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Two O Tree

So the Regional Final was last night in Paris, Illinois. During a pretty good snow (I hesitate to say "snow storm"--we in the midwest know what a "snow storm" is, and even a steady six inches of snow over several hours really isn't a "storm"). It took a long time to drive there, and much longer to get home.

And we lost. Our boys were just worn out. I'll keep the rest of the opinions and commentary to myself but will say this--in a few years when our boys are in high school and have Papa as their coach, they won't lose games to the kids that will evolve from the kids we played last night.

No big deal.

So we all stayed home today--no school for the kids because of the snow, and the redhead feels awful. We were going to drive up to work for the latter part of the day but Susan told Betsy to just stay home (and then there's no point for me to go anywhere, of course).

Our neighbor Pete had cleared our driveway this morning before we got up with his mower and plow attachment. He did everything but the walk (too narrow) and the three or four feet closest to the garage door, which he can't really get to with the door down.

Well this morning I went to the store to get stuff for breakfast, and as I was driving down the street he was coming the other way (he had been clearing someone else's drive, apparently) and he waved and I waved big and mouthed "THANK YOU PETE!" as I drove by and he gave me the thumbs up. Well, while I was at the store, with the garage door up, he cleared that part out before going home. It's fantastic to have at least some very cool neighbors.

So I baked cookies.

Yep, you read that right. I baked chocolate chip cookies today. Fun fact you don't know about me--I have the chocolate chip cookie recipe memorized. And yes, use butter flavored Crisco instead of butter and your cookies will turn out better too.

And yes, this is one of the few times I eat "sweets" (which totally baffles my daughter) and also one of the few times I drink milk, which normally pretty much disgusts me. A dozen or so cookies and two or three pints of milk, and I've already covered my quota of (unfermented) sugar for the year, as well as my quota for milk (blech). But it was all good. And well worth it.

I put a dozen or so cookies on a plate and covered them in foil and put my shoes on to wait for Pete to get home from work. He lives south of us and arrives from work from the south so I know he's home when his lights run up the side of our garage. I hurried over there to catch him getting out of his truck and thanked him for clearing the driveway. He thanked me for the cookies and then thanked me for taking care of all of the leaves when he's not around. How cool is that?

So I went out and weighed myself today. :)

Two hundred three. I can't take too much credit because of course I've been sick, but I've lost 7 of my 25 pounds. And it isn't February yet.

I've been sort of doing the Jared diet. My initial idea was to eat Jimmy John's for lunch, but Jimmy John's is about as good for me as McDonald's is. Tons of fat, tons of calories, and tons of sodium.

Not Subway. There's a reason Jarod is skinny.

I actually tried something different Tuesday and instead of getting a Subway Club I got a six-inch roast beef. It has fewer calories and grams of fat. Want to know why? THREE pieces of meat. Yep. I was starving by 2:00 in the afternoon. But this works! It's not like I'm going to order more food in the middle of the afternoon while I'm at work!

I've been skipping breakfast. Or just having a bagel or something. I'm not minding the hungry part. It's like being sore from lifting weights--every time my stomach growls, I'm on battery power, and burning away my reserves. Great!

I'm also to the point where I'm not even able to eat as much at dinner. Stomach shrinking already? Who knows. I'm not worrying about that sort of stuff--I'm just going to keep what I'm doing. I'm walking every day at lunch to get my measly sandwich from Subway, and I'm upbeat about it.

It'd be great if I could lose another 10 pounds just by doing this by the time the weather gets at least tolerable, and then start exercising, whether by walking a few miles every night or by picking up the weights after work.

I think I'm going to drop one of my two courses this semester.

Let me back up. I'm going to drop one of my two courses this semester. The instructor seems like WAY too much of a ball-buster, and there's group projects involved (I *hate* group projects--let me do my own work and prove myself without relying on god knows who to help or not help).

And quite frankly, I get a little irritated with the closed-book "proctored" exam scenario as well. I realize that with on-line learning it might be more difficult to judge how "fair" a student is being on exams and such, but this is a field that lends itself to not being able to cheat. I don't know if I can explain it correctly, but if you're not spending the entire semester evaluating how students are doing week to week, requiring a final exam that be proctored doesn't make things fairer. I don't know. I'm biased because I actually really, really want to learn this stuff and don't care just about getting a good grade.

