The Fat Man Sings

I was pretty naughty on my diet over the last several weeks. By the time you read this, I may have gained some weight from where I was. I don’t have any real excuses, but now that it’s Friday (at least, that’s when I’m scheduling this post to go up), I can say with honesty I have likely been good on my diet all week. (Okay, maybe not.)

Used to be I had a philosophy of starting on Monday. “I’ll be good again come Monday,” I’d say, and lose the entire weekend to bad foods, drink and laziness. It’s easier to go get something to eat – or to have it brought to us, truth be told – than to cook and clean up the mess and ensure we stay within the constraints of our diet. The funny part is, we don’t really crave things too much. We’re not unhappy with how restrictive the diet can be, or any of that crap. We just get stricken with bouts of incredible lazy and because of that, we not only don’t eat right, we don’t exercise consistently either. Continue reading

I Dudditz!

Well! What a weekend!

First, we discovered Sony made a remote for the PS3 so you DON’T have to use the stupid little game controllers to try and work the DVD player. We found it and bought one. Nice. VERY nice. Much better. Now I’m wondering if the kids could use it to play games.

Then, I actually started my workout routine! Woo! Two days in a row! Go me! And while I was out shopping, I found a set of cheap dumb bells I picked up so I don’t have to use the resistance bands for everything. The bands are fine, and awesome, but MAN they take a long time to get set up. With the weights, I just use ‘em as they are. Now I want to go to Ace Hardware and find some foam tape to put around them, add a little bit of PVC piping to it, and make ‘em Fat Grip dumb bells. Or maybe I’ll cough up the $39 plus shipping for these things.

Finally, I put together the TOC to combine  my two latest non-fic pitches into a single book. I fired it off the to the editor over the weekend so he’d have it Monday when he got in.

This week’s going to be crazy. Had to back the alarm up half an hour today; some visitors from corporate are coming in and I have to be there to help them get hooked up with printers and stuff like that. We’ll be testing a new order management system this week, and I’ll be full-time in the training room helping them and learning and testing and whatnot. Should be interesting. Like being a professional beta tester. We have several phases yet to go through but I’m looking forward to becoming an expert on the new system.

If I don’t talk to you the rest of the week, that’s why.

Have a good one, y’all!


Friday Free-for-all

Ah, Friday at last! Huzzah, huzzah!

The New Books

I heard from the editor about my two new books. Seems he took a look at the competition and realized NO ONE is publishing introductory books on HTML5 and CSS3 separately… just like I said. So now he wants to combine the two into a single baby-steps book. Good. NOW you’re talking. Of course, that’s going to HALVE my money. Dagnabit.

Still, it’s something. I want to pitch him a OneNote book, too, and see if I can get Fal to work on it with me. She’s fallen madly in love with OneNote, and I have to tell you, I knew it would happen. I tried to get her to use it back when I wrote the first of my technical books, and I tried to pitch it to the publisher then. But she’s way better with it than I am and I bet we can make it look exciting to the publisher now.

Whattaya think, babe?

The Job

Something amazing happened with my job and the programming side of things. I don’t know why other than the Lord just blessed me, but I looked at some code I’d looked at a thousand times before and it not only made sense, I’m about 80% finished with something I’ve been banging my head against fruitlessly for the last two and half months. I’m so excited I could just puke.

I also got to set up a new SharePoint site for our business group, develop a template for collecting data (I actually had a form designed but it wasn’t flexible enough for our needs and I don’t have time to research it), and maybe, just maybe, things are starting to fall into place. Maybe.

Thanks, Lord. The prayers of my wife and children seem to be having a positive affect.


Yeah, not so much. I still haven’t started. I want to pick it up on a Friday when I can sleep in the next day and recover, then keep on my progress and develop a head of steam going into Monday.

Someone at work suggested maybe it’s like a lot of other things. When we think about it, it’s easy to make a big, scary dragon out of it when really it’s not much at all. We psych ourselves into being sedentary this way. I know I do, for sure.

But this ends this weekend. I have nowhere to go, nowhere to be. I’m going to do this.


Since I’m not exercising, I figured I’d better be extra diligent in my diet. So far, so good. My loving spouse and I have been on it for about two months now, and I’m starting to see – and feel – the difference. My clothes aren’t so constrictive, I’m wearing shirts I haven’t worn in a couple of years, and maybe more like three or four.  They’re not stretched taut over my gut either. So that’s something.

