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Christopher's Achievements


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  1. The dough is very basic, and the recipe is vegan. The recipe isn't a secret, and I'll post it when I'm near the computer where I have the recipe saved. Christopher
  2. That's great! I worked on a sprout farm in college and we sprouted garbanzos. The dog that lived on the farm loved garbanzos. The dog hung out with a bunch of goats and learned how to climb things. It was a very cool dog.
  3. That's great, Nicole! Great cause! One of the coolest dogs I've ever met was a pitbull.
  4. Hahahahahaha....thanks, Tasha! And thanks to everybody else for taking a look. It's one of the few family traditions we have, and it's been awhile since we've made them. It's been a lot of fun, and this year is the first year I felt I really started getting the cuts down at least vaguely like my great grandmother's cuts. Christopher
  5. When vegans bash vegans, it looks bad to those who already think we're all crazy. Fortunately, I've seen more people realizing vegans aren't what they thought; they're seeing higher profile vegan celebrities and sometimes stumble upon vegans who surprise them because they aren't what they thought they were. I've always felt strange calling myself vegan because I do think it's an important description that carries with it a certain sense of activism. I'm not very active; I usually tell people I'm a strict vegetarian who consumes nothing from an animal. Most people say, "Oh, so you're a vegan." Sometimes I explain things in greater detail, and other times I don't. While I'm not much of an activist, the way I eat has had an affect on people I know. My wife went vegetarian and then vegan with me. My mom went vegan. A friend at an old job went vegetarian and kept talking about how one day he'd give up cheese. At my current job, a friend went vegetarian after chatting with me and her son followed her. Her husband is leaning toward going fully vegetarian (he's seen a lot of health improvement since eating better). Another co-worker came up to me the other day and asked me if there was a wide variety of good vegan cheese. I told him there are a couple kinds that I think are all right if used certain ways, but I don't get a block of vegan cheese and eat it with wine or anything. He said, "Then I guess I'm a vegetarian..." Maybe I should have told him there's good vegan cheese and tried selling him on going vegan, but it's in his mind (and I'm not too fond of most vegan cheeses). In time, there are great odds he will stop consuming dairy products--he's not into it for health...he was appalled when finding out how animals are treated and he's since chatted a bit more about how it bothers him. Some people make the leap quickly, and others take time. By just being calm about the way I eat and when talking about the way I eat, I've seen people give vegetarianism and veganism a go. In almost every case, the people I work with have always respected me and never tease me because I respect them and dodn't fit the stereotype they expected. Only one time in eight years have I had to deal with somebody picking on me for not consuming animal products. The funniest thing was my co-workers spoke up for me, telling the guy how vegans get protein, calcium, and all that good stuff. I didn't have to say much at all, and it showed that people listen and think about it when they come to me with questions and I answer them. Maybe only a handful will ever make the leap, but I think more and more people are seeing that vegans don't fit a stereotype and they are more willing to consider making changes themselves. It's definitely in the interests of reducing suffering to be calm and not fight about what constitutes being vegan. Discussions are cool, but being angry isn't going to win over all the people who think "Vegans are all pushy!" I don't like people getting in my face and pushing their views on me, and I return that courtesy to everybody I meet. So far, the results have been nothing but positive...
  6. I can be really bad when I'm on the go. I eat at my desk at work (small company and really no place to go eat lunch), so I tend to go through lunch pretty quickly while working. My wife's family was strapped for cash and she had to contend with a hungry father and hungry older brother, so the quicker they ate, the quicker they could get what little seconds there were. If my wife and I need to zip off someplace, we can put dinner down like the Simpsons eating, but we've been trying to make a better effort to slow down even on those meals that are little more than sustenance.
