Saturday, July 31, 2010

You’re Fat – So Whatcha Gonna Do About It?

Before you start crying and raising the fur on the back of your neck, let me say this…..YOU ARE FAT.

Piss you off? Good—because you and me and a lot of other Americans are fat. I’ve finally come to believe this after spending the last two weeks keeping track of what I’m eating on a daily basis. I’ve brushed off this notion, probably just like you too.

“I’m not fat. Ok, maybe a little bit. But I’m not as fat as that guy.”

We find ways to justify our horribly unhealthy diet.

“Well, I’ll get a Diet Coke with my Whopper (with cheese) and large French fry.”

You’re fat, I’m fat, almost everyone is fat. Don’t believe me? Record what you eat on a daily basis. I dare you. You might not be happy with what you discover. For example, here’s an average day for me when I used to work in sales and “didn’t have time" for breakfast at home or want to take a lunch to work.

BREAKFAST


LUNCH


SNACK


DINNER

SNACK (2)

TOTAL 4134 CAL

Maybe this is close to your daily consumption, maybe it’s not. The point is look at how many calories I would consume during the day—4134!!! And that’s probably a conservative take on my daily calorie consumption. On top of that, include a extremely inactive lifestyle and it’s easy to see why I am fat. Is it the fast food industries fault I’m fat? Nope. I’m the reason I’m fat. By not taking the time to care about the fuel I put into my body, I have created a body that is well on its way to a heart attack, diabetes and numerous future health problems.

“Well, I’m happy with who I am and I don’t mind if I’m overweight.”

SHUT UP!!! SHUT THE FRICK UP YOU PIG!!!

That is one of the biggest bull-crap lies you can tell yourself. Are you really happy? Wouldn’t you like to walk up just one flight of stairs without breathing hard? Do you enjoy squeezing in the movie theater seats while you overflow into the next one? How much fun is it to have people smirk and chuckle at your lard ass? Stop settling for this. You are better than that. How do I know? Because I’m better than that.

I’ve been slowly gaining weight over the last 16 years—hmmm, same amount of time since I’ve been out of high school. I weighed about 170-80 lbs after I graduated. I now weigh 271 lbs. At my biggest, I tipped the scales at 292 lbs. That is ridiculous, especially for the father of five and the husband to a beautiful woman who birthed those children (BTW, she has basically maintain herself even after having five kids). Me, I needed to change.

The doctor told me two years ago I had a fatty liver. I didn’t know what that was. Turns out it can be a very dangerous thing. Your liver is extremely resilient, but even your liver can only take so much abuse until it gives up the ghost. “Well”, I thought to myself, “

I’m 32 years old, I’m smarter than the doctor. I’ll just eat healthier and whatever.” Then earlier this year I noticed a pain in my side. After doing some research and talking with a friend of mine I realized I was having problems with my gall bladder. The liver never gave me a sign it was in distress, the gall bladder left me with a constant pain.

Not having insurance (I had just switched jobs), I couldn’t go see a doctor. I had to solve this problem. I had to change my eating habits. That’s when I decided to use the power of technology to help me take back my life—and yes, there is an app for that.

My average daily consumption of calories should be between 2200 and 3000 calories per day. That's a big range. But look a little closer. With my horribly inactive lifestyle I should have been consuming no more than 2200 per day. Remember that number above? 4134. I was almost consuming twice as many calories per day then I should have and not exercising. Now that's a great recipe for changing my legal name to Fatty McGee.

How about you? Are you consuming the right amount of calories per day based on your activity? Chances are you are not. And what about my beer drinking friends? A yeah, those brews are truly adding to your beer gut. A macro brew like Budweiser--143 cal in a 12 oz can. Seriously, who just drinks one can? I digress.

"But counting calories is pointless. I watch my fat intake and carb consumption."

Yeah, well how has that been working for you? I've tried that too.

"Well, I've used a national weight loss program to watch what I eat."

