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For a Saturday, this was a jam-packed day for me.

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Did you participate in TableTop Day today?
TWoPWell...crap. Television Without Pity is ending. Pretty much immediately. The "editorial operations" -- in other words the recaps, which were the bread-and-butter of the site -- will cease April 4, 2014. They're leaving the fan discussion forums active until May 31st, mainly so fans can discuss where else they can go to get the kind of TV content that TWoP provided.

Television Without Pity has been one of my go-to sites every week for intelligent, snarky recaps of many/most of the shows I watch. To be hopnest, it has had its share of "issues" -- sometimes the snarkyness has been a bit TOO much, and the forums area is filled with some of the worst trolls on the internet.

But TWoP has always been a reliable source of good information. I've been a subscriber there since 2002, after culturevulture7 alerted me to the tremendous recaps of The Amazing Race being done on the site by Miss Alli. Scoping out the other shows being recapped with heavy doses of snark led me to discover several other shows that I ended up watching on an ongoing basis.

In 2007, TWoP was purchased by Bravo, a TV division of NBC Universal. Never a huge contributor to NBCU's profit margin, TWoP has apparently been on the chopping block for some time, with NBCU trying to find a buyer to take it off their hands. No one stepped forward, and thus NBCU has made the decision to simply get rid of it.

This is a huge shame, as most of the content has been created by volunteers. An article about the failed sale of TWoP mentioned that only 3 employees' jobs are being affected by the elimination of TWoP. There really isn't any other site on the net, that I'm aware of, that does quite the same thing as TWoP. I'll admit -- I haven't been visiting the site as frequently as I used to, and I only shared comments in their discussion forums from about 2003 to 2006, before I realized that the thing about TWoP that I enjoyed the most was their TV episode recaps, especially The Amazing Race recaps.

But I'm still going to miss this site. Fiercely. Goodbye, Television Without Pity!
22nd-Mar-2014 11:00 pm - A jazzy little Spring Swing
After getting off of work Saturday night, and stopping briefly at home to check on an under-the-weather Becky, I headed over to my old alma mater, Lincoln Northeast High School to attend the Spring Swing -- a jazz concert featuring jazz bands from three of Lincoln's public high schools.

My nephew Josh Olesen is in the Lincoln Northeast HS Honors Jazz Band, which was hosting the event as a fundraiser. They, plus groups from both Lincoln East High School and Lincoln Northstar High School, each played two sets of music over the course of 2 1/2 hours. The concert was held in one of LNE's gymnasiums. The stage was at one end of the gym, with lots of small 2- and 4-person tables set up near a concessions area at the other end of the gym. In the middle, an open area was set up for dancing, which some of the high-schoolers and some of their parents or grandparents did throughout the evening.

Each performing group did a nice job. But, I've got to say, not to be disloyal to my own former school Northeast, but the Lincoln Northstar group was easily the best group to perform. They only had 11 members, in comparison to 20+ in each of the other groups, but their sound was impressive. And skilled -- Northstar sounded like they could go to a studio and record an album of jazz standards right now.

I got to sit with my sister Amy, Josh's mom, and we had a chance to chat off-and-on during the musical performances. The organizers had hung a massive net of balloons above the dance area, and at the end of the evening, there was a balloon drop. It was amusing to see all the high school aged kids dressed up, mainly in 1950s and 1960s-era outfits, as they tried to match the "swing-era" style of the evening.

All in all, a very entertaining concert -- well worth the $8 entry fee being charged to raise funds.

Here's the link to my photoset from the event.
1st-Jan-2014 10:51 am - 2014 Gator Bowl - My Prediction
It's the final game of the 2013 season for the Huskers -- the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day 2014. I'm looking forward to enjoying the game with Becky and my folks, with some traditional Runzas for half-time noshing.

I don't actually hold out much hope for a win this season. I think that, despite the individuals with talent, the Huskers as a team just never really gelled, especially in the important games. We had to come from behind for miracle wins too many times this season, and we've rotated among three different QBs -- we really weren't that strong of a "team". Our opponent in the Gator Bowl, Georgia, proved that they were a strong team all season long.

