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A thoroughly unmoving entry

Saturday, January 19, 2013

You know, as opposed to a video blog where at least my mouth is moving? I tried rambling into the webcam embedded in this laptop, which I've used just a handful of time in the 9 months I've had this machine, and kept running out of steam. Either I bored myself, or got hyperaware of my funky speech patterns, or just had awkward silences, or a host of other maladies that just make for not good viewing. So I didn't upload either of those efforts. Eventually, I'll capture something worth sharing. Might take another 9 months, as I'm not in any particular hurry.

Second day of drinking 8 cups of water, and tracking absolutely everything I eat. The water isn't too difficult, as all it really takes is to think about it and make sure to sneak an extra cup here and there where you wouldn't have if you weren't thinking about it. I'm sure, eventually, those extra cups could become the norm, but for now, trying to put together a 4 day streak. The tracking is a bit odd, as I felt like I overate moderately yesterday, and just cracked the bottom of the calorie range indicated by the tracker. Not sure if that's a function of the tracker being set to faulty coordinates (I don't recall ever having tweaked the calorie goals), or a fault in accurate tracking, as it's something I never do, and am attempting for BLC purposes only. Annoying have to add every little bit. Annoying to see what every little bit entails, which, I suppose, is the point. Stop eating an annoying amount, right? Kind of felt like an older sibling telling a youngun to stop hitting themselves when they were controlling the kid's arm. I refuse to answer whether I ever did that to my little brother.

Got another streak going, a whole two days on which I've run a quarter mile for the point of running a quarter mile. Did so as part of a mile wog, yesterday's time was 13:45 for 7:5 walk to jog ratio. Was going to try for half and half, a quarter mile of each at a time, but the quarter mile job isn't my favorite thing to do, let's just put it that way. Today's time, which ended up 8:4 walk/run ratio, was 15:02, partly fueled by a slower walking crowd on the oval, partly fueled by my going out there after using the elliptical, as opposed to before, like I did on Friday. Sad thing is, going slower won't help me increase the distance; the motion, while running for its own sake, just feels wrong to me. Might just be a complete and utter lack of technique; I was watching the reflection in the glass surrounding the track wondering if I was striding too upright, or if "too upright" was even a thing in running. Obviously, I know nothing about running.

So, having rambled on in a manner that's proven the title true, I shall end now. And prepare myself for Red Wings hockey. One reason to be glad to be back in Michigan, being able to watch the Wings on TV, without relying on shady, perhaps illegal, less than great quality internet streams. LGRW!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 1/22/2013 3:24PM

    Awesome job on the streaks!!!!

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EJRANVILLE 1/20/2013 10:05AM

    I once thought my calorie range was too high and discovered (to my dismay) that when I first signed up for Spark I accidentally selected the 'maintenance' mode, not the 'weight loss' mode. Sadly the only way to fix this was to blow out all my entries and start over (it keeps you favorite foods, just not the logs).

You might also try going to your start page and selecting 'change goal' under the calorie range or weight loss range. That will adjust your calorie range for sure.

Welcome back to the Mitten. Where are you now?

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JUDITHANNIE 1/20/2013 7:54AM

    welcome back to Michigan...

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ALBATROSS925 1/20/2013 3:19AM

    I know nothing about running and attempt it sometimes too! I usually use the couch to 5k or zombies, run app --at least they keep me entertained!

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1CRAZYDOG 1/19/2013 9:55PM

    Hang in there!

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ANDY_54 1/19/2013 8:05PM

    I think your running is great! It's actually what I would call the galloway system (as in Jeff galloway) he ascertains that you really should do a combo of walk and run. Lots of runners do that (me, too)--saves on joints and energy and allows you to finish pretty strong as opposed to being totally wacked out. So wogging is good!

Have no idea about the tracker--have not tracked all week so don't know if there is a glitch in the system somewhere. Mayeb you eat less than you think you do?

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RIVERNANNA 1/19/2013 7:06PM

    Congrats on trying to add some running to you walk. Maybe when you start running for longer periods you will feel that "runner's high".

You should have someone look at your form when you are running. You may be doing fine, or you may need to change someting a bit. Running was natural to me, but my grandaughter used to look like she was dragging her body along, or running with heavy weights on her legs. She loved playing softball but was awful at running the bases. Her parents worked with her and she is a better runner, still working on her form, but a better runner than she was. emoticon

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A partial eclipse of the lamb

Friday, January 18, 2013

BLC21 dictates doing something I havenít managed before this weekend, so Iíll try to drink 8 glasses of water for the next four days. Wish my bladder luck. It also dictates 20 minutes of cardio a day (easy enough), interacting with other member of my team (easy enough) and tracking every bit of food that passes betwixt my lipst. Thatíll be a challenge. Maybe I should have just killed two birds with one stone trying to do that for the first phase, instead.

