Posts filed under ‘Nathan’s Posts’

Tough Mudder-Nathan’s Review

Wendy did a post on the “mudder” and I wanted to do one to give my point of view too. Wendy’s posts are usually better done than mine but that’s ok.

Even though I was totally looking forward to running the event I did find myself nervous the night before. It was weird. We got to the area and trekked the mile to get to the main starting area. The first obstacle was actually scaling an 8 foot wall to get into the starting area. Their was a great sense of camaraderie already at the beginning. They had a guy on a mic getting our heat ready. After yelling and listening to the national anthem we began the run.

The first obstacle was your standard military slog through mud under barbed wire. No big deal. The next obstacle was the one I was worried about most. The arctic enema is a large dumpster like container filled to the brim with ice water. I plunged in. You have to go under a wall built in the middle. When I go under the ice I was expecting maybe a couple feet. It was more like a solid 4 feet. I had to pull myself under and over to the other side. I thought Wendy was right behind me so when I popped up on the other side I thought she was going to be popping up any second. When I saw no Wendy I got a bit scared that she might be having problems. I was worried and stayed in the water. It seemed like a long time and as I was worrying more, I saw Wendy jump in. I had some guys yelling at me to get out but I wasn’t about to move until Wendy was gettin out with me. After we got out I figured we better keep running to help get our body heat up. We continued on.

I don’t remember what the actualy third obstacle was but I do remember a lot of going up and down hills throughout the whole course. Some were muddier than others. I did enjoy the “mud mile”. It was essentially humps of solid ground with a stretch of about 6 or 7 feet of deep mud in between. It was a standing long jump from one to the other. I did hit my hand and shin on a giant rock. That was my first injury. not too long after getting past the mud mile we were already at mile 3. A big banner said that we had just finished the warrior dash, another run that is only 3 miles.

It was at this point we did do some running through the forest which was actually really nice. There were a few points where we had to slow way down or just walk because of the terrain. We eventually came to some berlin walls, which were about 8 feet tall. Not a big deal. Kevin and I helped the girls over with one of us getting to the top first to help steady the girls when they were climbing. There were 3 sets of berlin walls; 8 foot, 10 foot and 12 foot.  The 12 foot walls took a little more help from others but we scaled them all.

The first obstacle involving electricity was a ground crawl under dangling wires. They weren’t all live. I think they rotated through different ones or something cuz I know I hit some that did nothing. When I did get a jolt it felt like my whole body was lifted off the ground. They came mostly toward the end of the crawl.

About 1/3 of the way through we hit what I can only described as a mud hill slog. I use the word slog repeatedly because that’s what it felt like. We had to crawl up a small hill that was completely muddy and then back down again x5. At times we had to make human ladders for people to get up. In the center the mud was probably 2 feet deep or so. I was feeling a little winded after that one.

We headed back into the forest and encountered a spiders web. It was a cable run between trees with a cargo net hanging down. People were on one side holding the netting taut to help people get over easier. When I got over, Kevin and I both held it down to help others over. There was a sense of fear holding the netting down as people were climbing back down. We both didn’t want to get nailed by falling bodies.

After some more forest running we came out into the clearing. We did have some stations during the race that had water and bananas. There were 4 I think but I can’t remember well. The whole thing is kind of a blur. We had a lot of areas where we winded back on areas we had already run through. The last 1/3 of the race or so consisted of the hill. At first it was about a 50-60 degree incline. They put a cargo net up to help us up. And then it was the trek to the top. This is when my left quad decided it was time to cramp up. It wasn’t like any cramps I’ve had before. It didn’t really hurt it just slowed my leg down from moving it like I wanted it to.

This is the actual hill. It is much steeper than what it looks like here.

We made it to monkey bars and rings over water. This wasn’t an obstacle we could really help each other on. I was able to make both. The other three fell in the water.

The monkey bars were harder than I thought, not because I’m not 8 anymore but because they twisted in place. I almost lost my grip because my hand rotated so much that my fingers were almost under the bar.

The last few obstacles involved crawling down a tube into water and then back up a tube. Going down was easy. Going up took forever. Especially with nothing to grip. It wasn’t for those that had claustrophobia.

There was the half-pipe at the end where you had to run up and then climb over the top. This is where team work came in handy. I slipped at the top and ended up sliding down to the grass on my bum.

