Friday, January 14, 2011

Diet Diary #1

On January 4th I started the slow-carb diet, cheating on Saturdays with the goal to lose a little more fat.

Back in June in an effort to get back in shape, we began going to the gym again. While I began to gain some strength and size, one thing never really changed – the spare tire. Now, compared to some it’s more like a spare you might find on a Prius, but it was there nonetheless. And in spite of eating well and working out 4 days a week, it simply would not go away.

Starting weight on January 4th was 179.4. Now, of course weight isn’t the best way to measure progress, it is a way. Losing fat and gaining muscle will change both affect weight gain. Currently I have not lost any muscle. Workout has changed, more in an effort to change routine, though. As of the 14th, 10 days later, weight is 173.8. That’s a loss of 5.6 pounds in 10 days. Most of that is around my gut.

As far as the diet goes, I have eliminated dairy. That’s been the hardest part. I love cheese. The more the better. But as a bonus, my sinuses are almost completely dried up. In addition, I have cut almost all sugars (that means juices and fruits, I’m not a sweets eater – so no big deal there) and eliminated all enriched foods. I have increased green vegetable intake, eating chicken, pork, minimal red meat, some almonds, and protein shakes. I am also eating beans, black beans made with fresh garlic and sautéed peppers and onions are best for me. Topped with Tabasco and it’s perfect. I drink cold water (lots), coffee, and hot tea – green mostly. I am also taking green tea extract for it’s fat killing abilities.

The other effect that this has had so far, is that I don’t feel sluggish throughout the day. Simply put, I feel light on my feet and have a little more pep in my step. I don’t feel tired in the middle of the day. I tend to be a little hypo-glycemic, but have not had any issues now that the diet has changed and is regular. 

I am committed to the diet for a minimum of four weeks. Then, I’ll re-evaluate.

So far, so good.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Gamefly Reviewed

gamefly I recently decided to give a shot. I joined Netflix quite a while back and like everyone else and really pleased with their service. is the “” for video games. Again, I have been happy with the service, although I don’t think it is for all gamers.

THE GOOD: Ultimately, you get to play a ton of games that you may not otherwise play. Since having the Atari 2600 as a kid, I have bought games that ended up being horrible and have missed games that were awesome because I wasn’t sure. With Gamefly, you can try out all the games you are interested. If they are good, keep it as long as you are playing it. For me, some games no matter how good they are I may only play through once or twice. I currently have at home. It’s great and I am glad I could rent it. It’s a good game, but I don’t think I will play through it more than once. It’s very similar to the first. But I have it as long as I am playing and then it goes back. One the other hand, bad games like went back in the mail the next day. Or . I know people like that game, but I couldn’t get into it. It’s just didn’t hold me, so it also went in the mail.

To play a lot of games and different types of games, this is awesome and well worth the money. You will spend less then you would to buy the games and you can play many more than you would otherwise.

THE BAD: Now, I understand that games cost more than DVD’s, however, Gamefly is more expensive than I think it should be. 1 game plan is $16, where as with Netflix the 1 movie plan is $9.

The service for Gamefly is slow. With Netflix if you put a movie in the mail on Monday, you will receive the next in your queue by Wednesday. With Gamefly, it takes longer and sometimes much longer. For me, the turn around time has been at least a week. It will post in the account that a new one has been sent, but it is generally about 3 more days before it arrive at home.

You don’t always receive what’s next in your queue. You will receive something from your queue, you just don’t know what it is until it arrives. This is probably attributed to high price of games. The high price means that have a lower stock of all games, so you are sent whatever is next that they have in stock.

Finally, I am not able to sell games back to them. This has something to do with Florida. In other states you can sell games back to Gamefly much like you would with Gamestop. For some unknown reason, people in Florida are not allowed to do this. While this could be a good thing, for me it isn’t.

IS IT FOR YOU: If you tend to buy at least four games a year, then I think Gamefly is right for you and would recommend it, especially if you like a variety of games. There’s a 1 game, 2 games, 3 games, and 4 game plan. I can’t suggest anything more than the 2 game plan, though. The others just don’t make since. For me, I tend to play a game solely until it is complete. Any more than two games would just be overkill. With the slow turn around times and unpredictability in what you will receive, it just wouldn’t make since to have more than two at a time.

