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Dave’s Must Haves

Gear Acquisition Syndrome – Pedalboards

by on Mar.06, 2014, under Dave's Must Haves, Music

All musicians have heard of (and have) GAS. It’s the uncontrollable need for that next toy. I have it, and it plagues me constantly.

My current issue is my sound. I want to move to analog, but I sometimes want digital. And, I want to be able to travel. Which means I need to be able to quickly disconnect my gear, box it up, and then quickly set it up.

I solved my analog portions with two pedal boards, a nice SKB, and a crappier Boss BCB-60. That lets me take lots, or a few pedals out, and then set them up, pack them up.

But, what about when I want digital? My GSP-1101 is racked with a power station that feeds all my equipment (PA to Bass AMP), and a patch panel. I think my next little investment needs to be a 2u rack (and a rack tuner :)) to allow me to take the gsp + controller in two small packages.

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Vehicular Musings

by on Feb.19, 2014, under Dave's Must Haves, Dave's Rants

After my car accident, I got to drive a prius for a couple of weeks. And, at the gas pump, I was really annoyed . . . in my Jeep Grand Cherokee, it costs me > $80 to fill the 23 gallon tank. That gets me somewhere around 322 miles of range at 14MPG. The Prius had an 8 gallon tank. It cost me about $20 to fill, and I got over 400 miles of range (450, iirc)

I have thought about electrics and hybrids in the past, and I really want one. However, I have other needs too:

  • I have to have all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive to get up the mountain.
  • I have to be able to pull a 4000lb trailer.

And, if I’m going to bother with an electric, my goal would be to use zero gas to get to and from work — but, it needs to have range, and, at a minimum, a gas backup plan.

So, I have a vehicle worth about $30k, and I need to buy two vehicles, since the above criteria does not exist in one vehicle.

Looking at available used hybrids / electrics, I think the are the way to go. They have a plug in option, and can go 11 miles on electric alone — my commute is 4.1 miles.

Cost of a used one: ~ $25k

And, then there’s the truck. . . I can’t afford a $70k nice one, so, just something that’s 4×4 and can tow something decent is about the same $15k. So, the question becomes: is it worth $10k to save the planet?

Now, the hard part — the truck.

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Bacon Stuffed Chicken

by on Apr.12, 2012, under Dave's Must Haves

Bacon Stuffed Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

Two Chicken Breasts
3 Strips of Butcher Bacon (All good recipes contain bacon)
1/2 Onion (Any kind)
3 cloves garlic
2/3 Bag Baby Spinach 2 slices baby swiss cheese Salt

Try 1 Recipe

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut Bacon into .5″ pieces. Fry. Add onions & minced garlic. Cook with bacon and bacon grease till almost caramelized. Add spinach and saute.

While onions are cooking, make a slit in the chicken breasts. Add a slice of swiss in the slit.

When spinach is cooked, add it into slit, and close chicken breast. (I used toothpics to hold closed). Bake for about 30-45 mins at 350. (You can turn to broil at the end to crisp up the breast). Salt to taste.

Notes

  • Needed Salt. I thought the bacon would have enough for the spinach mixture: It did not.
  • Not enough bacon.
  • Not enough Cheese.

Pics

From Bacon & Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Try 2 recipe changes

  • Double the cheese.
  • Use 1″ instead of .5″ pieces of butcher bacon.
  • Salt spinach mixture.
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Learning to Fly . . urm . . I mean Ski

by on Jan.07, 2012, under Dave's Must Haves, Dave's Rants

I’ve been skiing a bit on old racing skis (180s) and Lange boots. It has been . . urm . . interesting.

Tammy has been hating the fit of her boots, so we got her some custom boots, with some adjustments, and me some boots too.

Tammy tried on a few, but finally found some comfortable Dalbello 2011 Raya 10’s

My boots are a bit more agressive than hers, because I like powder, and hitting little jumps ūüôā For boots, I got Tecnica Demon 110i’s.

For skis, we decided to have Tammy continue to use her rental shaped skis, until she is ready for an all mountain set of skis. For me, however, I needed something, and, why get shaped, when I can get something more all mountain. Dennis recommended S7’s, or, for my skill level, maybe S3’s. Eric, at the Lifthouse, agreed with the S3’s. But, Tammy and I liked the graphics better on the Scott Dozers, and, there wasn’t a lot of difference. They’re both rockered all mountain skis. So, I ended up with Scott Dozer A Version 12’s.

I can’t wait to try them out!

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Six Week Paleo Challenge

by on Nov.28, 2011, under Body Stats, Dave's Must Haves, Workout Logs

The Rules

I just got finished doing a six week paleo challenge with my gym. The rules were very strict. We used the Whole 30 Plan, but did 42 instead of 30 days.

The rules I was most concerned with were:

  • No alcohol
  • No sweeteners of any kind, including stevia!