Boring weekend ahead, at least in terms of external plans. Fortunately, I can be entirely entertained by watching games on TV, and the NHL comes back to life tomorrow. Only too bad that I donít get CBC, wish I could catch some Hockey Night in Canada. In between periods of the Red Wings game, that is. Havenít a clue what to expect from the truncated season, but glad to have that, at least.

In the get to know me memes thing I did last week, I mentioned shepherding experience, but forgot to follow up on Kristinaís (KMM1123) request for that story. Itís not particularly exciting, I just happened to work in a lab one summer in undergrad for a boss who had a farm, and a flock of sheep. Every once in a while, I got to go out there and do farm stuff. The day we baled hay might have been the trigger for the worst allergies I have ever suffered in my life! The day the boss brought a dying lamb to the lab was one of the most heartbreaking things Iíve experienced. We had the poor thing on an IV, trying to keep it hydrated, as it faded away to the great pasture in the sky. The shepherding I mentioned was just from trying to bring the flock from their field back into the barn at the end of the day on the occasions I was out there in the evening. You talk about your herd mentality, and add in stubborn creatures like sheep, and that wasnít an easy task, let me tell you! I also got to help shear the sheep when it came time to collect wool. The poor animals looked so cold afterwards, even in the heat of summer.

And then there was May 10, 1994, the solar eclipse on a day out at the farm that was, simply put, the coolest thing Iíve ever seen. The sun started fading at around 4 PM or so, a few hours before the sheep were usually brought in for the night. But theyíre wired for light, and while at 3:45 they were roaming the field, a few running around, most just grazing contentedly, as the sun started failing, they all tucked their legs underneath and went down to the ground, for all the world looking like they were getting ready for sleep. Just a powerful sight, nature overruling the clock claiming that, no, really, it was still afternoon.

Not all of them stayed fooled, as the light failed to fade any further, a few got up and started wandering again. But the majority of the small flock remained down, and I think a few even took a nap, until well after the peak of the eclipse passed. As the light brightened again, they just got back up and went back to grazing, as if nothing had happened.

That was an awesome experience.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 1/22/2013 5:20PM

    like the sheep story!

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GARDENCHRIS 1/19/2013 8:07AM

    that is a cool sheep story.

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KMM1123 1/19/2013 12:36AM

    Very cool sheep story! Hmm... never thought I'd write that sentence. Thanks for sharing though and appeasing my demanding and inquisitive comment. Observing a natural phenomenon can be very awe-inspiring. A few years ago I witnessed a nest of sea turtles emerge from the sand and make their way to the Gulf. Way, way awesome. By far, the best thing I've ever witnessed.

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FLEURGARDEN 1/18/2013 8:35PM

    CBC is the best for hockey - you must be just out of range. I'm closer to Detroit, so I have no problem getting their signal.

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ANDY_54 1/18/2013 6:58PM

    My husband and I own a small hobby farm--no animals, just crops--but it makes me feel the cyclical nature of the world and more tuned in to the seasons as they turn from one to another. Hm, kind of like those sheep (but I hope I have a bit more brain engaged, lol). Thanks for the reminder!

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1CRAZYDOG 1/18/2013 5:44PM

    Awww . . . poor little lamb!

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DONNATINWV 1/18/2013 3:14PM

    I, too, love remembering summers on a farm when my grandparents were living... They are some of the sweetest memories I have. Thanks for bringing them back to me!

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You strong enough to be beautiful?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The music tonight, or this too early morn, as it were, is Marillion again. Just got through listening to Cannibal Surf Babe, off their 1996 masterpiece, "Afraid of Sunlight", and it's on to one my faves of theirs, "Beautiful". It's just a heart-achingly gorgeous song, and it's hitting me tonight how incredibly relevant it is to our journey.


The first couple verses get right to the point -- we do inhabit a world/culture where material things seem prized above all else, and things of intrinsic value are given short shrift. And not just things, people get shunted aside, whether it's through our own insecurities, arising from a lack of confidence in our prospects, or our appearance, or for other reasons.

