Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mary Did You Know?

Mary, Did You Know? has to be my all-time favorite Christian Christmas song. Every time I hear it I get "choked up" thinking about a major player in the Christmas story that most of my life I forgot about or looked at as a minor role. In truth, she is probably the second most important character of that night, second only to her child, Jesus.

The song questions Mary as to if she really realized who this child was & what it would mean not only to her but the whole world throughout all time. Really, who could understand that? Even knowing what we know now, we have a difficult time comprehending it. The complexity & the simplicity that it is at the same time. We are human & will probably never understand until we are in the physical presence of our Holy Father.

So, do you think Mary really understood what was happening? I think she had a pretty good idea. The Jewish people had been studying the prophecies of the coming Messiah for centuries. This religion was not a Sunday morning type commitment like many "religious" people live their spiritual lives now-a-days. This was a daily, hourly, constant commitment. This was a lifestyle. People immersed themselves in the scripture & considered the messages constantly. They had been taught about The Messiah. There were different theories on what He would do & be like, but all the same, this was not some new idea. So, in a way, I think Mary & Joseph had some sort of idea as to what might be happening. I don't think either one of them had any idea of the things He would do or what would happen to him.

I imagine they were more than a little nervous as to how they should raise such a child. Should they reprimand him? If they do will he "strike them down?" Can you imagine the stress? Most parents wonder if they will completely screw up their kids, can you imagine if your child was the Son of God, the one sent to save all man-kind from their sins? Yikes. There aren't enough antacids on the planet.

Anyway, this was meant to be a short post sending you to another blog entry in which the author, Linda Williams, gives the lyrics to the song & discusses what she gets from the song. I totally agree with what she says. Don't worry, her entry is much shorter than mine. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weigh In #37

Weekly loss: -2.25 lbs
Total loss: -59.75 lbs

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional
glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful
scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.

-- Harold B. Melchart

One Pound Journey
ActionWords (aka Danny)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weather Report: Prediction for tomorrow (12/21/08)

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 26 degrees F by 6am. The high for tomorrow it 37. Ouch.

But get this. It is supposed to be in the 50's on Christmas day.

I don't mind the cold weather but I wish it would get to a temp & stick for a bit. I do kind of hope, though, that it is warm over Christmas & New Years so I can jog outside without dying or getting sick. If it is really cold I won't run. I just don't have the gear for that & I don't want to get sick.

Little Rock & the Fayetteville area are supposed to be getting ice either tomorrow or Tuesday. They said the roads may be bad.

Movie Review: The Librian: Quest for the Spear

I cannot believe this movie actually made it to "the big screen." It is so much more like a made-for-TV movie for the Sci-Fi Channel. The acting was painfully awkward & so silly it's audience had to be children. I can't believe so many well known actors would stoop so low to do such crap. The one liners could have been the cheesiest ever.

Apparently this is a film about magic & not even close to being like Indiana Jones like it tried to convince people in the previews. I just love being duped. Every scene keeps getting cheesier & stupider.

Why am I sitting here torturing myself? Am I really going to watch the two sequels, too? Did they actually make two more of these jokes? How did they get funding & sponsorship? What I can't believe even more is that my co-worker loves this movie. Is she kidding me? Has she never seen a quality film? Really?

The one redeeming quality was Bob Newhart. He is such a good actor & so funny.

Oh, jeez, can this get any worse?

I get that it was trying to poke fun at movies like Indian Jones & Romancing the Stone, but, really, this was your best shot? Please, please, please, don't waste your time. Find something more fun, like cleaning your toilets or having your teeth cleaned or anything like that. Ugh.

You don't believe God is in the details?

I was watching an episode of Seconds From Disaster covering the 9/11 attack on The Pentagon last night. During the research of what happened the investigators were baffled as to why the building didn't collapse for 19 min after being hit by the plane. The structural engineers couldn't figure it out, it just didn't make sense to them. All the supporting beams had been blown out. So, they went back to the original plans of the building.

Construction began on the building on 9/11/1941 (pretty ironic, huh?). War officials didn't believe there would be a need for such a large war headquarters after WWII, so they planed on using it as a warehouse for their files. For this use they installed extra beams & columns with extra steal reinforcements to handle such a huge amount of extra weight.

This was just one of the many miracles that happened that day. This one stood out to me, in particular. God is in the details, even to the precision of exactly 60 years prior. A simple decision made that later seemed unnecessary saved many lives.

