Monday, September 24, 2012

Working hard...

What is group of working dogs called?  A Business?  A Corporation?  A Wrassle?

Frankly with the inclusion of Cinnamon, we are being very generous in the use of the word "Working."

Monday, September 10, 2012

One week back in the saddle...

So I have resumed my 4HB program, after being in a sort of maintenance mode (besides losing most of July to a Pancake and Rum binge.)  July was a bad month. 10 lbs of indulgence and self pity.

However, since I restarted last week I have lost 6.4 lbs already.  That is with just cutting out processed carbs from my diet again.  One cheat day on Saturday*.

I have modified the diet a bit.  There is a similar program put forth in It Starts with Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.  Like the 4HB it is basically a modified Paleo diet.   I found their explanations excellent, but as one friend pointed out they are a fair amount preachy.  However I particularly like how the explained that there is no food Switzerland.  All food is either net beneficial or net harmful.  Twinkies are harmful (not that I eat Twinkies.)  They break down the food is to satisfying one of four criteria, if it doesn't meet it... you don't eat it.  (go read the book if you want to know about the criteria)

Some key differences between their program and the 4HB:

No legumes of any sort, including lentils, kidney beans, and peanuts (which means no PB)
No seed or nut based oils (not a big deal I mostly cook with olive or coconut oil already)
No cheat days.  They recommend 30 days start without any cheat days whatsoever.  In fact they reckon that once you make it past the 30 days you won't need any cheat days.
No Red Wine, in fact they go so far as to suggest cutting all alcohol out of your diet forever.
Fruit is allowed, and even encouraged.
Processed proteins such as whey protein are Verboten.

In any case I am switching to that eating model, but keeping the cheat days, and maybe the protein powder in the form of fruit smoothies in the morning (otherwise realistically I won't have any breakfast.)

I'll give it 30 days with and see how I feel.

*Cheat day is sort of a misnomer.  I actually still am not going crazy on Saturdays.  In this case the only thing different was I got an eclair from the coffee shop Saturday morning.  Otherwise it was perfectly normal food day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Aaaaand we're back

So here we are again.

Lets get some questions out of the way, shall we?

Why Go Dark?
I had series of personal, financial, and professional events that derailed me and I didn't think it was good idea for me to be blogging at that time.

So things are better now?
Actually probably worse.

So why restart the blog?
I have been strictly forbidden to go on a homicidal, suicidal, or any other -idal based rampage. So I figure I might as well start sharing the random thought my head produces with you again.

Are you still in Architecture school? Is the blog title going to change? Who is your pick for the Superbowl?
Whoa whoa whoa! So many questions! One at a time.

Architecture school is on hold for at least two years (unless something magical happens.) I may however be starting up IT courses in January so in a few months you will see me making cranky noises about subnet masks instead of masses.

I was tempted to change the title of the blog. But frankly everything I came up with sounded either whiny and self-pitying OR revealed to much about my master plan to take over the world. For now the title stays.


So what ARE you going to write about?
Technology, geek life in cowboy-land, progress with the studio (or lack there of), weight loss (new program starts today,) and whatever else strikes my fantasy.

What about the dating thing? We want salacious details!
I appear to have better odds of winning the Superbowl, K? Besides this isn't MySpace, get your mopey schadenfreude elsewhere.
Got any other questions?  Post em below.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kenpo review...

After each belt passed there is a review session where you go back over the preceding belts.  As each belt gets harder and more belts are behind you the review sessions get longer and longer.  Since I passed my 3rd brown all we've been doing is reviewing and have only made it through 3 1/2 belts.

However, the worrisome part is tonight's review was of Blue belt and it feels like I am seeing some of the these techniques for the first time...  2 years since I tested off that belt and clearly I have not practiced it enough since then.


I should note that this review period is also taking much longer then the preceding ones because Chris isn't just teaching me the technique, now he is teaching me how to teach each of the techniques as well; variants, problems to watch for and ways of adapting to individual students are all covered.

However, for 3rd brown I started recording Chris doing the techniques properly, and then going back over and watching that belt over and over again and transcribing each of the steps.  I also film myself doing the same techniques, and watch the film of myself making corrections as I go along (this was really helpful for 3rd brown katas.)  I have started to do so for these belt reviews as well.  So far I have recorded Gold, Orange and tonight I got Purple, but have only transcribed Gold.

Here's an example from my 3rd Brown notes, with my abbreviations unabbreviated :

Bending the Limb
Aggression: Cross Wrist Grab (Right Hand described, works for either side)
Right Hand makes a small circle to the inside and up, lifting attackers arm to shoulder Level and you re-grab. Step in Left Foot to forward stance and strike attacker’s ribs with horizontal elbow while rotating into horse stance perpendicular to attacker, Left Hand rises up and clears attacker’s arm with a downward hooking back-fist, pivot into a forward stance and Right Hand shoots forward to palm-strike face.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Perils of online dating - Craigslist Edition

On a lark I posted an ad on craigslist.

Time to first spammer: 2 Minutes
Time to first offer to see "sexy pictures": 4 minutes
Time to first broken English attempt to get me to click a suspicious link: 7 minutes

It's been up for 45 minutes and I have received 7 e-mails, none legitimate.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why Dating sucks... (A numbers game)

This is semi-cross posted on facebook, and a couple of you have already heard me sound off on this, but bear with me because I have refined the number a bit.

Recently I watched an interesting BBC documentary on science of attraction, where they brought together a bunch of psychologists, anthropologist, etc to design a program for predicting what people find attractive. The factored in compatibility of interest, similarity of features, and each researcher had their pet theories of what was going on in the study participants head. They were all wrong.

