Thursday, April 30, 2009

Weigh-in 8: -0.5 pounds

So, I have a confession to make. I'm falling into the same old traps. I'm being a bit more careful about what I'm eating, but I'm not really exercising much, and I suspect I'm eating more than I should. As a result, I really haven't dropped much this month, and the only reason I have is because I had the one good "week" right after my first bad week.

We talked a lot about this at book club tonight, and honestly, for me it's two things. One is that heart, I really am selfish, which means that I really don't care that much about what you think of me. I mean, I try to do the right thing and be a good guy and all, but ultimately it's not because I want you to think better of me. This kind of defeats accountability.

The other is that I'm really difficult to motivate. When I put my mind to something, it gets done. There are plenty of examples I can show for that. However, if I don't put my mind to it ... see, I think the root cause is that I've already achieved my main goal in life. Odd as it may seem, ever since I was a kid, all I wanted was to get out of my parents' houses and be self-sufficient. So, I did. That kind of defeats most reward systems ... that and the fact that I'm not terribly careful with my money. If I want something and it's reasonable, I probably already have it. If it's not reasonable, it's probably not something that should be a reward.

See, it's not that I'm difficult, it's that I don't make anything easy.

I'll get there. I know it's important to be healthy. I'd love to reach my goal weight. I vaguely remember what it was like to be that light. I just have to figure out how best to motivate me ...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No service needed

So, now that real spring is here, it gets warm. I remembered this during the day, wearing shorts and a T-shirt and having the ceiling fan on, but I forgot at night.

Sometime around the second period of the Anaheim-San Jose game, I remembered again. Looked at the thermostat. 80 degrees.

oops. I like it closer to 75 when I'm sleeping. Oh well, late night. I turn on the AC and go back to the game.

Fast forward an hour or so ... getting ready for bed, about to scoop the cat boxes, when I go through the hall and see ... 80 degrees.

hmm. How long ago did I turn on the AC? More than a minute, right?

Uh-oh.

Fortunately, I remember the last time this happened. I call for service, the guy comes out, gets the AC working, and tells me "see this? The fan blades weren't moving. Pretty much all I did was stick a screwdriver in there and knock them loose. If this happens again, try that first and save yourself some money."

So I did. And it seems to be working ... well, at least the compressor is running. The fan seems to be running, although a little weakly. And it's 90 minutes later, which means it'll take that much longer to cool down ... mind you, I enjoy my Facebook time, but I'd rather not be spending it now ...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I love it

Follow-up on Commodore: he was the one cross-checking Hudler through the crease while Franzen came in behind him, unmarked, to score the series-winning goal.

Mark it down to inexperience. Someone has to be responsible for keeping that player on the bench just in case, well, a Wing clears the puck right to the extra guy on the ice.

I just hope it's not Anaheim next. I hate them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weigh-in 7: +0.5 pounds

No big surprises here: I didn't exercise much, I had at least one evening (poker night) where I wasn't as careful as I could have been (although I was pretty good), and I didn't get as much sleep as I should. I didn't do what I needed to do and the results bore that out.

Then again, I wasn't particularly good and almost maintained. It's possible I could have another 3.5-pound week next week. Also, my home numbers have stayed the same or dropped a touch, and I lost another &14frac; inch from my waist, which is really my big concern. If my waist gets down to where it ought to be (which is, um, I don't know ... 34?), we'll see where my weight and body fat are.

Overall, I earned what I got and I'm not too worried. I feel good about the choices I've been making ... while the contest only runs through August (I can't win the February prize, so I'm not that worried about that part; if we get a reward for maintaining at or below our goal weight, that's a little different), this is more about changing life habits, and so far that's working out pretty well for me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ha ha

Want to know why "tough guys" like Mike Commodore are a liability to the teams that have them?

In a thirty-second span, Commodore dove into the Red Wings' bench trying to check someone, then stayed behind his own net trying to give Franzen the business ... while Zetterberg was in the slot firing the puck past Mason.

Low points, high PIM, average +/- ... sounds like a typical Calgary player.

There are quality players who also have a physical aspect to their games, but there are a lot of guys taking up space on NHL rosters who are helping to keep the league a second-tier league, and it's a shame. (Of course, part of that is from GMs like Brian Burke - the fact that he was once the guy in charge of suspensions is about all you need to know about the current state of the league - and coaches like Marc Crawford ... if you play for a guy like that, you're going to learn cheap hits or you're not going to play.)