Again, how's that been working for you? Throwing money away every month because some rich celebrity endorses the product. Really? Don't be dumb with your money. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to lose weight, and keep it off is permanently changing your lifestyle.

For me that comes in the form of recording what I eat and counting my calories. Want proof? Head over to my weight loss blog Losing The Past and see how far I've come in the last two weeks. Not only am I keeping my net calorie intake under 2200, but I'm also exercising every other day. I jog, but I've also realized that an hour of walking can burn so many calories too! I want to run a 5k within the next six months--that's why I jog. But you can walk an hour every other day or thirty minutes every day.

Get your calorie intake in check and exercise. That's the secret. Simple. Yet, you struggle to do it. Why? Stop making excuses and decide you're tired of being fat and unhealthy. Look in the mirror--are you really happy with what you see? Now do it naked. Yeah, it's pretty scary how fat we've become. But we are still young enough to make that change.

I began this post calling you fat. You are fat. But you don't have to be. The choice is yours. Aren't you worth it? Don't your kids deserve to have you around to celebrate first dates, graduations, weddings, grandchildren and life? You're damn right they are and so are you. Make the change today, fatty. ;-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

I Was Fired Today

That was what my blog post was supposed to say today. Given a verbal warning on June 23rd to improve my production or face termination in one month, the hope was that by making more sales I would inevitably save my job. Well, the production didn’t improve – it actually got worse – and so I was let go two weeks into this four week window. I haven’t talked much about my termination in the past two weeks ‘cause I wanted to let the dust clear before I discussed my feelings about what has happen.

Let me begin by saying the best vision in the world is described is that of hindsight – 20/20…can’t get much better than that. I left one career that I had been a part of for almost 10 years. I felt it was time to go. As the economy was getting tighter for a sales guy and then to have them add a second sales rep, I just couldn’t see making a living through all of that frustration. Are there things I could have done better at that job? Absolutely. Are there things that upper management could have done better to help me through that frustration. Definitely. At the end of the day we both failed each other and I left a company that began as a family, but then felt like a marriage that was over and no one really knew why. It just was.

In stepped an opportunity to start fresh in a new career selling a pretty simple product. My buddy told me that when he first started there were some frustrations, but now things were better and all in all it was a good company with good pay. So I contacted the sales manager and within two weeks I was hired. However, the whole hire process was a little suspect. For example, I was told that I needed to meet with the general manager before a decision could be made. Ok, no problem. Well, they needed me to meet him in a spur of the moment meeting three days later…at 9 am. That wasn’t going to work since I needed to give proper notice to take a personal day and Mondays were sales meeting days. The future company wouldn’t budge and I uncomfortably asked for and took off that day to meet with the general manager.

Here’s where the first red flag came up. I show up Monday morning to meet with the general manager. I even arrived 15 minutes early to make a good impression. I introduced myself to the receptionist and told her I had a 9 am appointment with the general manager. The blank look on her face said it all. She knew of no meeting. She said she would make some calls and see what’s what.

Twenty minutes later (9:05) she instructs me she is still trying to find out what is going on. Finally, at 9:20 we get an answer from the HR manager. You see, no one instructed her as to the meeting because she was on vacation the previous week. And to top it off, the general manger who I was suppose to meet? You know, the meeting that was so damn important that I looked like a fool taking a personal day off for. Apparently, he was called away to a very important meeting at corporate and totally forgot about the meeting. You guessed it, there was no meeting. Is this how a company runs their operation? Nah, my buddy said they were good people. Hindsight is 20/20.

To list the rest of the various reasons why it didn’t work would be a waste of typing and reading. Ultimately, and this is my humble opinion, the position was a wall sticker job. What I mean is that if you throw enough spaghetti against the wall, some of it’s bound to stick. There were things I was told about the job that NEVER came to be. When I expressed my concerns about the job during the hiring process and help I would need to be successful, those concerns were addressed in such a way that I felt comfortable choosing this company as my next career. Besides, my success is tied to their success so it’s in their best interest to help me succeed, right? I should’ve known I was dealing with sales representatives.

