BOSS61's SparkPeople Blog BOSS61's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Threat of an IRS Audit or Worse So I keep getting these scam robocalls from "the IRS", saying the "IRS is suing me" and "this is a final warning" and "I need to call a phone number immediately". So curiosity got the better of me and I called. <BR> <BR> A guy with a thick accent answered. Here's how it went. <BR> <BR> "Hello, is this the IRS?" <BR> . "This is the IRS Department." (the cadence and tenor of the Soup Nazi) <BR> "Who am I speaking to?" <BR> . "This is Alex." <BR> "What does IRS stand for?" <BR> . "IRS Departm... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 19:29:35 EST Latest Evidence for Me Being Old & Out of Touch My daily pile of Sparky emails brought a hyperlink to a list of the "100 Best Workout Songs of the '90s." I was excited. Those who know me know I love workout music, lists of workout music, discovering new (to me) workout music, etc. I also find that such lists usually reveal something about the person constructing it - how old they are, where they live or lived, perhaps their socio-economic status. We scientists are trained to observe and observe I do. <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.s... Sun, 18 Oct 2015 05:40:00 EST Theme Music for the Primary Season (Pre-Blog) Another blog not about health, weight loss or anything remotely like it. So most of you, these are not the Droids you are looking for. <BR> <BR> As for the rest of you, this morning finds me working on a better and richer blog about candidate theme songs. Need some help, but what I have so far: <BR> <BR> Chaffee - Nowhere Man <BR> Sanders - Old Time Rock and Roll <BR> O'Malley - Stayin'Alive <BR> Webb - Yankee Doodle Dandy <BR> Hillary - I Want You to Want Me <BR> Trump - Money Changes E... Wed, 14 Oct 2015 08:56:08 EST Hair of the Donald Did you watch the second Republican Presidential Debate? Did you watch it carefully? Really, really carefully? <BR> <BR> I bet something obvious evaded detection. I stared at his hair. I wondered if he wore a toupee. Then I realized that I had seen this toupee someplace before. Pretty much, anyway. <BR> <BR> I'm sure its easy for him to keep his toupee well-groomed. In fact, I'm sure it's no tribble at all. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 18 Sep 2015 14:01:21 EST Weird Noises a Quiet House Makes I know you like them here. However... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ises-our-house-makes-a-parable/ </link> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 09:45:31 EST Her Eyes Have Seen the Glory... The things we take for granted with respect to our health... today's example is vision. <BR> <BR> So my Mom goes and finally has long-awaited and long-postponed cataract surgery. <BR> <BR> Mind you her vision has always been awful; she has worn glasses since the age of two. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It turns out the cataract surgery also corrected lifelong deformities of her corneal lenses - she now can ... Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:58:43 EST Gaming the Gym IV: Choosing Your Cardio Resistance Number Welcome back to a never-ending series of blogs about how I have turned going to the gym into a giant self-motivational game to keep my interest up and aligned with my goals for healthiness and weight loss. To understand all of this, I recommend reading the numbered blogs in order; this is the fourth. Whether or not you do, this one is about (1) choosing a piece of cardio equipment and (2) finding the resistance setting that is right for you. <BR> <img src=" Sun, 24 May 2015 08:05:31 EST Planned No Blogs Today, But This is Way Too Important Today's Washington Post has a wake-up call for all of us. If you joined Spark ever, for whatever reason, this means you. Just read this. Everyone. Now. Carefully. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>g/wp/2015/05/15/take-off-that-fitbit-e<BR>xercise-alone-wont-make-you-lose-weigh<BR>t/?tid=pm_pop_b </link> <BR> <BR> Puts the endless series of gym blogs in the proper perspective, huh? Almost worthless. <BR> <BR> This one, accordingly, is the most important o... Sun, 17 May 2015 08:43:31 EST How I Game the Gym (Gym Gear) - Part III The second of this series of blogs wrapped up by introducing (or I hope, reintroducing you) to how to find the right range of heart rates to achieve an efficient cardio workout for your age. If you have not already, best is if you read these in order. Below are helpful hyperlinks to the first two in this, possibly infinite series. (And for those of you who missed my blogging prolific-ness around here, for better or worse, you are getting what you deserve): <BR> <BR> Part I: <link>www.sp... Sat, 16 May 2015 09:25:43 EST How I Game the Gym; Preparation (Part II) Welcome back to an ongoing series of blogs about how I entertain myself, and keep my interest level up, at the gym. If you are reading these at all (and not just looking at the illustrations I ceaselessly troll the internet to steal), you should start at the beginning, helpfully provided here via the total magic you know as a hyperlink: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5928426 </link> <BR> Planning and Preparation are everything. <BR> <img... Fri, 15 May 2015 17:28:33 EST How I Game the Gym: Introduction (Part I) <img src=""> <BR> Humans are creatures of habit and I am no exception. I’ve made going to the gym an every workday habit. Not to push or prod, but maybe you should too. I always was one to do coffee cup curls, remote control lifts and brisk walks to the potty. I discovered the gym late in life, perhaps around the time you all were first imbued with my inanity. <BR> <BR> However, a gym rat I have become and ... Fri, 15 May 2015 05:10:14 EST Mean Monsters Lay in Wait For You at the Gym Mean-spirited, rotten-to-the-core evil monsters lurk at the gym. Physically fit, finely chiseled evil monsters. The ones you thought you left behind on the 3rd grade playground. The ones who stole your lunch money, gave you a wedgie and laughed at your clothes behind your back. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Guess what: the adult versions of those same detestable people lie in wait at the gym. They are just salivating at the prospect of ma... Thu, 7 May 2015 16:15:39 EST The Baltimore You See... ... is not how we really are. It's TV. They sensationalize. They accentuate the extreme and the newsworthy. Blood sells, sadly. Did Don Henley not have that song called "Dirty Laundry" with the line about getting an interview with the (new) widow? See? <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Truth is, I'm horrified, embarrassed, and profoundly disappointed with my hometown has been newsworthy all week long in such a profoundly negative way. It's... Fri, 1 May 2015 16:43:35 EST Surefire Way Not to Overeat Ethnic Food Like food? Like ethnic food? Like ethnic food a lot and have problems not over-indulging in all that foreign yummy-ness? I have found the solution for you. <BR> <BR> Simply stated, you are experiencing the wrong ethnic foods. Take your taste-buds on this overseas odyssey and let your gag reflex forever protect you from over-eating again: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Now does not not look simply yummy? <BR> <BR> <img src=... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:28:20 EST Why Someone Would Want to Be Me Tax Return Day. Our accountant goes to e-file. He cannot because a federal return already has been filed using my SSN. Warning, Will Robinson, this is tax fraud. Worse, it probably is identity theft. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The federal government has a dizzying dozen of complicated web pages, complete with broken hyperlinks, to guide the multitudes so afflicted through the process of reporting, complaining, alternate filing, and waiting... Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:32:17 EST Do You Need to Redo Your Spark Goal(s)? Are you searching for a new and more realistic goal? Have you thought about giving up? Well, this blog is for you. I found a goal that works for a lot of people here. <BR> <BR> Some of us are really here for health, or as a consequence of doctor's orders or some cerebral awareness that carrying less poundage will benefit us now and/or in years to come. That's 10% of us. <BR> <BR> For the other 90%, it's good old fashioned vanity, and the fact that our unfair, irrational and libido-dri... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 08:37:51 EST Days of Yore Summer Camp, 1972. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Our bunk of 11-year-old boys goes on a hike and winds up in town. We pool our limited money and find we have exactly, to the penny, enough to split two pizzas and a pitcher of Coke. (Yes, we were bad Sparkies). We order and the food comes. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> . <BR> The check comes too, and to our horror we learn that we... Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:41:53 EST Living Long and Prospering (Perhaps as an Ostrich) Remember me? This is not about nutrition, exercise, or weight loss. Oh, I need less, more and more respectively. There, it's a Spark blog. With that out of the way... <BR> <BR> *** <BR> <BR> In the wake of Leonard Nimoy's recent passing, the Washington Post ran an interesting article today, about extra-terrestrial life. <BR> . <BR> Do we want to try to communicate with aliens, make peaceful contact, and perhaps benefit from their knowledge, technology and resources? Or, conversely, mig... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 19:21:30 EST I Had a Dream (Too; MLK is Not Alone) In the spirit of MLK Day, I too had a dream. Last night in fact. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> In my dream, Susan and i own a restaurant. Like many restaurant owners, we're living paycheck to paycheck, constantly imperiled by fickle customers, unfair reviews, competition, credit and solvency issues largely beyond our capability to resolve. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> One day we learn that a com... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 19:08:37 EST Story of the Green Cheese Ball As some of you may recall from having read some of my historic Spark blogs, my Dad was a professional chef before I was born. He had gone to culinary school on the GI Bill after World War II. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Although he left the restaurant industry before I was born, this training and experience meant that food in our home, while I was growing up, was nothing short of delectable. Surely this contributed to why I am now here, con... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 19:46:38 EST Rules: 1st Annual Sparkpeople Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We've all seen them. We've gotten them. We've given them. Yep; ugly holiday sweaters. <BR> <BR> Now we have a better use for them: the 1st Annual SparkPeople Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest. <BR> <BR> No cost to enter. Everyone can play. Here are the rules: <BR> <BR> 1. Take a picture of someone you know personally, wearing an ugly holiday sweater. Alternatively, have someone take a picture of you, or ... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:22:28 EST Ick, Yuck and Blech! <img src=""> <BR> Overnight one of my Facebook friends posted that she tried cooking Brussels Sprouts for the first time and that they came out really good. On further research and clicking-through on her FB status, I found that she fried bacon-wrapped Brussels Sprouts, which then were submerged in melted cheese, fondue style. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Any fellow Sparky knows full well ... Mon, 15 Dec 2014 15:48:28 EST Dicephering Elton John's Lyrics <img src=""> <BR> Ever tried to sing along to Goodbye Yellowbrick Road? Bennie and the Jets? Think you know the words? (without the album liner - that is cheating). <BR> <img src=""> <BR> How about The Rolling Stones - Mick Jagger and a mouthful of marbles! Bruce Springsteen - often the same problem... <BR> <img src=""> <... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 07:08:43 EST Voyeurism at the Gym <img src=""> <BR> First things first, get your filthy mind out of the gutter. This is not a blog about that. Now that we have a basic understanding of what this blog is not about… <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Admit it; at the gym many of us are indeed voyeuristic in that we look at other people when there. Some of us look at their clothing, hair, exercise gear, makeup maybe, what have... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:44:40 EST Poster Boy For Spark (Who Knew?) Rarely do I trouble myself with the boring minutiae of being a member here, like reading Spark Mail. Today, for whatever reason, I happened to read the latest from the propagandists who get paid to be here: how it is beneficial to exercise in the morning. <BR> <BR> So by hook or by crook, and completely by accident, I actually do something right from a healthfulness perspective. Who knew? Want to know how? Remember, like all things Spark, if I can do it, anybody can. Weekdays... <BR> ... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 12:18:29 EST Running For President - At Your and My Expense? Suppose an incumbent governor of a state (that shall remain nameless) harbors presidential aspirations. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Suppose the citizenry of that state elected him to govern the state, not to run for President. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> . <BR> Suppose that rather than executing the duties for which he was elected, he travels the country and even the world, extensively, and gives speeches and otherwise campaigns for c... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 08:06:44 EST Dear Mr. Keurig: Dear Mr. Keurig: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We scientists greatly enjoy your fancy, programmable new coffee-making gizmo in our break room at the office. Caffeine now has mixed with our insatiable curiosity to wonder the following: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> . <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 1. Is the 6-oz cup of coffee of equal stren... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:52:33 EST Why Not Track? In a Word... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Why not, in a word? Why not what, I hear you ask. (You’ve read two sentences and have not yet deleted me as a Spark Friend for reasons unknown, so you may as well read on). <BR> <BR> If you are reading this and you are a perfect Sparky, always tracking all of your nutrition, always staying in range, every morsel in gets written down or otherwise recorded, read on. This blog is not for you. Complain to Spark G... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:46:45 EST Designing the Mathematicallly Perfect Baseball Schedule <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just in case you still had any doubt as to who is the geekiest person on your Spark Friend feed (and this has nothing to do with Spark. Machevellian weight loss and fitness folks - this blog is not for you. Move on now. Delete me too. High time, after all) ... For the rest of you time-wasters and procrastinators, I present the mathematically perfect baseball schedule. Here we go. Parameters: 30 teams, 162 game... Sun, 19 Oct 2014 07:00:23 EST Workout Music in the 21st Century ("A Horse is a Horse...") <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You knew that sooner or later this day would come. Over nine months of radio silence is over, as not unlike Mr. Ed, I have something to say. Today's blog-worthy topic is workout music. (Yes, those of you who remember me from the olden days when Sparky was but a toddler, know that workout music was an oft-visited blog topic. And for those of you who only wish to read about successes and failures of the eternal... Sun, 14 Sep 2014 17:24:22 EST Autopilot Behind the Wheel of the Caravan You knew this day was coming,. It is here. And you will be just fine. <BR> <BR> The ladies who sit in the front row of the Caravan - I call them collectively the Sisterhood - and they know full well who they are - worry about me. They think I need to blog for my