Thursday, June 14, 2018

Next checkpoint reached

This morning, I stepped on the scale at work and weigh below 255 for the first time since 2011. After being 295lb in Jan '16, this is another checkpoint reached and if I can get to 250 by my doctor appointment in 2 weeks, I can officially be declared heavy instead of obese and I could possibly use this to lower my life insurance premium. Since I won't wear shoes on the scale, it is possible.

What is interesting is that 16 days ago, the scale read 8lb heavier and that had me wondering why the large change in such a short time.

1) clothing: Because today's high temp is forecasted for 85, I am wearing shorts as opposed to jeans and I only wear a t shirt as opposed to my regular pocketed shirt.

2) FuMPFeST: I was off the 5 days before the first scale reading mostly around FuMPFeST and while I was off work ate at about 10 different places (including Portillo's and a stand alone ice cream place on Monday after a practice round) as well as too much candy, cookies, and chips in the snack room. In spite of that, the weekend this year was better than the one I had there in 2016 where I gained 4lb but the first day back at work did produce a temporary high point for weight.

3) Being smart about food: I realized last year that when I don't eat at the places where I could walk in, pay between 3-15 dollars, and walk out with something to eat, my weight goes down. On the 3.5 mile drive home from work, there are over 20 places that don't serve just Mexican food within one block of my drive where I can do that. (There are about 10 that do). Except for 2 gas station hotdogs last Saturday and a mid tournament sub sandwich and post tournament burger on the 3rd, I have avoided those places in that time frame including the outdoor vendors at the music in the park one block from where I live whose food I can easily smell.

4) changing my badly obsessive attitude about food: For way too many years, I would worry too much about my dinner being eaten and would get real upset when it was. I would see 1,200 calories of breaded food in the oven for one person and panic then make sure I am able to get my share. I would purchase food that would not be eaten by others so I would not have to worry about it being eaten. I know that the places that have food readily available will 99% of the time have what I want and if they didn't, I know there is another place that did. I would make sure that I would eat the food I purchased since I knew leaving it behind could mean it would go missing.

I have joked about not standing in the way of a fat man and his food but it is very true.

However, that situation has changed and there is no longer the obsessive need to make sure that I have something to eat. I know that if I was planning on making something specific for dinner that it will be there and that has allowed me as much as anything to eat more normally.

Anyway, I also know that it is easy to fall into bad habits again and that even if I do get to 250, that is not a goal but another checkpoint, though for me a significant one. I also know that as the weight decreases, it becomes more difficult to continue losing weight since the body requires less than it does when heavier.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


While printing football schedules, had a pressman state things changed in how they are determined and wanted to bet me money on it. The long time season ticket holder was mislead into thinking that every time the Eagles play the Vikings that they play the Bears, Packers and Lions as well.

One season in every three, that happens. In the other two seasons including this one, the first, second, third, and fourth place teams in those divisions play each other and since the Eagles and Vikings finished first in 2017, they play in 2018.

I even showed him this chart which shows what teams the Eagles play and why. He still did not understand.

The blue teams are division opponents they play twice, the yellow teams are the ones from the divisions they play every three or four years and the orange ones are the conference teams from the other two divisions with the same place.

He refused to pay me.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Making it special

I took the ratings from the last two rounds played at the PDGA US Masters Championship and applied them to every two round tournament I played on 2017 and the one in 2018 in MA50.

In the 13 events:

Won: 9
Tied for first: 2
Second one shot out of first: 2

I know that the comparison does not always transfer to other courses and my rating from the Masters when applied to last year's three round event at the same place would have had me finish 3rd six shots out.

What made the weekend so special was that unlike any convention that I attended, I was a full participant and not a spectator.

Similar to those who make music at Marscon and FuMPFeST or run an RPG at Gencon, that weekend for me was something that I had to prepare and dedicate myself to do the best I can and to see it turn out the way it did was amazing and beyond any convention I ever attended.

Since my computer has failed, I no longer do a show. As I don't anymore need to drive a bunch of people to conventions, help with the physical things my body now struggles to do, or even help with merch or props, I have mostly become a spectator which for me physically is more a struggle as sitting upright for a long period of time is more painful than walking while carrying a 25lb bag stopping to throw golf discs.