I think the Huskers are going to get blown away. I hope I'm wrong, and I'll gladly eat my words if it comes to pass, but my prediction is:

Nebraska -- 27, Georgia -- 45

None the less...Go Big Red!
30th-Nov-2013 01:58 am - Gaga and The Muppets
I'm a King Prawn Okay?
GagaMuppetsBecky and I caught up with last night's "Lady Gaga and the Muppets: Holiday Spectacular" on the DVR tonight.

I wish I hadn' was - just - plain - bad.

A poorly planned opportunity to promote both Gaga's new album, Artpop, and the Muppets' new movie Muppets Most Wanted, this 90-minute special was an awkward, uncomfortable, slightly skeezy experience. I'll be the first to admit, I am NOT a Lady Gaga fan in the slightest. There are a few of her songs that I don't mind hearing on the radio on the rare occasions that I actually listen to the radio. But, I can't stand watching the constant freak show that is her visual performance style.

For the most part, Gaga appeared in her own singing numbers with no Muppets present, or with Muppets tacked on to the background or foreground almost as an afterthought. Her bizarre song performances were interspersed with Muppet bits, and occasional Muppet/Human interaction in the form of uncomfortable, unfunny sequences with Kristen Bell, who looked like she wasn't sure why she was in the special in the first place. I'm not sure that anything could have saved this special, but as I was watching it I couldn't make up my mind whether more Muppets in the Gaga performance pieces might have been better, or whether that would have dragged the Muppets down into the sludge.

Admittedly, ABC (the network airing this special) is owned by Disney, and so are the Muppets. But the Muppets have always been a "family friendly" entertainment commodity, and Gaga's costumes in most of her numbers were not what I would call "family friendly". The only musical sequences I ended up enjoying were Miss Piggy's "Santa Baby", which is on the Red & Green Christmas album, and the duet between Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Having a few good Muppet/Human bits just made me wish there was a new and revitalized Muppet Show back on television on a regular (or even irregular) basis again.

All in all, I would call Lady Gaga and the Muppets: Holiday Spectacular a spectacular mess. Give me back John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together -- now that was one of the most perfect pairings of a superstar and the Muppets, and featured music that is still among my favorite holiday music to this day.

Oh, could've done so much better than this...

P.S.: I think I was more entertained by the 30-second Geico ad featuring the Pillsbury Doughboy (which was new to me, although apparently it has aired occasionally since back in March 2013), than I was by the entire 90-minute special!

Well, here we are -- the final "regular season" game for 2013. It's the artificial rivalry against across-the-river Iowa, known for the past few years as "The Heroes Game". Still can't believe the powers-that-be expect us to swallow all that malarkey.

None-the-less, it's an actual game to be played, and I predicted the Huskers would end the regular season with a 9-3 record. We're 8-3 going into today's game, so I'm hoping at least one of my predictions will come true this year and we'll prevail over the Hawkeyes. This should definitely still be a decent game -- though the Huskers have been erratic, and Iowa has underperformed all season. Hopefully, the home field advantage will assist the Huskers with the added boost they need to step up their game.

My prediction:

Nebraska - 34, Iowa - 27

Go Big Red!
After last week's valiant but ultimately unsuccessful efforts against Michigan State, I'm not really sure what to think about the Huskers in today's game at Penn St.

I'll be "on the road" and unable to either watch or listen to this one (most likely), so I'll just wish them well. I think it'll be a close game, so my prediction is:

Nebraska - 27, Penn State - 24

Go Big Red!
One of the frustrating signs of Autumn

This is how I spent much of my day off today. This will be the second week in a row that we've had more than 10 bags of raked/mowed leaves out at the curb to be hauled away. I spent 5 hours this past Friday, and over four hours today, either raking (my back is now killing me), or mowing (and having to stop every 20' to empty the mower bag.

At least all of the trees in our yard have now lost all of their leaves, and the trees in our neighbors' yard have lost about 80-90% of their leaves, so this tiresome job is mostly likely done, or almost done for another year. Now I just have to spend the rest of today and tonight with brown goo coming out of my sinuses! Ick!
Don't get me wrong -- I'm still a huge fan of Husker football. I look forward to each week's game with intense enthusiasm. But, as a team, we've been less than stellar this season, and today's game is probably against the strongest opponent we're going to face this entire "regular" season -- the Michigan State Spartans. They have a dominating defense, and we have an occasionally brilliant but more often lackluster offense this season, Ameer Abdullah not-withstanding. The Husker "blackshirt" defense seems to be getting into its groove, but Michigan State has a pretty strong offense as well.

