Sunday, May 18, 2008

I have a Dream…house.

There are some interesting things going on right now in Colorado Springs. Today is the State Democratic Convention at the World Arena. Since our hotel is within the two mile radius of the event we are naturally chock-full of guests, delegates, alternates, and otherwise. We are of course thrilled about that (money money money!). The success of this Convention in a town dominated by Right-wing Conservatives is in a word: astonishing. The World Arena seats about 10,000 patrons if memory serves. Last night during registration delegates had to wait up till about midnight to be fully registered. It follows the pattern that we have seen nationwide thus far. We’ve seen record Democrat turnouts even in states that traditionally vote Republican. On the flip-side the Republicans now barely have the energy to masturbate when McCain talks about “liberating” Iran.

Nationally the recent California Supreme Court ruling which struck down that state’s ban on same-sex marriages has gotten me thinking about issues of hearth and home. As the saying goes, “As California goes, so goes the nation” and since California is the most populous state it makes perfect sense. I fully expect every Fundamentalist Christian retard in America to try and fight the spread of same-sex marriage but I think eventually, despite the kicking and screaming, it’s going to happen.

It looks very likely that Democrats will gain seats in both houses of Congress and have a decent chance of winning the White House this November. As such the chances that the fundtards will be able to rally enough votes to sponsor a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage become exceedingly slim. Therefore it will only be a matter of time before the Supreme Court of the United States votes to overturn ALL state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.

This raises a disturbing question: just what the heck am I supposed to tell my mother now? “Yes I know I’m 31 years old and not married mother but it’s illegal in 49 states anyway.” Welp, now that list of excuses is getting shorter. So with that in mind I’ve been thinking about the future a lot.

My parents are going to be building a new house this summer. They've already purchased a nice piece of land and they have have blueprints from a drafting company for a design they really like. They want me to come back to Ketchikan and help them build it. Building a house from the ground up has always been a dream of mine. Well to clarify building my OWN house from the ground up has always been a dream of mine. Circumstances being as they are I don't think I'll be able to get away from Colorado Springs for any length of time this summer. What I thought I would do was use my tax stimulus check and buy a home design prgram for my computer, a nice one. That way I can input my parents' houseplans into it and help them choose a decorating scheme as well as to add or remove and design elements they want. As a secondary bonus of this line of thinking I had a dream about my own not to distant future.

In the dream I saw my future home (or at least the kitchen, dining room, living room, and view). It was one of those 'lucid dreams' that you have where everything is as it is in real life and you have perfect clarity. As such I remembered the details vividly and now they are committed to memory. So what I want to do is start drafting the blueprints for my own dream house as well. Perhaps I'll publish some of the screen shots and walthrough videos on this blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Inqueersition: Ask this Homosexual, phobes on notice.

One of the things that concerns me as a gay activist in this modern age is the prevalence of disinformation circulated as fact amongst the body of Christ. It is hypocritical (to say the least) to claim to uphold the word of God yet conveniently ignore one of God's ten commandments. To hear some "Christians" tell it, there is no other sin worse than love shared between two consenting adults of the same gender. Yet curiously that didn't even make the big Ten. Bearing false witness did.

It is unethical to acuse and condemn someone on the basis of unscientifically conducted "studies" that have not been peer-reviewed. It is 'bearing false witness' to prop up long discredited, erroneous research as "factual" in order to bolster an anti-gay argument. Any "Christian" who does so deliberately despite having full knowlege that the "research" in question is not the truth WILL be sent to the lake of fire as punishment.

The trouble is that although its the "Christian" leaders who are mainly responsible for being stingy with the truth, its the laity who will ultimately suffer for it. The truth ALWAYS wins out in the end. Eventually everyone reaches the conclusion that homosexuals really aren't the monsters that "Christians" make them out to be. What happens then is the individual Christian is forced into a moral dilemma. They must ask themselves, "Do I believe my pastor who says homosexuals molest most children and that they chose to become homosexual because they hate God? Or do I believe my nephew who says he's never even THOUGHT of harming a child, struggled for years to repress homosexual thoughts, and who desperately prayed for Jesus to heal him, but turned out gay anyway?" Those Christians that choose to believe the latter opinion take a step toward enlightenment. Those that choose to believe the former opinion, drink the Cool-Aid and eventually become a constant source of irritation and do harm to their fellow man, believing they are justified in Christ.

