Sunday, December 11, 2005

Mouse Stuck in Laser Printer

A friend of mine sent me these pictures. I guess the mouse decided to settle down for the night in the paper tray of this laser printer. So when the staff came in and printed their first page, the laser printer sucked that poor mouse into the rollers. Ouch!

The miraculous thing about this is that the mouse survived. The staff got the mouse out and set it free outside. I think the moral lesson here is to not sleep in strange places.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Finding Your Center

I had a conversation the other day with my wife about working out. I workout religiously, while my wife goes to Curves once in a blue moon. I told my wife that I like to workout because it makes me feel normal again. After a good workout, I feel alive; I feel really good.

Work is usually stressful and not all that fun; it really drags me down. Working out lifts me up and gives me a better perspective on life. I look forward to working out during the day. It's how I find my center, and that's the best way to describe it.

My wife thought that was just crazy talk. How could anyone like exercising? Well, I do.

My Dad finds his center in the outdoors. He loves fishing and hunting. A week on the Kiabab in Northern Arizona and my Dad is a new man.

I have a really good friend at work that loves backpacking. That's all he talks about, and I'm sure that is how he finds his center.

My conclusion is that everyone has a center. Many people don't know what it is, or don't recognize it. Many people haven't found it yet and that's as good as any reason to try new things. I'm thinking about kayaking, and maybe my friend is right about backpacking.

Surely my wife has a center, but just doesn't recognize what it is.

What is your center? or do you think I'm crazy too?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

New Dumbbell Rack

I just got a new dumbell rack off ebay. I think I got a really good deal. The rack was $90.00, and that included shipping. My only complaint is that the guy on ebay took 2 weeks to ship the dang thing.

I bought the dumbbells sometime ago at Dicks Sporting goods. They were on sale for .49 a pound. I purchased a set of 5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45's. It came out to be about $240.00, because they gave me some more discounts at the counter.

The rack has 4 sides to hold the dumbbells on and a flat top to hold other stuff. It took about 15 mintues to put together. Anyways, this is the new addition to my home gym. I'm really excited about it.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Soda Addiction - Part IV

Today is day 5 with no Dr. Pepper. It’s now considerably easier to get through the day. The headaches are minimal and don’t really interfere with my day to day activities. I have not taken any diet pills for a couple days now. My mood is much better too; I’m less reclusive and more outgoing.

Energy levels are still down a bit. I think that is understandable considering the amount of sugar my body was dependant upon. I assume that this will level out, but I’m not really sure. I think the key here is to remember to eat. Before, I could skip a meal or two because I had calories coming in from Dr. Pepper. Now, the only caloric intake I have is from my meals. I eat much more often. I’m eating at least 6 small meals a day. I have a cache of granola bars and energy bars when I need an extra boost.

I have been a little dehydrated. I noticed that during last night’s cardio, I went through three 20 oz. bottles of water. I usually only go through one.

I still crave Dr. Pepper, but I think the craving is more psychological then physical. I really think the soda was security blanket of sorts. I always had a soda in my hand, and I think that gave my hands and brain something to do.

According to the scale, I will loose about 1.8 lbs this week. That’s good news.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Perfect Home Gym

I bought The Men’s’ Health Hard-body plan – The Ultimate 12-Week Program for Burning Fat and Building Muscle. I haven’t started the workout plan included in the book, but I’ve been reading the book for the last week. The reference section in the back of the book has a section called “How to Create the Ultimate Workout Space – The Perfect Home Gym”. I was really pleased that my home gym nearly meets their approval.

Click here to see a photo of my home gym.

This is what it says:

