Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Wind Blows

I drove home today from Virginia and had to deal with the heavy wind gusts. I was driving the company vehicle, which is a GM Cargo Van. It sits up high and is a high profile vehicle, meaning wind gusts can move it suddenly. When I left Virginia, it was sunny and about 60 degrees. However, as the hours went by, and as I got closer to Pennsylvania, the clouds came out, it got cold, and very windy. Again, I had a death grip on the steering wheel, this time trying to keep the big white whale Moby Dick vehicle steady on the highway. I took a quick lunch break around 1:30 PM at a rest stop on the PA turnpike near Somerset. It was raining, but it was more like sleet turning into rain. Ugly. Driving through the last set of mountains before reaching Pittsburgh was ugly also. Still windy. I arrived in Downtown Butler around 4:00 PM, and the skies opened up...Wet, cold rain/sleet, an intense downpour for about 15 minutes. Overall, my trip home, was windy, wet, cold, and ugly. It will be nice sleeping in my own bed tonight.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Afton Mountain Fog

I worked late Friday night in Virginia and decided to stay overnight in Waynesboro, VA. I had to drive on I-64 West through the mountains. When I came through on Wednesday heading East on I-64, I noticed the signs warning that it was a fog prone area. Wednesday night was clear, but Friday night was rainy, and yes very foggy. After I passed mile 107, there was a sign warning motorists of upcoming fog the next six miles. The hotel was located at exit 96, and somewhere between mile 107 and 96 it became very foggy and the road was very windy. The first thing I noticed was that the road actually had lights built into the road along the right side of the right lane and along the left side of the left lane. These lights really helped. Visibility at certain stretches on the mountain was only a few car lengths. I was very nervous and literally had a death grip on the steering wheel. I made it to the exit and hotel safely. I was so relieved.

When I got home on Saturday, I searched for I-64 and learned that I was driving through Afton Mountain. Here is a link from Wikipedia. The lighting system is called
Automated Pavement Lighting. I found out there is also a webcam and 800 number where you can get updated traffic/weather conditions. If I ever have to travel to Virginia again, I will check the traffic/weather conditions and possibly have an alternative route planned.

Weekly Review - 10/22/2006

I was out of town for about half of the week working my new job resposibilities even though they do not officially start until November 1. I only completed two cardio workouts this week. I got one in today when I returned home. Due to a crazy work schedule, I was not able to work out. On business trips I usually lose weight, but the weight re-distributes itself to my stomach. I had a feeling I had lost some weight because my cargo pants kept falling off my waist. Here are my reading when I got back home: weight=144.5 lbs, fat=9.5%, water=70.5%.
The week before I weighed 147.0 lbs. Even though I ate out for dinner instead of cooking dinner for myself, I lose weight on business trips because I miss the mid morning, mid afternoon, and late evening snacks.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Cold Wendy's

I went to the Wendy's on Rt 356 today because I wanted to stop at the Target over lunch. From past experience, I should have remembered that this Wendy's is always cold in the winter. It seems like they do not keep the heat on overnight and do not turn on the heat until the workers arrive in the morning. By lunchtime, the building is still cold. I arrived around 12:30PM, it was about two-thirds full, but still cold. For the most part, I usually order salads or something healthy when I dine out for lunch. Since it was cold, I ordered a Taco Salad. I have been to a few restaurants that were always cold at lunchtime in the winter because they were cheap with the heating. I do not think that the Wendy's at the Clearview Mall has this problem. The next time I am up that way, I will check it out. It is not a good sign when you sit in a restaurant during lunch, and almost all the customers are still wearing their coats.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

PA State Car Inspection

Yesterday, I had my car inspected to comply with Pennsylvania's annual vehicle inspection. I had a coupon for a $6.00 inspection. Of course, this was only the vehicle inspection and did not include the emissions testing, sticker, or anything else they could find. I dropped my car off at 8:00 AM and the shop did not call me until 2:30 PM. They told me I needed new wiper blades and the brakes needed adjusted. They told me the brake adjustment would cost $20.00, so I said OK, proceed with the work. I picked up the car around 3:45 PM.

