Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cooking pork chops by newbie

I buy the cheapest stuff so the cuts are not always great nor consistent. In general, I found pan-frying the pork until brown on both sides then putting in the over for 20 minutes (at 350) has worked for me. The chop is around 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

1 inch thick was still pink in the center near the bone. 25 minutes worked for me. And use less time if the cut is thinner.

Day 2:
15 minutes at 400 degrees seem to work better after browning both sides with a non-stick pan. Not as dry and less raw in the middle by the bone..


For something extra:
http://www.asweetpeachef.com/entrees/garlic-roasted-pork-chops/

  • 5 ingredients and I have all of them! :D
  • In the picture looks thinner, recommends 400 for 4-5 minutes (but there is flipping the chops around the 2 minute mark). Also boneless.
  • I like there is a recipe type, if only I can figure out how to just filter by easy recipe types.


http://damndelicious.net/2015/01/31/easy-pork-chops-with-sweet-and-sour-glaze/

  • I may try as I usually have most of those ingredients or easy to find
  • This also uses 400 for 8-10 minutes (I'll have to try that next time)

http://www.food.com/recipe/pork-chop-sandwich-292269

  • Looks tasty. I probably won't try this any time soon as it includes batter and frying... both of which is too messy for my taste ;) 


http://www.chowhound.com/food-news/160530/9-reasons-to-cook-pork-chops-tonight/

  • Super fancy. I will probably never try cooking these.

2 day break from workout, easier faster pace today

Pre-run

I've had to work several hours for the last couple days so was not able to workout out all. I've logged maybe 1 mile for each day. Physically, I felt rather energetic today. I also lost 3 pounds during that span, but probably just from eating lightly (mostly ramen and salad... mostly because that was all I had left). This morning I was really hungry and decided to dig deep into my closet and found a bag of chocolates (I don't really eat sweets but will eat them occasionally). I ate a couple reese's cups before running. I only mention that because that may also be what contributed to the run.

Run

I walked the usual 5 minutes then started jogging at 5mph for a couple minutes. I found this to be extremely easier than usual, so I changed it to 5.5mph. By the 20 minute mark, I was still feeling good where I was probably at 70% (usually I would be around 85% at this point). I think upped it again to 6mph. I was able to struggled to 28 minutes, unable to reach the 30 minutes. Overall, still a pretty decent run for me.

Of course, the girl next to me was doing 7mph like it was cake-walk >:O... you just wait! I'll be there someday! sigh... To think that I once was able to do 6-7 minute miles. Feels like two lifetimes ago. Anyways, I still felt great that I am making progress... at least I hope it is and not caused by eating candy beforehand (although it makes me tempted to experiment that a little more).

Now that I am able to jog most of the 30 minutes, I will likely start increasing the incline grade or go at a faster pace. This will mostly be determined on how well my feet feels. They have been kind of sore lately like when you stand for too long. I think it is also a sign for new pair of shoes. I've had these for a year now so it is about time to retire them from running shoes to everyday shoes.

Post-run

After some other random workouts and shopped for food, I feel pretty normal... no sore, no pain. My right fore-arm feels a little tight though from holding weights. The odd part was that my left arm did not have any problems (I'm right-handed). Lately, I've been wondering if maybe I may have been left-handed but ambidextrous enough to follow the general public of being right-handed... or maybe my right side is so worn-and-torn that it tires faster.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dear Managers, Don't be so damn lazy or cheap!

Lazy

Group punishment

"Team, do this. Team, do that. Team, you're all punished." Will an extra minute kill you to do your job properly? Stop generalizing us as a team when we all know who you are talking about except for that one guy you are actually trying to speak to, especially when it is something negative.

We have this new guy on the team. He came in late, left early, and did poor quality work. What made him especially hated was how pro-active he was about looking like he was always available to back up people, knew how everything worked, etc. but never backed it up (he missed his own calls, had earphones on while in training, caught snoring on a conference call). And that is just the tip of the iceberg of issues.

Sadly, this is not even my issue about work because there is always someone like him in the corporate world. My beef is actually with how management deals with this.

We used to be allowed to work remotely twice a week. The new guy abused this system. So management's solution was to have a team meeting to discuss how the remote work is being abused and now is now only once a week. On top of that, notifications are now required the prior day. Not only that, there was an issue that we must be at work on-time and not to leave early.

