Well I did it. I made the first of my “long” bike trips. Today I rode from home to my dad’s store in Sandy Creek, 60.4 miles. Very eager, I awoke at 5:00 a.m. and then hit the road at 5:34 a.m., right at sunrise. The temperature was about 55 degrees when I left. It was beautiful, in that there was a lot of wildlife running around, the birds were singing beautifully, and I was headed right into the rising sun. I loved it.

I had planned on reaching Camden at about 9:00 a.m., but I surprisingly got there by 7:30 a.m. So I sat in the park in the center of town, ate one of my packed apples and relaxed a bit before hitting the road.

All in all, I had planned on 6 1/2 hours for the trip. I wasn’t sure of the distance, nor was I sure of my average speed, since this was my first long ride. Turns out I was averaging 14.25 MPH, including breaks, so I made it up there at 10:20.

Earl met me about 3/4 of the way in the truck to make sure I was o.k., and then he kind of met up with me from time to time to make sure I was doing o.k., but not to bee too intrusive.

After the ride, we had a nice lunch with my dad, my uncle and my aunt. It was a nice visit. Earl drove us home, bike in the back of the truck as I napped. We relaxed a bit here at the house and then went to Syracuse for supper. We ended up going to Spaghetti Warehouse on Clinton St. Always good food. I was a bit surprised to find the restaurant only half full at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday; usually there’s a long wait on Saturday nights! Maybe everyone was barbecuing or something.

We were then going to see “Bourne Identity” at the movies, but the movie didn’t start until 10:00, and it was only 8:00 when we got there so we decided to skip the movie and took a leisurely ride home along Oneida Lake on Route 31. Which made me decide on my next long ride, which I hope to do in July. I want to ride about 100 miles, along NY 31 to Rochester. I’ll do it early in the morning again so the summer heat doesn’t kill me and burn me to a crisp. Route 31 is relatively flat, since it goes along the Erie Canal. In fact, I’ll probably jump onto the Canal Trail whenever I get the chance. It’s the next step in my continued biking progress.

Earl bought me my birthday present early on Friday night – a new Palm m515. I LOVE IT! It was on sale at OfficeMax, so he wanted to get it for me while we could save a little money at the same time. I transferred all of my stuff off my old Palm V and gave it to him. I think he’s going to find it very helpful with his commuting between here and Buffalo; and I’m already putting much more stuff in my new Palm.

My legs are surprisingly not as sore as I thought they would be after the trip. I think I’ll sleep good tonight! πŸ™‚

Wow, I didn’t realize that it had been so long since I had written in my journal! I guess I’ve been busier than I thought.

Last week, Earl and I made it through a long week of the “commuter relationship”, with him in New Castle, Pa. and then in Buffalo, Monday to Friday. This week he’s in Buffalo tonight through Thursday night, so it won’t be as bad.

I just went grocery shopping at P&C before settling down here in front of the computer to work on the web site. Bought quite a bit of healthy stuff. Did most of the shopping in the organic/health food section. There’s a grocery store in New England… something Circus… I’d love to check it out sometime, from what I understand, it’s all health food.

I’ve finally installed SuSE Linux 8.0 on my computer here at home. I did quite a bit of research, and though there were some mixed reviews on this relase of SuSE, it’s suppose to be pretty good. I must admit that my experience with it has been less than stellar. The installation was quite simply, a bitch. Maybe I have fscked up hardware or something, but it didn’t like my USB keyboard, it had a fit about the DVD-ROM, I got quite a few “kernel panic” errors as it was screaming for a SCSI disk (which I don’t have). I think I’m going to end up using RedHat 7.3 on this machine, but I’m going to see how well I do with SuSE for the time being. Problem is, I went ahead and purchase the full version of SuSE on the internet, so I have the whole deal going here, and I don’t want the money to be a waste. I think Earl realized the problems I was having this weekend installing it, but he didn’t say anything about it. I so appreciate it when he doesn’t say “I told you so”. πŸ™‚

Well Earl and I began our “commuter relationship” today. He’s going to be working at the Buffalo location for the next three months or so, three days a week. He’s doing what’s best for his company, and I can handle it just fine, so naturally standing behind him 100%. I don’t get really lonely, as I’ve always been able to entertain myself, but I sure do miss his presence.

Took a nice bike ride today, about 20 miles to Rome and back. I handled the hills pretty well this time around. Maybe I’m getting better at this after all. I rode to work and back twice this week, it’s something I look forward to continuing.

