How do you stay fit?

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment

How do you stay fit?  I don’t know many people who haven’t asked this question.  I’ve found quite a few ways to NOT stay fit.  Such as: eating too late, eating too much, eating too much sugar and carbs, showing up to the gym and finding something else to do.  Now I’m not ‘obese’, not yet anyway, but I’m not in the shape I was playing sports in high school and college.  Which I guess could be bad when I tell you I’m only 26.  I’ve been trying to research and find the best method of getting and then staying in shape.  In my previous post, I had discovered Lose It!, a website designed to keep track of your daily food intake and, if you’re motivated enough, any exercise you do.

I really tried to stay with this, but I’ll admit, it is hard to not only remember everything you ate, but remember to put it into the website.  It is rather addicting and has helped me watch what I eat.  But, at least in my mind, if I forget to enter a day or two, I’ll go several more days without doing it.  I guess I’ve come to the conclusion that a person has to physically change his/her daily routine to fit in fitness.  For me, one change was modifying lunch hour to avoid all the people in the gym.  By going an hour before or an hour after lunch, voila!, no one is in the gym.

I think the one thing keeping this less-than-wonderful spare tire around my waist from getting any smaller is my apparent inability to say no to most foods.  I have tried to eat better, but the Golden Arches are like the ancient Sirens beautifully singing my name and I’m a sucker for a good singer.  However, seeing a visual change for the worse in my body has really prompted me to pay attention to what I put in my mouth.  I’ve been trying to buy better foods and now that my son can eat solid foods, I’ve tried to tell myself that I need to eat better to be a good example.  I want to be around when his kids graduate college.  That’s not going to happen if I join the American way and eat myself to death.

So how do you stay fit?


Life as a Homeowner: Part 2

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Living the American dream is hard work.  My wife and I just bought a new house.  Finally out of our apartment!  Yea!!  And…into her parents house.  Why?  Because living the American dream is hard work, especially if you do all the work yourself.  Back to this in a minute.

The house we bought belonged to her grandmother, well actually her mother and grandma was living there.  I love my wife’s grandmother, but like most older people, their sense of style is…well, terribly out of sync with mine.  I really did not know where to start.

The windows have lovely pink, blue and white lace curtains.  The carpet is beyond help.  I had it shampooed, hoping to revive it, but none such luck.  The padding is shot and I think I could shave with it, it is so rough.  Which is of some concern because my son loves to roll around on the floor with his toys.  The windows are not sealed well and it sounds like a small tornado is outside when the wind blows more than 5 miles per hour.  The kitchen, laundry room and bathroom are the most dated areas in the house.

We decided to remodel the bathroom, which is why we are living with my wife’s parents.  I think we could have planned to be out of the apartment a little later and saved the hassle.  Oh well.  So the bathroom.  Think 60s yellow-gold tile in the bathtub and around the sink with matching bathtub and toilet.  Someone’s attempt at redoing the floor did not go over so well.  The vinyl was peeling up and revealing the various floorings underneath.  When I pulled off the tile, I find a wonderful problem.  Mold.  And quite a bit of it.  It had even spread to the wall in the adjoining bedroom.  Fantastic, I thought.  I start one project to find five more waiting.  I gutted everything out of there.  Down to the last layer of sub-floor.  Sheetrock and all.

This is where we had to get creative.  My wife wasn’t a big fan of the window in the shower.  So, I moved the blinds back against the glass, filled the hole with insulation and covered it with new sheetrock.  From the outside, looks like a window.  From the inside, no peeping Tom’s.  After that, we added a couple of receptacles, moved the light switches and added an exhaust fan/light combo.  All of the rock is up and mudded and we are ready for texture and painting.  I can’t wait.  I’m tired of fighting off four other people for the bathroom at my in-laws.

Now how to do the kitchen?  Maybe I’ll take a breather for a while.

Too much free stuff

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Have you ever noticed how much free stuff people offer to get you to order something?  I will admit it is a good marketing tool.  Especially in our current economic state.  Who doesn’t want free stuff?  But there comes a point where their might be too much free stuff.  One of the products that I constantly see given as a free gimmick is the evidently very popular flash drive.

I remember when I first heard about these in high school.  The first one I bought: around 8 MB and I had to give up a month’s salary.  Yeah, enough for about six mp3 files.  Can you imagine having to only listen to 6 songs on your iPod then change them out for another six?  As you know, these have progressed exponentially.  The latest offer I received was for an 8GB flash drive.

That offer follows the footsteps of another 8GB offer I received last week.  I see these things everywhere.  I’m beginning to wonder if people actually use them for data storage or if they just keep them in neat, organized piles somewhere arranged by color, size and file storage amount.  Then I got an idea: who needs a new big, bulky hard drive when you can just get all of these free flash drives and hook these puppies up to your PC.  I can only imagine what my coworkers would say if I walked into a meeting with my laptop looking like a pin cushion with 27 flash drives sticking out of it.  I would just say, ‘Look how much money I’m saving the company by accepting free flash drives instead of buying a new hard drive.’

