Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 55

I didn't pay much attention to what I was eating this past week.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 226.0

Today's Weight = 226.5

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 40.5 pounds

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 54

Two bad days with Christmas parties.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 226.0

Weight Gain in past week = 3.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 41.0 pounds

Monday, December 19, 2005

Let me brag just a bit

My six-year-old, Erin, just said to my wife, "Mommy, ate can make another word. Eat." I then asked her if she could think of another word it could make, and after about 4 seconds, she came back with "Tea".

I realize that three-letter anagrams aren't that difficult, but I, for one, was fairly impressed.

At Long Last


Erin has had a tooth dangling for quite awhile now. I was finally able to get it pushed out. Now she is missing her front 2 teeth on both the top and bottom. And another tooth on top is already loose as well.

Erin had been very resistant to my trying to pull this last tooth out, but it came out quite easily.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

If You Can't Stand the Heat, Get out of the Car

I wish car makers would develop a heating and cooling system with dual climate controls. What? You say they already have. Oh, you mean they have separate controls for the Driver and the front seat passenger. That's not what I'm talking about.

What I want them to do is make it where I can blow warm air on my feet but have cool air blowing out the vents toward my face. Whenever I have the heater on high enough to keep my feet toasty, eventually the car gets so stuffy that it is hard to breathe. Then, I have to turn the air cooler and blow it out the vents. That causes my feet to get cold.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

This is Aggravating

Over the past few days, while I was driving, I've thought of some things I wanted to blog about, but now I can't remember what they were. Maybe something will trigger the memory later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 53

I did a better job drinking water this week. I'm still snacking more than I should, but it must not have been as bad as I feared.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 225.5

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Loss in past week = 2.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.0 pounds

Saturday, December 10, 2005

More High School Football

My beloved Terrell Tigers got knocked out of the Class 4A Division II playoffs a few weeks ago. We lost to the Hebron Hawks. Hebron will be playing next week for the Division II Championship. Terrell's final record was 10-2. The other loss was to the Highland Park Scots. Highland Park is playing the Class 4A Division I championship right now against Marshall. At the end of the 3rd Quarter, the score was 52-0 in favor of the Scots.

If Hebron wins next week, then Terrell's two losses would have come to the two State Champs in 4A. This may have been "the one that got away" for the Tigers.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 52

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my effort to lose the weight I need to lose. I started off so well.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.0

Today's Weight = 225.5

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 41.5 pounds

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 51

I'll blame this week on Thanksgiving. I ate entirely too much sugar last Thursday, and we still have some ice cream in the house.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 221.5

Today's Weight = 224.0

Weight Gain in past week = 2.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 43.0 pounds

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Spirit of Thanksgiving

I posted this last year as we approached Thanksgiving. The sentiments in that post are still true today except for the part about the second job. I am still thankful I had the part-time teaching gig, but my position was eliminated with the fall semester. I had a couple of other opportunities to teach this fall or this coming spring, but other things prevented that. Depending on other things, I may look into adding some teaching back in the summer or fall 2006.

Memories

On November 11th, someone who was once very important to me died in a car crash. Christy Prather Haney was a former girlfriend of mine. Although I had a handful of "serious" girlfriends over the years, when I look back as objectively as possible, I realize that Christy was the only one other than my wife who could realistically have become Mrs. Calvinator.

When Christy's obituary appeared in my local paper, my wife asked me if I knew her. Jody's attention was caught because of the young age Christy was when she died (she was 32). When Jody asked, I assumed she didn't know that Christy had been a former girlfriend, so I wasn't sure what to tell her. Obviously, I acknowledged that I knew her, but I didn't add any details about how or how well I knew her. Later, something must have triggered Jody's memory because she called me when she was out shopping to say she finally realized who Christy was and to say how sorry she was about the death. It turns out that one of our best friends had told Jody about Christy a long time ago, but I didn't know.

I think it's natural for us to think "What If" at times regarding the choices we have made in our lives, and Christy's death definitely sent me down that mental path. I know that God had different plans for me, and that's why I did the things I did back in 1991 & '92. I thank God everyday that He knows what is best for me and made it come to pass.

With regard to Christy's death, I haven't been able to figure out what my feelings are. It had been years since I had spoken to her, but it is still weird to realize that someone with whom I shared part of my life is gone.

Getting in Shape Update 50

I was really tempted not to post this week. I am getting very frustrated. It seems like everytime I approach that 50 pound mark, I decide to eat stuff I know I shouldn't.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 218.0

Tuesday's Weight = 221.5

Weight Gain in past week = 3.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 45.5 pounds

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 49

I haven't felt that great this week, so I think I just haven't eaten as much as normal.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 220.5

Today's Weight = 218.0

Weight Loss in past week = 2.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 49.0 pounds

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Go Tigers!

Congrats to my beloved Terrell Tigers for avenging last year's first-round playoff defeat at the hands of the Sulphur Springs Wildcats. Terrell won 34-17 and advances to Round 2 next weekend againt the winner of Saturday's Hebron-Dallas Lincoln game.

Dear to all
When hearts recall
Happy years gone by
We'll sing again
That old refrain
Of dear old Terrell High

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 48

A small step back in the right direction.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 221.0

Today's Weight = 220.5

Weight Loss in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 46.5 pounds

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 47

I guess I ate a bit more Halloween candy than I thought.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 218.5

Today's Weight = 221.0

Weight Gain in past week = 2.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 46.0 pounds

Monday, October 31, 2005

Judicial Philosophy

In relation to the nomination of Justice Alito to the Supreme Court, allow me to set out my take on the law and what a proper Judicial Philosophy is. For too long, many in our society have taken the approach that if something is good or desirable, then it must be afforded Constitutional protection. On the flip side, if something is deemed bad or undesirable, it must be found to violate the Constitution. Proper Constitutional interpretation, however, is not quite so broad.

If Congress or a State Legislature passes a law that is not in conflict with the clear language of the Constitution as it was originally intended, then that law should be upheld. It is not the place of a Judge to decide whether a law is a "good" law or a "bad" law. If the law does not violate the Constitution, that law should be upheld, regardless of whatever bad consequences there might be. If the law violates the Constitution, the law must be struck down, regardless of whatever good it might create. It's really not that hard.

I remember having this debate in my Civil Liberties class in law school about the issue of Commercial Speech. I was the only one in the class who took the originalist approach. It was rather disheartening. My classmates actually assumed that because I felt that Commercial Speech did not fall within the protection of the First Amendment, I must not think it a good thing for people to have more information relating to commercial enterprise. Nothing could be further from the truth. I agree that more information flowing is better than less, but just because that information flow is good, does not mean that it rises to the level of Constitutional protection.

I know that my view isn't the easiest to grasp these days, but that's the result of decades in which people have had the wrong attitude about how the Constitution is to be applied.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

2006 Dallas Summer Musicals Schedule

DSM released the 2006 season. I am underwhelmed. I may try to catch "Mamma Mia!" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," but the rest of the season doesn't entice me at all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 46

I overdid the exercising last Tuesday, and I had to lay off for several days.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 218.0

Today's Weight = 218.5

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 48.5 pounds

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wicked Awesome or Wicked Disappointment?

I caught Dallas Summer Musicals production of Wicked at Fair Park Music Hall on Wednesday. I had heard nothing but glowing reviews of this show, and I was very excited.

Stephanie J. Block was brilliant as the green-skinned Elphaba, who is much more misunderstood than wicked. Her singing was extraordinary and may actually have surpassed that of Idina Menzel, who originally played the role on Broadway. Kendra Kassebaum was fine as Galinda/Glinda, but she seemed out of her league vocally compared to Broadway's original, Kristin Chenoweth, and she paled in comparison to Block. Kassebaum's over-the-top antics and physicality were also a little distracting at times.

I was looking forward to Carol Kane in the role of Madame Morrible, but she actually didn't pull it off for me. At times, she was difficult to understand (which may have had more to do with the terirble acoustics in the Music Hall than anything else), and I thought the character should have been a touch more sinister.

David Garrison (Steve Rhoades from TV's "Married With Children") was fine as the Wizard. Jenna Leigh Green (Libby Chessler on "Sabrina the Teenaged Witch") turned in a solid performance as Nessarose, Elphaba's sister, and I was pleasantly surprised with her singing.

Boq was played by Logan Lipton. His performance was unremarkable except for the mic problems he had in Act II (unfortunately, at a critical juncture). Derrick Williams' portrayal of Fiyero was high-quality.

