August 31, 2004

Log Entry

30 minutes on treadmill @ 5.5 mph
bench - i'm considering 170# my max. tried out weights from 150# on up. might have been able to push more if i hadn't started so low. it's as much as i felt comfortable w/o a spotter. using a bench on gliders so it's a little weird, but safer. 8 x 90#, 6 x 115#, 4 x 130#, 2 x 150#. reviving a routine i used in high school. remembered later that i was supposed to start from 10 reps. can't remember the percentages, so i'll just have to make something up. 10 @ 40% of max doesn't sound right.
inclined bench - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 2 x 90#, 1 x 40# (had to get a third set in to make it feel complete)
biceps w/ wrist curl action - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 2 x 25#, 15#
abs - 2 sets of 25 reps of crunches
abbreviated workout. had lots of meetings and stuff to do.

Breakfast: 1 slice of toasted green bean bread
Lunch: one whole can of Hormel chilli with beans. that's two yummy servings.
1.5 Cokes (1 C2 Coke).

Also, w00t! One month. Much longer than I've been able keep at a workout routine for the past several years.

Posted by kstroke at 11:19 PM | Comments (13)

August 30, 2004

Log Entry

5 minutes on treadmill - 6 mph
leg press - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 220# (ugh, have to find the right angle. back was hurting a little. that shouldn't happen on this sort of sled-style leg press machine.)
leg curls - 3 sets of 10 @ 90#, 90#/80#, 80#
calf raises - 3 sets of 15 @ 50#
lat pulldowns - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 120#
seated row - no time, no time. Have to play StarCraft and then get some more work done.
abs - 2 sets of 25
reverse abs - 1 set of 25

breakfast: bagel and cream cheese.
lunch: jr. bacon cheeseburger + 5 piece chicken nuggets w/ honey mustard sauce.

1 Coke. Prolly lots more w/ tonight's StarCraft event.

Posted by kstroke at 06:27 PM | Comments (14)

August 27, 2004

Log Entry

30 minutes on treadmill @ 5 mph
chest - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 25# of dumbbell workout
shoulders - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 25#, 20# of schwartzeneggers
shoulder shrugs - i knew i forgot something
wrist curls - 2 sets of 10 @ 25#
biceps - 3 sets of 7 reps @ 20# (not 7's, just 7 reps)
abs - 3 sets of 25 reps of crunches
reverse abs - 1 set of 25 reps

Breakfast: Egg + tortilla, 2 mini-bananas, 8 oz sweetened soy milk
Lunch: a little roast beef wrap, tomatoes on focaccia, leftover mu-shu pork, green beans, and rice. Not really large quantities, just a lot of variety. There were some leftovers from some function on the 2nd floor.
2 Cokes.

Posted by kstroke at 04:45 PM | Comments (13)

August 26, 2004

Log Entry

5 minutes on treadmill - 6 mph
leg press - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 200#
calf raises - 3 sets of 10 @ 50# (thought that i was supposed to do 10... looking back, i see it was supposed to be 15. thought it felt a lot easier this time.)
lat pulldowns - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 2 x 110#, 120#
seated row - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 70#, 2 x 80#
abs - 2 sets of 25
reverse abs - 1 set of 25

breakfast: egg + tortilla, bagel and cream cheese, 8 oz sweetened soy milk.
lunch: 2 mini-bananas. planned to eat after working out, but didn't get around to working out until late. i'll just save the lunch for tomorrow.

1 post-workout Coke. ahhh.

Posted by kstroke at 05:00 PM | Comments (13)

August 25, 2004

Log Entry

30 minutes on treadmill @ 5 mph (man, calves were really sore from yesterday)
chest - 3 sets of 8 reps @ 25# of dumbbell workout
shoulders - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 25# of schwartzeneggers
shoulder shrugs - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 35#
biceps - 1 set of 7's @ 20# (last 1/3 of it @ 15#), 1 set of 8 seated @ 25#
abs - 2 sets of 25 reps of crunches + bicycle style

Breakfast: Egg + 1.5 tortillas, 2 mini-bananas
Lunch: Rice + pork belly.
2 cans of Coke.

Posted by kstroke at 04:37 PM | Comments (13)

August 24, 2004

Log Entry

5 minutes on treadmill - 6 mph
leg press - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 200#
calf raises - 3 sets of 15 @ 50# stood on edge, lots harder. balanced by bar-on-rails
lat pulldowns - 3 sets of 10 reps @ 100#, 110#, 120#
leg curl - 1 set of 10 reps @ 90# too tired after leg presses
abs - 2 sets of 25
reverse abs - 1 set of 25

breakfast: bagel and cream cheese, 16oz sweetened soy milk.
lunch: a couple of small slices of bratwurst on a roll and some potato chips. company tailgating party. might go down and get some more brats.