If you ever get the chance to see this episode of Seconds From Disaster, take it. You won't regret it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Great Video: 40 Inspirational Speaches in 2 Min.

Random Video: Texas Cold

Cooking Video: Italian Chicken in White Wine Mushroom Sauce

1 pkg Chicken
Zesty Italian dressing
herbs/spices of choice
2 Tbs olive oil
Baby bella mushrooms
1 cup white wine/chardonnay

Marinate chicken in dressing & herbs/spices. Cook chicken in 2 Tbs of olive oil. Add mushrooms just before chicken is done. Remove fully cooked chicken & cover to keep warm. Add 1 cup of white wine/chardonnay to mushrooms & heat for a few mins. Poor wine mixture over chicken & enjoy.

Approximately 230 calories for 3 servings. You could get 4 servings out of this which would make it even lower in calories.

Cooking Video: Incredibly Easy Pumpkin Bread

1 pkg spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin
2 egg whites
quick oats for garnish (optional)

Mix together first 3 ingredients then sprinkle oats on top if you want. Pour into 2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 40 min (for mini loaves) to 50 - 60 min (for regular loaves) or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

A few people suggested making muffins out of this. That would be great too, just decrease the baking time to probably 20 - 30 min depending on how big the muffin pan is.

Green Lite Bites
Original recipe

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weigh In #36

Last week I said I wasn't going to post anymore videos here, just the links to them, due to people stealing the videos & using them maliciously. Well, I've decided phooey on them. I imagine if they have the knowledge to do all that, then they know how to get my videos off the net other than using the embedding. Besides, what do I care. I mean, I don't want them to make fun of me but, really, what does it matter. I know how hard I've worked & how far I've come. Those who make fun of people for who are fat are just ignorant, low caliper people & people with any class don't waste their time on them . Really, not posting my videos here just injures those who find it more convenient to view them here. So, anyway, here is this weeks video. Enjoy. :)

Wow, it took me 2 days to get this vid uploaded. AAaaaarrrhhhh!!!!

Weekly loss: +0.25 lb (as of Monday)
Total loss: -58.5 lbs (as of Monday)

As of yesterday, Wednesday (12/17/08), I am officially down 60 lbs. Yipee!!! That is in 8.5 months. Not too shabby. :)

Great Link: "The Office" fans will get one else will understand

Great Video: Straight No Chaser Teen Sensation Medley

Great Video: Straight No Chaser Sitcom Medley

Great Video: Straight No Chaser Christmas Songs

12 Days

Carrol of the Bells

Silent Night

Monday, December 15, 2008

Camera Tricks

Great Video: Uncle Jay -- 12/15

Not that bad & brrr.

So last night I weighed & it said I was only up 1/4 lb. That's not bad at all. I may weigh again tonight just to for curiosity.

I'm freezing!!!! It was about 25 degrees this morning here. Eek. The bad part was that it was almost 80 yesterday so I didn't bother to wear my leggings or a long sleeve shirt under my scrubs. When I walked out of the house last night it was in the upper 30's. I didn't have time to run back in & change so I just had to tough it out. I now have on a pair of jogging pants, a long sleeve shirt, & the thickest sweat shirt I own but I'm still freezing. I think I'm going to go put on another pair of socks & maybe my gloves with the finger tips cut out of them. Yes, it is that cold & no, I'm not going to turn my heat up. Archie is snuggled up next to me so that is helping a bit but I really need him on my feet.

I ran again today but really wasn't "feelin' it." I ran for 10 min straight, which is good, but I really wanted to go to 15. That 10 min was tough, though. Then I walked for 5 min & ran for another 5 , then walked for about 2 & ran another 3. I'm not sure if it was the cold or the fact that I'm pretty tired or the 2 days of no exercise. Either way, I did it. I didn't give up & I didn't give in.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Maybe a gain? Eek!

I am so scared to weigh tonight. I'm afraid I may have gained a few pounds.

I worked out 3 days this week (one of them being crazy weight training). I didn't really track my calories well this week but I'm fairly certain I didn't go over by too much & certainly not into the "gaining weight" zone. The only bad thing that happened this week was Saturday I went out for a big breakfast with my sis & a friend, then later that day we went out for sandwiches but they weren't crazy bad sandwiches. I also went out to eat with them the night before but I got grilled chicken & salad, so that couldn't have been that bad.

I weighed myself tonight on my home scale (which tends to be pretty close but can vary a bit so I don't really trust it) & it says that I've gained close to 3 lbs. What the crap?! That would be 10,500 extra calories this week. That is quite a bit. I think I would have noticed that many extra calories.