Yeah, it’s working. And you know what? I don’t miss the things I’m giving up to do this. I really don’t. Whether or not it’s realistic remains to be seen, but my goal is to get myself from where I am to under 10% body fat. I’ve never been that lean before, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be now.

I hope.


I’m way happier with our TV. We took the one with the bright spots in it back and bought another one somewhere else. It’s a couple inches smaller, but I think it’s a better size for our room. And the picture is MUCH better because I got the HDMI cable to go with it. We got a PS3 for a Blu-Ray player and the kids absolutely adore Little Big Planet. Thanks to Onyx Nightingale for that recommendation! Great call sweetie. Now… any others? ‘Cause Little Big Planet 2 is way too expensive. 😉

The Wii has been relegated to what it actually is – a basic game machine. My son loves his Mario, so those games see action. Who says you don’t need more than one game system? XBox 360 Kinnect, here we come. 😉

I don’t know whether to buy the kids a new computer for their little games and stuff or get myself a really nice one and give them this one. There’s nothing wrong with the one I have, but it’s not the best thing out there either. I saw a triple core machine I liked, and I think I saw a quad-core too, but I don’t know if I want to drop a grand on a PC. At the same time, I do want a bigger HDD and more RAM, and having higher processor speeds wouldn’t be a bad thing. I haven’t decided, but then, I don’t have my mad money yet either. When I get it I guess I can decide.

What’s up with all of you? Any plans for the weekend? Sound off and let me know, y’all.

Have a good one whatever you do.

God bless!


Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved

Food Court: GUILTY

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve visited the mall. Matter of fact, I’ve never visited the one right here by our house, despite its proximity.

I’m not a mall person. Not anymore, at least. I was at one time, to be sure. I loved hanging out at the mall, walking around window shopping, spending an evening or a weekend day passing time and spending money as available. And I LOVED Christmas shopping at the mall. One of the things I looked forward to most about the season was the fun of mall shopping for gifts during the holidays.

A lot of things have changed about me since those days, though. My weight is one of them. My age is another. My energy level is a third. But the biggest change I’ve experienced since my last mall excursion is my patience and tolerance for people.

I have none now.

In my youth, I was fit and strong and imposing. Downright threatening, some said. I didn’t mean to be, but the way I carried myself and the way I looked. I think I had a grumpy face and big, muscular arms. I also trained in the martial arts and didn’t really feel threatened by much. Today?

Yeah, not so much anymore.

For one thing, EVERYONE looks bigger than me. And I feel CRUSHED by the masses of humanity. I swear the oxygen in the place is scarce because of the throngs. I couldn’t go three feet with out rubbing shoulders with another human, and that is NOT the kind of person I am. AT. ALL.

So, when we waited in the mall for our car to have its new shoes put on (which took a ridiculously, stupidly long time), I thought it might be nice to get my parched family a drink at the food court.

I knew the place was big. Knew that going in. But when I stepped out of the store and looked into the river of humanity crashing and rushing about ahead of us in the mall, I turned and just stared at my wife. My face said it all, I think.

We started down the corridor, passed and bumped and pushed and tried like hell to keep an eye on the kids. My son seemed to be enjoying himself and watched me out of one eye to keep up. My daughter’s tiny hand was crunched into the sweaty palm of my loving spouse. We paddled downstream and I made a crack about trying to find a place to get a drink, when I noticed this HUGE sign arching over the walkway saying “FARE”. And on each of the letters, which were in pastel colored circles, the edge said “Food Court”.

“Maybe we should look under this area marked ‘Food Court’,” I quipped. Ha! Aren’t I funny. “I mean, it’s probably a good place to start.”

“We can do that,” Fal said, and grinned.

We walked in, under those happy, welcoming letters. And you know what I saw?

I saw this place to our right, with a line about sixty yards long leading away from it. Then I saw more mall. Lots, and lots, and lots. I moved us to our left – it seemed the best of the available directions. We walked and walked and walked. My back screamed in protest. I got jostled and rumpled and ruffled and rattled. I kept swiveling my head to see where my son was. Finally I just grabbed his coat and held onto him. (He’s not old enough to be embarrassed by me yet.)

Fal finally stopped. “You know what?”

“What?” I puffed.

“I think I just want to go back and sit in the auto center waiting area. I need to rest my feet and my back. And I can live a little longer without a drink.”

