Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Lawn Mower

Someone passed this on to me.....may you be enlightened too! It explains a lot to me!

The Broken Mower

When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed.

Somehow I always had something else to take care of first, the truck, the car, playing golf - always something more important to me.

Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house.

I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. I said, "When you finish cutting the grass, you might as well sweep the driveway!"

The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.

Moral to this story: Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is the husband.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chris' Graduation

My son Chris graduated last night in a 3 hour ceremony. I was so proud of him! Misty eyed in fact. My brother Rick and his wife Camille flew out from New Jersey to attend, my father and his girlfriend were supposed to come too but he was too sick. Debby's (the X) parents attended as well. Below are several pictures of the graduate and the families. Click on any of the pictures for a much larger version.

Left to right; Grandpa, myself, Chris, Debby, and Grandma

Grandpa Chris, and Grandma

Danielle, me, Chris, Debby, and Scott

Camille, me, Danielle, Chris, Scott, and Rick

Thursday, May 17, 2007

8 Weeks on the "Diet or Die!" Diet

I have been on my diet and exercise plan for 8 weeks as of today. I have lost 26 pounds so far!

I am exercising daily, most days twice. I do a workout on the exercise bike when I arrive home after work, and then a minimum of half that time 90 minutes or so after dinner. Some days I do the full workout twice. My full workout is up to 40 minutes right now, I could barely do 10 when I started.

It's been rough but I am sticking to it. It is not easy! But, it needs to be done.

I have become quite adept at cooking healthy meals and am staying within the constraints of my food plan which is

1600 calories a day (2000 on Sunday!)
60 grams max each meal of carbohydrates
2 snacks - max of 15 grams of carbohydrates
low fat
low sodium
NO caffeine (sob!)

Don't get me wrong, I have some excellent dinners, such as last night. I took two high-fiber low carbohydrate flat breads, half a pound of 92% lean ground beef, shredded lettuce, thinly sliced vine-ripened tomato, fat free Miracle Whip, and two slices of fat free cheese. I divided the meat in half, pressed out to very thin burgers, grilled them with the cheese melted on top, and I had two most awesome cheeseburger roll-ups for dinner.

Another good roll-up is to replace the meat and cheese of the above concoction and replace it with 8 slices of turkey bacon, 4 for each roll-up. It's like a BLT and most delicious! It MUST be Louis Rich (now sold by Oscar Mayer) turkey bacon, as all other brands I have tried have been like eating (or what I envision would be like) thin strips of leather!

Over the weekend I had a New York Strip Steak, with an ear of corn on the cob, and a nice heaping salad. It is just a lot more work in preparation and cost, to eat better. And, I need to be home to get this type of good food, it is just too much work to deal with this when eating out, though if I do I usually stick to steak and salad.

I usually spice the meats with dry rubs, usually somewhat spicy ones, even the turkey bacon gets a light sprinkling of Cajun Spice or Spicy Barbecue Red Monkey brand seasoning. The Steaks, a Montreal dry spice is usually used.

I had my last class yesterday of Diabetes Self Management, and overall it was an excellent investment in time to take this course. I learned so much about diabetes, and what I can and can't do to control it. It was very good.

We learned things like diabetes cannot be cured, there's better than a 50% chance anyone with it will end up on insulin shots, There's virtually a 100% chance that you will need oral medications, but, you can slide the amount of meds, when you have to use insulin, and any health problems and such to the right by taking better care of yourself.

Stress, unfortunately is bad for diabetes, so, I have the stress here at work, stress of some family issues, and the stress of having diabetes....but....I am trying to deal with it the best that I can by maintaining a positive attitude and realizing stressing out over things I can't change directly is not a good thing to do. Most of the times this works OK for me.....most times.

Most days I feel better overall then I did two months ago...some days I feel just as bad, like today, a rare day over the past week where I felt pretty good, where I feel pretty bad...but...I envision that as I lose more weight, I will feel better more often.

SO.....the adventure continues.....and...I will keep losing weight and eating healthy!

Humor - A Trip to the Welfare Office

A guy walked into the local welfare office to pick up his check. He marched straight up to the counter and loudly stated, " Hi. You know, I just HATE drawing welfare. I'd really rather have a job."

The social worker behind the counter said, "Your timing is excellent. We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur and bodyguard for his beautiful daughter. You'll have to drive around in his Mercedes, and he'll supply all of your clothes. Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You'll be expected to escort the daughter on her overseas holiday trips and you will have to satisfy her sexual urges. You'll be provided a two-bedroom apartment above the garage. The salary is $200,000 a year."

The guy, wide-eyed, said, " You're pulling my leg!!!"

The social worker said, " Yeah, well . . you started it."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day (and the day before!)

