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Monday, April 16, 2018

April 17th 2018 - A Taxing Day

Here I sit, the calm before the storm. 
At the moment the wife is at work, the 12 year old is at school and the toddler is with grand parents because I needed to have some personal time and space to get some stuff in order before tomorrow.

I started doing dishes and the toddler wanted to help.  Cleaning up the floor afterwards was annoying and of course the is the always constant demand for "more bubbles daddy" which means using more detergent than I'd like.
However, I marched forward and the first load is in the dishwasher currently drying and I will finish the rest of them later on.

Took clothes out of the dryer and also put a new load in.  Spent some time folding and re-folding and re-folding and a constant "Stop touching that, leave it alone.  NO it is already folded, you don't need to fold it.... Please stop touching the clothes...."
I'm not sure how I actually finished folding them but I completed that one load with no casualties.

I also assembled a baby car seat because for some reason the one we had 3 years ago doesn't appear to exist any longer.  Now I just have to put it in the car so that we will be ready to leave the hospital in a couple of days.

Everything leads to tomorrow and the birth of my 2nd (3rd if we are speaking non genetically).

Tomorrow of course is Tax Day which normally falls on the 15th unless the 15th is during a weekend.  So, my sweet baby Sofia will be born on Tax Day and that is pretty cool thinking about it because in a former life I went to school to do taxes and actually graduated with a B.S. in Accounting.  All these years later I have a baby born on Tax Day just to remind me what I did not do with my life.

Other notable things about the 17th of April.

Bat Appreciation Day
Blah, Blah, Blah Day.
Ellis Island Family History Day
International Ford Mustang Day.
International Haiku Poetry Day.
Malbec World Day.
National Cheeseball Day.
National Kickball Day.
Nothing Like a Dame Day.
World Hemophilia Day.


So people.
In order to make this day more special to me I'd love if any of my readers would take a moment and write a little something about one of the above "days."

I know I have some words to eventually type about some of the above but it would be cool to relive this every year and see what my friends have to say.

Thank You all in Advance and come tomorrow I'll have new pictures of my new love to share!

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Its-a-coming

I know how I was all gun-ho earlier and wanting to type more but as it gets closer and closer to having the new baby my time has disappeared and when I do have a few free moments I don't want to spend it in front of a keyboard.

My time has been so dedicated to everything else that I still have to file my taxes and that shit is coming up real quick (As a matter of fact, it is on her 0th birthday).

So, you get my apologies and I will end up doing better but I've really had to put my focus elsewhere.

The end of this pregnancy has been really rough on the wife unlike the last two and she is hoping she just randomly pops but that bitch has a strong uterus and that baby could probably live in there until she is 3 or 4 years old.


Also - we have some really amazing friends who have given us some great things for the baby and we are really appreciative.

In fact, I'm going to (at least) get some thank you cards going (which I know I suck at but I want to get better so that my children can be better at it).


So,
I'm going to go let a 3 year old out of time-out now and ignore the 12 year old who won't listen to me for a bit until I go to work.


Peace, Love and I can't wait for Wrestlemania tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Bob

Bob,


I don't know how to put into words the true emotions that are running through me.  You were an amazing open, honest and accepting person.   I look back over the years I have known you and other than dreading spending the night because of the chores you would run us through I cannot think of anything I didn't like.


From the first moment I met you when I was young and in my screw what others think phase, you accepted me.

I still remember our first meeting.  Eric brought me over to the house and their was a party going on with all kinds of family kicking back, having some brews and just having a great, loud (like you can only do it when you live out in the country and your neighbors are far enough away) time.   Then I get introduced.

There I stand, idiot high-school kid wearing Combat boots with a skirt and fishnets.  My hair looking a mess and a nose ring.   You did a double take a made a joke about dragging me around like you drag a bull around, through the nose ring.

There was no typical speech, no condensation, no "Eric, what the fuck is wrong with your friend?"

No, you accepted me from the first moment as did everyone else at the party.

Over the years you all became a second family to me and I spent enough time at your house that I probably could have paid rent or at least pony'd up some money for food.

The years went on and I moved to Vegas.

Every time you vacationed out here and I had time in my schedule to see you guys you made sure to make time for me.
When I brought my future wife along you made her feel welcome and accepted as only you can - through jokes and making fun of her husband.

There are very few people outside of my own family who have affected me over the years but you and your family are first on that list.

