Tuesday, December 20, 2011

bad rapport

My friends Luke and Carrie do an audio podcast called Bad Rapport where I am a semi regular person in their segment "Let's Call Ken."

In April 2010, they recorded their first video podcast with puppets where a puppet of me makes an appearence:

I spent 3 days last week recording the second one which was posted today:

Thanks to my computer, I am not sure if the video works on decent computers. When I get to one I will see if it works correctly and change it if necessary.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Three and out

In 1996, I was playing blackjack on the second floor non smoking section of Harrah's Northern Star casino riverboat cruise. Though it was not like the time I lost 12 hands in a row I was not ahead.

As with what was happening that evening, I was dealt an 18 but the dealer had a 10 which means I would win only 1 out of 3 times. The last player before the dealer had a 13 and instead of taking a card which is considered mandatory by all blackjack instruction manuals, decided to stand being afraid of going over 21 which will lose 5 out of 6 times while drawing will win about 40% of the time. (Yes, I figured out those odds when I started playing blackjack in casinos in 1993)

The dealer uncovered a 4 and then drew a 6 making 20 taking most of the money off the table. I was so upset about what that player did, as the dealer was about to pass out the first card of the next hand, I looked at him and while pointing to where the first card was going to be placed in the same voice I now use when I want to get a point across to my daughter sounded "TEN!".

The smugness of being correct wore off while the hand was being played and I thought to myself, "What the fuck am I doing?" It was not the first time another player, including one who split 5s two times in 10 minutes, aggrivated me at a blackjack table. I knew I had enough and after winning that hand collected what chips I had left and walked away realizing that watching others playing blackjack with me irritates me so much that it is no longer worth the effort to play and I have never played regular blackjack at a casino since. (note: I have played embellished versions of the game but not one hand regular blackjack)

I hit the point of "TEN!" in fantasy football in October 2007. Though the competition was never "fun" I have played the game increasingly angry over the past 4+ years most notably when I spent the evening of opening weekend this season in the ER due to chest pains or when I sent multiple emails complaining about 2 extra points from a blocked kick that was only deflected being given to my opponent in a week where I won by 35. My anger over fantasy football has even materialized when hearing about other leagues and their formats and decisions people make in those leagues. Things got to the point where I want to know what is happening during every game ASAP especially during the 7 out of 13 Sunday afternoons this season I was not home watching the games.

Last weekend, my fantasy team, the Misfit Demons (named after the Mutant League Football representation of the 1972 Miami Dolphins) clinched their third straight division title having their best season ever. I was unhappy with how the draft went since I missed out on a number of players I wanted and ended up limiting myself due to making a mistake in the third round. However drafting the best scoring RB in the second round and the second highest scoring WR in the 6th round along with the top one in the first more than made up for that:

In spite of my dominance this season, I was nervous about winning the division until late Sunday afternoon when I clinched this week's victory which gave me the division title and the #1 playoff seed. Since I put in the effort that others don't, I have gotten to the point where victory is the only acceptable option and anything short of a division title would be a complete failure.

The obvious question is "Why does it matter how other people play?" People making mistakes in blackjack allows casinos to have rules that provide a smaller house edge against me. Needing to take off my shoes to count the number of times one of the other teams in my league has an injured or bye week player in their lineup increases my chance of winning over a 14 week span even if it might determine who I face in the playoffs. My fantasy team this year benefitted from other teams releasing players who I had in starting lineups and discovering the 49ers defense was good before others. I also know that if everyone else in the league puts the same committment into fantasy football that I do then my chances of winning would be based on luck and timing which is the exact reason I quit playing Scrabble. To be honest, I really don't know why it matters; I just know it does.

Eight weeks ago when my team was 5-0 and I was upset about the league, I realized it is time to cash in and walk away like I did 15 years ago. The money I can win from playing fantasy football does not compensate me for the time, energy and effort I put into everything especially considering that I need to send a $100 copay to the hospital for the ER visit last September.

On Sunday, I told my daughter I am not going to play fantasy football anymore after this year and she asked me why. I told her it gets me too upset. She said it makes sense.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

more movie time

The cable company as a sign of thanks to its customers (or as a way to try to get more business) last weekend had all the movie channels free along with other channels I usually don't get. Just like last time this allowed me to see some movies I have not in a while and to see some I have not seen before. Along with going to a theatre on Saturday and monthly cool movie night, this is what I saw over the previous 5 days:

Pulp Fiction: Have seen it many times before. Did not realize that the people who played Mr Orange and Mr Pink from Reservior Dogs were in it until I saw the credits.

Men in Black: It is too bad they felt necessary for a sequel.

Ocean's 11 (2001): Still get Brad Pitt and Matt Damon confused.

Megamind and Dispicable Me: Megamind was the movie Dispicable Me tried to be.

Toy Story 3: Never seen it before. Understand why it was nominated for best picture.

Harry Potter Hallows (part 1): Knowing what was going to happen, I was not enthusiastic about the movie but still enjoyed it. I was surprised that people were discussing before the movie came out where they would split the book as the point it ended seemed perfect.

Tron (2010): After an unimpressive half hour I was waiting for Olivia Wilde. After 10 minutes, I changed the channel knowing I wasted 40 minutes of my life.

The Muppets: Saw @ theatre. Though I enjoyed the Muppet Show, I never cared for the movies. Though the movie was ok, it was nothing special.

Plains, Trains and Automobiles: I had never seen it before. It was weird seeing Steve Martin as the straight man most of the time and it worked. Though I knew what was going to happen, it still was funny.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Madman on the road

Over the weekend at Con on the Cob in Hudson, OH, I needed to drive comedy musician Insane Ian among others from the restaurant back to the hotel so everyone could get ready for an event. On the way back I stated he was the 10th musician I have driven.

Actually he was #12. I figured it out and came out with a map to show which state I drove which person.

Some of them I drove once or twice only a short distance from either a restaurant or store to a hotel or from an airport to a hotel and others I have driven over 400 miles to a con.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Last week, I turned on my XBox 360 to get the new Paul and Storm song for Rock Band making that the 500th different track that could be played on my system. (Paul and Storm also provided the previous song I downloaded to my hard drive which was the 500 track as I have 2 copies of We are The Champions)

When I signed into my username I got a notice stating my XBox 360 console was permanently banned for violating their terms of service. When I called XBox support, the person told me my Live account is still valid but my console (replaced with a brand new one in September 2008 after the one purchased in December 2007 suffered the red ring) is no longer allowed to access Live and that I need to replace it.

