Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Building a Bucket List #120-126

  1. See the Prague Castle
  2. Visit the Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica
  3. Visit Mt Rainier National Park
  4. See the Oriental Pearl Tower
  5. See the Brazilian Atlantic Islands
  6. Visit the Nez Perce National Historic Park
  7. See Post Modern Jukebox in concert

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Building a Bucket List #113-119

  1. Visit Petra in Jordan
  2. Visit the Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo
  3. Visit the Manhatten Project National Park
  4. Go Zip lining
  5. Visit St Basil's Cathedral
  6. See the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
  7. Visit the Minidoka National Historic Site

Monday, January 18, 2016

Weekly Weigh In Jan 18

This week was a rough one for me since I'm still adjusting to having night classes after work. My step count was down a bit this week since I spent the entire weekend studying Anatomy and Physiology instead of moving around. It might be time to get the standing desk going again.

Regarding the goals I set last week:

Log my calories completely on at least 3 days
I was able to fully log my calories on 5 days this week.

Avoid eating Dairy
I was really doing well until Friday night when all I wanted was a chocolate milkshake. It was very tasty but the resulting sinus headache should deter me from making this a regular thing.

Increase the number of workouts from last week's number
I did manage to squeeze in one more work out this week than last weekend. I can also feel good because the workouts that I did were of greater intensity.

Goals for this week:

  1. Log my calories on at least 6 days
  2. Drink 80 oz of water each day
  3. Workout at least 6 times


Morning Workouts: 2
Lunchtime Weight Lifting: 0
Evening Dog Walks: 2
Bedtime Yoga: 1
Step Counting:
     Monday: 10074
     Tuesday: 10102
     Wednesday: 11891
     Thursday: 7452
     Friday: 10624
     Saturday: 1954
     Sunday: 1127

     Weekly Average: 7603
     Last Week's Average: 8272

     Weekly Total: 53224
     Last Week's Total: 57904

     January Average: 6653
     January Total: 113106

Current Weight: 254.6 pounds
Last Week: 254.2 pounds

Weight Loss/Gain: 0.4 pounds gained

Starting Weight: 249.4 pounds
Highest Point: 255.2 pounds
Lowest Point: 238.4 pounds

Thursday, January 14, 2016

State of the Knitting: January 2016

I call this my Monster Blanket.  I've been working on it off and on for about 10 years. Unfortunately, blankets get to be a certain size and then they are no longer portable. Projects that aren't portable often get shuffled aside by projects that are.

Double sided Steampunk Scarf in Caron Simply Soft
I've done the drafting to create stitching patterns that should read as gears. This project is pretty far on the back burner but I definitely intend to get back to it.

Lions, Tigers and Bears Blanket, Free Pattern by Red Heart
Not technically knitting since this is a crochet pattern but I'm putting it here anyway. I made one of these to give to my niece for Christmas and it was so adorable that I started another one. It helps that the squares are a wonderfully portable project.

2015 High Temps Blanket, January-June in Red Heart Soft
I did two rows per day representing the high temperature of each day. This is the first half of the year and it got long enough that I decided to split the blanket into two parts. This half is off the needles and just needs to have the remaining ends sewn in to get removed from this list.

2015 High Temps Blanket, May-December in Red Heart Soft
Part two of this epic project is still on the needles and has lots of ends to be sewn it. I like that it has a very different color emphasis than the first half of the year. I'm still deciding whether or not to do a similar project for 2016

This one is a delayed Birthday Gift that I ran out of yarn and had to wait for more to complete. Sadly, it seems like this yarn is no longer available at retailers in my area.

This one is a delayed Christmas Gift. I can't tell if the pattern was a little weird or if it is just my inexperience with knitting garments but this isn't one of my favorites.

Elegant Lapghan in Unknown 
I needed something portable to work on that wasn't white at the same time that I really wanted to play with this yarn. I'm only using one strand instead of the two stated in the pattern so this should be a light and airy blanket.

Chunky Braided Scarf in Lion Brand Homespun
Look! It's not another blanket! I really love this yarn. I adore the subtle color change and it's a fun yarn to work with.

