Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Days 14-18"

Happiness Level: Varied

This experiment sucks. I've stopped drinking only water. I did not call my sister this past week. I stopped reading to Maddie (though I do spend time with her... of course... I just gave up on reading.) I'm not adhering to specified bedtimes. I haven't exercised for shit. And last Tuesday, I got so pissed off at the people playing poker that I want on an hour long tirade and someone actually got up and left right in the middle of the game. The funny thing is that he wasn't even one of the people I was yelling at.

Has the experiment been completely useless? No. A few positives have come out of this. I am consciously eating less, maybe not half, but certainly less, and consequently I've felt less "blah" than I usually do after meals. I'm also eating after 10pm a lot less often. The heart palpitations have subsided, and that's definitely a good thing. I'm not sure if them going away is due to my eating habits, but it's still a positive. And finally I've also been talking with my parents a lot more. All good things.

Frankly, any positive changes are good ones, regardless of goals. None of the previous changes would have happened without attempting this experiment so I'm going to continue doing what I can.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Day 13"

Happiness Level: 5 of 10

Due to a time conflict with Claire, I ended up having to meet her at Taco Bell for lunch. An order of steak taquitos, a chicken fiesta burrito and a Pepsi... eaten. Dinner was part of an awful, awful brisket sandwich from Bill Millers, a side of Pinto Beans (not so awful) and some Pepsi. I ate so little at dinner that I ended up picking up a grilled chicken salad from Whataburger on the way home from poker at Matt's. I ate half of that and drank most of that medium Coke.

Exercise? Pfft. What's that? I'm failing miserably on the exercise front

Talking to parents? Well, I talked with my mom ever so briefly the day before, and she gave me a call today, but I was in the middle of a poker game. I will for SURE call her tomorrow.

Maddie time? I had dinner with her, but that's about it. :-(

Yelling? I yelled at Claire a good amount in the morning. I was pretty pissed off at her. I was plenty calmed down by lunchtime. I played a new .50/1.00 pot limit game over at Michael A's friend's house (Matt) last night. I tried my best to stay calm. It wasn't too hard as I didn't really get sucked out on too badly. I ended up cashing out $70 off of a $20 buy-in. Yes, I realize that $20 is an awfullly low initial buyin for a .50/1.00 game, but when in Rome...

Palpitations? Yep. Kept me up again for hours. They're not painful, just uncomfortable. My family doctor didn't seem to concerned about it. It's probably cuz I'm so freakin' out of shape. I *really* need to make an apt with Dr. Black.

I'm soo tired right now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Day 12"

Happiness Level: 3 of 10

I'm going to make this short.

Food: Crap!

Relationships: Crap!!

Exercise: Crap!!!!

Poker: Crap!!!!!!

Spurs Win: Good!


Monday, June 11, 2007

"Day 11"

Happiness Level: 5 of 10

Reading over my entries, it's apparent that I talk about food the great majority of the time. This is probably why I'm overweight. Although there are a multitude of things I should be doing besides watching what I eat this month, I tend to focus on the food elements. As evidenced in this blog, I associate the parts of my day with the meals I eat. So in an effort to stymie this line of thinking, I'm going to greatly reduce the importance of food in my daily blogs. Hopefully this will transcend over to my daily way of thinking.

That being said...

I had Pluckers for lunch. Grilled Chicken sandwich, a few fries and about 1/2 of a Coke. Dinner was yummy. Home-made beef tostadas, side of mexi-rice and a bottle of water.

I called my parents today. I started with my Dad. He was literally surprised to hear from me to the point that he called me on it. Saying something like, "I'm looking at the phone number calling me, and I can't believe it!" Yeah, that's how often I call my parents. I asked him how he was feeling. I knew he and my mother had caught a cold recently. He said they were both nearly fully recovered from the cold, but that my mother was at home sick with a stomach ache and that I should call her.

So I called my mom. No answer. I left a message knowing that I probably wouldnl't call back... at least not today... and also knowing that as soon as she'd see the message that she try to call me back like 20 times until I answered. So, I told her in the message that I was going back to work and that she probably wouldn't get ahold of me. That didn't stop her. She called back within a hour. I didn't answer. I'll call her tomorrow.

I don't know why I hate talking on the phone so much, but I do. My parents have gotten used to it. They don't like it, but they're used to it. That reminds me. I need to call my sister this week.

On the way home, I had plans of going jogging. Once home, I fell asleep. :-(

At least I spent a good amount of time with Maddie. She loves nothing more than to sit on my lap while I'm at my computer. I play a movie for her in one monitor and go about my business on the 2nd monitor. I guess some people might call that 'non-quality' time together, but fuck those people. My daughter loves me. At this point in her life, she probably wants to be with her Dada more than anyone else in the world. It kinda makes Claire sad, but she chooses to be with me more often than anyone... even her. I'm sure it's a temporary phase, but it's nice to know that at least for one tiny portion of her life, I had my daughter's heart completely. And whether we spend that time together watching Backyardigans for the 21st time or me reading the Bible to her, that's our business.

