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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies

I think I'm going to make it a goal this year to watch the top 100 movies, as listed by AFI.  I'm going with the 2007 list , since it has a few more recent movies.  I'm doing this for several reasons:
  1. There are a ton of movies that I've never seen, and people are always giving me crap about it.
  2. I have not seen a decent movie in a while.  I mean seriously, every movie that I've rented recently has been at best mediocre.  
  3. I have netflix at my disposal, so I can rent away!
Movies on the list that I've seen already, for the record:
  1. (3) Casablanca
  2. (6) Gone with the Wind - Well, duh.
  3. (8) Schindler's List - Dave made me watch
  4. (10) The Wizard of Oz - Disturbing.
  5. (13) Star Wars
  6. (15) 2001: A Space Odyssey - Although very long ago
  7. (17) The Graduate - Only recently, last year.
  8. (20) It's a Wonderful  Life - I saw this one for the first time a couple weeks ago.
  9. (24) E.T. 
  10. (25) To Kill a Mockingbird
  11. (26) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  12. (33) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  13. (34) Snow White
  14. (40) The Sound of Music
  15. (44) The Philadelphia Story
  16. (47) A Streetcar Named Desire, although I only vaguely remember it
  17. (50) Lord of the Rings
  18. (51) West Side Story
  19. (56) Jaws
  20. (65) The African Queen
  21. (66) Raiders of the Lost Ark
  22. (69) Tootsie
  23. (71) Saving Private Ryan
  24. (72) The Shawshank Redemption
  25. (74) The Silence of the Lambs
  26. (76) Forrest Gump
  27. (83) Titanic
  28. (89) The Sixth Sense, which frankly I'm surprised that it made the list.
  29. (94) Pulp Fiction
  30. (99) Toy Story
Now, the annoying part is that the first movie that I have to watch is Ben-Hur, which I have no desire to see.  But, then again, maybe I'll enjoy it.  Or, maybe I'll watch them out of order....  I need to discuss with Todd, as I haven't brought this up with him yet, and he's going to have to sit through these movies with me.  Maybe I'll make a separate page for this goal...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Great Article

New Years Resolutions ...

Sadly, Josh's workout program didn't work for me as written (I was bored), but I'm going to attempt mixing his theories with Cathe to get what I want this year...

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008: Fitness Year in Review



Reviewing...


It's time again for my annual fitness year in review.  The interesting thing about this year is that while I did meet a lot of goals and I was very successful at keeping weight off and getting my running done, my biggest accomplishment was to become a lot more "sane" and "normal" about fitness.  I gave up a lot of my old habits of dieting and just mostly focused on keeping everything balanced - from my food to my exercise to my frame of mind.  And this turned out to be a huge success.

Fitness Goals for 2008...

Diet - Day one of tracking foods is today. Diet is not the number one priority, but tracking foods should be good enough. Hopefully, get the workouts going and the diet will follow.
This strategy was very successful.  I tracked my foods and stayed balanced and fine, without eating tons of diet food, etc.  I joined Diettogo in March, which helped me keep balance at work.  

Weight Loss - No specific weight loss goals this year, as I am trying to take the focus off of the number on the scale. If the workouts come, the diet will follow and weight loss is surely to be the result. At a minimum, maintain around 170 pounds.
Sometime during the year, I stopped worrying about the number on the scale.  This was especially good mentally for me.  As a result, I stopped the focus on what my actual weight is, and haven't really written about it on my blog since.  Suffice it to say that right this second I'm still up a bit from my Belize trip and the holidays.  However, I reached what was my goal weight in late April / early May (in time for the Frederick Half Marathon), and maintained it all the way until December.  I need to drop about 5 pounds right now, but I know that I will.  

Running - Run the Disney Marathon in January. Run a half marathon in the fall. NO MORE FULL MARATHONS for 2008. Keep up with 2-3 runs per week, and a base of only about 6 miles through the spring. Potentially run the Jacksonville Breast Cancer half marathon in February, although that is partially up in the air.
Didn't run the Jacksonvill race.  I did run the Disney Marathon, at an incredibly slow time (but my training sucked).  The Frederick Half Marathon, not mentioned here because it became a goal post-Disney, went very well, and I did run the Baltimore Half Marathon, even if it sucked.

