Category Archives: Entertainment

Entertaining Guests

We had guests visiting from Atlanta and Germany this weekend. They all flew in for a long weekend of sightseeing and seafood eating.

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Portland Head Light

The gang about to warm up with some food at Gilbert's Chowder House.

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Alex from Germany tackling a lobster at J’s Oyster Bar

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Joel showing how it’s done.

The temperatures were pretty cool but we made the most of what sun we had. We managed to see some coastline and lighthouses, with a little shopping thrown in for good measure at the outlets in Freeport. We laughed, drank, and took tons of photos.

Alex and Sabine at "The Big Boot" in front of LL Bean

We made our new friends from Germany, Alex and Sabine, and Joel from Atlanta promise to come back in the summer when the temperatures are warmer and they can enjoy more Maine has to offer.

Bicylce Coalition of Maine PSA

I’m sure I mentioned that I was chosen to be on the Board of Directors of the Bicycle Coaliton of Maine last summer.

Soon after I joined the board I was asked to be part of a new PSA they were creating to air this spring. Here is that PSA.

Tri For A Cure 2010 Video

Restful Vacation

I ended 2009 while on vacation. I didn’t go any place exotic or warm, it was just a long break from work.

Things I did on vacation:

Rode my bike a couple times outside. Once on Christmas Day and again on the 28th. On the 28th it was 46 degrees, partly sunny and I was happily dressed in my kit, leg and arm warmers, with a vest. That’s it! Pretty darn nice for the end of December!

Slept. A Lot! Like 9 hours a day a lot. I rarely sleep that much and during vacation I slept that much every day. I usually end up somewhere between 7 and 8 hours of sleep and I’m very happy with that. Somehow my body felt compelled to sleep more when I was on vacation.

Made some videos for training. I’ve been recording some recent road rides and converting the video with music and instructions for working out. It makes being on the trainer a bit more bearable.

Watched movies. We watched the entire series year to date of 30 Rock on Netflix, in addition to some other regular recordings, the Star Trek movie, and Up.

Worked out. I managed to get on the trainer and the treadmill a few times during that week in an attempt to get back in shape, lose some weight that has been packing on since August, and refocus on the upcoming season.

Entertained. We had guests over to relax in front of the fire on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day evening.

Watched it snow. Yup, it snowed off and on for 4 days from Thursday through Sunday. Luckily we only ended up with about 8 inches for that entire time, which is a bit better than the 2 feet of snow some areas of Maine received. By choice, due to the snow, we decided to hibernate and not go anywhere for a few days. (4 to be exact.)

Shoveled a little snow. Due to the above.

Recharged my battery. Isn’t that what a vacation is all about?

I won’t lie when I say it was nice to be back to work. Not because of the work but because of the routine. Sometimes it’s nice to have a routine. Perhaps I wouldn’t have felt ready to go back to work with a short vacation, but since I started the afternoon before Christmas and went back on January 4th, it felt like a pretty long break.

iPhone

I upgraded my phone about two months ago to the iPhone. I’ve loved the iPhone ever since they came out and I was so happy to finally have one.

Previous to my iPhone upgrade I was using a Palm Treo. It was really great for Twittering and texting, which made me think that I might want a Blackberry instead when it was time to upgrade. But alas, I went with the iPhone as originally planned.

My thoughtful husband had purchased an iTouch for me to use for a while to see if I’d like using it enough to go with the iPhone. I must say it was fun to use and pretty user friendly. For those of you who own an iPhone or iTouch, you can attest to how easy they are to use. Truly, if I can figure it out, anyone can!

And all the APPS! My goodness, there are a ton. I’m not much of a gamer so I don’t download those, with the exception of cribbage, and I must say I don’t play that much either.

I did download the upgraded version of MapMyRide for cycling. It’s taken a while to get used to using it. I’ve found it works really well if I’m on a solo ride with not many stops. Though I have had an issue on some rides where the route is not picked up on the GPS system so that’s thrown the calculations off a bit.

My next application will be to find the perfect altimeter function for cycling as well. Not that there’s much climbing in my area, but there are places where I cycle that I would indeed like to see the profile and see how much climbing I actually did.

