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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sizes....

Not the size of my.. never mind, I mean clothing sizes and food sizes! You have a dirty mind!!

Ok this comes up for a couple of reasons, first of all I just bought a brandy new pair of rollerblades. Yes, the fat boy loves to skate, but I haven't done it in a few years, one of the reasons is that I haven't had a good fitting pair of skates. So I went to the sporting good store and looked around, but I wasn't happy with what was there, and they didn't have any sizes in stock that would approach being a good fit. So I went online. Using the information that I had gained from looking in the store, and the charts on the website I found a style that I liked that was available in a size that should fit me. I ordered them. 125 bucks!! Yikes, but hey, I need the fitness that they can provide. Exercise is key to my losing weight. ( that and not eating as much! ) The skates arrive and I try them on, they seem a little bit snugger than I really wanted, but I guessed that maybe they needed to be to provide the proper support. I couldn't stay on my feet in them for more than 10 minutes. And after that initial pain set in, the interval dropped to about 5 minutes. So now I have to go through the trouble of sending them back and ordering the next size up. I hope these ones fit better, because it's the largest size available in that style. If these don't fit, I may have to find a specialty shop and make a few phone calls. Being a fat guy, I have fat feet, but I think that this size change should make the difference for me. I hope!

Why do sizes vary so much? My shoe size is truly a 10 wide, but in many cases there is no wide available, so I have to step up to a size 11 or sometimes even 12 to get the needed width. Is it so unreasonable to expect the availability of a descent size range? I can't possibly be the only person who has this problem. I mean as the American ass spreads, don't the feet spread too? They have to hold up so much more weight, it makes sense that they would need to be wider to disperse the forces of gravity! I mean, have you walked through a WalMart in the warm weather and seen the huge legs poking out of the stretchy shorts? Sure, you notice the fat-ass wedgies, but also that the shoes all look like their about to burst like a sausage on a grill trying to hold in a fat foot! You may also notice that most of them are Velcro closed too, but the fact that fat people can barely bend over long enough to tie their shoes is also beside the point! LOL Seems like other things have expanded with the population's guts, why not shoes and theater seats?

As I am losing weight I am looking towards buying some new pants. Maybe not a lot right away, but some at least, to get me through the transitional phases. Right now I'm down one size and about a half. So I am wearing stuff that I haven't been able to wear comfortably in well over a year. It's kinda nice, but it drives me nuts that I buy the same size pants from three different companies and they all fit different. I have one pair that the legs drag on the ground and the waist is almost a full size smaller than the same sized pair of Levi's. Oh well I guess I don't mind having the problem of finding a smaller pair of pants!! LOL

And what about McDonald's? A regular size french fries is now what was once called a large, and a large is a super-size, and what is now called super-size is enough fries to feed an entire family! what was once a "regular" is now considered a child size and is relegated to the Happy Meal. Have you seen one of those 64 oz coffee mugs that some of the donut chains are selling? 64 oz of coffee is more than the average home coffee pot can brew at one time!! Who needs that much coffee and why? That is a worse sign of addiction than needles and spoons! Good lord, it's no wonder people are peeing in odd places these days. When you see someone carrying around a grande coffee cup you know that they are gonna have to pee sooner rather than later and when the urge hits, there will be nothing stopping the flow! The super size soda bottles and cups from the burger joints are enough to weigh down an armored truck, and people drink the whole damn thing! I know, I used to be one of those people. It's killing them and they are happy to do it. Oh well, I'm not their babysitter. I will watch and comment.

Eat up, we need a few less people anyway!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

cool kids...

There is something cool about kids. I don't know what it is exactly, but they seem to make me happy more often than not. I love to listen to their ideas and their plans, they don't know that something won't work for one reason or another, so they are willing to try. They also seem to have boundless energy, as long as you don't ask them to do chores!