The worst part of day was actually late night. After Maddie and Claire were sound asleep, my heart began those annoying/scary palpitations. Worrying about them kept me up for hours.

My sister lived with me for a bit before she moved to Florida. While she was here, she worked as a nurse. As a nurse, she owned a stethoscope. You know, the tubey thing that they use at the doctor's office to listen to your heartbeat. Anyway, she left one here. And when I get freaked out by my heart beats, I like to listen to it with the stethoscope. It soothes me to hear it when it starts beating normally. It makes me realize that my hearts fine, and that I'm overreacting.

Last night, I couldn't find the stethoscope. :-(

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Day 10"

Happiness Level: 7 of 10

I was so tired. I slept through most of the day. At about 4:30pm I woke up to a pair of KFC Buffalo Snackers sitting in a bag bedside. And the requesite bottle of water, of course. Claire's awesome. But as good as those things are, I think I'm done with them for a while. The last batch was too salty. And that's saying a lot cuz I loves me some salt.

Game 2 of the NBA Finals was going to be on in the evening, and that was as good a reason as any to grill up some fajitas on the patio grill. Some homemade charro beans and a side of mexi-rice... soo good. I even had a rare Coke (at home, anyway) with my meal to puncuate the 'special occasion' of eating freshly grilled fajitas while watching the Spurs obliterated the Cavs. Ahhhh.

I didn't do much other than that. I spent a little time with Maddie, neglected to run again and finally played a little bit of online poker before bed, but overall, it was a pretty chill day.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

"Day 9"

Happiness Level: 6 of 10

I hate Wendy's. They suck so bad. Claire brought home some Wendy's for lunch. I was pretty disappointed. Normally I don't mind their spicy chicken sandwich so much, but today I just couldn't stand the sight of Wendy's food. I was really fucking hungry though. So I ate most of the sandwich, but only after I added a lot of hot sauce to it. Why is 'spicy' food rarely spicy?

I actually gave Claire a lot of shit about brining me Wendy's for lunch, and I shouldn't have. She knows I hate Wendy's, but I have eaten it on occasion without too much complaining. And to her credit, she did try to get me something I might like. She was simply in a hurry because she was on her way home from work and was late to take Maddie to a birthday party, and we have the misfortune of having a Wendy's located in the shopping center right in front of our house. I did make it clear that I don't ever want to eat anything from Wendy's ever again though. Especially not their dreadful fries.

Dinner was rushed. It was almost poker time, and Claire had fallen asleep with Maddie for a good part of the late afternoon/early evening. Aaron had come over early to play some video games before poker time (I suspect because his Xbox 360 is currently broken.) Judy had accompanied him. Once Claire woke up, she and Judy headed out to Rudy's to pick up some Dinner. I ate quickly and probably a tad too much. Oh, well.

Not that it makes up for a bit too much Rudy's BBQ for dinner, but I finally went jogging/walking this afternoon! I got winded a bit too early, and I didn't have enough energy to complete 4 laps, but I did do 3. It wasn't my muscles or even my lungs that held me back. I literally didn't have enough energy to do 4 laps. It was probably because I had so little for lunch... just part of that chicken sandwich and some water. In any case, I felt good that I did it, but my body wasn't too happy with me. I'm far more out of shape than I appear.

I spent most of the early day with Maddie. Her ability to communicate has been improving rapidly. That makes spending time with her so much better IMHO.

Poker sucked. We had such a big turnout that we had to run two tables. It didn't matter. I still ended up -$17 for the night. I played very tight, but probably not aggresive enough. We had 5 new people show up, so I felt that I needed to be patient and see what they were like. One guy was a freakin' leprechaun with multiple horseshoes up his ass. He couldn't lose not matter what he played. But he only hit me once... when he got runner-runner flush after he made a call on the flop with a 'pair draw.' Idiots.

Friday, June 08, 2007

"Day 8"

Happiness Level: 6 of 10

I went to the doctor today. As I suspected, I got a referral to see Dr. Black for my palpitations, some blood drawn for a cholestorol/liver check, and a prescription for more cholestorol meds. Nothing too surprising.

I had Dot's for lunch. I hadn't had that in forever... namely because it had burned down a few years ago, and it was rebuilt a bit too far from work. Luckily, it's nearer my doctor's office.

Dot's is one of the few places that I know of that makes all their stuff from scratch. Well, maybe not the condiments, and I'm pretty sure then don't gather their own sea salt or make their own Coca-Cola, but all the entrees, sides and desserts are home-made from scratch everyday. Pretty yummy stuff. I had beef tips over white rice, potatoes, mac and cheese, and dinner roll and a fresh lemonade to drink. I shared my meal with Claire so that probably kept me from overeating.