I'm thinking if I did gain, it is probably just water weight from the weekend & strength training cause you to retain water. I'm hoping that's all it is. If I step on the scales tonight & don't like what I see, I may wait & reweigh tomorrow night. Sometimes I do that if I think I've gained a lot of water weight over the weekend. It gives me an extra day to rehydrate. Many times it is a huge difference.

Well, I guess we'll see. Eek!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Couch-to-5K: Week "who even knows anymore?"

I can't believe it! I just can't believe it!

I ran for a total of 15 min straight today! "Oh Mylanta!!!" (If you grew up in the eighties, can you guess what popular TV show character said that all the time?)

That is over 1 mile!!!

Does that qualify me as a "runner" now?

Now I've just got to get it up to 3 by spring. 5K, here I come.

Here is a video I posted about it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chaos & commotion on Thursday night

Bragging Session

Sometimes I amaze myself. Hehe.

After my video yesterday where I stated I was back at it (exercise-wise), I seemed to have spoken too soon. After work today, I did not feel like going to the gym. It was cold. I had a meeting at 2pm. And, I couldn't decide what I wanted to do at the gym. Swim? No, too cold. Stairmaster? No, boring. Stationary bike? No, boring. Try the spinning class? Maybe, but I didn't know when the class started. I actually wanted to run again but I'm really not supposed to run two days in a row &, besides, my quads are a bit sore today. Nope, I just didn't want to go. I started feeling guilty but guilt has never been a good motivator for me. The guiltier I feel, it seems like the more stubborn & adamant I am.

So, wow, doesn't that look good. Miss. Motivator can't even get her lazy butt into the gym for two days in a row. I was even trying to figure out how I could make that sound less wussy on my weekly update video next week.

As I was trying to ignore my conscious & devour a bowl of soup, I was watching other YouTube videos. I got to Jason & Amber's work out video. They went to the gym together & worked out. At the end, they showed themselves on the stairmaster. After I finished watching that video, I wanted to go too. I decided to jump at the sudden motivation & not wait for it to sneak away again, so I immediately changed clothes, grabbed my MP3 player & some water, threw on my jacket & shot out of the door. I threw my jacket & bag in a locker & headed for the floor with my water, my MP3 player, & a piece of paper & a pen. Before I had left the apartment, I had written down some basic strength exercises I wanted to do. I didn't expect to do them all & I couldn't remember what weights I had been using when I was with my trainers but I thought, "This is what today will be for, finding what weights I feel comfortable starting with."

My last trainer, Leigh, taught me to do some bit of cardio for at least 5 min just to get my heart rate up so I'm burning more calories while I'm working out with weights. So, I ascended the stairmaster & climbed for 10 min. I could have gone longer but I didn't want to wear myself out right away. After that I headed to the weights & here is what I did:
  • Inclined (30-40 degree incline) sit ups -- 10
  • Inclined crunches -- 2 sets of 20
  • Chair (I'm not sure what it is called) crunches -- 2 sets of 10 @ 10 lbs
  • Ab Roller obliques -- 2 sets of 15 per side
  • Back extensions -- 2 sets of 15
  • Shoulder press -- 2 sets of 20 @ 20 lbs
  • Chest press -- 2 sets of 15 @ 15 lbs
  • Tricep pull downs -- 1 set of 15 @ 40 lbs & 1 set of 15 @ 35 lbs
  • Seated leg extensions -- 2 sets of 20 @ 20 lbs per leg
  • Seated leg curls -- 2 sets of 20 @ 40 lbs
  • Seated hip adductions -- 2 sets of 20 @ 55 lbs
  • Seated hip abductions -- 2 sets of 20 @ 40 lbs
  • Leg press -- 1 set of 20 @ 110 lbs & 1 set of 20 @ 130 lbs
  • Calf raises -- 2 sets of 15 @ 90 lbs
  • Seated rows -- 2 sets of 20 @ 50 lbs
After that, I hopped on the elliptical for 25 min. Then I went over to this weird contraption that is supposed to help you get a deeper stretch but I think it is either a piece of crap or I was on a broken one or both.

All of that took me approximately 2 hrs. Oh my goodness! Two hours?! I worked out for 2 hrs?! Who would have ever thought? LOL

The elliptical & stairmaster alone burned about 400 calories & there is no telling how many I burned while strength training. This is very good since this was only my 2nd day of working out this week & I had some chocolate & 2 cookies last night at work but who cares? I certainly worked them off today.