I will always regret not finding a way to make the time to see you during your last two visits and missing you when I was last in PA and drove up to your empty house as you and Betty were out at an appointment.

Thank you for allowing me into your family.
Thank you for allowing my family into your heart.
Thank you for coming to my wedding.

For all the good times.
For all the laughs.
For all the times you and the other drunk old people whooped our asses at volleyball.

You were such a fun loving soul and you will sorely be missed.



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sometimes the Customer is an Asshat



Dear Customer


I may not have caught you doing it and I may not know who you are but I will review the security camera footage until I find you.

I will study your face and memorize you.

I will then find you on social media and expose you.

I will track you down and get my revenge and it will be sweet.

You will be cyber bullied.

You will be crucified.

I wish a plague upon your house.

I wish the death of a thousand scorching suns.

I wish a tape worm that gets over aggressive and eats a hole though your intestines, maybe even your colon.

I wish the AIDS virus upon you and preemptively I wish leprosy upon you and your junk and that it falls off next time you take matters into your own hands, if you know what I'm saying.

You, sir, are the lowest form of filth that this world knows and I hope your life sucks for the duration of it, I believe that they call that karma and I'm not talking about the name of the last stripper that took you into the back room and gave you pleasure.

In closing: Go Fuck Yourself


Sincerely

the grrouch






Yes, that is what it looks like and yes I had to clean it.

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.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Road to Self Improvement

Here I sit and January is winding down and my main goal coming into this year was self improvement.  In fact I just got done with a 4k step walk to make sure I hit my minimum goal so that I didn't fail for the week.  I am dedicated and I am going to make this work.

I want to get all of my finances in order, I want to improve my health, I want to become a better person in general.   How do I plan on doing that?  Well habit and routine.

It is easy to do something when it is a habit, when it is part of a routine.  Did I get fat because one day I decided to pig out and have cake, ice cream, pizza and a ton of Taco Bell?  No, I got fat because I decided that if I did that one day I could do it as often as I wanted month after month, year after year and decade after decade.  I got (and maintained) fat because I have a lifetime of bad eating decisions in my rear-view mirror and these decisions are very routine for me.

Oh, I forgot to pack my lunch and bring a healthy sandwich to work?  No problem there are a million places that I can eat within minutes of work and they are all (well, all the ones I go to) unhealthy and should be avoided.   These are the routine decisions I make every day and my mentality, my habits have been holding me back.

So, 2018 I wanted to start developing healthier habits in a slow and gradual road to self improvement where a lot of my decisions will center around getting healthier.  This is where my 10k Every Day challenge started.

10,000 steps is a recommended amount of steps for reasons I don't care to know.  What I do know is that on the days where I am working I do not have any issues hitting 10,000 steps.  The only days that I have issues are the days where I am not working and I am just sitting around the house being lazy, playing video games and watching TV with the family.   10k Every Day is me getting into the habit of going for walks and getting more exercise on my days off.   I once had a friend tell me that something becomes a habit after doing it without fail for 28 days.   Being that I have 2 days off per week then this officially will not become a habit for me until I have been making sure to get my steps in for 14 weeks.  Until then I am just trying to get into the routine and turn it into a habit.  I will get there, baby steps.

With the knowledge that this was my goal I took it one step further and joined StepBet which is me gambling on whether or not I would hit my goals and, in fact, increases my goals and makes it more of a challenge.  I can dig that.  I put up $40 of my own money for a 6 week journey and the program tells me that 2 days I week I have to hit 18.5k steps, 4 days I have to hit 15.5k steps and I get one "free" day where I can relax and kick my feet up (however, I still have to make sure I am hitting at least 10k for my own personal goals).  StepBet has definitely increased my activity and my motivation.  I plan on jumping from one game to the next for the entire year with the exception of the 3 weeks I am on "vacation' when we have our Baby Girl in April.  New year, new goals, new attitude, new determination, new me.  Bet on it.

There are other areas of my life that I would like to focus on as well and it all kind of fell into place when I started listening to a Podcast called Go Hunt Life which I really don't know how I stumbled across.  However, when I did stumble across it the latest episode, episode #85, had a guy on the show named Sebastian Marshall who talked about routine and habit and I figured that this would be great to listen to because it is talking about things I am trying to do.  During his conversation he talked about his Lights Spreadsheet where he has a list of daily goals and simplifies it all down to:
Green: Yes I did the goal today.
Red: No I did not do the goal today.

