Monday, December 30, 2013

Victory Is Mine!

I made it!

For once in my life, I actually achieved something I set out to achieve.  It doesn't happen all that often, so it feels kind of good.  It went a lot better than my utter failure at NaNoWriMo anyway.

The sad thing, though, is that it only feels kind of good.  Not great.  After all that, I'm just so damned tired.  All I want to do is rest.  This month really took it out of me.

I barely made the five miles today.  It took me longer than any other day so far.  Luckily, I got up good and early, so I had the extra time, but man am I beat.  I'm really glad that there's no onus on me to get up at 6:00 AM tomorrow to run.

I think I'm going to take a week or two off from running, to see how well my shins can heal up before I get training in earnest for the marathon I want to run this year.  Jeez, if I think I'm tired now...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

One More And I'm Done

Ran another five today.  Only one more to go.  Five that is not just know what I mean.

Now my total is:


I admit that I'm pretty glad that I'm almost done.  I'm tired.  I'd like to take a little rest, maybe let my shin splints heal, and build my strength back up.  Been wearing myself down so much this month.

Of course I can only rest for so long, because I'm supposed to start training for the marathon that I'm planning on running on April 19.  Doesn't give me much time to rest.  Maybe I should pick a different marathon, but I keep doing that, so maybe I shouldn't. 

After all, I was supposed to have run a marathon back in September, and if I'd really gone for it, I wouldn't have been here doing this desperate dash toward 500 miles on the last week of the year, because I would have made it to 500 right about the time I got to race day.

Friday, December 27, 2013

I Can Taste It

So close!

I did another five miles this morning.  So I am at:


Two more times should do it.  Meaning Saturday, and then Monday.  I should be able to get there before New Year's Eve.  Which is not how I expected it to work out.  I figured it would be 11:59 on New Year's Eve, and I would be out desperately trying to get in that last mile, and I'd hear people counting down from inside their homes, "5...4...3...2..." and I'd be out there screaming, "NO!  I only have 500 more yards!"  And I'd start sprinting, trying to beat the countdown.

Then I'd get on here, and tell you all that I'd made it, not even mentioning that the last 500 yards were actually done in 2014.

But it looks like I won't have to lie after all.  Unless things go really badly, like I get hit by a car or something, then I should make it.  I'll knock on wood right now.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day After And Back To It

I took Christmas Day off, mostly because I figured I needed to with the shin splints bugging me so much. Today, I got up early and got back to it. I had to go back to work today too, so I had to be up first thing.

I made it five miles, despite the shin pain.  That puts me at:


So damn close I can taste it.

But it tastes sweat.  Smells bad too, like gym socks.  Maybe I shouldn't have struggled so much to get to it.  Heh heh.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Eve Of Destruction

Today was a little tough.  My shin splints were killing me, and I probably walked for half the time.  I was destroyed this Christmas eve.

I have no shame, however.  I stuck it out for four miles, despite the pain, and now I am at:


Which leaves me with only twenty miles to go.  I should be able to handle that.  That's only four times if I can manage five miles each time.  I think I can even take Christmas day off it's going well enough.

Thanks to everyone for cheering me on...except Rish, who tells I'll never make it...never...cackle, cackle, cackle.

But merry Christmas to all of you, even Rish.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Closing In

Ran five miles today. That puts me at:


Less than 25 miles to go.

I'm gonna make it.  Just barely, but I will make it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


It snowed the other day, and I pulled into a parking lot, and saw this:

At first, I thought it was just a big pile of snow.  When there's big snowstorms, they often bring plows into parking lots to clear them out so that people can use them safely.  The plows have to move the snow somewhere, so they usually pick a spot, and push it all to that one spot.  It looked like one of those places, until I noticed the side mirror sticking out from under the snow.

Somebody had had themselves a real good time completely burying someone's car.

I like that you can see the antenna sticking up through the packed on snow.  This crap reminds me of when I was in college.  We would have done something like this if someone suggested it.

I just hope the poor guy who owns the car had a friend or two to help him clean it off when he went out to use it and found it like this.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Setback And Perseverance

Thursday morning, I woke up feeling pretty poorly.  I had run Monday through Wednesday, and was pretty proud of that fact, but Wednesday night, I could feel a twinge in my back when I went to bed.  Thursday morning, after a good night's rest, it felt worse.

I needed a rest anyway, so I didn't run that morning.

Friday, after another night's rest, it felt twice as bad.  Seriously, I couldn't relax my back at all, because of the pain that would hit if I did.  I tried to stretch, but that hurt too.  So, I didn't run Friday either.

Through the day, my back loosened up, and I realized that I just needed to let it do that first before running.  So, this morning, after being up and dorking around for a few hours, I started into another five mile run.

My back was a little sore when I finished, but not as much as I expected.  Maybe the run might help.  I don't know.  All I know is that I can't take any extra days off anymore, or I won't make it.