Overwhelmingly they found that initial impression was set by one thing only and it was different for the sexes.

For men: Waist to hip ratio.

For Women: Height.

The other factors had a contribution to the long rating of their opposites, but generally an initial opinion was set, and didn't vary by more then 10%+/- after that.

The part that is relevant for me is generally women are looking for men that are ~5" taller than them and 3-4 years older.   Sadly... statistices does not back up the point in having hope.

You see, Bozeman has ~30,000 people according to the city manager. Using the last last census 23% are between 25-44. With an average martial rate of 44.9% (we'll call it 45%) leaving 3795 single people, of whom ~52.6% are men, leaving 1838 possible single women, cut out the 15% smokers and the 10% of the population with serious pet allergies 1405 is starting to look pretty bleak.

If we also rule out those that the NIMH classifies as having a "serious" mental health issue which is apparently 5% of the female population

That leave 1335 potential ladies to meet.
If we are generous and include the women who are an inch shorter then I am (52.4%) of thee population then there are 699 single women meeting the very *minimum* standards, not factoring for common interests or anything similar.

That is a 2.5% chance.  That is the optimistic number.   

I'm not going to calculate the what the "optimal" height and age match is because I would probably make me want to crawl under the covers and never leave again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Comments back to normal (ish)

So last night an obnoxious twit was spamming the comments.

Turns out there is no real tools to blacklist commentators or IP ranges.

So comment moderation is turned on now.

Please continue about your snarky posting.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spammer Begone.

Comments Disabled for the foreseeable future.

Saturday non-post.

Didn't weight myself.  Didn't do my exercises.  Spent the morning at work doing an upgrade to our server that did not fix the problem the engineers promised me it would.  I am drinking rum, not enjoying my newly minted single status and being propositioned by cowgirls online.

Some days I wonder why I get our of bed.

Oh that's right, because the dog will go out at 8am or bad things happen to the carpet.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Goal Reached (mostly)

I have have confession to make.  I didn't quit hit my goal.  I missed it by .2 lbs.  Now, if you guys really want to see a picture of me in my swimming trunks in all my hairy glory I'll post is but .2  pounds is close enough for me to call this part of the plan a success.

So I have lost 29.8 lbs over 95 days, which is a loss of 10.5 of my body-weight and an average of .31 lbs a day.

And although I nearly stalled completely the last couple of weeks, thanks to illness, I suspect those numbers will start getting much better as the HIIT starts to happen every other day.  (Right now it's two days a week.)

That's about all my news.  I'm off for apple filled crepes to celebrate.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Cheating death (or at least serious injury)

So it is my belief that is it far better to be smart, then to be lucky.  However... when you fail to be smart and luck saves you... be thankful.

Today I was doing a simple household chore, that many of do every day.  Dishes.

I'm a little OCD about dishes, having been cut several times by broken glasses or carelessly dumped in knives. So I no longer have fragile glasses, and my OMG sharp knives I carefully stack off to the side separate from the other dishes.  They are OMG sharp, because sharp knives seemingly paradoxically cause fewer kitchen accidents as they do their job better then dull knives.  This means less chance of using to much force... and therefore less chance of injury.  Unless you do something stupid like gesture with them and then they will open your finger to the bone before you will even notice.  I've done that.  It was stupid and painful.

So I am merrily washing dishes having just a few, and have done all the big stuff and am rooting around for the silverware and I'm swishing my hands back and forth when I slide my wrist, at speed across something inexplicably cold in the scalding hot water.

I freeze.

Count to 5.

Carefully lift my hands out of the water and see a faint red indentation on my wrist almost exactly paralleled to all the lovely ligaments and blood carrying tubes in my arm.

I very gingerly reach back into the water and promptly cut my finger on my OMG sharp Santuko chef knife which has magically transported itself in the water.  I carefully fish it out and realize that I had managed to slam my wrist at speed on the dull side of the knife.  Hard enough to dent my skin.  If by chance the blade had been facing the other way...  many many stitches at the minimum.

So I got lucky.

And boy am I thankful

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday... schamturday.

Let's see...

So after a rough week my weight basically back where I started from last week.  No I don't know why, but not particularly worried about it.

In other news, as I mentioned earlier I passed my 3rd Brown Kenpo test.  And I inexplicably found myself with a Saturday when I have no plans, no practice scheduled, nothing but an entire weekend of vacuuming dog hair.

So I had pizza and daiquiris.  First pizza since December or so.  First daiquiri since ...oh last summer maybe?

But it' 60+ degrees out (well it was) and clear blue skies, surely that's good enough excuse for consumption of large amounts of rum and fruit juice yes?  I probably should have waited for them to wear off before writing this...


No matter.

Other micro-updates.

HIIT train sucks.  But at least it's over quick.

What sucks worse the HIIT is going into work and getting locked in an elevator when the building manager goes around and turns off the elevators in anticipation for the bar crowd.

Fortunately I have his number in my phone and I was only locked in the damn thing for about 30 minutes.

90 degrees at 30 minutes... because there is no AC when the elevator is turned off...

But that effectively ended any urge of mine to continue to work this weekend.  Hence the daiquiris.

Now, if you will excuse me... there is more chilled fruit beverage calling my name....

Friday, March 23, 2012

That's Mr. Instructor to you.

So I officially am a Brown Belt in Kenpo now.

I also learned a deep dark Kenpo secret which I will share with you now...

Are you ready?

