11.27.2012

The Best Laid Plans

I know it's been forever since I've posted on the blog, and while it would be easy for me to slip back in to blaming Facebook for my lack of time, that's simply not the case. True. I am spending more time on there than I originally thought I would. But honestly not nearly as much as I used to. Which, if you know me, is a damn fine achievement.

 

The thing that's really taking more time than I thought it would is the fact that I work for a retail company again. October and November were frenetic exercises in ramping up for one thing.

Black Friday.

Admittedly, it's been 18 years since I worked a Black Friday. And ironically, the last Black Friday I worked was for the same company I work for now. Although then I was actually working in the store. This year I'm at Home Office. My team is the help desk. We take care of all 23 stores and make sure they're able to service the customers. It's no small feat and I couldn't be more proud of my team.

I feel inclined to slip in to the Anthony DiNozzio spiel from NCIS where he's captive in the desert and he's telling the CaffPow addict all about the NCIS team. It's actually quite a good episode. But I'll spare you all.

Things are going well.

I'm down 65-70lbs (it's still fluctuating as I'm working out and fat it shifting in to muscle). And I'm hitting kickboxing and Hap Ki Do 3 times a week for an hour each (or about 6-7 hours of gut busting workout).

Things are going stupidly well. I wake up and I'm thankful at how blessed I am with whats in my life. My health is better than it's been in 15 years. And I'm happier in my job than I've been in easily 15 years. It's all falling in to place.

I know that's not really much of an update...but I am on my lunch break and have already been interrupted twice...which is a general cue that it's time to bail and head back to my desk.

I could do one of those friendly lies and say that I'll try to update tonight...but I'm pretty sure I won't.

I've got a meeting for Help Portrait tonight (I'm doing that shoot again on Dec 8) and I'm thinking when I get home from that I'll hit the sack as soon as possible to try to kill whatever this cold/mucous shite is that's trying to hang on. Realistically it will be Thursday at the earliest before I can post again.

And I'm sure that I'll be geeked on Thursday anyway as it's the day I'm going to see the Annie Leivowitz exhibit at the Wexner center. It's a private show for ODC alumni. Includes a brunch. I can't wait. It's like walking through the halls of one of my photographic inspirations.

 

Needless to say I'm stoked.

 

And with that, I'm heading back to work. Peace Out.

 

-Todd

11.05.2012

The Allure of Bulimia

I already know that the title of this post is going to piss some people off, but I really don't have any other way to phrase it than how I did. Stick with me and you'll see what I mean.

First off...I understand that eating disorders are serious. I am in no way attempting to be-little them or make light of the seriousness. People who have them and are subject to their hold should seek help. It's not a good situation.

All I mean by the title is...now I understand how someone could become bulimic. And I found out quite by accident. Well...ok...that's not entirely accurate.

You see, this past Wednesday was Halloween. And in true Blue Hen fashion, we did it up right. Nevermind the rain..we had our fire pit...we had the frozen chocolate pudding shots (SO yummy). And we sat and handed out candy for 2 hours to the 14 kids that braved the elements.

And had about 6 of the frozen chocolate pudding shots.

Which, on a normal night, would have been enough. But I wasn't working on Thursday. So this was clearly NOT a normal night.

It was Scarey-oake at BrewStirs. So, in costume I went. And sang. And drank some more.

I knew I wasn't working the next day and that an alarm clock had no meaning. So I cut loose in such a fashion that I haven't cut loose in for quite some time.

I couldn't tell you what I all I had that night, on top of very little actual food in my stomach. But I can tell you that at the end of the night, Mr. Jager and his bully friend Red showed up to close down the evening (morning).

And stumbling home I went (Must've been around 230AM or so by now).

The rest of the events are a blur.

I remember winding up in my driveway. And at that point revisiting everything I'd consumed that night in a somewhat violent fashion.

I went in to the house (I assume. I don't remember this, but I woke up in my house, so I must have walked in there at some point). And I remember going to bed as the wife was leaving for work.

And I was out until about 1230.  At which time I woke up. The rest of the details aren't as important because they don't really pertain to the title.  So...there's the set up....hadn't eaten much....got shitfaced...puked the entire contents of my stomach out.

The human stomach holds, at any given time, about 5 lbs.

I've been weighing in fairly consistently recently at about 263. I know that a lot of this plateau is the fact that fat is converting to muscle (and I'm trying not to get discouraged by it...but it ain't easy).

On a whim Thursday, I stepped on the scale.

And it said 258.

And I was euphoric.

Read that again, folks....EUPHORIC.

I felt a rush like I'd never felt.  And then it hit me. I only 'lost' that much because I puked. I puked a lot. And I realized how that rush that I felt, coupled with struggling with weight loss, coupled with the stresses that many people normally feel in life could lead to becoming bulimic.

It was quite a wake-up call on several fronts, actually.

It was a cautionary tell to never again let Meister Jager in to the party in my stomach.

But it was also insight. For most of my life, when I heard someone had been struggling with bulimia my first thought was 'ugh...how could you make yourself puke on purpose??'  Thursday...standing on that scale...experiencing that brief high...I got my answer.

So to anyone in my life that might have faced bulimia, I'm sorry. I won't say that I 'get it'...but I feel that I'm a step or too closer to understanding. And I have to say...it's some scary shit. If I had not instantly recognized that the weight loss was from the vomiting and that it was not a good thing, I could see how it could become addicting.

The scale is back where it should be now. Actually a bit higher thanks to all the left over Halloween Candy (Tootsie Roll Fruit Rolls are the devil). But I'm working on getting it back down...the healthy way.

Happy Monday, y'all.

10.27.2012

Three Weeks of Crazy Town

OK...for the three people that read this on a regular basis...I apologize for the irregularity. The last 3 weeks have been batshit crazy. Seriously.

 

3 weeks ago started a 2 week stint back in Baltimore to work on network terminations for our newest store in Towson, MD. To say there were obstacles that we hadn't anticipated is an understatement. To say there were long days for those 2 weeks is also quite a light recounting of the situation. But it's all good. It's going to work out...the store's going to open on time...and there's going to be quite a bit of my blood sweat and tears in certain areas of the store. I'm hoping to get to go visit it after it's opened...maybe on a future visit to the in-laws, we can pop down and look around.

In between trips, I had a couple of photo shoots. (I apologize if this is a re-run...I haven't been back to look what I've posted about).

Oops. Nevermind. I just looked. Yeah. I was about to re-hash some isht.

So...up to speed. The SECOND week in Baltimore was even crazier than the first. But like the first trip out of town (back in August), I think I wound up losing a couple of pounds the second week. So...the journey to NoMoreFatTodd is still on target.

Which is a pretty awesome thing.

The last 3 weeks, though, have seriously been crazy.

 

I'll update more later, just wanted to let you know I'm alive.

 

10.14.2012

Not A Lazy Sunday in Sight

I have been running on adrenaline and Advocare Spark this past week. I was in Baltimore (or rather, Towson, a suburb) working on getting things in place for our new store that's opening on November 1st. I won't bore you with the details of how the week went (mostly because a) they're probably boring unless you're in the retail biz and have helped open stores, and b)I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to talk about what went on. Just seems in bad form for a job I really actually like.

Suffice to say that it was a long week...I didn't get as much done as I had planned, and my flight back to Baltimore leaves in 7 1/2 hours. I've got another week of fun ahead of me. I guess I better get packed.

I took some pix last week that I'll try to get up this week. And the pix this week will go up next week. Or something like that.

Today marks the 11month point since I started the NoMoreFatTodd journey. One month to go for the anniversary. S'pose I should plan something special.

It was an awesome weekend...can I just say that? I got in Friday night about 1030. Got to my car and was at Brew-Stirs shortly after 11. Hey--It doesn't really feel like the weekend to me unless I stop in there at least once. I make no apologies for that fact. Left Brew-Stirs early and was in bed by about 2AM.

Up at 8 on Saturday to make sure I was all ready for a photo shoot at Inniswood. This was the family who purchased my portrait session at the All About Autism Car and Truck Show. A young couple with a 4yr. old. It was a blast to shoot. Made me remember how much fun it is shooting the family portraits. And of course, Inniswood is about as beautiful and eclectic location as I have found. One park has so many looks it's insane. Of course, don't take my word for it...you can ask any of the 20 other shutterbugs I saw there at the same time.

