Sunday, May 31, 2009

How Much a Life?

Remember that guy who got killed at Wal*Mart on Black Friday when customers surged the gate and crushed the guy? He was 6' tall, 270 pounds. This wasn't some little guy like me.

OSHA's found Wal*Mart liable and is fining them $7,000. (That's OSHA's largest allowable fine*.) MSNBC says that Wal*Mart will make that much in 18 seconds. Probably took longer for the guy to die.

I think Wal*Mart should be fined the entire amount of profit that Wal*Mart made at that Long Island store on Good Friday.

(*There's some country... Norway? Sweden? Where a speeding ticket's fee is dependent on how many money you make, so that it's the same kind of relative pain no matter how much you make. OSHA needs to be able to levy fines in the same way.)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pretty Cool Video

from Engadget

Magic Act

I was alternatively thinking of calling this "California Screaming" - as of today, Zillow puts the value of our former home in California at exactly $1,000 more than when we purchased it in August 2003.   (As we offered them $4,500 less than they were asking.)

I know this isn't really a magic act, because if you've heard our story, this was a God-thing - our getting out when we did.  But in some ways, this still disgusts me.  I can't wrap my mind around how money can materialize out of thin air and disappear just as quick.  (When we sold, we had a check large enough to pay for a third of this house in cash and pay off all of our credit cards and both cars.)

I feel bad for the single mom school teacher who financed the entire purchase.  I'm worried she's going to walk away from it and let it foreclose, that poor little house we worked so hard to make nice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The cats keep sabotaging my Wii Fit use. They will step on the board upsetting the balance, they'll brush up against me messing up my balance, or when I'm doing events where my head is close to the ground, the cats will come by and either block my view of the TV or rub their tails in my face.

Wii 45 - 5/24 - 28.70, 189.4, 33, 56/270
Wii 46 - 5/25 - 28.94, 190.9, 32, 72/30
Wii 47 - 5/26 - 28.83, 190.3, 25, 30/50
Wii 48 - 5/27 - 28.63, 188.9, 29, 50/70

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Darn it all, I should have warn a towel under my hat today. I worked out in the yard a lot today and now my neck is burned.

Wii 43 (yesterday)

28.7 BMI, 189.4 pounds
Wii Fit Age: 35
16 minutes total, don't recall which exercises. Didn't do anything else, too busy.

Wii 44

28.7, 189.4 (yep, no change)
Wii Fit Age: 25
30 minutes total (did all the yoga exercises), 30 minutes step (3,401 steps)
5 hours working in yard (weeding, removing a big stump, minor construction in the garage, stuff like that.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Mentalist and The Interrupting Crow

The show has kinda grown on me, but don't get why the guy's got such a death wish. Maybe he doesn't care because his wife and daughter are already dead? We have like most of the season on DVR. Ditto a few other shows like Dollhouse where we've only watched three episodes so far, but have the rest of the season and hear it gets better. And Castle where we've only seen two so far. Weird to watch old commercials, though. Well, we mostly skip commercials, of course.

Oh, we think a crow clubbed something to death on our roof at 6:30 am. Wasted an hour trying to look in the attic only to conclude that nothing was up there or had been. Finally went outside to see the massive winged killing machine still perched at the peak right above where our headboard is, working at a major bone probably as big as any in my hand. (The eastern side of the roof is only visible by climbing a tall tree or Google Maps' satellite view. Wouldn't be surprised if there was a dead caribou up there.)

Wii 42

BMI - 28.67; 189.2 pounds
Wii Fit Age: 44 (stupid walking test again)
10 yoga, 10 strength, 30 minutes free step (3,455), 10 minutes walking and 30 minutes exercise bike

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is Hell Bad?

Ok, so this might concern some people, but hear me out.

Hell wasn't designed for humans. It was designed for Satan. By God. But God is good. And God loves us and wants the best for us, even when we turn our backs on Him (though granted, He doesn't just make our life all coffee and chocolate). And Satan is often depicted as happy in hell, especially when tormenting humans. So maybe hell isn't a bad place if you happen to be a disgraced angel? Just a thought. Not claiming it makes sense.

Wii 41

BMI - 28.87; 190.5 pounds
Wii Fit Age: 43 (stupid walking test)
10 balance, 10 yoga, 9 strength training, a five minute jog and 30 minutes free step. Also 15 minutes walking (1 mile) and 60 minutes on the exercise bike.