After explaining that I did not modify my console (which is what causes consoles to be banned) and that I have no idea how to even attempt to do so I was told this ban could come from playing in a modified game and that they cannot connect me to someone in enforcement and that I cannot send my system to them since they won't touch a midified system. They also advised me to go to Gamestop since they have a deal where I can now get an extra $40 credit for my used one. (Still would cost me $225)

Explaining this to others including 10 XBox Live players along with comedy musician Insame Ian who worked at Gamestop created the same WTF response having never heard of that before. Josh was able online find a possible scenario as playing Call of Duty with someone who modified his system to allow symbols in his gamer name and him hosting the game where I played.

If that is the case, it is fucked up. That means this could happen again anytime I play a game on line and paying $70/year for Live membership to download and play Rock Band DLC only is really not worth it since my Rock Band DLC will only play when I am Live.

As I was trying to get to the XBox forum on the computer I explained my computer is slow since I spent money on my XBox instead over the past 3 1/2 years. I decided to figure out how much.

As gifts I have received $100 in points cards (including one $20 card won on ebay with a $50 bid) which are included in the costs on the list and 2 microphones that are not.

Initial purchase included Xbox elite (120GB) system and replacement plan, Rock Band with drums, mike and guitar, and Guitar Hero 3 with guitar.

Rock Band purchase includes discs for 4 other versions, microphones, guitars, replacement kick pedal, keyboard (purchased with RB3) and DLC.

Marketplace purchases include Call of Duty DLC, themes for my system and games downloaded directly to my console HD.

Though I have spent an estimated $2,500 on my system out of my pocket I am not wanting to spend $225 more since I feel like Microsoft banned my system just so I would be forced to get a new one. Fortunately, I did get an offer to switch my console with an old one used by someone's kid who does not play live.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Those Jedi nights

In 2005, the great Luke Ski wrote and 13 minute 41 second piece titled "Grease Wars". It tells the story of Star Wars episode IV, A New Hope, using parodies of songs from the movie Grease.

When I first heard the title accidentally blurbed to me, I knew this could be special and on the first time I saw it performed in April at Penguicon done with Carrie Dahlby (who was dating Luke at the time), I knew it was.

Over the next 18 months, I went to many conventions with Luke and Carrie and watched them perform Grease Wars together numerous times. For a while I was keeping count and still remembered it after they stopped performing the piece and were no longer a couple.

Occasionally, they still perform the piece and at Gencon 2010, they performed it to a very enthusiastic audience. For Nerdapalooza in July 2011 in Orlando, Luke asked Carrie to join him in Orlando to perform it there and when they did the piece at Duckon in June to prep for it, I was asked how many times I saw it live and really had no idea. Even with my memory, the number of times I had seen it was forgotten in the 4+ years since it was performed at every show.

Luke and Carrie now do a podcast together called "Luke and Carrie's Bad Rapport" which I am an occasional guest (Let's call Ken) where I generally babble occasionally making some sense. When they were discussing their performance of Grease Wars at Nerdapalooza with fellow performer Insane Ian, the subject of the number of times I saw Grease Wars live was discussed and that I had lost count.

I felt obligated to recount. With the help of my LJ, I figured which cons I attended from Penguicon 05 through Windycon 06 and how many times was the piece done at each one. I also recalled the events past Windycon 06 where it was done and though I am not 100% positive of counting every performance, I can now confirm 49 times. The map lists the number of times by state:

Last seen the song performed on 8/16/2014

The first number in each state is the different events I have seen it and the second the number of performances. (Note: If I saw it done at the same convention in different years, I counted that as 1 event.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

One in millions

I play the lottery for a few weeks or a month at a time whenever the jackpot makes it worth my time and money. This gives me the opportunity to dream about what I could do if I conquer the odds.

Since the multi state games became prominent the Illinois Lotto game still exists and with its jackpot being over $20 million for at least a month and with its chance to win a life changing jackput 17-19 times better, it still seems that no one I know plays it but instead plays the multi state ones.

Even today as I purchased my state lotto game ticket, someone walked in and played the multi state ones at $75 and $100 million.

Has it gotten to the point where people are no longer comfortable with the idea of winning a $29 million jackpot but want one that is 3-4 times more? Personally I would find a way to survive the rest of my life with winning a $2 million one and realize it is best to put my money into the less unlikely scenario which creates a far greater chance of having the jackpot won by a resident of the state I live.

Monday, June 13, 2011

In the swing of things

Yesterday afternoon, I did something I have not done since July 2007, played golf. Though I have played at the Top Golf driving range, I have not been on a course in 47 months and have not hit a golf ball since last Fourth of July weekend when my left leg collapsed on the downswing and I almost fell off the second level.

When I got there, I was told there was a spot and I could basically walk up and play. I got the the par 3 first hole, sleected a 6 iron because the wind was in my face, took two practice swings and hit the ball as I felt a jolt in my left leg. The ball flew exactly as planned hitting the ground three feet from the pin and ending up 10 feet. I shook my head in disgust and screamed, "I HATE this game!."

Why do I hate the game? I am good at it but can't play golf more than every once in a while and if I play too much, my left leg starts to hurt and stops providing support to my swing.

The rest of the nine holes were in less pain and I also noticed that by having 30 lb less my swing was better than it has been in a while as the ball ended up left of where I would aim since my swing path was better. After holing out from 30 yards for par on the 8th hole, I ended up +7 on the executive 9 hole course.

That score is better than most people but still less than I expect as someone who played in the Cook County Amateur golf tournament 10 times. Here is a list of my results by year:

The one year I withdrew after nine holes on a sprained ankle since my girlfriend was ill and I was not playing well enough to qualify anyway.

I have been asked numerous times why not ride a cart when I play? The problem with me playing golf is not walking the course. It is the failure of my left leg to properly support me as I transfer the weight from the right leg to the left one during the downswing. This is caused by the bursa sac injury I initially suffered bowling in 1994 which after enough swings causes discomfort, pain, and eventually failure or even collapse.

To answer the next question: Playing left handed won't work either since my left leg would not support me on the backswing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reliving the golden era

When watching baseball, my father would occasionally complain about what happened in the 1954 World Series between the Indians and the New York Giants especially in game 1 where the Indians who went 111-43 in the regular season lost the game due to the unusual shape of the Polo Grounds where the game was played; an event that cost him a lot of money.