And a funny thing happened on the way to the car. I was walking by a Grandma, Mom, and 2 daughters (one college, the other high school), and the mom and grandma were trying to get the daughters to cooperate and pose in front of some flowers so they could snap some pix with their iPhones. The intent presumably was to use them for Christmas cards. As I'm approaching I hear "Well ask him. That man is obviously a professional." And from there I was asked to settle a dispute on which posed worked. So, I posed the young ladies. "Well, do you mind taking a pic? We'll pay you for it." Nope. Don't mind at all. I love taking pix. So I snapped a few frames and the next thing I know, I've been hired on the spot for shooting the young ladies for the Christmas card. Back in to Inniswood we go and walking around almost the same route I had just taken my family on, we got another couple hundred frames.

Headed back home after that. Chilled for a bit. I seem to recall doing something else...oh, yeah, I hit MicroCenter and got a kick ass blutooth boombox.  I love employee discount.

Watched the game Saturday night (well, most of it. The Buckeyes seem to be working on that whole 'give the game away and then pull a win out of our asses' thing. And they're doing a damn fine job of it).

Sunday AM (earrrrrrrrly) brought another photoshoot.

This time was for the Autism Speaks walk at Huntington Park. I am blown away by how amazing it was. The estimate was that over 20,000 were on hand for that historic even. And I was one of the volunteer photographers. It was truly a blessing.

And now I need to check on my laundry, get packed and get a couple hours sleeps. A couple hours is better than no hours as a wise former co-worker once said.

OK peeps, peace outside.
-A.T.

10.10.2012

Stark Raven Mad

Ok, ok. I'm not really mad. I just needed a way to lead in to the fact that I'm once again in Baltimore, home of the Ravens. I'll be here until Friday and then back out again Monday for the whole of next week. Our new store is opening November 1st (come Hell or High Water, I'm told)...so it's kind of a last-ditch effort to make sure everything is in place.

I like it. It's a lot of long days, and I'm exhausted by the end of them, but I love the job.

I'm really kind of wiped at the moment. The reason I'm not in bed yet is that the hotel has free laundromat, so I only pack enough for 3 days, then do laundry. It's kind of win-win. But because of the whole exhausted thing, I'm having issues forming complete sentences.

Here's a few random images from the trip so far.

 

The above shot was taken at our very own Port Columbus in long term parking. Now...I'm no genius...(well...maybe I am, but for the sake of this comment, I'm not)....but here's the thing...a BIG RED BUTTON to push in the event of an emergency is about a GAZILLION times easier than digging out your phone and hoping like hell Mothra gives you a head start to dial that phone before destroying downtown Tokyo.

Sorry...I digress...

That was my view out of the plane Sunday night.

And clouds. I like clouds.

OK. I'm officially wiped out. I'll continue this when I'm not falling asleep in the laundry room.

 

Peace,

-A.T

10.07.2012

The "Secret" to my Success is No Secret

So...yes, I'm back on Facebook.
And yes, every English teacher I ever had just cringed by me starting this post with the word 'So.' But that's not really the issue.

Here's the thing...I started my journey to be healthy (alternately called "no more fat Todd" or "the end to the Lard Ass") back in November of 2011.

Since then I've lost 66 pounds. I'm getting in shape, and would honestly have to say that I'm the healthiest I've been in easily 20 years. People have asked what my 'secret' is. How have I lost I all this weight!?!?!

Well, hang on boys and girls. I'm about to tell you my secret.

First off. It's not just one secret....but many. Stacked on top of each other like a superglued Jenga puzzle that you know just can't fall over no matter how high you stack it.

Secondly....it's not a secret.

I'm not holding any magical mystical key. And regardless of what you may think...this journey hasn't always been as easy as it might seem.  I still struggle. Some weeks it's daily. I walk by the snack machine in the break room and see all of the things I used to eat and not think twice about.

Which leads to "secret" number 1.
Be intentional.
The first thing I had to do when I started on this journey was think. Think about what I was eating. Think about how it would affect my body. Think about everything. I could no longer assume things were healthy just because they packaged it in green. I could no longer eat on autopilot. This really was a huge step for me.

The next key element is a support network.
I had a good friend (who has since become one of my best friends) come to me and tell me that she knew I was in pain and that she knew I didn't want to be 'Fat Todd' any more (those weren't her exact words, but she was brutally honest, as all good friends should be). Without her prod, I doubt I would be where I am today. Not only did she offer me support (which was crucial), but she offered me a system of tools that she had used and that had worked for her to start her on her healthy journey. Which brings me to the next key factor.

Get a set of Tools that works for your ultimate goal.
I have tried Weight Watchers. I have tried the Adkins Diet. Both worked for the short term, but neither was something I could maintain. Both had too many 'diety' elements to them. And it pretty much just turned me off. I couldn't get behind them because it didn't seem like I was actually changing my lifestyle...it seemed too much like I was on a 'diet' and that if I stopped, I'd gain weight again. Which, ironically, is what happened in both cases.  My friend Katie (the one from the previous step) told me about a sports, nutrition, and wellness company called Advocare. She said they had a 24Day Challenge that was designed to help kick start the journey to health and happiness. And it wasn't a diet. It was 24 days of educating your body in to eating the foods it needs in order to be healthy. I decided to give it a try. I lost something like 14lbs in the initial 24 days.

The thing that makes this key...and this is important (or at least it was for me) is the fact that the 24 Day Challenge IS NOT A DIET. Let me give that one a second to sink in. No, it's not a diet. Are there vitamins and supplements to take? Yes. Primarily because they are vitamins and nutrients that aren't in the foods that our society eats on a daily basis.

But it's a lifestyle change. I didn't go on a diet. I'm still not on a diet. I have made a shift in what I eat, how I eat and the activity I do.

You see....that's why I can still have pizza and beers when I want. I'm not on a diet. I'm not cheating on a diet. I'm choosing every now and then to have things that I don't normally eat. I'm not making a habit out of it. But I don't feel guilty about it in the least.

And that's how I know it's the right path. No internal warnings have gone off since I started on the Advocare products.

I've lost 66 pounds so far. Which, when you put the number out like that, it seems like a big number (and overall it is)...but let me break it down for you.
That is, on average, 6 pounds a month.
Which is, on average, 1.5 pounds a week.

1.5 pounds a week is VERY doable for most people.

Don't rush it...listen to your body. It will tell you what you need.

Here is the final secret. This is the thing that I cannot give you or tell you where to buy it.

The reason I'm succeeding and why I know that I will hit my goal of 103lbs lost is
I have no Plan B.

I have made no contingency plan in the event that this doesn't work. There's a great reveal in the movie Gattica that always comes to mind. It's where Ethan Hawke's character (who is supposed to be a physically inferior person..not very athletic) reveals to his brother (the genetically superior, non-asthmatic athletic type) how he was able to beat him when they would race out to the buoys as children. He said ....I was able to beat you because I never held anything back for the swim home.

He had no plan B.

And neither do I. This is going to work. This is working. And in the threads of time somewhere in the elusive (and completely fictional concept of a) "future" I have already hit my goal, and then some.

Hope that helps clear things up.

Peace
-A.T.

10.02.2012

Digging Deep

About 4 weeks ago, my neighbor asked if I wanted to try the Kickboxing with her at Koguryo. It's a martial arts studio about 2 blocks from our house. They offer cardio kickboxing, Tang Su Do, Hap Ki Do, Zumba and a few other classes.

There was a special...$30 for 5 classes and the boxing gloves were free.

Sure. Why not?

What I found was I loved it. And it rekindled my long love for martial arts.

I joined the academy as a full-fledged member and started on Hap Ki Do as well as the kick boxing.

And because I think I'm a little crazy...it made sense for me to double up my classes--three nights a week, the kickboxing and martial arts are back to back. So..I'm here 3 times a week, for 2 hours a pop.

That's where the digging deep comes in to play.

