When I think about you iTouch myself

OK. To those that know me, it's no secret...I'm a gadget whore. I love new (or new to me) gadgets and gizmos.

So...I was pretty stoked when the iPhone came out. Only one problem. I was NOT stoked about switching over to ATT/Cingular and having a $60+ cell phone bill a month PLUS $600 for a phone. That would NOT fly at the Casa de Skaggs.

Nor would I expect it too.

So, I figure...OK...eventually Apple will release the iPod with a touch screen..just like the iPhone...only without the phone.

And the did.

And I want it.

Sort of.

First off, for the moment, I can't really afford it...so it's rather a moot point. But some things may be falling in place that will change that.

Second off...I don't really need it.

Third....it's only 8GB...or 16GB (but given point #1, it'd be the 8GB model).

The main draw is the video part of it, and the contacts/schedule and web browsing.

Now if only I had a device that let me do all of that already-I wouldn't have to spend $300 on the iTouch.

Oh...I do.

My Dell Pocket PC.

The screen is the same size and resolution as the iTouch. Plus it has more things I can do with it.

It's just big.

And old.

And not as shiney and new.

BUT.....at $10 for a 2GB memory card....it's exponentially cheaper to keep a media library for than the iTouch.

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning that direction. Yes, it's not BRAND NEW technology (whore!), but it IS highly comparable-function wise.

And what would I do with the iTouch at work? Listen to music (not watch videos).

And I already downgraded my 40GB iPod to a 1GB Shuffle for that very purpose....why complicate things by going back up to 8 (0r 16) GB?


No reason.

It's a perfectly sound argument. Now I just need to silence the inner gadget whore and we'll all be just fine. :-)


Shoooot. Just when I thought I was out...

So...I'm a recently (as in 5 or more years now) movie guy. I make movies.
It's my 'thing' if you will (and even if you won't).

But I still like to make music. I think I put my own little slant on the songs I make. Some work better than others. Some blow. But regardless, as a good friend of mine once said, "it's cheaper than therapy."

And there you have it.

I had a birthday last week. Nothing too exciting. Turned 36. Woohoo. And I treated myself to a few things.

One of said things was a new phone. It's a $50 phone that I got for $30 on Black Friday (got N one, too). I wasn't sure how much longer I wanted my ex paying for my phone. So. Yeah. Didn't need it...wanted it. That's what you're supposed to get on your B-Day. Things you want.

And I also got a new mixer. If you're keeping score, this makes the 4th actual piece of mixing hardware I own (5 if you count the 4-track). And I'm ok with that. This one is a 16 channel beast of a machine from Behringer. And it's got USB AND 100 digital effects. And thanks to some minimum wage rocker at Guitar Center, I got it for $149 instead of $259.

So to celebrate getting it hooked up tonight (and actually starting to understand Sub 1-2 and Main Mixes), I recorded THIS little diddy. Those familiar with my extensive (cough) catalog will no doubt recognize it's similarities to the "A Groove" from forever ago. And you'd be right. But don't let that stop you. It's less than two minutes (from what I understand, this is about average time for wanking).

The thing that impressed the hell out of me with this is that there was NO noise coming across the line. When it was silent on the board there was NOTHING showing in Adobe Audition. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner. From now on, whenever I feel the need to pinch one out (a song that is), I can rest assured that any glitches and shortcomings of the song will be solely my own.

As it should be.

OH...I also got this kick ass t-shirt from my sis, Kim and her beau. Stink-O-Man rules!

And my wife (who knows me WAY too well) got me a Star Wars Laserdisc. Yes. PRIOR to Han shooting in self defense. Now I'm on a quest for a laser disc player (because I think I've got some Madonna Laserdisc from Ian that needs attention, too).

All in all a rather pleasant way to spend my weekend (and my Tuesday night as well).



Crazy Chester Thrifted Me and He Caught Me in the Bog

Ah....feels good, don't it? Yes. This is a thrift post. I had thought that it might be too cumbersome to bring the S700 to the thrifstore, but it was no more so than the Canon I used to carry. So...ladies and gentlemen, I give you...The Good the Bad and The Thrifty.

This trip was not a solo trip. This time I had D-man along with me. We had stopped off at Smackies for some FOIN! BBQ. It was tasty.

We were on a quest to get Donkey Kong for NES or GBA, but it was not to be. But enough of that. On to the thrift.

First off we have air soccer. WTF? 4 player soccer? This to me is just Hungry Hungry Hippos without the Hippos. And really, what fun is that?

I love Trivia Games. But I find that the boxes that they come in are so cheap. If only I had a way to carry my favorite Trivia Game that was a little more durable. Hmmm.

