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Thursday, February 15, 2018

First StepBet game down - Many more to go

Ladies and Gentlemen this post is a bit later than anticipated because it appears as it takes a couple of days for StepBet to verify info and get the results and payouts out.

With that being said - My last Weeks Results!!!


Once again I hit my 10k every single day and the only day where I really slacked was Friday, but 10k is 10k.

Now to the StepBet portion of our show.

I completed my first game of StepBet and I plan on playing more.  My goal of course is to roll this $40 over and just build it up slowly over time but use it as a means to get more motivated and get more steps in instead of just doing the 10k Everyday that I have planned for 2018.

So with that being said my first victory brought me a return of 12.5% or a little over $5.
Yes, doing a 6 week program and getting $5 out of it is really nothing but in reality that wasn't the point.  The point was to see if this little $40 and the competition would motivate me and it sure as shit did.

If you look at it the way I am - Doing 10k Everyday for 6 weeks would be 420,000 steps  and I'll have some days where I go way over so lets add 20% on to that and that brings us to 504,000 steps.

Not bad.  However, with my personalized goals and this competition I managed to rack up 694,373 steps (Oh so close to 700k) which averages me over 16k steps every single day instead of just 10k.

Wow, what a difference.
Granted, there were days where my feet were just absolutely killing me but in the long run this will become more normal and I'll get more activity thus helping me drop some weight, and that is the end goal.   Becoming more active to keep up with the young brats that I am raising.

So, Game one is done and Now I'm doing a rest week.

With StepBet, the games I am currently playing in have 6 total weeks with the first week being a Warm Up week where you can technically fail every single day and not lose.  It's weeks 2-6 that matter when it comes to the competition and the money.
So - I already know which game I am getting into next and I'm just taking it easy this week and not pushing myself so that when Monday rolls around I will get back to the grind.

This next game ends March 25th and in the middle of that game I'll have to make a decision.

With the new baby coming Mid April I won't be able to start another game and realistically get my steps in when I am spending multiple days in the hospital taking care of my wife and new daughter and then for a week or two after that I'll be at home taking care of the whole family while the wife recovers from her C-section.   So, I'm looking at not getting into another game until Beginning to mid May.

However, If I decide that it will be worth it long term I might get the membership which will let me play in 3 games at a time (thus tripling my income or failure).   If I go that route there is one more game that I am eyeing up that Starts March 5th and ends April 15th.
April 15th, worst case scenario is 1 day before we pop the baby out, thus letting me get two more games in before I take my break.

What I'll end up doing is put some minor effort into running some numbers and figure out where my break even point would be if I went that route and where I would start turning a profit.  I figure the only way I'm interested in that is if I can end the first year at least break even.

One game is not really a good sample size but if I plan on winning every single time (and why the hell would I plan on not winning?) I at least have some sort of point of reference instead of random guess.

Whatever.

Y'all don't want to sit around and listen to a guy talk about walking.

So, I leave you with....



PostScript: I'm working on writing a story.  I don't expect it to be long and I don't expect it to really be well written but I'm just working on it.

Should I publish it in parts on this blog as I finish them or should I wait until it is done and put it out as a whole?

Also, would anyone like to be a sounding board and/or quick read editor to suggest changes or help me clean it up before I publish it (in whatever form I decide?).

My goal is that the story is entertaining in it's final form and that is pretty much it.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Happy National Pizza Day

From the bottom of my belly to all of my friends, happy National Pizza Day.

I would be remiss if I didn't spend this day properly celebrating.  Even though I am trying to lose weight and eat healthier good friends and good pizza are good reasons to take a break from the grind (you know, as long as I get back on that horse tomorrow).

Lightning, we both admit we need to drop some so how would you like to make a friendly wager that ends when you come back into town in September (provided you follow your normal routine)?



Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Listless

My ass has been dragging lately and I'm not 100% sure why.

