Losing Weight, Gaining Perspective
July 9, 2009, 5:03 am
Filed under: Diet, Food | Tags: , , , , ,
Skinnier is the new first class....

Skinnier is the new first class....

Not really a serious post, but I thought I’d share some perspective or nuggets of wisdom that I’ve picked up lately from my experiences losing weight.

I’ve been on weight watchers since February, there are many reasons that brought me to this decision.  One of the big ones is the sinking (more squeezing) feeling I experienced at a trade show in San Diego.  I was as sick as I’d been in a long, long time and trying to get my company’s booth assembled.  I had a fever around 102 and probably should have been home in bed.  Miserable was a word that came easily to mind as I tried to assemble the contents of six red and black fiber cases surrounding me.  A task that normally took about two hours was taking around four hours.  In the depth of my pity party, I went to step around the back of the booth to plug in some of the electrical items.  I found myself unable to slip through a relatively generous sized gap around the side of the booth.  I quickly realized that my portable party keg I kept around my waist was preventing me from moving forward.  That moment of clarity coupled with the epiphany that my immune system probably wasn’t in much better shape hit me pretty hard.  So, I made the decision to lose weight and I have.  36 pounds in fact.  Only 48 pounds to go!

Things I realized losing weight:

Fat ain’t pretty – Well, at least, from all the positive reinforcement I’ve been getting.  “Viddy, have you lost weight?”  “Viddy, you look great!”  “Did you cut your hair?”  That last one threw me a bit, but I have gotten it a couple of times.  My guess is that proportional to my food storage compartment, my hair must have looked something like the green leafy stem of a tomato…Small, sparse, and leaving the observer to wonder why they bothered.   Seriously, if I am getting so many comments now, you have to wonder what the opposite of the comments I get now I must have been getting in various mental, one-sided dialogues else where.  “Viddy, you look like an XXL T-shirt model.”  “Wow, Viddy, that fat looks great on you.  Well, at least the parts I can see without walking around you.”  “Viddy, did you get a haircut?”

Positive Feedback and Dieting aren’t the same thing – Weight watchers is a great program and I love it.  I’ve recruited as many people as I can, because like Donkey from Shrek, I’m a believer.  It works.  However, the only flaw in the process is the negative feedback loop built into the point system.  You lose weight, you lose points.  Points equal food, and food equals blissful indulgence.  The less indulgence, the less fun a diet can be.  Other similar negative feedback loops include:

  • Dating  – The more you date the girl, the more you’re paying for her to eat, drink, and be entertained.  It’s like that guy that sleeps on your couch, but doesn’t spend the night.  You don’t kick him out because he’s funny and life affirming.(PS.  I’ve experienced that last one.  Not the dating, but the couch louch.)
  • Responsiblity – The more you got, the more you got to lose)
  • Losing weight – Ya, this is a double counter.  You lose weight, you lose the opportunity of wearing all your favorite clothes.  They don’t fit, and are left to be sold at a tent sale.  Depending on how big you were, they may be the actual tent.

Gravity Weakens the Skinnier You Are.  It’s amazing, since I’ve lost weight I’m able to leap single steps in a single bound. I can run and not feel like I”m going to puke afterward.  Stairs, a challenge for chubbier mortals and invitation to use the elevator, is what I call my preferred mode of escalation.  9.8 m/s2 has less of a hold on me now.

Y’All Should Move
November 5, 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: ,
Get Goin'!

Get Goin

Ladies and Gents, the votes are in and we woke up this morning with a new President-elect.  For better or for worse, he’s who we’ve got.  I won’t say at the moment who I voted for or why I voted the way I did.  However, I will say, I’ve heard a whole lot of Repubs threatening to move to all sorts of places because of the would-be socialist agenda of our President-elect.  When I’ve asked for examples, universally, people have named universal health care as an example.  Just a couple thoughts to keep in mind.

