Time, it seems, has gotten away from me. I entirely forgot to post for a few days.

See, I’m in the last two weeks of studying for the second level of the Certified Equity Professional examination, and it’s rough. I’m not an accountant, but about 20% of the exam is on accounting rules for equity compensation, so I have to learn it. As a result, I’ve bee distracted.  Exercise has gone by the wayside for the next few weeks.

Not walking, mind. I still need a break from studying, and walking is a good way to do that. But, yeah. Things may be a little slow around here until after June 10.

Wish me luck!

So This Happened On Twitter Today…

Here’s the context:  I’ve been part of a week-long Twitter free-for-all on the subject of vaccinations – I’m part of the “they’re a net positive for humanity with potential to save millions of lives” camp, if you’re curious.
@EMcCra2 up there, possibly because I described antivaxxers as people who support child death and want to heap corpses up on the bloody altar of Andrew Wakefield, tweeted that back. It’s my Twitter profile picture, and a screen capture of one of my first blog posts here. The implication being that, since I’m morbidly obese, I have no business talking about health.

Which is, of course, nonsense.

First off, it demonstrates “cherry picking” perfectly.  I mean, I have lost 110 pounds since then.  So, sure, I’m still fat. But heck, it was science and medical advice that got me to where I am. Not shrill pseudoscience and irrational nonsense.

Also, so what if I was. I mean, you can know how to do something and not still do it.

But anyway, here was my reply

Enough said.

Poor Work Decisions

It’s no secret that I walk at work on my breaks. Heck, it’s part of my strategy. But, sometimes, it backfires. Here, look at this;

Zombies Run, again. For various reasons, I had eaten lunch before I actually took lunch yesterday, so I decided to go for a walk. A fairly long, aggressively-paced walk. The weather was beautiful, I figured, so it would be fine.

Do you see where this is going?

I was soaked with sweat by the time I got back to my desk. It was dripping from my hair and running down my arms, and I felt gross. I mean, I also felt pretty good. But I felt damp and itchy and generally icky.  Really, it was a good thing that I had only a half hour left in my day.

The moral?  Walking at work is fine. Long distance power walking, though, is not.

Sand, Blisters, and Fun

We had an office party yesterday, one that resulted in me getting drafted into playing sandpit volleyball.  My team got destroyed, and I realized it’s been two decades since I last played the game, but it was fun.  I also learned I don’t have much of a vertical leap, but I don’t know that I ever did. So, no worries there.

I also learned, well after the fact, that playing in the sand had generated a blister on the sole of my left foot.  And then burst it, all without my notice. Which surprised me, because I would have though that would hurt – either develop no it or getting sand in the raw skin. But, no. No pain at all. I’m still walking fine, as a matter of fact.

So, there we are. On the down side, I lost. I’m the up side, I didn’t manage to bump the ball with my face, and I can still walk, and I had fun.  Yay for being in better shape!

My Grandmother

Monday evening, I learned that my grandmother died.  That’s why I didn’t post anything yesterday. It was hard, harder than o thought it would be. She was 92, and I thought I was ready for it to happen. She wouldn’t live forever, after all. Nobody does.

I was wrong.  Two days on, my emotions are still up and down, and a little voice in me is saying “granma can’t be dead!  She’s granma!

My Grandmother Todd is the only grandmother I remember meeting. I met my Grandmother Gant, of course. I’ve seen the photos. But I was two, I think, when she died. I have no memories of her.

We’d go visit my mom’s parents for two weeks each summer, during the years we lived in the United States. It was a 12 hour drive through the Appalachians and then along the Ohio to a little white house with a porch and a second floor my grandpa put in himself. There was a swing set in the back, and flowers with seed pods that popped and launched seeds, and an arbor with sour grapes, and odd little plastic things that my grandpa saved from the factory.

Grandma collected Avon bottles, and little statues, and displayed them in the cramped little living room. I’d spend hours staring at them, and imagining what they were. Never touching, mind. Just looking. And she had wind chimes in the living room. Sometimes, I’d just stand and brush them to make them jangle and clatter.

Grandma is the reason I know what cow heart, rabbit, and turtle taste like (beef, watery chicken, stringy chicken). I’d watch her cook sometimes, sitting on the stairs as she fried chicken. And I’d listen to her talk to my mom and dad, and to my aunts and then uncles.  Most nights, we’d gather around the table and play Hearts or Rummy.  She’d cackle with glee when she won a hand.