1 coke so far.

yesterday: had another BK Whopper breakfast. and some chili cheese fritos for lunch. mmm... didn't get around to working out, though. i really don't think burgers are that bad for you. can't be worse than the pork belly and rice i'm going to have for tomorrow's lunch. also, fritos bbq and honey bbq are good, but the chili cheese is only so-so.

Posted by kstroke at 03:31 PM | Comments (14)

August 23, 2004

Cool Free Music classical type stuff.

Posted by kstroke at 05:25 PM | Comments (13)


Possibly useful in car-computer project. 3D audio with OpenAL. Creative's dev stuff here. Might want to look into Java stuff more, but so far, looks fairly scant. Looks like I'll have to learn C++ to do this.

Maybe not: JOAL is a Java interface for OpenAL.

Posted by kstroke at 04:14 PM | Comments (13)

August 21, 2004

Alton Brown's So Cool

Woot! Got to meet Alton Brown today! I was so star-struck that I could only manage a crooked smile. Man, Good Eats is just too cool.


If Jocelyn hadn't stopped by the Stanford Shopping Center yesterday, we never would've known that he was coming. We got there at 11:30 AM and immediately jumped into the book signing line. The event started at 11, Alton's bit wasn't until noon, and the book signing wasn't until 12:30. I'm really glad we got there when we did and decided to go straight for the signing line. We didn't get a great view of Alton on stage, but the line was huge by the time the book signing actually started. We saved ourselves a couple of hours that way.

Posted by kstroke at 04:09 PM | Comments (19)

August 20, 2004

Log Entry

20 minutes on treadmill (1.5 mi) - interval workout. Tried out a fancy machine with a pre-programmed routine. Felt like I was switching between walking and barely jogging. Will either figure out how to use it better next time, or just use a plain setting.
chest - 3 sets of 8 reps @ 25# of dumbbell workout
shoulders - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 25# of schwartzeneggers
biceps - 1 set of 7's @ 20#
abs - 2 sets of 25 reps of crunches
lower back - 1 set of 25 reps of reverse sit ups, 45 degree angle

Lunch: Huge pile of rice + beef/eggplant/tomato sauce. Fatty. Forgot to drain fat off beef before mixing everything else in.
Post-lunch: The rest of it.
2 cans of Coke.

Posted by kstroke at 05:06 PM | Comments (18)

IPod Battery Life

Man, I really want to like my IPod, but this battery thing is making that hard to do... I fully charge it one day, use it for half an hour, and turn it off. Two days later, I turn it on again and it tells me there's no more charge in the battery. The first couple of times this happened, I thought maybe it had hit a button and turned itself on while it was in my bag, but I've been leaving the switches on hold and it still happens. Here's a discussion I'm going to explore later. It sucks to run on a treadmill without some good tunes.

Posted by kstroke at 10:33 AM | Comments (16)

August 18, 2004

Log Entry

5 minutes on treadmill - 6 mph
shoulder shrugs - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 35# forward and backward
leg curl - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 90#, 1 set of 10 reps @ 80#
leg extension - 1 set of 10 reps @ 80#, 2 sets of 10 @ 70#
calf raises - 3 sets of 20 @ 50# (plus bar, bar on rails is only bar available. i wish i had a little ramp to stand on to get better range. standing on the edge of a step puts me a little off balance so i just stand flat.)
abs - dah. forgot, again.

breakfast: sausage mcmuffin.
lunch: 2 slices of Amici's pizza w/ chicken on top. their dough is kinda chewy. bleh.
2 cans of coke. 1 can of diet dr. pepper.

Posted by kstroke at 03:51 PM | Comments (13)

August 17, 2004

Log Entry

15 minutes on treadmill - 5.5 mph
chest - 2 sets of 8 reps @ 25# of dumbbell workout
shoulders - 1 set of 10 reps @ 25# of schwartzeneggers
biceps - 1 set of 7's @ 20#
abs - 1.5 sets of 25 reps of crunches

breakfast (hungry): bk whopper.
lunch: wendy's chicken nuggets.
2 cans of coke.

Posted by kstroke at 05:45 PM | Comments (16)

August 13, 2004


If you don't know where you're going, how're you going to know when you get there? Goals are good because you need two points, where you are now and where you want to be, to plan out a path. A documented goal will also keep you from moving the target and quitting prematurely either out of frustration that you can't reach your target or making it trivial to reach the end point.