Rain would not stop me, hence the exercise bike it is weather independent! I have to keep exercising as it is one of the best ways to keep my blood sugar down; yesterday I did two 30 minute/6 mile sessions on the exercise bike and spent 2 hours cleaning out the garage. I just did my second session on the bike, plus I also did some other cleaning today. That at least keeps my lunch and evening blood sugars within the acceptable diabetic range, but, my morning sugar is still always high, so, it is back to the doctor as soon as we get the medical cards. More meds will be forthcoming. The visual vertigo is almost completely gone, though I am still having some dizziness it is nowhere as bad as it was.

Dinner was great, the steaks grilled to perfection, the kids tearing through them like the Raptor feeding scene in Jurassic Park! I also made sauteed mushrooms and onions to have with the steaks, a nice salad, and fresh locally grown corn on the cob.

This 1600 calorie a day diet is hard to deal with, but, Sundays I am allowed 2000, so, I feel like I ate like a pig, though before these health issues hit I was doing 2000 calories just for dinner. This coming Thursday makes 8 weeks I have been dieting and exercising.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday's Delayed Random Rambling

I wrote the first draft of this post Monday May 4th, and today, Wednesday, I am spending my lunch break finishing it up!

And I never finished it! It is now Friday at Lunch and I am finally done!

Yes, it's another one of those posts, friends, family, and others, when I have not posted in a bit and then lump a bunch of things together that can span hours, days, or weeks.

I had the kids from Wednesday though Sunday as the X was out of town in Philadelphia (I still can't believe she did not go to Pat's King of Steaks here for an authentic Philly cheese steak at Pat's where it all started!

It was an enjoyable 5 days with the kids and all extra time as this was supposed to be the X's weekend.

Friday, when I got home from work, the Digital Entertainment PC had arrived, I resisted temptation long enough to ride the exercise bike for 30 minutes, then I unpacked it.

I removed my PC tower case from the entertainment system and placed that on the dinning room table and cracked the new PC so I could install the 1 GB module bringing the RAM up to 1.5 GB. Being the geek I am, I yelled for the kids so all could peer into the case and see what it looked like. I then installed it into the entertainment system, powered it up, and synced the RF keyboard.

The system came up, I entered the WEP key for my wireless network, and I was on the Internet. Total time from opening box to functional system, just under 2 hours. Considering this is a factory refurbished model I could not be more pleased! Saving over $200 from a new unit, this was in perfect shape, cosmetically not a scratch or ding or any imperfection on it!

As the kids were around and wanted to watch some TV, and as it was SciFi Friday, I stopped working on the system, though I did spend a coupe of hours from 11PM-1PM tweaking things. It will be days until it is the way I want it to be.

I arose around 8AM, played around on the new PC for a bit, and started my exercise bike ride. Near the end Mom (X's Mom) called to see when I would be down to work on her PC, told her after I finished exercising and got kids up. I finished, cooled off, and let Scott and Danielle know, who were both up now, that we would be leaving in 30 minutes or so. I had both kids strip their beds and take them downstairs, and left their sheets soaking int he wash. I got cleaned up and we headed out with Scott driving.

This was to be Scott's longest solo drive with me yet as it is a good 20-25 minute ride to Mom and Dad's. He drove most excellently and I commented on this fact to him in front of his grandparents.

While I started work on the computer the kids headed off to the school yard across the street where they have plenty of things to play on including this huge wooden fort like structure.

They were back in about an hour and Mom made them some sandwiches and we chatted a bit. I was due for some carbs so I had a few handfuls of trail mix. It took about two hours to fix the PC which evidently did not like a different version of McAfee security software being installed over an expired version with more features than the new version. This screwed up the McAfee software and trashed the Netzero Internet connection software and I ended up having to take both pieces off and reinstalling them to get it all working again.

This done, we headed out with Scott once again behind the wheel of my Mustang. Instead of heading directly to my house we stopped first at Family Video to rent some videos (they had no games the kids wanted) and Scott wanted French Fries as his treat since he had opted out of the apple pie that grandma offered. I got him a large size, made him give a few to his sister and I enjoyed a few myself.

Heading out of the parking lot, Scott, whose weak area is parking lots, drove across the left lane of the entrance narrowly cutting of someone even though I had reminded him of the fact to stay to the right. We proceeded back to my house stopping at Forest Hills Foods to pick up some Delmonico steaks, corn on the cob, and salad greens for dinner. Scott also almost hit a vehicle in this parking lot too. Other than that, for the log distance driving he drove incredibly well.