Dinner was quite yummy as well. Claire made some awesome home-made tacos, rice and beans. Since I was at home, I was able to drink what has become my favorite water, Aquafina, with my meal. I was only going to eat two tacos, but damn, they were so good. I had three. :-(

After Dinner Claire and I went to Mike's Friday Night Poker Tourney. It was our worst performance ever there I think. I got 4th in the tourney. Claire ended up 5th. :-(

Other than some time after work, I didn't see Maddie much today. I do love that little girl though. She's getting so big too!

On the brighter side of familial relationships, I did talk to my Mom for a bit today. She called me asking if I wanted to buy some contacts from a friend of hers who was selling some. Out of the trunk of her car I imagine. That was a rather odd call. I declined and reminded my mom that I wore prescription contacts. My mom is weird sometimes.

I didn't jog again. God, do I hate running/jogging/walking for exercise. Seems like the only reason I should be running is to run after something/someone or away from something/someone. I guess if I wanted to be all inspirational and shit, I could say that I'd be running away from obesity, but that sounds pretty lame. Tomorrow... tomorrow.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"Day 7"

Happiness Level: 7 of 10

Other than being super tired from lack of sleep, I felt OK today.

I had grilled chicken fajitas with corn tortillas and a coke for lunch. Here's the thing with the soda: tap water tastes like shit. I'm having a *hard* time drinking tap water from restaurants, and I'm pretty much saying 'fuck it' from now own to having to drink water at restaurants. If the tap water sucks, I'm not drinking it. I'm having a soda or a lemonade or something instead. Honestly, I've never been a huge soda/cola guy, anyway. I have some with my meals, but I hardly ever have a soda outside of that. When I'm really thirsty, I'd much rather have purified drinking water. Sodas are too damn sweet. Too bad I can't stand diet sodas at all. They're worse than tap water.

Speaking of water... I'm finding that purified drinking water like Aquafina or Dasani tastes waaay better than spring water like Ozarka or any of those 'bottled from the natural spring of [insert exotic location here]' bullshit waters. You know what that makes me think of?... that natural spring claim?... Fish shit. All I can think of is fish shitting in that natural spring and then it going right into my $1.50 bottle of water. Fucking gross.

And here's another revelation I've had: jogging on poker nights is nigh impossible. Well, of course its possible, but it's highly improbable. I get out of work at 5:30pm or so. We go pick up Maddie at 5:45pm. Head straight to dinner at around 6:00pm. After I eat, I'm not exercising for at least 2 hours... and that puts us at 8:00pm when poker starts. Poker goes until 12:00-1:00am and then there's no way I'm jogging because I'm too tired. I *HAVE* to jog on M/W/S/S's when there isn't any poker.

I have an appointment to see my family doctor tomorrow. The heart palpitation crap was getting to be too much. Of course, since now the appointment has been made, I'm feeling no more palpitations. Not that I'm complaining. I hate palpipations, and you should too! In any case, I need to get my cholestorol checked and get a new prescription for my cholestorl medication. I suspect that I'll also end up with a referral to my cardiologist. Ya hear that? *My* cardiologist. How many people have a cardiologist that they see regularly enough to call them 'my cardiologist'? Probably not too many outside of those that have had heart attacks. I'm being safe. I'm thinking I just might go ahead and have that ablation done to my extra nerve ending in my heart so that it doesn't randomly start beating at 200bpm for no good reason. Sounds scary, but he's told me before that he's done over 1,000 of them with 100% success rate. Can't ask for better odds than that, right?

I didn't read to Maddie tonite nor did I spend much time with her. That kind of sucked. I plan to take her to a play park this weekend.

Didn't talk to my mom today.

Oh, I forgot about dinner. We went to Logan's. I shared a chopped steak, grilled veggies and a baked potato with Claire. Super exciting, huh?

Poker went alright I guess. I made a lousy $1.90. Wow. I probably played about 25% of my hands. I was playing really tight because the Spurs game was on, and I was more interested in watching the game than playing crap like KTo to a raise. Being selective pre-flop didn't help much. When I did go in with great starting cards, I'd miss horribly and had to fold or get sucked out on. The one time I had KK, I ended up all-in vs. Hanley's QQ which naturally hit another Q on the river. I also had a nice triple club flop while holding 2c 3c. I raised and re-raised on the flop and turn and then proceeded to lose to a K high flush after a 4th club came on the river.

My biggest winning hands were two suckout hands. On a pre-flop all-in, I held AQ vs Pat's AK. I hit a Q while he missing completely. That was very early on and for little money. Later in the evening, I hit a flush draw on the turn after I pushed all in with the nut flush draw on a seemingly crap flop. Claire was the victim that time as she had flopped a set of 7's.

I guess I'll have to make it up at Friday's tourney at Mike's.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Day 6"

Happiness Level: 4 of 10

I've been feeling those weird heart flutters (palpitations) for the last couple of days. It's been worrying me. I keep thinking that they are going to lead to a WPW episode... which are always really sucky and scary. I'm set up to see the Doctor on Friday. It pretty much overshadowed the raise I got at work today (it was a small one, but a raise nonetheless.)

