Friday, December 31, 2004

The Sweat of My Brow

For those of us for whom our primary vocation is more intellectually oriented than physical, there is something inherently pleasing about doing things with our hands when we get the chance. I think that's why so many white collar workers would like to have some sort of workshop in their backyards. Quite simply, a guy can derive much more satisfaction by being able to point at something, say a bookshelf, or a built in desk, or even a clean garage, and exclaim, "I made/did that!" than he gets when he finishes even the most brilliantly crafted memo or legal brief.

I spent four hours today cleaning our garage. I can't even say "cleaning out" our garage because when it came right down to it, I didn't throw very much away. Mainly, I rearranged what was in there. There's still stuff in there that does need to be tossed, but today was not the day to take care of that.

The Reason Why

I would never have spent my day off doing that chore, but yesterday my wife said she smelled something emanating from the garage. I investigated and discovered that a plastic jug of turpentine had developed a leak and spilled out onto the floor. Compounding the problem was that the jug had been under a large pile of stuff. So, as is not uncommon, a problem that probably should have been resolved long ago sat untended until a crisis arose.

Whatever the impetus, I now have a clean garage, but I still can't park in it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A Simple Prayer

The other night, my two-and-a-half year old daughter (also known as Calvinatorette III) wanted to say grace before dinner. Here, I replicate the exact transcript of what she said. Some might not appreciate it, but I thought it was great.

This is the food.

The end.

Ride, Captain Ride

Okay, so I have been able to get back into the exercise routine. I still don't like it, but I've made it bearable by attaching my Discman to the water bottle holder by some velcro and by watching TV (mostly sports) with the sound down.

I know getting in shape in general and losing weight in specific is an ongoing process, but I have to admit that patience is not always my biggest strength. In the past, I have used the Atkins way of eating to lose weight rapidly. It works for me, and it's not a huge sacrifice because I really like the foods that are allowed with Atkins. When I ate that way, I did miss pasta and bread, and that's probably one of the biggest drawbacks to that way of eating.

This time, I'm not counting calories, but I have made sure I am eating less than I was before. I'm also not avoiding any particular foods. If I want a cookie, I eat one. I just don't eat eight like I would have before.

The dropping of pant sizes and neck sizes is promising to be a slow-moving affair. My current pants are slightly less tight, but actually losing two inches in the waist and about an inch in the neck doesn't seem likely to occur any time very soon. I have, however, already noticed that my XL t-shirts are less snug (but still not to the point that I would wear them in public).

I promise you that this blog is not going to be only about my quest to lose weight (about 77 pounds total needed), but for right now, it seems to be my main focus.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Getting in Shape Update 3

UGH! Christmas should be banned for anyone who is trying to lose weight and shape up.

I ate horribly for about 3 days and I didn't exercise at all on Christmas Day or the day after.

Now, back to the grind. I got back up on that "horse" yesterday.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 260.0

Today's Weight = 261.5

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds

= 5.5 pounds

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Well, that didn't take long

I had suggested that a blog entitled "The Present Moment" might turn out to be worthwhile. I was wrong.

Friday, December 24, 2004

More about Jamie Foxx

I just read that Jamie Is the first person to have been nominated for three acting awards at the Golden Globes in the same year. I'm not sure if it's true that he is the first, but it is true that he is nominated in 3 categories in this year's Golden Globes.

In case you're wondering why I care, as I mentioned before, I graduated from Terrell High School with Jamie.


My wife and I watched Collateral Wednesday night on DVD. I'm not necessarily the most objective person in this regard, but I thought Jamie Foxx turned in a tremendous performance. What I don't understand is why the Golden Globe nomination for Foxx was for Supporting Actor. Maybe it's just me, but Max sure seemed like the main character to me. This is his story, not Vincent's.

I thought the movie was good. It felt a little rushed from the time Max & Vincent left the meeting with Felix until the final scenes on the train, but for some reason, I think that was on purpose.

