Monday, December 03, 2012

Resolutions - Day 322 -Week 46

No change. Still 210 pounds.

Definately a rut, although I missed the last two weeks of Yoga due to sick kids, snow days and unavoidable appointments. Also, I have not been goign to the gym.

I think I am going to start back up next week.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Resolutions - Day 308 - Week 44

No change. Still 210 pounds.

This week was a bit difficult. K was sick for part of it and we had to keep her away from J to minimize the chance of passing it along. 

A failure from last week. I did not keep to the diet. 

What else is there to do but try again?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Resolutions - Day 301 - Week 43

No change. Still at 210 pounds.

For too long I have been stuck at this weight.

I was doing fairly well this week until Saturday when I came home hungry and gorged myself on ice cream and taco chips.

I will try a bit more discipline this week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

US Election Prediction

Happy Election Day, America

I do not usually write about politics on this blog, but it is an interest of mine. I have been following the US election quite closely for over a year now and will make a prediction on the outcome.

Most polls have suggested the US election will be very close. Some news outlets are saying it will be the closest in years (I guess they forgot about the 2000 election. How can it be closer than that?)

Rhetoric aside, polling has Obama and Romney at about even with 47-48% of the vote each. 

My Prediction: Romney wins with between 290-320 electoral votes. 

Most of the polls are wrong, and here is why:

Don't trust polls. Remember the 1980 election that was too close to call? Reagan won by a landslide. Or how about 2000, Bush v. Gore. They predicted Bush was going to win that one 400+ electoral votes to 90 something the day before the election. They got that one wrong.

Turnout Model. Many polls are using the 2008 turnout model, where groups thought most likely to vote for Democrats saw an increase in their turnout. If you look at the turnout in past elections, it is fairly consistent. 2008 is the outlier. Most polls are wrong because they assume more democrats will vote this year, as they did in 2008.

Enthusiasm Gap. The novelty of voting for a black President has worn off. There were likely a number of voters who won't be as enthusiastic to vote for him this time, since they did so in 2008. Also, there are a lot of Republicans who were so-so on McCain, but would crawl over broken glass to vote against Obama. Most polls don't take enthusiasm into account. Conservatives/Republicans are very concerned over what Obama's policies. I think we might seen a turnout model which is a reverse of 2008.

Competence. Obama stinks as President and everyone knows it.You can say that her took over a bad economy from Bush, but the guy did just about everything he could to make it worst or prevent a recovery. More taxes, stimulus, more regulation, uncertain regulation, all these things retard growth, not increase it.

Incumbent. The incumbent should have over 50% of the vote all the time. Obama has been stuck at 47-48% for months. You have to expect that the 5% or so of undecideds are going to go for the other guy. When an election is a month away and you have seen how the incumbent does the job for 4 years but you are still not sure you will vote for him, you will vote for the other guy.

Battleground States. Remember when Florida was a battleground state? A few months ago no one was talking about Wisconsin and Pennsylvania being battleground states, they were a sure Obama win. Now Romney is going to both. Of course, Obama's people say it's just to try and make it seem like they can win those states. Both campaigns spin everything, so watch what they do and not what they say. Notice Obama and his surrogates, like Bill Clinton, are spending time in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Resources are scarce. They would not spend them in those states if they did not think it was necessary.

Anecdotal Evidence. I read a lot of US political blogs and I find most interesting the reports from people who attend campaign rallies. All the reports from Romney events are about people waiting in line for hours, in cold and rain, packed venues and lots of enthusiasm. Obama's venues are always smaller than Romney's, numbers are always less then expected and much less they he did in the same state in 2008. 

A final hats off to Dick Morris. Although he is an evil ex-Clintonite, he finally saw the light and made the bold prediction of a Romney landslide months ago, when most were too timid to stick their neck out. I respect that. His points made sense and hopefully he will get the recognition he deserves after today.

Good luck, America. Who you elect as President affects those of us in the rest of the world as well, so respect that and choose wisely.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Resolutions - Day 294 - Week 42

No change. Still at 210 pounds.

I have not been focusing on the diet. This week, it's time to get back on track. I will be very strict and see what happens.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Journey to Become a Writer

I have decided to pursue a part time career in writing and editing. I will chronicle my journey on this blog. 

Today I reached my first milestone in becoming a professional writer. Rejection.

I sent in a sample of a short 600+ word article to a website that is looking for writers. They replied that they think I need more experience. I think that is probably a nice way of saying that they think I suck. This hurts even more since the position was a volunteer one.

Rejection is part of being a writer, so I guess I got my cherry popped.

Resolutions - Day 287 - Week 41

Various issues prevent me from getting my weight for the last few weeks.

This week I am at 210 pounds. Starting to gain back what I lost. Need to focus again.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Date Night

Saturday the Wife and I had date night. We try to go out once a month, get away from the kids and have an adult conversation.

We were planning to see the movie Fun Size, as the Wife had won some advanced screening passes, but there was a mix up on the time so we missed it. It would have been interesting to see a movie before it is released, but I probably would not have enjoyed it as much as what we did see.

Instead, we went to the West Edmonton Mall and saw the movie Looper. It is a typical action drama with a bit of time travel. Both of us enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys these types of movies and it was a good date night movie, as it was light on the time travel confusion, and more focused on the action/story. Any fans of time travel will note the flaws, and I found it funny that the director seemed to not want you to think about the flaws too much, as he has Bruce Willis say to Levitt when he asks about the paradox of time travel, "Don't worry about it, it's not important."

Before the movie, we had dinner at the Delux Burger Bar in the Mall. I was disappointed. This restaurant is focused on burgers, and while my burger was more fancy than one you would get at Five Guys, the quality was not there. My burger was dry and not juicy. If you are going to be a burger restaurant, you should get the meat right. The place was busy, but not so much that I thought the quality of the meal should suffer. Even the bacon on my burger was burnt on the ends, and I mean black burnt. 

