Monday, August 25, 2014

Well, She's Good, She's Lucky, and She's Sicilian - What Did You THINK Was Gonna Happen

Just a quick word to say that our own Very Josephine entered a WSOP satellite tourney, a $250 buy-in Ladies tournament, and finished third, for a payday of over 2500 squeeds. Then she sucked another grand or so out of the house at 21. Congratulations Jo!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Good News From Every Front

Nobody wants to hear someone else's good news. I get it. It's not compelling. If it were, the evening news would be overstuffed with rainbows and unicorn farts. But the thing is,  I got good news coming out of every pore of my body and I have to share it with someone. And I thought, I spent four solid years crying to you all when the good news was in short supply, and all you did was express quiet sympathy and tell me what I couldn't possibly see at the time - that things would get better.

And they did. And with all the blackness that I exposed to you, you deserve a little bit of the light.

So, medical stuff first. As of Friday I'm down to 223.8 pounds, precisely 10 pounds from my last weigh-in in April. As near as I can figure I weighed around 305 at my heaviest (I figure around 280-285 at the time of the stroke but I can't be sure) so that would put my total weight loss at just over 80 pounds.

This has finally started paying some real dividends. My A1c, a long-term marker of blood sugar, was at 9.0 in January. It was down to 6.6 in April, which is great for a diabetic. Friday it was 5.9, which is almost normal for a non-diabetic person and not even in the range of what diabetics usually have.

As a result my daily insulin requirement has been reduced from 25 units of Lantus (the long-acting once-a-day type) down to 20. Woo-hoo! That's a 20% reduction!

Diabetes is funny. What ends up killing you if you're diabetic is the long-term impact of high blood sugar on your body. It frays and destroys capillaries, which causes circulation problems, which in turn is what makes your feet fall off. It can cut off alternate routes to get oxygenated blood to the heart, or the brain, and make it orders of magnitude more likely that you have a heart attack or a stroke. It causes nerve pain, or perhaps numbness. It can destroy your vision - literally render you blind. It's not a good thing to have.

Which is why I'm so stoked that my A1c is so low. It's like a rolling 90-day average of your blood sugar, and 5.9 means that my diabetes is not causing any damage to my body. And that is a big part of the plan to have a healthy old age.

So that's the diabetes end.  On the blood pressure side of it, my doc took my blood pressure and it was about 90/70, which is at the very bottom of the normal scale. I had been getting light-headed upon standing recently (orthostatic hypotension, for the medical professionals among you) in fact. So the doctor discontinued one of my meds entirely and now I'm "only" taking two different pills for my bp.  I'll call that progress too.

So - less insulin, fewer meds, more weight loss. A VERY good day medically. But no! Wait! There's more!

Because while I was at the doctor's office, I received a phone call that notified me that after four years, six months, one day, one hour and about 20 minutes, my standing as unemployed American is officially over. I got a job - the one I wanted - and couldn't be happier.

These people are basically going to train me to become what they need me to be. I'll start off working the help-desk but will eventually become either of a network architect or network engineer, depending on what I'm good at and what they need more.

They interviewed me basically as a favor to a mutual friend, and apparently I did so well in the interview that they thought it would be better long-term for the company to have me on the payroll, even though my current skill set wasn't a fit for them.

They think they're getting a good man for below market value, and I suppose that's true, but I think what they're doing is taking a chance on a guy who could use a break, and I won't forget that. They're also going to pay me to learn a whole new set of skills - and the accompanying certifications - and I would be a fool to not take advantage of that.

So I will work like a man possessed for them, and show them that they made the right decision, and learn all I can on their nickel, and in a year we'll have another conversation about money, and it will either be made right or it won't - but let's not borrow trouble.

It's an unusual feeling. Everything is breaking my way. Everything! I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never does. Things just keep getting better and better. It's a good feeling to have.

And with that I will close this already-overlong post. Because, as my pal Rob would tell you, there is value in brevity.

Thanks for listening. Go see a doctor if you haven't recently.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Very Josie Guestie Postie

Words fall from Josie's mouth, 'tis said, like flower petals alighting gently on the surface of a pond. As much as I know better, it is still my pleasure to bring those words to you. I will pass along every message, no matter how off-topic, off-color, or off-its-rocker. Please to enjoy. 
--- 

Hello All,

I’m in the midst of one of life’s frustrations and since nothing else seems to motivate me, I thought why not the interwebz?

