Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: November 2003

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Hooray for Christmas! My parents decorated the house today, and I decorated my room. I love Christmas lights, I always hang some up in my room. And usually leave them up way past Christmas. I have a three foot artficial tree and lights around my window. My parents bought the main Christmas tree today too, but we haven't put it up yet. I love Christmas trees, we always get real ones. I love that smell. When I was a kid I used to like to crawl under the tree and stay there for a while. Presents rock too. I'm 24, but my parents still spend a lot of money on me at Christmas. I usually get video games and stuff. This year I told them I want a Game Boy Advance, and a couple of games for it. But other than that they don't really know what to get me, so they're probably going to just let me order a few things I want online, and then they'll pay for it.

I love Christmas! I love driving around looking at all the decorated houses. Hooray for Christmas!

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Bonsai Boy of New York -- Internet Bonsai Superstore This site rocks. They have a huge selection of bonsai trees and all kinds of bonsai tools and accessories.

Damn, I'm up another pound today, back up to 266. I'm not surprised though, I stuffed myself on Thanksgiving leftovers last night. I think I ate more last night than I did on Thanksgiving. Tomorrow I go back on my diet for real though. I'm off tomorrow, so I'll get to exercise a lot too.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Cool, I'm only up one pound today after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner was pretty good this year. I went for a walk afterwards yesterday, and I thought I was going to freeze before I got back to my car. It was 51 degrees, but felt more like 21. I don't know why it felt so cold.

Me and Chris decided that we are both going to go and get tattoos when he comes home in June. He's been planning on getting one for a while, but I just decided a few days ago that I'm going to get one. I've thought about it before, thought about what tattoo I'd want if I got one, but I never was really serious about it. I wanna get mine sooner, but he said I have to wait for him, so I probably will.

I gotta get ready for work now. I hate Friday night's they are always busy. Tonight might be really busy. I hope not, Wednesday night was busy enough.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy damn Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Ok, here's the picture I was going to upload. I can't upload images to this server, so you'll have to click here if you want to see it. I don't know why it's so blurry.

I'm down another three pounds today. Hooray! That means I now weigh 264, for a total of 15 pounds lost. I wasn't able to go walking this morning though, my leg still hurts.

I bought some stuff yesterday, and used it to further decorate my little "table top Asian area." The top of my dresser is covered with little dragon and Buddha statues and stuff like that. With my Bonsai tree in the center. Yesterday I bought more stuff. Have you ever seen those little boxes, usually at the bookstore, with names like "The Mini Buddha Kit," or "The Mini Voodoo Doll Kit," or "The Mini Zen Garden Kit," things like that? I love those things, I already had the Zen Garden kit, the mini fountain kit, and the sushi kit. The sushi kit came with a tiny book about sushi, a pair of tiny, completely unusable (for me anyway) chopsticks, a little soy sauce dipping bowl, and a bamboo sushi rolling mat. Yesterday I bought a really cool kit, called the "Takeout for Two" kit, all about Chinese takeout food. It came with a little book about Chinese takeout, including some recipies to make Chinese food yourself, and hints on hour to make your Chinese takeout eating experience more authentic. It also came with two more pairs of tiny chopsticks, two ceramic chopstick holders, which are cool, two mini paper lanterns and two of those placemats they always have at Chinese restaurants that have the Chinese Zodiac stuff on them. I also bought the "Executive Desk Gong" kit, which is just a mini gong, and a little book about gongs. So anyway, I used to gong and the paper Landers to further decorate my dresser. I really need to find another place to put my "Yellow Submarine" lava lamp, as it does not fit the rest of the design scheme.

I've been wanting to get a tattoo lately. I'm thinking about it. I'd have to hide it from my parents though. I'm 23, so I wouldn't HAVE to, but I'd want to, because they'd freak out. I want to get some Chinese symbol on my upper arm. Probably the symbol for courage, or honor. The honor symbol looks kind weird though. It looks like a little stick figure samurai to me. It's supposed to look like a basket of cowrie shells, because in ancient China they were used for money, and supposedly someone who paid all his debts and gave money to the poor was honorable.

I'm gonna take a picture, and see if I can't get it up on the page here. A picture of my little Asian shrine. Wait, I can't I forgot, my stupid digital camera saves its files to a disk instead of some USB memory card, and my iMac doesn't have a floppy drive, so getting the pic to this computer would be a long complicated process. First I have to take the picture, then I have to boot up my old laptop PC, which takes about 15 minutes to get fully started up, then I have to use its disk drive, and then get online and email the picture to myself. Then I have to sign back onto the internet with my iMac and download the picture. I'll do all that later. I'm going to have to wait a while for my camera's battery to charge anyway. This is a really cool camera, it cost over $700 when my parents got it for me for Christmas a few years ago. It takes still pictures and even videos up to a minute long, and it's a Sony. So it's really good, the only problem is that it saves to a disk. Which was actually a good thing, because when I got it, the computer I had just had a disk drive, and no USB capabilities. But now the computer I have now has USB but no disk drive.

It's always something.