Sure, my opinion might be biased because I'm a long-time Detroit fan, but it should be pretty obvious now that you can build a very successful team that doesn't have many thugs on it, yes?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stalking teh innernets

Last year, Football Outsiders auditioned for a new guest writer. I entered the competition, but did not win, perhaps because the editors looked at my screen name and realized that linking the Lions and FO would be a bad move at that point. Technically, it would be an indirect link, because I would have posted under my real name – no, I haven't changed it yet, people can't spell zlionsfan any better than they can spell my last name, so not only would I not change it, I'm still hoping that someone like Angie Harmon comes to her senses and falls madly in love with me so I can marry her and take her name – but now you've made me ruin the joke by explaining it. Thanks.

Anyway, Baseball Prospectus is doing a similar thing this year: basically, an online writer's version of American Idol. Casting call, 10 writers chosen. Write on a selected topic each week, subscribers vote, lowest-ranking person is removed, repeat as needed. This one's a little different in that it pays $1000 plus $75 per article to the winner. (I'm guessing the $75 kicks in after you win. No back pay.)

I have no illusions. I have an excellent command of English, I'm a huge sports fan and a decent writer, but those don't necessarily produce what people want to read, and if I can't get through the initial gate, well, the rest won't matter. Submissions are due by next Wednesday, so I suppose I'll find out a week or so after that.

It's too late to wish me luck. I've already submitted my article. :) Not that it should come down to luck anyway. I'd rather get the gig because I'm the best writer in the group ... if I don't get this, there's always Puck Prospectus for hockey ...

Weigh-in 6: -1 pound

Strange result this week. It looked like I was going to gain up until Tuesday or so, at least at work. At home, Wii Fit had me pretty much level, although it was hard to say because I missed a couple of days. (I'm definitely getting a dethatching tool at some point, and by "tool", I mean "machine".) And I may have affected the outcome by not eating as much at work. But still, it was another pound.

Next up: increasing my cardio work. A bit longer each time, plus more consistent visits to the Y (so I can keep that discount). Once I get that down, I'll probably drop off the cardio here and there to work in more weight training.

Didn't get the free lunch at Applebee's, though ... ha ha, too bad last week's result didn't count toward that!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Circus baseball

Watching the Angels-Red Sox game, hoping Josh Beckett can put up some fantasy points for me.

Bottom of the first, runner at second, one out. Abreu calls time, for some reason the home plate ump grants time as Beckett is in his motion, so Abreu backs up and the ump signals time ... but Beckett has nowhere to go, and ends up throwing pretty close to Abreu's head. (Which is, in part, because hitters have been setting up on the plate for the last 20 years and not one umpire has ever taken the initiative to enforce the batter's box rule.)

So of course Abreu cries, Beckett walks toward him to explain something, or to tell him to suck it, or whatever, and of course the benches empty, because baseball players are more than willing to avoid being disrepected as long as it doesn't involve actually fighting.

And the umps separate them.

And then as they are separated and sent to their respective dugouts, someone on the Angels starts yapping again, and the benches clear again ... and then there is more yapping ... and more yapping ... and then Torii Hunter is ejected (although that was by Joe West, so it could have been for looking at him funny) ... and then there is more yapping, and finally everyone has been sent back to their dugouts, and we can play again.

Doubtless this would happen much less often if umpires actually enforced rules pertaining to the batter's box, which tends to lead to a lot of these root causes, or possibly if they would have better rules for calling time ... but it's like a basketball game where you start seeing a lot of hard fouls. That usually happens when players get away with a couple of early ones (either uncalled fouls or flagrant/intentional fouls that are not called as such) and the refs suddenly realize what happens when you decide to ignore things in the rulebook.

At least all the Angels doing the ump-directed yapping were ejected (Scioscia, the hitting coach, Speier, and Hunter). I mean, it wasn't like Beckett threw at Abreu with no extenuating circumstances. (That's another thing that needs to be changed, once they fix the Charley Lau syndrome: no more Pedros. Hitting a batter should be the equivalent of a card. Hit one, you're at least warned. Hit two, or one in the head or certain other ways, you're gone, no questions asked. Make a habit of it, and you'll earn some time on your own.)

sigh. Baseball could be much better, except that the commish is a dumb owner, the umps pretty much refuse to improve (although they're better than they were), and the players are still kind of the same group that were responsible for the Roid Days.

