Sunday, November 19, 2006

Updates you didn't need to get here...

Much of the week was spent getting ready for a massive furniture delivery which happened on Friday. To see the before and after pics, just take a look at Amy's website. You'll also get to see some pics of her fencing... so just watch yourself or she's liable to poke someone with that thing.

Finally, I had a very early soccer game tonight, which allowed the family to come and watch me play. The girls surprised me by making signs and cheering from the stands. Kaitlyn held up a sign that said "That's my daddy, the Goalie!" and Hailey kept cheering "Nice save, Daddy!" Haha. I can tell you that's the first time I've seen anyone cheering with signs at one of our games!

Unfortunately, I was the only one on our team that showed up on time, and only two more people got there at all. So, I recruited some additional players from the previous game and we mixed the teams up a bit to have a scrimmage. While it won't count as such in the record books, our side won and I played pretty well despite a substantial lacking of defensive effort. I suppose if you're subbing in for a team just for the heck of it, you're more interested in scoring for yourself than playing defense. I did make a save on the one 3 v 1 breakaway they had, which is a miracle unto itself. I think I let out an audible "Oh, what in the heck" as that play developed. There are only 5 players besides the goalkeepers on each side - how you let 3-out-of-5 of them get behind your "defense" -- at midfield -- is beyond me.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Officially changing my car vote

For a number of years, the car I had my eye on was a Lotus Esprit V8 Turbo. However, they stopped making them and so the styling has become dated and I lost interest. I substituted a Jaguar XKR for a while, but was always put off a bit by the lack of a manual transmission (in the USA).

So, I'm officially changing camps. I now prefer the Aston Martin DB9. Call me Bond. James Bond.

I'll have a Coke...err a soda... err a pop. Whatever.

And so for my first poll, and post one that's been done a zillion times before, but that's okay. Having been raised a "pop" guy, college roommates with a "so-dee" guy, married a "coke" girl, and spending 5 years in a "soda" community, there's no telling what will fly out of my mouth when trying to order a soft drink. I'm still going to vote for "pop" however.

Of course, stupid Blogger won't let me post javascript within an actual posting, so if I did this right, the poll should show up on the right-side of the blog page here.

View Poll

Hailing from parts unknown... it's Jonathan Hill!

On my last trip to California, who should I have the chance to meet up with by my good friend, Jonathan Hill from Ireland. I haven't seen him in 6 years, and I was so glad to get the chance to meet up with him again. We had quite a large group, so we didn't get to chat as much as would have been ideal, but I ended up meeting some great guys that he brought along and a good time was had by all.

Jonathan's company, Infacta, has a number of products including Group Mail which is how we ended up working together for a time in the 1998-2000 area. He told me about a new product he's experimenting with, PollDaddy, which is a blog widget/thingy/whatever to run survey's and polls. As such, I'm going to start using it and hopefully drive some traffic his way.

Of course, that traffic won't come from me, but maybe some of the people that do read my blog and have more popular blogs of their own, like Amy or Hawkins, will use it and thus an avalanche of PollDaddy traffic will ensue. :)

(editors note: I'm sure Jonathan is thrilled that I've posted a wedding photo of him on my blog, but despite his interest in photography, there are suspiciously few photos on his site of himself, so he gets what he deserves!)

A million updates

I've got a million things to post about and update, but my laziness continues. To add to the confusion, Blogger asked me to update to the beta today, which I did, and I'm still waiting for the email that says I can post in the new system. I figured out how to still login to the old system, so for now I'm just going to do that.

Anyway, prepare ye self for a flurry of updates...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Limited recent progress in project "Get in Shape"

I'm now well into my attempt to get into some sort of reasonable physical shape. We just finished the 3rd week of my second soccer season, which means I'm not about 13 weeks into my attempt.

Unfortunately, I don't feel like a lot of progress has been made recently. While I'm still much better off than I was after my first game, at the game last night I was tired early, didn't run the field much because of it, and was pretty well exhausted by the end of the game. I am fighting off a bit of a cold, but it's very minor and I can't believe it would make that much of a difference.

Most disheartening is that this game at the end of a reasonable week of sticking with the treadmill routine. I hit the treadmill 3 times in addition to my game, and have been keeping up pretty well with my push-ups. Usually if I get at least 3 treadmill jogs in, then I do much better on Sunday, but that seems to have petered out some.

Tied to this is the fact that, despite all of this exercise, I've been putting on a decent amount of weight since I started. My theory is that I'm adding muscle mass but not getting rid of any fat, but getting rid of fat was most of the reason for starting this anyway.

So, all that adds up to a need to alter the diet. Ack. All last week I cut back the calories and ate better, but all I had to show for it was fatigue while playing soccer. Nice.

Adding even more chaos into my attempt to diet is a show that Amy and I watched on Discovery Health called "On a Diet" (I think). Basically, this show explains that the real problem isn't weight, but it's weight that you carry around your belly button, which of course is right where most of my extra weight is. It goes on to explain the dangers of some processed foods including High Fructose Corn Syrup and Hydrogenated Oils.

Some of this we already knew, but in short here's the scoop: high fructose corn syrup is a whole lot cheaper than real sugar, and so all these packaged foods use it. But, it's also has a much higher calorie count for the same amount of sweetness. So the result is that you get the same taste as sugar with twice the calories. Thanks a lot for that.

The hydrogenated oils are a worse than that. Basically they were an attempt to create a healthier oil that didn't work out, and the resulting product raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol, and worst of all, actually tricks the body into thinking it's hungry after you eat it because of some indigestible parts of it.

So this makes for a fine combination, doesn't it: eat the oil, screw up your cholesterol, get hungrier, and stuff down extra calories for the same amount of food. No wonder the old midsection is swelling up.

The most annoying part of the whole thing for me is the presence of high fructose corn syrup in just about everything. First of all, its annoying because sugar tastes a lot better than this HFCS stuff anyway, and it's better for you. This was obvious in our visit to Texas, where we stumbled upon Dublin Dr. Pepper, a Dr. Pepper bottling plant that refused to make the switch to HFCS whenever that was mandated by the company. As a result, they are the only plant in the world that makes Dr. Pepper with real sugar. And SURPRISE, it's tastes better -- noticeably better. Not that drinking Dr. Pepper with real sugar is your key to losing weight, but you see my point.

Secondly, HFCS is in everything, and if you don't believe me, start reading your food labels. In going through the cabinets, the biggest disappointment was Rice Krispies. Yes, Rice Krispies. Why in the world would you put HFCS in something that you can't taste any sugar in anyway? For God's sake, the first thing I do with a bowl of Rice Krispies is put a spoon of regular sugar on it anyway, so the HFCS is totally worthless.

And another thing - the peanut butter we had contained both hydrogenated oil and HFCS. What? I don't like peanut better but the last time I checked, peanuts were full of their own oil, and the process of making peanut butter consisted of shelling peanuts and beating them to a pulp. Who the heck thinks you should add oil to a product from which you get oil? Hey I've got an idea, lets dip this butter in corn oil before we package it up...

Anyway, I'm hardly the one to launch a crusade of eating healthy, and I'm all about making food taste good. But, when you are adding crap into food which (1) makes it taste worse and (2) is worse for you then let me be the first to say "that's stupid."

At least I'm guaranteed to lose some weight now, because when we got rid of all the food with this extra crap in it, we were left with nothing to eat. Yee ha.