Simple, easy to read, understand and track and most importantly easy to look back over and see patterns.

The gist of this spreadsheet as I currently see it (and I just listened to this podcast and downloaded the sheet today) is that you start by giving yourself a few daily things you want to work on and achieve.

For instance, a couple of the things that I have put on my list are:
1 - Wake up by 6 am every morning.
2 - Drink 64 ounces of water every single day.
3 - Weight myself.
4 - No Fast Food.

These are all little, simple things that I can check off with a yes/no (pass/fail) every single day to help get me into healthier routines.

The introduction tells you that you should start with 10-15 goals at the most and by the end of the week you should look to have a success rate of 70-80%.  If you are constantly getting over 90% success then you should add some goals or make some of your goals harder (the goal is self improvement after all).  If your success rate is low then you should make some of them easier or remove so.  One of the easiest ways to improve at anything is to have success.  Success is a huge motivating factor.

So, my spreadsheet will have a start date of Monday January 29th 2018 and I chose that for the simple reason that my StepBet weeks start on a Monday.   Yes, one of my goals is going to be to get my steps in so I can check that off.

Another recommendation is that you look over your spreadsheet at the end of the week and see where your strong points and where your weak points are.   What are you struggling on and how can you work to improve that.   For instance, if I see a lot of red around drinking 64 ounces of water every single day then I need to come up with a solution to make sure that I am getting that precious liquid into my body more often so that I can hit my goal.  Maybe I'll force myself to start every morning by downing an 8 ounce glass before I do anything else.  Maybe I have to make sure I drink 8 ounces every time I take a break at work. 

It is an interesting idea and obviously just listening to Sebastian talk about it on this podcast got me excited enough about the idea that I downloaded the spreadsheet when I got home.  Now, come Monday, I'm excited to jump into it fully and work on some of the things that I want to improve about my life.

You don't know this (unless you read what I am about to type) but I wrote all of the above a few days ago when I was just in a mood to type and now I am coming back to it at 11:30 pm Sunday night and tomorrow is the 29th.
While I was getting my last steps in to make sure that I hit my weekly goal I realized that my spreadsheet was going to start tomorrow and that I had not published this post but saved it as a draft instead.  So, I passed along that mental note to myself that this needed to be completed so that I could start tomorrow fresh.

My spreadsheet is complete as well and I feel it is a good first draft.  I have 14 items on there and looking over the list I know that some of these are going to be easy to nail every single day and some of these I honestly feel like I will have struggled with by the end of the week.  In that context I do believe that it is a successful attempt because the goal is not to be perfect, the goal is to work harder and improve.

I do have a couple of loft goals in there as well that have room for me to interpret (at least for the first week or two) but will become more difficult as time goes on.
I look forward to getting through this first week and then reporting back on how it went.

It's funny, one of my goals for the new year was to write more mainly in the form of this blog.  I wanted to do one entry a week but slowly I am giving myself reasons to write more often and that is something I quite enjoy even if y'all don't find every topic that entertaining.

Hope you all had a great weekend and I hope this next week is all shits and giggles!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

My Toddler lost his eye sight this morning

Parenting can be cruel and unusual.  However you keep trucking for love and, if i'm being honest, because hopefully one day those children will blossom into amazing adults who will take care of you when you are old and decrepit pinching nurses asses in the old folks homes.

Am I even allowed to type that last line in this day and age?  Is someone going to go public and tell people that i'm a filthy sexual abuser and hashtag #metoo and ruin the rest of my life?  I walk a fine line just owning a penis anymore and i'm afraid to be myself and tell my jokes.

However, I didn't come here to talk about that.  Today I had a story to tell about my poor little toddler and the atrocities he had to suffer, to endure (and I'd really appreciate if y'all didn't look ahead at the horrific picture that I had to post involving my toddler until the end.  Just read.  This isn't a book.  This post isn't going to be 30 pages long.  It is short and to the point.  Take your time and get there naturally for crying out loud.


Today was like any other day where I had to wake up and get the pre-teen ready and take him to school.  Luckily this was one of the days where my wife worked late so it isn't necessary to wake the toddler up and convince him that he wants to come with me.  Yes, I said convince as he is very bull headed (it runs in the family if you can believe that). 

So I open the door to the pre-teen's room and let him know he has to wake up and get ready and when I shut the door the toddler has his eyes partially open and asks me if I am taking brother to school.
I explain to him that I am and he informs me that he is staying home while I do it.