I made a video discussing pretty much everything I said here but if you want to watch it, knock yourself out. :)

Movie Preview: The International

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weigh In #35

Sorry, I am not going to be publishing my vids here for a while, maybe forever, due to some problems some of my friends have been encountering. Some of them have had their videos posted without their permission on other sites for reasons that they would not approve of, for example, jerks who like to make fun of overweight people. Anyway, as a precaution, I have taken the embedding permission off of my vids. Not that this will really help but it may make it a bit more of a hassle. I will be posting a link to my video, though, so do not despair. LOL

Here are the basic details in case you don't have time or can't watch. :)

Weekly loss: -0.75 lb
Total loss: -58.5 lbs

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I ran for a total of 10 min straight today! At 5 mph that comes out to be about 0.8 miles! Awesome! I've only ran twice in the last month, with the last time being the day before Thanksgiving, so I was really surprised that I could run longer than I ever have in my life. Amazing!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Movie Review: Goodnight, Mister Tom

Goodnight, Mister Tom is a wonderful film about a crabby old man who is forced to care for a WWII evacuee child who has grown up living in an abusive home.

William is a little boy who has been emotionally, psychologically, & physically abused by a bi-polar mother with extreme religious misunderstandings & obsessions. He has either never been allowed to attend school or it was so random that he has never learned to read or write. Tom is an old & bitter man who has tried to avoid getting involved with the village or doing anything that reminds him of his late wife & child. Now Tom is forced to foster this little boy. At first, Tom is very upset by this & doesn't really know how to handle the situations that accompany this disturbed little boy. As Tom begins to figure out how this child has been raised, his heart begins to soften.

Just as Tom & William have fallen in love with each other, William's mother asks for him to be sent back to her. I don't want to say much more & ruin the movie.

One think I really like about this movie is that the writers do not assume that the audience are a bunch of morons. It doesn't have to tell you exactly what is going on. They presume that you may actually be able to read between the lines. It really annoys me that it seems that the film industry of today assumes that we can't figure out the subtleties on our own. The older films, I would say anything produced before the 90's & possibly the 80's gave the audience at least a little credit for at least a little bit of logic.

This movie is one that I think everyone should watch. Although no physical abuse or violence is really seen, the subject matter might be difficult for younger children to understand also there is the subject of war & all that. Go out & rent this movie today!

Movie Review: George and the Dragon (aka, Dragon Sword)

George and the Dragon was originally first released in Russia in 2004. No, it is not recorded in Russian & does not have subtitles. I was actually surprised that is was released in Russia. I thought for sure that it would have been a British film. When released in America it was released under the name of Dragon Sword.

This was a very corny film but it didn't try to mask that. They actually tried to play up the fact that this was a silly film. It could almost be placed in the same category as The Princess Bride.

This film stars the very handsome James Purefoy as George & the adorable Piper Perabo as Princess Luna. Patrick Swayze plays character who you aren't sure is good or bad & Michael Clarke Duncan plays as George's best friend, Tarik. Val Kilmer also has a very small cameo role as the villain El Cabillo.

I saw this show on the Sci-Fi channel & thought it was pretty good as far as Sci-Fi channel movies go. It's worth a watch if you happen to be bored one afternoon.

Movie Review: The Andromeda Strain (2008)

The Andromeda Strain (2008) is a made for TV miniseries based on the fantastic novel by Michael Crichton. This book was first put to film in 1971 (I have yet to see that version). This version, stars Benjamin Brat, Eric McCormack, Christa Miller, Daniel Dae Kim, Viola Davis, Rick Schroder, & Andre Braugher. As far as "made for TV" films go, I thought this one was quite good. There was some quite silly parts of it but all in all, I enjoyed it. It also somewhat modernized it to be relevant to today's social & political issues.

You must be warned, however, that this movie has some quite violent parts. It actually shows people committing suicide in a various of disturbing ways, is shows people murdering others, & it shows the dead bodies. I would not suggest people who are sensitive to violent images or children to watch this movie.

Even if you don't watch either film you should read the book. Michael Crichton is one of the best authors of out time, in my opinion, & this is one of his greatest works.