The DVD extras were disappointing for the most part, but I did like the selection showing Foxx & Cruise rehearsing both at the initial read-through and at a later time.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A blog with Promise

It's too early to know for sure if The Present Moment will turn out to be worthwhile, but it looks intriguing after just two posts.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Dark Lord Returns Soon

I'm sure I won't be able to sustain the excitement for 7 months, but I'm psyched that Book 6 of the Harry Potter series has an official release date.

It will be fun to put all the rumors and guessing to bed about this book once July 16th rolls around.

Of course, then all the rumors and guessing will start flying regarding Book 7.

Random Lines in Books

Saw this on another blog ( and thought it was interesting.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal, along with these instructions.

"If he is obedient to God, he is preaching the truth; if he does not love his wife, he is speaking apostasy and lies—but he is always talking."
    Reforming Marriage—Douglas Wilson


When I posted that football picture, I realized that my oldest daughter looks a lot like me in facial features.

You may disagree.

Here's a pic of all my girls. The oldest, Erin, is on the right holding Lindsey.

The Skeptical Glare

I often tell folks that I haven't always been a big guy. I tell them that until some point in college, I was downright skinny. Some believe me and make some token comment about aging and metabolism. Others, however, give me this look that I interpret as, "Yeah, right. Sure you were skinny, you big tub of lard."

Well, just to prove that I was once a skinny kid, here's a picture of me from Seventh Grade in my football uniform.

I mentioned my less than illustrious football career in a previous post, but I may recount a few other stories in the next few days.

I have the power!

I have to confess that I was really out of the loop on the whole blog universe before I started my own. In fact, I just found Time Magazine's Blog of the Year, Power Line a few days ago. This is one of the main blogs that was relentless in pointing out the fact that the Bush National Guard memos touted by CBS and Dan Rather were forgeries.

Getting in Shape Update 2

Keeping on keeping on.

Did pretty well with the exercising and the food control.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 263.0

Today's Weight = 260.0

Weight Loss in past week = 3.0 pounds

= 7.0 pounds

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Endorphins and all that jazz

So, you may be asking, how is the fat guy losing the weight?


I have been eating less and exercising. I'm using a great site to log my activity. It's The President's Challenge Physical Activity & Fitness Awards Program.

I recommend finding others to join you in logging activity. That provides some accountability and a little competition if that would help keep you motivated.

The eating less part is both easy and hard. I've cut down on how much I eat at every meal. Plus, I've stopped grabbing a bag of M&M's or Skittles each afternoon. Additionally, I've tried to increase my water intake.

A lot of people have openly commented about how I decided to start this at the wrong time. That is, right during the holiday season. Well, the bottom line is that there is never a good time to start a program like this, so there's no better time than now. My goal (even more than the weight and clothing targets) is to get to the point where I can stop taking blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. That's tedious and costs me $50 per month. I assure you that I have better uses for that money.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother

Well, it definitely looks like I won't be getting the role I'd really like in Annie, but as I said a few days ago, that's not a huge surprise.

Oh well, the main reason I auditioned in the first place was the chance to do a show with my daughter.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow

I trekked down to the local community theatre to audition for Annie tonight. My up tempo song went okay but my ballad was dreck. I really wanted to sing "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors, but despite the fact that I just did the show, I didn't get a copy of the score to keep. So, I had to go back to a song that I'm less familiar with and that is slightly out of my range. It's too high where written, and a little too low if I drop it an octave.

Anyway, I thought the cold reading went okay, and given the paucity of men that were signed up, I'm pretty sure I'll be something in the show. Probably not what I want, though.

A Great Evening, Nonetheless

Despite my failings as an auditioner, it was great to see Babs tonight. I'm sorry she ran into all that crap up in Denton, but if it means I get to do a show with her again, I'll be happy.

This will also likely be my eldest daughter's first show. She participated in our Children's Theatre program last summer, but this will be her first full production, assuming she gets cast. She'll turn 6 on the date of one of the performances.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Getting in Shape Update

When I started this quest last Tuesday, I weighed 267.0 pounds (my scale measures in half pounds). So, my plan is to update the weight on here every Tuesday

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 267.0

Today's Weight = 263.0

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds

= 4.0 pounds

College Football

Here's a great article at about the college football bowl system.