I'm not making this shit up, these are conversations I have with my toddler daily.  He TELLS ME that he is staying home while I take his brother to school.  So, I inform him that he can stay home and watch some TV since mommy is at home as well and a few minutes later i'm waltzing out the door taking his brother to school.

When I get home my toddler is more than awake and informs me that he wants some cereal but alas we only had a kind that he doesn't particularly like.  I ask him if he wants some toast with Peanut Butter and he thinks this is a splendid idea.

Into the Toaster Oven the two pieces of bread go and a few minutes later there is a ding ding ding-a-ling informing us that the bread has magically transformed into toast.

The ding sends the toddler into euphoria and he exclaims "Yay, my toast with jammy (pronounced Jam-y) is ready.  As I'm pulling it out and putting it on the plate I ask him if he wants jammy or if he wants peanut butter and being the son-of-a-grrouch that he is he chooses wisely, peanut butter.

So I spread the peanut butter over half of each slice of bread and then fold them in half.  I put them on a plate and bring them to the toddler who gets excited and immediately starts chowing down.

At this point he lays down on the extra large pillow/sac that we have in the living room and is eating while watching a little bit of Car Patrol (which you can find on Amazon streaming services).

At this point I start messing around with my phone to check all of my social media things like the Book-of-Face, the Twitters and my random 32 email addresses.

A few minutes later I hear a scream from the living room.

HELP ME, Daddy help me.
I can't see.
Daddy, I can't see.

I look up but cannot see him over the couch and he continues to hell that he can't see and that he needs help.

Panicked I run into the living room ready to help out my poor toddler in distress and he starts laughing.

The following picture is what I find.


I'm not making this up.
I'm not shitting y'all.
I didn't stage this.

This is my toddler.
This is his sense of humor.
He thinks he is funny.
He put a piece of toast on his face, covering an eye and then pretended that he couldn't see as a rib because he thought it would be funny.

I am a lucky man that this is the child I have to deal with every day of my life.
I am blessed.

And folks, that is what I came here to tell you today but after I picked him up from my in-laws house he added to the stories.

He pointed to a spot on my window that is most likely bird shit and told me my car was dirty.
I told him that I would have to clean it soon.
He asks me "With water?"
I say yes, with water.
He then tells me to was it with water from the gas-station, you know, because all 3-year-olds know about car washes.

I went to high school with people that couldn't piss without getting it on their shoes and now I have a toddler that pulls practical jokes and tells me to take my car to the gas station to get it clean.

I'm probably going to be in trouble when he becomes a teenager.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Backlog Busters, StepBet, Children


Another week down and another week where I hit my 10k goal every day.  As you can see I did truly rest on Sunday with under 11k steps.

Mainly I had the day off and spent it with my toddler who officially just turned 3 yesterday.

It's crazy to think that it has already been 3 years as the time has just flown by.
It's also crazy to think that he is going to be a big brother in under 3 months.

A decade ago I would have bet anything that I would never get married and never have kids.  It was a goal of mine to avoid all of that and now, here I sit, with 2 kids and a 3rd on the way and an amazing wife.

I would not change anything about my life and while occasionally I do miss my former freedom to go out and play poker and do whatever I want, I love the stability of having a family and people I can look forward to going home to every single day instead of hitting up those Asian Massage Parlors in Chinatown :)


The other day I came home and my toddler decided to explain the plot of the TV show he was watching to me.  I listened in amazement as he was telling me about a garbage truck and another vehicle sleep walking and something about Halloween.
Then I watched the show with him a little bit and I'll be damned if it didn't have a sleepwalking garbage truck that ran into another car and flipped him upside down and then the next episode had Halloween references.

Yep, he has watched these shows a few times and knows them by heart and felt the need to tell me all about what was going to happen.

The mind of a child amazes me every single day.
I am constantly in awe.

In 2 days we record the official episode 1 of our podcast which has a video game premise.  We did an Episode 0 at the end of December and it finally went live on iTunes and Google Play sometime in January.
It is rough and a work in progress but we are having fun with it and I'm really looking forward to Friday.

For anyone who wants to listen feel free to look up Backlog Busters and you'll find us there.
and here is our Artwork that was done by Adam Leonhardt.  Feel free to look him up on Twitter @theartofadaml






Thursday, January 18, 2018

Stepping it up - 2 Weeks in

Yeah, I know that I'm just approaching 3 weeks worth of making sure I get my steps in but honestly I am feeling good about it.

