Friday, November 30, 2007

Panera Post

My favorite restaurant for a salad at lunch is Panera. I am hooked on the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. If the you at the nutritional info, it has more fat than you think it would. It is not the healthiest salad around, but it is very tasty. What do I like about this salad? The chicken, the wide variety of greens, the dehydrated apples, the almonds, the tasty dressing, and of course the Whole Grain baguette. Aside from the salad itself, I enjoy the atmosphere at Panera.

I eat a lot of salads for lunch, usually once a week at McDonalds, Wendys, and Panera. Of course, Panera is a bit pricey, but I like to treat myself once a week. The clientele at Panera is a little different than McDonalds. Mickey D's is usually full of Moms with kids under the age of 5. Panera caters to a different crowd - senior citizens, young and older professionals, not too many moms with kids. I will review my other favorite lunchtime salads in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

GetGo WetGo Review

What is WetGo, a new diaper/undergarment to compete against Depends? No, WetGo is GetGo's name for it's automated car wash. A co-worker gave me a coupon for a free car wash at GetGo which had an expiration date of 12/3. I decided to try it out after lunch, so I went to the GetGo on Route 8 in Butler, PA. I assume my experience will be the same at other WetGo locations. I went inside and the cashier gave me a receipt with an access code printed on it. There was actually an attendant at the start of the car wash who keyed in the access code and gave very brief instructions. I was told to put my car in neutral as I drove onto a conveyor belt which ran under my driver side tires. The conveyor belt eventually grabbed my tires and pulled me into and through the car wash. It was a strange feeling being sucked into the car wash - the sounds, not being able to see out the windows. It was painless and at the end of the car wash, a green lit light indicating it was ok to put my car into drive and head on out. So, how well did it clean my car? My car was moderately dirty, and car wash actually did a good job of cleaning my car. I would rate it 7 of of 10. The rinse cycle was a little short so I was not as pleased with the rinse cycle. The short rinse cycle contributed to some streaking on the windows. My car is a hatchback and has a windshield wiper on the rear window that is a little loose. I was afraid that the car wash would knock off the wiper blade, but it did not. This may sound strange, but I have owned my car for 5 years and have always hand washed/waxed it. Until today. With winter coming, I may consider get more car washes at the WetGo at GetGo.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Van Halen Reunion Tour Rolls into the Burgh 3/21

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that Van Halen will perform at the Civic Arena on March 21, 2008. I grew up listening to Van Halen, from high school, to college, to grad school. I have almost every album/CD they released. Ticket sale dates will be announced soon.

Hot Metal Bike/Pedestrian Bridge Opens

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Hot Metal Bridge for bikers and pedestrians officially opened today after a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. This is good news for all bikers and helps promote Pittsburgh as a bike friendly city.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reaper Review

Another new TV show that I have enjoyed watching this season is Reaper on the CW Network. The parents of the main character, Sam, promised their firstborn son to the Devil, in exchange for wiping out the father's gambling debts. When Sam turns 21, he learns he must become a bounty hunter for the Devil. The supporting cast of characters is great - The Devil and Sam's best friend/slacker buddy "Sock" are hilarious. In each episode, Sam must creatively use a vessel (like a Dirt Devil) to capture lost souls. It is a good show, check it out on CW's website.

PT Session 1

I had my first physical therapy session for my elbow tendonitis today. The PT is a young guy (younger than me) in his early 30's. The session was not too bad. He tested my range of motion, used ultrasound with heat, then the only painful part was when he massaged my tendon, followed by ice. He said the treatment was pretty cut and dry, and he seems to know what he is doing. I will keep you updated.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I saw my hand surgeon today for my elbow tendinitis, and he recommended 6 weeks of physical therapy (PT), 2 to 3 sessions a week. I saw a physical therapist about 15 years ago for Plantar fasciitis (heel pain). It really did not help back then. The real solution was getting a pair of custom made arch supports, orthotics. I am not sure how I feel about getting physical therapy. I guess I was hoping for an immediate solution, but I will try to keep an open mind. Way back then physical therapy was not very common, but today PT is fairly common.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Parts is Parts

I spent Thanksgiving weekend at my mother's house in the South Hills with my older and younger brother. On my way back home to the Northern part of Allegheny County, I made my way to the CompUSA in Robinson Township. Sure, it was not a direct route, but I stopped in to buy an Antec True Power Trio 650 Watt power supply for the computer I have not built yet. I have slowly been collecting parts for my DIY home built PC. I already have a computer case, a SATA hard drive, a DVD drive/burner, and a license for Windows XP. I am saving the more expensive parts for later - processor, motherboard, RAM, and video card. With winter here, I really can not work on the yard outside or any outdoor home improvement projects, so building my own PC will be a good indoor winter project. I have essentially replaced everything I can in my present PC and have maxed out the performance of it.