Don't feel like writing much today. I'll just sum up:

Lunch: Fried Chicken, small fries, water (Made me feel like crap.)
Dinner: Mr Gattis buffet. Modest salad and some pizza/pasta. (Felt more crappy.)
Snacks: None

Exercise: The big zilcher. Aaron came over to play some Shadowrun after dinner and then I spent time with Maddie and then it was bedtime. :-(

Communication: Talked to my mom for a bit. She called me. Unfortunately, it was right in the middle of dinner so we didn't talk too long. She and my dad have a pretty bad cold right now. :-(

Sleeping Schedule: I've been totally ignoring this. I actually forgot that I had made some restrictions regarding bedtime. Last night I probably would have been OK, except that my heart palpitations have been getting worse, and that kept me up until about 5:45am. :-( I'm soo tired.

Temper: I got pretty upset because I didn't get to exercise again, and I actually really wanted to this time. I got pissed because Claire fell asleep super early which meant I had to watch Maddie (who's been refusing to go beddy bye at a decent hour) during the time I wanted to go jogging. You might say that it was actually still my fault because I could have gone jogging in the early evening, but you'd be wrong because I can't run/jog/exercise for at least 2 hours after a meal. My stomach will not negotiate that point. I hate it when I try to wake her up, and she just goes back to sleep. I hate it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"Day 5"

Happiness Level: 6 of 10

I ate crap for lunch: a single whole Whataburger and sip of Claire's soda. She'll tell you that I drank over half of it, but in reality, I just had a sip. She exaggerates. Anyway, I looked up the nutritional information on that sucker and sans a large Coke and fries, I only ate about 650 calories or so. The problem is that a lot of them were fat calories and the burger had a fair amount of cholestorol in it. I definitely can do with less cholestorol.

For dinner, we went to Chili's. I had some chicken pasta and my share of the skillet queso. Sooo good. Since this is a restaurant in Round Rock, I had to get a soda. Sue me. At least I didn't feel like I overate at dinner. So that was good.

Right before my 10pm deadline, I ended up eating a Little Debbie cupcake and drank some more water. Sounds like I ate a lot today, but I still ate less than I normally would have for the day. If I could just start exercising...

Speaking of which... my legs started to feel better today. I think Wednesday will be my first day around the neighborhood. We'll see how that goes. My hearts been feeling funny lately. For those that don't know, I have Wolff Parkinson White syndrome. And that sucks.

I totally forgot to call my parents, but I did talk to them two days in a row... Sunday and Monday, so I don't feel so bad. I owe them a call tomorrow.

I actually got through a whole book with Maddie, but it was just the Itsy Bitsy Spider which is just like 1 sentench a page and like 8 pages. ;)

Poker was OK, but I felt I could have done better. I was up $22 for the night. I guess it could have been worse.

And finally, the financial stuff I was worrying about has been pretty addressed. I feel a bit better about that now.

Monday, June 04, 2007

"Day 4"

Happiness Level: 5 of 10

Most of my day was spent worrying about financial matters. That boat trip really kicked my ass. I figured we spent between $425 and $450 on Saturday. And we're still recovering from some 'surprise' payments I had to make. Things are looking horribly for the next two weeks, financially speaking. That's got me pretty down.

I had a decent lunch. I ordered 1 Cowboy Taco from Taco Deli and shared Clarie's grilled chicken salad. We learned from last time we ordered it that it's way too much for one person. I had water to drink. As an afternoon snack, I had about 1/3 of a bag of animal crackers. Why is it that any brand of animal crackers other than that Barnum & Bailey brand with the circus train box is just utterly bland? They taste like slightly sweetened cardboard. Maddie didn't seem to mind though. She took care of the rest of the bag later in the day.

For dinner I had some Rudy's brisket. I had less than I'd normally have, but more than 1/2 of my usual. So that probably wasn't good. To top it off, I can't bring myself to drink Round Rock tap water. Screw that. So I had to get some Powerade to drink. I'm letting that be known right now, if I'm eating in a Round Rock restaurant, ain't no way I'm going to drink tap water. Blech.

In the evening, around 9:30, I made myself a PB&J as a snack, but after one bite, I looked at the crust of the bread and got grossed out. It looked like it had this whitish stuff on it. It was probably meant to be that way (it was fancy wheat bread with lots of natural nuts and crap in it), but it reminded me way too much of white fuzzy mold. I spit out the bite I had taken and rinsed out my mouth like 10 times. I swore it tasted sour, but honestly, it was probably all in my head. One time, as a kid, I woke up screaming because I thought there was a huge rat laying across my legs. Turns out it was just the folds in the covers and some crazy shadows. Anyway, I wasn't taking any chances. I tossed the bread and the sandwich and made do with a few Ritz crackers instead.

The reading-to-Maddie thing still isn't going too well. Or rather, it's not going as expected. I keep wanting to actually read to her, but she never lets me get too far before she just grabs the book and plays "Daddy, what's this?" with every illustration. Also, the reading was supposed to be putting her to sleep. Instead, it invigorates her. It's playtime, not bedtime when I pull out a book. Perhaps I'll read/play with her before it's time for her to go to bed. In any case, she loves spending time with her Dada.

