Wednesday, November 17, 2010
At least I got out my Airwalks today so I was able to have some more comfort in my walk. I am still waiting to hear from one of the major shoe companies about a shoe deal. I know there is an executive from Nike, New Balance and Asics quietly tuning in for each post. It is only a matter of time before one of them cracks and gives me the support that I need to shed these extra pounds. Maybe even have some video logs. Not that I am totally willing to be a sellout. I am not willing to do anything compromising for money or products. But, if they are willing to give me some support, I am willing to take it.
It looks like I might be getting an opportunity to write about beer in an upcoming project. While I am excited to get to write about beer, it could put a major crack in my armor. I will need to do research after all. Is a six pack of beer research or indulgence? You be the judge! I can only assume that any judging you are doing so far is within the realms of your mind because I have not heard any new comments. Not to tell you guys what to do, but come on! J
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Hey again… I have been going through a lot of the things that were in storage waiting to get into the new place and stuff which has gone with me from one place to another. I came across a book I started a long time ago. I never actually finished it, but it is mostly done. It is very raw as I only wrote through the material once with no editing. It is written on paper in a bound book which was intended to be used as a diary. I am going to step out on a limb and put it on my fiction blog. I figure there are not a lot of people reading the blog anyhow, so my risk should be minimal.
To give you a little insight about the book, it is about two friends in search of the perfect margarita. In fact, the title of the story is The Perfect Margarita. I intended for some of the characters to be based on me and my friends, but as normally happens when you write, the characters determined who they would be on their own. It was fun to write at first, but then I got self-conscious and doubted my abilities as a writer. I have decided to put the story here so that I might get some insight, feedback, criticism or even downright mean comments. Bring it on is what I say. I will start soon.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Taking a closer look at the beers you enjoy drinking will help you to have a deeper understanding of what you are drinking and why it tastes the way it does. An increased knowledge will help you when making beer selections for different events as well as to help you when you are making a recommendation to a friend as to what kinds they might enjoy drinking. As you start to become familiar with the different kinds of beer, you will find that there is a whole world of beer knowledge you can tap into.
The Three Main Types
The first thing that you need to know is that there are three main categories of beers. You have the Ales which tend to be heavier tasting and more on the bitter side because of their use of yeasts which work better in warm brewing techniques. Lagers are by far the more popular of the two because of their light amber colors which result from the yeasts which prefer colder brewing techniques. The third category of beers is reserved for specialty beers like Lambic which uses less of the hops and barley and more fruit to create the alcohol.
The most recognized and most consumed of the Lager beers is the Pale Lagers. These are the lightest tasting and the highest in carbonation of any of the beers. It uses a balance of hops and barley or rice to create a light bodied beer which is agreeable to most palates. Pilsner is a more distinctive brew which has its roots from the Pilsner Urquell label. It is bitterer, but has a higher degree of character. Dark lagers are accomplished through roasting the hops and barley used to create the brew. These beers impart a nutty flavor.
A Note on Light Lagers
Mention a light beer to an American and you are sure to think low calorie. This is a result of using less hops and barley which also creates a flavor some do not prefer because it tends to have les bitter and hoppy notes. Mention the same thing to a European and they will think light in color and body. These beers still have good bitterness and a hoppy flavor which beer drinkers prefer.
The most popular of the ales is the brown ale. Beers like Newcastle have made a name for the brewing style with a good sweet, nutty flavor and just the right amount of bitterness. Porters are less popular because of their intense barley flavor which to some tastes too bitter while others feel it is much like chocolate. Stouts tend to be sweeter in the finish than porters with more of a balance of hops and barley. While they are the darkest and the richest, they also tend to be the highest in alcohol content.
Exploring the world of beers will land you on microbrews and many other subsets of beers you will either enjoy or avoid. So, get out there and try something different today. You may just be surprised at what you find.
There is a perfectly good gym in my neighborhood and I have access to it. I should not be sitting here putting a post online about being lazy, but there you go. Maybe I will get out there later and make it happen… then again I do have a ton of work to do. I have some new clients I just picked up from Elance.com and they deserve to get my attention. They deserve to get the work done that I promised them right? After all, what kind of a professional would I be if I did not stick to my commitments?
