I am getting serious about losing weight. I have done a ton of reading on diets and not the hype or the books but actual studies on efficacy of diets, their side effects, their dropout rates and so on. These studies are interesting in that a lot of conventional wisdom is put to rest. Right now, it appears from my research, that a low-carb (as opposed to no-carb) diets are actually the healthiest and have the lowest drop-out rates along with a decent amount of weight loss. So I am working on a plan to modify my diet on a permanent level. I won’t be cutting carbs completely and will be using portion control along with lowering my carb intake. Initially it think I will cut the easiest carbs by dropping sodas and pre-sweetened drinks. So instead of sandwiches at lunch I’ll do something without bread even if means I get the sandwich and toss the bread and drink water or iced tea, drop the pasta with dinner, and so on.
I am also starting walking/running with the wife which in and of itself isn’t an easy thing. I have to get braces because my joints are not happy with this plan but that’s a minor issue overall. The hardest part is getting up to do this before work. In order to run with Michelle I have to drag my arse out of bed at 05:00 and be moving and ready to run by 05:15. This also means she’s getting up earlier as well and neither of us are morning people. All of these things are easily overcome but will take time and dedication. I am optimistic about this and only really worried about my joints.
Monday morning I will take a profile picture, shirtless, and post it here so that I have a visible measurement of my physique as well as some public shame because, trust me, this won’t be a pretty picture. I intend to post a new picture weekly but I am not going to promise myself that because I have too many other things involved in this and don’t want a simple failure to post a picture to make me feel like a failure and give up on the important stuff.
All in all there’s a lot of commitment here and right now it sounds good but I know that Monday morning I won’t want to crawl out from under the covers and go run. I know my limits. But I intend to persevere and actually lose this weight.
It has been a busy little while. Work is busy and fulfilling while maddening and crazy. Family life is getting ramped up to insane with school starting for us again. It’s just been crazy. Since the last time I posted I threw a birthday shindig for myself with Revolt .45, Micah Schnabel, and Austin Lucas on the bill, worked over 100 hours in the two weeks following moving our entire datacenter from one location to another, spent some time laid up in bed, and generally didn’t have time to sit down and collect my thoughts. Right now I am up way too late as my brother fixes my air conditioner, which turned out to be no small feat, which is the first step in remodeling our broken home. I have vowed to stop spending money like a sailor fresh in port and start buckling down, fixing my credit rating, fixing up the house, and generally making life better. There’s a lot to be done. I had tried and failed to simplify my life and that’s back on the table as well but I think it won’t start with physical things as much as it will relationships and focus.
I think Tim Barry says it best at the beginning of this song:
I guess it’s time for some end of summer house cleaning. I have a lot to sort out over the next little while and I may or may not reason it out here. I have some sitting down and talking with some folks to do before I make any final decisions but those are necessary steps. I doubt anyone in my life will be surprised by anything that comes of this. I am too old for a lot of things these days…
I did take almost all of July off of Facebook and now that I am back on I don’t spend even half the time on there that I used to and it feels pretty good. I never did write as much here as I wanted to but that’s how it fell in to place. I also still write for 9B and Comical Musings but not nearly often enough. I have rolled back my own expectations and realized I am not a journalist but rather an opinionator, if you will, and as such I only feel compelled to write when I have strong feelings about something. So my writing isn’t as prolific as I’d like but maybe that’s due to the subject matter and not me. I don’t know but I am not going to fret about it.
I think I am about done for tonight. I am spent but in a good way. It’s time to lay my head on a pillow and slip off in to nothing.
Last night some evil bastard opened fire in a Colorado theater and killed a dozen people while wounding around fifty. These are the numbers from the latest counts and are by no means meant to be authoritative. So this morning when I read about this I immediately checked in on my friends who live close to where this evil was perpetrated. Once I discovered they were alright I started thinking about this random act of evil and my mind immediately went in two different directions, as it is wont to do.
The first direction is that evil exists and it is random. This makes it terrifying and rightfully so but it only wins when we let that initial terror rule our world. This incident appears to the work of one twisted individual and nothing more. The odds of a copycat are non-zero. You put these two together and you might think you should avoid movie theaters altogether for a while but you would be entirely wrong. The chances of copycat acts are slim and the chances that you would be in a theater chosen by a copycat make your statistical chance of being caught up in something like this, zero. As of midnight in Aurora, Colorado your chances of being injured or killed in a theater shooting of this scale are 0.000000199 to 1. Statistically this means there is zero chance at all. Yet you can bet we will see attendance in theaters drop for the next few weeks.
Both sides are likely to make this worse than it already is. The left will be calling for more restrictions on firearms and the right will be incomprehensible about some theory that it’s the NWO. Yes I place Alex Jones firmly in the same camp as those who blame guns for crimes like these. The lovable, huggable Alex Jones has already gone off about this but I won’t disgrace my site by linking his nonsense. I haven’t seen the calls from the left but they tend to sleep later. I bet we’ll see the lunatic fringe calling for gun bans by the end of the day. Both of these reactions are out of fear and both sides will try to use this fear to their advantage instead of trying to show the public that this was the act of one truly evil individual and that we are all really very safe. And we, for the most part. will eat it up like milk from our mother’s breast.
To close out my first train of thought on the fear thread: even with this incident and any copycats we are still living in the safest, healthiest, wealthiest time in human history. This incident doesn’t make you, personally, any less safe at all. Before you react, before you cancel your weekend movie plans, before you let the fear of evil paralyze you stop and think. I implore you to take time and really consider the odds of something like this happening to you. Take the time to really analyze things and then make an informed decision. Don’t let the media narrative hold you in sway. If you really feel scared of something like this then stop and consider your mortality. Take a step back and hug someone you might not have hugged in a while then go on about your business.