It was easy for me to get up every day and ride the stationary bike for 30-45 minutes. Seriously. It required no thought. Oh sure...there was a burn...and there were calories burned. But I never had to really truly dig deep. I mean, yeah...some days I had to give myself a pep talk...and at the time I thought I was really pulling from the core.

Not even close.

In the few weeks that I've been doubling up classes, I have learned one thing.

I now know what it truly means to dig deep.

You see...on Wednesdays and Fridays, the class order is Hap Ki Do and then Kickboxing. And that's fine. I can do that. It's not always easy, but the kickboxing is where I just release it all. I push myself and just go balls to the wall.

And that's the problem.

On Mondays, the kickboxing is before the Hap Ki Do. But it's still the same release...the same balls to the wall.

By the time I got to the Hap Ki Do class last night I was already tired. I thought about going home. But I changed in to my do boke and got on the mat.

Kickboxing is something I can do on autopilot. I don't have to remember a whole lot from week to week.

The Hap Ki Do not so much.

I have forms to learn. I have a curriculum. And I'm expected to be practicing between sessions (which I need to get better about)....but more importantly, I'm expected to give 100% every session. Practice hard.

And that's where I have to dig deep.

I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this because I (a) don't want to be fat....EVER again...and (b) because I know that I can bring about a sense of inner balance by seeing this journey through.

I'm pushing my body and my mind to places it hasn't been in quite some time, if ever. And I don't know that I can accurately convey what a mindjob that's doing on me.

That is a good thing.  Resetting all expectations and pushing myself to places I never thought I could go.

That's a very good thing.

Now if I only I could get that roundhouse kick down. :-)

Have a fantastic Tuesday!

-A.T.
(www.facebook.com/nomorefattodd)


10.01.2012

Holycrapsicles what a weekend!

This was a fantastic weekend! I mean, one of those epic weekends in which the epicness just sneaks up on ya and bops you on the head as though you were a field mouse and it was little bunny Fou Fou. Yes, THAT kind of epicness.


Friday's Hapkido class wore me out. That class continues to challenge me. There is a lot to learn and I really need to practice more in the off-class time. But man is it awesome. Kickboxing on Friday really wore me out. There were only 3 people there, plus the 2 instructors. So the workout seemed to be kicked up a notch from normal (maybe because the 3 of us were also Tang So Do/Hap Ki Do students?). Not sure. Either way I left Friday thoroughly wiped out.

Showered and from there headed over to the folks for a bit. Had some chicken and rice (one of my staple meals) and then headed to Brewstirs to meet some friends for drinks and, as it turned out, quite a fun night of playing pool. AND yours truly won a tidy little sum at KENO.

I was lazy Saturday. I spent the day chilling. I gave the wife some of the KENO winnings (enough to buy her new phone), and then went to Wally World to get my glasses repaired (they got damaged in Hap Ki Do). $2.01 later, the nosepads were fixed. And I did something I rarely do...I wandered back to the media section of Wal*Mart. About 25minutes later, I walked out with a stack of Blu-Ray movies. The rest of Saturday was spent watching Blu-Rayee goodness. I mean, afterall, that's what KENO winnin's is about...getting something shiny and pretty that the 'practical' you wouldn't get.

I think the Buckeyes played. I didn't watch the game. Didn't care. I was down the BR rabbit hole.

Later that evening, I got a call from a friend to come take some pix of her band at practice....they needed candids or something for their web site. Turns out practice got cancelled and turned in to a party around a firepit. And it was epic. So epic, in fact, that I did NOT go to Brew-Stirs on Saturday night and wound up crashing at the party place because driving was just NOT going to happen.

Sunday was more chill. Met a friend over at MicroCenter and caught up (something that seems weird doing in real life now, but was oh so easy on Facebook). Chilled with my daughter a bit then drove her back to her mom's. There were no NCIS marathons on (shame on you USA Network)...so a DVR'd episode of Grimm and a football I didn't really care about became the eye-candy of the evening.

And that's how the epic weekend of awesomeness ended. I'm sure there will actually be a few more epic weekends on deck. We shall see. Right now, I'm mostly focused on getting stuff in balance....the crazy weekends definitely help let off some steam though...and that's a gooooooooood thing.

 

Alright...off to write a NoMoreFatTodd post. Hope you all had rockin' weekends as well!

Peace Out!

-A.T.

 

9.28.2012

Still Not Hating IT

I know that after 6 months at the 'new job' I should probably be at least annoyed by it. But the truth is...I still love the job and still feel like it's the best move I've made in years.

Sure...sometimes traffic annoys me. And sure, sometimes situations at the office annoy me, but to be completely honest, I don't mind those things in the least because of the simple fact that the job is so fantastic.

There really is something to be said for being given the opportunity to make a difference. When your boss comes to you and says "here's the vision for the team and I'd like you to help us get there"...and then actually listens to and implements my suggestions, it's pretty freaking amazing.

I mean...just look at this guy--


That guy is one seriously happy mo-fo. And that's no bullshit.

OK...sure...a few other things are going on in my life right now that are contributing, but that smile was genuine, yo. Now...to be fair,  that was the second pic. This was taken after I was asked 'Are you sure that's the pic you want all the Retail Operations Managers seeing?' 

If you look closely, you'll see something that wasn't always in similar pictures in the past....space.
That's right. There's space between my belly and the desk. That's a fairly recent phenomenon for me. And I have to say, I quite like it. The only downside is that my snack catcher doesn't function as well as it used to. Now food might actually slip through the gap and wind up on the floor. Oh well, shit happens.

I'm also fully in to the exercise thing, too. My neighbors call me Hong Kong Phooey. Which might be incredibly racist if I had any ties to Hong Kong whatsoever, but as it stands I don't. It's actually quite funny because as a kid that was one of my favorite cartoons. I used to wear my bathrobe and jump off the couch doing my Karate Ki Ya's. My parents still talk about it. More so now because I'm doing HapKiDo. Which...I have to say is hard for me because the flexibility is just sadly lacking. It's helping to reinforce the thing, though, that I can't compare myself to others...I can only compare myself to me. My progress in the discipline cannot be measured against any of the other students (most of whom are further along and quite a bit more flexible than I), but only against where I was before. It's an interesting place to gain perspective from. And I knew it would be. My goal for taking it was not to be able to kick someone's ass, but to get that inner strength and balance built up and shifted in my favor.

I've only been at it for 2 (or is it 3) weeks now...but I can already see a difference.

Coupled with the cardio-kickboxing I'm doing 3x a week, I'm also seeing a difference in my body. I'm not losing the weight as fast as I was, but I'm also seeing muscle definition that I haven't seen in...well...years.

And I have to say, it's pretty fantastic.

This is the face of a guy who gets up at 6AM to blog:

I love the fact that cell phone camera are so advanced, but web cams are still crappy as isht.

And with that, I leave you to your day. Make it count.

Peace Out
-A.T.

9.26.2012

Why I Left....and Why I Went Back

If you're Darrin....or someone who reads through all the comments on a post, you will know that I am contemplating jumping back in to the Facebook fray.

I went back. Turns out that people were really connecting with the weight-loss journey. So, I created a 'nomorefattodd' profile on Facebook for the sole purpose of tracking the weight loss journey. If that can help others, cool. If not, it's a neat little memory for me.

And, as the recent pattern has suggested...any goofy, crazy, random, bullshit that I feel like writing about will still wind up here. I am happy about the course of creativity I'm on with this blog again.

Ugh. It's late and I'm rambling.

So good night.

-A.T.


9.25.2012

Happily Exhausted

Sorry to keep the 4 (are we up to 5?) loyal readers in suspense.

I feel like the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of suck and blow. And not in a good way...in the least.

My mamaw passed away 2 weeks ago. It was sort of unexpected. By that I mean, we knew something was going on. She wasn't eating....she was losing weight. And that spunky Italian fire just wasn't in her eyes. So...we knew something was up. Just didn't know what. Turns out it was cancer. In her lungs (3 of the 4 nodes of her lungs) and her esophagus. We found out on a Tuesday. She passed on Thursday. So...the cause and the quickness were the unexpected parts. It really kind of sucks. I have no grandparents left on my dad's side. The only upside was a trip to the family farm in KY.