But today I'm feeling listless again.  The wife went to work early which meant that in addition to getting the 12 year old up for school I had to wake up the toddler (who had been sleeping since before 8 pm the night before because he received a flu shot) and convince him that I needed to change his diaper and clothes so that we could take brother to school.

Toddlers sure are stubborn sons-a-bitches sometimes.  I swear I spent at least 15 minutes wrestling with him and twice during my struggles when I was focusing on something else he removed the shirt that I just struggled to put on him and told me he don't like it.

But, in the end I won out (because I'm the F'n adult, yes I am) and we were in the car heading to school.

Speaking of the Toddler - this is how he passed out last night

Classic Randy Orton Pose
Since coming home we each have eaten our breakfast and he is currently harassing the puppy (more like Old Dog but whatever) and my energy levels are low.

I am enjoying getting back into blogging even if the community isn't alive like it was 4-5 years back.  Sitting down with my thoughts and just typing feels great and I have missed it over the last few years even though I never went back to it (until now).  Reminds me of a conversation I had with Gary when he was in town and visiting Vegas.

Speaking of Visitors, the Fabulous Lightning365 is in town and I will be getting to sit down and chat with him over Pizza on Friday (the day he leaves).   He will get to meet my family for the first time and see the woman who settled me down and turned me into a functioning adult. 

We started the Toddler on chores starting with his 3rd birthday so that he could earn money and start to develop money skills as he goes through life instead of failing like the vast majority of the country who are in debt and struggling.
We see how our 12 year old struggles because he doesn't understand the value of hard work nor the value of a buck.  He feels that he is a kid and shouldn't have to do anything but should still get all the rewards and benefits and have everything handed to him.
Sometimes I wonder if we are doing the right thing by trying to make him earn things instead of just giving handouts and only time will tell, but we want to make sure that the youngest (and soon to be youngerest grows up knowing the value of money).

So, we started him on chores.

Now, the reality of the situation is, he is honestly just continuing what he has been doing for over a year now because it is amazing how much of a helper this child wants to be.

When he is home I cannot do laundry or the dishes by myself.  He wants to be involved and he wants to help.  So, I turn it into a good thing and I ask for his help and he comes running.
I also cannot take the garbage out to the curb without him.

In fact, last year Waste Management gave everyone the big ole cans for garbage and recycling but we had to keep one of our older smaller trash cans because this is the one that the Toddler brings down to the curb.
I also have to make sure there is a bag of garbage in it because he checks to make sure.

I don't know if this bugs the Garbage guys (sanitation workers?) but the kid seems to enjoy helping and I am going to encourage that all I can.

So, his chores are to Help with the Garbage, Help with Laundry and to pick up his toys.
He can earn up to $3 per week and we are trying to make a big deal out of it.  We are going to have a jar where we keep his money and we will take him to the store when he has some saved up so he can buy some new cars or something.

I do realize that he is 3 and really doesn't understand what is going on but if we keep up the pattern as he gets older he will realize that he is getting paid for doing things to help out around the house and then he gets to buy things with his own money. 
He is also going to have a portion of it go into savings so that he can save up for something bigger and a portion of it go into donation for things like church and such or maybe that money can go towards giving gifts to the underprivileged during xmas time.

Either way it is a work in progress and I'm excited about what the future holds.


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Sports Betting and Step Stepping

StepBet

Week 5 of 6 is completed with StepBet and I'm still in the running.
I made sure to knock out everything I needed before the SuperBowl so that I could have a nice relaxing day.  After the Superbowl I still had to do a 45 minute walk to make sure I got my 10k in but all is good.  I am keeping track of my Steps for the year in a separate tab that you can get from the main page or you can follow it here. I am updating it weekly to make it easier for me to keep track of.



Self Improvement Spreadsheet

I'm not sure what to think as it has only been one week.  After finishing the first week I was at 71% which is about what I'm supposed to aim for.  Anything less means it is too difficult and once you are hitting 90+ consistently then it is too easy.  I feel that leaving my goals at what they are for the entire month I'll jump up to that 90 percentile but at the same time I don't want to start changing them just to make it more difficult on myself.   There were several spots that I missed only due to illness or just because I didn't feel like putting my focus in that direction and changing two things would have put me in the mid to high 80's.
Whatever, this is a learning process and I'm along for the ride long haul.
I don't want to dig too deeply into it and I figure I'll do that after the first month.