Today I was playing frisbee with my nephews, and it seems that they can go for hours while playing, but if it's work? No way, they get "tired" in 10 minutes! LOL
This is my nephew Devon, he is the youngest of the three, and he is pretty darned athletic. I know that it didn't come from our side of the family, but apparently his dad's side of the gene pool has some jockstrap in it! All three of my sister's boys are into sports, so it is fun to watch them compete. Football, Wrestling, and baseball they keep us occupied and involved for most of the school year, and plus they are all instrument plaers in their respective bands. Trombone, clarinet, and trumpet. They could make a nice little jazz trio all on their own if they wanted to. Plus the middle boy plays guitar and piano too. That he definitely gets from his mother, she is a natural musician, and she doesn't play anymore!! Drives me insane, I have to practically kill myself practicing to play piano, my sister can sit down and plink out the notes and play a song by ear with no technical training. How she does it I have no idea, and that is why it's called "talent!"
I wish I had that kind of talent, but since I don't I use the other talensts that I have. What they are I'm not always 100% sure, but I keep looking. I am a fair groundskeeper, and this is me and my Lilac tree. One of them anyway. Right now I have 5 blooming lilac trees, I hope to have more next year! I like working with trees and plants, but again I have to struggle with it. I keep trying, but it just never seems to get easier. So while I can do the work involved, it isn't one of my talents. One thing I seem to do effortlessly is deal with kids. They seem to love me.

Kids that refuse to talk to most adults will gravitate to me, and talk a blue streak. I have no understaning of this ability, but I think it is a "teddy bear" effect, because the little ones see me as a big, huggable teddy bear. I have always had this talent, and I can never remember a time since my teens when I wasn't the kid magnet in a room. Ones I have never met before, and even kids wandering in a store will grin at me and start chattering away . I guess it's because they are too young to have been tainted with judgement and they are still using their inate instincts, and they can tell that I am a safe person, their gut tells them that there is no need to worry about me. So I become a target for them and to tell ya the truth.... I kinda like it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Less of a man...

I like being less of a man!! Yes there is now 30 pounds less of me! I was at the doctors office today and my official weight is 300 pounds less than it was a mere 6 weeks ago! I am so freaking happy! I am once again fitting into pants and shorts that I haven't been able to wear in nearly a year. That is way cool, and Good results are encouraging! Notice all the exclamation marks? !!! it's because I am Very, Very, Very Happy!

You can't understand it if you haven't lived it, but it sure does feel good to be less of a man when the man I was was more than twice and average man. Yes, I am a little bit sore from using certain muscles again, but it is expected and to say truthfully, it feels kinda good. I still have those days when the food wants to take control, but when I can channel it into something else, whether it is moving or writing, then I am happy. Sometimes the food still wins, but it wins less this week than it did last week.

I'm keeping at it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pockets..more or less...

Well, the warm weather is finally here and it looks like it may stick around for a while now. I sure hope so, I mean come on!! It's Memorial Day, ( a week early, but so what? right? ) I'm ready to wear shorts every day and get in the pool after work and swim for an hour or so. So this brings out my subject, Pockets.

I was digging my shorts out last night and I realized that more than half of my current shorts are the "Yuppie Summer Uniform", cargo shorts. As I looked at the various styles of cargo shorts in front of me I noticed that there were a variety of pocket styles, but also a varying number of pockets. After counting them, the pair with the most pockets, ( How come shorts and pants are called a pair? You only have one ass to put in them. You have 2 arms on a shirt and they aren't referred to as a "pair of shirts"...) has 10 Pockets! What the hell is someone in SHORTS going to do with 10 pockets? I mean aren't you supposed to travel lite when you're wearing shorts?

I understand the extra pockets if you are hiking or playing tourist. You need a place for extra camera batteries, and perhaps a bottle of water, but let's be honest here, You get much stuff in the pockets of your cargo shorts and you will need both suspenders and a belt to keep them from falling down every 5 steps! Just going through my pockets this afternoon, I had my keyring, a chapstick, a lighter and my pocket knife in one pocket, and money and a debit card in the other. That's it! I had my cell phone and a pen in my t-shirt pocket, like I always do. Later, when I was mowing the lawn, I put the cell down into one of the leg pockets so I could keep the iPod in the shirt, but still and all, nothing groundbreaking or extra special there.