The weird thing (well, not weird if you know my history) is that I knew the day it was going to happen. The day my mamaw passed, this was the sky that greeted me as I drove to work.

I looked at the sky and knew that it would be that day. And it was that evening.
Rest In Peace, Mamaw.
Work has been supremely busy, too. And I don't mind...honestly. I kinda wish there were a few more hours in the day so I could get the things done I need to. It's a strange shift for me. The busy-ness and so-called 'stress' of the job aren't affecting me like they have other places I've worked. Perhaps I'm still in the honeymoon phase. I've been here nearly 6 months and show no signs of regretting even the least little bit of the choice to come here. Especially when I talk to people that are still at the old place. I am fully confident that I got out at the right time.

So...the following pic is the title of the post. This is me....Happily Exhausted. I took this last night. After 1 full hour of Hapkido followed by 1 full hour of kick-boxing. I do that 3 times a week. Yes...I double up like that on all three days. The instructors think I'm a little nuts. Well...they say that they 'admire my dedication and committment'...translation: "dude, you're crazy for doubling up on these." And I might be. But I look at it this way, both sessions have greatly different focuses...there are some overlaps, sure, but the main thing is one is meant to help me develop inner balance and sense of self and the other is meant to help me get my body in 'This is Sparta' shape.

And I feel like it's getting there. I'm getting more toned. My legs are friggin' ripped. And I'm getting more definition in my arms and shoulders. Now I just gotta get that 'core' in shape...and work on my flexibility.

Baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps...picked up one of these babies, too...
It's really meant more for boxing, but I figure if I get to the point where I can kick on it, too, then my flexibility will be improving. And it's a good first step until I get the $350 saved up to get the same kinds of bags we use in class.
Yeah...I'm sore. But it's really worth it to me. I had someone tell me I looked like I was 25. I said...no...when I was 25 I was out of shape. I'm in better shape at 40 than I ever was at 25, trust me on that.
My Papaw's birthday was last Saturday. I toasted him with a shot of Jack. He's been gone 14 years now. I miss him nearly every day. Especially in the summers.
DUDE! Speaking of awesome. I almost forgot. Back in the late 80's...there was a freshman at Westerville South. He may have been the first freshman in the history of the school to get a varsity letter in multiple sports his freshman year..not for playing, but for Sports Medecine. He may also have been the first to be a 4 year Varsity Letter earner in Sports Medecine for multiple sports. He remembers the day he got his letter jacket...over 20 years ago. And here's the crazy thing....the jacket fits again!!!
That smile is genuine. I'm pumped as sh*t that I fit in to that jacket again. That's a size XL from 1987, peeps. That's HUGE. I can't wait to bust that out at the next high school reunion. It's going to blow some people's minds, I can tell you that much right now.
Alright...I think I've rambled on enough here to let you all know I'm alive. Feel free to drop me a line.
I'll leave you with a view from the back porch of the place that is my center...the Farm.
 
Have an awesome-sauce day my friends! And may you be so blessed that you have no choice but to share the blessings with other, and thus you will be doubly blessed (but not necessarily blessed with Dolby).
 
-A.T.
 
 
 
 
 
 

9.11.2012

Not Quite The Tuesday I Was Expecting

I'm in Kentucky right now. This is not really where I wanted to be. Well, that's not entirely true...I do want to be in Kentucky whenever I can, but not for this reason.

My Mamaw is in the hospital. The prognosis is terminal. It looks like she has cancer in her lungs and esophagus. And according to the doctors, she only had a matter of hours. That was about 10 hours ago, and when we left the hospital, the bi-pap machine is putting clean oxygen in and taking the CO2 out.

It sucks.

And I don't really have much to add right now.

9.08.2012

I Don't Think the Heavy Stuff's Coming Down For Another Coupla Hours

The telltale signs of my stupidity have not kicked in yet. I have come to realize that 2 days is the magic waiting period for my body to manifest things.

So...the two days in a row of kickboxing won't really show up as the aches and pains until Sunday. At least not in full force. I'm sore today (from Thursday's session). And my legs were hating me last night. But I know that in the end it's going to be worth it. I can already feel it making a difference.

I'm getting back in to that zone where I am starting to need to exercise again. And that's a pretty good place to be.

OK. I lied. I'm sore. Ha.

Oh man....I just re-read last night/this morning's "post" (if you can call it that). Drunk Todd is definitely NOT allowed to post anymore. Sorry about that. I know it's not the high-caliber of awesomeness you have come to expect (ok...so what's funny is, I have a huge grin as I just typed that last sentence...lest you think I'm this or myself too seriously....I'm not. Just havin' a go at ya).

On deck today...some photo editing and then later a pub crawl. The theme is golf. Which I have no skill at whatsoever. I used to say that I don't golf unless there's plastic grass and plastic windmills (read:putt putt). And then a former co-worker, golfer dude said to me..."Don't say that, you'll never get invited to play. Just tell people you have a fantastic short game."  To which I laughed...because I don't in fact have a terrific short game. It's been years since I even putt-putted. AND not to mention that I could live my whole life and never be sad in the least that I was never invited to golf.

So...here's a bit of irony for you. Brew-Stirs has a Golf Tourney every year.  And I was trying to get on as their photographer. Long story there...but it ends with someone being a douchebag. But anyway. So Chris says to me...wait...there's no time. I'll sum up. Long story short. I got invited (maybe) to be on a team tomorrow for the Golf Outing. Me...the complete non-golfer. It may not happen. But it was just funny either way.

I gotta go make sure my costume is ready for today...theme is golf. I picked up a $2 putter from Play It Again Sam Sports and I'm gonna go as the esteemed groundskeeper from the Bushwood Country Club.

And with that, my 4 readers (ok...maybe a few more have wandered over in the mean while...and no, I didn't f**king de-friend you, jeesh!).....um...right.

Anyway...have an awesome-sauce Saturday my friends!

-A.T.

America, F**k Yeah!!

You ever have one of those weeks where you look back and you're like 'fuck, I'm so glad this week is over...' And what's funny is...yeah, this week was busy at work..like CRAZY busy...but the funny thing about that is that I'm still so fucking in love with my job that it doesn't bother me like it used to...but that doesn't mean that I welcome Friday night any less. Because...let me tell you... Friday night is a welcome thing. It means 2 things...drinks with my friends at Brew-Stirs, and pizza. Both of which I don't really get through the week.

And this Friday it's doubly awesome, because like a dumb ass, I did kick boxing 2 nights IN A ROW this week. And speaking of kick boxing, I went at it. I signed up for the full year. That's right, I'm now doing kick boxing AND Hap Ki Do at Kuryogo studio. The cool thing is that it's right down the street from my house...walking distance as a matter of fact. And I have unlimited sessions. AND I got free boxing gloves..and a free gi (or whatever the korean martial arts equivalent is).

 

Did I mention that it's 1:35 AM and I'm blogging from the bar? Because I am. And I have to say...I'm fucking happy about it. Yeah...I'm a bit toasty.

Dear readers...here's a secret....or not.. I have bar I walk to every Friday and/or Saturday night...I drink my fill (I AM Irish afterall) and then stumble...er...walk home.

Yes...I'm the douchebag at the bar typing on his bluetooth keyboard connected to his iPad updating his blog. Yeah. And you love me for it.

 

Haha..yeah...I'm a little tanked. I really hope something technological happens and this post never sees the light of day. But I know it will....because I'm a better geek than that

So...yeah. I have no idea where this is going...but I might be a bit inebriated. And I might be typing on a keyboard at a bar. And earlier today I might have looked like this.

 

 

Yeah...iTod. That's my shit.

There's a whole story behind it...but at this point I'm rambling. So I better just hit 'post' and go from there.

9.05.2012

Belaboring The Issue

Alright...so it looks like I may never actually catch up with all the witty 'I'm out of town for work posts' from last month when I was in Baltimore. Oh sure...the stories may come out from time to time as in a 'Oh...that reminds me of when I was out of town for work for 2 weeks in Baltimore' kind of segue. Beyond that...yeah, not so much.

This past weekend, though, was epic beyond epic...truly. First of all it was a long week at work...by which I mean that by 5 of the clock on Friday, I was ready to toast my good fortune, friends, and awesome job. I got home around 7, thanks to traffic (and that's....OK). And yeah, I did hit Brew-Stirs (seriously...did you even need to ask?).

