Day 13: Lucky Number 13

Weight: 216.4 lbs (98.2 kg)

Got some macro shots yesterday…

Trying hard to reach my place of zen. Stuff has been going on that has completely derailed me. Shopping to get the rest of my kit together. I’ll email the first job today to tell them I should be good to go on doing the portraits. Anxious about that. 😀 The individual portraits won’t be anything too hardcore. Unless she has the patience, of course, to wait for my flash and some other accessories that will really kick it up a notch or two.

Anycase, here’s the newest batch of photos. A lot of these are just experimental shots in that I was playing and trying to learn. Quite a few deal with textures.

I ended up going out to get some naughty food (read: donuts) and hang out with my partner a bit. Found out he’s utterly exhausted. :-/ When I sleep, I sleep. But apparently, he’s been waking up every night the last few nights at 2A for no reason what-so-ever.

On the way back, I got some fresh feed for the birds, but also stopped by a park. A big step for me! 😀 I didn’t do much because I still haven’t gotten a strap and I honestly don’t want to lug around the weight of a 7D+100-400mm lens in my paws. (I did get a squirrel shot, but it was out of focus. The tree it was on was sharp as a tack though!) It was a quick investigative trip. I’ll have to go back once I have the additional gear I’d like to get. Lots of opportunities for epic photographs. Just gotta hurry before the season is over. 🙂

Becoming quite good at shopping for used equipment. Just made an entire shopping basket of new gear then found a bunch of used equivalents in condition 8+ or higher. 😀

Just found out I’ve a month to really prepare for the first job. Awesomeness. 🙂 Perfectly fine with me. Will give me time to study up and polish!

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


Day 9: Nature’s Backyard

Weight: 213.8 lbs (kg)
Ride Time: —
Distance: —

Okay, so… yesterday it stormed. Apparently bad enough for our power to be lost. I didn’t think it was all that bad, but apparently the power did. It got scared and ran away back into the generators from wince it came and it took a good 3 hours or so (thank goodness only that) for its handlers to gets its courage up again so it could power our house.

That being said… I really don’t feel like cycling today. Like… at all. So… I’m not. It isn’t a lazy thing, but more like a schedule thing. My partner worked a midnight to 8 shift as a favor for a friend whose department was struggling. Thankfully, he got home around 7. But I stayed up until 2 or something. Their store had been without power since 6:30 that afternoon, so instead of doing what he had volunteered to do, he was tasked to help remove all refrigerated and frozen inventory. There is no dairy, no eggs, no meat, no frozen, at his store. Gone. Want to talk about inventory loss? Ouch… Wouldn’t want to foot that bill!

When a storm rolls in, my partner and I often go out because the little froggies come out. The frogs we get vary greatly in size, but there is one that is just flat out adorable. It doesn’t croak. It doesn’t sound or, really, even look like a ‘normal’ frog. Instead it sings. You know, like a song bird. It chirps and warbles and sings.

But a sacrifice had to be made with their astounding ability to sing. They are dumb. Really dumb. They decide to go swimming in our pool thinking that it’s all great n’ all that but come to realize — to their shock and horror and, often, death — there is no way out.

Lo and behold, when I went outside to fill the feeder, I saw one floating in the pool all splayed out ‘dead frog’-like. Feeling bad, I casually scooped it up with the sieve expecting it to be a study in rigor mortis. But when I did, it curled up back to normal. I nearly squealed. It was alive!

I ran to the patio then inside and got fresh water and began to bath the poor guy, trying to get the chlorine off of him and out of him system. He sat still for the longest time, but when I put my finger near his nose, he hopped his front feet on top of it and just remained still. 😀

Canon 7D, Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM f/3.5-5.6, ISO 800, 1/250, f/5.6

Canon 7D, Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM f/3.5-5.6, ISO 800, 1/250, f/5.6

I tried scooting him after a bit and he didn’t budge, so I made to grab him and he did this wild hopping — almost like he couldn’t control it. I’ve seen similar antics from these frogs, so maybe it’s just its species.

Eventually he stopped and I continued his bath. I sat there with him occasionally dowsing him with some fresh water. He slowly became more active and, seemingly, alert as he cleaned his nose and eyes a few times and looked left and right. It was neat watching the water puddle ripple due to his breathing.

Canon 7D, Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM f/3.5-5.6, ISO 640, 1/200, f/5.6

Canon 7D, Canon EF 28-135mm IS USM f/3.5-5.6, ISO 640, 1/200, f/5.6

Eventually, he decided to walk away. He didn’t jump, but crawled/walked out of the puddle toward some place he had in mind to hide from the head. His movements were fluid enough, so I’m sure he’s doing fine now. Hopefully he learned his lesson and he’ll teach others not to jump into the pool!

I’ll be back on schedule tomorrow. Today’s kinda a fool-off, chill day. My partner has today and tomorrow off, so… we might as well enjoy it. An entry for today for the food may or maynot happen. Not entirely sure, since I really didn’t have breakfast. Just broke right into a rather not-so-healthy lunch.

Might spend some of today outside sitting still with my camera in my paws. I have a friend who is an admirer of lizards and we’ve got probably 6 or 7 back here — each with their own little territories.