Go ahead and…

Move to Canada, it’s not like they don’t have a socialist system in place for Health care, the very one that you find so unappealing.  They’ve got such a stable government that supports a conservative agenda like the one the Repubs profess to believe, right?

Move to Japan, they’ve got the best sushi around.  And their education system is top notch, so you should hit that up.  Oops, they’ve got universal health care

Move to England, they’ve got a completely different system of government that may appeal to you more.  Pal around with Prince Harry, nice enough guy.  They do have that universal-like health care system, so you’ll have to figure out how to get around that.  But you know, they’ve never been known for great dental work so what’s the difference.

Move to Mexico, they’ve got the best Taco’s in the world.  If you don’t try Horchata or a bowl of Mole, you haven’t really lived.  Just make sure you don’t get sick, because they’ve got themselves a goal for Universal Health care by 2011.

Uh, I’m really trying to find a place for you all that want to escape the Swath of Socialism in government as its been put.  However, every place I wikipedia seems to indicate the major countries of the world seem to have adopted a Universal Health care system.  So, if that’s your big concern, I don’t quite know what to tell you.  However, if you got the cash, you can take the Cosmonaut express up to space.  And I know for a fact that there isn’t any Universal Health care or socialist agenda in the International Space Station.  However, if Boris is up there with you, he may tell you all about his mother country’s Universal Health care.

All I’m saying is that for all of you that fear socialist agendas, like Universal Health care, for worse or for better, most countries have already adopted them.  Personally, I don’t want a universal health care system, but the one we’ve got seems to be pretty unique in the first place.  So go ahead and move if you don’t like it here, but all I can say is I tried to help.  Looked all over, where I could find a standard of living equivalent to here.

I wish you the best of luck and I can recommend the Backpacks at http://www.REI.com, they’re the best!

If you don’t like it, let’s get Mitt’s 2012 campaign going, I’m there with ya!

I Hate It When People Can’t Hold Their Politics
October 3, 2008, 3:23 am
Filed under: Politics, Ramblings | Tags: ,
Im Your Contrasting Opinion

I'm Your Contrasting Opinion

Let’s get it on!  This is the second time in the last eight years where I have found myself supporting a candidate opposite of my own party.  This is the second time in two years that I have found myself underwhelmed by the mediocrity of debate and discussion of core topics so important to America.  This is the second time that members of my own party and let alone my own faith have shied away from debate and went straight to making it personal.

Politics stems back to the Greeks and the senate of Rome.  The philosophers of these times enjoyed the exploration of thought and debate.  For in the debate and the discussion, only then could one truly discover his/her opinions.  The nastiness of the debate between candidates has really soured my opinion of both individuals.  Furthermore, the greater nastiness of one candidate has truly soured me to this individual overall.  What truly saddens me is the inability of some of peers to refrain from practicing the very same nastiness and making personal the debate.

For those who choose to make it personal, they’re taking the easy way out in the debate.  To call names or make personal references to the validity or the intelligence of believing one way or another shows the narrow thinking of the accusatory individual.  If we are unable to discuss our thoughts and opinions from a calm and reasonable perspective, how are we to expect others to hear our own thoughts from a calmed and reasonable perspective.  Spending two years in a city populated with those that lived in stark contrast to my own personal beliefs, how could I expect tolerance on their part for my message if I was unwilling to listen with an open-mind their opinions.

Having an open-mind and willingness to listen is not the sign of sheep or lemming, but rather the sign of a thinker.  In a democracy, we should expect nothing less from our politicians and especially of each other than the ability to not only freely speak but debate the issues close to our own hearts.

So, stop taking potshots at me or others for the simple fact that we don’t share your opinions.  I’m not gonna force you to agree, nor will I force you to listen, but for crying out loud don’t make me feel like less of a person for the simple fact that I don’t agree with you.  Plus, now that we’re all adults lets step it up from Playground Debate Skills (Stupidface, doodoo head, and peabrain) and move on to the more mature (you silly man, addle-minded, rapscallion).