Unfortunately for all the other actors, though, nobody could match the sheer power of Block's Elphaba.

I enjoyed the production of The Producers that came to DSM earlier this year more than this show, but Wicked was a better overall production. The Producers made me laugh almost non-stop, but Wicked can actually make you stop and think.

SPOILER WARNING--DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DO NOT WANT ANY OF THE PLOT SPOILED

I don't think the musical had to follow Gregory Maguire's book completely, and I understand the decision to have Boq become the Tin Man. I can even accept that Fiyero becomes the Scarecrow. What really drew the air out of the show for me was the "happy ending" that was added. For me, the story is much more poignant if Elphaba is dead, and having her and Fiyero/Scarecrow go off into hiding just seems cheap.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 45

After I got over being sick, my weight popped back up to where it had been. I've been pretty good drinking water this past week, and I even exercised last night.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 222.0

Today's Weight = 218.0

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 49.0 pounds

Friday, October 14, 2005

Don't try this at home

As you all know, I'm engaged in a continuing effort to lose weight. This morning, when I stepped on the scale, it read 216.5. This was a loss of 5 pounds from yesterday. What precipitated this dramatic drop you ask? Well, it seems the Calvinator household acquired a stomach virus from somewhere. My wife called me yesterday morning to let me know that one of the girls had already gotten sick and that she, my wife, was feeling nauseated as well. Over the course of the day, all the girls got sick except for our one year old.

It appeared that I might avoid the wrath of this bug, but at 2:30 in the morning, I could be found on all fours on the bathroom floor. Thankfully, that was my only episode. Because I had not been sick for several hours, I decided to go to work today. Probably a mistake. I feel wiped out.

On a good note, the 216.5 pounds is the least I have weighed in the entire time my wife has known me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Interesting Personal Discovery

Over the weekend, my wife was out of town. She took Calvinatorette IV with her, but I had Calvinatorettes I, II, & III. On Sunday evening, my mom kept the girls because I have to get up early to get to work on Mondays. So, I came home to an empty house after the closing performance of Rumors.

What I discovered that night was that although when the family is home, I like to be left alone on occasion, I do not like being alone. I hated being the only one in the house. It's not like I didn't have things I could do. I watched some sports. I surfed the web. I listened to music. All the while, I was aware that I was the only one in the house.

And I didn't like it.

Getting in Shape Update 44

It could have been worse.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 221.5

Today's Weight = 222.0

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 45.0 pounds

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 43

I sometimes wonder if I engage in a little self-sabotage. Eating was not the best this past week.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 220.0

Today's Weight = 221.5

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 45.5 pounds

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 42

Please let this be the start of a new trend.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 220.0

Weight Loss in past week = 3.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 47.0 pounds

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Back on the Boards

Friday night was the opening of Rumors at Rockwall Community Playhouse. This is the first play I've done in three-and-a-half years. I have been in a number of shows during that time, but they were all musicals. It has been interesting being an "outsider" for a show. Almost all of my productions have been at the community theatre in my hometown. Rockwall is only a few miles away, but it's like a whole other world. Doing a show at a different theatre has its advantages and its disadvantages. I've learned some things about how they run their theatre; many of which would be beneficial for my normal troupe. The main disadvantage comes from not being one of the regular gang. This has been lessened by the fact that this is the first show at RCP for half the cast.

We run two more weekends. It's a good show. If you live in the area, please come check it out.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 41

I'm sure you're getting as tired of this lack of movement as I am.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Loss/Gain in past week = 0.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.0 pounds

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 40

I'm not sure that half a pound even counts as a gain.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 222.5

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.0 pounds

Monday, September 12, 2005

Feeling Small

No, this isn't about losing weight, and it's pretty long.

A hot, prickly feeling of shame spread from the top of Harry's head all the way down his body. Dumbledore had not raised his voice, he did not even sound angry, but Harry would have preferred him to yell; this cold disappointment was worse than anything.
                       —Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, p. 428

I don't think I ever heard my High School Speech teacher, Janice Caldwell, raise her voice. She never had to. Mrs. Caldwell was one of those teachers whom everyone respected. In those days, it seemed that most of the students still cared what teachers thought of them. That was especially true regarding students and Mrs. Caldwell.

Mrs. Caldwell may not have ever yelled, but she certainly knew how to express her displeasure. Whenever a student behaved inappropriately, she would not berate or chastise. Instead, a hurt look would grow on her face, and she would say, "I'm very disappointed in you." The words were always the same. The reaction was usually the same, too.

My contact with Mrs. Caldwell began my Sophomore year. It was that year that I first competed in Speech tournaments. Mrs. Caldwell was also the Assistant Director for our competition One-Act play. Because of my course schedule, I was not able to fit Speech class in until my Senior year. It is a point of pride for me that I was the first person to obtain a grade of "A+" in Mrs. Caldwell's class. School generally came easy to me, but I made a little extra effort in Speech class. There's just something about Mrs. Caldwell that made students want to please her.

During that year, one of our units was Cross-Examination team Debate. The class was set up in an elimination tournament. Fifteen teams of two contended for classroom glory. The tournament was single-elimination (except for one of the first seven teams defeated; that team was randomly selected to compete in the first round again against the fifteenth team), so the pressure was immense. My partner, Kim Appleton, and I were paired up against Shelly Scarborough and Jennifer Raynes. They were the Affirmative. The topic being debated was:

Resolved: That the Federal Government should enact a comprehensive policy to protect the quality of water in the United States.

****At this point, you are either very impressed or very scared that I still remember that after almost twenty years.****

Shelly and Jennifer pulled out a plan to mandate Fluoridation of all public water supplies in the U.S. Now, Kim and I had all kinds of evidence about the water table, ground water, lakes, rivers, Superfund, and the like, but we had not card one about fluoride. I told Kim our only hope was to go after Topicality, which is an issue related to whether the plan really fits the stated topic.

The Judge, who was the school's Drama Teacher, voted for Kim and me on the Topicality issue. The team of Appleton and Scott were never seriously challenged in the next three Rounds and won the Tournament handily.

However, going back to the day of Round 1, at lunch that day I was up in Mrs. Caldwell's classroom. She told me that she thought the other team's plan was topical and that, in her opinion, we should have lost the round. I replied that we were caught completely by surprise, so we had to "BS our way through the Round." Mrs. Caldwell looked at me and asked if I knew the meaning of what I had just said. At that moment, if I could have hit a magic "Rewind" button, I would have, but it was too late. I told Mrs. Caldwell that yes, I knew what "BS" stood for, but I didn't really mean those words, which was at least consciously true.

Mrs. Caldwell gave me a brief lecture about choosing words carefully, especially as a Christian who desired to be a positive example for my classmates. I sat there and took my medicine hoping it would be over quickly. Mrs. Caldwell spoke again, quietly and calmly, "I'm very disappointed in you." Since the Rewind button was nowhere to be found, I started wishing for a hole in which to hide. It did not need to be a big hole either because I only felt about two inches tall.

After that, as further testament to Mrs. Caldwell's greatness, there was no lingering condemnation from her. She had expressed her displeasure and then moved on. I have communicated with Mrs. Caldwell occasionally over the years, but it's been a while since the last time. She was one of those great teachers who leaves a lasting impression, and I am a better person for having known her.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Journal Anxiety

I was unable to locate my Journal for the past few days. I checked everywhere I thought it could be even though I couldn't remember hav ing it in any of those places. Thankfully, I don't have all that much written in it, and most of what I had written has been posted here on the blog anyway. The stuff that wasn't posted here wasn't anything that would have been terribly embarrassing if the Journal had fallen into the "wrong" hands, but it was annoying beyond description to think I had lost the blasted thing.

Well, I found it tonight. Great relief.

I am especially pleased because there are a couple of passages in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince that I want to write about. Look for the first tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 39

At best, I thought I'd lose 2 pounds this week. I'm beyond trying to explain why my weight fluctuates how it does.



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 226.5

Today's Weight = 222.5

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.5 pounds

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It Always Comes Back to Iraq

I communicate with a wide variety of people over the internet. They run the gamut of the political spectrum. The reactions to the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina have been, for the most part, true to form. The frothing Bush-haters are whipped up into a lather about how horrible a job Bush supposedly did/is doing in handling this crisis. If you keep pushing them, though, ultimately, it always comes back to Iraq. Eventually, after all the high-minded sounding arguments about evacuation plans and relief efforts, these folks will devolve to this argument: "If we weren't spending all that money and manpower to fight Bush's personal war in Iraq, there would have been the necessary funds to reinforce the levees (presumably overnight), there would have been the necessary manpower to run the evacuation and relief effort."