I’m listening to the soothing sounds of my Native American flute CD, and I have incense burning up here in the wreck room. Very nice.

I’ve discovered that I like Sheppard’s Pie (again)! I bought a couple of them in the organic section of our new P&C while we were grocery shopping and I enjoyed one for lunch and one for supper. Low fat, low fat, low fat. Relatively low calorie too. That’s the ticket. I’m not losing weight as quickly as I’d like, but I’m feeling a little more solid. Maybe biking is helping turn the flab to muscle?

We’re going out with my dad and his girlfriend tomorrow night for an early Father’s Day get together, and then it’s on to Bristol for Earl’s nephew’s graduation party. We’re looking forward to seeing his family and making the trek. I should really pay attention to the local roads if I can and see what it’s going to be like to bike down there. I’m also planning on biking in a charity ride in July.

I installed RedHat Linux 7.3 on my home computer. I set it up as a dual-boot system so I could go back to Windows XP if I had too. Good thing – I’m going to need to do some serious tweaking to get the RedHat system up and running the way I like it! The Linux system at work is running GREAT! No complaints at all there.

I’m writing this entry as I cool down from another hour of bike training. I’ve been really applying myself to my bike training – yesterday I rode about 35 miles. I’m trying to do a little more each day, though today I focused on going up as many hills as possible instead of sticking the flat lands along the Mohawk River as I did yesterday. My legs are killing me, but it’s a good hurt. My goal this summer is to be able to ride to Philadelphia for one of Earl’s family’s get-togethers Labor Day weekend. I’m going to take an extra two days off from work and take Thursday and Friday getting down there.

I also hope to ride to my father’s by July 4th. His place is about 85 miles away, that should be a good solid day of riding. I’m finding myself tiring faster as the weather gets warmer. I think I’m going to start riding early in the morning. Ultimately, I would like to be able to do a cross-country (as in across the entire U.S.) by my 36th birthday, which is a little over two years away. I’m going to keep plugging away at it, because it’s something that I am building discipline, peace of mind and a better body with. I’ve been weighing in once a week, I’ve solidly lost 11 pounds in three weeks. I say “solidly”, because when I first started training at the gym I lost a bunch of weight, but it all came back when I took a couple of days off from working out. Admittedly, I was starting to get bored with them gym as well. When I’m biking I can enjoy the countryside and such and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been concentrating on that more. I’m going to start keeping a biking journal separate from this, partly because I’m a big exhibitionist, but also because I’d like to share my progress with anyone that’s interested.

Part of my whole exercise thing has been Slim-Fast – I’ve been doing it since I began my weigh-ins. I don’t stick to the lose weight regime as closely as I probably should, but I’m losing a little bit at a steady pace and I’m satisfied with that. πŸ™‚

I’m still geeking around with Linux. I have Linux-Mandrake 8.2 running on my workstation at work, and RedHat 7.3 running on my system here at home. Both are running with Ximian Gnome for the desktop. I really like that desktop the best. It’s the one I feel most comfortable with when I’m working on Linux. I wish they made something similar for Windows, because I really like the feel of that better.

Speaking of desktops, I think my eyes are getting old or something. πŸ™‚ I can’t handle the big resolutions on my 17-inch monitor anymore without getting a headache! That’s kind of weird. I can’t be getting old … maybe just too much computer use.

The bathroom sink finally arrived. And it had a flaw from the manufacturer so we got 50% off. Now if we could just find our contractor to install it! Haven’t heard from him in a couple of weeks. If worse comes to worse, we can install it ourselves, I suppose.

Well my body is feeling like it’s cooled down, finally. So I’m going to go take a shower and get ready for a picnic. We’re meeting our friends Dennis and Vic and heading somewhere for a picnic this afternoon. Our deck is being stained as I type, so we need to go out to enjoy the sunshine without too many fumes!

Tomorrow night I set up the bike log.

It’s been entirely too long since I’ve sat down and written in my journal. I haven’t been on the computer as much, as I’ve been trying to do some more exercise and enjoy the nice weather. So I purposely sat down and said I’m going to write in my journal, so here we are. Of course, I’ve been surfing the internet since supper at 6:00… and now Earl is on his computer surfing as well!

I’m such a geek. I’ve been reading about old grocery store chains and old malls. If you want to take a peek, look at deadmalls.com. I was looking at pictures of Hampshire Mall in Hadley, Mass. and was startled to see that it’s identical to Sangertown Square here in New Hartford! Wow!

