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6 months of Rehab

I find it hard to believe, but I crossed the 6 month milestone at Rehab this week. The time has went in quickly, with a fast-pace and quick turnaround times being the norm. The vibe in the office has been great, with a decent soundsystem pumping out dance music all day and my producer Gary, aka DJ Gary Quinn, dropping in a few choice chunes. The guys here have a real passion for the web and enjoy a good laugh, for instance, this week we had a challenge to wear a different hat each day.

666: the number of the feast

As any weightlifter knows, protein is an integral part of any diet. To this end I was picking up some chicken and whole milk the other day and you can imagine my amusement when it came time to hand over my shiny pennies that this was the amount owed: Rock on!

Squid? Yes please!

When I’m out in a Chinese restaurant my favorite dishes to order usually involve seafood, with salted chili squid being a regular delight. Squid is something I had never even thought of cooking before and recently my good friend Nick K mentioned that it was not only easy to cook but also inexpensive to buy from the ethnic store just down the road from me. In my naivity I presumed the squid I purchased to resemble that served to hungry diners, albeit uncooked and frozen, so you can imagine my surprise when I defrosted a box and saw a bunch of these guys staring out at me:

Busted fingers

Continuing what appears to be turning into a series detailing my training injuries I present the following: I nipped my finger loading extra plates onto the bar during the warm-up sets of my last deadlift session and I must say it looked more “impressive” covered with magnesium carbonate and dripping blood ;) More haste, less speed may be required next time.

Bloody shins

Yep, you guessed it, today was deadlift day:

Squatting 3 times a week and a return to early morning training

I’ve now completed my third week of a new strength program. This program involves full-body training 3 times a week with squatting each session (!) and deadlifting once a week. Until I read Practical Programming I didn’t know that bodybuilders were generally the only weight-lifters to squat once per week, or to “train legs” to use their lingo, but apparently many other weight-lifting disciplines are built upon more frequent squatting, especially power-lifting and olympic-lifting.

Batch preparation of boiled eggs

In my post on batch preparation of oats, written in response to Trent’s post, I mentioned that I also prepare the boiled eggs I enjoy for breakfast in advance. At the weekend past I’d just boiled a saucepan of eggs, cooled them with cold water and put them into a tupperware box when I remembered my previous post, so I took a quick snap to provide a follow-up: Whole, boiled eggs will keep for up to a week in their shells in the fridge and provide an excellent source of complete protein, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol along with a hearty dose of Vitamin D, all of which are essential to those pursuing an active lifestyle which includes weight training.

Ticket to ride - a break from the rat-race in Fermanagh

I’m spending a few days down the country before I start my new my job catching up with my family, tinkering on some personal projects and just generally “getting my head showered.” I’m enjoying the break from the daily grind with my only real task being to steel myself for the upcoming change to my 9-5 existence. I find myself so resistant to change: my levels of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt seem to automatically soar at the prospect of anything out of the ordinary, but I’m presented with a great opportunity to sharpen my development skills within a lower-pressure environment.

Oats - weekly batch preparation

I read Trent’s post on preparing oats at the weekend and decided to write about my own process. I’m also relieved I’m not the only one doing this kind of thing ;) Part of my weekend routine involves preparing my breakfasts for the coming week. I boil a large saucepan of eggs which end up in a tupperware box in my fridge and I start a process which results in the following:

1337

For the past week I’ve been using up the annual leave that I’d carried over from last year and hit the road for Fermanagh to spend some time with my family. My Mum and myself went to pay a visit on my Grandmother and while stopping to buy some flowers I spotted this on the dashboard: I couldn’t resist. Wikipedia artical for those not in the know.

ASUS Eee PC action shot

For nearly a week now I have been exclusively using an Eee PC. I promised an action shot and here it is: Using this device I have went about all my regular activities, even a bit of web development. The biggest hindrance I’ve found has been using a screen resolution lower than what I’m accustomed to and I’m not too keen on the button strip below the trackpad but I have gotten used to the keyboard to an extent though would certainly benefit from smaller hands ;)

That's me that is

I couldn’t resist…

Neuromancer re-re-revisited

I was having a quick look through some second-hand books last weekend and happened across a copy of Neuromancer by William Gibson, the “father of cyber-punk". I had to have it and this marked the third time I’ve purchased a copy of this seminal work. I started into it on the bus home yesterday and it still seems fresh. Neuromancer is one of the very few books I’ve read more than once and I’ve enjoyed it every time, so much so I’ve lost track of the exact number of times I’ve read it.

Nerves of chocolate

My brother got married at the weekend and as part of the preparations we had to transport the wedding cake from my uncle’s bakery to Lusty Beg island, where the reception was held: a distance of 10.6 miles, according to Google. Due to the size and weight of the cake it was decided that I would hold it on my lap while my brother drove, here’s an action shot:

I made this

I can’t believe it, but I actually took the time out yesterday to make this. Here’s what it’s meant to look like: ..and here’s my effort: It is safe to say I drank too much coffee yesterday ;)

The pot crack'd

It was Sunday morning and I went through my usual routine: I got up, flicked on the coffee machine which I had filled with water and ground coffee the night before and went to the bathroom. I decided to get back into my bed for a bit and whilst I was lying there I heard a cracking sound. I feared the worst, thinking: “please not my precious caffeine preparation paraphernalia" and sure enough the black goodness was weeping from the pot and sizzling on the hotplate.