This, my friends, is what is known as a crock.

I have come to firmly believe that the hatred of Bush is a result not so much of what Bush has or hasn't done or his political ideology, but more a result of the American Left's desire to "get us back for what we did to President Clinton." You see, the vast right-wing conspiracy managed to prove that Bill Clinton was a liar, so the Left has decided that it must bring the same charge against Bush. That's why the anti-war rhetoric always claims that Bush lied to the American people. It wouldn't be enough for them to say that he had been wrong in his reasons. No, they have to take the next step and assume he knew the WMD's weren't there; therefore, in their minds, he lied.

I happen to be one of those Kool-Aid drinkers who thinks the WMD's managed to get secreted out of Iraq in the 6 months we were forced to wait before we invaded, but that's beside the point. Even if there were no WMD's at all, that is not proof that Bush lied to us.

Seriously, when you find someone who is attacking "the government" for how poorly things were handled and are being handle in New Orleans, keep pressing. Eventually, you will hear the word Iraq escape his or her lips.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

In Praise of Mickey D's

I've been meaning to post about this for a few weeks. I don't know about where you live, but I am extrememly excited that all the McDonald's restaurants around here now have Diet Dr Pepper available. I wonder what took them so long.

In fact, I'm noticing Diet Dr Pepper popping up on more and more "fountains" these days.

As I've mentioned before, I loves me some Dr Pepper.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 38

Bad week. Very bad week

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 226.5

Weight Gain in past week = 3.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 40.5 pounds

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 37



Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.0

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Loss in past week = 1.0 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.0 pounds

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wilkommen

I just got home from seeing the closing performance of Cabaret at Water Tower Theatre in Addison (North of Dallas). It was moving. At the end, the audience was hesitant to applaud. This show is one that is important, and the emotional power was obvious as the audience delayed the applause. I assure you that the delay was not because of any deficiency in the acting, singing, or dancing. Across the Board, it was a fabulous show.

My local community theatre had originally scheduled Cabaret for last season in the slot where we ultimately did Annie. I had voted for Cabaret based on having read the script, but now, having seen the show, I realize that we could never have done the show justice. In order to avoid alienating our small town crowd, the show would have had to have been so watered down that it would not have been worthwhile.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Tooth Fairy comes tonight

Our eldest lost her first tooth today. She was very excited about. I wasn't even sure she knew about the Tooth Fairy, but she told me on the phone that she had to put the tooth in her room so the Tooth Fairy could get it.

Happy Birthday, K-Bob

Wherever you are.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

New Profile Pic

The new pic over to the right is not really new. In fact, it's from over 3 years ago. I just got tired of the old one that had me looking like my eyes were whacked out.

No, I don't currently have a goatee.

On Writing

I signed on for a free on-line writing seminar over at The Phantom Professor blog. The first assignment was posted today—"Write a compelling sentence." Wow! What a first assignment! The further instructions indicate that it should be the first sentence of a story I would like to write and should make the reader eager for more. I've been reading a lot of Sci-Fi lately, mostly Harry Harrison, so I think I'll start in that direction. Here's my first stab:

As Thomas looked out over the wreckage strewn before him, he couldn't help thinking to himself, "How do I keep getting into messes like this?"

Getting in Shape Update 36

I guess it could have been worse.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.0

Today's Weight = 224.0

Weight Loss/Gain in past week = 0.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 43.0 pounds

Monday, August 15, 2005

My new favorite blog

Thank to the Rabbi Philosopher for point me to the tremendous blog, The Thinklings. I strongly recommend it.

A button will be coming as soon as I can get to it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I am deeply honored

I don't want my friends and family who regularly check out my blog and leave comments to feel slighted, but I was thrilled to discover that Chris Muir left a comment here. For those who might not know, Muir writes and draws the great internet cartoon, Day By Day. It's one of the sights I link in the sidebar. I guess his traffic report indicated that he gets enough visitors coming from my blog to be noticed.

Chris, I love your strip, and I hope you enjoy my sporadic brain thoughts posted here.

Getting in Shape Update 35

Man, is this yo-yo thing getting annoying. We went to Six Flags Sunday, and I walked for about 6 hours, but I also ate junk and drank non-diet soft drinks.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 219.5

Today's Weight = 224.0

Weight Gain in past week = 4.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 43.0 pounds



I knew last week's weight was artificially low because my crazy schedule right now caused me not to eat any dinner two nights, but I didn't think I'd gain back as much as I did.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 34

Avoided eating after dinner and drank a lot of water. I also ate significantly more protein than normal.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 225.5

Today's Weight = 219.5

Weight Loss in past week = 6.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 47.5 pounds

Monday, August 01, 2005

My long, personal nightmare is finally over

I was finally able to bring my new computer home. It took CompUSA almost a week to get the data transferred from the old, dead box to the new machine. I still haven't found my old e-mail messages, but so far, I've found everything I needed.

When I picked it up, the guy said I would have to re-install all my third party software. He was wrong. Apparently, this is yet another reason Macs are superior to Windows PCs.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Great Texas Poker Debate

DISCLAIMER: The author's opinions are his own, and he is not speaking on behalf of any agency or other person.

Back in the November/December 2004 issue of The Prosecutor, the official periodical of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, Markus Kypreos wrote an article starting on page 41 titled "A hold on Texas Hold'Em" in which he opined that most public Hold'Em tournaments are illegal. Kypreos reiterated his opinions on page 13 of the March/April edition in "Texas Hold ’Em: Three months later, it’s still illegal". At the time of those two articles, I debated them with a few other prosecutors and peace officers. I took the position that Kypreos was wrong about the tournaments being held by the Amateur Poker League because there was no "bet" involved. In short, I believed that the Texas Gambling Statute should be read to mean that unless there is a risk of loss to the player, then no bet occurs, and thus no gambling is occurring.

My main objection to Kypreos' articles was not that he reached a conclusion different from mine. My main objection was that he seemed unwilling to even acknowledge that another interpretation was possible. It is this smug attitude that leads to attorneys in general and prosecutors in general having a bad reputation. If Kypreos had taken a more scholarly approach to his articles and acknowledged that his conclusions were merely his opinions, I don't think he woudl need to be eating any crow right now.

BUT, he does.

Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, who is no fan of gambling, has issued Opinion No. GA-0335, which supports my interpretation.

The Opinion states,

"Pursuant to the test promulgated by the court in Odle, this lack of "tender of a gift of something valuable" means that no "bet" has occurred.


I am happy that the AG's office got this one right, and I hope Kypreos will acknowledge his error in the next issue of The Prosecutor.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 33

Ate late a few nights, and I didn't drink anywhere near enough water.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.5

Today's Weight = 225.5

Weight Gain in past week = 2.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 41.5 pounds

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 32

Thought I had a pretty good week. I'm not sure why I gained weight.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 221.5

Today's Weight = 223.5

Weight Gain in past week = 2.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 43.5 pounds

Free Poker

While my wife is out of town, I decided to go out yesterday and this evening to play some free poker. There are no locations close to me that are part of the Amateur Poker League, so yesterday, I drove a pretty good distance. Tonight, I went somehwere that was sort of on the way home.

Sunday's sessions weren't that bad. In the 6pm tournament, I started slow, but picked up after the first break. I caught one lucky set of community cards when we were down to about 14 players. I was short stacked and forced all in on the blind. I think I had suited cards, but they weren't worth much. The Board hit with an Ace High straight. We wound up with a three-way split of the pot. I was still pretty short-stacked, but I managed to make it to the final table of 8. Went out first for an 8th place finish.

In the 9pm session, I hit two big hands early and rode it to the final table again. I was second in chips, but because of the turbo-style blind structure, I still wasn't in great shape. I played a hand I shouldn't have, which left me with a medium stack (by comparison to the table—it was a short stack in relation to the blinds). I decided to take a stab at it before being forced all-in on a blind, but I couldn't hit the cards I needed. Slightly better this time with a 6th place.

Monday night, the location was thankfully snoke-free, but much more crowded. the guy to my left busted out another player early, so he had a pretty good sized stack. I was dealt A-10 in the big blind for $40, big stack raised to $100, and I re-raised to $300 when it came around to me. He called. The flop came A-J-10, so I had two pair. I bet out $300 and big stack raised to $1000. I immediately re-raised all-in. He called and turned over A-Q suited. At this point there were only 7 cards that would kill me—the 3 other Queens and the 4 Kings. The turn was a King. I still had 7 outs on the River. And Ace or 10 would give me a winning full house, and a Queen would result in a split pot. No such luck, and I got to leave early. In fact, they should be finishing up just about now.

