Saturday, June 13, 2009

I found this blog post:

and thought it was a great perspective compared with what the national media has thrown in our faces with the economy lately. I think it would be amazing if people started hearing this... and did what it actually said and bought low. It would drive the prices up (which would help the people who bought low even more!) and the nay-sayers wouldn't be able to say nay anymore because one of their all-hell-is-breaking-loose barometers is saying that hell is nicely reined-in, thank you very much!

I thought about this a few months ago with Walgreens stock... it was at about $22... It has jumped back up to over $31. That's a 41% return in about 3 months. I didn't make the move because I'd like to keep the two pennies that I managed to scrounge up to scrape together (helps the boys go to sleep)... but it seems like there's money to be made right now. Walgreens sure isn't going to go away... and this "downturn" isn't going to last forever (well, unless the government makes decisions that PREVENT us from being able to recover natually...).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Welcome to summer...?

So, this one time, I used to have this blog that I posted on... it was pretty good for me because it kept me going with certain things that I wanted to do, like run and work out... but then I stopped. Life got in the way. Or at least that was my excuse.

I've discovered something about myself. I'm an idea guy. I come up with great ideas about things that I should do.

But I'm not really a doer. I was going to run a 5k last fall. I did about half the training I was supposed to do... but then life got in the way and I stopped. And I didn't run the 5k. Then I was going to do the 100 push up challenge. I got through 2(?) weeks. Then I stopped. I did manage to get through a whole church basketball league (Champions!) but then, when I was going to train for another 5k (that was today) and do the 100 push up challenge... I didn't.

I've got plenty of excuses... namely these guys:

Here's a prime example. I started writing this yesterday while the dudes were napping... and then they got up. So I played with them for a while and never got a chance to come back and finish this, because I had to work last night from 3-11.

But things are going to change. For real this time. Because I got a new job! On June 15th I'm starting a job that allows me to use my major and is an office job. It's a nice raise and an 8:30-5:00 job, so my weekends will be off and I'll be home for bedtime stuff with the kids. The other thing this will allow is for me to have a normal schedule. With my old job, I worked 9-5 on Monday, 4-11 on Tuesday, 9-5 on Thursday, 2-10 on Friday and 3-11 on Saturday. I didn't have a weekend and I couldn't get into a rhythm because I worked later than I wanted to actually be going to bed on certain nights.

I'm hoping to switch my schedule around and get to bed at maybe 11 at the latest, maybe 10. The kids get up so early in the morning (and they go down at about 7) that it doesn't make any sense to not get sleep while they're sleeping. That allows me to maximize my time with them and maximize my sleep too.

Last Sunday in our Pastor's sermon, he talked about how he realized that everything he did after a certain point (I think it was 10:00) was pretty much just wasted time. It wasn't that he was doing bad things, per say, but he wasn't doing anything useful. So he started going to bed earlier and getting up earlier and thus he was productive for more of his waking hours (and ultimately less selfish too).

So, once my job starts I'm going to work towards getting on a "normal" schedule. This will mean getting up quite a bit earlier than I need to in the morning to allow me to eat breakfast, maybe go for a run, shower, spend some time with God and my family and then head off to work (not rushed).

Because of this job change, it puts school on the back burner. I may still take a class, but I certainly won't be able to take a full load. That might be good, though. School was becoming a purely academic pursuit for me and I definitely don't want that out of my seminary experience. I was just squeaking by and even though I managed to get all B's last semester, I didn't get out of my classes everything I could have if I had spent more time on things. But... that's really tough working full time and being a full time dad!

More to come about this change... My last two days at the pharmacy are Monday and Tuesday, then I have the rest of the week off before I start on the 15th!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Push up Challenge, End of week 1 (in week 2?)

So I know what my problem is... it's consistency. I was supposed to do days 1, 2, and 3 all in the same week. Day 1 was last Sunday, Day 2 was that Wednesday (forgot to hit "post" on my blog post... that's why it came Thursday!)... and then Day 3 was supposed to come Thursday. Or Friday. Or Saturday. Or, heck, even Sunday.

But no. It came Monday. So now I have fewer days to do week 2... and so I'm behind.

Because I'm a bum!

That's the same thing that happened to me with the Couch-to-5k last fall. I started... and I made some early progress... but then I didn't follow up. BAH.

So, anyway... I did day 3 of week 1 of the Push Up Challenge. As could probably be expected, it was a bit tougher than if I hadn't taken the last half of last week off... but oh well.

Oh another note... I've gotta start gearing up because I'm looking to run another 5k. This time, I actually want to do it!

The "Run for the Animals" for Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is the first (well... and only) 5k and 10k I have ever run and I've promised a friend I will run it with her. I suddenly realized that it is in a month and a half (June 6th) so I'd better get a move on! Thankfully I've been playing basketball for the past several weeks so I'm starting off in better shape than last fall... but still, I've gotta get running. There's nothing like church league basketball to help you break a sweat... and then give you an excuse NOT to run up and down the court 1 or 2 times to catch your breath! If my plan is to run a 5k (i.e. RUN the whole darn thing!) then I'd better start working!