I'd love to see us win out, especially with the added benefit of hometown crowd support. Winning this game would almost certainly put us into the Big 10 Championship game against Ohio State, where I'm absolutely sure we'd get our clocks cleaned. But, I'm not optimistic today. Nebraska has squeaked by with miracle wins in the final seconds of each of the last two games, against average opponents. Now that we're up against an excellent team, I frankly think that the flaws in the Husker offense are going to be all too evident.

I'd love to be proven wrong, and I sincerely hope that I am, but I don't think we're going to do well today. My prediction is:

Michigan State - 27, Nebraska - 17

None-the-less -- Go Big Red!
Nobody Reads My Blog
On Friday night, Becky and I had tickets to a performance at the Lied Center for Performing Arts -- the Improv comedy of Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy.

Being an obsessive fan of the improv comedy on Whose Line is it Anyway?, I was really looking forward to seeing the CBOC's take on audience-involved improv skits.

Overall, although it was an entertaining show, I ended up somewhat dissapointed. It was okay, but the WLiiA guys, whether it's Colin and Brad in their touring two-man show, or the Whose Live gang, were much, much better and far more entertaining. Something just Jim and his band of Chicago comics.

They did, however, introduce me to a couple of new skit concepts that I'd love to see our troupe of MediaWest*Con improv performers tackle this coming May in Michigan.

Maybe they would've come off better in a smaller venue, like a comedy club. But in a huge performing arts center like The Lied, Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy just came off as "small". I will give them credit for using a lot more audience suggestions than the Whose Live guys did back this past Spring when there were on the same stage. But was a disappointing show.
15th-Nov-2013 12:30 am - Add "actor" to my resume...
Nobody Reads My Blog
Despite failing to make the cast of Spamalot at the Lincoln Community Playhouse (LCP) when I tried out back in July, I enjoyed the experience so much that I looked at the remainder of the LCP's schedule of plays/musicals for 2013-14 with an eye towards trying out for something else.

The other shows LCP was scheduled to put on were The Bad Seed, Little Women: The Musical, Barefoot in the Park, Stepping Out, and Oliver! Of those, the only one I was interested in trying out for, and coincidentally the only one with a rehearsal schedule that wouldn't impede my plans to attend MediaWest*Con 34 next May, was Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. I love Neil Simon's work -- I've read at least 2/3rds of his plays. I absolutely love The Odd Couple, Plaza Suite, Promises Promises, The Sunshine Boys, California Suite, Chapter Two, They're Playing Our Song, Brighton Beach Memoirs and The Goodbye Girl. Barefoot in the Park was not necessarily one of my favorites of his plays, and I've never seen it done on stage -- I've only seen the movie starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, many years ago. But it is an amusing play, with quite a few really good scenes in it.

Barefoot Audition List - Tuesday (night two)There were a couple of roles in the play that I was age-appropriate for, and rehearsals are in November, December and January, with late-January performances. So...I registered online to get myself on the audition list. Auditions were this past Monday and Tuesday nights, and I was otherwise occupied on Monday, so I tried out on Tuesday evening. From 7:00 p.m. to about 9:30, I joined a group of quite a few very talented folks, who were paired up in several different ways to read "sides" from Barefoot in the Park. One of my first pairings was with Megan Higgins as Corie and me as Victor Velasco. I thought we had pretty good character chemistry, and she really impressed me as the play's lead female character, Corie Bratter. As a group, we were told that the callback list would be posted on the LCP website by noon on Wednesday, with callback auditions on Wednesday night. Before the last of us left, the director indicated to me that I could expect to be on the callback list.

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Last night, after work, while running some errands, Becky and I ended up at the WalMart at 84th & Highway 2, which wasn't very crowded at 9:30. We had snagged a grocery cart on our way in, as we were looking for a few "large" items. In the end, they didn't have most of what we wanted, and we ended up at a check-out lane with only a single box of crackers that Becky wanted, and me pushing an empty cart.

