Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A good bloodletting / bad taxes

For once I actually had a good blood donation. I gave a single unit of plateletes and a double unit of plasma via apheresis. My long term reader will remember how last time I tried it wasn't so pleasant, or successful, and I left feeling pretty crappy (not physically, but emotionally). Today was much different. I picked up my Gold Club prize for last year (a totebag - yes it is gay for a guy, but I didn't need a hat either). Plus it turns out this was my 10th apheresis donation, so I got a nice stainless steel travel coffee mug.

It wasn't totally without mishap - apparently the machine had been set up last night, but some of the tubes had been left in, which they shouldn't have been. Whatever the cause, the setup in the machine wouldn't work, so she (the nurse - or was she a phlebomitist? I don't really know) had to tear it down and put in a new one. She felt bad for the length of time it took, so gave me an extra gift (a travel alarm clock). So I left after it being successful feeling pretty good, and not just for the stuff, though that helped.

I do think that losing the weight has made it a bit easier to find my veins - which makes a lot of sense. They don't have to feel around as much fat as they did before. The nurse also laughed when she asked my weight - and I let her round it up even because their system doesn't do decimal points for it. :-)

In other, not so pleasant news, it looks like the school district administration is pulling out all the scare tactics for the levy renewal in May. If it fails again (which it did in November) then all sports and band will be cancelled. If it passes then in August then they will be re-instated, but that would be too late for band camp (which they are now talking about moving later in August to after the levy - which of course puts in on GenCon - so Erik would have to miss the convention). If it fails in August then the programs are gone for a year. If it fails a third time in November then they are gone permanently. Which should pretty much kill the school district completely.

What I don't understand is why they made them temporary in the first place. One of the big problems is them going back again and again and again - and a lot of these are for renewals. If they would have just made them permanent in the first place then we wouldn't have all this mess anyway.

Of course, the board didn't make a fuss in November the first time when it failed - so now they have to get nasty. I would like to know why they weren't honest then? I'm not real happy with the board right now. Of course, the best way to take care of this is run myself - which I really don't want to do. I really hate the superintendent as well. For one, he doesn't live in the district, and his kids don't go to the schools here. Which to me is grounds for him immediate termination. The only exception would be if his kids were in specialty schools (like Katie) that didn't exist in the district.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not giving myself credit

For as long as I can remember, I have had a very hard time giving myself credit for my accomplishments. I am very bad about accepting compliments - trying to blow them off by saying "it was nothing" or "no big deal".

I believe part of it stems from my first marriage, where my wife would get accuse me of bragging any time I talked about doing anything right, or any accomplishments (unless they were accompanied by money, which she would always and gladly accept). But even now, 9 years after that marriage ended, 3 1/2 years into my second, much (MUCH MUCH) better marriage, I still have a hard time accepting praise.

Take my annual performance appraisal at work (or the annual beating and I like to call it). No matter how well it goes, I always seem to nearly completely ignore any of the good things, and focus only on the bad. Had a great year, but need to work on this one item - and boom, that is all I hear - work on this one item.

And so it is now. As of yesterday I've lost 48 lbs (down to 205.8). That is actually pretty significant. But I can't seem to give myself much credit for it. Sure, if I have another good week I'll get my 4th gold star on my ribbon next week. I've had many people complement me on it - and had fun with one woman who kept trying to figure out what was different since she had last seen me (haircut? beard?).

One thing that was said at weight watchers last night that made me think a little bit though, was to take all the weight you had lost, put it in a bag, and carry it around for a while. Last week I picked up a bag of water softner salt for the driveway and front walk. If I remember correctly, it was a 50 lb bag. Then I go and check the web - it was a 40 lb bag. Still, it was heavy. I have a hard time grasping that I used to weigh that much more - that I was carrying that around ALL THE TIME.