As an aside if you post nonsense from either side of this issue in my comments I reserve the right to mock you mercilessly
The second path my brain took me down was relativism. I have a good friend who claims to be a relativist. I love him like a brother but think his worldview is total nonsense. And yes, it’s probably you if you are reading this. There are things in this world that aren’t relative. This was an evil act. Period. Full Stop. It is not a relatively evil act. It is not possibly non-evil in any manner. This is evil. It exists whether we believe in it or not. I think this is where relativism fails completely. You can pontificate on relativism over whiskey all you’d like but when you take a gun and tear gas in to a theater and open fire on innocent people you are objectively evil. Relativism is a nice mental exercise but in reality it just doesn’t hold water. Whilst minor in comparison to my other train of thought it is important. Most days this philosophy merely annoys me but today just thinking about it pissed me right off.
Now I am not blaming relativism for this incident. I do suspect that somewhere it played a role because of how the idea has permeated our society but I don’t think it was a conscious decision based on relativism. The “what is true for you is true” worldview necessarily begins by negating the social contract. Once you place yourself at the center of the universe then anything becomes permissible. As a relativist you may decide that you want to work for the betterment of humanity, and to be fair my friend who is a relativist is a great person, but it’s your decision and there is no social contract to guide your path. Again I am not saying that relativism is the cause of this man’s evil actions but rather that it came up in my thoughts and it pissed me off. It pisses me off because according to moral relativism this man’s actions could possibly be considered good and if not good then at least right for him. I am sorry to say but that a complete and utter truckload of bullshit. What happened last night, in the theater in Aurora, CO, was the work of an evil man. A man who acted objectively evil. I know my arguments are all that deep at the moment and frankly I don’t care. Any philosophical thought process that allows this man to be anything but wrong must be wrong. I fully intend to mock anyone that says differently.
After writing this I have come to realize that I were posting about this on FB it wouldn’t have been this long nor this thought out. Ok the relativism stuff isn’t all that will thought but I wouldn’t have posted those thoughts at all on FB so I am more open here even though I know this getting linked on FB. I also wouldn’t threaten to mock people. I don’t know whether or not this is a good thing but it is clear to me that I am more open here than I am on FB.
We got us a really gully-washer happenin’ right now here in Houston. Today’s failed attempt to get to work reminded me of a couple of things that I haven’t thought of in a long time. The first thing is: if you don’t know how to drive on wet roads then don’t leave your house when it rains. I am serious about this. Watching a Smart Car throw up a wall of water while driving through a lane I wouldn’t have gone through at the posted speed and then swerve in to the lane my F-150 was occupying at the time made me realize that some people don’t have the good sense that God gave a box of hair. Furthermore if you don’t understand how to negotiate high water then listen to a weather report before you drive when it’s been raining for days. Not a single freeway was under an hour and half to get to downtown this morning, I-10 was two full hours, due to high water. With all of this high water people are still big enough morons to drive right in it. Here’s a clue: if the water is up to the doors on a stalled 18-wheeler then you Prius isn’t going to make it through either!
I am trying to be positive about life in general but the sheer amount of idiots that I had to deal with this morning has made me a bit grumpy. Sometimes the collective stupidity is enough to still surprise me. Anyway it’s time for me to log in to the VPN and officially start my day and work from home. I’ll probably get more done than I would have at the office but that’s neither here nor there. I suppose I am grateful for the idiocy this morning because otherwise I would probably still be negotiating the weather and becoming even more grumpy.
So my oldest two kids are volunteering at a church say camp this week. I am kind of proud of them for stepping up and doing even though it meant missing some things that they really wanted to. It shows some maturity that hopefully will filter down to things like follow simple instructions. While I could meander over that topic for quite a while what has piqued my interest is the rules they have to follow and the things they were taught in “training”. They are only allowed to “hug” the campers in two specific ways, one being a one armed sort of hug action and the other being an “A” hug where they cross their wrists with their arms on the shoulders of the camper but don’t get any closer than the camper being at the farthest reaches of their arms. Tickling is right out, so is patting anyone on the head, or carrying anyone. The rules even apply to their interactions with their own siblings! What a load of CYA BS!
They are “training” them to avoid anything that might be construed as “sexual” contact. You can argue that this is a good thing but if you do I’ll just call you a moron. The chance of any child being molested is so low that it’s complete unreasonable to be afraid of it to being with and the incidents of children molesting other children are so rare that it makes these rules completely laughable. These rules are unnecessary and only contribute to the atmosphere of fear that permeates our society. Every day I get more and more pissed off about our societal fears and the constant overreaction to them, especially by other parents. Simply put we are living in the healthiest, most prosperous, safest era in the whole of human history and yet we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear! The media and the government certainly aren’t helping matters. It seems the only way to pull yourself out of the mire and rise above the fear is take the time to actually look in to the things in which you are supposed to be afraid and frankly not enough people are willing to go even that far.
The end result of this is that a fourteen year old girl can’t give an eight year old a hug at a church camp! It’s completely ridiculous and if you try and speak out, most of the time, all you’ll get is an emotional response that has no basis in reality. Reality doesn’t matter to a mother who thinks she is doing best by her child. The problem is that children are being taught to fear. They fear every man they say that doesn’t have a woman with them. It’s frankly just sick. These children, boys and girls alike, will grow up not trusting anyone and society will be worse off for it but can you get anyone beyond a small subset of parents to listen? It’s not likely.
This post isn’t all that coherent because I am typing it whilst angry. No I am not going to give citations because I am sick and tired of people not looking stuff up for themselves. I will respond mockingly to any comments that are not based on actual statistics. This is my rant, my vent, and I reserve the right to deride anyone who doesn’t bother actually looking the numbers if they want to disagree with me. No it’s not fair and I really don’t give a crap!