We are not a large team (5-7), so we all know each others work schedule pretty well. Two of the members are always in early by an hour. Two of us always stay late at least an hour later. So it is very easy to know exactly who this was being addressed to, yet we are all being punished for this? I barely even work remotely even once a week yet I felt slighted by this rule change. My commute is pretty bad, yet I make it in on-time almost everyday. I used the remote work when I see that there was an accident.

After a couple months of this in place, there have only been two people who have been consistently late and leaving early... the new guy and the manager. And this was not even a slip from good behavior, they violated the new rule since day one. Both were late, both left early, although the new guy checks to see that the manager leaves before he leaves. Both have sent notices the day of, and sometimes no notices at all.

And to kick us while we're down, the manager labels this as a corporate-wide mandate as if we don't speak with anyone else in the company. Our jobs has us speaking with a lot of people, so we know that none of the other groups have even heard of those restrictions.

General Fear Tactics

As if my respect for management could be any lower, they threaten us with a question: "what is the difference between off-shoring our jobs and letting use work remotely full-time?" Yea, good luck finding a comparable off-shore resource. First, if that were true then there is even larger cost benefit to replacing someone who works on premise than someone remote. Second, management barely understands when someone speaks with an accent. Either they waste all of our times asking to repeat themselves 20 times or they pretend to understand than waste my time later to explain or worse misinterpret what was said. Last, management is going to stoop so low to use fear as their tactic to keep us happy? That is the best weapon they can use. I barely see my manager or anyone on my team. I actually go out of my way to see my colleagues just to make use of going to the office. I know none of them ever goes to see anyone else. For meetings, they are all over phone or online so it is basically like working remotely anyways. And then at the end of the day, who do you not see in the office most of the time? Management... of course.


Distribution Blast

We all dread doing timesheets. We hate them. What does management do when there are violators of not submitting your timesheet? Why don't we blast everyone that there is a minority of people that are not submitting their timesheets? Not only are they the minority but they are the multiple offenders. So let us just waste everyone's time to recheck that their timesheets are submitted.

OH! It is month end, let us send another blast that these timesheets are extra important to be submitted.

OOPS! If you are going to be out of the office, another email to remind you that you should know that you took time off and do your timesheets earlier... JUST IN CASE that you didn't read the previous emails that came in the last 10 minutes that your timesheets are due.

OOPS AGAIN! If you are working tonight or the weekend, you can submit it later. Well, if we can submit it later why do we need to submit it now? 

Then I have to get another email from my manager that there are some timesheets not submitted. COME ON! There are only 5 people in your team. I know two of them submitted, and I know I submitted. That leaves only 2 people left and I am pretty sure he also submitted it. You could not spare 10 seconds to just address that one person?! Of course, I had to triple-check just so that I didn't have to eat my own words later.

On a side note: Is there no one in upper management that finds it so damn stupid on how you expect to get a report on hours worked before the end of the time range but yet ask us to submit our hours as precisely as possible? For example, upper management always require an EOM report on the last day of the month. Why not the day after when the month actually ended?!? This simple logic does not even include the amount of time and effort that it takes to build some of those reports, so in reality the reports are built almost a week early so the report is either missing a week or estimating a week. Then they complain why the report is not accurate and puzzled when we explain that there are estimations needed even though we explain this same thing every month for years. To top it off, they don't even need the report immediately. That is corporate America for you.

Cheap

Candy

The other day, I won a raffle (first time in my life). I do not each chocolates and a colleague mentioned that the executive VP really liked one of the containers of chocolates. So I gifted it to him through his secretary.

I do not interact with him at all. I am pretty sure that he does not even know who I am. I thought he would have at least shared it with his functional area. Nope... he just brought it home and shared it with his wife. What did I get? Not even a thank you, a pat, or a handshake. Didn't even bother to know who I was.

I am not sad or angry over this, but I surely lost a lot of respect for him. At least I can see why management is the way it is. I believe that values and culture starts at the top. Clearly, no respect for the small people (although there have been many other red flags, imo). I have crossed paths with him and direct reports multiple times, and they also do not care to know who I am.

I shared the rest of the basket to the people in the company. Sometimes, I wonder if I am just double damning myself by making other people feel better about the company at my expense. Then, I feel guilty that even crosses my mind... because there does not need to be a reason to be good.

Food

We had a company day and everyone was excited about the free lunch. In my opinion, it was a measly lunch: sandwich, cookie, chips, and a drink. We could buy it for $5 at most, so I'm sure it cost the company less than that per person. AND... my problem is not even that it is a cheap lunch.