Tragically many well-meaning Christians are duped by the very people they should be able to trust the most to tell them the truth.Therefore, in an ongoing effort to mass dispel the disinformation campaign of the Religious Right I will be publishing a series of essays designed to make the truth stand out from the buzz. Each individual essay will deal with one or two commonly held beliefs of "Christians" about homosexuals and offer an explanation as to why the belief is either an: unsupported myth, partial truth, old wives' tale, or outright lie. Every effort will be made to provide external links to factual information. In cases where no conclusive evidence exists but personal testimony may suffice I will be more than happy to offer my own insights as well as to respond to questions.

Friday, April 25, 2008

L2Mouse-over me jackass...I'm a Priest!

The other day I was in the Alterac Valley staging area. I was patiently friendly-targeting and casting my Improved Divine Spirit buff when the compulsory "TABLE!!!!" shrieking started. This time the repeated yelling came from a gnome who was also jumping around like a moron. However no refreshment table was ever summoned. This is nothing but a minor annoyance in my opinion because I always stock my own food and water anyway. But apparently some people take having a mage not summon a refreshment table as seriously as being denied Communion.
When the horn sounded and the battle began I immediately received a private message: "Way to go dumbass I'm reporting you AFK. GIVE US A FUKKING TABLE NEXT TIME! L2P NOOB!" Stunned I wrote back: "Learn to read moron I'm a Priest, we don't do that spell". He was quiet after that.
Now I think I understand the source of some of the confusion. Typically Priests will dress in garments such as this:

Gold, and White, and Royal Purple seem to be pretty standard Priest diggs. And to be quite honest most Priests you encounter in the Battlegrounds will be more interested in Healing bonuses than spell damage bonuses, and will naturally gravitate toward gear of this particular style. However I was dressed thusly:

Notice my red and silver outfit. I think my character looks fabulous in it by the way. Apparently however it resembles some of the more common battle gear that Mages wear. So its certainly plausible that some folks would be initially confused but all you really have to do is hold the mouse over my character. A handy little "human Priest" information box will pop up.

So to the jackass who got all pissy without cause: Please shard all your gear that you undoubtably bought from a Korean hacker on eBay, cancel your World of Warcraft account, cancel your credit cards, move to a shack in the woods in Montana and shut the hell up for the rest of your life. Noob.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Swamp water and powdered milk

Woohoo! I have two days worth of photos in my time-lapse series. So far I don't notice much of a change (duh). I should actually redo things a bit because what I have is a slide show of my frontal, profile, and back. That's interesting but the problem is three seconds elapse before the next corresponding 'frontal' picture shows up. It could be distracting.

Anyway "Swamp water and powdered milk"...what the heck do I mean by that? Actually I'm referring to Odwalla Superfood and Whey Protein. In the morning I make a smoothy of the stuff. Superfood is actually a blend of various "wheat grasses" and fruit juices and curiously enough: spirulina algae. Spirulina is the most nutrient dense plant form known to man. Broccoli I believe is the second most nutrient dense plant form known to man. Don't get me wrong, I love broccoli, but for breakfast? No I don't think so...unless I was eating it plain by itself...then maybe. Anyway the combination of the grasses and spirulina gives the beverage a lovely puke-green color, not unlike you would find floating in a stagnant swamp somwhere. Though it leaves much to be desired in the looks department I actually find it delicious and it blends well with the second ingredient in my breakfast concoction: Whey Protein.

LOOK I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, you're saying, "Oh for crying out loud you went to GNC and they sold you a line that you need this stuff to 'bulk up' you rube! Those things are just loaded with fat and calories" Well what I'm going to say is going to knock your socks off: I agree. BUT only for the fact that if you take them as an additive to a regular diet you're just wasting time digesting them. Simply adding protein on top of your regular diet won't magically cause you to put on muscle. What tends to happen is: your body absorbs the protein it needs to support tissue regeneration and...poops out the rest. So unless you are someone who enjoys a more voluminous stool I'd say skip the protein supplements. HOWEVER, protein plays a key role in controlling the starvation and hunger response. As there is a minimum number of calories required per day to support the body's metabolism (Basal Metabolic Rate) there is also a minimum amount of protein required to support day-to-day bodily functions. This amount varies from person to person but for a fella of my heighth I should take in between 70-90 grams of protein daily. For the average American slob, getting enough protein is not an issue:

Average American Slob
  • Breakfast - two Sausage McMuffin's with egg, hash browns, coffee: 43grams protein.
  • Lunch - Footlong Subway Club Sandwich, chips, drink: 48grams protein
  • Dinner - Steak, potato, vegetable (left on plate) 52grams protein.
  • Total: 143 grams protein.