As of now, I'm at:


I still believe that I'll make it.  We'll have to see though.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moving Along

It was a good morning today. I managed to get up and get going on time. Because of that, despite the fact that I was tired, I had plenty of time to mosey my way to five miles. I didn't push it. I ran slow, but I made it five miles anyway.

 So, now my total is:


That still leaves 34 miles to go, and not a whole lot of time to do it in, but I'm not going to quit.

I'm going to make it all the way.  I plan to run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this week, which will get me to something like 480 by the end of the week.  Then I'll have a week and a half to get 20.  I still got time.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Resolution and Temptation

On Saturday, I took my kids skating for the first time this year. I gave my phone to my daughter, and told her to take some video of me skating. Not sure why. Usually, I never appear on video, because I'm the one behind the camera. You can understand why, when you see my daughter's finger partially obscuring the upper right hand side of the picture.

Anyway, here's the video:


To you, it's probably totally innocuous stuff. A guy skating around. To me it was a huge eye opener.

You know how, you look in a mirror, and you don't get an actual exact vision of yourself.  You see yourself the way your mind sees you, and not exact.  And even when you see a picture of yourself, your mind manages to skew it to what you think you look like instead of what you really look like.  But, for some reason, video is not that way.  Maybe there's just too many pictures for your mind to adjust or something, but when you're on video, you see yourself as you really are.

Well, I hadn't seen myself as I really am for some time.  Sadly, I didn't really like what I saw.  Was that sweater really that tight on me?  And the pants that I'm wearing...they're my fat pants.  I can't fit my other pants, so I have these ones until I get back to a good weight.  The pants look friggin terrible.

And now I know that that is what I look like when others see me too.

It was a wake up call for me.  I needed to pull the reins on this runaway stagecoach that is my eating habits.

I'm running, so that's a good start.  That burns a lot of calories each day.  Which, sadly, means I was eating a damn lot of calories to outpace that.  But now it was time to cut that crap out.

So, yesterday, I started in on being good.  I know, most people wait until after the holidays are over to do that, but my stagecoach would probably have plunged off a cliff by then.  I didn't want to wait.  Dr. Seuss said the waiting place is no good in, "Oh The Places You'll Go" after all.

I was awesome yesterday.  Thee were a few temptations, and I sneered at them.  No, I did not eat the cookies that someone brought in to work to share with people...they looked pretty nasty anyway.  And I even turned down the guy who offered to buy me candy or a soda as thanks for helping him get his sportscast together.

I did really good, and wanted to do the same again today.  But then I came in to work and found this in the break room:

I think that's the biggest spread we've had at work all year, and it's nothing but cookies and brownies and garbage.  Stuff I love to death.  Like a vampire facing a cross, I hissed and ran for it.  But that spread is so big, it's going to be there all day.  Dammit.  Will I be able to resist it that long?

I ate a grape from the fruit tray.  Maybe I'll eat some veggies from that tray too.  But I don't want the extra calories.

And another thing, why does this always happen on day two of a healthy eating regimen?  Why didn't this come in to work last week, when I would have gladly gobbled it all?

Anyway.  I'm still running.  This morning, I ran four miles.  I was a little tired from running yesterday, so I didn't make it five.  But four is respectable.  Now my mileage total is:


If I keep after it, I'll make it.  And if I keep eating well, even through this season of temptation, I'll maybe fit that sweater better when I get there.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Today Was A Good Day

I got out there and went for it, and managed to get in five miles this morning. That means my total is:


I did it at a record pace today too.  I've been trying to push myself to go faster for longer periods of time, because it gets me done quicker, and it seems to help keep the shin splints at bay. Today, I did my five miles at a PR pace of 11:38 per mile.  That's a full two seconds below last week's 11:40 PR.  That's cool right?  If I don't make it to 500, at least I did something good, right?

But I'm going to make it.  So there!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Still Going

Today I ran four more miles, bringing my total to:


That leaves less than fifty miles to go.

My alarm didn't go off when it was supposed to this morning (or else it did, and I shut it off and was back to sleep without even realizing I'd done so), so I almost didn't get to run.  My daughter had a piano recital at 10:30, and I'd promised the kids I'd take them ice skating after that, so if I didn't do it first thing in the morning, it wasn't going to happen.

I hurried as fast as I could, especially that last mile, running at a higher speed than I usually do for a longer period of time than I usually do.  But I made four, and felt glad that I did.  If I do less than that, I feel a bit like a slouch.  Especially with my deadline breathing down my neck.

Anyway, I'm still at it, and I have less than fifty to go.  Yeehaw.  If I did five miles every time I ran, I'd be done in ten days...not counting the rest days in between.

Let's see...I've got eleven possible days left.  Looks like I've pretty much run out of wiggle room.  I might have to start doing some really long runs on Saturdays or something.  Can't even budge to let Christmas or New Year's Eve get in the way.  Yikes!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Four Miles Today

Mile count:


Only four miles today. I meant to get in five or maybe even six, but I goofed around too long before starting my run, and didn't have time to do them all. I have to finish by 8:00 or I don't have enough time to get the kids ready for school and myself ready for work.