Yes, I updated the map that explains what food places are open what times and hopefully will have the nerve to perform my dumb parody idea on the main stage speaking into a mike (which I have NEVER done) at a music convention and will help others when needed but I feel more left out all the time.

My performance of Track 24 at Marscon 2014 was in a side room and not the main stage.

18 years ago today, I first met the people who became a big part of the third quarter of my life and I will see many of them in the same place I first met them next weekend.

Though these people have become more than an opponent or teammate and I care about what happens with them in the world, right now, FuMPFeST 2018 feels like it will be a thanks and good bye for me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Being the outlier

As mentioned in the two previous posts, my scores on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning were the two highest rated rounds I ever played in a tournament and the Sunday round was the best I ever played anywhere.

Of the 38 rated players in my division, the ratings ranged from 757 to 946. Though my rating of 853 was almost exactly the middle of the range, only 18 of the 38 had a rating below 900 and only 5 were worse than me. Generally 10 rating points equals one shot for most 18 hole rounds as was played that weekend.

The following pic is of the ratings of the top 20 players in my division from rounds 3 and 4:


The scores in the boxes are mine. A person with my rating was expected to be 14 total shots worse than I did for those two rounds. On Sunday, 18 of the top 20 players were among the 20 whose rating going into the event placed them in the top half of the field.

One of the two unrated players finished 5th having the type of game to do so. The person whom I referenced in a post made 3 years ago as he beat me by 29 and 31 shots in two round events was one shot better than I was on Saturday and shot the same score as I did on Sunday.

The next thing is to determine how did this happen and how can it be repeated in future events.

First of all, those in my division came from 13 states, Ontario, and France. 60% of the division had to travel multiple state lines to Crown Point, IN and were not as familiar with the courses as someone who has played multiple events there in the previous 13 months.

Second, the course setup and conditions were favorable since the rain made the grass higher than normal which helps a low thrower on approaches. On the blue and red courses, there are three different holes with two tee pads and all three favored my game as the 2 par 3s that I could reach were not backed to the point where I couldn't and one par four was extended was to the point where those who could easily get there in two shots (unlike me) couldn't. There is also one hole which had an OB line in the events last year but not this year and I took advantage of that to get a birdie.

Third is the plan. Having the whole week before the event off work was a tremendous benefit as it allowed me to look at the new holes on Monday and focus other practice on specific shots rather than learning the course as well as having the physical ability to get extra practice on Friday after the round.

Fourth is the player. There have been glimpses of this type of performance since November 2016 but injuries and work have prevented them from appearing over a longer term. Keeping the weight down (especially after gaining 3lb during the week off) is a must as well as maintaining fitness.

Unlike many rounds I played and like the best rounds I have played in the past, there were no real spectacular shots made over the whole event as I put one in from 80 feet on my first practice hole on Sunday morning. There were no long puts made, no long shots that either went in or even bounced off the basket. It was just full of good, solid shots with no major mistakes and no bad breaks.

To be honest, the Saturday round seems more repeatable than the Sunday one.

When I look at a disc golf course, I determine what is the theoretical best score I could shoot on it without making a shot over 50 feet or having a shot go the maximum distance under an ideal condition. This is how I look at the Lemon Lake Blue course I played on the Sunday round:

There were only 4 holes where I did not get my minimum score. On 9, 16, and 17 I was less than 30 feet but had a shot around a tree or bush (two of which I hit the front of the bucket) and on 13 I decided to not try to reach the basket from 245 feet since I had a small gap with OB if I missed left and bushes down a hill missing right so I put a shot to 80 feet away and another 5 feet away to get my 5.

Most players in my division have a lower theoretical minimum score due to their ability to throw a disc farther than I do reaching holes I can't so my margin of error is definitely lower than others even though I throw a disc farther than I did 3 years ago.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Masters by the numbers

Days spent at Lemon Lake Park in Crown Point, IN: 5
Total miles driven to and from event: 485
Average fuel economy: 32.9 MPG

Total players: 258
Total pro divisions: 7
Total amateur divisions: 5
Total states represented: 34
Total countries other than the US represented: 3

Total in MA50+ (my division): 40
Total states represented: 13
Total countries other than the US represented: 2

Different discs used in the 4 rounds: 18
Discs brought with me in my bag that would be needed for specific situations but were not used: 2