Can I build a PC myself? Sure, I do take apart PC's for a living. The only difference is the PC's at work are standardized by my company and all of the components are guaranteed to work together. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Tale of the Turkey Tape

So, what is the damage after a week of eating out while on a business trip following by Thanksgiving? Not as bad as I thought it would be. I stepped on my body fat/weight scale today, and I gained about 2.5 lbs, and my bodyfat percentage was about 1.0 percent higher than my average. I really have not worked out seriously for about 3 weeks, so once I get back in the swing of things, I should lose the extra pounds and bodyfat.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


What is the significance of the number 21?

The legal drinking age?

Roberto Clemente's Jersey Number?

No, 21 degrees Fahrenheit was the temperature this morning. Blah!

Friday, November 23, 2007


One of the new TV shows that I have enjoyed watching is CBS's Moonlight. I like a good vampire story. The main character, actor Alex O'Loughlin as Mick St. John, is the vampire and actress Sophia Myles as Beth Turner, is his human love interest. There is a lot of tension between Mick and Beth, and you wonder when the two will finally hook up. The first few episodes were kind of weak, the same vampire stuff you have seen before. The stories have gotten better, but unfortunately, due to the writer's strike, tonight was the 11th and last episode of the season.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

RUUTU Shootout Goal Wins Game for Pens

Jarkko Ruutu got the game winning shootout goal tonight as the Pens beat the Ottawa Senators 6-5. Here is a pic of Jarkko between my two favorite WTAE news babes, Ashley DiParlo and Janelle Hall.

Turkey on the Table

As Mike Lange, Pittsburgh Penguins radio play by play announcer, would say, "The Turkey is on the Table". Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green been casserole, mystery soup.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a Happy Thankgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NaBloPoMo - Update

So, how am I doing with the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) challenge? I did not learn about the challenge until 11/10, so I missed the out on the official start. Since I began the challenge 10 days late, I did miss one post on 11/15. This was literally due to technical difficulties with the Wi Fi network at the hotel I was staying at while working out of town on business. Even though I missed the official start on 11/1, I will do my best to finish out the month.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

State of My Union Address

Most of my recent posts have not had anything to do with logging my workouts. Why? Well, after Halloween, I decided I really needed to give my right elbow and the lingering tennis elbow a good long rest. I knew I would be out of town on business the week before Thanksgiving, and the week of Thanksgiving would be hectic, so why not take a break from the workouts. I made an appointment with my hand surgeon for next Monday to check out my tennis elbow. Yes, I had to go to a hand surgeon last year because of Dequervain's tendonitis. I am hoping I can get a cortisone shot, resting my elbow just does not seem to help.

Rest is good, but there are some negatives from not working out: 1) my bad left knee feels unstable. I had arthoscopic surgery on this knee about 12 years ago for a meniscus tear. My left knee feels "rusty" if I do not exercise it for a while; 2) I actually lose weight due to losing muscle mass; 3) I have exercise induced asthma, which flares up when the weather change from warm to cold. I need to keep up my cardio or I will have problems breathing in cold weather. Now you understand why maintaining a workout routine becomes more difficult with age.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Through Rain, Sleet, or Snow

When I go away on business, I submit an online request to have my mail held at my local post office. At the end of the holding date, you can request to have your mail delivered or you can pick up the mail in person at the post office. I usually choose the option to pick up my mail in person, just in case my return date changes. I stopped at my local post office this morning before work and to my surprise was told that the letter carrier had already resumed delivery on Saturday.
Overall, I have been pleased with the Hold Mail service from the Post Office. There have been a few times where my mail was held accidentally. I would think if they saw a Discrepancy between the customer's name and address, they would question it. Most of my mail is junk mail. The important stuff, like bills, I have opted to receive bills on-line. Saves money in postage and ordering checks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thoughts on Naples

