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.