I'm almost 40 years old. I'm hardly going to cheat on a test just to get a good grade. Hell, I bet twenty bucks I'm older than the assistant professor that is teaching the class.

(The class is question involves wireless networking--which sounds really cool to me because I'd love to learn more about it. But not at a ball-buster level. I have a full-time job and another class to take--I don't need that.)

I guess I've made up my mind.

Any time my sinuses want to stop hurting and bleeding would be GREAT.

New Orleans next week. Yikes. I hope there aren't any huge flocks of birds by CMI when we go to take off....

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2009, 3:38 am
Mood: Fantastic | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment

Lots of Basketball

So I am fully conscious that the amount of time I've wasted on Facebook updates has seriously inhibited my blogging. I've been on FB for a short while--this blog has been around since August of 2004. I can't give up my blog. And I know, it isn't the same thing. Status updates are no match for two page blog posts. I guess I feel that if I update on FB I'm given a pass for the day on the Nerdriumblog.

Well here's what has gone on the past few days... Friday I got sick. Fabulous. I claim that I "never" get sick, because I rarely do. My joke is always that when you go to the doctor and they give you a shot the first thing they do is rub alcohol on your arm to kill germs. Keep enough alcohol in you, I've said, and you won't ever get sick.

And no, I really don't drink that much, but I'm not a teetotaller, and my theory is pretty funny.

Except that I really don't get sick often. And when I do, yikes.

Alex has been walking around hacking and coughing for weeks. And it finally got to me. Oh well.

Thank the Lords of Cobol for NyQuil (nighttime and daytime....).

So Saturday we had to go to the first game of of the seventh-grade boys' regional tournament in Paris, Illinois. "Fun, I've never been to Paris before." Ba dum bum. It was about 45 minutes to an hour away. And the directions that the coach gave me personally were a bit confusing, so we got lost.

A funny aside... As we rolled into Paris (from the wrong side and going the wrong way) I saw their population sign--9,100. "Wow, so Paris is big," I said. Busted. The redhead thought that was funny. Apparently I'm a hick now. I grew up in a town of almost 50,000 people that was 15 minutes (or up to 2 hours, depending on when you were going) from one of the 25 largest cities in the world, and I remarked that Paris, Illinois was a big town. Whoops.

So we drove around for a few minutes (a town of 9,100 still isn't *that* big...) and after backing up illegally at an intersection and cutting across some lanes I probably shouldn't have, we found the school.

We got there with about 2:00 left in the second quarter (they play four 6-minute quarters, FWIW). We were losing by a bunch--like 28-10 or something. And we (as parents, who are awful) could have been happy either way. They lose, and we're done driving halfway across the state for more games; they win, and well, great for them! They struggled to come back and ended up winning by one point! Woo hoo!

As it turned out, the redhead had Illinois basketball tickets from work that nobody was using and at the last minute she decided that she didn't want to go. I hollered at Lucas' dad during a time out (well, sort of--my voice was all but gone) and asked him if he was free that evening for the game. So an hour or two after we got back from the kids' game Tony picked me up, we went to BW3 in Savoy for a few beers, and off to the game we went. Great game! It was close most of the way and then we pulled out a great win against a good Wisconsin team (they are better than their record lets on). That night Jodi and Tony and the kids came over and we had a glass or two of wine before Tony was ready to fall asleep and all the cold medicine finally caught up with me.

Yesterday I took two naps and pretty much spent the rest of the time on the couch in long underwear and eating soup.

So tonight was game two of the eight-team tourney bracket. We were up against Arcola, who beat us twice during the regular season and (we think) didn't lose a game this year. The redhead and I were both somewhat certain (okay, at least I was) that this was going to be the end of the road.

We got there before tip-off, which was cool. The score at the end of the first quarter was something like 11-1 and we were winning! It was closer to 15- or 17-1 in the second quarter before Arcola started scoring.

