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The first five for Friday of 2016. Save your noise makers for something more worthy.

We have started the post-holiday period by getting back to eating better at home. By better, I mean healthier. And normally I add that by “we” I mean “me.” But in this case, it’s “us, mostly me.”

Laura is being patient with me while I move to more plants and less meat, which she is all for — it’s all a challenge for me, really.

You can’t just eat a lot of fruit – too much sugar if you overdo it. And prepping healthy stuff to keep handy at work may only seem like a little bit of work but it’s the organizational effort that grinds me down. Typically I’m not home from work until close to 7p – after leaving the house for the gym at 530a to start my day.

That’s a long day. When I get home I have to do my laundry from the gym, organize my clothes for the next day (trust me, this is not a task to be done on the fly at 515a unless you’re indifferent about having underwear, socks or a shirt or belt), make sure my water bottle is filled and my pre-workout snack is ready to eat in the car.

Leaving any of these things to be done in the morning risks it not being done at all. Actually, what it does is ensure disaster. So, adding snack prep to that list … I’m not there yet.

Trouble is, I get hungry during mid-morning. I eat well at lunch – usually a massive spinach salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, strawberries, and soy beans. But I still get hungry.

Until now I have been snacking on a Clif bar or KIND bars but I’d like to back off on some of the sugar and sodium in those. Yes. I’m drifting toward OCD. Bottom line is that I am definitely a carnivore and limiting meat intake is a challenge – probably mostly in my head, but a challenge anyway.

But little things matter. I’ll figure it out. And I note that there’s now a vegan cookbook on the kitchen counter.

I didn’t go to the gym today. Not feeling great, didn’t sleep well, so I took a day off. I’ll get back to it tomorrow, hopefully all the better for having rested.

Next week things are supposed to ramp up in intensity at the gym as some will embark on a 10-week challenge to establish new habits for diet, exercise discipline, mental toughness, and I think new ways to kill another person and harvest plants on the Serengeti. I may be confused on those last points.

The crew at ATC is very much an inside-baseball bunch – there is a common thread that runs through the dark humour of people who train at 6a in the morning.

As such, it struck me funny that a couple of the women members tried to organize a social event for the group to happen late in January. The idea was to meet at a pub, have a bite to eat and a drink, meet other people’s spouses and see what we all look like dressed like normal functioning members of society without sweat dripping from our noses.

But … Richard has decreed that under the new challenge, any alcohol consumption (for 10 weeks!) will be penalized by a points deduction each week.

The social evening has been indefinitely postponed because ATC members can’t socialize sober. At least, that’s how I read it.

The Dal Tigers hockey team plays its first games of 2016 this weekend. Unfortunately, they will be doing it without the services of our guy.

The big man injured his leg in practice last weekend and he missed three practices this week because of it, in spite of trying to skate. So he misses the long ride today to Fredericton and the late-night ride home tomorrow night from Charlottetown. Actually, I’m guessing one thing he won’t miss is the ride home.

We still have Chris at home – he seems to be enjoying the longest Christmas Break in Canadian academic history. It feels like he’s been off forever, although it’s only been a month.

As his mother says, what exactly are we paying for again?

He will return to the ivy-covered halls of academe next week. We have unplugged the holiday lights in his honour.

BTW, both boys had good semesters academically. Yay to that.

On Facebook, on the PC-based interface, it shows a list down the right-hand rail of people you know – friends, as Facebook (and I) call them – who have been online recently, or messaged you recently, etc.

On my PC it lists 15 names, and they change depending upon who is doing what.

I took a look at that list today and of the 15 names, six of them were people who I didn’t know a year ago, all of them because of my attending ATC.

I thought that was pretty cool.