Here's a little info about the run for Cosley:


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hundred Pushups

Well... last week didn't go great for the hundred push ups. I only did the initial test and day one... and then got busy...? lazy...? I dunno what happened!

Well, this week, we started on Sunday with day 1 off of the initial test last week. My wife and I are doing the two hundred sit ups too... so she's the other half of the "we!" I made a mistake by doing the sit ups first so I was too tired for my push ups and had to bump down to the middle group as opposed to the far right group. When I initially did my test, I got 11... which is just barely in the far right group as it is, so I figured I would just do the middle group on hundredpushups week 1. Today I did day 2 and managed to max out with 8... one more than the required 7.

Sit ups are next. When we initially did the test, we did a whole bunch... but I'm used to doing sit ups (well, crunches, technically) for a limited period of time, like the Presidential Challenge fitness tests we used to do in grade school. I always managed to do decently well in those... but the situps I did were for speed, not for form. ...So, we decided to just start from week 1 and go from there instead of what the plan suggested... Based on the number of situps we did initially, we were supposed to jump to week 3. But we decided to do week 1 with good form. I can actually feel it in my abs doing it this way!

Since I'm blogging about working out, I should do a weigh-in too...

Get your own graph at skinnyr

Down a bit from last time... but still pretty much stagnant. I need to schedule in regular workouts. Every 3 days just isn't going to cut it.

The weather has started to get a bit nicer... it was in the 50's today, but it is supposed to get a bit chilly again tomorrow. Such is spring in Chicago!

Friday, April 3, 2009

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

100 Push ups... Let's try this again!

A while ago, I said I was going to start the 100 push up challenge again... and I lasted all of two days.

Well, this week is a good we for me to get back to it, I think. For one, I don't have class this week, so I have an entire day off on Wednesday! Woo hoo! Also, we don't have basketball this week either because it is the local high school's spring break. Next week starts the tournament... my team comes in with a 5-1 record and the #1 seed. We lost the first game by 4 and then proceeded to beat each of the other teams by about 25. We had a bit of a rocky game last Thursday... we only won by 6 and couldn't hit a free throw to seal the game, but still managed to run the clock out on top!

Anyway, I think the basketball is doing me good... I did the initial test and did 12, 7 more than last time, which is good enough for the third column. I did day 1, week 1 today. Certainly is more of a workout than the last time I did it!

I also started the 200 sit up challenge. I did 44... though I think that I might need to focus more on form than simply quantity... The site suggests you start off with week 3 if you did more than 30, but I think I'm going to start off with week 1 and build myself up with good form.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gearing up for another go... and Fitness Magazine highlight

Well, the couch to 5k plan was pretty good for me last fall... but it really only works if you actually do it! I missed too many days and tried to catch up, but it was to no avail. Through that program, though, and a few other changes (namely my job), I did manage to lose about 15 pounds. But honestly, it was more the work change than anything else. Amazing what happens when you go from a job where you sit on your duff all day to one where you're on your feet, running around for 8 hours!

Anyway, back to the running... I do have tentative plans to run a 5k in my hometown on June 6th (the good old Cosley run at the Cream of Wheaton!). I've thought about just restarting the couch to 5k again, but it didn't seem structured enough for me... It was just three days a week, and I feel like I need to do more than that, or I won't do it at all.

I just found out that Fitness Magazine has a running section complete with training guides. Now, yes, it is true that Fitness is geared towards that OTHER gender... but I looked at their beginning plans and they look good. The first one is similar to the couch to 5k, and it is found HERE. It is the same basic idea... but this one is a six week program instead of 9. Nine weeks is probably better in terms of working yourself up... but it is harder to keep going for 9 weeks than for 6, and it includes more days of the week with workouts (4 vs. 3). Part of the difficulty with this, though, is that my work schedule is so weird. I work a 9-5 on Monday and Thursday, but my Tuesday is 3-11, and Friday and Saturday can be anywhere from 9-5 to 3-11. That will make my work out schedule difficult and I will have to plan out my weeks before hand, making sure that I get my runs in before work on days where I need to... because running at 11:30 PM... yeah, not going to happen!

Anyway, back to Fitness Mag.... they've also got a 5k cardio training guide which would work out well when retraining for a race (after I've worked my way up to the initial 5k). I'm going to pencil in the Morton Arboretum run again in October again, and this year I really won't have too many excuses.

It's not a Thursday... but I don't have much time to post on Thursdays because I'm playing in a basketball league! So, the weigh-in comes today. I did one about a week and a half ago and did a couple of other ones... but I forgot the values, so we'll just pretend they didn't happen!

Not much difference... and the difference there is goes in the wrong direction!

Get your own graph at skinnyr

I was so close to getting below that 300 lb mark... and I wasn't hardly doing anything. I'm even working out more now, what with my Bball league and all... but it doesn't seem to be having that much of an impact. Perhaps if (ahem... WHEN!) I start walking/running again, I'll be able to jump below that barrier!

Website Review

And now for something completely different...

I was contacted to do a review of a website on my blog so here goes!

