Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

Down A Quarter

May 22, 2010

Today was the final weigh-in of my family’s Biggest Loser contest, and the results are in. On January 2nd, I weighed 292.8 pounds. Today, I weigh 267.4 pounds. I have lost 25.4 pounds this year. Not exactly a fiery pace, but I’ll take it. 

The trick, as always, is to continue the things that got me down 25 pounds.  I’ve been pretty good at not eating late at night, and I’ve pretty much cut out pop except for once a week or so.  The hardest thing for me to do is exercise.  I haven’t been able to commit to a regular routine.  If I want to get further, I’ll have to get something figured out so that I can get some regular exercise.

For now, I am glad of the 25 pounds gone, and am looking forward to losing a bit more.  Right after this weekend.

running

March 19, 2009

In my continuing effort to lose some extra pounds, I have decided that simply eating less is not enough.  So, the last two nights, I have gone running. 

OK, so it’s been more walking than running.  I have a neighborhood course that I mapped out that’s 1.3 miles.  I start with a brisk walk to warm up, then run until my lungs are going to burst into flames.  Sometimes, that takes me a whole block!  Then I walk briskly again, until my lungs settle down a little, and then run again until my lungs are on fire…you get the picture.  I am about 26.1 miles short of running a marathon at this point, but I’m working on it. 

The problem is that it’s been 20 since I last ran for no reason other than exercise.  In fact, since I was a little kid, I don’t think I ever ran for anything other than the required sub-12 minute mile in high school and in the floor hockey games at the Hamburg Roller Rink when I was in my early 20’s.

So what hurts today, after 2 days of trying out this new excercise?  Mostly my shins.  Surprisingly, my knees are feeling OK even after taking the punishment of supporting 250 lbs in an atheltic endeavour.  I figure if I haven’t keeled over of exhaustion or overwhelming pain in the first couple days, there’s  a good chance I won’t have too many problems.  Let’s hope…

“a driver”

March 17, 2009

If you happened to be watching Channel 7 News today at 6:16 pm, you probably saw my latest (hah!) media appearance in a report about construction season in Western New York.  There was a crew tearing down the old gas station at 7 Corners – most recently an automotive electronics place – and I stopped by to take a couple pictures on my way to work.  If you didn’t see it, the video is here – I show up a little past half way through. 

I notice that they didn’t use the other part of the brief interview where I say “I’m not sure how three intersections are safer than one…”  I still think the whole reconfiguration of the intersection does little to address safety or efficiency,  but what the hell do I know.  I hope it works, but I am not too optimistic.  Here are some renderings and photos if you care to look; they illustrate the project quite well.  Oh, and some pictures of the wreckage:

dsc03045

and…

dsc03050

And even a little video of the final blow:

power failure

November 25, 2008

Something is wrong with my laptop.  I have to hold the power cord at an angle in the power jack on the side of the computer so that I’ll actually get a connection.  At this time, nothing but electrical tape is helping me.  Anyone know a good laptop doctor around Hamburg?  ‘Cause I got lots of money to spend on this shit right now, I don’t think.   ARRGGHH!!!!

never presume common sense

June 13, 2008

This is a memo to myself, worded as a reminder to everyone out there…

When someone asks you to help them find something that they have misplaced, never presume that they have looked in all of the obvious places.  For instance, today my boss asked me to help her find her keys.  She couldn’t find them in her office or personal effects..  So, first thing we do is look all over the place in her cubicle, check the reception area, and look on the floor.  No dice.  My recollection was that she didn’t “jingle” on her way past my cubicle in the morning as she usually does, and so maybe she left them in the car.  So we walk out there and search her car, also to no avail.

On the way back into the building, we ran into a senior engineer who asked what we were doing.  When we told him, he asked a very simple question…”Are you sure you checked your purse?”  My boss gave us both that “you’re an idiot” look and opened her bag just to show us what goofballs we were to ask such a ridiculous…et voila.  Her keys. 

Away she went, with a sheepish grin and a quick call to her lunch appointment, and the engineer and I both stood laughing as I contemplated the complete lack of common sense occasionally displayed be even the brightest people.  And once again, I was reminded of the time we can all save by asking “stupid” questions…

$93.00 USD

June 12, 2008

The other day, I spent $93.00 to fill the tank on my 2000 Ford Windstar. 

Ninety three dollars

Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a hell of a lot of money.  I’m none too thrilled that it takes me almost $34 a tank more to fill up that just a year ago.  Gas has gone up approximately 35% in the last year, according to the information I got at this website.

Some people can afford this kind of increase, and fortunately I’m one of them…barely.  My family has made adjustments, though.  My venerable old 1998 Grand Voyager and it’s 18 mpg has been replaced by a Saturn SL1 that gets about 30 mpg.  That helps a bit, but at some point we’re going to have to make some more decisions that won’t be so easy as just replacing a vehicle.  We both work, so we both need vehicles.  I’ve got three kids, and I need something capable of carrying the whole family without causing a shooting war among the kids.  There will need to be larger changes in our daily life in order to afford increasing costs, since the price of gas will inevitably (and has begun to already) jack up the cost of everything from bread and milk to the taxes we pay to maintain our roads and infrastructure. 