Strike that - it bloody well sucks.

Last year I had a goal of 10k every day and I did really well until my Plantar Fasciitis started acting up horribly.  Then sometime in September or October I absolutely destroyed my Fitbit.   So, The year was wasted but near the end of it I started to feel better.

Once the pain was gone I decided that I needed a new Fitbit and that I was going to resume my 10k everyday to make sure that I get more exercise in and start working on being a healthier me again.

So, New Years Even I bought a new (to me) Fitbit from a pawnshop for a great price and on January 1st I started working on my goals.

Then I decided to get stupid and signed up for StepBet and they gave me my goals where only one day a week am I allowed to get under 15k.   Oh well, I have money riding on it so what the hell right?

Here I am, January 18th and my feet are killing me.  I'm regularly having to take extra walks to get my steps in and I am feeling it.  I know that as I get into the routine and start losing weight that it will all get easier and I know that in the long run this is all good for me. I get it, that fact is not lost on me.
But damn, it sure does suck getting there.

So Week 1 was a "warm up" week where you can fail and it won't count against you.  So, while I didn't hit my goals it wasn't 100% my fault because I signed up on the last day of Week 1 without knowing what my goals would actually be and during this time period I was just focused on getting that 10k goal.

So, my week 1 results.

If I were signed up earlier and knew my goals this week would have been pretty easy to salvage.  The 14,681 day would have been easy to add on a 1k step walk at the end of the night to hit my goal.  Then on the 18,208 day I could have easily added an additional 500 steps or so to hit my stretch goal thus giving me 2 days with the stretch goal and only one day where I was under my minimum (the 1st).   Easy Peasy.

Week 2 looks like this
Friday was the day where I failed (but you are allowed one "rest" day per week) and Thursday and Saturday I hit my 2 mandatory stretch goals.

However - the day that started the suck off was Tuesday.   You see, I was off of work Monday and Tuesday and on my days off I need to make sure that I am taking a couple of good walks through the day to hit my goals.  Tuesday I did not get many steps in and so after we all got home from doing whatever the hell we did that day I only had like 3k steps in and needed to get another 12.5 in.   Thus I went for what I deemed would be a long walk.
2 hours and 4 minutes later I had hit my daily goal and was tired as hell.
It wasn't until the next day that I learned what kind of punishment this fat man put his feet through - they were sore as hell and getting through my work day sucked.

It took a couple of days for the soreness to go away but eventually I started feeling mostly normal again.   However, having to push myself every single day is a pain in the ass but i know in the long run it will be worth it and dammit I am just not willing to lose the $40 that I paid to sign up for this StepBet.

This particular game started with 1892 players and with less than 2 real weeks down we are down to 1724 people left in it.  So we've lost over 150 players already and I'm hoping as the weeks go on that number continues to climb a good deal more so that when all is said and done I at least show a minor profit from this 1st 6 week challenge.

I already know that I will sign up for a second one after this and that will push me to Mid April or so and at that point I'll probably have to take 3 weeks off from the competition and just try to focus on getting 10k every day so that I can try to get my full year in.

The reason I'll have to take the time off is because when our baby girl is born I'll be taking 3 weeks off of work to help my wife out with the baby at home and I just don't have the confidence that I'll be able to hit those big goals for 3 weeks straight without being at work and being forced to talk around all day there.

Hopefully in the near future I'll get a day to play some poker so that I can start reporting to y'all on that front especially since this whole bloody thing was started back in 2011 (though it actually went back further when I was poker blogging on All Vegas Poker and then PokerNow before they were both bought out, swallowed up and destroyed) as a poker blog.

Also hoping that one of those gaming sessions is with everyone's good buddy Lightning36 when he hits up Vegas even though I'll be hanging out with him in a non poker fashion at some point.

It's 9:30 and my toddler is almost sleeping which means that shortly I'll be able to sneak off into another room and get a little video game time in.   The joys of being a parent!!

Friday, January 12, 2018

That old bloody computer is dead

Here we are, new year and new random expense because technology decides that it no longer wants to work.  Yep, but the reality of the situation is that I have been wanting to upgrade for a long time as that old dog needed put down.

The other day I was getting ready to guest on a random podcast (which hopefully I'll get to within the next week or  two) and while just randomly browsing the internet (non porn sites) it BSOD (Blue Screen of Death for those who didn't suffer through Windows 95, 97, XP, etc).   It then said that it was going to gather info and reboot.  After the info was gathered it rebooted it went into a cycle where it said it was repairing the disc and would reboot.