Anyway, I gotta go to work later. I'm actually in a good mood about it, because I was off yesterday, and then I'm off tomorrow, and it's a pretty short night tonight, and it probably won't be that busy either. It's hard to tell, it will either be really slow because most people have already gone to their relative's houses and stuff, or it will be really busy, because of people still driving to wherever they are going. It will probably be slow though, I think it was last year. I like Thanksgiving, though I'm not going to be able to eat much this year. I'll just eat a few bites of each thing. My mom doesn't cook a huge meal, about the only difference between Thanksgiving dinner and a normal dinner is that there's turkey, giblet gravy (mmm, I love giblet gravy) and dressing. Everything else is the same kind of stuff she always cooks. Thanksgiving is pretty boring for me, there's no family. For the last several years thanksgiving is just me, my parents and my sister. We used to go over to my grandparents on my dad's side's house, where a lot of my dad's side of the family would get together. We never had thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family, I've never even met most of them. And both my grandparent's on that side were dead long ago. But now my grandparents on my dad's side are dead too, and most of the rest of the family doesn't get along together well, so we haven't gotten together in several years now. Probably 7 or 8 years.

Wow, this is the longest post I've made in a long time.

Dammit, on the 13th I ordered some Dragonball Z DVDs. After a couple of days it said they were backordered, even though when I ordered them they were all in stock. Now like two weeks later, they're still backordered, so I sent them an e-mail asking how much longer it would take. A couple of days later, yesterday, I receive a response saying that all four of the DVDs I ordered are discontinued and no longer for sale, even though I've already been charged for them, and waiting for them for two weeks. They say I can either choose four different DVDs of equal price, or ask for a refund. I asked for the refund, but they still haven't done it yet, it will probably take a couple of days, like it did for them to respond to my e-mail the first time. Then today I get my credit card bill and it has that charge on there. So now I'm going to have to wait for the website to refund my money, and then call the credit card company and make sure the charge was taken off. I hope it doesn't take a long time for them to do it.

Just now as I was typing that last sentence, I got an email. One of those "Nigerian" scams. Those famous ones where the people claim they are the wife of the former ruler of Nigeria, or something like that, and they want to deposit a few million dollars in your back account if you will just give them access to your bank account. The subject line of this one was "Please help us, for Allah's sake."

Well, I'm gonna go workout now or something.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I pulled a muscle or something today. My hip hurts so bad right now I can barely walk. I probably shouldn't have walked four miles on it after it started hurting. I walked around the lake this morning, a distance of about four miles. Then this afternoon I did it again. The other day I walked all the way around it twice in a row without stopping. Anyway, when I got out of the car to walk the second time today, my leg suddenly started hurting. It hadn't hurt before, so I don't think I pulled it when I walked the first time. It just started hurting as soon as I stepped out of the car. Then I walked four miles on it. Pretty stupid. But at least I have determination.

Dammit, I'm extremely hungry tonight for some reason. I ate dinner at 5:30, and then by 9:00 I was so hungry my stomach was growling. So I ate an apple. I'm still starving for some reason. My stomach keeps rumbling.

I really hope I'm down another pound or two tomorrow, I wasn't today. Still 267. I'm starting to look pretty thin now. Well, not thin, but the thinnest I've looked in years. Which is weird, because a few years ago I got down to 250 and I didn't look this thin.

What are 3 words your best friend would use to describe you? What friends? But probably, scary, weird, and fat.
Where is your significant other right now? Burning in hell. Actually, I don't have one.
When was the last time you cut your hair? I don't know. A couple of months ago.
Are you on any meds? Lexapro, for depression and social anxiety.
What shirt are you wearing? It says, "The flying hamster of doom rains coconuts on your pitiful city, and has a picture of a cute little hamster with wings.
What color is your razor? It's electric, and mostly black and silver.
What is your fave frozen treat? Your mom. I don't know, I don't eat much ice cream or anything like that.
Are you sexy? No.
What's your favorite shopping store? Best Buy.
What do you think about premarital sex? Personally I wouldn't marry someone I'd never had sex with.
Have you ever been or dated a cheerleader? No. I hate cheerleaders, they are evil.
Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? Yes.
Do you have anything that glows in the dark? No.
When you watch movies at home, do you like the lights on or off? On, but I don't really care.
Do you like to be bitten? Yes.
Do you tend to live in the past or present? The future.
Do you believe in magic? Yes.
Have you ever had surgery? Not really, nothing major anyway, just a couple of ingrown toenails cut out.
Do you know which signs in the zodiac you are compatible with? Whatever sign your mom is. If I remember right I am very compatible with other Sagittarius and Libras.
Do you have nightmares frequently? Well, not really. I have dreams sometimes that some people would consider nightmares, but they don't really scare me. In fact, the weirder the dream the more I like it. I like dreams for their entertainment value, so a nightmare is like watching a scary movie.
Do you like your nose? Not really. It's not too bad, but it's covered in blackheads.
Would you feed a dog under the table? I guess.
Do you think you can draw well? No.
Do you listen to music daily? Yes.
Which sense would you give up if you were forced to? Hearing.
Do you think you create your own reality? Yes.
Do you snore? Sometimes.
Do you sleep more on your back, front, or sides? I usually have to lay on my side to get to sleep, but then when I wake up I'm usually laying on my front.
Do you like the idea of breast implants? I'm not a big fan of big breasts, I like them a little on the small side. But they can be good for the woman. Some women have serious issues with their breasts and if that's the case, and they really want the implants, for themselves and not just to attract men, they are okay.
What disease do you fear the most? Lots of them. Probably cancer the most.
Do you pray? No.
Do you use an electric can opener? No.
Do you have a lot of endurance? No.
Have you ever gone river rafting? No.
Have you ridden in a hotair balloon? No.
Which hurts the most, physical or emotional pain? Emotional.
Do you have live plants in your house? Yes, a Norfolk Pine bonsai tree.
Do you know anyone who is clinically depressed? I used to be, a few years ago.
Do you think marijuana should be legalized? Yes. Even though I've never smoked it.
Do you sometimes rest your arm on your head? That's a weird question. Yes.
Have you ever/do you trip over the floor? Yes.
What's the weirdest habit you have? I don't know. Does masturbation count?
Can you sit normally on a chair? What? What kind of question is that?
Have you ever tried yoga? No, though I've thought about it.
Do you do weird things in public? All the time.
Do people consider you promiscuous? Hell no. Most of them think I'm gay or something I stay away from girls so much.