Sorry, this is a bit short but I'm a bit out of practice as of late so, there it is. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Weigh In #32, 33, & 34

I know it's been awhile. Sorry. I had a lot more to say but, like I said, I'm sick & my mind isn't exactly functioning at top speed so I'll save it all for next time. :)

Week loss: -2 lbs
Total loss: 57.75 lbs

Movie Preview: Defiance

I'm not sure what the deal is with WWII/Holocaust movies coming out right now but Defiance looks great. What seems even more interesting is that it takes a different story all together. People always think, "Why didn't the Jews fight back? Why didn't they stand up for themselves?" I think there were many who did &, for the rest, maybe they didn't believe things would have ended up as they did. Many probably thought that everything would blow over in a few weeks or months or didn't really believe that such atrocities & prejudices could exist in a civilized time. I see judgment & discrimination of Christians in today's culture & wonder if we are not headed down a similar path. It is hard to find the line between trying to be meek & not allowing Christianity to be made into something that it is not.

I really did not mean to go off on such a tangent. All I wanted to say is that this seems to be a movie showing how at least one group of Jews chose to fight back.

Movie Preview: Valkyrie

I think Valkyrie looks pretty good. I must express here, however, how much I can't stand Tom Cruise. I think he is a wacko in real life & can't act to save his life. With the exception of War of the Worlds (which I actually really liked him in), he always plays the same part; the very intense & perfect man who saves the world. Somehow he has got it into his mind that that is who he is in "real life" too. Weirdo. But, that's enough of that. Here is one of the previews of the movie. I love this era of history & the fact that it is based on a true story makes it even more interesting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Movie Preview: Star Trek XI

Finally we have high quality computer graphics that can give us realistic looking special effects to do Star Trek justice. In the past, the Star Trek label has produced movies & shows that left the younger generations bored. The visual effects did not live up to that topic of space in which we expect over the top special effects. Granted, the original series's did the best they could with what they had back then but finally I am excited about a Star Trek film. Star Trek XI was set to come out on Christmas Day but it has been pushed back to May 8, 2009

Mission Organization: Day 2: Not quite as productive, but not a waste

Ok, so today I wasn't as good at getting in there & getting at it but I did get a lot accomplished. I got all my clothes that go in my dresser put away, washed two loads of laundry, & packed for my weekend at my parents. I also finished packing up all the clothes that don't fit me any longer (aka, went through the clothes in the living room).

Unfortunately, I did not finish getting my clean clothes hung up in the closet. But that's okay I do that when I get back from Thanksgiving. It won't take but a few minutes. I did get my towels folded, though. Since I don't have any decent storage in my apartment, I have to keep most of my towels & stuff in a laundry basket. Very annoying.

I am very happy to have my laundry baskets back so they can perform the job they were created to rather than being used as storage for the clothes that didn't fit in my drawers & closet. Hehe.

I finally got energized to finish packing away everything about an hour after my bed time. What is with that? :P

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day One...Mission Accomplished...well....kind of

I spent at least two hours going through the clothes on the floor in my closet & on my bed & on the floor in my bed room. I ended up with a huge box & one Old Navy shopping bag full of clothes to take to mom, plus two winter coats & a rain coat. Most of these clothes are too big for her but she knows other people who might want them too. Now my closet looks quite bare & I have a plethora of hangers. I didn't get all of my clothes hung back up but I'm getting there. I did put them in a clothes basket so at least I'll be able to spread out in the bed today. Yay.

I also got the kitchen straightened up a bit. I still need to wipe down the cabinets & find a place for some of my stuff but at least all the dishes are cleaned & the trash was taken out. I really need to go through my cabinets & get rid of the stuff I don't use, but I'll save that for a later date.

Tomorrow I plan on finishing putting away the clothes that are in the laundry basket & attack the clothes in my living room. I also want to change the sheets on my bed. There is nothing like sliding into a made bed with fresh sheets. It feels so luxurious. Obviously I'm not a high maintenance girl. hehe

This is going to take me a long time but a little bit everyday will start to show a big difference soon.

Chaos has taken over

I know I've been away a bit. Last week, for part of the week I was on vacation & the rest of the week, I just didn't pay any attention to what I was doing. I know I probably didn't go over on calories (until this weekend, oops) but I didn't do any exercise either. I'm really not sure how much "exercise" I'm going to get this week either. My house is a wreck & I'm getting sick of it. It is completely ridiculous for someone to live like this. So, I aim to start cleaning it up before I end up on television. So, house cleaning my have to be considered my "exercise" this week. I know this isn't a very good excuse or form but it has reached a point that something must be done. A clean environment usually makes you feel more inspired & relaxed.

Whenever I do finally get my place clean & organized, it tends to stay that way for a month or two. Then, all of a sudden, BANG! It's a mess again. I swear someone is sneaking into my place & messing it up on purpose. I blame gnomes.

