Deck and Pergola

This was a project Annie and I started last year. We had a company come out and build a deck with a pergola in our back yard and I think it turned out pretty well. As you can see, our raised bed gardens are next to it, creating a nice usable area, maximizing space.

This was what the back yard looked like before the deck + pergola. As you can see, I took down one of the railings so we could step down… which was a huge inconvenience.

Now that the deck is complete, we’ve been BBQing and gardening more outside. It’s been actually really nice… though, the afternoons can get quite warm here. Next steps are to get some furniture and start planting some trees.

I’ve hooked the lights up to our smart home system, so now it’s all voice controlled. I’m now debating whether I should add some outdoor speakers as well, since that could be nice when we’re just outside lounging.

Tonal

As part of the home gym, the final piece is strength training. Since I don’t know much about it, it seems that the Tonal has a pretty interesting value proposition. It offers digitized weights that use machine learning to help you improve. It’s almost like having a personal trainer, tailoring a strength workout for each person.

Annie and I tested this a few months ago and ordered it on the spot. We’re scheduled to take delivery by next weekend. It’ll be nice to change things up, since we’ve primarily focused on cardio over the last few months. While the Peloton bike and tread are amazing pieces of equipment, the content is mostly just a stream with no personalization.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to document my experience with it on youtube. There doesn’t seem to be much information about the Tonal and the comparison of it to Peloton, so it’ll be a good one to share. Stay tuned.

Cold Brew Coffee

I’ve found myself regularly drinking cold brew coffee. I’ve been buying the Starbucks brand by the boxes from costco, and recently they no longer have them in stock. So, I’ve decided to cold brew it myself.

I’ve been grinding Philz Tesora beans and soaking them into the Takeya cold brew coffee maker for about 12-14 hours.

On the left is what the coffee looked like before putting into the fridge. On the right is what it looked like after 12 hours. One of my buddies said that it still looks little light, so it needs some more time. My technique probably needs some work, but it’s a good start.

Grill’n

I’ve been grilling some food with Annie over the last few weeks using an old school charcoal grill. This past weekened, we did some meal prep, cooking up salmon, impossible burgers and shrimp.

You’ll also notice the fresh snow pea tips pictured above—those are from our garden!

Quick shout out to Kent and Julia for hooking us up with the fresh striped bass they caught near Martha’s Vineyard. It was fresh and tasted amazing (prepared in a a Vietnamese style).

Rest in Peace Joel Pulliam

I worked with Joel back in the days of Clearspring—he was the guy who hired me and was my boss (VP product). I haven’t come across as many people with the balance of intelligence and calmness. He was a very gentle spirit, worked hard and always brought in an optimistic sense of humor.

I had a chance to go to his funeral and catch up with some old comrades. I wish we could have all hung out under different circumstances, but it was good to see some familiar faces.

Joel is an inspiration to us of how we should laugh, love and live. His values and friendship will always be cherished by us, and his memory and positive energy will help us shape the futur. To all my comrades, let’s catch up soon. Life is too short to wait for opportunities.

To Joel, thank you for being our moral compass, teacher and friend. Rest in peace.

Ps. I wrote this blog post years ago, and Hooman and I were referring to Joel at the time.

Approaching 25lbs in Weight Loss

I’m within striking distance of a 25lbs weight loss since I first started a little over 3 months ago. I weighed 195.4lbs and this morning I weighed 170.6lbs. I haven’t been this weight bracket since 2013. The combination of proper diet and exercise has enabled me to sustain trajectory. The majority of my exercise comes from running 2+ miles per day, and I’ve found some additional supplimentary forms of exercise like hiking, biking and swimming.

After owning a home in this neighborhood for nearly 2 years, I’ve had the chance to use it the first time this month. I’m not particularly good at swimming, so this will give me something new to work on. I’m not sure it will be a regular part of my routine, but it’s a tool to change things up if I hit a wall.

I reassembled my bike recently and I’ve been exploring some scenic trails nearby. It’s nice getting outside every once and while for some fresh air. The e-bike also flattens out any hills around here, transforming any strenuous climbs into a nice cruise. While some may say that’s cheating, I think biking outside for me is more of a casual recreation to recharge, versus rough it out.

In other news, we should be getting our Tonal pretty soon, and I think that’ll be a nice way to keep things fresh. I’ve never really strength trained, so this will be a new experience. The next milestone is going to be 165lbs, but it’ll be more challenging as I will probably develop more muscle as well. I will need to start tracking new data points since weight is less relevant. As an example, my waistline (at its largest) was 41″, and today it’s 36.25″. I’d like to continue to reduce my visceral fat and get my mid-section to 34″.

I’m getting there. It’s just a matter of consistency and time at this point.