Monday, November 24, 2003

I haven't written in a few days. There hasn't been much to talk about.

Alicia loved her present. She thought it was the greatest thing ever. It was a CD by Bush, her favorite band, and the only CD by them she didn't have yet, because she couldn't find it. I ordered it from for her.

I've finally lost some more weight today! I've been stuck at 269 for the last four or five days. Today I'm down two more pounds. And that's after eating bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns yesterday. Not much, just a few bites of each. I'm changing my eating habits though. Like Chris told me, I'm doing more harm than good to myself the way I'm eating. I've been living off of almost nothing but soup the last two weeks. Soup, noodle cups, and the occasional apple. Meaning I've been getting almost no protein lately, which is really bad. Also, I've had almost no dairy since I started the diet, but I've been taking vitamins to make up for the lack of calcium. I've probably also been eating too few calories, I cut them down way too much. So now I'm going to start eating a little better. I'm going to eat more normally, normal food, just really small portions of it. Also, I've been eating way too close to bedtime, which is really bad for you, you don't burn off any of the calories because you're asleep. I haven't been doing it on purpose, it's just that I've been doing it for years because that's the only time I get to eat on nights I work. I normally eat dinner when I get home from work, which most nights means 10:30 or 11:30, and then I go to bed an hour or two later. Well, now I'm going to stop that. I'm going to start doing what I used to do years ago when I first started working the night shift. I'm going to go home and eat a really quick dinner while I'm on break, since I only live about 4 minutes away. That's what I did yesterday. I ate more normally, got a lot of protein, and ate dinner at 6:00, and now today I'm down two pounds after having been stuck on the same weight for days.

Last night I had a really rude customer come through drive through. He wanted a kid's meal, but he didn't want the drink. The drink is included in the price of the kid's meal, there's no way we can take it off. If they don't want the drink they don't have to get it, but they still have to pay for it. Most of the customers don't have much of a problem with it, they either say ok, or go ahead and get the drink anyway. This guy last night got mad though. He complained about it, but told me to just go ahead and give him an orange drink with it. Then when he pulled around to the window he said "I want to speak to your manager RIGHT NOW." So I went and got Curtis, who had heard the guy arguing when he ordered and had called him an idiot already. Curtis went over to the guy who apparently didn't believe me, because he asked Curtis, "I have to get a drink with my kid's meal?" And Curtis told him the same thing I told him, no, you don't have to get the drink, but you still have to pay for it if you don't. The guy argued with Curtis for a minute, but finally agreed to just pay for it and get an orange drink with it, like he told me. Then when I went back over there to take his money he threw it at me. Then when I handed him his drink he poured it out on the ground, and as I walked away he pulled the window open and threw the empty cup at me. Curtis flipped him off as he drove away. It doesn't bother me, in fact, I like it when the customers get angry, I think it's funny and it makes me happy. It was also fun because the whole time all this was going on I purposely put on my most annoying smirk to annoy him further.

Well, almost time for bed.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Alicia just figured out what I got her for her birthday. So I guess I'll go ahead and give it to her. She's extremely excited about it.

I just heard a cool song lyric "Everybody's trying to be a friend of mine, even a dog can shake hands." For some reason I find that line to be really cool.

I'm bored.

No weight loss the last couple of days, still 269. I haven't been exercising as much the last couple of days again. Mainly just a bunch of walking. I have good willpower when it comes to the dieting, but I just hate exercising. I'm off tomorrow, so I'll probably do a bunch tomorrow. I'm finally seeing some improvements though. I'm up to 40 situps, and 20 pushups without stopping. If I rest for a minute I can do even more. I walked all the way around the lake this morning. I plan on going around twice tomorrow.

Ugh, I have to fill out this damn Nielsen Ratings book now. I thought about filling it out all wrong, saying I watched things I would never watch, just to mess them up. And I don't want them to know my tv viewing habits, I'm paranoid enough as it is.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

My mom agreed to do the Nielsen TV Rating thing the other day, so now we've all got to fill out these complicated, annoying little booklets recording what we watch and when. We even have to mark down when the TV is turned off. There's also a thing to check if the TV is on, but no one's really watching it. It sucks.