I wasn't happy to be eliminated, but I told myself that you can't beat yourself up when you play it right and it just doesn't work.

CORRECTION: It dawned on me this morning that the other player actually had 10 outs. If another Jack had come up, we would both have had 2 pair (Aces & Jacks) and his Queen would play over my 10. Now, I'm not as sure I made the right play.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Rove-Plame Affair

Karl Rove may not have done anything illegal with his leak (accidental or otherwise) of Valerie Plame, but what he did was wrong, and now it is time for him to go. I can imagine that President Bush figures that Rove deserves the benefit of forgiveness on this one. Bush can afford to think that way because he isn't seeking re-election.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In case you were wondering

I have been writing in my Journal, but some of the stuff in there isn't for public viewing. Nothing too secret, but things that are better kept to myself. At least for now. As a Government employee, I have to be a little careful about what I say about work. In fact, I believe I have left my job out of this blog completely (but I could be mistaken about that). There's just too much risk to posting everything I think.

Getting in Shape Update 31

Snacked much less and did better not eating in the evening after dinner.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.5

Today's Weight = 221.5

Weight Loss in past week = 3.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 45.5 pounds

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Why I hated Grad School

I just had an epiphany about why I was so miserable while I was in Graduate School. I went The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to get a Master of Arts degree in Speech Communication right out of college. During the first year of the two-year program, I felt burned out and almost dropped out. I had always thought that burned out feeling was because I had been in school practically my entire life, but now I think I discovered the real reason.

I didn't have any friends in Grad School.

I am a very social person. I love to talk and spend time with others, and I genuinely like almost everybody. I have lots and lots of friends. However, while I was at Chapel Hill, there was nobody with whom I would just "hang out" and do stuff. I've always had many friends, but perhaps more importantly, I've always had a best friend (or two). In High School, it was Jay and Kim. In college, I had K-Bob and O-Steph. I met Rod at orientation at Law School, and I can't tell you how many hours we spent playing Super Nintendo or eating queso at Chili's. When I lived in Houston, I spent time with the gang from my Singles Sunday School class. Now, I have my friends at the Theatre.

In Grad School, I had squat. There were 29 or 30 other students in our program, and I got along with all of them, even if I was one of only two Conservatives (and the other one never got into political discussions), but I wouldn't say any of them were friends. The only times I really enjoyed Grad School were when I was teaching as a Teaching Assistant and when I performed in a play. During that production, I did hang out a few times with the other cast members, but as soon as the show was over, that interaction came to an end.

Who knows, if I had just made a good friend or two at UNC, I might have wound up a college professor instead of a lawyer.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Blog of Local Interest

I discovered a new blog this morning that might be of interest to folks around here (northeast Texas):

The Kaufman County Pundit

I told some people about it this afternoon at a wedding reception, but I got the name wrong.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Another Openin', Another Show

Tonight was opening night for The Foreigner, the show I directed for Kaufman County Civic Theatre. The audience was small, but responsive. A good show overall. It runs for 8 more shows on our stage, and then we are taking it on the road for one weekend to the theatre in the next small town over.

Great job tonight, gang!

Here's a an image containing a couple of shots from rehearsals:

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Worth the Weight

I know I always seem to beat myself up when I have a week in which I gain a little weight, but other than the fact that it delays my reaching my ultimate goal, the minor "setbacks" really don't bother me that much. I typically step on the scales every morning, despite the fact that most "experts" say one shouldn't do that when engaged in a weight-loss plan. When I was at my heaviest, my weight would fluctuate as much as 5 pounds from one day to the next. One morning I would weigh 263; the next, 258. The day after that, I might be back at 261. So, I know that minor fluctuations aren't that big a deal.

In fact, this morning, the scale read 222.5.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 30

I had a bad week. I didn't pay much attention to what and when I ate.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 224.5

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 42.5 pounds

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Button Happy

I fired up Adobe Photoshop in the Classic environment on my MAC today and created some buttons for my blog links to the right. Yes, I know the "convention" for size on these things is 80x15 pixels, but at that size, the text was very difficult to read. The font is "Sand".

Feel free to copy and use any of them if you'd like, but please download them to your computer and then upload them to your own host site. I use Geocities, and if the images get accessed too often, my geocities website actually becomes unavailable for a short time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 29

It makes it really hard to "be good" when the results just aren't happening.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.0

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Loss/Gain in past week = 0.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.0 pounds

Friday, June 24, 2005

A Pox Upon My House

Hannah is nearing the end of her bout with Chicken Pox, but on Monday, Lindsey (the 8 month old) broke out with them. This morning, Sarah (the soon to be 3 yr old) was sporting little red spots as well. Jody told Erin (the oldest), "You might as well just go lick her [Lindsey's] bottle and get it over with."

Last night was not fun. Lindsey woke me up around 3:00. I don't know what time she actually woke up because it takes alot to rouse me from my slumber. Her crying woke up Hannah and Sarah, so I helped try to calm Lindsey and get Hannah and Sarah back to bed. Finally, at 4:30, I went and got in bed with Sarah to get her calmed down.

I was very tempted to take a sick day today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Drat!

Baylor was just eliminated from the College World Series by the Texas Longhorns. Congrats to UT.

Pac-Man Fever

Where I ate lunch today, they have a video game machine that has both Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man. Seeing that reminded me of the days back in the early 80's when Donkey Kong and Frogger ruled my world. We had a great video arcade in my hometown. Hightower's was clean and had a great selection.

The house I grew up in, and where my parents still live, is 4.8 miles from the City Limits. That includes 1.4 miles of dirt/rock road and 3.4 miles of a Farm-to-Market two lane undivided roadway. In the summers (with that mid-90's and above heat), I would occasionally ride my bicycle to town and go to Hightower's to spend my time and money. There was one day that I spent twenty dollars there, a quarter at a time. My mom grounded me from playing video games for two weeks. The worst part of it was that a few times, my brother took me with him to the arcade while I was serving my punishment sentence. I had to sit in the arcade without being allowed to play.

I guess that was a character-building experience. Either that, or it just served as inspiration for a journal entry.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A New Experience

In my life, I have succeeded at most of what I've tried—from school to music to acting to appearing on a TV quiz show. The only lack of success I can think of is my run for office in 2002. However, I had never, as far as I can remember, quit anything—until now.

Even though my appearance on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" was over four years ago, I still participate in an internet message board related to the show. The board, or Bored as the regulars call it, has migrated to several locations over the past few years, and people have come and gone, but one thing has been fairly constant and consistent—the Question of the Day. The QoD, as it is shortened, is a monthly trivia contest for the Bored's participants. The citizens of this particular internet community are unusually adept at trivia, and as is the nature of the species, we are very competitive. The QoDMeister gets to set the format of the game, and the monthly winner earns the right to run the game the following month. For a long time, the winner had never declined the opportunity to host, but eventually someone did. In that case, usually we just go down the final standings until somebody agrees to host.

Over the past four-and-a-half years, I have won the QoD a few times. Most recently, I won in May. I agreed to host the game this month, and although I started strong, I quickly lost my motivation and petered out. This morning, I posted a message to the Bored to let them know that I would not be finishing the game.

I know in the "grand scheme of things" that this game isn't that significant, but as I said before, I think this is the first time I've ever quit anything.

If You Can't Stand the Heat

I don't know why it surprises me every year when the temperature gets so hot. Except for 1992, I've spent every summer of my life in Texas. And yet, every time the mercury rises to the mid-90's, it's as if I am caught unawares. I love Texas, and I really can't imagine living anywhere else, but if I could, I would lower the average temperature somewhere between fifteen and twenty degrees.

Jody grew up in the cold of Montana. She tells me that she'll take the heat of a Texas summer over being snowed in all winter. At one point, we had talked about moving to western Montana to be closer to Jody's family, but it never came together. I don't know if I could have withstood the long winters, but I do know that the oppressive heat of North Texas is quite wearisome.

Getting in Shape Update 28

I guess I have to be resigned to slow, but steady, weight loss from here on out.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 223.5

Today's Weight = 223.0

Weight Loss in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.0 pounds

Monday, June 20, 2005

Play by Play

I'm listening to the Baylor Bears game at the College World Series on the interent broadcast from BaylorBears.com. The Play-by-play announcer, whose name I haven't caught, is horrible. The cadence of his voice is very annoying, and if I weren't really interested in the game, I would have turned it off a long time ago.