This week, I was looking at you tube and noticed a new video posted by Power Salad, a group which had the number one song on the Dr Demento show a few years ago and one that features a lead singer who is older than me as opposed to the many who are from 8-13 years younger. Along with people spelling lose as loose, the song is about Cleveland sports futility and the way their sports teams lost famously over the years. After hearing the song, my first thought was why no mention of 1954 then I realized those who were alive then are now very old and would not get it.

I then decided to analyze the two significant plays from that game one being the Willie Mays famous over the shoulder catch.

Most people have seen video the play or this picture.

The other one is the game winning tenth inning home run by pitch hitter Dusty Rhodes (no relation to the wrestler). Thanks to you tube, I saw the video and as my dad described it, it barely cleared the wall down the right field line.

So what does the Polo Grounds have to do with this? The ballpark is shaped like a paper clip with the batter standing at the end of one curve and centerfield at the other. This made the foul poles at 275 in left (with the upper deck haning over the field at 250 feet) and the right field line at 258 feet. In every other park, including Cleveland's the ball is caught easily in the field of play. No current park is allowed to have a foul line under 300 feet and this guideline prevented Indianapolis in the 1990s from attempting to have a team play in the RCA dome since that field would have had a 290 foot one.

What made up for the short foul lines was center field. Dead center was 483 feet from the plate and where mays caught the ball the wall was 430 feet away. That ball would have been a home run in most other parks and in all but two today.

Here is a diagram of where those balls landed in the Polo Grounds and about where they would have been in Cleveland:

As with many things, timing is the most important aspect of all.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The reverse parody

This week someone posted on Facebook the songs Weird Al is parodying on his new CD coming out this summer. I looked at the list and stated just like the Lady Gaga song there was an issue with, I did not know any of the original songs so Weird Al's parodies will be like original songs to me just like many from his previous two albums.

The person said I had to have heard of those songs and I explained that I stopped caring for current music in 1991 after Whitney Houston got famous from her horrible rendition of the National Anthem before Super Bowl XXV where it sounded like she had a vibrator shoved up her cunt and that I only hear current songs when they appear on a Rock Band disc, are something someone (usually my daughter) asks me to download for Rock Band or when someone makes a parody of them.

About 5 years ago I coined the term "reverse parody" within my group of friends referring to any original song where one hears the parody first as that was a common experience for me when I started listening to my friends songs most recently hearing Bruno Mars song Grenade when I first heard Insane Ian's parody called Bob-omb. I also specified that a reverse parody is only specific to the person listening to the song and will be different for different people.

Thinking about it, I looked at the FuMP website and looked at every parody that was released in 2011 including the multiple ones in one medley of songs and noticed a pattern:

FYI: The only 20th century song I did not know the original was Rapper's Delight and only know of Snoop Dogg (What's My Name) because someone asked me to get it as a DLC for Rock Band shortly before he released a parody of it. The only 21st century song I know is the Double Rainbow Song. Though I know of Stacy's Mom, I first heard the parody Harry's Wand.

People do not age on their birthdays but in specific moments throughout the year. This is definitely one for me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Turkey football

May at my work has for the past several years involved printing things for the upcoming football season and it becomes interesting looking at how the same basic image of fans in the piece changes depending on the team and the association via photoshop or replacing certain people in the picture to accomidate specific fan bases.

I then wondered about printing schedules since the NFL is in its third month of their lockout and the season is currently not guaranteed to play at this time since adding 2 games is one of the issues between the owners and players. I then remembered the Dolphins are scheduled to visit Dallas on Thanksgiving so I know my wife will be miserable on that day like she was in 2004 when the Dolphins beat Dallas as the networks usually choose since the famous Thanksgiving game played in snow in 1993.

With the current schedule and the yearly switch of the Detroit and Dallas Thanksgiving games between networks, I know the Dolphins (and the other 3 AFC east teams) have a 50/50 chance to play on Thanksgiving in years they play in Detroit or Dallas which currently happens once every 8 years. (I could post another paragraph or two explaining why but you have to trust me on this)

So I wondered about the odds of the Dolphins playing on that day. The chances are 1/8 * 1/2 for Detroit or Dallas and 1/4 * 1/8 to play the night game in Denver or 1/16 +1/16 + 1/32 or 5 times out of 32.

Well what about the Bears? They play in Detroit every year but only half the time could that game appear on Thanksgiving so that chance is 1/2 * 1/6 or 1 in 12 (in those years, any one of 6 NFC teams play in Detroit). They play in Dallas once every 6 years due to rotation and have a 1 in 8 chance of playing in Dallas due to their standings on 2 of 3 years. Those odds are (1/6 + 1/8 * 2/3) * 1/6 or 1 time out of 24. They play in Denver one year out of 8 and have a 1 in 8 chance of being the opponent selected so that is 1 out of 64. So the chance is 1/12 + 1/24 + 1/64 or 9 times out of 64.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Not the Natural I know

In the past, I have talked about sports movies whose endings I did not like due to the lack of logic involved ranging from a fat freshman at the end of a 5 on 3 penalty kill beating 3 upperclassmen down the ice to Mark Grace hitting a 500 ft home run to a college football team of only 18 walkons winning its only game against the number one team in the country.

There was one movie I failed to mention but I find its ending worse than the other movies for a different reason. The Natural. The ending scene is one of the most memorable ones in movie history and the music played as Roy Hobbs rounds the bases is often heard at ballgames and it makes me sick to my stomach when I hear it. Here is the scene I referenced:


Why does it bother me? Believe it or not, I have read the book. In high school, every other Monday involved a test about a novel and it was the first book of my junior year.

Following a conversation about books whose movie was adapted differently I went to Wikipedia and here is the plot summary for the end of the book written in 1952 (spoiler):

The judge offers Hobbs increasing amounts of money to lose the final game for the Knights. Hobbs makes a counter-offer of $35,000, which is accepted. That night, unable to sleep, he reads a letter from Iris. After seeing the word 'grandmother' in the letter, he discards it. The next day, he does play. During an at-bat, he fouls a pitch into the stands that strikes Iris, injuring her. The Wonderboy bat also splits in two lengthwise. Iris tells Roy that she is pregnant with his child. Now he's determined to do his best for their future. At the end of the game, with a chance to win it, the opposing team sends in Herman Youngberry, a brilliant young pitcher, who strikes out Hobbs, ending the season for the Knights.

