Day 10: Backyard Friends

Weight: 215.2 lbs (97.6 kg)
Ride Time: 1h — 9h15m
Distance: 15.0 mi (24.1 km) — 137.3 mi (~221km)
Food Diary: (Absent)

Getting back on schedule today. 😀 No eggs for breakfast, so I’m just adding another hamsteak. Should have enough time to cycle before we have to head out around 12ish… I hope. Just gotta stay on top of timers.

Now, I promised pictures of some backyard birds… I suppose I’ll start with the Mourning Doves.

Mourning Dove Study

I called this one Mourning Dove Study since we get to see the 3 primary identifying sides of the bird. These suckers used to not come by all that often, but now the finches have them as pets. Yes, I kid not. The little finches purposefully scatter food from the feeder onto the ground by flicking their heads back and forth. It’s an interesting dynamic to watch because the doves won’t bother the finches but will sometimes bully other birds (not often, but sometimes).

Finches are the most common visitor we’ve got. No questions asked about that. It’s probably due to the feed we use (a four season blend with lots of small things). But that’s okay. Small birds are just too adorable…

The thing about finches is often they’re playful. Yes. They’re even hyperactive. But… they’re also competitive. Squabbles over the feeder aren’t all that uncommon. Not a day-to-day occurrence, but, they do happen. As a family group, they have the capacity to bully other more aggressive and territorial birds like Jays and Cardinals. Though I’ve never actually seen the former happen, the latter I saw yesterday.

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This poor guy was being bullied by the family group. It’s a juvenile cardinal, a rather sickly pathetic looking one. But that appearance is about the norm. Lucky for him, his fellow cardinals wouldn’t have anything of the bullying and after a bit, 3 or 4 more flew in — with a juvenile of their own — and kept watch over the two juveniles as they ate! 😀

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This one was kind enough to give me the idealic Cardinal pose.

As a side note, if you see a lot of beaks open, it isn’t because they’re calling, but panting and trying to cool off. I’ve noticed that a lot of the best pictures I’ve been getting is contrary to normal convention — which says that dawn and dusk are the best times. All of these pictures were within 12P-6P. But, I suppose, conventions aren’t steadfast rules.

Cooper's Death Glare

Cooper isn’t amused with steadfastness though… predictability he enjoys. Since, after all, he can always rely on a cool bath. He does have a funny side though. It isn’t always about pecking out eyeballs and clawing backs.

“You want me to touch what? Uh, no. No, no, no. No. Ew. I just cleaned my claws, thank you.”

Maybe he wishes he were a flamingo. Or a stork. Or some other long legged water bird. Teasingly, I titled that photo “Cooper’s EW! Gay Moment” — and those who follow me regularly know that’s a joke since, well, I’m with a man… which kinda, you know, makes me gay too, I suppose, if you want to use those kinds of groupings.

This is the bird that keeps leaving little presents in the form of feathers. 😀 I saw him fly off yesterday out of tree next to the bird bath, so he does hang out here. Now that I’ve seen that, I’m going to try to capture him sitting in it.

The ride was definitely brutal, but finished it.

Also found a pair of books that should be interesting. 😀

Until later, be safe and enjoy y’all’s days,

Bae

 

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Day 8: A Meeting with Destiny

Weight: 214.2 lbs (kg)
Ride Time: 1h — 8h15m total
Distance: 15.8 mi (~25.4 km) — 122.3 mi (~196.8 km) total
Food Diary: Entry 6, Entry 7 (EEP! Sorry guys! Didn’t link 6!)

Today was the day that I was scheduled to have a meeting with destiny. She said it would be no later than 10:30A, but she gave no other time. She likes to keep things open and flexible, y’all know how she is… Well… She arrived at 9:44A.

It took me a while to figure out what camera body and pair of lenses I wanted/needed. After some research on birding, I decided on the above.

Already have my first portrait job. It’s for a start-up non-profit. One of our neighbors is a highly motivated individual and has started it under her own power while 1) maintaining a family, 2) pursuing her M.S. and 3) holding down a job. She wants portraits of the board members and then a group shot. Should be interesting. I’ll need to get business cards made… Also offered other photographic services since her non-profit is perfectly placed for photojournalism.