After that Kevin and I ran through electro-shock therapy. Essentially a ton of dangling live wires. As I was running through at one point I got a jolt and both my legs kicked up. I almost ate mud but was able to pull out of it ok.

And after that I was crowned with my Tough Mudder headband with my team. It was a lot of fun. I would do it again with a team. I have to give props to Lena and Kevin for keeping me and Wendy going. I think those two led the way most of the time.

I’m sore and have bruises and I think I might lose a toe nail but I had a great time.

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October 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Summer Cooking

I love grilling! There is nothing better than throwing any type of food on the grill and reaping the rewards after. And you can literally grill just about anything. If you can throw it in a pan or in the oven, it can be grilled. I’m posting this for anyone who is getting bored with the same ol’ thing, even if grilled, in hopes that your summer may be tastier.

First, be inventive. I don’t consider myself a gourmet chef, but I think I can make some culinary delights. And for every dish I make that’s tasty, I probably have 4-5 that ended up horrible or at least substandard.

Second, don’t be afraid to grill whatever. I know (but haven’t yet tried) you can grill pizza. That’s right, pizza!

Third, desserts on the grill can be a wonderful alternative to other more traditional sweet treats.

Now for some examples from the last two days.

1st: Grilled Lettuce Salad

Any lettuce can be used, including regular old iceberg or romaine is good too. cut it into halves or fourths and put on med-high heat until it is nice and brown. A little charred is ok too. When it’s done take off and set aside. In a bowl mix some plain greek yogurt, feta cheese, bacon bits (the real ones) and some pepper. Drizzle some olive oil on the lettuce on then spread liberally the mix on top. Delicious!

This is more or less what it looks like.

Next Grilled peaches!

Cut peaches in half and take out the pit. Put them on the grill flesh down until they are soft and hot. Flip over and put some brown sugar in the pit dip and then sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Allow to sit for another couple minutes. The juice should come up and mix with the sugar to make a small pool of awesome deliciousness! Take off the grill and put on some whipped cream or eat as is. I’m telling ya it’s like peach pie without the crust. Wonderful!

Lastly, grilled veggies are wonderful. I know that I’ve used that word now a couple of times but it fits. Take some walla walla sweet onions, cut them into rings and slap them on the heat till slightly brown and “sweating”. I like putting asparagus in a bag with olive oil, salt, and garlic and coating them, then slapping them on the grill till nice and soft. Red bell peppers can be cooked till black on all sides, then let them cool a bit and peel of the skin. If black it will come right off and then slice. They can be put into salads or just eaten as is. I also use them in Romesco Sauce, which is Spanish, but I’ll save that for another post. I also like doing grilled leaks chopped up in the yogurt sauce I talked about above and serving that as a side with cut steak. (Always remember to cut against the grain). Grilled zuchini is great if cut lengthwise and then some parmesan cheese and italian bread crumbs added on top. Delicious!

I would go on and on but my post tend to be quite verbose. Sorry none of the pictures are actually mine. I’m not a gifted photographer nor practiced so I figured internet pics would do. I assure you the food we make looks the same.(Wendy thought the peaches was a pic I took). So happy summer everyone and I hope your grilling experiences are wonderful and tasty.

July 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm 2 comments

Our happenings

So it’s been over a week and I figured it was time for something new.

Wendy has been busy and I’m positive that she is in her nesting phase of the pregnancy. Her sewing machine has been running and she has been doing all sorts of homemaker things getting ready for the little one to come. She found us a freezer yesterday that is quite a bit larger than what we were expecting to get but it was on Craig’s list for the price of a new small one and we figured why not. It’s 6 feet long by 3 feet tall and almost 3 feet wide. Not bad.

I’ve been working on the entertainment hutch on Saturday’s. If I could ever get a full Saturday it might actually get done sooner. We usually end up going to Moses Lake for random things to complete the hutch, or I have a church meeting, or whatever. But that’s ok. It’s been fun to have a Saturday project, especially since the weather still isn’t warm enough for some real yard work.

 

It’s really starting to look like something. It doesn’t have perfect joints or anything close, but I have been learning a lot about wood work and hope to continue to learn more. I’m definitely looking forward to building the rest of the hutch after this piece is done. We finally picked a color for it too. Stay tuned.