The game was great. The two huge kids on their team both got into foul trouble very early on, and one of them fouled out during the third quarter (and threw a fit). Alex didn't play much, because the five starters saw a lot of minutes, but he played well when he was in there, and we're team people and are happy as we can be that the team won. It was a very satisfying win--they stopped calling fouls with about 2 minutes left in the game, our coach told the kids to quit running the ball up the court and trying to score, and the scorekeepers kept the clock running during free throws and out-of-bounds plays, etc. The game ended as Noah stood on the free-throw line waiting for his first shot. We won my almost 30. And now move on to play in the Regional Championship!

(And the parental downside is that we have to drive back to Paris tomorrow, and if we accidentally win that game then we move on to Sectionals next week. So much for "one and done.")

Things at work are good. The redhead and I are both pretty sure our jobs are much more than safe. If the world can just get through the next two years or so, it'll all be good.

I'm doing well on my savings goal. The only thing impeding it is that I'm trying to throw more money than the normal monthly-deposit to our mutual funds because I'm convinced that the stock market has to be close to bottom. The more I can buy in now, the better.

I also am pretty sure I'm losing weight. A six-inch "Subway Club" on white bread every day for lunch isn't much food for a guy like me (NO mayo, NO cheese, only lettuce, tomato, onion, and dijon mustard--and don't tell me that dijon mustard has tons of calories--giving up the mayo and cheese is ridiculous enough. Well, and giving up the other six inches of the sandwich...). Today the girl must have been new because she put the two pieces of turkey on the bread, the one piece of ham, and then picked up three pieces of roast beef, put the first two down and I thought "do it... DO IT NOW!" before she glanced up at the sandwich-making cheat sheet and put the third piece of beef back into the "beef bin." Damn.

I just wish I'd get over this cold or whatever it is.

I have to get in a plane and fly somewhere soon. I'm already starting to have that on my "worry RADAR" (RADAR is an acronym and should correctly be capitalized, yes?).

Heh. Sorry to keep this dragging on, but the rest of the family has gone to bed and I'm having a glass of wine and waiting for the NyQuil to kick in so I can get some damn sleep.

Anyway, the redhead told me in the car this morning that she was reading a short story in a book that her mom gave her and it was sort of nerdy and talked about Neal Stephenson and that it was about two guys that started a software company, and one of them got huffy with the other one about selling their software and that it should be free, etc., or something like that. "They talked about Stephenson and somebody named... " (I immediately guessed that she was going to say RMS...) "...uh, Hoffman or Bartman or something."

And no, I don't remember the last names she threw out there.

"Stallman?" I said. Yep, that was it.

My poor wife. We were at Philo Road and Windsor in Urbana and still about 10 minutes from her office and she had to listen to an explanation (albeit a short explanation, on a galactic level) about RMS and free software and the FSF and "free as in speech, not free as in beer" and GNU-slash-Linux versus just "Linux" and the "hurd" kernel that doesn't work, and Unix, and well, you might get the idea.

Sorry honey.

Okay, now I'll go screw with Facebook. I should make that deal with myself--do my bloggety goodness and then mess with Facebook. After all, "Michael has been watching a lot of basketball and is still sick." doesn't nearly do the justice to what is going on in my life that this post does.


Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 3:45 am
Mood: Cough, Cough | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment

Great Day!

I can't describe how great I feel right now. I admit that I was happy when Dubya beat Gore, because I was really, really tired of the Clintons and their ilk. I didn't have the same happiness when Dubya beat Kerry, because, well, Kerry was a stupid choice by the Democrats and it's their own fault they lost that one.

But I'm really happy now. I think history will be kinder on Bush Jr. than the media has been these past 8 years. After we got attacked on 9/11 the terrorists, and the world, needed a boot in their ass. I don't know that we needed eight years of that, but I don't blame Bush for Afghanistan, or even Iraq. Whether or not Saddam had WMDs (and whether or not we found them when we went in, he did have them at some point), he was a bad guy. An awful, evil person.

Okay, enough about Bush. I hope he enjoys his life as a regular person again. If he's ever in east central Illinois, I'll be happy to have a beer with him.

I'm ecstatic that we have our new president. It's just fantastic.

I'm excited because he hasn't been in politics forever. He's not a Bush, or a Gore, or a Clinton. We very much needed new blood.

Anyway. This is a great day for our country.

And a great day for the World Famous Lawn Rangers from Amazing Arcola! My boss' husband (who's also a Mac guy, btw) was one of the few that got to march in the parade today. What fun!