The shin splints are still bugging me. I think I'm just going to have to hobble the last 52 miles to my goal. They started hurting at around the 1.5 mile mark today. But I've found that the more I run with a full stride, the less pain I get. Unfortunately, it's a lot easier to jog slowly than to run hard. I get tired and worn out when running fast, as you might imagine. So, what I've been trying is to run fast for a minute, walk for 30 seconds, and jog for 30 seconds, then repeat that throughout my run.

It's been good so far. Hopefully it continues.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Okay, so I took...shoot, I nearly took two weeks off to let my shins heal and make running the last bit of this slog bearable. This morning I got out and ran another five miles. I am now at:


Gooooo me!

Unfortunately, about three and a half miles in I started feeling a little pain in my shins again. Maybe I wasted those two weeks, because they're just not going to get better.

Also, I've been overcome by a stuffy/runny nose and sneezing ever since I finished running this morning. If I get sick, then I'm sunk.

I've only got 54 miles to go, which I can totally do, as long as everything goes well. If I have to take more time off, I might find myself having to run 10 miles a day there at the end, and that's probably beyond my ability.

I'm going to win though. Like Metallica once said back when they still hadn't sold out yet, "Listen, dammit, we will win!"

Monday, December 2, 2013

WriMo Over RuMo Just Began

So, I didn't win NaNoWriMo, because I didn't make the target word count for the month. I only wrote just over 5,000 words, when I was supposed to write 50,000. I'm not disappointed in myself though, because I did write. Sounds like one of those tee ball, we-all-win kind of cop outs, but I wrote 5,000 more words than I usually write last month, so I count it a success. I'll build on it however I can, and keep moving forward.

So, that's that for the Wrimo. I'll keep writing this month, and every month. They'll all be WriMos now.

However, I have a new challenge for myself. RuMo. Or Running Month.

You see, at the start of the year, I made a goal for myself to run 500 miles on the year. To further document that, I started taking a video of myself each day as I ran. I produced two YouTube videos of my progress towards my ultimate goal. The first when I made it to 100 miles.

The second when I made it to 250 miles.

Like writing, running is easy to slack off on. It's kind of hard and physical and exerting and all that crap. So, I've been a little slow on my final 250 miles.

And here we are with only one month left in the year, and I haven't quite made it to my goal. As of today, I have run 439 miles on the year. Which means I have 61 miles left. If my calculations are correct, the most I can possibly run in the next month is exactly 100 miles.

So, it should be easy, right?

Unfortunately, I've been having a really big problem with shin splints in the last few weeks. I've been hobbling my way through my runs, but it has been nearly unbearable. I'm going to take the next week or so off from running, to give them time to heal up. Hopefully, that will make future runs less agony-ridden. But that will take 20-25 miles off of my possible total. Meaning it will be a much closer thing.

I'm going to post after each of my runs, so you can follow my progress towards the finale of RuMo.

This picture is from Saturday. I was halfway into a five mile run, and all I wanted to do was sit down...and cry.

But I managed to finish it out, and so now my total is:


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Did I Blow It?

I didn't manage to write yesterday. I sat down in front of the computer with that goal in mind, and then I realized that the episode, our first episode in two months, was edited and in my dropbox, waiting for me to assemble it and post it.

So, Episode 147 of the Dunesteef is available to listen to now, but I didn't get any writing in. I spent my time working on that instead.

Did I blow it? I don't know. It's hard when you have multiple goals that can't always go hand in hand. I mean, it's easy to write and not drink soda, they don't conflict with each other, but writing, running, blogging, working on the podcast, etc. all take up some of my time, and there's just only so much of it.

I'll write today, and try to make up for my lack, although, there's a bootleg version of Episode 147 that I need to prepare as well. Not to mention the special gift to those who donated during our donation drive.

So many things, so little time...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Today's Word Count: 586

Total Word Count: 5,030

I thought it would be really hard to get some writing in yesterday, because of the fact that I go straight from work to meet Rish for our podcasting session. However, I found myself in a waiting room before that, and, as Rish started doing and told me I should do too, I had a notebook for writing with while I wait.

Things took a while, so I managed to dash off 586 words onto my notebook, while I waited. I was pretty excited about how well it went.

My notebook story is different than my NaNoWriMo novel. I haven't come up with a title for it yet, but it will probably have something to do with Bumblebee. Maybe Boinking Bumblebee or Bewitched By Bumblebee or something like that.

Maybe I'll talk about that story on an episode of Anklecast or in a blog post when I have more time in the future.

For now, suffice it to say that I wrote yesterday. Hooray!

It's kind of a shame that I've failed so miserably for NaNoWriMo. Maybe I was right in not attempting it in the past. But I don't think it's a total failure. At least I wrote.

My deal is that I hope to keep this up all year. All my lifetime through even.

