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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ring Tones: Holiday Edition.

Last January I posted about some special people that have distinct ring tones on my cell phone.

Well…
Here’s my holiday ring tone playlist:

1. The masses…
The default ring for everybody except the chosen few is one of my all-time favorite songs – “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” (Joe Nichols’ version)

2. My Wife…
I initially intended to use Lady Antebellum’s “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” but was convinced instead – at Repunzel’s suggestion – to use The Oak Ridge Boys’ “Christmas Cookies.”
Why the change?  Because the song absolutely could have been written by myself…
(IF I had any musical talent at all)
But mainly because –

There’s a benefit, to all of this
That you might have overlooked or missed
So now let me tell you the best part of it all
Every time she sticks another batch in the oven,
There’s fifteen minutes for some kissin’ and a huggin’

And who could beat that!!!!

3. Pastor & Assistant Pastor…
Again, these two giants deserve a herald-ing US Cellular cannot provide.  I am not convinced Josh Groban’s chorus from “Believe” does them justice.  However, the message of faith and powerful music shifts my mind and heart toward our Maker when I hear it.

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe

4. The Friends…
We have a couple of friends that are – um, uh – let’s say… Extremely resourceful.
If you want to find some bargains (like a $50 article of clothing) really cheap (like for $0.25) then this is the lady to shop with.  If you need an expert on any topic in the world (like small engine repair, fitness advice, scientific facts, really… any topic) then give this guy a call and if he doesn’t know the answer or can’t argue your own set of facts with you – he can call someone, has a friend at work, or used to know someone that can help you out.  If you want to make your own homemade anything (like a vacuum bag for example) out of duct tape and a paper clip these are the people to hang around.

I’m not naming names here…  But their ring tone for this season is – Leroy The Redneck Reindeer.
Just sayin’.

5. The Management Team…
I didn’t include this group in my initial ring tone post, but they’ve got a special tone year round and I promise I sigh every time I hear them calling.  I have 4 assistant managers that need me from time to time – and when they do I want at least the brief warning a special ring tone affords me.
I have chosen I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ For Christmas…  Not because they’ve been bad.
Just because I sometimes think of them as my kids, and they’re a lot of fun to pick on.

6. The Boss…
While during the other 11 months of the year I greet him with “It’s a beautiful day!” I decided for the holiday season I would change it up to greeting him with:

You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile,
Mr Grinch.
Given the choice between the two of you,
I’d take the seasick crocodile.

He likes being called mister.
Maybe.  I can’t honestly say I’ve tried it yet…
Totally, 100% in jest – he’s a good boss.  And I am pretty sure he will never, ever read this – so don’t think I’m trying to score any points by saying he’s a good boss.

Anyhow, I couldn’t think of any other Christmas song fitting for a supervisor, so this is what he gets.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in My Life

 

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A Baker’s Dozen

A Baker’s Dozen.
Some may not know that a few years back this clown was a baker.  Actually – a donut fryer.
As a donut fryer, I had no qualms about quality assurance.  If you gave me a box of donuts I knew exactly what to do with them.  Really any sweets.  I could put them down! (Down the hatch – that is.)  A breakfast for me could easily be a box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, or Ding Dongs, or (on a light day) a Pop Tart – chased down by as many ounces of Pepsi as I had readily available.  For many years eating like this made no difference as my metabolism kept me at a reasonable weight.  But, as happens, things changed – fast forward a bit…

On October 14, 2011 this clown realized that he was no longer the skinny kid in his wedding pictures.

Technically around 224 pounds he was a dreaded word that he doesn’t like…  Obese.

I suppose that made him another dreaded word that he doesn’t like…  Normal.

This clown doesn’t do normal.
Normal is not something I aspire to.
Normal is broke, sick, depressed, heavily medicated – and overweight.

Video Games & Cell Phone Apps.
We own a Wii, and we already had the Wii Fit.  So this clown thought he could shed some pounds by simply waking up 30 minutes early each day and doing some virtual hula-hooping.  Among other things.  And as silly as it sounds – it worked.  I lost some weight pretty quickly.  But must admit – I was a little like this guy:

Well… maybe not quite that extreme.  I knew the real way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories than what you burn each day.  And you could either burn more calories or eat fewer calories – or, I suppose for maximum effect, do both.  So with my morning Wii Virtual Torture session I downloaded the myfitnesspal.com app for my phone and began logging my caloric intake.

I highly recommend it for anyone that doesn’t eat the way we all know we should…
When you set your current and target weight, it tells you how many calories you should eat that day – which in turn makes you think twice before stopping by McDonald’s for a quick 1,300 calorie “Value” meal.

It took me about a month to stop eating Pop Tarts and Pepsi for breakfast.  I realized that the 555 calories only kept me “full” until 10 am – at which time I needed a candy bar and another Pepsi (another 400 calories) to get me to lunch.  When I switched my breakfast to an apple, 2 bananas and glass of orange juice – totaling 375 calories – I could make it to 11:30 before taking a slightly early lunch.  Shortly thereafter lunch changed too.
A handful of mixed nuts, apple, orange and bottle of water (400 calories) became my favorite lunch.  On the days I needed an afternoon snack, instead of an almost 300 calorie Snicker’s Bar I would stop by the produce department for a 200 calorie granola bar.

I had no fad diet I was following.  No one at all coaching me along the do’s and don’ts of healthy eating or weight loss.  I simply made one decision at a time.  In so doing, I learned that when I ate these things I had more energy, stayed fuller, and did it without the crazy caloric intake a normal American consumes.

For those wondering – Dinner would be as a family and I’d eat whatever my incredibly talented wife conjured up.
Usually something between 800 and 1,000 calories.

As a result, I lost 30 pounds in six months.