The jovial, rotund, male clerk behind the counter, wearing a name tag that identified him as "Purple" (yes, that's right "Purple"), made a joke about us needing an entire cart for a small box of crackers. Instead of replying to my comment about "not finding most of what we were looking for", with a "I'm sorry to hear that, can I help you locate something?", he instead launched into an amusing personal philosophy about using carts for unexpected binge shopping while in WalMart --

WalMart"Oh, that's okay...I always grab a cart when I'm shopping, because the 'WalMart Effect' invariably kicks in. It's kind of like going drinking -- It doesn't matter if you have a plan going in, you always end up leaving broke and confused!"
huskersinblackAfter last week's incredibly sad performance by the Huskers and loss to Minnesota, today's game could either show that the team is recommitted to improving their image -- or it could be yet another example of a slide into mediocrity. I'm hoping the defense, who lost their "blackshirts" after such a lackluster performance last week, can find their mojo and put a stop to Northwestern, whose offensive line should not be as much of a challenge as Minnesota's was. On the other hand, most critics were saying Northwestern would be our first true in-conference challenge, so anything could still happen today.

I'm hoping that the home crowd advantage will work in our favor, and the desire from the Huskers to prove that they've still got what it takes will make this a win...but I won't be surprised if we lose.

Here's hoping it ends up being a win...

My prediction:

Nebraska - 48, Northwestern - 30

Go Big Red!
SBA Game Week - Halloween theme! Boo!Had a blast this afternoon at the Star Base Andromeda "Game Week" meeting -- our once-every-couple-months "tabletop gaming" date.

Louis had suggested that this session be a "horror games" theme, what with Halloween coming up this week, so I dug out all of the horror-themed games I own and brought them along

The group decided on Betrayal at House on the Hill for our first game. We managed to get in two rounds of that tile-building storytelling game. in the first game, I ended up being the traitor in the "Perchance to Dream" haunt. Though the conditions for my winning the game were pretty slim, I still fared better than all the "heroes", and I ended up winning the game. In the second game, the haunt was triggered after only 4 rooms of the house had been revealed -- this is the earliest that a haunt has been triggered in ANY of the games my group has ever played. None-the-less, it took several rounds of the "Dracula" haunt before everything ended. Two good scenarios, and lots of fun.

We played a round of Zombie Dice to cleanse our palate before beginning another full-scale game.

Finally, we played Munchkin Cthulhu, which I'd only ever played once before. By the end of the game, all but one player had reached Level 9, before one of us managed to get the final monster kill to go up to the 10th winning level.

All in all, a very fun 4 hours of gaming. I look forward to future opportunities, when more of the group can show up, and when we can game for slightly longer than just 4 hours!

Later, in the evening, Becky and I went to my folks' place for a family dinner to celebrate my Mom's 74th birthday. The folks, Becky and I, and my sister's family, all enjoyed chicken casserole, rolls, veggies and one of my Mom's favorite types of cake. A nice relaxing family get-together, with good conversations. Perfect way to end the day!
Nobody Reads My Blog
2013 Weight Loss Chart so far:


This week, I continued to get in more walking exercise than usual, due to some extra walks on my schedule. With my new FitBit pedometer/activity tracker, it's a lot easier to track how much walking I'm doing, and in order to get in over 10,000 steps per day, I'm a bit more focused on doing vigorous walking than I had been without the FitBit. The Fitbit software indicates that I walked a total of 34.7 miles, accumulated over the course of 7 complete days this week, averaging 9,085 "steps" per day.

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26th-Oct-2013 10:45 am - Husker football - Week 7 vs Minnesota
Somehow, I have a bad feeling about this week. Minnesota is a respectable team, and our "black shirt" defense really hasn't been tested by a strong offense since our loss to UCLA. I'm not confident that the "miraculous return" of Taylor Martinez is going to add up to much more than his temporary replacements have managed in the past two games, but I'm still hopeful we'll pull out a win.

My prediction:

Nebraska - 37, Minnesota 34

Go Big Red!
25th-Oct-2013 03:30 pm - My Friday: The Best and the Worst
I Love Books
Friday was a crazy day for me. Still enjoying the leftover positive buzz from the great Just Desserts mystery discussion group meeting on Thursday night, I segued straight into an all-new solo book talk for the Bethany BooksTalk group Friday morning -- which meets at the Bethany Branch Library in my own neighborhood.

My Bethany BooksTalk 10/25/13 - 1Speaking on the theme of Books That Lead You to More Books (click the link to see my booklist in PDF form on the library's website!), I managed to have enough to talk about for about 75 straight minutes, to an appreciative audience of about 20 BooksTalk regulars. Over half of the 35 to 40 books I brought with me got taken, which I consider to be a successful book talk! In the photo at right, you can see about 3/4 of the attendees -- there was another table off the left side of this photo, with more people sitting at it!