The writer made one point that I had thought about this past week.

There are 117 Division 1-A teams.

56 of them are going to bowl games.

That means 47.86% of the teams play in a bowl.

That stat alone tells you both why the bowls need to go and precisely why it is highly unlikely that they ever will.

It also illustrates why most opposition to Playoffs is silly.

Lets say we instituted a 16 team playoff. That would still leave 20 possible bowls to exist if they wanted. And the matchups they would get wouldn't be any less intriguing than under the current system.

It's time for a Division 1-A Football Playoff.


Friday, December 10, 2004

A Man and His Toys

I just got back from Wal*Mart where I purchased a cordless optical mouse. It's amazing what you don't realize you need until you get it. The tracking is far superior to the old ball mouse we had been using. The optical mouse that came with my iMac died over a year ago. Actually, it seems that the cable from the mouse to the computer got pulled loose a little. My wife taped it up with clear packing tape, and my daughters use it on their iMac with no problems.

Now, we just have to keep the girls from running off with our cordless one and hiding it where we can't find it.

Heisman Watch

Tomorrow night, the Downtown Athletic Club in New York will award the Heisman Trophy to one of these five young men: Jason White, Adrian Peterson, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, or Alex Smith. This award is supposed to go to the Most Outstanding Player in college football for the season. White is last year's winner, but the conventional wisdom is that he won't win it this year.

By all appearances, it seems that once again a less-deserving USC player (Leinart) will stop an Oklahoma Sooner from winning the award two years in a row (see: Charles White & Billy Sims).

I have nothing against Leinart, and he's done a great job leading his team for the past two years, but what amazes me are the people who say that White just hasn't done anything special this season to justify giving him the Heisman again. If he hadn't won it last year, I'm not sure this year's voting would even be close. Anyone who has watched White (and being in Texas, I've seen him on television a lot this season) has seen a tremendous field leader who rarely makes mistakes that hurt his team.

One argument I've heard is that White may not be the best player on his own team. These folks consider Freshman Running Back, Adrian Peterson, to be better. There is no question in my mind that Peterson is a better athlete or that he will ultimately be a premiere Running Back in the NFL, but there's no way he was a better player this year. Don't get me wrong, I am utterly amazed everytime I see Peterson run, but that doesn't make him OU's best player.

If you took Peterson off OU's roster this year, there is every reason to believe that the Sooners would still be undefeated and playing for the National Championship. I contend that if White had not been the Quarterback, OU would have lost at least one game, and probably more. Peterson is the better athlete, but White was the better player.

My knock on Leinart is similar. Take away Reggie Bush, and Leinart wouldn't have helmed an undefeated team. Plus, he's playing against the weak sisters in the PAC-10.

If I had a Heisman Ballot, I would vote (1) Jason White; (2) Matt Leinart; and (3) Adrian Peterson. If Peterson stays healthy, he should have a few more opportunities to win the Heisman. Leinart will be a front runner next year if he stays for his Senior year. Jason White was the Most Outstanding Player in college football this year, and it will be a shame if voters let other considerations keep them from voting for him.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Prowling like a Panther

I upgraded the Operating System on my 4 year old iMac last night. We went from OS 9.2.2 to 10.3.6. (OS X Panther)

Two words:

Suh Weet!!!!!

We probably will need to add some RAM. We have 256M, and it will run with that, but Rod told me that it will run much better with more.

I guess I should thank Microsoft. Internet Explorer for MAC has become increasingly buggy dealing with Java Script and Shockwave flash, both of which have become ubiquitous on the web. Problems with Internet Explorer were what finally motivated me to make the upgrade.

And to you Windows XP users who finally got an OS that approached the MAC, well, let me just say, you don't have squat.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Hurray! It's back

One of my favorite comic strips is only available online. Day By Day took a hiatus, but it started back on December 1st.

Check it out, and make sure you go back and view the archives.