To bad you don't get to know it.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stupid People and weight loss progress

I'm sure every one has one they work with.  That person who says things that just make you stop and stare at them and as you try and search for a work safe response to something utterly stupid leaving their pie-hole.

Background:  This person has expressed loudly and at length how they and their spouse never ever cook and eat 90% of their meals at McD.  This same person in that same conversation went on to express confusion at the fact that they were always broke and how everyone in their family kept gaining weight.  Particularly one of the children for whom they had to stop every morning and pick up McD for lunch because said child wouldn't eat prepared lunches made at home.  It was difficult to point out that someone needed to act like parent...

The Situation:  I brought in some of those amazing pressure cooked hard boiled eggs I have been making to share with a different coworker.  Previously mentioned clueless coworker sees the exchange and comes over to contribute their font of wisdom.

Clueless: "You shouldn't be eating those, they are totally full of fat.  You should put them raw in your morning shake* you are so proud of."

Coworker: "What, just the whites?"

Clueless: "No, the whole thing all the good stuff is in the yolk."

Coworker:  "How is that less fattening then hard boiling them?"

Clueless:  "Duh, they are raw!"

I didn't say anything, just stared at Clueless like she was dead to me until she was uncomfortable and went away.

*Shake previously mentioned in this post ** which has undergone some refinements, but coworker asked me about it once so I explained it.  Whereas the previously described shake killed three birds (Coffeee, Ice water, and protein) I have upped the ante by adding coconut flesh (for more protein, fiber and MDL fats) and Saigon Cinnamon (blunt insulin response.) For a while was adding Cinnamon flavored flax seed oil... but I finally couldn't take the fake cinnamon flavor anymore,  it was ruining the whole shake.

**I should mention in that shake post I mentioned that sucking down 5 eggs was hard... the pressure cooker method... makes them so soft and amazing it's hard not to eat that many.  I actually have to pace myself as last time I made a dozen I ate them all in a day.


Progress...  so unofficial update.  I have regained the setback between the combination of bacon death gravy and being sick. I am officially once again the lightest I have been in over a decade, and it was further highlighted today by wearing a set of pants I have never fit it, and a shirt I stopped wearing last summer because it had "shrunk."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Snowpocalypse 2012

So I'm sure my readers in Alaska (hi to both of you) are going to make snarky noises at the rest of this post...

Since mid-December every couple of weeks the weather pundits have been preaching doom and gloom as some weather system has moved our direction.  Dire predictions of food shortages, rabid badgers, and endless snow have hopelessly intertwined, frightening the elderly and making weak men weep.

None of which materialized.

The closest we came was in Late January 4-6 of snow was predicted over the weekend, and we got 1/2 an inch of dust that was gone by noon.  In fact, the few times this weekend I left the house (for cold medicine) I didn't bother with a coat, and I watched sadly as the Dog tried to do her business on a patch of snow the size of dinner plate (she prefers snow over grass.)

That's how it was when I went to bed last night.

This morning...

There was ~6 inches on my car and there are only 4 of the 12 employees in the office today.

It's still snowing...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Sick day.

Quick post just to note that this week was not so good for weight loss.  Didn't particularly change my eating habits, but a head cold basically shut me down all week.

I'm actually a pound heavier then I was last week, so I only lost 1 lb from last Saturdays binge (still was worth it.) But this week was a weird one.  One day I'd gain .2 lbs next day I'd lose .6 back and forth all week.

I can't think of anything specific that would have caused it except being sick screwing up my metabolism (I didn't cheat during the week.)

Let me amend that, I have been tinkering with a microwaveable cake recipe, that should have had no impact on my carb levels.  The ingredients were all low carb and sugar free.  But perhaps that screwed me up, or at least contributed to it.

I will skip mid-week experimentation for the time being and only try things like that on the weekends from now on just to test.  Or perhaps when I'm well again I will empirically test it to see what impact it has.

I also found a source for Mung Bean noodles (or threads) but not the flour.  I boiled some last night, and the results were interesting.  They have about half the Glycemic index of flour based pasta, at 29 vs 61+, but they boil up crystal clear and about the thickness of spaghetti.  Also not sticky like wheat pasta, which means the sauce doesn't really stick to them... nor do they stick to themselves at all.

No flavor to speak of, but a pleasant texture.

Back to sucking down cold medicine...

*edit* So many typos!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Wisdom

Sick at home, recovering from a head cold and working my way through the first season of "Game of Thrones."

This particular quote was to good not to share.

“A craven can be as brave as any man, when there is nothing to fear. And we all do our duty, when there is no cost to it. How easy it seems then, to walk the path of honor. Yet soon or late in every man's life comes a day when it is not easy, a day when he must choose. (Maester Aemon)” 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kenpo and carpel tunnel.

So I just completed transcribing instructions for all 40 of the techniques in 3rd brown for my instruction book.  I didn't even try to transcribe the the 250 steps or so in either of the kata.

But to describe those 40 techniques, succinctly but accurately it took 2531 words, 5 pages, 11 pt font, and about 8.5 hours of work between yesterday and today.

Worst yet... I really need to go back and do it for the other belts.  I did it for Green or Blue ( I forget which) but not the beginning belts.


Saturday update and bacon

I forgot to post on Saturday mostly because I was to busy stuffing my face.

I had one of those inspirational cooking mornings where I knew exactly what I wanted.

But first, on Saturday morning I was 27.6 lbs lost, average of .37 lbs a day something like 9% of my body weight removed in the last 2.5 months.


The biscuits.

So I was thinking about biscuits and gravy, but lacking a stove I wasn't going to be able to make biscuits, so I went next best thing and bought some English muffins, toasted them and placed some shredded cheese on top.