That's just me though, most guys are like little kids. I have never seen a kid with a lot of pockets who didn't HAVE to fill them all up with something. Ask any mother who has done laundry what she has found in a kids pockets. Girls and boys alike. Anything from the missing diamond ring, to a dead snake, there is just no telling, but I'm sure the hands down leader in items found in kid's pockets is rocks. What kid has not looked down at the ground on occasion and found a "pretty" rock they they want to take home to momma? I don't think it's possible to take a 2-4 year old for a walk in the country without them bringing at least a couple rocks home with them. My youngest nephew was a grand collector of rocks. Walking down the beach with him one day, ( Yes, some our beaches here in NY have some rocks, you wanna make something of it? ) and as we walked, he collected. Before we were half way back to the picnic site, his pockets were overflowing and he was walking with both hands holding up his britches! His mom thought he looked cute in cargo shorts. Yeah, and he looked even cuter with his Spider-man undies visible, because his pants wouldn't stay up, loaded with rocks. I was afraid he was gonna break a toe when they fell down!

Men at least don't generally collect rocks anymore, unless they are geologists or just a little unstable. Men collect electronics and tools. More pockets to carry more crap. Cell phone, GPS, camera, iPod, Flash drive. What else can we cram in there? Wallet, keyring, pocket knife, extra batteries, extra memory card for camera. Maybe a flask or a couple bottles of brew. Hey, might get hungry later how about a slim jim or a granola bar? Don't want to get dehydrated, keep a water bottle in there too. Or if you're a pro, a sports bottle. Spare pair of earbuds in case you meet a bud and want to share tunes, or maybe for picking up chicks? Never know when you may need to fix something so don't forget the toolbox from the garage! That's cool!

Think men are the only cuprits? Think again. The mommy patrol has a million uses for cargo shorts too. Who hasn't seen a soccer mom chasing after the kids with a kleenex? where do you think she had it stashed? In her pocket!! and where will it go when she is done with it? If there isn't a trashcan nearby and she isn't a total heathen, it will go back into a pocket! The younger the kids, the more stuff mommy will likely have in her pockets. (Purses are so passé these days) There will be baby asprin, wetnaps, a juicebox or two. Probably a spare pair of undies for each child if they are just recently potty trained or still in training. There will be at least a couple band-aids maybe some hand sanitizer, (If not a full first-aid kit if she's a worrier) and then the usual suspects, the cell and the keys with the clicker for the door locks and security system, some folding money and at least one credit card. She probably has some snacks in there too, cracker packs or maybe some cookie packs. You know how cranky kids get when their blood sugar drops!

I guess it's great if your a mugger, because with more pockest people are carrying around much more stuff to rip off. It's like a quickmart for muggers! Electronics to hock, and money to use immediately, how can you go wrong? I just hope the mugger isn't in a hurry, because they still have to get through the layers of fasteners to get the stuff out of the pockets! You don't actually carry anything in there that you would need in a "real" emergency, because if you have to get those pockets open, doing it in a hurry just ain't happening, unless you have straight velcro. Zippers, snaps and/or buttons, backed by velcro is what most of mine have. I have a pair where the button is hidden under a little flap, if it was a matter of life and death to get something out of that pocket in a hurry, I'm gonna die. It takes at least a minute to manipulate the button around to open those pockets. I challege any good pickpocket to show me that they can get into them without me knowing about it! Velcro is great deterent to pickpockets I think, it talks and they hate that!

Give me my old cutoffs! When I was a kid, mom would take a pair of jeans that I wore the knees out of and cut the legs off above the knee and I had shorts! ( they were almost never even! lol) A few washes and the ends would fray out and then you looked "right", fresh cut shorts always looked so dorky! Too many pockest just complicates life and on shorts it's a travesty, because shorts weather is the time when you should be enjoying simple things. Who wants to have to empty the electronics before starting a squirt-gun war on a hot July day? Not me, but I still do. It's just no fun turning the garden hose on your buddy when you have to replace his cell phone and his iPod that was stuffed into a back stash pocket of his cargo shorts!

Enough with the pockets, if you can't live with 4 pocket shorts, get a purse!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Stalkers

No, I don't think I have ever had a stalker. It has occasionally been intimated that I may be a stalker, but as anyone who really knows me would tell you, I could never be a stalker. I just don't have the necessary task commitment.

First of all I'm lazy. A stalker needs to be a real go-getter. In order to be an efficient stalker, you need to be able to dig for small tidbits of information, you need to be able to spend hours digging through your quarry's trash to find things that you can use for tracking. You need to have dedication to sit in a tree for hours in the cold, wind or rain. Dedication is the hallmark of a stalker, that and mental instability.