Personal Pong. First off, they have to show this with a woman's hand. Because if they showed it with a guy's hand, it would give the wrong idea. So, basically what you have here is a way to fondle your paddle and play with your ball. All by yourself. And it's made of fine and easy to clean acrylic.

So easy a ...oh never mind. It's too easy.

Ease on down, ease on down the hole...

D-man models his favorite Trivia Game. If only he had a case to carry it in. Hmmmm.

It's a Cosby sweatah...a COSBY SWEATAH!

CosSwe pt. 2
And finally. A Cosby Sweatah made by Tommy Hilfiger. Kids don't do drugs and design.

If only I had some Jimmy Crum pants to go with my Cosby sweatah. Yay!

So...there are these socks (and michael jackson glove inserts) that I used to wear when I was on Ski Club in high school. And they seemed to work. But D- found the secret to why they worked. Apparently there was so much metal in the fabric that irritated the skin that you thought it was warming, but really it was irritating.

Do NOT do a Red Hot Chili Peppers with this, yo.

Joined the playaz club for about a month or two.

Oh Romeo, Romeo....the Reds??

I was going for the dude from Newhart. But D-man said I looked like Ricky from 'Better Off Dead.' Monique....Monique!

Anyone seen Dean-o?
Dah, comrade.

He's a special lad.

I have no words for this. I felt like I aged 50 years just from putting this hat on.

This was my FAVORITE hat of the night. I ALMOST bought it.

Howdy y'all.

A wall of monitors. Nothing like writing on the glass with a permanent marker.

Hehehehe. So...basically you make money because you buy products off of yourself. And you can get 9 of your friends. You have 9 friends, right? Sure you do, because you're a likable fellow. And they're in your downline. And then you have people in your upline. And when people in your downline buy stuff, YOU make money. It's a no-lose situation.

Bastards. I still have a garage full of soap.

The Truth About The Fonz....pg. 27...."I f***in' hate sharks!"
This would have been SO much cooler if it had said "Revival in the House!"

Heh. D-man testing out his joystick.
At first I thought this was Second Camino. And I thought 'hmm. That's wierd. The Second Camino on top of the Baby Ford.'

What? I can't just eat the food and look like Kirstie Alley? I have to actually watch the videos, too? Screw that.

Heh. CompuServe. 1.0. For Windows. Now I know some of you kiddies think you know Windows.

You don't. Windows used to suck. It used to be a resource hog. It would sit on top of DOS. It took away functionality that you had in DOS, just to make you think it was better because it looked prettier. Good thing they got away from all of that.

This just looked cool. And had it been behind the showcase counter, I may have gotten it. As it was, I didn't...because it was back in the back...and probably missing pieces.

There is still something fundamentally wrong about buying food at a thrift store.

Um.....tis the season. For crap.

Somewhere is a very thirsty Evel Keneval.

Gourmet. For your rodent. Huh?

Wait....so....if I put an ADDITIVE in my engine, it will DOUBLE my warranty? I'm somehow kind of doubting that.

Oh yeah. I'm gonna go all CSI on ya now. I bought this. You bet yer ass I did. $3.93 for a real patrol Field print collecting kit?? Um. Yeah. It's at home as we speak. Waiting for latent print collection. I know what I'm doing this weekend!

Whoooooooooo are you....who who, who who?

Children of the Corn got nothing on this guy.

This just looks nasty. Good thing they weren't making Spinach pasta. That would REALLY look nasty. Although, then I might have liked it more...I know. It defies explanation.

For an Old School Mix, might I suggest...

100's of uses? Really? Because, I can think of 1. Applying steam to fabrics.

Yes. Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like a collection of washable Pepsi Markers!

My first thought when I saw this was...'how gay.' When I found you had to press its belly to make it speak, it removed all doubt.

I had these! You'd build these things and then wind them up and they'd walk or move around. Very cool.

Head to Head. I was never much good at the Baseball. Football I was better at. Baseball? Not so much.

It rubs the lotion....
OK. This was someone's REAL butterfly kit. These were real butterflies. It was equally creepy and cool.

I had mixed feelings. I kinda really wanted this. But you hang something like this and all of a sudden people look at you all funny.
And after getting some Candy Corn, Michigan Cherries, a bag of Dill Pickle Potato chips..we checked out and headed back to Casa de Todd to get our MAME on Ubuntu on.

And if you're wondering, YES, I did get AdLib running on my Linux laptop (thanks to D-man showing me how to actually USE DosBox)...so there will be a forthcoming collection of 8-bit madness coming your way sometime this winter. Stay tuned.