Next.. bacon.  1/2 pound of it, was fried and mounded atop.

I then poached a couple of eggs (not perfectly but adequately) and those were placed atop a two of the muffin halves.

I then made a white bacon gravy (as opposed to a sausage gravy.) though I added bit of butter at the end and broke the emulsion...

While this was all cooking, I prepped a fresh bought pineapple and some prosciutto they had on sale.  I relly don't care for for prosciutto wrapped melon... but adore ham + pineapple.  And since the normally $8 meat wast $1...  well I did it for science.  (I ate the rest of the pineapple throughout the day)
It was much better then the melon, but still not something I'd call great.

The end result was not pretty but it was incredibly tasty, glorious even  Between this and the entire pineapple I ate... I gained 2 lbs.

Worth it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Whistles, HIIT, and leg sweeps.

In preparation for the next phase of the body-rebuilding/whatever the hell I am doing I have been exploring the lovely Bodyrock website and it's High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) videos.  I did a couple of their beginning videos and they kicked my ass. That's a good sign that by doing them I will make great progress.

These videos feature a sweatproof body timer thing.   It looks lovely, appears to function well and is actually quite inexpensive... but a free app that replicates it's function is even less expensive. Naturally it was downloaded to my phone upon discovery.

During testing I discovered that the Interval alarm was a coach's whistle.  The first time it went off Cin poked me in the ribs with her cold nose while whining in concern.

The second time she bit me and ran into the other room in fear.

I think I'm going to change the alarm to something that doesn't leave me mauled by a malamute.

Further, working out with/around her is... umm... a treat.  But only if you appreciate the absurd.

 Firstly, whenever I work on the heavy bags, BOB, or the speed bag Cin glues herself to my side and makes a sorta... half-chuffing whining noise.  I don't actually know if she is complaining... or just excited...

Cin also did it when my former room-mate came over and gave the heavy bag a few test smacks.  Just not as loudly.

Secondly, practicing the various katas are also problematic.  When I am on the mat she wants to be on the mat with me.  Not on her dog bed, not on the wood near the mats... she wants to be ON the mat.  Shoo her away and it lasts until your back is turned and she's back on the mat.

Lastly, she loves my Gi pants, not only because they pick up her shed hair so effectively but she appears to love the *snap* they make when I am doing kicks or moving quickly in a technique or kata.  Last week she actually grabbed the hem of my pants as I was leaping backwards (don't ask... it's part of the kata) and yanked me sideways resulting in me crashing to the ground instead of landing gracefully.

If I can figure out how, I'm going to teach her to do that on command.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Commenting on the internet (Don't do it!)

I don't normally touch on politics but had an experience this weekend, where upon I inadvertently identified myself as differing myself as not in perfect lockstep with the groupthink of the collective on a left-leaning blog.

Even though I expressed agreement with the statements they had made, I was instantly branded as sub-human and what followed was a completely unexpected screed of vitriol and hatred that I was unprepared for.

They would take a simple statement of "Person X said something BAD, and I do not agree with it."  as somehow support of  Person X and use that position to rationalize stream of ad hominem attacks in attempt to discredit me as insultingly as possible... in spite of the fact that I was *agreeing* with them.

The event literally left me stressed and nauseated.

It reminded me of why I stopped commenting on public forums years ago.  I won't be making that mistake again soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quick Saturday update.

No concussions or other serious injuries to report, though I did strain a rib by sneezing of all things.  It is rather hard to spin that one in a macho fashion.  Imagine this conversation:

Me:  "Man, I'm so tough that even my sneezes injure people/"
Them: "Really, who'd you injure?"
ME: "Ermmmm...."

So moving onto to Saturday progress report.  I have lost 24.6 lbs in the last 67 days continuing the average of .37 lbs a day.  I have also lost a total of 10 inches across my hips, chest and waist in this time period.  At this rate I should meet my 90 day goal of 30 lbs in 14 days, giving you guys 9 days of buffer of avoiding scary pictures of me in case I have another pasta day (which isn't going to happen.)

In any case, 24.6 is close enough that when people ask I'm just going to round it up to 25.

The next 90 day cycle I intend to add daily kettlebell swings, speed bag drills and other muscle building exercises.  It should be interesting to see what that does to the number since muscle is denser then fat... but more muscle also means more fat burned.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Heavy Bag blues and body progress

I got the heavy bag hung, though not entirely without damage.

But first, the steps. I built a  framework to support the main crossbar out of 2" x 6" mounted with 3.5" screws.

Because I am paranoid, I calculated the shear/load of the screws I used to mount the frame work.  I used the more conservative rating (shear vs load) even though I actually anticipate the diagonal forces will be a combination of the two.

In any case it should resist a load of 16,900 lbs of force.

That means I would have to run at almost exactly 39 miles and hour do a flying side kick and transfer *all* of my energy to it.  (Or more likely leap in the air and grab the bag transferring all my energy at once)

Considering that is almost 4 times faster then the average human can run... It is probably safe.

The crossbar itself is 4" x 4" angle cut to sit flush with the wall and held in place with some hefty rafter braces.

However, after I had put the first brace on, and started securing the crossbar I managed to knock said crossbar off the frame.  One side semi-secured it swung like a divine angry hammer of god and struck me in the side of the head and knocking off the 4' ladder onto the (thankfully) mat covered floor.

Whereupon I spent about twenty minutes curled up in a little ball whimpering in a manly fashion.

Needless to say there was concussion, and the next couple of days are sorta blurry.