In the end, was it a good decision to leave the company I had known for almost 10 years? Yes. The love was gone. Was it a good move to choose the following company? No. But here’s my Doogie Howser/Wonder Years/Family Ties/Full House moment – I’m happy. I learned that I do not like sales. I also realized I have a chance to move forward in a career that I truly want to: Information Technology. I’ve mapped out the rest of my classes with my adviser to finish my Management Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree next Fall 2011. Aside from friends and family – and a good pizza – I love computers. I’m a technology geek. I’m an iTard for new gadgets. This is my passion and that’s what I want to be a part of.

I have a loving and supportive family who understands the stress and hell that I have been through over the past 3-4 years with my job, our finances and my faith. Is this my “coming to Jesus” moment – I know my wife hopes so. But here’s the bottom line – and thank you for staying with this blog because it’s abnormally long – I believe in a higher power. And I believe that in life you have to scrap up your knees before you truly learn how to be humble about your place in this world and your short time on this planet. Life is never promised to us as being easy and can sometimes get downright effing hard. But I now understand, it’s what I do from these life lessons that shapes and molds my integrity and who I be for the rest of my days. And the reason I do what I do is that I have 10 little eyes watching, learning and remembering how dad made it through those rough years and I want them to be proud of the better man and father that I ultimately become.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Even haters belong in America

As the 4th of July celebration begins to settle down, I find myself thinking about a few things I’ve read and heard over the last few days that really gets under my skin. From people complaining about the fireworks themselves, to others making fun of our country by sarcastically saying “yay, liberty…go freedom” it makes me ponder how would these folks love to live somewhere else. Now don’t get me wrong, because of this country and the men and women who fought and died for their freedom of expression these people have EVERY right to say what they said. It just burns my butt when too many Americans take that freedom for granted.

American is the greatest country in the world. Period.

There are things that, as a country, we don’t do right. I will be the first to admit our history is littered with bad decisions with painful outcomes. From the Trail of Tears to the Iraq War, we have made our mistakes. But we learn from our mistakes -- or at least we try. We learned that slavery was evil and blacks have rights just like white people do. We spend more money on charitable work here and overseas than any other country on this planet. We’ve put a man on the moon and developed vaccines to nearly eradicate diseases like polio. We’ve braved the wilderness and created cross-continent railroads. We’ve have taken to the skies that was once the domain of the birds. And we have created a country that over 1 million people annually have decided to become a citizen of. This is a great country.

This great country allows us to choose what we like, express how we feel and be a part of groups that might not be popular. And in this great country, as long as you are not taking away the rights of others, chances are you enjoy this freedom too. For example, I have friends and family that I love very much. However, some of them participate in things or associate themselves with groups that I don’t care for. THAT’S GREAT!!! Why? Because what floats their boat doesn’t necessarily float mine -- and vice versa. You wanna be gay? Good for you! You like listening to country music? Awesome! You like living in the city? Spectacular! You enjoy zombie movies? That’s terrific!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The point is this, at the very least respect America. Respect the freedom you enjoy that other generations have died so that you might be able to post on facebook that your precious snowflake just did a poo-pee in the toilet. Respect the freedom that allows you to express your frustration with people that are shooting off fireworks. Respect the freedom that allows you to enjoy a lifestyle that is not considered normal be it a devout Protestant or a liberal gay couple. This freedom allows us to live in a country where we can love one another as countrymen even if we disagree on the little things.

I’ll leave you with this. In a country where two rival schools can tease and taunt each other on a daily basis in good fun, if there ever came a point where we would have to fight an invading country that was trying to take away our freedom – I would go to battle with a Husky and call him my brother. Why? Because I love this country enough to go to war and die for the freedoms I all too often take for granted today, even with a Husky. May God forgive us our mistakes as a young nation, and bless us with the humanity to respect and love each other in freedom.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A love story for today? You decide.