The only drawback is that it’s rather hard to answer the phone on the bike, unlike my old flip phone. I know, I shouldn’t be answering the phone on the bike. Still, it happens. So the iPhone thought of that too, and created headphones where you can answer the phone and speak normally by using a little button on the cord, which is also the microphone. This “button” also controls the volume for the iPod function of the phone. I must say it’s hard to use with lobster gloves this time of year with it due to its small size, but any other time of year it’s easy – the music will simply stop playing and you’ll hear the phone ring; then push the “button” on the headphones and you are instantly taking to your caller. I must say, the first time I used it, it worked really slick. I’m not sure what they did with the microphone but the person on the other end of the call couldn’t even tell I’m on the bike by detecting wind noise while I’m traveling.

These ear buds have also come in handy on several occasions when I’ve needed to be on the phone and working in the kitchen preparing dinner. No more placing the phone in the crook of your neck, only to have it fall out and drop on the floor.

I love my iPhone. I’m so glad I made the upgrade. It was SO worth it!

Christmas Wish List

What’s on your Christmas list this year? (Biking related or not.)

I didn’t have much of a list this year. My husband has done well in buying practically everything I could ever want/need for my cycling addiction. I did have fenders on that list for winter riding, and think Santa might be bringing those for me. He might also be giving me a time trial helmet, that I put on my list rather late.

One of the hot items this year is also an I am Not Ted King t-shirt. I have it on good authority from a very credible elf that one will be under the tree for me.

I think I have actually done better purchasing for my husband this year than in years past. Usually I’m at a loss for gifts for him. He falls into that “hard to buy for” category. Not because he’s difficult, but because he tends to buy what he needs throughout the year. And he’s a bit of a techy so I wouldn’t know where to begin in that department. This year is different. Thankfully I asked him for a list of things he might want and from that list I’ve been able to build on it. (I should have done this before!) I’ll elaborate on this after Christmas, that is if my gifts are well received.

The only thing really on my wish list is the lack of snow through most of January, or at least until after New Year’s. I want to have more road rides before we get too much snow and since I’m on vacation between Christmas and New Year’s, it would be a nice time to ride on snow-free roads. (I suppose I should be asking Mother Nature for this as opposed to Santa.) That said, we did just buy snow shoes for when it does finally snow. To that end, now that we are “prepared for winter” from a recreation standpoint, we probably won’t get much snow. Call it a jinx if you will. And if so, I’ll buy skis next year…

Happy Holidays! I hope you’ve been good enough for Santa to bring you at least one item on your list.

Our Christmas Card

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Cyclocross Weekend

We spent a good part of our weekend at the Downeast Cyclocross event at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine.

I’ll be working on uploading some photos and videos when they are ready. In the meantime, I was on Kurt Perham’s blog and found this really cool video. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Rufus Wainwright

One of our favorite artists is Rufus Wainwright. The last time we saw him in concert was several years ago. I think it might have been 2003 when he performed at Bowdoin College when his album, Want One, was first released.

I’m happy to tell you that Rufus is making a return appearance to Maine on October 1st. We had heard about the concert from a friend the night of the Neko Case concert. The next day we looked it up and bought tickets.

My favorite song he has ever done is Hallelujah. Of course there are a few versions out there but his is one of my favorites. I wonder if he’ll perform it for me next week since it’s my birthday later in the month?

More on Bananas

I recently received this as one of those forwarded emails. I can’t verify all these health benefits to eating bananas but it’s definitely food for thought!

Banana

Bananas Contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes. But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit.  It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and  conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression:

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after  eating a banana. This is because bananas contain
tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you  relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel better.

PMS:

Forget the pills — eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia
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High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food  and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry  to  make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:

200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex  England
) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist  learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation:

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers:

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to  make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels,  while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn:

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness:

Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:

Before  reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin.  Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves:

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work?

Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at  5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs.  The  report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood  sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers:

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness.  It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:

Many other cultures see  bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand ,  for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):

Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the  natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking:

Bananas can  also  help people trying to give up smoking.  The B6 and B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress:

Potassium is a vital mineral which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water balance.  When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels.  These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes:

According to research in ‘The New  England Journal of Medicine,’ eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death from strokes  by as much as 40%!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills.  When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods  around.  So maybe it’s time to change that well-known  phrase  so that we say, ‘A banana a day keeps the doctor away!’

Footnote:
If your roses are covered with Aphids, drape banana skins over the branches,  It’s amazing, but in a day or less, they are GONE!