My closet has virtually no clothes hanging up in it any more. Most are either on my bed, on the floor in the living room, on the floor of the closet, on my bedroom floor, on my couch, or still in the dryer. And even most of those don't fit me anymore. I have given two loads of clothes to my mom & who ever else she knows might need them, so now I have very few clothes that actually fit me. This is great, however, there is no excuse for me not hanging up what does fit in the closet now. That is what I am aiming for this week. Get the clothes off the bed so I can once again sleep all sprawled out like I like. Sort the clothes in the living room into what fits & what doesn't, then rewash them, take the ones that don't fit to my mom & put the others away. Go through the clothes at the bottom of the closet & pack them up for my mom (I'm pretty sure none of those fit me anymore). I have to do all of this by Tuesday night since I'll be going home for Thanksgiving on Wednesday morning, hopefully. I want to take this last load of my old clothes to my mom then.

I also have to clean my kitchen today. I don't care how small & inconvenient my kitchen is, it is inexcusable to let it get to this condition.

I've made these goals before & either did a minimal job or just looked at the entire scene & became so overwhelmed that I jumped back on the computer to escape the chaos around me. Some things are just going to have to be sacrificed until I get this under control. This situation is much like the whole weight loss task. When looking at the whole picture, I had to loose 100 lbs. That seemed impossible. Why even try? I've failed every other time, how will this time be any different? This task is not different. I must focus on one room at a time, one task at a time. It may take longer than I would like but I can't look at this as "get it clean the it's over" just like I can't look at my weight as "get it off then you don't have to worry about it anymore" or like reading the Bible can't be seen as "get it read then you don't have to pick it up again." That is how bad habits sneak back in & the apartment becomes a mess again, I get fat & unfit again, & I start to fall away from God again. These are things I must stay on top of every day for the rest of my life. I have to watch my calorie intake, exercise, straighten up the house/apartment, read my Bible, & pray every day. I had a friend who suggested setting a timer for 15 min every day & clean during that time. It think this is a great idea & I plan to implement it once I get the place to a point of livability. Sort of a maintenance plan, I guess.

I don't want to be this person. I want to be healthy, athletic, clean, organized, and as close to God as I can be. I want my place to be a place where people feel comfortable & I feel comfortable having them. I don't want it to become one of those places that people feel uptight in but I don't want them worried that they may get lost under a pile of clothes either.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Movie Preview: Angels & Demons

By now, most of the world has read The Da Vinci Code. Even with all the controversy, I loved the book. No, I don't agree with what some of the characters believed but, as a story, it was exciting & well written. The movie was also quite enjoyable. Granted, they left out many bits & controversial things that were in the book were watered down a bit for the movie but still it was well made.

In the book world, Angels & Demons was actually the prequel to The Da Vinci Code but in the movie industry it is the sequel. It is almost here & I can't wait. If you have not read the book, I highly recommend it. It was even better than The Da Vinci Code. Anyway, here is the first trailer for the new movie. I'm so excited.

My trip to Fayetteville

I went to Fayetteville last weekend. It was great. I hadn't been there in like 6 years. It was so great to see April, Vanessa, & Tara. We had a blast.

I arrived in Fayetteville on Friday night & with in 30 min, Lance & I were sitting at the basketball stadium. I had never been to a basketball game even in the 2 years that I lived there. Here are some clips of that game.

On Saturday, I spent most of the day with my old college buddies. We're not old!!! We still act like kids. Just watch.

April thought that the university had left her off the sidewalk. Vanessa wouldn't have it. So off we went into the 29 degree night with some coffee (for Vanessa & me) & cocoa (for Tara & April), a flash light, & determination to discover the long lost name in the pavement.

Later that night, we went & picked up Lance & Kaylee & headed to Rogers for a bit of bowling. Lance & Kaylee kicked all of our booties, of course, while Kaylee & Vanessa tried "awkward bowling." It was so much fun. I can't wait to see all of them again. I hadn't talked to some of them in almost 8 years & all 4 of us certainly hadn't hung out together in all that time, but it was as if we had only been away from each other for no more than a few days. I love all of them so much.

I may be posting another video of random pics from the trip later. Look for them if you are interested. I know most of you couldn't care less about all of this but I thought those involved might like to look back on them & laugh. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Great Video: Interesting...Do you know the answers to these questions?