Writing Tools

One of the things I've discovered since I started this blog is that oftentimes, something hits me during the day that I think might make an interesting blog entry. What happens almost every time is that later, when I try to remember what the inspiration was, I have forgotten what I observed or thought.

With that in mind, I've decided I'm going to start carrying a paper journal with me to jot things down as they arise. Maybe this will result in a more consistent and better blog.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Superstar

Last night, I went to see my oldest daughter's performance for the Children's Summer Theatre Experience. She was in the two group numbers and had two smaller scenes. One of her scenes was from State Fair, which is a show I've never seen. She and this boy named Keeton sang "Isn't It Kinda Fun?" They got the biggest cheers of the night.

After it was all over, the Director, Linda Leonard told me that Erin is a natural talent. Linda is a professional actress who has done Regional shows and used to act in Chicago. I have no idea if Erin wants to be an actress, but she does seem to have the knack.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 27

It is hard for me to eat right when I'm sick. I seem to be over my Shingles, but now, I've been hit with a cold.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.0

Today's Weight = 223.5

Weight Loss in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 43.5 pounds

Saturday, June 11, 2005

My Daughter the Theologian

My four-year-old daughter, Hannah, has come down with the Chicken Pox. Most likely, she caught the varicella zoster virus from me as a result of my outbreak of Shingles.

This morning, my wife was giving Hannah an oatmeal bath to help alleviate some of the itching. I was in the bathroom talking to Hannah when she said, "If nobody got Chicken Pox, that would mean nobody ever did anything wrong, and nobody would ever have to eat soup." My four-year-old has apparently already come to an understanding of the pervasive effects of the Fall of Man.

Hannah is a very emotional child. She wears her heart on her sleeve, but in many ways, she's the deepest of our kids.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 26

Could have been a lot worse.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.0

Today's Weight = 224.0

Weight Loss/Gain in past week = 0.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 43.0 pounds

Monday, June 06, 2005

New Show on TV for Actors

I stumbled across a show last night on E! called "Fight for Fame". I can imagine for some actors, seeing it might be intimidating, but to me, it was exhilirating. The show starts with five un-represented actors in L.A. who are vieing for one slot with an Agent. They go through various auditions and exercises and are cut one by one until the winner is left. Each show will have five new faces. The whole process of each episode transpires over the course of one day.

If you have any dreams or delusions of "making it" in Hollywood, I recommend this show.

Proud Papa

Saturday night was the First Annual KCCT Awards Gala. Jody, Erin, and I got dressed to the nines and stepped out for the event. I was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical for providing the voice of Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, which was very flattering. However, Erin was nominated for Best Performance by a Juvenile. She was up against 3 other very talented girls who are all older than she is. My daughter, who played Molly in our production of Annie and turned six years old during the run, was announced as the winner. Her acceptance speech was short, sweet, and to the point: "Thank you."

The other winners:

Best Show
Little Shop of Horrors

Best Actor in a Musical
Dennis Gullion as Dr. Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. in Little Shop of Horrors

Best Actress in a Musical
Emily Hunt as Miss Hannigan in Annie

Best Actor in a Play
Lonny Schonfeld as Jake in Jake's Women

Best Actress in a Play
Kay Hinds as Cora Gump in A Bad Year for Tomatoes

Outstanding Technical Achievement
The design and build team for Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors

People's Choice Awards
A Bad Year for Tomatoes -- Ron E. Harris as Piney
Little Shop of Horrors -- Josh Wood as Seymour
FrUiTCaKeS -- Olivia Hughs as Sally Dantzler
Annie -- Olivia Hughs as Annie
Jake's Women -- Lonny Schonfeld as Jake

Congratulations to all the winners! I am glad to have been able to share the stage with you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 25

Bad week weight-wise, but with the Shingles, I just haven't cared.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 221.5

Today's Weight = 224.0

Weight Gain in past week = 2.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 43.0 pounds

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Night Owl or Temporary Insomniac?

I have always been what can only be described as a Night Owl. Heck, I even got it honest, as they say. My dad is also a Late Night kind of guy. The question for someone like me can often be, "When am I experiencing insomnia as opposed to just my ordinary nature?"

That question is with me now. Three hours ago, I was fairly tired, so I went to my room and sat in bed watching some television. Now, I am wide awake. Has insomnia set in, or did I just get a normal Night Owl second wind? What effect might my current bout with Shingles (and the medications I am taking) have on my ability to fall asleep?

Usually, I would just pick up a book to read, but (a) almost all of my books are in storage right now as we continue to try to get our house ready to try to sell, and (2) I just don't feel like reading right now.

I guess I'll watch some television.

Stupid Bumper Sticker

Driving to work yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker that wasn't new or unusual, but it got me think about it. The one I saw said "My Money and Daughter go to Baylor". Now, it caught my attention because Baylor is my college and law school alma mater.

Implicit in this bumper sticker (and similar ones for other schools) are two thoughts: First, the driver of the vehicle is proud that his or her child is attending the college in question; and second, the driver is complaining about the fact that he or she is paying for or helping to pay for his or her child's higher education. Why do people think it's necessary to add the complaint? Why can't they just be happy that the child is getting a quality education? If you are going to complain about the expense, then don't send your kid to college. Or send your kid to a less expensive one.

I know that some will think I'm taking too seriously what is meant in jest, but this bumper sticker has always bothered me. I am thankful neither of my parents ever had one. My dad doesn't "do" bumper stickers. My mom was satisfied with a simple "Baylor Mom" one.

Oh, and the kicker? The vehicle I saw the sticker on yesterday was an Escalade.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Indianapolis Blues

Do you remember when the Indy 500 was THE car race of the year? Now, it's not even the biggest race of the weekend. I'm more a NASCAR™ fan than an Indy car fan, but even to me, that's just kinda sad. I'll probably catch some of the Indy 500, but I'll most likely watch more of the Coca-Cola 600 if not the entire race.

TMI Warning

I went to my Doctor's office this afternoon. What I had thought was a breakout of Poison Ivy or Oak turns out to be a case of Shingles. So, now I'm on a cycle of some anti-viral medicine, and I have to be careful not to expose my daughters. They can't get Shingles, but the same virus causes Chicken Pox. I do not want my seven month old to get Chicken Pox.

I owe a huge "Thank You" to my internet friends on the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Message Board (The link is on the sidebar). It was some of that gang who told me my symptoms sounded like shingles. There's no telling how long I would have waited to go to the Doctor without their advice.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dy-No-Mite!

You know? Dynamite is an amazing thing. When used with care, it can help with construction projects. However, when improperly utilized, it is greatly destructive.

Have you ever heard a person described as "dynamite"? Usually it's a compliment, meaning the person is energetic and exceptional. Some people are more like dynamite than we know. Those people, when their energies are properly focused, are highly creative, but when they get their priorities out of whack, they become a terribly destructive force. I'm sure we all know people like that.

My question today is how do us regular, non-explosive people handle the dynamite people around us? What's the best way to make sure those folks are using their energies for positive ends?

Now, don't get me wrong. Dynamite people usually have the best of intentions, even when they are blowing everything to smithereens. So, how do you keep the dynamite people from destroying the very thing thing are trying to create?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 24

Moving down again.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 222.5

Today's Weight = 221.5

Weight Loss in past week = 1.0 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 45.5 pounds

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

And Straight on 'til Morning

I highly recommend Finding Neverland. My wife and I watched it last night after getting the girls to bed. The film is visually stunning and emotionally moving. As it turns out, we could have watched it with the girls up. It's definitely a "family friendly" film.

Seriously, you should rent it today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 23

I did much better eating and drinking enough water this week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 226.5

Today's Weight = 222.5

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 44.5 pounds

Monday, May 16, 2005

Gomo Rim Jambo?

No, I'm not speaking in tongues. The title of this entry is a line from the play, The Foreigner by Larry Shue, which I will be directing for Kaufman County Civic Theatre this summer. I picked my cast last night, and rehearsals start June 1st. The play is hilarious, and I hope we do a good job with it. I am excited about having cast two newcomers to our theatre. A couple of guys named Fester and Tex who have done a little acting in the past (at other ocmmunity theatres or in high school) read for me. I had to go out to Starbucks for their audition because they both work there and were on duty the night I had auditions. It was not a wasted trip.

