Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maybe the skinny models weren't so bad...

I attended an interesting presentation a week or 2 back by a personal trainer. Some of his clients have been fitness models and he talked about how these models have to train and then basically dehydrate themselves and do other things for photo shoots to get their bodies looking a certain way. The bottom line is that it isn't very healthy and it has given society a distorted view on what a healthy person looks like.

I think the tide may be turning though, and personally I don't like were it's heading...

Case #1 - There was an ad on TV a couple of months back that first got me thinking about this. Ad starts focused on a guy on a lazy boy, and he's surrounded by his family. The guy is huge, and not big, just obscenely fat. From his 2 or three chins, down to the rolls spilling over the sides of the chair and the bowl of potato chips perched on his huge gut. He's watching TV and talking about how hard life gets when his signal goes out. At this point, you may be thinking that this could be one of those ads that encourages you to get more active, to break away from the TV and get some fresh air... That was what I was thinking, but man was I wrong. As the camera pans back from the guy and his about as disgusting family, he yells something about moving an antenna, and then you see a guy on the roof moving their TV antenna. The ad isn't about any kind of activity, it's about a car dealership that goes above an beyond. In this guys case, even getting on the roof to move fat, lazy ass, disgusting humanoids antenna so he can watch more TV.

Case #2 - The new dish network ad... I like Frank Caliendo, but seeing the same ad over an over again was getting annoying... But then they started a new one. It appears to be fairly low budget, just a head shot of a lady talking. The lady is well spoken, and not exactly a beauty queen, but maybe if she lost a couple of hundred pounds she'd look quite decent. Some people have double chins... She has a huge flap that comes out below her face and seems to form a frame around it. I could almost describe it as something like the large flaps on Orangutans faces, but I would prefer that those remain the trade mark of those big apes. She's talking about how with the new DVR she can watch more programs.

What has happened to our civilization? We go from having a problem with models promoting an unhealthy level of weightloss, to the other extreme where the morbidly obese are promoting the ultimate in laziness? Give up America, just continue to grow fatter and fatter. Now that's a message everyone can embrace - just don't try and get your hand to meet on the other side...

I know there are problems with the perceptions people have with the skinny fitness models, but everytime I see a picture of a guy with ripped abs, I get motivated to do more. I know I'll never look like that, but I'd much prefer being headed in that direction.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

She's HERE!!!!

Much to the relief of the wife, since she wasn't wild about the name I had picked out, in case it came out as a young lad... She came out a young lady and all is well!

B******* was born at today, and weighed in at a light 6lbs 15oz, and a tall 21 inches. She's doing very well, despite a brief visit from the remainder of the Koda tribe.

Koda Kid #3 is still calling her Cinderella, and this has been picked up by Kid #4 as well... We are optimistic that particular name will lose it novelty soon, although it did get a great reaction from the nurses!!

I would post pictures but I left the camera at the hospital - Perhaps tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2008


The arrival of the new Koda is imminent. The wife is being induced in the morning. A full report will be given once the excitement has died down a little.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Daily Show....

E of The Gerli Life fame had this clip on her blog today...

It's from the today show on Comedy Central. That's Comedy as is "Funny!! Ha Ha!" type stuff. It was actually hilarious. The sad thing is that I think the presenter made more sense, than.... Well, more sence than most of the stuff I've heard on the news recently.

My foreign readers can probably have an especially good laugh at this. I'm torn between laughing, crying and curling up in the fetal position and starting to mumble, "We're screwed, we're screwed, we're screwed!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cry For Freedom

In contrast to the post below, this one will be a little more serious. I spent 2 years working mostly inside the black townships in South Africa about a decade ago. It was almost the complete opposite of the life I grew up in when I lived there, and a huge eye opener for me. I finished my time there with a huge love for the African people and their culture.

Since that time, from time to time, I have felt the inner stirrings to do more to help out those who still live in my home land. The problem is what exactly can I do.

One dream I have had, has been that if I am ever fortunate to become independently wealthy, I'd love to be able to go back and establish some kind of program to help people help themselves. Some kind of school, but also community programs where people would have the resources to do an Extreme Neigborhood Makeover, where the materials would be provided, training would be given, and then they would provide the labor. I'm still working on the independently wealthy part of it.

My mind has been on this a lot more lately, especially with the problems in Zimbabwe, which was the place I was born. Ironically the leaders who sought liberation for all, have themselves become worse than government that they were successful in overthrowing.

I'm still thinking of ways in which I can do something, although this is easier said than done, whilst raising a family and all of that. Perhaps once I get older.