Goodness… business cards. Business cards. This really is heading somewhere, isn’t it… *chuckles*

The package arrived while I was cycling so needless to say, be desire to finish cycling dwindled very quickly. But, in the end, it was completed. The saved data shows pretty clearly though that I didn’t want to though!

Waiting for the battery to charge. Not used to this size of DSLR — not to mention the weight. I’ve always fancied cross-body straps for camera since it’s out of the way yet easily accessible. I’ll need to get one.

I’ll tell the story and the idea at a later time.

Until later, be safe and enjoy y’all’s days,

Bae

Weekly Update [Day 7: Just a Bit Weird Feeling]

Weight: 213.0 (-5.4 lbs)
Fat Percentage: 23.9% (-0.2%)
Ratio (Muscle:Fat): 3.18 to 1 (+.03)
Muscle: 162.0 lbs (-3.8 lbs)
Food Diary: Entry 6

Now that I’ve a day off, it feels weird not to cycle. Thank goodness it is a day off, but… after 6 days straight of cycling, I have a sinking feeling I’m going to be bored. :-/

In awesome news, my last dose of Wellbutrin was yesterday! FREEDOM!! I feel great as it stands.

Anycase. As y’all can see, I lost muscle but also fat. My body seems to enjoy the idea of being close to 160 rather than higher. Just means my ending 10-15% range will be lower.

Ideally, I’d like to keep what muscle I have, but I’m glad I burned off at least some fat. So far, diet wise, I think I’m doing pretty darn good. I need to lay off the cornbread though! Per usual, this week is going to be a tad tougher. Might get some kind of shake to throw in 20-40 addition grams of protein somewhere. It’d have to be a snack… Doing it at breakfast would be utter overload.

Looking back at the food diary, I’m rather proud of not really eating too badly except on some little bits here and there. 😀 The best part is though it’s healthy, it still tastes great.

I did something a bit crazy… I’ll have to explain tomorrow since that’s when the package comes. A little life story to come with it, no doubt.

There is a pair of really cute squirrels frequenting our backyard. I’ve mentioned this, but I say “pair” now because one is a male (VERY obviously so…) and the other is female. I’ve named them Rufus and Rachel respectively. The hawk’s name is kind of a cop-out as I’ve started to just call him Cooper.

Rachel tends to drink out of our water fall next to the pool. Always the same spot because that spot retains water. After taking notice, I’ve begun to fill that section up with fresh water when it gets low. (Making sure there’s no chlorinated water in it, of course!) The birdbath, I’ve begun to refill every day, along with the small(er) doggie bowl next to the feeders. A very beautiful tom visits and he drinks from it, along with the birds and Rufus. Cooper seems to like a near to overflowing birdbath! Maybe it feels good on his claws and legs when it stands in it. xD

The heat here for the next week is going to be utterly oppressive. Literal temperatures will be 100-105F with the “real feel” temperatures of being 110+F.

I did a test the other week or so. I put a digital thermometer in the sun. I aimed my video camera at it and video taped the temp rising. And rising. And rising. It would have kept going if I hadn’t needed to rescue it since the screen was going black at 130F… Yeah. I kid you not. 130F if you stand still in the sun. Under our patio, it’s routinely 102-104F.

I know it’s bad since animals are creatures of habit, but I’m finding it absolutely critical that these guys that visit our backyard get water. Food, they can easily find elsewhere if need be, but water is absolutely 100% required.

Until later, be safe and enjoy y’all’s days,

Bae

Day 3: In the Right Direction

Weight:215.2 lbs (97.6kg)
Ride Time: 1h — 3h15m total
Distance: 14.9 mi (~24km) — 46.8 mi (~75.3 km) total
Food Diary: Entry 2

Didn’t go shopping yesterday for goodies. But I ended up getting a package yesterday: a new fountain pen. 😀 This one is unbelievably unique in my opinion. Really fun. Very nice in the paw and very pleasing to the eye.

The maker is Marlen, out of Italy. The pen itself is part of their Vitis line in the Rose color. (On the cap it says “Special Collection” but not entirely sure how special it may be…) I hadn’t heard of them, but with the pens construction, I’m impressed. It’s outfitted with a 18k gold nib, which is always nice. After owning my first gold nib, I haven’t looked back — steel nibs just feel too scratchy and stiff, they’ve no life or variation.