The book ends with Hobbs seeking out the judge, Memo, and Gus Sands, hitting both the judge and Sands. Sands has his glass eye knocked out of his head and the judge has a bowel movement in his pants. Memo fires a gun at Hobbs, then puts it in her mouth. Hobbs takes it away from her, throws the bribe money at her and denounces her; she accuses him of murdering Bump. That evening, as he leaves the stadium, he sees a late edition newspaper headline accusing him of throwing the game. A newsboy asks him to tell him it is not true, but Hobbs breaks down and weeps.

Since the novel was written 33 years after the 1919 White Sox scandal where 8 players were banned from the game for taking a bribe to lose, it is likely that the Roy Hobbs character was based on Shoeless Joe Jackson since newsboy scene at the end of the book is similar to the situation at the Jackson trial. Personally I find that ending more realistic.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Doing my part

I believe that if every fat person would lose 10% of their body weight, the world would be a better place as the resources available could be spread among some of the people who do not have them.

I recently hit that mark. However all that did was change my category from very obese to obese so I need to lose 10% again from that weight and then another 10%.

The previous weekend had a large bump due to the large amount of food I had. With having to go 36 hours without any solid food this week, I expect to do more than stay stable. Hopefully I can do that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The last Marscon 2011 post

I did a chart showing who played with whom last year and was asked to do it again. Unlike last year, I had other ideas I needed to get out of my head and this weekend and finally had time to make this:

Unlike last year, there is video of the entire weekend main stage on you tube thanks to Mr Tuesday who was able to get them posted some within 24 hours of the performances. Hopefully this eliminated errors though I almost expect someone to find one.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tournament of bad Madman region

Over the past couple of years, two local sports radio DJs, Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers have done the tournament of bad where they with two people who work with their show arrange 68 bad things involving sports and other things into 4 regions and have people vote on what is more bad to get to one winner. This year the final features Notre Dame student safety against Getting on Lake shore Drive in the middle of a snowstorm. (Urinal conversations and Charlie Sheen's rehab efforts)

I was wanting to make my region a couple of weeks ago but was unable to do so until today. Here is the region:

Here is an explaination on why these are here in bracket order:

play-in game - USA soccer - FIFA (international soccer federation) has for years tried everything to get the US good in international soccer so the networks will pay top dollar for coverage. That is the only reason they pushed the women's game knowing the US is one of the top teams to try to generate interest in a country which does not care. FYI: Major League Soccer consists mostly of players who could not make it in the good leagues that exist in Europe.

play-in game - bad apostrophes - An apostrophe is used for possession and not plural. I have seen ads, billboards, tv commercials and even a cake that used an apostrophe as a plural.

1 - State of Illinois financial situation - Drastic measures have been taken to try to recover from many years of neglect and abuse.

8 - NFL rule changes - The NFL is now concerned with head injuries and want to reduce them. However, the new rules that are created to try to protect players can change the game completely. Fans like the NFL partially because it is a collision sport and take collisions out can ruin the game.

9 - People overenthusiastic about their lifestyle changes - I get it. You did something that make you better and you want to help others. It can go too far. Like posting charts on weight loss progress and .... er .... You know what I mean.

4 - Obama haters - He was fairly elected president. Had there been an problem with his eligibility, it would have been taken care of before he even started his campaign. I don't agree with many of his decisions and personally believe he was not ready to take office when he did. That does not mean I want him dead or impeached. People will have a chance in 2012 to elect a president.

13 - Avoiding the number 13 - I have seen hotels, hospitals and software skip that number. Putting a specific number will not create a problem nor prevent one. More effort should be placed on quality rather than superstition.

5 - Wrigley Field wall - It is mostly made of brick and is covered with ivy. When a college football game was played there last November, both teams had to go one direction worrying about players with helmets and padding crashing into the wall. They have padding painted with ivy for that game. That should be installed for the safety of players.

12 - playing songs on a car horn or doorbell - Unless the horn or doorbell is musical, playing a song with it might sound like the song to the person doing it but is annoying for everyone else.

2 - Soldier Field surface - Horrible, game changing. Needs to be replaced many times during the year. The Bears would be better off changing to an artificial surface.

15 - people who live in the US and can't speak English - English is the only official language in the US. People who want to enjoy the benefits of living in the US should learn the country's language.

7 - parking a car in two spaces - If a car is too expensive or too large for the driver to park in one space in a public lot, then it might be best to replace the car. I understand the desire to not want it dinged but to me taking up two spaces in a crowded parking lot is inviting people to smash the windows.

10 - NCAA football and mens basketball playoffs - They have the opposite problems. 68 teams is too many for basketball and I don't care if one of the last teams is one of the last 4 to make the field. With the money involved, I doubt that will change. Football has 2 in the title game along with many bowl games. The 3rd best football team is left out. As with basketball, money rules.

3 - Stating "god" is punishing Japan - Bad things in nature happens and people suffer and die from them. Jumping on that situation to try to impose a religious agenda is the exact opposite of what most religions want their people to do when others are in need.

14 - Counting an NHL overtime loss as a tie - Though teams get a point for it, it is still a loss.

6 - Saying any comedy song is done by Weird Al - People share and repost files. When they do that to a funny song, many automatically state Weird Al and occasionally misspell his name. There are many people who do funny songs who are not as well known as him. In a CD being released April 1, Devo Spice has a song about it. Gnome Sane?

11 - PGA/NASCAR end of season playoffs - It happens in September through November otherwise knows as football season. Most fans don't care. This cheapens championships since it is based on a few events rather than the whole season.

I am not going to ask people to vote since I know there won't be enough people interested to make it worth the effort to run it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rock Band squeeeee

Last Friday evening where both of us were tired, Carrie and I were talking and the subject of the band Boston came up and I told her how much I enjoyed their first album and when 6 of the songs from it came to Rock Band, I went home from work, immediately turned on my XboX 360 to get them to play in album order with side 2 first finishing with Foreplay/Long Time which was on the Rock Band 1 disc.

Though we had met 7 years earlier and have become surrogate spouses, the subject of my non dementia music preference is something that we had rarely talked about. After getting home from work this Sunday, I decided to look at the 475 songs available to play in Rock Band on my system and discovered there are about 75 songs I had or would have immediately purchased when available for DLC to play right away. (This includes songs that are available on the 5 RB discs I have)

20 of the songs are those I would play on my Dementia Radio show and are all made since 2000. Since those are the only 20 songs from the 21st century that fall into the get it now category, I did not include them in this chart:

Orange is 60s, green 70s, pink 80s, and blue 90s. Not wanting to make too many categories, I recategorized some genres to classic rock and pop/rock categories.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Off Target

Unable to find any snacks at the Mall of America that were healthy, I told the three people I was driving that I needed to get fruit and since it was 1PM Friday, we had time before anything started at Marscon.