I didn't see him on the great-but-not-that-great CNN feed at work, I think, but very cool nonetheless. Great that Obama and his people have a sense of humor. I mean, I like watching bands, but how many bands do you need to watch?

I'm very optimistic about our next four (hopefully eight if things go well) years. I don't even know how to express myself right now.

Let's just say this:

Woo hoo!

Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 2:58 am
Mood: Awesome | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

End of Weekend--Not!

In an odd set of circumstances, the kids have school tomorrow, but the redhead and I both get the day off in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I told the redhead when she was making dinner that we should get every Monday off--it makes for a great Sunday!

Well I didn't finish my wiring project downstairs. Which is fine. I had to cut out a strip of ceiling drywall and take a chunk out of the wall as well, and I drilled through some studs and joists but still can't get the romex to "turn the corner," so to speak. So rather than getting worked up about it, I stopped for the day.

Besides, there was football on. What a great Eagles v. Cardinals game! I'm not necessarily a fan of either. I like McNabb but it's also fun that the Cardinals get to go to the Super Bowl. Good for them!

Right now I'm waiting for the redhead to get to a stopping point in the book she's reading so we can start a movie. The flick for the evening is Munich and I can't wait to see it. Surely it will be better than our last two attempts--300 and 10,000 b.c.. I'm not sure how the latter movie entered our NetFlix queue, but I was actually looking forward to the former, mostly because it caused such an angry reaction from a certain ethic group. Needless to say, I fell asleep early on during both movies.

I don't think that will be the case tonight.

And you know, I go back and forth with the whole Israeli/Palestinian "thing." I realize each "side" claims persecution by the other. I don't know. And of course the heart of it all is religion. Yeesh. Well, either way it sounds like a good spy flick. So we'll see.

Oop. Time to start the movie (the sooner the better--it's almost 3 hours long....).

Posted: Monday, January 19, 2009, 12:17 am
Mood: Relaxed | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment


Well, I was pondering what to do today to pass the time until the football games start this afternoon.

I think I'll tackle the wiring mess in the basement.

Because the basement is half-underground, the walls behind the bottom half of the drywall are made up of cinder blocks, while the top half are the normal 2 x 4 studs and insulation, etc., that one would expect. Because of this, when the house was built, the outlets on the outside walls are all four feet (or so) off the ground, so that there was no necessity to futz with boring holes into concrete blocks, etc.

Well, when the original owners built that god-awful closet structure, they wanted there to be a light inside. So they took out the outlet that was on that wall, ran a wire to the side of the closet for a switch, then ran that wire up the inside of the closet to a light fixture.

When we removed the track lighting from the upstairs hallway it was decided that I'd put it in the ceiling downstairs, since there really isn't any overhead lighting there. I ran a switch wire out of the closet and put in a new light switch at the top of the stairs and then cut a hole in the ceiling inside the closet to run a wire out to where I installed the light fixture. Easy enough.

But now the closet is gone. So all those wires that were hidden in the walls of the closet now need to be put back into the actual walls. And, yes, I'm certain that if Villa Grove had a city inspector and if that inspector came to our house, that no, they wouldn't approve of me having live wires dangling about with just wire nuts holding them together. Kids, don't touch.

So today I think I'll get started on this project. I'm going to have a lot of drywall repair to do anyway.

I think I'm going to modify the box as well.

If we do decide to build a bar down there, this wall will be behind said bar. I think rather than just running the wire up inside the wall for the light switch that I'll put in a double-wide box and reinstall an outlet here. I think I'll also make the switch for the ceiling fixture a three-way switch and put a rheostat down here that can also control the lights.

First things first, I need to get the wires where they need to go.

Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2009, 3:28 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Why I Hate Flying

You know, a miracle happened today. I don't believe in "miracles." What talent by the pilot. But this is why I fricking am scared to death about the prospect of flying.

I have to fly to New Orleans in a few weeks. Through Dallas. The first "leg" is on a regional jet from the University airport. If it's as cold as it is today, or if there's lots of snow, or if it's foggy, or if there's any question, I'm not going. I'll stay here. No way.