Five Guys was much, much better.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Biggest Internet Troll Exposed

This article by Adrien Chen from Gawker exposes the notorious Reddit mod/troll Violentacrez.
This is not a topic I usually write about on this blog, but one that I find very interesting. I bit of background, Violentacrez is/was a moderator on Reddit and was responsible for some of its most noxious content, which you will have to follow the links to find out how noxious. The writer of the above article discovered his real identity and outed him in the above article.

I am not sure how I feel about this. If you were not aware, I use an alias on this blog. I try to be as truthful as possible about everything I write, with the exception of my name. I think this anonymity allows me to be more truthful. Using my real name might cause me to censor myself. There are things you think that you might not want your friends and family to know.

However, some of the stuff this guy posted was very vile. As a strong believer in free speech, I appreciate that there needs to be a forum where anything can be said, but the person who starts/moderates subforums  titled "rapebait", "incest" and "chokeabitch", well that is not someone I would want to associate with. 

As for outing Violentacrez, he is free to say what he wishes and to try to do it anonymously, while journalists are free to try and find out what his real name is. I don't think his real identity is important to the issue of what he says. Putting out your real identity tends to lend more credibility to what you say, but the identity of a person who speaks the truth is not essential to the truth of their speech. The same point is not more true because someone else says it.

Update: That was quick. Violentacrez Fired.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Resolutions - Day 266 - Week 38

No weight this week.

This was a chaotic week. J is still in the hospital and the rest of us spent the week in a hotel, as they were fixing our kitchen floor, which was damaged a few months ago due to water leaking from a broken dishwasher.

Hopefully things will be getting back to normal.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Resolutions- Day 259 - Week 37

Still at 205 pounds. No change.

J went into the hospital this week, so I cheating quite a bit. Any change in my routine of this type makes it hard to keep to the diet. When J is in the hospital I spend a significant portion of the day driving around and visiting her. I should be happy to maintain. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Resolutions - Day 252- Week 36

Back down to 205. Lost one pound.

Time to get back on track. Weight is moving in the right direction, although I have not been following the diet very strictly.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Resolutions - Day 245 - Week 35

Up to 206 punds this week. Gained 1 pound.

I am still not following the diet very closely. Also, I have not got back into my workout routine, although I have been keeping up with Yoga. It's September, school has starting, it's time to back into the swing ot things. Time to lose the last 20 pounds and get to my goal weight. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Resolutions - Day 238 - Week 34

205 pounds this week. No change from last week

I have to get back into the diet and exercise. I have just been sort of floating along, not focused on my goals. I guess it's good that I have not really gained anything since our vacation. 

Some small bonus.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Resolutions - Day 231 - Week 33

205 pounds this week. A gain of one pound.

I cannot feel too badly about this, as I have not been following the diet or exercise plan. I am surprised it was only 1 pound.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Resolutions - Day 224 - Week 32

204 pounds. A gain of about 4 pounds.

Not bad, considering we were on vacation for two weeks and I was not able to exercise or follow my diet closely. 

I am surprised that I only gained 4 pounds over two weeks. This leads me to think that perhaps that stuff may be true about being able to reset what the body thinks is its proper weight.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Resolutions - Day 210 - Week 30

We will be on vacation for the next 2 weeks. I will not be tracking my weight during this time. I hope I don't gain too much.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Resolution - Day 203 - Week 29

I have not been keeping up with the weight loss reports as closely as I should. We are going on vacation next week and I will be off my program for that time. 

But some good news. I hit my target of 200 pounds. I have lost 28 pounds since I started this program. Another 15 to go to hit my target weight of about 185 pounds. 

Hopefully I will not gain too much over the holiday.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Resolutions - Day 168 - Week 24

203 pounds. No change.

Yoga seems to help, perhaps not enough to lose weight by itself, but at least to maintain.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day 29

One more day to go. Barring any natural disasters, I will complete the challenge, finishing exactly 1 class per day for 30 days.

The yoga studio is having a little party tomorrow and will be drawing the winner of the prize at that time.

I will have my impressions in a post up in a few days.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Resolutions - Day 161 - Week 23

Down to 203 pounds. Lost one pound last week.

I am a bit surprised. This is the first full week that I did not do any cardio or weights. I have been doing yoga every day. I thought I would gain a few pounds, since I cheated a lot this week, eating pizza and even a few chips.

Is yoga enough of a workout to ensure I can still lose weight?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day 24

Less than a week to go until the end of the challenge.

I have kept up with the one class per day rule, and I have not found it too difficult. I have overheard some of the participants complaining of soreness or stiffness, but mine has been minimal. I think I am in better shape than I was a few months ago, plus some have been doing more than one class per day in order to build up and bit of flexibility it they go away for a weekend. To me, this does not really meet the purpose of the challenge. The idea is to see what effect doing yoga everyday has on your body. It needs to be done once per 24 hours. Doing 30 yoga classes in 15 days is not an accurate impression of the effect of 30 days of yoga.

I have noticed an improvement in my flexibility. I find it easier to stretch and it takes me less time to to get more out of the stretch. While I still wake up with slight back pain, it seems to be a bit less and goes away faster in the morning. I think my posture is sometimes poor and yoga has helped to make me more aware of it, and strengthened my back and abs so I can better maintain it. 

I am less happy with my mood or ability to remain centered. I am usually good for the few hours immediately following a yoga class, but I have still lost my sense of calm on occasion with K in the afternoon or evening. Five year olds can be very trying, and K is a lot like me, so is more trying than is normal. I don't know if yoga is able to "cure" this. However, I am more aware of it, so maybe I can work on it more.

