Sunday, March 30, 2008

(The Real) Openng Day 2008

posted by John Blanco @ 6:23 PM


Braves at Nationals. Bush threw out the first pitch and was roundly booed. :-)

In terms of game, crazy to see, but Hudson messed up a pick-off to first and the ball went so far in this giant ballpark the dude got to third. :-)

South Beach Diet - Day #9

posted by John Blanco @ 1:50 PM


So much to post today, but I'll start with this one. :-)

Got through yesterday, which was no easy task! It was Cedric's birthday party!! (Colorado Edition) The ice cream cake was so enticing, but I had to skip. We did save the last part of it so I will have a piece on Friday. :-) I had some barbecue, but no buns or sides. Whew! Made it!

A few more hours left til the double-digit days. :-) I'm almost never hungry between meals which is where I wanted to be, but meals are getting trickier as I've gotten tired of a couple things. Not too long to go, though. I may also end phase 1 a couple days earlier since I'[ll be at Dodger Stadium Wednesday and it would be kinda silly to not eat at least a hot dog when the phase will end so soon after. Plus, another few days of my body already feeling comfy should be good enough.

But now I need to start reading up on phase 2. I can't wait to have fruit again!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

South Beach Diet - Day #7

posted by John Blanco @ 10:58 AM


Hours away from completing the first week. I switched meals today, having a light breakfast this morning so I could have a mega-omelet for lunch. :-) Well, not really mega...only had two eggs, but I put in chicken and broccolli and some low-fat cheese. It was great except it so overwhelmed the eggs it was more like "egg encrusted chicken and broccoli". Oh well.

Date night will be tricky tonight. What can I freakin eat? prolly going to Black Eyed Pea since it's my best chance.


South Beach Diet - Day #6

posted by John Blanco @ 6:06 AM


One more day now to complete a week. Day 6 is done and while it was another easy one hunger-wise -- as my stomach is really used to it now -- I'm getting the first hints that I'm getting bored with the food choice. This is normal, which is why Phase 1 not only lasts just two weeks, but the diet's author strongly advises NOT extending it any further for worry dieters will go insane and jump off the wagon.

But not me. :-) One more day and then it's one more week...and the joy is I get to spend a couple of these days in California which should make the challenge higher, but so too my will. ;-)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Message to Self-Righteous Republicans

posted by John Blanco @ 1:23 PM


I run into Republicans all the time who like to say they vote Republican because we all need to take personal responsibility. That's fine, but don't accuse me of not. However, stories like this should help everyone realize that the middle-class crunch the Republican Party has put on us for years can affect anyone.


Any day.

Sleep tight.

Mom goes from $70K to food bank

Just weeks ago, Patricia Guerrero was making $70,000 a year. But then she was laid off. With bills piling up, this middle-class mom recently went to a food bank to feed her children. "I sat there and I cried. I was like, 'This is really where I'm at?'"

Get off your high horse and stop calling everyone who needs help a welfare queen. We're all in this together. Open your eyes and see what's going on!

What happens to John McCain?

posted by John Blanco @ 1:15 PM


Just thinking out loud here. John McCain has admitted he's hitching his Presidential aspirations to the Iraq War. You see, he's all for the war, even now. He says we're winning. He says the surge is working.

Well, most Americans say we need to get out. No matter what you think about the war, we're certainly not "winning" anything. And the surge is only one small piece of the reason why the security situation has improved in some areas. Actually, the big reasons are al Sadr's ceasefire from a year ago and the American government literally paying off Iraqis not to fight -- including a huge part of the Sunni bloc.

In the last week, al Sadr has called off the cease fire and Sunnis are getting fed up with their security situation and threatening to walk off the job. There's also a considerable uptick in heartbreaking friendly-fire killings by the US forces. We also hit the 4,000 number in deaths (4,004 now). So, as Iraq continues the inevitable spiral back to where were...

...what happens to John McCain?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

South Beach Chocolate Milk

posted by John Blanco @ 7:29 PM


I've come up with at least a few original recipes for South Beach, but one I figured out last night I'm proud of because it was perfectly enjoyable.

Take a glass a milk, stir in a 1/4 tsp of cocoa, and a packet of Sweet n Low. You get *delicious* chocolate milk! In truth, I think it would be yummy even without the cocoa, but why try? ;-) A lot less sugar...unless yer against sugar substitute which South Beach isn't. (And god damn, I have had NO sugar for 5 days now, so it's fine.)


South Beach Diet - Day #5

posted by John Blanco @ 7:25 PM


Day 5 has come and my body is making a turnaround. Firstly, weight-wise, I am down to my wedding weight, which is great. :-) But, I don't care too much about the weight. I *feel* a lot better. And today, I didn't feel famished (or I guess semi-famished). I felt good. Energy level good. I'm hoping tomorrow is the super-energy day I had last time. But, I no longer feel like I'm dieting now -- I guess I'm over the cravings. ;-)

Which is good. Tonight we went to order Cedric's birthday cake and I coulda eaten half the store. I also had to deal with Michele making cupcakes on Sunday. How much more can I take?