So, I'll call it NaNoWriYe, because it doesn't end for me when the month does. I'm going to keep at it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanks For The Nudge

Today's Word Count: 1055

Total Word Count: 4366

Special thanks to Herb for getting on my case...I think it was Herb. That's what I remember, but I can't find the comment any more. He wrote a comment, saying, "come on, Big, it's been three days and still no word count."

It was the motivation I needed. I should have gone to bed hours ago, but instead, I stayed up and wrote. And I'm glad I did, because I really got in a groove, and managed to write more than a thousand words for, I believe, the first time since November started.

That comment was exactly what I needed.

I'm still having a hard time fitting the writing in. I think tomorrow will be difficult if not impossible because of my commitments that await me.

That, and trying to fulfill all my goals is making me work a little towards each and fall short on all.

I've been using my time that I could be writing to go running instead, because I really want to make it to 500 miles before the year is out, and I have a good chunk of change still to go.

But I'll keep working. Because it's worth it.

So, thanks for your help and comments, Herb, and everyone else too. It means a lot.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

NaNoWriMo No Excuses

I haven't been giving my daily updates for more than a week, and frankly, I'm a bit ashamed. I started letting things get in the way last Saturday. Instead of getting up and getting right to writing, like I knew I should, I loafed around the house all morning, expecting to have all the time in the world. But then my sisters, who were in town visiting, called wanting to come see our new house. They informed me of a get together we were doing that afternoon, and soon, I found myself running from this to that with nary a moment of rest in between.

On Monday morning, after all the sisters-in-town excitement had subsided, my keyboard on my old computer flipped me the bird. The entire bottom row of keys stopped working from Z all the way the "? /" key. I couldn't even log onto my computer, because my password required some of those keys.

There it was, the perfect excuse to skip out on my writing duties. And I took that ball and ran with it. I ran so long with it that I scored several touchdowns, damnit.

Our donation drive from last month was a huge success, and we're really glad to be able to say that we were able to get that old computer replaced with a new one. It arrived yesterday morning. So, now I can get back to it. Thanks again to everyone who donated. You guys are the best listeners there are.

But now comes the part where I admit to the shame. While having a broken keyboard is a legitimate excuse for not writing, it's still not okay. I could have looked around until I found the keyboard that I can attach to my old Samsung tablet, and used that to write. I could have shouted angrily at my kids until they released our laptop from their clutches, and wrote on that. Hell, I could have gotten a damned paper and pencil and wrote with that. It wasn't a valid excuse, and I'm ashamed of my use of that excuse.

Have you ever heard of Maria Kang? This is her:

She put out this picture of herself on Facebook to try to encourage her followers to be healthy. Proving to them that having been pregnant a lot and dealing with really young children is not really a valid excuse. Of course, given the way our modern world works, she was attacked for doing such a thing. She was accused of fat shaming, and called a villain. Some people stuck by her side, understanding what she was out to do. It became one of those viral stories that landed on all the talk shows and so forth, so it eventually made its way to my attention too.

I don't know if it makes me a villain too, but I was inspired by her message. It's so damned easy to make excuses for yourself. "Hey, I can't be blamed for being fat, I have this thing that gets in the way of exercising and eating right..." But, in the end, most of those excuses aren't valid. I know it's true for me. I'm fat, because I allow myself to be fat, because I eat too much and exercise too little. I've even managed for short periods of time to win the battle, and dropped a lot of that fat. But I let my bad habits sneak back in, and gain it back.

And I'm similarly woeful when it comes to writing. I don't write, because I'm lazy. No excuse is good enough, at least not yet. I'm still completely able to write, I just don't because I'm lazy.

I think I need to feel that shame once in a while...maybe more than once in a while, so I stop letting my excuses get the better of me. I've got goals that would make me very happy if I achieved them. And no excuse, not a broken keyboard, not anything is good enough.

If what I want is important enough to me, no excuse is valid.

I only wrote 208 words while the keyboard was broken. I wrote them on a story that I've been working on slowly on a notepad. I should have completely finished that story in that time. It was the perfect chance, but I let my excuses win the day.

Today, I'll get back to it. Tomorrow, expect a new word count update, not a new discourse about my excuses that have kept me from fulfilling my goals.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #8

Today's Word Count: 869 Dude

Total Word Count: 3311

When your word total on the day is yesterday's total plus a 69, then things must have gone well, right? Well, they didn't go well like that, but I did wind up with a respectable total, and that's cool.

It was actually this close (my fingers are close together here, you'll just have to imagine it) to being another no words written at all day. I had gone the entire day with no words written, night had come, everyone had gone to bed, and it was my chance to get some writing in. But instead I spent perhaps an hour looking at old pictures that my dad gave me the other day. He's scanned all our old slides, so these are pictures I haven't seen in forever, if at all, and I was interested. Then I thought I'd better get a couple of episodes of That Gets My Goat uploaded and posted before Rish decided to kill me for not doing it all this time. So, I did that. (If you haven't listened to those outtakes I uploaded last night, you should. Rish made this amazing montage of outtakes that you have to hear to believe). I wrote a blog post after that for my family blog that none of you all are invited to, so don't look for it. And that was challenging, because it was hard to figure out how best to tell the story that had happened.