Excuse #infinity… I need to watch my daughter right now because everyone else is out doing something. My son is at SCAD working on a project. My wife is at her part time job, so I need to watch my daughter rather than go for a walk in the rain to the gym.
Well, here is how this is going to play out. I am going to go to the gym after my wife gets home unless the rain has cleared up by then. Then I will go ahead and do my normal walk for at least 15 minutes. I would prefer to get out there for at least 20 minutes. Are you reading this folks? I am not getting any comments, so I am not sure. I will keep you updated rehardless.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
One of the hardest things to do whether it has to do with work or with working out is to maintain focus. I have always found it difficult to do so. I will find a thousand excuses as to why I cannot be doing 'X' right at that moment. When it comes to working out, I can always tell myself that I have work that I should be doing… I need to unpack boxes… I need to dust the ceiling… the list goes on. Best of all, when I start working I will lose focus on my work so I will do something else to get my mind right. If asked whether I should maybe workout, I will say, "I can't… I am working!"
One of the ways in which I am going to keep focus on going for my daily exercise is two-fold. First of all, I will make sure to enter posts here on how I am doing. As long as I am making sure to maintain accountability on a public forum like this I am sure that I will be able to push myself into staying on track. If I can get more people to follow the blog I might even be able to get some encouragement from readers who want to see me succeed. Until then, I will allow my own words to inspire me.
ß. It was taken when we were on vacation in Hilton Head this past summer. To me it looks like seeing one of the fattest guys in the world on the moped. I know I am not nearly that large, but that is what I see. Maybe by seeing what I have become I will be reminded of what I would like to look like. It will help to push me to make work breaks workouts as well. I have printed out a copy of the picture and it is right in front of my workspace.
So, what do you guys do to maintain focus when you are working out? For that matter, what so you use to maintain focus while working? I look forward to hearing from you. I will post another weight Friday. If all goes well I will be at Disney World nest week and I will get plenty of walking there.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
While I am getting out each day and walking, I am still not wearing the right shoes. I am wearing my old clogs that I used to wear while I was a chef and now wear while I am bartending. They start out comfortable, but get kind of irritating after a while. I would love to get some good athletic shoes or just be able to unearth my Airwalks from these many boxes in my house that I need to unpack. Hey Asics, Adidas, Nike, New Balance! Anyone! Give me some good shoes to get in shape. My writing salary does not include a shoe budget right now!
Oh well, without any corporate support and without any real distinguishable goals, I will keep going out every day and trying to extend my walks to the half hour mark. I know I can do it, but it may mean leaving the dog at home. I am serious by the way for anyone looking to take my Chow-German Shepard mix. I just do not have the lifestyle to support her anymore even though I love her.
I will check in with you all very soon.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tomorrow I still have a lot of stuff to do including an appointment in the morning. I need to set some actual goals rather than just the goal of getting out and doing something. My goals for tonight will be to weigh myself… dreading that… as well as finding my Airwalks in all of these boxes. Let me get at least one of those goals done right now so that you will be able to see that I am actually committed to the program and committed to getting started on my path to better fitness.
My scale shows that I am currently at 258 pounds. That is the most I have ever weighed in my life and it shows. I cannot even truly fit into a size XL. I am now in the category of people who must shop at the Big and Tall section of the store. It is funny when you think about it since I was shopping in the Big and Tall section when I was younger. Of course, I was a skateboarder then and the baggy pants were part of my trademark. Now, the size 40 pants which were so huge on me then are too tight for me to wear.
Tomorrow morning my goal is to walk around the lake for at least 15 minutes just to crack this egg and get started. I will post soon to let you know how things are going. My goal is to be able to report in about a week or so that I have started to lose at least two pounds. Any advice from those out there who know more than me on the subject will be greatly appreciated.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Hey there good reader! I am happy to report that we are finally in the new place and all is well. My daughter enjoyed playing in the new playground at the apartment and I am gearing up to go work out in the gym. Of course, I had an opportunity to write for a regular piece which would have essentially paid me to get in shape, but alas it slipped through my fingers. I really would have enjoyed writing about getting up each morning and going for a run to get in shape. I am so bummed out by it I think that I will do it anyhow.