I am a bit sad to see the end of this challenge. I might keep it going by continuing to attend a class every day.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Even Jesus Had His Haters

By following back a traffic source, I came across this gem of a site. It seems users post the most awful link of the day, and someone came across my little piece of the net and nominated me. It was three years ago, so I guess I did not win, as I failed to receive my notification in the mail or cash prize. Here is how my nominator described this site:

I went looking for the left-wing analogue of I did not find that. (I suppose it may have been that at one time.) There is nothing here about politics, just one stay-at-home dad's self-pity and little-varnished desire to kill his disabled daughter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Portrayal of Fathers in the Media Changing?

This is an interesting article about the changing portrayal of Fathers in TV and movies.

Six year ago, when the Wife was expecting twins, we were in our local mall and there was a stay a home mothers group set up with a table. As we walked by, she checked it out and, noticing that she was pregnant, they started giving her information about the group. At the end, she asked if men could join as well, as her husband would be staying home with the kids. They laughed at her, as in a sort of "Your husband staying home, that's a good joke." You should have seen the looks on their face as they realized she wasn't joking. They looked over at me with this sort of stunned look as I gave them a little smile. I never did join the group, but I noticed some time later that they had changed their name from stay at home mothers to stay at home parents.

This was in 2006. Twenty years after the movie Mr. Mom at least opened us up to the possibility, a stay at home Dad was like siting an alien. I remember the Politically Correct early 1990's where every was supposed to be able to do anything, regardless of gender. Ten to fifteen years after that women can be anything they want but men, not so much.

Advertisers and Hollywood better wise up. I am not going to buy any product or watch a movie that stereotypes me as an incompetent, clumsy boob.

Except if it is funny.

Further reading: Stay at home Dad's double over last decade

Monday, June 18, 2012

Resolutions - Day 154 - Week 22

Down to 204 pound this week. Lost 2 pounds.

This is another record for me.I am closing in on the 200 pound mark. It is a bit surprising to me that an am still losing 1-2 pounds per week. While I have been following the diet, I have been breaking it is small ways. I usually cheat by having a few crackers, maybe a piece of bread and a bit of ice cream each day. Still this is significantly less than I had previously ( I love carbs). So far, the most significant thing I have learned is that a moderate reduction in carbs, combined with a small amount of exercise, and maintained for a number of months, can make a big difference. I have been following this diet for almost 6 months and have lost 24 pounds. This weight loss is probably a lifestyle change for me. I will always have to watch my carb.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challange - Day Fourteen

I have been bit frustrated with this challenge the last few days.

I have kept up with the challenge, taking a class every day, but I had not seen much change in my flexibility until today. My hamstrings seemed to be more loose at the start of class. 

I may have turned a corner.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Resolutions - Day 147 - Week 21

207 pounds this week. Gained one. 

I have decided to complete a challenge put on by the yoga studio where I take yoga. The challenge is to do attend a class once a day for 30 days. I may miss some of my cardio/strength workouts during this time.

I am curious to see how it affects my weight loss.

Friday, June 08, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day Eight

I had a horrible class today.

Since part of the advantage of doing the yoga challenge is being able to attend any class at no extra cost, I have been trying out various different classes. Today was Yin and Yang Yoga. I am not sure what that is, but it seems to be about stretching (ha ha), but allowing you to relax into the stretch. In other words, holding the stretch for so long that all the muscles relax and no effort is put into the stretch. You don't have to hold it.

Talk about ego destroying, I was horrible at it.

Firstly, my focus was very off today. Usually my focus is pretty good, but today my mind was all over the place and I had trouble keeping it in class. And, we did some stretches that focused on the hamstrings/quads. This was good for me, as mine are very tight, but some of the stuff I could barely get started on. The worst thing is that I don't think I understood the philosophy behind the practice. I think you are not supposed to force or reach for the stretches. Just about everything I did was reaching and forcing.

I will definitely have to do that one again.

Wisdom of a Five Year Old - When to have Babies

K: "I can't wait until I am old enough to go to high school."

Me: "Why is that?"

K: "Then I can have babies."

Me: "Daddy would prefer it if you waited until after you finished high school to have babies."

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Day Six

So today is day six. So far I have been following the plan, one class a day. It hasn't been too hard, as the Wife has been supportive.

I am beginning to see some benefits. My mood is definitely better. I had a few run ins with K this week, and I was able to keep my cool. Particularly the other night, where she was being a smart ass while in time out. The kid is like her mother: stubborn. I extended her time out five times before she finally cracked.

I have not seen much improvement in my flexibility. I think that my poor flexibility in one area really hampers stretching another area. There is one stretch where we are supposed to be stretching our hamstrings, but my back is so tight that I am only stretching that. I can't get down far enough to stretch the hamstrings. In other words, I am so bad in one area that it is holding me back in all other areas. I think that might be the reason I am slow to improve. I was told most people see improvement in flexibility after a week of every day yoga. If my body is holding me back, it might take me longer to see improvement in my flexibility. My instructor does say that she sees improvement in me since I started a few months ago. While I agree with her, I want that improvement to last longer than just until the end of class.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Resolutions - Day 140 - Week 20

206 pounds this week. This is the lowest I weight I have been on this diet and it takes me comfortably above the 20 pounds loss total.

This is a bit of a milestone, although an unscheduled one. 

I am well behind on my weight loss goals. The baby has thrown everything off. The plan was to be at 200 pounds by week 14. I am 6 pounds shy of that at week 20. At week 21, which is next week, I planned to be at 180 pounds. That is not going to happen. That goal was a bit unrealistic anyway. The last time I was 180 pounds was somewhere around age 15 I think. It was the under 200 pounds goal that I was really focusing on. Anything after that was gravy and I would be happy to stabilize somewhere between 195 and 195 pounds. My goals are the same, it's just the timing might be off by 4-6 weeks, due to the baby.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The 30 Day Yoga Challenge

The Yoga studio I attend is having a 30 day Yoga Challenge. Participants have to complete at least one class per day for thirty days. I decided to give it a try. By participating I hope to gain:

Increased flexibility. The flexibility in my legs is very poor. Growing up, my sports were soccer and running. Runners are not known for having good flexibility. Since those days, I also have a sore back and a bad knee. In fact, my hamstrings are so tight that if a stand up for moderate periods of time, they were start to ache and I will have to sit down. I am not ready to give in to aches and pain like some 80 year old man.