Our bathroom is still not completed. That’s right. Lowe’s still has not received our sink and vanity top. Everything else is there, but still no sink in the bathroom. I don’t know what the heck is going on with it. Earl says he’s handling it. And he gets a little cranky when I mention it, so I don’t ask.

I’ve been continuing my exercise. Last weekend I rode my bicycle about 18 miles a day; Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I’ve really been enjoying the exercising. I’m still going to the gym three or four nights a week.

Computer wise I’m dinking around with Linux again. I’m determined to make this work! I haven’t installed it on my home computer yet, but I do have it on my workstation at the office and I’m not switching back to Windows. There, I’ve made a commitment. If I need to become certified in an operating system, I really want to become certified in RedHat. I don’t know if Linux-Mandrake offers certification or not; it’s something that I’m going to pursue this week at work. I’m also very interested in SQL and databases and such, so I’ll probably go exploring in that area.

Earl and I went on a bit of a road trip yesterday. Visited with my Dad for a bit before heading to Rochester to enjoy some food and do a little shopping. We really enjoy the fast food place out there called “Tom Wahl’s”. The food is really down home good. If you’re in the Rochester area, be sure to stop by one of them.

I’ve been pursuing my spiritual interests as well. This week I’m really going to focus on setting aside time to meditate and calm my mind. I’ve been flying off the handle at work again, and that’s not good for anyone concerned, so I need to meditate, breathe and just calm down.

Otherwise, life is going along really well and we’re really happy!

Wow am I sore. Not mad sore, but exercise sore.

Last night, Earl and I went to see Spiderman with Tobey Maguire. What an excellent movie! As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been on a “health and exercise” kick lately, and seeing Spiderman last night just put me more so in that frame of mind. On Friday night we watched “Pleasantville” on DVD, and then Spiderman last night. Boy did Tobey Maguire buff up for Spiderman. And I figured, if he can do it, so can I. So I’m concentrating more on my health kick. I dusted off my bike and did a 6 mile ride today, and got out the Ab Roller and rolled some abs. I also picked up the Ab Roller Plus which is suppose to be good for you and a couple of 12 pound weights. I just spent the last 30 minutes working out with all my gadgets. It’s something that I plan to do each morning before going to work. Then after work I’m going to continue my gym routine, because I really like doing that to unwind after a long day at the office. I must admit that I was getting a little bit burned out going to the gym twice a day; I think this change in routine will mix it up enough for me to keep me interested. My goal is to be able to run up the side of the barn and flip over by Memorial Day weekend. I did that four or five years ago, let’s see if I can do it again. If you’re looking at my webcam, you’ll see me working out every morning between 7 and 8 a.m. EDT. That should be a kick.

I’ve been doing more reading on my spirituality. I find it all so fascinating. There’s a couple of websites with message boards I’ve been following – my favorite being Gnostically Speaking. I think the concept of a Father AND Mother God frightens the majority of Western culture, but it really shouldn’t since they are simply two halves that make up the whole of “God”. If you think about it, it really makes sense. I remember being a kid and going to Sunday school classes to the church down the road from our house. I believe it was Baptist church (I don’t know why we were going there – we were all Methodist, and it was usually just my mom and us kids) and being so confused about things. I mean, why did the minister have a special “in” with God, was he more special than I? Why was there a “King James version” of the Bible? What if he made a mistake while he was editing it? Why did the kids in Sunday School tell me that I wasn’t really baptized because I just had holy water sprinkled on me as a baby (per the Methodist tradition) rather than being dunked in a bathtub that had been installed in the front of the church? Why is God white? Religion can be so confusing! But finally, reading these books by Sylvia Browne and Edgar Cayce, and doing research and meditating and thinking, it’s all beginning to make a lot more sense to me. In a way, I wonder why I waited until I was 33 to start this quest, but then I realized that I must have been building up to this all along.

Let’s see, what else is happening. The washer is still rattling. Good ol’ Sears sent us a dryer heating unit instead of a brick for the washer. So I took a half day off from work for nothing. That was kind of crazy. But it made the weekend extra long I guess.

We went shopping at P&C today and picked up some stuff. I’m trying to go a little more natural and not spread so many chemicals into the household. I picked up some really good cleaning products from Citrus Magic. I also ordered some stuff from ECOS, which is all natural laundry detergent and such. I’ll let you know how they work out.

Tonight is the last installment of Survivor: Marquesas. I am really looking forward to it, and I hope that Kathy wins! At least she made it into the final four, but I hope she goes all the way!