XM

Today, I got another reminder of why satellite radio has a dim future, at least under its current providers. (Usually, I think about things like DJs who WON'T. SHUT. UP. Because, you know, that's what we loved most about terrestrial radio, so we really need that on XM/Sirius. Or combining forces to save money and then still being unable to provide a full lineup.)

I was heading out to feed Evil Cat and trying to listen to the Tigers' pregame show on XM. Unfortunately, the wires they set up to pick up the Detroit feed must have been crossed, because I couldn't clearly hear the people talking ... there was a hard-rock station playing in the background. When the game started, they must have got that fixed, because it wasn't a problem.

Sometime in the bottom of the second, though, the signal just went dead. I checked the other stations - no problem, so it must be the feed. Of course, XM/Sirius just puts on a few extra commercials for their own stuff, just seeing if we notice. (Yes, we do.)

Eventually, after 5 minutes or so (when we should already have been in the third inning), they change the text to read "Tech Difficulties." (Another thing I don't like: they never use more than half of the text area on my display.) o rly?

In the bottom of the third, the signal comes back ... well, not really. It's the Rangers' feed. Okay, whatever. (Obviously, it would be smart to do what DirecTV does, and carry both home and away feeds, particularly when you think about all the channels they have and what they're not using. So they don't.)

Then, in the top of the fourth, we finally get the Tigers' feed back. Except that when they break for station identification, XM/Sirius plays the clip of Ron Washington telling us we're listening to the Rangers' radio network on XM.

When my contract expires in October, I'm renewing for the shortest possible amount of time. Hopefully whatever replaces XM/Sirius will work with what's in my car.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Weigh-in 5: -3.5 pounds

We had a team lunch today: healthy crock-pot enchiladas and a nice make-your-own salad, complete with fat-free croutons and real bacon bits. I'm the only afternoon weigh-in on the team, so while everyone else was enjoying the food, I was a little careful. (Not much, though. I don't really focus a lot on the scale itself, other than within an hour or so of the time, and then only to ensure I don't drink a pound of water right before I go in.)

Good thing, too, because as 5:00 drew near, my team had gained 1.75 pounds, with just two of us left to weigh in. No pressure. (Well, I did gain last week ...) I felt pretty comfortable, though, because I'd worked out last night and had eaten carefully most of the week. My weight the day before was around -2, so I figured I'd lose a pound, 2 at most.

But no. The scale shot up to 188 and held steady (it's a digital scale and usually goes right to your weight, with maybe an occasional .5 here or there). Down 3.5 from last week ... so for competition's sake, it was an excellent week. Right now, I'm tied for fifth this week with two people yet to weigh in. Subway, here we come! (Plus 45 cents, of course. 7% tax + 2% local, whee.)

A more realistic view is that I lost 3 pounds in two weeks, which is basically right where I've been to this point (10 pounds in 5 weeks, 4 pounds that first week). Maybe last Tuesday or Wednesday wasn't as good as it should have been, and it just affected me on the scale that day.

Plus, I tempted fate by stopping at Starbucks afterward (light tall caramel frappuccino, which was made more difficult by the fact that the Starbucks guy thought my friend was saying "white" instead of "light"), but even with whip, it's only about 300 calories. And it was worth it.

So. 20% in, 26% of my goal to date. Yo, more of the same, dude.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Weigh-in 4: +0.5 pounds

So, not my best effort ... but if you will indulge me, I did have two unexpected events this weekend, and I did choose poorly at times when I was there.

On the other hand, I was "too tired" to work out Monday night. (I did nap for about 90 minutes, but it wasn't like I couldn't have pulled out Wii Fit afterward.)

Besides, I know that I'm making progress. One of the things about weighing myself in the afternoon (we have morning and afternoon weigh-ins to catch people on either side of the workday; I pick afternoon because getting here early is not my idea of fun) is that I know it'll be more variable: what I had for lunch, how I've been drinking water, etc. But when I weigh myself at home, it's in the morning, and I do use Wii Fit often enough that it gives me a decent picture.

Still, it would have been nice to hold steady last week ... then again, I weighed myself here at work this morning, and I was 3.5 pounds under what I weighed yesterday. :)
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