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April 30th, 2003:
Things I Do Not Miss . . .
Saturday, as I left my local category-killer, mega-pet food and dog grooming store with a 44 pound purple bag of dog food slung over my shoulder, I was struck by the fact that in early February of this year, I was hauling around that much extra weight grafted to my midsection.
Today, I could actually feel both my feet being flattened by the extra poundage as I, in a demonstration of machismo, teetered out to the mighty silver Hyundai patiently lingering in the parking lot. I don't miss carrying around that extra forty (soon to be 65) pounds. I also don't miss donning my carefully ironed bedsheet-sized XXL t-shirts either. Or having to wrestle with pulling the shoulder harness belt out too far and engaging the baby seat locking device in every vehicle I ride in. I don't miss having to arrange my pillows in a tier so I could prop my head up higher than my stomach when I go to bed so I don't urp up in the middle of a passionate dream sequence featuring the beautiful Mrs. Wonderful. I don't miss visiting the anti-acid aisle at my local Fry's to see what potion would be used to stifle my "acid reflux" for the coming week. I don't miss not being able to dodge out of the way of cars or runaway shopping carts. I don't miss sitting down and eating half a quart of delicious Schwan's ice cream and waking up the next morning in a foggy sugar induced hang-over. I don't miss wondering at what point in my trek to 300 pounds I'd be diagnosed with adult onset diabetes. I don't miss virtually inhaling one of everything in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry and then still being hungry. I don't miss eating eight pancakes smothered in Mrs. Butterworth's syrup and then passing out within twenty minutes. I don't miss watching twenty or forty or more dollars fly from my wallet through the take-out windows of my ultra-quick service McDonald's, Wendy's and Carl Jr's every week. I don't miss lugging home multiple 2-liter bottles of soda when home-brewed iced tea or just plain water quenches now. I don't miss being dead tired all the time for no other reason than being an obese slob. I don't miss going down to Ross or TJ Maxx and searching through the rack of the three size 44 waist pants, wondering if soon I'd be moving on to the 46 and up sizes. And most of all, I don't miss both sets of the automatic entry double doors opening every time I near the front of my local Albertson's.
April 28th, 2003:
Mr. Wonderful Saved by "Catch-A-Call"
For months at my guardhouse, I've been hurriedly connecting my 1998 era NEC laptop at 28,800 baud, to the internet, uploading my thought provoking MW files, checking my email and quickly logging off. This was because there is a single phone line running into the building. If I was using the internet, what frustrated caller's would hear, was the phone ringing and ringing and going unanswered. Not good. Thanks to Walter Mossberg over at the W.S.J., I discovered a really cool device by the name of "Catch-A-Call" manufactured in the USA by International Electronics, Inc. Utilizing only one incoming line, already equipped with the phone company provided "call-waiting" option, you simply plug in your CAC unit between your phone and your PC's modem with the incoming wall jack cord going to the clearly labeled CAC modular terminal on the back of the blue-beastie. This thing is absolutely "plug-and-play." As a call comes in, the CAC rings and when you answer the phone, for a few seconds while you chat, your internet connection continues unbroken. I haven't taken the time to figure out why my unit disconnects me from my ISP instantly, but I don't care. I just love being on the internet knowing that a frantic resident isn't calling the guardhouse and hearing the phone ring and ring and ring.
April 15th, 2003:
A Special Day for the Wonderful's
April 15th is the captivating Mrs.Wonderful's birthday. While your Mr.Wonderful continues to weather, crack, and peel like the slowly blackening dashboard of a desert dwelling Desoto, the vivacious Mrs.MW motors-on, flaunting near flawless butter-soft skin (including elbows)
and lush crimson tresses like the newest Italian convertible skimming its way through the sultry puddles left by an early spring shower. Always a classy lady, equipped with numerous hard earned-degrees, as each mile post passes in a delightful dash through her second fifty, this remarkable woman, executive, wife and mother continues to become an even more enchanting, even more self-assured and an even more interesting and unique individual.
April 12th, 2003:
Exercise and Diet Does It
I just talked to a new friend and he confessed to me that he had decided to no longer continue on the "low carb" diet.