If you like to play a variety of games and will purchase 4 or more games in a year, this is definitely for you. If you only like one style of games, FPS’s for example, or solely play Modern Warfare, then don’t bother. It would be a waste of time and a waste of your money.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Things To Do in 2009 - Let's See

So, I saw this post down the list and thought it was time to see how well I have done. There are two months left.

- Be patient - Working on it and improving. Trying to memorize Proverbs 15:18. I want to be more patient.
- Drink good coffee - yes!! You are the best.
- Read Predictably Irrational - Check
- Make time to ride my bike - Nope. Man I wish the Alafia State Park, I miss you.
- Video blog - some. see
- Spend more time with my dad - did as much as i could. I was very blessed to have the time I did.
- Eat sushi and expand my palette - like twice. It was great. However, my palette still prefers pizza.
- Stop eating fried foods (at least for three months)- this has been easier than I expected. A job well done self.
- Read Disciplines each day - I wish I could say that did. Them problem with it is reading too many books at once.
- Publish materials - Check.
- Return to the mountains - Check and double check. The smokies are awesome.
- Take another cruise - any venture capitalists want to pay for my wife and I to go? We'll think of a good business plan while we are away.
- Prepare more dinners - I think Tonya and I did do this.
- Date nights with Tonya - Sorry, baby. I wish we were doing more and I think we have done less.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Jolicloud Review

A few people have asked about Jolicloud and what I think about it, so here's a review. First, i was going to use ScreenToaster to record the review and show you around. But that presents one of the problems I had. Now, it should be said that Jolicloud is in the alpha stage, which means it has a long way to go. The beta stage is when things begin to really get distributed. I think it has a lot of potential.

Back to ScreenToaster, which allows you to record and capture video from your desktop to post and share online, runs on javascript. I never could get js to work or function. From what I can tell (and my knowledge of linux is minimal), it is not supported at this point.

I also ran into a problem with Adobe Air. Not Air itself, but uninstalling applications that run on the Air platform. Most applications within Jolicloud allow you to right click and select remove. But not the Air applications. I was specifically trying out the eBay app. I did find a way to remove the icon, but i really doubt that it removed the app. Again, this may be a issue with my limited knowledge of linux, but when i posted the question in their forums, I never receive and answer detailing how to do this.

The other issue that bothered me was the way some of the web based applications worked. They appear to be built upon a browser, but lack full browser capabilities. I frequently have multiple browser tabs open at once and go back and forth between them. For instance in facebook, rather than clicking and trying to find my way back to the same place in the newsfeed, I open everything inside another tab. At the time, this is not possible in the facebook ap or other web based apps. Of course you can use Firefox or Chrome to have the full featured browser, but then negates the purpose of the app.

The final problem I ran into was with Hulu. In Jolicloud, it seems to run slow for some odd reason. When i boot into XP Hulu runs fine and smooth, but in Jolicloud it is choppy and frequently stops to buffer.

Now, for the good. Jolicloud boots quickly. Without a doubt, it is fast on the load time which I appreciate on a netbook. Less boot time gives me more time to use my netbook. That means I am getting more time actually using it which is important.

I like the way you can install apps. Makes it simple for a newbie to linux to get up and running and have the things they need. Thunderbird for email, two browser options, Open Office for all your document needs, Songbird, Boxee, VLC Media Player and a few others all run natively. It is easy to get up and running with some good solutions to access all that you keep in the cloud.

I wouldn't suggest it for someone who is unsure, but if want to see what will be coming in the future for netbooks, this will give you a good look. I think they are onto something good and I will likely give it another shot once it makes it into beta or a final release. For now I will continue running XP for my main OS and may install Win7 in Joliclouds place.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