Something else that makes me angry... I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but it's getting worse. The Christmas stuff up so long before Christmas. A few weeks a ago I was complaining about how Wal-Mart had their Christmas stuff up for sale in September. Well now the city has already put up all their decorations on main street and stuff, they've got it all up and on already. I also saw a house with Christmas stuff on tonight too. Also, our Christmas party at work is December 3rd. What the fuck? We usually have it on or around the 19th, which is also my birthday. Hooray for birthdays. Birthdays suck. It's almost Alicia's birthday too. I wish it would hurry and get here, so I could give her the present I bought for her like a month ago. I just hope she hasn't bought it herself since then, it's something she wanted, so she may have.

I'm bored. It's almost time for bed too.

The tale of the 47 faithful ronin of Ako, the condensed version. Taken from "Living the Martial Way" by Forrest E. Morgan.

"What is the most beautiful thing on earth?" said Osiris to Horus. The reply was, "To avenge a parent's wrongs," -- to which a Japanese would have added, "and a master's." From Bushido: The Soul of Japan (Nitobe, 1899, p. 126)

"We, the ronin serving Asano Takumi no Kami, this night will break into the mansion of Kira Kotzuke no Suke to avenge our master. Please be assured that we are neither robbers nor ruffians and no harm will befall the neighboring property." Placard the 47 ronin posted the night they avenged the death of their lord. (Allyn, 1970, p. 223)

Eastern history provides many examples of warriors carrying out revenge and suicide for noble causes. None, however, is more celebrated or better illustrates one ideal of warrior honor than the true story of the 47 faithful ronin of Ako. The story provides a classic example of how giri (a sense of obligation or duty), loyalty, revenge, and suicide factor into the Japanese cultural interpretation of warrior honor.

The episode involves a chain of events that began in Edo (now Tokyo) during the Tokugawa Shogunate. The year was 1701, a hundred years after Tokugawa Ieyasu had unified the country under his sword. His descendant, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, now ruled the islands and ensured loyalty of the daimyo (warlords) by the institution of sankin kotai, or "alternate attendance." This law required all daimyo to maintain residences for their families in Edo and to spend every other year in the fuedal capital themselves. That way, the weak and paranoid bakufu (administrative bureaucracy) administrators could ensure loyalty of the still rugged, rural daimyo by holding their families hostage.

Asano Takumi no Kami was one such daimyo. Lord of the rural province of Ako, Asano was still a warrior in the truest sense. Unfortunately, he was young and impetuous, and his crude, martial manner didn't set well with the genteel sycophants who cluttered the shogun's court. When one of them insulted him, Asano drew his sword and attacked.

Asano only managed to wound his enemy, Kira Kotzuke no Suke, but it was enough to cost him his life, for drawing a sword at court was a capital offense. For his lack of restraint, the shogun ordered Lord Asano to commit seppuku, ritual suicide by disembowelment. Asano was an obedient vassal, and he ended his life later that day.

This suddenly left Asano's retainers, the samurai of Ako, with two problems. First, they were without their master and unemployed. This was a bad situation, for under Tokugawa rule Japan had been at peace for most of the hundred years prior, and ronin (masterless samurai) had little chance of finding work. But more seriously, since their master had been condemned for breaking the shogun's law, all his retainers were honor-bound to follow him in seppuku. Most of them were ready to do this, for they were men of honor. But when they learned of how their lord had been duped into his fate by his enemy, Lord Kira, they knew they couldn't end their lives before taking care of business.

All samurai were trained in the Confucian principle, "a man should not live under the same heaven with the murderer of his leader-lord-father." Of course, seppuku would have taken them out from under the same heaven as Kira, but the ronin of Ako saw their giri in this situation as something more than merely to join their master in death. They concluded they had a solemn duty to avenge the death of their lord. This would be no easy mission. All of Edo suspected the ronin would attempt some sort of attack, and Kira was under the shogun's protection. The bakufu had spies everywhere. Kira, a rich man with powerful friends, had a large security force as well. So meeting in secret, the men of Ako decided to play out a ruse until they convinced the eyes and ears of Edo they weren't a threat and attention on them tapered off.

For the next two years, the 47 ronin of Ako went their separate ways. To the loathing amazement of Edo society, the men didn't attempt any revenge, or even honor their fallen master in seppuku. They walked in disgrace, many taking up various non-warrior occupations. Some even left their families and became womanizers and drunks. In the eyes of the shogun, the other samurai, and even the commoners of Edo, these men had no honor and no face.

It was all an act.

By 1703 attention had shifted away from the degenerate ronin from Ako. So late one December night, the 47 faithful gathered one last time, then departed in a snowstorm for Kira's mansion. They caught the compound completely unprepared. In a surprise assault followed by a short skirmish, they killed Lord Kira and everyone in his household. Then, they took Kira's head, washed it in a nearby well, and placed it as an offering on Lord Asano's grave.

That morning the 47 faithful ronin of Ako surrendered to bakufu authorities. Following fretful discussions with his councilors, the shogun sentenced them to death, but ruled that they would be permitted to perform seppuku and die as warriors rather than face execution as common criminals. Within days all 47 joined their lord and entered the annals of history as Japanese national heroes.

The story of the 47 ronin provides a sterling example of warrior honor in its purest form. These men saw through the fog of law and recognized justice. They courageously fulfilled their obligations, knowing full well their actions would lead to their own destruction. Finally, these samurai bore no illusions about the difference between honor and face. They publicly humiliated themselves for two years, hoping to get that one chance to fulfill their giri. These were truly men of honor.