When we passed a Wal-Mart, the passengers were not wanting to stop there. Though I am a Sam's Club member, I can understand their desires since one of the people I was driving is a target employee who gets a discount. Though savings would not be significant on a 5 day 900+ mile trip involving 4 nights in a hotel, I figured why not and headed towards the Target I thought existed west of where we were going.

The Target employee said he could use his phone to find one and directed me differently and after going to a distribution center, headed towards a store. However, it was a little slow and I got info on where to exit the expressway 10 seconds late and had to swing around.

For clarity, I used multiple colors since it would be confusing if I didn't.

Anyway, we finally got my hungry and irritable self there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

surviving the bump

I did forget to mention one other bad thing about Marscon. Weight gain. The party atmosphere causes people to overindulge and while looking at some the people there I do not seem fat so there is no guilt. When I tried to lose weight in 2009, it ended at Marscon and ended up back to my regular eating and getting myself to the point where I weighed what I did this January.

Not wanting to repeat that mistake, I decided to take the whole week before off work to avoid eating the extra food I usually do wanting to eat all the extra calories I am allowed from Feb 26 through Mar 11 in the 5 days of the con allowing myself about 12,500 total for the 5 days.

Things changed the before the con as I ate a lot of pizza while casting with two others on Wednesday and donuts on Thursday morning. I then realized the weekend was going to be about controlling gain rather than maintaning weight.

The rest of Thursday went ok and Friday's trip to the Mall of America better as I saved calories by eating a regular size grilled steak and walked around to find a place that had fountain Diet Coke since I do not drink Diet Pepsi. Every place in the south food court, including Mc Donalds, had Pepsi. I also decided it was best to not get a Dairy Queen shake or any other mall snack food though I was tempted. I ended up going to Target to get bananas, apples, and Diet Dew, the only Pepsi bererage I drink which is not available in the mall. I also saved calories by not drinking alcohol after the music not really in the mood to start to party after midnight.

The rest of the weekend involved a lot of food and beverage. Two breakfast buffets in the hotel, snacks in the movie room, the surprising well stocked con suite, the awesome spread by Breakman Z's parents enjoyed on the ride home and KAHN's mongolian buffet provided me much more than the planned intake of calories along with the food I brought and the large amount of alcohol consumed on the party bus.

When I returned to work on the 9th, there was weight gain and after eating at a wake on the 10th it was worse. However, one week of better eating more than overcame the weight gain as shown here:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The easy chart

On the way home, I figured out the details and used last year's map to reflect the 2011 dementia track attendence.

I know due to financial concerns (including one performer who was missed by many after he discovered the cost of airfare once he knew he could go increased to the point where the trip was not doable for him) some states represented in last year's chart are not in 2011.

As far as deciding performer/fan I decided only anyone introduced as the main person performing on stage or who is a member of a band as performer.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I used to play football

Finally got home from Marscon 2011 about 9:30 Monday evening. Am pretty tired as can be expected. After a situation that should not have happened kept 7 of us stuck at the Belvedere Oasis a half hour after we finished lunch on the way there, things went rather smoothly on both trips and everything in between. There will be follow up posts recapping some things that happened.

People might be most interested in what happens starting about 49:30 into the video.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Not all peaches and cream

Marscon is almost upon us. Later today, I meet the first couple of people for the trip. However, like almost everything in life, Marscon is not perfect. Here is a list of things that can make my weekend more difficult than it can and hopefully by writing this, I can get these thoughts out of my head now.

1. Organizing the trip: In 2005, I realized most of the people in the Chicago area do not have a car and since rented a vehicle to drive others there. Once I get behind the wheel things are great. Until then, it is a hassle. Eventually others have come from out of state to join me and after it got nicknamed the bus people started to think it was an actual bus. Of course it has been common over the past 7 years for people to ask about it, say they are riding, then back out and this year is no exception.

I have been financially burned by this too. Every year gas prices would increase the 3 weeks before the trip and it would cost me more than I quoted. I now give 2 quotes and collect twice; once for the vehicle and again for gas once I get an idea on mileage and cost. A couple of times there were too many people for the vehicle(s) obtained and after quoting the trip as everyone riding, I ended up forking $500 to make up the difference.

2. Non music con attendees. One year the music track went 7 minutes long even though we got a late start due the the panel before running long. The person who ran the masquerade that year which happens after the music track ends while going through rehearsal with me there wasted about a half hour complaining about the "shit music" and when everything ran 90 minutes long stated the music track running late was the reason. Since then things have been very tight with music especially considering the large number of acts that want to perform.

There have been times where the effort needed to keep everything exactly on time has created a rush in the performers and forced people to cut songs from their set list.

3. The cost. 4 nights in a hotel even splitting the cost with others is not cheap. Unlike other areas where a con suite can provide the occasional meal, the Marscon con suite is underfunded and every meal needs to be purchased. Over 5 days, that cost can be large. Almost every performer has stuff at the awesome table 27 to purchase. I can easily spend a grand over the weekend without blinking if I am not careful.

4. Drama. In any group where you get 50-75 people together where they are out of their normal routine and where many of them are drinking, there will be drama! Since there are male and female people there and the con nighttime atmosphere is like that of Vegas stupid things can and will usually happen.

In our on line community, things can happen and when people meet IRL, those conflicts can become IRL. I am definitely no exception to this rule. The worst was the time where a person's comment at 2AM triggered a reoccuring nightmare that I had and I woke up sweating and angry. When that person screamed something to the performer right behind me that afternoon so loud it hurt, I wanted to grab that person and scream back in their face. Eventually in front of others I ended up punching the wall in the elevator and when that person made a stupid comment to me later that evening, I saw three people get up to prevent me from putting that person's impression in the wall though I replied professionally.

Granted that person also creates conflict with me by posting the result of the hosted countdown show in the chatroom during my show. I have asked for years that all I want is for that person to respect my time slot and ask for permission. Instead of asking me for permission that person records the show later in the evening to avoid that conflict.

Anyway, I need to get my suitcase packed and clean the house.