But let me back up and get you up to speed.  Let’s go back to last summer.  I was doing my thang, exercising, eating right and though I’ll never be skinny, I was feeling good and looking hot (what else is new?).  Winter came and so did the pounds.  They started creeping back up, and me?  I avoided the scale.  Until March, that is.  Lo and behold, I’d gained 20 lbs.  Yes TWENTY pounds.  I had to do SOMETHING, but what?

I was looking for something to motivate me, and I thought I’d found the answer.  If you know me at all, you know I am incredibly competitive and I never made a bet  that I didn’t use all my resources to win.  Soooooo…..  I placed a bet at www.healthywage.com They’re motto is “Get paid to lose weight!”

I had to give them entirely too much information about me, like my habits, how I was planning to lose the weight, if I was using a tracking device like a fitbit, or weight watchers, my height, weight, age, etc etc etc.  You give them all this information, then you tell them how many pounds you are betting you will lose.  In my case I am betting that I will lose 25 lbs.  Based on all that, they offered me a couple of bets.  They’re obviously betting I WON’T lose the weight.  The bet I chose is that I would lose $25 lbs by September 9th.  I am betting $300 that I will do this.  If I actually do it, they will pay me $1,000.  That’s a net of $700 for all you math geniuses out there.  The time frame was 6 months, March to September, which is entirely too long.

So thinking I had plenty of time, I started, then stopped then started again.  Thus far I have lost a whopping 2 lbs and now I’m starting to panic.  I’ve never in my life felt less motivated to lose weight.  WTF?  I have no idea why but the bottom line is, I pay them $50 a month for 6 months and in September they either will or will not send me a check for $1,000.  It’s all up to me.  And you. 

I need your help.  I need accountability, cuz shit, September 9 is TWO FREAKING MONTHS AWAY. 

FAWK. 

It’s like I’ve just awakened from a daze.  But the thing is, I can soooooo do this.  I mean it’s a thousand fucking dollars!

So I’m going to post my weight loss here every week and hopefully that number will hit 25 lbs by September 9th.  Ugh.

And not for nothing but my hirsute buddy Gary here has lost like 500 lbs which is very inspiring so why cannot I get out of my funk and do this?  One excuse, erm reason,  is the extreme pain from my knees when I do anything that involves bending them.  (insert dirty joke) I have zero cartilage in both knees but I can still do yoga, walk, do the stationary bike, free weights, etc, so it’s no excuse really.  Plus Gary lost all this weight without exercising. At. All.  Fucking men!  He’s on the “I have diabetes” diet and I’m starting to think I may have to follow suit and just pretend I have diabetes.  (Not really – there will be no insulin shootings to be sure)

So there you have it.  Help Very Josie win her weight loss bet –or- Watch as Very Josie loses her bet and goes postal at healthwage.com.  Either way it should be entertaining.  Any tips, thoughts, insight and inspiration would be gladly accepted.

July 10, 2014:  2 lbs lost, 23 to go.

Diet smart.

Josie

Something's Coming...

...something you're not going to want to miss. I don't want to give too much away, but the phrase "Sweetheart of the Internets" may safely be invoked here.

Go see a doctor if you haven't lately.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Calling All Cat People

For those of you who don't know, I have a web site called Conversations with Rusty. Rusty is an orange Persian who isn't precisely affectionate, but is kind of like a sometimes-indifferent buddy. I always thought there might be more going on behind those orange eyes of his. One day after trying to con me into feeding him twice in a day, I started writing these down. I enjoy doing them a great deal. I find it easy to write in a conversational style - where the topic can bounce from one subject to the next in seconds, with asides and digressions, a return to a previous topic or two, a definite flow.

This is a super-secret sneak preview of a conversation that is set to run July 1st, I think. If you like it, there's more where that came from. Click the above link and tell all your crazy cat-people friends!


