Time to Change – October 3


Running a little late but I didn’t want to get into the habit again of missing a post.

Another mixed signals week.  But I think I’m OK with that this time.

The number down at the bottom there isn’t headed in the right direction.  It is only a minor fluctuation so I’m not going to get crazy about it.  I’m still fiddling with eating habits.  Plus I have this funny tendency to have my worst eating days right before a weigh-in!  Self sabotage anyone?  LOL.  I’ve got my eye on it.


I don't care what it says, I did NOT walk on water!

I don’t care what it says, I did NOT walk on water!

Last week I talked about running a 5k and signing up for the Tacky Lights run in December (which is actually a 6k!).  Well, I began the process of preparing for it.  I ran twice this week (both times in light rain.  That’s a step in the right direction all by itself.  I didn’t give in to a lame excuse).  My initial time was 14:01 for a mile.  So that was the standard for this week’s run.  My first one suffered a technical break down.  I completed the mile (1.12 technically) but my phone shut itself off early on, then got turned back on.  So it believes I ran only .87 of a mile AND that I ran across the surface of the lake!  I knew all this church work would pay off in the end!  The second run of the week suffered no such problems and I saw definite improvement.  Mile time was 12:44!  Now I still can’t jog/run the entire route nonstop.  That’s really the next goal.  Then to start stretching distance.

One step at a time.

It would help if I remembered to wear my Fitbit every day too!


This guy – 2009

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

Most recent time/distance – 14:15/ 1.12 miles (12:44/mile pace)

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

202.4 pounds

Weight Change this week –  +0.6 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – +1.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

Leave a comment

Filed under personal, Weight Loss

Some Inspiration – UCI World Championships

I posted last week about hanging out and watching the World Championship bicycle races here Richmond.  Then late last week I saw another portion of the race on TV.  Suddenly there was this great desire to get back on my bike.  I have only ridden once in the year plus that we’ve lived here.  I had a small accident that resulted in me bloodying myself for the first time in years.



The real issue here is that the roads in my immediate area have no berm.  None.  That doesn’t appear to be uncommon in this part of Virginia.  My assumption is that since they don’t need to deal with massive amounts of snow they don’t need that extra space.

But it makes cycling a bit scary for me.  There is no place to go if some driver gets stupid.  As they inevitably do.  The woods are allowed to grow right up to the edge of the road (same reason as no berms I assume) so there is no place to save yourself.  If I were twenty or thirty years younger that might be a bet I would take.  Not so much right now.

So if I want to go biking I have to throw the bike onto the rack and drive somewhere.  And I’m spoiled after living for thirty years in a place where I could just take my bike off the porch, wheel it to the road and be off and riding immediately for miles and miles and miles.

Richmond is an interesting place to bike and is pretty open to having bikes on the roads.  There are a variety of places that I can ride.  The weather for the next couple months will still be perfectly good riding weather.

And I have a goal.  There is a great new trail about to be completed called the Cap2Cap.  It runs from the current capital city of Virginia, Richmond,  to the original, Williamsburg.  It’s about 50 miles long.  My thought is to aim for next year.  But then a quote from my friend and riding buddy the Rev. Eric Williams comes back to me.

Why not now?  You’re not getting any younger.

Nothing like great, honest pastoral counseling, lol.  So maybe this year.  First I need to get back on that bike.

Thanks to the World Championships, I just might do it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Time to Change – September 26


OK, so this has been a couple of weeks coming.  Walked straight into a major stress event at work.  Stress is not my friend.  In general or in terms of trying to fix the issue at hand.  I was hanging on by the tips of my fingers (at least that’s how it felt) and didn’t feel like investing the energy in blogging.

That’s good and bad.

The good is that I was focused on dealing with the “issues” and actually managed to handle them.  Not fix them but keep them in a reasonable position of … whatever.  The bad news is that I still packed on a few pounds.  At the same time I’ve managed to drop several of them again.  So the end result number at the bottom isn’t good but it’s not as bad as it was.