Proud on two counts as well. I ate two things today I've never eaten before. First, I ate an entire hard-boiled egg. I usually get turned off by the white part, but this time I ate it and I quite liked it. :-)

Second, and this HUGE...I ate green beans! Granted, I thought they were sorta nasty, but I ate my whole plate of em so that's good. And now I know it's one more evil creation veggie I can deal with.

Day 5 is done. On to day 6!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

South Beach Diet - Day #4

posted by John Blanco @ 6:28 PM


Day 4 is officially in the books. Went with leftover steak and peppers and had chicken and broccoli for dinner tonight. The food has been good so far, but I don't want too many repeat performances, so I'm a little worried about the upcoming fare.

When we went to Costco, Michele got fish. :-/ I don't eat fish. But, I am prepped to try. This could be bad.

We also have asparagus and green beans, both food I've borderline never tried. Hopefully, I like one of the two. The sugar snap peas have been good and edible -- but from a veggie point of view. They haven't finished the slow path of carrots yet, which I can now sort of enjoy.

Getting through work days has been tough, but two days down, two to go. Working from home Thursday might help as well. We shall see.

Feeling a little lethargic as this is the part of the diet where the body is busy flipping the switch back. Eeeps.

Monday, March 24, 2008

South Beach Diet - Day #3

posted by John Blanco @ 8:42 PM


We're chugging along.

Last time on this diet, day #2 was miserable and day #3 I got an energy boost. Neither happened this time as I stayed even. Day #2 went much better, but I didn't get the boost on day #3 either. This probably has to do with the fact I was a 215-pound tub of lard last time and I'm starting this diet as a svelter 198-pound half-tub of one. :-)

Eating has been easier this time due to my being used to the healthier food choices as I stated prior. However, it's still been tough because of the bad habits I've picked up lately. But, I'm still going.

Today, I cooked up a steak stir fry that even Michele liked, which is saying something. She even had the peppers and onions -- who stole my wife and replaced her with an equally cute one?! Loving the sugar snap peas, too.

Tomorrow, leftover steak stir fry for lunch, then dinner will be another exercise in inventiveness. May go with the chicken and -- gulp -- asparagus (which I've never tried before).

In other fun news, the next DDR party has been planned for April 12th! WAHOO! Invites are out!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

South Beach Diet - Day #1

posted by John Blanco @ 12:36 PM


A long time ago, a few months before our wedding in April, 2004, Michele and I both started the South Beach Diet. I won't get into it, but if you've done it, you know about the infamous "first two weeks." Basically, your list of foods that you can eat take up, oh, a page and a quarter roughly. You can eat nothing else, aside from a few "well, this should been on there" items.

When we did it, Michele and I had vastly different experiences. The first two days, I was famished. Near death. :-) I had no energy and was worried. Then, on the third day, the energy rush came in and all of a sudden I felt better than I had at any time in my life. No longer running on Pop-Tarts and candy, I was infused. I lost 13 pounds those first two weeks, and ended up going from 215 pounds to 195 pounds for my wedding, then down to about 185 finally. I lost 30 pounds.

Michele got through the first two weeks as well, however, she felt down the entire time. She also lost weight, though. So, even though we had two different impressions of the diet -- it worked. And granted, since those days, I have gained weight back...but, I didn't gain it all back and I have never gone over 200.

HOWEVER, my eating habits have really gotten sloppy. So to get things fixed up, I'm doing the diet again. I never thought I would. The diet left me a little weak muscularly, but I am theorizing that because I was doing the diet, I stopped exercising, and this time I won't do that. Plus, with South Beach, you don't starve yourself or really restrict your food too much. It's about making the better choices. And once phase 1 is done, it gets even easier.

There's no excuse. This time around, though, I will do things differently. Whereas the first time, I picked the foods I liked and just ate them over and over and over again, this time I am going to try to expand my picky tastes and eat a more varied assortment of food. This will not only help me get through phase 1 again, but will give me more options that will help me down the road.