Well I’m finally able to sit down and write a bit in my journal. My family just left from a festive Mother’s Day celebration this afternoon. Earl made a WONDERFUL chicken salad with roasted vegetables for everyone, along with some wonderful desserts. It was great!

Where to begin. This morning Earl and I took our first bath and shower in the new bathroom. The bathroom isn’t quite completed yet, as Lowe’s hasn’t delivered the vanity top nor the cabinet and vanity top for the laundry area, so our contractor Mike has left a few touch ups to do when comes to install those, whenever they arrive. They were suppose to be here the end of April and here it is mid May. We shall see what Lowe’s actually knows. The bathroom is absolutely beautiful. The shower is great, the whirlpool whirls nicely, we are very, very pleased with the end result. I’ll be posting pictures by the end of the week.

Our new washer and dryer are installed as well. They are working wonderfully, except the washer is making a rattling noise it shouldn’t be. Apparently this model has been recalled because the bricks inside that stabilize the drum crack and break apart in shipping and this is what my washer did. So we’re waiting to get that fixed. Here we had a week off and now I have to ask for next Friday afternoon off as well. I hope that this doesn’t create a problem at work; I don’t think that it will.

Earl and I did see John Edward last weekend in Providence, R.I. We didn’t get a reading, but we witnessed serveral and we heard what John had to say about his mediumship and how he came to where he is today. It’s quite an interesting story. And it was absolutely fascinating to see him at work doing what he does. He connected with quite a few loved ones for people in the audience, and they were obviously emotionally moved, so he must have been doing his work right.

I feel like I’m continuing to grow spiritually. I had a wondeful meditation last week where I met my spirit guide. I’m looking forward to continuing my meditation and such, especially since the house is getting back to normal and I can relax enough to go ahead and do that. I did pick up an additional Native American flute CD while we were shopping yesterday. It’s called “Sacred Journey” by Billy Whitefoe… very relaxing. I find the Native American music the most spiritual and inspirational for me, especially during meditation. Plus, I’ve always been big on incense, especially Sandalwood.

This past Thursday through Saturday we went to Bristol, Pa. to see Earl’s family. It was great, since we haven’t been down there since New Year’s. We went to the Philly vs. the Diamondbacks Friday night at Vets Stadium. I really like the Sports Complex area of Philly. It’s so well organized. And it was a great game as well. I really enjoyed it.

While we were down there we went to Chick-Fil-A, TWICE. Once Friday afternoon and once on Saturday afternoon. It was great both times. Earl is so patient to allow me to go to Chick-Fil-A whenever we’re near one.

We went shopping at Wegman’s in DeWitt on the way home to pick up stuff for today’s get together. Mom really wanted to spend time with us at home for Mother’s Day, so that’s what we decided to do. It was a wonderful get together; Mom seemed a little more energetic than the last time we saw her, and that was great.

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written in my journal. A little over a week as a matter of fact. I didn’t mean for it to go on for this long, but life has been hectic. We are still in the “construction phase” of the bathroom project. Translation – the bathroom isn’t finished YET! We’ve been promised that it will be completed by Friday. After it’s done we’ll take the final pictures and I’ll post them on the site here so you can see what we started with and what we ended up with.

The new washer and dryer are allegedly being delivered tomorrow. They were suppose to arrive yesterday, but apparently the directions that the salesperson at Sears typed into the computer were missing the house number, so they didn’t know where to deliver it to. I guess they’ve never heard of calling for directions before. Oh well.

Last night Earl and I purchased tickets to attend Sylvia Browne’s lecture in New York in October. I am very, very excited about this. This year must be a “spiritual year” for us, because on Sunday we’re going to see John Edward in Providence, R.I. and now Sylvia Browne as well. My soul is resonating with truth these days as I read more and more about Gnostic Christianity. It’s absolutely wonderful. I haven’t felt this good, spiritually, in years.

I’m also feeling pretty physically fit. I’m not a jock by any means, but I’m feeling much better in this body. I began working out 3 weeks ago. I weighed 217 at the time. On Monday I weighed myself, even though I said I wasn’t going to, and I was shocked to see the scale say 199! That seemed like a very, very big jump. But I’ve received many comments about my gut being gone, or at least smaller. The ego enjoys the stroking, I will admit, but at the very least I feel better about myself. I look forward to keeping up the exercise regime.

Earl and I decided to donate our old computer to the gym. It’s a not-for-profit agency and they also have a tutoring center, so I’m sure the computer will be put to good use.