New Workspace

Here a quick snap of my new workspace: You can see my MacBook and the second display with the site I’m current working on along with my lunch and ubiquitous coffee mug…

Now With Filter Coffee!

Coffee time came around this morning at 11am just like it always does, but when I got to the kitchen there was no sign of the usual paraphernalia. I was placed in a moral dilemma: do I selfishly get busy with the 1 mug french press or dive into the catering-sized drum of Nescafe Original Blend? Thankfully, before I had to make my mind up, the green light was given for the purchase of some new equipment, so Phil and myself picked up some funds from petty cash and hit the Argos around the corner.

Secret Santa

It’s that time of the year again and is customary at the VDA we had our Secret Santa jollifications this morning. Once again, Paul proved himself man enough to fill the big guy’s boots and surprised us all by making his entrance with a guitar and serenading us with a rendition of Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody. Good show old chap! Next up was the main event: the distribution of gifts, yee ha!

Bulk Powders

In my time honored tradition of bulk purchasing I placed an order with bulkpowders.co.uk, which arrived last week. I refrained from documenting it at the time as I’ve only just had the opportunity to sample the produce and here is what was waiting for me at reception last Tuesday: I’d been meaning to start buying my supplements online for a while but I wasn’t going to be saving much going for brand name products, especially when delivery costs were factored in.

Blades By Mail

My shipment from Blademail.co.uk arrived this morning: I put the order through on Monday morning for a “Pillar Pack” of 100 double-edge razor blades which I’m hoping will last me for the duration of the next year: The pack contains 20 dispensers, each delivering 5 blades: I originally read about the traditional wetshave on Lifehacker, but paid no heed to it until one fateful day in Boots when I was in need of blades and low on cash and noticed how much of a difference in price there was between the “novelty” multi-blade shaving systems and the traditional single-blade setup.

Tuna Shake (Baby!)

A good while back, while I was reading up on the Squat, I stumbled upon the Tuna Shake. Tuna is a very inexpensive source of protein and I’ve possibly eaten the equivalent of my body weight of it over the past year; I didn’t think it was possible to consume it in the form of a shake and when I learned of this preparation I immediately thought of the time, effort and money I could save myself by adding these into my diet.

Close Crop

Once again I got sick of the length of my hair: it had been a while since I had done anything to it and I felt it was looking untidy and I hated having no option but to style it in the mornings and after the gym, so last night I charged up the trusty clippers and set to work. I set the clippers to the longest setting and started off with a random swipe of my hair, thinking “this is it, no turning back.

Ruby On Rails

I decided last week to see what all the hype was about and have a look at Ruby On Rails. I’ve been meaning to catalogue my DVD collection on my site for a good while now but nothing ever materialised, so I’ve got something to work towards and if RoR delivers what it promises I should get something up and running quite quickly. The first thing to do was to track down some kind of reference material to learn from and this book seemed like the right place to start.

Ghan House

Early yesterday morning we were all bundled onto a bus and were delivered to Ghan House, down in Carlingford for a spot of staff team building. Turning up on time meant me getting out of bed earlier than usual, so from the get go I was less than enthusiastic about the whole affair, but I weighed in and did my bit regardless. We were split into 2 teams, with the objective being for each team to cook 3 courses of culinary delight.

Bialetti Moka Express

Yesterday the mood took me and I went hunting for some new coffee making appartatus. I didn’t get a replacement glass for my french press which was my original intention, but I did pick up a stove-top espresso maker and have spotted where to get the necessary component for my fallen Bodum, which shall be acquired at some point in the near future. It was a bit of a mission tracking this piece of equipment down, but just when I had given up I bumped into a work colleague who pointed me in the direction of Habitat who could thankfully satisfy my needs.

Bye Bye Bodum

I was doing a bit of washing up last night before I went to bed and as Fortuna would it, the glass component of my cafetière fell over in my dish rack and promptly broke. It was made of Pyrex / borosilicate glass and the fall seemed so mild for want of a better term so I felt both shocked and confused that such a thing could happen. Here’s a snap of the fallen soldier:

4mm Tunnels

I had been thinking about it for some time and finally decided to just go for it. So, a couple of hours ago I was signing the waiver and getting ready to get my ear lobes stretched for the first time. I can remember not liking the whole flesh tunnel thing, but over time, what put me off them was what happens when you remove the jewelery: the “cat’s arse” look.

Why, I haven't seen bicuspids like these since...

I had the joy of going for a dental checkup this morning and I must admit I was a tad on edge, but thankfully I got the all clear and there will no repeats of the root canal work I had done earlier in the year …and I managed to get a quick snap of the x-ray which was taken when I was in quite a bit of oral distress and had just signed up with my dentist:

Barely Legal

Richard just drew my attention to this news item describing Banksy’s latest escapade, an exhibition which includes a “37-year old Indian elephant […] painted, from head to tail, in a floral pattern reminiscent of an old fashioned living room or a British pub,” genius! I hadn’t heard of Banksy before until I read about him replacing 500 copies of Paris Hilton’s album in record shops with CDs containing music by Danger Mouse and featuring doctored artwork.