Friday, January 29, 2010

Pound for Pound Update 1/29/2010

I've been out for the last week or so because my class materials just came in the mail. I must take three exams and acquire a few licenses, but at the end of it I'll have a full-time job that will actually pay all of my bills. Nothing against my current job, it's just that I'd rather avoid long-term abject poverty.

The Pound for Pound Challenge is coming well for me, I think.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hooray for Monday!

This week, I want to introduce you to klaatu42. They're a band from Nova Scotia, Canada that does a lot of neat work. I've not actually heard any of their music; a friend of mine sent me the following video:

It's part of a whole series, and I think they're all hilarious. They're on Facebook, too. Check 'em out.

This is post 328

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Happy Blog Award! (Part 2)

Well, the task has been given to me, and though I certainly found it difficult, let it never be said that I was one to shirk my responsibilities!

...Okay, that's a lie; I'm horrible with follow-through. But I've do my best to get something up here. There will probably be a considerable amount of overlap with Dmitri's, but we have similar interests, so that's to be expected. (Also, I'm an incorrigible copycat.) So without further ado, here's a list of ten things that bring me joy:

Scene Revision

I did a bit of revision on the scene that I posted last night. It's more focused and less awful.

Why is Conan O'Brien So Popular?

I must ask this at the risk of my reputation as a geek, apparently. Why?

I've always felt that his show material was too gimmicky, for one thing. He also seems to be perpetually stuck in that awkward/bad timing stage of his jokes. It doesn't come off well, and I feel like he always comes off as a newbie.

I like Conan. I've been on his side in the whole contract dispute and all. (Really, NBC has just made a series of bad decisions by signing and breaking the contract). I love his Simpsons and SNL material. I just don't seem to understand why he's really funny on late night TV. Did I miss a memo, people?

This is post 330.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finally, a Writing Post!

(Edit: Paragraph formatting)

I grabbed this exercise from Gary Corby, at the suggestion of Amalia. I've been working on it all night, so we'll see how it goes! Also, please forgive my mistakes, for I wrote it in Notepad and apparently didn't proof it (so I feel like an idiot now).

There are many interesting writing exercises. Here's one:

Describe a character purely by describing a room they've been in. How much information about the person can you transmit?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BTS 2: GRE Vocabulary

Welcome to another installment of Beat the System! Last time, we took a look at the analogies section of the GRE. Before we go any further into the verbal section, it's important that we look into the resources for the vocabulary you'll be expected to know for this game.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pound for Pound Challenge Update

Well, I seem to have hit my usual plateau. I've been past it before, and I know that I need to up my physical activity to pass it. But I've bounced off of it several times in the last six months, and I plan to crash through it this time.

I woke up this morning because my hamstrings were so tight that I couldn't even lay comfortably in bed. Instead, I got up and got active. I did a few dry squats and played with Tiny Dog. Eventually, I loosened up.

Overall, though, I've never been particularly flexible. Especially in my hamstrings. I've done all kinds of stretches to try to change this. Does anyone have any suggestions?

This is post 333.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hooray for Monday!

This Monday, I'd like to introduce you to a free health website called Spark People. The founder of is also the founder of, an online auction site and eBay's first acquisition. He met his wife while working for eBay, and after three years they retired and opened as a way to give back to others. It's got a lot of useful tools for someone that is looking to keep track of nutrition and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Happy Blog Award!

Thanks to Amalia for the Happy Blog Award! This award requires me to list ten things that make me happy. Perhaps, I shall say, that these are ten things that remind me regularly of my happiness.

BTS 1: GRE Analogies

In Beat The System, we shall embark upon a quest to conquer common standardized tests. Myself, I am a methodical test-taker, and many of these strategies require the same steps to be consistently followed. This doesn't mean that an intuitive test-taker cannot use these strategies. But a word of warning; the Game is designed to fool smart people! You can pick an answer that is right, but without employing the full strategy, you could still lose points for it! BTS 1: GRE Analogies put us in just such a situation.

Beating the Standarized Testing System

I can't seem to get away from standardized testing. Everyone goes through it at some point. I experienced it as a student in the form of the MMAT, MAP, ACT, CBASE, and Praxis exams. But it didn't end there, because I became a teacher and still deal with them all of the time. Just because my students are taking the test doesn't mean that I'm still being graded by it.

