Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rain Fall Trailer is Here

Finally the trailer for the forthcoming Rain Fall movie, based on the excellent debut novel by Barry Eisler has hit the net. You can peep it at the official movie site.

I am of two minds about this movie. I am a little concerned that the production seems to be primarily a Japanese production as I feel this will make any stateside release a fairly limited affair. On the other hand I am glad this is a Japanese production. While the main character, John Rain, is half-anglo, he had plastic surgery in order to appear more Japanese and therefore it only makes sense that a Japanese actor be cast to play him. The list of Japanese actors who are even somewhat familiar to U.S. audiences is fairly slim. Ken Watanabe springs to mind immediately due to his parts in "The Last Samurai," "Batman Begins," and "Letters from Iwo Jima." After that the only names that spring to mind are Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, whose most memorable role to me came in 1993's "Rising Sun," and Ken Takakura who would be most familiar to American audiences as either Uchiyama, the manager of the Dragons in "Mr. Baseball" or the Japanese cop Masahiro in "Black Rain." As much as I love Takakura's performances in these movies and keep meaning to track down some of his Japanese films, at the age of 77 he might be a little too old to plain John Rain. While John Rain is no spring chicken, he is deadly in hand-to-hand combat and a P-I-M-P to boot so I have trouble seeing Takakura in this role.

Beyond casting concerns there is the question of language. John Rain is Japanese as are the VAST majority of the supporting characters in this first novel. To my mind they need to be speaking Japanese to one another rather than English. I know that due to my long-running anime fandom I am FAR more comfortable with subtitles than probably 95% of the general movie-going public, but to have Japanese characters speaking English to one another always creates a disconnect for me. I think one of the best things about "Letters From Iwo Jima" was the fact that the movie was shot using spoken Japanese.

Anyway, that is quite enough from me. Regardless of who made the flick I am excited to see the trailer and hoping that this will get some sort of release stateside.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Enemy: Starfleet" Teaser

Here is a quick teaser scene from the forthcoming Phase 2 episode "Enemy: Starfleet"



This is the episode I was fortunate enough to work on this past June and I am SOOO looking forward to seeing the final product!

In this bit Alersa is played by BarBara Luna. While I was on-set I had the unique privilege of being Luna's (she insists we call her Luna) assistant for the duration of her stay. One of the very first things I did after I was assigned as Luna's PA was run lines with her. This was the scene we were reading through and it was very difficult for me to keep a straight face when I came to the line, "Call me...Jim." I also had to fight the urge to Shatner the line up. Doesn't it just beg for a Shatner-esque delivery?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Super Drunken Christmas

Honestly, I can not think of many better ways to spend it!



This is from Rocket K, a Japanese punk band I recently discovered due to their cover of The Buggles new wave hit "Video Killed the Radio Star." Sadly the only place I can find their video for that is on their MySpace page and I am having trouble accessing MySpace at the moment. In stead of that let me offer you these:

First, the original video in all of its circa 1979 glory:



Second, a video from the Ethermusic festival in 2005 of Jon Bernhardt performing "Video Killed the Radio Star" on a theremin:



Mmmmm. Theremins are the musical equivalent of bacon; they make everything better!

I hope you're having a Merry Christmas and enjoying whatever makes you happy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chrsitmas Gifts from Me to You

Look! I got you a couple of things for Christmas!



Now what could possibly top an entire CHANNEL on YouTube dedicated to all the crunchy goodness that is Monty Python, you ask?

Well, my friends, only this:


That's right! George Lucas' magnum opus is now available to view FOR FREE on Hulu. Isn't this the bestest Christmas EVER!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Star Trek: Phase 2 Update - 12-22-08

The Phase 2 team has finally released the first part of "Blood and Fire" to the general public. I had the opportunity to see a rough cut of this episode when I was on set this summer and as much as I enjoyed the episode then, I REALLY enjoyed watching the final cut after I downloaded it last night.

This episode has generated quite a bit on controversy in fandom due to the inclusion of gay crewmen and I have to say that while I did find the scene between Peter and Alex a little too long, I know it pays off in part two of the episode. And the bloodworms? Ewwwww.

In other Phase 2 news, they released an official DVD ISO for their third episode, "World Enough and Time" which features the return of George Takei to the role of Hikaru Sulu. Written by Michael Reaves and Marc Scott Zicree, the script was nominated for the SFWA Nebula award, a nomination which caused some controversy (you can read more about that here). Additionally the episode was nominated for a Hugo award and won the T.V. Guide Online Video award beating out such professionally produced shows as the BSG webisodes. In the beginning Phase 2 would release high-quality DVD ISOs of the episodes for download however there was a problem with people d/l'ing the episodes and then selling DVDs at cons. Since this practice could put the agreement between Phase 2 and CBS/Paramount the powers that be at Phase 2 decided to stop releasing the DVD-quality ISOs. This is a pleasant return to days of yore and one that I hope is here to stay.

  • You can access the official download page here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"With or Without?"

I had no idea this existed until the main Marmot himself posted about his brother's screenplay ending up on the list.

Congratulations Kevin!

I have to say that the summary of Kevin's screenplay, "The Phantom Limb," sounds rather interesting:
A troubled private detective uncovers a blackmail scam involving a gangster who
runs a brothel that caters to amputee fetishes (and other taboo sexual
interests) and the doctor who performs the body modifications.
Sounds like my favorite bit from "Romeo is Bleeding" taken to the extreme. And when I said interesting I mean truly messed up in ways that only the best 1970's neo-noir stories can be. I really hope this ends up making it to the screen.

In addition to "The Phantom Limb" there are a shit-ton of other movies on this list. Here are some of the titles that jumped out at me as being either worthy project or in need of a little mocking:

"Inglorious Bastards" - Quentin Tarantino + World War 2? YES PLEASE!

"Galahad" - I am a sucker for anything having to do with Arthurian Legend.

"Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates" - Apparently this is based on a book which could not possibly be as good as the movie I am seeing in my head right
now. A possible sequel title? "Fierce With Pigs" in which the main characters
set out to violate their strict Hebrew upbrining by eating bacon.

"Roundtable" - Comicdom's Brian K. Vaughn + Arthurian legend? Mmm, mmm good.
"The Amazing Adventures of the Monogamous Duck" - Who gives a flying rat's ass what this is about, the title alone is worth the price of admission.
"The Gary Coleman - Emmanuel Lewis Project" - I know this is supposed to be a place-holder title however I REALLY think they need to leave this as the title
for the film. I like to think of it as the Alan Parson's Project for the new
Willenium.
"Your Dreams Suck" - Nothing to say here except ain't that the truth?
"47 Ronin" - I am happy that this particular story is getting remade for a more
mainstream audience although I suspect this will have trouble living up to the
example set by "Chushingura" however I have heard that this is being
envisioned as a Keanu Reeves vehicle. Really? Please don't. Seriously.
"Samurai" - Sticking with the whole Japanese theme this sounds like it could be
fun. Hope it is done as well as this year's "The Forbidden Kingdom."
"Untitled Channing Tatum Project" - Okay from time to time these untitled
projects have unintentionally funny names, for example see the Gary
Coleman-Emmanuel Lewis entry above, however most of the time JUST ASSIGN A DAMN TITLE TO THE PROJECT.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

House Cleaning

I have been needing to make some changes around here for some time but have never really managed to do it for some reason. (Read: Because I am lazy.) Over the next few days I am going to be trying a couple of different templates as well as cleaning up all the crap on the right side of the blog.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blood and Fire Trailer

The Star Trek: Phase 2 crew has finally set a release date for the first part of their next episode Blood and Fire. The script for Blood and Fire, of BaF as it is referred to, was originally written by David Gerrold* for Star Trek: The Next Generation however TPTB decided that certain facets of the story were too controversial for Star Trek and thus the script was never produced. The Blood and Fire script lensed by Phase 2 was significantly expanded and altered to set the story in Kirk's time and take advantage of the expanded cast present in the Phase 2 world. I had the privilege of watching rough cuts of both parts of BaF and you are in for a treat when part 1 hits on December 20th. Here is the trailer for part 1 of David Gerrold's Blood and Fire:




For more about this episode you can check out these links:



* David Gerrold is best known in Trekkie circles as the author of the classic episode The Trouble with Tribbles however his award-winning novella The Martian Child hit the big screen as a feature starring John Cusack last year. I HIGHLY recommend The Martian Child. At least the movie, I have yet to read the book.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So there I was...