Friday, February 25, 2011

the grey line

Last year, three people recorded a bit where they pretended to be from the Bad Rapport podcast. I was confused when one of them was imitating me as I am a semi regular on it and immediately thought it was an attack on me and reacted that way.

Eventually it was explained to me that it was not the case as I have seen for years people on stage making jokes about each other and to him that was along the same line. Though I was still not comfortable with it, I understood. I was considering doing something similar but could not without making it sound bad.

This week, that bit was mentioned and it got me thinking ... Though I know their real names, when on stage or together off stage I see them as their stage name and part of the characters' interaction is their occasional insults which in my mind is not insulting. Though I cowrote one song and have cameos in 5 others and been on stage with them, I still see them as characters and me as someone who appreciates their work but to the performers I was viewed as a character and not a fan.

The last two episodes of my Dementia Radio show featured music from the Marscon convention from the previous 8 years. Listening to the tracks and looking at pictures, I hear the voices of many of the fans like me either in the audience, on stage or in the fan showcase and realize they have become characters as well.

The on stage appearences have ranged from doing a cameo in a song they were in to being a ShoEboX microphone sanitation disposal person to screaming "BALLS!" to shooting an aritst with a Nerf gun to being a guy a female performer will never sleep with to dancing to a song in a Richard Nixon mask.

I know if I did this chart after this year's convention the numbers would be different.

I also realize I need to take myself less seriously around my friends. Last Dec 24 and 25 was the first time in many years I did not get really upset with someone. Too much of the wrong food, alcohol, and disruption of my normal sleep pattern has caused me to get upset at someone at all but one Marscon and someone else upset at the other one. Maybe it is time to break that pattern also.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The 5 that make the other 360 tolerable

In about a week, Marscon 2011 will be upon us. The question I get asked is "Why is this convention so special compared to others?" Thinking about it, I have 12 reasons:

1. The trip - Unlike other conventions where driving alone is common, I have never travelled to Marscon with fewer than 6 other people ranging from 1 to 4 vehicles including one rented since 2005. Why? It makes the 400 mile ride both ways seem a lot shorter and in my opinion, it makes the con start earlier and last later. The ride back is usually filled with playing new music acquired at the con and usually with a stop to drop off one of the passengers whose parents set up food for us. I still find it amazing that ten people last year got out of their cars at a gas station in northern Wisconsin all quoting a sketch from a CD we were listening to and confusing the hell out of the people there.

2. The atmosphere - In listening to the recordings made from the con, there is a level of excitement and enthusiasm that is unmatched anywhere else and it shows in the performers. Almost every year one of the artists burns out their voice from the excitement. I am not even going to try to count the number of times the Carson Ave sketches will be referenced on and off stage this weekend.

3. The opening sketch - Wyngarde, Brian and Luke open the con with a elaborate sketch which is rarely seen at other cons. It has ranged from a talk show to a game show, to vampires, to creating con agent Luke Bauer who got a report of a Madman on the Loose threatening to sing in the karoake room.

4. The regular music artists - I get to see Luke Ski, ShoEboX, Devo Spice, Carrie Dahlby, Rob Balder, Power Salad and the Nick Atoms/Possible Oscar perform at other conventions but Marscon in the only one where they all get together.

5. The special music guests - Over the years Luke Ski has been able to bring artists from all over the US including Ookla the Mok, Paul and Storm, MC Lars, Shaffer the Darklord, Throwing Toasters and this year TV's Kyle. Many of them had Marscon as their first sci-fi convention performance. There is a possibility of a group from Englad making the trip for 2012.

6. The music - With the ability of most performers to record at home, they can create songs together. Marscon gives them the chance to take their individually recorded items and perform them together sometimes for the first and only time. Often artists will do something special for the con like premiere new material or do something different with their older stuff like the one time an individual artist had a 4 member band join him on stage to play a song that has 7 notes and 2 words which got a standing ovation from the audience.

7. The pool gatherings - Many hotels have a pool. However it is different at Marscon as they turn into sing a longs in the hot tub usually before and after the con.

8. Parties - Twin Cities area cons are known for the creative parties and though the 4th of July weekend Convergence is the greatest, the night scene on the 13th floor at Marscon holds its own. There is Karaoke Joes which has not closed until after the sun rises, creatively themed parties, the filk lounge which has live music, our group of people, and the birth of Party Rob Balder who this year is hosting a Saturday might party on a 30 passenger bus complete with live music. There have been legendary nights none topped by a visit from British soldiers who were staying overnight at the hotel before heading off to desert training in Arizona to eventually serve in Iraq/Afganastan.

9. Wrestling - Mr Tuesday takes the performers from the con, uses a video wrestling game to create their characters and has them battle in a 20 person battle royal which gets shown at the con late Saturday night to the drunk crowd which reacts like they do in the WWE. The attitude of the fans against one of the people in the ring actually confused his mother who does not understand that the wrestler that is hated the most is usually one of the most popular ones.

10. Fan Showcase - After people recover from the Saturday night parties, they head to the karoake room late Sunday morning. DJ Particle runs the show where anyone there can perform their song or a cover as long as they either have the music with them or the ability to play. Some of the acts which now have either main stage or party shows started perfroming at this. Last year, I tried to perfrom a song in it last year after getting permission from the music Guests of Honor but my daughter realized what was happening and changed the file from the background music to the song to telling me I should not sing.

11. Smackdown - The traditional end of the music at the con has each performer doing one song that is usually not theirs. It has ranged from covering a classic tune to providing a new way of doing a song that someone else has done.

12. Kahn's - Before people head their seperate ways after the con ends on Sunday, many head to this Mongolian buffet for one last meal together. It is a combination of great food and conversation and last hugs before saying goodbye and before heading back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep before the drive home on Monday. I salute the staff there by ringing their gong with my head on the way out.

While trying to compile this list I came to the realization that since I refer Marscon as my "Christmas" and that I listed 12 things, I could create a song. I neither have the money or ability to get a decent soundtrack or compose lyrics nor have the ability to make it sound good.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Harnessing the madman

After initially making this post, I was informed that it does not meet the standards of this blog and removed it. I decided to reinstate an edited version 6 weeks later.

On May 13, 2002 while my wife was recovering in the hospital, I went to the grocery store to pick up pictures taken at AlCon 3 which happened a few weeks prior. I needed a pick me up as that roll contained a picture of me with Weird Al Yankovic who appeared there. When I got the envelope, it felt very light as the only picture that developed was the one I took of my daughter to make sure the camera worked.

