Friday, August 4, 2017

Weight...a minute!

Now with this new diet lifestyle I've been able to loose weight steadily. Now we all love loosing weight, but we hate the morning ritual that is the weigh scale. Now, I don't know about you all, but I weigh myself in the morning to get the most accurate reading. After fasting for 16 hours my body is able to go through the processes it needs to assimilate those nutrients which allows the body to burn fat - all while I sleep!

So how do you go about weighing yourself in the morning? Without too much gory details I think it's best to do it after you go to the restroom and with the least clothing as possible, I mean you want to get good news, not bad! A good weigh in the morning is making sure you don't gain any. Do you accept the first weigh or do you weigh yourself multiple times to make sure it isn't a fluke? When you find you weigh less or the same it's always a good day, right? But when you don't what do you find as acceptable and what is an "Aww man, I don't get how that happened, my life is over with, I feel like going back to bed and the heck with this stuff I'm going to stuff my face now weigh!" Yeah, guys feel that way too - maybe just older guys - I'm just speaking for myself.

I feel if it's just a pound, cool beans. But if it's more, then my mind starts swirling like a worry vortex and I'm trying to understand what nefarious activity transpired to make me gain so much weight? Like did I eat too much processed meats, junk food, sugar, drink too much alcohol (some people don't think that is possible - it's like can't drink enough), or sodas? Or is it just too much salt intake? Remember, I have fibro and candida, so sugars are not good for me. Please remember for me because I forget, haha. My mind does a bite by bite recall trying to see where I went wrong - or maybe it was the obvious of not exercising today. But then I realize, I haven't been really exercising with this plan - so I guess it's my intake. So now do I counter balance that by taking in less today or just make sure I WATCH what I eat?

Wives have a way of being a natural deterrent for things that we like to do but don't really give it any thought - that's what they're for - so they can tell us every 15 minutes so we make sure we get the point. Well, point well taken. It's not nagging but more of a persistent indicator. Filling your inbox (ears and brain) with constant email notifications (her constant reminders) of what we should NOT be eating. So, I weighed myself today and I was happy that I DIDN'T gain any weight. Of course we want to make sure our joy is tempered since we don't want to be telling our wives of how much weight we're losing when they say they can't seem to lose the weight quick enough. So keep it to yourselves guys unless she asks, and if she does, please downplay it with a convincing vigor that will make her feel secure and at the same time praise you.

So, tomorrow I will do the same thing and hope I haven't gained anything so as not to lose hope of ever getting to my desired goal; to tie my shoes no matter what age I am.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

When Temping is no longer temp

Temporary Agencies have changed the landscape of the work force. They started after World War II in 1947 with William Russell Kelly who founded Russell Kelly Office Service (later know as started Kelly Girl Services) in Detroit , with three employees, 12 customers and $848 in sales; today which is now known as Kelly Services. A year later, two lawyers, Aaron Scheinfeld and Elmer Winter, founded a similar outfit, Manpower Inc, in Milwaukee. By the way I give The NY Times credit for the above information in their article (The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy) Apparently in the 80's this is where it really took off, but it really didn't have an impact on me back then.

As I remember the 80's you looked in the classified ads for work, call up the company, set an appointment and go in for a direct interview for the position. You would talk directly to the man or woman looking to hire you and go through the interview process and usually you'd get an answer within a day or so if you got the job or not. No middle man, no liaison, go between, or ever you want to call them - oh yeah they're called temporary agencies. Now they proliferate the work landscape and I understand why. Large Corporate America seems to love money more than a good employee. They can work you for a lower pay rate with no promise of nothing more than a weekly check and then thank you very much when your assignment is over. They don't have to worry about paying you for vacations, holidays, benefits, or match your 401K. 

Just a side note on this topic, but I noticed that in different states the agencies operated differently. In Texas, the state I'm from, the agencies would call you to come in and have you register with them. They would test your skills IE; typing speed and accuracy, your Office Suite knowledge, or Lotus for those that use it - and your filing skills among other things. After an interview of your past work history, where you see yourself in 5 years, what type of position and pay, you were set. They would call you and let you know about a job, what it entailed, the hours, pay, length of job (strictly temp, temp to hire, or direct hire) and you would say whether or not you wanted the position. If you did, then they'd tell you to meet so and so on Monday or whatever day they wanted you to start and that was it.

