giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Sad news... Bob Asprin passed away yesterday, at the age of 62. (Source) In addition to being a popular science fiction writer, and well known in the SCA, he was also the man responsible behind the creation of the Dorsai Irregulars. To say that he touched the lives of many would be an understatement.

He was also to be the Guest of Honor here at Marcon this weekend. Oops.

There will be a wake (or something similar to one) starting at around 10 PM this evening in the open filking area at MarCon. If you attend, it might not be a bad idea to bring something with a sharp smell, if you know what I mean.

I bought a bottle of Glenlivet 15 and a flask.

[Edit: While going through emails about Bob, I decided to put on something light. So I set my iPod to shuffle through the Monty Python Instant Record Collection. What's the first song? You guessed it, The Dead Parrot Sketch. And the second song? Bring Out Your Dead. Why does God Dog hate me?]
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Courtesy of co-worker M:

Or maybe they're just trying to increase their revenue. You be the judge!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I had a fun weekend. [ profile] omnibahumut and [ profile] whitefeet stopped by and we hung out, drank, and played Nintendo Wii. They played Nintendo Strikers, and I wisely chose NOT to play, after seeing Whitefeet wipe the playing field with Omni.

Anyway, on the way to my apartment, the first thing we stumbled across was this little sign:

WARNING Transcontinental Cable Route

It was sitting in the trash at the train station, so that makes it fair game. I hope that it was in the trash because it was replaced with a newer sign...

Next, I made friends with Balvenie, a fine 12-year single malt scotch:

The Balvenie

It was the first time that I actually made use of the Single Malt Scotch Bible that is in the scotch aisle at the local liquor store. I'll tell you, the liquor stores here in PA may be state controlled, but they've done a good job of increasing the booze selection over recent years.

Finally, on Sunday night, Omni and I hit the local IHOP for some food. While there, I took a picture of this sign:

IHOP Warning

Yes, it really says that. I sorta have this image in my head of someone turning a chair upside down and impaling 4 babies on it. Of course, that would be Just Wrong. Yeah... I see an LJ icon from that pic, though!

In other news, I've spent most of the rest of my evenings and weekends at the gym. Not only am I getting my moneys' worth from my gym membership, but it's a great way to burn off stress in a productive way.

That's all the news in my life for now!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I've been saying this for a few years now. If you drink an 12 ounce can of coke, that's roughly a cup full of simple sugar. Since processed sugars break down very quickly, your blood sugar spikes, which in turn tells your body to stop burning fat for energy. And since there's no nutrition in a can of coke, all you get are these "empty calories".

Finally, there's an article on CNN which addresses this:

Nutritionists: Soda making Americans drink themselves fat

By Caleb Hellerman

(CNN) -- If you're searching for a villain in America's obesity epidemic, most nutritionists tell you to put one picture on the wanted poster: a cold, bubbly glass of soda pop.

Full of sugar, soda adds calories without making a person feel full, nutritionists say.

"Liquid candy" to detractors, sweetened soft drinks are so ubiquitous that they contribute about 10 percent of the calories in the American diet, according to government data.

In fact, said Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard endocrinologist whose 2001 paper in the Lancet is widely cited by obesity researchers, sweetened drinks are the only specific food that clinical research has directly linked to weight gain.

"Highly concentrated starches and sugars promote overeating, and the granddaddy of them all is sugar-sweetened beverages," said Ludwig, who runs the Optimal Weight for Life Program at Children's Hospital in Boston.

The rise in soft drink consumption mirrors the national march toward obesity. At the midpoint of the 20th century, Americans drank four times as much milk as soda pop. Today, the ratio is almost completely reversed, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, in the past 30 years the national obesity rate has more than doubled, and among teenagers, more than tripled, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Soda pop is a quintessential junk food," said Michael Jacobson, who heads the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which lobbies for government restrictions on foods it considers unhealthy. "It's just pure calories, and no nutrients. It's like a bomb in our diet."

(Read the rest of the article.)

There's a lot more details in the article about the (lack of) effect of soda on appetite, how blood sugar levels plunge after they spike which makes you even hungrier, etc. It's a very interesting read.

If you're a caffeine addict like I am, at least drink black coffee or diet soda. Neither of those have significant amounts of calories in them.

And yes, Coke Zero mixes with Captain Morgan quite nicely. :-)
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Yesterday was the company trip to Hershey Park. They were nice enough to run a bus out and back, and it worked out really well. We arrived there shortly after 10 AM, which meant that there were no lines at all for the roller coasters. I managed to rid on three different coasters (front seat for two of them) in the space of about 40 minutes. Also, it was Christian Music Day at Hershey Park. That sure was an uh, interesting mix!

I took pictures, but haven't had a chance to upload them to Flickr yet.

Yes, I found the sole bar at Hershey Park. Seeing that it was a family park, it was amusing to look at the gigantic lines at the other food counters, with no one at the alcohol counter. I was able to walk right up and get served. :-)

One bit of a downer, is that the flash on my camera (a Sony Cybershot DSC-P73) decided to stop working. That didn't affect my outdoor shots, but it means that I could no longer do any indoor photography. I stopped by the local camera store today and took a look at this camera:

It is a Sony Cybershot S700. It's 7.2 Megapixels, which is WAY more than I'll need (1 MP is just fine), has nighttime and landscape modes, and has "macro" mode for photographing things close up. Anyone have experience with it? Any reason why I should NOT purchase such a camera?