What makes this pen interesting is that it is inspired by the early 1900s matchstick fillers. With this kind of a filler, a lever isn’t used or a plunger or a twist mechanism or any other fancy thing, but instead a small, well, matchstick (or the like) is inserted into a hole on the side of the barrel. Within the barrel is a rubber sac which has a flexible metal plate upon one side. When the stick is pressed down upon the plate, the plate depresses the sac, expelling whatever is in it, and when released, takes in whatever is there (air, ink, water, etc). The theory behind the matchstick filler is that it is not only simple and effective, but safe — read: no accidental leaks or jets of ink!

In other news, my binoculars should be coming today. 😀 Can’t wait for those… There are tons of birds in our backyard. Never really noticed how much I enjoyed bird watching until very recently.

The ride wasn’t nearly as rough as yesterday. Yesterday it was psychologically draining due to monotony: solid “cruising” speed for over an hour. This time there was variance with “cruising,” “steady,” and “max” efforts. Made it more tolerable. Tiring, but more tolerable.

About to cook up some chicken tenderloins and have chicken wraps. Should be able to have lunch with my partner when it gets home. There is a chance we may be celebrating something too. 😀

Until later, be safe and enjoy y’all’s days,

Bae

Day 2: Food Diary Engage!

Weight: 217.2 lbs (98.5 kg)
Ride Time: 1h15m
Distance: 17.2 mi (~27.7 km)
Food Diary: Entry 1

Okay, I have to admit, I was a bit distraught as to why I gained weight from yesterday. So much so I even checked my fat percent. So, here’s the beginning of a food diary. As you see, it’ll be in the block above and a link so it doesn’t take up much room and totally optional reading. (Thank goodness for that, right? xD) It’ll also be for the previous day.

I’m up quite early today because I need to go shopping for exercise equipment. The work outs need to begin. I’ll also be incorporating a different kind of stretching routine post-workout/ride. The current one is bare minimum.

This time, though, if it works out, will become the norm. Feels a bit weird seeing the sunrise. Wonder if I’ll see that hawk using the birdbath again?

Good grief… thank goodness that is over. After the first 15-20 minutes, I felt like ever few minutes I was staring down at the cyclocomputer watching the time tick down. This is not a good outlook for Saturday’s ride — which is 45 minutes longer.

Had a good post-ride meal though. Salmon steaks (2), broccoli, and (a small ‘cheat’, though on purpose) a square of cornbread. The bread is a direct carb hit that’ll help me from crashing. Instant energy, effectively. The blue liquid is a calorie-free electrolyte mix by Mio. I have to warn you, it’s good. So good, it’s addictive. Usually go 3 or 4 shaker bottles a day of the stuff. Three squirts in a 600mL bottle, fill half full with ice or so, then pour water to underneath the threads. 😀

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Anycase… Playing with lined papers and trying to get it just right. There’s a chance I’ll start posting up stuff using a typewriter again. But not sure when… the scanner’s still busted. 😦

Until later, be safe and enjoy y’all’s days,

Bae

 

Weekly Update

Okay, yeah. In short: these last weeks (months?) has been a nightmare. But moving on. I’ve told my psychiatrist to bugger off and I’m weaning off of the Wellbutrin. Going to set up regular appointments with my old psychologist to see if just talking will help. The guy that I thought was helping just decided to all-out ignore a major issue (anxiety/stress) and focus on the major depression diagnosis.

Anycase…

That’s the past.

On to the update.

I haven’t been cycling. Though, I suppose that might have been obvious with the above statement and the absence of posts. On the whole, nothing really hasn’t happened except I’ve found out I greatly (greatly!) love birding. Just ordered my first pair of binoculars not but a few minutes ago. 😀

I’ve also found out I’ve developed an intolerance/allergy to lactose. The most interesting side-effect that cued us to this is a runny nose after having something with dairy in it. Straight cheese? Runny nose. Straight milk? Runny nose. Greek yogurt? Takes a bit, but runny nose. I had Kefir today which is 99% lactose free as part of my breakfast. Still no signs of issues or sniffling. No lactose intake so far today and I’m fine.