Since I moved to Pennsylvania the agency also does all that but then the company wants to ALSO go through the same interview process the agency does - which I find redundant, I don't know, am I the only one who feels this way? That's the job of the agency to do that, I mean, if you don't trust their skills - it IS what they do for a living - why in the world would you pay them all that money to vet a person to only go through the process again yourself? Again, doesn't that seem redundant? Either the person is going to work out or not; it's not like you have to keep them if they don't and all you have to do is call for another temp. I mean you can't find out what a person can do or what they're capable of just by talking to them again. You see how the perform - that's how you know if they are capable or not. Sorry just went off on a tangent. I'll get back to the main point.

So since moving to Pennsylvania I thought I would just be doing temporary work for maybe 6 months at the most and then find a permanent job and use my skills to move up the corporate ladder. But now it's been almost FOUR years and I'm still doing temporary work. It's really baffling since every job I've taken they always said they liked my work, was sad to seem me go, I was just a great worker, and blah, blah, blah, blah. That's what I was told by the company I was working for and by the agency. Yet, I'm still without a real job. Now what I want to know and please give me your input; is it just harder to find a job out here on the East Coast than it is in Texas?

I really thought temporary work was just that; temporary. Now I don't know what to think anymore - I'm not knocking temporary work - I like learning new things and meeting new people, but as a family man who is the only one able to work I need a job that can take care of me and my family. Being a temporary worker is stressful, not knowing if you're going to be extended and if not, when you'll get another assignment that is worthwhile. With the low pay and no benefits it's really hard to take some jobs since they just aren't worth the time and gas it takes to get there. Just recently I've had more people calling me for permanent jobs - though it's still through a temporary service, it's a step forward. I've had 3 interview in two weeks and probably another this Friday or Monday. Now, if I still don't get an offer out of these four I guess I'll forever be a temporary with no guarantee of anything - and that's not temporary.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Trying a NEW lifestyle

A lifestyle change is always challenging; and especially when you're dealing with autoimmune conditions. So, I've been dealing with fibromyalgia for about for eleven years now and I also was diagnosed with candida for which I've dealt with now for six years.

For those who don't know about candida, it's a fungal growth that's in the gut flora that fights off infections and helps build up immunity in our bodies. The problem with me is their is an imbalance in my system, (often caused by various reasons), which make the candida ineffective and therefore attacks the body instead of helping it.

Having candida you have problems such as brain fog, digestive issues, oral thrush, food allergies/intolerance, fugal infections with skin and toes, joint pain, low mood, and weakened immune system just to name a few. 

I went to a specialist about six years ago and she believes I developed the fibromyalgia from a weaken immune system, which is caused by the candida.
Now how I got the candida was probably because of the high metals in my body which didn't allow for the nutrients I ate in my food to absorb in my gut which didn't allow to build my immune system which caused the candida, which caused the fibromyalgia.

Someone as myself with fibro and candida, maintaining a diet which is beneficial, yet satisfying and affordable is a very hard balancing act. When I had a well paying job back in Houston, Texas it wasn't hard. I would buy the supplements to cleanse my organs and rid me of my candida and I also could afford the right kinds of food that would contribute to that healing as well. I lost 30 pounds in three months, my energy was great, I wasn't cramping nor spasming from the fibro as I usually do, and was able to think more clearly.

Well, fast forward to August 8, 2017 four years removed from Houston, Texas and in and out of jobs for the last four years here in small-town Pennsylvania and my health has been a real struggle. Not having the money to buy the things I need to help with my conditions has been a real test. Thankfully I have a smart and beautiful wife that has helped me in my trying to attain some normalcy in my life and still enjoy some of the foods I eat. She was personal trainer for years and studied nutrition which in turn is helping me.

Basically, I have to rid myself of all food and liquids that contain ANY kind of sugar or sugar alcohol. That's a LOT of food left out of my diet. I can't say I'm always honest and so I succumb to eating an occasional sweet or drink (wine, beer, or distilled spirits) when I get a craving. The best way to avoid that is not take in those things, but I love chocolate sooo much!

Well, three weeks ago my wife started me on this 16/8 diet which you have an eight hour window to eat and afterwards you fast for the next 16 hours. Now, I wouldn't recommend this without consulting a doctor first, especially those who has sugar or blood issue problems - I'm just describing my experience - this isn't for everyone - you have to have patience and will power to do this; and there are some initial side effects.

