Archive for September, 2005

Our good friends the Arbogasts hosted dad/Grampa/Uncle Ben on his trip to Europe.  They sent us a link to their web site.  I’ve assembled some of the pictures into a more devious little group.  When you view the pics (in the "Photos" tab), make sure you can read the captions.  Move the mouse over the "filmstrip" and then back over the full size image without clicking, and the filmstrip will disappear revealing the bottom of the picture and its caption.
At the end of August, in a desperate attempt to "weigh less", I would take off my pager and empty my pockets to weigh myself.  End result… 179 pounds.
Then I started the "No Coke, No Fries" diet (I made this up…simple concept, huh?).  I eliminated all soda and french fries from my diet.  I have not been entirely successful, but I only get fries at places that don’t serve fruit or salad in their place, and I drink only diet sodas when iced tea is unavailable.  I avoid diet sodas because of the cancer risk (aspartame doesn’t cause cancer, supposedly, but it causes birth defects… to me, "birth defects in babies" = "altered genes" = "cancer in adults").  With my family history, I’m not going there.  Iced tea, on the other hand, has anti-oxidants, and is free at work (free tea bags and ice with just a little manual effort).
Here’s the logic…
Chick Fil A, my most common speed-lunch (meal calculator):
    Chicken Sandwich 410 calories
    Buffalo Sauce 15 calories
    Fries (medium) 350 calories
    Coke (large) 256 calories
    TOTAL 1031 calories

OR, I could have …

    Chicken Sandwich 410 calories
    Buffalo Sauce 15 calories
    Fruit cup 60 calories
    Iced Tea (large) 5 calories
    TOTAL 490 calories

If one meal could save me 541 calories, and I eat there 2-3 times a week, I figured on some serious weight loss with NO DIET FOOD.  I have not changed my exercise habits either. 

So, where am I now?  It’s been a month, and I weigh in at 173.5 (without the massive "undressing" routine at the supermarket scale).  So, this is not fast, but it’s consistent.  And I don’t miss either like I thought I would.  Well worth the tiny sacrifice.

What can I take away from this?  Soda and French Fries are EVIL!!!

Aaron’s back on line again… he’s got a couple of pretty incredible shots from his random travels.
Sometimes children won’t talk to you.  Nothing you do seems to be worthy of their attention.  This can become an irritating problem.  Here are 10 ways to get them to start talking again…
  • 10 – Start to leave the room.
  • 9 - Engage in conversation with another adult.
  • 8 - Go to the bathroom.
  • 7 - Open a book.
  • 6 - Play the piano.
  • 5 - Take a nap.
  • 4 - Eat a piece of candy.
  • 3 - Accept a phone call.
  • 2 - Tune the TV to a stand-up comic or a documentary… something where hearing the words counts.

And the number one way to get your kids talking to you again and ensure that you can’t possibly stop them for at least 10  minutes…

  • 1 – Get a very large, unwieldy object over your head with one end precariously close to the edge of the shelf where it belongs.  Do this such a way that you can’t back off or get the object fully on its shelf, and such that you know you can’t last more than 8.5  minutes.  Beg the children to go get help.
Lorraine (my cousin) recently celebrated a milestone birthday.  Rudy (my uncle), travelled a long distance to get there, and Larry (his brother) suggested he stay at  Lynda’s (my sister) house overnight (keeping the relations straight?).  Lynda’s 7-year old son overheard and said Rudy could stay in … 
The Customer Room
What the heck is my sister doing????  I know the kid has good business sense, but …eewww!!!!
It occurred to me recently that the music to the verses of the tender, touching "The Wedding Song (There Is Love)" aligns perfectly with the lyrics to the theme to "Gilligan’s Island".  There seems to be something inherently wrong with this.
May Bob Denver rest in peace. 
An actual conversation that took place at work:
  • Dan – Are you guys going to see "Flightplan", that one with Jodie Foster about the new jumbo jet?
  • Eric - Nah… it doesn’t appeal to me, even though I’ve heard good things about it.  Don’t really know why.
  • Nicholas - How about "The 40 Year Old Virgin"?
  • Eric - No, not that one either… but for that one I know why.  It feels like some creepy sequel to "The Last American Virgin".  Could be the same guy by the timing!
  • Nicholas - Believe it or not, I’m walking on air.  I never thought I could feel so free-ee-ee!
  • Eric - I said "Last American Virgin", not "Last American Hero".
  • Dan - You mean "Greatest American Hero"
  • Eric - Wasn’t the  main character’s name "Mr. Hinckley"?
  • Nicholas - Didn’t Hinckley shoot President Reagan?
  • Dan - Oh, so we’re back to Jodie Foster!

So why aren’t I seeing these two films?  Well, when it all comes down to it, I think it’s the complete lack of giant robots, but we’ll come back to that later.

Any gathering of Catholics of sufficient age (myself included) will eventually talk competitively about the emotional scarring brought on by our schooling.  The older the Catholic, the more frightening the stories get.
Stories about Nuns (truth entirely unverified outside my experience):
50′s – Made my mom’s classmates kneel on gravel in the corner of the room.
60′s – Boxed ears (think clapping, then add your head in the middle).  Made to wear a large zero on the clip-on tie.
70′s – Dragged around the classroom by my ear until I could hear an odd "cracking" sound at each directional change (yeah, that’s mine).
80′s – Hand slapped by ruler… back of hand for secondary offense (sometimes the ruler was metal)
We all heard rumors of the "spanking machine" in the principal’s office.  We all think the punishments that came after ours were wimpy.
OK, so just how many ways are there to skin a cat?  And what was this person thinking when he/she figured it out?  What could the possible benefit be?  Did they keep a log?  This wasn’t one of those government-funded studies, was it?  Sick sick sick!!!
Note:  No cats were harmed in the formation of this question.  The author does not advocate the skinning of, and/or any other form of abuse to, cats or any other animals.  This is strictly hypothetical for the purpose of humor.  Not to be used for any other purpose.  If symptoms persists or rash occurs, please discontinue use immediately.
If you say to your kids, "Could you possibly make any more noise than this?", the answer will not only be "Yes", but they will actively work to prove it.