--Everybody knows we live in a world
--Where they give bad names to beautiful things
--Everybody knows we live in a world
--Where we don't give beautiful things a second glance

--Heaven only knows we live in a world
--Where what we call beautiful is just something on sale
--People laughing behind their hands
--As the fragile and the sensitive are given no chance

By the end, though, the perspective changes from a lament to a challenge. The middle verse tells everybody, "We should live in a beautiful world/we should give beautiful a second chance", before turning that spotlight towards us.

--You strong enough to be
--Have you the courage to be
--Have you the faith to be
--Honest enough to stay
--Don't have to be the same
--Don't have to be this way
--C'mon and sign your name
--You wild enough to remain beautiful?

--And the leaves turn from red to brown
--To be trodden down
--Trodden down
--And we fall green to red to brown
--Fall to the ground
--But we can turn it around

--You strong enough to be
--Why don't you stand up and say
--Give yourself a break
--They'll laugh at you anyway
--So why don't you stand up and be
--Black, white, red, gold, and brown
--We're stuck in this world
--Nowhere to go
--Turnin' around
--What are you so afraid of?
--Show us what you're made of
--Be yourself and be beautiful


Think I just found my motivational music for the next phase of the journey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 1/17/2013 3:56PM


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1CRAZYDOG 1/17/2013 12:01PM

    See now, if I hadn't stopped by your blog I wouldn't have heard this music! WONDERFUL!!!!! I thank you for sharing it.

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CATTUTT 1/17/2013 11:29AM

    P.S... I just listened to Uninvited Guest and I love love loved it!

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CATTUTT 1/17/2013 11:20AM

    I just listened to the song, and you're right, it's beautiful. Love the lyrics, very powerful song. Thanks for sharing!


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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 1/17/2013 11:04AM


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WHOVIANGIRL23 1/17/2013 10:46AM

    Awesome blog, thanks :D

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READY4CHANGE81 1/17/2013 4:57AM

    Great Blog!!!

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Wog a mile in my shoes...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stretched out on the couch, typing this over the offending belly, and thinking, rationally, that this thing was probably, objectively larger a year ago, 16 months ago. Too bad I failed to measure at the outset of the trip.

One of the pre tasks on the BLC21 was a baseline fitness test, just the run of the mill how many crunches/squats/pushups can you do in a minute. Now, I've done the crunches and squats portions of that before, but I just hadn't done a pushup in a long while, probably based on how I've never been able to do many, bad shoulders, whatnot. Surprised myself, in a couple of ways. One, 21 pushups in a minute. Wasn't aware I was capable of that. Curious to try again, but that'll have to wait a couple of days. That flu shot I took yesterday is having its usual effect on my, and I've got a sore shoulder/neck. Maybe best not to compound that, methinks.

The other surprise came from the 1 mile run/walk portion of the pre-task. The gym I go to has a two lane track around the top of the basketball/volleyball/badminton/pickleball courts, which measures out at 1/12th of a mile per circuit. After the treadmill experience last week, I decided I'd rather go around that than timing myself on the treadmill, and so I did, jogging for the heck of it for the first time in years. Actually, I started out walking to warm up, and then tried running a bit, making two circuits before slowing back to a walk, and then sticking to that pattern. Ended up doing the mile in 14:03, half walking, half jogging, aka wogging, which, until I looked it up a minute ago, I didn't realize was a real thing.

The surprise was from both the time, which felt slow, as well as the fact that I was able to run. In a way, neither factor should have been a surprise. I usually walk at about a 17 min/mile pace, and adding running in ought to make that faster. And the running part, well, I've been playing ultimate frisbee the last 9 years, there's a little bit of running involved there, so, why the surprise at being able to run 1/6th of a mile at a time? But still, surprise. Given the timing, I'm wondering if I can do a mile run in 11 minutes? I suppose the determining factor would be if I had the stamina to keep jogging for the entire mile, rather than in intervals. Think I might have to try to get there.

Of course, I'm paying for that a couple of days later, sore legs and all. Or maybe that's the squats, or lunges, or the pickleball I played yesterday, or furniture rearrangement. Basically, I'm a ball of sore today. And unlike some of you, I'm no masochist. It doesn't make me eager to do the next workout. But hey, I told myself 10 squats and lunges a day, and 20 minutes of something, anything every day, so...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KING_SLAYER 1/17/2013 5:00PM

    I need to go out and run a mile, just to see how much time it takes. I used to run when I was younger, but the herniated discs make it uncomfortable and a bit scary too! However, after losing 100lbs I should go and test myself. What's the worse that can happen!

