Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How will I die?

According to this website, The Death Psychic, here's how I will die:

As the unfortunate target of a serial killer, you are stripped and chained to the ground spread-eagle. Your torso is slit open with a razor blade, and you are covered with dozens of large rats, which proceed to feed their way into your body.

Well, at least now I know. LOL!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

American Idol's Back!!

I'm not a big reality show fan, hate most of them. But I LOVE American Idol! Maybe it's because I'm a musician. Anyhow, last night was great fun! Loved the guy who came in dressed like the Statue of Liberty, sang about 2 notes and Simon told him to leave. LOL! He was probably one of those guys who only wants to get on TV or something, not someone who's serious about wanting to win this. Most of the time I do agree with Simon. He may be rude, but he's usually right on. When they get to the final 10, Paula is just too sicky sweet and nice. If it were me on stage, while I'd love to hear they can't think of anything bad to say, I would appreciate constructive criticism and some feedback on what I did wrong so I can fix it. Paula doesn't do that at all, just says, "You tried your best and you should be proud of that." Randy is in the middle, sometimes rude, sometimes too nice. My one wish for this show is that the sophomoric bickering between Ryan and Simon would stop. Actually, Simon has gotten better each year, with fewer and fewer jabs at Ryan. Ryan on the other hand was out of control last year! There were so many times I was fed up and just wanted to have a special Ryan mute. I think he's getting a big head. Before Idol, he was just a DJ. Now he's taken over for Casey Kasem doing America's Top 40, is now slated to take over for Dick Clarke doing the New Years thing, had a tv show (I actually liked it), and tons of other things. Ryan, you're not all that special. Grow up already! I'll be posting more about this show in the coming months, especially when they get down to the final 10.

Friday, January 13, 2006

More 3D Photos

Just added more 3D photos on Flickr. The ones from Boston turned out really well.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Flying to Boston

I've flown a lot, which is a good thing because now when the plane hits those bumps it doesn't bother me - I don't worry until the pilot tells the flight attendants to sit down. I flew to Boston in a 737-900, and I've flown this particular plane many times before. But I must have never sat this far back, 2nd to last row. When we took off, the engine noise was freakishly loud! It almost actually hurt. I was sooooo glad when we hit 10,000 feet and I could put my Bose noise canceling headphones on. These things are so amazing, I can't imaging flying ever again without them.

But my joy was short-lived. Went to turn on my iPod and found I must have left it on - no battery. ARGH!!! I decided to start-up my laptop and listen to it, which worked well. I turned it off after about an hour and a have because I wanted some battery left when I got to the hotel - I took it down to the restaurant with me and did some work getting the old BBB website to work without a webserver. I was tired anyhow and slept for almost two hours. I was feeling good when I woke, until I heard them announce, "1 hour and 40 minutes left." I must make sure my iPod is charged for the flight home.

Landed and I thought the pilot was trying to see if he could pop all of the tires at the same time. The weather was nice coming in, didn't seem like a lot of wind or anything. Even the flight attendants commented.

Then came my favorite part - hurry up and wait. It happens on every plane. We pull up to the gate, they turn off the seatbelt sign, and everyone stands up ready to go. And of course the people in the back start getting impatient and mad. From the time they turned off the seatbelt sign to when we were able to get off took a total of 10 minutes. Of course it seemed like 30, but it really wasn't that long. At least people stayed seated like they were supposed to until the sign was turned off.
All in all, a good flight, no problems.

Looking forward to the return flight - I was able to upgrade to 1st class! WOOHOO!!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cool Google Maps

A lot of people are creating websites using Google Maps. Some are ok, and some are way cool. I read this blog every day to see what new maps are out there. One of the best uses I've seen so far is PropSmart.com. This is a real estate website showing homes that are for sale in your area. An awesome interface and very well designed website! Very cool!!

Atkins Works!

I have lost 40 pounds and feel GREAT! 2 years ago I didn't have any time to exercise and just kept gaining weight even though I thought I was eating healthy. My dad has diabetes type 2 and I could see I was heading that way if I didn't do something. So I called a friend and asked him to tell me about Atkins. I was VERY skeptical and figured at least it would get my weight off and I could go from there, I just had to get the weight off.

I've been doing Atkins for almost 2 years now. It DOES work! I don't feel like I'm missing foods I enjoy like you do on some diets. His book is excellent and explains how things work in your body, especially how sugar and carbs turn into fat. He does have a lot of success stories that I could have done without - I mean by the 10th one I get it that this works.

One thing is Atkins is not a NO carb diet, it is LOW carb. Basically he says people today eat way too many carbs. After starting this, I added up the carbs I was eating and it was almost 10 times what he says to eat. Things like eating a whole bag of chips instead of a few with a good meal. As he says, this is not a diet but a different way to eat for life. I wasn't exactly eating healthy, but I am now - not just lower carbs, but as I mentioned, not eating a whole bag of chips for a meal.