So I had a ball at the game last night. Coach Vandy and I went to BW3 after work to have a few Newcastles and ran into some friends (well, I knew Coach Hooker, of course, but not really any of the rest of the people that we saw or that stopped by our table).

Miller had a promotion that night and we got tickets to ride a bus from the bar to the game, which was cool, because it was cold and the bus would get us a lot closer to the door and we wouldn't have to mess with parking, etc., etc.

It was a fantastic game. The lead went back and forth and was close for the first three-quarters of the game. Then we blew it open. A great victory against those awful people from Ann Arbor. Oskee wow wow!

We were planning on going back into BW3 and having a beer or two after the bus trip back from the Hall but Tony and I were both yawning on the bus and decided that returning to our prospective homes would probably be the best bet.

What a fun evening, however.

So the other day an old college fraternity friend of mine posted an interesting "what am I doing now" line on his Facebook page, something to the effect of "waiting for all of the idiots who don't believe in global warming to come out of the woodwork about how cold it is right now" or something like that.

I bristled slightly.

Yes, any time the weather goes way up or way down for a day or two one way or the other is no indication of anything, and both times I tend to agree that people are making assumptions one way or the other with too little data.

Both sides.

I'm a bit turned off by the "OMG ur an IDIOT if you don't agree with global warming, I mean climate change, I mean 'something is going on'!!!"

The earth is a pea that is pulled, by gravity, around a basketball that is undergoing a huge nuclear (?) reaction that is billions of billions of billions of times more powerful than the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. Our orbit fluctuates. The heat and radiation output of the sun fluctuates. We've gone through heating periods and ice ages multiple times over millions of years, well before anybody invented cars or coal-fired energy plants.

I don't necessarily buy it.

I recycle. The redhead and I carpool back and forth to work. I want to install a solar panel on the roof of my golf cart for crying out loud.

But don't chastise me for disagreeing about global warming and what is causing what. Sorry, for not agreeing outright without thinking about it. There's a lot to this. Our greatest problems have been solved by people disagreeing with each other. And it is insulting to have the one side tell everyone that doesn't agree with them that some born-and-raised politician from Tennessee is now some scientific expert (that same politician who couldn't even win his own state, even against someone who would later prove to be somewhat of a doofus).

Should we do a better job recycling? Agreed. Should we try to have more fuel-efficient cars? Agreed.

But don't ever get on my case because I don't follow Al Gore like he's some kind of scientific expert.

I'm allowed to disagree. I should be encouraged to disagree. I'm glad Al Gore disagrees with the status quo. So as a society let's talk about it.

But don't fricking then lambast me because I don't agree with you. You want to discuss? (Heh, not really me v. Al Gore, of course) Let's discuss. But if the discussion starts "How can you not understand this? They did core samples in Antarctica and the carbon levels blah blah blah..." Who decided that anybody knew the carbon levels a million years ago? Or whatever. They keep showing ozone layer levels or some such from the last five years. Five years? I don't remember my statistics notation, but data for five years of the Earth's existence against the number of years that the Earth has been around, is not statistically significant.

I don't care that it is cold right now. That has nothing to do with it. I'm fully aware that, technically, if "global warming" were going to happen, it would get cold before it got hotter--the increased temperature would melt the polar ice caps, the temperature in the oceans would decrease greatly, the jetstream would get ultra-cool, and we'd all be in for a treat for a long, long time.

None of that is happening. And the cold days now aren't that out of the ordinary over the last 10, 20, 100, 10,000 years any more than the 100+ days are out of the ordinary 10, 20, --you get the idea.

Be smarter about the environment, yes.

I've planted seven new trees at my house in the last four or five years. Some of them were even volunteers that I plucked from a garden and grew in a pot for a year before planting.

Sorry for the tirade.

I don't refer to people that think "global warming" or "climate change" is the catastrophic thing that they think it is by calling them names or challenging how smart they are.

Just because I don't buy it doesn't mean I should be called names or griped at either.

And I didn't say that the global warming people are 100% wrong. I just need more proof. And temperature levels over the past few years, or CO2 levels from some glacier, aren't good enough either.

Okay, bed time.

Posted: Friday, January 16, 2009, 6:15 am
Mood: Argumentative | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment

Dead Server, Again

My Fedora Linux server is dead, again. Groan. I think that the hard drive controller (well, the main ATA/IDE bus) is screwed up. I'll see if I can reformat the two drives tomorrow and if that's the case, I doubt that they are the culprit.