  • I am thankful for God’s grace and love in my life.
  • I am thankful for forgiveness.
  • I am thankful to have a team of volunteers who in the midst of crisis and at a moments notice are ready to take on all the responsibility.
  • I am thankful for volunteers who care about student’s lives.
  • I am thankful for volunteers in our youth ministry who place others first.
  • I am thankful for all those who commit even just an hour a week of their time so that others may know Christ.
  • I am thankful for all the support, cards, and hugs I received when my father passed away.
  • I am thankful for student leaders who are concerned about their peers and do all they can to help them come to know Christ.
  • I am thankful for parents who care enough to bring their children to church week after week.
  • And I am thankful for children who care enough about their parents to bring them to church for the very first time.
  • I am thankful for students who text the entire time I am talking and when I ask what was just said, they quote me word for word and expend on the theological indoctrination and the meaning of the original Greek language.
  • I am thankful for compliments and criticisms, I am sure there will be some when I am done, that remind me that I am on the right path.
  • I am thankful for the staff that function so well as a team, the support each other, and get behind the ministries, goals, and visions of the others.
  • I am thankful for the people who notice the little things like a new planted garden, an improved basketball shot (at least that’s what they tell me), and the hard work that goes into outpouring.
  • I am thankful for my wife, who sees beyond my deficiencies, to strengthen me.
  • I am thankful for my wife who reminds what it means to be beautiful and demonstrates what it means to love.
  • I am thankful for Tonya, who is committed to family.
  • Most of all, I am thankful for all that God has given me, family, a home, friendship, a companion, food, rainy skies, and the demonstration of his love through a son and for that coming alive in eyes of those who are with me today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things To Do in 2009

- Be patient

- Drink good coffee

- Read Predictably Irrational

- Make time to ride my bike

- Video blog

- Spend more time with my dad

- Eat sushi and expand my palette

- Stop eating fried foods (at least for three months)

- Read Disciplines each day

- Publish materials

- Return to the mountains

- Take another cruise

- Prepare more dinners

- Date nights with Tonya

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Star Wars Culture (PICS)

Visiting big sites such fffound, Flickr and others, it becomes really obvious how huge Star Wars culture is. This is a endless source of inspiration. Just check these out. And enjoy, of course.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cancer #3

So just as things were looking good, Dad gets more bad news. First and the most minor is that his blood tests on his kidneys are still a little abnormal, but not a major concern right now. It is still at a manageable level.

Second thing - about two weeks ago, his MRI came back showing a second tumor in his brain. This one is about 2cm in diameter. They will begin with some intense radiation therapy fairly soon. It has yet to be scheduled. Because this is totally unrelated to the last one, it is likely more will come about even after this one is destroyed. Hard to deal with, when he was healing so well from the first. Dad seems worried and tired. I know his med's are really wearing on him, too. He is frustrated that he continues to take an oral chemo pill and now has a second tumor come up. What's up with that? I am still trying to figure out how to feel about this. The emotions can be overwhelming at times.

Then, he just received the results from a prostate biopsy that also came back positive. Radiation treatments will begin on this area within the week or so, too. It's just crazy how much is coming at him at once.

Today, I am taking him to multiple scans and tests. These are to scan his entire body to find out if there is cancer anywhere else. We have no idea what will come from this. He should have results soon.

It's a difficult time... We just keep praying.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three Days of Bahamas

High School Mission Trip

The Methodist Habitat, Bahamas


Well, the journal each day thing didn’t quite work out so well. I thought about it, each day, but when it came to the end of the day and I was ready for bed, I was very tired and put it off thinking I would get to it in the morning. Didn’t happen. I believe I have settled into what we have labeled as “Bahamas Time”. And I think I would really like it here. Granted I would need to have my AC running constantly. The food is good. The people are great and friendly. IMG_0233

Now to Tuesday. Tuesday we divided into two crews. One headed off to finish one roofing project and then off to a second. The other crew stayed back to work concrete at the church across the street, do some weeding, and finish clearing the land for the church’s beach view. Our crew that stayed behind worked hard and diligently. We definitely had more people than work, but we spread it around and everyone pitched in well. This day was a little shorter and we knocked off at about 3pm. Dennis, a man who was helping with the concrete. Kept saying, “Take it slow. No rush, we’ll get the work done.” However, we came to work and wanted to get it done. We were quite getting it yet. The second crew went out to the first roof and finished the job. By lunch they had headed out to the next site ready to work. When the arrived, they did not have all the supplies needed and still needed a generator for power. Once that had all been gathered, they realized they had way too many people for the work, building rafters for a house. There just weren’t enough tools for everyone to be working all at the same time and many literally laid down on the job. They returned frustrated and upset that most of the day was wasted. I still thought that this might be a cultural issue rather than a preparation issue but it was feeling like the work was not prepared for us. Almost as if, the work was being thought of on the spot. What we find though is that it was just a cultural thing. Day three also ended with a dip in the ocean another wonderful dinner, bbq chicken, mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. All cooked Bahamian style.

