Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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10 Meals

Clearly, I’m on a roll of blogging about my goals for 2013, so now let’s look at this one: Make 10 meals that I’ve never made before.

This one I made a concerted effort to achieve, with a spreadsheet to track ideas of things to make and then to track when I made them.

Cornish hen 6-Jan-2013
Ham & cheese crepes 12-Feb-2013
Lamb shoulder chop 10-May-2013
Bison stew 12-May-2013
Caesar salad 5-Jun-2013
Clam chowder 24-Jun-2013
Marinated tuna steaks 1-Sep-2013
Ribs 14-Oct-2013
Eggplant parmasen 9-Oct-2013
Pork tenderloin 21-Nov-2013

The eggplant parm was only decent, but it also knocked an item off my 101 list, so it was like killing two birds with one stone. I wasn’t thrilled with the ham and cheese crepes (probably because I’m not really a big fan of ham!). The rest were pretty excellent, if I do say so myself. I think the Cornish hen was the best new dish I tried, but the lamb shoulder chop was a close second. The marinated tuna steaks were delicious and I’ve made them a few times since.

Also, I have a few items on my list of ideas that I never got around to trying, so I think I’ll make a 2014 goal of making 10 new things I’ve never made before. For the record, those ideas are:

  • pheasant
  • pulled pork
  • paella
  • roast beef
  • kangaroo



And while we are talking about my exercise goals, let’s take a look at how I did on my pushup goal!

Goal: 1,300
Completed: 1,385

Success! I completed 107% of my goal! Luckily, I did a *lot* of pushups early in the year (see Figure 11 ), as my hockey-related hand injury put me out of pushup action for quite a while2. In fact, I hurt my hand on October 27, and though it feels fine normally, when I did some pushups this week, it totally hurt. Boo-urns.

pushups 2013

Figure 1: Monthly count of pushups for 2013

Hopefully it will feel better in the new year, as pushups are such a convenient way to do something for my upper body, as all my other exercises – running, biking, hockey – are lower-body ones.

  1. I haven’t yet graphed my running and biking numbers, as there is a chance I may run and/or bike before the end of the day on Tuesday. []
  2. Also, as the graph reveals, my enthusiasm for pushups dropped off mid-year, long before my hand injury. []


Biking Fail

To every yin there is a yang and the yin to my successful running year is the yang of my epic failure biking. I had grand plans of biking 500 km this year and I managed to fail that in spectacular fashion. I’d figured that between some fun bike rides and spending some time on the stationary bike in the exercise room in my building while reading textbooks, it would be easy-peasy. How wrong I was. As it turned out, I did most of my reading of textbooks on the Skytrain to and from work, so at home I was mostly writing stuff on my laptop, which isn’t conducive to stationary biking. And I really didn’t do very many bike rides just for fun. So my grand total of biking for the year ended up being a measly 83.5 km!! So unless I miraculously bike 416.5 km in the next three days, this one gets chalked up as the failingest fail that ever failed.

But I have grand plans about biking for the new year, so I have a feeling that I will vindicate myself in 2014!


Running Goal

If I’d actually written all the blog postings that I have composed in my brain, I would not need to be writing four blog postings a day to reach my goal. I was *sure* that I’d written about my ever-changing running goal for 2013, but I cannot find that blog posting anywhere, so apparently I did not actually write it. To make a long story short, when I first created my goals for 2013, I set a goal of running 400 km based on the fact that in 2012 I ran 287 km and a 100 km increase seemed reasonable. But then when I sat down and calculated out the training programs for two half marathons – another goal for 2013 – I realized that I’d easily do 400 km during my training and so I adjusted my goal to 600 km, because I wanted my goal to be more of a stretch. Unfortunately, Runkeeper, the app that I use to track my runs, does not let you adjust goals1 and I’d already set 400 km as a goal before I laid out my training for the year. I could have deleted the goal and then set up a new one, but then all the running I’d done up to that point wouldn’t get counted, so that was no good. At any rate, the Runkeeper app still allows me to track everything and since I have a spreadsheet, anyway, I just tracked my progress towards the 600 km mark with that.

Then life happened and I ended up doing pretty minimal training for both my half marathons this year and then I started thinking that maybe 600 km was going to be out of my reach and I should have stuck with 400 km after all! I ended up hitting the 400 km mark in October and I knew I wouldn’t run another 200 km by the time my November half marathon happened and I have a very bad habit where, after I finish a half, I think, “I need a bit of recovery time” and then 6 months goes by and I haven’t done any running. Which is part of the reason that I signed up for the running study – I knew it would be the motivation that I needed to go running when it’s cold and dark and raining and I have no races that I’m training for. And then yesterday, with three days to spare, I hit my 2013 target:

Running 2013

600 km, to put it in perspective, is further than Vancouver to Revelstoke2:

Vancouver to Revelstoke

That’s pretty far, if I do say so myself!

  1. Runkeeper, if you are reading this, you should totally add that as a feature. That and an out-and-back option when created maps. []
  2. Which is a mere 563 km. []


Goals for 2013

Goal SettingIt’s 2013 in just over 24 hours, so I figured why not set up 13 goals for the new year?