On learning of their lord's fate, Asano's retainers understood their obligation immediately. They were prepared to end their lived as expected, but when they learned of Kira's role, they realized their giri was more ccomplicated.

But the fact that they fulfilled their duty to avenge their lord didn't absolve them from the obligation to follow him in death. Nor did it reduce the gravity of what they had done; they too had broken the shogun's law. Therefore, they were obligated to die on that count as well. It was only because they had conducted themselves so honorably in avenging their lord that the shogun was compelled to let them die nobly instead of executing them as criminals.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I guess that weight I gained probably was just water or something, because now today I'm down four pounds from where I was yesterday, making me 269, with a total of ten pounds lost. I spent a lot of my day exercising again. This morning I went to the lake like usual. Today I only went about a mile or so, but I ran three times during that mile, for maybe 50 meters each time. Then I went home and exercised for 15 minutes or so. Then around 3:00 I went to the lake again, and this time I walked the entire way around it, which is a distance of somewhere between 3.5 and 4 miles. What was amazing is that it only took me an hour to do it, it always used to take me about an hour and half or an hour forty-five. While I was walking it I thought "Wow, I feel good, not even tired or anything, I could go around again," but I didn't because I didn't figure I had enough time before dark, but then as I was driving home I realized how quickly I got around the lake, and that I could've done it again, but I didn't go back. I kind of ate a lot tonight though. I barely ate anything today, but this evening at dinner I ate a lot, because my mom cooked a bunch of delicious, greasy, cheesy, Mexican food. I wasn't going to eat but a few bites of it, but in the end I ate a lot more than I should've. But, like they say on those commercials, I ate Subway today for lunch, so my indulgence tonight isn't so bad. I hope I'm down even more tomorrow. I might be with all the exercise I did today. I wish I was off tomorrow so I could exercise all day tomorrow too, but I'm not off again until Saturday.

I also went shopping today, and I got the Kill Bill soundtrack while I was out. It rocks almost as much as the movie did. Of course, the music was one of the great parts of the movie. I wanted to see the movie again while I was out today, but nowhere was showing it. It wasn't at the good theater, which didn't really surprise me, since it's been out so long, but they weren't even showing it at the cheap theater that shows slightly older movies. I left again a couple of hours ago, I was gonna go by work to check the new schedule and see what I work this week. I was going to go to the bookstore afterwards, but I ended up staying at work for about an hour and a half, talking to Daniel and Stacey. Mmmmmm... Stacey.

The good thing about this diet, is that when I do eat, everything tastes so good, like the best thing I've ever tasted.

Man, I'm hungry.

I'll probably be sore tomorrow. Since I couldn't walk much today, I made up for it by doing the longest, hardest work out of my life. I'm off tomorrow, I'll probably spend half the day exercising, like I did my last day off.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Sad. No weight loss the last couple of days really. For some reason yesterday I was up three pounds overnight. I think it might just be water retention though, because the soup and stuff I've been eating has a lot of salt. Today I'm down two pounds from yesterday, but that means I'm still up a pound from where I was the other day. I couldn't really walk or run today, because the wind is so bad I could barely walk. It's blowing like 50 mph and we're in wind advisories and stuff. I still walked about two miles, and it was really hard, I could barely walk against the wind to get back to my car. I had planned or doing a lot mroe than that today too. I'm just going to have to do a bunch of exercise at home today.

I don't really have that much to say right now, all I've been doing lately really is working and exercising and playing Dragonball Z: Budokai.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Ugh. I just ate too much. I didn't pig out or anything, but it was a little more than I wish I had eaten. I should be okay though, I didn't eat very much for lunch. Still, I didn't exercise much today, because I'm still so sore from yesterday. I probably won't get to go out and walk and run tomorrow, because some severe thunderstorms are supposed to start sometime after midnight tonight, and go all through tomorrow. Maybe it will clear up at least for a little while, long enough for me to get some exercise done.

Well, almost time for bed. I've been going to bed around 12:00 to 12:30. It feels really odd. I usually don't go to bed until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning.

Man, my butt hurts today, I can barely sit down. I don't know if it's from the situps, or from running, but my butt and lower back hurt.

I'm tired and sore today, from all the exercise I got yesterday. But it was worth it, I've lost two more pounds. I'm down 7 pounds total, meaning I now weigh 272. I don't really have a target weight set, I'll just have to wait and see what I look and feel like at certain weights. I figure 225 will be a good target. That sounds kind of high, but I have big bones and a lot of muscle. According to those height/weight chart things, I should weigh 175, but I had my body fat percentage measured a few years ago, and the doctor told me that I have such big bones and so much muscle that my lean body mass alone was 175 pounds at that time, meaning that even if I had 0% body fat, which is impossible, I'd still probably be slightly overweight. I've gained some more muscle mass since that time too, so I figure 225 or so will probably be as low as I can get.

I love my new jacket, it rules. And I really needed it today too. I went out and did some more walking and running this morning and it was only 45 degrees with a very heavy fog. The fog was so thick you could only see barely a block, and water was dripping off things. I'm so sore and tired I didn't do quite as much as I did yesterday, I only walked about two miles today, and jogged maybe 100 meters, probably not quite that much.