My bill totaled almost $100.00. How? Well first off, they charged me about $15.00 a piece for each wiper blade. Not a wiper blade refill, but the refill with a whole blade assembly. That is damn expensive. I checked Advanced Auto Part's website, and whole wiper blades cost anywhere from $8.00 to $20.00. However, there were only a few around the $20.00 range. These wipers better last forever. They claimed that my wiper blades were streaking. With all the rain, I have been using the wipers, but they seemed fine to me. $20.00 for the brake adjustment, $40.00 for the emission testing, plus some other miscellaneous stuff brought the bill to almost $100.00. Even though I had the coupon, they always find someone stupid that needs replaced. Usually it is a lightbulb, but I guess they are cheaper than wiper blades. I am glad I only have to get a car inspection once a year. What a rip off!

Weekly Review - 10/15/2006

I completed two weight lifting workout and one cardio. Not the greatest week, but at least I did something. My head is not on straight lately. I have been worrying about the amount of travel I will have to do with the change in j0b responsibilities. I will be out of town half of next week and my boss proposed that I be out one week in November. I will be in a training class for one week in December. And I still have 5 vacations days that I have to use. Hopefully, I am not over reacting.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nike Pro Vent Tight Review 2

Below is the men's size chart for the Nike Pro Vent line of compression tops


S , 35-38 , 5'7"-5'9"
M , 38-41, 5'9"-5'11"
L, 41-44, 5'11"-6'1"
XL, 44-47, 6'1"-6'3"
XXL, 47–50, 6'3"-6'5"
XXXL, 50-53, 6'5"-6'7"

These are Nike's recommendations directly from their website:
If your body measurement is on the borderline between two sizes, go to the lower size for a tighter fit or the higher size for a looser fit. If your body measurements for Chest and Height result in two different suggested sizes, you are better off going with the size from your Chest measurement. Compression Fit, Ultra Skin Tight. We suggest you may want to size up by one size.

My recommendations:
1) If you do not like tight fitting clothes, the Nike Pro Vent Tight line is not for you. Nike does make a Nike Pro Vent Loose line also. The other competitors, Under Armour and Reebok, make both a compression line and a loose line.
2) My chest size is 37, so I am right between a small and a medium. Small is way too tight. Medium is OK because I do not have bulging triceps/biceps. My bone structure is lean, so my arms will never be bulging. If you do have bulging arms, I would recommend sizing up one size from your chest size for the short sleeve tops. Arm size is not an issue if you are wearing the sleeveless version.
3) It may take one or two workouts to get used to the skin tight fight.
4) It will take a few more workouts to figure out how to take off the skin tight shirt. It is really difficult trying the pull the back of the shirt over your head and overstretched arms. I find it easier to remove one arm first, then your shirt is easier to pull off of your head and the remaining arm.

The important question is does this stuff work? The answer is yes. The Dri-Fit fabric wicks sweat off your body and then evaporates. Say goodbye to the days of sweat soaked cotton tee shirts.
Addendum: I have 3 other posts about the Nike Pro Vent line of performance compression clothing. Here they are:
Nike Pro Vent Review 4 - This was my fourth post after I discovered that Nike had a Nike Pro Europe website. The website explains how the Nike Pro line works to wick sweat away from your body. It also showcase European athletes who endorse the Nike Pro line.

Nike Pro Vent Review 3 - This was my third most comprehensive review, including a graphic size chart, my personal review of the product, and where to buy.

Nike Pro Vent - This was my first review, when I first decided to buy it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blogger Beta

I switched over to Blogger Beta on Sunday. I lost some of the links to my favorite websites and blogs, so please bear with me while I re-construct everything. Thanks for your patience.

Job Changes

At work, I accepted a new position. It is more responsiblity and visibility. On one hand it is exciting, and on the other hand I have some fears of the unknown. It is a brand new position, so there are a lot of unknowns right now. Geographically, my area expands from just Butler, PA to a national basis. Functionally, my responsibilty shrinks from the whole company to one specific department in the company. It is not really a lateral move and it is not really a promotion either. It is kind of like a stepping stone to a promotion. The position will require some travel, so I have some concerns about keeping in shape. My new position begins November 1, so I am transitioning out of my current responsibilities.