At the moment I’m back and focused on this.  I said in the last post that I was going to talk about running a 5k race.  Five years ago I was training to do just that.  I needed a new goal, something that was going to push me.  So despite my long-standing hatred for running, I started training.  And I was doing very well.  The moment that still stands out to me was standing on Third St in Jamestown, looking up hill on Pine.  It’s a standard city block but it’s fairly steep.  For reasons that I can not explain, I took off running up that hill.  When I got to the top I wasn’t breathing hard.  I have never been an athlete in my life.  Never.  All I could imagine was that this is how it felt to be “in shape”.  Let me tell you, it felt good.  Really, really good.

I never ran that 5k.  In October, just weeks before the event I had a stroke.  That item on my bucket list got shoved way down the line again.  A month or so ago I was thinking about that stroke.  I remembered the terrible physical fragility I felt afterwards.  It was such a horrible shock after feeling so strong.  Then I remembered the lingering mental fragility that hung around for a couple of years.  All those parts of that stroke have been left behind.  There was just one thing left.

The race.

There is a part of me that is terrified that it will all happen again.  I was given a complete clean bill of health.  Told that being in such good shape probably helped minimize the damage.  Told to go back to living the life I’d had before the stroke.  I’ve managed to do most of that.  The only left behind is that last fear.

It’s time to survive that too.

So I’m training to help me get in better shape.  I’m racing to finally put an end, five years later, to my stroke.

I’ve registered and paid money to run.  Bought new insoles for my running shoes.

I’m going to do this.  I have to do this.  I will do this.


This guy – 2009

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

Most recent time/distance – 15:45/ 1.12 miles (14:01/mile pace)

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

201.8 pounds

Weight Change this week –  +1.6 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – +0.4 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

Leave a comment

Filed under personal, Weight Loss

Enjoying Richmond – UCI World Championships 2015

I have been a cyclist (on and off) since college back in the ’70s.  I enjoy the exercise (one of the few times I can say that) and it’s a great way to explore a larger area than I can easily walk.  So it was kind of exciting to hear that the World Cycling Championships were coming to Richmond.  Inevitably, a major road racing event (which lasts over a week) comes with challenges but it’s kind of cool for Richmond and the area.  I took the opportunity on my mid-day exploration day to check it out.

The race began at King’s Dominion theme park in Doswell, VA which is about 24 miles away.  So most of the race can only be seen on the big screen TV.

Finish Line crowd

Watching the race on the Jumbotron at the Finish Line

Once the racers arrive in the city they go by about one a minute.  And they are flying!

Trying to track them at this speed was a challenge!

Trying to track them at this speed was a challenge! This is the guy who won the            Time Trial today, Kiryienko from Belarus


Racing around the statue at Stuart Circle

Racing around the statue at Stuart Circle



The crowd for the race was really cool.  It was diverse on age, gender, apparent economic status and nationality.  Some folks were just taking a casual look at the “big event” but there were plenty of people who were into the race.  They were checking the riders numbers and colors so they could track who was streaking by.  Cowbells rang, people cheered and clapped for every single racer.  My guess would be that about 80% of the crowd were taking photos or videos too.  It was a fun, relaxed atmosphere, good for the whole family.

With many streets closed down during the racing some businesses have seen business take a hit.  I would strongly recommend looking along the side streets that are cut off to one degree or another (I wandered along Grace) and spend a few dollars with the businesses.  If we want to encourage other big events  in RVA we need to make sure that it’s not too big a financial burden on the local businesses.  I had a really nice lunch at Kenn Tico Cuban Bar & Grille.  Nice folks and good food.  Glad to support local business!

It was also kind of strange to realize that this was a big deal.  There were networks filming and camera mounted motorcycles following the leaders and everything!


Camera looking down the home stretch

On the whole it was a great day.  Lots of walking (about 6 miles), good food, some fun photos and a friendly crowd.  Don’t miss the chance to check it out over the last couple days.  Always something cool happening in RVA!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Doing a Little Design

I have no delusions that I am a graphic artist.

None whatsoever.

But on occasion over the last couple years I’ve had to try a little here and there.  What I discovered was that I kind of enjoy the process.

creativity-illo-2As discussed here before, it shouldn’t be about whether or not you’re “good” or “professional”.  It’s about expressing the inner creativity that I believe all of us have.  I enjoy cooking and the creative process that goes along with that.  I enjoy writing.  I enjoy photography.  I have a long term, nagging desire to draw.