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READY4CHANGE81 1/17/2013 4:58AM

    Be proud!! that's an amazing accomplishment! LOL @ WOG

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATTUTT 1/16/2013 6:34PM

    I'm impressed with the 14:03 mile. I would do a happy dance if I broke under 20. So great job! {I initially typed "jog" instead of "job", which I suppose would also have worked.}

And yeah, I first heard of wogging about 15 years ago on a website I was frequenting then. Your use of it is the first I've heard in years. I always wanted to be able to wog more than 30 seconds of jogging to 3 minutes of walking, but I never could. Maybe you mentioning it was the universe telling me to get back at it.

Anyway, I'm rambling now. lol Hope the soreness gets gone fast!

Have a great evening.


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1CRAZYDOG 1/16/2013 5:49PM

    Hope the affects of the flu abates soon for you, but good you got it! At least if you get the flu it's less serious.

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WHOVIANGIRL23 1/16/2013 5:41PM

    Haha, just the word wogging makes me giggle.

Good job though.

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BLUE42DOWN 1/16/2013 5:39PM

    The sore does go away and that's when you're ready for more. (It's also important to stretch well after all that kind of activity, something many don't think of when doing them as a "fitness test" rather than a "workout".

emoticon though, and a great starting point to measure your progress in BLC#21 against!

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CARBJUNKIE83 1/16/2013 5:36PM

    You got that right! Something is way better than nothing emoticon Being sore does make it rough for the next few days but hey, that just means that you are working hard for what you want! emoticon emoticon for taking the step for a healthy and fitter you!

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Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Because where else are you going to hear a metal band talking about the eyes of praying mantises and weaving that into theology couched in a ton of medical/anatomical terminology?

The band is Tourniquet, a christian metal outfit that plays good thrash, the link is to the title track of the Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance album, my fave of their.

I was actually digging through my CDs looking for their Psycho Surgery album, since that title is more apt for the mood of the day. That mood ain't a good one, just dwelling on all the things I dislike about myself, and in my life, including the apparent lack of wherewithal to make the changes necessary. Hmmm, maybe I should be listening to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," instead?


Need to find a just effing do it mode. Get a psychic cleanse, maybe (not in any new age sense, just metaphorically speaking).

The weird thing is...this ungood state of mind may actually be helping the weight loss/exercise thing. Stress and its effects aside, it's an area I feel relatively in control of, and you can bet your butt I'm holding on to that.

Ok, scribbling it out has slightly altered the mood for the better. Might have to try this trick in the future, hope you'll forgive me.

First bit of resetting my life: the hair.
A few days ago (Friday?):

And today:

The beard kinda hid the extra chin. Although I could make it look a lot skinnier by jutting the chin out just a tad, I'm choosing to post this one, as it fits the mood. And will be a nice reference for the future.

And now, to continue listening to albums with ludicrou...I mean, awesome titles, Dimmu Borgir's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. (Link to the song Puritania)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KJDINSC 1/16/2013 8:34AM

    Looking good! emoticon

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ANDY_54 1/15/2013 10:51PM

    Oh, dude liked the 'stache, but the clean look is good too. What's not good is you feeling down--sorry you feel that way. I'm my own worst critic, maybe you are, too. Takes a while to get over that--just every day self-affirmation that you're here doing what you can and letting go what you can't. *shrugs* Sounds kind of new-agey, but it helps out sometimes.

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READY4CHANGE81 1/15/2013 8:57PM

    Nice new cut, shave...a new you/clean slate! you also look younger!

Keep your head up!

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CATTUTT 1/15/2013 6:58PM

    Fresh faced as a choir boy! It sucks that you're feeling so down on yourself. Incredible how much of an enemy we can be of ourselves. The psychic cleanse {also in a metaphorical sense} sounds like a pretty good idea. I think everyone needs one at some time or another.

Keep rockin' the metal, and rockin' the healthy lifestyle. You TOTALLY got this!


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CLPURNELL 1/15/2013 6:34PM

    So fresh and so clean lol!

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SASSYJAY 1/15/2013 6:07PM

    I like you better WITH hair...but I'm a hair-person...product of the 60's...lol

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1CRAZYDOG 1/15/2013 5:53PM

    I agree . . . clean shaven, new awesome haircut . . . fresh start!

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EMMAEKAY 1/15/2013 5:33PM

    Nothing like a clean shave to make a new start! Seriously, though, the only thing standing in your way is YOU! Blast that metal, drop and give me 20! hahahaha

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WHOVIANGIRL23 1/15/2013 4:14PM

    You look so.... clean!

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