Totally NOT Normal.

Yet, I was still overweight.  Overweight is normal.  This clown doesn’t do normal.

A friend during this same period was making some changes of his own – some that most would call extreme changes.  He became one of “those” … vegans.
Go ahead, click on the picture and read it.  It is seriously roll on the floor funny if you have ever met one of these passionate folks.

As he was learning new things about how closely linked many of the “normal” ailments (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer) that plague us are to our diets he felt compelled to share.  Many of our friends never gave a serious look into what he was saying because they felt the delivery was too extreme.  However, I was surprised that much of what he was saying lined up with what I had found to be true just by counting calories.

I was 2/3 vegan and didn’t even have a clue!

One night at dinner I loaded my plate up with the side dishes my wife made, took a small portion of the meat and made a half-hearted comment in jest to my wife that “I’m already 2/3 there – it’s no big deal to me to drop it completely.”  To which she replied something very close to, “I could never be vegan.”

Never say never – less than a month later that changed.  We saw a documentary titled “Forks Over Knives” – it was enough to change her mind.

Now I know that is completely and totally not normal.  Crazy and weird even.  What do I eat?  How do I get enough protein?  How can I not be starving all the time?  The fact is everything tastes better, I get more than enough of all my vitamins, nutrients, protein, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…  As far as what we eat – it’s a lot like this:

Within 2 months after becoming 3-thirds vegan, I had dropped to my personal goal weight of 165 pounds.

Beyond The “V” Word.
I no longer count calories using my cell phone.  It’s pretty easy for me to mentally track caloric intake after a few months of using my phone and also a bit insignificant since a plant-based whole foods diet makes it nearly impossible to consume too many calories.  BUT I did need something else to prevent from becoming a scrawny strung-out-hippie looking vegan – so I joined the gym.

A gym is not a place I have ever been drawn to.  For years I would much rather lift virtual weights on the Wii and do virtual exercises than come close to the real McCoy.  Yet here I am – 3 to 6 times each week, enjoying (yes – it is fun!) an hour lifting weights doing crunches and push-ups and pull-ups and bar dips and the like…

Definitely NOT normal, I know.
The security cameras at the gym actually captured this photo of me as I was leaving the other day:

Even crazier…  I decided for cardio I couldn’t stand a treadmill with all that work going nowhere.  So I began running.  At first, a mile was an eternity.  After six months though, a mile is a warm up.  Here’s what I have logged at dailymile.com since I started in May:

A Baker’s Dozen.
On November 14, 2012 – exactly 13 months (a baker’s dozen) later – this clown weighs in at 166 pounds.
Well within the healthy range.
Healthy, vegan, incredibly happy, and…

Today I begin the next step in my journey –
Training for a marathon that I’ll run in 2013.

Now, if I ever become like this guy:
You can fry me up, dip me in ketchup & enjoy:

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in My Life

 

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Aw, how ah you ma f-wren?

That’s exactly how I am greeted at my favorite Chinese take out place by my house.
Appropriately named: China House.

Or if I call ahead to place my order I hear the matron say:
“China How – may I alp you?”

The folks that have rated it on urbanspoon.com give them a 93% positive rating…
Beats everyone else I’ve seen on there!

I absolutely LOVE these people…  I couldn’t tell you their names, but the family is great to watch.

There’s the matron that rules the place – she is always yelling at the guys.  Always.

Then there’s ma f-wren (my friend).  He’s the delivery person.  Probably the matron’s son.
He’s hilarious to me because he’ll yell right back at her… and then always gives me a free 2 liter. Always.
Why?  Because he’s ma f-wren I suppose.  He doesn’t do it to everyone else.  We just click I guess.

There’s a few grunts that are confined to the kitchen…  Probably matrons husband and some of the older sons – I really don’t know everyone’s status.

And finally there are the matron’s grand children.  I’ve kind of seen them growing up the past 5 years or so.
The oldest is a teenage girl that is starting to take over the phone & register from the matron.  She speaks much better English, so I really like it when she’s there.
The middle is another girl – probably 8 years old now.  Always doing homework.  Always.
And the youngest boy.  He was a baby when we started, now he’s 6 or so…  And he’s trouble…
No doubt he’ll be ma f-wren soon.

Anyhow…  I finally updated the FCC page – click here, ma f-wren, to read the last 5 months of fortunes!

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in Fortune Cookies, Musings

 

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Through The Looking Glass: November 2012

Readings by day for November.  For past readings click here.

November 1, 2012: Luke 19      November 2, 2012: Mark 11; John 12

November 3, 2012: Matthew 22; Mark 12      November 4, 2012: Matthew 23; Luke 20-21

November 5, 2012: Mark 13      November 6, 2012: Matthew 24

November 7, 2012: Matthew 25      November 8, 2012: Matthew 26; Mark 14

November 9, 2012: Luke 22; John 13      November 10, 2012: John 14-17

November 11, 2012: Matthew 27; Mark 15    November 12, 2012: Luke 23; John 18-19

November 13, 2012: Matthew 28; Mark 16    November 14, 2012: Luke 24; John 20-21

November 15, 2012: Acts 1-3     November 16, 2012: Acts 4-6

November 17, 2012: Acts 7-8    November 18, 2012: Acts 9-10

November 19, 2012: Acts 11-12     November 20, 2012: Acts 13-14

November 21, 2012: James     November 22, 2012: Acts 15-16

November 23, 2012: Galations 1-3       November 24, 2012: Galations 4-6

November 25, 2012: Acts 17     November 26, 2012: 1 & 2 Thessalonians

November 27, 2012: Acts 18-19      November 28, 2012: 1 Corinthians 1-4

November 29, 2012: 1 CorInthIans 5-8      November 30, 2012:

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Looking Glass

 

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