So what have I noticed? I'm sleeping better, and snoring less. I can actually sleep on my stomach now, and it doesn't hurt my back, which it used to all the time. In fact, between the weight loss and going to the chiropractor once a month, my back really doesn't hurt at all. I don't get winded (FINALLY) going up a flight of stairs. I think my appetite has finally gone down a bit - lately I find that I'm eating better, and not wanting the 'bad' foods. I'm having an apple or air-popped popcorn or weight watchers ice cream for a snack at night, instead of chips or a couple of bowls of cereal. I don't think I'm usually getting my five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, but I'm doing better, and drinking more water (at least during the week. It is much harder to drink water on the weekends, especially when I'm doing something (at work I can get up and pee every hour if I have to - can't do that in a lot of other places)). My man-boobs went way down, and while they aren't completely gone, they are reduced enough that there isn't that fold of skin that gets all sweaty (makes me feel sorry for women a little). I can wear 40 inch waist pants, not the stretchy ones, comfortably. In fact, I had to put away all my 44's - they were uncomfortably too big, and the 42's are getting that way. Not quite ready for 38's yet, and looking to the future, I'll probably have to go out and buy 36's by the time I'm done. I'm not comfortable in a Large size shirt, instead of XL. The sleep shorts I bought a few months ago now hang on me - I need to get more of those (yes, they have drawstrings, but I don't like them, I like the elastic to hold them up (because I'm too lazy to want to have to untie them to take them off)).

I figure I have 32 lbs to go. 60% of the way there, in 6 months. If I could keep pace, that would put me at goal in another 4 months - the end of June. I should be in pretty good shape by the time our last keys comes around - a major goal for me. (This has to do with Focus and becoming a Key Holder - something that happens both times, and I didn't like a portion of the results at Focus, so I don't want it to be the same when I become a Key Holder. Yes that is cryptic, but I don't want to break the confidentiality of the seminars).

So I guess this post is my own little pat on the back. I done good. It wasn't nothing. I will keep at it.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Had a bad day

I'm a whiner. Have you ever noticed that when life is actually going pretty good, you pick all the little things to get annoyed about.

I look at the big picture. I'm healthy. I have a decent house, and I'm able (if just barely) to pay my bills every month. There is food on the table every day, and I have the extra (both in time and $$) to do some fun things once in a while (sometimes too much, but never so much that I get so far in trouble I can't get out fairly easily). Sure we live pretty much paycheck to paycheck, but then I kind of expect. My wife and kids are healthy, and except for my daughter, doing fairly well. She is safe and in a good environment to work on her issues (see my other blog http://parents-of-a-troubled-teen.blogspot.com/ for details on her), but even that is being paid for.

But like I said, I'm a whiner. I pick the little things. At least once I get them out then I realize how little they really are, and get on with life.

So this morning I get up to my normal routine. Check my bank account (a habit left over from my divorce - I like to know exactly how things are going with what little money I have, and Diane doesn't always let me know when she uses her debit card immediately), no surprises there (which is always a good thing - that is one area that I NEVER want a surprise in). Then I go to synch my iPod.

It says I don't have the space to synch everything (with 5 Gig left - do I really have 5 Gig to load on it?) What I really want is to get the Channel Frederator awards on it to watch. But the stupid thing deletes ALL the video. So I go through deleting a bunch of free tv episodes (I tend to grab everything on iTunes that is free, just to try it) that I haven't gotten to, and don't really care about anyway. Then try to synch it up again (it now has 15 Gig free). And it thinks it has 130 things to synch - even though there are only like 15 that I have checked to synch up. And it is now like 7:30, I've been messing with this for 45 minutes (I went upstairs to make my lunch when it started to synch - thinking it would be done - foolish me). So I stop it - looks like I got the podcasts, but nothing else yet (though all my music is there). The stupid thing is trying to update stuff that doesn't belong on it - I see it transfering it - then it deletes it.

So I stop it, eject it, and run out - leaving my breakfast on the counter. I do get to work on time at least - and do have the awards to watch when I work out. I'm going to have to work in this tonight to get the video I want loaded though. Stupid techno-crap Pain in my butt.

Then my youngest son calls from school (they had a two hour delay due to fog). He wants me to bring him gym clothes. I told him this morning to get some shorts and a t-shirt - he just doesn't like them. I'm not going to leave work for that - so he is made at me for not bailing him out.

Ok - deep breathe - quit whining (I won't even go into some of the stuff at work today - I could whine about that for hours).

I feel better now. I do have a pretty good life after all. And even though the EOS meter is high, it isn't nearly as high as it has been, and I don't feel too bad there. Oh - I'll have to talk about EOS here soon.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Taking advantage of being sick

One good thing about being sick all weekend - I do great when I weigh in. Or I should, but they cancelled the meetings yesterday. I'm not sure why they did - the roads here were worse last week when they didn't close it.