It's not just about eating tons of meat or protein, it's about eating healthy and eating less - only what your body needs, not until you can't move.

There are three phases.
  1. Very little or no carbs for the first two weeks. He wants you to do this to prove to you that you can lose weight doing this.
  2. 20-30 carbs a day while you are losing weight. When you are within 10 pounds of your target weight, you start upping the carbs to find your breaking point, if you eat more than X carbs you'll gain weight, less you'll lose weight. These last 10 pounds can take several months to come off. Oh, and set your weight loss goal to something you want. If you're 100 pounds overweight, don't set your goal for 10 pounds, set it for 80-100.
  3. Lifetime eating. Now you are at the weight you want to be at. Your carbs/day have gone up from 20-30 to whatever your breakeven point is - for me it's about 120. If you have a party coming up, you can eat less carbs a few days before or after so you can pig out that day.
Microbrewed beer (actually pretty much all beer, but real beer has more carbs) is a no-no on Atkins. Sorry, I like beer and when I drink beer, I'm going to drink good beer. I don't drink it as often as I did, but I still enjoy going out with friends and having several beers and good greasy food like pizza or burgers. I don't take the bun off the burger or scrape the toppings off the pizza, I like that part. But I don't have burgers or pizza every day.

In his book he also says to not have sugar in the house, or if you're at a birthday party and someone hands you a piece of cake to either say, "No thanks" or to set it down somewhere. Sorry, I like cake A LOT! I have a HUGE sweet tooth and I'm going to eat a piece, I might even have two. But I'm not doing that every day. Once in awhile is ok. And that's one of the big things I've discovered, indulging yourself now and then is ok, I was doing it WAY too often. I LOVE chocolate chip cookies and was eating several a day - like 4-8. Once again, not only was I eating too many carbs, but I wasn't eating that healthy.

There is one big secret to making Atkins work, and it's something I find many people who try Atkins and fail aren't doing - EXERCISE!!! He says this all over the place in his book! 60 minutes a day, even just something as simple as walking. If you can't do 60 minutes in one shot, do two 30 minute sessions. I run 5 miles ever other day. I'm not fast, doing 9-10 minute miles, but it's a good consistent pace, I'm not out of breath (which is important - if you're out of breath you are burning muscle not fat, you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising). Many people I talked with who've done Atkins said they weren't exercising. So they lost the weight, but their metabolism was still in the couch-potato state, they eat extra carbs and their body just stores it instead of burning it.

I stopped running for about 6 months for all kinds of stupid reasons. After 6 months I found if I ate more than 60 carbs a day I was gaining weight. Started running again and quickly I was back to being able to eat 120+ carbs a day without gaining weight. AND there are all kinds of other great things about exercising, like all the good endorphins you release which make you feel better. If you've had a bad day, doing some exercise can help you relax and feel better. You might still be upset, but won't be a volcano ready to blow.

As I said, I was EXTREMELY skeptical of Atkins, there have been tons of diets with each having people showing they lost 200+ pounds and feel great, yet most people fail on them. My wife and I looked into LA Weight Loss and they wanted us to eat a lot of fish, no meat. We both HATE fish and they wouldn't change our diet, they just kept saying, "Tough, eat fish," so we didn't do that.

I am now a big believer in Atkins, not only because it has worked for me for almost 2 years, but also from reading his book and learning how the body handles food - and that sugar is sugar, meaning fruit has sugar in it called fructose, which to your body is the same as the sugar in candy and cookies.

Oh and the other big complaint I hear is, "I don't want to look at labels on products all the time." or, "I don't want to count carbs." Believe me, I didn't want to either. But I did and very quickly it was easy to know how many were in things. Most candy bars have about 30-40 carbs. Oh, and speaking of candy bars, the important thing on all carbs is SERVING SIZE. A Hershey's chocolate bar has about 33 carbs and the serving size is 1 bar. But each bar comes in 4 sections. So you can have one little section to get your chocolate fix (yes, I know how tough that is!) and you've only had 8.2 carbs. Starting wasn't easy for me because I LOVE candy, and cutting that out took about a month. But I did because I didn't want diabetes and wanted this to succeed. Now that I'm at my target weight, I do have candy now and then, just not as much as I used to, like 1-4 bags of peanut M&M's a day. ;)

ANYHOW, sorry for the long post, I just like to get the word out that Atkins works if you do it right, meaning it's LOW carb, and EXERCISE! If you've tried other diets and nothing has ever worked, go get his book and do it, you won't be sorry. Just remember to exercise or you'll be complaining this was another thing that didn't work.