One, you will be cranky - yes, I mean who wouldn't be when you have a habit of eating whenever you want!? For me, that was the hardest adjustment. There will be detoxing since that's what the 16 hour fast is for, to cleanse your body and allow it to repair itself like it should; so some may experience constipation or the other thing  - no TMI here. Also, some people may experience nausea like I did the first week getting adjusted to eating so late or others may also experience dizziness and headaches. 

After the second week, I've adjusted a lot better; now you don't have to do this 7 days a week. Some people just do it during the week and take the weekend off or some just do it for 4 days a week. Me, I'm trying to do it all 7 days. It's not easy at times. I have gotten cravings during the late evening after 8pm and I'll just make me a cup of tea and sweeten it with stevia. The point of this is during the fast you don't want to intake anymore calories so your body can do what it needs to. So NOTHING that contains calories is the goal here; or you defeat the purpose. For me, since I have the candida, my goal is NO sugars while I eat and definitely none during the fast, so I put Stevia in everything I want sweet. 

So far, I've lost 13 pounds in three weeks. So not bad, but I'm still adjusting to the schedule. I have cheated on the weekend, but only once. 

So if any of you reading this want to try a new way to lose weight and want your body to function better, or you're like me where this is a must having fibro and candida, I would say do some research, talk to your doctor and see if this is right for you. All I can say is it becomes easier the longer you do it and for those without my condition you can still have your cake and eat it too  - literally.

Until next time I write - do the right thing and the right thing will happen. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cutting it close

Getting a haircut is a serious thing. I being from the old school like a proper scissors cut and not to be outdone by women I take my haircuts seriously. After leaving Texas I was dreading finding a new person to cut my hair - since it can be an ordeal finding just the right person while enduring endless bad haircuts and looking like a young Jerry Lewis in the meantime - for those who don't know who he is Google him. Even in Texas I went through 5 people until finding a person who truly knew how to CUT hair and do it consistently. Thankfully that person worked at the Supercuts in downtown Houston and did it for 7 years. After building up trust and a good rapport it was gut wrenching not knowing who would be giving me my haircut in the near future. It's like going to your favorite restaurant and you find out the cook you've eaten from for 7 years just up and quit and the manager is trying to cook in the kitchen; mind you he has a BA in business but can't boil water. Well, most of the people tell me they have a cosmetology license but it doesn't mean they know HOW to cut hair.

Well after being here for two months the time had come for me to get a haircut. I had been asking my friends who they'd recommend, but I never really got a ringing endorsement. The one that who could potentially be my "stylist' was a popular one with the kids. I was told she was always booked she had so much business; but being it was mostly kids haircuts I didn't know if the endorsement came from mothers who tried to save money and leaving with kids that loved their fades or just fad haircuts.

Well, since I couldn't remember where she worked and I didn't have another week or two to wait I decided to go to another Supercuts relatively close by. Oh and for those who don't know; getting around in this part of Pennsylvania is measured by time, not by miles. So being it was only 20 minutes away was very good by local standards.

So I arrived a little before lunch and find there was only one person in the place - good thing it was empty and I was the only customer. The look on her face showed surprise - I guess they don't get too many lunchtime comers - in downtown Houston it was a normal occurence; in fact that was the time it was most busy. So I asked her if she could give me a scissors haircut. She said yes and asked how I wanted it done. I guess there's different ways you can give a scissors haircut? I told her I got mine from a Zen Supercuts master haircutter and she had her work cut out for her. After asking me a series of questions I think she finally had an idea of what I wanted. Below is the end result. I certainly can live with it; what do you all think? By the way, my wife really liked it. I will go back again to make sure the first time wasn't a fluke. But if it is, then I will feel like David Carradine in Kung Fu (Google him too if you don't know), wandering in the proverbial desert thirsting to find the person who can give my hair follicles permanent relief.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Soap Channel...

Nothing like the clean unadulterated feeling and calm relaxation as you lather in pure thoughts by watching the soap channel. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Always count the cost...and if it's too good to be true it usually is

The bible says to count the cost; and the reason for it is because it prepares us to expect the unexpected, to make sure we're able to afford whatever undertaking we might consider. Is the course we're going to take worth the risk, time, or the money? By taking this course it can and often does save us from regret or even heartache.

Then there's the saying if it's too good to be true then it usually is - and this is where I didn't consider the counsel of counting the cost which caused me to get something that was to good to be true - alas, I now have regret.