Wednesday, day four. As we awoke this morning, Andre greeted us in the morning and stated that we would be divided by girls and guys. The guys were going out to the roofing site and the girls would remain behind. At first some of the group was bothered by this but they all adjusted well. The girls stayed back to organize the shed and clean up the house. They did an amazing job and when we returned it was cleaner than when we arrived. The guys all headed out to the house to finish building the rafters on this home. As we were getting ready to pull in, KP realized we had forgotten to pick up ice. We turned around and headed to a local fish camp. It was a quite nice tropical location. Lots of flowers trees and right on a creek. We sat and talked for about an hour, waiting to go off to work. The person with the keys to get the ice wasn’t there and we were waiting hanging out enjoying the conversation. After an hour had passed we decided to head on over to the work site. Once we arrived we again waited for a generator although KP found it and got it to us quickly. We are really beginning to notice that everything is just on their schedule. The really is no rush. As we ran out of wood for the rafters, we packed up heading out. The was a little for the remaining pieces, but KP said, “That’s another day’s work.” As we pulled out, there was a little bridge that the local jump off of into the creek. We stopped. We jumped. We swam. Returned home by about 3pm headed out to the shore and waited for dinner to be prepared. Tonight’s menu? Pork chops, and mac and cheese. Abraham had also arrived. He is the director of the Bahamas Methodist Habitat. So I asked about the slow pace. He explained like this. Think of the Bahamas as an endless summer. It’s always hot. You will always sweat. And tomorrow will always come. On a hot summer day, you just not in a rush to do anything, especially outside in the heat. This is the daily life. A gentleman, who lives on the beach next to the church, had worked on his boat each and every day we have been here. However, he only worked about an hour or so each day. The remaining time he sat by the boat and watched the water roll in. it all was really beginning to make since to me. I found comfort in it. Abraham shared that other groups struggled with this too. It really is a cultural difference. It has been a challenge for our group to really grasp this, yet they dealt with it well. it allowed for other interactions to take place. Most of our group has spent time playing with the local children in the evenings, something that would not have happened had we been exhausted at the end of the day.

Now, Thursday, day five. Again we divided into two groups. We took 8 out to finish the rafters and begin playing plywood and attaching hurricane shingles. The others stayed back to plant plants. There job didn’t take too long and they finished quite early. In Bahamian time, this was a hard day’s work, even though they were fully finished by 11am. The others were hard at work this day from the point of arrival until we left at about 3:30pm. We finished the last few rafter pieces, a team of about 4 laid plywood, and I, Koven, and Mr. Johnson attached hurricane straps. These are straps that help tie the roof down to the rest of the house to hold it on during the storms. Everyone worked hard and stayed on task. No matter how much or how little the work everyone on this trip worked as hard as they could and worked with excellence, wanting to show others how much they cared about them that they would take the time to do the best work possible for them. They did. All week they worked with excellence, both in their work and in their attitude. A couple of the girls even baked a cake to take back to an elderly woman whose home we had worked on. The final work day ended with another delicious dinner. This night was fresh, homemade bread and chicken wings. But not your mama’s chicken wings. I’m not sure what that means, but unless you mom is Bahamian; her wings are not as good as these. They were cooked with no sauce. Rather, they were cooked in water with onions, potatoes and salt and pepper. It created a juice for you to dip the bread in as you were eating the chicken. It sounds simple but without the Bahamian love, I’m not sure it’s the same. Our devotions were great this night, too. We took a look at John 15. Jesus calls his disciples friends instead of servants and sets forth the commandment to love each other. This is not en emotion of love, but an action of love. In all I have seen this week. Our group has show me what it means to be a servant, sacrificing all of their personal desires, time, and their selves to put love into action, to help out, to build, to work, and to build new relationships. We leave on Saturday and I will be sad to go. But I hope and pray that what was learned here is remembered and applied as we return back home.