My dad always called her “mom”, and meant it. That always impressed me. It was the kind of relationship I decided I wanted with my in-laws, I decided, when I grew up.

I lived about an hour from her for the last 15 years, and I never got down to visit her as much as I wanted. Life got in the way, and granma would always be there for me with a hug, right?  And I always managed to get down for the important things – birthdays and holidays. The news that we were going to have a baby and our son’s first road trip so she could hold her newest great-grandchild.  And for funerals.

Now she’s gone. My sister n, when we told him, said he didn’t want her to go. That it made his heart hurt.

It makes my heart hurt, too. Because I don’t want her to go either.

Been A Few Days, Hasn’t It?

Sorry about missing the past few days.  My schedule got changed around thanks to some training at work, putting me on an 8-5 schedule that completely messed with my head.  How do those of you who work that shift on a regular basis manage to cope?  I mean, there was this burning orb in the sky as I drove to work, and it was dinner time by the time I left the office!


The weekend was not productive in terms of my goals.  However, things are starting to look up, thanks to meeting with my new personal trainer for the first time yesterday (nothing against my last personal trainer, mind – it’s just that this one is only a five minute drive from my house).  The first thing we did was sit down and talk about what I was trying to achieve, and why I was trying to achieve it, and who I was trying to achieve it for.  So, because it’s useful to remind myself of these things, here’s what I said.

I’m trying to get myself back on track.  Nearly two years ago, I set out to lose two hundred pounds.  At one point I was down 120 of those pounds, but then things happened and I stalled out.  Those things were, specifically, various health issues combined with getting burnt out.  But I’m in no mood to give up, and recognize that I need help getting back on track.

I’m trying to achieve this goal because I got scared.  I was morbidly obese, I needed three different blood pressure medications, and my doctor was concerned I was diabetic.  At the time I was 43, and I had a 4 year old and a wife, and the odds were good that I wasn’t going to make it to see him graduate or to retire with my wife.  Also, I was disgusted with myself and the way I looked and felt, and I wanted to change.  But, let’s be honest here (because you can always go back and read my first posts), it was the fear that got me started.

My “anchor” – the reason I have for doing all this – is my family.  Me, and my wife, and my son.  I want to be able to keep up with my son.  I’m 45 now, after all, and he’s 6.  Occasionally, people think I’m his grandfather (which is within the realms of mechanical possibility, but would have required both me and my hypothetical son to have had kids between ages 18 and 20).  I don’t want him to miss out on having an active father because I’m older or because I’m unable to do things with him.  Oh, and I want to be around to see my (obviously hypothetical at this point) grandchildren when they come along.  People in my family live into their late 80s on average, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do so.

I also want to be able to be there for my wife, both now and in retirement.  We have plans.  We want to travel, and go see things, and spend more time hiking and exploring.  I clearly can’t do that, if I can barely walk.  Or if I’m bedridden or housebound because of my health.

And I want to feel better.  The way I feel now, with only a little over half of my ultimate goal achieved, is a vast improvement from how I used to feel.  I’m more active.  I sleep better.  I’m happier with the way I look.  And I want that to continue.

So, that’s what I came up with, answering my trainer’s questions.  Then we spent a good amount of time checking my balance, and the way I move, and my initial workout was something I didn’t expect.  For this week, my exercise is primarily to pay attention to my posture.  Shoulders back, head up, butt in, and walk standing up straight.  And sit, standing up straight.  Also, there’s this exercise I need to do each day, where I clench a ball between my knees and try to press my lower back against the floor, and I’m having a hard time describing it better than that.

It sounded… ridiculous.  That’s all?  But, after just half a day of trying to mindfully stand up straight and walk as prescribed, I’m feeling it in my back and shoulders.  So, clearly, there’s something to this.

I’m excited!  Can you tell?

The Dubious Joys of Allergy Season

So, yeah, it’s been a miserable few days. Coughing and runny nose and more coughing and more drainage, to the point that I got myself back to my doctor yesterday. And walking or other forms of exercise?


Oh, you know what’s really fun?  I have sleep apnea, and use a C-PAP to deal with it. Full face masks and a runny nose are a delightful combo.

Hopefully, the medication helps. Soon.