It was one of the best times I've had there in quite some time. Some friends came out that don't normally come out (including a good friend of mine who has never actually been to Brew-Stirs)....we practically closed it down (well...a couple of my friends DID....I left early to make sure another friend got home safely).

I had no intention of staying out as late as I did because Saturday was slated to begin the Daddy/Daughter Road Trip Weekend of Awesomeness. Jen and I headed down to Ironton to see my mamaw. Rumor has it she wasn't doing so well. And the rumors, unfortunately, were true. She's not doing well. She's not eating. It really sucked seeing her that way. But before we got there to see it...Jen and I stopped at the 23 South Flea Market just outside of Pikeville for a good ole slice of red-neck Americana....AND...some kick ass fudge. Then we visited my Aunt Lois and Mamaw. Mamaw ate some of the fudge, but she just didn't look well. She reminded me a lot of how Papaw looked just before he passed on. He looked old....first the first time in my life, he looked old. And ready to die. Mamaw looked the very same. On both accounts. I hope I'm wrong about that, but I just don't know. I ordered some meal replacement shakes and had them sent to Lois Ann's...hopefully Mamaw will eat those and start to get some of her strength back.

The return from Ironton brought us to our second home (MicroCenter). I can't remember what, if anything I bought....oh...wait...yes I can. Batteries for the Nikons....annnnnnd....something else. A new bag maybe? Yeah. A new bar-bag (bag that I carry my iPad and keyboard and a few little odds and ends when I go to the bar or some other place I might get the inspiration to write). My previous bag had been beered by Chris the night before. That's right. Now it's all coming back to me...sort of.

And no trip with Jen to MicroCenter would be complete without a trip to Lilly's Asian Restaurant. I swear they put heroin in their egg rolls....those things are THAT good.

Another trip to BrewStirs saturday night (because, hey, it's the weekend, right?). But I didn't stay long. As Jen and I had ANOTHER road trip planned for Sunday.

This one was to Cleveland for the Cleveland National Air Show. I've gone for the past 4 years, and loved it every time. Each time, my photo-gear gets better and I wind up with some amazing shots. I took over 2300 pictures this time and I think I got a few keepers (I'm still going through them). Here's a couple:

 

 

The first is of an F18 Super Hornet just below SuperSonic....the second is of the Blue Angels (I have 200+ frames of Angels 5 and 6 crossing in show center and this is the only shot where I have them lined up...yeah, I got lucky).

Now, just so you know, the shots are actually of my laptop where I had the photos up in Adobe Bridge (the actual files look MUCH better).

 

I'm just stoked I got some of those shots.

And I'm pumped because Jen is now a fan. She definitely wants to come back next year...and really...who can blame her? It's bad-ass.

Stopping at the Goasis on the way home we got some of Barb's Fudge. I'm not sure it's as good as the fudge from Grandpa's Cheesebarn and Survivalist Compound...but it was tasty fudge.

Monday was a pretty chill day. Grilled a bit and played some Words with Friends. Contemplating doing a blog post and other things like that, but Chilling was the order of the day.

And with that, the weekend concluded. Back at work now...finishing lunch and finishing this blog post.

This weekend is the 4th Annual Westerville Prohibition Pub Crawl (see? I DO find out about things even though I'm not on Facebook)...so I'm gonna be there. And of course, I'm sure I'll be at Brewstirs.

Oh crap! Looks like lunch break is over.

Hope you are all having awesome-sauce days filled with Jelly!!

 

Talk to you soon!

-A.T.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

*someday, I'll post about the whole '-A.T.' thing...it's not slang, it's my initials. Alright, gotta get back to work.

Peace out, yo!

8.29.2012

What The French toast?

So...welcome. For those of you that are new here...welcome. My name is Todd. And I like to think of myself as a sort of a renaissance dude for the modern era. I'm sure there are actual rules and classifications, things that one must actually do before they can call themselves a renaissance man...and I'm pretty sure I haven't done all of them yet. But no matter. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I tend to view the universe a little differently...which is to say that I typically will re-read things I have written and fully expect others reading it to go 'dude...that's some whacked out shit. what the crap is this guy smoking?' To which I simply smile and say 'nothing man...I'm just wired this way.'

Regular readers may be wondering about the overly expository nature of the introduction to today's post. And...well..yeah. Thing is, I haven't written regularly in ye olde bloggy blogge for nearly 2 weeks and I'm just trying to really get back in to the swing of it all. I'm also buying time and trying to decide whether I'm going to give you one huge ass novella of an update for what's been going on the past 2 weeks or piece meal the isht in a carefully crafted Sweeps Week Mini-marathon event. Spoiler Alert: I still haven't decided.

I am however, crafting this particular post whilst on my lunch break and I'm guessing that the length of time needed to fully bring you up to speed is going to exceed my allotted lunch time.

Which is too bad...because today is definitely a day where I could just write.....and write....and over use ellipses....and write....and write....and replay the Faberge Shampoo commercial in my head...and so on....and so on....and so on.

But...yeah. That's not going to happen. It's pretty clear that this is just a 'Hey I'm still alive....don't abandon hope all ye who enter' kind of post.

The short version of the last 2 weeks (there will be longer versions soon)...is this:

I was out of town for work. I spent 2 weeks (with the weekend in-between at home) in a place just outside of Baltimore, Maryland called Towson. We're opening a new store out there in the fall and I was out there with another guy from work and we were running cable. Thousands and thousands of feet of network and coaxial cable for the new store. I have to say that it was quite possible the hardest I've worked for 2 weeks straight...just very physical, demanding work in the middle of a construction zone.

And you know what...it was satisfying as hell to get the job done. We worked up until after we were supposed to have left for the airport on the second week (you've never seen two guys happier to learn that their flight was delayed)...but we got every run of cable pulled. Over 300 cables.

 

Rock.

Alright, I know that's not really much of an update...but hey...it's more than I would have posted in my previous stint in social media...and it's a little slice of Todd on a warm summer's eve...er...day (because Summer's Eve is something else entirely...and I don't really need to be blogging about that now, do I?

No...no I don't.

Before I leave...a cute pic of me and my pup.

Have a kick ass Hump Day!

-a.t.s.

 

8.20.2012

A Week of Monday Fundays

So...the plan was to give a daily update last week...you know, kind of a 'this is how the day went' (which, really is probably the definition of a daily update, isn't it?)...turns out that I really didn't even want to flip on the laptop or the iPad by the time I got back to the hotel room each night.

I'm not lie...it was a long week.

And...I'm scatter brained right now...there's some dude at the terminal gate right now that's having a conversation with someone that sounds like Cleveland and it's just like a fork on a chalk board. I'm thinking 'Dude...you need to sit NEXT to the person. Nobody at the gate wants to hear you talking this bullshit across the aisle about Deron and this module or that module'.

I will try to do a better job this week of keeping my 5 loyal readers updated.

We're at the gate now...and for the life of me I just can't concentrate enough to finish this one in the manner it should be finished. So....when I get on the plane, I'll give it a shot. Or else I'll update it tonight at the hotel.

 

They're getting ready to board.

 

Peach out.

-A.T.

8.12.2012

Or Something Like That

Gotta get up rather early tomorrow to be at the airport in time for a 7:35 flight, so I'm pretty sure I won't be posting in the morning (unless it's from the iPad in the airport waiting to board.

My boarding group is B52...yeah, I thought that was pretty kick ass too.

OK. I'm off to bed. Catch  you peeps on the flip side.

-A.T.

They Made Me Do It

Holy crap!!

How have I not seen Donnie Darko before today?  If any of you told me about it, you should have impressed upon me more vehemently that (a) this is a wickedly crafted movie, (b) there are a crap ton of people in it that are all amazing, and (c) it f**king rules.

I really need to get back to working on my trip through the inner threads of the universe book. There's too many things that just come to me in daily life that point to the fact that we are all connected...and too many people don't know it and don't have a fucking clue that the harm they inflict on others is actually being inflicted on themselves.