Weekly Review - 10/8/2006

I completed cardio on two days, one day of lifting, and mowed the lawn one day. It was not the most productive week. I also got off track from my diet. For breakfast, instead of oatmeal with protein powder and raisins, I opted for Pop Tarts. For bedtime snack, instead of yogurt with protein powder, I opted for Mom's homemade zucchini bread. My bodyweight today was 145.5 lbs, 9.5% bodyfat, 70.5% water weight. The bodyfat is up a little and the % water weight dropped some. I need to get back on track.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Computer Expert "Digital Bill" Passes Away

On a sad note, computer expert "Digital Bill", originally from Butler, PA passed away on October 4, 2006. You can read the article from the Post Gazette here. I did not know "Digital Bill" personally. I feel a sense of loss because I am also an IT Professional. I extend my thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Butler Bloggers

I just joined Butler Bloggers at My blog is already listed with Pittsburgh Bloggers What is my Butler connection? I work in Butler. In fact, my office is located in downtown Butler. I actually live in Allegheny County, Gibsonia, to be exact. I get to experience both a big city like Pittsburgh, and a smaller, more rural city like Butler. I will be adding more posts about Butler in the future.

I have read it is not wise to talk about work on a blog, so I will not. My employer and I will remain anonymous. If I do speak about work, it will only be in very general terms, and how it relates to the general theme of this blog: The challenges of a single, 40 something guy maintaining a fitness lifestyle.

Thank You Butler Bloggers for listing my blog!

Friday, October 13, 2006

KOHS Class of 1981 25 Year Reunion Announced

The 25 year Reunion of the Keystone Oaks High School Class of 1981 has been announced. The reunion contact at sent me a e-mail and posted an announcement on the Classmates website.

Reunion Information
Place: Dormont Pool Recreation Center, 2nd floor
Date: Friday, November 24, 2006
Time: 7:00 to 11:30
Cost: $15 per person ($30 per couple)
RSVP by November 11, 2006
Pizza, beer, snacks and soda provided, byob, casual attire.
Also, information will be posted on the following website:

Checks can be sent to two different people. I will not publish their names or addresses on this blog. You can e-mail me and I will send you the names and addresses. Look in the upper right section of this page, in the "About Me" section, click on "View my complete profile". On the left side of the page under "Contact", you will see my e-mail. I hope to see you there.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekly Review - 10/1/2006

This was the week of non-traditional workouts. I mowed the lawn one day. I washed and waxed the car another day. Completed two cardio sessions. And on the weekend, I literally dug a trench two feet deep on one side of my outside storage shed.

Why, you ask? I had a family of cats living under my shed for a few weeks. I bought some animal repellant from Home Depot where the main ingredient was cayenne pepper. I also bought some moth balls. The cats, father, mother, and three kittens were entering from one side of the shed that has a small wooden deck platform. The repellant and moth balls scared the cats away. In the past, I have also had groundhogs under my shed. I removed the wood planks with a crowbar, placed and secured chicken wire along the one side of the platform, covered with dirt, and nailed the planks back down. The chicken wire should prevent any animals from digging underneath that side of the shed. I was only able to work on one half of the length of the shed. I will have to complete the other half another day.

It was difficult work. Using a crowbar, removing nails, digging and moving dirt. My biceps were sore and the hamstrings were tight. I am right handed, so my right hand is "tired" from gripping a hammer too many times.

Around the start of the Steelers game, I heard a kitten meowing from outside. The kitten was in my neighbors backyard and I saw it run away up their driveway. The cats are still in the neighborhood, but not under my shed anymore.

Weekly Review - 9/24/2006

I actually completed 4 workouts: 1) legs, 2) triceps and biceps, 3) chest, and 4) back. It was more productive than I thought it would be.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Keystone Oaks Class of 1981 - 25 Year Reunion Announced

The 25 year Reunion of the Keystone Oaks High School Class of 1981 has been announced. The reunion contact at sent me a e-mail and posted an announcement on the Classmates website. Here it is:

Reunion Information
Place: Dormont Pool Recreation Center, 2nd floor
Date: Friday, November 24, 2006
Time: 7:00 to 11:30
Cost: $15 per person ($30 per couple)
RSVP by November 11, 2006
Pizza, beer, snacks and soda provided, byob, casual attire

Also, information will be posted on the following website:

Checks can be sent to two different people. I will not publish their names or addresses on this blog, so please e-mail me by Viewing My Profile and clicking on the e-mail link..

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cold Case Babe

Isn't she just beautiful? This is Kathryn Morris, star of CBS's Cold Case. I really do not have to say anything else. Wow!