Which means a new motherboard.

The obvious thing to do would be to get a new motherboard for the Windoze PC and use that motherboard for the Fedora machine.

But the Fedora box is using a Pentium 4 processor and the Windoze PC is using an Athlon 64. While both *can* stand to be upgraded, neither are obsolete. I can't see that anyone still sells new Socket 478 Intel motherboards (I'll go and check newegg...). Okay, they have one, but it is $60 (I'm cheap when it comes to the Fedora box), and I'd need new RAM and a new video card (I currently have SDRAM and an AGP card and the new one is DDR RAM and PCI express). So that'd be sort of dumb.

The other option would be to move all the Windows box hardware to the Fedora machine and rebuild the Windows box. Yikes. Not fortunes, but not money I was planning on spending anytime soon.

And to then have to retire a 1.6 GHz Pentium 4 processor, and a perfectly good AGP video card (uh, ATI 7500 maybe?), and a good amount of SDRAM--for running a Linux box--that seems silly.

Sure, I could stand to rebuild the Windows PC to upgrade it to a faster Athlon processor, faster RAM, and to the newer PCI express video card standard, but that's several hundred bucks. I want a Callaway BIg Birtha Driver more than I want a new machine configuration (OMG, does that affect my geek cred?).

Especially considering that Alex has an XBox 360 now, there's no reason for me to keep beefing up the PeeCee so that he can play games--he's got XBox Live and the whole nine yards so the processor and video card should work just fine for now. Let's plan an upgrade for next year at the soonest.

Remember that I'm still using a Quicksilver G4 (733 MHz! with four hard drives and 1.5 gigs of RAM with a second video card and three 19" flat panel monitors) for my main machine at home. When was that made--2001? It is still viable, and just now really showing it's age. (And it's just too slow to run the newest version of OS X...).

So throwing away a 64-bit Athlon processor that operates as fast as a 3.0 GHz Intel processor seems a bit silly.

I'll get to figuring out the Fedora box at some point. I'm more interested in getting the remodeling done downstairs.

But speaking of "geek cred"....

We cancelled our umpteen movie channels through cable and instead ordered NetFlix. It's actually pretty cool, and our local "mail center" (or whatever it is) is in Springfield, so we have a really, really fast turnaround (I don't know if that is or is not the case with everyone else around the country or if we're just lucky).

Over Christmas break the redhead decided that we should try to upgrade our geek cred, so we rented a couple of geek movies along with some of the other stuff that was in our queue. First, we watched Soylent Green. I'd never seen the whole movie at once, but have seen bits and pieces of it over the years, and of course knew the story and eventual outcome, so it was neat to get to watch the whole thing start to finish. What a weird movie.

It's always interesting to watch what people in the 1960s thought the future would hold.

Next we watched THX 1138. Another weird, weird movie. While we know "which came first" this seemed somewhat similar to The Island (starring young Obi Wan Kenobi). Or put correctly, The Island seemed like a rip-off of it. Sort of.

We also watched Excalibur which was on HBO all the time when I was in junior high back in Elmhurst. An al nothroq, uth vas bethod, doquiel dienme. An al nothroq, uth vas behtod, doquiel dienme. I've been repeating that for years around the house and now the redhead finally knows what I'm talking about. "BEHOLD! The sword of power! Excalibur! Forged when the Earth was young, and bird and beast and flower were one with man, and death was but a dream...." I obviously just spell the "spell of making" as it has sounded to me all these years (I never read the book), so forgive me if it doesn't match how the words are actually spelled in Gaelic or whatever.

Still not sure how the guy and the Duke's full plate mail...well, hmm. Odd.

Apparently we might have four tickets for Illinois vs. Michigan on Wednesday. That would be awesome. It should be a good game.

Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 3:29 am
Mood: Mildly Perturbed | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment


So here I was eating Jimmy John's every day and assuming it was sooo much better for me to be eating a sandwich than, say, McDonald's.

Not quite.

#9, Italian Night Club (my favorite): 975 calories, 52 grams of fat, and 2763 milligrams of sodium. (As opposed to a Big Mac, which has 540 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 1040 milligrams of sodium.)