But finally, I decided that I had wasted as much time as I could get away with. There was no more ducking it. I opened my story file, and started pecking away. It only took me a half hour to write nearly 900 words. If you're really enjoying the point of the story you're writing about, it's easy to write fast. I guess that's the key. Make the story something you really want to write about, and you can write 1,600 words without much trouble at all. I could, if it hadn't been 1:30 AM by this point, have probably made it to 1,600 without too much of a struggle.

I suppose that I got lucky this week, and the baby didn't wake up and stay up all night, like last Friday. So, that was good.

It was a lot of fun, and I'm almost done with chapter one. Just a couple of words about how he can see fairies still on the walk home, and then it's on to chapter two. That's exciting. The idea that I could actually write a novel, a book, not just a short story, but a friggin' tome, is really exciting. Especially since I have several ideas for books, but I've always felt they were out of my reach, since I couldn't even keep it up long enough to get a short story written. I guess I'm going to go and see if I can get my words in for today now. To bad I can't count all this diarrhea of the, keyboard as part of my word total. I'd be at 500 already.

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #7

Today's Word Count: 8

Total Word Count: 2442

Yes, I really did write eight words yesterday.

With my head aching the way it has been all week, I've been trying to get more sleep to see if it helps. Which means I haven't gotten up early to write since Monday.

My lunch break is one of the other times I try to write each day, but on stressful days at work, I need an actual decompression period before I can do anything of worth. Yesterday was one of those days. It just happens sometimes when you're doing a live television show...actually it doesn't just happen sometimes, it happens a hell of a lot. This week has just been bad for that.

And I had to meet Rish right after work to see Thor: The Dark World. We podcasted an episode of TGMG right afterwards, and I got home at about 1:00 AM, so instead of writing, I went to bed.

Eight words is not the kind of total I'm looking for, so I'll be sure to improve it tomorrow.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #6

Today's Word Count: 530

Total Word Count: 2434

I probably could have written more yesterday, but I just didn't feel like it. I've been complaining about this headache that's been plaguing me all week, and last night, it was pounding, and I just didn't care about anything anymore. I'd written already, and I said, "screw it I'm going to bed."

And I don't even feel bad about it. I'm in this thing to get in the habit of writing every day. So, as long as I accomplish that, I feel good. Well, except for the damned headache, anyway.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #5

Today's Word Count: 305

Total Word Count: 1904

Disaster! That's what yesterday was. Remember how I've always said that I don't participate in NaNoWriMo because it's a bad month for me because of sweeps? Well, yesterday was one of those days that gave me that opinion in the first place.

I didn't get up early to write, because Rish and I had been out late the night before, so I needed that time for sleep. I managed to get 305 words written during my lunch break at work. And then, as I was walking out the door to go home, I was told that there was a very important thing that needed my immediate attention.

So, instead of trying to write further last night, I spent the evening working three hours of overtime. By the time I finally got to leave, I was wrung out. I've had this headache that has been plaguing me since Sunday, and it was probably at its worst by the end of that overtime. I felt physically ill. I felt on the verge of vomiting. I think that it might be some sort of migraine headache, but I really don't know. I've never been to the doctor about it, so I really don't know what a migraine is and whether I get them or not.

Anyway, despite arriving home at 10:30, I didn't even consider writing further. I just went to bed and quivered in agony...okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I did just go to bed.

Hopefully, today will be better. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #4

Today's Word Count: 783

Total Word Count: 1599

Well, it took me four days to get in one day's worth of writing. But I'm still moving forward, and that is what's most important to me. Whether I succeed in getting 50,000 words written in a month is actually inconsequential to me, as long as I write every day and make it into a habit that continues after the month is over.

Maybe in December I can get 50,000 if I can't in November.

I knew yesterday would be a hard day for writing, because I have less time most Mondays than other days of the week, owing to the fact that I meet Rish on my way home from work, and we record and goof off until the wee hours of the night.

I got up at 6:30 in the morning, took a shower, and went downstairs to write yesterday, and that's where I got the majority of my words in. A little at lunch, and a little in a waiting room as well.

I'll keep on keeping on. Maybe today will be the first day I achieve my daily goal.

Story update: Robbie has been bitten by the fairy, and today I will write about how his eyes have been opened.

Monday, November 4, 2013


See, progress! Keep at it!

-Jason Kivela

Jason, friend of the show and all-around good guy, just commented on my last post about NaNoWriMo with this encouraging missive. My third day of NaNoWriMo was better than my first or second, and that's good. And it is progress, as he said.

As I said in the last Anklecast, I have a bunch of goals that I have formulated for me to fulfill by the time I reach my next birthday.

One of them is losing weight down to my ideal size. Now I'm not certain that this is my ideal size or not, I suppose we'll see when I start getting close, but my goal is to arrive at 200 lbs.

Today, I started in earnest to reach for that goal. I weighed in at 273 this morning, which is a little depressing, since it's already ten pounds more than I have been weighing for the last few months, but I gave in and let myself go. Now I gotta get it back.