Why I watch West Wing reruns…
September 6, 2008, 7:35 am
Filed under: Life is Wierd, Ramble, Ramblings | Tags:
West Wing

West Wing

At some point during my high school curriculum we covered the medieval era and the subject of folk songs.  I believe there was another name for them, but in all you could label them as folk songs.  Essentially, without NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS people relied on something different than a box of wires.  If they heard a story from Tivo, then it probably came from some peasant or blacksmith that didn’t much care for naming his offspring.  I digress, the point is that the peasantry would share these stories with one another at home or in the drinking houses of their time.  They did this, said my teacher, to forget about the dark times in which they lived and escape their reality.  Many times since that conversation, I think about how TV and movies are our version of these folk songs.  These are our escapes from our personal realities.

In that spirit, I thought I might share why my own reality needs a little escaping.  The West Wing in my opinion is one of the best series ever written for television.  Spawned as a play for the stage, and adapted for the small screen, Aaron Sorkin depicts a bit of unreality in which politically people get things done.  The writing quick and witty.  At this very moment, my DVD is paused in the middle of a West Wing scene.  I like escaping to this unreality because of a love I have for noble causes.  A group of people working for what they think is a true, noble cause.  Also, it seems that these characters find so much more meaning in what they do when I compare it to my marketing of packaged lines of code to the corporate masses.

My unfavored reality aside, another reason for watching this show came to mind as I watched the Sarah Palin speech at the RNC.  Some would say she did a great job of rattling the ol’ saber pointing out faults in the democratic party from stage props to religion(or lack thereof).  She got them with her “I don’t know about these guys” grins and winks.  Her Alaskan charm melted the hearts of the GOP, and they soon were cheering loud enough for the five people in the town over which she was mayor could hear.  I thought of the West Wing how worked hard to point out that on both sides of the aisle people were trying to get things done.

Looking at the Democrats, there really isn’t much to look at over there either.  This is no Bush-Kerry election, but in the end we all end up saying that we’re picking the lesser of two evils.  Plato once said that true leaders are the ones that only lead because they are forced to because there is no one else to lead (paraphrasing).  This contest is sexy, especially with the addition of Mayor of Alaska (or is it Governor).  We’ve got precedent setting on a racial and gender basis occurring on both sides.  We can stand proud in the knowledge that candidates on both sides are running when a short time earlier in the history of this country this wouldn’t happen.  But where are these Platonic (I think that works) leaders.  Where’s my Colin Powell?  He chose not to lead for his own personal reasons, but he declined.  Let’s get him.  Where’s the guys/gals that stand firm on issues that evolved through personal discovery and research.  Not one guy that walks a political tight rope and another that is floating on his hot air abstracts that vaguely resemble ideals.

The West WIng offers a truly fictional escape from this political reality to one where people still try and accomplish some good.  I acknowledge this is one of those three AM ramble sessions that I’m prone to writing.  But I can’t help but wonder how my own MTV generation and the current texting generation isn’t influencing the way the news media are disseminating the news.  Britney Spears and Paris Hilton’s recent police busts have served only to further dumb us down.

Once on a show, one character points out to the other the difference between Clark Kent and Superman.  “Superman is who he is…” he says, “Clark Kent is the way he views humanity.  Weak, feeble, and inept.”  If those traits that Superman portrays as Clark Kent are his reflected opinions of humanity.  Let’s consider the way the News Media wraps up truth and their reflected opinion of our humanity.  Their opinion is we care more for Brangelina’s 100th adopted baby, some poor girl’s pregnancy, and something that a movie star said whe he was drunk.

In all, I watch the West Wing because its an escape to a world where the reflected humanity is a little less about being entertained, but more about being informed.  Final thought…as a missionary I once reached for a cup to eat my cereal out of because of a lack of clean bowls and I was too lazy to wash them.  Another Elder stopped me, and washed a bowl and handed it to me.  He said, “Elder why settle for what will due when you can have what you need.”  Think about it.

