My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Date Changes

It's difficult to try to arrange the timing of our move, especially in the midst of the most important season of all - SOX testing season!!! For those uninitiated, SOX Testing season is a lot like pheasant hunting season, just fewer feathers, and not as many dead delicious game birds. Since June through October is really when I do most of my consultingy type work, finding two to three weeks where I can be dedicated to packing, arranging, and subsequently unpacking all of our belongings 2,000 miles away has been a bit difficult.

Suffice to say that after a few weeks of meetings and scheduling we may be moving our moving date up a week or so. North Dakota here we come.

The other minor monkey wrench is that Alycia is still in her boot, recovering from her hairline fracture and torn ligaments. We all pray for her continued recovery in time for her to haul a bunch of heavy boxes around.

And even though I plan on being back in town for many weeks for the rest of summer and fall, it's probably the last chance for the John and Alycia tour to mosey through everyone's neck of the woods. It's hard trying to find time to cram in last minute visits to all of my family and Alycia's friends (please note that John doesn't have many friends and Alycia's family is chomping at the bit for her return to the homeland). We'll do the best that we can in attempting to see all the happy San Diegans in their sunny glory, one last time before we disappear to the wild.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Belly Redevelopment Plan

Conventional wisdom and the wisdom of our elders always states that once you hit 30, your metabolism slows down a bit and over the course of the next decade or so you become a big fatty. Or at the least you gain a few pounds. I once read an article which spelled out that the average American gains a pound a year between the age of 20 and 40. And that's just the average. So for every person who's 40 who hasn't gained that weight, there's a person who has gained twice that.

Suffice to say that it wasn't 30, but more like 31, 31 and a half where, unexpectedly, I started the inevitable weight gaining process. I can't stress enough how suddenly this happened, like I woke up one morning 25 pounds overweight. I wish I had the biofeedback intelligence to notice this sort of thing, but alas, I don't. It's a very odd thing since too I haven't substantially changed my eating patterns or exercising regimen. Most folks who know me can attest that much like a dog, "a tired John is a happy John", and as such, I make sure that I have activities every day that tire me out.

Combine my twice weekly beach volleyball sessions, basketball league, the obligation to take Shaak Ti running, and our twice daily dog walks, and I feel like I exercise pretty damn well, and pretty damn often. So then where the hell did this belly come from?????

The petty side of me wants to blame Alycia a bit for this. In my attempts to fatten her back up to healthy weight and find a good stable of reliable gluten free foods/baked goods I feel like I made too many delicious meals and deserts, and not having the self control I should, partook in way too many of them. Truth is it's not her fault, and if I really wanted to blame someone, I'd foist the blame squarely on my own shoulders (not just for having no self control when it comes to sweets) for being such a damn good cook.

The moral of the story is that I've decided to take osme of this weight off. But how? I'm none to fond of the grapefruit/South Beach/Atkins/Three Legged Dog diets, but still want to figure out how to shed some unwanted pounds, when all of a sudden, like a divine inspiration, I read an article online that made perfect sense. Thank you Internet!!!

It's called the Steve Ward diet. He's a professeor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT in the 1980's (just the person that I want dietary and nutrition adice from) and described what he considers the simplest diet in the world. His explanataion goes like this:

"All that you need for my diet is graph paper, a ruler, and a pencil. The horizontal axis is time, one line per day. The vertical axis is weight in lbs. You plot your current weight on the left side of the paper. You plot your desired weight on a desired date towards the right side, making sure that you've left the correct number of lines in between (one per day). You draw a line from the current weight/date to the desired weight/date. Every morning you weigh yourself and plot the result. If the point is below the line, you eat whatever you want all day. If the point is above the line, you eat nothing but broccoli or some other low-calorie food."

It's pure genius. Not only does it satisfy the numerical cravings of my accountant-brain, but it gives me a whipping boy, something other than Alycia or myself to get pissed at when I can't eat a handful of chocolate frosting (Damn you Sara Eddy for your delicious buttercream frosting recipe!!!!). Instead of coaxing Alycia to nag me to eat better (which she is loath to do, something about being too nice), I can simply get mad at the graph for forcing me to eat steamed turnips instead of cake. It's perfect.

Suffice to say I'll let you know how the progress is on this....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Actual Work Work

Sorry all, my schedule, nay, my very equilibrium has been thrown off kilter by the resumption of actual work. Yay, verily, real honest work, fitting the dictionary definition of the contribution of positive productive activity in return for monetary remuneration. Anyone aware of my plight to perform as little of this as possible may be well aware that a return to such a "deviant lifestyle" as that of a wage earner is enough to throw a substantial sized monkey wrench into my otherwise smooth running mental faculties.

The moral of this story, and the reason for this rambling diatribe against gainful employment and all of its wickedness is to apologize to the few readers out there who rely on this very medium to brighten their day, and make their lives better. As I return to the land of the wage earner, my blogging takes an unfortunate back seat to the aforementioned "work". Not the back seat of the 1982 Chevy Nova where you watched The Evil Dead at the drive-in with Susie Jenkins in high school, no this is the bad backseat where you're stuck, four wide with siblings on the sticky vinyl bench backseat of a Chevy Caprice with no air conditioning as you plod through Bakersfield in August as your brother chomps Red Vines and belches his hot stanky licorice breath at you. Oh, and you hate licorice......

The truth of the matter is I've had WAY too much coffee today and am trying to apologize to my three readers out there for the sparse blog postings. Sorry all - don't fret, the humorous cross country trip and subsequent acclimation to North Dakotan culture will be well documented for you to read. Fear not.