My fitness goals:

  • < 12% body fat
  • clearly defined abs
  • 200#+ bench press
  • < 8 minute mile
Basically back to where I was at the end of high school. Haha, kind of sad. Am I going to stop exercising after I reach these goals? No. The goal will then change to maintaining my fitness, and that is a lot easier.

Frequency. Intensity. Aerobic exercise to work out large muscle groups and burn calories, anaerobic exercise to make muscle groups larger so that more calories are being burned even when I'm just sitting around - and for ego. I'm going to build up to my high school fitness level by modeling it after my high school routine - daily practice that's hard enough to make me feel physically exhausted immediately after. The exercise routine will consist of a 1+ mile run, a pile of push ups, pull ups, and sits ups as a part of the daily routine along with a weight lifting regimen.

No riding an exercise bike without breaking a sweat and breathing hard. If it doesn't feel like your muscles are working hard, your muscles are hardly working. There are more comfortable lounge chairs to go read your magazine.

Not a diet of 100% fat or 100% sugar. Also, not a diet of 100% rabbit food. I've been down the path of extreme dietary restriction before and that made me sad. I don't like being sad. I'm going to eat like I normally do. If I cook, that means: rice or pasta + meat + maybe some veggies if I feel inspired. If not, that probably means burgers or tacos or occassionally fried chicken. As I get back into the groove of things, I'm probably going to start increasing the vegetable content and cutting back a little on fat and junk food to accelerate my progress. When you lift weights, your body tears down muscles, and grabs proteins you've recently eaten to build them back up bigger. If the only thing to grab is fat, you'll just be getting fatter and sadder. You need carbs for energy. How else are you going to make it through the 5+ mile runs? Yes, 1+ miles will be a daily minimum, but we'll build up to 5+ miles 3 times a week.

No starvation. Your body has a really good anti-famine mechanism. When you starve yourself, your body panics and becomes greedy for long-term energy stores - fat. Once you start eating again, your body grabs more fat than it used to in case there's another famine. The result is that you gain all the weight back (and probably more) in record time. Thus the moniker yo-yo dieting.

Posted by kstroke at 04:35 PM | Comments (14)

Log Entry

20 minutes on treadmill - 5.25 mph
chest - 2 sets of 8 reps @ 25# of dumbbell workout
shoulders - 1 set of 10 reps @ 25# of schwartzeneggers
biceps - 1 set of 7's @ 20#
upper back - 1 set of 10 @ 25# standing row
dah. forgot to do abs.

lunch (@ 4): in 'n out cheeseburger, animal style. 1 can of coke.

Posted by kstroke at 03:27 PM | Comments (14)

August 12, 2004

The Beginning

I am at a historically low level of fitness. I coasted through college on the fitness equity I built up through high school sports, and my lifestyle of lethargy has caught up with me. It's time to reclaim my body.

As a matter of record, here are some pictures of my gut as it is today. I think you should collect all your fat into the biggest piles you can when you take pictures like this. That way you get a real sense of what's there. Compare these pictures: Grotesqueness (1) (2) to these: Not as bad (1) (2) It's clear that standing up hides the problem greatly.

The stats:

  • probably just above 20% body fat (I used to have this measured all the time, so now I'm pretty good at just guessing)
  • 145-150 lbs @ 5'5"
  • after three flights of stairs, I'm winded enough to make a bee-line to my office so that I don't have to talk to anybody while I'm heaving for breath

I started working out again last week.

  • 8/3 - 30 minutes on treadmill at 7 km/h, chest workout
  • 8/4 - 30 minutes on treadmill at 5 mi/h
  • 8/6 - 15 minutes on treadmill at 5.5 mi/h, chest workout
  • 8/11 - 15 minutes on treadmill at 5.5 mi/h, chest/bicep/shoulder/ab workout
  • 8/12 - 5 minutes on treadmill at 6 mi/h, leg/lat/ab workout

Ongoing, I will post my workouts in more detail as they occur. I will also include meals consumed on those days (not on others out of laziness). I'm not going on any special diet, so my eating habits on those days should be representative of my eating habits in general. For weight loss and increasing physical fitness, I think a regular exercise regimen is FAR more important than eating habits (assuming you eat normally and your diet doesn't consist of solely fat and sugar).

Simultaneously, I am trying to cut back on my Coke consumption. Over the past couple of months, I've been able to go from about 6 a day to about 4 a day. Recently, it's been around 3. I want to get myself to a point where my average is under 2. I think it's fine to have a ton occassionally (i.e. deadlines at work, or while playing poker all night), but I want to break the daily nature of my habit. I'm afraid of going blind.

