Thursday, April 26, 2007

Still a loser

Though not as big as I'd like. 1.4 this week, putting me at a total of 58.8, down to 194. That leaves 21.2 to go. I was really hoping to hit the big 60 this week, but it was not to be. Maybe next week - what I need to do is to not get hung up on this and just do the program. If you do the program then the weight will come off.

I'm a bit frustrated also because Diane says she is going to stop going to WeightWatchers. I understand that she has to do this for herself, and right now she is just getting very frustrated with it, and isn't working the program. She hasn't actually been working it for some time now, simply going to the meetings. She may try another program, and I'll support her in whatever she does.

She is also frustrated because she has arthritis in her knee, which is keeping her from exercising. Losing weight will really help with that, but while she understands it, she does not grok it. And I can't force that - all I can do is be supportive for her.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stressed and Frustrated

Stress has been defined as the confusion caused when the mind overrides the bodies desire to choke the living shit out of someone that desperately needs it.

I'm feeling a bit stressed today.

I hate politics. I hate the political process. Everything would be much better if I were dictator of the world for life - and could make all the decisions. But that won't happen, so the next best thing is democracy (or at least the democratic republic we have in the US - it isn't a true democracy, but close enough).

I'm tired of not having candidates that I can support, of being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. (Which is why I so love the 'Vote Cthulu' bumper stickers - why choose the lesser evil). I'd love to point to someone and say "I want them to be elected."

On May 8th, we have yet another election. This one is actually about something I care about. It is a school levy vote - to provide funding for our schools. I don't like the school board, I don't like the way they are doing it, but I support the schools and don't have a problem paying for them. (It was so much easier when I lived in an apartment - vote yes on every tax on those frickin homeowners!)

The school board says that all extra-curricular activities will be cut if the levy fails. For us this means marching band. This is a big deal for my boys, so I don't want to lose it. So I'm pushing for it to go through - even got a yard sign last week, and worked the car show on Saturday for it. We are also putting out postcards in support of it. If it fails, then minimum is no band camp. It may come back in August, but by then it would be too late for the kids to go.

Today I get an email from someone I know who is against the levy. Actively against it. Campaigning hard again it. I don't know if it is him alone, or if there are more as well. I've talked to him before, and I can respect his differing opinion. I respect a lot of what he has to say, and I'm not sure he is wrong about some of the funding requirements. The web site he put up shows that the schools need a levy next year (so why is he against this one I don't know). What he needs to do is run for school board, so he can put in place the changes he wants.

I don't believe the school board can just say 'never mind' if it fails, and not make the cuts. If they did, then they would lose any credibility at all. So if his side wins, then band camp is gone. And I don't have a good feeling about it, because I don't see much of a push for the levy.

Thus, I am feeling a lot of stress right now.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Keeping busy

It seems there is always something lately.

Saturday was a great example. Knowing we would have a very busy day, we got up real early and decided to try the rebuild Golden Nugget pancake house down the street. Pretty good actually, but I don't think I would ever stand in line for two hours for any pancake place (and yes, people do). In all the time I've been in this part of town, this is my first time there because of the wait. But at 6:30 am on a Saturday there isn't one.

Then have to get Matt to his scout campout by 8. Not a big deal as everyone was up. Until I get home, to find out that no - everyone else went back to bed. grrrrrr

Then Erik had a mandatory meeting for his summer job at 10. So exciting, pretty much the same as when Jon did it a few years ago. I do like that the city provides jobs for teenagers. It may be a fairly blue collar town, but I do like it here.

Then from 2 - 9 Diane and I worked the band booster concession stand at the high school, where they were having a 'Cruise-In' to support the upcoming school levy. Lot of work, but kind of fun. I, being the only male left on the board for the upcoming year, got to do the grilling - which we all know is a man's job *grunt, snort* :-) And then when we finally got home I had an extra hour and a half to count the money and get the deposit ready.

Then Sunday - nothing to do. Sure, had to mow the lawn, and get laundry done (i.e. like every other Sunday) but basically pretty quiet. The highlight was servicing the mower (I changed the blade, (then had to go back to the store to get oil as it all split out during this process), the spark plug, the air filter and oil. Of course the thing gave off some horrible oily smoke for about 5 minutes as it had to burn out all the oil that got in the carburetor . . .)