  7. Yeah, I love figs. I'm taking it easy on them; it can be tough having them around the apartment. People at work have liked them, and most of our friends do, too, so there are plenty of people to share them with. They're sooooooooooooo good! (that is, if you like figs)
  8. Zack: The weight loss is coming along. It's not showing on the scale as much as in my clothes. I've done some traveling with work, recently, and bought some new clothes for a Seattle trip. I went down 1 - 2 sizes in slacks, depending on the manufacturer. I seem to be leveling out a bit with the mass from lifting, and now I'm slowly seeing things on the scale. With increasing the intensity of tennis matches with my friend and increasing mileage walked and jogged, I expect to really start seeing the loss. Potter: Yeah, I was always like that. If I was out playing football or anything with friends, I was the last one to want to stop. But I could never jog. I'm fortunate to have a good friend at work who is always asking how things are going with exercising; my wife and I get out walking regularly; and every weekend I have to face my friend on the tennis court--and if I don't keep at it, not only do I feel it when playing, but I hear it from the friend. He has nine years on me and while I hope to be in half his shape when I'm 47, the teasing I get if I slack off and he knows it is merciless (but in good fun), so I have all the motivation I need. And, of course, reading the forums here
  9. It's a tradition in my family to make fig cookies around Christmas. In recent years, with a lot of other things going on, we haven't made fig cookies. Last weekend, for the first time in probably five years, my wife, my mother, and I got together and made fig cookies. The designs for the cookies were brought over from Sicily by my great grandmother. The story goes there were a bunch of cloistered nuns near the village who made the cookies and shared them with everybody. My mom made them with my great grandmother, and I've made them with my mom for years. It's a pretty time consuming thing, but it's a great way to sit around with family, chatting, and having fun. Anyway, the photos: Grinding the Figs My Mom and I Rough Sketches My Wife Did of the Traditional Shapes My Wife Forming a Shape A Bird My Wife Made The First Batch (The Second Batch Was Better Looking
  10. I jogged a mile this evening. I know for so many people, that's nothing. It's something I've never been able to do. I don't get along with running. When I was a hyper, scrawny kid--sure, I ran around, but I could never run any kind of distance. When I played football in high school and worked out regularly, I could never make it around a 1/4 mile track even once without having to walk. When I was biking 20 miles a day when I went vegetarian on a dare in my early twenties, I tried running around a track and couldn't. Lately I've been playing tennis almost weekly with an evenly matched partner and upping the distance and intensity of my evening walks. The guy I play tennis with used to be a personal trainer and his goal is to get me into a 5K sometime in 2008. Last week after playing the best tennis match we've played yet, we hit the track. Walking to the track, my friend said we were going to do a light jog, and he told me we'd do half a mile. Having never been able to go 1/4 mile, I thought 1/2 mile would be out of the question, but I did it and could have kept going. Tonight I jogged a mile. It may not be much for many, but for me it's something I've only dreamed about... And I know it will only get better...
  11. 1/4 Swedish, 1/4 Danish, 1/4 Italian, with some German and Scottish in there somewhere.
  12. A recent issue of Men's Health (I think last month's issue with Jamie Foxx on the cover) had a bit about testosterone levels. It discussed lower levels in the U.S. compared to some other countries. There are lots of things that can affect levels: environmental factors, stress, drinking... I have low testosterone levels from a medical condition--it's what led me to start lifting weights regularly. Since I started lifting last February, things have only gotten better, but I have a long way to go. The only way to really know what your levels are is a lab test. Having low testosterone levels sucks, and if anybody has reason to wonder what their levels are, get them checked out. Low testosterone levels can really do a number on the body. Christopher
  13. I played tennis for the first time in several weeks. It's still too hot to be October in Texas, but the co-worker I play tennis with gets up early, too, so the sun doesn't come up until we're close to wrapping up. It was a great match this morning--a great way to begin the day. After tennis, my wife and I went to a park and juggled for awhile. I don't know why I go through periods where I don't juggle for a long time, only to get back into juggling and struggle to get back in the hang of things. This time around, I haven't had any real catching up to do. Runs with four clubs have been great, and I know with some srious practice, I'll have five clubs again. Lifting weights has helped with endurance while juggling numbers. I think the coolest thing this morning, though, was just getting out and juggling with my wife. She figured out a trick that's stumped her for a long time, and while passing clubs, her passes were much more accurate than mine. She did some great recoveries from my stinky passes and was throwing some tricks. She also caught some different tricks from me she's never had thrown her way. It was great seeing her figuring some cool stuff out, and it felt good feeling confidence while juggling again. It was a mighty fine Sunday!
  14. Sorry to hear about everything that's going on. I don't know what you did for a living, but is there a way to make a leap to another career using the skills you have so you can continue building a financial foundation? Something that will at least give you security enough to budget, get in your time, and focus on what you'd rather be doing? That balance between making ends meet and pursuing what we really want to do can be tough. Again, I don't know what what your situation is like, but maybe it's time to move to a more creative, gay-friendly community now? Try to find something that will allow you a good glimpse into what you really want to do (cafe and gallery)? Or at least make a leap to something that still pays reasonably well on a contract basis, and work someplace more along the lines of what you'd rather be doing in between contracts? I definitely feel for you; I think we all go through those times. Balancing creative passions and a career can be tough, but there are so many people who have done it and are now living their dreams. I hope you become one of those people.
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