I gotta get ready for work soon. I'm actually looking forward to work tonight, because I think tonight is the night I get to work the lobby instead of drive-thru, I hope it's tonight, it may be tomorrow. If so, I will be disappointed. I like working the lobby, mainly because I get tired of drive-thru all the time, and also because I can get the lobby done really quickly and usually get sent home really early. Also, even though the lobby has less work to do than drive through, the work that there is is better exercise, if you do it right. There's lots of lifting and moving chairs, and bending down and scrubbing bathroom walls and stuff like that.

Well, gotta go. I'm gonna play Dragonball Z: Budokai some more before I go to work. I've been playing that a lot again the last few days. I'm addicted to it. Any time I'm not at work or exercising, I'm playing it.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

The Buddha told a story to his monks:

A young widower was devoted to his little son. But while he was away on business, the whole village was burned to the ground by bandits, who took away the little boy. When the father returned and found only ruins, he was brokenhearted. He thought that the charred remains of an infant was his own child, so he organized a cremation, collected the ashes, and carried them always in a special bag

One day his real son managed to escape from the bandits and found his way back to his old home. His father had rebuilt the house. When he arrived, late one night, and knocked on the door, his father called, "Who is there?"

"It is I, your son. Please let me in."

The father, still carrying the ashes and hopelessly sad, thought this must be some wretched boy making fun of him and he shouted, "Go away!"

The boy knocked and called again and again, but the father always made the same response, and at last the boy left, never to come back again.

When he had told this story, the Buddha added, "If you cling to an idea as the unalterable truth, then when the truth does come in person and knock at your door, you will not be able to open the door and accept it."

w00t! I'm in an amazing mood right now. I've been in a really good mood all day. I think this new medicine is finally starting to work. My mom talked to one of my aunts the other day, and she's a psychiatrist, and she said she'd had several patients on this stuff and it's really good, but it does take it a good month to really start working. Another reason I may be in a good mood and full of energy today is all the exercise I've been getting may be making me feel better. I've gotten a lot of exercise today. I did my usual workout, and then a few hours ago I went out the to lake and did a bunch of fast walking and running. I ran probably the farthest I've ever run in my life today. First I ran probably at least 100 meters, then I slowed down to a fast walk and walked at least two miles, then ran probably another 50 meters. Well, it wasn't really a full-speed run, but it was a fast jog/slow run. Either way it's the most I've ever run in my life. In spite of all the exercise, I'm full of energy right now, I feel like I could go run a mile. In fact, I've felt even better since I did all that walking and running. Later I'm going to do a little more exercise, some more sit-ups and stuff. I should definitely be down at least a pound tomorrow.

I went to Wal-Mart today, and bought some work-out clothes. I haven't been able to do as much walking and stuff as I wanted because the weather's been bad, and I don't have a coat that I can work out in, just my good leather jacket. So today I bought a pretty cool lightweight coat. It's really nice, it's made for being active in, it's waterproof, has a breathable liner, and a hood. I also bought some new sweatpants.

Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You - Powers Of 10: Interactive Java Tutorial This is incredibly cool. "View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons."

Cool, my search thing at the top has been about Japanese and Samurai stuff the last few days. Today it has three links for places to buy Samurai swords, and one link about "Miyamoto Musashi" Japan's greatest swordsman. Yesterday it also had some links to places to buy Japanese green tea. Mmm, green tea. I like green tea, I just bought some today, I ran out a few months ago and never had bought any more.

I'm down another pound today, down to 274. But for some reason I feel and look (at least to me anyway) like I'm getting fatter.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Cheese Racing

Cornhole tournament draws game enthusiasts

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Woo-hoo, I've lost 4 pounds in the last two days. I was down one pound yesterday, and I'm down another three pounds today. I'm down to 275 now. I always lose weight really fast when I do seriously go on a diet. I usually lose 4 or 5 pounds a week, but the last few times I've went on a diet I can't get any lower than 255. I lose weight really quickly, but as soon as I get down to 255 it just stops. No matter what I do I can't lose any more. I hope that doesn't happen this time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Ugh, today sucks. That new medicine the doctor put me on isn't working at all, and today I was in a really bad mood all night. Depressed and angry. My work schedule sucks this week, since Crystal got fired they had to change it all around, and I'm off on different days than usual. The worst part is that I work five days in a row before I get a day off. I thought I was going to be off tomorrow, but I'm not.

Diets suck. I started my diet yesterday, and I'm still doing my exercise program, trying to get into shape. I weighed a couple of days ago, and I weighed 279. Today I'm down to 278 already. I only ate about 700 calories the entire day yesterday. I'm not sure how many I ate today, because my mom cooked spaghetti, so I don't know how many calories my dinner had. I had a can of soup earlier, so that was only 250 calories, and that's all I ate today until dinner. It sucks, the spaghetti is really good, and I love spaghetti, but I forced myself to only eat a little bit. Just thinking about it is making me hungry. It's almost time for bed, I've been going to be a lot earlier the last couple of nights, so I can get up early and go out to the lake to walk and run and stuff.

Dammit, I'm hungry, I just went and ate an apple. Mmm, spaghetti and garlic bread, I want it. I love garlic bread, I could eat the entire loaf.

