Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Weigh-In: August 30, 2008

Weight: 367.8 lbs

Total Weight Lost: 24 lbs in 16 weeks (1.5 lbs/wk)

Things continue on schedule though I seem to be in a dangerous phase where I've gotten comfortable enough with my healthy diet that I'm letting my guard down and then finding myself craving something unhealthy. Fortunately Sundays are cheat days so I can deal with those cravings and not feel bad about it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hate Speech in Denver

In case you can't tell the players without a scorecard, that's conservative pundit Michelle Malkin being stalked by Alex Jones as she visits the Denver Mint during the Democrat National Convention.

The BBQ Song

How do you like your BBQ?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Weigh-In: August 23, 2008

Weight: 369.4 lbs

Total Weight Lost: 22.4 lbs in 15 weeks (1.49 lbs/wk)

Not a bad week at all. Had a few days when I went longer than I should have without eating and consequently was tempted to eat bad stuff but I stuck with healthy food. Can't help but feel good about seeing my weight drop below 370 lbs and I'm on the verge of being able to take my belt in another notch so overall I'm pretty happy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Produce Review: Nivea for Men Body Wash vs. Axe Snake Peel Shower Scrub

We are a nation of stinky people. I say this not because we need to bathe more often but because we seem to insist on putting fragrances into so many personal care products; soaps, body washes, shower scrubs, shampoos, conditioners and so on. But it doesn't stop there because we also do it with laundry detergent, bleaches, and fabric softener. When all these various scents mingle, it's not unusual to be left with some kind of funky mélange. Making matters worse, the people who develop these fragrances aren't exactly at the top of their field. Let's face it, if you're figuring out ways to make a douche smell like a garden of flowers instead of developing the next $1,000 an ounce perfume for Calvin Klein or Yves Saint Lauren or Bvlgari or one of the other big fashion houses, you're probably not that great.

Things came to a head for me when a fabric softener that was supposed to make my clothes smell like a mountain meadow instead made them smell like a mountain of rotting fruit. A couple of days of that stench and my clothes were literally making me gag on the verge of throwing up. Fortunately the makers of laundry products have figured out that not everyone wants their laundry to stink and it's possible to get said product free of fragrances.

Unfortunately the same can't be said for a lot of personal care products. There are precious few soaps, body washes, shower scrubs, etc. at my favorite grocery store that are free of fragrance. Equally unfortunate is that it seems most of the makers of these products target women. I'm a guy. I don't want to get out of the shower smelling of strawberries or apple blossoms or some other flowery scent. Thus a niche for such products aimed specifically at men has been created.

Probably the most well known name to target this niche is Axe which offers a wide variety of "manly" scents. Personally I like Axe Snake Peel Show Scrub because while it lists fragrance as one of its ingredients, the scent is too subtle for me to detect even if I sniff the top of a fresh bottle. Still I tend to be embarrassed to buy Axe because they've built their entire marketing campaign around the idea that if you use Axe, you'll get laid. A lot.

They even make the claim on their labels with has a picture of a shower head labeled "1" followed by a picture, labeled "2," of a guy with two women. Consequently I always feel like people see me buying Axe and think I'm getting it because I think it will magically get me laid. Of course Axe isn't the only company to take this approach to marketing:

So I was happy to see an ad for the new Nivea for Men Body Wash line that stressed that their product wasn't stinky and was basically a body wash for adults. So I decided to pick some up and give it a try. I was kind of disappointed to discover that it comes in two flavors; Cool (menthol) and Energy (mint). Still the scent doesn't appear to be too strong and I don't notice it after I get out of the shower. I'm not fond of the tall, thin bottle which seems prone to falling over if you bump it. I'm also not fond of the rounded cap which will make it a bit of a hassle when the bottle starts getting low and I want to stand it on its head to make it easier to get the last of the body wash out. It leaves me clean but my skin feels a little dry.

Overall, I find I'm happier with my Axe Snake Peel Shower Scrub, embarrassing marketing campaign aside. No real scent, does a good job, and the bottle is better designed since it's nicely contoured for holding on to in the shower and it's clear so you can see how much you have left. As an added bonus, Axe is made in the USA while the label on my Nivea for Men Body Wash says it was made in Germany. That might explain why the Axe also seems to be cheaper than the Nivea.

Saturday Weigh-In: August 16, 2008

Weight: 371.4 lbs

Total Weight Lost: 20.4 lbs in 14 weeks (1.46 lbs/wk)

Not a bad week. I'm feeling pretty good right now since I've got a shot at breaking 370 lbs next week. I know that's 20 lbs shy of my next milestone, 350 lbs, but you still can't help but feel good every time you pass a 10 lb mark. However, it's worth noting that I could have done better this week.

Wednesday and Thursday night I went over to some friends' house for a small gathering of people. We engaged in what I think of as "Dueling Diets." While we weren't gathering specifically for dinner, we were getting together at dinner time so we ate together. Four of the other five people were on the Atkin's diet plan while I'm doing my own thing. The Atkin's folk get to have fat while I get to have carbs and it's kind of difficult finding something that will satisfy everyone. The first night we ordered fajitas with the usual trimmings. The Atkin's folk had beef fajitas while I had chicken. They got the guacamole, queso, and sour cream while I got the rice, refried beans, and tortillas. Really more starch than I should be eating but otherwise not too bad. Of course there was a lot of rice and beans left over and they got sent home with me since the Atkin's people couldn't eat them at all so I wound up having them the next day for breakfast and lunch.