On the whole, I’ve been able to maintain through the lack of cycling. I’ve gained back a few of the pounds, as you might notice in the break down to follow, but the overall composition has remained the same. 😀

Weight: 218.4 lbs
Fat Percentage: 24.1%
Ratio (Muscle:Fat): 3.15 to 1

My goal has remained the same: get down to 10-15% fat. With how it stands currently…

Muscle: 165.8 lbs
10-15% Range: 182.4 – 190.7 lbs
Loss Range: 27.7 – 36 lbs

I’m going to aim right in the middle at 12.5% which would give a loss goal of 31.9 pounds come the end of the period. The period is the same at 12 weeks, or 3 months. This is the inspiring bit… In 12 weeks, there are 84 days. Each day, I’d only have to lose just over a third of a single pound of fat! Over the course of a week, the goal would be 2.7 pounds. Well within healthy bounds. 😀

Let’s hope I can keep up with it this time.

Feel like I’ve got to build up over time… Still no scanner. Typewriters in pieces still. I’m not kidding when I say these last weeks have been utter shit. Dunno where the time went. Only just today did I take out a typewriter again and fiddle with it for a bit. So… slowly starting to feel better again.

Until later, be safe and enjoy y’all’s days,

Bae

Gender Dysphoria (A Rant)

You know… I guess it’s time for some confession time. A little bit of more of a history of me. I’m not sure if I’ve ever come out about this, but I feel like it bares repeating because honestly, this is probably one of the things that could hound me to my death — suicide or just from psychological stresses manifesting into the physical realm.

Does anyone know what gender dysphoria means? *waits* Anyone?

Well, maybe a more trendy term y’all might know — that isn’t nearly as scientific — is  transgender. The latter term has transformed over the ages in meaning. Sometimes it’s a noun and sometimes it’s an adjective and yet other times, depending on how it is used, suddenly it is an insult even if you mean it in all the best in the world.

So, I stick with gender dysphoria unless I absolutely know the person — like my partner… I use transgender with him because he uses the term himself.

I’m sorry, but this is going to be a major rant… A heads up here. I just need to vent and get this stuff off my chest.

Gender dysphoria also is known by another name: Gender Identity Disorder. Now, honestly that is an insult. There is nothing wrong with us! How dare anyone say that just because we don’t like the bodies we were assigned at birth (dysphoria = discontent, for those who don’t know), doesn’t mean something is wrong with us. It isn’t our bloody fault we were born a boy or a girl when our minds tell us we should be the opposite in every rotten way.

Well, now you know.

I suffer from this.

Not officially diagnosed. I doubt I ever will be. It isn’t a kink. I’ve just given into the facts — the truth. No amount of corrective surgeries will ever correct this grotesque male form. Sure, I get hit on a lot. Sure, I get flirted with until I’m so red in the cheeks that I need ice. But why should I care when I’m not comfortable with my own body? They are flirting with a male bodied person. That is what they’re interested in. That is what they want.

God! How I wish I could just strip off this shell and toss it aside like some cruel cocoon.

I am so sick and bloody tired of “because you’re a guy.”

“You’re a guy, you should enjoy getting dirty.”

“You’re a guy, you should enjoy working on cars.”

“You’re a guy, you should drive a pickup.”

“You’re a guy, you should marry a girl and breed.”

“You’re a guy, you should be proficient with tools.”

“You’re a guy, you should have all the answers when a gal asks you a question.”

“You’re a guy, you should be a leader, not a follower.”

“You’re a guy…”

JUST SHUT IT ALREADY! *sighs deeply*

Okay, okay, I’m alright… happy place, happy place…

Weight loss… heh… Y’all want to know my true motive behind it? It’s pretty rotten. Entirely vain really. Health is entirely secondary because if you don’t enjoy your life, then what’s the point of being healthy? To live a long, miserable existence of just passing the days?

My motive is to become thinner. To try to obtain a body that will allow me to dress more androgynously. To maybe, just maybe enjoy going outside and maybe, just maybe enjoy what I’ve been ever so erroneously given. I’ve got to make do with what I’ve got.

Well, I’ll probably lose followers with this post. Y’all’s issue, not mine. Whoever does stay, thank you for understanding and, by default, showing your support. I really do value it. I don’t blog for income. I do it to share.

Until later, be safe, be dry, and enjoy y’all’s days,

Bae

P.S.: I suppose I should mention, before anyone thinks it, that all those heart issues, etc are legit. Those issues are the reason why I can’t really move forward with anything. Any treatments (hormone replacement therapy, etc) can cause pretty nasty cardiac side-effects which for me could/would be life threatening. I hate my body, but I love my partner more. He’s one of the few things keeping me sane.