My issue was that there were some speeches from the CEO, COO, and CFO. Most of the people left after some time and went to get food. While a few of us remaining stayed to listen (the speeches were bad and boring). When the speeches were done, we went to get food but they had run out of food. They ran out of food well before we even got there. 

The silver-lining was the amusement because the speeches were about how well the company was doing: record profits, record growth, and thanking us for our contributions and loyalty. 



Rant

Sorry, there may be a lot of grammatical errors and other mistakes especially when I think faster than I type. As you can tell, a lot has been festering in the back of my mind. As much as I try to be positive, there is still a part of me that is constantly disappointed by people who are more fortunate. 

Drinking water doesn't quench my thirst - solved with more salt?

There were several occasions when I drink water where my thirst does not go away. For me this is not a consistent problem, so I do not think it is diabetes (also I don't have any of the other symptoms of diabetes). After searching online, I found a few articles about not having enough salt.

So I tried this option. The primary reason is that I do have a very low sodium diet. When I cook, I do not use any salt, pepper, or other spices. At most, I use some oil but mostly to keep the food from sticking. Otherwise, I boil-fry most of my food. By boil-fry, I mean I just use just enough water to have the food stick to the pan... so I guess I basically steam my food or stir-fry with water. Anyways, the point is that I don't consume a lot of salt. I also don't eat out a lot. When I do, most outside food tastes salty too me.

I also drink a lot of water consistently so it is kind of odd that there are times that the quench does not go away. At first, I drank soda. One can or half bottle is enough to remove my quench for the episode. Now I keep energy drinks around, and that works just as well. It has been a while since the last I have had this issue (I just remembered to share this point only because the energy drinks are still sitting in my cabinets). I speculating that I have not had this problem for a while mostly because I have started to use some salt in my foods.

Anyways, this is my personal experience and experiment into the matter. I have also been exercising more regularly, averaging almost 5 miles a day. That may have a factor but I haven't found or felt like it contributed or helped with the problem.



References

http://forums.prohealth.com/forums/index.php?threads/why-doesnt-water-quench-my-thirst.96154/
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/why-am-i-always-thirsty?page=2

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Morning Calf Cramp

When waking, I typically stretch out my legs and this morning I pulled my calf muscle while doing so and it was quite painful. Needless to say, that woke me up this morning. I tried to massage the muscle but it is quite painful to the touch. I can walk around with some strain but unable to put any more pressure than that.

After taking a hot shower, I was able to get a little more flexibility and probably could jog on it. It does not feel like I can jump on it although I may test that out later today.

I then went out for a walk for about an hour to an hour and a half. My calf now feels much better and feel a dull pain only when I pull my foot all the way up.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Workout Slump 20150414

This has been my worst workout week this year. I just didn't have the energy to do anything... averaging about 2-2.5 miles a day with strength training at a low too. Intervals kind of help. Hopefully, I'll get out of this rout eventually.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

5k results - April 2016

I posted a slightly slower time (33") than last year, but overall I felt great. The weather was extremely cold so I was running with a long-sleeve and a hoodie, still kept my shorts. I was able to stay at least a jogging pace for 2.5 miles of the 3.1 miles. 

Another plus was that I didn't feel too exhausted afterwards, and was able to play volleyball later even though I did not eat well on Saturday.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Preparing for 5k race in two days

I think I am still on pace for a 36" 5k run. Taking a workout break today by walking 1.5 miles around 3.5 mph. Tomorrow will do a 5k warmup jog pace.

Only problem is that I tweaked the muscles around my neck and between my shoulders. I haven't been able to move my neck all day. I hope it goes away tonight. Amazing that this could happen just from drying my hair this morning after my shower. Fortunately, it was not too bothersome on the treadmill. I hope this won't be a problem for my run.

Weight-wise... I think I am starting to lose a little weight. I have finally started to cut down on the amount I eat at night. Now it is a more normal serving size. I was eating maybe 2-3 times normal meal. Now, I need to figure a way to eat earlier instead of late at night (around 9pm).

I've actually started drinking soda at work because water doesn't seem to be quenching my thirst recently. I was doing some research online and I think I may need to increase my sodium intake. I don't use any salt in my cooking and I have not been eating out lately, so this seems to make sense. I think I'll have to buy some energy drinks as emergency reserve at work, and maybe start getting sea salt (after reading that table salt is not terribly good for sodium). Worth a try to keep myself away from soda.