Ah, the joys of community theatre. The actor playing the older British Staff Sergeant is a 20 year old, 5 foot 6 inch Latino. He's very funny.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

From whence I came

In case any of you were wondering what my parents look like, here's a picture of them:



Now you can see where I got my great looks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 22

I was doing okay until Sunday. I ate too much pizza Sunday. Then yesterday, I ate a big dinner and had an entire bag of M&M's. I guess this was my first real set-back week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 224.5

Today's Weight = 226.5

Weight Gain in past week = 2.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 40.5 pounds

Monday, May 09, 2005

Don't Panic

I went and saw The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy last week. I was prepared for the worst. Some early reviews had been less than glowing.

I liked it. I think they did about what could be done in 2 hours with the material. I wasn't particularly fond of Mos Def's portrayal of Ford Prefect, but I was pleased with all the other performances. The Magrathean factory "floor" was splendid.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Kiss the Cook

Tonight, I did something I hadn't done in quite awhile. I baked chocolate chip cookies. I made them to give to my students at tomorrow night's final class of the semester. I had forgotten how much I enjoy baking.

My wife was impressed with the cookies.

Getting in Shape Update 21

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 225.5

Today's Weight = 224.5

Weight Loss in past week = 1.0 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 42.5 pounds

Friday, April 29, 2005

Upcoming Stuff

I've been lax. I'm sorry.

Just haven't had that much to say lately.

Anyway, in the near future, watch this space for some newness. Last week, I stumbled across a piece I started writing at a boring Continuing Legal Education Seminar. I plan to finish that, and then I'll post it here in serial form--it's already too long for a single post). That one is an article about the Law School experience.

I also plan to write something about my experience on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" I appeared on the show back in 2001, and it served as a pivotal point in my life.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 20

Still moving slow. For two days, I was down to 224.0, but it crept back up.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 226.0

Today's Weight = 225.5

Weight Loss in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 41.5 pounds

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 19

I seem to have hit my first real stall. Gonna have to start exercising again. In fact, I just spent an hour on my Gazelle Freestyle Elite.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 225.5

Today's Weight = 226.0

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 41.0 pounds

Friday, April 15, 2005

Measurements Update

Early on in my weight loss program, I posted some goals.

1) Get to where an XL T-shirt is not snug.

2) Drop to a 42 inch waist

3) Get down to a 17 1/2 inch dress shirt.

I said I'd keep y'all posted, but I forgot.

1) I can wear my XL shirts in public now without embarrasment

2) I have had the pants of 2 of my suits taken in, and my wife bought me some shorts with a 38 inch waist. They were a tad snug, but I could get them on and could have worn them if I had wanted.

3) I just bought some new dress shirts yesterday. Neck size is 17 inches.

I don't know if the measurements will go down by proportion if reach my target weight, but if they do, I'll end up with about a 32 inch waist, wearing Large T-shirts, and having a 16 inch neck.

i can't even remember when the last time was that I wore a size 16 dress shirt.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Rube Goldberg Would Be Proud

This is an amazing Honda Accord Commercial (Flash 6 or above required). Make sure your volume is on.

And, this is a good article explaining how the ad was set-up and shot.

Recent Movie Viewings

As I mentioned before, because of the big gap between my regular work hours and the starting time of my part-time teaching gig, I often go see movies at the Dollar Theater.

A few weeks ago, I checked out National Treasure. I really enjoyed it, and I almost saw it again yesterday. I was particularly impressed with the performance of Justin Bartha as Riley Poole.

Yesterday, instead of re-watching National Treasure, I decided to see In Good Company. I was once again struck as I watched Topher Grace by my inability to comprehend how Ashton Kutcher--who is, by far, the least talented member--has become the biggest star from "That 70's Show".

Anyway, I thought this was a pretty good movie, too. No "pat" ending. Good performances from Grace, Dennis Quaid, and Scarlett Johansson.

The Blue Elbow

Some of you may have noticed that my right arm had a blue section in the pics in The Weight Loss Pics. There's a very good reason for that.

That day, I had gone to the Carter Blood Care Center in Mesquite and donated blood. Actually, I donated double red cells because they like the double reds from folks with O+ blood, like I have. That day's donation got me up to One Gallon in lifetime donations. I just started donating regularly last year, so that's not too bad.

I encourage everyone to give blood. Before I did it the first time, which was to donate in support of a family friend who had a heart attack, I was afraid to do it. Really, it's no big deal.

Getting in Shape Update 18

I had a few not so great eating days this week. Especially Sunday at a Cast Party picnic.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 226.0

Today's Weight = 225.5

Weight Loss in past week = 0.5 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 41.5 pounds

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Make Sure You Know where Your Towel Is

The new version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is coming out April 29th.

Zaphod and Ford are being played by Americans.

I think I'm more excited about this than the final Star Wars installment coming out in May.

Friday, April 08, 2005

So, I finally got a haircut

Because of the 6 roles I was playing in the production of Annie, I had let my hair get pretty long so I could have more flexibility in changing my appearance for the various characters. I was able to get my hair cut Tuesday, and now, my hereditary big ears are very noticeable. I think the weight loss may have some effect, too.

Anyway, what that has resulted in is that I seem to be looking more and more like my paternal grandfather looked (he passed away in 1987). I'm sure my family will tell me I'm crazy, but yesterday and this morning when I looked in the mirror, I thought the resemblance was undeniable.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Sic 'Em Lady Bears!

The Baylor Lady Bears Basketball team won the NCAA Women's Basketball National Championship last night. The dominating win was a pleasure to watch. It would have been more fun to go to the Dallas watch party, but I was so wiped out from the events of Friday to Monday that I decided just to go home and watch it from the comfort of my own couch.

I have two degrees from Baylor University, and today that's an extra-special thing.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 17

Kind of an odd week. This week is the time for me to get back into the exercise routine.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 227.0

Today's Weight = 226.0

Weight Loss in past week = 1.0 pound



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 41.0 pounds

Mixed Day

The day didn't get off to a great start. I had driven to Houston Sunday night because I was testing with Jeopardy! to try to get on the show. I did not pass the test, and then I had to drive four-and-a-half hours home. I consider trivia to be one of my particular strengths, so that was quite disappointing.

But, this evening, my favorite NCAA Men's basketball team, The University of North Carolina Tar Heels, won the National Championship.

If the Baylor Lady Bears can win Tuesday night, I'll get a double-dip on college basketball championships.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terry Schiavo

I hadn't said anything here about the Schiavo situation. There's a very good reason for that. I'm really not sure what I think about it. I'm torn between the ideas that, as her husband, it was, indeed, Michael's decision to make, and that Michael forfeited his right to be the one who made the decision because of his other behaviors.

What I do know is that the issue wasn't as cut-and-dried for me as many claimed it to be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Weight Loss Pics

BEFORE CLOSE-UP PIC (taken October 27, 2004)


16 WEEK PROGRESS CLOSE-UP PIC (taken March 29, 2005)


    BEFORE FULL BODY PIC          16 WEEK FULL BODY PIC
    (taken October 27, 2004)        (taken March 29, 2005)
      


If you want to see the pics from 8 Weeks, you can go HERE. The link will open a new window.

Getting in Shape Update 16

Managed to exercise one day. Eating was a LOT better.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 230.0

Today's Weight = 227.0

Weight Loss in past week = 3.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 40.0 pounds


I'll post new progress pictures later today if I can.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Thanks

I want to give a big Thank You to everyone who prayed for my wife. She came through the surgery fine. She's a bit sore and tender, but everything apparently went well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

If You Pray

Please do so for my wife. Jody is undergoing some surgery tomorrow. It's nothing major, but she will have to be under general anesthesia. It's scheduled for 7:30 am Central Time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Slacker Blogger

I'm sorry for the 2 1/2 of you who check in here regularly to see if I've posted anything new in the thrilling saga that is my life. The past week was particularly hectic.

Erin (aka calvinatorette I) had her birthday Sunday. Party was Saturday because of the matinee for Annie.

Rehearsal Thursday and shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday kept me (and her) quite engaged.

My wife and I watched Ray one night last week, so I finally saw the amazing performance by my fellow Terrell High School 86'er, Jamie Foxx. Foxx's turn was nothing short of brilliant. On the whole, however, I 'd say the movie was only "Good" and not "Great." The two-and-a-half hour movie took us three-and-a-half hours to watch because of numerous distractions. Ah, the life of parents of young children.