I had taken the afternoon off to pick up Diane at the airport. She got stuck in Detroit because of the storm, and then her flight got in two hours late - which according to the airline was still listed as 'on-time'. So before we headed to the meeting I weighed myself at home - thinking that it wouldn't look good because I hadn't worked out since Friday, and we went out for a big lunch after I picked her up (sushi - yummm!). But I was down to 207.8 at home, so I'll claim that for now. That would be exactly 45 lbs now. Of course that means I've lost another point, but at least last week I was real good about not eating too much for once. At least not exercising I wasn't quite as hungry.

I did notice last night that I really wanted an apple - and we were out. I can see craving a steak, or ribs, or lasagna, or chips, or candy. But nobody craves apples. I also found out that the weight watchers ice cream stuff adds in extra fiber - so the one serving is real good on points, but if you have two, then it doesn't double, it almost triples! That is the trick about fiber, since only the first 4 grams count it usually only helps for one serving of stuff.

The kids are back in school today, and out of snow days (Used them all up within two weeks!).

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rough weekend

Yes it was. I think I spent most of this weekend looking pretty much like my avatar (and I can already hear you saying that it was an improvement - sorry that's my joke!). I don't know what it was, whether it was something I ate or a bug. But starting about 9 pm on friday things just quit working, at least correctly. I was in the bathroom every half hour until about 3:30 in the morning, when things decided that just coming out of one end wasn't enough.

I had the chills, a fever, and everything I had eaten coming out both ends. But at least when things decided to finally completely blow out the top, so to speak, that was it. I was finally able to get some sleep after that. Until, of course, there was a problem at work and I get called at 7 am on saturday!

And it was the first WFB tournament down at Wexford Hill Hobbies, and I couldn't go. Well I could have, but I still had a slight fever and felt like crap, so I figured it was best not to go and spread the love, so to speak. At least by the end of the day I was able to keep food both down and in (somewhat).

Then Diane calls and says she is out on the boat with her brother - down in Tampa. And now it is supposed to snow again tonight. I do hope she doesn't get stuck in Detroit (after a week in Florida, if she has to suffer through some cold weather I'd rather it be here, where I can enjoy her misery :-) ).

And then things at work blew up again overnight, so I got a call at 4:00 am and have been working ever since, though some of the tools are a bit slow (you know, click and wait).

Of course then tonight is incredibly busy as well. Matt has scouts, I have a band booster meeting, then a keys family call. Matt has to make a cell project (we are doing it out of food - basically jello with fruit in it for all the parts) that I'll need to help with as well. And both 24 and Heroes are on.

No rest for the wicked.

Rough weekend

Yes it was. I think I spent most of this weekend looking pretty much like my avatar (and I can already hear you saying that it was an improvement - sorry that's my joke!). I don't know what it was, whether it was something I ate or a bug. But starting about 9 pm on friday things just quit working, at least correctly. I was in the bathroom every half hour until about 3:30 in the morning, when things decided that just coming out of one end wasn't enough.

I had the chills, a fever, and everything I had eaten coming out both ends. But at least when things decided to finally completely blow out the top, so to speak, that was it. I was finally able to get some sleep after that. Until, of course, there was a problem at work and I get called at 7 am on saturday!

And it was the first WFB tournament down at Wexford Hill Hobbies, and I couldn't go. Well I could have, but I still had a slight fever and felt like crap, so I figured it was best not to go and spread the love, so to speak. At least by the end of the day I was able to keep food both down and in (somewhat).

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Slightly more coherent

Figure yesterdays rant was wild enough of a ride for anyone right now. We'll put Mr. Toad back in the garage and let the saner portions of drive for a bit!

Back on track for the weight - down 1.6 yesterday to 210.6. It was a bit surprising, because I didn't feel like it. But the week before I did, and was up. I have decided to make a few changes though - to try and get a bit more accurate, and less guessing. For one I've started bringing my lunch, so I know exactly what is in it. What amazed me is how big of a sandwich I ended up with for so few calories (and half of those were just the two pieces of bread!). And it is funny, it won't fit into a 'sandwich' bag - I have to use the quart size one ziploc instead! Picked up some 98% fat free lunch meat, and 2% cheese, plus then I can use my good garlic mustard on it, and not have so much that it squirts out of the sandwich. It's not hot, but then I still have the cup-a-soup as well.

