Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Rules

Okay, this is my Halloween schedule.

Before sundown with all the cute little kids shelf candy, the good stuff.  Hershey bars, Reese's cups, Snickers, tootsie pops, etc.

After dark with somewhat older kids but still dressing in costume ....anything left from the first round and adding the cheap crap I still have left over from last year.

After 8 pm with teens looking for free food and if they wore a costume it would be an improvement over their raggedy hoodies and droopy jeans ....the pop-tarts in the trunk of my car with a best-if-used-by date of three years ago.  

After 9 pm I will be emptying out the contents of my cat's litter box.

Anybody knocks on my door after 10 pm better be family, a damn good friend, or showing a badge.

Wednesday Cat Blogging

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Energy in a Can

Go into any grocery or convenience store and you will see this....tons of energy drinks.  High caffeine, high sugar sludge that amp you up, puts you on full throttle, and make you feel like a rock star.  These bad boys are monsters.

I guess it all started with Red Bull, a drink that was used mostly by college kids as a cheap and legal type of amphetamine in order to get over the effects of the prior night's kegger in time for a morning test in American Lit.  Most folks thought the stuff tasted like crap and slammed the things down for the effect rather than the flavor.  Then, they came out with these little 5 hour energy shots for those who couldn't chug a Red Bull fast enough to bypass their gag reflex.  Still, those little energy shots have a wang to them, so lots of people began doing what you do when taking shots of cheap it down with something less harsh, like beer.  In the case of the energy shots, people were chasing it down with soda pop, particularly Mountain Dew.  A sugary caffeine drink that goosed up the effect of the energy shot.  After a while, folks figured out that mixing the two saved precious time and...voila...the big can of energy drinks were created.

Now...don't get me wrong.  I love caffeine.  I drink tons of coffee and tea.  I can appreciate getting a chemical boost in the morning to jump start my brain and mellow out my mood so that I can function and interact with other people.  Yet coffee and tea have their caffeine as part of a very complex structure of the plant itself.  The energy drinks are injected with synthetic caffeine.  It's akin to the difference between chewing coca leaves and smoking crack cocaine....technically ingesting the same drug but vastly different in how it affects your body.

This shit is dangerous.  I think that the fact that there are not thousands of people dying from heart attacks and strokes through drinking the stuff is only due to the fact that most consumers of energy drinks are pretty young...hence more resilient.  But if there is one thing that I have learned; you pay for everything eventually.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Stuff I Try Out

I thought I would bring back a regular feature here called "stuff I try out".  Basically, it's just things that I use in my attempt to reach the goals of getting fit and healthy.  Some of them work well...some of them are complete crap.

One of the things that work well for me is this Extra Dessert Delights gum.  One of the major problems I struggle with is smoking.  I'm addicted to nicotine as well as food.  If only I could become addicted to exercise and broccoli.  Anyway; the problem I have is that when I cut down on eating, my smoking increases.  When I cut down on smoking, I tend to compensate by eating lotsa junk and sweets.  It's a vicious cycle...vicious, I tell you.

This gum works really well in handling both the urges of snacking and firing up a cigarette.  I'm not much of a gum chewer but this stuff is actually pretty tasty and the flavor lasts longer than 5 seconds like most other chewing gums.  Root beer float is my favorite with strawberry shortcake and key lime coming in a close second and third.  It's about five calories a stick which is nothing...especially considering that it helps me forgo a couple of hundred calories in a candy bar or decline jamming a cancer stick in my mouth.  Like everything, it's not the cure-all.  It will not make me lose weight or quit smoking or even make me sexy...but it helps.

Well....maybe not any help on the sexy part.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Trying Again.

Okay.  Back to square one with the base camp.  I'm really hoping that the staying up for three days is a fluke and the next couple of weeks will be a bit more sane.  Who would have thought that getting enough sleep every night would be harder than eating or exercise?  My temptation is to chuck the base camp requirement and just go right into an exercise program...but that route has never worked before, so I doubt it will work again.

12 days starting Tuesday.  If all goes as planned, I should finish by October 20th.  This will give me a Sunday to prep for the road ahead.  I hate not succeeding time after time but I guess it's not a total waste.  Being on the base camp part of the program is good for my mind and body.  Even if I don't make any progress toward weight loss and muscle gain...I just feel better.

And, after all, I guess that's the goal.

Friday, October 05, 2012

O Gentle Sleep!

One of the conditions of the base camp is getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  This is something that I may have to fudge on if I ever want to get through the entire 12 days.  Due to my lifestyle...I just cannot do that consistently every night of the week.  Some nights, I'm lucky to get four or five hours.  It's not because I have any difficulty falling or staying asleep once I go to bed.  It's just that my job gets in the way at times.

It's like this...Part of my job is to supervise a bunch of people across three shifts seven days a week.  Every once in a while, I have to get some face to face contact with them to do supervising stuff.  For example; I'll probably get off work at 7 or 8 pm tonight, then go back to work tomorrow morning around 3 or 4 am to check on the people that work overnights on the weekend.  By the time I get home, unwind, eat dinner, visit with my wife...I'll be doing great if I can squeeze in 5 hours of sleep before heading out again.  The likelihood is that I'll get closer to 4 hours because I need time to ingest food and coffee to wake up enough to be functional.

Try as I might, I can't do anything about this.  So I'm thinking that, at least this part of the base camp, I'm going to have to just do the best I can and keep going.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


The one thing that Shawn Phillips goes over and over in his book about the 12-day base camp the entire 12 days without any failure at all.  None.  No wiggle room.  Eat a doughnut, start over.  Miss your exercise, start over.  Don't drink enough water during the day, start over.  Not quit or give up, but start again from day one and do twelve uninterrupted days.

Well, I haven't been able to do twelve days in a row.  Right now I've been awake since 2am due to some stuff I had to take care of at work.  Part of the rules for this base camp is to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.  On top of that, I've also eaten a few things I was suppose to stay away from during this time.  After 10 days...I start again from square one.

I do take away some good things and it's what encourages me to keep trying.  I feel great.  The fact that I have been able to get through this very long day without fatigue and staying mentally sharp attests to what I was doing for my body was good for my body.

So...starting over.  This is hard stuff.  Backsliding is probable.  Giving up is not an option.