More centered/Improved mood. I have not been happy with my mood for the past year, and I am sure the Wife has not either. I have been short with her and the kids lately. This last year I have felt useless. I spend my day ferrying people around or cleaning up something that is immediately undone. I don't know what it is like to be a woman and how women can survive as a homemaker, but a man needs something visible that he can look and and say, "Look what I have done". I haven't had anything like that for the past year.

I have always been interested in Eastern philosophy. I subscribe to the idea of "mind over matter". I have seen or experienced times when I have felt "one with the universe" (or closer to that state) and I believe that meditation can help to keep a person more centered. I hope that this challenge will improve my mood and  make me better able to deal with K.

Increased core strength. Why not throw it in. From what I can see, improving core strength in yoga means situps. I hate situps (doesn't everyone?). But I could use some (ok, a lot) of improvement in that area. Not really a key thing, more of a nice bonus. If I can build a nice six-pack, maybe the Wife will find me attractive again.

Since I started Yoga a few months ago, I have been seeing some benefits. However, they don't seem to carry on long enough to make a huge difference. My mood is good for only a few hours after a class and my flexibility seems to back to normal by the next class. I have being doing Yoga 1-2 times a week for the last few months. I want to know if I can improve beyond that and build on that improvement. Will doing Yoga every day achieve that goal?

I will blog about my progress at different times throughout the month.

A Month of No Nagging

An interesting article about nagging and trying to stop.

I think this relates to the Wife and I, but our issues are not nagging. A lesson in here for all married couples?

Friday, June 01, 2012

Wisdom of a Five Year Old - Getting Married

K: "Daddy, when I get older I want to marry you."

Me: "But I am already married to Mommy."

K: "I will marry you after she dies."

Me: .....

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Popular Culture and Music

I am usually a bit late to the pop culture stuff, but here is a band that was on Saturday Night Live recently and I enjoyed this song, called Somebody That I Used to Know, by Gotye.

While this is a good song and, I think, speaks to something many of us have experienced, this cover version played by 5 people on one guitar by Walk off the Earth takes a good song and adds an interesting dimension. And they are Canadian.

However, this parody of the Walk off the Earth cover is the funniest thing I have seen in a while.

Watch the first two to fully appreciate the humour.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Resolutions - Day 133 - Week 19

209 pounds again this week.

The baby is now one month old. She is a bit fussy and wants to be held all the time. We do everything with one arm. The Wife visited the doctor for her regular post baby visit and she is pretty much back to her pre baby weight. Not bad for a 41 year old. Breastfeeding helps, but I think her reduced carb intake from my diet probably helped a bit.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Resolutions - Day 126 - Week 18

209 pounds this week. Lost one pound from last week.

Still pretty much the same. I have not been following my diet very closely. I have been giving in to craving for bread, crackers and ice cream. The Wife is getting a bit tired of my diet. When I make supper I tend to not make a carb, as it is just temptation for me. She likes carbs and is starting to complaint about her being on my diet as well.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Resolutions - Day 119 - Week 17

Weight 210 pounds. No change.

Three weeks and no change. I seem to be in a bit of a rut. I guess I should be happy, considering the major life change we have been through. Usually something like that would cause me to lose ground in the weight war.

I should be happy to hold steady.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Resolutions - Day 112 - Week 16

Weight of 210 this week. Lost 1 pound.

Back on schedule this week. Imanaged to get in 3 cardio and weight training workouts and 2 yoga sessions. I broke the diet a number of times, including having pasta.

The Wife and the baby are now at home, but the baby is not on a schedule. Not much sleep going on in our house.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Resolutions - Day 105 - Week 15

Weight  was 211 pounds. Gain of 1 pound. Not bad considering the circumstances.

I spent most of this week between the hospital, the school and looking after the twins. Also got the most inconvenient flat tire this week. I had to go to three places before I could get someone to fit me in and had the twins with while I waited. I ignored my diet and did no exercise. I guess staying the same weight is good, considering the week. I don't really consider a one pound gain to be a change, as I can poop at least that much out in one sitting.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Resolutions - Day 98 - Week 14

This week was a write-off. We were preparing for the baby. I wieghted myself, but not as my usual time or day. I was somewhere around 215?

Baby comes next week. May as well consider this a lost week.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Resolutions - Day 91 - Week 13

Still at 210 pounds. Doesn't look like I will reach my goal on schedule, unless I lose 10 pounds next week.

This was another tough week. This week was Spring Break for the kids (these postings ware 2 weeks behind), so I was unable to do my usual workout routine, although I get get to the gym twice.

Next week will be back to normal, so I am looking to having a good week. However, the baby is coming soon, so we will see how things go. Even if I stay at 210 for the rest of my life, it is still better than the 220-235 pounds I was at before. 

Still, I am determined to break (and stay under) the 200 barrier, even if I get there later than planned.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Picture of the Third

I am not so keen on putting up pictures of my family on a forum which anyone can read. However, in this one case, an exception will be made.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Third: Liveblogging the Birth

Here is the liveblog of the birth of our third child. Only one in there this time.

The Wife is scheduled for an eight am C Section at the hospital. It is unlikely that I will be able to liveblog, since it is surgery and all. I will write it down live and blog it after. First postings at the top. (Edit: I was unable to post this as it happened. However, I took my notebook with me and wrote it down as it was happening. I think I preserved the spirit of the liveblog, if not the letter.)

5:20 am - Alarm goes off.

5:30 - Actually get up.

5:58 - Babysitter Arrives.

6:10 - Depart for the hospital.

6:32 - Arrive hospital. Drop Wife off at the front. Wife tells me on the way that we can't leave our stuff in a room when we go in for surgery, because they have a theft problem. I guess no blog updates until after the birth.