I think I can tackle the fitness thing and the Coke thing with determination alone. No Atkins here. I like my rice.

Posted by kstroke at 05:44 PM | Comments (19)

Craigslist - scarily efficient

At least in major metropolitan areas, Craigslist is a frighteningly efficient marketplace. Frankly, if you want to sell locally for a particular price, it beats the pants off of eBay (and I'm a big fan of eBay).

Last night around 9:30, I finally got around to listing my poor broken Civic on Craigslist. I got a couple of emails before I had even seen the listing published (and I was clicking refresh a bunch after posting). Within 30 minutes, I probably had about 15 emails - for a 1991 Civic in need of a new engine!

I figured I'd give the interested people a call and show the car the next day (today) after work, but the first person I called wanted to take a look right then. By about 11:15 PM, the car was sold. Total time between listing the car and having money in hand with the car out of the driveway: 1 hour 45 minutes. Craigslist rocks. Include the time it took me to get around to listing it: ~ 4 months 1 hour 45 minutes. I suck.

Posted by kstroke at 10:25 AM | Comments (16)

August 07, 2004

Auto Auction

Just got back from visiting the Alameda County Auto Auction. Pretty interesting. You can just walk right in and sit down and watch if you want. Registering to bid is free. If you win an auction, you pay a 10% commission on top of the winning bid price plus outstanding DMV fees (around $100-$500). You can check out the cars (visually inspect and start, but no driving) during designated preview times early that morning or the day before.

I think it is very possible to get a decent deal assuming you come into this knowing what you want, how much it would cost you to get it via classifieds, and how much you're willing to pay. As shown in the table below, some people got good deals, and some didn't. For those that got seemingly good deals, the question remains as to whether or not they got a sufficient discount for the added risk of buying it from a source other than a dealer.

For example, for the 1999 Lexus RX300, I did a quick search and found a dealer listing one for about $18,000. Let's assume that the dealer could be talked down $1500 for a final price of $16,500. Add 10% to the final bid price, and the auctioned Lexus went for $14,410. That gives us a $2090 discount. If you would gladly pay that to a dealer to recondition a used car you just bought, go ahead and buy directly from a dealer. If a dealer would have to pry that money from you cold, dead hand, then consider taking on the uncertainties around a car bought at auction and save your money.

Here are my notes (assumed 20k miles/year, clean condition, no extra options, no turbo - a lot of these had options, so the prices below err on the side of caution):

Description Winning Bid Edmunds - Private Party Kelly Blue Book - Private Party
2001 Lexus ES300 $13,900 $18,431 $17,200
2001 Infiniti I30 $14,800 $14,898 $14,600
2000 Mercedes Benz C230 (65k miles) $14,000 $16,205 $15,350
1999 Lexus RX300 (plus screens installed in headrests) $13,100 $15,937 $13,935
2000 Land Rover Discovery $11,500 $13,439 $11,825
1999 Volvo S80 $13,300 $10,441 $10,520
1999 Mercedes Benz E320 $13,900 $20,398 $15,575
1999 Mercedes Benz C230 (35k miles) $15,000 $15,770 $15,300
1995 Mercedes Benz S500 $12,300 $13,414 $11,710
2000 Ford Expedition $10,400 $10,182 $12,875
1999 BMW 528I $13,300 $15,903 $15,200
1997 Mercedes Benz E320 $12,600 $14,954 $10,925
2002 Ford Explorer $9,900 $10,596 $15,680
2001 Volvo S40 $10,600 $12,066 $9,920
1999 Mercedes Benz C230 $11,300 $12,824 10,900
1996 BMW 740IL (some small dings) $10,300 $11,373 $10,700
2001 Acura 3.2 TL $11,500 $16,509 $16,050
1999 Audi A6 Wagon $10,100 $12,922 $12,340
2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS Standard $9,400 $12,166 $13,435
2002 Kia Sedona (33k miles) $9,100 $10,710 $12,320
2002 Honda Civic Si (43k miles) $9,700 $11,510 $11,340
2000 Honda Accord Coupe Automatic $9,500 $9,251 $8,900
1996 Mercedes Benz E320 $8,900 $12,037 $9,500
2000 Volvo S40 $8,600 $10,121 $7,970
2002 Jeep Gr Cherokee $9,100 $13,318 $16,595
1995 Mercedes Benz E320 $8,000 $9,048 $6,825
2000 Chevrolet Tahoe $12,000 $11,602 $14,000
Posted by kstroke at 12:09 PM | Comments (279)