psychological well being, and to stop cold turkey will work about as well as stopping cold turkey does with anything else. I tell them not to worry and that I am fine. They do not believe me. <BR> <BR> Those of you with whom ... Tue, 31 Dec 2013 13:07:03 EST Dating Rejection Deja vu - The Next Generation As I close my failed experiment with blogging here (yes, ECOAGE, yet another farewell), I've reflected back on the odd, humorous, pointless and occasionally poignant missives with which I may have wasted your time. One of my most heartfelt was September 23 of this year, when I explained the challenges (and my permanent anger) that a lifetime of obesity have meant for me, socially. If you missed it (or are too new a Sparkfriend), here you go: <BR> <BR> <link> Sun, 29 Dec 2013 07:56:13 EST Darmok - Or All the Calories She Had Had Had Had With just a few days to go until the no-blogging resolution takes hold, nothing like going out with a bang, huh? <BR> <BR> The most thought-provoking and conversation-elucidating Star Trek episode all time, by far, was a story from Season Five of "The Next Generation" called Darmok. Our intrepid Space-farers, living in a future where there simply was no obesity (see it's a Spark blog) encounter a powerful alien species and endeavor to communicate. The aliens are chatty enough (they have hav... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 18:08:55 EST How to Delete a Privatized Spark Friend's Page Ever peruse your own list of Spark Friends? Ever see that some people are not clickable, and that you cannot view their page as you once have? This is because they have taken their pages private, which is their prerogative and also is yours. Many people opt for the social media side of Sparkpeople, but also many do not. Increasingly, some play with the social media side for awhile, tire of it or come to be creeped out by people like me, and elect to adjust their settings and privatize. <... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 07:56:22 EST Putting Words to My Gym Routine I made this up. It's probably inefficient. Anyway, here goes. <BR> <BR> I typically go every weekday morning, unless weather, work or family commitments (carpool) preclude. Today was an "A" day at the gym. I have A. B. C and D days. Weekends I do not go. Family time. The letter signifies which piece of cardio equipment I spend the first 45 minutes upon: <BR> <BR> A - Elliptical <BR> B - Arc-Trainer (the kind with both arms and legs in motion) <BR> C - Cross-trainer <BR> D - Any of the ot... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 14:36:27 EST Nature or Nurture? Today marks my second Spark-versary. The arrival of this date, and the approach of the New Year, has found me newly contemplative of my Sparky existence in recent days, as many of you now have seen. <BR> <BR> I have culled the herd of seemingly inactive (former?) SparkFriends from the middle and back row seats of the Dodge Gran Caravan (Feb 5, 2012 blog), and have determined to Spark forward with 175ish of you. Newbies always welcome but be forewarned – being my SparkFriend is quite the mi... Thu, 26 Dec 2013 11:51:53 EST 90% Quit Sparkpeople in 3 Years or Less? As many of you know, one of my 2014 NY resolutions is not to blog. This, accordingly, is one of the last. Not blogging will give me more time for things like tracking nutrition, exercising and tracking that too, and interacting more meaningfully with (by present accounting) 174 of you. Only 174? Yesterday it was 217. Three days ago it was 358. What happened? Hang on... <BR> <BR> In the course of redefining my presence here, and that I need to focus on my own weight loss more and being a one... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 07:15:23 EST Why People Quit Sparkpeople As many of you know, one of my 2014 NY resolutions is not to blog. This, accordingly, is one of the last. Not blogging will give me more time for things like tracking nutrition, exercising and tracking that too, and interacting more meaningfully with 217ish of you. Only 217? Hang on... <BR> <BR> In the course of redefining my presence here, and that I need to focus on my own weight loss more and being a one-man amusement park less, I came to read the Spark pages of all of my 358 Spark frien... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 07:59:51 EST Some Presents For You (Vol I) My 2014 New Year's Resolution is no Spark Blogs. <BR> <BR> I need to focus on tracking, losing weight, my business, my family, my life, etc. But before I go, I've taken a little time to bestow some holiday presents on you all. <BR> <BR> With kindness* to fellow caravan members (you remember that one, right?), here is the first batch: <BR> <BR> * Kindness = We won't get upset, right? <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> <BR> Maryann2323 (a.k.a. Ginger) – An extra month between November and December, t... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 08:47:06 EST How to Change Beer Into Sparky Water Sam Adams. Brewer and Patriot. Sam would be proud to see his name bandied about in sports bars and like places, from sea to shining sea. Of course, the problem is this: beer and similar potent potables as Alex Trebek calls them, are materially lacking in Sparky benefit. Translation: there are calories in them-thar brewskis. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> But particularly around the holidays or more generally in football system, beer becom... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 11:03:23 EST Guaranted to Make You Cry Just watch this. Watch it. All of it. Do it now. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>hristmas-stunt-passengers/ </link> <BR> <BR> You will not be sorry. I guarantee it. <BR> <BR> Happy Holidays to all of you. Sat, 14 Dec 2013 12:35:49 EST "_______ Are Killing America" This headline greeted me in my inbox, this morning. The noun in the blank is less important (I did not even remotely agree) than what it COULD be. <BR> <BR> Imagination time, Sparkpeople! Help fill in the blank. Comments please! <BR> <BR> **** <BR> <BR> Some Sparky ideas: "Donuts" "Trans-Fats" "Desserts" "Refined Sugars" "Red Meats" <BR> <BR> My Helpful Facebook Friends Added: "Reality Shows" "Killer Bees" "Wal-Mart Execs" and "Banks" <BR> <BR> Coworkers/Employees Co... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 15:54:43 EST Dissection of my Flawed Gym Routine Every morning I'm up before dawn and the three of us (me, myself, and I) hop into the car and head to the gym. I work hard at the gym and usually perspire in buckets. <BR> <BR> I use a heart monitor and thus, to date, remain a blogger rather than a sad Sparky statistic. Ever wonder exactly what happened to all your old Sparky friends who seem to have vanished? Hopefully they all are still of this world. Hard to tell with certainty. I have roughly 400 Spark friends. Over 300 seem never to b... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 21:08:03 EST Dear Elderly Neighbors: Dear Elderly Neighbors: <BR> <BR> You are welcome for your clean driveways and walks. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> With our snow blower, it really was no problem and we are happy to be neighborly, as we hope others may when we garner your years of experience. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Oh, by the way, we do accept fresh-baked (Spark-compliant, of course) pies as remuneration. <BR> <img sr... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 18:10:21 EST Me, Myself and I Grammar. The Queen's English. <BR> <BR> Sparkfriends, with great kindness I must tell you that this son-in-law of an English teacher cringes, not uncommonly, at some the faux pas I see in your statuses, blogs and photo captions. <BR> <BR> I know fully that you all are brilliant; each and every one of you. You simply would not be here, and would not have mastered the trackers, and would use the social media side of Spark, if otherwise. Your scintillating intelligance shines through, a l... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 06:23:11 EST Frozen Bunny Tartar ***Warning: Not for the Super Squeamish*** <BR> <BR> Thursday we grilled turkey outdoors as we always do, on our elevated deck. We accidentally spilled some gravy (about a cup, volumetrically) carrying the bird inside, which then froze albeit in a slick if tasty way. In a rush with lots of family arriving, we forgot about it. Once we beat Pittsburgh, that was all that mattered. <BR> <BR> No issues all weekend. We forgot about the spill some more. <BR> <BR> This morning on daybreak, we had... Mon, 2 Dec 2013 13:14:16 EST Stop Everything and Read TRIANGLE-WOMAN's Nov 7th Blog Right Now You have been warned that I am a bad Spark friend. Every last one of you, who chose to link to me, has been duly warned of what a one-sided self-congratulatory louse I am. One of my horrible Spark-friend characteristics is that I seldom comment on your blogs. I read them often enough and I get they are important to you. <BR> <BR> I never before have used this vehicle, my blogs (and their ill-deserved popularity) to reblog another Spark friend's blog. As Captain Spock famously told Lieu... Sun, 1 Dec 2013 07:12:39 EST Stupid Simple Berry Cobbler Recipe (Sparky Compliant Too) If I read it on Facebook, it must be true... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> What you need: two 12-oz bags of frozen berries, one box of dry white cake mix (not the pudding kind), and 1 can of clear diet soda. Diet Sierra Mist, Diet 7UP or Diet Sprite all work. Fresca might work too. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 1. Place frozen fruit in a 9x13 baking dish. I'd spray it first with Pam, but that's... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 21:37:25 EST Thanksgivikuh Recipe - Grilled Turkey A'La Orange Grilled Thanksgiving Turkey A La’Orange - Sixteen Easy Steps <BR> <BR> The key advantages of this approach to the traditional thanksgiving turkey are that (1) indoor oven space is conserved and (2) the heat of the long-duration roasting is kept out of the kitchen. <BR> <BR> What you need in addition to the turkey: fridge space, propane grill with spare propane tank, large disposable roasting pan, large cutting board at least as large as the bottom of the roasting pan, Crisco or similar shor... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 09:03:24 EST A Short Thanksgiving Note A short blog from me? Maybe. <BR> <BR> Per our usual, we are the home team for Thanksgiving. As I type this from the office, Thing One and Thing Two are helping Susan818127 convert our humble kitchen into a banquet hall seating close to 20 this year. Yes, metaphorically speaking, we are Beating to Quarters and Clearing for Action. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> It's good to be the home team. Traveling around T-Day sucks, and we know just h... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:43:05 EST