I was especially concerned because I had to deal with Halloween, a wine party, and, most importantly, Halloween parties!

Turns out, the parties weren’t that bad . . . but . . . I digress.

Hiding from sweeteners and artificial sweeteners completely was way harder than I thought. I eat 90% Primal, as my normal diet. So, eating paleo only meant:

  1. not cheating
  2. Getting rid of dairy
  3. Really not cheating (i.e. no legumes at all, including soybean oils)

I found out a bit later that sweet potatoes and coconut milk were allowed.

Also, allowed, were pre/post workout nutrition. So, my normal breakfast of a protein shake, and Surge Recovery, or Aftershock after my workouts was ok.

The Scoring

Finally, the scoring and penalties. We got one point for every paleo meal (maxed at 3 per day), one point for every workout (maxed at one per day), and, -2 points for every cheat item. (So, one night of binge drinking could undo a week of points!)

So, at most, four points per day. And, one final kicker: we had to do 10 burpees per cheat item. (On about the 4th week, Andrew raised this to 50 per item)

Contest Results

The first couple of weeks, I had no cheats. But, I then started having a beer when I hiked up runs, and went snowboarding, so I started averaging one cheat a week, towards the end.

I found that I didn’t really lose any weight. I really missed sweets. Giving up Diet Coke was easy, but, giving up the sweet treat of it, was not. So, I started eating 3-4 pieces of fruit a day, which killed my weight loss. Toward the end, I tried to limit myself to one fruit a day, which helped.

Here were the point results:

DatePointsNotes
10/12 – 10/2346No Cheats
10/24 – 10/3025One Cheat
10/31 – 11/0628
11/07 – 11/1323Two Cheats
11/14 – 11/2229Three Cheats
Totals151Six Cheats

I think I did pretty well. I’m pretty sure I won. But, I could be wrong. There could have been some quiet winner . . . ūüôā

Real Results

Outside of the contest, what did I get out of the challenge?

First, I learned that I was still drinking way too many diet sodas. I’m very glad to be done with that. I’ve learned to drink unsweetened teas . . . many different varieties. I may start using a little stevia in some of them, but, for the most part, I drink them w/o sweeteners of any kind.

Second, I did learn that my sweet tooth can not be ignored. I’m not sure how I’m going to get past that one. Maybe a stevia sweetened tea every now and then will help.

Finally, I learned how much I normally cheat. And, how many foods they hide sugar in. Including breakfast sausage — you can NOT buy breakfast sausage w/o sugar. At least, I couldn’t find any.

Body Changes

As usual, I was a bit anal about measuring my body changes. Just before I started the diet, I carbed up a bit. So, I gained the obligatory 7 lbs of water weight. (Went from 215 -> 222.7 for the initial weigh in.) So, that came off almost immediately. But, then, it just sat there. The scale did not move again, until I cut out the fruit. I did, however, get my body fat measured, used my body fat measuring scale, and, whipped out the measuring tape. Here’s my changes over the challenge:

MeasurementOctober 12, 2011November 22, 2011
Weight222.7209.5
BMI (Computed)32.8830.93
Bodyfat (Crossfit Measured)30.3
Bodyfat (Scale)32.430.6
Neck15.515.5
Shoulders4846.5
Chest3937
Waist3534
Hips41.540
Arms13.514.5
Legs25.325
Calves1717
Total Inches234.8229.5

So, out of losing 5.3 inches overall, I still gained 1 inch in my arms (measured at biceps). That is pretty cool (I’m getting stronger at the same time that I’m losing weight & inches). I’m finally slightly under 36″ pants. Most 34’s fit now. Some 33’s. I’m looking forward to getting back into my 32s.

Fitness

We did Murph before and after the competition. AFTER the competition, I did my pullups w/o a band, so, I got Rx. That is a huge difference, but, it’s not very measurable. But, I also timed the first mile of each Murph, and I think those stats are even more telling than the overall time.

The first mile of my Murph in October took me 9:27. And, I was VERY proud of that time. After Murph, I paid attention again, and, my first mile was 8:36. That is a good testament of what I got out of Paleo. I did not train running, yet, almost lost a whole minute!

Conclusion

Now that I’ve done my Thanksgiving gorge, I’m looking forward to getting back into my Primal diet (I miss cheese), and finishing my loss, while keeping my strength. Also, I’ve been boarding 4 times this season, and I have yet to get tired.

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Geezers and their Meds

by on May.31, 2011, under Dave's Must Haves, Workout Logs

I had a supplement this AM that made me slightly green (nauseated) during my workout, so, I thought I’d post my supplement regimen for comments, criticism, etc.