I would say that life's too short. But that's a lie. There is no end or beginning to life. There is only life. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Point is....go watch Donnie Darko. And I hope it disturbs and inspires you as much as it does me.


-A.T.

It's Been A Long Time

I shouldn't have left you....
Without a strong rhyme to step to...

It's funny. I could go months before without a post...now I go a week without updating the blog and I feel bad about not writing. I guess that's the difference when the creative outlets shift.

Speaking of outlets, I'd like to welcome the new people that may (or may not) be coming over from Facebookistan.

Just to recap...I didn't leave facebook because of you...or anyone else. I left because I was getting addicted to it. So...short answer, I was sick of the anti-social nature of 'social media' and the long answer is contained in many previous posts on this blog devoted to the topic.

Hey...I'm down about 66 pounds total on the Journey to Healthy Todd (or 'no more lard ass' as I normally call it)...now, granted, I'm sure a couple of those pounds came back this weekend due to the celebrating the loss of poundage in the first place. And that's ok...the general trend, over time, is a downward slope. And that's cool by me.

It's 3:24 AM and I'm spent in that way that's a mix of sweet exhaustion mixed with inebriation, mixed with the joy of seeing and spending time with friends you haven't seen in a long time. All those things got wrapped up in to one Saturday at Brew-Strs.

And just like that, my train of thought has derailed. I know there was something in there a...

.....annnnnnnnd we're back.
So what did we learn from this lesson, kiddos?  That's right. We learned that Todd trying to post a blog entry after he's come home from Brew-Stirs is a bad idea. It's a good thing that I can touch type, because I'm sure that hunting and pecking to type anything after those Moerlein Emancipator Doppelbocks Chris was serving me last night would have been a bad thing...like a motion sickness bad thing. And trust me...that's not the way I want to test out if my laptop keyboard really is resistant to liquids or not.

I will have to post again later today after my laundry is done and I'm packed up for my trip this week if only for the simple pleasure of quoting the first couple lines of Rocket Man. Sh'up, I know I'm a dork, what of it?

Did I mention that I'm pumped for these trips? I'm going out to Maryland to run the cable for our newest MicroCenter store. And it should be quite the epic trip of awesomeness. I'll be sure to post in the evenings...and I'll post pix if I can (not sure all the ramifications of that yet).

Dude.

Last night was crazy.  First of all, I drove to Brew-Stirs (which I never do) because of the torrential downpour we were having last night (that stopped 1/2 hour after I got there--go figure). So...no big deal....switch to water closer to the end of the night and all is well that ends well.

So...that was the first anomaly. Then, at the bar chilling with another regular, we look around and notice that the bar is PACKED (again...kind of a rarity as of late). But it's not packed with regulars. It's packed with such a diverse crowd that it's kinda freaky. I felt like I walked in to Alternate Universe Brew-Stirs or something. It was very Twilight Zone-y. THEN....a fight broke out.  Domestic dispute. Some dude called some lady a c**t and some other dude was trying to defend her honor (which, knowing the lady, she probably was being a see you next tuesday, but that's besides the point). So they all get cleared out (even though one of the dudes was like the herp....kept coming back--I guess it helped that he knew one of the owners, but that's a story for another time).

So...shit settles from all that....then I look over and some lady had some other lady in a choke hold and was wrasslin' her down to the ground. Keno cards were flying...it was nuts.

I looked at my friend Bill (who was thankful that night that he was a former bouncer, and not on the clock) and said 'bitches be robo-trippin''

Truth.

I think there was a third fight in there somewhere. It was nuts. And that was all before 11PM!!

Luckily the evening settled in to a nice groove from there.

I saw no less than like 7 or 8 people that I haven't seen since I left Facebook and it was awesome. We laughed...we drank...we (ok, I) ate pizza....and I danced my ass off.

I had to show the young pups that there was more to grooving on the dance floor than just flashy ABDC moves. Yes, son, I know those moves. I hate to break it to you, but popping and locking isn't really as new as you think it is. In fact, I can actually remember when it WAS new. And we called it Break Dancing (because if you didn't do it correctly, you would definitely wind up breaking something).

Heh...so, yeah. Still smiles from the fun last night. I've got to get off ye olde laptop for now and get moving with the day...but I'm glad you stopped by. Don't be such a stranger.

Peace out!!

-A.T.


8.04.2012

I'm looking for a dare to be great situation...

"...kickboxing, you ever heard of kickboxing? Sport of the future? Don the Dragon Wilson? Benny "the Jet" Uriquez? Mercy Mess on the Champions of Sport? I can see by your face, no. My point is, you can relax because your daughter will be safe with me for the next 7 to 8 hours, sir."

I think I identify most with John Cusack characters most often because each one starts off as some ordinary dude who, through the course of the film reveals himself to be a zen master in disguise that not only seems to have his finger on the pulse of that guy that all guys want to be, but also what it takes to make life worth living.

Not that that has much to do with the quote above. That was really more for the angle of kick boxing. My neighbor and I have been throwing the idea back and forth for quite some time now of heading over to Koguryo Martial Arts (which is like 2 blocks from the house) and seeing what it's all about.

Well, Sara found out they had a special for 3 classes with gloves for $20. So we went last night.
Turns out they also had 5 classes (with gloves) for $30, so we got that.

And the instructor was like 'So....were you going to stay for tonight's class?'  Urm....sure.
25 minutes later I had entered the 4th circle of hell. Wow,

The cool thing is, I know I'm going to have to dig deep to stick with this. Not sure if I'm going to get a membership or not, but I can see it being something I stick with. They also have traditional martial arts training. And I will probably migrate over to that after the 5 classes of kick boxing are done. We'll have to see.

You know what's funny? I'm not as sore as I thought I would be. I'm actually....refreshed. Weird, I know. But...what can I say? lol. Good times.

Alright....off to work on things around the house.

Have a fantastic weekend!!

-A.T.

8.03.2012

No News Is Good News

Part of me wants to take a very philosophical bent on that statement. I mean, I can't remember when I first heard it, but it ties in with the age old 'Ignorance is bliss.' And I suppose to an extent it is. If you read in such a way that it means "if you receive NO news at all, then it's the same as receiving GOOD news."

I could argue though, that it means that no news of any time is good news. Such that, if you receive any news whatever, it's not good news.

The philosopher in me wants to rip down that path, caution to the wind like the final kid in a red rover game that has one last chance of breaking through the other kids' line.

You see, the philosopher in me (who, it would seem, is of the existential bend) would take it to mean that if you are in a position to receive 'news'...which is information of something happening other than where you are currently, then you are not actually living or experiencing that of which you are receiving the news.

In other words, news of a Michael Phelps medal does me no actual good. I'm not winning the medal myself. People racing against Phelps don't need the news of his win. Spectators in the natatorium don't need news of his win, they were there to live the experience. Thereby, of its nature, news is not good because it only serves to remind you of that which you did not live through in person.

But this is a debate for another time.

All I was really looking for was a way to put out an entry that simply said, I don't have much to report today. Rode 45 minutes on the bike this morning. I farted less during the night, with less cramping (but still blasted a 20 second wolf biscuit this morning). And I'm looking forward to kicking ass at work today and having a few drinks with friends this evening.

In other words, no real news at all.

Have a fantastic Friday, my friends. And for the 5 of you that regularly read this space, remember one thing as you read stories of great exploits and happenings out there in the world...there is always someone that would look at your story and think that the life you're living is truly blessed.  Don't prove them wrong.

-A.T.

8.02.2012

Gasseous Clay

It is the 2nd morning after the 2nd night of the new CPAP machine. They raised my air pressure from 12 to 14. That of itself may not seem like a lot, but my body would beg to differ with you on that.

It was so bad Tuesday night that I got up about 3 times in the middle of the night because I thought that the little thing from Alien (which, I guess would be the alien, wouldn't it) was about to pull a John Hurt (or Kane, as you might know him) and burst out of my chest. I'd only had gas that bad a few other times.

Apparently my body is getting used to it. In addition to phase two of the face-hugger conundrum last night (in which I only woke up one time to relieve the pressure), I again had about 15 minutes of some serious pootage this morning. Funny, I don't remember being judge in any Chili Cook-offs recently.