For the past 4 to 5 days, I'd been developing an odd rash and irritation on both of my feet, just to the side of each foot's arch. Both of these rashes had been getting progressively more severe, and were both painful and itchy beyond belief. I'd been treating them myself with Cortisone 10 cream, but that was barely even making a dent in the level of discomfort, and the condition was obviously getting worse.

When I got home from my book talk, I discovered that the rash was spreading rapidly up both of my legs and up my sides, above the waistline. Although it was still only itchy and painful on the feet, I was seriously concerned about this spread, and, after calling in sick to work for the rest of the day, I tried contacting my doctor's office to see if they would see me. After 45 minutes, they finally got back to me to say my doctor was out of the office today and all of the other doctors were "full up" and I wouldn't be able to come in until early next week. They recommended LinCare, the "urgent care facility" that my insurance allows me to go to. I went to LinCare and was seen by one of their doctors in less than 30 minutes. His diagnosis, after hearing my description and then examining my feet and legs -- a fairly severe case of contact dermatitis. His first recommendation was oral version of Prednisone, but I explained I was concerned about using Prednisone after my recent chest pains had been been diagnosed as a side effect of a Prednisone shot. Inside, he prescribed me a cream to apply to the most severe areas of the dermatitis outbreak, with either Benadryl or Zyrtec to deal with the itchiness if necessary.

In the end, I felt kind of silly taking the 1/2-day off of work for what turned out to merely be a bad case of dermatitis, but it was freaky to see my legs, hips and waist covered with blotchy red stuff. I suppose it was better to be safe than sorry!
23rd-Oct-2013 10:45 pm - Happy Retirement, Rianne!
Nobody Reads My Blog
Rianne's Retirement Party - 16I attended the retirement party/ceremony for another of my long-time co-workers today, Rianne (actually Royann, but she preferred Rianne) Schroeder had worked in our Cataloging department at the headquarters library (where I work) for many, many years, helping to catalog incoming materials. She would also occasionally assist us at the public service desks when we were short-handed. A organizational shift in recent years forced her to take a public services Librarian position at the branch library where my wife, Becky works.

After less than two years in that new position, Rianne decided to retire, and a public event was held at the Walt Branch to celebrate her decades of service to the library system. The reception was 2 hours long, and I got to go to the first hour, before having to be back on a desk at the downtown library. At least I was there when library director Pat Leach arrived to thank Rianne for her years of service, and to present her with the traditional retirement gift of decorative wooden bookends with the Lincoln City Libraries logo on them.

I always enjoyed working with Rianne, and will miss getting her occasional book reviews for the BookGuide readers advisory site I maintain for the libraries. She has plenty of projects lined up for herself, though, and won't be missing work too much.

Have a good retirement, Rianne!

P.S.: Pat Leach described Rianne as having the 13th longest period of longevity with the libraries at the time of her retirement. I started before she did, even if you don't count my 7 years as a library aide, before I became a "classified" employee. That means I'm probably one of the top ten longest-serving LCL employees right now. Which is incredibly sad for me -- so many of my incredibly talented, dedicated, long-time co-workers have left in recent years, taking with them their decades of on-the-job experience and reference skills, that it can be quite depressing at times. Sigh...

[ See my complete set of photos from Rianne's retirement party ]
Nobody Reads My Blog
2013 Weight Loss Chart so far:


This week, I continued to get in more walking exercise than usual, due to some extra walks on my schedule. With my new FitBit pedometer/activity tracker, it's a lot easier to track how much walking I'm doing, and in order to get in over 10,000 steps per day, I'm a bit more focused on doing vigorous walking than I had been without the FitBit. The Fitbit software indicates that I walked a total of 37.5 miles, accumulated over the course of 7 complete days this week, averaging 10,012 "steps" per day.

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20th-Oct-2013 11:35 pm - Last of the Hummers for 2013
Ruby Throated Hummer
Took down our four Hummingbird birds from our yard. Traditionally, at least for the past several years, the last time we usually see any of our visiting ruby throated hummingbirds is in the second week of October. I don't either Becky nor I have seen any since the first week of October this year.

