everything from the graphics to the UI design to the presentation layer scripting and programming, business logic and data layer coding. The latter two were already partially in place from an older version and I’m scavenging like I do. Too many learning curves along the way. So the past four weeks have been intense and haven’t left much room for anything else.
I like working late at night, though. There’s just too many distractions during the day. After everyone else in the office leaves, my efficiency and concentration skyrocket. It’s so quiet. I can turn the lights off except for my mood lighting, play music through speakers, get some snacks or dinner. So I like to get in late and leave late in this situation. If I leave work early I don’t know what to do with myself anyway.
But I’m finished now. It goes to QA for testing and then other people will test to make sure it does what it’s supposed to do. I’ll probably have to tweak some things here or there or clean up some code — I did some wacky stuff to get certain things working the way I wanted — but I’m done for the most part. It is a momentous occasion. And I can tell you this: working on a project from start to finish, being responsible for every facet of it, makes it really clear how much more detail I need to have in my designs.
Anyway, enough talk about work. I had a craving for my new culinary masterpiece the other night. So I did the pan-seared pork loin thing again on Friday night. So good. However, if you happened to see a mushroom cloud looming over the DC metro area … that was my bad. Sorry. I was trying to remember in what order I added the ingredients to the pan to deglaze it after I took the meat out. And for some reason, this time I started with the red cooking wine. That was a mistake.
Uh … why are they showing “The Road Warrior” on the History Channel?
Anyway, as soon as the red wine hit the red hot pan, it billowed smoke and something started sizzling. And not a friendly, mild spattering, bacon-like sizzle. I’m talking something-bad-is-happening-isn’t-it type sizzle. And it got louder and more violent, spitting steaming hot extra light olive oil (for sauteeing) on to my hand and forearm. Something exploded, literally exploded, all hell broke loose and the stove range and floor and I were covered with red wine spots. And that is why the apocalypse occurred in Northern Virginia that woeful night. Many years from now when you tell your grandchildren how DC was leveled, it wasn’t Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. It was Gary and his pan deglazing that caused the delectable mushroom (portobello I hope) cloud that whetted the appetite of the entire world.
“Oh, the humanity! What smells so good. Anybody else hungry?”
Last night I tried it with steak (heavy cream in the pan first this time), but instead of using apple juice I cut up some mango. Also sauteed garlic cloves with the steaks. I’m thinking that next time I’ll puree the resulting sauce. I could try, like, a mango sauce, add a few jalapenos in there.
My back doesn’t hurt anymore A few weeks/months ago my back was killing me. When we walked to lunch at work, after about a block and a half my lower back would be killing me. Nothing was relieving it either. But after a few weeks of sporadic exercise it’s all better now. I went all out on the treadmill yesterday, 45 minutes and 3.22 miles of jogging/walking at a good clip and not a single twinge. A combination of previously excruciating workouts plus abdominal crunches, a little lfiting, squats and long walks during the day seem to have straightened out the problem. Man, I must have really let myself go this Winter. Talk about atrophy. I need a workout partner next Winter or I just might turn into a giant amorphous blob.
I went mountain biking last weekend and it was a thing of beauty aside from the pain and inability to breathe. First ride of the season. I never recovered from the first hill. My left leg, legs strong from squats, felt like it was going to burst, all tensed up. I called myself preparing for mtn biking season. Doing 20 squats of between 150 and 200 lbs. is good for strengthening but … well, at about 80 rpm on a bike, and let’s call it one hour of pedaling during the ride … you’re talking about 80 revs per minute * 60 minutes per hour = 4,800 repetitions for each leg. And 20 < 4,800.
So I cranked up the treadmill effort. Wasn’t too, too shabby. Oh! And I’ve got a goal of being able to bench the entire stack — 200 lbs. — on the weight machine. Not the same as doing it with free weights but … so what. I actually moved it this time. Almost half way. Up to the point where it’s no longer back and pecs but arm strength. I’ll get it. Gimme a few months. And then after that my goal will be to bench the entire weight machine and then after that, the entire fitness room itself.
Well, I’ve got about two hours until I have to get on the road here. Since I’m supposed to be re-recording a solo I’d better practice, ya think? I’ll be posting some more tunes in a week or two. I got some new gadgets but I have to learn how to use them first. It’s always something.
Have a good weekend, America.
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By Richard Morgan
Release date: By 04 March, 2003