I am reviewing the website: and specifically the pages for:

Log Baskets:

Lamp Shades:

and Laundry Baskets:

This website is brand new to me, so I wanted to find out a bit about it. They have an "about us" tab at the bottom of the page, which is great! Turns out the owner lived in Jakarta, Indonesia and was inspired by Asian-designed furniture, so upon returning back to London, he decided to start a company that brought the beauty of this furniture to Great Britain and the world!

I love the general design of the website. The pieces are logically separated into appropriate living spaces for easy access and the always important search option is clear on the page but not overpowering. It's there if you need it but it doesn't draw attention from the subject of the pages... the furniture!

Now to the important parts... the log baskets, lamp shades, and laundry baskets.

First, the log baskets. I could see these fitting in just about any room with a fire place. The style transcends different looks and would work in a casual sense or a more formal setting. Unfortunately, these were out of stock at this writing so they were not currently available.

One thing that is a bit difficult for me is the pricing. Being an American, I want to see the prices in dollars, not pounds sterling. It was easy to look up a conversion online (today, one pound equals about $1.40), but I've seen sites that have different language options depending on where you're from (so it would be in English if you choose the "American" option, Spanish if you say you're from Spain, etc). This might work the same way for pricing, especially for pricing for continental Europe, on the Euro.

And while these are posted on a site that is decidedly Asian in style, there isn't anything particularly Asian in these baskets, though they do look very well made.

Now the lamp shades. There is quite of a variety in the lamp shades with traditional, as well as more contemporary styles. These, as well, don't seem particularly Asian inspired... but the materials are not the same as is typically sold in America (more silks, etc).

Finally, the laundry baskets. Actually, the Rattan basket is my favorite piece of all that I saw. It totally has an Eastern look that would bring some culture and flair to a home.

Overall, this is a great looking site that presents its wares in a visually appealing and unique way. It really stands out to me compared to other sites that I have seen that present furniture and it offers a product that is one of a kind.

Monday, February 2, 2009

100 Push-ups Day one, Week one

Well, here goes nothing! Today was our first official day of the 100 push up challenge.

From 100 Push Ups

My wife and I both tested out at the 0-5 push up level on the initial test, so that puts us both in group one.

Here's the first week:

I ended up getting 6 in my max. The hardest part for me right now is my lack of core strength... which is the exact same thing that I noticed last time, too. I'm just going to work through it, of course... but I'm going to look to other ways to strengthen my core to help everything along too!

Here's what we have to look forward to:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weigh-in and 100 Push Up Challenge

Well, it's Sunday, which means that a Thursday came and went... so I did another weigh-in!

Get your own graph at skinnyr

So, yet again, things went down... but not as far down as two weeks ago! This isn't a great trend!

My wife and I are going to start doing the 100 push up challenge again today, though... so that should help me to be able to get my metabolism working again and try and lose some more weight again!

So last night, we did the initial test. I tested into the 0-5 group again... so I've got a ways to go, but it's a starting point! My wife is going to do it with me this time so that should help both of us stay on track!

I also may potentially be starting a basketball league through church. It's supposed to start either this week or next, and I haven't gotten any emails about it... but I really hope it works out!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Well, it's Thursday... time for another weigh in!

Get your own graph at skinnyr

Well... I'm back up to what I was two weeks ago. Not exactly what I was looking for, but I haven't done much of anything in the past week... I restarted school, so that's an entire day sitting instead of up on my feet at the pharmacy.

I'm starting to feel the itch to do something physical... but I haven't been able to find the time. I signed up for a basketball league through church, so hopefully that works out!

Speaking of basketball... the Pointers of UWSP are now 8-0 in conference, having knocked off everybody else in the first round of the conference schedule. Platteville beat Whitewater last night, so now they're 1. Stevens Point 2. Platteville 3. Whitewater.

I think the schedule favors UWSP because, though Point and Platteville both have to go to Whitewater in the second half of the year, that's just one of 3 away games for Point... and Platteville ends the conference year in SP, too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back on track... another weigh-in

Got back on track... my last weigh-in was at 305 yesterday. Creeping ever closer to that 300 lb threshold!

Get your own graph at skinnyr

Woo Hoo!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Post-Christmas Weigh-in

Well, I think I did pretty well over Christmas break... especially considering that I spent it with my relatives. Anyone who has spent any holidays with them knows that there is food EVERYWHERE... We pretty much graze. And the meals tend to be very... filling!

And not only did we have my immediate family's Christmas, we had my extended family Christmas too. And my in-laws came this weekend. Lots of food!

Add to this the fact that I had more days off of work than usual... so instead of running around the pharmacy, I'm at home, usually sitting, holding a baby. That doesn't equate to continuing to lose weight!

Get your own graph at skinnyr

I also went to the doc over the Christmas break concerning my blood pressure. I've had high blood pressure for quite a long time (even before I gained my current extra weight), and my family has a history of high blood pressure too, so I've started taking some BP pills to try to control it.

The doctor also wants me to do a sleep study to see about me possibly having sleep apnea. I'm always asleep... so I don't have any idea if I've got it or not, but I know that I don't feel rested and my wife tells me that I have really weird snores. Hopefully the sleep study can figure out what's up... so I can feel rested!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

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