Legs were still too sore to run/walk around the neighborhood. I can't even make it down the stairs without grimacing. I suck at this being-fit stuff. I'll see how my legs feel tomorrow.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

"Day 3"

Happiness Level: 6 of 10

Pretty tired today. I slept most of it. Claire was pretty supportive. Lots of times I feel that if I sleep too much on a weekend or take an evening nap during the week, Claire gets frustrated with me. I feel like I'm supposed to be doing something instead of just laying in bed. But I have to say that this Sunday she was pretty supportive... especially considering she was pretty sunbeat herself. I don't even know how she was able to go to the pool today. I'm done with water for a while.

There was no way I was doing the run around the neighborhood today. Just no way. My legs feel like total crap. I have a feeling they won't even be good to go tomorrow. I'm going to have to be realistic at the risk of sounding lazy. My legs just won't go right now.

I did call my parents. They were still in Florida visiting my sister. Apparently my dad and mom developed a cold. They were concerned that Maddie might have caught it too since they spent a lot of time with her before they flew out to Florida last week. Luckily, Maddie's fine. I also got to talk to my sister for a bit. She happened to be around when I was talking with my dad. She seems well. I promised to send her updated pictures of Maddie. I'll have to take care of that soon.

I didn't overeat today. That's a good thing. I always feel like crap when I overeat. That pizza last night was kiling me. Ugh. My first meal today started off with Claire waking me up with a homemade hamburger for lunch. She makes great hamburgers. I had a few light potato chips on the side and my requesite bottle of water. That hit the spot. A few hours later while they were at the pool, I got a little hungry and made myself a PB&J sandwich. I almost didn't eat that, but I was hungry dammit. To make up for it, I simply had some tortilla soup from Chuy's and another bottle of water for dinner. It's a good thing that Chuy's is stingy with the chips and salsa when you get food to go because I would have probably eaten way too many chips with salsa otherwise.

Maddie was being quite fussy in the evening. Again I attempted to read to her. And while I did get a bit further this time, she again grabbed the books out of my hand and just wanted me to indentify people (or in Sesame Street-land, monsters) and objects for her while she repeated them. Since both Claire and I were still exhausted, we attemped to put Maddie to bed early. Unfortunately, she took a late afternoon nap with Daddy, and that screwed it all up. She would have none of it and stayed up until past midnight... despite being in bed with us at 9:30pm. I ended up watching a lot of cartoons with her on Boomerang, but in the end, she outlasted me. Claire, who'd gotten some rest while I watched TV with Maddie, ended up finally getting her to go to sleep. I'm ready for a new week, please.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

"Day 2"

Happiness Level: 7 out of 10

Man, that boat trip kicked my ass. I'm a bit sunburned, but not too bad. Sometimes having fun is simply exhausting. ;)

First the bad news. I've already failed a few things. I didn't call my parents today. So that's 0 for 2 days. I'll have to call them tomorrow for sure. I also think that I ate passed 10 o'clock. We ordered some pizza and I started eating before 10pm, but I'm pretty sure I continued eating passed 10pm at some point. However, I will fully admit that on Friday night I started eating at 10:05pm or so. I didn't get to eat dinner, and we got stuck at HEB buying food for the boat trip until almost 10pm. So I *had* to eat something, right? I dunno. I think that giving a few minutes grace after 10pm is fine. I mean the point is really to keep myself from eating too late. I'm not Cinderella or a Mogwai. My coach won't turn back into a pumpkin at 12:01am, and I won't morph into a Gremlim if I eat passed 12:01am either.

I still haven't jogged/walked around my neighborhood so far, but I figure I got more than enough exercise on the boat trip today... as evidenced by my entire body being sore. I'm truly out of shape. I easily doubled or tripled the amount of exercise that I would have gotten if I would have just gone a few laps around my neighborhood. So my conscience is clear there. Again, the point is to exercise, not to run around the neighborhood because it needs to be run around.

Poker's got me a bit bummed. I've had a horrible week. That's negative happiness right there. I've had to finally use the writing-shit-down-on-a-piece-of-paper-when-I'm-pissed trick because of the poker game. My luck is just shitty. All-in. AQs vs ATo. AQs should win about 75% of time time. Unless you're me. Of course I lost. The rest of the night went downhill after that.

But let's get back to some good news. I'm glad that I did manage to read to Maddie tonite. Of course, she didn't go to sleep after I read to her, she just got more riled up. But I'm glad I got to read to her anyway. Actually, it was more of an 'attemped' reading. She kept grabbing the books out of my hand after I'd get about half-way through a page, and then she'd start randomly flipping through the books poiting at things and having me identify them for her: That's an apple, Maddie. "Abbel". Yes, that's Elmo. "Ehmo!". That's a cookie. "CookCook!" Yes, a cookcook. I guess at this point, it's more helpful for me to assist her in learning new objects and people than it is to explain to her phonetics. It might be a bit early for that. In any case, she was happy, so that's all that matters.