So, now I will change the focus of this blog to writing about the difficulties of an out of shape writer trying to get in shape. I will include all of the challenges which are associated with someone who works two jobs trying to find the time and the motivation to be able to get out of the house every day so that he can get out and run every day. Here we start with day minus one and I am stuck on stupid. I do not even have running shoes so I will have to run in my old Airwalks until I can go out and get some real running shoes.
I encourage all of you who have challenges getting out the door to work out each morning to let me know about the processes that you go through and offer any advice you might have to get more people involved in physical fitness. Maybe if we all work together, we can get more people to get off of the couch and into some skinny jeans. While our goals might be different, there is no reason why we cannot all work towards a common goal of having better physical fitness in our lives.
The alarm is set for 5am so that I can get the time that I will need to get into the gym or run around the lake and get my exercise in for the morning. Okay, it will not be running. I will probably walk for about a half hour or so, but at least I will be active. Maybe I will work my way into running. After all, my knees are still hurting from all of the moving that I have had to do lately. I will let you all know how it goes. I hope to hear from everyone very soon.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Problem is, it is not ready and our old apartments needed the space back. So, out we go! All of our stuff is in storage or where we are staying at right now. So, where are we staying? My mother's house!
Who imagines they will be living at their parents' house when they are married and have two kids? It is a terrible situation to be in, yet here I am somehow. I could have stayed in an extended stay for the few weeks until we could move in, but that is not a good environment for a home life. Additionally, the room is only large enough to sleep in. Did I also mention it is pretty expensive to stay there?
So, instead we stay at my mother's house and I am reduced to feeling like a teenager again. Sure I can come and go as I please, but there are chores around the house and hurt feelings when boundaries are crossed. About the biggest upshot to the whole thing is at least there is a built-in baby sitter situation going on. That has taken a lot of stress off of the wife and I.
Still, the suburban living is not for us and we cannot wait to get back to the city. Anyone who lives ITP can understand how crazy it is to stay a few weeks OTP. For the uninitiated, ITP and OTP are terms in Atlanta which indicate whether you live inside (ITP) or outside (OTP) the perimeter highway (285) around the city of Atlanta. Most ITPers would rather have their thumbs cut off than be dragged anywhere OTP.
Soon we will be back in the saddle again and I will post you about the new digs. Until then, say a little prayer for those of us who all of a sudden have to mind our Ps and Qs around the parental figures once again. Peace!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I enjoy watching the different groups celebrate their pride as they march down the street. In the past the majority of the groups in the parade have been local groups of friends having fun by dressing up silly and marching down what is normally one of the busiest streets in Atlanta. Local busiensses get in the mix because they are aware of the power of the gay dollar. I understand the presence of the businesses, but I have to stop and ponder how much some of the companies really are accepting of the gay community.
One of the most annoying phenomenas which has happened in the parades is the flood of politicians, judges and church groups vying for recognition at the parade. While the parade has always been politically charged, it has been so because of the lack of rights for the gay community. I am disturbed to see politicians with no intention of pushing a gay agenda during their time in office. Showing up to the parade just to get a few votes is a cheap stunt in my book.
As for churches showing up to the parade, I am grateful for it. I know it might seem wierd to see a methodist preacher walking right behind a half naked boy toy, it does my heart good to see there are places where gays who have a religious belief system still have a place in which they are accepted no matter what. Too often groups like the Catholic Church will not allow those who are gay to be ordained.
So, while I got more sun than I would have liked I had a great day. I may have missed National Talk Like a Pirate Day, but there was no way I was going to miss the gay pride parade. I encourage all of you to support the gay community in your area as well. I guarantee if there is a parade it will beat the pants off of the Thanksgiving day parade.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Truth be told, I should be able to do three days in a row easily, but I am two years removed from my chef career. Being a full time freelance writer has added about 50 pounds to my frame and reduced my physical activity down to just about zero. When I do have to work long nights on feet now, it is quite painful on my knees and on my feet.