Workouts - Goal of 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, starting today. Focus on running and upper body weight training through the disney marathon. If we are running the Breast cancer race, keep the focus of running through then. Mix in Cathe rotations post-Disney to add variety. Any workout will do.
Cross-training continues to be a huge problem.  I cannot seem to stay into it.  I was successful in January / February of getting in several weeks of at least 4 and sometimes 5 days of workouts, and then I was successful again at doing so in April / May, and then again in November.  However, sustaining the cross-training has been very difficult for me.  This will be another goal for 2009.
Weights and Muscle Tone - Regain muscle tone in upper body. Work up to equal the weight that I was using for workouts in March 2006.
See above.  I was unable to keep up the cross-training long enough to do so :(

Lessons from 2008
  • It is SO much easier to lose weight and keep it off when training for half marathons and not full marathons.  This made me very happy.
  • As long as I'm running and working out, I do have the ability to eat sensibly and maintain my weight without keeping a food journal.  However, a journal is necessary when things start getting out of control.
  • The longer I stay with Todd, the less I want to eat bad things.  We've developed a mutual love and respect for healthy foods, and that is awesome.
  • Even with the best training, sometimes you just don't have it on race day.
  • In order to run faster, you have to run faster.
Successes for 2008


From Somewhere in the Sun
  • LOTS of running (see the chart above, which is a line graph of all of my running by weeks in 2008)
  • Sporadic success with Cathe workouts.
  • Jeff Galloway training program, including being a group leader
  • Two 5k Races (Shamrock in March, Pikesville in July), including setting a new 5k PR in March.
  • One 10k Race (Race for Our Kids in June)
  • Annapolis 10 Mile run
  • Celtic Solstice 5 Mile Run
  • Walt Disney World Marathon
  • Two half marathons - Frederick Half (May) and Baltimore Half (October) -- meaning I ran the Maryland Double!
  • More success at getting to the pool to swim laps than in 2007.
  • Advanced Open Water Diving Certification (including bouyancy, night / limited visibilty & navigation)
  • Completed 62 scuba dives, for a total of 132 since I became certified.
Goals for 2009
  • Diet and Weight Loss - continue doing what I'm going.  Track foods to get weight down, eat sensibly, and maintain.  Do I want to lose more weight?  Sure, but I'm also at a weight right now that is right for me and that I'm happy with, so this weight is fine for now.
  • Running - Complete the Disney Half Marathon in January.  Plan to run a fall Half Marathon, then ramp up to the Disney Marathon (yes, the whole 26.2) in January 2010.  I had thought about doing the Goofy Challenge, but I don't think I'm up for it this year.
  • Workouts - Find a way to get cross-training in.  Starting with post-Disney, start doing Cathe rotations combined with a very light running schedule for the off season.  Get the tone back in the upper body.
  • Diving - I'd like to get another 60 dives in during 2009.  We shall see, as travel has become very expensive.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Private: Boxing Day 2008

Boxing Day 2008

Note: This is a private post on my private blog. For access, please email me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Recipe: Oprah's Pomegranate Martini

I was assigned the task of providing the drink of the day for Christmas. That drink was a Pomegranate Martini. They were delicious and very Christmasy. Everyone had a couple, even those non drinkers in the crowd. Good times. The recipe came from Oprah.com, so I figured you can't go wrong with that - Oprah probably knows her martinis...

Oprah's Pomegranate Martini

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Private: Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

This is a private post on my private blog. You must have access to view it, so email me if you want access.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

From Somewhere in the Sun

Neatorama

For those that read my RSS feeds on my left menu, check out Neatorama.  I found it the other day and it seems to be just an awesome collection of interesting things.  Some favorites:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

5-Star Light Displays

There is still time, because I will be in Annapolis tomorrow and Northern VA Thursday and Friday, but...  for now, there are only two houses in the area that have won my own personal award for Christmas decorating.  Lots of houses get 4 stars, but few get 5.  So, the two best light displays in the area, or at least on the roads that I travel regularly in the area are:
  • The Red & Green display at the corner of Falls Road and Brick Store Road.
  • The Blue display which is on Route 30, if you are traveling north from 795, it is maybe a half mile up on the left, just up from the Animal Hospital.
Also, for entertainment value, check out this Slate article on unusual light displays.  My favorite is the Flying Spaghetti Monster... why didn't I think of that one??

In other news, sorry for the lack of posting lately, I've been working at a new job and quite frankly haven't had much to say.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Celtic Solstice 5 Mile Run 2008

I must admit, this was a really nice little race. It was quite cold at the start... even though my clock at home said 35 when we left the house, making me assume that when the sun rose it would be in the 40s, when we got home, the clock said 28, so the temperatures went down during the race. I was tired and hungover from my work (yes, the new job) Holiday party Friday night. I was just planning to run casually, hang out with friends, and get some miles. I wondered why I even bothered with the chip.

There was a large group of us running - Sue, Caryn, Kristy, Misty, KathyC, and some friends and family. There were others out who weren't running with us, and we ended up seeing quite a few people during the race. I chose not to turn chrono on (on my watch), so I had no idea what my split times were per mile and just tried to keep up with the group and have a good time.