Now days you have so many avenues for television. There is cable TV, which I never really liked; one reason is that it always has been the most expensive option. There is satellite which I loved that every channel was digital, but any strong storms or heavy winds and you don't have service. Then there is the internet. I use U-Verse which is nice but unless you have at least 12Mbps than your picture isn't that good since it streams the signal - I tried 6Mbps and it was always breaking up and if you wanted to see a movie through your smart TV it would lag badly.

There is also Hulu and Netflix and their cost is not too high but you get what you pay for as well. You can't see live shows and why would you want to see a game that was on yesterday with the scores, highlights, interviews, and commentary on the same night? Or yesterday's news the next day, like CNN, MSNBC, HLN, and such being always a day behind?

I remember when satellite TV was 29.99 a month and you would get a decent amount of channels; nowadays these services cost so much and they tax you for this and that; services fees, HD fees, box fees, and before you know it you're paying more than what they originally said it would cost.

So while in CVS the other day I came across "As Seen On TV!" - my first mistake. Among the items they sale that make you believe you can't live without was one that caught my eye "Rabbit TV"; my second mistake. The price was 9.99 and it said for a year you could get over 500 channels on your computer and live programs to boot free! I was so excited like I hit the jackpot or something, like you want to pat yourself on the back and say good job, man. But that's not your brain waves making new connections, no those are brain cells dying and you don't realize it until much later. Here is where I didn't really count the cost; doing my research, checking reviews, and seeing if this item was worth the money; third mistake. So I bring it home and it's no more than a mini square stick with the word "rabbit TV" and a rabbit logo - genius. The instructions were close to nonexistent, but it made sure you immediately questioned your purchase with a paper in big bold red letters and a stop sign saying; "STOP! DO NOT RETURN RABBIT TV TO YOUR STORE". I was starting to feel bad about this. So I install it; it installed so fast it seemed like a virus or worm invaded your computer - I'll tell you why later. So anyway, once installed I clicked the desktop icon and it initiated the program and opened in Internet Explorer. I use Google Chrome so I grabbed the address and pasted it in the Google browser and opened it from there. I registered with a username, password and opened up to the unknown. I wish I hadn't. The site said you have all these choices of shows and even live sports, news, weather, and concerts - you guessed it - it didn't work. No live shows - everyone I clicked just kept in perpetual circles like it was trying to log on. The shows they said they had were in actuality links to the actual site. NBC, ABC, ESPN, and so on - and you don't need this device to do that. After my first try, I tried to log on again and now every time I do it says I'm logged on to another computer and I had to make sure I log out - oh, and it also says I have to unplug the device and plug it back again and re login. So I tried to uninstall and reinstall the program. Well, the icon and program shows on my desktop and start programs, but I can't find any trace of it on my hard drive. So now it's on there, but where I don't know and now I can't get it off my computer since I can't find it.

This is where the realization hit me of if it's too good to be true it usually is. I wasted 10 dollars and some change because I was too impulsive of a 47 year old man to logically and analytically reason out if this was all worth my money, time, and effort. If I can make myself a victim albeit it was a small one, let this blog teach you if anything this; don't believe everything you hear on TV or on the internet. Don't be impulsive, always count the cost and do the research to make sure it is what they say it is or does. You could be spending your money on something much more costly and much more damaging to your life.

So, always count the cost before doing anything that will take away from your finances,your time, and your intellect. If it's too good to be true, than it usually is.By the way, I don't recommend this product at all. Take it from me before they take it from you.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hoping the third time's the charm...

Well, I'm going to turn in the second blu-ray "One for the Money" and hope the third one is the charm and actually works. No telling if it will or not but my hope is that it will. Can I ask you all out there; have any of you ever had this much trouble renting blu-rays online, be it BlockBuster or Netflix, or some other obscure online rental company? With the advent of blu-ray being double-sided and able to hold up to 50GB of info you would think they would find a way for them to play without messing up so easy. I'm dating myself but I remember when there used to be "laserdiscs" that were the size of an LP album? An ex-friend of mine had one back in the day and I remember going over there to see a live concert of Paul McCartney and Wings. But, that was the past and now we these discs that are smaller and lighter, but nothing has changed in that sometimes products still give us trouble. Well, I'll have to wait about two days before I get another blu-ray in the mail. Once I do let's hope this one works, or I just might give up the by mail version and take my chances with the store.