Being back home, I have a few thoughts about my business trip to Naples, FL:
  • Naples is a tourist town. Most of the businesses are hotels and restaurants.
  • Naples is bike friendly. I saw a lot of bicyclists riding their bikes, even on the 6 lane divided highways.
  • It is warm.
  • I have never seen so much mulch and landscaping on a highway median.
  • Almost every office building is meticulously landscaped with a waterfall.
  • It must be damn expensive to live down there.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Back to the Burgh

I am waiting at the airport in Ft. Myers for my flight to Atlanta, then back to the Burgh. I was disappointed that the High Speed Internet access was not working at my hotel for the last 2 days. The Ft. Myers airport has free Wi-Fi, but Atlanta does not, so I am posting now. The temperature will change from 80 in Ft Myers to about 40 in the Burgh. Back to reality.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Missed a Post Yesterday

Sorry, but I was not able to post yesterday because the high-speed internet/wi-fi was not working at the hotel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Red Lobster Whiner

I ate dinner at the Red Lobster in Naples, FL tonight. I waited a long time for a server to take my order. In the booth next to me, a mother and daughter were having dinner and the mother requested to speak to the manager and also wanted a different waitress. In fact, I never say the waitress that was supposed to serve me for the rest of the evening. The manager either canned her or told her to leave for the evening. You would not believe this, but after complaining about everything from the biscuits to the dessert, the mother actually had the nerve to ask the manager how her daughter could apply for a job as a bus person. The manager was politically correct and said that all applicants must pass a personality test. I doubt if her daughter will ever work there. So, how was the food. Well, the food was tasty, but when someone whines all evening about everything, the meal just is not that enjoyable. The mother did have a right to complain, but she went over the top. The daughter was so embarrassed by her mother's whining, she asked to leave even before the dessert came out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Florida in November

Hey Kids, you will not believe this, but my company sent me to Florida this week to work. I am near Ft Meyers and the temperature today was in the low 80's. It is nice to be down here, but since I am working and I really do not have a chance to enjoy the nice weather.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Remember Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, so please remember the men and women who have served in the military for our great country. My deceased father was drafted out of high school and served in the Navy in WWII. My father was in his late 30's when I was born.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Why I Do Not Sleep In On The Weekend

The reason I do not sleep in on the weekends is because I get to watch Janelle Hall on WTAE TV's Weekend Morning News. She is my favorite WTAE news babe. Why?, just look at her. The picture on WTAE's website is a little outdated, but she is super fine. Janelle is full of energy, has a positive personality, and is obviously gorgeous.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Winter Car Preparation

My car's state and emission inspection is due this month, so this morning at 8:00AM, I dropped my car off at the Sears in the Ross Park Mall. I was surprised that they were done around 10:30AM, and they did not charge me extra for anything stupid like a $20 wiper blade or a $10 light bulb.

On my way home, I stopped by my local AutoZone to get my car battery replaced. I was still running my original car battery, which was 5 years old, so it was due for a replacement. The salesperson who rung up the receipt did not know what he was doing, so I had to look at the receipt twice. Also, the engine coolant/antifreeze level in my car was low, so I bought a gallon of Prestone.

Now is a good time to get your vehicle ready for winter - before it gets too cold and before any significant amounts of snow or ice. Here are some things you may want to do now:

  • check car battery charge, replace if necessary

  • check tire tread depth, replace if necessary

  • check engine coolant/antifreeze level

  • check wiper blades

  • buy windshield washer fluid

  • prepare an emergency winter kit with booster cables, cat liter for traction, lock de-icer (or matches), blanket or extra clothes, gloves, hat, snow brush, ice scraper, non-perishable food (peanuts are good), small portable snow shovel

  • wash car and apply a good coat of car wax - it is easier to remove snow and ice if your car has a nice coat of wax

  • AAA membership if you can afford it

November is National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo

I just found out the November is National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo. The challenge is to post something on your blog every day in the month of November. I am 10 days late, but I will try my best to post the remaining 20 days in November. Lately, I have been a little lazy, so this gives me some incentive to be a better blogger.

There seems to be a direct correlation between how much I post and how much I work out. I am trying to rest my injured elbow tendonitis which essentially wipes out all of my upper body workouts. I am doing stretching and strengthening exercises for my forearms and wrists. I have not been able to schedule a doctor appointment to check out my elbow yet, but hope to do so soon.