I suppose that here we’ll go with the inevitable bitching about the oil companies and how they’re raking in money hand over fist.  Well, yes they are, on pretty much the same margin that they’ve always made.  Only now the volume is greater because of greater demand.  So duh, they’re going to make more money.  I think everyone that bitches about the oil companies’ profits might want to check their 401k if they have one and see who’s making money for them right now.  There aren’t many stocks that are going well, but oil companies are among the good ones. 

I think there are a lot of reasons for oil – and especially gasoline and other distillates – going through the roof.  Among the more obvious: There’s an ever-accelerating demand from China and other Asian countries that are hitting the developmental speedway.  Our own country’s demand continues to increase.  Within our own borders – thanks to environmental laws, Al Gore, and a prevailing NIMBY attitude, among other factors – it would take an act of Congress, the wrath of God, and 145,365 tons of pixie dust to get any more refineries built.  There are lots of other reasons, but we can’t just look at Big Oil and wash our own hands of any responsibilty for what’s going on.

Sooner or later, ladies and gentlemen, that tank of gas for my Windstar is going to be too much for me – for a lot of people.  For some folks it already is.  Sure, the price of gas might moderate for a while, but it’s not going to go down too far anytime soon.  Me, I’ve made a small step in the right direction by buying a smaller, more fuel-efficient car.  I think maybe it’s time we all took some steps.  If we don’t, we’re going to get left behind.

oofaa

April 29, 2006

A quick synopsis of events of the last day:

The Sabres gave the game away last night as they lost 5-4 to the Flyers.  They better remember how to play the whole game and not just one or two periods.  They can't expect to mount last minute comebacks all the time….

Final bill for the van: $685.43.  And it stops so well that I almost put my head through the windshield at the first stop. 🙂

Work was a bitch yesterday, I put in about 10 hours, and then I was up half the night with a 2-way mass evacuation of my gastrointestinal system.  Fun wow…

There will be a rather important announcement here tonight, so be sure to check in to see what the news is!

just a thought

April 23, 2006

There has been some comment recently about the deplorable condition of some of the railroad bridges around the area.  The railroads are resisting pressure to repaint them, and towns are considering ways and means to coerce the railroads into improving the looks of the bridges.  So I got an idea.  Not a new one, I'm sure, but it never hurts to put it out there.

Everytime we catch one of these "taggers" or other graffiti artists, this becomes their penance.  The particular township that apprehends the morons gets to sentence them to community service, and that service is to paint the bridges.  The towns can apply for any number of grants or whatever to get the paint.  Or it can be donated.  Or even gotten in some manner from the railroads.  And we could also use these resources at the direction of local artists to turn these things into the "community art" projects that some have envisaged.  This tactic could be a cool way to get a lot of painting done at a reasonable cost.  I know there will be safety issues and all that, but with a little work I'm sure we could solve those problems as well.

This is an approach that, if proven to work in this circumstance, could conceivably be used to supplement the declining resources of some municipalities' buildings, grounds, and parks departments.

hair banned

April 22, 2006

One of the other chores accomplished today was getting my hair cut.  I'm never one for major league fashion, and I quit trying to actually have a hair style a lot of years ago.  But it had been a while since the last chop, and then being outside in the wind after my shower this morning and watching my hair poof out to about twice the size of my head and being sick of wearing baseball hats everywhere I may have made a slightly less thought out decision.  High and tight, baby.  #2 on the sides, #4 up top.  I feel naked. 

tire shopping

April 19, 2006

My wife has been telling me for weeks that she needs tires on her van.  Now, around 1995 I worked at Dunn Tire for about a year and a half.  So naturally I am a complete expert (she thinks) when it comes to getting new treads for the cars we have.  Anyways, I went to Big D Tire over there on Southwestern.  I was in and out in about fifteen minutes, and Jim there was great.  It was a good tire, a good deal, and I didn't even have time to drink the free coffee. 🙂  Now all I have to do is get MY van fixed up and we're good to go for the summer!

and so it begins

April 12, 2006

What an absolutely glorious day out there.  And again, free lunch on another local transportation company.  This time I had steak and shrimp from Applebee's.  Good stuff. 

Anyways, friday morning will likely be my first golf outing of the year at Southshore Country Club in Hamburg.  What sucks is that I'll probably have to work in the afternoon.  So tonight I'll have to dig out the clubs and hope I can find my shoes.  And get another dozen balls – it's wet out there and I'm sure plugging is going to be rampant.  But I'll be golfing, and I won't care.

Posting will be light this evening as I will be attending the Sabres game…

easter sunday

April 11, 2006

So who's got plans for Easter Sunday already?  I know I'll be going to a local place for a big old buffet for brunch.  Then it's over to my folks' house for a little belated birthday celebration for my daughter, Megan.  And let's don't forget the Sabres game at 5pm.  Ought to be a hell of a good day!