Ben has to make a choice. This is a decision that he does not want to
make -- but has to. For some time now he's been wooed by the young
Joslyn. No longer a girl, but not quite a woman, Joslyn's devotion
towards Ben has been an incredible turn on. Not to mention the day she
removed her shirt. Oh that chest! A firm body with that build. It was
almost too much for Ben to handle.

You see, his heart belongs to another gal. Quite shy in school, but
very mysterious in an erotic kind of way. Ever since they met, the two
of them have been inseparable. Elana's family is also great. A cool
brother who he could call his best friend. A crazy sister who seems to
have a problem with her emotions. And another brother who always seems
angry while the other sister was like a big sister to him too. Elana
was his destiny. But she left him before; broke his heart. That's
where Joslyn stepped in and his feelings for her changed.

So who does he choose? His head or his heart. In the end, his
attraction to the stunningly gorgeous Joslyn would lose out to his
infatuation with Elana -- his true love.

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So your thinking, this story seems a little inappropriate. Why would
anyone write about a guy and his choice over the sexy and beautiful
young lady and the mysterious and erotic quite girl. If you haven't
figured this out by now, thats the double standard in our society.
Imagine if Twilight was truly about a boy deciding between to chicks
-- oh the outrage, oh the perverts, oh the humanity! However, it's not
and so therefore women -- young and old -- can ogle all they want
about a teenager and a young man. Yep, that's a double standard.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Enjoy the Golden Age of Technology

I was reading an article today that is required reading for one of my college classes. We Are the Web by Kevin Kelly was written almost five years ago. The main idea behind Kelly's article was about how fast the internet has grown in the last ten years.


Some of the history Kelly talks about is how a lot of big wigs dismissed the power of the medium and how they couldn't possibly see a way to monetize the web. Now granted, radio and television can reach an audience of almost 90% of our population. But think about the advances we've seen since 1995.

You can download music from a website on to a portable device smaller than a Walkman (for those of you born after 1990, it was these bulky things that played cassette tapes and could only hold 9 or 10 songs at a time). No longer do you need to run down to the video store....mostly cause they're all going out of business. Just sit in your pajamas and choose what DVDs you want Netflix to send to you. Heck, why wait for the physical movie, watch it instantly on your computer or iPad...and soon your iPhone!!!

Who writes checks anymore? Simply click your bank's bill pay option and violĂ ! Your money digitally disappears into your vendor's bank account. Want to know the latest gossip on Lady Gaga? There's a website for that....actually there's 312,000,000 different links when you Google the Gaga (that sounds dirty, but I digress).

The internet has come so far in just a short time. What does the future hold for this utility that is as common in a family's home as a car or refrigerator? Great things if we allow ourselves to dare to dream! My first thought is things I saw on a cartoon I watched as a kid (and even those were reruns from almost 50 years ago!)...The Jetsons.

Now, we all know there are no flying cars yet. That disappointment will have to be saved for a different blog. But just watching an episode will show you the things that were dreamt up back in the 1960s have become a reality today. Heck, even Captain Kirk inspired today's cell phones!!!


In the next 15 years we will see the desktop as we know it disappear. With so much information being stored in the "cloud" online, people will choose this over continually upgrading their OS to the latest overpriced product. Consumers will want to get online as quick as possible to access their information.

Computing devices will continue to be made more efficient. Items like the iPad and the HP Slate will be seen as the beginnings of hand held computing systems that are just as powerful, if not more so, than the desktop dinosaur. People will be in constant contact with the information they need. And in 15 years this won't be a bad thing. Many consumers of all things internet will be able to learn to balance online with offline life. I don't believe we'll allow ourselves to end up like the humans on Wall-E...at least I hope so.

I too believe, just like Kelly, that we will look back on this time as the Golden Age of Technology and people will write stories about us and how great it must have been to be part of it. We'll tell our grand-kids that back in our day, we had to use our finger to open up the apps on our mobile devices. My how technology has evolved.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The new iOS 4 upgrade for the iPhone 3GS is a must get!