So, why do I do it? I say it is for beer money, but in actuality it is because my heart is in the restaurant industry. Ever since I was in high school I dreamed of opening my own restaurant. I even have the name picked out. I have worked just about every position there is to work in a restaurant other than head chef, bar manager, front of house manager and restaurant manager. The highest I got in the kitchen was to be a sous chef.
I would be remiss if I turned my back on the industry altogether even for a little while. Besides, the days I get out there and unload the trucks to set up my bar in some millionaire's back yard is about the only exercise I get other than walking my dog. My 50 pound gain might be a 100 pound gain if not for the long nights with the catering company.
So, while I was worn down by the weekend, I was happy to have had the work. I have already put in my schedule request for next week which reads, bring it on!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Our last trip to Hilton Head was for eight days and it still did not seem long enough. I would like to be able to stay there an entire month next year. This way we will not have to plan things out to make sure we do not miss out on anything. We will be able to completely relax without having to worry about anything. It sounds so good to go for an entire month without having to work or worry.
Can I do it? Can I go a whole month without working? It does not seem likely seeing as I am the guy who normally works seven days a week on multiple projects at once. Part of me is driven by the money. Part of me is driven from trying to keep from not being bored. I cannot even go a few hours with hanging out with my daughter at night without wanting to write something for a current project or making a post to one of my blogs.
It will be tough, but with everything there is to do at Hilton Head, I think I might be able to manage the impossible. I can go to the horse stables so that my son can ride a horse and maybe my daughter can ride a pony. I can climb the lighthouse again and see the view of the bay. I can walk through the miles of eco-friendly nature walks. I can ride my bike all over the island. Naturally, I can also relax on the beach or play in the ocean with my kids.
Where do you like to vacation at? I love to hear where people go for vacations and what they like to do there. I would hope that you are doing something more than what I used to do when I was younger and just stay at home collecting vacation pay. I would love to hear what you have to say about your vacation time. Post a message or shoot me an email and let me know where it is you like to go for your summer vacation. I look forward to hearing from you.
Until then, it is time for me to get back to my travel arrangements so that I can commit myself to a month of pure relaxation. Look out Hilton Head, trouble's coming back.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The blog that I have, other than this one, that I recommend the most is my fiction blog. If you have any interest at all in fiction, the stories that I write there are short and somewhat amusing. I am sure that you will enjoy spending some time there and I invite you to check it out soon. Make sure to leave me some comments about what you find there and suggestions you might have.
Additionally, if you have any stories of your own or you know someone who wants to put something on a fiction website, I am always looking for people to make additions to the blog. I look forward to seeing you there.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
These days, it seems like Blogs are split between personal blogs and professional blogs. I am hoping that mine will vary enough to have something for everyone without having to stop to think too much. While I know that I have already welcomed everyone to the new blog, it is great to welcome you again and invite you to explore this new and exciting blog.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Before you get in an uproar, allow me to explain my position. Everyone has sat in front of their preferred media and felt as if their mind was completely blank. It is frustrating and it makes you want to rip your hair out. So, what do you do? Do you give up? Do you throw in the towel? No, you look for a solution to your Writer's Block. You go through all of the common techniques including brainstorming. After a while of unsuccessfully being able to break through the barrier, you probably walk away in disgust hoping that the mood to strike you will return.
Here is the deal, most writers are tempermental. We like the idea of being an artist. We embrace the idea that we can only write when we are inspired. So, we only sit down when our minds find their own way to the things we want to write down. The problem is, when life gets in the way, you will allow yourself to make a lot of excuses which will keep you from your writing. Writer's block is less of a problem for those who write content as a normal 9 - 5 job. There is a reason for this.
Mental conditioning is the key to removing excuses. Since writer's block is nothing mroe than an acceptable excuse, removing this excuse is something you will need to work towards. Rituals are extremely important if you are lookiing to increase productivity. Do whatever it is which will put you into the mindset of writing and make sure that you have a set time that you regularly write. Choose a place where you can sit down and be free from interruptions and distractions. This will help you to be able to write.