My rating: 853
Expected round score of someone with my rating: 65.5/70.5/64.5/63.5
My round by round score: 66/66/58/56
Score to par for each round: +7/+5/-1/-4
Each round's place in division: T35/T25/T16/T13
Total birdies/pars/bogeys/double bogeys: 13/43/12/4
Par 3 average of 50 holes: 3.04
Par 4 average of 21 holes: 4.23
Score on one par 5 played: 5
Shots better than expected rating: 18

My expected finish from my rating: 34th
My finishing spot out of 40 in the MA50+ division: 25th
Shots out of first: 30
My score's placing out of 27 in the MA60+ division: T8
My score's winning margin in the FP60+ division: 5
My score's winning margin in the MA70+ division: 2
My score's winning margin in the MP80+ division: 50

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Post game analysis (part 1)

Earlier today, I finished the fourth and final round of the 2018 Tim Selinske US Masters Disc Golf Championship held at Lemon Lake Park in Crown Point, IN.

When I signed up for the event in January, my right knee was still not completely functional from the injury suffered in October and due to working many long shifts in Kenosha, WI and developing bad eating habits, my weight was over 270 lb.

Due to almost 4 months of effort, my knee regained function and my weight was back in the 250s (which is still fat) and with mostly being smart about playing too much, was able to compete.

When I arrived on the Monday before taking the whole week off work, the signage was starting to be up and I had a huge smile on my face even after getting a thorn filled branch stuck to it.

On Thursday, more was up and being at the players party was amazing to behold. There was so much nervous energy in me when I started Friday afternoon, it could power tournament Central especially after birdieing two of the first three.

However, reality kicked in and I finished poorly. After dinner, I spent a half hour putting and when I started the next day badly missing three putts, was down.

From that point, I was able to slowly rebuild confidence making one birdie putt and after tearing up my legs on a thornbush, put a drive next to the basket and had a respectable round.

Following lunch, I was putting things together and beat my best score on Red by 6 shots which was 8 better than the day before. The rating was also a personal best.

Sunday was the long but open blue course which puts a shorter thrower like me at a disadvantage. My approach game was on. Only twice on the 13 that require an approach, did I have a putt over ten feet and made them both. I birdied two of the other five and with two difficult birdie putts around a tree just miss off the front of the cage and a third around a large bush land next to the basket.

The rating was even better than the previous round and I finished 25th out of 40 as I should have ended up 34th.

I enjoyed that awesome feeling all the way home even with traffic and after a nap tried to figure out how I managed to shoot 18 shots better than expected.

I realized the answer:


That took the smile off my face as I realized that this situation is not really repeatable. I am not George Costanza and I can't spend the summer unemployed and playing disc golf.

On Tuesday, I need to be back at work.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

No longer funny

After seeing a poll I saw where over half did not know, I asked my daughter if she knew what Auschwitz is. She correctly guessed what it is as well as knowing what the Holocaust is.

I then showed her the pic I took at Windycon 2008 (that I posted to this blog at that time) where dressed as the Blues Brothers, we ran across a group of people in fake Nazi outfits as the con theme was military and there was an anime with a similar dressed group. When it happened, everyone was laughing and wanting to take pics of us due to the irony of the situation and it was fun.

My confused daughter asked me why I would be posting a picture with anyone looking like a Nazi. I then had to explain what happened in the movie and the crazy timing of the situation.

For most of my life, Nazis have been displayed in movies and on TV as bumbling idiots like Col. Klink, Franz Liebrind, and the unnamed leader played by Henry Gibson in the Blues Brothers or psychopaths like Dr. Strangelove and Dr. Krieger and are designed to be funny but things have changed since that November evening almost 10 years ago.

Multiple times over the last 10 years, a president was displayed in pictures as wearing the mustache sported by the Nazi leader by those who were unhappy with what he is.

Inspired by the 2016 election, people started to proudly march and rally displaying that flag along with the Confederate one proclaiming that they will overcome as well as seeing the US president attempt the same things that were done to bring the Nazi party into power in the 1930s.

Those references and events have made many including me realize that the Nazi party is not really funny anymore and thinking about it, it should have never been. Today, the encounter that happened in 2008 would likely not happen since today con staff would hopefully ask those in the Nazi type costumes to change or leave. To be honest, it is better this way.