The Super Bowl

I hadn't placed a sports bet for a while and I was not planning on betting on the game but the day before the Super Bowl my mother called me and asked me if I was interested in betting on the game.  At first I thought she meant that she wanted to make a wager against me for something but after a brief conversation it turned out she was interested in putting money on the actual game and wanted to know if I'd go in on the bet with her.  Her only other previous bet was a random occasion when she gave a friend $10 to place a future bet on the Steelers to win the Super Bowl and that just so happened to bet the year that we went and beat the Cardinals so her bet paid off.

However, she knows nothing about sports betting so I had to explain some things to her.  She told me to think about it and get back to her with whatever bet I wanted to make, she would leave that in my hands.

At the time we had that conversation she was talking about each of us putting up $50 and just seeing what happened so when I called her back and said i'd be willing to place the $100 bet she said "ok, $100 for each of us" and I'll be damned if I'm going to let my mother seem like she has more balls than I do so I agree'd to it.

I told her that I decided I wanted to bet the Eagles on the money line just because I felt like either team could pull this game out based on their offenses and that the bet had the best payout odds. I had thought about parlaying it up with the Over but my balls were not big enough to do that with a $200 bet which was by far the largest I have ever wagered on any game or even spread out over all my bets at one time.

I'm happy to report that everything worked out well in the end and now I just have to wait until I hit up a Station Casino so that I can cash out my winnings and pay my Mother off.


Hope y'all are having a great week and hopefully I have something more entertaining to write about than this boring crap next time my fingers get the itch.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Day 4 is an Asshole

Dear Day 4,

You and I don't have a very good relationship.  I've written this note in the past, but never published, so I now want to come out publicly and let you know that I'm not a fan.

Days 1-3 were nice to me and helped me along my path just fine but you, you sir, are a complete dick.

What is with this unnatural craving for BBQ that you have presented me with? What is this temptation?  Why not a nice casual reminder that I can get a salad made out of my favorite sub from Subway because it is healther, loaded with veggies and has a low calorie count?  No, there has been no mention of that from you at all.  instead you have me sitting here drooling over the possibility of a slab of ribs smothered in BBQ sauce or a Famous Dave's Devil Spit Burger complete with extra Hellfire Pickles and Jalepeno bacon dipped into an extra heaping of get off your fucking diet now you are going to be fat forever BBQ sauce.

Day 4, I'm not sure we can be friends any longer.  I tried to figure a way through this day.  I tried to tell myself that tomorrow I could leave you for something nicer to me and prettier.  I tried to talk myself into it by thinking it would be your hotter sister but then I just started thinking that your hotter sister likes fat bald white guys with grey beards and said fuck it, then I went to the pizza joint and pigged out.

Yeah, that is Day 4 in a nutshell.  Breaking down my defenses and letting me think that I'm making progress.  I can see the scale giving me a slightly smaller number every day and then Day 4 show up and tells me that I'm pretty and that I deserve to eat a meal with a calorie count as high as my daily total.  In fact, go over it.  This is a reward.

Day 4, I loathe you.  I despise you.  I wish you were never born and that Day 5 was here already.

Tomorrow might be another day but I will always remember how much I hate you Day 4.



So, the funny thing is that there is this other project that I am kind of working on, one that I started back in like 2011 but ended up not really going anywhere for whatever reason, and I was trying to dig up some information for that project when I ran across a document titled "Dear Day 4."


Now, when I'm feeling particularly creative or I have an idea that I think I might be able to take somewhere at some point in the future I open up my Google Docs and type a little bit out hoping that I'll come back to it at some point.  "Dear Day 4" was just kind of sitting in there and as I was scrolling down the list of documents curiosity wanted me to open it up.