Analysis: plenty of protein...plenty of impacted bowels.

Myself (above Average American Slob)
  • Breakfast - coffee, glass of water, coffee: 0 grams protein.
  • Lunch - coffee: 0 grams protein.
  • Dinner - cookies, top Ramen, PB&J sandwiches, crackers, frozen waffles, and a Totino's Pizza (and whatever else is slower than I am): 26grams protein.
  • Total: 26 grams protein.

26 grams of protein...and Heaven knows how many calories from carbohydrates, fat, and sugar. Protein intake is what triggers starvation. Trouble is its a one way trigger. In my case (since I don't get NEARLY enough daily protein) my body responds by: slowing metabolism, consuming muscle tissue (puny arms, sunken chest, chicken legs), and storing fat from whatever I do eat (spare tire). However the opposite is not true for Average American Slobs who get more than enough protein. Their bodies do not say, "Welp, we've got enough protein, time to speed up the metabolism, and dump that extra fat." Instead their bodies say, "Holy moley! We've moved into an area with food! Let's store all the fat we can!" and that's how Republicans are created.

Getting enough protein while still allowing your body to use its stored fat for energy is a tricky balancing act. Most of the foods that we eat which are high in protein are also high in fat and carbohydrates. The answer is lean proteins AND exercise. Lean proteins (Chicken, fish, turkey, soy, and AHEM whey protein) Allow you to eat enough protein to fulfill your daily needs but without adding a whole lot of extraneous calories you don't need. Also exercise is one way to keep your metabolism from falling. Your muscles have to have energy and protein in order to function. By exercising you aren't really giving your body a choice about what to do with its energy reserves. There is only one choice: use em (i.e.: work the fat off). Yes your body will bitch and moan about it but that's life, we all have to do things we hate, and its time your body towed the party line.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fat Blob Project

By popular request I have decided to include the "before" photos I took in this blog entry. It seems that certain people don't possess technology advanced enough to display a flash program. That's alright though cause it makes sense. I'll be posting the weekly photos in blog form along with a short discussion of my experiences and impression from the week.

Man these pictures turned out larger than I expected. Pay particularly close attention to the lack of any V-Shape to my torso, the skinny computer geek arms, and the complete lack off ass. Also my hair always looks red in photographs and I haven't been able to figure out why.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Attention Ladies and Germs

Guess what day it is? That’s right, January 31st. The day that I have established as the deadline to have my diet and exercise program in place and the date I’ll begin my time-lapse series of photographs. Are you ready? Am I ready? Well, I’m mostly ready. I don’t have my gym membership yet but I think that can wait until after I start my diet. We all know what that means: its time to start counting calories.

BLEAGH! You say? If I catch your meaning then yes it is indeed a tedious, joyless endeavor. However it is a necessary requirement of any responsible diet and exercise plan.

Consider the following. Can you lose weight just through exercise and without any change in diet? The answer is a resounding ‘maybe’. It would be dependent on your already having a net-zero number of calories in your diet. In other words you would already have to consume no more calories per day than you burn. In such a case you could indeed get away with jogging 30 minutes a day and lose weight since exercise requires energy (a calorie is a unit of energy for you high school science class dropouts). BUT we all know that’s not how life works. Some days you’ll survive on coffee and cigarettes…other days you’ll eat half a strawberry cheesecake at 3am and never gain an ounce.

Some people try to justify eating that 300 calorie piece of cake by thinking, “Well I’ll just workout extra hard tomorrow to make up for it.” That’s all well and good but do you really want to live your life that way? To do that you’d need to spend 60 minutes on the treadmill just to work off the cake and break even, and then MORE exercise on top of that. Doesn’t it make more sense just to skip the cake?

Now consider this. Can you lose weight just by changing your diet alone? The answer is ‘absolutely’. This strategy works, just ask any gastric-bypass patient (a terrible procedure I would never recommend). How does it work? Remember it’s not fat that makes you fat, it’s not carbs, its not red meat and potatoes; it’s all about the calories. Eat fewer calories than the minimum your body needs to stay alive and you will eventually consume your fat reserves, thus losing weight. That sounds miserable you say? It can be, but those are the breaks. The thing that trips most people up is they think they have to starve in order to have any effect. This is NOT true. To start to lose weight you should trim approximately 500 calories from your net calorie total. Notice this is not the same thing as saying you need to trim 500 calories from your diet. 500 calories can be one whole meal so skipping out on one can be psychologically intimidating.