Getting in Shape Update 15

Bad week. Ate too much sugar and didn't exercise.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 228.5

Today's Weight = 230.0

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 37.0 pounds

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Disaster Averted

Yesterday, I was faced with the very real prospect of every parent's worst nightmare. When I got home from work, my wife told me that our almost-3 year old daughter had a harrowing experience. It seems Sarah (AKA Calvinatorette III) was trying to reach her pacifier (which she calls a "deedee" for some inexplicable reason), which had been placed on the top of the dresser in our girls' bedroom. Also atop that particular dresser sits a 20" TV/VCR/DVD combo. My precious daughter apparently decided to climb to get her deedee instead of asking for her mom's help.

The dresser tipped over. The TV/VCR/DVD crashed down and into the rail of the bottom bunk of the girls' bunk beds.

Two dresser drawers are broken. The TV has a broken casing (but still works). The bed rail is broken.

Calvinatorette III escaped without a scratch.

The only thing I can figure is that she had opened a few drawers, but instead of standing in one, she was trying to climb up the sides. So, when the whole thing started to tumble, she fell off to the side and avoided being crushed by either the dresser or the TV.

The emotions that hit me when I heard the story were a new experience for me. I had always heard that extreme fear and helplessness can express itself as anger. Now, I have first-hand knowledge of the truth of that.

I thank God that Sarah was not injured . . .

or killed.

Getting in Shape Update 14

Another inexplicable dramatic drop. I guess with my show running, I just haven't eaten as much. The 30 minutes or so of dancing every night must help, too. Even though it isn't particularly aerobic.

The average is 2.75 pounds per week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 233.0

Today's Weight = 228.5

Weight Loss in past week = 4.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 38.5 pounds

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

People Confuse Me

At least, sometimes they do. A few of my students last semester and this act as if they are in charge of the class. They take umbrage at the idea that what the Instructor (me) says, goes. In my opinion, I am not a difficult teacher, nor do I expect unreasonable things from my students. They, on the other hand, tend to think that I am an unrealistic slave-driver.

This past Monday, one of my students claimed that I had said something in class in advance of the test they took last week. I had said no such thing, and when I stated that, my student had the audacity to argue with me in front of the rest of the class. The student in question wouldn't even back down when several of her classmates told her she was mistaken.

I have a suspicion that the attitude I perceive in my classes is the result of years of students being coddled and pandered to in the education environment. Parents don't help the situation when they march to school and attack Teachers and Principals and threaten legal action if their little Johnny or Susie isn't "treated better."

In short, it's time for people to grow up. And that goes for the kids, too.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Incredibles

I finally got around to seeing this year's "Best Animated Feature" yesterday. I know people who think it should have won "Best Picture" as well. I have to say that it's mighty hard to argue against that.

This movie has great acting and keeps you interested from start to finish. Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter were fantastic as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, don't miss it. Right now, it's playing at the "Dollar" theaters in my area, so try to catch it on the big screen right away.

Getting in Shape Update 13

The average is about 2.6 pounds per week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 234.5

Today's Weight = 233.0

Weight Loss in past week = 1.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 34.0 pounds

Saturday, March 05, 2005

You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

Last night was opening night for Kaufman County Civic Theatre's production of Annie. Everything went well.

In fact, we had to add chairs in the aisles to accomodate the crowd. For an actor, there's not much better than playing to a full house. As the theatre's Treasurer, I was fiscally pleased, as well. Here's hoping the remainder of the run (10 more shows) will be equally successful.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 12

Well, I guess I was wrong last week about slowing down. Good week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 238.5

Today's Weight = 234.5

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 32.5 pounds

In Honor of Eric

UPDATE: I guess I shouldn't try to type that late at night. I left out a very important word in this post originally. It has been fixed. My apologies to Jamie Foxx for the error.

My High School classmate, Eric Bishop, who is better known to you as Jamie Foxx, won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Ray Charles. As I watched his acceptance speech on the giant screen set up in our hometown's Performing Arts Center, I couldn't help but think to myself that what I was seeing was not some Hollywood phony. What I saw was the guy I knew almost twenty years ago.

Jamie Foxx

I am as proud as I can be of Jamie Foxx. I am glad that he doesn't seem to be much different from the guy I remember.

What is The Chance of a Lifetime (redux)?

I got an e-mail from Jeopardy! today offering me a chance to audition for the show at their upcoming Houston try-outs. I passed their test once back in April 2002, but I never got called to be on the show. That time, I was one of two who passed in a session with about seventy folks who took the test. They told the two of us that the small passing rate probably boded well for us, but it was not to be.

I may need to bone up on some pop culture and some Shakespeare over the next month.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Regrets, I've had a few

But then again, too few to mention.

One thing in my life that I do regret is that I never took Typing class in High School. In fact, I actively avoided the class.

I am a fairly fast "hunt and peck" typist, but, as my loyal readers can attest, I have the tendency to invert letters when I type. So, if you see a word with all the correct letters, but in the wrong order, you know why.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

It's never a good time

I have come to the conclusion that there is never a good time to start any major project in one's life. Specifically, there's never a good time to try to sell one's house. Since we made the decision to move, my family has been hit with illness and other time-sucking calamities. Now that we're all well again, my oldest daughter and I are in the middle of the homestretch for the production of Annie, so I won't have much time available to help do things around the house.

The good news is that we've figured out that we don't quite have to get moved as quickly as we had originally thought. Our initial plan was to make the move before July 1st. I'd still love to be able to accomplish that, but we don't have to, and the pressure is much less now.

That goal date might not have ever been realistic because Jody plans on taking an extended trip to visit her family in June. It would have been kind of hard to close on a house if Jody was in Montana at the time.

Stay tuned for updates in this continuing saga.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 11

I think I've hit the slowing down phase.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 240.0

Today's Weight = 238.5

Weight Loss in past week = 1.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 28.5 pounds

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Well, we open Annie in just over a week. All in all, I must admit that we are much further along than I figured we would be at this point. Between revolving Warbuckses and the flu running rampant through the cast (luckily mainly through the adults and not the kids), I feared we'd be in for a long final 2 weeks.

I think the show's gonna be fine.

The primary benefit of having 6 roles and having to execute 8 costume changes is that I get to avoid having to help with the set. WooHoo!

Once this show opens, I get to turn most of my theatre focus to getting ready to direct The Foreigner this summer. Well, when I find time in all the preparations for our move to the D/FW metroplex.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Health Watch

This relates to the getting in shape stuff, but I didn't want to use the title that I use for my weight posts.

I went to the Doctor this morning after having blood drawn last Friday. Cholesterol is down to 118 (it was over 200 a year and a half ago) with my bad cholesterol at 63. The Doctor was very pleased.

He also was happy with my weight loss.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 10

Half of my household is sick right now, and I'm part of that half. If I start throwing up (like calvinatorette I & III), next week's weight could look really good.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 241.5

Today's Weight = 240.0

Weight Loss in past week = 1.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 27.0 pounds

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Pain in the Rear

Getting our house ready to sell is becoming quite a chore. I spent all day yesterday installing new light fixtures in the dining and breakfast areas. I also replaced one ceiling fan that wasn't working and another that we want to take with us (it's a Winnie the Pooh™ one). The day's activities necessitated not one, but two trips to my favorite place in the world, Wal*Mart. First, I had to get some electrical tape because I refused to leave exposed wires even up in the junction boxes. Then, I had to go back to exchange one of the light fixtures because I hadn't noticed it had some broken glass when I got it late Friday night on my second trip there that day.

We are going to have to get a storage unit to hold some of the stuff that is cluttering up our house. The Realtor who will be listing our house listed that as the biggest thing we need to take care of—de-cluttering. I'm also gonna have to tear apart the wonderful L-shaped computer desk I built. We have been using our dining area as our computer station, and we need to turn it back into a dining area.

When taken with theatre rehearsals for Annie and my part-time teaching, there just doesn't seem to be enough time to get things done.

Friday, February 11, 2005

1962?

I'm not really sure how I wound up with this answer, but.





You Belong in 1962



1962





If you scored...

1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!

1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.

1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!





I think it's because my repsonses were either 50's or 80's related, and it trended toward 50's, so I ended up in the early 60's.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Something I Don't Understand

As I was driving today, I saw something I don't get. It wasn't the first time I'd seen it, but it got me thinking.