I know that it's just going to take some time to get used to it. The old CPAP was the same way. And my body got used to that, too. But there's a couple of differences...this one is a full face mask (covers my mouth and nose). The other was just a nostril mask (meaning that my mouth would open, thereby releasing the air...problem was--my mouth would open, thereby releasing the air (instead of forcing it down my closed esophagus)). There's no where for the air to go now but down my wind pipe..which is probably a good thing.

Except for the tremendous gas.

Did I mention I'm farting. A lot?

Yeah. Sorry. It's been pre-occupying me. I sure hope my body acclimates to the new pressure settings soon.

In other news of bodily functions, my body is now 64 pounds lighter than it was in November. In 8 months I've reduced my body by nearly 20% of what it once was. This also puts me at 60% of my total weight loss goal.

I'm completely pumped, yo.

So...other than the tremendous gas (and mostly better sleep), the health things are really falling in to place these days.

Work is going phenomenally well. It's really kind of blowing my mind that I'm at a place where I can see a future and see the difference I can make in the company. It is a blessing. And I literally thank God every day driving to work (ok...maybe not literally, but it's on my heart...and that's what's important).  I'm ramping up for a 2 week trip to Maryland to get ready to lay cable at the new store. I'm pretty excited for that, too.

I've been mostly doing photo editing lately with a few scattered shoots here and there. But I'm finding that the passion for the photography has not waned in the least with the newfound job love. In fact, it's grown for the simple fact that now I can do the shoots that I want to do. I can get creative.  I can shoot just to shoot. I don't really have to worry about trying to take every gig that comes along because I'm not trying to build a business. It's not a plan B for me to retire to right now. Now it's just about growing and fostering my skills and craft.  Which...is a pretty fucking cool place to be, if you really want to know the truth.

And the writing. Did  I mention the writing? I've written more on this blog in the past two months than I have in the past two years. I predict that very soon, the number of recent posts on the blog will out number the number of blog entries for the entire time I had a facebook account.

THAT makes my heart happy.

Happy hearts kick ass.

And with that I need to go get ready for work...I've cooled down after my 25minute ride. Time to hit the Meal Replacement Shake, have some vitamins and rock and roll in to this day.

Hope your day is filled with so many blessings that you have no choice but to share them with others!

-A.T.

7.31.2012

Sleepy Time Junction

The most ironic part of telling someone that you have to have a 'sleep study' is that they instantly think that you're going to go do nothing but sleep soundly whilst being observed. This is only partly true.

There is a camera and mic in the room. And a control room from which I am monitored throughout the night.

But the 'sleeping soundly' part is bullshit.

 Last night was, without a doubt, one of the worst nights of sleep I have had in quite some time. And I found out last night that the CPAP that I'd been using for the last 14 years was really only doing a slightly better than marginal job. My mouth still opened during the night. I still snored (both of which my wife will attest to). Not to mention the damn thing was really starting to annoy me.

This was the sky at dusk as I was getting wired up for the sleep study.


What's that? Oh...yeah....seriously, I was wired up. I'm pretty sure this is what the aliens did to me, too. It all seemed so oddly familiar.


The sensors are glued...or rather pasted to my head...and various other areas around my body....then they stuck a tube around my face to measure air coming from my nostrils and mouth to see when I had a 'respiratory event' (or stopped breathing, in other words).

This was my view:



The RadioShack 101 Circuit Experiments box wound up hanging up to some thing next to the bed.

Needless to say, it was just not a good night of sleep. But what was cool about it, was that I got a new CPAP machine. It's smaller and WAY quieter than the one I've been using (think going to a Mercedes after driving a Yugo for 14 years). The only downside is that the mask is bigger and that's going to take some getting used to (but it's going to be better for me (and anyone trying to sleep around me).

So, yeah. Today was kind of like trying to swim in peanut butter coated jello after that. I'm still in something of a fog.

Speaking of fog....(so what...maybe I DO like starting every fourth paragraph with 'speaking of...'  hee hee...write your own blog if it bugs you so much. Haha!) Anyway...today was the last day of CS Graphics. 

CS Graphics is/was Dad's latest print shop incarnation. Well, now...it's officially his last. He's retired. The shop is packed up. And an era has ended.


Memories from childhood are few and far between it seems. But one thing I always remember. The smell. The smell of a print shop. And going in on the weekends and seeing Dad getting a rag and getting some magic liquid on it using the above contraption. He would then wipe down the plates before putting them on the press. 

I'm just a bit sad. I know it's technically a chapter in his life, but it feels like the close of a chapter in mine, too. I don't know quite how to explain it. But it's just weird. That's all. 

And with that I leave you of something that amused me at lunch today...Words with Friends is always good for some laughs whilst munching on my brown rice and chicken with jalapeno salsa (and a nice healthy side of Tony Packo's Pickles and Peppers).


It just made me giggle quietly to myself.

And with that, I go. Hopefully I'll get a better night's sleep tonight.

Peace out!

-A.T.

7.30.2012

For a facsimile we must admit

Doug E. Fresh is good and makes a perfect fit...

 

Sorry...went back to my old school roots there for a second. There's probably 3 people reading this. Well, there might be more. But there's probably 3 people of the 5 people that read this blog with any kind of regularity (Todd's Blog, now with more Fiber!!)...anyway, what was I saying? Oh right. There are 3 people of the 4 dentists' patients who chew gum that will know what the title and first line of today's post reference. The rest of you can you tube it. I'm sure it's pretty high near the top of your search results.

 

I got a little chuckle today at lunch (which is to say, about 10 minutes ago, since I'm technically still AT lunch. I'm in the middle of a little Words With Friends action and decided to test the limits of the lexicon by playing a little Danzig. Words was having none of it.

Which, really is kind of a bummer. It won't let you play "jawa" either. And I'm pretty sure that's been a word since 1977. The only bummer is that it doesn't always show everyone's real name (because it no longer has my facebook contacts to match up to). I thought I was actually going to make it entire post without talking about some aspect of Facebook. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I hope I'm not TOO terribly tired. I go in tonight for a sleep study (which I think I've mentioned previously). Basically I'm doing it to get a new CPAP machine and get out from under the shite service of Lincare. But really I just want a smaller quieter CPAP that doesn't sound like Darth Vader after a chili cook-off.

And since we've brought up the Dark Lord of the Sith...seems like a perfect segue to talk about my upcoming work trip to the former home of the Colts. Yeah...I'm not sure what one really has to do with the other either. But in any event, I'll be spending 2 weeks in August in Baltimore helping get things in shape for the new store. I figure its ok to at least mention it since it's been announced in a press release, so I'm not spilling any secrets. And the Unicorn inlay for the counter tops will be in by then too. Oh...mayhaps I wasn't supposed to mention that. Strike that. Just forget I said anything about that. These aren't the droids you're looking for and what not.

Work is going surprisingly well, actually. I'm 4 months in to it and still love my job and get along well with the people I work with. Some better than others, but I'm chalking that up to the fact that I don't know the others well enough yet. And I get to learn how to operate the Scissor Lift in the next week or 2. Which is good, because will need it to run the Hydra tentacles...er...cables in the new store.

Part of me feels kinda bad that you actually read through that post. It wasn't really much more than a bit of inane ramblings. Which is to say...it's pretty much like the rest of the blog.

 

And with that, I finish up my lunch and head out to the rest of my work day. I was in at 7, so it will be an early day out (at about 4 or so). Which is cool.

Have a good one!

 

-A.T.

 

 

*the song is "Santa's Rap" by the Treacherous Three from the Beat Street soundtrack (Vol.1).

7.29.2012

Awwwwww....and the forging of the rings

This post (as most of my blogging posts of late) serves a dual purpose.  The first is to give me something to look back on from some time in the future and get a sense of where my head was at at the time. The second is really just to amuse anyone who might be reading it. In other words...it's a way for me to get that sh*t that's rattling around in my head OUT of my head. To make way, usually, for more things to seep in and rattle around.

Great. Now that we got that out of the way, we now paws for a moment of extreme cuteness:


Awwwww.  He's so cute when he's all balled up and sleepytime. Max is generally a good pup....when he's not being all barky at nothing for no reason and dorkified. 