This is great. I personally was against Obama, myself, but I thoroughly believe that most Americans don't know anything about politics or their politicians. I, regretfully, include myself in that, but, I am trying. During this election, I realized how little I really know & I have decided to become more aware & to study it more. It may not be the most exciting subject to study but it is our duty as Americans in order to protect our nation, belief systems, rights, & freedoms.

clipped from

Watch and weep:

November 17, 2008

Their votes counted as much as yours.

The interviews above are backed up by a multiple-choice Zogby poll. Some of the results, via How Obama Got Elected:

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing).
81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing).
82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing).
88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing).
56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).
Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes.
 blog it

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Before & After: 50 lbs

The long awaited Before & After video.

Since April of this year I have lost over 50 lbs. Here are some pictures of how I have changed.

Thanks everyone.

You have no idea how many problems I have run into making this video from software failure to using new software to uploading issues. Oh well, here it is. :)

Song: "Sunshine" by John Reuben

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mike Huckabee's thoughts on Election '08

Here is a message update that Mike Huckabee posted on Facebook today. I really like this man. I really wanted him to be our President but, alas, this was not to be. :)

We Will Be Back in Strength

Today at 11:23am
by Mike Huckabee

I'm very proud to have supported Senator McCain and the only regret is that more Americans didn't share my conviction that he would have made an outstanding President. I not only recognize, but respect that we are a nation in which the people choose and tonight they have chosen Senator Obama. He was not my choice, but he will be my President and I will pray for him to lead this great nation with God's help and grace. He will face serious challenges to lead our country and he will need all Americans to give him a chance.

The campaign is over and now is the time for governing and leading. The Republican Party must now reassess where it is and where it is going. Our problem is not that our views aren't acceptable, it is that many in our party have abandoned the very principles that once drew Americans to trust us. Our party will be back with strength, but tonight we should all celebrate the historic nature of this election and put our country ahead of our party.

As disappointed as I am that we have lost the election, I can't help but feel that many courageous leaders of the civil rights movement look down from heaven tonight with a smile that the day has come when a man is elected without regard to his color. I salute President-elect Obama for his discipline and tenacity that has given our country the opportunity to witness this significant event.

Politics is not an event but a process. We sometimes lose the events but it never gives us the right to stop being faithful to our principles that enlisted us in the process. We shall live to fight another day.

The people have spoken

So, Obama is now the President-elect.

What the heck does that mean? Well, commonly "President-elect" refers to a person who has won the Presidency but has yet taken office & the current President is finishing out his/her term. Wikipedia explains this much better. "In the United States, the members of the U.S. Electoral College are elected by the people in November once every four years; in December, they are in session and in turn elect the President of the United States; finally, the President of the United States assumes office in January. One is officially the president-elect only after being chosen by the Electoral College, but unofficially the person chosen in the November general election is called the President-elect even before the Electoral College meets; more accurately he is the president-designate until the electoral college meets and votes."

I know, if you aren't familiar with American politics then the practice of an "Electoral College" seems very strange & a bit redundant. To be honest, it is. Even those who make politics a hobby are a bit confused as to the purpose. According to Wikipedia, "The Electoral College consists of the popularly elected representatives who formally select the President and Vice President of the United States; since 1964 the electoral college has had 538 electors." This will happen on Dec. 15 this year.

"Rather than directly voting for the President and Vice President, United States citizens cast votes for electors. Electors are technically free to vote for anyone eligible to be President, but in practice pledge to vote for specific candidates[2] and voters cast ballots for favored presidential and vice presidential candidates by voting for correspondingly pledged electors.[3] Most states allow voters to choose between statewide slates of electors pledged to vote for the presidential and vice presidential tickets of various parties; the ticket that receives the most votes statewide 'wins' all of the votes cast by electors from that state. U.S. presidential campaigns concentrate on winning the popular vote in a combination of states that choose a majority of the electors, rather than campaigning to win the most votes nationally."

"Each state has a number of electors equal to the number of its Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress." "Each elector casts one vote for President and one vote for Vice President. In order to be elected, a candidate must have a majority (since 1964, at least 270) of the electoral votes cast for that office. Should no candidate for President win a majority of the electoral votes, the choice is referred to the House of Representatives.[5] Should no candidate for Vice President possess a majority of the electoral votes, the choice is given to the Senate.[6]"

Here is some even more interesting information: "An example of the practical effect of the official status is found in the U.S. Constitution's provision that if the President-elect dies, then the Vice President-elect becomes president on Inauguration Day. That rule takes effect only after the meeting of the Electoral College. If the person unofficially called the President-elect dies before that meeting, then the Electoral College would have broad discretion to choose some other person."

