Monthly Archives: July 2017

Day 16: Transition

When President Trump stupidly tweeted that he wasn't going to allow transgender troops in the military it triggered a memory in me.

A little over a year ago I was playing cash at our local casino. I was doing quite well, up nearly $300. Two young women we're having a long conversation about what a pain it was to take a birth control pill every day. Hardship is a relative thing as I've known men who worked in foundries. I finally spoke up and said I understood where they come from as I have to take a daily hormone replacement. (I take Synthroid for my missing thyroid gland.) The young woman looked at me and said, "Are you transitioning? It's cool if you are". I said, "Yes, I'm going to be Melody." They both said, "Cool" in unison. I've never minded dumb but I have a hard time with stupid

I've been thinking about what I'm going to do when the weight comes off. First thing is to get some nice clothes. I've never been a snappy dresser but it would great to become one in my senior years.

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Posted by on July 31, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 15: No Time

My wife isn't feeling well so we stayed up late and watched Netflix. I got up too late to go to the gym. Walked a bit but will have to finish tonight. Have to leave in a few minutes so I'll just play some guitar. I'm working on a beautiful song by Joseph Spence called Happy Meeting in Glory. It has infinite variations and tickles my ears

I'm going to have to slow down the poker commitments and balance out my life a bit more.

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Posted by on July 30, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 14: Make Plans, God Laughs

I played poker the last couple of nights. Tonight is our league night. This morning a friend asked if I'd sub for them tomorrow in their league. I was a bit flattered and said yes. That will be four days in a row. My friend who reads this blog pointed out my lack of moderation. Especially after I had just posted about it. I'm trying.

I got up early and after my walk I repotted some of my succulents. I have a few hobbies other than poker and I've been neglecting these for a while. It felt good to get my hands in the soil.

The weight is still dropping. About .2 pounds a day. There will be a video and update soon.

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Posted by on July 29, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 13: A Few Thoughts

Had planned to get on the bike today but chores and then high winds derailed me.

Went to a one table poker game and two of my friends mentioned that they had started doing Adkins together on Monday. I've done Adkins before and had short term success. The last time I did it I overdid the meat part and ended up with with gout. Never again. I agree that lowering processed carbohydrates is good but The Adkins Plan is not for me. I'm exercising, controlling calories and eating less simple carbohydrates. I hope my friends do well but I think I have the best plan for myself.

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Posted by on July 28, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 12: Free ain’t Free

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
― Oscar Wilde

Yesterday I went to lunch with a couple buddies from poker.  It was a thirty mile drive but my friend was buying and I’m on a fixed income, so.  We met at Melt Bar and Grilled.  They specialize in overpriced food smothered in cheese.  I had eaten there when they first opened in Lakewood.  Back then I was fat and had no expectations of anything different.

The menu was the opposite of what I should be eating with my plan.  I kept looking for healthy options.  I went online but couldn’t find any nutrition information.  Finally I decided on The Godfather.  Essentially it was lasagna, not surprising, covered with cheese.  I didn’t realize that it was lasagna between two thick covered pieces of bread covered in cheese.  This is what I got.

Image result for melt bar and grilled godfather

Not low calorie or low carb

Luckily I had enough sense to order a half-order.  Still it was overwhelming.  I should have nibbled but I ate the entire half order.  I could feel my body being overcome with carbohydrates and salt, and my arteries hardening.

This morning I awoke to find that I had gained a pound.  I assume it is due to the sodium content that was similar to a salt lick. Today I’ve been drinking a great deal of water and eating as cleanly as possible.

It’s amazing looking back at how I ate.  No wonder I have this problem.  Unable to change the past I pledge to do better now and in the future.  It’s all about better choices.  A free lunch isn’t a free lunch if you have to eat like this.

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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 11: Prep for Calvin’s Training

Another busy day.  Upon waking I got my five mile walk in.  Did some home maintenance.  Drove thirty miles to have lunch with a couple poker buddies.  On the way back stopped at Guitar Center for some strings and assorted musical stuff.

Got home and grabbed my bike and put it on the stand.  Cleaned and waxed the bike.  Adjusted the derailleur and lubed the chain.  Checked brake pads and everything is in good shape.  Went inside and grabbed my electronics.  My Garmin needed charging and so did my Sony Actioncam.  Then I laid out my cycling clothes (bib shorts, jersey, socks, shoes, gloves and helmet.  Make it as easy as possible to get back on the bike.


From 2013: How the mighty have fallen

I’m losing a couple pounds a week which is fine.  I’m hoping that adding the cycling will give it a little push and help my overall fitness too.  I should have three months of good cycling weather before I take it indoors and get on the Cycleops Fluid Trainer 2.  If I’m going to do Calvin’s I need to be a lean machine.  That won’t happen if my time is spent behind a chessboard or a poker table.  I need to go beyond walking.