But the end result is quite functional.


In 4HB news, it is another cheat day and another weekly update.  I forgot to take my morning measurements before I made Paleo Compatible Coconut pankes (tasty... but odd texture) so using yesterdays measurements I am sitting at 22.6 lbs lost in 60 days.

That is a daily average loss of .37 lbs a week... and given what last week's midweek pasta binge did to my numbers I'm not surprised the overall average is down.

But all progress is good progress.  And I have no doubt I will meet my 90 day goal.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crawlspace of DOOOOOOOM!

Here's a sample of what lurks under my kitchen.  I should have gotten a picture of the pit.  


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dojo, dog hair, and cheat days.

I soft launched the Dojo on Friday, delivering flyers to friends and neighbors.  Response has been positive, but as of yet, no one is breaking down the door for lessons.

I am building a framework to hang the heavy bag.  I went shopping for one and the only ones I could find were really rather expensive.  So I am using some 2x6 I bought for other projects and bought a $15 rafter adapter designed to hang bags from pipes, beams etc.

The fun part will be getting the 100 lb bag hoisted in the air and then attached all by my lonesome.

Not quite sure how I'm going to accomplish that step yet.

Speaking of the Dojo, dog hair is going to be a constant problem.  Even though the winter has finally started to get a little chilly Cinnamon appears to have decided to drop her winter coat.  Frequent sweeping of the dojo (and the rest of the house) are a guaranteed necessity.

Bonus, she has decided that the bath mat outside the shower is her new bed instead of the nice comfy dog bed I'd tried to get her to use.  It was  chocolate brown...

So some quick measurements for you... for the good news part of this weeks 4HB update.

Since beginning 4HB I have lost a total of 9 inches from hips, waist, and chest (mostly from the first two locations.)

Weight loss this week has been an underwhelming 1.5 lbs, but there is an interesting little datum blip right in the middle.  In a recent post's comments I addressed what an impact cheat days can have and how clearly they effect the overall picture.

Now, I think cheat days are import both psychologically and clearly physically, they allow you body and soul to enjoy what you were craving.

But, this week there was an unexpected cheat day on Tuesday, which just dinner and dessert varying from the typical weekly meal.  It resulted in a 1.2 gain over the next two days (I forgot to measure Wednesday morning.)  Couple that with what would have been an expected loss of .8 lbs over that time span... and basically a single of cycle cheat day resulted in wasting 2.0 of progress... something that would take at least 3-4 days to recover from.

So instead of a daily average of .44 lbs... for the week the average was .02.

Is an extra cheat day worth halving your progress?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why induction BF measurement scales are useless

Or at least are profoundly misleading.

Nope I'm going to go with useless.  You remember me mentioning I could get the percentage to jump by as much as 7% by flexing certain muscles?  Or perhaps 5% by drinking 16 oz of water and then waiting 15 minutes?

Anyway here is my Weight loss chart:

Note the steady (cheat days excepted) downward progression?

Here is my fat loss chart, as measured by my scale:

So... I have lost 20 lbs, increased my muscle mass through exercise and you are saying my BF% has gone up?

I don't think so.

Eagle eyed readers may note that my current weight and BF% are shown here, something I have avoided mentioning,  You may feel free to ignore it.  I didn't initially mention my starting weight, because frankly it's embarrassing.  People never believe me when I told them how much I weigh(ed) and apparently I carried it well.

However, as the weight comes off I feel more self confident, and less sensitive to the subject.  I still don't intend to trumpet my weight until I meet my three month goal.  Then I might post before and after pictures.

Or your reward for for me reaching it is not to do so.  :P

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Moving, Cheat Day and Milestones

I am officially moved in with all of my sundry crap transferred.  Unpacking has commenced and I am making good progress.  Bedroom, Kitchen and Bathroom are all unpacked.  The dojo is 90% done with just the need to hang a kick bag and get mirrors (funds permitting.).  However, there still is a mound of boxes in the living room.  Most of it is metalsmithing, architecture or other art supplies  Ideally I will condense it to as few boxes as possible and put in the scary crawlspace of doom.

Crawlspace is a bit of a misnomer actually, the damn thing is 8' deep.  I guess it is a basement, just one that you access through a rickety ladder and descend into a collection of massive beam-works, rusting hardware and artifacts from the past.  My kitchen is the bottom of what used to be the elevator shaft for the mill.  When they tore down the shaft they just dumped all the rubble in the bottom and called it good.    I will try and remember to take pictures next time I go down... which I don't do alone.  A rickety ladder + 8' drop onto rubble sounds like and pretty gruesome way to get trapped with a broken leg/back and die of dehydration.

Anywho... onto more lively topics.

Today is um.. my 7th cheat day?  I think?  I said that on my 30 day was my third cheat day but that seems wrong.  In any case I have no special plans on my cheat day.  There was a cinnamon roll for breakfast and there might be pizza later.

Cheat day aside I realized yesterday I officially hit a milestone that I hadn't been consciously aware was coming up.  I have officially resumed a weight I was at nearly 10 years ago.  When I first was brought face to face with the fact I had gained a lot of weight.  It had sorta crept up on me and it hadn't weighed myself because I felt fine... and I never looked in mirror (I mean really looked.)

When I did I was shocked at what my weight had become.  I tried a few easy methods to deal with it, but frankly sought solace in food.  Consequently, over the last 10 years my weight crept up another 20 lbs.   At that rate it's hard to notice, I mean who notices  .5 pounds a year?

But now it's gone.