I left the room and later went to bed.  I woke up the next morning and it was still doing the same thing, over and over and over.

So, I rebooted it and then it would only come to a screen that would not let me boot, would not let me do anything.  In fact, it told me that the boot partition was unreadable - complete and utter hard drive failure.

So, I bought a new computer and (my wife just asked me if I liked it and then said she just wishes that I would have gotten the one I really wanted instead of settling for this - man I love that woman) it arrived today.

The keyboard is more comfortable.  I hit the track pad thingie a lot less often.  It's kinda cool looking that the keyboard is backlit but at the same time I realize that is because too many people have not learned to type properly and if it is dark they need some sort of help to find the right letters.


So now it is just a matter of downloading and installing the programs that I use regularly.

The first thing I did was went to download Google Chrome instead of Microsoft Edge.  On the search page MS takes up the top quarter of the website giving you reasons why Edge is better than Chrome.

Then I went to google.com to log into my Gmail account and Google has a popup that tells me I should install Chrome as it is a better browsing experience.

Christ, I might have to start using Web Crawler again so I don't have to deal with this kind of peer pressure.

So far this year I have hit my step goal every single day.  I'm over 10k today but I'm still about 1200 steps away from my ultimate daily goal but here I sit typing away at this blog and not going for a walk and telling myself it is ok to slack since I work at the butt crack of Dawn tomorrow morning.

Hope everyone else out there is having a fabulous 2018.  I think I'm going to go take a quick walk so that I can get those 1200 steps in and feel better about life.



Saturday, January 06, 2018

It's Been One Week

Since you looked at me, Cocked your head to the side and said I'm crazy.
One week since I made the change, went to a new store and feeling the lovey-dovey.

What a difference a week makes.

Leaving a situation where you feel like you were being blackballed and going into an environment where everything is more friendly and accepting.  I know it has only been a week but overall this change has been very positive for me and it is nice to be back in the store I am working in.

I've only had my fitbit back and functional for about a week now but already I can feel myself checking my steps and making excuses to take a little walk to get more steps in.

I think I've decided that I'm going to give StepBet a try as extra motivation.

For those of you who haven't heard of it, it is basically an App on your phone that looks at your data from Fitbit or whatever step tracking software you have and creates a weekly goal for you.
From there it breaks it down into daily goals on 4 days, 2 days of stretch goals where you need to push yourself to get more steps in and then a day of rest.

At the beginning of the competition you put up some of your own money and enter a competition with a bunch of like minded people.  Your first week is a feeling out week where you are allowed to make a mistake without consequences.   However, week 2-6 you have to hit your daily goals and your stretch goals or you are booted out.

If you finish the competition by hitting all of your goals then you win and get your money back plus a little.  The extra comes from those poor schmucks who didn't have the desire and determination to win money and instead figured the money didn't matter then failed.

Me?  The Money Matters and I'm curious to see if I put a buy-in on this site and hit it up hard all year long how much my money will grow.

I've already downloaded the App but when I go to get into it I am told that it needs more data from my Fitbit in order to calculate my goals.  So, now I wait until that threshold is met and see what it will spit back out at me.

In other news the Podcast that I am a part of has finally gone live.
It is in the iTunes store and I believe on GooglePlay as well.
Search it out, it is called Backlog Busters (and linked to the rss feed as well).
This is our first attempt at doing anything like this so forgive us as we take some time and fumble around while reaching our comfort zone.

My game for January is Uncharted 3 and I am about 1/3rd of the way done with it.  I truly love the Uncharted series as it feels like you are playing an action movie.  Also, this game makes me miss the National Treasure movies - Nick Cage should make more of those as they were a modern day Indiana Jones.
Trashturkey's game for the month is Hyperlite drifter and from what I understand he has been lazy and slacking in getting video game time in.  Everyone give him 20 lashes with a wet noodle.

The only other real news I have is that my phone died and my replacement arrived. 
There appears to be one setting that is messed up (and unless I can find a way to fix it I am blaming it on a software update).

Normally when I connect my headphones to blue tooth and then get into my car for my drive to work my phone will automatically switch the connection from my headset to the car.

Then when I am ready to leave the car and walk from the parking lot to work I turn my headset back on and the phone switches the connection back to my headset from my car stereo.