Testing a new commenting system to replace blogger's.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is a guilty pleasure of mine.  Well, mostly just Bryan Cranston.  I find myself skipping scenes tonight that he's not in.  But, finally a shark-jumping cliche... trying to do something really important and his wife goes into labor.  Really?  How irritatingly pedestrian. 

Wii 40

BMI -28.8, 190.0 pounds, Wii Fit Age 32
10 yoga, 10 strength, 10 balance, 2x3 minute jogs, 30 minutes free step (3,749 steps)
15 minutes walking (1 mile) and 30 minutes exercise bike

Random interesting link: What is the largest organism? (Tangentially related, I guess, to something else I've been watching - History Channel's "Life After People")

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sun and Rain

Watching the finale of "Scrubs" - well, apparently now only the season finale now.  It's ok.  I guess there's still some time.

The sun was brilliant at lunchtime today.  Walked extra. 

By the drive home, it was raining pretty decent.  The iPod was spot on and played "All Will Be Forgotten" by Holly Brook and "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles.  I had the seat lowered and back, I wished I had abaseball cap to complete the chill.

Ok, Scrubs got better.  Makes you wonder why they are doing another season.  (Well, I know why, but almost seems like they shouldn't have.)

Wii 39

BMI - 28.9; 190.7 pounds; Wii Fit Age 30
10 yoga, 10 strength, 30 minutes free-step (3,867 steps)
Did about 45 minutes of walking and 40 minutes on the exercise bike.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Today actually turned out busier that I expected, but it was a good day.  I got to spend quite a bit of quality time with Ben, but not so much with Rachel.  I think I need to find some time for some 1:1 time with Rachel, just not sure when.  Wonder if it would help with her defiance, versus being an exercise in frustration.

Beautiful weather today.  I had been missing L.A. going into the weekend, but by today I was loving how beautiful it was. 

Wii 38

BMI - 29.04, 191.6... yeah, birthday party killed me.  Don't expect tomorrow's weigh-in to be any better, but maybe the week at work will help me get back on track.  (Most of the cake and ice cream are gone and we unloaded some other leftovers at church today.)   Wii Fit Age was 34.

Six minutes yoga, 4 minutes strength training, 10 minutes aerobics, plus 10 minutes free run (1.963 miles, 1 mile at 5:15) and 30 minutes free walk (3,660 steps). 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wii 37

I know my weight is gonna be bad tomorrow.

So, today... 28.8 BMI, 190.0 pounds.  Wii Fit age of 32.

10 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of free run, 30 minutes of free walk.  I had to make an unplanned stop in the middle of the run which gave me a break.  That might have been what allowed me to do 1.814 miles in 10 minutes.  Before the stop, I did run a mile in 5:55.  I also did 15 minutes on the exercise bike and an hour and a half in the yard with the lawnmower and weedwhacker.

Wii 36

So they they 30 days to a habit.  But it's kind of like 36 days to almost bored.  I want some new games.

Anyhow, today...  28.7 BMI, 189.2 pounds.  Wii Fit Age of 35.  I'm also a little bit annoyed at the Wii for this... I've spent the past 6 or 7 years not entirely sure of my actual age and the danged machine is now telling me every day.

I did 10 minutes of yoga, only 6 minutes of strength training and only 4 minutes of balance training.  I did do 10 minutes of free running.  I thought I did pretty good.  I did a mile in less than seven minutes and ended up doing a total of 1.540 miles.  And then it showed the scores and I placed second.  Apparently my four-year-old daughter has already done free run and did 1.737 miles. 

I also did 30 minutes on free step for 3,599 steps.

I also rode the exercise bike this morning and again tonight for a total of an hour and walked a mile before work and a mile at lunch. 

Hopefully that combats the pizza and brownies for dinner. 

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Walk FTW

This afternoon, I wanted Starbucks. Really wanted coffee, wanted to get out of the house, had a screamy baby and the car with the baby car seat in it was not around. So, I thought I'd put the baby in the stroller and walk. put that at 3.1 miles round trip with an extra errand thrown in.  I found a website that lists the Non-Fat Marble Mocha Macchiato Grande at 400(!!) calories.  But, the mapping website put my walk at 442 calories.  Walk For-The-Win.  Barely.