If you cannot think of anything to write, it is because you are trying to force yourself into writing in a particular manner. Open your mind and just start writing. It is less important whether you write something which is pure genius or pure babble. The more important thing is the exercise. Stretch that mental muscle every day and you will condition yourself to be able to go the extra mile. The more you get into a ritual, the less often you find yourself stuck in the writer's block quandry.
Remain true to being a creative artist, but discard the whole inspiration based writing style. It is simply not conducive to being able to produce work on a regular basis. If you do not have the ability to dedicate yourself in this manner, than you will encounter writer's block or whatever else you might want to call it. No matter waht happens, never give up! Never surrender! You will prevail!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
These days, it is more than acceptable for you to work outside of normal business hours. In fact, with the recent state of recession in the United States, there has been an increase in what the expected hours of operation will be. People are constantly connected through their Blackberries and iPhones. They are expected to be available to answer work related emails even while on vacation. Conference calls are even completed on the back porch while the rest of the family is seated for dinner.
The point is that none of the traditional norms have been honored. Not even the concept that having only one job has been kept alive. In fact, the majority of people will have at least something small on the side as an additional source of income. Those with perfectly well paying jobs will have a start up that they have formed with affiliates. Those who work in a professional position with expertise in their field will offer their knowledge and advice for a fee. Blogs, websites and more have been established all throughout the web in order to offer a side project for people.
Ask around and you will see that the majority of people these days have at least something on the side. This was once considered something that only poor people would do. The idea of having to work two jobs to make ends meet was looked down on by the upper crust. More and more, those who have worked hard and scraped up the money they needed to get ahead were the ones willing to work additional jobs. These same people find themselves in good paying jobs and yet they still have something small on the side.
Whether the side hustle is for beer money, to save for the future or to make ends meet, it is no longer something to be ashamed of. There is even a term for it - multiple streams of income. True, entrepreneurs who have never known hard labor throughout their life are scrambling to set up their side hustles without a thought in the world as to why. It is time that honor was paid to those who deserve the respect that they deserve for working two jobs and establishing multiple streams of income the hard way.
So, here is to all of the hard working individuals who slave away at the dirty jobs which help to make other people's lives better. You may drink now if you wish, but I will raise my glass again to those who are in any field who have a side hustle. It is nice to see that more people are embracing the idea of working hard to get what they want once more. It is refreshing to see so many people willing to roll up their sleeves and take a chance so that they can have the lifestyle that they want. I salute you and I welcome all others to raise their glass in tribute as well.
Here's to the side hustle! Cheers!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Okay, getting to know me time. I went to UGA - GO DAWGS! - for four years and have nothing but debt to show for it. I ended my career there as a computer science major, but no I cannot program you some killer software. After college I went into the restaurant industry where I worked in every position up to Sous Chef over a 14 year career. My last job in the restaurant industry was for a local restaurant called Ecco where I was the baker.
I have lived in Colorado, Georgia and Florida and then back to Georgia in that order. I long to move back to Colorado, but mostly I just want to get away from the HOT weather. I love the people in Georgia, I love the SEC and I love the scenery, I just cannot take all of the moisture and the pollen counts high enough to actually choke you. This I am not joking about. The weather reports in the Spring and early Summer warn those with allergies, respiratory conditions and the elderly to stay indoors if at all possible. YIKES!
I have a great wife and two great kids. My son just started SCAD - Savannah College of Art and Design - and my daughter has yet to even start school. It is a wide gap, but it helps to keep me on my toes. It is amazing to see the two of them and how well they get along together. They help me to stay feeling youthful, proud and scared all at the same time.
I love food and I have the physique to prove it. My body also backs up my love of beer. I like beer with a lot of flavor like Guiness - hence the name of the blog. I can also enjoy light beers like Miller Light as long as they have flavor and I am in the mood. I still enjoy cooking and making great food. I made risotto with salmon and broccoli casserole for dinner tonight.
I do not know where this blog will lead to, but I am excited to see who will come along on this journey with me. I look forward to all questions, suggestions, comments and more. Come back again soon, and do try to tip your waiter.