Weight Watchers Week 53

I slipped this week with the Weight Watchers. Consequently, I gained a couple of pounds. It's really nothing to get worked up about though. I should be able to resume my weight loss this week.

Today's weight: 202.4 pounds
Change from last week: +2.0 pounds
Change from start of Weight Watchers: -31.0 pounds
Change from beginning of 2008: -7.2 pounds
Amount from Goal: 5.4 pounds



Last night, Mel and I decided we would try again to rent Juno. Before heading over to Mr. Movies though, I called them up and found out that they were out of copies of Juno. So, I decided I would drive up the road the the nearby Hy-Vee where I would try to rent the movie from the Redbox movie rental machine that they have there. Unfortunately, the machine there was out of copies of Juno, so I returned home without the movie. Going to the Redbox website, I was able to rent a copy from their machine at the Ghetto-Vee, as the Hy-Vee on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids is sometimes referred to. The video rental machine worked quite smoothly. I was in and out of the store in less than a minute with the DVD. One thing that I really like about using the rental machine is that I did not have to return the movie to the same location. So, on our way home from church this morning. I returned the movie to the Redbox machine at my local Hy-Vee. By the way, Juno was a really good movie.

Digital TV Converter

Last night, after having dinner with Mel's coworker Penny, we used our $40 government voucher to pick up a digital TV converter for the only TV in our house that is not connected to the satellite. The converter box cost $50, so after using the voucher it only cost us $10. After connecting the converter to the TV and setting it up, we now receive a lot of channels that we did't before, but I can not get it to receive KCRG. There isn't much we watch on KCRG, but there is at least a show or two that we do like to watch on that channel. I hope I can figure out how to get the converter to get that channel.


Cedar Rapids Kernels

The rain stopped early enough in the afternoon that we were able to go to the Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball game tonight. This was Emma's first baseball game. Unfortunately, while it wasn't raining, it was quite cold. The temperature at the start of the game was around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It was very windy, so with the wind chill, it felt much colder! We ended up staying for just a little over two innings because Emma was getting cold, as were Mel and I. I hope we get another chance to go to take Emma to a baseball game. Maybe we can go next month when my employer is offering discount tickets to the game.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It looks like it is going to be a very rainy day today. It was raining so much this morning, that our neighbor's garbage can was swept down the street to the end of our driveway, blocking my exit. So, before I took Emma to day care, I had to go to the end of our driveway to retrieve our neighbor's garbage can and return it to their driveway. It looks like the rain has died down a bit, but not much. And, because of all of the flash flooding, I will probably have to take an alternate route. Normally I drive down a road that goes pretty close to the Cedar River south of Mount Vernon. The river has been pretty high lately, getting really close to the road. I could drive that way, but then I might have to turn around, adding more time to my commute. So, I might as well take Interstate 380 to work this morning. It doesn't add any extra time, although the higher speeds--70 miles per hour instead of 55 miles per hour--will cause me to use extra gasoline. Hopefully the rain calms down significantly before I drive in to work. That will be a little later than usual this morning as someone is coming to the house this morning to finish with the drywall repairs in our bathroom.

Tonight, we are supposed to be going to a Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball game for Mel's work. We are going to be taking Emma, but if it is still raining or if it is too cold, we will not be going. I really hope the weather improves by then as I would like to go to the game.


Weight Watchers Week 52

It has been one year now that I have been using the Weight Watchers online program, and it has helped me to lose a significant amount of weight. I still have a few pounds until I reach my goal of 195 pounds, but I should be there in within a few weeks.

