Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In 20081231

I can't believe I still weigh less than when I started this Wednesday Weigh-In, despite recent gut-busting visits to my wife's aunt's house, the local Steak House and to the German Restaurant. And there's all the desserts that continue to jump into my mouth.

I'm not eating much at night before bedtime, and I'm exercising more frequently. Maybe that's preventing growth in pig-like proportions.

Waist = 37 3/4"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Follow Up to "Police Officer" Post

Obviously that previous post was loaded with sarcasm.

One thing I'm truly grateful for is that *I* was the one who was caught driving the car and not my wife. With her health problems, the last thing my wife needs is that kind of stress.

A side benefit is that the experience provided fodder for YALWP (Yet Another Long-Winded Post).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dear Police Officer

Dear Police Officer:

Thank you for taking the time to remind me that my car's registration expired. I understand that you set aside personal safety -- passing other cars at high speeds and stopping on the two-lane highway -- in order to issue me the written reminder, a "citation" I believe you called it. You also provided me a way to supplement our state's income by suggesting that I mail the citation back with a donation of $93. I am more than happy to oblige in these difficult times.

I especially want to thank you for calling a towing service on my behalf to remove my vehicle from the road. Clearly, it was necessary to stop driving it while it was unregistered because it might have turned into a dangerous weapon of mass terror during the lapse.

I really appreciate the personal service. Most other entities I do business with merely mail to me an impersonal reminder to remit payment. Not you. You worked extra hard to make sure I had a most memorable experience when I would otherwise have been frittering away my time at work.

Best wishes for the New Year!


Square Peg

Dream: Invasion of the Tee-Pee House

Two boys overheard a plot to invade their house.

Now they are home alone on the night of the invasion. They are scared. They know the secret structure of the house. There is a pole that runs from the basement all the way up to the roof, with many floors in between. They're on one of the top floors, so they decide to escape by climbing down this pole.

They begin climbing down. The pole is about ten inches in diameter and its surface is very rough and uneven -- almost tree-like with thick vines running along the length.

The invaders (an evil man and his henchman) are aware of the pole and start climbing up. But large snakes appear on the poles, and they hamper the invaders more than the boys. The invasion would appear to be foiled.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dream: Cartoon Convention

I'm driving a motorcycle. I arrive at a gravel parking lot in a very wooded area. I notice our two bicycles, mine and my wife's. I comment to a guy there that I know, "They biked here? They're not going to want to bike home." ["They" refers to my wife and me.] The guy responds, "They'll get a ride from _____."

I try to park the motorcycle, but it's not staying upright. The kickstand seems to be too long, so I spend a long time finding the right surface that will allow the bike to stay standing. Finally, I'm satisfied, and I walk to the event.

I enter the building and the large room. This is a cartoon convention, but it's more like a classroom. My wife and I are in the back to the left. I walk in that direction intending to sit with them. But I get distracted by some kids who are waving at me. So I walk in their direction. At first I intend to sit among them. But then I see it will be difficult to maneuver my way past the other people in the row, so I just sit at the end of the row.

I feel popular and am soaking up the attention. Also, I'm not at all bothered by the fact that I'm late.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Beauty Affirmation

My daughter made this for my wife. It reads, "Snowflakes are unique and beautiful. So are you!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In 20081224

My weight is dropping despite my getting assailed with irresistible dessert treats that pry my jaws open and pop themselves into my mouth, more or less. Perhaps I owe this remarkable weight loss to my new exercise regimen that consists of shoveling snow for three hours straight. Or maybe it's just a scale malfunction.

Waist = 38"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Weather

Our winter is off to a great start thanks to two snowstorms that blasted through our area on Friday (9") and then again on Sunday (6"). I enjoyed shoveling our double-wide driveway by hand, even though I was bothered by a sinus infection.

Please don't read sarcasm into this. I really did enjoy it!

So many elements come together to make it a special time for me.

There's solitude. All my neighbors have snowblowers and prefer to wait until the morning to clear their driveways instead of going at it at 7:00pm to 10:00pm. And the busy bodies in their cars, minivans and SUVs have abandoned the roads, leaving them desolate.

