Saturday, May 30, 2009

Moving On Up

After a couple of weeks dealing with being sick, I think (knock on wood) that I'm finally back to feeling more or less normal. Just in time too. I'm starting a new position at work Monday. I'm also starting a new work schedule, meaning no more 10-12 hour days and I will actually have weekends off. Who knows...I might be able to have a life now.

So what am I going to do on this first free Saturday that I've had in years?

Move my crap from my old office to my new one in another building. It's really going to be a pain because, though my agency is technically computerized and paperless, the reality is that there is a shit-load of paperwork, documents, folders, binders, files, and various other pieces of crap I have to clean out from one place and transport to the other.

On the other hand....shredders are marvelous inventions.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Almost Human Again

This is the first morning in over a week in which I'm not hacking and sneezing and feeling as if I could just lay down and die. I don't get sick often....but it seems that when I do, I go all out.

How did this effect my Body for Life challenge plans?

Pretty much trashed them for now but there is no law preventing me from trying again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gay Marriage

I've generally held off on talking about politics in this blog. I had another place where I dabbled in political opinion and eventually tired of all the idiots from the right and the left. After several death threats from Obama followers during the last election circus, I decided to just stick with things more trying to lose weight and displaying cats.

Yet, I'm making an exception today. The California court upheld a ban on gay marriages in that state. They had the odd decision that all prior marriages between gay couples were valid, but any future ones are forbidden. I normally view topics such as this as non-relevant things used to divert our attention from the really important (and scary) stuff that is going on; but this is something that really chaps my hide. Curtailing the civil rights of people because of their biology. In my own life, there was a time when people were prohibited from marrying because of different skin color. Saying that two people cannot marry because they are the same gender is equally stupid and has no place in the 21st century.

I'm trying to understand the arguments against gay people marrying. One is that marriage is a religious institution, and we're talking Christian specifically. The other that marriage is for the production and rearing of children.

If that is the case, then my own marriage is not valid. I did not have a particularly religious marriage ceremony and it certainly wasn't a Christian event. I also have no children from this marriage and never intend to have any.

So why did I get married?

Because I found somebody that I loved and wanted to share my life. It wasn't about sex. It wasn't about financial advantage. It was purely a personal decision of the two of us for the two of us. The only thing that was required of us is that we proved we were not related, pay for the license, and make sure there was enough cake for all the wedding guests. Nobody cared who I married or why. Nobody told me that I did not have the right to marry. Nobody told me that loving somebody was wrong...even against the law.

We all should have that right. If you expect to have that right while insisting others do not...then shame on you.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

BFL Day 13

Remember these things? There was a time that, if you telephoned somebody and they where not there to answer, the phone would ring until you decided to give up and end the call. Then they came out with these nifty devices that would answer your phone when you were not at home or in the office. Believe it or not, once upon a time, phones pretty much stayed at home even when you left. They were a bit pricey, bulky, difficult to set up, and had a distressing tendency to malfunction. You recorded some cute little greeting (or at least you thought it was cute, everybody else thought it was stupid) and the caller would leave a short message.

Real short.

The thing was, these answering machines had a little cassette tape in them that didn't have a great deal of recording time. Most machines let you get in about ten seconds before you were cut off. As a result, people were in the habit of speaking very rapidly before the beep which indicated you were now talking into to a dead line. advances...and now the answering machine is as extinct as an 8-track player. Phones now have chips in them with so much memory that you could probably dictate your autobiography and still have room for more. Certainly enough time to leave one's name, when you are calling, and what number to call back if you wish. Even more people just use cell phones in which you have a voice mail service that calls can go to if you are too busy doing something else, like driving (HA!) to answer a call. Still, with virtually unlimited time to leave a simple coherent message, many people continue to deliver a rapid-fire barrage of mumbled sounds like "Hi thisisFredKiddilehopperandit'srealurgentthatIgetwithyaASAP. Gimmeacallat5559oneohsixtyateextensiontwooh73assoonasyagitthis"

Forcing me to replay the message about a dozen times to pick out the name and the number.

My new rule at work. If I get a message and I cannot figure out who is calling in two tries...fuggit, it gets deleted. They will just have to call me again if it's so damn important.

Still dealing with a cold, though I can manage to get by without clutching a box of Kleenex to my chest all day. My tip is for everybody to buy stock in the makers of NyQuil. I'm sure I boosted their profits this quarter.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BFL Day 11

Jimminy long is a cold suppose to last? Just when I think that the symptoms are going away, I get pounded again. I wound up taking time off from work yesterday because I was feeling lousy and really didn't want to interact with anybody on any level. Slept horrible last night with all the coughing and sinus draining. I've taken so much NyQuil that my pee is starting to turn green.

But off to work I go this morning ...cuz paperwork waits for no man. I guess I should be concerned that I may spread my germs to my co-workers; but I got this cold from them in the first place, so to hell with it. As far as exercise goes; I'm thinking this week will be a wash.

I never thought I would miss working out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BFL Day 10

Well...I don't know what kind of an opportunity getting sick is, but I do know that I'm not going to let it be an excuse to quit.

It really sucks though. All the coughing, wheezing, and sneezing makes it impossible to do any type of significant exercise. Even if I could manage to haul my mucus laden head over to the gym, I wouldn't want to spread all those wonderful germs around for other members. I can't do much in the way of exercise at home before being racked by a coughing fit and feeling like my sinuses are going to detonate.

My normal pattern of behavior is to say "fuggit, I'm sick, I can't do this right now, I'll do it later". The usual result though is that "later" seems to take a long time to come around. I even thought briefly of re-starting the Body for Life Challenge; but that also seems to strangely take several weeks to happen, plus...I honestly think that I cannot bear to take before photos again.