Today's weight: 198.4 pounds
Change from last week: -2.6 pounds
Change from start of Weight Watchers: -33.0 pounds
Change from beginning of 2008: -9.2 pounds
Amount from Goal: 3.4 pounds


The Big Bang Theory

Last fall, I thought I would give the then-new CBS programThe Big Bang Theory a try. It was, after all, on between two shows that I like to watch -- How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. I thought the first episode was ok, but not great. I watched it again the next week, and before the episode was half over, I had changed the channel. Anyway, once the writers' strike was over and new episodes of The Big Bang Theory were appearing on CBS, I decided to give it another shot. I really felt that the program had improved greatly since the beginning of the season. I can not pinpoint exactly what it is that I think is better about the show now than before, but I just find it more enjoyable. Of course, it did not hurt that on this week's episode, there were two references to Star Trek prior to the opening credits and at least a couple more throughout the remainder of the show. The Big Bang Theory has joined my regular Monday-night TV watching lineup. Now if CBS would just dump the only marginally funny Rules of Engagement and bring The New Adventures of Old Christine back again, I would be happier.


The Weekend

This weekend was a pretty good one, although it did start quite early when Emma woke up around 5:00 in the morning. She finally surrendered to taking a nap around 9:30. So, since Mel and I were still tired, we went back to bed when Emma took her nap. Waking up around 11:30 did make Saturday seem to go by much too quickly though. We did our grocery shopping in the afternoon and then rented a couple of movies from the Mr. Movies down the street from us.

The movie that we had originally wanted to rent, which prompted us to go to Mr. Movies in the first place, was Juno. Unfortunately there were no copies of that available. So we ended up renting two different movies. The first move we watched was Knocked Up. The movie began quite well, but after the DVD froze up or jumped back to earlier in the move three times, I went back to the video store to exchange the disc. The replacement copy worked much better, but it still froze up once toward the end. We both enjoyed the movie. It was quite funny, and I am glad that we rented that movie.

After Knocked Up, we watched Mr. Woodcock, starring Seann William Scott, Billy Bob Thornton, and Susan Sarandon. The movie was about a young man (Scott), who became an accomplished author. He returned home to accept an award only to learn that his mother (Sarandon) is dating his former gym teacher (Thornton) who acted quite sadistically toward his students. It was funny, although it wasn't as good as Knocked Up.

This afternoon, Mel and I went on our first bike ride of the year. In fact, I believe it was our first bike ride since RAGBRAI last summer. We brought Emma along with us, riding in the Burley we bought a few weeks ago. I don't think she particularly enjoyed the ride. Perhaps it will just take some time for her to get used to it. We ended up riding for about an hour, traveling about ten miles. Pulling a trailer behind my bike sure made for a different experience in riding. I was not able to go as fat as I would have liked, and I lost some maneuverability with my bike, but it was fun bringing Emma along.


Trip to Iowa City

I drive to Iowa City for work most weekdays, but I worked from home today. However, I still had to drive to Iowa City this morning. We went to Iowa City because Emma was taking part in a research study at the Spence Laboratories of Psychology at the University of Iowa. The study had something to do with language development among young children. I didn't really understand the whole idea behind the study, but it seemed to go alright. However, Emma did get a little cranky toward the end of being observed. Fortunately, the whole process did not take very long. In exchange for her participation in the study, Emma received a T-shirt which says "Graduate of the University of Iowa Children's Research Lab." It looks like Emma finally has some Hawkeye clothing.


Upon waking up this morning--about fifteen minutes early, I might add (thanks Emma)--I turned on the TV to watch the early local news. Imagine my surprise when I learned that there had been an earthquake a few hundred miles away in southern Illinois that could be felt in eastern Iowa. I must say that I did not notice it at all, but then I was sleeping when it occurred. Maybe the earthquake is why Emma work up early this morning.


I'm Back

Ok, so my break from blogging didn't last very long. In fact, I regularly have a few days between postings. Anyway, I am back to blogging.

This week is the one week in April that my wife works evenings. That means that my daughter and I have some time alone together. Each night this week, we have gone on a walk after dinner. Walking for about half an hour each evening this week has helped me to reach my goal of walking at least ten thousand steps each of these nights. I also credit it with helping me in my weight loss of two pounds for the week. This is the first time since January 8 of this year that I have had two consecutive weeks of weight loss.