In the meantime, I heard a great song about Zimbabwe this morning. Even if you don't have ties to that situation, it's still an excellent song. I actually went to High School with the guy who wrote this, although I doubt he remembers me. He ended up forming the most successful rock band in South African history - Just Jinjer, and is about to release a new album. You can check out the new song on his facebook page... Just scroll right down to the bottom of the page.

Proceeds from the album are going to go to a program called MyLife which rehabilitates street kids from South Africa. From what I can tell, it looks like a program that could make a lot of difference.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Types of Computer Users

Having been working in Tech Support for a number of years and now as a Developer, I think I've had exposure to the various different types of computer users. If I could categorize them into 5 groups...

1. People who know they aren't technically proficient, and don't try to pretend that they are.

2. People who are technically incompetent but don't know it, and like to throw in buzz words that they have heard but don't have a clue about.

3. Just your average person who knows their limits, but can get on just fine with a computer.

4. Power Users and people who are comfortable with technology. These could be high end users or your average computer guy.

5. The IT guy with the God Complex. Plagued by being surrounded by the technically incompetent and cursed with superior intellect and always being right.

I like groups 1, 3 and 4. I strive to be in group #4. Me and computers generally get on well, but I don't think that makes me any different from anyone else, if anything, I think I may have the brain defect that makes it possible to communicate with inanimate objects.

Group #2 are generally just annoying, and typically have those highly whiny & grating voices - I'm actually listening to one member of this group a few cubicles down as I type...

Group #5 are a group of the most arrogant self absorbed pricks - hopefully my characterization of User #2, doesn't lump me in with this group. For some reason they always seems to be one member of this group on the bus or the train, generally trying to impress a girl with his technical prowess. I'm just grateful for headphones and Linkin Park, Metallica and the Foo Fighters.

The Secret to Wealth!

Are you as sick as I am of hearing ads about the 'Secret' to wealth? Not only am I sick of those, but I think my neighbors my have heard my complete disgust last week as the news reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in trouble and may need a hand from the government.

For those who don't know, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are huge organizations that control most of the mortgages in the United States. I could be wrong, but I think they were kind of started by the government to help stabilize and control the mortgage market.

I'm sure there are a number of factors that have related to their current problems, but I think at the root is the same problem that most other financial institutions are facing.

Basically there was a housing boom. House prices started shooting up, and everyone wanted to upgrade to something bigger and better. Banks decided to loan money to people who had crappy credit histories and couldn't afford the house they wanted to buy, never-the-less the banks were blinded by dollar signs and greed.

The borrowers themselves aren't without blame either... They borrowed more than they should have, and didn't plan for the future either.

Shockingly enough, all of these people are now in financial hardship and the banks are not seeing the dollars signs anymore either. Stupid people lent money to stupid people and now they want help.

I upgraded my home a year ago. It was a significant jump in mortgage payment, but we had done our home work and it was something we could afford. My mortgage broker was very responsible and helped me get the best rate he could, without using any funky programs to help me get more house for the money.

So now, King George and the house of Lords - I mean, the federal government, rushes in to save the stupid people, with tax money from those of us that weren't dopes. And in case you were wondering, this isn't capitalism... Capitalism would mean the banks who were blinded by greed and tried to take advantage of stupid people would now be going bankrupt, leaving the responsible ones behind - That's how it should work.

Anyway, so I've saved the best for last... The Secret to Wealth - and it's free too!!

Are you ready?


OK then....

If you can't afford something don't buy it.

I'm sure there are other aspects to it as well, but that's about the most important part. Wealth is a state of mind, and has nothing to do with the amount of money you have. I earn far less than most of my neighbors, but we live far better - Why? because we've saved up for things we've wanted. We don't buy stuff we don't need and can't afford, and we live within our means. It's a foreign concept to most, but it really works.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

And the wife...

Wifie was concerned with my results for the previous test... Based on her results she is...


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I'm wondering if this may lead to compatibility issues....

I'm not sure....

if this is good or bad, but apparently...


As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

The Doctor

3 years ago, I decided that I should really start trying to have an annual physical. Without knowing it, I ended up picking the perfect doctor. He's a guy, a little older than me and with a similar ethnic background. I have since been told that that is exactly what you want in a doctor, since he will likely be facing the same challenges as you are, and most familiar with things that you should be concerned about.

Anyway, so three years ago, I went and was told that I needed to lose some weight, that my cholestrol was on the high side, and that I really needed to watch my blood pressure. I think my blood pressure was 120/96.

