Various and Sundry, 1/11/13

A few things, mostly relating to me. 

* First, a look at 2013’s first appearance of the Scalzi River:

This is the stream that shows up in my yard when we get huge amounts of rain, or in this case, lots of rain plus snow melt (it’ll be about 60 degrees here today). We installed new piping and drains in our yard so we don’t see the Scalzi River nearly as much as we used to, but given how much snow was around recently, it’s not entirely surprising the underground drainage system we have in the yard is not handling it all. With luck this will be gone by the afternoon. If not: I go sailing.

* Our fundraiser for Jay Lake launched yesterday afternoon, and in less than twenty four hours it’s reached just about $30,000, or triple what we had hoped for. That’s amazing to me and I’m deeply appreciative to those of you who have chosen to help out my pal Jay. Thank you. For those of you who are wondering, any money raised that does not go to Jay’s genome sequencing will go to give Jay a leave of absence from his work — through all of his cancer travails and everything else around it, Jay’s been working as close to full time as he can under the circumstances. He could use a break.

The acts of whimsy that had been pledged have already started to come out. Here’s Mary Robinette Kowal reading classic literature with her sex phone voice, as a start; more are on the way. Mine — a performance of a “lost” “Bob Dylan” “song,” performed in a Dylanesque fashion, will surface on Monday. That gives you the entire weekend to prepare yourself. It may not be enough time.

* I was asked recently how my “deflabination” project was coming along. The answer: reasonably well, thank you. When I stepped off the scale on December first, I was 180 pounds; at this morning’s weigh-in I was 171.8. So I’ve dropped about eight pounds in six weeks, which is slightly ahead of my pound a week goal. This includes eight days of caloric impropriety between my daughter’s birthday on the 23rd and New Year’s Day, so overall I’m pretty pleased. My target weight range is between 160 and 165, so I have a bit further to go.

As with the last time I worked to lose weight, the secret here is no secret: I’m counting calories and doing a little bit of exercise. It’s boring and undramatic, but strangely enough it works. My only other tactic (again, same as last time) is to recognize it’s a long-term project so the occasional day over the calorie goal is not an occasion for self-flagellation. Yesterday I ate at Wendy’s and had a 700-calorie bomb in the form of a “Son of Baconator” hamburger, for example. And it was good, and I would do it again (although probably not this week). The point of the calorie counting is to moderate and track intake, not to live a life monastic privation.

And that’s where things are today. Most of my day today will be given over to finishing up some stuff on a deadline, so catch you all probably rather later in the pm. Find something to do with yourself. I hear origami’s fun.

26 Comments on “Various and Sundry, 1/11/13”

  1. Watch out, If the 40% of obese Americans figure out that it really is just that easy, the sudden loss of weight could cause a shift in the earth’s magnetic field.

  2. I will never think of Moby Dick the same way again. On the one hand I feel like I should pay more for that experience, on the other hand, I feel soooo dirty. Or maybe that’s the same hand.

  3. It makes me happy the fundraiser is going so well. Right now I don’t have enough to buy food and pay for my own medical treatment, so the timing just is bad for me, but I’m so happy so many others have been able to reach out. I will definitely be listening to that recording once my husband is awake and I won’t have to worry about waking him up early. I’ve been told I could do something like that fairly well myself.

    I couldn’t do anything myself, but i have spread the word among my friends as best I can. Hopefully some of them will be more useful than I am.

  4. I like to tell people who are trying to quit smoking that they have not failed just because they lit one up 5 days into their program. I try to give them the positive notion that they made it that far, so next time, try for 6 days, and so on. The worst thing in the world is to agree with them that they failed, because then they’ll just continue smoking because they’ve gotten affirmation that it’s just too hard to quit. Same thing goes with diets – if you’ve lost 8 pounds and then go have that “Son of Baconator”, so what? Sometimes you just need to reward yourself.

  5. for the river, have you considered a swail? (I think that’s how you spell it) we had one in our yard when I was in 1st-3rd grades, and though it was dry most of the time, the idea of having a “moat” between us and the street next to us was so cool to me. Plus, you know, apparently it’s practical, in some cases.

  6. If it freezes over, you could have ice-skating races.
    Think of the fund-raising possibilities there! :)

  7. My doctor once said, “Everybody falls off the wagon occasionally, successful people crawl back on.” Wise Man!

  8. There was probably a stream running through your property before it was developed. If you look at old maps, like this one from 1875, you might be able to see it> (Takes a long time to load.)

  9. It’s boring and undramatic, but strangely enough it works.

    It’s amazing how often that works in life. My car is full of wonderful devices to preserve my life and limbs, but they don’t do nearly as good a job as just paying attention to the road.

  10. John, congrats on the weight loss. I’m trying to do something similar this year. I’m examining my diet closely and trying to be more active. It turns out, I’m a lazy bastard. I’m trying to accomplish them by using a workout program called Combat, by the same people that do p90x and Insanity. I did the first workout and had a lot of fun, so tonight I’m doing the second work out. I hope it continues to be fun. I’m trying to lose 15-20 lbs myself. I’m not terribly overweight (I’m 5’9.5 and 170 lbs), but I’m definitely not where I should be.

    Anyways, good luck on your continuing endevor.

  11. Somewhere, a long time ago, I ran into the “Never on Sunday Diet.” You diet seriously six days a week, and Sunday is a day off.
    Seriously, it’s self-defeating to frame goals in such a way that one slip is total failure.

  12. A bit random, I admit, but I just wanted to quickly say that, after having poked around this blog for some time, I finally read Old Man’s War and have now purchased The Ghost Brigades. As in literally the minute I finished Old Man’s War. I think that gives you an idea of what I thought. ;)

  13. @ Rob I did the exact same thing. I’m reading Ghost Brigades right now and I also bought the third book in the trilogy. And I bought Redshirts. Really liked what I’ve read so far.

  14. Except I only found out about the blog after I read OMW. Been poking around for a short time.

  15. This makes me realize that different parts of the country have very, very different definitions of what constitutes “a lot of snow.”

    The night of Dec. 28th, ferex, we got 26″, and that was just the beginning – the storm ended up dumping about 70″ in three days. Now, someone from Alaska or Colorado can one-up me, of course.

    (And I’m in California, for all you who thinks that means 75 degree weather year round, with occasional rain).

  16. >> … eight days of caloric impropriety …
    See, that’s why Scalzi writes fiction for a living and I write software test scripts.

  17. Looks to me like your neighor’s enviorns used to be a swamp which reappears when enough water is around. Lots of middle, flat states have large swaths of what used to be swamp land. There was a large ‘Black Swamp’ in NW Ohio that stopped westward settlement for a while. Drained of course. You might be near that.

  18. Dieting – simple does not mean easy. congrats on your loss and best wishes for continuation

  19. John: “.Yesterday I ate at Wendy’s and had a 700-calorie bomb in the form of a “Son of Baconator” hamburger, for example. And it was good, and I would do it again (although probably not this week).”

    Both your cat and your dog would gladly have thrown themselves on this calorie bomb in order to save their beloved master/tolerated servant.

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