Another thing that has helped me to reach my goal of ten thousands steps in a day has been following Emma around the house. In the past week or so Emma has really taken off with walking. She walks all over the house, often times she will walk down to our bedroom and then return with the remote control for that room's TV. I don't know what her fascination with the remote control is, but she loves carrying that thing.

Another recent development in Emma's life is the fact that she can now go to sleep on her own. For most nights until her birthday last month, we would hold Emma in the evening until she went to sleep. However, shortly after her first birthday, we decided that we needed to put an end to that. The first three or four nights of getting her to go to sleep on her own were quite trying. She would scream for minutes and minutes on end when we left her in her room. We started working on a bedtime routine, and now we can lay her in bed around 7:30. She may play around in bed for a few minutes, but she usually quiets down quickly. Within fifteen minutes she is usually asleep.

So, those have been the developments with Emma recently. I continue to be amazed with the new things she does.

Weight Watchers Week 51

Today's weight: 201.0 pounds
Change from last week: -2.0 pounds
Change from start of Weight Watchers: -30.4 pounds
Change from beginning of 2008: -6.8 pounds
Amount from Goal: 6.0 pounds



I am thinking about taking a break from blogging for a while. I am trying to figure out what exactly I intend on conveying through my blog. I am also thinking about starting a new blog about my family. This would only be accessible to my friends and family. However, I am not yet sure if I am going to do that. Anyway, if you come by and read my blog frequently, you may not see any new postings for a week or so. Of course, I may decide to just resume blogging after a day or two. Who knows?


Those Damn Shoes with the Wheels

Scheel's had a sale this week on cycling shorts, so after Mel got off from work today, she, Emma, and I headed down to the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville to buy some new cycling shorts. I really needed some new ones since I have still been using the same two pairs that I bought before going on RAGBRAI in 2000. While we were wandering about the mall we saw several kids rolling about on those shoes with the wheels. I'd say that about half of the preteens we saw had them. Those shoes are so damn annoying! I really wish the mall would prohibit their use. I'm sure the mall management wouldn't allow people to skateboard through the mall. These shoes are no different than that. It's only going to be a matter of time before I witness a collision.


Tornado Warning

This evening I was babysitting the son of one of Mel's coworkers while Mel and the coworker went out for dinner and drinks. While we were watching SpongeBob SquarePants, I heard a siren going off outside. Turning the channel to one of the local stations, I learned that we were under a tornado warning. So, I grabbed Emma, and the three of us headed downstairs. As has been the case with every tornado warning I have experienced since moving back to Cedar Rapids in 2005, absolutely nothing happened anywhere near our house. A little over an hour later, we were able to return upstairs, and I was finally able to put Emma to bed. Since she got to bed a little late tonight, hopefully she sleeps later than usual in the morning.


Weight Watchers Week 50

Today's weight: 203.0 pounds
Change from last week: -1.4 pounds
Change from start of Weight Watchers: -28.4 pounds
Change from beginning of 2008: -4.8 pounds
Amount from Goal: 8.0 pounds


This Week's Songs

For my iPod songs today, I had iTunes randomly select songs from my list of one hundred most played songs. The number in parentheses following each song is the number of times I have heard that song on my iPod since I got it two and a half years ago.


I spent most of today working from home. I was expecting someone to come to the house to install a new vanity and lavatory, but no one showed up. Around five o'clock this afternoon I finally got in touch with the person who was supposed to do the installation and he said that the schedule somehow got messed up. Anyway, someone will be here Tuesday morning to do the installation.

This evening after dinner, Mel, Emma, and I all went for a walk around the neighborhood. Since I worked from home today, I hadn't gotten much walking in. Our walk just about doubled the amount of walking I did for the day. It was enough to earn me a couple of Weight Watchers exercise points.


Weight Watchers Week 49

Today's weight: 204.4 pounds
Change from last week: +0.2 pounds
Change from start of Weight Watchers: -27.0 pounds
Change from beginning of 2008: -3.4 pounds
Amount from Goal: 9.4 pounds