...walking back to my building from hitting the ATM and getting a salad at the Post Oak Grill when I noticed the big sign at the end of the hallway just before you enter my building had changed. At some point in the not to distant past it had been changed from something promoting the El Paso volunteerism program called "Sharing Team El Paso" to a promotional display for our corporate wellness program called "Choose Well." In fact it was changed to this graphic:


Being the self-centered twit I am, I could not help but notice that center picture inset at the bottom. Here it is, enhanced for your viewing pleasure:


Mother of god. There I am.

Back in January had you told me by the end of the year I would be on some promotional material promoting a wellness and fitness program in any other capacity than "Don't be this fat fuck," I would have told you that you were clearly insane and have suspected that Rob and Scott were plotting something. Here we are a year later and I have gone from tubby bitch to this:


Yeah, I still don't get it either.

On this subject it has been some time since I posted about my diet and this seems as good a as time as any to mention that I have met my goal of loosing 100 pounds, actually 102 as of last Friday. It feels awesome to have actually accomplished this and I will admit that when I stepped off the scale on Friday I had to sit down and have a little bit of a cry.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Morning After

So one of my friends posted this as her status line on Facebook not too long after the election was called for Oabama:

...decides to brush up on her marxist theology in preparation for January, comrades.
Now I understand not liking Obama for his politics however no one has been able to successfully explain to me how anything Obama has said or done is any more socialist than what the Bush administration has actually done in the past month?

Please explain in the comments and use small words as I am apparently quite daft.

Before you go I would like to point out a couple of thoughts and data point which you may wish to consider:

1. From the OH SNAP! Department comes Alan Mendelowitz's bon mot which he dropped at the New America Foundation's forum Confronting Economic Meltdown. "The Bush administration, which took office as social conservatives, is now leaving as conservative socialists." Allan Mendelowitz is a member of the BoD and former chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, a former executive director of the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission, and a former executive vice president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. I suspect he knows whereof he speaks.

2. Adam Smith, in his seminal work on economics Wealth of Nations said:

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion. (Book 5, Chapter 2, page 14)
Was Adam Smith, cited by many as the father of modern economics, a socialist? Here he is clearly championing the same sort of "redistribution of the wealth" championed by President-elect Obama. Before you answer I would take the time to read the balance of Smith's magnum opus.

3. Inevitably someone is going to bring up the 2001 interview Barack Obama did with Chicago public radio in which he used the phrase "redistributive change" and makes clear that he endorses the redistribution of wealth by the government. Before you do I would go and read this piece by David Bernstein who concludes that, "Barack Obama is undoubtedly liberal, and his background is in political community organizing in poor communities. Is it supposed to be a great revelation that Obama would like to see wealth more "fairly" distributed than it is currently?" And the goes on to ask:
It's true that most Americans, when asked by pollsters, think that it's emphatically not the government's job to redistribute wealth. But are people so stupid as to not recognize that when politicians talk about a "right to health care," or "equalizing educational opportunities," or "making the rich pay a fair share of taxes," or "ensuring that all Americans have the means to go to college," and so forth and so on, that they are advocating the redistribution of wealth? Is it okay for a politician to talk about the redistribution of wealth only so long as you don't actually use phrases such as "redistribution" or "spreading the wealth," in which case he suddenly becomes "socialist"?
Now I can understand if you are of a Libertarian bent and feel that ANY tax is a plan by the dirty commies to crap up your free market paradise and you need not weigh in here, but for those of you that think SOME taxes are a good thing, and I will assume this is most of my audience as I think most of you like police protection, the military, roads, and, hey, even getting to vote. (If you don't like these things then I would hope you can at least see the need for them.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

So have you ever...

...gotten so drunk you woke up in an alternate universe?*

I thought everything was fine but apparently I was wrong. Surely this could not happen in the dimension I call home. Heads of the American Nazi Party and the White Aryan Resistance** want Obama to win? Good God, I expect to meet myself any minute. The worst part about this is I did not even get drunk this weekend as far as I can remember. I did run into Flash (Ahhhahhhh! He'll save every one of us!) Friday night as well as Spank Me Elmo. Perhaps this is where I went wrong.

Edit: Guess what I just found via, oddly enough, one of the Korean blogs I read? A CafePress store where one can purchase Rednecks for Obama swag. I knew this election could represent a paradigm shift but clearly I have once again under-estimated my fellow man.

* BONUS QUESTION: Is this a question only a depressingly nerdy person would ask?

** So I know the White Aryan Resistance was going for the acronym WAR however I find it a little silly to have White in the title. Is it modifying Aryan? In this case isn't it a given that Aryan is going to mean white? I doubt there is a Black Aryan Resistance (BAR), Chinese Arayn Resistance (CAR), or Yellow Aryan Resistance (YAR, aka Piradical).

Friday, October 24, 2008

I knew Japanese baseball was different...

...but I had NO idea how different!



Okay, that clip might be a bit misleading. While I was in Tokyo I had to opportunity to attend a Yomirui Giants (aka. Tokyo Giants) game where they played the Hanshin Tigers. My friend is a life-long Tigers fan and thus we sat in the Hanshin section. It was an awesome experience and I HIGHLY recommend you attending a game if you are ever in Japan and have the opportunity. The Hanshin fans make Red Sox fans look down right sedate:


I have to say as much fun as the Hanshin fans can be, the best part of the game has to be the beer vendors. Much like at any sporting even here in the States there are people who are tasked with wandering the stands selling refreshments. Unlike ANY sporting event I have attended here, the vendors selling beer were all women:


Very attractive young women. With mini-kegs of beer on their back so EVERY beer is a draught beer. Japan, why are you so awesome?

And just to ruin things for you, here is you humble host enjoying the game:


As always you can click on the images to kaiju-size them.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Word of the Week - Precondition

pre-con-di-tion

-noun
1. Something that must come before or is necessary to a subsequent result; condition: a precondition for a promotion.
-verb
2. to subject (a person or thing) to a special treatment in preparation for a subsequent experience, process, test, etc.: to precondition a surface to receive paint.

From Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
I bring this up because of this exchange (which takes place beginning at about 5:14 of the embedded video below): (Well since I can't get the damned embedding thing to work you will just have to check out the video here at Onegoodmove.org. Sorry about that.)


Williams: Gov. Palin yesterday you tied this notion of an early test to the new president with this notion of preconditions that you both have been hammering the Obama campaign on. First of all what, in your mind, is a precondition?

Palin: You have to have some diplomatic strategy going in to a meeting with someone like Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Il one of these dictators that would seek to destroy America or her allies. It is so naive and so dangerous for a presidential candidate to just proclaim that they would be willing to sit down with a leader like Ahmadinejad and just talk about the problems, the issues that are facing them. So that's some ill-preparedness right there.

What Palin* is refering to is Obama's oft repeated willingness to meet with leaders with whom the U.S. is at odds without preconditions to the meeting. This first came up during the Democratic primary races, specifically at the YouTube/CNN debate on July 23rd, 2007 where Stephen Sorta asked:


In 1982, Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel, a trip that resulted in a peace agreement that has lasted ever since. In the spirit of that type of bold leadership, would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?

Obama responded:


I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous. Now, Ronald Reagan and
Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.