Friday, June 01, 2007

"Day 1"

Happiness Level: 7 of 10

Today is Day 1 of my little social experiment on myself. The goal is to see if I can literally control my level of happiness. Or more accurately, the goal is to see if I can up that happiness level by making some key changes in my day-to-day actions. A lot of the changes are health-centric, so I suspect (hope) that I will feel less sluggish as the month goes on, but quite a few of the changes are meant to actually make me 'feel' better about myself and the people I associate with.

There might be a major monkeywrench thrown into my plan though. I very well might be changing jobs soon. I don't plan to leave the company, I'm not fired, and I'm not being laid off, but my current project is winding down and both my manager and I feel that I should get out and acquire some new experiences within the company. I've been in the same place for too long. It's always scary leaving your comfort zone, and it will probably negatively affect my happiness level until my new destination is confirmed. And then maybe even after that I might not be comfortable for a while. In any case, we'll see.

I had Taco Deli for lunch. Normally I have two tacos, rice, beans and a MexiCoke. I decided I'd start off easy and just go with two tacos and water. Not quite my plan of eating 1/2 of what I'd normaly eat, but still an improvement. It probably would have been OK had Claire not ordered a Grilled Chicken Salad and left many of those tasty morsels of chicken laying atop their salady bed. I couldn't resist, and I mean, it was grilled chicken so it wasn't like it was unhealthy, right? ;) In any case, I still believe my meal was healthy if a bit too much in volume.

I've not yelled today, but I need to remember to carry a pocketsized notepad around with me just in case I need to 'yell into it.' The plan is to write down all the stuff I'd normally yell out loud. I think I watched too much Bob Newhart on Nick at Night (Bob Newhart played a pychiatrist on TV in the '70s.)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Experiment for June"

I'm going to perform an experiment on myself. I'm going to see if I can improve the quality of my life by following the rules below for the entire month of June. I'll be posting to this blog at least once a day with an update. You can also follow my goings on more closely at http://twitter.com/MrKatsu

  • See the doctor for a checkup.
  • Get on cholestorol medication. Take it everyday.
  • Excercise. Jog/Walk 4 'big laps' around the neighborhood at least 3 times a week.
  • Eat approximately 1/2 of what I'd normally eat.
  • Except on special occasions (Boat Trip, etc.) only drink water.
  • Do not eat after 10pm.
  • Go to sleep no later than 1am on Tue/Thu. 12am on Mon/Wed/Sun. 2am Fri/Sat.

  • Remind my wife that I love her everyday. Don't just say the words.
  • Call my parents every other day. Just leave message if they don't answer.
  • Call my grandmother this month.
  • Be more patient with idiots.
  • Don't Yell. Carry a notepad and write shit down instead. Read it later.

  • Take her someplace every weekend: SA Zoo, Ready Set Play, Sea World, Kids Day Park BBQ
  • Spend at *least* one uninterrupted hour a day with her doing what she wants to do.
  • Read to her before bedtime whenever possible.

  • Don't buy a new game unless I finish an old game.
  • Eat dinner at home 4 times a week. I'll even cook if I have to.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"The 4th Annual Lake Travis Boat Trip 2007"

Update (5/30/07): Well, not enough people followed through so we're now doing 1 large new deluxe boat instead of 2 smaller older boats. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We get a nicer boat, for one. So that's good. We're also still doing the two wave runners, so don't worry about that. The bad part, for us anyway, is that now the $75/person won't even cover the rentals completely. It'll come close, but instead of bothering with raising the fee a few bucks, Claire and I will just take a loss on the rental cost. And as promised, we'll still make good on buying food and beer. It's only fair. However, if you wanna help out with bringing more food/alocohol, please let us know. In the end, it'll all be good times.

Update (5/22/07): Due to less than 34 but quite a bit more than 17 people signed up, we're going with two 12 person boats now instead of 17 person boats. Nothing else will change. List updated BTW.

Update (5/17/07): The 1st Boat is filling up fast! Get those payments into us ASAP. If you need a mailing address. Just email me or Claire.

Time: Saturday, June 2nd. 12noon - 8pm.
Where: Daybreak boat rentals near Carlos & Charlies on Lake Travis
Price: $75 non refundable. Paid up front to hold a spot.

It's coming! Girls, stop eating. Guys, start working out. The Annual Lake Travis Boat Trip 2007 is June 2nd! If you've never been to one before, you're in for a treat. If you have, I know you're already on your way to us to lay down your cash to reserve a spot. It's *that* awesome.

Here's the recipe for fun: Preheat your lake to 72 degrees. Take two one pontoon party boats and two fast as shit wave runners and place them carefully in the warm lake water. Peel 34 20 people down to 1 or 2 articles of clothing and evenly sprinkle them across the boats and the wave runners. Add lots of food and alcohol and let everything simmer under the hot sun for 8 hours. Enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What's included for $75?
A. A spot on the pontoon party boat. Access to the wave runners. Food and Drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.) Basically, 8 hours of fun! That's less than $10 an hour!