Aka, "Atkins'". He informed me that he had only lost six pounds in the last thirty days. That's odd, because your Mr. Wonderful has lost anywhere from eleven to three pounds per week, averaging over a one-half pound loss per day. But this goes to demonstrate the fact that my results will not be typical. This is due to the fact, that being raised by a Nazi, I am very strict with myself, especially when following proven instructions designed to meet a specific goal. For example, the Atkins' Diet requires the lowering of carbohydrate intake to somewhere between forty and less than twenty grams per day. I don't measure carbs, but I imagine I am well under the forty grams mark. And an essential component of my personal weight loss program is scheduled, vigorous anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Why lose sixty-eight pounds of fat to simply end up a fluffy and flaccid, albeit smaller, version of your formerly porcine self? Why not lose weight and get hard at the same time? To help with those of you reading this who have enough guts and discipline to reach for your goals, I'll relate to you one of the best things about the new slim and trim you. One of the best things is, that once you've dropped down to your 'fighting weight' (in my own case, in the area of 200 pounds) is that all of a sudden, women can't talk to you without touching you. Not in a sexual way, but in the way we are drawn to touching any healthy and fit looking animal. And of course, since I'm pretty much a dog-face, the comparison fits me like a 13 1/2" spiked dog collar. "Arf!"
April 3rd, 2003:
Dieting with Dr. Atkins
As my regular reader's know, your Mr. Wonderful has been on the Dr. Atkins diet now for forty one days. And although the last weight I recorded was fourteen days prior to beginning the diet, I believe my entire weight loss can be attributed to adhering to the Atkins diet and regular, rigorous exercise. Being MW has been spoiled by the sensational Mrs. Wonderful over the past few decades, (since October, relocated to Fort Worth) my biggest challenge has been mastering the preparing of chicken, pork and ground beef on the George Foreman grill she reluctantly left behind on the back patio.
That, and boiling up the occasional pot of garden fresh asparagus spears, broccoli or summer squash. Or meticulously rinsing the field dirt off a batch of dark green spinach leaves for a salad drenched with Paul Newman's Caesar Salad Dressing littered with thumb sized still steaming chicken pieces. Dr. Atkins believes, and my own experience seems to bear it out, that if your carbohydrate intake is limited to between 20 and 40 grams per day, you will dramatically lose weight. Note that the published food triangles suggest consuming 300 grams of carbs per day! According to Dr. Atkins book, carbohydrate is stored in your body as glycogen and one typically has only a two day supply. Once your body consumes its glycogen, and finding itself faced with a digestive system taking in only 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, it turns to burning its own fat for energy. What a concept. A diet that causes your body to chew its own fat. I remain on the very strict "Induction" phase of the program and through March 28th have averaged a loss of one-half pound per day, resulting in a total loss of thirty pounds. (I expect to add another three to five pound loss to that when I weigh-in tomorrow morning.) However, I believe that the pounds lost are far greater than the thirty pounds I have measured. This is because I've not only been spending thirty minutes a day, five or six days a week pedaling the Mr. Wonderful Memorial Stationary Bike up the equivalent of Pike's Peak, but in addition, I have been lifting weights for another hour each day. Because I've witnessed my strength increase by up to one half, I know I've been adding pounds of muscle as I've been dropping pounds of glop. Another added benefit of replacing fat with muscle is that muscle at rest burns more calories than fat at rest. Sadly, my burning up that marvel of technology, the Nautilus Abdominal Machine, for over a 150 properly performed repetitions each day, results in nothing but an awesome 'six-pack' hidden behind an eighteen-pack of whale blubber.
March 12th, 2003:
Mr. Wonderful Loses
In late February, in order to commune with my only daughter and the saintly Mrs. Wonderful, your Mr. Wonderful traveled to the wet and rustic Fort Worth, Texas. To commemorate the occasion I had a snapshot taken of me at the local "Raja-Mart." When I later viewed the fat hog in the picture, I decided that it was finally time, at age 51, to re-take control of my own corpus. Or soon to be "corpus." (For you non-Latin fans, the word "corpus" typically refers to a dead body.) For the past decade, my weight has fluctuated between the high and middle two hundred sixties. When in 1977, granted a long time ago (more than a lifetime for some of my reader's) when I married the still gorgeous and glowing Mrs. Wonderful, I was in excellent shape and tipped the scales at a mere 185 pounds. And since, at the time, I believed consuming poultry was healthy, I ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken three times a week! It doesn't take a TI calculator to compute that I've picked up about eighty pounds of animal fat over the last 26 years. (Picture trucking around a pair of forty pound bags of dog food or soft water salt sacks every day from 4AM until 11:30PM and you'll understand why I was always so lazy, listless and thoughtless.) I have also reckoned, that since I've been pumping iron on a semi-regular basis over the same 26 year period, I probably have picked up at least 15 pounds of currently atrophied muscle. Taking these facts into consideration, I have boldly set my weight goal at 200 pounds. To be achieved by June 27th, 2003. A mere eighteen weeks from the beginning of my diet. How can your Mr. Wonderful publish such an audacious goal in front of his thousands