This was an entry (which is partially included above but now has modifications made to it) in which I was complaining about how I was on a diet but the smell of BBQ from Famous Dave's set my salivary glands off and all I could think about was eating something really unhealthy for me.


So, since I started trying to count my calories again just recently in an effort to get better control of my weight and allowing myself to still enjoy eating things I really like on occasion (just have to teach myself that not every single day is an occasion) I decided to look back and see what day I really just pigged out even though I knew it was a bad idea.


Right now it will come as no surprise to y'all that it was also day 4.

Now, that day (which is in all actuality this past Thursday) I had a headache pretty much all day long so I convinced myself (even knowing that I was really just lying to myself so that I could pig out) that I needed some "real" food and an energy drink and that would help my headache because, dammit, the whole reason I have this headache is because I am denying my body what it truly wants, what it truly craves, what it truly NEEDS by George!!


So, I went to the pizza place in my working plaza which is one of those create your own pizza places that you get a pizza made for two, unless you are a big fat guy like me in which case you just devour the whole damned thing yourself and hope that those around you aren't judging you silently.


Yeah, I even looked up the calories for the pizza that I was going to create (on MyFitnessPal) before I went over and STILL told myself that it was OK and I'd be able to survive it just this one time  because I was only doing it because of the headache.


Yes, Day 4 gets me every damned time.

I am weak.

I am trying.

I am improving.

I am taking this one day at a time, just like I did the last time I dropped a significant amount of weight.


So, Day 4, you are officially an asshole and I abhor you.

You are my nemesis but hopefully this is my last day 4.


Hope all of you are sticking to your goals and making improvements in life.  I know I am.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

500,000 steps and the flu

It's weird that with a day filled with misery and failure I sit here at the end of the night in a mild fist-pumping celebration over a random accomplishment, but yet it is happening.

Yesterday both children were diagnosed with the flu which means a bunch of medicine and keeping the 12 year old home from school for a few days.

It also means fighting with a toddler to get him to take his medicine because "that's nasty dad."  So basically I've been slipping it into his drink hoping he doesn't notice.

Then comes the fun in the fact that I have a very pregnant wife at home and she is not allowed to catch the flu or it could have bad ramifications on the unborn baby and that means a whole bunch of other medicine for her and whatever other precautions might be needed.
Me?  Well I'm just hoping that I don't end up with the flu because being a fat asthmatic and having the flu will probably put me down for a week.  It is no where near as bad as bronchitis but any time an illness happens I have to take the utmost care to make sure that nothing moves into the lung region which could potentially develop into something far worse because of my asthma and history of being a poor breather.

As for the failures?  I'm being very honest with myself with the lights spreadsheet that I am starting to keep.  My goal is that this is going to be a long term thing and I am trying to keep up with it and be honest.  I have a lot of failures on my sheet, specifically today where I just gave up and fell into old habits.  However it is all about the long term so tomorrow is a new day and I can get back on my horse and ride into the sunset by starting my day doing as much as I can and keeping that attitude up all day long.

One thing I did accomplish is hitting my step goal again.  I don't plan on letting that one fail any time soon.
Also, I need to drink about 10 ounces of water in order to hit my goal of 64 ounces per day.  It should be a fairly easy one to hit every single day and I have no excuse for failing.

And that brings me to tonight's fist pump.
500,000
As in, during the month of January I took over 500,000 steps for what I can only assume is the first month I have ever done that.
Of course, I hit this goal because I have continually pushed myself for the StepBet challenge that I am in but I have accomplished it.

My private goal for the year was to hit at least 5 million steps which would average out to over 13k steps per day with a stretch goal of 5.5 million steps which would put me at slightly over 15k steps per day.   Pulling off 500,000 in January alone shows me that 5 million is going to be something I should hit without an issue and that 5.5 million is my real goal.   I'd up it to 6 million but I'm going to have that 3-4 week period where I don't do a whole lot as I am taking care of the entire family by myself as my wife recovers and I won't be at work to force steps in.  So, lets stick with 5.5 million and re-evaluate once I go back to work.