There's Nature's dominance over Mankind. No matter how smart we think we are, and how much control we think we can exert over our environment, Nature demonstrates that She's The Boss. We are completely at the mercy of the elements.

There's unpredictability. All our carefully crafted plans are swept away. As an abjectly poor planner, I feel strangely vindicated by this.

There's the beauty of the snow-covered tree limbs, the sparkling icicles, the gentlest hiss of falling snow. We get a bit closer to Nature -- the secret lives of wildlife are unveiled in the tracks in the snow.

There's the exhilaration of intense exertion in the pushing, lifting, hurling of snow. And from the sting of cold pellets of snow assaulting the face. Yet, I'm sweating from the workout. I shake the ice and snow from my coverings before I stomp inside, and strip off everything, because it's all wet, either from melted snow or from sweat.

Ahhh, my weekend was awesome! How was yours?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice

Today is our Winter Solstice. I like to watch the Sun rise on this day. But today, our skies are so heavy with snow-laden clouds that I could not do this. Besides, I slept late.

When I see the Sun so low in the Southern sky on this day, I like to imagine that I'm living ten thousand years ago. I know nothing about Earth's inclination to the Sun and how Earth orbits the Sun. I worry that Sun is leaving. Do I perform a sundance to entice Her back to me? Or should I go follow Her before I lose Her for good? What did I do the last time She started to leave? I must do it again.

I look forward to the longer periods of daylight that each coming day will bring.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dream: The Re-Enactment

I'm at an outdoor gathering, like a family reunion picnic. Some scenario has taken place. It involved some boy flying a kite while a fierce storm blew in. I had been thinking he might get struck by lightening, and then he did get struck.

So there are a group of us who are going to re-live the previous ten minutes and try to change the outcome. Except I'm not sure what should change.

Now instead of being with the boy with the kite, I'm in a bathroom with two girls. They're my age but smaller. One I'm sort of close to, romantically. The other is new to me, but she's acting flirtatious, and I'd like to flirt back. I'd really like to hug and kiss her, but my girlfriend would certainly be upset. I notice my toothbrush is missing. I think maybe this is the action I should've done the first time.

The lightening has struck the boy with the kite again, only this time I'm not there. I walk over to him and try to help revive him.

Dream: Post Graduation Interview

I'm in a hotel room with two classmates from college. We've just been graduated, and we're here for some sort of prize, either a job or a scholarship for graduate studies. I don't really know the other two guys very well. They're just passing acquaintances.

There is a camera set up, and one of the men who's in charge of the prize wants to take our picture. He urges us to smile. The better we smile, the more likely we'll get the prize. The two guys are on my right, and I tilt my head toward them as I would in a close family shot. Then I realize I'm totally not smiling, so I flash my most brilliant happy smile just before the camera's shutter clicks.

We're dismissed, but we need to stick around. So I wander around the hotel room suite by myself. I come upon an actual pond. As I look at it absent-mindedly, I notice movement in the water. There is, in fact, fish in this pond. And then I notice still more movement, which turns out to be large, snake-like creatures with sharp pointy teeth, like the kinds of fish that live in the extremely deep oceans. I'm amazed at this. Some of the smaller fish swim rapidly and hurl themselves on the floor, and they wriggle and fall into an adjacent pond just on the other side of the walkway I'm on.

I can't believe anyone would allow such monster fish here. What if a little child gets close and sticks his finger in the water?

Dream: Stupid NYC Bus Trip

I'm on a bus in NYC. It's a charter for a day trip. It's nearly empty. I'm alone in the back. A few people sit in the front.

The bus stops, and I decide that I will get off. I have no destination planned.

I step onto sidewalk and walk to the nearest building and enter it. From within the lobby, I see a dazzlingly department store display, the jewelry department. The color red is dominant.

I decide to explore the building. Since I hate jewelry, I find a side entrance to the rest of the building. There is an elevator, which I take to go up to the fourth floor. This leads to a hallway with closed doors to offices, most likely the store's upper management's offices. Thus it is a dead-end to me.