It’s been a little more than 24 hours since I upgraded my jailbroken iPhone 3GS to the new iOS 4 software. This sneak peek was available to current iPhone and iPod Touch users a few days before the actual release of the new iPhone 4 with all it’s cool little features. Having enjoyed some “extra” features by having a jailbroken iPhone, this new update included very similar offerings that got me wondering if this iOS 4 would be worth updating my “so last year 3GS”. Well, I did update and I find myself 99% satisfied with the new OS running on my old 3GS.

MULTITASKING
This has always been a big deal for iPhone users, the ability to run apps in the background while using other apps. This was a great feature I thoroughly enjoyed on my jailbroken iPhone. With the iOS 4, I found this feature very user friendly. By double clicking the home button, the user is able to scroll through the open apps. I did find some apps operate like I just clicked them for the first time, others continued where I left them. I figure this is just a software fix on the developer’s side and soon many apps will truly run in the background. My only gripe? The fact that if I want to close the apps, I have to do it one-by-one instead of initiating a nuclear close on all the open apps. Minor complaint.

FOLDERS
This was another feature I enjoying having on my previous iPhone OS. All I can say is Apple hit this one out of the park! This feature works so much better than I could have imagined. By simply moving one app on to another, you can create a folder. Opening up the folders are just as easy. Clicking on the folder opens to a new page on top of the UI with the apps in just that folder. Very user friendly. By going through my iPhone, I went from maxing out my apps to reducing my app pages to four! My only gripe? Only allowing twelve apps per folder. I’ve had to name a folder “Games” and “Games 2”. Yet, if that’s my biggest complaint then it’s not a big deal.

EVEN BETTER MAIL

This feature takes some getting used to. After using the email programs on the iPhone basically the same way for the last two years, getting used to this new format took a little bit. But I can tell you this much, I love it! I now have the option to go through all of my emails on one screen or if I so choose, browse through each individual inbox. This feature was strange at first, but now I think it’s great! No gripe.

iBOOKS
I bought the iPad about two weeks ago. Having played with the iBooks app, I was fairly familiar with the same app on the iPhone. This app is very reminiscent to the Classics app found for free in the iTunes App Store. I don’t know if Apple paid those folks off or just simply stole their UI, but either way the iPhone user wins. Not as great as the iPad, just merely for the size comparison, but the iBooks on the iPhone works great for catching a quick read without breaking out the bigger iPad. No gripe.

CREATE PLAYLIST
This is a feature I have been dying to see come to the iPhone. Too many times I’ve wanted to create playlists away from my computer, but never been able to. With this new feature you can create a playlist of just what you want to hear and don’t need to connect to your computer! Very happy with this addition and definitely have no gripes!

5x DIGITAL ZOOM
Not only does this feature rock, but it takes pretty good pics too! I tested this upgrade against an app in the iTunes App Store called Camera Zoom. Even at its closest close up, Camera Zoom is no match for the upgraded camera feature. And let me add the camera seems to take quicker pictures and overall just operates faster. This is a very well done upgrade and I have no gripes whatsoever!

So what’s my 1% dissatisfaction? TETHERING!!!

With my jailbroken iPhone I was able to use an app that turned my iPhone into a WiFi hotspot. This was great since I opted to bypass the iPad 3G and just stick to the WiFi version. If I was out, I didn’t need to find a hotspot in order to use my iPad. It was great. Now, I’m back to square one. This one feature only may be enough for me to jailbreak my iPhone yet again. Come on Apple and AT&T…..MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!

There you have it. Overall, this OS upgrade is a very nice addition to the already great 3GS. I didn’t mention some other minor tweaks and fixes that make this new iOS 4 a must have upgrade to your 3GS iPhone. Unless you’re dying to get your hands on the new iPhone 4, I would recommend just upgrading the 3GS to the iOS 4 software. It runs smooth, has great new features and most importantly…..the upgrade is free!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A story of love snatched from the hands of hate.....