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Posted by on July 26, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 10: Calvin’s Challenge

One of the things on my bucket list to do is to ride in Calvin's Challenge.  Calvin's Challenge is a twelve hour bike race held every year, the first Saturday in May, in Springfield, Ohio.  The idea is simple.  You ride for twelve hours and whoever  has the most miles wins.  From past events if I want to be near the top I have to ride over 200 miles in that time.

I used to ride the bike a lot.  This year has been horrible.  The gout earlier this year destroyed my ability to do a lot of things.  The effects of the gout are totally gone.  I was surprised that it took almost two months to get back to normal.

Calvin's Challenge is in 283 days, May 5, 2018.  That is enough time to get ready for the race.  I may not be in the kind of shape to win it but if I start training now I will be in better shape and I can finish with a respectable result.


To be honest I have little chance to win.  I would love to get over two hundred miles.  I've ridden centuries before (100 miles) but that was when I was much younger.  With the time available to me for training I think competing at this and riding two hundred miles is within the realm of possibility.

Image result for stoics and possibility quotes





Posted by on July 26, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 9: Astride the Grave

My wife hates winter in Ohio.  So much so that when it is nice in summer she starts bemoaning the winter that is four months away.  We went out tonight to see the new Spiderman movie but stopped short because it was in 3D and the wife hates 3D.  As we left she started talking about winters in Ohio and how we are in our sixties and life is short.  At one point she said, “We are born astride the grave” to make her point.  It’s been forty years since I’ve read Waiting for Godot but Beckett always perks up the ears.  The entire quote is “They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.”  Now that I”m in my sixties the meaning has changed. The wife wants to move to Austin, Texas to escape Ohio winters and be closer to our daughter.  Who can blame her?   I’m open to change.  What I’m doing with my health is change.  If we did make the change it would take a couple years to get it together.  We will see.

Slow steady progress is happening.  I’m losing weight slowly and consistently.  I’ve decided to try to reduce carbohydrates in an effort to speed it up a little more.  If I can cut five hundred calories a day from my diet, or burn more, I will lose another pound a week.

Today was the day of the week that I teach chess.  I’m looking into what activities to cut back on.  Part of the new me is to balance my life.  I have a lot of thinking to do.  That is the nice part about walking.  Lots of time to think.



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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 8: Slow and Steady

“Many different weapons are directed against us. Some of them have already stuck into us, others are hurtling toward us and about to arrive, while some that were intended for others strike us a glancing blow. We should not be surprised about any of the things that we are born to face, “Many different weapons are directed against us. Some of them have already stuck into us, others are hurtling toward us and about to arrive, while some that were intended for others strike us a glancing blow. We should not be surprised about any of the things that we are born to face, things that no one should complain about because they are the same for everyone. I mean it: they are the same, because even the things people escape are things they could have suffered. A law is fair not when everyone has experience of it but when it is applicable to everyone. Tell your mind to be fair, and let us pay the taxes of our mortality without complaining”.

– Seneca, Letters 107.5-6

I got on the scale this morning and found I lost another .2 pound. It seems consistent with what has happened in the past yet I feel impatient. I’ve only been doing the reboot for a week and I shouldn’t have such high expectations. In the past after ten days or so the loss would stall, frustration would kick in and I would cheat. I’m aware of that and will push through it. I plan to give this a minimum of one hundred days. At that time I will fully evaluate what I’m doing and make adjustments.

On the life front my father- in-law’s house sold today. One less distraction and more free time. I’ll be investing more time into the gym and hopefully if the humidity ever dials back, get back on the bike.

Things are going well. I have no real complaints. Another busy day with the realtor finalizing things and tying up lose ends.

1974 I”m on the far left.  In a high school play called The Physicists

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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Uncategorized


Day 7: Options & Balance

I'm beginning to think it is time for a bit more balance in my life.

I played poker three days in a row. The amount of hours spent playing poker is not in line with the many goals that I want to achieve in my life. I haven't been ably to study guitar, chess or any of my other hobbies to my satisfaction.

My health allows me to do all these things so it has to become foremost in my thoughts. The plan is to play less poker, but make games I do play count. Music and writing is what I do for my mental health. The gym comes first.

I find myself making better choices health wise. I needed a break tonight as I was just tired. I found myself craving something. Before this I would have had some high calorie, high carbohydrate food like pizza or ice cream. Instead I had Noosa Yoghurt. It's damn tasty and a small container (4 oz) is only 150 calories

Better choices in how I spend my time along with how I eat will make a difference over time.

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Posted by on July 23, 2017 in Uncategorized