In 46 days I have lost 20.6 pounds, a loss of 7.6% of my body weight.  At .44 lbs a day average it means my daily loss average is slowing*, but I haven't been as vigilant as I could be.  Some of it may also be attributable to muscle gain from the daily walks, but I also have been not staying as hydrated as I need to be, taken an extra cheat day when going out with friends, etc.

But that's a good motivation to return to the straight and narrow, if I can undo 10 years of damage in less then 2 months... well the rest will be easy.

*One other thought that occurred to me is that shortly after my supplementation post, once I realized I was going to have  move and decided to launch the Kenpo studio, it was obvious I was going to have to cut all expenses to the bone.  No eating out, no lattes, and no $100 a month supplements.  I was also tired of the 21 pills a day regimen and and really didn't have money to spare to get the one that allowed 4 pills a day.  So I stopped taking them.

Right now there are to many variables to determine whether the supplements were the reason I was seeing .7-.6 pounds a day in the beginning, or if it was because I was starting and my body was reacting quickly, or if it was because I had just started I was really strict with my self.  But I can't discount the possibility that the damn hings work.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dear Coworkers...

If you would like to stand in the hall outside my office and discuss bowel movements...

I will start playing Scottish Bagpipes and I will turn it up.

And no, I am not turning it back down.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kenpo Update

3 posts in a day?  Am I mad?

Well no, but since I am hairs breadth away from taking by Brown Belt test I'm sort of excited.

Then Chris remembered we were supposed to be doing bare handed sparring.

So...what I have to say about that is...


1) Chris' head is really hard and my left hand is swollen.  

2)  For the first time in 2 months I did not wear cup, mostly because I was in uniform practicing when he called and asked me to come to class early, so I leapt in my car and drove over.  

That was very nearly bad, like almost took a driving elbow in a crippling way bad.  

3) I am always amused when I follow behind Mike (another student) in sparring because it takes Chris a few minutes to adjust and remember that I am not 6.5' tall.  Particularly when he tries to hip-throw me, which is easy to do with Mike because... well his center of gravity is so high.

4) I will learn to not pause after successfully launching an attack or I will suffer for it. I.e the surprised "Hey that worked!" does not mean pause, it means press the advantage or I will catch an eagle beak in the solar plexus.

News update.

I realized I have been remiss in telling my followers that I have moved into a new space, with no roommates or other participants besides the dog.

It's basically a commercial space of maybe 2000 sqft, with a kitchen, 3/4 bath and the dojo; of which I provided pictures earlier.

I am also open a Kenpo studio, part time to teach Kenpo and hopefully deepen my understanding of the system through instruction.

You can view the rather basic site at and view the amazing art work my father has designed for me.

More news as it develops...

Damned Dog!

Trying to get through Kata practice is hard when dog takes "slide- shuffle step" part of Kata as "Let's play!"

There may have been some biting on her part, some swearing on my part, and kata ending abruptly with me chasing her around the dojo.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

30 day update

Today is my third cheat day and the 30th day since I started the 4HB program,

In that time I have lost 3.25 inches combined around my hips waist and chest and gained 1 inch on thighs and calves.  Arms have remained unchanged.  I suspect the growth around the legs are from the twice day walks the dog and I are now taking, since I don't have a yard to fling her into when I go to work.  That or all the box carrying involved in moving.

I have also lost 18.2 lbs, which averages to about .60 lbs a day or decrease of 6.4% of my body mass.

Noticeable physical effect include the drastic reduction in heartburn symptoms and other digestive complaints.  Also, I have jumped down two pants sizes and I am wearing jeans I haven't worn in over a year.

Mood:  Jubilent

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Progress on the Dojo

Steady progress has been made on the move and dojo prep.  There is a website in progress, verbage sketched out but not written, and lots of other work still to be done.

However, last night this:

Turned into this:

Okay, not a huge change, but progress is good.   Each mat package has six 2' x 2' pads in it and I was going to do a 16' x 24' pad... but 5 wide is nearly perfect for the space so I think I will go pick up another set and make it 25' x 30'.

Tonight I will go get the bits to corner mount the kicking bag.   This weekend Bob the punching dummy should make it over as well.

Still do do: get a plastic knife and gun as well as getting a beginner kicking pad.  And mirrors.  If I can figure out how to afford them.  Acrylic mirrors aren't as reflective apparently as well as being prone to warpage ala fun house mirrors, but they are a whole lot cheaper and tougher then large sheets of glass.  Worse yet they are special order, so I'd be ordering them unseen which I'm not keen on.  Maybe I'll do mirrored tiles mounted on MDF or OSB so it's flat, smooth and level.  In fact... a quick check shows I could do a 12' wide 8' high mirror tile build for the same cost as a single 4' x 8' acryllic mirror... hmmm...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Upping the ante for the 4HB.

So I have just scheduled a post to go live April fools day, which will not be a joke.

This post contains the "Before" picture taken this past Friday.  If I meet my goals I get to delete the post.

If I fail the picture becomes public, and I expect to be charged with crimes against humanity.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Random Thought...

I have 31 followers (according to Blogger.)


Does that mean I'm your leader?


Salmon salad with lentils served on baby spianch.  Not bad.  Pretty tasty.

A sweet redwine with it... not so much.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thoughts on supplementation

I don't like swallowing pills.

In fact I have an overactive gag-reflex, which is clearly psycho-somatic because when I just start thinking about swallowing pills I get nauseous.  But since I am the captain of this ship wreck of a body, I will not be deterred by such silly responses.

This, however, has historically meant I have developed all sorts of avoidance mechanism to not take daily vitamins, heart burn meds, etc.