What is the deal with the fake bullet holes that people put on their cars? The truck I saw today had 2 in the tailgate and 1 in the rear windshield. Why do people put those on their vehicles? Do they want people to think they've been shot at in a driveby? Do they want their trucks and cars to look like trash even when they aren't?

Can anyone explain this to me?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 9

I have no idea why I had such a good drop this week. Exercise was spotty, at best.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 246.0

Today's Weight = 241.5

Weight Loss in past week = 4.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 25.5 pounds

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Picking with my heart

For this year's Super Bowl, the Cowboy fan has quite a dilemma. It is hard to root for the Eagles just because they are the Eagles. However, if the Patriots win, they will match the Cowboys' feat of winning 3 Super Bowls in a 4 year period (Dallas should have won 4 in a row).

So, picking with my heart instead of my head (which tells me the Pats will win by at least 10), I am gonna say:

Eagles    16
Patriots  14

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Things are Rolling

I went and signed the Loan Application paperwork this evening after work. As soon as we can sell our house and find one to buy, we'll be moving into the official D/FW metroplex area. It's exciting, but when I think of all the work that needs to be done on our house to sell it, I cringe.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 8

UPDATE: Progress pics are below

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 248.0

Today's Weight = 246.0

Weight Loss in past week = 2.0 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 21.0 pounds



BEFORE CLOSE-UP PIC (taken October 27, 2004)
Before pic, Close-up

PROGRESS CLOSE-UP PIC (taken February 1, 2005)
Close-up pic 21 pounds lighter

  BEFORE FULL BODY PIC          PROGRESS FULL BODY PIC
 (taken October 27, 2004)         (taken February 1, 2005)
Before pic, Full Body Full Body pic 21 pounds lighter

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Worse than a sick kid

Yesterday, I posted that there's not much worse for a parent than a sick kid. That's still true, but one of the few things that is worse is having one's child die. An internet acquaintance of mine had just that happen to him recently.

Just in case he checks in here, I'd like to say to him:

Brave Sir Knight, my heart goes out to you. I can only imagine the grief you must be feeling.

Crush Groove

When I was young, I had crushes on two celebrities: Kristy McNichol and Olivia Newton-John. Today, I was able to realize that the crush on Newton-John was not silly at all. She sang "Magic" before the start of the Men's Final at the Australian Open. Even at the age of 56, Newton-John is every bit as pretty as she was when I fell in love with her in movies like Grease and Xanadu.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

A sick kid

There's not much worse as a parent than to have a kid get sick. Today, as we drove around looking at potential new houses, Calvinatorette III got sick. I don't mean cranky, fussy sick. I mean puking all over the back seat of the mini-van sick. The smell of soured milk permeated the van almost immediately.

Not a pleasant experience.

We didn't have a change of clothing for her, so we took a trip to the nearby Wal*Mart and got some clothes and some items to clean up the mess.

She seems to be fine now, and she was surprisingly good during the entire episode. It would have been even worse if she had started screaming and crying about being covered in vomit.

Thankfully, after the one bout of regurgitation, she was okay, and we were able to continue our driving around.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Another quiz about your traits

Personality Quiz

I came out this way:

You are a SRDL--Sober Rational Destructive Leader. This makes you a Mob Boss.

You are the ultimate alpha person and even your friends give you your space. You can't stand whiners, weaklings, schlemiels or schlemozzles. You don't make many jokes, but when you do, others laugh out loud. They must.

People often turn to you for advice, and wisely. You are calm in a crisis, cautious in a tempest, and attuned to even the finest details. Yours is the profile of a smart head for business and a dangerous enemy.

You have a natural knack for fashion and occupy a suit like a matinee idol. Your charisma is striking and without artifice. You are generous, thoughtful, and appreciate life's finer things.

Please don't kick my ***.

Of the 81138 people who have taken this quiz since tracking began (8/17/2004), 3.5 % are this type.

But, because I was right on the cusp on the Constructiveness factor, I am also much like this:

You are a SRCL--Sober Rational Constructive Leader. This makes you a Ayn Rand ideal.

Taggart? Roark? Galt? You are all of these. You were born to lead. You may not be particularly exciting, but you have a strange charisma--born of intellect and personal drive--that people begin to notice when they have been around you a while. You don't like to compromise, but you recognize when you have to.

You care absolutely nothing what other people think, and this somehow attracts people to you. Treat them well, use them wisely, and ascend to your rightful rank.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

About Johnny Carson

I know I am in a distinct minority about this, but Johnny Carson just never did much for me. I never thought he was funny, and I didn't like "The Tonight Show" when he hosted. I don't like Jay Leno, either.

Give me David Letterman any day. And from what I've seen of old clips, I prefer Steve Allen to Carson as well.

There's no denying the impact he had on TV and culture in general, but I, for one, just don't get it.

Getting in Shape Update 7

Still doing fine. Expect a Progress Pic next week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 250.5

Today's Weight = 248.0

Weight Loss in past week = 2.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 19.0 pounds

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Friday, January 21, 2005

Facial Hair

While digging around my hard drive, I found this pic from a few years ago when I had a goatee.

me with a goatee

There Ain't No Free Lunch

Or so they say. Today for lunch, I went with some colleagues to Texas Land & Cattle. I ordered Chicken Fried Chicken with Steak Fries—I know what some of you are thinking, but my weight loss program is about eating less, not avoiding any foods. When the food came, I noticed that the breading wasn't attached to the chicken very well but didn't think much about it. I also noticed a thin layer between the breading and the meat that I assumed was the skin of the chicken. After eating about a third of the chicken, some of the breading flaked away and I got a closer look at that layer.

It wasn't the skin.

It was some sort of paper.

I called our waitress over and told her about it, and she took my food away. A few minutes later the Manager came over and explained that it was the deli paper that they put between the chicken breasts before using them, and that somehow the cook had failed to pull it off before breading and frying my meal. My meal was free, and there were no ill-effects of the foreign substance.

All in all, there are many far worse things that one could find in one's food.

Responding to a few requests

Well, I've had two requests. First, some want to see me in a Do Rag.

I'll get that picture taken soon and post it here.

Second, it has been suggested that I should post "progress" pics about every 20 pounds of weight loss. I do plan to do this, but I want to ask you, my readers, would you want to see them with no shirt (so you can better examine the progress) or with a shirt on (so you won't be grossed out at my fat, hairy torso)?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I believe the children are our future

I am sitting here waiting for the class I am teaching this semester to start. I was originally scheduled to teach two sections, but because enrollment is apparently down, another adjunct got my first class. So, now, my only section is at 8:35 pm. I have a feeling I'm going to be seeing quite a few movies this semester between the time I get off my day job (4:30) and when I have to be here for class.

Actually, I'm not as aggravated about it now that I know one of my colleagues got the class I lost. It bothered me more when I thought the class had just been cancelled.

Memo to CBS

Various sources are reporting that CBS is considering replacing Dan Rather with a "team" instead of a single anchor.

Reuters reports that the move would be designed as "a bid to lure younger viewers and boost ratings."

I have an idea for CBS that might help attract younger wiewers and boost ratings.

STOP MAKING STUFF UP AND CALLING IT NEWS!!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 6

Averaging a little over 2.5 pounds lost per week. Not a bad start, but I still have a long way to go.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 253.0

Today's Weight = 250.5

Weight Loss in past week = 2.5 pounds



TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS
= 16.5 pounds

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Monty Hall Conundrum

I've seen some recent discussion on this issue. This is a logic & mathematics problem. Most people, including some professional mathematicians, get it wrong.

Here's the set-up:

You are on "Let's Make a Deal." Monty Hall shows you three doors and tells you that behind one of the doors, there is placed a brand new car (or a large sum of cash). The other two doors conceal either an empty space or some sort of "Booby Prize."

Let's number the doors, 1, 2, & 3. After you pick your door, Monty decides (out of the goodness of his heart) to show you what is behind one of the other two doors. Obviously, the door that Monty reveals is empty or has a "Booby Prize." Monty then offers you the opportunity to switch to the remaining unchosen and unrevealed door.

Should you?

Does it matter?

Many folks come to the conclusion that it makes no difference because once Monty reveals the one "wrong" door, the odds shift to 50/50. Well, that would be true if no choice had been made prior to the reveal, so why isn't it true after the reveal?

When you made your initial choice, you had a 1 in 3 chance of being correct. You had a 2 in 3 chance of being wrong. After the reveal, that fact does not change. So, you should switch because based on statistics and odds, switching makes it twice as likely that you will win the good prize.

Still doubting?

Try this Simulation. NOTE: It is Java.