100 lbs

So. At the doctor's office a couple weeks back I was sitting in the parking garage and starting formulating an idea of documenting my weight loss journey. I need to lose 100lbs. I don't have a time frame for this (I'm not putting any constraints on myself in that regards).

I'm going down the path of using points the Weight Watchers point system.

So I started the writing. I've even thought about going the 'reality TV Confessional Booth' short film approach, too. But I'm not sure who would dig it besides me.

I thought that I would do weekly installments on the writing. But here's the thing....I'm just not feeling it right now.

And I've shelved it for now. It just isn't flowing right now.

And to prove my point, I've attached it. If you feel like you want to wade through it, feel free.

I just don't see myself going back to it right now, so I thought I'd at least release it into the wild.

Peace out.

“What's 100 Pounds?”


Andrew Skaggs

Before we jump in to the meat...

Let me just get this out of the way early on. I know that this probably won't be relevant or mean anything to anyone but me. And that's fine. It's really more of a way for me to collect my thoughts somewhere that isn't on my Blog, in a paper diary or any of that other stuff.

I have to be honest, I'm not really sure how this is going to go. What this will probably wind up being is a way to keep track of thoughts and feelings as I go through my quest to lose 100 pounds.

I envision that I will have a chapter for each week, or each weight milestone, or something along those lines. If it happens that way-cool. If not, that's cool too. This, to me, is meant to be an organic document-growing and adapting along with me as I go through this journey.

And it is going to be a journey with a capital J, buddy. Let me tell you that right now.

I guess I need to just shut the heck up and get on with it, huh?


Andrew Todd Skaggs

October 31, 2007

Chapter 1

Date: 31 October 2007

Weight (My Scale): 299lbs

Weight (Doc's Scale):303lbs

This chapter doesn't start on a Monday like the rest of them probably will. I decided to start this today rather than wait because I'm currently sitting in the Doctor's office waiting room. I'm waiting for a chance to pay my doctor to tell my I'm fat, that I need to lose weight, that I need to exercise more, and I need to change my eating habits.

All of this I know.

And yet, the knowing doesn't really mean crap, does it? I know that carrying 100+ extra pounds on my frame is going to eventually cause my body to revolt and start refusing to do the things I've been taking for granted for 35 years. I know how to eat healthy. I know what exercises to do.

All of this I know.


But is any of that enough to motivate me to lose the weight?

I could easily carve out an existence as one of the tens of thousands of obese persons in our country. And I could be quite pleased doing so. I'd get to eat what I want. I can still find clothes that fit me. Fuggit. Why not?

Because I'm sure somewhere out there is a study that links the number of extra pounds one carries with the amount of time their life is shortened. And let's be honest, at 35, I'm a lot less self-destructive than I was at 25.

And then theres the little matter of my heart. It's already been patched (back when I was 25).I was born with a hole in my heart that never closed. They found it and fixed it before I died. Woohoo! Now I can begin with my new lease on life...change my ways,..eat healthier...right?

It would be great to be able to end the story there. That I started a routine of eating right and exercising daily (then it would be a blog entry).

But that didn't quite happen.

Hell, it didn't happen like that at all. And I'm not so sure the gory details of my post-surgery complications, divorce, dating again, getting remarried and stuffing my face all the while with whatever the heck I wanted to.

At some point I did Atkins (seems like forever ago) and got down to about 270 or so. And it seemed to work. As long as I stuck to it. And hell....all the meat I can eat....cutting back on carbs....dream come true, right? So it would seem. That is until I started missing potatoes and good bread, and the crust on pizzas. You know...the little things that are so full of carbs that you (and by you, I mean me) miss when you're not eating them.

So I stopped that. Convinced that I could control things on my own without it. That I could just watch what I ate and be fine. And for a while it seemed to be working. Like all things, though, when you do something long enough, you start to think you don't need to do it anymore to maintain the results. Like somehow the results are part of you and not something you actively sought.

Fast forward to sometime in the last couple years. I went to the doctor...hit the scales...I weighed 318lbs. According to my body type, my PERFECT weight should be 185. Here's the thing, I know I'm not perfect so I added a few comfort pounds back. So, lets say that I want to get to 200lbs. After all, I wouldn't want to steal ALL the ladies away from Pitt and Clooney.

Shit! That means I'm over 100lbs overweight?!? How in the hell did that happen? OK, OK. I know how it happened, but damn. 100lbs??

That's just nuts, dude.

And that brings us to now.

I've been playing yo-yo with this weight thing ever since. I managed to get it down to 265 last year. And now I'm hovering back on the 300 mark again.

And something has got to give.