  1. A few full length mirrors on the walls. I have two.
  2. Boom Box. I don’t have this, but I listen to my MD player with wireless headphones.
  3. Six of your favorite enlivening, make-you-wanna boogie CD’s. I have about a dozen MD disks.
  4. Fan. I have an Air Conditioner.
  5. Fridge with case of sports drinks. This is not in my gym, but my fridge in my kitchen has this.
    Hook for towels. Yep.
  6. Chair for rest breaks. Yep.
  7. Padded carpeting on floor, or rubber gym flooring. Yep.
  8. No Phones. Yep.
  9. Wall Clock with second hand. I have a large nuclear clock with a digital second display.
  10. TV and VCR. I have a 17” TV mounted on the wall with a DVD player and a DISH Network receiver. I workout watching MUN2. This is by far the best workout TV you can find.
  11. Jump Rope – Yep.
  12. Exercise Bike. I have an Iron man 220R.
  13. Stairmaster. I don’t have a Stairmaster, but I do have a Keys Fitness Health Trainer Elliptical machine.
  14. Concept II rowing machine. I bought this a year ago. Hands down the best cardio workout you will ever, ever, ever get. Well worth the money and highly recommended.
  15. Treadmill. This was the first piece of equipment that I bought. It’s now almost 10 years old, but works great.
  16. Swiss Ball. Yep. If you use the Swiss Ball right, it will really kick your ass. If you don’t have anything at all, I really believe that this should be the first piece of equipment you buy.
  17. Pull-up Bar. I have a vertical knee raise machine that includes a pull-up bar and a punching bag and Dip Bar.
  18. Dip Bar. It’s on the vertical knee raise machine
  19. Light posters on the wall. I don’t have anything on the wall.
  20. Good Lighting. I have good lighting, but I like to keep it dark when I work out. I have tube lighting running around the floor and walls.
  21. Whiteboard. Nope. I don’t have this.
  22. Air Filter – Yep.
  23. Water Cooler – Nope. I always have lots of water in the fridge.
  24. Scale. Yep. My scale also measures BFI.
  25. Extra workout clothes. Nope.
  26. Measuring Tape. Yep.
  27. Legal Pad for notes. Yep.
  28. Corner Sauna or hot tub. I have a hot tub in the back. I use it almost daily after I work out.
  29. Shower. My wife won’t let me use the bathroom connected to the master bedroom. That’s her bathroom. I use the guest bath and it is right next to the room I use for the gym.
  30. Towels.

Weight Training Equipment:

  1. One Bar. Nope
  2. One Set of Weights. I don’t use the bar. I have a body-solid home gym that I use for most of my resistance workouts.
  3. One easy curl bar. Yep.
  4. Two Collars. Nope.
  5. Six Pair of Dumbbells. Pairs of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35. Yep.
  6. Good Quality Bench. Yep.
  7. Set of Squat Racks. Nope
  8. Smith Machine. Nope
  9. Hyperextension Machine. Nope.
  10. Incline board. Yep.

I don’t have the heavy weights, but in place of that I have the home gym which enables me to duplicate almost all bar workouts with. It’s not the best, but I’m not a body-builder. I just want to look good and stay in shape. The machine works well for my needs. The dumbbells and easy curl bar meets my needs in regard to free weights.

Mom and Lung Cancer

I’ve been thinking about my Mom today.  My mother had a fast and furious bought with cancer.  She passed away 3 weeks ago today.  She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 39 days before she passed.  

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Non-Small Cell lung cancer, my heart goes out to you.  The only sign that she had cancer was her voice had changed an octave or two higher than normal.  Her first doctor had told her she had pinched a nerve in her back.  She went in a few days later, and the emergency doctor referred her to an oncologist after he had taken some X-rays.  

My mother chose not to fight the cancer using standard chemo and radiation treatments.  I know that there were family members that thought this was the wrong decision.  My mother sought homeopathic treatments instead.  My mom was always eccentric, and had to do things her way.

My mom made the right decision in this, because it was her decision to make. It is what she wanted.  It made her feel more in control. In the end, all you have is your dignity.

It was important to me to support her in this decision.  I encouraged my brothers and sisters to support her as well.  In her presence everyone was always positive.  

How can you be positive when facing immanent death?  You do this one day at a time.  Today we can help you with your pain.  Today we can get you more comfortable.  Today we can make you laugh.  Today…  That is all you can count on.

Stage 4 lung cancer will kill you. I repeat this to express my point.  Stage 4 lung cancer will kill you.  The average life span of untreated stage 4 lung cancer is about 4 months.  If you treat it, the average life span is 7 months.

If you know someone who is going through this, make sure their today is as good as you can make it.  


Soda Addiction - Part III

This is day 4 with no Dr. Pepper. I have to say that it is getting better. The headaches weren’t so bad today; I only took one diet pill. I was not as hungry today, as I have been in the last few days. I think my body is adjusting to the lower caloric intake. I started my cardio workout tonight, but my muscles hurt almost immediately. This usually tells me that I need more energy. I stopped and ate a granola bar, waited 15 minutes, and then started back up again. That gave me the energy I needed and I was able to do the 45 minutes of cardio with no problem. I do notice that I’m drinking a lot more water. I’m going through about six 21oz bottles a day.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Soda Addiction - Part II

It is now Day 3 without Dr. Pepper. Here are some of the side effects experienced and how I have dealt with them.