Secondly, I don't have the financial independence needed to be a dedicated stalker. Anyone who truly wants to be a stalker needs to have a steady and solid financial base to use for the endless little things involved with good stalking. Listening devices, parabolic mikes and good image stabilizing binoculars are not cheap. What about plane tickets and other travel expenses? I mean, as anyone knows, one of the defining abilities of a good stalker is the ability to follow the target. No matter how that is accomplished, other than on foot, it takes money. If you wish to follow a tour bus, you need gas money, if you are following a jet-setting star, you're gonna need money for the first class tickets to keep an eye on the glitterati who will never fly coach. If you intend to follow them EVERYWHERE, your going to need a passport and visas and all sorts of paperwork that costs money. Nope, I sure can't afford to be a stalker.

Third, I just don't have the level of fandom that would cause me to be a stalker. Just can't see caring that much about someone that I have never met. Sure, I love Kelly Clarkson, but geez, she doesn't even know I exist, and she probably never will, so why would I spend a huge chunk of my life following her around? Or Catherine Zeta-Jones. Yeah, THAT's gonna happen! I can see them better on TV than I could at a red carpet event, so why go and get pushed around by security and trampled by a crowd of papparazzi, when I can sit safe and sound in my livingroom and see them just fine.

Lastly, why would I want a police record for stealing dirty panties or some stupid thing like that? Every stalker eventually gets caught doing something really warped. Breaking into the home of the prey and masturbating in their socks or using their shower, or setting up a shrine in their bedroom. Then the police find them and arrest them and they end up on TMZ looking like Nick Nolte after his DWI. Is that really the way that you want your crush to finally see you? With the bracelets on and the cops guiding you through the crowd of photographers? Come on! If you wanted to make a good first impression that was surely the way to go! They will never forget you, and the restraining order will always remind them!

Maybe a stalker can get lucky and their prey turns out to be just as loony as they are, (ala Britney Spears) and they hook up and have a few dates. It still ends badly when the prey gets sent to rehab and when they get sober they realize that your a freak and probably the reason they had to spend 90 days of their life locked in a padded room, then they kick you to the curb, with a new restraining order and most likely a lawsuit too!

Don't get me wrong, I am not commitment-phobic, I just have a better place to focus my commitments! And besides I don't want to be Commited! I don't fit a straight jacket so well, even though I suppose they make them in all sizes, I just don't wish to find out!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hunger

It is interesting what an American will think of as "hungry" as compared to the rest of the world.

Going to McDonald's and getting a regular fries and a cheeseburger, will leave most Americans feeling "hungry", but give that same meal to a kid from the streets of Buenos Aires and they will feel as if they have just had a banquet. What an American considers a meal for one, the rest of the world ( perhaps with the exception of England or Germany) would consider to be a family size buffett.

It comes up because while I have shed close to 20 pounds, by eating less and moving more, the hardest thing to stop is the after-dinner snacking. Especially when I sit at a desk right next to the kitchen while I am typing this. But I am continuing to remain strong. I had my dinner, a very reasonable one I might add, and now it is nearly 11 pm and my tummy is rumbling. Granted I did a lot of work after I had dinner. Beside walking, I also handled trash ( shop trash, boxes and boxes of it!) and mowed. Still have laundry to finish. Doesn't matter, no more eating after dinner. Holding strong.

I'm not really hungry, I just want to taste something and chew. And swallow. Why? Because my mind is not really occupied, and I am frustrated. But I gave up smoking and I can give this up too. I am tired of being a tub-o-lard, and this is how that finally ends!

Thank you for letting me rant, I will be doing some more from time to time until I have lost at least 100 pounds. Do you realize that by losing 100 pounds, I will still be heavier than my sister and brother combined? I topped out at 355 three weeks ago. Once I get below 275, I hope to never get over it again! It will take work. I'm up for it!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers day!

I happen to have 2 mothers. No, I am not the adopted son of lesbians, I have a biological mother who was married to my father, and I have a step-mother who was also married* to my father. I was raised by my step-mother. I have actually known her longer than my birth mother. Here is the story...