And today is back at work.

Tomorrow I lift weights again. Because I'm stupid, so stupid I committed to twice a week. At some point you think I'd learn.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Oww, Owww, F*****g Owww!

Tell me again why I’m such a dumb shit? Why do I do this to myself?

I actually lifted weights today. First time in 11 months.

I am already sore in my legs, arms and across my chest.

And it is only going to get worse for the next day or so.

This is supposed to be good for me. Why does everything that is supposed to be good for you SUCK so bad!!!

This is just more proof that there is no intelligent design in the way people are built. If there were, then exercise would be pleasant and feel good, not painful. Chocolate would be good for you, and broccoli and cauliflower would be fattening. But noooo – our ancestors needed to store all the extra calories for the lean times (which were most of them), and fat tastes so good because it keeps them warm and healthy since they are running after their food all the time. We are programmed to eat as much as possible – because our bodies never know when the next meal is going to come from. And extra is stored for later use, instead of flushed away like it would be if we were built for the lives we lead.

I’m going to hate myself in the morning, even more than I do now. And to show how stupid I am, I’m going to make a SMART goal to my keys family to do this to myself twice a week for the next two months.

over analyzing

Trying to kick my brain into the right gear.

Weighed in last night - down 2.0 to 195.4. Good, and right in line with what I should be doing. However I still feel a little disappointed that it wasn't more to make up for last week. That and immediately after being sick I was down close to 5 at home. It is weird (to me at least), but at home I seem to weigh the least on Monday and Friday mornings - and the most on Wednesdays - which is weigh in day of course.

My ideal weigh in would be Friday morning first thing - get up, go work out for an hour, then go weigh in.

Now I realize that it doesn't matter. Changing the date or time or routine for WI only hides a tiny bit, and that only temporarily. Taking off my PDA, iPod, cell phone and keys doesn't make me lose 6" from my pants. (God did that not sound the way I meant). 6" from my waist. And according to Oprah, when I hit 70 lbs lost I'll actually have gained 2" in my pants, but that is something entirely different! :-)

I'm slightly frustrated that this is taking sooo long - I wanted to do the 2/week the whole way through - which would put me at goal in a month - but right now I'm 12 lbs short of doing that, with 22.6 lbs to go. But then I have to ask myself why it matters? The answers aren't what I originally expected.

1) To actually do it. Accomplish the goal. That is good.
2) To be done with this whole thing, so I can eat what I want again. Uh-oh.

It is that second one that I realize scares me. Because I can't ever go back to what I was doing before, or I'll go back to what I was before. That is really the hard part for me to really get into my head - getting past the feeling that this is temporary and will end.

There are things I just won't be eating again. Hamburgers. Especially fast food. I haven't been to McDonald's (for myself at least - we did the get boys breakfast there last week - I didn't get anything - but I do miss Sausage McMuffin w/ egg) since August. Most of the time (with the previous exception) I don't want or miss it - it seems more that it bothers me that I don't miss it. I miss missing it.

We used to hit KFC about every week. I loved it. I haven't had it in months. Almost did last night, but decided to get Long John Silver's instead - and that was a big conflict for a while as well. (I was good - only ate half the fries, half the cole-slaw, didn't eat the hush puppies (I don't really care for dry fried dough) or the crunchies (harder to resist) but I did use up all my AP.) But I don't seem to want it as much. In fact, I'm probably bugging everyone else, because my preference for going out anymore is Subway - and I always get the same thing (which just happens to be 14.5 pts). I just too easily get into a rut of what I know - which is boring to some but makes the diet that much easier.

I talked with Diane about this the other day. I guess what I really want is to not have food be so central to my life - where I'm not always planning or counting or thinking about food. Just be able to eat right on auto-pilot - or at least not have it so central to everything.

So - trying to actually switch gears, at least for the next eight hours - and try to think about work all day at work - for once.