If you push several of those things together you end up doing a little graphic design.  Good, bad or indifferent, I enjoy the creative process.  I also turn out some work that is at least OK.

My latest foray into this involved some graphics I need for my other blog.  I’m hoping to start turning out a podcast that is associated with my radio show.  The goal would be to get it up at the iTunes Store.  The best practice for that is to have a logo.  I didn’t have one but I knew what I wanted.  So I fired up my favorite image editor (I use Serif PhotoPlus X4.  Serif is an English company and their software isn’t well-known here in the States but I use several pieces of it and really like it) and tried my hand.  Here’s the iTunes logo for when I need it:



I kind of like it.  Not sure I’m done.  I’m thinking I may go with some color on the gradient instead of just the black.  Even at thumbnail size the important details (the primary words of the title) should be visible.

Perfectly acceptable, meets my needs.  I’m basically happy.

And look, I created something!

I’m working on another “primary” design for the show and website but I’m not happy with it right now.  Need to fix a part of the design that just doesn’t read clearly.  When I’m happier with it I’ll share that too.

The creative journey continues.


Leave a comment

Filed under Creativity, Faith

Let’s Expand

When I looked back at the archived posts from my old blog I kept hitting pieces that I really liked.  So I think I’m going to hand7start posting some of them now and then.  Besides, this blog is rapidly descending into a “all weight loss, all the time” blog.  That was never my intent.

The goal was to have a place to write about a variety of subjects, as compared to my other blog “The View From the Phlipside“, which is dedicated to media commentary.  I’ve made some upgrades over there, now it’s time to do likewise here.  I need to generate some additional new material but it’s a good time to re-introduce some of my better stuff from the last couple years.

But new stuff too.  I promise.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

September 11 Remembrance

This post originally appeared on a blog I no longer maintain.  It’s been sitting in my files.  Today is a day to remember.

(I posted this originally in 2007. In the intervening years we’ve lost Lee as well. So this year it becomes a tribute to the 9/11 victims and my friend)

I saw that my buddy Lee had done a Sept. 11 post

So I thought I’d put a link to the my post about 9/11 from back when I commented on it.

I never have. That surprised me as I looked back over the last 4 years of posts. Of all the things I’ve talked about I’ve never written about that day.

wtc-9-11I remember it clearly. There was a staff meeting that day so I’d driven up to Buffalo (an hour and a half drive)for the 9 AM meeting. In fact I had turned off the radio just a few minutes after the first plane hit at 8:46 AM. We had just gotten settled into the meeting with the sliding doors closed when there came a banging. Two members of the office staff came in, one in tears. The only TV in the building was with us and they needed to check the news. Something had happened at the twin towers in NYC and they had a friend who worked there. So we turned on the TV…

You know what we saw. And you know how we felt. It is a shared moment for our nation. I remember thinking in those first few moments “It’s not an accident, it’s a terrorist attack”. For several years after college I’d been fascinated by terrorism and how we respond to it. What I saw and what little we knew at that time just screamed terrorism.

And then the second plane(9:03AM)

and the report that a plane has crashed into the Pentagon (9:37AM)

and the FAA grounds all planes (9:45AM)

and then the south tower collapsed(9:59AM)

and then another plane crashes in western Pennsylvania (10:03AM)

and then the north tower collapsed (10:28AM)

Sometime shortly after that we were sent home. We prayed for everything and everyone and Divine protection and went home in a state of shock.

The diocesan offices are not too far from the airport so you see a fair number of planes if you look. I remember driving home thinking that there had never been a day in my life like this one. When virtually NOTHING man made was in the air above me. It is one of the strangest and most enduring feelings from that day.

When I saw the photo Lee was using I knew I was going to steal it. We need to remember how horrible that day was. We must never forget. But not as just as a goad to our fear and self interest. We must remember as a call to all that is good in our nature. It must serve as a call to make the world a better place rather than only a safer place. A better place WILL BE a safer place. A safer place is not always a better place.

Today is a day to remember.


Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, personal, Thoughts