Fresh bread

Have you eaten any freshly baked bread recently? It is wonderful. Have you eaten freshly baked bread that you made with your own hands recently? It is even better.

This morning one of my tasks was to buy wheat. I made my way downtown to the man I found in a back alley. He has whole grained wheat for about $0.30 a pound. That is a great price. My friend Pancho and I found this man after spending quite a bit of time in the downtown market looking for someone who sells whole grained wheat. We met him on Thursday of last week and asked him to get us 20 kilos (about 45 lbs).Fresh made bread

He was waiting for us this morning with a sack full of wheat. But, there was a reason it was so cheap. It still required a bit of work. It was not completely dry (which can encourage bugs) and it had quite a bit of trash in it. There was still a goodly amount of chaff as well as other grains mixed in. It also just smelled bad.

We decided against buying the wheat from him. He was not at all offended.

Since our quest was to get wheat today, we went back to a store where we had previously seen it for sale at 5 times the price. It was clean. It was ready to grind. It quickly became ours.

Pancho has a wonderful wheat grinder at his house. We buzzed over there and ground up my 2 lb. bag. When I got home this morning I set the wheels in motion to make some bread this afternoon.

Though it has been a few years since I have regularly made bread, it came back to me pretty well. Bread making (by hand) is an art form. You make lots of mistakes and wonder why others can do it but you can’t. This goes on for quite some time until one day it just works. And it works well. You start to learn what it is supposed to feel like at the different stages and then you become a craftsman. Apparently I have not lost the craft.

It is amazing to slice the bread and know that this morning the contents were still little grains sitting in a plastic bag, but now we have had a wonderful loaf of bread.

I really encourage anyone to try your hand at making bread. A bread machine is nice, but there is just something special about going through the steps on your own.

My Thought Spot 13: A Church Service

This episode was inspired by a request that my friend Gordan had, when he was wondering if I had any of my sermons available on line. I do not. Currently I preach in Spanish, and worse yet, Sign Language. For my English speaking listeners, Spanish is not quite easy to understand, and Sign Language is hard to record on an audio podcast.

However, I took up the task. I wired myself for sound and hit the record button. Fortunately for you, I also know how to edit. This short podcast was whittled down from about 1.5 hours of audio.

I must apologize to Spanish speakers. I can easily criticize other people’s Spanish when they speak. And, I found out that I can criticize my own. This recording does not have the best grammar. It is grating in fact. Why though, can I hear it now, but don’t catch it before it comes out of my mouth? Oh it is embarrassing. But I am consoled in the fact that most of you won’t know or care.

You will also be subjected to my singing in this recording. You will soon realize why I work with the Deaf.

Good things to come

I am working on a couple of projects that I hope to reveal here in either the next few hours, or days.

The first is a new website. It will be about Spanish and the curious words we find. Sometimes the information will revolve around grammar and usage, but mostly about the nuances of the meanings of words. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, I think you might find some of our discoveries to be interesting. We are in the design stage of the site now, but I will announce it here while still building long before I start promoting it to the general public. You will get a chance to take a gander and tell me what you think of it.

Also, I am working on a new episode of MTS Podcast. I finally got my sound editing software installed on this machine (I was without this for almost a month). I had to do my last couple of episodes on my notebook for both MTS and Missionary Talks.

I should be able to get out an MTS Podcast tomorrow morning.

Good things are a-coming.

Good running week…mostly

I think that this was the first week since I started my half marathon training that I have been able to get all the runs in. I did not do the full workout on a couple of days, but I did get to run each scheduled workout. I should be able to complete my training schedule over the next few weeks as I don’t have any conflicts currently scheduled.

Last week’s long run
This week I had to make up my long run from last week. I was not able to do it Saturday because of camp, but got it squeezed in on Sunday. It was supposed to be 5.5 miles and I got just under 5 miles in. I hated that it was short, but I was just running out of time. And, furthermore, I was running out of steam (details to follow).

Speed work
Monday is my speed work day. I was scheduled for a 1 mile speed session. I was going to do 2 X 800 meters, but, just like last week, the track was closed. I had to run my mile on the street. For my warm up I trotted back home and then gave myself a bit more time between my warm up and the 1 mile run. I spent more time stretching too than last week. When I took off, I felt much better than before and completed the mile in 8:08. My schedule called for an 8:36 – 8:55 pace. I don’t know how bad it is to go much faster than the workout calls for, but it felt good at the time. It may have contributed to my struggles later in the week, but I really don’t think so.