I find myself back at the lobby and again take the side entrance to the elevator. This time all the floors are below this one. So I go down and emerge into the baby / toddler department. Memories flood me of shopping for my little daughter who's now grown into a somewhat surly teenager. The Clifford items especially tug at my heart-strings. I reminisce about how she loved her little Clifford doll, and how the dog used to steal it. Now I really feel alone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dream: Steamed Soda

I'm outside with some male coworkers in a dry, concrete canal. One guy is thirsty, so another guy tells him where he can get steamed soda. They walk away, and I follow because steamed soda sounds to me like euphemism for water, and I would like some, too.

We arrive at a store front that's raised about four feet. I can see two people inside. The guy who led us to the store gives instructions to the thirsty guy on how to order. It's almost like a drug deal, where one wrong comment can spook the guy off. He says to the thirsty guy to tell the guy in the store that he doesn't want ______.

The store keeper is an Indian or Pakistani. He asks us what we want. The thirsty guy orders. Then the storekeeper asks if he wants ______, to which he says No, as instructed. This entire transaction is taking place in front of a loose door -- a door that is not hung on hinges. I wonder how we will get inside.

Somehow, the thirsty guy enters the loose door. It's as if he became flattened and then slipped into a mail slot. I realize that he's gone for good. He won't come back.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In 20081217

Waist = 38"
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Shrinking Greeting Card List

At the moment I'm sending out greeting cards to family and friends as we do every year. I keep a simple address list in MS Word, which hearkens back to the days I used to print address labels. Although I no longer print address labels, I keep the list up-to-date by making notes of address changes (Jayne's in Georgia now) and, more sadly, deaths. I can't think of a worse greeting card gaff than sending a card to my uncle that's also addressed to his deceased wife. So I make sure I have "Aunt Ellie died in '98" right below the address.

I actually did that for my mom's address, even though there's no chance I'd ever be so forgetful as to send one to her.

The list is shrinking. Or it would be if we weren't adding new addresses to it: The Girl Scout troop leader. The piano teacher. The new church choir director.

Adding new family members is a bit harder but not impossible. With 9 aunts & uncles on my father's side alone, there are always more cousins to reach out to. One day the last aunt or uncle will be gone, and only cousins will be left.

How do you keep your list from shrinking?

Friday, December 12, 2008

When Will My Wife Start to Blog?

I keep telling my wife she should start a blog. Like the other day, when she got really bad service at a McDonalds, and later ranted at me when I got home, and had this to say:
Whatever happened to 'You deserve a break today?' Now it's like, 'You deserve a breakdown today.'

Early Present

Every December my wife and I send out holiday picture cards that feature our daughter and our pets. So shortly after Thanksgiving, we venture out to some festively-decorated place and take pictures.

Invariably, the pictures come out disappointingly below average1, and we vow to stop doing it.

This year was no exception, and I started to think about getting a new camera. Ideally it would have great optics, like my father's old Canon AE-1 35mm SLR. But it would be digital as well. Unfortunately, digital SLR cameras tend to be very expensive, and the less expensive cameras keep getting better resolution but not better optics.

Then it hit me. I would buy a used SLR digital camera. What also hit me was the "for Sale" advertisement on the company bulletin board: "Canon EOS 300D camera..."

By now I know a gift from the Universe when I see it. (Thank you , Universe!) So I bought it. Instead of taking pictures like this:

I can take pictures like this:

So maybe next year our holiday picture cards will be perfect, or at least better than all my wife's friends' cards.

1For example, one year the subject was laughably off-center, but in my lemons-to-lemonade manner, I used that space to write a personal holiday note. Other years, nearly all the pictures were mostly dark or unfocused, except for one or two in which the pose was not quite right. One memorable year, everything was perfect except for the very important detail of the dog's red, shiny weiner, which demonstrated that he was very happy to have his picture taken. That was the year I taught myself The GIMP.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In 20081210

Waist = 38 & 1/8 "
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In 20081203

Here we go....

Waist = 38 & 1/8 "
Height = 5' 9"

  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.