The camera fell out of the pocket of the Hawaiian shirt I was wearing while helping setting up the stage and it came loose. I did snap it back and it took pictures but I did not realize the film in the camera was overexposed until that point.

As I explained in a previous post, I have yet to retake that pic. It usually does not bother me much except when he is on tour and I see other pics people post of themselves with him and especially on the shows I attend where I see others go backstage after the show. It has gotten to the point where I don't even want to spend any more money on his music or see him live. The only reason I saw a show last year was because my daughter asked me to take her.

Right after the school year continued for my daughter in January, she told me she wanted to dance by herself in the school vareity/talent show. My wife and I were against it afraid she was going to embarass herself but looking into my daughter's eyes, I could tell she wanted to do it and reluctantly signed the permission form. Last week, she needed me to rip the song she was using to burn it on a disk for the show. I also had to start my internet radio show late the night before the show needing to drop her off for rehearsal.

Shortly after I signed the permission slip, I heard Weird Al was going to sign copies of his new childrens book "When I Grow Up" in Naperville on the exact same night as the talent show. I knew that in spite of my desire to go there and possibly get a pic with him, I had to be at the school to see my daughter on stage.

Of course some of my friends were going. Carrie was happy that she with her husband Josh was finally going to meet Al and Bill was driving from the Detroit area with Moonbeam and her 5 month old son for the event and then hang out over the weekend.

Last Wednesday morning, I tweeted about how upset I was while being at work one step away from losing it and then how I almost lost it when that exact step happened. Carrie texted me why I was so upset. I was unhappy that I could not go but did not want to tell her since I did not want to get her upset so I said something else.

Then a thought occurred to me about the event. Last October, my daughter wanted to see the band Big Time Rush in person at a bookstore. (If you don't know who they are, imagine the Monkees in this time) After driving an hour, we found out there were wristbands needed to see them and people were lined up outside the store at 10PM the night before to get one to come back at 5 the following day and they were out by 9:30. I wondered if any of them thought about preregistering and when they said no, I took my break early.

Checking the website, I found out it was a ticketed event, called the store directly and found out there were exactly 4 tickets left. They allowed me to put the 4 books on my credit card so they can get tickets not wanting to risk them getting shut out while trying to relay the info to Carrie. After work, I drove to the store to get the books and tickets finding out the event was actually at the college a few blocks away where Al was going to talk about the book and read from it and dropped everything off with Carrie who paid me for them.

On Friday, I met up with them to make plans for Saturday and after grabbing food and telling them the best way to get to the expressway from where we were, headed home with my daughter so she can get ready to be on stage.

I was initially worried about them getting a text that they were lost but they found the place and it was time for the show which my wife after seeing dress rehearsal said was not pretty.

I noticed that via guitar, singing, tap dance and regular dance the song "Dynamite" was listed four times. My daughter was on right in the middle of the show and seeing the kids were sitting up front stage left (sex section), I sat in back on the stage right (Satan) section.

As expected, there were kids who looked like a deer in headlights on stage. A magic act ended up becoming an onstage shoving match between three kids and after someone very slowly played the riffs from Iron Man and Smoke on the Water on a guitar, it was my daughter's turn.

I could not even sit my stomach churning with nerves and when the music started, she seemed a little stiff. Then things kicked in for her and she showed the energy, enthusiasm, and most importantly fearlessness that most of the other acts lacked. I could picture myself as a 10 year old (or even as an adult before a damaged bursa sac, three knee surgeries, and age made that no longer possible for me) dancing like she did had I not been so self conscious of myself back then. I was preparing to complain on line about missing Al to see her perform but instead my comments were reflective of how proud I was of what she was able to do with only minimal help from me. I trusted my daughter to make sure she did well on stage and she did.

The next morning, I noticed pics taken with him from that night including one with a chibi of me. Though I appreciate the effort and thought of it, I did not care for it since it is not the same.

I did what I should do. I used my anger to help others rather than hurt them and to put my family above my personal feelings. I just wished it felt better than it does.

Three months later, one of my friends has an extra backstage pass to see Weird Al in St. Charles. Though it would cause me to miss part of one of my daughter's softball games, I decided to get a ticket not wanting to miss that chance again. Good fortune fell that day as an afternoon thunderstorm made the field unplayable and I could go without missing anything. After the show, I was finally able to replace the pic 3,321 days after the one I took in 2002.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Goal one achieved

While driving to work this morning, I was thinking I was going to lose one pound from Monday since that had been the normal for the past couple of weeks and thinking I have one more week to get below 270 before Marscon like I did in 2009.

When I stepped on the scale and looked at the result, I thought the scale was unbalanced. Then I went to another scale to confirm the 268.7 reading.

Here is a chart of the past three weeks compared to 09:

Unlike 2009, my weight did not increase on Superbowl or Valentines day weekend as both of them in 09 involved eating too much at each of my sister's houses.

Next goal is Marscon 2004 weight of 250 lb. I know it will take longer than the 45 days it took to get from 287.5 to 268.7

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Con scoring

A while ago, I jokingly decided to attach point values to different things seen and experiences had at sci-fi conventions. I decided to create this chart to more or less summarize what has happened over the past 8 years.

The cons with 5+ points have been generally those with my wife and or involving spray can foods. The negative one con was the time a guy got completely pantsed in front of us.

I am not going into any more detail about my scoring system in this post since it is a public one. ;)

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's got to be the pants

Looking at the scale reading I made every Monday, Thursday, at work and Saturday at Weight Watchers, I noticed some irregularities:

The Monday and Thursday weights were with shoes and work shirt (about 2.5lb total)about 5:30 AM. The Saturday readings were made between 9 and 10 AM without shoes but after eating breakfast though the time on two of the tapes stated almost 11AM because one of their three older computers was set to the Indiana time zone which until a few years ago meant that the clock never went forwards or backwards an hour. (I changed it to Central time and let someone there know so it should now be fixed.)

I did get on the scale at the same time of day so it would accurately reflect my situation but realized one of my pants was heavier than the others since it was flannel lined for winter weather and that could have created the one week unchanged situation from which after wearing regular jeans on the 31st, showed a 3lb loss in a week.

Though I consider my memory exceptional, I do not know if I was wearing my heavy pair of pants on the 3rd but the 5 lb loss in three days could have been assisted by what pair of pants I wore those days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Math and playoff probabilities

I have not been asked what are the mathematical changes of the Bears and Packers playing for the NFC Championship though I would be asked that if they both win this weekend which they did.