The current problem is that when it is switching from my headset to the car stereo it is putting my volume the whole way to zero every single time.
So now I have to turn it back up and during that time it goes from no noise to bloody ear piercing loud and then back to a quiet low volume causing chaos with my ears.
Not only does it cause chaos but it is annoying as hell.   I shouldn't have to adjust my volume every single time that I am changing connections and it has never worked like this before.
Not on the previous phone which broke (which is the same phone...) and not on the phone before that which I was using for 3 years.

I'm hoping this is something that will be fixed with a software update because I am not finding any hidden settings that explain this behavior or allow me to change it.

Hope y'all are having a wonderful 2018 so far and always remember to





Monday, January 01, 2018

Hello 2018 - I'm so glad you have arrived

You know how they say that you should send the year out with a bang?  Well, 2017 was so horrendous that it sent me out with a bang instead.

First up was a computer crash where I couldn't get it to boot up properly and it kept going to a diagnosis screen that told me there was an issue and once it gathered all of the data it would reboot itself and try to boot again.
It stayed on that screen for multiple hours before I gave up on it.

Then my new phone decided to completely freeze up on me and nothing that I could do (nor anyone else) would actually get the screen to come on.  So here I sit waiting on a replacement phone to come in the mail.  Luckily my old phone still works (although with bad battery life) so that I can function properly over the next few days until my new (new) phone arrives (again).

All that said, 2018 is still looked damned good.

So, with that being said what do I want 2018 to look like for me.

The biggest goal is the financial goal because we ARE buying a house.
This means that every single month I have to do a budget and I will be looking back over it every week to see if I am on track or if I can make some changes.

My main form of budgeting will be through the Everydollar app provided by Dave Ramsey and company.  However I do plan on creating a spreadsheet and utilizing that because I'll have more control over what I can do with a spreadsheet than what the app allows me to.


After Financial comes Physical because they start with the same letter.

Last year my goal was to do 10k steps every single day and I was on track until a horrible case of Planter Fasciitis started acting up.  I've been dealing with it off and on for at least a decade but this past year it was so bad that half way through most of my days I could barely walk and it stayed this way for about 9 months.  Every single day was a struggle just to get through a work day with an extreme amount of pain.

Luckily a a bunch of stretching exercises every single day and a brace on my foot at night made it so that I am now back to normal and I am not having those issues. 
So, Now I want to pick up where I left off and get back to making sure I get my daily steps in.
I have a tab started on the main blog page where I will be tracking it, usually updating it once a week.

I also plan on eating better and tracking my calories in order to hopefully start losing weight.
I started today, January 1st 2018 at 278 pounds which is higher than I thought I was at and I need to
make a change.


To exercise my mental muscles I will be continuing to listen to Podcasts and Audiobooks and my goal is to read an actual book (with my eyes) via my Kindle or actual paper one book every two months. 

And finally, that brings us to the Creative side.
I've been neglecting my creative side for quite a while.

So, I want to get back to this, the blog post.
I might not be much but I enjoy having some time to sit down with just my thoughts and some tap tap tapping keys and see what comes of it.
Every time I actually get around to writing a post I remember how much I miss it and the reason I don't do it more often is because I don't make it a priority in my life.  So for 2018 I am making it a priority to, at least, once a week give myself an hour or so to sit in front of the computer screen and churn out something y'all hopefully find interesting.

I will also be recording 1 podcast every month dealing mostly with video games and catching up on games I have missed over the last few years.

I will also spend more time watching comedians perform.  Chat up my good friend Linda Lou (she hasn't written in a year and a half, talk about slacking) and work towards embarrassing myself in a way I have not done yet.


So, with all of that being said I am trying to start out 2018 on the right foot and keep it going.

Yesterday I went to a local pawn shop and bought a new (to me) Fitbit to replace the one that broke several months back.  The journey to 10k everyday starts with the first day and I will get there (i'm nearly half way there already). 
I wrote this up for y'all and I've got a couple of podcasts ready to roll or when I take a walk later today.
I did my January budget yesterday and based on my estimated income I had an extra $50 to throw into savings and I have a couple of items I am debating cutting out in order to increase my saving power.
I'll charge my kindle later so that I can start reading but I'm not sure if I should try to finish the last book I was working on (a book about Krampus) or if I should pick something else out and start fresh.

Yes yes y'all - 2018 is going to be an amazing year and I hope it is for all of you grrouch-a-holics as well.