6: 40 - Nurse directs me to the prep room "Third door on the right". No one there. Did I lose Wife already? I call out he name. Wife is in bathroom changing.

6:45 - Wife kicks me out. Sends me downstairs to have some breakfast. "Don't bring it up, the smell will bother me". I tell the Nurse where I will be. She tells tells me not to bring food up to the room. The Wife can't eat anything and will be mad at me if I do.

6:47 - Arrive in cafeteria. Not open until 7:00 am. Read newspaper. Apparently PC's and Wildrose party are in statistical tie in polling in provincial election. Also pipeline bomber Wiebo Ludwig has died of cancer.

7:09 - Breakfast. Egg sandwich.

7:18 - Back  upstairs. Hallways have been redone since we were here five years ago.

7:26 - Wife is nervous. She starts to ramble when she is nervous and she is going on about the new hallways, that she has been shaved and is now itchy, the breastfeeding nazis, etc.

7:32 - The Wife does not like surgery. It is obvious she is nervous. My job will be the same as last time: Keep her calm during the procedure.

7:34 - The baby wakes up, starts kicking.

7:36 - Now she is talking about the cats. Obviously nerves.

7:37 - Wife comments that I am probably writing that she is rambling.

7:53 - OR nurse brings scrubs for me. I get changed.

8:09 - Parade of doctors in the room asking questions. OR nurse, anesthesiologist, 2 more doctors (OB/Gyn and surgery resident). They all ask the same questions. They should all come at once and save repeating things 3 times.

8:11 - OR nurse comes in. Time to head to OR.

8:17 - Wife goes in to OR. I will have to wait approximately 20 minutes before I go in.

8:18 - The window on the door to the OR is frosted, not like last time. I can't see what is going on.

8:25 - Someone removed a finger sized hole in the frosting. I can peek in.

8:31 - They have completed the spinal and catheter. The wife is now spread out on the bed like she is on the cross. Legs are tied down. No wonder she is uncomfortable.

8:32 - Surgeon arrives and is scrubbing now. She is a short Asian lady. Very no nonsense and direct.

8:38 - Anytime now I will be going in. I am looking around the recovery room and thinking that in 20-30 minutes we will be out here with our child.

8:39 - I am going in.

8:42 - The Wife is not comfortable. They push and poke her.

8:44 - The number 2 to the surgeon is putting most of his weight on the Wife to force the baby out. He is a 6' 4'' Australian guy, while the 5' surgeon pulls the baby out. You could not pick a more mismatched pair if you were writing a comedy. Truth is stranger than fiction.

8:45 - It's a GIRL! She isn't even all the way out and the baby starts screaming.

8:50 - This is the reddest baby I have ever seen. She looks like a beet. Six pounds, seven ounces and 19.5 inches long.

9:01 - All cleaned up. A few pictures taken and she meets her mom.

9:05 - Into the recovery room.

9:15 - Start name discussion. We did some talking about names in the surgery room. I was convinced it was a boy, so I had set on one name, Luke. The Wife was in charge of girl names. Lots of suggestions I don't like. Larrissa is the best one so far.

9:18 - This baby is loud. She is sucking on my finger and seems hungry. Time to try some breastfeeding. More name discussion.

9:45 - Baby's first sneeze.

9:53 - We leave the recovery room and up to the regular floor.

10:05 - Narrowed it down to 2 names.

10:17 - More breastfeeding and she is latching. She is strong. I don't remember K being this hungry this early.

11:06 - Name decided. Happy Birthday, Lauren.

11:30 - Phone home to inform the family of the new addition.

11:45 - Baby's first poop. It looks like axle grease.

1:05 pm - Time to head home and check up on the other 2.

2:00 pm (approx) - Start calls to grandparents and family telling them the good news. The Wife and baby are all doing well. It went smoother than I expected.

End liveblog.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Live blogging the Birth

I am going to try and liveblog the birth of our third child tomorrow. Not sure if I will be able to. I don't think they allow laptops in the surgery room.

If not, I will liveblog to tape (ie. write down everything on pen and paper and then post it up after).

Thoughts on Third

The big day is tomorrow. In less than 12 hours, the Wife will be having a C Section for our third child. 

I think the Wife wanted a natural birth, but since the last two were by C Section, there is a 1% chance that natural birth will pop her scar. If that happens, it can get bad very fast. As well, the Wife is over 40, so there is a greater chance of trouble. They told us that if she went into labour before the date of the surgery she could try naturally, but if she was not done quick, they would go in. I think they upped the surgery date a bit, to make sure they could go in. Too much unnecessary risk otherwise. The wife went in for pre admission today. They checked her out and everything was fine.

I was a bit divorced from the whole pregnancy this time. Last time I was right in there the whole way. I still remember the first ultrasound. The Wife went in and they told me they would come to get me in about 20 minutes. Sixty minutes later I was climbing the walls. Three times the amount of time they said and I was wondering what was going on. I was just about to start demanding to see the Wife when they called me in. Picture this. I am very anxious about the long wait. I am convinced something is wrong. I go into the examination room and the Wife says “Guess what?” I say “I don't know what, tell me.” “No” she says, “Just guess.” “No I am not going to guess. Tell me what is going on RIGHT NOW!”

There I was, nervously waiting for 20 minutes, anxiously waiting another 40 minutes, going over in my mind all the things that could be wrong and wondering what was taking so long and why they did not come and talk to me. Then I finally get in there and the Wife wants to play guessing games? I was some pissed off. Then she tells me it's twins. I just about fell over. At first I did not believe it. It was the last thing on my mind.

Some people have asked me if I want a boy or a girl. We still do not know, the Wife wanted to keep it a surprise. It would be nice to have a son to carry on the family name, to chop firewood when I am old, someone to pass my science fiction collection on to. Of course, I have girls and girls are nice. Children naturally gravitate to the opposite sex parent (Oedipal complex and all that), so another girl would be easier. However, I am already outnumbered 3 to 1 and I am not looking forward to their teen years. Four females and a male in one house?At least the dog and one of the cats are male.