I was hoping they might stick around longer than usual, since they arrived in our area later than usual on their southern migration. But that was not to be. Over the course of the 7 to 8 weeks they hung around, we saw four separate birds -- one male with the deep red gorget at the throat, and three females (with white throats), all of differing shapes and sizes. As usual, each of them was extremely territorial, and would stake out our feeders and chase off any other hummer that would try to show up to eat. It would be marvelous to live in a geographic area (like New Mexico), where dozens of hummers would visit through the spring, summer and fall, and would all feed simultaneously at our feeders, without squabbles.

But...we'll take what we can get under the circumstances. I'm just disappointed that I didn't get any really "good" hummer photos this year! Now, we sit back and wait for the 7-10 days they'll be passing through on their northern migration next April, in the latter part of the month!
Nobody Reads My Blog
2013 Weight Loss Chart so far:


This week, I continued to get in more walking exercise than usual, due to some extra walks on my schedule. With my new FitBit pedometer/activity tracker, it's a lot easier to track how much walking I'm doing, and in order to get in over 10,000 steps per day, I'm a bit more focused on doing vigorous walking than I had been without the FitBit. The Fitbit software indicates that I walked a total of 46.3 miles, accumulated over the course of 7 complete days this week, averaging 12,061 "steps" per day.

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After five straight weeks of home games (plus an off week) to open the season, Nebraska is finally taking its 4-1 record on the road, to face Purdue this week. The Boilermakers are struggling this season, with problems getting both offense and defense up and running. Despite their home field advantage, Purdue should prove to be very little challenge to the Huskers. I'm also particularly pleased that Taylor Martinez is still sitting this one out, or at least will not be the starting quarterback for the third straight game. His replacements have done a perfectly capable job of inspiring the NU team, and this week should prove to be no exception.

My prediction for week six:

NU - 48, Purdue -17

Go Big Red!
12th-Oct-2013 12:50 am - My Movie Review: Gravity
CannellFan MovieReviews
GravityGravity [2013]
directed by Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón
Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

[ IMdB page for this film | Official website for this film ]

After hearing several rave reviews of Gravity from fellow members of my science fiction club, as well as several of my online Facebook circle of friends, I was quite pleased that Becky and I took the opportunity to see this terrific film this evening after we got off of work.

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10th-Oct-2013 01:05 am - Me and my new Fitbit Flex
Nobody Reads My Blog
FitbitFlex4someOn Becky's birthday, a few weeks ago, we stopped at our local Best Buy, where I had a couple of gift cards I'd been thinking of using. I ended up getting myself a Fitbit pedometer. It's not quite like a standard pedometer, with a little screen so you can see how many steps you've taken in a given day. Rather, the Fitbit is designed to synch with certain smartphones (not mine!) and with an app on your computer at home, where it then uploads all the data from your entire day and gives you a statistical report of how active you've been.

In addition to tracking the number of steps you've taken -- both in casual movements, basic physical activity and "very active" movement, it also has a mode you can activate to track how restful your sleep is. I'm finding this feature a little less helpful, though. Becky believes I probably have sleep apnea, from the stop-and-start breathing she's observed in me when my snoring has kept her up. I don't have any real reason to doubt her, although I've not been clinically diagnosed at this time. The Fitbit, over the course of the past three weeks, indicates I'm getting decent sleep, with only an average of 6 to 9 short periods of restlessness -- where I've partially awakened and moved about in bed. That doesn't help to explain why I usually feel exhausted every day, even on days when I sleep in for an extra couple of hours.

Anyway, I got the Fitbit in part to pay closer attention to how much physical activity (such as walking) I'm engaging in. One of my goals for 2013 had been to tally up at least 175 miles of intentional exercise -- going out for walks, runs or bike rides. This was only "intentional" exercise, rather than the day-in and day-out walking that my own schedule and job requires of me. As of mid-September, I had achieved this goal. I had been thinking for two years of getting a Fitbit, ever since a colleague first started using one and sharing his daily data. As I've continued to track my own physical progress towards hopeful weight loss these past two years, nothing has truly inspired me to up my game. My fannish friend, redpimpernel had highly recommended picking up a cheap pedometer and setting myself a daily goal of walking 10,000 steps, rather than focusing on the occasional long walks that I've been emphasizing.