No longer.

The 4HB plan doesn't require, but entourages you to use a combination of supplements to maximize fat loss.  The combination is called PAGG, and if you want the science and formulation behind it go read the book.  :P

In addition to the PAGG stack there is a supplements I want to take to help promote fat loss and general improve my health.

So here is the total supplement stack (not for the faint of heart.)

1. Centrum Silver - No I don't remember why I have a multi-vitamin aimed at people 50+ in age... there was reason... but it's the only  multi-vitamin  in the house at the moment.  I'll fix that soon.
2. Lysine - Essential Amino Acid for muscle build.  Am probably getting plenty of this with the amount of meat and legumes I eat.
3.  CitraCal - No fruits on the diet, I'd like to keep my vitamin C working, although I am eating a lot of baby spinach so I am probably fine.
4. CLA - Fatty acid linked to fat reduction and lean mass gain.
5. B-Complex: Plant Based.  So one side effect of the PAGG stack is it can lower your B vitamins, which means it is good to take a B supplement, as B vitamins are pretty much metabolically essential.  I picked this one because my reading suggested that plant based B-complex are more easily absorbed then mineral supplements.  This may be the worst mistake of my life as it tastes like (what I would imagine) a horse dropping condensed mightily down in into a pill form.  Couple this with my gag-reflex and it it damn hard to choke down.
6. Alpha Lipoic Acid - Anti-oxidant and Vitamin C & E scavenger, helps carbs get used by muscles for energy instead of stored in fat.
7.  Green Tea Extract - Anti-oxidant, and off-label side effect of inhibiting storage of carbs into fat cells and appears to increase cell death in fat cells (a major boon in my book since typical wight loss just leaves em deflated and waiting to be refilled.)
8. Garlic Extract (allicin) -Lowers blood pressure and inhibits fat regain.  I'm taking an "oderless" formulation, which is true to the extent that my breath does not smell like garlic.  Not so in other cases.  I'll leave you to use your imagination.
9. Policosanol - Purportedly lowers cholesterol, but was found within the test group using AGG alone to boost the weight loss effectiveness of the whole package.

That is a lot of pills...  but it gets worse some of them are taken several times a day ...  So it looks more like this:


I should note that Lunch and Snack are two separate meals with identical dosing, so one picture but two doses.  And on further review I don't need to be taking the Green Tea extract at night so there is one to many pills in the bed dose photo.

I take a total of 21 separate pills everyday, assuming I'm not eating a bunch of legumes every day (which... I generally am so throw 2-6 Beano into the mix)

That is a lot of dam pills for someone who hates swallowing pills.  I probably don't need the Lysine or Citracal if I am eating healthy (which I am) so really I only need ummm...19 pills a day?

So... what to do?  The good news is there are now companies making PAGG stack specific supplementation.  Even better ones that included B-complex so I can get rid of the damn Horsepills of doom.

It's designed so that you take 4 pills a day for the whole stack.  I probably don't need the Lysine or Citracal.  So that means my daily take would be multi-vitamin, 3 CLA, 4 PAGG (3 AGG + PAG)... and that's it.
From 19 pills to 8.  

The drawback is the cost is $92 a month + shipping ($82 + shipping on my first order) vs. about $76 for my locally sourced supply.  And I just called all the local vendors and none of them have ever heard of PAGG or the 4HB... so...

Or I can order a 2 month or 3 month supply both with free shipping and that brings the price down to $71 and $61 respectively for the first order.

So I can prepay for a three month supply, save $15 a month and swallow 286 fewer pills each month? 

Someone tell me why this is a bad thing?


As I was picking up the massive stack of bottles to put away post review I thought I would also give you photo showing the ridiculousness of the current supply.

I could reduce that to just 3 bottles...

Toddy Cold brew Coffee system

I love my coffee.

Anyone who knows me, knows this.

I have two roasters (liquified air and barrel roaster), two... no three french presses, an Aeropress, a hacked Espresso machine (got rid of the aerator at the bottom of the filter basket), and a Toddy Cold Brew system.

A what?

Ahh... young Padawan, you have never heard of cold brew system?  Sit at my feet and let me tell you about it.

We are all familiar with the various heat related methods of extracting coffee's delicious goodness from the beans, using a combination of heat and pressure to do so.  May of these methods make amazing coffee (aeropress) and some of them only make crappy coffee (I'm lookin at you residential filter basket brewers.)

But one takes 5 minutes to setup, provides a weeks worth of coffee, and reduces the acidity of the coffee by up to a 1/3 of hot extraction methods.

I speak, of course, of cold brewing.

There are many different cold brewers out, there some of them beautiful and expensive but the Toddy is a simple to setup, quick and inexpensive solution.

Basically:  Insert filter in bottom, insert cork, alternate coffee grounds and water til everything is in, cover (optional) and lets sit for ~24 hours.  Afterwards you pull the cork and drain into the provided glass carafe.  Said coffee extract keeps for a week in the fridge with no problems.  Well... mine seldom stays around that long...

You can either drink it iced with milk or water, or hot in the place of an espresso shot in a latte or americano.

One thing I have noticed it that cold extraction changes the flavor of certain coffees, which makes sense since some fats and flavorants extract at different temperatures.  For example a mellow Mexican I use for drip all the time is grassy and bitter with cold-extract and a Ethiopian which I cannot drink hot-extracted makes an amazing chocolaty cold brew.  In fact to test I hot brewed some of the Ethiopian and compared it to the cold-brewed batch which I made into an americano.  It was literally like drinking two completely different coffees.