ME: What was all that destruction a few minutes ago? What the hell were you two up to?
RUSTY: That was all Other Cat's fault.
ME: Her name is Maya.
RUSTY: Whatever.
ME: What did she do?
RUSTY: She gave me that look that says, roughly, "chase me through the house until we break a lamp," and off we went.
ME: And one time you can't just go back to sleep?
RUSTY: The blood of my Cheetah ancestors runs hot within me.
ME: You're not related to the cheetah, you idiot.
RUSTY: Look it up. They're in Persia.
ME: That means they're your neighbors, not your freakin' grandparents.
RUSTY: Yeah, well, whoever my ancestors were, YOUR ancestors were scared to death of them.
ME: And oh, how the mighty have fallen.
RUSTY: Superior eye-paw coordination.
ME: Walk on two legs.
RUSTY: See six times better than you at night.
ME: Problem-solving skills.
RUSTY: Over 100 million olfactory nerves.
ME: Opposable thumbs. Game, set, match.
RUSTY: (Pauses) Yeah, that's a good one.
ME: Thumbs rule, man.
RUSTY: I could accomplish great things with thumbs.
ME: What's the first thing you do with them?
RUSTY: You mean, after I choke the shit out of you?
ME: Yes, Rusty, after that.
RUSTY: I'd learn to use the doorknob.
ME: And here I was hoping you'd learn to flush the toilet.
RUSTY: Then I'd get in that drawer you keep the catnip in, and I would never leave.
ME: You degenerate.
RUSTY: Ohh man. Do you have any idea what it's like, to breathe in the vapors of a plant and get high?
ME: Let's go with no.
RUSTY: That's too bad, because it's freakin' awesome.
ME: I can only imagine.
RUSTY: After that, I guess, the sky's the limit. Learn to drive, speaking engagements, develop a following, get elected, and run things my way.
ME: Then annex Austria, I'm guessing?
RUSTY: Hitler jokes are NEVER funny.
ME: Sorry, man, but you were heading off the rails a little bit there. Besides, you'd never be elected, what with your catnip problem and everything...
RUSTY: My reputation would be ruined.
ME: Shamed before the world.
RUSTY: CURSE YOU, THUMBS!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

SHOCKING NEW DEVELOPMENT!

Our own Memphis Mojo is currently one of three remaining players at WSOP Tournament #17, $1000 buy-in Senior's tournament. Heady stuff indeed. Dave, buddy, we're all rooting for you. I'll be railing you 'till the end, or until the Diet Mountain Dew runs out. You can sweat him at http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/updates.asp?grid=1052&tid=13617

Perhaps with your winnings you'd care to invest in my up-and-coming website, www.conversationswithrusty.com. At present our only business is making gratuitous plugs such as this, but we're expanding like the dickens.

Go see a doctor if you haven't recently.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Conversations With Rusty

So I set up a new site, www.conversationswithrusty.com. It will have a new conversation every Tuesday and Friday.  I also have a page on the Eff Bee, www.facebook.com/conversationswithrusty, which is written in Rusty's voice. If you enjoy these little exercises in stupidity, please feel free to like, share, comment, whatever it is you kids do these days.

As a thank you in advance, here's a super long-term sneak preview of a conversation. It's not due to be released until the 17th of June. Please to enjoy.

RUSTY: Hey.
ME: Mmmmm.
RUSTY: Wake up.
ME: Mmmm. Sleepin.
RUSTY: I know you're sleeping. Wake up.
ME: Gettoffame Rusty...
RUSTY (pawing STUPID HUMAN's face): Rise and shii-iine...
ME (fully awake): Jesus Christ Rusty! What? What is it?
RUSTY: I'm bored.
ME: I will rip off your lower jaw and wear it like a necklace.
RUSTY: I will slice your chest in a Y shape and make people think you've already had an autopsy.
ME: I will staple a piece of tuna to your forehead and watch you try to get it for hours.
RUSTY: I will lick the same spot on your body until I reach bone.
ME: I will send you back to the shelter.
RUSTY: Wow. Not cool, man.
ME: You were ok with me ripping off your lower jaw but sending you to the shelter is over the line?
RUSTY: Take it back.
ME: Don't be ridic...
RUSTY: TAKE IT BACK.
ME: OK, OK, I take it back.
RUSTY: Good.
ME: I'm going back to bed now.
RUSTY: You lazy bastard.
ME: You sleep 20 hours a day!
RUSTY: I'm a growing cat.
ME: Your stomach is growing towards the floor, that's true enough...
RUSTY: You calling me fat?
ME: No, I'm just...yes. I'm calling you fat.
RUSTY: That's like calling the black kettle fat.
ME: Gonna want to work on that one.
RUSTY: Why, did I get it wrong?
ME: I'm going back to bed now. If you're still bored, you can take a nap with me.
RUSTY: A nap, eh? Not the worst idea you've ever had. Certainly better than The Kerchief Incident.
ME: I thought you looked good.
RUSTY: I looked like a cowboy with fur.
ME: Wouldn't that be "cowcat?"
RUSTY (lying down): Keep it down, will you? I'm trying to sleep here.
ME: Moo...moooooooo...I'm a cowkitty...mooooo....
RUSTY (drowsily): Very funny...
ME: I'm totally bringing back the kerchief.
RUSTY: zzzzzz.....
ME: Night, cowkitty.