Q. Can I bring my own food? How much food is provided?
A. Yes, bringing extra food is welcomed and encouraged. The fact is that 100% of the $75 is going directly to rental fees. So don't go expecting lobster and champagne. However, we should have enough snacks (chips, dips, cookies, fruits, etc.) and food (sandwiches mostly) for everyone.

Q. Will you be providing enough beer/alcohol cuz I can drink a lot of PBR!
A. Probably not, Hueby. We will be bringing quite a bit, but it's always hard to gauge how much is enough. Also, if you want a certain type of drink, it's safer just to bring some of your own.

Q. What happens if 24 don't sign up? *UPDATED*
A. That depends. If we're shy like 1 person? Nothing. If we're shy like 4-6 people, we either have to raise the price (not really wanting to do that) or cut it down to the first 12 and just do 1 pontoon boat and 1 wave runner. So get signed up and paid up ASAP, and there won't be a problem! (OK, this actually happened. We were short 4 people so we're now on 1 big new boat instead of 2 smaller older ones. However, the price didn't go up and the waverunners will stay at 2 cuz we're fucking nice and just ate the loss.)

Q. How many did you have last year?
A. 23

Q. When's the Deadline for signing up? *UPDATE*
A. We're going to take an official tally of the paid partipants on May 20th. (It's done passed.)

Q. Will I be assigned to a specific boat? *UPDATE*
A. No. Both boats will travel *together* and anchor near each other so that people may swim/change boats at their leisure. (We're just on one deluxe boat now, so this questions is N fucking slash A.)

Q. How will using the Wave Runners work?
A. The Wave Runners will be running constantly. They sit 1 or 2 people. Typically people take them out for 10-15 minutes at a time and then come back to the anchored pontoon boats to trade out with someone. Once everyone has had a go 'round, we start all over again. There has never been a problem with sharing these. 10-15 minutes at a time is plenty. Trust me.

Q. What if I need to get there late?
A. The boats leave at 12 noon. So you'll have to be at the docks no later than 11:15 in order to allow for moving your shit onto the boats and taking part in the Wave Runner lecture that they have to give you before we can rent the Wave Runners. If you *know* you're gonna be there late (Kids have a soccer game that morning, etc.), we can send a Wave Runner back to the dock to pick you up. Note that even though Wave Runners have water tight storage compartments, they aren't that big so keep that in mind if you need to get picked up. If we *absolutely have to*, we can send back a pontoon boat for you, but that'll piss of about a dozen or so people.

Q. What if I need to leave earlier than 8pm?
A. We'll get you back to the dock via Wave Runner/Boat at whatever time you need.

Q. What does Claire, i.e the Marketing Dept, say about all of this?
A. "Keep in mind this is the sickest sweetest gathering you will go on this year."

Q. Who's signed up so far?
A. As of May 30th, 3:40pm... The FINAL List:

1) Rob - Paid in Full
2) Claire - Paid in Full
3) Bizzy - Paid in Full
4) Banni - Paid in Full
5) Brian - Paid in Full
6) Serg - Paid in Full
7) Evaleen - Paid in Full
8) Dave - Paid in Full
9) Dave's Friend Brad - Paid in Full
10) Aaron - Paid in Full
11) Judy - Paid in Full
12) G - Paid in Full
13) Hueby - Paid in Full
14) Holly Wood (I'm not even kidding.) - Paid in Full
15) Kolchak - Paid in Full
16) Kolchak's Friend Matt - Paid in Full
17) Dave's Mystery Friend #1 - Paid in Full
18) Dave's Mystery Friend #2 - Paid in Full
19) Lindsey - Paid in Full
20) Johnspeed - Paid in Full

Removed from List (i.e 'Jerk Stores'): Will, Marc, Mike, Amy, Nick, Sean, Jet, Ed, Christy

First to pay = First to Secure a Spot!

Remember that this is just the signup priority.

Friday, February 02, 2007

This is a hastily written, un-proofread analysis of the top 10 DS games as rated by www.gamerankings.com.

(GameRankings Rank) (Title) (Publisher) (GR's Score) (Rob's Score out of 5)
1. Mario Kart DS - Nintendo - 92.20% GR - 4 Rob

This is just like all the other Mario Karts. Fun game, but relies too much on the luck of the powerups. If you're behind, you get kickass powerups like the Blue Shell that homes in on the 1st place racer. That's sorta lame. It does support wireless peer-to-peer and internet play though. That's sorta cool. Overall, it's quite fun, but I am starting to get tired of the formula.

Buy if... you love Mario, non-serious racing, or loved all the other Mario Karts.

2. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - Konami - 90.50% GR - 4 Rob

Like so many games on this list, this is another episode in a series of franchise games. This is supposed to be 2D side-scrolling at it's finest. And I'm sure it is. Personally, I was never a big Castlevania fan so it's kind of 'meh' for me.

Buy if... you love Castlevania, 2D sidescrollers, or supporting a Non-Nintendo product in the top 10

3. Advance Wars: Dual Strike - Nintendo - 90.50% GR - 5 Rob

Man, I can already tell I'm going to get tired of this, but again, another derivative game. I should just start writing, if you like Game X, then you'll love Game X: The DS Version. It would save me a lot of time. Anyway, for what it does, it does quite well. AW: DS is a turn based strategy game that's simple enough to be enjoyable by the masses and yet deep enough to be enjoyed by hardcore strategy game nuts. It's got a manga style graphics and a convoluted storyline, but neither will get in the way of enjoying this game. There are a lot of Commanding Officers to choose from, each with their own unique Super Power-ups. It's almost like there are too many because some of the powerups are sorta lame or unbalanced and you'll find yourself just picking the same set of CO's over and over. There are tons and tons of maps and you can even create your own. The Dual Screen usage is pretty cool, but ultimately I liked the old style maps with just one screen. In any case, it's hella fun in multiplayer mode.

Buy if... You like strategy games, you like multiplayer madness, or you like, you guessed it, Advance Wars for the GBA.

4. New Super Mario Bros. - Nintendo - 88.90% GR - 4 Rob

... I'm not even gonna say it. Sigh. OK, well, on the bright side, this is one really good Mario game. And honestly, we haven't seen a traditional side scroller Mario game in a long ass time. So maybe I should cut them some slack for making another Mario game. I think I'm burned out on Mario just because he's in every other game published by Nintendo.

Buy if... you're a girl, you're old-school, you like fun, if unoriginal, games.

5. Meteos - Nintendo - 88.60% GR - 1 Rob

This game sucks. I have no idea why people suck on Meteos' dick so hard. The idea behind this puzzle game is that you move around blocks to match colors (surprised?) You do this by selecting a block with the stylus and sliding up or down a column until you get 3 same colored blocks lined up horizontally across 3 columns. When they line up, they fire off rockets that propel the blocks above them up towards the top of the screen. Sometimes you have to fire off rockets more than once before they completely leave the screen (the goal.) Problem is... the gameplay is flawed. I got pretty damn far just randomly moving my stylus around the screen. The Blocks would randomly line up and fire rockets. For a puzzle game, that's horrible.

There are better puzzle games out there.

Buy if... you hate good gameplay in your puzzle games, you love Mizuguchi, you find it for < $5 and then give it to your worst enemy for his bday.

6. Kirby: Canvas Curse - Nintendo - 87.60% GR - NA

I never played this game. So... OK.

Buy if... you love Kirby??

7. Super Mario 64 DS - Nintendo - 86.40% GR - 3 Rob

This game was AWESOME for the N64. For the DS, the control sucks balls. It emulates an analog stick with the stylus. That blows. It also allows you to use the regular D-Pad and hit a button to run. That sucks too. Without analog controlled, this game is ruined.

Buy if... you never played the proper N64 version, you find it for < $10, there is no 3rd reason.

8. Animal Crossing: Wild World - Nintendo - 86.40% GR - 3 Rob

I never played the DS version, but it looks a lot like the Gamecube version, and that was pretty damn boring. So you move into the town of Animal Crossing and you set up a house and then you do boring shit like work, collect crap and decorate. This isn't really a game. It's more of the simulated grind of adulthood with cutesy graphics and retarded minigames. The DS version includes online functionality which lets you interact with other real-world peopel's towns via Wi-Fi. So you can trade crappy gifts and shit. Girls love this shit.

Buy if... you love to decorate your house (you're gay,) you don't have any real life friends, or you're a girl.

9. Elite Beat Agents - Nintendo - 86.40% GR - 5 Rob

I really liked this game, but I can see other people not getting into it. It's a music/rhythm game, so if you ain't got the rhythm, stay off the dance floor. The game is crazy. The premise is over the top: you're part of an elite force of dancing... umm... agents... that gets sent in to help people cope with everyday situations like taking getting a cat out of a tree or driving a prego to the hospital in a cab or dealing with a bunch of bratty kids that this hottie is babysitting. The most serious scenario, helping a little girl dealing with the loss of her father, is actually quite touching and is one of my favorite levels. The song that you have to dance to are covers of mostly well recognized pop tunes. Cavaet: If you're out of touch with poppy radio songs, you might not know 1/2 of these songs. The gameplay consists of tapping and dragging the stylus in time with the rhythm of the songs. It takes a little getting used to and it does start off slow. But then the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly. Overall, the control works wonderfully once you figure thigns out.

Buy if... you love music games, you like something different and wacky, you like pop music.

10. Tetris DS - Nintendo - 86.30% GR - 4 Rob

Are you serious? It's tetris. C'mon.

Buy if... you're into tetris, you're gf loves tetris, you are tetris (what??)