My main goal is weight loss, with being healthy a close second. So, I’ve been focusing on working out, hoping that weight loss would just come. It hasn’t, but, I still want to wait until I’m a little bit healthier before I reduce caloric intake. My diet is mainly primal (paleo + cheese). But, I probably eat too much fruit for snacks. I’ve reduced my diet coke intake to mainly when I eat out. So, 1-2 sodas every other day or so. I’m working on cutting those out too.

Workout Days

5:00AM Wake up 5:05-5:15ish: 2 Mega Shreds, 1 Assault, 2 Kre-Alkalyn, 1 Glucosamine+MGM+Condroitin 5:40: 25g Protein shake 6:00 Workout (Crossfit Strength + WoD) 7:00 PWN Rezzerect Lunchtime: 2 Mega Shreds, 1 Assault Bedtime: 1 Glucosamine+MGM+Condroitin, 2 Charger Test, 3 ZMA

Non Workout Days

6:45AM Wake up 7:00: 2 Mega Shreds, 1 Assault, 1 Glucosamine+MGM+Condroitin 7:20: 25g Protein shake Lunchtime: 2 Mega Shreds, 1 Assault Bedtime: 1 Glucosamine+MGM+Condroitin, 2 Charger Test, 3 ZMA

Summary

So — the questions to the world:

  1. When I added No-Xplode to the morning supplements, I was nauseated in the workout. Too much?
  2. The instructions for the Kre-Alkalyn are two in the AM, and two before workouts. Since I work out first thing in the AM, should I also take a dose at night?
  3. Should I add a multivitamin? If so, when?
  4. Any other changes / suggestions / etc?
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He said “Tool”

by on Mar.18, 2010, under Dave's Must Haves, Workout Logs

Weight Loss Tools

A friend of mine was recently asking me about a tracker, and I realized that I have tried many online trackers out there, with varying levels of success. ¬†So, I thought I’d share my findings.

But, first a caveat.  I am a daily weigher.  I religiously weigh my self every day, and now, I measure my %BF on the scale every day too.  So, I need tools that will average out all the movement to allow me to see trends, not water weight.

Weight Trackers & Food Journals

Daily Burn – I love all the trackers on this site. ¬†I have tried fitday, weight watchers, mymedifast, and several other sites, but, Daily Burn seems to pwn them all. ¬†Plus, if you have an iPhone, you can track right from your phone. ¬†They track measurements too, but, it is a bit of a pain to enter everything, so, I moved my measurements tracking over to a spreadsheet, since I only track those bi weekly anyway. ¬†The food journaling is even better than the weight / measurement tracking. ¬†And, if you eat packaged meals, you can scan the UPC code with your camera, and instantly add it without having to “type” in the name. ¬†Epic Win!

Ticker Factory – If you are a forum lurker, you gotta have a ticker. ¬†While I’m not completely happy with the choices at tickerfactory, it does work. ¬†If you find a better one, let me know. ¬†Right now, my ticker is a guy “surfing” down some slopes, because I couldn’t find a snowboarder.

WeightWatchers I only list this one in case you are actually doing weight watchers. ¬†They have a very full food database, with lots of point values computed. ¬†But, if you’re not watching “points”, then there are better sites out there.

SparkPeople – Lots of people love this site. ¬†The food database is large. ¬†There is nothing wrong with it, but, I personally don’t need all the emails and annoying reminders. ¬†They annoyed me away.

Weight Trackers – Daily Weighing

Hacker’s Diet Online – I used this for QUITE a while. ¬†It was created by the author of theHacker’s Diet, which is an awesome sanity check for anyone trying to lose weight. ¬†And, while there is nothing wrong with the tracker, it only tracks weight. ¬†When I wanted something to track %Bodyfat too, I replaced it.

Physics Diet Tracker – This tracker was based on the hacker’s diet tracker. ¬†But, they have extra fields you can track, better graphs, and easier data entry, even from my phone. ¬†And, they have a banner you can use for your signature that makes you look √ľber cool.

Information / Advice

Shrinkgeek – The “Elitist Jerks” of weight loss, but without the attitude. ¬†The authors are all in varying stages of weight loss, and they have a lot to share. ¬†The forums are a bit new, but still insightful.

exrx.net РEVERYTHING you would ever need to know about exercise.  Trying to exercise the muscle on the back of your hand?  They probably have a movement to do it.

Hackers Diet – A great sanity check on why all diets work, and why all diets don’t.

Other Stuff

Garmin Connect – I use this site to share my runs (or, I will, once I start running again)

Motion X / TrailRunner РGreat GPS iPhone apps to track runs / bikes / etc.  I like MotionX over TrailRunner, even though TrailRunner is easier to use.

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Dave’s iPhone Must-Haves

by on Sep.19, 2009, under Dave's Must Haves

I’m constantly being asked what applications I like best, as friends and family buy iPhones. And, I sometimes download a few too many apps and need to clean house. So, I’m using this to both rate my favorite applications, and to help me keep track of things I need.

(continue reading…)

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