Speaking of Sleepytime....I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics Friday night, because, well...TV had me convinced it would be mostly un-American to skip out on such programming. 
I have to say...it pretty much kicked ass. I also have to say that they really should have stopped after the forging of the rings and that whole display of pyrotechnical awesomeness. The rest of it just seemed....well...masturbatory. I mean, it was neat..but seemed a bit--meh--to me. Dunno. Could just be me. But it seems like they peaked with the Rings bit. 

And the parade of nations just never made any sense to me. To me it's like Golf or Baseball. I'm sure it's amazing for the athletes, but it's boring as sin to watch. And some of the commentating was just annoying. I left at Greece (I think), and headed to Brew-Stirs. Yes, I realize I missed Sir Paul McCartney. I'm ok with that. I dig him, but I can watch those clips any time thanks to the beauty of the interwebs. 

Saturday was a pretty good day. Although it bordered on surreal. Mom and Dad are closing up shop. This weekend is pretty much the last weekend. They'll be out by Tuesday. My neighbor, Todd, is helping me load up things that we want. It just feels weird, scavenging through bits and pieces of that labor of love....


This is the first round of stuff we brought back. There's gonna be a few more trips today. Yeah. A teensie bit surreal to me. I just can't really imagine Dad not having a print shop.

We went from that yesterday to my grown up baby girl getting her first smart-phone. She got an iPhone. After which we went to MicroCenter to get a case for it (employee discount SO rules!). And, since we were in the area...we had to stop at Lily's for the BEST egg rolls in Columbus. Seriously. I think they must put heroin or something in these things because they are SO good. They don't ever feel greasy or heavy when you eat them. I can easily eat 4 in a sitting (although I stuck to 2 yesterday). I also got my new favorite, the Asian BBQ pork:

So tasty. With some fresh Bok Choy. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. And again, it doesn't feel heavy. I ate half for lunch and the rest last night for dinner. SO yummy.

Today on deck is more scavenging at Dad's. And then some photo editing. Should be a good day overall.

Hope your weekend has been equally as awesome!

Peace out!

-A.T.

(figured I'd leave you with one more 'AWWWWWWWWWWW')




7.27.2012

Days Dan Confused

I may have mentioned about my long work week last week. Please keep in mind, that was not a bitch fest. And while I can honestly say I was tired as sh*t at the end of the week, I can also honestly say that when you are in the midst of a fantastic company, the occasional long day and week doesn't really become that much of an issue. I've bought in to the fact that it's a fantastic company to work for. So, I want to do my part to make it kick ass.

And brothers and sisters, that's a welcome change of pace for me.

Anyway, because of the week last week, I was going to take today off as a sort of comp day. I had big plans of working on some photography related things and also maybe finally get the downstairs area organized.

Then the fun storm rolled through last night.

As soon as I saw it get dark at work, I texted my wife. "If we lose power, we're getting a generator. Period"

With 3 90degree days on the horizon, I wasn't going to go through that isht again.

She texted back that a piece of the tree had fallen.


That "piece" actually turned out to be about 25-30 feet of the top of one of the trees. Luckily my neighbors still had not repaired their fence from the last storm, so that was one thing I had in my favor.  I knew it was going to be hot today. So, I changed in to a t-shirt and work boots and grabbed the chain saw.

An hour later, it looked like this:

I cut up all of it in to what I would consider 'pieces', heaved them over the fence in to my yard and cleaned up as much as I could. There was really about 3 good size trees worth of crap there that had fallen. 

I went out this morning to start working on getting it cut down and hauled out, but damn...it's hot already and the humidity is so high that I figured heat stroke was NOT worth it.

Now I'm back inside....working on the studio...or will be soon as I press 'Publish' on this random meandering of gibberish.

Stay thirsty my friends.

-A.T.


7.24.2012

How Easy Do You Think It Is?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm not a huge fan of basketball. But I am a fan of Michael Jordon. The man is inspirational.

Check this out:


That's one of my favorite Jordan commercials. And no...none of what I just typed is the secret.

Here's the secret.

I struggle...EVERY DAY with this weight loss journey I'm on.

Every.
Single.
Day.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm very happy that I inspire you (if, in fact, I do) to want to be healthier. 

But you can't use me as your barometer.  You can not look at my total numbers and think that you can do it. "If Todd can do it, so can I" will NOT fly if you are serious about this.

If you're going to do this..and be serious about it succeeding, you're going to have to look to one person and only one person.

You.
If I'm your measuring stick, you're going to fail. I'm going to tell you that right now. If you're comparing yourself to me, you're doing us both a disservice. I'm not you. And you're not me.

You see....here's the thing. Yes...I started this journey seriously back in November. Yes, I have a goal of losing 103 pounds. And yes, I've lost 59 pounds to date.

And that sounds amazing. Maybe you're frustrated because you're following along the same course I took and you're not seeing the numbers.

Do you want to know the reality? Get up on www.myfitnesspal.com and be my pal (look under Filmdude71). And then look at my weigh ins. Sure....I've lost 59 pounds total....

BUT...it has NOT been a straight loss of pounds. The pounds come off....some weight comes back on...some more weight comes off....some comes back on.

The OVERALL is downward...but it's not a straight line by any means.

This is NOT easy for me. Make no mistake about it. I'm a food frickin' junkie, OK? 

I have to make a conscious decision every day to have that meal replacement shake for breakfast instead of half a box of cereal
.
I have to make a conscious decision EVERY DAY to get on that bike and ride. Some days I don't. Most I do. 

I have to KEEP WALKING every day past that Vending Machine with the snacks that I could scarf dwon in minutes flat.

None of this is easy. Some days I don't live up to the expectations I've set for me. I'm human. I know that. I'm going to have days where I don't do what I need to. But the very next day (or minute or second), I get back in that mind set of 'NoMoreFatTodd' and go from there.

And now you know where the Michael Jordon commercial comes in. 

I'm sorry if I made it seem like this is a walk in the park for me. True...the products I'm using, and the plan I'm following and the healthy choices I'm making ARE easier than anything I've tried in the past. But that does not mean that it is easy. It just means I struggle less with sticking to this lifestyle change than I ever did before.

I'm going to let you in on the secret....my overall goal was to lose 103 pounds total. I wanted to do it in a year, but I'm not putting an end date on it...because to me it's more important that I REACH the goal (the when really doesn't matter, as long as I continue to make progress). I figured as long as I lost 1-2 pounds a week, I'd be on target.

Now lets look at that big impressive "59" and reveal it for what it is.

Jibberish.

Seriously...there is only one total that concerns me, and that is 103. I'm not looking to get hung up on the numbers along the way. (Although 51 1/2 was good because it was the halfway point).

But..realistically....I'm going one pound at a time. 

I've been at this for nearly 37 weeks. So...59 pounds divided by 37 weeks. That's about 1 1/2 lbs a week.
Right on target.

 I'm much too far along to go back. That's not an option. 

You see....I can't tell that you can do this. I can't tell you that you'll succeed. YOU have to tell you that.

Having someone believe in you is important. But you have to look yourself in the mirror and believe it when you tell yourself "I know I AM going to succeed."

I've already gotten rid of my fat clothes. I get rid of clothes as I out grow them (or rather, they outgrow me). The thrift store is my friend.

But I'm not going back. Again, that's not an option.

I'm going to do whatever it takes.

If it takes eating more brown rice and not as much pasta (if any), I'm doing it. If it takes giving up all soda...I'm doing it.  

If it takes drinking a gallon of water a day, I'm doing it.

There is no going back for me.

That's my contribution to this. Yes...I take vitamins and supplements. Yes...they may or may not work for you. But they are NOT magic pills.

They are tools.

The key ingredient in making them (or any program) work is you.YOU.

I'm not where I want to be. But I'm on my way. And I'm not going back. EVER.

When you get to the point that failure is no longer an option and you will do whatever it takes to avoid failure, then you will succeed.

I'm sorry. I should have told you that earlier.

-A.T.








(P.S......the above little diatribe pretty much applies to life in general....whether it's your journey to get healthier..or a shitty job....or relationship....or your dream job or whatever. When failure is no long an option, you'll do what it takes to make it work. Whatever that something is for you).

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