6 months of Rehab

I find it hard to believe, but I crossed the 6 month milestone at Rehab this week.

The time has went in quickly, with a fast-pace and quick turnaround times being the norm. The vibe in the office has been great, with a decent soundsystem pumping out dance music all day and my producer Gary, aka DJ Gary Quinn, dropping in a few choice chunes.

The guys here have a real passion for the web and enjoy a good laugh, for instance, this week we had a challenge to wear a different hat each day. Here’s Iain and Jurgen in their full cowboy glory:

I spend most of my days wrangling CakePHP, the PHP framework I started developing with nearly 3 years ago now. I also do most of the administration of the Linux boxes used to host the client sites and automate as much as I can with handy bash scripts, all from the comfort of this shiny iMac:

On the downside the standard working hours are 9 to 6, which is longer than I’m accustomed to. You can’t have it all ;)

666: the number of the feast

As any weightlifter knows, protein is an integral part of any diet. To this end I was picking up some chicken and whole milk the other day and you can imagine my amusement when it came time to hand over my shiny pennies that this was the amount owed:

666 receipt

Rock on!

Squid? Yes please!

When I’m out in a Chinese restaurant my favorite dishes to order usually involve seafood, with salted chili squid being a regular delight.

Squid is something I had never even thought of cooking before and recently my good friend Nick K mentioned that it was not only easy to cook but also inexpensive to buy from the ethnic store just down the road from me.

In my naivity I presumed the squid I purchased to resemble that served to hungry diners, albeit uncooked and frozen, so you can imagine my surprise when I defrosted a box and saw a bunch of these guys staring out at me:

squid - raw

A primal fear rose in me yet I was determined to see the process through. Some furious googling provided me with necessary instructions on how to prepare squid and I got busy gutting and cleaning:

squid - gutted

I chopped the mantle into rings and after 90 seconds stir-fry in a hot wok this was the result:

squid - cooked

A perfect high protein snack, moderate in carbs and fat. Nom.

Squatting 3 times a week and a return to early morning training

I’ve now completed my third week of a new strength program. This program involves full-body training 3 times a week with squatting each session (!) and deadlifting once a week.

Until I read Practical Programming I didn’t know that bodybuilders were generally the only weight-lifters to squat once per week, or to “train legs” to use their lingo, but apparently many other weight-lifting disciplines are built upon more frequent squatting, especially power-lifting and olympic-lifting.

I hadn’t done back-squats in a while, focusing on the front-squat instead, and as such my body wasn’t used them. The evidence of this is that I ripped a patch of skin off my upper-back on the first session:

squatting - upper back skin tearing

My body has now adapted and I’m the proud owner of a tough patch of skin in that area :)

Something I am also experimenting this time around is doing no additional cardiovascular work, relying entirely on the squat to push my heart and lungs to their limits. Surprisingly I’m not feeling unfit and I’m reassured that I’m getting the most “bang for my buck” when it comes to my time spent in the gym. Cardio-bunnies I miss you already!

The final change to my routine is training before work as my new office is closer to the gym than house. This has been invaluable as it now frees my weekends and evening for things like BarCamp, OpenCoffee and BLUG meetings. Win-win!

Batch preparation of boiled eggs

In my post on batch preparation of oats, written in response to Trent’s post, I mentioned that I also prepare the boiled eggs I enjoy for breakfast in advance.

At the weekend past I’d just boiled a saucepan of eggs, cooled them with cold water and put them into a tupperware box when I remembered my previous post, so I took a quick snap to provide a follow-up:

boiled eggs - batch preparation

Whole, boiled eggs will keep for up to a week in their shells in the fridge and provide an excellent source of complete protein, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol along with a hearty dose of Vitamin D, all of which are essential to those pursuing an active lifestyle which includes weight training.

Don’t fear the fat and eat those yolks!

Ticket to ride – a break from the rat-race in Fermanagh

Ulsterbus bus ticket

I’m spending a few days down the country before I start my new my job catching up with my family, tinkering on some personal projects and just generally “getting my head showered.”

I’m enjoying the break from the daily grind with my only real task being to steel myself for the upcoming change to my 9-5 existence. I find myself so resistant to change: my levels of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt seem to automatically soar at the prospect of anything out of the ordinary, but I’m presented with a great opportunity to sharpen my development skills within a lower-pressure environment. Score!

Expect details of my new gig soon.

Oats – weekly batch preparation

I read Trent’s post on preparing oats at the weekend and decided to write about my own process. I’m also relieved I’m not the only one doing this kind of thing ;)

Part of my weekend routine involves preparing my breakfasts for the coming week. I boil a large saucepan of eggs which end up in a tupperware box in my fridge and I start a process which results in the following:

Oats - the breakfast of champions

Each container contains:

  • oats
  • raisins
  • teaspoon of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea-salt

Each week-morning, after I’ve washed and dressed, all that’s left to do is dump the contents of one the containers into a saucepan, add water and shell a few boiled eggs while my oats cook.

This leads to my favourite part of the day: eating a cooked breakfast and drinking fresh coffee while catching up on my RSS feeds.

1337

For the past week I’ve been using up the annual leave that I’d carried over from last year and hit the road for Fermanagh to spend some time with my family.

My Mum and myself went to pay a visit on my Grandmother and while stopping to buy some flowers I spotted this on the dashboard:

1337

I couldn’t resist.

Wikipedia artical for those not in the know.