I have practiced cheese again. Mozzarella cheese that is. This time I didn’t touch the milk after the rennet was added and it turned out a lot better. I still haven’t been able to get the curd to form quite like I want it to but as with anything else I’m learning and hope to better the process later. I added some freeze dried basil to it during the kneeding phase and it gave it a nice subtle aftertaste. I had to enjoy the creation with someone that enjoyed cheese as much as I do. Wendy liked it but she doesn’t like it like I do. We finally settled on our neighbors down the street who have 3 little kids. They pulled out some smoked salmon and enjoyed it. Having anything really good must be enjoyed or there just isn’t any point to having anything good. Don’t worry Snow’s….I haven’t forgotten about you.Mmmmm cheese!

Pizza night is still going strong and I have to say that I love pizza night. The young men at church have come to love my pizza too. In fact they were trying to get planned Duty to God for mutual night over pizza. I told them we could do it after but not during, knowing that nothing would get done. In the end, they will be coming over to our house on Friday and we will be doing pizza then. Mmmmm nothing beats some good homemade pizza.

Ahnna enjoying pizza and breadstick

My mother in law gave us some asparagus a while ago that we figured we had better use or lose. I was looking at it today trying to think of something we could do differently than the same old thing. After watching some Good Eats with Alton Brown I came up with Asparagus Kabobs. This was my own creation, not an imitation from the show, but I did use something similar to one of his recipes to finish the meal. The fist part was actually microwaving the plants in some wet paper towel and salt. I mixed cream cheese with garlic, ground pepper, some lemon juice, mayo, onions and some salt in the food processor. I laid down some italian herbs and then put down some of the mix on top. Then I laid the asparagus on that and made layers of asparagus and mix until gone. I then chilled it.

The kabobs were an idea I got from having melons or other veggies wrapped in prosciuto. I figured “why can’t I do the same with chicken?” So I filleted some chicken and put some parmesan like cheese along with bacon and ground pepper on top and then carefully wrapped it on the asparagus. After adding some salt, I threw them on the grill. MMMMMM!Asparagus Kabobs…MMMMMMhmmmmmm

After coming off the grill I took a little lemon juice with salt in it and sprinkled it on top and then grated just a little bit of swiss cheese too. The combinations of the cheese and bacon with the flavors of the asparagus was a good match. Wendy said she could eat it again. With spring and summer coming I would be glad to do it again. I put the spears arranged on top of the chilled cream cheese asparagus. Yes it was a lot of asparagus, but it was cooked well with some good flavors. Sometimes I wish family was close to help me know which recipes to keep and which ones to toss.

Have a most excellent week everybody!

March 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

Hercules

So Wendy and I have been watching a few episodes of Hercules: The legendary Journeys on Netflix over the past few days. We had both watched it occasionally when we were younger and decided why not. After seeing just about every single Office episode we needed a change. I remembered Hercules as being somewhat lame when I was a teenager, but wow! As long as we watch for shear entertainment value it seems to be ok. This show is way too easy to pick apart. I don’t even know where to begin. Acting, one liners (horrible by the way), and there always seems to be at least one busty broad in every single episode, make for a rather sappy show. However, if you watch for the shear entertainment value…….what the heck am I even saying. I felt like beating my head against the wall during one episode that had to deal with romance. I was trying to decide if that or the last Twilight movie was worse. I feel like beating my head against the wall when I watch action episodes. Most of the time I’m stunned by the story line and turn to Wendy just to ask “REALLY?”  Oh well, at least it has given us a few laughs.

December 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

No Shame

This story stems from a conversation I had with my family and good friend and his fiancee about our most embarrassing moments. I have none. People don’t believe me, but in hopes of proving my point, here is the following story. It also is spurned from recent events.