of readers? Number 1, I have an incredible motivating factor, Number 2, I actually love to lift weights, scream out in joyous pain, perform endless aerobic exercises and leave a trail of sweat behind me at the gym, and Number 3, I have discovered the "low carbohydrate diet." In my first month on my new regimen (always the easiest on any diet) I have already moved 33% of the way towards my goal. Of course, this has required spending over 90 minutes at the gym seven days a week. But for me, especially since my return from Fort Worth, my time at LA Fitness is the second most favorite time of the day. The diet? Well, by chance, shortly before leaving for 'Cowtown,' I discovered a couple of copies of two different printings of Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution paperbacks in my closet. While in the Lone Star State, I queried the university educated Mrs. Wonderful about the weight-loss regimen and she verified it did indeed achieve rapid results. Also, sometime in February, I read in the WSJ, research results proving as false many of the various claims made against the Atkins' Low Carbohydrate Diet over the past many years. The diet suggests using urine test strips to determine the extent of the dieter's ketosis ie., the burning of the body's own stored fat. I was pleasantly surprised when the pharmacist at my local Osco told me that since the favorable article had been published, the manufacturer of the lipolysis testing strips had not been able to keep up with the vastly increased demand. Reading the book, especially, especially! if you are under a doctor's care, "Dr. Atkins'New Diet Revolution" - ISBN006001203X, is a must before beginning the regimen. And remember, my results are not typical, and because I am kicking butt, you will not be able to duplicate me. No way.
February 10th, 2003:
Amber Alert causes Heart to Skip
Last Friday while guarding north Scottsdale from invasion by solicitor's, Jehovah Witnesses and door to door fish salesmen your Mr. Wonderful's heart skipped a beat when I heard the emergency buzzer noise come flying out of the twin speakers of my radio tuned to AM 550. Why should I have such a visceral response? Since it was not preceded by any verbal warning, I knew it was not the everyday testing of the early warning system. As I looked south for signs of a mushroom cloud I knew this notification could be the start of something big. And then I heard the announcement, "This is an Amber Alert . . . " Damn! An Amber Alert! An Amber alert announcing a child abduction. Of course I'm not against finding child abductors as soon as possible, but being as my wife and I kept an eye on our own three children 24 hours a day while they were young, I find it impossible to understand that anyone who loves their kids put them in a situation where they could be "abducted." This Amber Alert was issued because some moron-idiot-half-breed-mouth-breathing-trailer-trash, on a mild February morning, left her car engine running, while the child she claimed to love so much, slept inside. Turns out some hoodlum jumped in the welcoming vehicle and sped off. Shortly thereafter, the thief abandoned the car and it was quickly located by Sheriff's deputies. While the "Amber Alert" sounds like a good thing, it does not warrant the attention that a chemical, biological or atomic attack does. Besides, it cannot be cheap to have all law enforcement personnel drop everything they are doing and concentrate on a single case. What about the liability problems caused when the wrong vehicle or wrong person is announced on an Amber Alert? What about all the adult rapes, beatings, and murders that also occur every day? Are these to be shoved aside for an Amber Alert? I think if you stop and consider, this Amber Alert is just window dressing and an expensive window dressing at that.
January 26th, 2003:
Dr. Edell, Amoeba's, Foreskins and Abortion
Like millions of others, Mr. Wonderful, enjoys listening to the retired Dr. Dean Edell's radio program. Other than Dr. Dean having an inexplicable fixation with other men's foreskins (yes really!) being pro-abortion, pro-gay and a vegetarian, I learn a lot with every show. Dr. Dean's contrary stand stems from the fact that he believes - even though he does mention "God" when it suits him - that Man is an evolved creature. For the life of me, knowing that there is as much evidence for 'Creation'* as there is for 'Evolution' why would anyone chose to believe man were a lucky accident rather than a created being?
(* For instance, if the Earth is billions of years old, why was the surface of our Moon frosted with mere millimeters of space dust while Earth-bound scientists predicted over a one meter deep cushion?) Without a God, without a Creator, we have no one to tell us what to do. But we also are beholding to the myriad lesser creatures all the way down our distant cousin the lowly amoeba. Because where does one draw the line? Beliefs such as these result in weirdness like vegetarianism, because we certainly can't eat our four-leggéd great grandparents. And not using animals, especially primates, "our closest relatives", for vital drug experimentation, because animals have the same rights we do. And of course, if 50% of pregnancies result in spontaneous abortions, according to Dr. Dean while it's sad, it is perfectly permissible for a woman to end a pregnancy for whatever reason she wishes. And of course, without an omniscient law giver, anything goes, for example: In one moment the good doctor is talking about how homosexuality is pursued by ". . . religious dogma that this is evil . . . " And the next he's promoting auditions for the troupe with the self describing name of "The Puppetry of the Penis." Isn't it nice to be so uninhibited, and so free from God? (After I wrote this, it struck me that 'Hell' for Christian's is eternal separation from God the Creator. While, for billions of humans, like Dr. Dean, 'Hell' is exactly what they insist upon.)