As it turned out, this was a good strategy, since when I saw the results yesterday, I maintained a 12:28 per mile pace, which is very good. I'm starting to wonder if I should turn chrono off for all of my races. I had no intention of running this race fast and didn't think that I was... yet, I ran it at race pace and still felt comfortable at the end. No chrono for Disney?? We shall see.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Private: Today At Work...

Today At Work

Note: This is a private post on my private blog. For access to my private blog, please email me.

Thanks! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Private: Nickish Christmas 2008

Nickish Christmas 2008

Note: This is a private post on my private blog. To read it, you must have access to my private blog. To request access, please feel free to email me. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quittin' Time

by Keith Whitley and played faithfully by WPOC at 5pm each Friday.

It's quittin' time, quittin' time.
Time to disassemble this assembly line,
Oh, I love punching out,
Like I hate punching in.
Hot damma lamma lamma it's quittin' time again.

I'm so tired of making whatever it is that we make,
With some fool tellin' me when I can take a break.
They're breaking my spirit and making my body ache,
But I'm just about to make the great Escape...

It's quittin' time, quittin' time.
Time to disassemble this assembly line,
Oh, I love punching out,
Like I hate punching in.
Hot damma lamma lamma it's quittin' time again.

I'll be leaving this factory at the speed of a neon light,
Gonna meet my lady at the say when lounge tonight.
When they cut me loose I know she's gonna hold me tight,
Everything I want gonna be all right...


It's quittin' time, quittin' time.
Time to disassemble this assembly line,
Oh, I love punching out,
Like I hate punching in.
Hot damma lamma lamma it's quittin' time again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Running, Motivation & Christmas Lights

Tuesday, I did a short run outside for the first time since returning from Belize.  It is not a joke that this is the most difficult time of year to be motivated to run.  The season is over and running friends are hard to come by.  It's cold and I am not used to it yet.  No matter what time of day I choose to run, I always seem to be running in some sort of darkness.  It is just a tough, tough time of year for a runner.

So, I've had to really force myself to get out there, reminding myself of the 5 pounds that I gained in Belize (3 of them have come off).  I have a race in a month, and I want to be ready for it.  I have to run.

What is motivating about Christmas is that people have put out their decorations.  So, I do enjoy running through the neighborhood to see what people have done with their outside lights.  (NOTE: We have not put any up yet because we are lame).  So, on Tuesday, that is what kept me occupied during the run.  I rated each house with a star rating of 1-5, 5 stars being the best.  There were no 5 star winners, but there was a 1-star (we'll discuss that later).

Things that affected the ratings:

Higher ratings:
  • Quantity of lights.  Apparently when it comes down to it, I like a lot of lights.
  • Decorating with things other than lights, such as pine garland and wreaths (Danger: you can also go tacky with this)
  • Difficulty, so you would get a higher score if you actually hung lights along the top of the house and not just throwing things out on the bushes.
  • Correct use of colors other than white.
  • Decorating a deciduous tree with lights, only if each branch is individually lit.
  • Candles in windows.
  • Spotlights on the front of the house.

Lower ratings:
  • Inflatable decorations.  Even lower ratings for more than one inflatable decoration, or inflatable decorations that are a snow globe, make noise, or animate.  In other words, the more money you spend on inflatable decorations, the lower your score will be.
  • Weird or haphazard color combination.
  • Incomplete nativity scene, with the exception of the baby Jesus, which is often missing pre-Christmas.  For example, just Mary and a donkey.
  • Pre-lit objects (non-inflatable) are OK, but less of a rating if, when lit, you cannot tell what they are and they just look like blobs of lights.
  • Anything that plays music.
  • Blinking lights.  Blinking lights can be done in a good way, but 99.9% of people can't pull it off these days.  Leave it to the experts.
  • Using blanket-style Christmas lights on bushes.  Even lower rating if the blanket-style lights are used and they don't cover the entire bush.
  • Christmas lights and decorations, but failure to get rid of the pumpkins and/or Halloween decorations.
  • Seemingly incomplete decorating - such as only putting lights on one bush out of four.
  • Running strands of lights between objects or trees.
  • A sign that says "X days until Christmas" that is obviously wrong.  Don't commit to that sign if you're not going to keep it up to date.

So, my lowest rating this year went to a house that had a TON of lights (good).  They were all white, which is also good.  They decorated nicely.  But, the lights were blinking in a weird way - the WHOLE HOUSE AND YARD would go out at once and then back on - in a random kind of way, not even blinks.  I thought they might even have an electrical short of some type.  As I got closer though, I could hear quietly played music and apparently the lights were blinking to that music.  Hopefully, the neighbors don't have epilepsy.  What a horrible idea!  One star.