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


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,


Day 5: The Tell-Tale Signs

Weight: 215 lbs (kg)
Ride Time: 2h — 5h45m total
Distance: 31.2 mi (50.2 km) — 83.9 mi (~135km)
Food Diary: Entry 4

You can always tell when I’m feeling good because I don’t speed. I hover within a +/- 5mph range around the speed limit — only going in to the +5 range when I’m being passed like I’m not even moving. Today was a good example. I feel so relaxed and content.

Birds finally came to the feeders again. We had a small party the other day. Between that and the oppressive heat, they’ve been hiding in the shade. My partner finally got to see the hawk that has been frequenting the birdbath under the trees. It flew away though.

The cool thing is that it has been leaving feathers. Some downy under feathers, but some longer ones too.


The biggest one I found this morning when going to check on the bath’s water level. The markings on these are just too beautiful and striking. Jokingly, I told my partner that I was waiting for a larger feather (after finding the middle one) to put in my hat. Well, apparently the hawk heard me and was like, “Thanks for the water. Here ya go.” xD

I haven’t positively IDed it yet, but my theory is that it is a Cooper’s Hawk. It ain’t small by any means. When bathing, it fills the bath. So, it’s beak to tail tip has to be close 18″. It’s big enough to see it’s haunches and feet from a distance. It’s not often I say this, but I feel graced every time it uses the bath. Never in a million years would I have expected to have such an amazing creature frequenting our backyard.

Everybody must be happy today. Just spotted a bright green (yay!) lizard doing push-ups and flaring its throat. Lately, they’ve been darker in color… Oh my god! It’s the one that had the messed up head injury! Wow! It’s doing really, really well! 😀

Well… near the end of the ride, it became quite brutal. But, I made it. And that’s all that counts. The ending mileage, I’m pleased with. Sitting above 15 mph for an average, but not my much. Hoping in 3 weeks time that it’ll start going up again. My butt isn’t hurting as much either, so my saddle butt is coming back. 😀 That’s always good.

I know I should be spending money on exercise stuff, but I really, really want a piece of glass for my camera.

Okay, so the hawk came back and I took down notes. It’s positively a Cooper’s Hawk. Definitely on the larger side of their size range. Very healthy. 😀 Also witnessed something truly awesome. I imagine it’s due to the heat…

The hawk always visits the birdbath to, well, get a good bath. It’ll stay there for a solid 30-45 minutes or more, just relaxing, preening, drinking, and bathing. I was watching it when suddenly this brown lump moved in and out of the visual range. I tracked it and it was a familiar squirrel! The hawk basically just shrugged it’s shoulders and kept relaxing at his (or her) personal spa. The squirrel went about its way, looking for food and drinking water and just being a squirrel.

I went about eating my lunch and chatting with my partner, as he had just gotten home from work, when something told me to look at the hawk again. Just as I did, the squirrel leaped from one tree to another, right above the hawk — no more than maybe 4-5 feet above it! The hawk completely ignored it.

Simply crazy witnessing it.

I’m going to be “bad” and probably get that glass I want… Shouldn’t be too difficult to pay off. Not all that expensive when comparing it to others with the same mount. It should be worth it. The f-stop isn’t all that bad. Could be better, but to get a better one would double or even triple the cost. Just means I need good light. *shrugs*


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


Day 4: Epic Life Changer

Weight: 214.0 lbs (97.1 kg)
Ride Time: 30m — 3h45m total
Distance: 5.9 mi (9.5 km) — 52.7 mi (84.8 km) total
Food Diary: Entry 3

Yes, indeedy-do, we did have something to celebrate. My partner just got a massive promotion. Like, huge. Big. Gargantuan.

He’s now a full blown manager. 😀 Sounds simple, but someone finally recognized him for his talent and abilities. Someone finally gave him a chance to escape the hell-hole of a company he’s been with for the last 15 years or so. We both were beginning to feel like he was “untouchable” due to the company’s name. But someone came around to his kiosk. For four days the guy kept coming back because each time he’d miss my partner. Until the fifth where my partner got his card and the man said, “I’d like to steal you.”

Want to talk about a compliment? In the business world, that’s only dreamt about, folks. Stuff that’s written about in fanciful happily ever after stories. For it to actually happen?

He was shaking when he was writing his two-week notice. I’ve still got to read it over and give suggestions n’ what-not. We’re both unbelievably shocked, privileged, and… in disbelief? It really hasn’t sunk in.

(Sorry, can you tell I’m proud of him? xD)

I got my new set of binoculars yesterday and I was having a total fan-girl “squeal” moment last night. I wasn’t expecting it, but their quality is good enough and their resolving ability strong enough that you can stargaze quite effectively with them. I was pin-pointing binary stars and star clusters that were otherwise invisible to the naked eye. 😀 This morning, I played with them a bit during the daylight and got some awesome views of an absolutely adorable squirrel drinking from one of the water dishes. Found out also that my camera cooperates with it well enough that I’ll be getting a tripod mount for the binoculars and an adaptor for my phone. 🙂 Expect pictures when that happens!

Vanguard's Spirit ED 8x42 Binocular

Vanguard’s Spirit ED 8×42 Binocular

This ride was one of those ridiculously easy ones. It feels like it takes longer to get dressed and set up than the time you’re on the bike! I’ve begun to term these rides “Form Rides” because they’re so easy going that you immediately notice your form failing so you’re always conscious of it. Obviously, went well. After a good shower, we’ll probably head out to do some things. 🙂

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