I would like to think that it is clear to any rational human being that Obama, should he become President, would not meet with these people without having any sort of diplomatic strategy. The mere suggestion of that is so, pardon my French, fucking silly that it boggles the mind that someone would even suggest it. Of course any meetings with the leaders would be only one part of a larger diplomatic initiative. What Obama meant is that he wants to get away from the tactic we have been employing in the Bush years of flat-out refusing to talk to people until they give in to our demands, something Iran is going to now attempt. At that point what is the point of even talking with them? We have gotten what we want and they have given up everything. It is a wonderful negotiating tactic when it works and one I engage in on occasion, however when it does not work one of two things happens. Either there are no negotiations or the party which made the demand and then backed off begins at a disadvantage, having already essentially lost one round.

It would bother me that the Republican ticket still tries to make hay out of this whenever they are given the opportunity, and I am fully aware that Brian Williams opened this door for Palin and there is a world of difference between that and bringing it up during campaign stops, however in this case Palin again demonstrated her, to use her phrase, ill-preparedness for assuming the office for which she is, according to a shrinking number of Republicans, qualified.

It also makes me smile that one could, were one of the mind, to turn this around and point out, as McCain has attempted to do with Obama, perhaps Palin does not know the difference between strategy and tactics. The short version being that preconditions, or lack thereof, is a tactic used in a diplomatic strategy.

* I am still trying to get to a Plain/pale in comparison joke but it is not working out well.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Star(t) Trekkin'

Over the last few weeks the Paramount publicity machine has been indicating that the veil of secrecy surrounding the JJ Abrams helmed re-boot/imaging/wtf-ever-we're-not-calling-it-this-week of Star Trek was going to begin to slip a little. All this is being done in order to build up to the release of the first full trailer for the movie which is going to be attached to the new Bond flick hitting theaters November 7th. (This news has moved the Bond flick from the "maybe I'll make it to the theater to see this movie" to "I guess I'll go either Saturday or Sunday." I am also hoping there will be a Rain Fall trailer attached to the movie but I suspect that is still going to be a Japan-only thing for a while.) The first major step in peeling back the veil was a release of several pictures to several different websites including UGO, AICN and TrekMovie.com. The second step was a cover story in the issue of Entertainment Weekly which should be hitting the stands today.

I think we all know what is really going to happen as this veil is pulled back for the fans.

That's right.

Let's get ready to RAMPAGE!

Okay, maybe there was too much build up here because I really just want to cut to the chase. I thought it would take a little time for a fan to go for the most obscure canon complaint possible. Boy howdy was I wrong. It took less than a day for someone to go FTW on this one; and I quote, "I just realized, doesn’t Captain Kirk have hazel eyes? Did they decide he didn’t look good with contacts on."

I was hoping to have a little fun with this but seriously? Four comments in and we're already talking about the color of Kirk's eyes? Oh Trek fandom how I underestimated your powers. I promise it will never happen again.

Also, for the record, I am TOTALLY looking forward to this movie and am firmly planted in the, "Let's wait and see how it is before we get the torches and pitchforks," camp.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

At the car wash...

...whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Well now THAT song is stuck in my head and I have no one to blame but myself but I am sure if I work at it I can dig up and ex-girlfriend or something to blame.

The more sane amongst you might be wondering just what in the hell would make me think about that song. Well, mon ami's, it is this video. (Which I cannot seem to embed right now so you'll just have to click through to view the most glorious thing you will see this month.) Come back here once you have viewed the video.

Now that we're all back in our seats let's talk about the "Inverse Ninja Theory" which states the effectiveness of ninjas is inversely proportional to the number of ninjas present, or to put it in less tortured questioned using enhanced interrogation techniques English, the more ninjas present the more they suck. Because I am a sad man who has FAR too much time to wonder about these things I have always wondered what would happen if you put said ninjas on roller-skates what would happen to the equation. Now I am finally able to solve for x.

And x equals AWESOME.

(As a somewhat interesting aside the music in the above clip comes from Mike Oldfield's Ommadawn. My uncle made a dub of this album for me back in the late '80s and I listened to the tape until it broke however I never knew the artist. One night I was watching a "classic" porno, the title of which escapes me at the moment, and heard this music. Through the powers of the internets I was able to track down the title and artist and have subsequently added the CD to my collection. And my mom said nothing good could come from watching porn.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pondering Comic-buying Habits

I find myself at an intersection of a couple of different issues and I am not 100% sure where I am going to comedown on this so I thought I would ponder “out loud” to the crowd and see what comes of said pondering.


I have recently found an online ordering service for the comic books and various other items advertised in the monthlyDiamond Previews catalog. This service offers discounts on comics ordered through them that range from 30% to 75% withthe majority of what I would order on a regular basis being around 40%. There are also discounts on the othermerchandise listed which varies greatly.


It will come as no surprise to you guys that I read comics but I think you might be shocked at the amount of money Idrop each time I visit the comic book shop. While Nan’s offers me a 10% discount on comics and supplies the additionalsavings I can see from this online service is a huge incentive to go with them. To illustrate how much of an incentivelets look at the order I put together for October:


$389.15 is what my order would cost if I pay full retail price however this includes several things which I would notnormally buy so lets cut it down to just the comic books and trade paperbacks I would purchase. Removing themiscellaneous items brings the full retail total down to $226.83. At Nan’s I would get a 10% discount against thistotal (22.68) so I would be paying $204.15 before tax. Tax on this total is $16.84 which brings me to $220.99 by thetime I am walking out of the door.


Compare that to my total of $254.46 for the entire order (including the $162.32 of merchandise and supplies I removedfrom the calculation above) with shipping.


In a purely economic sense there is no question that I should be using the online service however there are otherconsiderations which have me feeling a bit guilty for my decision to use this service.


As a general rule I prefer to support local merchants rather than big chains or internet vendors even if I end up payinga bit more at said local merchant. I value the relationships one can build by becoming a regular. If the people aregood at what they do then they will learn your tastes and be able to recommend other authors/artists/movies/cigars/scotchthat might interest you and just not be on your radar. You loose some of this when dealing with people via the internetbut the bigger picture is that I think local businesses are valuable to the community and if I do not support them thenthey will go away only to be supplanted by the Walmarts and Borders of the world.


This decision is made a little easier because Nan’s is not actually my first choice for comic stores in the Houston area. If they had better hours or a more convenient location I would prefer to shop at Bedrock City Comics. The storesthemselves are brighter, more pleasant places and the personnel have always been very friendly and helpful even thoughI am not a regular. By contrast the customer service at Nan’s is about what one would expect from a bunch of insularcomic nerds. I like the guys well enough and can chat with them now, but I had to earn that right with my, lets behonest here, not terribly hard earned cash. (On the flip side of that, I do share an office with Brian so…)


Oh well I think I have wandered off-point here pretty well however I have pretty much done away with any guilt I hadover dropping Nan’s like a bad habit and embracing the internet. I hear it is the way of the future. And in COMPLETELYunrelated news which is probably only of interest to Rob and Lapp the most recent issue of Blue Beetle features a weaponwhich bears the warning : POSSIBLE THEOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS.


God I love comic books.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

BOOK REVIEW - Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe
Stephen Brumwell
McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006
406 pages

I find it curious that General James Wolfe languishes in relative obscurity in comparison to the manner of his death and what he accomplished in his astonishingly short life. In a military career that spanned 19 of his 32 years he rose from a 'volunteer', that is a young teen serving with a regiment in the hopes of improving his prospects for a career in the military, to Major General and commander of the British assault on Quebec (modern day Quebec City), the main British thrust in 1759. Wolfe's victory on the Plains of Abraham enabled the British to assault Montreal the following year and drive the French out of Canada. One can argue that Wolfe's victory at Quebec laid the groundwork for the troubles which led to the American Revolution a scant sixteen years later.

Wolfe began his career in the British army when the fortunes and popularity of 'Thomas Lobster', or redcoat, were at their lowest. As there was no standing police force in the early 1700's the army was often called in to quell riots and the like and thus the British soldier was not popular with the populace. Added to this was the stunning lack of success the army appeared to have, particularly when compared to the navy which, it seemed, could do no wrong. By the time Wolfe fell the worm had turned and the British soldier was well on his way to being the respected professional that springs to mind when one hears the word Redcoat.

