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New Home Reminder

Just realized that I haven't been providing links to entries over at my new online home. Here are some of the posts that I've written since migrating to a new site:

Red Country Joys and Blues (today)
Facebook's Memory Hole (May 13)
Irresponsibility (May 12)
The Every Song in the Library Project (April 21)

I've also been posting to Brick à Brac, where my recent project is the ongoing adventures of Trumplestiltskin.

New Online Home

In response to the new terms and conditions, I am moving my incredibly inconsistent blogging to a new home on Wordpress: The Talking Moose. This site will remain online for archival purposes, and for a little while I will link to my posts on the new site. A little sad that I just cannot continue here, but it has to be done.

Loss since last weigh-in (3/21): 0.8 lb
2017 Cumulative loss: 16.6 lb
Pounds from goal: 6.8 lb

On one hand, I should be happy with these numbers. My birthday weekend involved three days of over-indulgence (though not sheer, unrestrained gluttony,) so averaging 0.4/week looks like a win. On the other hand, I tried hard to be extra-good about the eating and exercise outside of that three day period, so I can't help but feel like the number should've been a little better. However, it is progress, so I really should just accept and move on.

The reason why I've made this a "Special Edition" post is that today marks the sixth anniversary of my returning to the gym with the determination to make lifelong changes to my eating and exercising habits. For the most part it has been a success. There certainly have been deviations -- I've had to return to weight loss mode to lose at least 15 pounds more times than I care to count. However, my weight has breached the 215 mark -- 33 pounds below my all-time peak back on April 4, 2011 -- just twice in that time, and I'm currently over 50 pounds below where I started.

I'm proud of what I've accomplished over the past six years -- I can honestly state that the I've been in better shape and health over the past six years than the six best non-consecutive years from my 20s and 30s. Yet, I cannot overstate just how much of struggle this continues to be for me. As evidenced by the current series of Weekly Weigh-In posts, it's disconcertingly easy for me to stop eating and exercising properly. This will clearly remain a lifetime struggle for me as my default setting is clearly "fat bastard." The aging process isn't helping either; I'm not old, but I'm old enough to notice that some of my day-to-day aches and pains take longer to heal or sometimes seem that they are bordering on chronic. I can easily imagine a time when I will need to adjust exercise routines to compensate for such things.

But, now is a time to focus on the positive. While I may be in the middle of another period of getting my weight back down to ideal levels, I am in great shape, by all objective standards outside of that infernal BMI measure, and I am currently below the goal weight I originally set for myself back in 2011. I'm proud of the fact that six years later I can make such a statement. I hope that I will be able to do so each time I reach this anniversary.

Weekly Weigh-In, Week #11

Loss since last weigh-in (3/7): 2.2 lb
Cumulative loss: 15.8 lb
Pounds from goal: 7.6 lb

Perfectly reasonable numbers for the fortnight. Although I would have liked to have seen a bigger loss to help offset some guaranteed overeating this coming Friday, anything significantly greater is losing weight too fast. Well, there are still a few more days to go, so maybe I can make sure to lose a little more before Friday and that I can go back to my normal routines quickly enough so that next week's number is at worst a tiny gain.

Or, I can do what I've been doing all along during this process, and wait two weeks for my next official weigh-in. That should be enough time to undo the damage from later this week.

Weekly Weigh-In, Week #9

Maybe I should be calling this the "Twiweekly Weigh-In" and start renumbering the posts. Thus far, my not posting weekly as I have in the past hasn't made any difference in making sure I stick to healthy lifestyle patterns. I do want to be careful, though, as not frequently posting in the past has made it easier for me to refuse to acknowledge when I go off the rails.

Anyway, everything is proceeding as it should, and I've now achieved the only time-based goal I made for myself: getting back below 200 before my birthday. The fact I did it with 17 days to spare means that I can (hopefully) lop off another couple pounds before the big day, when I will absolutely discard all notions of healthy eating for 24 hours.

Loss since last weigh-in (2/14): 3.4 lb
Cumulative loss: 13.6 lb
Pounds from goal: 9.8 lb

Weekly Weigh-In, Week #6

I could repurpose the intro paragraph from the last Weekly Weigh-In post without any changes and it would apply again to this post. With the exception of actually making weekly posts, everything is going along the way it should and will continue to do so provided I maintain my exercise and eating habits. I'm even entertaining thoughts of being back below 200 pounds by my birthday. Given that's a little over five weeks away, that's a very attainable goal.

Loss since last weigh-in (1/24): 2.4 lb
Average loss per week since 1/24: 0.8 lb
Cumulative loss: 10.2 lb
Pounds from goal: 13.2 lb

Semi-Mini Rant for the Day

(Cross-posted from Facebook for ease of future reference.)