Monday, April 16, 2007

bad (or good) timing

This is frustrating, with a bit of relief. I felt like crap on Friday. Went home, and ended up with a 101 fever all night. So the relief was at least actually being measureably sick. I just hate it when I feel like crap, but all signs are that I'm fine. So at least I was really sick, and still had the fever Saturday night as well, though not as strong.

But WTF!?! Why do I manage to get sick on the fricking weekends? I can't go and get sick during the week, and actually take a day off work now can I. Nooooooo - go and ruin my entire weekend! What the hell is wrong with me? So bad timing for me, good for the company - like they really care.

At least I was feeling better on Sunday, though not 100%. Today is pretty good so far. At least my throat isn't sore any more, which is good.

I actually updated my web page yesterday, taking pictures of my elementals and familiars. Not Golden Demon by any means, but decent table top quality, which is what I'm looking for. Check them out here. I need to get an image for the ones I don't have yet. That is why the image is missing for the familiars of Light, the Elemental of Light and Elemental of Water. Water hasn't been released in English yet, I haven't picked up the Light Familiars (for one because I don't have anything that can use their spells, since I haven't gotten a 'good' army yet), and the Elemental of Light is a $40 box set with another figure (which I also won't ever use). But the collector in me would want it for completeness sake.

I do need to get separate pictures of the Sylvain Animae (I actually have 7 now), as well as pick up some Ira Tenebrae (the darkness immortals), and Sparklings (which come with the Light Elemental as well). And finish the Darkness elemental, as well as the familiars.

If you want to look around the site, I did update the Ophidian characters, Wolfen troops and Fire Eaters Rate units with WIP pictures of S'Ygma, Bregan, the Worg (Waning Moon), Grave Guardian conversion and Thunderlord - none of which are finished. I should have updated Irix the Selene, but the battery ran out on my camera.

Of course I should actually update a bunch of others - but that would mean actually working on them as well :-)

Friday, April 13, 2007

bad end to bad week

This week has just been fairly crappy, with the exception of my daughter finally starting to work a bit - but that is for the other blog!

It has been cold all damn week - where the hell did spring go?

The furnace broke down again. The stupid piece of crap is only about ten years old, but every other year something goes out on it. This time though it decided to break out of that pattern - it broke down twice this winter. Oh yeah, it is spring isn't it? With freeze warnings and highs in the 30's. Ugh!

I slept like total crap last night, when I slept. I was freezing all night long, but also sweating like the proverbial pig. At one point (out of about 4 times) I got up to pee, and when I lay back down my pillow was like I had dumped a glass of water on it I had been sweating so much. I turned on the extra heater we have for up there, and kept snuggling up to Diane to get warm - who was surprised because I felt so warm already.

Today my throat is starting to feel a bit sore, and my eyes and head are feeling like they are starting to get feverish. Of course, I can't jut go and get a good fever and actually be sick so that someone can tell - no I just end up feeling like crap with no real external symptoms.

The EOS meter at work is about to go off the scale as well. Today is the last day for one of the founders of our group - he started in this area a few weeks before I did. I hope all the best for him, but it leaves me as the only person on 24-7 support backup now. Not only that, but we work well together, because he is the type to do the big picture and plan out things, while I'm good at implementing the details. The idea of being the sole senior person on this team scares the crap out of me.

However tomorrow is another day. But of course there is a UD event tomorrow afternoon, and there aren't enough to work it as usual, so I may get stuck doing that as well.

I just want to go home and go to bed for a year.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not a good week

At least at weigh in. Up a pound. I have to put this down to bad tracking - even though I stayed under points for what I did track. But Red Lobster, a whole box of whoppers at the movie, too much spaghetti (which I knew I didn't need so much of, but ate it anyway).

However it is not a time to give up, but to just get back to it and get back in control.

In other news, it appears that there is a court case going on against my ex down in New Mexico, and they are once again looking for her up here. It amazes me how they keep looking for her with me - she has never had my phone number nor my address. I know last year when I pulled my credit report it did have some erroneous information because of her (showing me having lived in New Mexico once) but i had that removed.