Two years ago I went back and was told that I really needed to look at losing some weight, that my cholestrol was still high and although my blood pressure had gone down to 120/94, some group somewhere had lowered the range on high blood pressure and so I was at even more risk than I was previously - something I didn't get, but whatever.

A year and a half ago, a neighbor convinced me to start working out with him. I'll be honest with you. The first 6 months were sheer hell. I managed to get into the weightlifting fairly quickly, and the eliptical was OK, but the running was something I feared each time we went. It used to take 800mg of Ibuprofen prior to a run, just to help me get through it without wanting to cry - OK, I still wanted to cry, but it was a little easier not to with the drugs. On a good night I could go to almost 3 miles!!

After 6 months I went to see the doctor - this would be a year ago. Despite all my exercising efforts, I had yet to lose any weight, although I did manage to lose a little of the girth around my waist. My blood pressure was still on the high side something like 120/94 and he even mentioned that if it didn't come down we may have to medicate. The only really good news came a few days later when I got my blood test results... My cholestrol had dropped fairly significantly!!!!

Since that time, I've managed to drop just over 20 pounds and I can now run 10 or more miles without Ibuprofen and still feel pretty good when I'm done. According to the charts, I'm still a couple of pounds inside of being over-weight, but I am no longer considered obese - I'll take it. It's time for me to schedule my annual physical, and so the one remaining factor that I'm not sure about is the blood pressure.

I donated blood this morning though, and they took my blood pressure....



Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

I have been wanting to do another post on Gay Marriage, but in light of the impending holiday, I would to touch on something slightly different.

Two things:

The first is a video I found on YouTube - actually I found it on the Campaign for Liberty website, but it's hosted on YouTube. Have you ever wondered exactly what liberty means? I thought I had a good idea of what it was, and I was pretty close, but this really sums it up well.

Secondly I got an email today from a Presidential Candidate. I think he sums up my feelings quite well. Read it and see if you like what he's saying...

Dear Friend,

This weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate our Independence Day. They will gather in parks and on front lawns, fire up their grills and enjoy an evening of fireworks, family and friendship.

Children will wave sparklers in the air, tracing figure eights, while fathers will light seemingly endless fuses of fountains and firecrackers.

Most revel on the Fourth of July as a matter of tradition – and it is a good one. I have celebrated this day throughout my life, even when I lived in nations that did not cherish freedom.

When I reflect on our Independence Day traditions, I am deeply grateful that Americans continue to celebrate this historic day, but I am also saddened by our combined failure to stop the continued encroachment upon our freedom.

Each July 4th, I look back at our year and can literally count the ways in which the path set forth by our forefathers has been distorted and, many times, betrayed.

We live in a nation bursting with people who love liberty but governed by men who lust for power.

For over 100 years, those designing men have been enabled by a political system that favors and protects the powerful.

Republicans and Democrats have maintained and significantly increased their hold on the reigns of our government regardless of the damage that has been done to the men, women and children who work, love, live and die in our great nation.

Today's America does not resemble the intent clearly laid out within that document that was signed by patriots 232 years ago.

They put more than ink to paper when they signed the Declaration of Independence; they placed their lives, families, prosperity and honor on the line for liberty.

Our founders knew that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. They held no tolerance for the thought that we are granted rights by government.

Our rights, our decisions, our very lives are ours. It is through individual responsibility by which we prosper or fail – not by state decree or legislation.

When Jefferson added the word "among" into the phrase, "among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," he was defiantly stating that our rights are self-defined, short of depriving another of their life or liberty.

Since the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed, we appear to have lost the meaning and intent of the words: independence, freedom and liberty.

Instead, those words have been echoed with abuse on campaign trails and government buildings by politicians who use them as Orwellian tools to mean just the opposite.

We now use "freedom" as an excuse to invade sovereign nations.

The protection of "liberty" is now an excuse to take it from us.

But today, during this election year, we have the opportunity to change the course of events.

We have a chance to send a message to Washington that will rock its foundation.

Together, we can make the word LIBERTY ring true with deafening accord.

My candidacy for President of the United States is not one of vanity or shallowness. I, probably just like you, have had my eyes forced open by a government that wants to take all that it can from me and my family.

I am running for president to stand firm and demand a return of my liberty, my privacy, my labor and the peaceful heritage of my nation.

I ask you to stand with me.

Together we face the two-party behemoth that will do all that it can to silence us.

That email was sent by Presidential Candidate Bob Barr. I'm not sure if most people will be able to get past the thought that they have to vote for either of the 2 major parties, but he's got my vote.