My goal is to end 2016 with far fewer projects on needles, or at least to have a mostly new set of projects. Also, in the interest of being kind to myself, any Christmas knitting requests will need to be received before the end of the summer. Thanksgiving is way too late to start presents, especially as a full-time Medical Assistant and part-time student. Rushing that hard to complete a present after studying my brain out for finals is just not very enjoyable.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Building a Bucket List 106-112

  1. Visit the Forbidden City in China
  2. Visit the Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco
  3. Visit the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  4. Go Sky Diving
  5. See the Burj Khalifa
  6. Visit the Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quiriguá
  7. Drive the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reading Jan 1-11

1. Feed by Mira Grant
You may remember this one from last year but it's a personal favorite. Sometimes you just need to read an awesome zombie book. This novel combines a zombie horror movie with a political thriller and no one is safe. Particularly not the main characters. It also seems to be an especially appropriate read leading up to the primaries in real life. Granted, the stripper congresswoman running for office might be a better candidate than some of the real life candidates.

2. Deadline by Mira Grant

Second book of the Newsflesh series. Also, ridiculously awesome. I would really love to see this series get made into a movie.

3. Blackout by Mira Grant
Once I started the series, I felt the need to keep reading. Oddly enough, this is the only one of these books that I have a paper copy of. The other two I have as kindle editions that I read using the Kindle App on my phone. In case you are wondering, I love pretty much every word that Seanan McGuire has written, both as herself and as Mira Grant.

Currently Reading:
eBook on My Phone: The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Audiobook on Audible: Lock In by John Scalzi
Paperback on my Nightstand: Confidence Game by Michelle Welch

Please note that all links are affiliate links to This is less for monetization purposes and more to make it easy to find and recognize the books.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In Jan 11

One of my goals for this year is to get outside for a hike or outside activity each weekend. This week we checked out the lower garden trail at The Grotto.  It's January in Portland so everything is a nice evergreen color. The Grotto still has the lights up from their Christmas display so it was interesting to compare what we saw then with what we can see in broad daylight. The lower garden path is pretty short and about every 25-50 feet there is an alcove with a bronze scene from the life of Jesus. It was a nice mini urban adventure but we probably won't go back to the Lower Garden Path. That said, we are definitely going to visit the Upper Garden path sometime in the Spring or early Summer.

Regarding the rest of my physical activity, it was a pretty normal work week so my step count looks much closer to my 10,000 steps a day goal. I wasn't really disciplined about my workouts but I was able to focus on getting good quality sleep and reasserting my normal sleep schedule. I only logged my food on 2/7 days last week so that is definitely something to work on.

Goals for this week:

  1. Log my calories completely on at least 3 days
  2. Avoid eating Dairy
  3. Increase the number of workouts from last week's number


Morning Workouts: 0
Lunchtime Weight Lifting: 0
Evening Dog Walks: 1
Bedtime Yoga: 3
Step Counting:
     Monday: 8030
     Tuesday: 10860
     Wednesday: 10119
     Thursday: 7426
     Friday: 10187
     Saturday: 5811
     Sunday: 5471

     Weekly Average: 8272
     Last Week's Average: 3862

     Weekly Total: 57904
     Last Week's Total: 27038

     January Average: 5988
     January Total: 59882

Current Weight: 254.2 pounds
Last Week: 253.2 pounds

Weight Loss/Gain: 1.0 pounds gained

Starting Weight: 249.4 pounds
Highest Point: 255.2 pounds
Lowest Point: 238.4 pounds

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Building a Bucket List 99-105

  1. See the Empire State Building
  2. Visit the Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche
  3. Visit the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
  4. Visit Machu Picchu
  5. Visit Antigua, Guatemala
  6. Go Scuba Diving
  7. Visit the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Books Read in 2015

I was able to squeeze in a fair amount of reading between work, classes, and traveling. A number of these books are ones that I was re-reading because I love them. Featuring prominently are books from independent authors and new releases from authors that I enjoy every word they write. 

My hope for 2016 is that I read more books than 2015 and that my reading list has a bit more diversity in it.

What are your reading goals for 2016?