In other areas, I'm watching myself pretty closely lately, as it does seem that I'm starting to slip back into my depression. A few times in the past I've managed to pull myself out before it got so bad that I needed to go back on my meds - but I just have to watch it. With all the stress of work lately, the miserable weather, money concerns all are contributions to it.

Part of it may be that things have finally seemed to slow down - giving me more free time. Of course what am I using that for but to sit on my butt and watch TV. At least I'm not watching crap - instead watching very well written shows - 24, Heroes, Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Battlestar Galactica. I was watching Dr. Who, but the 2nd season is over and they take almost a year to bring the new ones over (I wish they would bring Torchwood over).

I need to paint more, but have no deadline there, so the mini's just sit there. I also need to work on my writing (which at least this is a (very) small part), but that also is just sitting there right now. There is no deadline at all on that - so it just sits there, mocking me. :-)

That is one of the symptoms I need to watch - the not caring about things - feeling apathetic. My emotions seem to be ok (when I am in a serious depressive episode I have a real hard time controlling my emotions, at least while I'm 'alone' (i.e. it has never been a problem when interacting with people - but spontaneously crying during movies and tv shows, or when working - because some song come on)). So haven't been weeping, nor yelling at the kids (more than should be expected that is :-) ).

So keeping a watch for now.


And I've finally posted a new chapter in my life story - so if you just can't get enough of the insanity, head on over here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


One of my many readers (I can actually claim this in a computer science / mathematics sense, as there are three general conditions that you need to be concerned with - 0, 1 or many - something either occurs 0 times, exactly 1 time, or more than once (many). I've had evidence that at least 2 people have read this thing (one person actually entering responses, and one email) (yes, I have been told that there are several (ok, 3 or 4) lurkers out there as well (you know who you are) but I can't tell)) has an interesting "Quote of the Day" blog. It is a class project (she is the teacher) to gather discussion on various quotes.

The one for Monday really set me off a bit - and I just figured I'd use my own soapbox to for the rant, rather than fill up the responses there.


Accountability - the ability to account for one's actions.

This is what is missing in our society today. Accountability. At all levels. It is rare to hear anyone today who does not blame society, the government, the media or something else for those things that they don't like, rather than be accountable.

Hurricane Katrina comes to my mind. We all saw the news reports of the people in the Super Dome, complaining about the aftermath of the storm, and not getting enough food, water and money from the government.

First, those people who stayed in New Orleans chose to stay. Period. Look how many people left. And I refuse to accept the idea that they were poor and couldn't leave. Of course they could leave - they have two feet. No, they chose not to leave. Was it an easy choice to make - probably only because the choice to make may have been difficult. It may have meant going out of their way and doing something different - taking responsibility for their own lives and welfare, and that of their families. I don't think anyone held a gun to their heads and forced them to stay. It was easier, and they could blame someone else for not getting them out, but in the end they chose to stay.

We live in a huge welfare state. HUGE!! Now I'm actually a registered Democrat, and have been since I could vote. But I voted for Bush. I don't like Bush - I don't like him at all. But I liked Kerry even less. In fact it has been a long time since there was actually a candidate I could support - I end up picking the least of all the evils everytime I go to the polls. But I do vote - and I'm accountable for my vote. Yes, I helped elect a president I don't like - and I have the right in doing so to say that I don't like him. If I hadn't voted, then I would not have the right to any opinion on it.

I don' t like the welfare state. Nobody has ever given me anything. I wasn't born poor - I've been middle class all my life. I've worked for a living. I went to college. I didn't go to an expensive college - I went to the one that was across the street - because it was all we could afford. I got a job, and have been working to support myself and my family for the past twenty years, and I'll probably be working for thirty more - with the same purpose.

Things haven't always gone well. Yes, I went bankrupt almost fifteen years ago. I could blame it on my first wife, and it was as much on her as me - but I chose to do it - I made the choices that led to it, even if they weren't conscious ones. Of course, one of the best choices I have made since then was getting divorced - and now it appears I have very good (if not excellent) credit, with nearly all the issues I once had resolved and far enough in the past that they no longer matter.