That said, I'm pretty good at taking standardized tests myself. I score well. This is no accident, and not something I was simply born with. Every standardized test is like a game. It has its own set of rules, conditions, and expectations for the test takers, or the players. I learned a lot of the rules when I was young, and it's beyond me why so many other students were skipped out. Thus, I give you a new feature: BTS-Beating the System.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Health Check

Following up for the Pound for Pound Challenge, I weighed in today. Minus four pounds. It's a start and I hope that it continues for a few more. I worry because my eating is sporadic. When I'm stressed about things, I have a tendency to skip meals. The problem is made worse because after the fact, when I'm bored, I tend to eat a lot

Monday, January 11, 2010

PfP Challenge Update

Last Tuesday, Belle and I signed up for the Pound for Pound Challenge to donate to charity. Nearly a week later, I'm realizing that things are a bit crazy with my diet. I've been keeping track of what I eat, and the inconsistency is extraordinary. I think that I may need a bit more structure to my diet.

I'll be weighing in tomorrow and letting everyone know how it goes. The Wii Fit is going to kill me; I've not been on for a few days. Did some boxing today, though.

This is post 339.

Hooray for Monday! 1/11/2010

Having missed the last few Hooray for Monday! bits, I have something particularly neat. A buddy of mine, Guest!, started a blog last week called The Year of Beer. I'm pretty excited about his project, which I think will enrich all of our lives.

Friday, January 8, 2010


In my New Year's post, I set a goal of making at least 350 posts on this blog in 2010 and described my system for making more successful New Year's Resolutions. As a part of that, I would like to get into the habit of regularly posting on certain topics.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Driving Conditions

Our new internet service is slow. I suppose that we got what we asked for; AT&T's phone service is doggy and dodgy as well.

Today is a snow day, meaning that the entire regions has practically shut down. When it comes to winter traffic, I live in a particularly bad area. I'm not entirely sure why. The road conditions are not bad in and of themselves. We have snow and ice every year. It just doesn't add up, really.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Musicals and the Manliness Factor

When, how, and why was it ever determined that musicals are a "girl thing" or at least not a "manly" thing? I've seen the attitude in a lot of circles. I can understand if you don't care for musicals. There are plenty of reasons why musicals might not be your cup of tea. It's just that this one I hear most often, and it is rather disconcerting.

The Pound for Pound Challenge

Belle and I signed up for the Pound for Pound Challenge this year. We learned about it through her aunt, and I think that it is potentially a great thing. The way that works is this: for every pound you pledge to lose (up to 50 lbs) before 30 June 2010, they will donate 1 lb of food to a participating local food bank. We're on there, pledged to lose a healthy amount of weight.

You call this "Snow"?

It's supposed to snow tomorrow.

I should be eagerly looking forward to this. I am not.

Excellent Day!

It's been a productive day thus far. New internet/cable hookup, cleaned, did laundry, and the puppies got a special treat. Belle had a good day as well, and this afternoon we dropped by the train station to purchase tickets for weekend trip.

Then I logged on via our shiny new service, only to find that Amalia had passed the Superior Scribbler award onto our blog for the Santa Claus and Jesus post! Thank you!

This is post 346.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


The No Kiss Blogfest was definitely a success! Thanks again to Frankie for hosting the event and Amalia for making me aware of it! I also want to thank anyone that dropped by and actually read my story. It's easier to write something if you know that someone is reading it. I hope that it was enjoyable for everyone, I certainly loved reading what I did!

There was a bit of unfortunate timing, however. I've been engaging in migraine-induced fun all day, and this is my first venture online since it set in. I'm also performing an experiment by switching the words "fun" and "misery" for the day. The results thus far indicate that using different words doesn't do a whole lot for altering reality. *makes a phone call to political correctness advocates*

In other news, Belle entered us in a contest to win a free wedding. It'd be nice to get it, on account of we're rather broke. We find out Wednesday if we're in the final four, and if we are then it's up to online voting to win the day.

I'm off. Thanks again to everyone for reading!

Post 347.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No Kiss Blogfest 2010

No Kiss Blogfest 2010:

The year was 2001, almost 10 years ago. I was dating a girl named Sydney. It was pretty early in the relationship and at that point, we had not yet kissed. She was a couple of years younger than me as well. I was her first boyfriend. This would be her First Kiss.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Prepare For No Kiss Blogfest 2010!

As a part of my resolution to write, my good friend Amalia suggested that I participate in the No Kiss Blogfest 2010. Thus, I will.

If you're not participating in this, I'd suggest that you do. This looks like a lot of fun.

Post 349.

Four Key Components of a Successful New Year's Resolution

I've never much cared for 'serious' New Year's resolutions. Too many of them are the same. Everyone wants to lose weight/get in shape/learn Japanese/quit smoking/quit drinking. I know people that say the same thing every year. It's a big joke. My personal resolutions have included switching my 'Hellos' and 'Goodbyes' for an entire year and wearing all black so that I'd match my dog.

After a while, though, I started to look at resolutions and wonder why the most common ones fail. As it turns out, most resolutions skip out on four of the more important aspects of a serious goal.