The most important thing is that it be healthy. Anything else is a bonus.

Resolutions - Day 84 - Week 12

This was a bad week. 

I did not even weigh myself. Although minimal cheating, especially compared to last week, also minimal exercise. Life got in the way, and I was busy.

I think I maintained, but we will find out next week.

And I still have not read the book about food that I bought.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Resolutions - Day 77 - Week 11

Gained 2 pounds this week. Back to 210.

I am not too unhappy about this. It's about time I had a setback. This week was very busy. J was still in the hospital and my visits forced me to break my usual routine. And I cheated a lot. I had a few cravings and I indulged them.

If I had still lost weight after that week, I would have questioned the need to diet at all.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Resolutions - Day 70 - Week 10

Down to 208 pounds. Another good loss for the week.

I am beginning to wonder if it is possible for me to fail at weight loss. Not to make light of the difficulty people have losing weight, but this week I cheated. A lot. Especially Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday I had part of a muffin, 3 peanut butter cups, and a bunch of cheezie-like things that the Wife got for K. Is it really this easy? 

My mother struggled with weight loss for years. Can just cutting down on carbs and exercising 3 times a week really allow you to lose 3 pounds a week? 

When I first tried this Atkins diet last year, I lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks with no exercise. However,  I very strictly followed it. Now I am not so strict, but have added 30 minutes of cardio, 3 times a week, with about 30 minutes of weight training with it. 

Were the last 40 years of diet information from the medical profession a lie? Is it true that calories are not the enemy, only certain calories? 

If that is true, a huge lie has been perpetrated on the public for years. I am skeptical about everything that comes from the government, but if the medical profession and the Canada Food Guide can be so wrong, who can be trusted?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Resolutions - Day 63 - Week 9

Another big change this week. Down to 211 pounds, four more lost since last week.

I am very happy with that. Three weeks into the middle phase and I am almost half way to this goal. Everything is on track.

I am a bit surprised, as my workout schedule is still being interrupted on a regular basis. Also, I have not modified my diet. I took the Atkins 2 week induction portion (from an old book, 1992) and did not bother to read how the diet is modified after the first 2 weeks. I have a new book coming, Good Calories, Bad Calories, which should give me a better and more up to date plan on what I should eat. 

Still on track, so things can't be too bad.

Friday, March 16, 2012

J is Home

No problems at the hospital. She was good all night and she is now home with us and resting on the couch and eating her lunch. It's good to have the family where they are supposed to be.

We are going out to eat tonight to celebrate.

Home from the Hospital?

I am about to go to the hospital to see if J is ready to go home. 

She was off her CPAP/BIPAP all day yesterday and last night. If she did well, they will discuss it at rounds and send her home right after. I am very confident she will be coming home today as they were sending signs. Yesterday, when she was off the CPAP machine, they sent it out to be cleaned. That is not something you do if you expect the patient has a chance of needing it again. (Keeping things clean is especially important in J's case, as she is positive for MRSA, which is a superbug, resistant to many drugs. Her room has to be sterilized before someone else can use it. Being positive is not a big deal, apparently half of everyone has this bug on their body, but they need to be careful at the hospital, as they are trying to control it and minimise its spread.)

Fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Weight Loss Exercise Plan

Here is the exercise plan I am following in conjunction with my diet. Key components of the plan are to improve my cardio and include some moderate to heavy weight training to improve my strength. I also include some yoga, because I used to enjoy it and I wanted to improve my flexibility. I use a 5 day plan because that works best with my daily routine. Due to commitments with the kids, I usually miss at least 1 workout per week.

Monday - 30 mins cardio; weight training: chest and back
Tuesday - Yoga
Wednesday - 30 mins cardio; weight training - legs
Thursday - 30 mins cardio; weight training - arms and shoulders
Friday -swim; recovery

My weight loss goals can be found here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hospital Update

J is doing well. She is still on Bipap, but they are trialing her off it 2-3 hours at a time, three times per day. They increased the hours today, so it looks like she might get out of there soon.

I really miss saying goodnight and putting her down to bed. I am hoping they will move her off of the PICU to the normal floor, so that I can stay overnight.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Resolutions - Day 56 - Week 8

No change this week. Still 215 pounds.

I guess I am happy with that. I thought the drop was a lot last week so I was concerned that I would not be able to maintain it. Also, J had to go into the hospital on Thursday, so that cut into my workout plan. Things are looking better and she will be out soon, I hope. 

So, not much to tell this week. Lucky not to gain, and need to ensure continued exercise continue to lose. I am not happy with my diet, I think Atkins is limited and there is more information available now. My book has not arrived yet, but I think it will address this and I hope I can set a bit of a stronger and more effective diet when it does.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Weight Loss Goals

The following is a timeline of my weight loss goals:

Stats: Age - 42, Height 6 ft, Starting Weight 228 pounds

220 pounds by Week 6 - Initial Goal (6 weeks to go from my starting weight)
200 pounds by Week 14 - Mid Goal (8 weeks to lose 20 pounds)
180 pounds by Week 22 - Ultimate Goal (8 weeks to lose 20 pounds)

This plan includes an Atkins type of diet and regular exercise (at least 30 mins of cardio 3 times a week and some weight training). 

The first goal was made to be a bit easy, to allow me to have the feeling of success and to ensure my goals were realistic. The second goal might be a bit ambitious. If I am able to meet the second goal, it will be the first time in at least 10 years (probably closer to 15 years) I will have been below 200 pounds. Anything after 200 pounds is gravy. I would be happy to be sitting at 185 at the end of this.

So far, my plan seems to be reasonable. I think I have set myself up for success.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Blog Designs

If you visit this blog on a regular basis, you will have noticed a number of changes in the colours, etc, over the last little while. I am trying to get a colour/style that I like. Unfortunately, I stink at that type of thing.