  1. Lose the 15 lbs that I gained since starting my MBA. Seriously. I have clothes that I can’t fit into and it’s not good for my health to be carrying around this extra weight, so it’s time to get serious about losing these extra pounds. I’ve been saying this for some time now without it happening, so I realize that it’s time I make an actual plan rather than just vague thoughts about “eating better”. A real focus on diet, exercise, and getting more sleep are all on the list for making this happen.
  • First up – diet – I’m declaring 2013 The Year of The Vegetable. I declared Dec 2012 The Month of the Vegetable and that had some moderate success, as I definitely upped my fruit & veg intake over what I’d previously been eating – and over the holidays to boot! Continuing with this momentum, I’m going to continue the concerted effort to eat more fruits and veg – and re-instituting my Sunday night weekly meal planning and keeping a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table will be my first concrete steps.
  • Second – exercise –  Item #26 on my 101 list is “do some kind of exercise (anything really, even if it is just a set of pushups, as long as it is beyond just incidental stuff like taking the stairs or walking to a store) every day for a year!” Tackling that item starts TODAY! I played hockey today, so now I only need to do some kind of exercise for the next 364 days and I’m golden! To help with this one – I’m redoubling my efforts to Schedule It! – which will go well with my Sunday night planning (see above). As well, see goals #3-7 below for more exercise-related goodness.
  • Third – sleep – I think it’s time to reinstitute my plan.
  • Also, I’m reading The Power of Habit, which has got me thinking about my habits – and how to change the problematic ones to better ones, so that’s something I’ll be working on as well1 2.
  1. Pay off my car. I’m pretty close to this one, and once I do that I will be debt-free! Go me!
  2. Run a sub-2 hour half marathon. This just so happens to be #50 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. And I know that in order to do this, I have to up the intensity of my half marathon training – more speed work and hills, to be specific. Which is just the kind of thing that’s going to help me get goal #1 accomplished.
  3. I’m aiming to do 2 half marathons this year – tentatively the Edge-to-Edge in Tofino in June and the Victoria half marathon in October3.
  4. Run 400 km 600 km4. I figure that since I managed nearly 300 km of running training for 1 half marathon, I can easily do 400 km 600 km training for two.
  5. Bike 500 km. Biking isn’t my main exercise, but I do quite enjoy it and since there is a recumbent stationary bike in the exercise room in my building, which is just perfect for exercise while I read textbooks, I think this one is doable5
  6. Do 1,300 pushups. This year’s pushup total was 485, so I’ve got a lot of work to do to reach this goal, but I did get slack at sticking to my must-do-pushups-whenever-I-take-a-break-from-homework rule after a few months, so if I bring that back in full force and maybe give the old 100 pushups program another go, I think I can do this one. And given that goals #3-6 are all leg-related, I had to do something for my arms!
  7. Go on a fabulous vacation! There are already some vague plans in the works for this one, but I’ll need to get going on some actually planning to make this a reality.
  8. Make 10 meals that I’ve never made before. I think it’s time to expand the repertoire, and I have in my freezer a cornish hen – something I’ve never cooked before – that I bought at the farmer’s market to get me started.
  9. Redesign my blog. I’m getting bored with my current theme – I think it’s time for a new one!
  10. Knock 13 items off my 101 list of things to do in 1001 days. Since it’s 2013, why not go for 13 of them? That’s just one per month, plus one. As part of my newly re-instituted Sunday night weekly planning, I will use the last Sunday of each month to pick an item on my 101 list on which to work for the upcoming month, so that I don’t get to Dec 28, 2013 and say “oh crap, I haven’t done anything from my 101 list!”
  11. Make $113,000. Ambitious and I have no idea how I’ll accomplish it, but since I finally succeeded after 3 years of trying to break the $100K mark, why the hell not give it a go?
  12. Publish 213 blog postings. Since I did 201 blog postings in 20126, I figure 213 is a reasonable goal for this year. Moreover, if I do that, I will be within 2 postings of my goal of 501 postings in 1001 days as per my 101 list, and I’ll still have 6 months left ’til the 1001 days are up!

Image Credit: Posted by Angie Torres on Flickr.

  1. E.g., this book talks a lot about the cues that trigger our habits, and since one habit that I want to reinstitute is regularly eating breakfast, which I used to be good at but seemed to fall out of the habit of when I moved, as all my old cues were gone. So I’m going to set out a bowl and spoon before I go to bed, which will be a cue in the morning to remind me to have breakfast! []
  2. I didn’t anticipate when I started writing my list of goals that I’d end up writing such a detailed plan for achieving this particular goal, but now that I have, I feel much better about my chances of accomplishing it! []
  3. Which Dr. Dan is also planning to run – but he’ll be running twice the distance! []
  4. I originally put 400 km, but then when I created my spreadsheet with my monthly goals and factored in that I intended to train for 2 half marathons, I decided that 400 km was too easy. []
  5. For the record, I cycled 111 km this year – though that’s from my account and I’m not sure if I included all of my stationary bike cycling there. []
  6. Or, I will have once tomorrow’s blog posting – which I’ve already half written – goes up. []