It feels strange but with all of the changes that I am trying to implement, with having a new computer that I am enjoying using and with trying to give myself a few minutes every single day to sit down with my thoughts and without TV, phone or video game distractions I am really starting to get back into this blogging thing again.

I'm glad that some of you decided to still give my thoughts a go even though it is no longer a poker-centric blog like it was when most of you starting joining my journey.

Hope everyone out there has avoided the flu for the season.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

StepBet Game 1 Week 4 of 6

So week 4 (my 3rd real week but since the game is in week 4 and week 1 was a no-lose week I am catching up to sync my naming with the actual week of the Game - Think of it like the Samsung Note skipping a number to catch up with the rest of the Galaxy Line or the Iphone skipping 9 and going to X) of my StepBet game was quite the interesting one.

I had the weekend off which meant that I would have 5 straight days to hit most of my goals and then I'd have the weekend to hit a regular day and then have a day off.

On Monday I had some pep in my step and hit my stretch goal and then as has been happening lately after getting that many steps in the next day my feet were a little tired and sore and I ended up only hitting my base goal.   However, Wednesday rolled around and I once again made sure to get the last few steps in at the end of the night to hit my 2nd stretch goal (and you have to hit two of those per week).

That all went south when I discovered that I had one more vacation left for my work year and I took it on Thursday.  Now, I had planned on still getting my min of 15,442 in on Thursday and even made sure to move a little bit earlier in the day so that come the end of the evening I wouldn't have to do very much to hit it.  None of that happened.  Come the end of the evening I ended up needing over 5k steps just to make sure I got my minimum of 10k in to maintain my 10k every day for 2018.  I don't exactly know how the day went south and what happened that I just never got up and moved around but I do know that at the end of the night I was checking to see when my wife would be coming home and I realized I was running out of time so I started pacing and dancing and moving all around the house just to get those last steps in and hit 10k.  In that regard I was successful, but I did not hit my StepBet goal and I wasted my lazy day which meant that over the weekend I would have to make sure I moved more because there was no free day there.  Even though I was not working I had to hit my 15.5k goal both days or I was out and essentially wasted my $40 entry fee and I'll be damned if I'm going to lose that money.


I am still on pace to hit over 500,000 steps in January which is more than I assumed that I would get and it puts me on pace to break 5,000,000 steps for the year which would be a pretty cool number to hit honestly.  But, that is more long term so we will see where this takes me.

As it stands I have two more weeks worth of my first StepBet to go and I will see what kind of profit that actually comes back to me.

One of my goals was to use the profit and after a few games invest in the membership so that I could eventually fund a second and maybe a third congruent game.  However, I'm not exactly sure how feasible that really is especially if I want to make sure that everything I do after this first game is fully funded by my participation and winnings.


As I type this it is now official that I am down to the final two weeks of the competition.
I find it odd when I type up part of a blog entry and then come back it it a couple of days later and speak as if time had passed when the reality to you, the reader, is that this is just the next paragraph but to me I know that 3 days have passed and now my reality has changed and sometimes this will change the voice of the post right in the middle of it.
whatever.
I hit my goals and I have two weeks left.

By all my calculations the game has also had enough people fail that we have passed the break even point (to be fair, StepBet does state that even if no one drops out everyone is guaranteed their money back) and now I start earning a couple of pennies every time someone else fails.   This is the exciting part honestly, even if I only end up with approximately $5 by the time this is over.
I will have set my goals higher than I have before and I will have conquered them.
And in two weeks my goals will be even higher.

I do realize there will come a point where the goals become unobtainable and I'll have to take a week or two off and do a lot more resting so that those goals can become lowered so I can start up again.


And - another day later and just a minute before I hit submit, all of the children in the house are sick.
This could, potentially, make for a an interesting end of week 5 or week 6.
If I come down with this I'll still have to manage to drag my sick ass around enough to get my steps.
Hopefully it avoids me but only time will tell.