The objective of reducing 500 calories from your net calorie total can be accomplished several ways. You can skip a meal. *GASP* Yes it can be done that way. I don’t personally recommend it because you’ll be starving and you’ll be tempted to gorge at your next meal. Alternately you can reduce all your portion sizes across the board, thereby cutting the 500 calories. This will still allow you to eat well in most cases. Thirdly you can trim 250 calories from your diet AND exercise each day burning off 250 calories that way. That is the preferred method in my opinion.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

Does this sound familiar to you? You finally make everything ‘just so’, got all your ducks in a row, and things seem to be going your way. Then SUDDENLY something comes out of left-field and blows your carefully laid plans to pieces. Well Friday afternoon there I was minding my own business (driving back from work) when I decided to make a short detour to McDonalds. Yes that’s right, greasy, carby, fatty McDonald’s, but that’s not important right now. I took a sharp turn on to a side street and I heard a very loud *CLUNK* from my right front wheel. Immediately after that I completely lost power. The engine was still running and the still revving but the wheels weren’t getting any power.

Yes the CV joint had finally given up the ghost. Fortunately I still had enough momentum from the turn that I was able to coast safely into a parking spot. When all was said and done it was $282 to replace the axle assembly – parts, labor, towing. It actually was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Year's Resolutions (Part Two)

So take a second and look at the little tracker that's on my blog here. It shall henceforth be called the "Fat-tracker" because it keeps track of my weight. On the 1st of January 2008 I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 212.5lbs. One week later I stepped on the scale and weighed 214lbs for a net gain of 1.5lbs. For my diet and exercise regimen I will be taking three different measurements. One of weight (or mass for you science nerds), one of dimensions (yes guys there is more than one use for a tape measure) and one visual.

Weight (aka: the Scale)

Measurements taken by stepping on the bathroom scale can be an important indicator of fat gain or loss. But it is important to read the results in context. One thing you'll notice right off the bat is that I've apparently gained 1.5lbs. In reality I probably haven't gained or lost anything since I haven't yet adjusted my regular diet. It is "normal" for your weight to fluctuate by as much as 3lbs +/- daily. When I took the first measurement it was at 9AM on the New Year's day. I of course had been celebrating the night before and as such, I was dehydrated the next morning. When I took the second measurement a week later it was later in the day when I had just eaten lunch. That's just how it goes people. Some would suggest taking the average of three readings. I am opposed to that idea.

I think people obsess too much about the numbers on the scale. What you're going to do just before you take a reading is: starve yourself and dehydrate in order to get a low average. I don't know why you would feel compelled to do this other than to psych yourself out which defeats the purpose of taking a true average anyway. What I recommend is: jump on the scale at the same time of day once a week; whatever the scale says is what you report. If you're jumping on it every other hour every day you'll drive yourself nuts. Once a week should be sufficient to track your progress over time.

Take the readings in context with the understanding that if you're also exercising you will show an apparent weight-gain accounting for any additional muscle-mass you build. If you become too dependent on the scale's readings you could get into a trap where you may actually be losing fat but you freak because you're "gaining weight". Then you'll think to yourself, "well screw this crap its not working anyway!". Then you'll proceed to eat everything in the fridge and be a bitter, defeated, fat loser. To avoid that pitfall I will be taking two other measurements which I will discuss now.

Dimensions (aka: the tape measure)

So you're sticking to your diet and exercising on the prescribed days and you lost a good bit of weight the first couple of weeks. Good for you, but now your scale says you've started to taper off and you fear the trend may be reversing. Well here's something you should try: Keep a record of the tape measurements from your waistline. Why the waist? Because its one of the few easily measureable parts of the body that consistently decreases as you lose fat and gain muscle. This is especially important for men to think about. Men tend to increase muscle-mass quicker than women (due to higher testosterone levels), and if measuring from the chest, thigh, or buttocks it will appear that men are getting "fatter" as they diet and exercise. Actually you're packing on the "beef" and that should please most men. If the idea of being more muscular does not appeal to you...then I don't know what does, though I will admit those professional body builders are DISGUSTING to look at! Speaking of being looked at I will now discuss my third measurement option.