The one frustration with all of this is that we already know that the people looking for her can't tell us anything. That is the only thing that I miss about that relationship at all - it was a great source for stories and something to talk about. The sheer entertainment value was tremendous - so long as I separated myself from the fact that for ten years it was part of my life. It would be entertaining to know what is going on again - especially because now I could be a complete outsider and not be affected by it at all.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Belated Easter

Time for reflection. Lent is over. For me that pretty much means nothing now. Sure, I grew up Roman Catholic, but I have given that up long ago. (I used to joke that I gave up church for lent. I also like to say that I was a practicing Catholic until I got it right, and now I don't need to practice any more).

Easter is also the time for chocolate, egg hunts and bunnies. What these have to do with Christ rising from the dead is far beyond me, however my guess is they, like the Christmas Tree, are actually holdovers from pagan spring festivals (well not the chocolate, but the rest) as symbols of birth, new life and fertility. C'mon - we all now how fertile rabbits are. I would guess that long ago the church (back when it was only one christian church - and yes, Catholics are christians too, no matter what some baptists and other say) merged these pagan symbols into Easter as they merged in the pagan societies. This is the same with Holly, Christmas Trees and the Yule Log - they are pagan symbols of the Yule celebration - which is the longest night of the year. They didn't even change the name of one of them. But my children are too old for the Easter Bunny (though they still like the chocolate).

What is true is that it is now spring, though right now it doesn't feel like it. One last (hopefully) blast of winter is just starting to let go, and it should be back up in the 60's or so by this weekend. Trees are budding, I've already had to cut the grass once (hey, it earns me 2-3 AP, so why not?) and Diane has ordered some flowers to plant. Tomorrow at work is our first anual 'Green Clean' at work - a spring cleaning of our cubes - which isn't really a bad idea when you come down to it, regardless of how much some people may whine about it.

Now is the season when young men's minds turn to thoughts of love. But I'm not young by any stretch of anyones imagination (I passed young a long, long time ago). I'm not mature - I don't think I'll ever get there, and if I ever come within sight of it I plan on turning and running as fast as I can, but I'm not young. And Diane isn't in the mood right now anyway, and won't be for a few more days. My sons are either too young, not looking, or - well, at least the oldest one seems to finally be starting to put things together and realize that without a job or driver's license he has absolutely nothing at all to offer the girls (they don't want to drive or pay for any kind of date), so maybe he'll have a chance this summer. He at least is planning on getting off his butt!

The dog was enjoying the warm weather at least, and loved the huge ham bone.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Drinking the Koolaid

Or at least looking like it.

I don't generally like to talk about work here, mainly because I doubt anyone would find the day to day workings of a computer programmer very interesting, especially since I do that boring type of programming (i.e. no graphics or games or anything flashy - I do electronic interfaces between different systems, mainly car dealership systems (which we sell) and car manufacturers - Chrysler is one of my big ever ongoing projects). Very useful for the business, but nothing flashy or exciting to see. It is one of those that no one notices until it stops working.

Anyway, yesterday was the annual Service Recognition luncheon at work. They do this every year, recognizing those who had a 5 year milestone in the previous calendar year. I hit 15 years in 1996. Luckily I looked at the invite on Tuesday, and noticed that it was Business Professional dress code - crap. So I had to dig out the freaking suit. I hate suits. More so, I hate ties. The idea of still tying a napkin around your neck because soldiers way back when couldn't keep from spilling their food down the front of their shirts is simply absurd. And my boys have managed to steal all my best ties as well - for the occasional dance or concert.

Since the buyout of my company (btw, you can check out where I work here) last year, there have been lots of changes, and it is obvious to anyone that there are still more yet to come. One of the more noticable ones is that manages and above (which I'm not) are supposed to wear ties. Grunts like me are still allowed business casual. So yesterday I looked like the new corporate drone.

And if that wasn't bad enough, of course yesterday the cold front hit - Tuesday it was 80 - yesterday it was snowing (no, it didn't stick, but there we flakes in the air). And what did I have for a fricking coat? Yep - a suit coat, because I don't have an overcoat that can go over one. So not only did I have to dress up, but I froze my butt off as well.