Try this from Subway instead:

6" Subway Club on White bread: 320 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 1290 milligrams of sodium.*

I'm going to be starving by 2:00 p.m.

And being hungry is the whole curse behind all of this to begin with. When my college career (the first time around) was waning, I was having all sorts of money problems, and I didn't eat a lot of the time (I know, I know, get out your sympathy violin). The McDonald's on Green Street would occasionally have 29 cent hamburgers, and I'd have three hamburgers for lunch, and that was what I ate that day. Sometimes I'd get cheapo soft tacos from Taco Johns down the street. I was hungry a lot. And once I finished up college, and got a career, I think my body decided that there was no need to ever feel like that--feel truly "hungry"--ever again.

So now I'm a wubba because I eat too much and I drink too much. Fun!

I had a bagel for breakfast this morning. I've been hungry for about two hours. I'm going to have this six inch Subway sandwich and I'm going to be hungry by mid-afternoon.

If my brain could convince my body that I'm not actually "starving" and that I could go get more food if I really wanted to I think this would work better. Don't worry, we're not starving--I can go to McDonald's right this very second and buy enough food to make me sick. We're not going to die of starvation.


The whole reason I meant to blog this morning was because I finally, finally finished Cryptonomicon. Technically I guess I started it seven years ago when I was working for Illinois Power, but I really started it up again a month or so ago (I've re-started it from the beginning three times). Reading five pages a day while sitting in the car waiting for the redhead at the end of the work day doesn't really make a dent in a book that is almost a thousand pages long. Well last Sunday (not yesterday--8 days ago) I hunkered down and chugged through the last 300 pages or so. All in all, it really was a great read.

Well Em brought home a book from her homeroom teacher that was supposed to be given to Gwammo to read (no idea why) and since I had finished up Cryptonomicon I picked it up and read it throughout the day Saturday and finished it up yesterday morning. Eyes of Darkness (or something like that) by Dean Koontz. Yeesh. What a difference to go from Cryptonomicon to Dean Koontz. My daughter writes more compelling stories than that. He has this lawyer character explain after he pours a glass of brandy for the protagonist how he can't make mixed drinks--something to the effect of not being able to mix vodka and orange juice properly. On the very next page he's going on and on about how he's this great gourmet cook and can cook just about anything. What? I know I tend to have a problem with suspension of disbelief from time to time, but seriously.

"It was at that moment that he knew he loved her." Oh gross. What-ever. You met her yesterday. Because she argued with you about staying in the car or not and was adamant that she was coming along to "check out" the mortuary? Puh-leeze.

Not that I expected more, but it was just sort of funny. And of course the redhead made fun of me the entire time. "I have shelves full of literary fiction and you're reading Dean Koontz." Well?

So right now I'm getting ready to start either Choke or Survivor (probably the latter) by Chuck Palahniuk, who also wrote Fight Club. I like reading books. I'm not sure why I ever stopped, or maybe, why I ever stopped making the time to sit down and read.

I think I'll go weigh myself this evening, though I'm guessing I'll still be right at two-ten. Oh well.

*Yeah, I'm an idiot and can't read nutrition charts correctly. Initially I had the Subway sandwich information listed incorrectly because I misunderstood and thought they listed meat and bread separately and you had to add them together--anyone with a brain can probably look at their web site and tell that that is obviously not the case...

Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009, 5:56 pm
Mood: Hungry | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment


So I've been a bad blogger this past week because of something called "Facebook." Sure, I created an account way-back-when but never used it much. Now my old fraternity brothers are coming out of the woodwork, partly because of the problems we have with the chapter house and that whole situation. The situation itself is unfortunate, but it is neat to see how many people still care so vehemently about the preservation of our house and our chapter. Of course, half of them are bankers and lawyers and such, and I'm just a lowly web developer. Ho hum.

Well I don't know if I've lost any weight, but I have been eating much better and haven't been drinking nearly as much. We made it through our first week of not going out and spending gobs of money on lunch, so I've been getting my daily mile-long walk at lunch to get a sandwich, get to EDUC, and get back to work.