Diets suck. But so does being fat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Tsukahara Bokuden, one of Japan's greatest swordsmen, wanted to test the self-defense abilities of his three sons, all of whom he had trained in the way of the samurai. To do this, Bokuden placed a pillow, which in those days were cylinders made of wood, over the curtain on the door to his room so that when the curtain was raised, the pillow would fall on the head of the person entering.

Bokuden first called his oldest son, who saw the pillow, took it down, entered the room, and replaced the pillow over the curtain.

As the second son entered, the pillow fell, but the son caught it in his hands and placed it back over the curtain.

As the youngest son rushed in, the pillow fell squarely on his head, but the son cut it in half with his sword before it hit the floor.

To the first, oldest son, Bokuden gave his sword, saying, "You are a great swordsman."

To the second son, he said, "You will one day become a great swordsman, but you must yet train very hard."

To the third, youngest son, he said, "You are a disgrace to this family, and are not qualified to even hold a sword." So saying, he took his youngest son's sword away from him and cast him out of the house.

This story has been told to countless Karate students by their instructors, in one form or another, for as long as karate has existed. The reason is that it perfectly illustrates the essence of self defense -- because of their potential to deliver extreme impact force, karate techniques should be used only as a last resort against surprise attacks. What Bokuden's sons faced was a surprise attack, and the eldest son displayed the perfect defense -- he avoided the situation entirely. The more you increase your awareness of potentially dangerous situations, the more you decrease your vulnerability to being attacked.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Suspected Dog Carcasses Found At Chinese Restaurant

EDMONTON-- Health officials are investigating after the carcasses of what appears to be four dogs were found in a restaurant in Edmonton.

The skinned, frozen carcasses were discovered in a freezer at the Panda Garden restaurant early Tuesday.

Health inspector Richard Reive says he got a call from Edmonton animal welfare officers after they were tipped off by mall security guards.

"They took me back to the walk-in freezer and when you open the door there were four carcasses," he said. "Two were inside black garbage bags and the other two were exposed on the floor of the freezer."

Dogs, wolves or coyotes

Reive says he isn't sure if the animals are dogs, wolves or coyotes. Alberta Fish and Wildlife officials are analysing the carcasses to determine what species they are.

Reive says no matter what the animals turn out to be, charges will almost certainly be laid because the meat was not inspected.

He says he doesn't think any of the meat was fed to customers.

The restaurant has been closed and, so far, the restaurant owners can't be found.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Me and Chris just came up with an idea for a comic book superhero team: Drunkman and Soberboy. He's Drunkman, and I'm Soberboy.

Oh damn, I'm going to be sore the next few days. I had a very hard workout tonight. I was talking to Chris online and was telling him about how I'd been working out and stuff, and he decided to "help" me. He's in the Navy, so he got all drill sergeant on me and was saying things like "I didn't say to give me an excuse, I said do it!" It was cool though, because he taught me the correct way to do the exercises, how to breathe and stuff, and it really did make them much easier. We made an agreement that when he comes home in June we will work out together, and he set a goal that I have to reach by the time he gets here. He wants me to be able to do 100 situps, which will be easy, at the moment I can do 30 to 40 easy, and when I was 13 I could do 150 easy. But he also wants me to be able to do 100 pushups, which is going to suck, right now I can only do 10 to 15 at once. The hardest part though, is he wants me to be able to run a mile and a half in 13 minutes. Right now I could run a mile and a half in maybe two days. I can only run about 100 feet at a time, and then I have to rest for like 15 minutes. He wants me to go out and do some walking, and get a start on the running, tomorrow morning, but I don't know if I will, I probably will. The weather's been really bad the last week though, but I think it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow anyway. I told him that I might not because of the weather, the last week it's been in the 30s and 40s and wet the last few days. He said, "I run, and I'm in Iceland, so don't talk to me about the weather." I just thought though, I don't have a coat to wear while I work out, the only coat I have is a $200 leather jacket.

Well, I don't really have anything else to write about, my life has been pretty boring lately. There hasn't even been anything good or TV lately. I thought about going to see the new Matrix movie today, but I heard it sucks even more than the second one. A critic in the paper here gave it two stars, and said thank god it's the last movie of the series.

When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, "Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?"

"Yes," Tenno replied.

"Tell me," the master continued, "did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?"

Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in's apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.

Crystal got fired! HOORAY! Everyone's happy about it.

Tonight at work sucked, it was really busy, even without the huge call in order. Some football team or something placed a huge call in order today, to be picked up at 9:30 pm, for 70 Famous Star burgers and 70 orders of fries.

Hmmm. That's about all I have to say today.

Friday, November 07, 2003

There was once a stone cutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day he passed a wealthy merchant's house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a high official!"

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the wind!"

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it - a huge, towering rock. "How powerful that rock is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a rock!"

Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the rock?" he thought.

He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.

Thursday, November 06, 2003


Experts Develop Fragranced Bra for Smokers Now men will have an excuse for putting their faces in women's chests.

Hyper Cow Caffeinated Milk

The Leonard Nimoy Should Eat More Salsa Foundation Yes, you read that right. They believe that "Leonard Nimoy is excellent, salsa is excellent, and if Leonard Nimoy would eat more salsa, he would become an unstoppable force of excellence."

Hero Machine This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. This is especially useful if you are into RPGs. It lets you design your own Heroes in several styles, such as Fantasy, and Superhero.