We’re looking forward to vacation. A week off beginning on Saturday – I’m very excited about that. We plan on going to New England this weekend, spending some time at home during the week and then going to Philly next weekend to visit Earl’s family. We haven’t seen them since Christmas, so we’re overdue for a visit. I’m going to be writing more journal entries on my Palm Pilot as we’re traveling. I always enjoy doing that.

So we’re still plugging along with the bathroom. It’s not gnawing on my nerves as much as I thought it would, though it will be nice to have heat in the house once again. πŸ™‚ Especially on these cold 30 degree nights! Thank goodness for my grandmother’s space heater I inherited.

I’ve been working out like a maniac. I did 25 minutes on the treadmill this morning (7 minutes of it running), and then I did a 50 minute workout this afternoon… 20 minutes on the stair stepper, 11 minutes on the bike and then 20 minutes on the treadmill. I’m still not jumping on a scale until mid May but I’m feeling great and that’s what’s important.

I got two more Sylvia Browne books – her newest one called “Prayers”, and “Past Lives, Future Healing”. I’m just starting “Past Lives…”, it’s about how our past lives affect our phobia and fears in this life. I was chatting with my friend Donna online and she shared a meditation with me on how to find out about your past life. I’m going to try it when the world isn’t running by in such a blur and the house is actually clean enough that I can take deep, cleansing breaths without inhaling plaster dust.

Earl and I are making an Earth-friendly move and decided to buy a new Energy Star washing machine from Sears. It’s a Kenmore front-loader. Uses a third of the water that our current top loader uses, and much less electricity. We got the matching dryer as well. We decided to give our old set to my sister, it’s only six years old and it should work fine for her for many years to come.

Had an odd dream about being on “Survivor” last night and getting voted off. I think I’m becoming obsessed with the show again. At least this one is worth being obsessed about I suppose.

Saturday night we went and saw “Murder by Numbers” with Sandra Bullock at Crossgates. It was o.k. I suppose. The theatre was crowded. Earl and Dennis and Vic liked it much better than I did. I thought it was a little predictible. Had a nice supper at Bugaboo Creek. I’m still counting the calories to match my efforts at the gym, but it’s not easy to count calories at Bugaboo Creek! πŸ™‚

Just got off the phone with my Mom who sounded absolutely wonderful. She had a nice sunny disposition which was nice to hear.

Dare I say I’ve become addicted to working out? I’ve been going to the gym faithfully every morning before work. Not only am I feeling much better health wise, but I must say that I am really enjoying this! Today was a change though – I walked for 15 minutes on the treadmill and then ran the last five minutes. A pretty good pace too. Then I went back this afternoon after work! I swam for 15 minutes (mostly back stroke), then did the treadmill for another 20 minutes, running for 10 of it, and then did the stairstepper for 10. I am completely wiped out but I feel great. I have decided that I am not even getting on a scale until May 15, so I don’t care if I’m losing weight or not. I feel great.

I’ve been eating a little more sensibly too. Which is probably good for me as well.

I’ve gotten over the whole shy thing while at the gym. I now parade around in the locker rooms just like the other guys do. There’s one weirdo in there that I avoid (he seems to take showers and that’s it), but other than that things are going very well. I’m very pleased.

The bathroom is coming along slowly but surely. In fact, the guys are working on it as we speak. They’ve got the floor in and the new studs; hopefully we’ll see some sheetrock up tomorrow. They’ve run some plumbing too, which is nice. We’ve been without heat for the past week, but that’s o.k. because we’ve been enjoying record high temperatures (as I type it’s 81 degrees at 7:05 p.m. – in the middle of April!) I wonder if this means we’re going to have another sweltering summer.

I’m currently waiting for Earl to get home from the gym. I met up with him there – he’s on the company volleyball team so he plays volleyball ’til 8. I’m TiVoing Survivor for him. πŸ™‚ I’m still routing for Kathy – I hope she goes all the way. I really don’t like anyone else on the show – Kathy’s it. I was routing for Hunter too, but they got rid of him so fast. You know, it’s funny because I always condemn these reality shows. But this Survivor is much better than the past two – much more like the first one. I don’t like the other reality shows, though I’ll probably get hooked on Big Brother when it starts up again in July.

I’ve been doing more meditating and reading about Sylvia Browne and Novus Spiritus. I’m feeling more and more spirituality “centered” everyday, and I think it’s showing in my demeanor.

Earl and I are getting together with Dennis and Vic this weekend and hitting the town Saturday night. That should be fun!