This being the case one has to wonder why so few people know the name James Wolfe. I took an informal poll of my friends and associates and while a few knew the name and that he did something important, only one or two were able to properly place him in time and space. According to Brumwell's introduction, "Wolfe's current reputation provides a sorry contrast to the one he enjoyed a century ago." While the majority of what had been written through the end of the 1700's and all of the 1800's about Wolfe was laudatory, in the 1900's opinion in academia began to swing in the other direction. Some of this, as Brumwell observes, was an unsurprising backlash against the saccharine nature of the earlier works on Wolfe where he was capable of doing now wrong. However as is too often the case what should have been a minor adjustment towards a more reality based view of Wolfe became, in some quarters, a wholesale crusade to demonize the man and portray him as "...unpleasantly vain, smug and humorless." These efforts even went so far as to question Wolfe's military genius with some concluding that he was most assuredly not a great general and that his particular cultural life after death was due purely to the circumstances of his death.

It is in this historical landscape that Brumwell asks how Wolfe can be as celebrated as he was in death without first having already enjoyed a good reputation amongst his peers and countrymen before his death. As stated by Brumwell the central question of the work is, "Does Wolfe's fame rest upon the circumstances surrounding a single dramatic and significant victory, or is there a deeper explanation for his great contemporary reputation?"

Brumwell goes on to explore Wolfe's life and the world in which he lived in a very lively book which I found compulsively readable. I highly recommend this book to anyone with even a passing interest in history.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Fat Fuck vs. Food - Week 18

So it was with great joy and rejoicing that two weeks ago I was able to report that I was below my target weight of 250 pounds however unlike certain politicians I did not want to prematurely declare “Mission Accomplished.”* As with all of my waypoints during this diet thing I wanted to be at or below the goal weight for two weeks before declaring victory. Well, guess what time it is? (No, it is not time to get ‘ill’.)

Tipping the scales at an almost petite by comparison 244 pounds this morning means it is time for me to declare victory! Sadly this will not involve me landing a plane on a carrier deck, either literally or euphemistically. I have dropped a total of 76 pounds since February 1st and, for the mathematically challenged out there (I’m looking at you, Scott) I am only 24 pounds away from hitting 220 pounds. Early on I discussed 220 as possibly being a goal but I wanted to take a wait and see attitude towards the whole thing since dieting and I do not have a particularly happy history together. (Kinda like me and the ladies but with even less nookie, if that can be believed.) Now I am pretty firmly set on getting down to 220 pounds before my birthday. Of course this is going to have to wait until I get back from Star Trek camp.

Oddly enough I really don’t have too much to say about this except that I appreciate all of the support I have gotten from you guys over the past four months while I was getting here. It means more to me than I could ever say. Thanks!


* I know it was just that one time and that they say it happens to everybody, but the joke is still there and never let it be said that I won’t go for the low hanging fruit.**

** That might be the gayest thing I have said/typed in a while.


Friday - 5-30-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
(2) Nature Valley Oats-n-Honey granola bars
Chips, queso and salsa
Chicken fried steak with gravy
Mashed potatoes
Garlic bread
Brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce
60 minutes on the elliptical

Saturday - 5-31-08
The Drink
1 bottle of Odwalla Vanilla Al'Mondo protein drink
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, turkey, ham and Ranch
Twizzlers
(3) glasses of wine
Garlic bread
Pasta Pescatore
German chocolate cake
Glass of whisky
Walked 4+ miles

Sunday - 6-1-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
Large popcorn
A pint of Guinness
Muffaleta
Pasta salad

Monday - 6-2-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Medium salad with chicken chunks, bacon, Mandarin orange slices, apple chunks, crutons, raisins and Honey Mustard dressing
Amy's Mexican Casserole Bowl
Twizzlers
60 minutes on the elliptical

Tuesday - 6-3-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Fried Alligator
Iced tea (no sugar)
Dirty Rice
Citrus Glazed Shrimp
Yoplait yogurt
60 minutes on elliptical

Wednesday - 5-28-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Tuna Salad Sandwich
Small bag of Ruffles
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
60 minutes on elliptical

Thursday - 5-29-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Large nachos with cheese, beans, beef and jalapenos
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
60 minutes on elliptical

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fat Fuck v. Food - Week 17

I weighed in at 247 pounds this week and don't really have too much to say about it, for once. Right now I am just looking forward to weighing in next Friday. I expect to continue to be below 250 pounds and thus able to declare this phase of my weight loss plan done with. For shits and grins here is a chart of my weight loss per week:



Friday - 5-23-08
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
Bottle of chocolate milk
Sausage, cheese and egg sandwich on toast
Bacon Cheeseburger
Fries
Tazo Giant Peach Green Tea
2 egg rolls
3 chocolate chip cookies
4 Ironically delicious Cuba Libres
2 soft chicken tacos
Regular order of steak fajita nachos
45 minutes on the elliptical

Saturday - 5-24-08
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
1 can of Coke
5 pieces of large Papa Johns Spicy Italian pizza
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
Walked 4+ miles

Sunday - 5-25-08
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
3 pieces of large Papa Johns Spicy Italian pizza
Chips and salsa
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
90+ minutes ice skating

Monday - 5-26-08
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
Chips and salsa
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch

Tuesday - 5-27-08
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
Chocolate chip cookie
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
1 bottle Odwalla Vanilla Al'Mondo protein drink
60 minutes on elliptical

Wednesday - 5-28-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Medium salad with crutons, chicken chunks, bacon, mandarin orange slices, almonds, apple chunks, raisins and honey mustard dressing
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
60 minutes on elliptical

Thursday - 5-29-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Large nachos with cheese, beans, beef and jalapenos
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
60 minutes on elliptical

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fat Fuck v. Food - Week 16

So this morning I stepped on the scale and it read 248.4 pounds.* For the first time that I can remember I am below 250 pounds. Also, I am done with this whole diet thing until I get back from Star Trek camp. Of course that is a bit of a lie since I am not going to officially declare victory until I have been either at or below 250 pounds for two consecutive weigh-ins. Ok, maybe it is more than just a bit of a lie as I am not going to change my eating habits that much. I am comfortable doing what I am doing, however I will be less strict with myself and actually start enjoying nacho day in the cafeteria again rather than just being surly on Thursdays.

Anyways, here is the progress I have made since beginning this back on February 1st:

Starting weight: 320 pounds
Current weight: 248.4 pounds
Total weight loss: 71.6 pounds

Elapsed time: 112 days

Beginning waist: 48
Current waist: 40

It is kind of funny, somehow I was expecting to feel different once I hit this goal. A sense of accomplishment, perhaps, or a sense of jubilation but that really came along with the photo comparison I shared this past week. This is not to say that I do not feel a sense of accomplishment, because I do, but I was just expecting something more this morning when the scale told me I was done. Of course since I had some serious stress in the office yesterday and ended up having bad work dreams because of it, I am kind of just worn out today so that could be contributing to the lack of umph in the morning.

Oh well, the one thing I am excited about today is my reward. There is a cigar in my box with the magical words Habana, Cuba on the band that has been waiting for this day. I think tonight I am going to Hemingway it up with the cigar and an ironically delicious Cuba Libre. That should just about hit the spot.


* I actually had a joke here about the scale asking me who the hell I was but it was SO not working that I decided not to try and force it. In shrinking I think I have grown.