That something, apparently, is me.

I just got out of the doctor's office. I spent my 8 minutes with her recounting why I suddenly (this Sunday) realized I needed to get my shit together.

Those reasons include:


Wanting to live to see my daughter grow up and be there when she has kids

Wanting (removed)

Not wanting to die before I get my Academy Award(s)

So how do I feel now? Man, I just don't know how I feel now. I told the doc about the idea for this book and she said, “You should film it!” And I told her if I did that, she'd have to agree to be in the film. She said she would.

So....where to go now with this. I think that writing it down is going to be good to help me sort my shit out, but I also think there's some merit to visuals. Maybe I'll go back to my idea of taking a picture every week and keep a visual record of the weight loss. Then I can put that in the book (in glossy pages in the center). I also want to take pictures of things that weigh around 100lbs. I think it's going to be an eye opener to me when I do that and maybe for one of you out there, too. Alright. Time to face traffic.

And the trick-or-treaters.

Happy Halloween!

It's been three days now since going to the doctor. I haven't told N- that I've lost 5 lbs this week. And I'm pretty sure I haven't told her about the book/short film idea for this either. I don't know why I'm holding off on that. Maybe I want her to notice me and tell me how good I look now. And by 'now' I mean in a month or two when the weight loss is really noticeable.

Halloween wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I ate less at dinner to compensate for the fact that I would be taking in more calories with the candy. It's just too easy to eat that stuff when there's a big bowl of it lying around. I used to think those people that would go into their kitchens and purge all the 'bad' food were crazy. Now I completely understand the logic behind it. There really is something to the whole 'out of sight out of mind' thing, eh?

I told you that I don't know where this whole thing is going. There may only be one entry per weigh-in. Or I could write until my fingers are sore. Who knows?

I also haven't firmed up the idea of if I'm doing a film or just doing some kind of 'reality TV confessional I hate the other people in the Real World house' kind of thing or not. We'll have to see how that all pans out.

I'm sure this is all terribly interesting to you, the casual observer. But are you really that casual at this point? You're a good chapter in to this thing by now. Is it everything you thought it would be?

While we're at it...what DID you think it was going to be? I mean, if I know what you're wanting to get out of this, I'll know what the hell I'm doing.

Or not.

I'm a little nervous about the weekend. That's where the meals are not at a set time and where it's a lot easier to just munch and snack all day. I think I need to just make sure I don't have too much down time. Given all the things I've got to do this weekend, it shouldn't really be an issue.

I'm an activity eater. I don't know if that's an official type or not, but it is for me. Basically I eat for something to do. If I'm watching TV, or surfing the net, I will kill a bag of chips without even thinking twice. A bag of Twizzler Cherry Bites? Please. If they last thirty minutes after the bag is opened, then it's only because I'm eating something else. No joke.

I eat when I'm bored. I eat when I'm stressed. I eat when I'm in a new social situation. I eat at parties. I eat when I'm not getting laid. I eat after getting laid.

You know when I don't eat? When my body tells me its hungry. How friggin' stupid is that? That's WHEN I'm supposed to eat. And that's when I don't. Usually I use the 'didn't have time' cop out.

Bullshit. Who doesn't have time to eat?

This week has been a good week, though. I've been more consistent on when I'm eating, and way more consistent and healthy on my choice of foods (with an occasional backslide here and there). It's basically the way I need to eat from here on out.

At least until I lose the extra 100lbs.

Which won't come soon enough.

Chapter 2

Date: 5 November 2007

Weight (My Scale): 296lbs

There really hasn't been much change since last week. Sure, the scale shows less weight, but have I really made progress?

I think I have. I have been training myself more to eat things that are closer to what I should eat.

This week, and last week too, have been quite the tests for me. Almost every day of the week, people have been going to lunch to places that I love to go and I've always had food in my lunch box (sure, not as tasty as the Pub's fish and chips, but ultimately better for me).

Today was especially hard. I had not packed a lunch this morning, so I was open to going out. But at the zero hour, I remembered that I had a couple of lean cuisine meals in the freezer...


You know, this really is kind of a hokey book. I'm not sure why you would read it. I mean, I know why I'm writing it (mostly)...it's supposed to be some kind of account of where my head is at as I go through this weight loss thing. But why are you reading it?

I guess it goes back to the whole self worth thing. I don't think that this is of any value to you (and obviously you thought it would be or you would not have purchased it (or at the very least, taken the time to download it illegally off of the interweb)).