Process that and your haircut.  Free dinner to the person who can figure out that last haircut line.

I miss yesterday…
February 12, 2008, 3:03 pm
Filed under: Ramble, Ramblings | Tags: , ,

kidandi.jpgUsually I try really hard to be funny, but for the second on this Tuesday, I feel a bit mellow.  For a moment, the mood strikes me to reflect a bit.  You ever sit yourself down and look at some pictures just to reminisce.  I’m not just talking about photo albums or those scrapbooks that put your specialty edged scissors to the test.  I’m talking pictures on facebook, on your blog, my blog, and even pictures in your mind.  Pictures that you see of your friends in their recent past.  It’s amazing how these things take us back, if not for only a moment.

There’s a longing, for me at least, that is associated with these moments.  Time has dulled the achy and the breaky, and colored the difficult moments with the brush of new perspective and the great moments with warmth.  There was a day that felt like last week, but it was really two years ago that friends and I headed up to a cabin in Heber and spent the night laughing and telling stories.  There was a night, where my companion and I walked the streets of San Francisco and we found every bar empty.  For a moment, we felt like we were winning.  There was a morning, many sunrises ago, that I swallowed extra hard as my mother drove me to my first football practice.

These mental pictures are scattered in the recesses of my mind, only to be brought forth by the daily triggers that flip the light on somewhere: a smell, a color, an emotion, and a reference.  These mental pictures are a bit ragged on the edges, and have come a bit unfocused with time, but they’re the company I keep in those late moments of solitude at night.  They’re the friends I take with me on my morning drive.

Five Feet from Full-Fledged Super Geek
November 27, 2007, 6:24 am
Filed under: Ramblings | Tags: ,

So, this last Friday I joined the hordes of people that left their homes at five in the morning to pursue the quest of what is commonly known as the After-Thanksgiving Sale.  Driving there, it kind of surprised me how full the parking lot was with cars.  Mistakenly, I figured that having arrived a half hour after the doors opened the line would be all but disapated with the anxious shoppers milling about inside.  Arriving there with my good sport of a mother, we found a line a good 100 yards long.  We vacilated back and forth between staying and going, but in the end we stayed.  Surprisingly, everyone was very polite and curteous in the way they handled the long line and sitting there for a good hour.  However, there was some anxiety in the air.  In all, let’s just say I found my xBox 360 and got the games that I was looking for.

I’ve played over 40 individual matches on xBox live and am now considered a Seargent.  At this point, when I play, I tend to rank among the mid-tier of those playing.  I’ve owned the box for about four days, and I’ve played enough to get to this point.  I live with my parents and like watching all sorts of nerd shows.  Someone buys me a bag of cheetos and I eat it all, and I’ve attained full-fledged super geek status.

Reaching this level, I’d like to thank the academy, my parents for lending me the bandwidth and the electricity, and my desire to pursue geekdom.  Don’t cry for me, I’m already a geek.

Recent Events
November 21, 2007, 8:49 pm
Filed under: Ramble, Ramblings | Tags:

So, I’m sitting here at work rather bored at the moment and am taking my own version of a cigarette break.  Since I don’t smoke, I feel I’m entitled to short moments of stress relief in the my own chosen form.

Catching people up on recent evens in my life.  I decided recently I didn’t like my ankle and was going to do some of my owned forced renovations.  Playing racquetball with Chris, we were going back and forth around the court trading volleys.  At one point I attempted to jump kind of sideways in a semi-dive/lunge.   Unfortunately, I didn’t make up my mind in time, so my foot came down funny and I felt something pop.  To make it all the more interesting, as it all happened I made a sound that can only be described as some sort of a squeek.  Before I thought about anything else, all I could think of was why I chose to squeek at a moment of intense pain instead of something akin to a yell or a hard and manly grunt.