Visual (aka: the digital camera)

Why is this important? We've all seen those pictures of people who have gone on some miracle diet. They invariably depict of shlumpy middle-aged depressed woman with a grim expression as the "before" picture and a slim 30-something manic woman with a grin five miles wide. She also inexplicably has gone from pasty white to golden brown and greasy; instead of granny-panties she now wears a black thong. This is first and foremost an advertising scheme. In otherwords "look how crappy and depressed you were before and how great and happy you look now!" That's the point of the diet of course but the pictures themselves are rediculously exagerrated sucess stories. You'll note there is often a disclaimer saying "results not typical". You can potentially look like that too but good luck.

So my advice is to dispense with the before and after shots (at least the notion) and substitute instead a series of photographs taken over time to demonstrate your progress. Why? The purpose of time-lapse photography is to bring otherwise imperceptible changes into a threshold of movement that our eye can detect and our brain can process. Losing fat and gaining muscle (when done properly) takes a looooooooong time. Actually not that long, but long enough that you'd never notice it occuring even if you stared at a mirror all day long. It can be frustrating if you don't notice the changes, and waiting 6 months to take the "after" picture is delayed gratification in my mind. Fortunately there is technology that makes taking time-lapse photos of yourself relatively easy.

I recommend a digital camera with fair-good resolution ($100-200). After you have that snap a picture every week. Snap a picture every day if you like for a more interesting progression with less jumpiness between frames. Some inexpensive software (often included with the camera) will allow you to take the individual pictures and create a slide-show from them. And yes, unlike the miracle diet success stories there are real people (average Joe's) who have utilized this technique and have posted their time-lapse videos on I'm actually going to be doing that myself but I'll be linking the video to my blog here and using youtube to host. You can go back and review the photos yourself for reassurance that its actually working. At worst you'll at least have a digital camera to play around with.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

New Year's Resolutions (Part One)

Good afternoon. Many of you are probably interested in what my final list of New Year's
Resolutions actually are. I can't say that I blame you considering that I hyped them so much in my previous entry. Well here are my New Year's Resolutions for 2008 (in no particular order)

Lose weight/exercise more. This has become such a common New Year's Resolution these days that it should more properly be called THE New Year's Mantra. I'm sure 90% of you have at one point at least attempted to lose weight and exercise. Where you failed (miserably) I intend to succeed.

The key to any successful weight loss and exercise program is: motivation. Motivation is in turn triggered by both desire and fear. For example: I desire to be pleasing to the eye
whilst wearing a bathing suit, and fear being a bloated lazy slob who votes Republican and who dines exclusively at 'All-you-can-eat" buffets. Yes, motivation is the key to weight-loss but keys only unlock doors. You still have to walk through them or there is no point.

If motivation is the key that opens the door to weight-loss and exercise, then the door you walk though is undoubtedly: your strategy. We all know that they're tons of diet programs out there. You are probably asking yourself, "What plan is right for Trevor?". The answer may surprise you: none of them are. All diet plans are just gimmicks. I'll explain why.

One diet plan says "Carbs are the enemy, cut them out", the other says, "Meat is the enemy, become a vegetarian" and still another says, "Fat is the enemy, avoid fat like the plague". Each version is simultaneously correct and utterly misguided. There is really only one enemy: calories. And each version of a diet plan accomplishes the same task, namely reducing caloric intake. In the end the only responsible diet plan that works effectively EVERY time is one which causes you to burn more calories as energy than you absorb from food.

Can you lose weight by eating low-fat/fat free? Sure...but you'll be agonizing over every pat of butter, every slice of cheese, and live in mortal fear that your turkey sandwich may have real mayonnaise on it. The same is true for each diet plan, it just remains a question of what you want to give up.

But just consider for a moment that there is a diet plan out there that allows you to eat whatever you want and still lose weight. "What is this miracle diet plan? How much for your book!?" you ask. "Surely there's some magical pill you can swallow and just poop your fat away". Well there is such a diet but the truth of it may be harder to swallow than any diarrhea-inducing horse-pill.

Eat whatever you like, but eat half of what you would normally eat. Cut your hamburger in half and divide the french fries into equal piles. If you like: give the other half to your buddy so you don't feel so bad about "wasting" food. Or you can save the rest for lunch tomorrow. Or if necessary dump it down the garbage disposal. Then eat your meal, enjoy it, savor every bite and replace that "OMG I just ate 30 grams of carbohydrates I RUINED my Atkins diet!" attitude with a smug sense of self-satisfaction.

"But but, half a hamburger that's not enough, I'll still be hungry afterwards!". Tsk tsk, that's just your fat brain talking. Fact is: even half a burger is probably too much for such a sedentary slob, be grateful you’re getting anything at all!