So, here I am, trying to eat good. Monday is always a difficult day, because I go out to eat with Rish every week. But, as long as I'm good the rest of the day, I should be able to deal with one naughty meal.

This was my breakfast today:

That's two eggs with green peppers, onions, and mushrooms diced into them; a slice of deli ham; and some chopped tomatoes and avocados on top. It's part of a diet that I have followed to some great success in the past. I need a protein, a fat, and a carbohydrate in each meal. The eggs and ham are the protein, the tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, and onions are the carbs (they're much healthier if you can make your carbs vegetables rather than cereals), and the avocados are the fat.

This was my mid-morning snack:

That's pears for carbs, almonds for fats, and a ham and cheese roll-up for protein. I had something similar for my late afternoon snack.

Then at lunch I had:

A great big salad with no dressing on it. The salad had both butter lettuce and romaine lettuce, spinach, red cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and cucumbers (maybe more, I can't remember what all I cut into that this morning).


That's chicken done up in some sort of sweet-and-sour-vinegar-something-or-other sauce by my wife as protein, more almonds as fat, and broccoli. The broccoli was really unnecessary, because I had the salad already, but we had it as a leftover from yesterday's dinner, and I knew I'd be the only one to eat it, so I went ahead and brought it.

I've been good all day, despite temptations like people's leftover Halloween candy being set out for whoever wants it.

And it was even the good stuff, not a bunch of Smarties and Tootsie Rolls or anything.

Hopefully, I can make progress on more than one front. Please, cheer me on, and I'll treat you with more photos of my unexciting food. After all, isn't that what iPhones are for, taking pictures of your food?

NaNoWriMo Day #3

Today's Word Count: 816

Total Word Count: 816

If it wasn't for the time change, I probably would have failed altogether again today. But with an extra hour I managed to get some words in. Still not enough words, but some.

I only made half of the day's goal, and none of the last two days' goal. So, I'm pretty far behind my required pace, but I'm learning things.

I wrote pretty much everything that I did on Sunday before noon. After that, things got more busy, and I wasn't able to find the time. Also, I was already feeling burned out. Not sure what is up with me, but I had a massive headache, and a bit of a stomach ache too. Feeling like crap is not conducive to spending time sitting in a chair for a long period.

So, I'm halfway to my first day's goal. I have a lot of words to pick up somehow to catch back up to the proper pace. I'm supposed to be at 5,000 and I'm at 816. We'll see what I can do.

Today, I got up early to write. We'll see if that helps. I'm going to quite wasting my words here, though, and go write some on my story.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #2

Today's Word Count: 0

Total Word Count: 0

So, I think I've figured out a little something about how I need to go about this. Leaving the writing to the last thing at night is just plain not a good idea. Most days, it just won't happen. Last night was another good example.

I messed around all day, writing blog posts instead of writing on my story. Jogging and grocery shopping and that kind of stuff. We got home from grocery shopping pretty late in the evening, and once I'd gotten all the stuff stowed where it belonged, I meant to go into the study, sit down in front of the computer, and tap away at my story. I had to do two day's worth of writing today after all.

"Okay, kids," My wife said, "everybody upstairs, Daddy and I are going to watch a show together."

My eyebrows raised in surprise. This was news to me. When I said as much, she said, "But I haven't got to see you all week. I want to spend some time with you."

We sat down, and watched a couple of episodes of New Girl on Netflix. The episodes just played one after another, automatically starting the next one. After an hour of TV, I was without any motivation whatsoever. So I just laid there and let it continue to play.

Before I knew it, it was almost one in the morning. I was starting to wish I'd never told anyone that I was thinking of doing NaNoWriMo. I was sure I was going to hear it from several people for letting another day pass without writing.

To win NaNoWriMo you have to write 1,666 words a day for the whole month. Which meant that come Sunday, I had to write 5,000 words to catch up. That probably wasn't going to happen, but hopefully I could chip away at the deficit. I didn't want to quit, even though I'd blown it twice in a row.

One thing that I think I'm going to start doing is getting up early in the morning and writing instead of running or going back to sleep. I can run in the evening if I've done my writing. That will probably work out a lot better. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day #1

Today's Word Count: 0

Total Word Count: 0

Wow, I had hoped for things to start out better. Sometimes, I have time enough at work, that I can use my lunch break to write. Not today. Friday's are usually bad, so I wasn't too surprised. I figured since it was Friday, I could easily write at home. I could stay up as late as I needed to to get in some writing.

So, Friday evening, I put the kids to bed, and sat down to write, when I heard the baby crying from his crib. I groaned, and went to get him. I tried to get him back to sleep, but he seemed to worked up and awake already. I think I was too slow in responding to his cries, and I gave him time to wake up all the way. Now, he didn't want to go back to sleep.