If anyone knows something about colours or blog design and wants to give advice, please leave a comment. It will be much appreciated.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Resolutions - Day 49 - Week 7

Big change this week. Down to 215, so I lost 4 pounds. Thirteen pounds lost in total since I started.

I was dreading today. I was sure I gained weight this week. I did some cheating and did not work out once. Life got in the way, including the kids school, dentist appointments, etc.

I do feel that I have reached a turning point in the diet in the last week or so. I am less interested in eating. It used to be the most enjoyable thing in my life, but with the restrictions on some of my most favourite foods, I am less interested. Even with the cheating, I am eating a lot less of the "bad" calories than before. Stealing a few crackers or candies from your kid is still a lot better than having the licence to gorge yourself on that stuff.

As I mentioned in last weeks post, my next goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next 8 weeks. I want to be down to 200 pounds by week 14. I am already 1/4 of the way there in one week. When I made this mid goal, I thought it would be difficult to achieve it. Although I don't think I can keep up the present pace (4-5 pounds per week) this goal may be reachable.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Back in the Hospital

J has been in the hospital for the past week. 

It is not as bad as last time, but he left lung is collapsed and she had a lot of mucus in that lung. She has not been intubated, so that is good and means that she may be out sooner. She has shown some improvement in the last few days, and, in my view, she seems like her old self. However, that lung needs to inflate, and the going seems to be very slow. 

Not much we can do but wait for her to get better. I had hoped that it would only be a week, but that is not going to happen. I think 1-2 weeks more.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Resolutions - Day 42 - Week 6

No change this week. Still at 219.

This is 2 weeks below 220 pounds, so this qualifies as meeting my first goal. My plan was to hit 220 six weeks in, so I made the time line. I am not really satisfied, as this was an wasy goal, 8 pounds in 6 weeks. My next goal is 20 pounds in 8 weeks. I am not sure I can make this one. 

Again, lots of cheating this week. The Wife and I went to a V-Day dinner/dance, and I failed. I will have to focus more on my diet. There are a few books that I am looking to get which may be of some help.

I missied yoga again this week. I signed up for 7 classes, I have had one and missed 2 in a row. It is the one thing I don't want to miss, especially because I am paying for it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Resolutions - Day 35 - Week 5

Lost 2 pounds this week. Down to 219.

My first goal was to hit below 220 pounds. If I hold this for 2 weeks in a row, I will consider this goal met.

Otherwise, this was a poor week. Due to appointments and a dispute I am having with J's school, I missed all of my workouts and I missed yoga.

I am not happy. This dispute is stupid and is affecting my plans.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wisdom of a Five Year Old - How was music invented?

The Wife: K, how was music invented?

K: Music began 50 years ago. Some man began banging a log with a stick and it made a nice sound, so music was born.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two Months to the Baby

The Wife completes 7 months today. Two more months to go.

So far, everything has been good. I was a bit concerned, considering what happened last time (not that making it this far guarentees no problems). Anthing after 36 weeks is no problem, but thirty-two weeks is the big cut off. You can pretty much deliver anytime after 32 weeks with few problems. In truth, after 28 weeks the survival rate is still very good, although the baby may have to spend some time in hospital. Anyway, getting to 32 weeks with no problems usually means the baby will be healthy.

We still do not know the sex of the baby. I wanted to know, but she did not. I was bound to give it away, so it was just best not to know. Basic spy stuff: You can't give away what you don't know.

April 15th is the due date, and we are unlikely to go over it. With the Wife 40 years old and because she had a C-Sec last time, their can be risks. If you deliver naturally after a C-Sec, there is a 1% chance you can pop your scar. If that happens, it is unlikely they could get in there and close it up before you bleed out. We have not decided what we are going to do yet, but we will probably play it by ear. She may try to have it normally, but at the first sign of trouble, the knives will come out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Resolutions - Day 28 - Week 4

No change this week. Still 221 pounds.

On the weekend, K's dancing class had a dinner/dance where she performed. We all went, but the food was Ukrainian. I like Ukrainian food, but perogies and cabbage rolls are full of carbs. I did quite well with the diet, sticking to the protein, although I did try one perogie and cabbage roll. I did have three drinks, which is a verboten. 

Considering the cheating, I guess maintaining is pretty good.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Resolutions - Day 21 - Week 3

Lost 2 pounds this week. Down to 221.

A good week. In addition to losing 2 pounds, I finally got my exercise program fully up and running. I was able to work out five days, including attending my yoga class.

I am looking forward to yoga. I did it for a bit ten years ago, and I find it very relaxing. I need the stretching, and I am always in a better mood after I am done. I feel more centered and calm, better able to face the day. The class is all women between their late twenties and sixties. I am a bit outnumbered.

On the right track. Hopefully things can keep going well.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Resolutions - Day 14 - Week 2

A mixed week. 

The good news is that I finally started my exercise program, although due to factors beyond my control (doctor appointments, stuff at school) I was only able to get two workouts out of five.

My plan is to do something at least 5 days each week, in the mornings while the kids are at school. 

So far, I am focusing on getting back into regular exercise ( I have not exercised since the girls were born, over 5 years ago). So I am doing lots of stretching and 20 minutes of cardio (I will up it to 30), along with some random use of weight machines, just to get the feel of them. I plan to stick with the cardio and then add a weight training program once my cardio is up to a reasonable level, likely in about a month.

The bad news is the weight loss. There was none. I am still at 223 pounds. Disappointing, as last time I had lost 15 pounds by now (I was at 218 pounds after 2 weeks, so still within 5 pounds). However, considering I cheated a bit and I did not gain anything, I guess I should be happy. There really is no hurry to lose weight, as I am giving myself about 5 months (until May). They say that slower weight loss is more likely to stay off.

As long as I am ready for bikini season.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Resolutions - Day 10 - Cheating

Today, I cheated.