The next day one of my friend's cooked and she made a tasty soup and chicken with whole wheat pasta. I generally try to avoid pasta because it's a starch. Not really sure how that's affected by it being whole wheat but I can't shake the feeling that I would have been better off with steamed vegetables instead.

In hind sight, it would have been a better idea, since eating was only incidental to our gathering, if I had just had an early dinner and eaten something before going over to my friends' house. It's something to keep in mind for the future.

I will say this. I'm glad I'm not doing Atkin's. On the one hand, my friends' get to have eggs and bacon or sausage for breakfast every day which is a good bit tastier than my usual low fat cottage cheese with raisin bran. On the other hand, one day a week I get to eat whatever I want while one of my friends has had to give up his favorite food, chocolate. Personally I think I've got the better end of that deal. But I think it helps showcase the difference in what we're doing. I'm working on developing eating habits that I can stick to for the rest of my life. They're doing something to lose weight and will probably go off it once they reach their targets. At least I hope they will because I can't imagine a life without chocolate.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Weigh-In: August 9, 2008

Weight: 372.8 lbs

Total Weight Lost: 19 lbs in 13 weeks (1.46 lbs per week)

Not much to say. Fairly standard week for me. Got a little more exercise than usual since I took my car in to the shop on Wednesday and walked home after dropping it off and then walked back when it was time to pick it up, about 1.5 miles each way.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Brain Hurts

Nancy Pelosi appeared on ABC's "This Week" and George Stephanopoulos tried to get her to explain why she won't allow a simple up or down vote on offshore drilling for oil. He keeps repeating the question over and over and she keeps avoiding it. Her evasions make my brain hurt:

The oil reserve she wants to open up is the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve which was established after OPEC announced that it would no longer ship oil to nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War back in 1973. The oil embargo ended in '74 but it made it clear that we needed to have a reserve on hand just in case a similar situation were to arise in the future. I'm not sure $4 a gallon gas is a good enough reason to start dipping into the reserve. In any case it's a limited supply that would be rapidly depleted and would then need to be restocked.

Pelosi says she wants the oil companies to drill on the lands they already have leased. The oil companies would be happy to do this were it not for one little problem. They haven't found oil there in any place that's currently accessible. You can't just poke a hole anywhere in the Earth's surface and have crude oil come gushing out. You have to find the oil first and they haven't been able to find oil on their current lands. We know that there's oil under the outer continental shelf which is why they want to drill there.

Pelosi also keeps going on about offshore drilling being subsidies to Big Oil. So much so that I find myself reminded of The Princess Bride. In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Opening up the outer continental shelf would not be a subsidy. The land isn't given to the oil companies for free. They pay a lot of money for a lease that gives them the right to drill. They pay for the exploration and they pay for the drilling and if they don't find anything they're out the money and when the lease expires the land goes back to the government without the oil companies being reimbursed.

Nancy also keeps harping on the fact that drilling now won't provide immediate relief at the gas pump. That actually remains to be seen. Yes, if we open the OCS for drilling now it will still take time to find the oil, drill it, pump it, refine it, and get it out to the consumers though not the 10 years she claims. However, it could have an immediate effect at the pump because oil speculators will react immediately to an expected future increase in the oil supply. Foreign oil producers may also act to lower their prices on crude oil as a way of discouraging us from increasing our oil production, which would create added competition for them. In case you haven't been paying attention the last few days, the price of gas has dropped lately on just the suggestion that we may soon be opening the OCS up for drilling.

The real reason Nancy Pelosi opposes increasing domestic oil production is because she gets a lot of money from environmentalist special interest groups. These groups oppose fossil fuels and want high prices at the pump to discourage people from driving and to spur on development of alternative energy sources. Nancy needs their money to fuel her campaign so she abuses the power of her position to put their interests ahead of the interests of the general public.

Monday, August 4, 2008


It's Monday morning and the Republicans are back at the House of Representatives talking about the importance of domestic oil production. Congressman John Culberson is there posting updates via and Perhaps the best part of this is that they wouldn't have gotten this much attention if Nancy Pelosi hadn't tried to silence them.

Update: Culberson had to leave but others are still there and you can follow them on Twitter.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday Weigh-In: August 2, 2008

Weight: 374.4 lbs.

Total Weight Lost: 17.4 lbs in 12 weeks (1.45 lbs per week)

Okay, I'd say I'm back on track. Only ate one bad thing all week (not counting my cheat day). Had a late lunch with my parents and the chicken rollup I had came with fries. I wish more restaurants would offer healthy alternatives to fries, chips, or onion rings.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Democrats: the Jack-Booted Thug Party

Today has been a fairly exciting day politically speaking. After Nancy Pelosi refused to bring to a vote the offshore oil drilling ban and, instead, adjourned the House for a 5 week vacation a small contingent of Republicans refused to leave the House. They've spent the day speaking out about the current energy situation. Instead of returning to debate the issue, the Democrats have resorted to turning out the lights and turning off the microphones and TV cameras. When that failed to squelch the Republican revolt, the Democrats kicked reporters out of the Speaker's Lobby and the police were sent in to remove them from the press gallery as well. Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) blocked this move by going to the gallery to talk to reporters since the police couldn't very well remove them while they were talking to a Congressman.

The latest from Pete Hoekstra's twitter page indicates that now the Capital Hill police have orders to shut the Capital down at 4:30 PM which is about the time I'm writing this. Should be interesting to see what happens. No matter how it turns out, today's events should make it plain to everyone that the Democrat Party is against our First Amendment rights of Free Speech, Peaceful Assembly, and the Freedom of the Press.

Update: Apparently the police have finally removed the reporters from the galleries.