When I was 2 or 3 years old, or there abouts my mother and father split up, and my mother disappeared from my life. I knew that I had a mother, and I knew that she was out there somewhere, but I didn't know where.

When I was 4 I was riding on the back of my father's motorcycle and I managed to poke my heel into the spokes of a moving motorcycle and get my foot wedged between the shock absorber and the whizzing spokes. ( not a good thing to do!) and I managed to get a 3rd degree burn on my heel. After initial treatment my doctor decided that I would need a skin graft to repair the damage. So I got to spend a few days in the hospital, and there was this cute nurses aide working there that my dad liked. It worked out because I liked her too. Later that summer I had a new Mommy.

She was not perfect by any means, but she was a mom to me and I was very happy to have her in my life. She was all I expected from a mom, she spanked me and cooked for me and let me get away with crap. She gave me a sister and a brother and she helped me with my homework. She help me learn how to drive and she gave me the wish to learn how to cook. She loved me every day, even when I didn't deserve it, and she still does. I love her too. I always will. Her family became my family, when I speak of my aunts and uncles, it is usually her family I am talking about, because I barely know any of my aunts and uncles from my birth mothers family. I know they are out there, and I am even sure that I have probably partied with them on occasion, I just don't know it. My Step-moms Mom welcomed me into the family with open arms as did the rest of her extended family. So happy Mother's day to Mom, and to Grandma Hubler too!

MY natural mother, is once again a part of my life, and it means a lot to me that she is out there. Many people have asked my how I could forgive her after she left me when I was so young, and I tell them that first of all she didn't abandon me on a doorstep, she left my father and I happened to stay with him. I asked her about it once, and she was quite plain in her response, she didn't have the nurturing instinct and she knew it. Dogs and cats were ok. She figured that she was screwed up enough on her own, and she didn't want to warp me anymore than the genetics already would. ( I really appreciated that thoughfulness!) So 16 years later I went looking with some of the imformation that I already had, and I found her.

Turns out that she and I are quite alike in many ways. But I can't for the life of me understand her!! LOL It doesn't really matter though, we are friends now, and I am happy that she is in my life. She may not be "mommy" but she is my mother and she is truly a part of who I am and the way I am, it really is true the genetics plays a big role in who we are. I may not be a genius, but I am smart enough to know that. The great debate of nurture vs. nature, is one I love, because I think I am smart enough to know that I am a perfect mix of the 2. For good or for bad, both the one who raised me, and the one who birthed me, are a huge part of who I am.

So for you too, my "real" mom, Happy Mother's day! You were smart enough to give me up, rather than warp me out. Thank you!

*my father and natural mother were never divorced. My step-mother was a common-law wife. I never knew this until after my 18th birthday. Surprise!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Time passages...

No, not the song, I am referring to the actual passage of time. More the perception of the passage of time. Physics tells us that time is relative, and if you don't believe it, have some relatives stay with you for a few days, and see how long THAT feels!!

It seems to come up in conversation all the time, the phrases, "Where does the time go?" and , "What happened to the time?" Well, the times goes the same way that it always does, ever forward. Since we can't yet travel at speeds exceeding the speed of light, time MUST travel forwards. Yet the actual meaning of these phrases is not literal, but rather rhetorical, how does the time pass so quickly without our noticing?

"A watched pot never boils." this is so far from true, yet it is another comment on the perception of time. In fact there was an episode of ST-TNG ( for those of you who are not geeks, Star Trek-The Next Generation) where the android character Data, tests this assertion, and finds that it always takes water the same time to boil when all variables are accounted for and factored in, whether the pot is watched or not. This is not about the pot of water, but the lack of excitement in watching a pot come to a boil. Although the time that it takes never changes, the simple act of watching it happen stretches the perceived time taken because of the lack of any other activity. And yet, "Time flys when you're having fun."

What brings all this inane stuff to my mind you are probably wondering, and I am getting to that, but I wanted to make a few points first. As much as it is a constant, for us mere mortals, it is also a liquid and elusive thing. When were are excited with anticipation for some approaching happy event or date, time crawls along, and when the time finally does arrive, it is over and done before we are ready and we wonder what happened to it. Remember when you were a kid and it seemed like summer would never end and you couldn't wait for the end of school so you could start those carefree days of summer vacation? It seemed like summer took forever to arrive, but then when it finally did, you couldn't imagine it would ever end. ( even though you knew it would!) When you are 10 years old, you have only experienced 120 months of life. 1-2-0!!! That's 3,652 days ( including leap years!) That is it! Double that to 240 months and you are now 20 years old. ( 7,305 days) Makes it seem like a lot longer than it really is since I am in the over 14,600 area! LOL Let's break it into some thinkable fractions.