I think I could start a data storage company with all the free offers I have seen.  Data servers?  Who needs them.  IBM can take a hike. I think I could get a piece of this cloud-computing pie.  I’m starting the Flash Drive Server Company.    With pin cushion servers.

Categories: Humor, Technology Tags: , ,

Lose It!

January 21, 2011 1 comment

Holy cow.  I have recently been trying to retrain myself to eat and play healthier.  In doing so, I discovered Lose It!.  If I had to design a health website, this would have been it.  It is a food intake tracker, with an enormous database of food, and an exercise and weight loss tracker.   Again, holy cow.  Not only is it very visually pleasing (click the picture to expand)

But there are some complex formulas that take all the thought out of keeping track of food and exercise.  There is also, of course, an iPhone application available for download here.

There are two sections dedicated to showing you reports, via graphs and charts, a section to find and communicate with friends who are also on Lose It!, a section to connect to your Twitter and Facebook accounts to help keep you accountable by posting your status, and an all-powerful Settings page to customize your food, nutrition and exercises.

I just started using the site, but you can be sure I’ll keep it up as long as they are on the web.

Effective weight lifting plan

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I came across a workout plan recently that I highly recommend.  Now granted I’ve only used it for about 2 weeks, but I’ve gained a little over a pound of muscle.  (I’m assuming it is muscle because I haven’t adjusted my diet that much.)  I’ve been a recreational gym-goer for several years, but haven’t seen any real improvements.  I’ve maintained my weight, but not really gotten any bigger.

The plan is Jason Ferruggia’s Muscle Gaining Secrets.  The guy has spent an ungodly amount of time doing research and studying to find out what makes the body work and how best to utilize the muscles.  He has everything one would need to get the physique you don’t have (in my case).  He covers best practices, diet, and everything in between.  I’m still working on the diet part (French fries and ice cream taste too good to drop cold-turkey).  But radically shaking up my workout plan like Jason recommends really has made a difference.

I’ve noticed I feel bigger when I’m done and my posture is better.  I’m sleeping more soundly and trying to pay attention to what I eat and when I eat it.  And following his guidelines, I’m in and out of the gym in an hour.  Sure beats a lot of the other routines I’ve come across.  I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that I can finally get the definition I’ve been trying for since college.  I just turned 26 so I’m hoping by 27 I’ll be thanking Jason for the change in physique and lifestyle I’ve wanted for a long time.

Very cool invention

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

I found a cool little gadget on Monday that I’d like to share with you.  It is the AR.Drone from Parrott.

Credit: Parrott


This little machine can be manuevered by none other than the all mighty iPhone (and iPod and iPad).  Rumor has it that it will be available for Android soon.  Anyway, this flyer has a Wi-Fi connection to your iPhone and has two video cameras which stream the feed to your phone.  It is all controlled by tilting your iPhone and using the touch controls to adjust altitude.  It even offers a ‘game mode’ which allows you to view a virtual ‘dog fight’, if you will, with other flyers.  So while you’re playing the game on your phone, your drone is flying around imitating your every move.  Pretty cool huh?

A couple of limitations:  It is a Wi-Fi device, which means it has a fairly small area of operation.  And it can’t fly, controllably, in the wind.  If your drone gets out of range, it will hover for a short time and wait to reconnect to your phone.  But even with the limitations, it could prove to be a worthy security device, say if you hear a noise outside or even in the kitchen.  Just fly this little drone to the noise and view the culprit without ever leaving the safe haven of under your bed covers.

All in all, I think this could provide some pretty cool future inventions.

View CNET’s video here.

Categories: Technology Tags: , , ,

Chiefs incomplete yet note-worthy

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

The Kanasas City Chiefs had some decent size holes in their offense yesterday.  Matt Cassell, who had a rating of 70.5 was just 16 of 29 but only sacked once and had no interceptions.  The offense still has a lot of work to do, but the defense was what kept the Chiefs in the game against a more dominate Indianapolis Colts.  Manning is very good no matter where he plays but especially at home.  The Chiefs defense, with star cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr, held Manning without a passing touchdown and a season low 341 total yards on offense.  However, the Chiefs are still incomplete.  Dwayne Bowe had a perfect touchdown pass and dropped it.  There were fumbles and missed opportunities.  The team is still rebuilding under Todd Haley, but they showed an aggressiveness and gutsiness of a team that was trying to prove to the NFL’s best that they deserved their 3-0 record.  I thought Haley was a little crazy starting off the game with an on-side kick, but you have to be creative against the Colts.  Just one thought from a fan, you have to keep up the intensity for all 60 minutes.  What do I know right?  I’m sure it’s tougher than it looks.