Tempo run
On Wednesday my strength was starting to fade by this time in the week and it showed on this run. Mentally I was incapable of finishing the run. It was scheduled to be a 4 mile tempo run with a 1 mile warm up to start. What I ended up with was a 4 mile run total (including warm up) at a pace of 9:47. That is just a bit slower than the workout called for. But, I mentally could not go on. Maybe my body could have done it but not my mind.

The problem here is that we have gone on a diet (we=my wife and I). This is a low glycemic index diet. Basically you want to avoid foods that quickly get turned to sugar by your body. The first 2 weeks of it are more extreme in that you cut out anything over a certain level on the index (this includes lots of fruits). After that you start adding things back in that are healthy sugars. It is not a “no carb” diet, but it is very low carb for the first 2 weeks.

This week we ended that 2 week period. I was depleted both mentally and physically. It is not a good idea for athletes to drastically cut back on carbs, but in support of our family getting on track with eating more healthily, I am doing the diet. Now we are past that stage and things are much better.

I bonked
Bonking is what happens to marathoners between miles 20 and 22. Basically your body uses up all the instant fuel that it has (carbs and sugars) and starts eating itself. Not to worry, you probably have plenty of fat stores. The problem though is that fat does not deliver the needed energy quickly enough for sustaining a good running pace.

Thursday I was to do a 4 mile recovery run. Very easy and slow. I had started the morning with some sugary yogurt and peanut butter on a celery stick. So I was getting some carbs back in me. Mentally I was all fired up about the run. Physically I struggled to get the 4 miles under my shoes. When I got home I did some basic stretching (maybe not as much as normal) and then jumped into the shower for a nice long cool down.At the end of a hard run

While in the shower I had a physical breakdown. I started getting all weak and felt sick. I was able to get down onto the floor before I fell down. My wife got me a bottle of Gatorade and snapped this picture. Yes, I shower with my running clothes on. It helps to de-stinkify them.

I believe that I did the same thing as a marathoner. I finally used up all my stored quick energy and started eating myself. I bonked. However, I finally recovered enough to get the day going.

This week’s long run
Friday is an off day and it is also the day that we started eating more carbs as per the schedule (Thursday was a pretty sugary day since we went and celebrated a friend’s birthday with cake, cookies and ice cream, but that was not planned).

Today I got up mentally and physically feeling great. I shoved some food down my throat and got ready for my 6 mile long run. I don’t really have a 6 mile course worked out, so towards the end of my 8 mile course I started running down unfamiliar streets trying to make my way back home a bit more quickly. The total run was 6.22 miles at a pace of 10:50 a mile–right exactly where my training plan says I need to be.

I feel like I am on top of the world after today’s run. I struggled a lot this week but I capped it off well. I am eating better in general and am off the restrictive part of this diet.

The good thing about the diet is that I have lost about 8 lbs. in the 2+ weeks. I am only 4 lbs. away from my goal and I will be able to run my half marathon at 20 lbs. less than my previous halves. I am eager to see how the lower weight and, hopefully, the better training will do to my time.

Totals running: Week=22 miles, Month=52, Year=326. says I can’t be saved!

I was signing up for an account at This is a site that takes the idea of online search and study of the Bible into the realm of social networking. People can leave comments on different verses. There is a whole community atmosphere. I have not delved into it deeply, but I understand that there is a lot of the social networking/bookmarking behind it.eBible error

I was excited about being able to make notes and bookmarks of my own. I don’t use a Bible program on my computer. And I currently have no digital note taking method for my Bible study. I usually just write stuff in the margin of my Bible (which is why I have a wide-margin Bible) if it is just a quick thought. Otherwise it goes into my sermon notes and preparation. The downside is that I would have to know for which sermon I studied a certain passage, otherwise I would never see those notes again. That is what is appealing about eBible to me.

I don’t know that I will use it long term. I just heard about it and decided to give it a shot. I do use Bible Gateway on a very regular basis to look up verses. They have the Spanish version I use.

While going through the registration process at eBible, I got an error that I thought was extremely humorous. This would not be funny, nor have even caught my eye had this not been a religious website.

The highlighted text in the screen shot reads, “3 errors prohibited this user from being saved.”

And I thought Baptists could be judgmental. Here is a website that has never even met me and it is telling me that I cannot be saved!