Take your clothes off and stay for lunch

Driver accused of 480mph speeding

Fly Guy This is really cool. Make sure you explore it thoroughly and interact with everything. Then fly all the way to the top to "win."

3-D Pong

Five-Legged Dog

Male Pregnancy Become a Possibility

Costumes at Retrocrush These are by far the scariest Halloween costumes I've ever seen.

Man fails to break clothes pegs on face record This looks like fetish porn gone horribly wrong.

Global warming breeding bigger, longer-lived spiders

Why, God? Why?

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Update: My new medicine is called Lexapro.

I went to the doctor today for my one-month-of-Zoloft checkup. The Zoloft hasn't been doing anything, it hasn't since the first week. It worked really well for a few days, but now it's not doing anything. It's keeping me in a fairly good mood, but it's doing nothing for my social anxiety. Most of the side-effects have gone away too, but not all of them. For example, I'm still hot all the time. The last two nights at work were really bad, I was sweating like mad. I don't think I even sweat that much back when I used to mow lawns in the summer for money. Last night at work I was having to carry towels and stuff around to wipe my face with constantly. Anyway, I told the doctor all this, and instead of upping my dosage to see if that worked, he decided to have me try some other medication for a while. It's something new that just came out. I forget what it's called, and I don't have the bottle handy. It started with an "L," Lacoprex or something along those lines. The doctor doesn't know if it will work better than Zoloft or not. On the good side, it was free. He gave me six weeks worth of free samples. I start taking it tomorrow. I hope it works. This stuff says it works by increasing the amount of serotonin my brain produces, and that is has less and milder side effects than other antidepressants.

I bought a new bonsai tree today, I hope this one lives longer than the last one. The last one died after about a year and a half. This one is cool, it's pretty big, a lot bigger than the last one, but it cost even less. I really like this one, it's a Norfolk Pine. The last one was a Ficus, I didn't really like it, I just got it because it was the cheapest.


I cleaned my room today, now it's all cleanified. Hooray for words that end in "-fied." All the dust just got stirred up though, and now everything's dusty again already. This house has always been really bad about dust for some reason. You can dust something, and fifteen minutes later there will be a layer of dust on it. That's probably why I've always bad allergies too.

I'm tired. I'm gonna exercise and then go to bed. I've actually been exercising (a little) lately. My interest in Martial Arts has also come back. I swear, if I can ever lose some weight I WILL finally join a Karate class like I've been wanting to for years.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Man I love tests. Yup. Here are some tests I just took. They are pretty accurate. Except I'm not so sure about the results of the Word Association test.

Personality Disorder Test Results
Paranoid |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Schizoid |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Schizotypal |||||||||||||||| 70%
Antisocial |||||||||| 38%
Borderline |||||||||||| 50%
Histrionic |||||||||||| 50%
Narcissistic |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Avoidant |||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Dependent |||||||||| 34%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||||| 50%
Take Free Personality Disorder Test

Disorder Info

Eccentric Personality Disorders: Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal
Individuals with these disorders often appear odd or peculiar.

Paranoid Personality Disorder - individual generally tends to interpret the actions of others as threatening.

Schizoid Personality Disorder - individual generally detached from social relationships, and shows a narrow range of emotional expression in various social settings.

Schizotypal Personality Disorder - individual is uncomfortable in close relationships, has thought or perceptual distortions, and peculiarities of behavior.

Dramatic Personality Disorders: Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, and Narcissistic
Individuals with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions, distorted self-perception, and/or behavioral impulsiveness.

Antisocial Personality Disorder - individual shows a pervasive disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others.

Borderline Personality Disorder - individual shows a generalized pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and observable emotions, and significant impulsiveness.

Histrionic Personality Disorder - individual often displays excessive emotionality and attention seeking in various contexts. They tend to overreact to other people, and are often perceived as shallow and self-centered.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder - individual has a grandiose view of themselves, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in various situations. These individuals are very demanding in their relationships.

Anxious Personality Disorders: Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-Compulsive
Individuals with these disorders often appear anxious or fearful.

Avoidant Personality Disorder - individual is socially inhibited, feels inadequate, and is oversensitive to criticism

Dependent Personality Disorder - individual shows an extreme need to be taken care of that leads to fears of separation, and passive and clinging behavior.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder - individual is preoccupied with orderliness, perfectionism, and control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.

I have issues with...
Take Word Association Test

The Big Five Personality Test
Extroverted|||| 16%
Introverted |||||||||||||||||||| 84%
Friendly |||||||||| 32%
Aggressive |||||||||||||||| 68%
Orderly |||||||||||||||| 62%
Disorderly |||||||||| 38%
Relaxed |||||||||| 40%
Intellectual |||||||||||||| 56%
Practical |||||||||||| 44%
Take Free Big 5 Personality Test

Extroversion results were very low which suggests you are extremely quiet, unassertive, and aloof.

Friendliness results were moderately low which suggests you tend to be rude, uncooperative, and irritable.

Orderliness results were moderately high which suggests you are organized, reliable, neat, and ambitious but possibly not very spontaneous and fun.

Emotional Stability results were moderately low which suggests you are worrying, insecure, emotional, and nervous.

Intellectualness results were moderately high which suggests you are creative, original, curious, imaginative but possibly not very practical.

Overall, you scored highest on Orderliness and lowest on Extroversion.