January 20th, 2003:
Anti SUV/Oil Crowd Denies Reality
I heard a good one on the Barbara Simpson moderated After Dark radio show this morning. Some moron phoned in claiming that if all the SUV owner's stopped driving for one hour, that would save enough fuel to power a launch of the Space Shuttle. He said it was a "very easy calculation" to determine this, but when pressed by the astute Ms. Simpson, the idiot hemmed and hawed. This exposes the attitude set of a typical anti-SUV/Oil zealot. One, it exposes their total lack of comprehension of how things work. This can be traced back to our generally awful and horrible public school system and legions of teacher's who are no more learnéd than your average third grade European student. This will probably be a shock to that particular moron, but the Space Shuttle does not run on gasoline! They do not drive it down to the local Shell station to top off its tanks. It 'runs' on a chemical reaction between extremely caustic and dangerous fluids that expels spent gases at the rate of 47,365 gallons per minute!
This episode also demonstrates, that according to anti-SUV/Oil nuts, while it is entirely permissible to send astronauts, who we have spent tens of millions of tax dollars educating and for a Shuttle mission to burn up, at a bare minimum, another 100 million of tax dollars and exhaust four millions pounds of extremely toxic chemicals into our atmosphere, it is unconscionable that a 21st Century American citizen freely chose to purchase and drive an SUV that provides ample room, comfort, visibility and safety at the expense of lower gas mileage. All paid for with after tax dollars. Of course this sad caller also brought up electric cars, but as my M.S.O.E. educated electrical engineer father (God rest his soul) noted over two decades ago, in most communities in this country, the only way to charge a battery is with electricity generated from the burning of petro-chemicals or coal.
January 6th, 2003:
MW, A Suspect at the Pharmacy
Over two decades ago we purchased a 'breathing machine' for our youngest child. The contraption consists of an electric motor that pumps air, some tubing, and a canister fitted with a mouthpiece into which prescription albuterol and saline are then carefully measured into. This $200 machine has, over the years, greatly eased the burden of allergy induced asthma for the entire Wonderful household. Eventually, an adapter which connects the tubing to the canister broke, crippling the machine. Since it is a vacuum-type fitting, I could probably purchase it at my local Auto Zone store.
But, being a 'by-the-book' individual, I waddled my fat ass on over to the OscoDrug store nearest my home. Once there I was informed that only the OscoDrug, about three miles away, stocked the part I needed. And that was all I was told. About three days later, I drove a half hour out of my way (postponing my homeward journey, and a bubbling bowl of Tobasco®-reinforced, Stagg® brand chili, populated by submerged Ritz® crackers and over laid with a carefully shredded 6 ounces of Colby/Jack cheese) and straggled into the distant OscoDrug store. There, I was told that I needed a doctor's prescription to purchase the part that I required! This was because of a federal law, I was informed, and the red-cheeked young lady then wisely added, "Because people use it for the wrong purposes." Right! Someone is going to buy a breathing machine by spending $200 to $300 (that could've been spent on illegal drugs) and then use the device to inhale fumes to get high? What a load of shit! If you consider the volume and the frequency of illicit drug use and the tales of tunnels and airdrops by smugglers, it doesn't take long to come to the conclusion that the only people this insane restriction is going to ever encumber is the dumbshit's like me who are using the machine for the purposes for which it was designed! Add to that, that of course, the doctor who originally scribbled out the prescription for the machine died years ago. (Always a good sign. The patient outliving the doctor. Chuckle.) This is just another example of how the Fed's will and do intrude into the lives of honest citizens and leave the career criminals untouched. Career criminals who in this case probably would have simply sauntered over to the unprotected shelf and pocketed the adapter, an eighteen pack of Bud and a fifth of Bacardi. Can't you wait until the Fed's are able track your location every minute of the day via the GPS device built into your cell phone? Can you even imagine what dastardly purposes Ice Queen Hillary will use when she takes office in January of 2008 to make sure honest citizens stay honest? It ought to be interesting.
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