I couldn't take it any longer. Denied my favourite tastes I broke down and ate 3-4 candies, (about the size of Hershey's kisses) and stole a jelly bean and an M&M off of my daughter's cookie. 

I am not proud of it, but man cannot live on protein alone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Then You Cook the Fish!"

Sometimes, the Wife can be very frustrating.

I enjoy cooking, but it has to be my own meal idea. 

The Wife does not like seafood. She hates it. The only seafood she will eat is fish, and she is not a fan of that. I love seafood,  (I almost considered dumping the Wife when we first started dating because I would never be able to take her for sushi) except for fish which I can take or leave.

The Wife often comes up with meal ideas, usually good ones. Unfortunately, she tries to get me to cook her ideas. I usually don't listen. I need to be inspired and to make an idea my own for me to enjoy cooking it. 

So, when she comes up with a good meal idea, I usually tell her to do it herself, when it is her turn to cook.

The other day the Wife decided to make a fish dish. Neither of us are fans of fish, but it is good for you and is part of my diet, so I was game.

As an aside, the Wife has been very supportive of my diet, buying food and coming up with ideas to relieve my food monotony. It has been a great help.

As any man, I pride myself on being able to cook meat perfectly. The Wife acknowledges my superiority in this task, and she did so again, by asking me to cook the fish for her.

I am a firm believer in the old saying "Too many cooks, spoil the broth". If I am cooking, it is my meal and anyone else in the kitchen is working for me. The Wife seems to think the same way, as evidenced by her yelling at me when I occasionally open the oven door to see what smells so good on her night to cook.

I was reluctant to cook the fish, because when I cook I like to be in charge. However, she asked me and I caved, thinking I would just do the fish and be done.

The Wife is paranoid about under cooking things. She likes all her meat very well done. You cannot understand the pain I go through each summer as a barbecue a lovely piece of meat to perfection, nice and juicy, only to have her bring it back to me with a look of utter distaste, as if I had served her vomit, and ask me to burn all the flavour out of it. I keep cooking everything properly, hoping one day she will realize her error, and stop insisting everything be burned to a crisp. 

So with some trepidation, I agree to do the fish. I fry it up to perfection, cooked all the way through, somewhat proud at having cooked it perfectly, as I do not have much experience with fish. The wife says "Could you put it back in for a bit, it needs to be white all the way through and fake easily with a fork." I reply that it is perfectly cooked, white all the way through and I demonstrate how I can easily flake it with a fork. Now, I don't mind if you want something more cooked that it is (well, actually, I do mind considering it is cooked perfectly), but don't claim it does not meet your criteria when it clearly does.

Of course, this precipitates an argument where I make such statements as "If you want it burnt, just say so", "Don't tell me it is not done when it clearly is", "Why did you ask me to do it, then?" and the title of this post.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Resolutions - Day 7 - Week 1

This is day seven of my weight loss and one week into my two week induction period for Atkins.

My weight is now 223 pounds, so a five pound loss in one week, which is not bad. Not as good as last time, but my weight was a bit higher.

The first few days were a bit tough, as my body adjusted to a reduced carb intake. During this time, I felt, not sick, but definately out of balance. Something similar happened last time, so I was prepared. The combination of no carbs plus greatly increased protein made me feel "off". Also, I don't usually eat much fat and because Atkins doesn't concern itself with how much fat you take in, I didn't bother to use a paper towel to get the excess fat off my bacon or drain the fat from the frying pan before cooking my eggs. That was a mistake. I must have increased my fat intake by at least 500% in just one breakfast.

Things seem to be on the right track. This week I will start on the exercise portion of the plan.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday. I am the same age as the Ultimate Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.

I was watching the movie The Matrix a few days ago. At one point in the movie, after Neo learns the truth about the Matrix, Morpheus mentions residual self image. It strikes me that all men have residual self image.

I am 42 years old, somewhat overweight, my man boobs starting to sag and hairline starting to recede. 

Yet, if I walk down the street and notice an attractive woman, I don't see an old, fat, balding (and probably creepy), man leering at a young girl, but a strong, attractive 25 year old, appreciating beauty, as would be expected.

The problem with all the creepy old men leering at young women is that these guys don't see themselves as old. They see themselves as they were, at 25, not as they are. Like in the Matrix.

Growing old sucks.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wisdom of a Four Year Old - How Old is Daddy?

K: Daddy, did you have a blankie when you were young?

Me: Yes.

K: What colour was it?

Me: It was orange and some other colour, maybe yellow. I don't remember.

K: Maybe it was red.

Me: I am sure it was not red, it was yellow or beige.

K: Why not red? Did they not have red when you were young?

Me: Yes K, your Daddy is so old that they didn't have the colour red when I was young.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I am not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions.

If you want to make a change in your life, no need to wait for a new year to do it. That said, New Year's is a good excuse to get started.

I made a number of resolutions this year, two of which are to lose weight and to write/blog more. So why not combine the two and write about weight loss.

I am six feet tall, 228 pounds and 41 years old. Not grossly overweight, but enough that my doctor recommends losing 10-15 pounds. I have decided to go farther than that. I am finally going to get in the shape that I have always wanted. My weight problem is three parts. Overeating, lack/no exercise, and an improper diet. The improper diet is probably the least of my worries. I barely drink alcohol, don't drink coffee, and stay away from sugar, except for the occasional Coke Zero.

I am going to use a modified Atkins diet. I tried it out a few months ago and lost 15 pounds in two weeks, so I am confident that it will work but it will not be easy. My food weakness is not sweets, it's salty. I love potato chips. I love carbs, especially bread and pasta.

While I also enjoy many of the things on the Atkins plan, such as meat and various vegetables fried in butter, I do get tired of them pretty quick. This helps me reduce my food intake.

This weight loss project is also part of another, larger effort, the details of which I am not ready to divulge at this time. 

Check back for weekly updates. Posts on my progress will be a few weeks behind real time.