Friday - 5-16-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Banana
Mr. Brown's Iced Coffee
Med. salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
CLIF Banana Nut Bread bar
Yoplait yogurt
1/2 order of nachos
Chili Cheeseburger
Fries
Iced tea (no sugar)
Fuck off HUGE dessert with ice cream and whipped cream
45 minutes on elliptical
60 minutes of ice skating

Saturday - 5-17-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Large salad with roast chicken
3 dinner rolls
A metric ass load of food including pulled pork tacos, brisket, and corn pudding
Iced tea (no sugar)
Walked 4+ miles

Sunday - 5-18-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Large salad with chicken and parmesan dressing
Bowl of chili
Whataburger with cheese and bacon
2 large fries
60 minutes ice sakting

Monday - 5-19-08
The Drink
Dannon Activia Light yogurt
Large salad with crutons, chicken chunks, raisins, mandarin orange slices, almonds, and honey mustard dressing
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
60 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday - 5-20-08*
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
Chocolate chip cookie
60 minutes on elliptical

Wednesday - 5-21-08
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
Cup of Crab Bisque
Bread
Salad with fried chicken strips, tortilla strips, and honey mustard dressing
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
60 minutes on elliptical

Thursday - 5-22-08*
The Drink
Yoplait yogurt
1 serv. Metamucil
Medium salad with crutons, chicken chunks, bacon, almonds, mandarin orange slices, raisins and honey mustard dressing.
60 minutes on elliptical

*I swear I had dinner both Tuesday and Thursday night but for some reason I did not write what I ate down in the diary. Wierd.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fat Fuck vs. Food - Week 15

ARGH! 1.6 pounds! 1.6 LOUSY FREAKIN' POUNDS! Is all...that remains to be lost before I hit my goal of 250 pounds. I lost five pounds this past week and after the jackassery surrounding my eating this weekend, it being Mother's Day and all, I am surprised as the next guy. (Well, maybe the cat two seats over.) This is a little bit of a lie. Due to the eating jackassery from this weekend I did four things this week to help my weight loss along. First I pushed my workout on the elliptical to a full hour on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 45 minutes was not ragging me out like it had back at the beginning of April so I thought it was time for me to make the next jump. I went ahead and only did 45 minutes today because I am not planning on blowing things out of the water food-wise this weekend AND I am planning on going ice skating for an hour or two tonight. Second I decided to go ahead and try something I have been contemplating for a while; I ate nothing but salads for my meals this week. I made sure to include chicken, turkey, or ham with each salad so I was getting a dose of protein at each meal. As I said this is something I have wanted to try for a while just to see how my body reacts and I have to say that I did not like it. For the most part I was okay however I found myself very tired in the evenings and hitting the sack around 10pm, which is just CRAZY early for me plus I had some headache and occasional vertigo issues when I stood up too fast. Clearly that was a bad plan. The third thing I did was drop the shot of Metamucil from my morning routine. I think it is better for all of us that we observe a "the less said about this the better" moment here. The fourth and final thing I did was give the Dannon Activia yogurts a try in the morning instead of the Yoplaits I have been eating since I started this crazy thing. I actually like the consistency of the Dannon yogurt a bit better and, while I am not a calorie Nazi it is something I am aware of, they have about 30 less calories per serving so I may replace the Yoplaits with the Dannon full-time as soon as I plow through the Yoplait back-stock I have in the fridge.

Now for the future. I am really expecting to be down to 250 or below by this time next week and some people have suggested I start thinking about what I need to do to maintain my weight. Since this has been so easy and I have broken the 20% loss plane without plateauing (I am SO tempting the fates with this statement) I am going to go ahead and shoot for 220 pounds. My goal date for this is going to be October 1st and I am going to start seriously working towards this goal once I return from the Star Trek shoot (or Nerdvana as I have started to refer to it) in early July. Once I get back from that I am going to consult with one of the trainers at my gym and try to design a program that is going to continue to promote weight loss while increasing my upper body strength. I want to play ice hockey this fall and will need to replace the mass I used to use to push people around with muscles in order to properly goon it up. Until then I am going to keep doing what I am doing right now and I am going to do my best to be good over the shoot, however the exigencies of filming being what they are I am not TOO confident about my ability to continue losing weight while I am in New York.

Oh well, this has run on FAR longer than necessary! Apparently I am in a chatty mood today. One last thing. The new pants I bought about a month ago? Now they are too big and that? That is awesome.



Friday - 5-9-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Bottle of chocolate milk
Sausage, egg, and cheese snadwich
Chicken Teriyaki
Rice
Boiled Cabbage
2 Egg Rolls
Tazo Giant Peach Tea
Med. salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey, and Ranch
4 Peanut Butter Twix bars
45 minutes on elliptical

Saturday - 5-10-08
The Drink
1 serv. Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters
1% Milk
Gyro
Small fruit smoothie
1 bottle Snapple Peach Mangosteen
Fried Calamari
Fried Mozarella
Small Caesar salad
Bow-tie pasts with chicken, mushrooms, and cream sauce
Cinnamon Apples with Ice Cream
Walked around the Ren Faire for 3+ hours

Sunday - 5-11-08
The Drink
1 serv. Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters
1% Milk
Steak
Potato Salad
Deviled Eggs
Fruit Salad
Angel Food Cake
Whipped Cream
Nature Valley Peanut Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bar

Monday - 5-12-08
The Drink
1 Dannon Activia yogurt
Large spinach and romaine salad with mandarin orange slices, raisins, apple chunks, almonds, chicken chunks, bacon and honey mustard dressing
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
45 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday - 5-13-08
The Drink
1 Dannon Activia yogurt
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
1 chocolate chip cookie
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
60 minutes on elliptical

Wednesday - 5-14-08
The Drink
1 Dannon Activia yogurt
Iced tea (no sugar)
Large salad with chicken, avocado, bacon, olives and Ranch
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
60 minutes on elliptical

Thursday - 5-15-08
The Drink
1 Dannon Activia yogurt
Iced tea (no sugar)
Large salad with chicken, avocado, bacon, olives and Ranch
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
1 Clif Chocolate Brownie Bar
60 minutes on elliptical

Friday, May 09, 2008

John Edwards Thinks I Am Right

(And I don't mean right wing, either.)

Fat Fuck vs. Food - Week 14

So freakin' close I can TASTE it! (That might be an unfortunate turn of phrase but there it is.) I weighed in at 256.6 pounds this morning. On the somewhat annoying side the loss of only 2.8 pounds represents the smallest weekly loss I have had since I started this back at the beginning of February, however the flip side of that is that I am still loosing weight despite messing up a little this week. The part of me that is a bit of a, well, I can't really say that here on network TV wants to be bummed about this. To some degree I feel like I failed this week, however to get that out of my head all I have to do is look at what I have done so far. 63.4 pounds in 14 weeks is some pretty decent progress.

I had something funny happen to me the other day which I thought I would relate. I get a salad for lunch from the same place pretty much every day. While the salads are not great, they are just the right size and it takes me almost no time to zip down and get them as the place is in the basement of my building. Apparently my weight loss has been the subject of discussion for the past few weeks. Yesterday I went and ordered a fresh salad rather than just grabbing a prepackaged salad, which is what I do probably 99% of the time. While the young lady was making the salad we talked a little about what I was doing to loose weight. Then the other two young ladies who were working starting asking the girl I was speaking with some questions. They were speaking in Spanish. I speak menu and bar Spanish but nothing really beyond what I need to order food or find a bathroom. I did understand the one thing the girl with whom I was speaking kept saying and that was "I don't know." Finally one of the other girls broke down and asked me how much I had lost. I told them I was down 60 pounds since the beginning of February. This led to a little more discussion and then my salad was done and I took off. One of the paralegals came by my desk a little later and told me that they were still talking about me about 10 minutes later.

Oh well, back to the trenchs!