I wanted to share a little something with you—today is Ryan’s 5th birthday. My little guy was born with such vigor and hope. Over time he became more than a handful and withdrew from us. My wife suspected something was wrong, but my first thought was my kid’s no retard he just needs to have his ass thumped.

It all came to a head on a road trip to Oregon two years ago. Ryan brought me to my knees, but not how you’d think. I got so angry with him like nothing I had ever experienced with the first three. He was being a super-ultra-mega brat and I couldn't take it anymore. You see, I was ready to abuse my child—my innocent 3 year old boy who, as I would find out later, could not control himself. It was this self awareness of me that led me to seek answers. I have never beaten my children and couldn’t believe I was about ready to.

A week or two later he was officially diagnosed with autism.

There was a reason for his misbehavior, but my original perception of autism was that of dumb and retarded kids. I couldn’t have been more wrong. We enrolled Ryan into a special education class and occupational therapy. The results have been amazing.

I’m to the point now where I can almost have a conversation with this guy. Two years ago he was speaking gibberish! He recently was tested so as to be put into an autism focused class for kindergarten and scored super high on intelligence. This little man has done something to me again, brought me to my knees.

I’m thankful I didn’t beat my child that day. I’m thankful I dropped my pride and listened to my wife. I’m thankful Ryan has received such good care and treatment through the Puyallup School District and dare I say it—The University of Washington Autism Research Program.

So on this day where we celebrate Ryan’s 5th birthday, I truly thank God for giving me such a wonderful son. Happy Birthday little man!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pure Joy Making Video Dedications For the Family

It's been a fun six weeks working on some dedication videos for my family. The very first one was for my youngest daughter Bella.




Next was my little man Ryan.




Then came my first princess video for Kaylie. Let the tears begin.




I choose this song for my oldest boy Jon, because it came out right around the time he was born and really made me think about being a dad to my little boy.




Finally, the video that took the most work was for my baby girl Jessi. Amazing to see how much she's grown.




And not to be out done, I surprised my wife with a special Valentine's Day present for her.



In all, a lot of hard work was put into everyone of these videos. It's nice to give the family something that shows how much they mean to me. I imagine I'll be doing something like this again in the next 10-15 years...especially when it's time to walk one of my little girls down the aisle.

**All music in the videos are the sole property of whoever owns them. My purpose for putting the videos together was for family and not for profit. Please view these videos with these songs as honoring the musican's craft and I'd prefer you wouldn't sue me. Buy these songs from iTunes, eBay, Amazon, Best Buy or wherever.**

Thursday, February 11, 2010

20 Years Ago Heavyweight Boxing Died

It continues to amaze me how time flies. I know we all talk about it, but it truly is one of this world's most inconceivable things. I heard on the radio today that it was the 20th anniversary of the night Mike Tyson was knocked out in Tokyo. 20 years ago?! Holy crap!!!


In our house, we were raised on Mike Tyson. My father and grandfather were big boxing fans and back when fights were on regular television, they would make sure to drag us along to watch this Tyson kid. My God he was a bad ass.

Seemed like every time we watch he was knocking fools out within the first 90 seconds. Incredible. His upbringing was rough and an old time trainer took him under his wing and made him into a champion. Mike Tyson was one of those athletes like Jordan or Griffey, Jr you stopped everything you were doing just to see what unbelievable thing he'd do next. He was that great.

Until that night 20 years ago. All the fame and fortune went to his head. Don King took over as his manager. Everyone was looking forward to the Evander Holyfield match-up scheduled for later that year. Buster Douglas was a no one and this was just another fight. Problem is...someone forgot to tell Buster Douglas that.



I remember to this day the shock I felt about hearing the champ had been defeated. I believe it was on cable at the time, so we just got the news and they broke the story the champ not only lost but was knocked out. I was crushed. An invincible athlete proved that night that he too was only human.

That night in Tokyo, boxing as I knew it died and was never the same again.