Technically, I was homeless for a time. This was during my divorce. Twice I did not have a place to call my own - once when she first kicked me out - I stayed at a friends for a week until I got a paycheck that I could get a motel on, and again when I was in the process of getting an apartment - I couldn't afford both the deposit and the hotel at the same time. For several days everything owned was in a van at the airport when I went to stay with my girlfriend (now my wife) during the time I couldn't afford to pay for both places.

I was laid off from my first job, with a pregnant wife. I got help from my parents to pay bills, and had to move. Those were my choices.

During all the bad times in my life - the government never did anything for me. Being male, I don't matter. As a single father of four - they didn't do squat. My family have helped me out when I was really down and out. My parents have given me money when I desperately needed it, even helping out greatly with my divorce lawyer. But the government - nothing.

I've seen who they have helped out. My ex-wife for one. But I won't dwell on that.

Where I'm trying to go here is so many people want the government to take care of them, as if the politicians in Washington were their parents. They aren't willing to accept that they make the decisions every day that determine the outcome of their lives.

If you don' t like where you live - move or change it!
If you don't have a job - that is your choice. I do not believe that someone who truly wants to work will be unable to find a job. It may not be the job you want initially. It may not pay as well as you would like. It may require you to get up off your lazy a$$ and actually do something. It may require some effort. But I believe anyone who wants to work will be able to work.
If you don't like your situation - change it.

The government is not accountable for your decisions - YOU ARE!

Look at your life. Look at the results you are making every day. You are making the choices that put you exactly where you are.

Isn't it about time EVERYONE steps up and takes accountability for the choices they are making, and if they don't like the results they are getting, begin to make new choices for themselves?

< /RANT >

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Witch's Tit or Well Digger's Ass?

So which is actually colder? And where did they ever get those expressions anyway? Or a witch's tit in a brass bra? How did that become a standard for cold?

But that actually aren't really my ideas - I stole them from Costaki Economopoulos - we saw him a few years ago and he was just hilarious. I wish he would come back to Dayton! He was on Bob and Tom this morning.

Regardless of where I stole the lines from - it is friggin' cold out there. And with the humidity and the wind, it feels so much more colder than when I grew up and it used to hit forty below zero. But we had no humidity, and almost no wind, so while it was cold, it didn't seem quite so bad as when it is cold here.

It reminds me of when we lived in Alabama for a semester. We had to get electric blankets for at night - and we never had them back home. I remember standing in front of the space heaters in the rooms first thing in the morning. And it didn't get nearly as cold as it did at home - but we felt it more. Like we do here.

And of course - Diane just left for Ft. Lauderdale for a week. It is in the single digits here, and friggin 62 there. And who has to get up at 4 am to drive her to the airport? God I must love that woman. I'll leave the expletives out for now :-)

Friday, February 02, 2007

We Met the Queen

The real life Sweet Potato Queen, in all her sequined glory. Actually it was the second time we had seen her, but that is ok. Diane loves her books. The blog she is doing on her tour is pretty cute.


And you can read about her adventures in Dayton http://www.sweetpotatoqueens.com/news/detail.php?news_id=22


As for the picture - Yes, that's me - the dumb looking balding one on the left. Now you know why I use the ScourgeBearer statue instead - he is much cuter than I am in person :-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Well, this week I'm up .6 - to 212.2. Damn.

When I look back, I can see where I may not have been 'accurate' in my tracking. Especially when things come up - like Diane's awards dinner etc. My bad weeks all seem to be based on combinations of events though, not just one. Too much popcorn at the movies, plus the dinner etc.

I do find the new 'program' harder to work than the old one, but I've written about that before.

What is funny is then yesterday I actually (for once) didn't eat my points - along with my exercise points. But after weighing in I came home and had 3 SmartOnes dinners (the turkey in gravy w/ potatoes) and some pretzel chips - and I was still 2.5 points short for the day. I was going to have an apple, but I got busy with taxes and then doing advancement for cub scouts until 2 am, and never got that snack. (I do tend to only snack when I'm watching tv - if I'm actually doing something then I don't really get hungry. I know, quit watching tv!)