The South Beach Diet did do a lot of great things for me. First, it turned me on to Caesar salads, which are a HELL of a lot better than the other crap I was eating. I also have tended to stick with bunless burgers, and I got addicted to broccoli too. :-) I also went with light omelette's in the mornings a lot of times with turkey bacon. And that's one of the points of any diet really -- to teach you that, yes, eating healthy foods is a good thing and they are sometimes good. ;-)

So, today is day 1. I actually started when I finished my pizza at the airport at about 7:30 last night. :-) Here's what I've eaten since then in case you're curious what the South Beach Dieter eats during these first two weeks:

  • Small bag of cashews (average taste - and hey, it was on the plane)
  • Bottle of water
  • Omelette w/two eggs and two slices of bacon (no cheese either)
  • 15 pieces of walnut
  • sugar snap peas (these are actually very good, Nick at work turned me on to them)
  • A turkey sandwich (with tomatoes, whole grain mustard, low-fat cheese, and lettuce instead of bread!)
  • a pickle

As you can see, you don't starve. :-) And all of this food is slightly more healthy than freakin the sludge I have been eating. Carbs begat binging, and thanks to the snacks at work. Thank you for slapping me awake, Dr. Agatson. :-)

Back From New York

posted by John Blanco @ 12:27 PM


So, I've taken to not announcing these sorts of trips on my blog so as to defend my home better. :-) However, funnily enough, I did forget to tell some friends I'd be gone 9 days. Sorry about that!

Just got back laaaaaaaaate last night. Was in NY visiting family for the week and so they could see Cedric again -- this time not in a whirlwind, 3-day trip. As has been the case, since Michele and I are so eager for vacation, we did a lot of stuff.

We took two trips into Manhattan. In that time, we went to Macy's, Nintendo World Store, H&H Bagels (on a friends' recommendation), the Natural History Museum, Chris and Theresa's apartment, a couple of diners, the NBC Store, Rockefeller Center, and saw a near riot between Chinese and Tibetans :-) We wanted to do the Circle Line and see the Intrepid Museum but were thwarted when one was closed and the other was, uh, not there. ;-)

Also, got to see the family. Everyone is doing well, and my mom was showing lots of improvement. We stayed at my sister Pam's (Hi Pam!) and also had a Pre-Easter dinner with the whole family. Glenn and Danielle got married as well, those crazy cats. :-) We went to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner/wedding/reception and also got to see them for some games and a movie as well as for a Nathan's lunch (on out last day).

On Wednesday, we threw a birthday party (the first of two, but the REAL one) for Cedric. He turned ONE on March 19th. :-) We all had a lot of fun and I'll surely post lots of photos soon. Cedric and Theresa came over to partake, as well as Theresa's sister and her son, Malcolm, who we got to meet for the first time!

And now we're back. We've been doing food shopping today and brought Cedric over for his first Easter egg hunt which our neighborhood had. Tomorrow morning, our friends Minka and Greg will have their own, likely much more difficult, Easter Egg Hunt. So that will be a fun one, too. :-)

Lots of gaming later. No More Heroes is winding down, and we have a lot of Smash Bros. to play and unlocking to do. Michele will also play Zack and Wiki for the first time and ... on Monday, I will start Final Fantasy VI Advance! :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cedric's almost ONE!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:42 AM


Remember When He Was Younger?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cimbi Ran Away

posted by John Blanco @ 7:36 AM


Sad news to report. Yesterday morning, while we had our french door slightly open, Cimbi pushed his snout through and got on to the porch. I snuck behind him to try to get him before he scurried away and he saw me and pounced down to the yard.

I immediately turned back to grab a couple of food bags to lure him back. I went back outside and heard dogs barking next door and Cimbi saw me and heard the dogs and got scared and tore to the front of the house, jumping up on to the gate and then into the other neighbors yard.

He ran to the back, and then I heard my neighbor opening the gate and telling his dog, "Go get em!" And I said to the neighbor "That's my cat!" and he's like "Oooooh!" Cimbi saw the dog and jumped over the entire fence and ran to the back door again. However, I made the mistake of going to the back door as well instead of hoping Michele would see him and open the door, and he ran from me again! :-( (What did I ever do but feed you, clean your litterbox, and pet you!)

That was the last I saw of him.

It's been a day now. We left some food out on the back porch, and it's being eaten, but we don't know by who. Except for meowing we heard when he had initially escaped, Cimbi has vanished without a trace. We have no idea where he is. We walked around a couple times, but nothing. No footprints in the snow. No meowing. Nothing to go on.

So, today, we continue the waiting game. It's been pretty cold, though, unless someone took him in, he better get back here quickly. :-/

Update: CIMBI IS BACK!!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I am working way too much.

posted by John Blanco @ 10:23 PM


Just got my paycheck. Remember, I get overtime. It is a lot of money. I am working wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many hours lately. :-(

Monday, March 03, 2008

OK, I'm Not Voting for Hillary...

posted by John Blanco @ 4:09 PM


Hillary Clinton told reporters that both she and the presumtive Republican nominee John McCain offer the experience to be ready to tackle any crisis facing the country under their watch, but Barack Obama simply offers more rhetoric. "I think you'll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say," she said. "He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Selling Our Digital Camera

posted by John Blanco @ 10:52 AM


For anyone interested in our Canon Powershot S1 IS.