So be warned, you favorites in one method may not be tasty in the other.

Progress update, post binge, and another revelation.

I've been using the Android app Jefit Pro * and it's companion website to track my progress.  I haven't even really begun to delve into either of their full potentials but they are handy for me to track weight, BF % (effectively useless at this point), and other measurements.

So I didn't see a sizable bump in weight post binge day, like I did last Saturday, and I actually lost about a pound between yesterday morning and today.

Also, even though I started this program on Monday Dec 27, I didn't take measurements until Tuesday Dec 28, so... in my head Tuesday has been my "weekly progress mark."   Which won't work in the long term as it could be discouraging. Sometimes your weight will fluctuate for several days after the free day.  So I am resetting it to Saturday mornings (before eating what I want.)

That said weekly stats so far:
12 days
9.4 lbs
 BF ~40%... but who knows.  The scale is now erroring... probably means I need more water.
~.79 lbs a day lost
4.5" lost combined from thighs, hip and waist.  Biceps and calves measurements unchanged.

Again to emphasize, this is with no change to my exercise plan.  I just finished building the ghetto kettle bell this morning, and other then lamenting the fact that I appear to have lost a 20 lbs weight somewhere in the garage and so will be doing 20 lbs reps instead of 40 lbs... haven't used it yet.

As has been the case every morning I am waking up hungry, and this morning had a lovely crab & egg scramble.  So eager for coffee I forgot my ice water.  Since I will be losing the services of the current smoothie maker I went out and bought a Ninja smoothie/blender thingee.  Comes with three travel mugs that you blend in as well as a more traditional blender carafe.  It is crazily powerful,  it destroys the ice, I expect it to try and murder me in my sleep.

I also have appeared to find the (so far) optimal breakfast shake mix.  9oz of ice, 2 scoops of whey chocolate protein powder, a small glug of sugar-free Torani Cinnamon-vanilla syrup, and 4-6 oz of coffee extract.  It was good enough that I wanted to have one for desert after dinner Friday.  So I did... sans coffee.

Also last night I had another epiphany.  Just as I was lying in bed drifting off I felt the slightest twinge of heartburn.  Not enough to make me got get some tums just a "you ate a lot of pot-stickers tonight" sorta slightly overfull reminder.

Which made me realize, this was only the second time I had heartburn in the last two weeks.  The reason why it matters is I have suffered from persistent heartburn for the last several years.  The doctor at one point had me taking Pepcid in the morning, which I never remembered to do because (until this program) I have never taken a regular pill regimen.  This led me instead to stash bottles of tums in all locations to stave off acute heartburn attacks.  There is one in the bathroom, at my office, in my glove-box, and probably small bottle in my coat.

But in the last two weeks I have taken exactly one tums, for a really minor flair up at work.  At $7.50 a bottle... I can see this saving me some money over a year's time.

It might also be to the fact that there is effectively no longer any dairy in my diet, as I might be lactose intolerant.  But, there won't be a real good way to test that until I lose all this weight unless I want to devote one of my cheat days to see if dairy kills me.  Although... cottage cheese appears to not effect me and I am eating that a couple times a week.

I suppose I should go check and see if I wrote about the Toddy coffee maker.... hmmm...

* I am not paid to endorse this product, but it got good reviews, and I'm so far pleased with it.  The website is free, and there is a free version of the app but the Pro version let me synchronize the app with the website.  Which was worth the $5 in my mind.  Graphs are pretty!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Random fact of the day..

Apparently when I feel strong or stirring emotion I feel an intense pressure, almost like heat in my Nasal Septum (the cartilaginous bit between the nostrils.)

I suppose, I don't normally notice because when I experience it under typical circumstances something else is happening to provoke the response.

In this case I was listening to music whilst reading documentation and realized that every time an emotionally charged song came on I had a very specific response.

So... that was weird.. and now I have a random trivia to share when people ask me something unique about me.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


*typing with clattering teeth*

So one of the principles of the 4HB book is to use minimum effective doses of an action or food or whatever to increase the effectiveness of your goal.  This is in fact one of Tim's reoccurring themes in all his books I suspect.

For example, your drink a large glass of ice water in the morning for two reasons: firstly it hydrates after 8 hours of not drinking water and secondly it lowers your core body temperature you that your metabolism has to step it up and you basal metabolism rate increases.

He also has bit about ice packs, cold showers and baths filled with ice(!!!) and their effectiveness to help, but just focusing on the water at the moment...

I've been a good boy and been drinking 16 oz of cold water from the tap when I get up as I am getting ready for work.  But, given yesterdays revelation about how many eggs I am supposed to eat in the morning I thought I would see what volume of food a meal replacement shake is.

Found a Myplox shake pack with 42 g of protein, added 4oz of Toddy coffee concentrate (Note: now linked to Toddy mini review), some Vietnamese cinnamon, 8 oz of ice, about 12 oz of cold water and blended.

The resultant mixture was considerably more then the cup I've been drinking water out of so I should should check how much liquid the cup holds as I might be underdosing.  I slugged down enough till I could carry the full cup upstairs.

Ice cream headache.  Oh yeah it's plenty cold.

So I sat at my desk and worked away, drinking the shake mechanically (it was not bad but not OMG good.) but found that after a few minutes I was shivering uncontrollably.

Wait... what?

Well this is exactly the sorta of response I was supposed to be getting every morning from drinking water, but haven't been.  Which tells me that cold water from the tap may not be cold enough and that the shake may actually be faster since it kills three birds with one stone:  Coffee, Ice water, 30g+ of protein.