And to that end, I'm now an eighth of the way to my other resolution, and I haven't even hit my payday yet. Maybe a 52" LCD television is in my future? Actually, it might be, but not with this money. This is just the impetus I need to have a fluid savings account going. Anyway.

Hopefully the stock market will quit going down. This is getting ridiculous.

Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009, 4:06 pm
Mood: Optimistic | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Much Too Heavy

Okay, since I'm being brutally honest, and forcing myself to keep to follow my mandates by making this all totally public information, I went to the in-laws' to weigh myself tonight (they have a big, round old-time scale that has to be much more accurate than our bathroom scale).

210. Two-hundred and ten pounds.

I'm a hair shorter than 5'8".


25 pounds will get me to 185 (did I mention how good I am at math?). Probably still not as low as I should be, but at this point Dr. Lee can't be a beggar or a chooser. We'll get to 185 and see what happens.

I joked tonight to the redhead, as I opened a beer, that I have 365 days to lose 25 pounds--that means I can slack off for 340 days and then lose a pound a day for the last month or so.

Seriously. 25 pounds is about two pounds a month. That has to be doable.

The start of the "new lunch situation" that was supposed to help remedy both parts one and two of my New Year's Resolution didn't happen today, on what is essentially day ONE since we went back to work today. Well, sort of. We got a $25 gift card to Red Lobster and we used it today.


My salad was good. I ordered fried catfish. It might have been fried once, but certainly not before we arrived at the restaurant. I mean, it was okay, but not crisp and the flavor is nowhere near as good as the stuff Marc and I pull out of Lake Mattoon. And it was one flimsy, tiny fillet. The worst part was the fries. The redhead said (I asked her to taste one) that they tasted like they had been baked in an oven. I'm pretty sure they had been fried, but again, it was like somebody fried 20 pounds of fries at 10:00 this morning and then put the whole mess of them under a heat lamp. Gross.

And our waitress, who was nice and energetic getting our drinks and taking our order and bringing our food, never came back and asked us how the food was. And I probably would have been polite and simply stated that the fish was "fine" and not mentioned the gross-ness of the fries (I don't need fries anyway, right?).

Out of habit, I still tipped her over 25%. Oh well.

So Alex has been sick for a few days and went to the doctor with Grandma today and got a prescription and was out cold when we got home tonight. The redhead wasn't feeling well--and suspects whatever it is she had for lunch at Blech Lobster--and she made chicken and noodles for her and Em along with green beans and turkey bacon, etc. I cooked a chicken breast for myself and was going to have a chicken sandwich. And yes, it was gross.

Perhaps that's the way to lose weight--keep ordering and eating gross stuff.

Jesus, Buckeyes--play some damn defense already! What the heck is going on?!?

Dammit. That's the end of this game. Oh well.

"Twenty-oh-one?" Since when does anyone refer to the year 2001 as "twenty-oh-one?" Maybe I've been away from Chicago too long (I have the WGN news on...). I'll give you that Rush's album "2112" is pronounced (at least by me?) "twenty-one twelve. But anyone I've ever known has referred to our recent years as, e.g., two-thousand and eight. Anyway.

Twenty-five pounds. Or oh-oh-two-five.

Oh gawd. The Bears offered Rod Marinelli a job. Figures. And we wonder why we suck year after agonizing year? He just coached a team to the first-ever 0-16 season! I don't even want to hear that it wasn't all his fault. If not, it was mostly his.

Okay, no more blabbing on my part.

Posted: Tuesday, January 06, 2009, 3:57 am
Mood: Concerned | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment


I am not normally one to make New Year resolutions. This year, however, I am going to make three.

1. Lose 25 pounds. The small amount of exercise I used to get every day has now turned into just about zero exercise. I need to do something.

2. Save $2,000. I opened an on-line HSBC savings account last year but haven't really had a chance to put much money in it. The point of it was to make it slightly more difficult to transfer money from, unlike our savings accounts at the bank and credit union. I need to get into a better habit of saving. And to that end, I'm cutting way back on eating out for lunch. That should help with resolution number one as well.

3. Never again spend money on something that I don't have the money for in my hand. It does nothing but cause stress and problems. I need to be a better consumer and saver and stop with the "have to have it now" mentality.

We'll see how it goes.

Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009, 12:47 am
Mood: Hopeful | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment

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