I was right, by the way. The weekend was my downfall. We had Skyline Chili on Friday night. Taco Bell Saturday afternoon, and Rofini's Pizza Saturday night. Followed by Chinese on Sunday. I was down 5 lbs from my Monday weight on Friday. This past Monday, 2 of those pounds had come back. I really need to watch weekends. Those eating out binges are killers on the program.

“But Todd,” you ask. “What program are you on?”

Glad you asked.

I like to call it the Modified Points Program. What it boils down to is that I'm monitoring the points of the Weight Watchers System but not paying them any money or going to any meetings. I did it before and got down to 265. Then I stopped writing down my points ,thinking I could just keep track of everything in my head. Wrong! Eventually I may start going to the meetings. At some point I think I'll have to. Just for the simple fact that I know I will get to a point where I need to symbolize my commitment to getting rid of the lard. And from what I've seen, where you money goes...so does your commitment.

If you're looking for insight from this book, you better remember that one. Let me hit you with it again.

You won't spend money on something you don't care about. So, if you are going to make a commitment to something, there comes a time when making that commitment with your mouth just isn't enough. You will eventually have to make that commitment with you actions (and your wallet).

Oh...I almost forgot to reiterate another nugget.

Write it down.

If you are counting calories, or points or carbs or whatever-write it down. You can NOT keep track of it in your head. Trust me on this one. Very few people are good enough to deal with the minutia of day to day life AND keeping track of how many calories were in the Bagel from breakfast. It just doesn't work that way.

Speaking of writing stuff down, I need to take a break and go update my spreadsheet. BRB.

9 November 2007

Did I mention that I eat when I'm stressed? Last night's pepperoni pizza and double Italian Hoagie proved that.

Dammit. I knew I was going to do that. From about 2PM on yesterday, I knew I wanted that for dinner.

The key, I think, is to make sure that I don't deny myself the foods I love. If I do that, it's not going to work. I've (unfortunately) proven that.

Chapter 3

Date: 12 November 2007

Weight (my scale):292lbs

Dude. 13lbs down from October 18th. I'm pretty jazzed about that. that's about 2-3 pounds a week. Which, according to the experts is about what you should plan on losing.


Wonder how many of them are big fatties?

OK. This really is a bit boring.

It's not turning out the way I thought it would at all.

I think I thought it would flow like the other stuff I've written. But it's not really going that way.

Which pretty much means one thing.

Time to shelve it for now.



I love my trees. We have about 7 or 8 massively huge old trees in our backyard. In the spring and summer they are bitchin'. I love sitting back on my deck. It feels like you are up in in the trees.

I also love Fall. It's my favorite season. Just nippy enough to not break a sweat outside (and to cool down easily when you do) and not too cold that your snot freezes on your upper lip (dude, I HATE that).

The problem comes when these two things that I really dig come together. It's not a 'you got your chocolate in my peanut butter' kind of moment. Nope. It's more of a 'you like it? Well here's the price you've got to pay.'

Here's kind of what the trees look like in the fall (note the absence of leaves).

Glancing out across the yard from atop the deck, most of the leaves have been wrangled (after about 3 hours of blowing). The little pile in the middle is made up of the unfortunate refugees that got stuck in the pile of twigs.

Ahhh. A virtually leaf free yard. I'm sorry that I don't have a 'before' picture to show you.

9 bags (30Gallon bags, that is) of leaves that had been mulched.

But no. The 9 bags were not enough to contain all of the leaves in my yard. After the bags were full, I did a double take at the amount left and said (well, I'd rather not type what I said), but suffice to say, it wasn't kind.
So I decided to continue my (somewhat lazy) trend from last year of making the far back corner of the yard my impromptu compost pile. To put it in perspective, the area you are looking at is about 8ft. deep, 8 ft. across and that pile comes up about 2 feet. You do the math. All I know is that it's a @#$*load of leaves.

And I would like nothing more than to pile them high in the middle of the yard and let the neighbor kids jump and run and frolic (as I know they wanted to do each time they looked over my fence and said 'Wow. That's a big pile of leaves'). But there's a reason I didn't.

Here are some of the trees, mostly bare.

And here's the reason I didn't let the neighbor kids jump in the pile of leaves. No...not because he's a mean dog (Sammy's a sweetie)....but because of the piles that he's made in the yard already.

Let's see....where did I put that rawhide??

Hello you handsome devil!
And that's about all I got. Hey...I just looked out back. And Mother Nature, in her infinite sense of fair play has given me an opportunity to get a 'before' picture for you afterall.

Looks like I'll be busy blowing again next Saturday. Have a great week!

Failing NaNo - 4 Years and Counting

I looked, Dear Readers, and noted that the last time I saw fit to let the words fall from my brain bucket and onto these virtual pages was o...