Friday - 5-2-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
1 bottle of chocolate milk
Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich on toast
2 donuts
Space club sandwich
Fries
Bacon cheese fries
Med. salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey and Ranch
1/2 order of nachos
Chicken tortilla soup
45 minutes on the elliptical
60 minutes ice skating

Saturday - 5-3-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 serv. Whey protein
2 serv. Kefir
Med. salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey, and Ranch
6 pieces of sushi
California roll
Hawaii roll
Spider roll
5 piece of gyoza
Iced tea (no sugar)
Large popcorn
2 Nature Valley Honey-n-Oat granola bars
Walked 4+ miles

Sunday - 5-4-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 serv. Whey protein
2 serv. Kefir
1 pint Guinness
Medium Spicy Italian pizza
Walked 6.5 miles

Monday - 5-5-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
1 biscuit
Large spinach and romain salad with raisins, mandarin orange slices, bacon, chicken chunks, almonds, crutons, and honey mustard.
Med. salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
2 Nature Valley Honey-n-Oat granola bars
45 minutes on the elliptical

Tuesday - 5-6-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
11.5 oz V8
Med. salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey, and Ranch
2 tortillas
1/2 blueberry bagel
Kimchi stew
Rice
45 minutes on the elliptical

Wednesday - 5-7-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
1/2 Apple turnover thingy
Med. salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
Kimchi stew
Rice
Med. Sprite
popcorn
Walked 1 mile
45 minutes on the elliptical

Thursday - 5-8-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Med. spinach and romain salad with raisins, mandarin orange slices, bacon, chicken chunks, almonds, crutons, and honey mustard
Hard-boiled egg
Med. salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
45 minutes on the elliptical
Walked 4+ miles

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Scatter-brained

I have been pretty scatter-brained of late however there are a couple of things I have seen today I feel are worthy of comment.

Gas Tax Holiday = Idiocy
The whole concept of a gas tax holiday sounds like a terrible plan. I am saying this as a person who just bought a rather fuel-hungry vehicle and plan on putting somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 miles on it right when the proposed tax holidays would be in effect. Clearly it is in my best interest in the short term for the gas tax holiday to happen however I think the negative long term effect of the holiday will FAR out weigh any positives (which I think would be minimal anyways.)

The biggest problem I see with the gas tax holiday is that by lowering prices you are going to increase demand of an already scarce resource. I believe the current high in oil prices are due to several factors including increased demand from developing nations such as China and India, a weakening dollar, and the fact we operate in a very narrow margin of consumption versus refining capacity. (While there may be some douchebaggery in the prices charged by the companies I believe this is a smaller percentage of the recent price increases than these fundamental supply versus demand issues.) This narrow margin is what concerns me. There is already an increase in demand during the summer along with a commensurate increase in prices. What the proposed holiday will do is decrease the price without bringing any more supply to the market. The decrease in prices will most likely lead to an additional increase in demand which will then lead to an increase in the base price. It is not out of the realm of possibility for the entire difference made in dropping the gas tax will be figured into the price by the end of the holiday therefore making gas more expensive in the long run.

Another down side to the tax holiday is that we will be tacking on an additional God only knows how much to the national debt. We have spent the last eight years under an administration who, rather than tax and spend, has cut taxes and increased spending. This has led us to the current issues we have with the weak dollar which contributes to the high gas prices we are currently seeing. We do not need to incur additional national debt at this point. The other option would be to cut back on programs which the gas tax funds, however as I understand it these are mostly programs which fix up things like the road on which you damn Earth-hating suburbanites feel the need to drive. Seems like increasing the usage of these resources while cutting their funding, while a very conservative move, is not a good plan.

I won't even go in to some of the issues mentioned in this New York Times article, such as hording and the tax break not actually figuring in to the final price at the pump (I typed pimp).

I guess I want your take away* from this to be that the idea of a gas tax holiday is political pandering in the short term and a recipe for even more problems in the future. I would much rather see politicians discussing long term solutions to this issue as well as more consumers making better decisions regarding energy consumption.**


Another Shot at Hillary
I have a HUGE amount of respect for Wil Wheaton and find myself nodding my head at many of his points, however now I feel the need to pick on him a little due to this post, which I think illustrates a larger problem in today's Democratic Party. I agree that the race for the Democratic nomination is over and, in the interest of full disclosure and all that, I have been backing Obama from the start. (Hell when I saw Obama speak at the Democratic National Convention back in 2004(?) I knew I would be voting for him as soon as he was in a race where I had a vote.) I even agree with the people who are calling for Hillary to bow out at this point, what I cannot agree with is the tone with which some of the calls are being made.

Whether she is staying in, and there by prolonging, the race due to her ego or because she truly believes she is the better candidate is immaterial. I happen to think she honestly believes she is the better candidate and, again with the full disclosure, I admit to having an irrational dislike of Hillary. Something about her just bugs me and thus I am prone to think of her actions in the worst possible light. This line of thinking seems to run contrary to the majority of Obamites I am reading online who are ascribing Hillary's endurance to her, apparently Holmesian***, ego.

What I mean to address is the tone of the comments coming from the Obama side of things. Rather than being magnanimous and gracious they have become just as full of venom and as destructive as the attacks which we Obamites claim to hate. Wheaton's recent post contains a more restrained species of this vitriol however the post he links to, "Hillary Clinton: The Psycho Ex-Girlfriend of the Democratic Party" is just the sort of thing I am talking about. While I may agree with the sentiment expressed, wish Hillary would get out of the race so we can start to heal as a party, and think the post is funny as hell, I am concerned that all these sorts of things are doing is making it more difficult for us to come back together as a party. Some posts go even further and leave me wondering if somehow the right wing blogosphere has switched sides, just as professional dillweed Rush Limbaugh encouraged the voters to do in recent primaries.

Hillary will get out of the race when she is ready to get out of the race. What us Obamites need to concentrate on is being gracious in victory, and not in a condescending way, either. In some ways I am surprised at how divisive this primary has turned out. While there are differences between the two platforms, I suspect many of these differences will be washed out by the construction of a national party platform over the coming months and then further washed out over the ensuing four years as the President works with Congress to enact this platform.

Oh well, I have wandered off my original point which was I do not like the tone of the Obama side of things right now. I think this tone is representative of the worst face of politics today and I expected better from us. At least when talking about other Democrats. If you want to bag on that wishy-washy douchebag John McCain then have it. (But not his service. Regardless of whether I think he is right or wrong, his record of service to this nation is an example to which we ALL should aspire.)

(As a WAY tangential aside I wonder why I refer to Obama by his last name and Hillary by her first name. The first justification was that there are two Clintons in the public eye and thus I have to use her personal name to identify her. That is just hogwash as contextual clues, such as feminine pronouns, should almost immediately clue the reader in and if you can not pick up on those then I am surprised you have stayed at this particular party for ANY length of time.)


* Fuck yes I just used a buzz word. Bite me.

** And before you try and pull my card on the sort of car I drive you better remember the following: I have used public transportation to get to and from work every day for the past year and plan to continue to do so for at least the next twelve months. For the last five months I have not owned a car AT ALL and only rented one when my list of chores got to be large enough that I could justify having a car for the weekend. I walk to the grocery store, book store, comic book store, and some bars these days so I am doing my part.

*** This is, in fact, a penis joke and not a Sherlock joke.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thunderbird is GO!

I spent last weekend in Galveston photographing the Lone Star Flight Museum's annual Spirit of Flight airshow. The crap weather which greeted me Saturday morning turned into a beautiful afternoon. You can click on the photo to view my Flickr photoset from the airshow:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fat Fuck vs. Food - Week 13

Lucky week 13. And let me tell you after the Munching of Weight Destruction I did this weekend in Galveston I thought I was not going to loose any weight this week. Fortunately for everyone I was WRONG! I dropped another 3.6 pounds this week which takes me down past the 260 point to 259.4 pounds. That is a total loss of 60.6 pounds or 18.9375% of my starting weight. Most importantly this leaves me with just over 9 pounds left to loose before I hit 250.

I rewarded myself with a couple of donuts and a thing of chocolate milk this morning and even though it was crap Schepps chocolate milk it was the BEST chocolate milk I have EVER tasted. It tasted like victory. The result of my reward is that I am so jumped up on sugar right now I can hardly type, let alone think straight.

As always we thank you for your support. (Although I guess I should stop referring to myself in the plural.)