In a 16 team conference the odds of any two teams meeting for a title would generally be close to 2/16 * 1/15 or 120-1 and it would be that simple if the NFL playoffs were like the NBA or NHL. However, the NFL playoff format changes things:

Note: All calculations are based on true math odds and not home field advantage or team history.

Four division champions from 4 team divisions make the playoffs plus 2 wild card teams which have the best record of non division winners. The Bears and Packers both make the playoffs if they both are wild card teams which hapens 1/2 * 2/12 * 1/11 or 1 out of 132 times or if one wins the division and one is a wild card team 1/2 * 1/6 (1 out of 12) or 1 out of 11 years combined which has happened under the current format in 2002 and also this year.

(Note: To make things less complicated than it already is, I am not going to figure in the unlikely scenario of both teams being wild card teams and advancing to the title game since the odds of that are 1/132 * 1/4 * 1/4 or 2,112 to 1. That changes the odds of both teams being in the playoffs to 12 to 1.)

The first round involves the two division champions with the worst records hosting the 2 wild card teams. About half the time (like this year) the NFC North champion does not have to play a wild cadr game so for the other team to advance the odds are1/2 (2 out of 4 possibilities) * 1/2 = 1/4. Then the chances are 1/2 that they don't play each other in the divisional round and 1/4 both winning so 1/4 * 1/2 * 1/4 = 1/32.

About one out of four times both teams play and both advancing is 1/4 (1 out of 4 possibilites) * 1/4 = 1/16 and then both teams winning again is 1/4 so 1/16 * 1/64 = 1/64.

One out of four times they play each other in the first round so one team has to lose. 1/4 (1 out of 4 possibilities) * 0 = 0

So the odds of both teams advancing to the NFC title game is about 1/32 + 1/64 or 3/64.

So the mathematical odds of the Bears and Packers (or any two divisional teams) meeting for the conference title is about 1/12 * 3/64 or 3/768 which is 256 to 1.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A couple of sports notes

I have been asked who I want to win in the football playoffs and I tell them the playoffs ended last month in week 16 after the Misfit Demons who were dominant in October and November came up short when it counted most. Once the person realizes I am talking fantasy football which I care about more than the NFL, the question is changed to cover the next couple of weeks. I then refer to a couple of my former posts which states I only root for the Bears 63 regular season games out of 64 and another one with this chart which I made a couple of years ago about who I root for in playoffs:

So this means I want the Bears to win this weekend but lose to Atlanta in the conference final. I also explain that since the Bears are 4-1 on artificial turf and 7-4 on natural grass, 1-2 their last 3 natural grass games, they would be better off playing in Atlanta rather than hosting Green Bay. Of course this assumes that they will be able to beat Seattle this Sunday. Though they will not play their best, it should still be good enough to beat Seattle.

Now on to something I find disturbing in the NHL. Starting with the 1999-2000 season, the league changed the way they determine regular season points. They started to give a point to teams that lost a game in the five minute overtime period in an effort to encourage more offensive play. When the league resumed play in 2005 after the lockout canceled the 2004-05 season, they added a shootout to ensure that every game had a winner if no team scored in the 5 minute overtime period which was changed to play 4 on 4. Teams that lost in either the five minute overtime or in a shootout would get one point.

This means that no NHL game can end in a tie and that a team's regular season record is stated in a W-L-OTL format where a team gets 2 points for a win and one point for an overtime (or shootout) loss. I have heard way too many people lately (including announcers) who do not include overtime (or shootout) losses in referencing a teams record still thinking that they are ties though no game can end in one. After Sunday's game the Chicago Blackhawks are 23-18-3. Long time announcer Pat Foley, whose broadcasts I have enjoyed for years, incorrectly stated they are 5 games about .500. They have won 23 and lost 21 but got a point for 3 of them. a .500 ball club wins as many games as it loses like the Flyers did last year when they went 41-34-7.

I realize I am being picky and CDO (like OCD but with letters in alphabetical order as they should be).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm not a girl

After a difficult Thursday trying to explain why I can't afford to join a weight loss program which left me hopeless and shaking, I did agree to join Weight Watchers at the coaxing of Carrie under the belief she would not stop getting on my case until I agreed to join. (I also realized that if I don't lose the weight, I will have to pay extra in life insurance costs anyway so this is more an investment to prevent me from spending extra money)

After weiging in at 279.8 lb (without shoes or work shirt), it was time to listen to someone who lost 65 lb 30 years ago and has kept it off since. As expected, nothing I heard today nor anything I read in the materials provided new information about what a person needs to do to improve their weight situation (intake, output, consistency). The thing I found useful was what to do when things failed to work one day or one week as those events were the things that ended my past attempts.

What Weight Watchers has done was provide a point system to make calculations easier for members rather than going by calories or telling people what they must eat. Using their points calculator, I was allowed 54 points per day with 49 extra to use during the week. From using the calculator to check the foods I eat, it comes to 35-45 calories per point depending on the item except for fresh fruits and most vegtables which don't have any points.

I figure with how active I am at work to use the 49 extra on work days and will start every week on Saturday for two reasons. One, if I work the weekend, I can spread out the extra points evenly instead of being stuck with none on the weekend. Two, I can use the extra points for two weeks for conventions so I can use one week's of extra points on Friday and the following week's on Saturday.

What I found confusing was their sticker I got in my new weekly book. It said I have 42 points per day rather than the 54 I got in their calculator. After things were done and I asked someone there, it was determined that my profile was not switched from the female default.

Now I just have to find a way to get the ipod to log in to their app so I can keep the points calculator in the car and use the ipod at home and do what I can to make this program work.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

the 5 easy ones.

After a December which for me as with most people involved more food than normal including one day where I consumed 5,000 calories, the result on the scale this Monday was expected.

If I want to get to the point where I can renew my life insurance without being reclassified as high risk, I need to start to lose weight.

As I did in 2008 2009 (two years ago) I started on Monday to eat what an active 200lb man my age and height does which is about 2,750 calories per day. For the heck of it, when I got to work each morning, I stepped on the scale and this was the result:

This is also what happened in 2009 during the first week of the year. I also then got to the point where no amount of fruits or vegtables will suffice and I had to get a Wendy's double cheese burger. Shortly after that, when the weight loss stopped happening and after Marscon put some pounds back, I got frustrated and stopped eating properly. This year, I need to be smarter about what I am doing.