My wife will often just take him to our bed, and let him sleep beside her, so I dumped him off with her. But it didn't last long, when I went into our room to change into some pajama pants (I wanted to be comfortable while I wrote), my wife begged me to take him. She needed to be at work in the wee hours of the morning, so she had to sleep. The baby wouldn't be good, wouldn't even lay down, so she couldn't keep him with her.

I knew I was in trouble. Hopefully I could get him to sleep so I could write, but I was worried that it wasn't going to happen. And I was right (not write). I tried everything, but the only thing that seemed to work was time. He was tired, but he needed to get back to that sleep-ready state that he'd been in when I put him to bed the first time that night.

I wound up watching Cars on the couch with him. I fell asleep sometime in the middle of it, and I think he did too, although still fitfully. When it ended, he was at last good and asleep, but so was I. I took him up to his room and conked out myself. I would have to double my efforts the next day.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Anklecast 15

Now without lettuce!

Today, I have a special guest with me to discuss my failures and dreams. It's not that special, since he appears on every other show that I do with me, but he's never been on the Anklecast before. Click play, and listen to me tell Rish Outfield how I am going to try to fend off a mid-life crisis.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Subscribe to the Anklecast in iTunes

Photo courtesy 4x4King


Friday, September 27, 2013

Anklecast 14

I've been living under a bridge for the last month, oh, except for that week that I was living in a van down by the river. Actually there was also the time that I slept on that guy's couch for a couple of know what, why don't you just listen to this show, and I'll tell you all about it.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Subscribe to the Anklecast in iTunes

Photo courtesy Jerry H.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Anklecast 13

How does one overcome discouragement? Maybe a trip to Canada with nothing pressing to do?

It's an all-new update from Big.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Subscribe to the Anklecast in iTunes

Photo by Elisharene


Friday, June 21, 2013

Advice For Runners

Someone at the half marathon that I ran last weekend had a sign with some very important advice for runners.

Words to live by.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Running The Half Marathon

I'm going to make this short and sweet. I published an Anklecast yesterday that can give you the full story if you want to hear more.

Saturday, I ran my first half marathon. It started in the mountains, and came down the hill into the valley.

The scenery was really nice for the majority of the run, and the downhill grade probably helped me to get a much better time than I would have if I had to run the whole thing on flat land. It wasn't a great time anyway, but I did manage to get in just over 2:36. 2:36:09.2 to be exact. I came in 1,671st place overall, and I was the 624th man to cross the finish line. I think the genders probably weren't very well balanced among the participants.

My wife and kids came out to cheer me on, and they made signs that said things like, "13 miles, that's really far, come on Dad, you're a star!" And they were right. It was really far, but I made it the whole way without ever walking. And that is what really matters, at least to me.

Sadly, a half marathon is only half way to my goal. Up until Saturday, I hadn't felt like things had been too hard. But upon finishing that race, I felt like I should be finished. I'm really going to have to step it up to make it to 26 miles. I've been slacking a fair amount recently. I'll have to quit with that. Slackers don't make it to the end of a marathon.

I won't give up though. The race on Saturday was to benefit cancer patients, to help them pay for their treatment if they couldn't afford it. Part of the things that they did was put inspirational phrases along the route for the runners to read. A lot of them were cancer related. Things like, "I'm running for her," "The day I found out I had cancer, I decided that I was a cancer survivor," or "This mile is for Mom." But some of them were simply encouragement for runners. Several of the phrases resonated with me, and one of them particularly so.

My brother-in-law who has been training with me and ran the race on Saturday with me as well, keeps saying that I need to do something less than a marathon. He says he worries that I'll get injured, because I'm starting from scratch and going to the top of the mountain so quickly. He thinks I should take years to get to the point I want to go to. He says, "You can't win, Rocky!"

The phrase I remember best from along the race course was this: "I run because I can, I can because I want to, I want to because you said I can't."

I won't quit. I will keep running until I cross that damned 26.2 mile finish line. Maybe I will get injured, and it might sideline me for a spell, but it won't matter, because I won't give up. As Rocky always showed us at the end of each sequel, he could win. He did win.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Anklecast 12

Big ran his half marathon race over the weekend. He gives a full account, as well as a quick summary of the other arduous event in his life, his recent move.

And, no that's not his cast. The race didn't go that poorly.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Subscribe to the Anklecast in iTunes

Photo by Elisharene


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Random Guy Is Back!

I don't know if you love him like I do, or if you missed him in his absence like I did, but apparently, YouTube user ItsJustSomeRandomGuy is back and making his videos about the upcoming summer movie season.

He started long ago making parodies of the Mac vs. PC commercials that you might remember.

This is his first video from back in 2006.

Here's his brand new Iron Man vs. Superman video. It's good stuff. He never fails to make me chuckle.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

250 Miles

It's part two of my ongoing series of running videos! I'm sure you already saw my first video in which I took a shot of myself for each day that I ran. Then I compiled those into a video that counted up to the 100 mile mark. If you didn't, well here's a link to my post about that video.

You see, I made a goal to run at least 500 miles in 2013. It's going well, and I'm halfway there. I think I may well even manage to exceed my goal before the year comes to an end.