At least in the good news department - it looks like I froze 3 more pounds off my butt when I weighed in last night. What is really getting amazing to me is that I 0nly have 24.4 to go to goal. I am getting more and more comments about it.

I'm not one to take pictures. I realy don't like the way I look in them. Fat (though much less so I keep being told), bald, grey and ugly. I have one picture of myself I kind of like in the past ten years or so, it is on Diane took of me years ago at her house - I'm actually reading the psychologists report saying that she recommended I get custody of my four children. It is pretty much a profile, though slightly off, with me looking down. But I digress (and aren't you surprised!)

Anyway, I am wishing now that I had a 'before' picture from last August when we started Weight Watchers. It would have been best without a shirt so you could really see the difference. At least that is what I'm thinking. But I don't have one. And I'm having a hard time really seeing the changes. I know the numbers, I feel the difference in a lot of areas. But I can't see it myself. When I look in the mirror, I still see the gut. Sitting here there is still the big roll of fat around my middle - at least half of what I have to lose is in my gut.

I've said the same things about watching the kids grow up - with the gradual changes, you just don't see it until you can compare it to old pictures - it is when you don't see them for a while that you notice the changes much much more.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

of mice and men

i.e. the best laid plans. Gone astray.

One of the challenges of being a father that I've encountered lately is actually finding some meaningful ways to spend time with my children. The oldest is the biggest challenge. Actually the real oldest child is my step-daughter - and I only see her once a year or so. Unfortunately that relationship never was what I would have liked it to be - but when she officially became my step-daughter the same week she graduated high school - well there isn't much childhood left there, and not much real father/daughter time to be spent. I love her and want the best for her in everything, but we'll never have that close relationship that you build from childhood.

My oldest is also in college, so it is hard to spend time with him because he simply isn't here. He is finding his own life, and trying to make his own way. He is making lots of mistakes on the way, but then that is part of life. Like his step-sister - he isn't here most of the time, so I can't spend time with him, quality or any other type.

My daughter, that is a completely different story - see my other blog for all the details there. Suffice to say that I've seen her twice in the last 18 months, and don't know when I'll see her again, but it will be quite some time before we can be spending any time together.

That leaves my two younger boys. The middle boy gives me a challenge - in so many ways he is so much like me at his age, and one of them (unfortunately) seems to be that he and his father (like me and my father) can't seem to find anything to talk about. And though we are very similar, we don't seem to have quite the same passions. I've had the hardest time finding things to do with him.

So a few weeks ago, Diane suggested I take him to see Rent, and we used one of her closings for the tickets to tonights show. He seems to like the movie and the music, and I'll take him to dinner first. I think we'll have a good time. A couple of years ago I took him to a Wierd Al Yankovic concert - that was also a lot of fun.

But the youngest has his nose out of joint, as my father used to say. He admits I do spend a lot of time with him, but he never gets to do the 'big' things with me. So then Diane saw that they always have a 'limited' number of Rent tickets available 2 hours before showtime, and thought "Mike can take him tomorrow night". Except she called, and the line for tonights cheap tickets started forming at 10:00 am today. The tickets don't go on sale until 6:00 pm, and most of the people in line won't get them, as there aren't that many.

So that idea died. But I remembered seeing Spamalot is coming - so I'll grab those tickets, and take him to that (we took the family to see it in Chicago, but he would love to see it again). But I can't find the tickets. Nowhere. Then Diane points me to the site, I click on it, and see it. April 17-22nd. 2008. shit. A year from now. We'll have to do it then, but that leaves me with nothing for him once again. *sigh*

Yes, I know the important thing is being there for them, doing the little things. Playing games with them, and my youngest wants to play games all the time. Constantly if he could. I took him to the last Confrontation tournament, and he didn't come in last (even winning his 3rd game). But the big events are cool too.

So now to figure out what to do with him. Looking for concerts he would like that I can stand - I don't see any. Maybe just a day at King's Island when it opens this year. Took me forever to find one thing, now I need another already.

update - hehehe - got an idea - but I'll keep it under my hat until I can get the tickets next weekend.