Oh well, anyway, I laid on the ground not moving in hopes that adrenaline would kick in and it wouldn’t hurt so much.  Thankfully, I had my friend there to assist in the form of hitting the racquetball against the wall a couple of times and then announce that he was going to watch the game next door while I “wallowed in pain.”  Finally, adrenaline  kicked in and I hopped up and played the rest of the match.  I won and thought everything was fine until the pain kicked in as I was driving home.  So I had a fun day icing my foot, but my sisters took cared of me, but not without a zinger in there or two.  Which in truth is always well deserved.

Saturday, I stretched myself and decided to try to do Stand-Up comedy in front of my ward.  In all it went  pretty well, but I was really nervous.  So nervous in fact that I asked the host to just go ahead and tackle me when my time was up because I wouldn’t know when to stop.  It actually fit really well into what I was doing.  Everybody got a good laugh.  I never did get to finish my material, but I was fine with it.  People laughed more or less and I came out alive.  What was nice is that I stretched myself beyond my comfort zone which I haven’t done for quite a while.   I wouldn’t mind stretching my lips a little, problem is I have to find an agreeable girl to help me in that aspect.

Also, for those of you that have been following.  I finally, successfully, split a golf ball in tow that I had been working on at my desk with a pair of scissors for the last month or so.  It was pretty satisfying which was kind of odd when you think about it.  But I rocked that golf ball, oh yeah.  Now you’re caught up.

Cops Make Me Nervous
October 13, 2007, 2:04 am
Filed under: Life is Wierd, Ramblings | Tags: ,

So, many days I feel like Tevia, from Fiddler on the Roof, where the Lord needs a chuckle and I’m a willing jester.  I’ve broken my pact of agnostic attitudes toward dating and got my rear end out the door and went on a date.  In all, the date was good and I was in a fairly good mood as I dropper her off at her place.  I immediately turned around and was ready to head home and hit the hay.  My friend Chris amazed all of us with tricks that made me think he sold his soul because they were that amazing.  So I in this late night stupor was driving home at a speed lower than the limit.

As I drove, I happened to notice a cop car at the intersection that I passed in front of while being the epitome of safe, defensive driving.  I immediately checked my dashboard, mirrors, and the area around me to see if I was breaking the law.  Upon finding all was right with the world, I turned my attention forward to the rest of my drive.  As the relaxing sigh passed out of my mouth, obnoxious hues of blue filled my car.  I looked back and saw a squad car and that indicated I needed to pull over.

I pulled over, and a police officer came out and informed me that my headlight was out.  She indicated that I wasn’t in trouble, but she had to give me warning because she had pulled me over.  The thought occurred to me that the simple solution to that problem is to not pull me over.  So, it took about 15 minutes for her to run my plates and check for any of my prior arrests as a streaker at many a half time show.

Meanwhile, my friend Chris with whom I’d been speaking kept calling.  I told the phone to shutup and realized the cop was standing there.  I swore that I wasn’t talking to her, she didn’t really laugh.  Which tells me that I’m not that funny in the morning or she lacked a sense of humor.  Who knows?

I went on after we finished and was glad to be home.

Cops just make me nervous, and I’m not sure why.  I’m planning on trying to become a volunteer officer, and some how they still make me nervous.  One of the few times I broke a rule on my mission, my companion and I found a church tape that someone had dubbed several “Queen” songs over top.  As we started to listen to our five rationed songs that we allowed ourselves, a cop car rounded the corner and drove by.  Immediately I reached over and turned off the music and held my breath.  The car passed, and then my companion started laughing when we both realized something.  We lived a block from where a man had been stabbed several times, in the middle of thousands of illegal hispanics, and another block from a large prostitution ring.  Two elders listening to a couple of “Queen” songs was probably not topping the cops’ list of major offenders.

What can I say, Cops make me nervous.