I feel this needs to be said: pointing out the parallels between Trump's statements and actions since he announced his candidacy with Hitler's during the early stages of his career -- at least when I'm doing it -- is not implying that Trump is espousing genocide or will turn into a genocidal maniac. Nor am I suggesting that Trump is as "bad" as Hitler. It is just noting the very authoritarian, anti-democratic, and divisive ways they wielded and consolidated their political power. The fact that such a parallel exists should be concerning to everyone because of what it means for the future of our own political system. Although it is certainly in need of serious repair, it isn't broken. It can be fixed if we don't let Trump continue us down the path he has staked out thus far.

Yes, any comparison to Hitler and the Nazi's raise to power is going to be emotionally-laden because of the Holocaust. However, we cannot use Godwin's Law as a means to ignore valid comparisons of Trump's actions to how the Nazi Party undermined democracy and ultimately dismantled it. There's a reason why never the phrase "never forget" exists: we cannot let our own sociopolitical biases and prejudices blind us when our political leaders start taking a path that in the past has led to the ruination of a nation and a perpetual stain on its soul.

Weekly Weigh-In, Week #3

Typically, if I go this long between weigh-in posts, it's a sign that I went horribly off the rails with the eating and/or exercise. I'm happy to report that isn't the case this time around. I didn't go to the gym on weigh-in day for the first week (I prefer to weigh myself after going to the gym because it shaves a little extra weight off when I step on the scale), and last week I weighed myself but didn't get around to writing the post.

I'm right where I should be given that I experienced the anticipated big first week of weight loss following the holiday gorging and sloth-like behavior. Now, I just gotta keep this up for another few months or so.

Loss since last weigh-in: 7.8 lb
Average loss per week: 2.6 lb
Pounds from goal: 15.6 lb

2016 Stuff Read, #s 16(a), 34-40

I kept holding off on writing this post because I wanted to write a few sentences on each book, as I usually do. However, I have too many other items demanding my attention, so I'm going to have to skimp on this particular post. The good news is that I made my goal of 40 books last year, and despite the fact that my current dead tree book, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's The Big Book of Science Fiction, will almost certainly take me months to complete, I'm off to an encouraging start on making that goal again this year -- thanks to audiobooks and ebooks.

16(b). In Morningstar's Shadow, by Aliette de Bodard (ebook, collection of three short stories)
34. Fifty Degrees Below, by Kim Stanley Robinson (audiobook)
35. Alice, by Christina Henry (dead tree book)
36. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English, by John McWhorter (audiobook)
37. Call of the Wild, by Jack London (ebook)
38. Parable of the Sower, by Octavia E. Butler (ebook)
39. The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin (audiobook)
40. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick (ebook)

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Last Words for the Day

One final thought as for the remainder of the day I will purposefully not say another word about today's events in DC.* I truly am frightened and horrified by what's happening. I've been using a combination of humor, exaggerated outrage, and foul language as a coping mechanism and a way to mask some of what I've felt and am still feeling. My reaction is not based on the fact that a "Republican" is taking the office. I wouldn't be feeling the way I do if it was a garden-variety Republican politician becoming President. Don't get me wrong -- I wouldn't be happy about that either, but I certainly didn't react this way when George W. Bush was elected or reelected. No, our President-elect is something far different.

Trump has stated and proved repeatedly that he is not a Republican politician. He is a narcissistic, misogynistic, ill-tempered, easily rattled, sycophantic billionaire who is clearly enamored with authoritarian power structures. He merely used the Republican Party as a means to an end. He has shown through his business dealings that he is most and foremost a con man who shows no empathy or sympathy for our working or middle classes. He's a swindler who has embraced and wielded the Orwellian lie while exploiting our political system and the various social divisions in our country to garner the highest office in our land -- an office for which he possesses neither the abilities, qualifications, nor temperament to fill. But, the worst part is that the Republican Party is frightened of offending him and even more terrified of offending those of voted for him. So, that party is going to essentially give him what he wants for quite some time. In the process, many of our country's essential government functions and services are going to suffer long-term damage that may take decades to repair -- that is if they ever are properly repaired.

So, I'm scared. I'm terrified. I'm trying to cope, and I'm hoping that the Republican Party realizes its error before its too late to prevent wide-ranging, irreparable damage. Unfortunately, I can't help but feel my hope is in vain, because I truly am expecting the worst.


*Over the past few days, I've made more than a few Facebook posts expressing various things about the Inauguration. This first sentence is entirely for the benefit of those who have seen most of those.