I spent the next few hours deep-cleaning my basement office which has not been used in almost a year and swapping the various loads of wash to take care of Scott and Danielle's beds (six in all with the pillows!). Back to the issue of my home office, picture a shot of the inside of the Munsters house as to how much dust and cobwebs were in there. In addition to that the room has been used as a dumping ground for anything we did not have a place to put, so, all of that had to be moved before cleaning could begin. I vacuumed everything including all shelves, walls, floors, book tops, etc and my desk which took almost an hour to clear off.

The room, now clean within an inch of it's life, the computer could be connected which it soon was and I made it sure it worked. I then proceeded to relax and watch some TV with assorted kids and then it was time to make dinner.

The Delmonico steals were seasoned yet again with that Montreal Steak seasoning (except Scott who likes his plain) and on Chris's and mine i added some Cajun seasoning and Red Monkey BBQ Spice powder. The steaks were grilled to perfection and served with a nice salad and corn on the cob.

Chris was heading out with friends around 8PM and Scott, Danielle, and I watched Flushed Away which turned out to be most amusing.

Scott and Danielle were up before me at 8:30, and I spent a bit of time starting to organize some of the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. I called down to them quietly as not to wake their brother asking if anyone wanted to accompany me to Supercuts where I was going to get a haircut. After that I would take them to the McDonald's for breakfast. Scott declined, but Danielle accepted and we headed out, though I found out Supercuts did not open until 10AM on Sunday. We headed off to McDonald's where I had a single breakfast burrito and Danielle her usual Bacon, Egg, and Cheese bagel and a Cinnamon roll afterwards. On the trip back we stopped at Forest Hills Foods for a couple of items I needed. I dropped her at my house and walked into Supercuts right as they were changing the sign from closed to open. Good thing too because right on my heels walked another gentleman, and as I was sitting in the chair getting my hair cut, the stylist was interrupted by call-ins and walk-ins wanting hair cuts. By the time I was paying the wait was up to two hours, so, I was happy I got there when I did.

I went back home and Danielle and I spent several hours working in the kitchen cleaning out and organizing drawers and cabinets and removing old food from the fridge. Scott's friend Taylor showed up and around 1PM we all watched Eragon. Taylor left around 4PM. I enjoyed this though Chris left during the first 20 minutes and Scott remarked it could have been a bit shorter. After Taylor was picked up around 4 I took the kids to Taco Bell stopping at CompUSA which is in it's last week of being open. Not much there but I did pick up the King Kong PC game for $9 and change.

I watched the kids eat Taco Bell, then we headed back to my house after yet another stop over at Forest Hills Foods. The kids sat in the car while I ran in to grab what i needed. I began making my dinner (Turkey bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato rollups on that flat bread i have been using.

The X arrived and we watched Supernatural while I ate. Chris and Scott headed back to her house. She and Danielle left around 7PM, I watched some TV, did a half workout on the exercise bike, showered, and hit the hay. I have, for the past week or so been having a lot of trouble falling asleep. i was please to fall asleep quite quickly last night.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

South of the Border Pasta

Dreamfield Foods, the place I get my low carb absorption pasta, is having a contest. Here's the recipe I submitted. For those not watching their fat and calories substitute 1/3 cup of heavy cream for the 1/2 cup skim milk.

ENJOY!!! If you try this let me know what you think!

South of the Border Pasta - Serves Four

8 ounces Dreamfield pasta (Penne or Rotini)
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast (cut tenders style)
1 tbsp packaged taco seasoning
1 tsp packaged Cajun seasoning or chili powder
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup skim milk
juice of 2 key limes or half a lime
dash of pepper
4 ounces Chipotle Cheddar
(optional - Fat Free sour cream served on the side)

In a ziploc plastic bag combine chicken, olive oil, taco and Cajun seasonings and lime juice. Marinate in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours

Cook marinated chicken in a covered frying pan under low-medium heat 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cool, shred chicken and return to pan with chicken broth, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

While chicken is simmering prepare pasta to package directions (minus 2 minutes), drain, and return to pot. Add chicken and broth, and skim milk. Add dash of freshly ground black pepper, cover and simmer under very low heat for two minutes or until liquid has thickened. Top with the cheddar cheese and if desired serve with fat free sour cream on the side for topping.

It never fails

I have my weekend all planned out, and I get a call from Mom (The X's Mom) about major PC issues at Casa Da Mom, so, Danielle and I will be headed down there Staurday. I have so much stuff stacked up to do Saturday!!!!

Links of the Day!

Here are some links, the first from the Dept. Of Energy; everything you wanted to know about petroleum and gas prices but were afraid to ask! Useful to judge when a price hike is coming your way.


Lifehacker recommends the software downloads and web sites that actually save time. Some very interesting and often free software available here.


Need a total PC Repair system on a USB Drive - GO HERE