Update on Calendar Sale

The calendar sale has been an overwhelming success!!  Very soon, we will know how much we have raised for the Dietz Educational Trust, I'm not sure of numbers yet (and I'm not sure if Todd will want to share them, as he gets private about things). 

We would still love to sell calendars to anyone who wants one, however, after today we will need to start charging shipping to anyone who wants a calendar sent directly to them.  Cost of shipping will be $7 (this is what shutterfly will charge to ship).  We will be donating the money within the next week and so we are closing down orders for donations as well. 

Thank you to everyone who place an order!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Recipe: Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce


Another easy, delicious and healthy recipe. I used capers instead of peppercorns, because I did my grocery shopping at Miller's market this week and they have neither (but I had capers at home). I served this with one of the new Pasta Roni boxes (the Olive Oil Noodles one), and steamed broccoli. Todd seemed to really like it. I love anything that has a tangy-lemony sauce. Since I've been forbidden to cook fish in the house before because of the fishy smell, and because it was 25 degrees outside and I didn't want to go out and grill, I boiled a small pot of water mixed with vinegar while I cooked. This prevented the fish smell in the house.

Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Recipe: Amazing Pork Tenderloin

Well, it's freezing cold and it took me until about 2pm yesterday to warm up after the 17 degree morning run, so I decided that I wasn't leaving the house today. That meant that I had to go with the ingredients in the house to make dinner (or order a pizza, but I'd rather cook). I went with the recipe that I found online for Amazing Pork Tenderloin, since I had a tenderloin in the freezer and all of the other ingredients on hand. I put the tenderloin into the crock pot frozen (note: this risks food poisoning, apparently), then poured the packet of onion soup mix on top without mixing it or anything (since the frozen-ness of the tenderloin was going to prevent it from being coated, etc). I poured the liquids around it and not over it.

It was delicious! The onion soup mix made a nice oniony type of glaze over top. I added some flour mixed with water to the au jus to thicken it up, and served it in a dish on the side. Todd loved it and we almost ate the whole thing.

Calendar Finalized...

Please go take a look!

Watching Pretty Woman

(Kim laughs)
Todd: What are you laughing at?
Kim: I like this movie.
Todd: Yes, I know. You have a vagina. You like to think there are men who want to pay you for it.


LOL

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Running, End of Year

From gallowayparty2008
This morning, we had our end of the year party for the Galloway Program. It was 17 degrees when I left the house, and I think the bank said 21 degrees when I got close to the running store. So, if we look bundled up in the photo, you know why. I was wearing 3 layers, although I only wore 2 during the actual run. Pretty cold, but not as bad as I was thinking it was going to be when I was laying in bed at 5am looking at the thermometer reading 17.

I want to say here what I said this morning for my little group leader speech...

First of all, let me tell you what it's like to finish a marathon in 6 hours or more, since a lot of people have never experienced it. When you get to mile 25, you're there with a guy with one leg, a guy in a wheelchair, somebody that had some sort of accident in their pants, someone who looks as though they should be running a 4-hour marathon, but had some sort of MAJOR issue with their legs, someone dragging their left leg behind them... maybe a guy dressed like Elvis. So, it was different for me to run the Baltimore Half Marathon this year with people who were running a 4 hour marathon. They're intense... staring straight ahead... running. Very different.

My group is the slowest, so we have older runners, first time runners, injured runners. We get the people who don't know if they can finish, the people who know they can finish, but need to slow down for a while. We're like the minor leagues. And yet, I had some of the most awesome, supportive people in my group. I had a frickin' awesome group this year! I love them and I'm so proud to have been their group leader this year.

So, thanks, girls (and John), for a great year! :)

Baby

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ElfYourself is Back!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

2009 Calendar Sale

This year, we will once again be selling calendars of Todd's award winning underwater photography.  The 2008 calendars were a huge success!  We are in the process of creating the 2009 calendars and haven't finished yet, so if you want to see what to expect please take a look at the 2008 Calendar information.

For 2009, expect photography from Belize, Bonaire and Turks & Caicos.  The price of a calendar is $20.  This year, all profits from the sale of the calendars will be donated to the Dietz Educational Trust*.  Todd will also be donating the cost of the calendars for the first 100 sold.  That means, the first 100 folks who purchase a calendar will be donating 100% to the fund!

These calendars make great stocking stuffers!  We will accept cash, check and paypal.  Please email kletcosblog@gmail.com for more information on where to send payment.

*The Dietz Educational Trust is the college fund for the two sons of our friend, Tom, who passed away suddenly on November 13, 2008.  This is an excellent cause for two great boys.
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