Last night was horrible for me. Wendy and I took the kids out to dinner with my dad who was visiting from Spokane. Dinner was fine and the food was good and it was Mexican, which I generally like. Pay attention to this fact as it is important later in the story. This is where I stop. I no longer consider the food I had good. At least not for a very long while. You see, I have had what is generally termed as a taste aversion. Farmers who have sheep or other livestock that are at risk of wolf attack will generally allow a pack to take one of their sheep that has been filled with all kinds of nasty chemicals that make the wolves horribly sick. It doesn’t kill them, but the hope is that when the wolf is sick from eating lamb in this scenario, it will think twice about ever doing it again. Now this has happened to me before last year around June with chicken nuggets. I had some and that night I vowed off chicken nuggets for the rest of my life. I still haven’t eaten any that I can remember, save one time. I took a bite and was done. About an hour after coming home I was starting to feel a rumble in the tummy. Whenever I feel the rumble I usually know that in a few hours I will most likely be using the bathroom for a good 30 min time frame while my body rids itself of whatever it is causing the rumble. This rumble was different however. It was accompanied by general aches and horrible well being. I fell asleep watching a movie only to wake up sweating and really feeling horrible, just like when I had eaten chicken nuggets. I seriously prayed that it would just come “out in the end” but had the distinct impression that it would be much quicker if I just puked it up. I began to pace, first in the bedroom, and then in the bathroom. I knew it was coming soon. I prayed again in my head but had the same impression. This is when my salivary glands kicked into overdrive. You know the feeling. Gleekers would probably kill to turn this on at a whim. I tried to evacuate my bowels but to no avail. I prayed a third time for it to just go through. The third impression came that this would be much quicker if I just puked it up. This time I relented and allowed my body control over itself. Now, I had brought a large bowel into the bathroom for just such and event, however I remained on the porcelain altar in case of my end parts also wanting to pay tribute to the bathroom gods. After I let my body take over it was literally no longer than a few seconds when everything came up. The bowel looked like it contained a primordial soup from our ancient past which eventually sprang forth tacos and burritos and smelled the same. I did fell better but my journey is far from over. I haven’t had any more emesis (aka hurling, blowing chunks, spewing, vomiting, throwing up, ralphing, loosing your lunch etc) but my head feels like it weighs 80 lbs and is throbbing. I have talked with my dad who had what I had. He’s fine. Wendy and the kids are all fine. I’m not complaining, I’m glad my family is feeling good. I just don’t understand why some virus or bug chooses me as it’s incubator. I would not wish the feelings of nausea, emesis or any of the other things I felt on my enemies. It’s that bad. Oh well I guess.

July 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm 3 comments

Summer ’10

Well we’ve needed to post for a while now so here is what is going on with us;

Moving is done but setting up the house is still in the works. Wendy has been working on making the playroom nice for the kids. It was a lavender purple when we moved in and now has white and the bottom and two-tone warm yellows on the top. She has been putting in a lot of work into it and it is looking pretty good. I look forward to when it is done so the kid’s toys will be out of the kitchen and back into the play room. You can see the purple in the pic on the bottom.

Ahnna was jumping on our bed and fell off only to gash her head open at the hairline on her forehead and now has 7 or 8 stitches up there. I got to help hold her down in the ER so the doctor could stitch her up. I felt bad for her. She has some strength in that little body of hers. I was sweating beads keeping her from moving. She screamed bloody murder until the doctor was done. When we let her go she sat up with a big smile and said, “All done” and then was happy. She’s a trooper

We had a garage sale with our neighbors and made about 80 dollars plus another 425 from selling my truck. It was having issues with reverse and 5th gear and so instead of fixing it we decided it was time to part ways. I’m gonna miss that little pickup. I’ve had it since ’03 and it’s taken me to a lot of places. It was very reliable until this tranny mess. My dad reminded me that it’s just an inanimate object like anything else. Funny how we feel connected sometimes to cars or houses.

After the garage sale we decided to have the neighbors come over and I attempted my first paella en masse. I was having problems keeping the heat evenly distributed. It is a 22 inch pan. The rice was over cooked at the  bottom and a lil al dente on top but people seemed to thing it was good so hurray. I have a better idea of how to do another one for next time. The first time doing something on this scale is only possible when you have more than 12 or 13 people, which we had. I just wished I could have practiced once first. I don’t like to serve bad food.

We are enjoying the new house and the community we live in. My jobs seems to be going pretty well. We just bought a new TV. It’s a Samsung 46″ 3D capable LED and 240Hz refresh rate. Overall a wonderful picture. We bought a couch 4 weeks ago and should be receiving it this Thursday. I can’t wait because I’m sick of sitting of the floor. The couch can be viewed here:

our couch

here are some other random pics from this summer

I hope everyone is having a great summer!

July 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm 3 comments

Starcraft 2

This last Friday after I was finished with school, my friend called me and extended to me the invitation for the Starcraft 2 beta. And for those of you wondering, yes it is awesome! I will say there are differences than what I previously seen online. They are somewhat minor but enough to make the game somewhat different than what was originally presented. I figure that’s ok though because the game is still technically in development. The AI is ridiculously easy right now so the only way to get a true taste of how good you are is to challenge other players, but that’s fine. I look forward to story line when the game finally comes out.

May 3, 2010 at 11:17 am Leave a comment

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