The headaches are caused by the caffeine withdrawals. When the headaches get really bad, I take a single diet pill. I took Zantrex-3, because that’s what I have around the house. Each capsule has about 160mg of caffeine. I take them like aspirin; if the headache gets bad, then I take the pill. The first day I took about 3 capsules; yesterday I took 2. I’ve seen on other posts were people have taken Excedrin, which has a caffeine in it too. The goal is to take fewer and fewer tablets until the headaches are gone. Just don’t get addicted to diet pills or Excedrin.


This hasn’t been too bad, but it does seem like it’s easier to push my buttons. My wife tells me that I seem distant. I think I’m staying away from interactions that might cause me to get uptight. I am hiding out a little.


I couldn’t get to sleep the first night. I finally got to bed at 5:00 AM. The 2nd night I slept fine, but it was REALLY hard to get out of bed. I ended up being 45 minutes late to work. This sleep behavior wouldn’t be too unusual for me anyways, but I think it’s compounded by the caffeine withdrawal.


I’m Hungry all the time. I never gained any weight drinking Dr. Pepper, so that means that my body was burning those 800 calories a day as fuel. I have to replace those calories with something. I bought a box of energy bars to eat when I get hungry. I find that I’m eating a bar midmorning and a few hours after lunch. This seems to help out quite a bit. I’m also eating larger meals when I do eat. My body seems to know that it needs more caloric intake.

Loss of Energy:

I do at least 45 minutes of cardio workout every day. I usually do this in the evening before I go to bed. The workouts are going well, and my distance/rate/times are the same as before. However, my body feels weighted down. Again, I think this is due to the fact that I have much less sugar in my bloodstream. I ate a small meal about 30 minutes before yesterday’s workout. That seemed to help out a lot.

Fuzzy Thinking:

On top of the headaches, it seems like my thinking is a little slower. That may not make much sense, but it seem like I’m just not as quick on my feet as usual. In High School, I used to drink a Mt. Dew right before a test. I was told that this would help my test scores, and in fact it did. Caffeine must do something to put your brain in high gear. I’m not sure that there is anything I can do about this. I know that there are natural supplements that claim to do the same thing. I’ll look around and give something a try.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Soda vs. Pop

I was thinking that my previous post shows that I'm not from Kentucky. I was raised in Northern Arizona saying Soda or Soda Pop. My Grandma came from Oklahoma, where she calls everything Coke. Statistics show that most people in Kentucky would just say Coke too, but I couldn't label the post Coke Addiction, now could I?

Soda Addiction

I decided last week to stop drinking Dr. Pepper. I have not had a Dr. Pepper for 24 hours now. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is a real accomplishment. Last week I had cut down to just 2 or 3 cans a day. Prior to that, I was drinking a 6-pack a day. That has been my normal intake of Dr. Pepper for 6 years now. Here are some numbers to consider on my own soda addiction:


1 can = 150 calories

6 cans = 900 calories of soda consumed a day

900 calories X 7 days a week = 6300 calories a week

6300 calories X 52 weeks = 327600 calories

One pound of body weight = 3500 calories. If my metabolism wasn’t so off the charts, then I would have gained 93 lbs. this year by drinking this amount of soda.

If I wanted to drop a few pounds by stopping the soda intake; I could loose 1.8 lbs a week.


1 gallon = 128 oz

1 can = 12 oz

((12oz x 6 cans) x 356 days)/128 oz = 200 gallons of soda a year.

I can’t believe I was drinking 200 gallons a year. I’m no Doctor, but I’m really surprised I have not become diabetic.

Soda manufactures are creating enough soda so that every man woman and child can consume 56 gallons of soda each year. I was way over the average.


Before I quit, I had to come up with good reasons to quit. Here are my reasons:

  1. I currently have 15% body fat (BFI). My goal is to have 8%. This will be impossible to obtain by continuing my soda intake.
  2. I want to improve my image. At work, I’m always carrying a can of Dr. Pepper. I don’t want to be the guy that always has a Dr. Pepper in his hand. I think this image is about as attractive as the chain smoker.
  3. I want whiter teeth.
  4. I want to be in control of my moods. I really think that the caffeine intake has a negative impact on my general mood.

Well, I just thought that I would share this. I will update this throughout the week.