Was also a nice time with Ben.  He was laughing and chattering the whole time the stroller was in motion, and we spent a long time at Starbucks where he ate Puffs and Goldfish Grahams while I drank my coffee.  There were two Tacoma Police Officers next to us the entire time.  Hopefully that's not too strong an imprint.  If he becomes a cop, it all started here. It was a really nice use of several hours of such a beautiful afternoon.  Guess I need to take Ben on more walks since he seemed to enjoy it so much.

Oh, the feds seized my dad's bank yesterday (same as Washington Mutual - they didn't think it had the liquidity necessary) and sold it off to a competitor.  One that already has branches in all the same locations so dad thinks they'll close all the branches and fire all the employees.  He's pretty bummed (he had invested a lot and on paper, made and lost a real lot) but knows God will provide.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Getting the Band Back Together

I don't know why, but as I was sitting at dinner, I was struck with inspiration. If I were musical, I'd want to start a band and I'd call it "Store Brand." Our musical style? Covers, of course. (Yeah, I think I'm pretty clever.)

Fractional Ponies

So my almost-five-year-old is asking for a pony. Like any good father, I quickly run to another room, curl up in a ball and begin sobbing.

It's the pony request. And so young. Like fathers everywhere, I know my precious little one hasn't thought of the important pony-related issues like zoning, storage, maintenance, supplies and that when the eighty-pound Barkley went to a new home, I pledged my role as scooper of massive poops in the backyard was over. (Scary thought... What if HP sold ponies? The pony would have a lot of features you'd never use, but saddles and carts wouldn't be included. And don't get me started at how confusing it would be at FeedMax or FeedDepot trying to figure out which carrot and sugar-cube models would work with your pony - and the prices... *shudder*). Anyhow, I digress.

But, seriously, I had an idea. The medium-wealthy have NetJets (a Warren Buffet company) which is like timeshare for planes - your annual fee gets you so many flying hours on a staffed jet. Fee also goes to maintenance of the fleet.

Some farmer needs to create NetPonies. Fractional pony ownership for parents with dispensable income and no common sense. Parents who want to indulge their little girl without killing all the grass in their backyards.

Who's with me? I just need some seed and feed money to get started.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Poor TV Network

Lori posted this recently, but I thought I'd repost.

Better Off Ted is quickly replacing 30 Rock as my favorite show with possibly a higher per-hour laugh rate. Hmmm... I just realized my favorite half hour comedies both make fun of GE. Who knew making fun of a major corporation not named Wal*Mart could be so funny?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Let's All Go to the Movies

Rachel created a movie theater in the dining room this afternoon.  Lori posted about it on our other blog, but it was so amusing that I wanted to share it further.


I joined a working group the other day and they set down a groundrule that I really liked.  I'm going to change it because I like visual pictures, but hopefully not change the meaning at all.

Let's say you have an idea.  It's like a hippo made of Play-doh.  When you're ready to share, you place it on the table, you step back and take your hands off of it.  The other members of the group alo now own it.  If they touch it, thier fingerprints will also appear in the clay -- you must really accept that this is no longer yours.  If you're not yet ready to share it, keep it away from the table.

What's interesting in is is also what's not said.  You really need to make sure that you have enough definition (communication, clarity, supporting detail) in your clay hippo to make sure the rest of the team understands it's a hippo.  Otherwise, they might suggest adding big ears, tusks and a trunk.  Or suggest the color is great, but that it ought to be a duffel bag.

Even more so, the whole idea that this is teamwork.  Even if they pick it up, look it all over and announce that it's a fine hippo, again, their fingerprints are on it.  This isn't a solo effort.  Even a fully developed idea is going to be a group contribution, so don't think only your fingerprints are going to be on it.

And when it's finally presented to others, someone else might be the one showing it off. 

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sneaky Little Mouse

What did Rachel do tonight after she was supposed to be in bed that had Lori and I laughing hysterically for quite some time?  You'll have to flip over to my other blog to read on...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Overheard at Small Group

General discussion about whether Woodstock's gender was ever identified in Peanuts.  One thought Woodstock was a boy, another thought it had never been declared.

From the kitchen -
"Woodstock is a boy."
From the living room -
"I'm guessing he's checked Wikipedia.  Woodstock is a boy."
"Way to have my back!" (they had said it had never been declared)
From the kitchen - 
"Well, it is Wikipedia.  I can make Woodstock a girl."