Friday - 4-25-08
The Drink
1.5 serv. Kefir
1 serv. Whey protein
1 serv. Metamucil
Wendy's triple cheeseburger
2 large fries
Sprite
Black Bean soup
Bread
More fried stuff than you can shake a Heidi at
Iced tea (no sugar)
45 minutes on elliptical

Saturday - 4-26-08
The Drink
Orange Juice
Hashbrowns
Cinnamon Roll
2 eggs, scrambled
2 sausage pattys
2 hot dogs
Bacon cheeseburger
Waffle fries
Iced tea (no sugar)
Pecan pie dipped in chocolate

Sunday - 4-27-08
The Drink
Orange Juice
Hashbrowns
2 eggs, scrambled
2 sausage pattys
3 slices of bacon
3 pancakes
1 Tazo Giant Peach Green Tea
1 Yoplait yogurt
1 serv. fat free chocolate pudding
Beff fajita nachos
2 soft chicken tacos
Walked 4+ miles

Monday - 4-28-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, turkey, ham, and Ranch
1/4 box Fried Rice Chicken Helper
Asparagus
1 serv. fat free chocolate pudding
45 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday - 4-29-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Small salad
4 pieces goyza
6 pieces of sushi
California roll
Iced tea (no sugar)
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, turkey, ham, and Ranch
45 minutes on elliptical

Wednesday - 4-30-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, turkey, ham and Ranch
11.5 oz. V8
1/4 box Fried Rice Chicken Helper
Asparagus
45 minutes on elliptical

Thursday - 5-1-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Large spinach and romaine salad with raisins, mandarin orange slices, almonds, bacon, apple chunks, chicken chunks, and honey mustard dressing.
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
45 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Waffle House is ON NOTICE!

I REALLY like me some Waffle House breakfast food. While it is not the Kettle Breakfast o' Doom* which I would consume during my exile to College Station, the Waffle House does serve up some tasty, tasty foods. Thus I make it a point to eat breakfast there at least once when I am in Galveston for breakfast. As I usually stay in the Super 8 right behind the Waffle House this presents no problem and due to proximity I will usually eat breakfast there both days. This past weekend I ended up in the Sandpiper Motel which feels like it is at the far end of the island, and therefore I only made it in for breakfast on Sunday. They are usually pretty busy on Sunday so I went ahead and took a book with me to read while I waited. When I got to the Casa de Waffle there were only two groups of people ahead of me. "Awesome," I thought, "there should not be much of a wait." I settled into a chair, which, as it turns out was right next to the LARGEST WOMAN I HAVE EVER SEEN (and I do not mean large good but rather large holy crap that's a lot of chubby). She was at the jukebox complaining about the lack of Patsy Kline when I walked in which is why I had no idea I would end up next to her. It being Galveston she was also in her bathing suit and a King sized sheet sarong (And boy was it wrong). SHUDDER This was almost enough to put me off my feed however it is completely not part of the rant so lets get back on point, shall we?

So I sit down and start reading my book (Summer Knight by Jim Butcher for those of you who care about these things) and as I predicted the two groups are quickly seated. I glance around and note that there are a few people who look like they might be leaving shortly and I am next up. Three chuckleheads walk in. One of the parties leaves and the rather portly black lady who was working the floor (boy howdy does that sound wrong) said she was going to bus the table and, "…then I can seat y'all." This should have been my first warning sign however I am an elitist pig and took no notice of her use of a plural when it was clear I was not plural. She bussed the table. As she approached us, they were standing a little in front of me an to the left, I closed my book and stood, only to watch in amazement as she seated the chuckleheads. What the fuck? I literally stood rooted to the spot for a second in disbelief with my mouth open. I was already headed towards the door when she indicated she was ready to seat me. I told her not to worry about it as I was going to go somewhere else. There was then an exchange about me sitting at the counter, which I HATE doing as the stools are not built for someone of my height leaving me VERY uncomfortable, and I pointed out to her that I was leaving because she had decided to seat the chuckleheads before me. Her response was, "They were here before you." To which I replied, "No, they weren't." (My mind added, "I've been sitting here since you seated the family of Patsy Kline loving cetaceans over there." But I did not say this because I am a nice guy and that would just be rude.) She responds with, "Well you should have told me." To which I responded with nothing but a look of utter disbelief. I did not, and do not, have to words to express how dumb of a statement this was, to my mind. YOU, Aunt Jemima, are supposed to be the highly trained food service commando here and keeping track of which person was there first is pretty basic stuff. On top of that you had already said good morning to me when you seated the dwarf star to be sitting at the four-top over there. I don't like doing the job I get paid for (this is purely on principal because I am a tortured artist and stuff) I am sure as heck not going to do your job for you!

Then, as I walk out, the cherry on top of everything else, is Mrs. Butterworth wishing me a blessed day as I leave. Oh HELL no! You do not get to assuage any guilt you might feel about being a complete fucktard when it comes to doing your, lets face it here people, incredibly simple job by being all Christian and wishing I have a blessed day. It was all I could do to stop from turning around on her and telling her exactly where she could stick her blessed day in exacting and excruciating biological detail. I walked out and went to the Dutch Kettle** instead.

Now under normal circumstances this would not have ticked me off so much however in this case there were three things going on:
  1. The last time I was in this Waffle House the exact same thing happened except that I took it like a good consumer and did not fuss.
  2. I had taken my supplements about 30 minutes earlier. If I do not get food on top of them in about 30 minutes I get a little twitchy and irritable.
  3. I was already having a bit of a crap day as I was fighting dust and crap on my camera's sensor and I could not get it clean.
The end result of all this is I am drafting a letter to the manager of that particular restaurant because when I am pissed writing letters makes me feel better AND I will never go in to that Waffle House again. Which saddens me to some degree because I REALLY like Waffle House.

Here is the text of the letter I sent this morning:

April 29, 2008


Waffle House
2825.5 A 61st Street
Galveston, TX
77550


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to inform you of a situation I encountered in your restaurant this past weekend which has forced me to decide that I will no longer patronize your establishment. Now before I go into the specifics I want to say that I very much enjoy the food and atmosphere at all of the Waffle Houses I have ever been in. So much so that when ever I am in Galveston I make it a point to have at least one meal at your restaurant. Invariably, in the past, the staff has been professional and friendly, even on days where they are swamped.

This brings us to what happened this past Sunday. I arrived at the restaurant sometime after 10 in the morning. I brought a book with me as I have been in this particular restaurant on Sunday morning before and had a bit of a wait. I certainly do not mind waiting to be seated at restaurants, particularly ones that I quite like, but I thought I would go ahead and be entertained rather than just stare at the walls. There were two groups already waiting when I arrived and they were quickly seated. While I was waiting for another place to open up a group of three young men entered. As soon as a table opened up the hostess seated them, completely ignoring me. I am 6’3” and over 250 pounds so I am not easily overlooked or lost in a crowd. I had closed my book and was in the process of standing when the hostess approached the group so, to give her the benefit of the doubt we might assume she thought I was part of the group. I was absolutely stunned as this EXACT thing happened to me the last time I was in your establishment.

To be honest I was so surprised by this happening again that it took me a couple of moments to collect my wits. I informed the hostess, who was now attempting to seat me, not to bother as I would be going somewhere else for breakfast. When asked why I told her my reason to which she responded that they had, in fact, arrived before me. Once again I was caught off-guard as the hostess had acknowledged my presence after she had sat the two groups which were waiting before my arrival. At this point I should have just left however one of my character flaws is that I feel the need to have the last word. I, very politely considering the circumstances, pointed out that they had not arrived before me. At this point a simple apology would have sufficed. Had the hostess just admitted she made a mistake everything would have been fine but rather than do this she informed me that it was somehow my responsibility to inform her that they had not arrived before me. At this point I left. I was already hungry when I arrived and did not have a rational response to her idea that the customers are supposed to police themselves. In a perfect world this idea has merit, however as we have all been on the road with our fellow man I think we know in practice this devolves to foolish optimism.

I have never worked in food service however I have had several close friends who have, up to and including being the general manager of several restaurants, therefore I do have some understanding of stress under which wait staff operate. I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt in most cases. There are so many things which can go wrong and are completely out of their control. I understand this and am willing to overlook quite a bit however what I do not tolerate is poor service. I have now experienced what I would consider VERY poor service at your establishment twice in my last two visits.