So, I'm plowing ahead. Week two of my challenge is going to be pathetic as far as progress goes...but progress it will be. The next week will be better. The week after, better still. I won't have this cold forever.

It'll just seem like it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

BFL Day 5

I had a discussion the other day with a friend about machines vs free weights. He's into lifting iron and thinks that machines are useless. In fact, he comes pretty darn close to calling me a wuss for using weight machines at the gym.

He makes a few good points. There is the fact that machines provide stability and balance, thus making it unnecessary for your own muscles to grow and adapt for that purpose. But...that's kind of what I need right now. I need the frame around me to force proper form because I don't think that I can handle much free weight without dropping it or ripping out a tendon.

Maybe I am a wuss. I gaze toward the back of the gym at all the free weights and think "maybe next week I'll try some stuff over there".

Maybe I'll wait until there are other people in the gym.

Just in case.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BFL Day 4

One of the things I hate about starting a serious schedule of weightlifting, especially if I've only been doing it half-assed or not at all for several months, is the soreness. My arms, shoulders, and chest are killing me this morning. My legs seem to be okay, which I guess is not surprising since I use them quite a bit every day and there was no shock to them.

I have another upper body tomorrow. I hope the soreness eases up by then or, at least, I'm able to work through the pain. This is a point where a lot of people quit. It's where I have quit in the past.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

BFL Day 3

One part of the Body for Life plan is the concept of eating six small meals during the day rather than gorging yourself three times a day. It's a pretty good idea and goes a long way in keeping you from feeling hungry between meals, thus helping to avoid the temptation to snack.

The problem is....there is not much, short of luggage, to stow all the meals when I go to the office. I work about 10 or more hours a day, which means I have to pack for around three to four meals. Even though the portions are small it's still a lot of food to lug around. My dinky little lunch pail just doesn't cut it, so I'm going to have to do a bit of shopping for something that will work.

I'm actually considering getting a small fridge for my office.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I've always thought I have the coolest Mother. Oh...she did the standard mothering stuff like kissing boo-boos, checking behind ears to make sure there was no fungus growing, ensuring that I would not go off to school dressed like a color blind rodeo clown, feeding me real food, and generally doing her best to make sure I didn't grow up to be a sociopath. That's all well and good, but the coolest thing about my Mother was that she always let me question...everything. My Mother values learning in all of its forms and nothing was taboo to my curiosity. One habit she passed on to me is a love of reading. Books were made my friends at an early age and, through books, I've explored entire universes. Because of her, I've forged my own life, my own beliefs, and my own sense of self. I did it through years of relentless questioning, reading, and thinking. I'm still evolving in that task.

My Father taught me how to be a man. My Mother taught me how to be a human.

Love you Mom!
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Thursday, May 07, 2009


Plan, planning, planned....strange word. To plan or not to plan, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the setbacks and frustrations of daily living, or to take arms against a sea of temptation, and by planning, end them.

Planning is important. The old saying "failure to plan is a plan for failure" may be hackneyed, but my experience has proven its validity. Now...I don't mean planning as in plotting out exactly what you are going to do each and every day. More like, planning for what happens when things don't go exactly as you expect...which is pretty much each and every day. It is a recipe for failure if one sort of hopes that the exercise will get done somehow before the day is over and that, maybe, the diet will be on target despite the lunch from the vending machine.

There are all types of plans. Boyd, as he says in the clip above, is going to use P90X as his plan. I looked into it and the folks who sell the plan were nice enough to tell me that, due to my present fitness level, it might kill me...though I guess I would get my money back in that case. So I'm going to use Body for Life as my plan.

I really need one. I need the structure. It's difficult, this losing weight stuff.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Free Slop

Have you heard the latest? KFC, with the blessings of Oprah, is giving out coupons for a free meal. Well...kind of a meal....two pieces of chicken and a biscuit. Oh, but the chicken is grilled, which I guess is suppose to mean it's healthy as compared to that greasy old fried stuff.

Except, the (ahem) meal is loaded to the brim with such nutritious ingredients as MSG, trans fats, and gobs of salt. Not to mention that the factory chickens that KFC cooks up by the millions are about the grossest animals on the planet. It may be finger-lickin good but crap like this is best left in the bucket. I honestly think that if most people took the time to read the ingredients they wouldn't eat it if somebody put a gun to their head. Why do you suppose that KFC calls this ad campaign "Unthink"?

No thanks, Colonel. I'll stick to home grilled free range chicken.

and you can keep the biscuit too

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Something that I noticed not often included in my diet is fruit. That's a bit surprising since I really love just seems that I never bother to buy it or include it into my meals. I usually think of fruit in my yogurt or protein shake. I may get some bananas or apples, but they generally go bad before I eat them all. I like fruit salad but avoid buying cans of the stuff since it's usually pretty high in sugar, mushy, and generally not all that tasty.

Now...I could make it myself with a selection of fresh fruits.

Duh. I never even thought of that...not until a friend of mine, who happens to be a vegetarian, turned me on to a fruit salad that he makes for his lunches all the time. Really simple. Cut up whatever fruits you like. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar (my friend probably uses a lot more but I use just enough to keep the apples from turning brown), mix it up, chill it, and eat. I whipped up about a gallon for a cost of around five bucks.

Good stuff. I don't know how many calories a serving has and I don't really care. I know it is far, far less than just about anything else I may eat during the day. The sugar and the fructose satisfy my sweet tooth and turn off the "I'm hungry button" in my brain. I'm pretty sure there are no fats. Also, the fiber gives me a nice full feeling for just a tiny helping. Then, of course, there is all the good nutrients.

I'm incorporating this into my meal plan every day.

Goodbye Doritos.
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