  1. On Basilisk Station by David Weber
  2. The Honor of the Queen by David Weber
  3. The Short Victorious War by David Weber
  4. Field of Dishonor by David Weber
  5. Flag in Exile by David Weber
  6. Honor Among Enemies by David Weber
  7. In Enemy Hands by David Weber
  8. Echoes of Honor by David Weber
  9. Ashes of Victory by David Weber
  10. War of Honor by David Weber
  11. Crown of Slaves by David Weber and Eric Flint
  12. The Shadow of Saganami by David Weber
  13. At All Costs by David Weber
  14. Storm from the Shadows by David Weber
  15. Torch of Freedom by David Weber and Eric Flint
  16. Mission of Honor by David Weber
  17. A Rising Thunder by David Weber
  18. Shadow of Freedom by David Weber
  19. Cauldron of Ghosts by David Weber and Eric Flint
  20. Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire
  21. Libriomancer by Jim Hines
  22. Codex Born by Jim Hines
  23. Unbound by Jim Hines
  24. Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
  25. Winter's Heat by Cristin Harber
  26. Introductions by CL Stone
  27. The Game by Terri Schott
  28. Priceless by Shannon Mayer
  29. Garrison's Creed by Cristin Harber
  30. The Change by Teyla Branton
  31. Innocent in Las Vegas by AR Winters
  32. Green Eyes in Las Vegas by AR Winters
  33. Red Roses in Las Vegas by AR Winters
  34. Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge
  35. Baggage Claim by Amanda Tru
  36. Prudence by Gail Carriger
  37. Parasite by Mira Grant
  38. Symbiont by Mira Grant
  39. Feed by Mira Grant
  40. Deadline by Mira Grant
  41. Blackout by Mira Grant
  42. Countdown by Mira Grant
  43. San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant
  44. How Green this Land, How Blue this Sea by Mira Grant
  45. The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell by Mira Grant
  46. Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton
  47. The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K Hamilton
  48. Circus of the Damned by Laurell K Hamilton
  49. The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K Hamilton
  50. Bloody Bones by Laurell K Hamilton
  51. The Killing Dance by Laurell K Hamilton
  52. Burnt Offerings by Laurell K Hamilton
  53. Blue Moon by Laurell K Hamilton
  54. Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K Hamilton
  55. Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K Hamilton
  56. Cerulean Sins by Laurell K Hamilton
  57. Incubus Dreams by Laurell K Hamilton
  58. Micah by Laurell K Hamilton
  59. Danse Macabre by Laurell K Hamilton
  60. The Harlequin by Laurell K Hamilton
  61. Blood Noir by Laurell K Hamilton
  62. Skin Trade by Laurell K Hamilton
  63. Flirt by Laurell K Hamilton
  64. Bullet by Laurell K Hamilton
  65. Hit List by Laurell K Hamilton
  66. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
  67. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire
  68. Redshirts by John Scalzi
  69. Live Free or Die by John Ringo
  70. An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire
  71. Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire
  72. One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
  73. Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire
  74. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
  75. The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire
  76. A Rose Red Chain by Seanan McGuire
  77. The Heir (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
  78. Spirit Hackers by Aaron Crocco
  79. Arena Mode by Blake Northcott
  80. Assault or Attrition by Blake Northcott
  81. Final Empire by Blake Northcott
  82. The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox
  83. The Housewife Assassin's Deadly Dossier by Josie Brown
  84. The Housewife Assassin's Handbook by Josie Brown
  85. All Fall Down by Erica Spindler
  86. Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger
  87. Chimera by Mira Grant
  88. The Park Service by Ryan Winfield
  89. Isle of Man by Ryan Winfield
  90. State of Nature by Ryan Winfield
  91. Quantico by Greg Bear
  92. Ridiculous by DL Carter
  93. Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb

Monday, January 4, 2016

Weekly Weigh In Jan 4

The Holiday Season was rough on my willpower this year so I'm up a bit of weight that should drop off once I get back into strict logging of calories. I definitely disappointed myself last year so, this year I really need to be strictly disciplined. My biggest goal for the year is to continue to be more active. The good news is that since I spent most of the last week at home relaxing, I have no where to go but up this week. Of course, this week is starting with snow and ice so I need to be even more diligent.


Morning Workouts: 3
Lunchtime Weight Lifting: 0
Evening Dog Walks: 0
Bedtime Yoga: 2
Step Counting:
     Monday: 517
     Tuesday: 10634
     Wednesday: 8784
     Thursday: 5125
     Friday: 1109
     Saturday: 151
     Sunday: 718

     Weekly Average: 3862
     Last Week's Average: 6473

     Weekly Total: 27038
     Last Week's Total: 45314

     January Average: 659
     January Total: 1978

Current Weight: 253.2 pounds
Last Week: 245.4 pounds

Weight Loss/Gain: 0.8 pounds gained

Starting Weight: 249.4 pounds
Highest Point: 254.6 pounds
Lowest Point: 238.4 pounds