When you are 12 months old, one month is 1/12 of your entire life. 1/12. When you are 12 years old, 1/12 of your life is now 1 year! When you are 24 years old, 1/12 of your life is now 2 years! The older we get, the faster time seems to go, because the frame that we have to reference gets bigger. It is the same as looking back at the clothes we wore when we were little kids, you look at those tiny shoes that your mother saved and while you can remember your feet in them, you don't remember when they no longer fit. Time is much the same, you are always aware of the passage of the time, how many hours have we spent at work just wishing the hours away so that we could go home and relax, or go on vacation, or just go have a beer? How many hours have we wasted looking for something that was "lost" only to find it someplace that we already looked, but not quite thoroughly enough? How many days of our life have passed while we have sat watching TV or reading books of somebody elses adventures. How much time lost standing in line for who knows what? The one thing that we all have in common is time.

Nobody is immune to the passage of time, if you are alive and living in our dimension. If you wish to have more time, you are shit out of luck, you get the same amount as everyone else does. 24 hours in each day. Everyone gets a different number of days, but what you do with them once you are aware that you can do something with them is where the differences come in. Some people will learn everything that they possibly can, and some people will happily sink into oblivion and never feel the need to look up. Sadly, it is a coin toss to figure out which one ends up rich and famous. There is never any telling what the fates will drop on somebody.

Because of the structure of society, there are many of us who will do the responsible thing, and waste most of our life toiling away at a job that we tolerate, and wishing for the opportunity to do the things that we truly love. Because the world requires that we have means to enjoy many things, and the only way to get these means is to work, we work. We spend 40+ hours each week working, but what about the rest of our lives?

7 days X 24 hours is 168 hours in a week. Subtract the average work week of 40 hours and that leaves 128 hours. Figure a minimum of 6 hours of sleep daily. Another 42 hours of the week gone. Leaves us with 86 hours. Take out 2 hours a day for cooking and eating, which makes 14 hours a week. Down to 72 hours already and we have barely scratched the surface. Daily shower... let's just say personal grooming... 30 minutes a day, 3.5 hours a week. 68.5 hours left. How do you get to work? How long does it take you. American average is somewhere in the 45 minute each way area, so that's 1.5 hours each day 5 days a week. 7.5 hours down the tubes. 61 precious hours left in our week, but we ain't done by a long shot. Average American watched 2.5 hours of TV daily. If you watch TV while doing other things you're ahead of the curve, but far too many people don't. So that's now another 17 .5 hours a week gone forever! We are down to 43.5 hours, but I will spot you 7 hours back, because most people eat while watching TV and we will assume that half of that is meals... so we are plus 50.5 hours. What about your daily chores, cleaning, laundry, shopping, yard and garden work, errands, anything that is considered work that you don't actually get paid for. Figure easily 3 hours each day. (averaged over 7 days) Works out to 21 hours. Now we have only 29.5 hours left.

We are down to 29.5 hours a week left to us. Spread out over 7 days, which comes out to a little more than 4 hours a day. Sounds like a lot doesn't it? But consider that is likely to be 10 minutes here and 5 minutes there, maybe a full 1/2 hour someplace along the way, and you wonder what happens to that 29.5 precious hours that you can call your own. Thinking about them will drive you nuts, but now that you know they are there you will be looking for them.

A wise person once said that it doesn't matter how many days that you live, but what you do with those days that matter. To me, a life well lived is worth far more than the money that I may or may not make along the way. Not everyone feels this way, and that is just fine. I would like to be able to pursue some dreams, but I am still pursuing the means. Perhaps someday the dreams will come, but for now I will continue looking at the minutes that I have available to me as opportunities, and whenever possible I will use those precious minutes to work on my dreams instead of just working. I hope that you will do the same, dreams are important to everyone, and it is always nice when some of them come true.