I turned back toward the oncoming crush of human debris. “You sure?”

But she’d already started back the way we’d come.

There was no Food Court under that Food Court sign. Nowhere. Not anywhere.

I never got that soda pop either.

But hey – the car has new tires.

The next day, I felt as if I’d been beaten. I was tired all day, a  little achy, and sore-ish in my legs. My back b!tched all night about the work. That’s the farthest I’ve walked in a long time, I’m sure. But it still accentuates how much I need to get started exercising.

I also need to get out more so this isn’t so creepy to me. But that’s another topic for a different day.


Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved

Friday and Saturday Shoe Drop

Ah, Monday. So good to me. It’s all I hoped it would be.

But I have to tell you, even though I know you don’t care, I had a tough weekend. First, Friday was a hard day at work. I had a lot of hard things come my way, some of which had to be handled immediately. It wasn’t easy. I had to involve another person or two and get myself some information, do research, pass it on to a salesman so he could pass it on to the customer, etc. Then I noticed a page of the system I’m supposed to be support doesn’t work anymore, as of the end of last year. The rollover of the calendar year messed up a couple of things, all because the code isn’t self-maintaining. Since the guy before me didn’t annotate the code he wrote, I have no idea what it is or how to fix it. I have to talk to him. Then, a Microsoft Excel macro one of my co-workers needs to update a big sales order broke. It hangs on a loop and won’t progress. I don’t know what to do about that one either, but I’m expected to fix it.

By the time five o’clock rolled around on Friday, I felt like I’d been beat with both ugly and stupid sticks. Not good. But nothing got better.

Saturday I notice a red spot on a patch of ice under where our car was parked the night before. Looks like the transmission fluid. Leaking? Even a small leak is a big problem. So… here we go. The other shoe might be dropping.

Saturday night I realize I haven’t looked at the proofs I’m supposed to proofread for my tech book. I quickly open the email and pull the first chapter up (they’re in PDF format pending the arrival of the paper copies). What do I find? A ton of needless, stupid, harmful wording changes. Changes which shouldn’t have been made at all (like changing “which” to “that” or inserting the word “that” where it doesn’t belong), adding cliches and catch-phrases like “in fact”, “at all”, etc., and finally, globally replacing the word “Internet” – properly capitalized, which is also the publisher’s standard for all their books – to “internet”, lowercase, including in the title of Microsoft’s browser software Internet Explorer.

Needless to say, I wasn’t pleased. I didn’t even finish the first few pages when I dashed off an email to the editor I’m working with and told her I didn’t know how we would fix this, it shouldn’t have had ANY wording changes without my approval, etc., and that I wasn’t sure we’d make the February 25 deadline she says we have. I’ll see what her response is tomorrow, I’m sure, but if I have to get the Editor-in-Chief involved, then I will. I will NOT have my name on this POS as it is right now. Uh-uh. Pay me what you owe me and put the name of the copy editor who’s a wannabe author on it. Not mine.

Then right before bed on Saturday, I notice my brand, spanking-new computer’s little power supply is putting out a VERY high-pitched whine. OMG. OMFG. I can’t win. What am I supposed to do about this?

Lord God the other shoe is dropping, isn’t it? Things have been so awesome for so long – since last July! – how could they stay that way? For me, especially? Yeah, feels like the second shoe’s a-comin’.

On another, unrelated note, tonight is slated to be the first night of my new exercise routine. I’m frightened. It’s been so long since I last worked out I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I have an at-home-use program (DVDs), but still. Still. Lord I’m frightened. Frightened of the amount of work and effort and energy this is going to require, of the soreness that WILL follow no matter how “easy” I take it, of the money I spent on it being wasted because I can’t do it… of a lot of silly things. I still need to press “PLAY” though. I need to do something and this is what I’m committing to. I’m also asking Fal to take Before shots and to measure me. (No, you don’t get to see the pics.) If I have the success some of the other people using these DVDs have, I might post the After pics, though. We’ll see.

As I write this, it’s Sunday, and I have no idea what today’s disaster will be. I have to get these proofs back so I won’t be around much this week I suspect. But I’ll see you all on the other side of this crap and let you know how it turned out.

Say a prayer if you do that. Especially about the work stuff.

See ya soon,


Copyright 2011, DarcKnyt, all rights reserved