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Nobody Reads My Blog
2013 Weight Loss Chart so far:


This week, I continued to get in more walking exercise than usual, due to some extra walks on my schedule. With my new FitBit pedometer/activity tracker, it's a lot easier to track how much walking I'm doing, and in order to get in over 10,000 steps per day, I'm a bit more focused on doing vigorous walking than I had been without the FitBit. The Fitbit software indicates that I walked a total of 37.3 miles, accumulated over the course of 7 complete days this week, averaging 8517 "steps" per day.

Ongoing Weight Record for 2013: I started at 202 lbs on January 1st, fluctuated anywhere between 201 and 203.5 that first week, ending on the 203.5 end of that scale. Week 2, fluctuated again between 200.5 and 203.5 lbs, and on my official Sunday morning weigh-in, I came in at 202. On the Sunday morning ending Week 3, I was at 203.5. At the end of Week 4, I weighed in at 204. At the end of Week 5, I had lost that extra half-pound and was back to 203.5. Week 6, I weighed in at 202.5 lbs. At the end of week 7, I wasn't able to do my typical Sunday morning weigh-in, due to my being sick in bed that day -- but on the preceding Thursday of that week, I had gone from 203 to 205, and then on Monday morning (18th), I weighed in at 199.5. Mainly due to lack of eating anything for over a day, and lots of stuff coming out of me. At the end of Week 8, I had climbed to 201. In Week 9, I clocked in at 202. In Week 10, the week of my eye surgery, I dropped one lb back down to 201 again. In Week 11, recovering from eye surgery (not much exercise and eating "comfort foods"), I climbed back up to 202. For Weeks 11, 12 and 13, I was at 202. In week 14, I added two pounds, and weighed in at 204. At my Week 15 weigh-in, I was at 205. The weekend finishing Week 16, after attending a local scifi convention and eating hardly anything for the past two days, I weighed 204 again on Sunday morning. Week 17, after absolutely no extra walks and minimal morning stretches/calisthenics, I had still dropped one more pound down to 203. Week 18, again after no extra walks and only minimal exercise, I was at 203.5 lbs. As Week 19 ended on May 12th, my official weigh-in weight was 205 lbs, although a few days earlier in the week, the scale actually read 207 lbs -- the most I have EVER weighed. Ever. At my weigh-in at the end of Week 20 on May 19th, I'd dropped to 201, due mainly to stressing out about getting ready for MediaWest*Con 33 -- I hadn't been eating many meals, and had been staying up late working on vids. On the official Sunday weigh-in date for Week 21, I was at a hotel in Lansing MI and unable to weigh myself, however, the last time I weighed myself before the trip, I had fallen to 198 lbs. Back home after the trip, my first official weigh-in on June 2nd to end Week 22 had me back up to 201. Another week later, on June 9th, I clocked in at 200 lbs even. On June 16th, at the end of Week 24, I weighed 199.5. After an inactive week, I went back up to 201 in Week 25. For my weigh-in 1/2 the way through the year on June 30th, Week 26, I was at 200 lbs exactly. While on my 50th birthday trip, I weighed 198 on July 7th, Week 27. Following my Colorado hiking vacation, on my first weigh-in back in Lincoln, I came in at 198 lbs. For week 29, July 21st, after a stress-filled week of theatre tryouts, I weighed 199. For weeks 30 and 31, July 28th and August 4th, I weighed 200. I dropped one pound to 199 by the end of Week 32, August 11th, and kept it at 199 for Week 33, August 18th. On Sunday morning, August 25th, I weighed in at 200.5 lbs for Week 34. I missed my Week 35 weigh in, but for Week 36, I was at 200 even. While battling a sinus infection, my weight in Week 37 was 201 lbs. Still fighting the sinus infection, in Week 38 I dropped back to 199 lbs. In Week 39, my weight was 197.5 -- the lowest it has been during the entire 2013 calendar year! Week 40 I clocked in at 198 lbs.

My goal for 2013 of 175 intentional walking/biking/running/hiking miles was surpassed in Week 38. I'm now using a FitBit activity tracker, which is recording the number of "steps" I take throughout the day. This also translates into mileage.

I am once again following my typical eating pattern, with take-out sandwiches for lunch -- nothing fried, but still nothing particularly "healthy". I am again drinking too much soda pop, though I continue to pair my soda with plenty of water as a "chaser" -- lots and lots of water! I've been eating a lot more fruits/vegetables now, but still not enough to balance out against the sweet drinks.
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