I'm pretty excited about it all. I've made 250 miles, and I run my first ever half-marathon this weekend. Things are going well. Now I just need to get my diet under control, so I can lose some weight, and make life a little easier on my legs that have to carry me all those miles.

Anyway, here's the video:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


This coming Saturday I'll be doing a marathon in a sort of half-assed way. I think I'll just quit at 13.1 miles instead. No, I'm just kidding. That's as far as I'm allowed to go for this race. It's the first step or maybe the halfway point in my training to run a marathon this September.

I'm pretty excited about it. It should be relatively easy. I've already run 13 miles before. It was our long run on a Saturday a few weeks back. So, I know I can do it.

I'm a wee bit afraid too, though. This week, I went out running, and the muscles in my calves and shins started freaking out less than two miles in. It hurt bad enough that I had to stop and walk a bunch of times. It felt as though the muscle down the front of my calf was somehow the only muscle I was using while running. As if I was doing some sort of isolation exercise or something.

It did it again this morning, but I pushed through it, and it pretty much went away. So, maybe I'll be fine after all. Just what I need though. A problem the very week of the race.

Anyway, I'll get on her and let you know how it went sometime next week. Maybe, although I doubt it, I'll even find time to write something up the day of the race. We'll see.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Anklecast 11

Big talks about writing his TWSC story. Also there's an update on the marathon progress and the pending sale of his house.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Subscribe to the Anklecast in iTunes

Photo courtesy of soccerkrys


Friday, May 10, 2013


Last year, we did a big weight loss contest at my work. Upwards of twenty people participated, and it was very competitive. I took it very seriously, and lost almost forty pounds in three months, and took first place in that contest.

Sadly, for a guy like me, forty pounds is not all I had to lose. And there were several others like me who had lost well, but still wanted to lose more. So, we did a second round of the contest immediately following the first. Three months later, I'd lost another ten pounds or so, but this time around, I wasn't the champion. I wasn't upset. After all, I'd still lost some weight, and the prize for winning this time around was much smaller, since there were less people who were participating.

I gauged the interest in people doing a third round of the weight loss contest, and got a very tepid response. "Maybe," everyone said, "after the new year, when we all have weight that we need to lose again."

So, I let it lie. And, sadly, I let myself go a bit. Over the holidays, I gained back about half of the weight that I'd lost throughout the year. Now I really needed a new round of the weight loss contest. I started asking around to see who was interested, and it looked like it would be worth doing again, so we started round three.

Only nine people took part in the contest this time, and from the get go it seemed as though nobody really cared. I tried hard for the first two weeks, and lost about ten pounds, but then my enthusiasm waned, and within a couple of weeks, I'd gained most of it back. Halfway through, I got disgusted with my laziness, and tried hard again. I lost about ten pounds again, but, again, my enthusiasm waned. I gained the most of the weight back.

Then, just the other day, one of the guys who was doing the weight contest told me that it had come to an end. I didn't even realize we'd reached the end. I was bummed, because it was too late to even try. I knew how lame everyone was doing, and if I'd had a week or two, I could have put on some effort and lost ten pounds again like I'd done twice before. But instead, I had until Monday, and it was Friday. So, I didn't even bother.

When Monday came, I stepped onto the scale for my final weigh in. I'd lost something like three pounds altogether in the three months of the contest. If I hadn't taken up training for a marathon, I probably would have gained weight, I'd eaten so poorly. But, at least I had a positive number.

I went back to my desk, and forgot all about it.

An hour later, after everyone had weighed in, the woman who was in charge of the contest showed up at my door with money...for me. It turns out I had won the contest. I was the lead male. When we started the contest, since there were so few participants, we'd decided that there would be a female winner and a male winner, and that was it. No third place or Miss Congeniality or any of that.

Well, it so happened that I was the only man in the whole contest who didn't actually gain weight over the three months. It was a pretty sad state, really. The grand champion, who had lost much more weight than me, apparently lost it because she'd gotten the flu a week and a half before the contest, and had been unable to keep any food down for several days.

I got sixty bucks out of the deal, and like Mr. Potato Head said, "Sixty bucks ain't bad." Oh, wait, he said fifty bucks ain't bad, so sixty must be totally awesome. You could get yourself a rare Sheriff Woody doll and still have ten bucks left over for a dimebag of crack.

I suppose it's time to let the weight loss contests go. Folks around here just aren't interested anymore. I'm going to have to find some sort of internal motivation if I want to lose weight now. But, when it comes down to it, it always has to be internal motivation, doesn't it? Or you can't keep it up for long. I'm going to start looking deep within, reflecting, and meditating and stuff. There's gotta be something left within me that might motivate. Something within in me other than the fat that I've accumulated from drinking so damned much Mountain Dew Code Red in the last few months.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Anklecast 10

Big talks about his progress towards his goals, which has been almost completely stymied by progress in other matters in his usual.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.

Subscribe to the Anklecast in iTunes

Photo courtesy of soccerkrys