Once is a mistake. Once in a while is a mistake. Twice in a row is something else entirely. The first time I just took it like a good consumer, operating under the assumption that it was a mistake. After all it was Sunday morning and the place was busy. The second time? Something else entirely. If your restaurant has a policy of seating groups before individuals during peak hours then the hostess should explain the policy to me. At which point I can make my decision on whether to stay or be treated as a second-class citizen. I think it is pretty clear what would happen had this been this case. Regardless of the cause for the poor treatment, the fact remains that on my last two visits to your restaurant I have received very shoddy treatment and therefore I will no longer be patronizing your establishment.


Sincerely yours,


I sent a copy to the corporate headquarters as well. I will let you know what, if any, response I receive.



* The Kettle Breakfast o' Doom (tm) is an omlette with American cheese, bacon, ham, and chili, an order of hash browns, three pancakes, and an order of corned beef hash. No, I have no illusions about why I am overweight, why do you ask?

** The Dutch Kettle was okay.

Monday, April 28, 2008

LOLJamez

I has a problem.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fat Fuck vs. Food - Week 12

I almost forgot what week I am on. Heck, I might have messed it up anyways. Enough blathering, lets get down it, shall we?

This morning I was tipping the scales at 263 pounds which is a loss of 3.6 pounds over the past week AND a total loss of 57 pounds. Just when I typed that it hit me how much weight I have actually lost. I find myself having those moments here and there. For example yesterday as I was getting back in my work clothes after my workout and shower I caught a glimpse of myself out of the corner of my eye. I was wearing some khakis I purchased last weekend (more on that in a minute), a shirt I really like, and I had just gotten my hair cut on Monday. The first thought that came in to my mind was, “Damn. I look GOOD.” I cannot tell you how long it has been since I have felt that way about my reflection in a mirror. As a general rule I HATE full-length mirrors because they do a great heaping amount of damage to my self-image. The person I saw in the mirror was SO not the James that I see in my head. (The James I see in my head is, well, I think this just about sums it up (NSFW for language) ) I’m still not there yet but this is the first time I have not had to work myself up to thinking I look good.

Now about the pants. One of the things I had to do last week was pick up some new pants. I had put this little shopping trip off for as long as I could but it was finally time. Even with a belt I would have to walk around with a hand in my pocket to prevent any Chick Magnet-esque incidents. Most of my pants were a 46 waist. ALL of the pants I bought were 42’s with the exception of one pair of 40’s. While I fit into the 40’s they were a little more constricting than I like my pants and the pockets on a couple of the khakis I tried on stuck out as pockets are wont to do when the pants are just a little too small. I can’t remember the last time I bought something smaller than a 44 so this felt awesome. In fact it felt so awesome I bought more pants than I planned. This morning as I was getting dressed after my workout I noticed something about the 42’s I chose to wear this morning. There is already a little play in the waistline and I need to wear a belt with them. Damn that was fast.

I know I had something else I wanted to share. Oh yeah! A couple of the ladies in the office have called me out on loosing weight. The manner in which they have brought it up just cracks me up because they are so nice and circumspect about it and concerned that I might be offended that they noticed. These couple of instances have really provided a boost!

Now as it is the end of April, well the last weigh-in day for the month anyways, it is time to set my goals for May. I once again succeeded in meeting my goals for the month, the high goal to be down to 265 or below. For May my goal is to hit 250 pounds and be done with this phase. I have five Fridays in May with which to work. Since I only need to loose 13 pounds to get to my goal this means that I can only loose 3 pounds each week and still make my goal and 3 pounds is still below my average weight loss per week so I think this is very doable.

Again thanks for all your support and putting up with this stuff! I REALLY appreciate it more than I can say.


Friday - 4-18-08
The Drink
1 Yoplait yogurt
1 serv. Metamucil
1 serv. Kefir
1 serv. Whey protein
3 peices of a large Papa Johns Spicy Italian pizza
1/2 order of cheese sticks
Chips and queso
2 beef and bean burritos
Refried beans
Rice
Iced tea (no sugar)
45 minutes on the elliptical

Saturday - 4-19-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
2 serv. Kefir
1 serv. Whey protein
Egg & Bacon kolache
Sausage & cheese kolache
Lemonade
Bacon Cheeseburger
Fries
1 serv. fat free chocolate pudding
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
Medium salad with chicken chunks and ranch
1 piece of a large Papa Johns Spicy Italian pizza
Helped Don move

Sunday - 4-20-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
4 pieces of a large Papa Johns Spicy Italian pizza
Tazo Giant Peach Green Tea
1 serv. fat free chocolate pudding
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ceaser dressing

Monday - 4-21-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
11.5 oz. V8
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey, and Ranch
1 bottle Tsing Tao beer
General Tso's Chicken
Egg Drop Soup
Rice
45 minutes on the elliptical

Tuesday - 4-22-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
11.5 oz V8
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey, and Ranch
1/4 box Fried Rice Chicken Helper
Asparagus
1 serv. fat free chocolate pudding
45 minutes on elliptical

Wednesday - 4-23-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Medium salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, ham, turkey, and Ranch
11.5 oz V8
1/4 box Fried Rice Chicken Helper
Asparagus
1 serv. fat free chocolate pudding
45 minutes on elliptical

Thursday - 4-24-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
2 Tuna salad sandwiches
Medium salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
11.5 oz V8
45 minutes on elliptical

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fat Fuck vs. Food - Week 11

Man I just don't know how to start this week's entry in the Shrinking Tales of a Shrinking James. Since I passed the 50 pound mark this week I wanted to make some Hawaii 5-0 jokes but I just can't make any of them work. Of course it doesn't help that I keep getting Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I. confused in my head. Oh well. Let's just get to this week's report, shall we?

In an interesting turn of events I am concerned that I might have lost TOO much weight last week when I dropped 5.2 pounds. This brings my weight down to 266.4 pounds and puts my total weight loss at 53.6 pounds. In addition to passing the 50 pound mark this week I also dropped below 267.5 pounds, which means I am more than three-quarters of the way to 250. In fact I only have 16.4 pounds to go!!

One of the tasks I have this weekend is to go shopping for some new pants. I am to the point where all of the pants I currently own are too large, almost clownishly so. I can't carry my wallet, iPod, and cellphone in my pockets without keeping on hand in another pocket to ensure things do not go south on me. Even the 44's I have are too big and I cannot remember the last time I went shopping for pants that were smaller than a 44 waist. This is pretty exciting stuff!



Friday - 4-11-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Banana
1 can Cherry Coke
5 slices of large Papa Johns Spicy Italian Pizza
Cheese Sticks
Med. Salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
11.5 oz. Spicy Hot V8
45 minutes on elliptical.

Saturday - 4-12-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
3 Tacos Pastor
1 Taco Barbacoa
Med. Salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
3 slices of large Papa Johns Spicy Italian Pizza
1 piece Angel Food cake with whipped cream and berries
6 hours of yard work.

Sunday - 4-13-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
2 serv. Kefir
1 serv. Whey protein
4 Jack-in-the-Box tacos
1 piece Angel Food cake with whipped cream and berries
Med. Salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
7 hours of yard work.

Monday - 4-14-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Med. Salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
11.5 oz. V8
1/4 box Chicken Jambalaya Chicken Helper
Asparagus
45 minutes on the elliptical
Walked 4+ miles

Tuesday - 4-15-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Med. Salad with 1/2 hard-boiled egg, turkey, ham and Ranch
11.5 oz. V8
1/4 box Chicken Jambalaya Chicken Helper
Asparagus
45 minutes on the elliptical
Walked 3+ miles

Wednesday - 4-16-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Small Greek Salad
Dinner Roll
1/2 chicken breast
1/4 box Chicken Jambalaya Chicken Helper
Asparagus
45 minutes on the elliptical

Thursday - 4-17-08
The Drink
1 serv. Metamucil
1 Yoplait yogurt
Med. Salad with chicken chunks and Ranch
11.5 oz. V8
Beef and Vegetable Soup
45 minutes on the elliptical