So, how do I feel about the whole situation? I have mixed feelings. I'm disappointed but not surprised. I'm a bit concerned but excited & interested to see what the out come will be. Regardless, this is an exciting, historic moment in our country's history. No, I don't believe our country will cease to be a free country or will turn into some God-hating, Marxist nation because Obama has been chosen. I don't expect to agree with most of his decisions but he will probably not even try to implement many of his ideas just because of the controversies over many of them.

I expect that foreign policy & health care may be adjusted a bit. I doubt some issues will even be approached such as pro-life/pro-choice issues & gun control. I do hope he does something about environmental issues. That is one area that I actually agree with Democrats on & worry about Republican's stance.

Regardless of who I think should or should not be President, this is an exciting time in our country's history & I am grateful for being given the opportunity to experience it.

I hope McCain isn't too disappointed. His story is an amazing one. To go from being a POW for several years in Vietnam to almost becoming the President of the United States of America is is amazing.

As for Obama, I do not envy him. I cannot imagine the burden, stress, anxiety, doubt, fear, & excitement he must be feeling. Don't try to tell me he isn't experiencing any doubt. Anyone who has ever taken a job or any other responsibility always has doubt. "Am I really right for this? Have I made a mistake? Am I really ready for this? Will I be able to do what I promised? What if I make a mistake?" I'm sure all of these questions are running through his mind right now. I'm sure antacids are his best friend right now. Good luck, Mr. Obama.

Now, comes an important part of our job as Christians (if you are reading this & are a Christian, otherwise you may think this is a bunch of dribble & you can find something else to read, it won't hurt my feelings), prayer. Regardless of whether you voted for him or not, as a Christian we are called to respect those in authority over us & to pray for them & those who advise them. We should pray every day that he surrounds himself with wise counsel & considers their advice. We should also pray for the other politicians who actually wield more power than the President; Congress, Senate, the Supreme Court.

Before you start to complain about some politician, ask yourself if you have been doing your part, have you been praying for that man or woman? If you haven't, what else would expect? I am personally going to do better about this. I have a prayer list on my mirror in my bathroom so that I can see it as I get ready. Obama & the rest of our leaders have been added. I may not be able to list everyone of their names but God knows who needs what, He just asks me to pray for them. Trust me, I think I got the easiest part of the job. :)

For another great blog about this topic (also much shorter) see Linda Williams' blog entitled "And now we pray..." on her blog site Life as a Christian Woman.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Weigh In #30

Week loss: 1 lb
Total loss: 55 lbs

Obviously, I have not changed the burned out light in my living room, hence the extremely tan look. Hehe

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Great Video: Uncle Jay -- 11/3

4000 Questions: Question #45: Can you describe your first time left alone at home?

I really don't remember the first time I was left alone. When I was a kid & left for short amounts of time alone, I was usually scared. As I got older, I loved being home alone but my imagination would still run away with me at times. I would start hearing noises & just knew someone was in the house with me. I would usually run outside & sit. I really don't know why I would think I was safer outside but I guess I always thought I could run to a neighbors house if someone tried to "get" me.

The first time I remember being left alone over night by myself was when I was in college & still living with my parents. I had lived on my own in the dorm for about 2 years but being alone, out in the country where no one would hear you if you screamed was a bit different. I was fine all night until it was bed time. Then I locked my bedroom door & slept with our B.B. gun next to my bed. I think I also had a baseball bat too, but I know the gun was there. I really don't know how much damage a B.B. gun would inflict. Not much I'm guessing. And, I probably wouldn't be able to figure the stupid thing out in crisis anyway. I would probably turn it into some sort club. No, in reality, I would probably pass out in fear.

A while after that I spent another night or two by myself. Late that night I decided to watch Resident Evil. As far as scary/horror/monster/zombie movies go, I actually thought this one was quite decent. However, that night, all I could think about was zombies. I'm not one to freak out over movies but there have been some that caused me to loose a little sleep, not because they are super scary or anything but because my imagination dwells on them & then takes off like a speeding train. Really, I can only think of 4 that really caused me a few moments of uneasiness if not an entire night of panic. They are (in chronological order): Jurassic Park, Vampires (which has to be the dumbest & grossest vampire movie ever), Resident Evil, & The Exorcism of Emily Rose (which has to be one of the scariest, most disturbing movies ever...don't get me wrong, I thought it was very good but it is about something quite real versus monsters, which probably aren't that real). And, believe me, if you watch Emily Rose, you will wake up every night at 3 am for the next week. Trust me.