In other news, I spent a lot of time this weekend cleaning up the apartment and catching up on some reading. I finished the following three books:

- The Time Machine (H.G. Wells)
- Unscrewed - The Consumer's Guide to Getting What You Paid For (Ron Burley)
- The Running Man (Stephen King)

I consider the time machine to be a bit of a classic, even if the writing style was a bit odd. It was written mostly in the first person view, told as a flashback.

Unscrewed is a non-fiction book which is designed to be a "self-help" book for consumers that have gotten screwed in some way by a business. It covers different ways to deal with different businesses, such as small local businesses, larger companies, and finally government entities. The techniques is presents are subtle, but help convince your adversary that doing the job/performing the refund/etc. is quicker, than having to deal with the headaches that you will make for them. Plus, the book quotes Jack Nicholson being a little psycho in a section called, "Just A Bit Jack". That's too cool.

The Running Man is an early work of Stephen King, which he wrote under the alias "Richard Bachman". If you've seen the movie, it's not like that at all. The book is much darker, and would never ever be made into a movie in today's political climate. I actually started this book yesterday (Saturday) whlie on the way back from Hershey Park, and finished it today because it was such a gripping book.

That's all the news for now!
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)

Also, how many people knew that Andre the Giant was the world's biggest alcoholic? No, really. Check out the article and look at the quantities the man consumed:

- A case of Budweiser tallboys in 90 minutes

- An entire case of plum wine in 4 hours

I can only try to reach that level of greatness.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
When you eat this much sushi:

And drink this much Morgan:

Do not, under any circumstances, let your drinking partner convince you that "finishing off that bottle of tequila" they happen to "have sitting around" is EVER a good idea.

I'm just sayin'.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
I dreampt that a flood-infected form of Optimus Prime was trying to beat me up. Tentacles and all.

I need to lay off the booze catnip before going to bed.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
So, I started off this weekend by getting up early on Saturday morning (which should be illegal, but that's a different story) and heading into the office where co-worker D was teaching a course on CPR. By the end of the day, I learned "Advanced CPR", which included adult, child, and infant CPR, as well as some of the fundamentals behind it. For example, they now recommend doing 30 chest compressions instead of 15, because the blood pressure only starts to rise after doing several chest compressions. If you get interrupted (or only do 15 compressions), the blood pressure stops, and you have to start over.

It was also pointed out to me that, in the State of Washington, learning CPR is now mandatory in order to get a driver's license. As a result, the number of deaths from cardiac arrest has now dropped dramatically, since there are now many people who know CPR.

After getting out, I hooked up with [ profile] omnibahumut and [ profile] whitefeet and we hung out for the evening. At some point, we went to get dinner and since Whitefeet is into sushi, we hit a local Japanese restaurant. Imagine my surprise, when walking in, and co-worker J walks right up to me! It turns out that a friend of his owned the restaurant, and asked co-worker J to help him out that night because he was short-staffed.

I had some sushi too, and it ended up being the best damn sushi I ever had. Also, I learned that Riesling goes well with Sushi.

I didn't do too much on Sunday. Did some interface tweaks on my website and the Save Ardmore Coalition website.

For those of you reading this who live in Lower Merion, I hope I'll be seeing you at the Fund Raiser Benefit for Moira Shaughnessy, who was tragically hit with a case of viral encephalitis recently. It will be held on Saturday, March 17th at Brownie's 23 East in Ardmore.
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
As the subject line indicates, after a 5+ year wait, I finally got to see Reboot Season 4 a few weeks ago. I think that the folks behind it did a great job at expanding the overall story and tying some of the loose ends together. Though I think some parts of "My Two Bobs" did seem kinda drawn out, but I think the overall experience made Season 4 worth watching. It's a pity that more seasons weren't done after that. I would have loved to see more stories in the "Net" universe.

Some months ago, I wrote about the knee pain I had been suffering from, and my diagnosis of "Chondromalacia", or blisters in the cartlidge behind my kneecaps. Well, I did what my doctor told me (wearing knee braces and avoiding the elliptical machine) and I am pretty much pain-free at this point. I still need to wear my kneepads during heavy activity for the next month or so, but I think that's mostly to help keep stress off of the tissue for any leftover healing that needs to be done.

Back in December, I noticed that my weight had gone up considerably. I was up to 194 pounds at the time. This was due in part to having less aerobic activity while my knees healed, along with eating lunch at a restaurant in the city most days, and having largeish portions of food less than an hour before going to bed. So I started hitting subway and the local fruit stand for lunch, and cutting my dinner portions in half, or having only a bowl of soup if it was near bedtime. Of course, I kept going to the gym 2-3 times a week. I weighed myself last night, and it looks like I'm down to 181 pounds. So, that's 13 pounds lost, and I'm spending less on food every week. I think I can live with that!

I've also been drinking a little more lately, mostly by enjoying certain single malt scotches. While it's rather pleasant, I have concerns about the long term effects of this. So I figured I'll keep up the alcohol use, but make it more producitve, by drinking a glass of red wine each day. Incidentally, I see more trips to the state liquor store in my future. Would anyone care to recommend some inexpensive brands of red wine to me?
giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
...and more! At:

If anyone has a really cool tequila story that they'd like to share, this site is accepting submissions!

I found this site after searching on Google for "tequila stories" which in turn was prompted by a discussion with co-worker M about his tequila stories.


giza: Giza White Mage (Default)
Douglas Muth

April 2012



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